Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sleazoid Express

I am not fascinated with New York. Could it be that living in Florida has made me immune to the place where all the snowbirds seem to come from? I've never been there and I'm very comfortable in my ignorance. What I have discovered from my reading is that the heyday of the grindhouse era sounds totally repellent to me. From the authors of Sleazoid Express, I get the impression that 42nd Street from the late 60s throughout the early 80s was like The Old West except the prairie dust was vomit and sperm. Um, anyway...

Sleazoid Express gets major points for attitude. This very opinionated book perfectly captures the bygone grindhouse days when trash ruled and the only thing scarier than the films were the audience often composed of junkies, pimps and perverts. The best thing for me when reading about exploitation films is not having to watch them. I'd rather get the synopsis of one of Micheal and Roberta Findlay's "roughies" from a book than actually sit through one. And I would prefer slamming my fingers in a drawer than attempting to watch an Andy Milligan film. Luckily for my vanilla tastes, Sleazoid Express covers a variety of genres in each chapter from unforgivably offensive Blaxploitation epics and Eurosleaze offerings from Jess Franco to the notorious Mondo films (another genre I'd rather read about).

Italian horror and giallo fans might be a tad annoyed with this one as many of the reviews tend to be situational. A film's bad sound at the time of its release will affect the review it gets which I find pretty amusing since Italian films aren't exactly known for their great sound quality. Perhaps the 1970s and 1980s grindhouse audience should have watched the DVD of Zombie with remastered sound instead of watching it in some shitbox theater. Maybe they couldn't afford a DVD player or perhaps DVD players hadn't been invented yet. I'm not sure. Also, some of the reviews are based on the authors' drug addled memory and the plots are incorrect. This I will forgive because plot and I have stopped being friends years ago. Clearly, I love gialli too much.

Who am I to argue over Italian cannibal films, anyway? I don't even like them! But I was intrigued when the authors actually split hairs over who is the more repugnant human being, Umberto Lenzi or Ruggero Deodato. Are you fucking kidding me!?! Any director who slaughters animals on camera for the "entertainment" of the audience is a dick and a dumbass so what is the point? But if I had to choose between Cannibal Ferox and Cannibal Holocaust, I'd pick Holocaust because it made me want to seek counseling. Ferox made me want to wash my DVD player but otherwise there was no lasting psychological damage. Or was there? Wow, I'm being a contradictory ass today.

Gory horror films are given a great deal of attention so you know I'm pleased. The films of Herschell Gordon Lewis are explored thoroughly as is Wes Craven's Last House on the Left and all of its ripoffs. All things considered, Sleazoid Express is an essential slice of trash reading and is a sleazy good time (as the title promises). It is more than just a nostalgic trip through a pool of sick, the book just friggin' rocks in every way. And don't think I didn't appreciate the audience reactions recorded in the film reviews. That's just good stuff.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Ladies of Giallo # 3

Good morning. My weekly contribution to The Daily Tourniquet is up and you can check it out right here, yo. I desperately needed a brunette to write about and the loverly Annabella Incontrera was just the ticket.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Art of the Devil 2

Art of the Devil 2
AKA Long khong
Directed by Pasith Buranajan
Released: 2005
Starring Napakpapha Nakprasitte, Hataiwan Ngamsukonpusit, Akarin Siwapornpitak, Chanida Suriyakompon, Namo Tongkumnerd, Pavarit Wongpanitch, Korakot Woramusik
Running Time: 100 minutes
DVD Studio: Tokyo Shock

Two years after graduation, six high school friends reunite for a little get together in their home town. But these kids share more than just friendship. A bond formed after they used black magic to rid themselves of an evil and horribly abusive teacher. This terrible secret comes back to haunt them during their reunion and one by one, they succumb to terrible curses.

Hey kids, be sure to bring your barf bags for Art of the Devil 2. While it does have a similar theme of the perils of black magic, this is a sequel in name only to the first film. In fact, part 2 is an improvement over the 2004 film in almost every way. A better and more original script, great performances, beautiful scenery, better cinematography and wildly disgusting gore make me wonder why they even bothered connecting this to Art of the Devil at all.

I really loved this film but there are a couple of problems. First of all, why does the baddie resort to torture if that person can just conjure up some spirits to cause the carnage. Or is taking some pliers to toenails and teeth part of a really complicated ritual? While I really appreciate a certain blowtorch scene (which I had to pause and take a break from for a few minutes), I still don't understand why the magic itself couldn't have caused all the mayhem.

Secondly, I think the teen angst angle was a little heavy handed. While I thought the kids were driven to seek out retribution, I couldn't help but laugh at their incredulity as the same horrors they caused came raining back down upon them. Isn't that the nature of black magic that whatever evil you cause will revisit you threefold? Hello, watch a horror movie, you dang fools!

Cannibalism, amateur dentistry, eye violence, fish hooks where fish hooks should never be, lizards crawling out of places that lizards should never be and a pickled head; oh yes, it's all here! Truth be told, even I was shocked by some of the outrageous grue on display and I'm a sick bitch. I'm wondering if Thai black magicians wrote the script because all the blame falls on Cambodian black magic. I have to wonder if Thai black magic just isn't as hardcore as their neighbor's version. Whatever the reason, Art of the Devil 2 proves once and for all that pointless torture and black magic go together like teen angst and pickled corpses.

Even the trailer is gory!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Art of the Devil

Art of the Devil
AKA Khon len Khong
Directed by Tanit Jitnukul
Released: 2004
Starring Arisa Wills, Supakson Chaimongkol, Krongthong Rachatawan, Tin Settachoke, Somchai Satuthum, Isara Ochakul
Running Time: 95 minutes
DVD Studio: Tokyo Shock

After her married lover gets her pregnant, dumps her, shares her with his buddies and slaps her around, Kamala (played by Krongthong Rachatawan) turns to black magic to get revenge. After killing the dude and his family, she is further enraged when she discovers that the guy had kids with another woman and they are in line to inherit all of his wealth. To get her hands on the dough, Kamala marries her lover's illegitimate son Boom (Supakson Chaimongkol) and starts destroying the family one member at a time. Only Boom's sister Nan (Arisa Wills) and a curious journalist (Somchai Satuthum) figure out what Kamala is up to but are they too late to stop her?

This Thai horror film doesn't really do the genre justice. While watchable and suitably gross, Art of the Devil didn't exactly blow me away. The biggest problems come from the stiff acting, uneven direction and the generic plot. Yet there are pluses for the film features some very cool moments that balance out the cheesy ones. And yes, there are some bloody and freaky nasty setpieces that must be seen to be believed.

The cast is lead by two lovely ladies: Krongthong Rachatawan as Kamala, the villainess and Arisa Wills as Nan, the heroine. Unfortunately, Nan is a shrill and dopey party girl character and kind of unlikeable. Kamala on the other hand, though flatly written, is 5 kinds of crazy. At least her reasons for revenge and her terrible greed are solid. Of course, the scene where she dances and sweats profusely and sexily during a black magic ritual will improve any actress's performance in my book.

So this film isn't perfect by any means but is worth a look for its great gross out sequences including black magic shenanigans with some not-so-fresh corpses and a show-stopping scene including a whole bunch of eels and a few gallons of blood. The nasty bits don't get started until the halfway mark, so a little patience goes a long way with Art of the Devil. Oh yeah, someone should have told the director that albinos aren't scary. The non-menacing little albino ghost girl jumping up and down on the bed didn't do it for me in the fright department.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Directed by Shyam Ramsay and Tulsi Ramsay
Released: 1988
Starring: Hemant Birje, Jasmin, Sahila Chaddha, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Satish Shah, Vijayendra Ghatge
Running Time: 145 minutes
DVD Studio: Mondo Macabro

Sameer and the local villagers capture a witch that has been draining the blood of hapless and horny dudes and manage to kill her. The witch's boyfriend named Baba is an evil sorcerer and he vows to get revenge. He kidnaps Sameer's neice Jasmin and Sameer disappears mysteriously. Baba performs a ritual that causes Jasmin to be possessed by the spirit of the witch. He then shows up with a "rescued" Jasmin and offers his services as a butler for Jasmin's father Thakur.

Years later, Jasmin is all grown up and behaving very strangely. She locks herself in her room and only goes out at night to drink the blood of men in the village. Sound familiar? Her sister Sahila returns from school but a happy reunion is impossible as Baba wants Sahila out of the picture. Luckily, on the way home Sahila met Hermant, a hunky duder looking for work who saves her from a monster that Baba summoned. Once they figure out that Jasmin is possessed and Baba is not who he says he is, Sahila and Hermant must battle the forces of evil for Jasmin's soul.

Once again, I have been totally floored by a Bollywood horror production. Maybe "floored" isn't the right word for it, perhaps "beaten into submission" is a better description. This is only my fourth Indian horror film and they just keep getting more and more amazing and hilarious. Veerana is actually the funniest one I've seen so far with truly funny intentional humor mixed in with the bad 80s fashion and ludicrous plot. Of course having two voluptuous starlets, Jasmin and Sahila Chaddha, in the same flick increases my enjoyment of the film immensely. The odd and beautiful soundtrack full of synthesizer mess is just dandy.

The biggest disadvantage Bollywood horror films have is their running times. Apparently, everyone in India has longer attentions spans than the rest of the world. Veerana is over two hours long! The biggest surprise is that I didn't get bored with the film until around the last 20 minutes or so when I was ready for the Ramsay brothers to wrap it up. The best part about these super long movies is the inclusion of musical numbers performed by the cast. Oh yes, the song and dance bits are essential to the Bollywood horror experience.

Don't expect much gore or nudity from Veerana. Due to the strict censorship over yonder, this is pretty tame stuff but that hardly hurts the film. What makes the Ramsay brothers' films so great is their craziness and their shameless ripping off of popular American films such as The Exorcist. There are even short segments for John Carpenter's The Thing and the 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers mixed in there. But who cares, right? Veerana contains some of the most bizonkers wide-eyed wackiness I've ever seen.

For a completely different Bollywood horror experience, check out Gehrayee.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Ladies of Giallo #2

Once again I have delved into the world of the giallo ladies. This time it is Marina Malfatti of The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave. Oh, I love that film. LOVE IT! NECOG is just nonsensical enough and just trashy enough to be a classic. Anyway, you can read about my passionate passion for Marina right here.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Directed by William Malone
Released: 1985
Starring Stan Ivar, Wendy Schaal, Lyman Ward, Robert Jaffe, Diane Salinger, Klaus Kinski
Running Time: 97 minutes

In this blatant Alien ripoff, we find that as man reaches deeper and deeper into space, more and more alien species will be found especially mean and parasitic ones. A spaceship led by Ferris Bueller’s dad is traveling to Titan for some reason. William Malone directed this wacky flick. He went on to do FeardotCom. Yes, he’s that good.

Ladies please, fire the fucking makeup team. Every woman in this film looks like collateral damage from a Mary Kay terrorist attack. Whoa, I’m digging on this freaky woman named Bryce (played by Diane Salinger). She’s the tag along soldier for hire who might just turn out to be an android later. I think I have weird taste in my space chicks.

Ah yes, we’ve got a whole bunch of space science gobbledygook; that is just what I needed. If this crew had seen the awful substandard equipment on the ship they were piloting, they would never have signed up for this gig. The ship does make random Star Wars sound effects for no reason. Ha ha, look how relieved Beth (Wendy Schaal) is when they land. That is not a good sign. Oops, they didn’t land on solid ground and now they’re wrecked.

The crew finds the wrecked ship they were looking for with a bunch of dead bodies on it. Then they are accosted by a monster and proceed to piss it off by shooting it with their ineffective weapons. Ancient alien technology looks like plexiglass tubes with blue neon zigzagging through it. Very pretty. For God’s sake, get it together, Beth! The captain (played by Stan Ivar) needs you to do some sciencey stuff so they can get the ship repaired and get off this shitty moon.

While badass Bryce is stripping down to her black undies, we get a super sweet surprise with a German goofball named Hans Rudy Hofner. Herr Hofner is played by none other than Klaus Kinski. So the alien parasite is using the dead bodies of their friends to take over the ship. Hey wait, this is a Planet of the Vampires rip-off more than an Alien rip-off.

My wife points out that it is also ripping off John Carpenter’s The Thing. Instead of the intense blood-testing scene, the dudes notice that their buddy isn't sweating. Wow, that is some riveting and intense stuff right there. Since this is extremely gory and cheesy as hell, I’m totally okay with all of this. Shit, never mind, I just saw our space creature and it is a pathetic copy of Giger’s design that likes to chew on people's necks. Wow.

Klaus Kinski has collected his paycheck and fled the set. His zombified character will now be played by a guy who doesn’t look like him in some lame makeup. Okay, the script references The Thing from Another World. We think the creature is dead so everyone starts poking it with their gun barrels and even Beth starts kicking the dang thing. The shit ain’t dead, you cretins, we haven’t hit 90 minutes yet.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Italian Horror Hierarchy

Did I go overboard? Yes! I submitted another article to The Daily Tourniquet and while I was working on it, I kind of forgot how to stop typing. It's called "A Hierarchy of Italian Horror & Giallo Directors" and it is a beastly beast. Please go and check it out right here. Let me know what y'all think. I'm actually a little busy this week so I'll be an intermittent beyatch. This too shall pass.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Joe Bob Briggs Goes to the Drive-In

We are drive-in mutants.
We are not like other people.
We are sick.
We believe in blood,
In breasts,
And in beasts.
We believe in Kung Fu City.
If life had a vomit meter,
We'd be off the scale.
As long as one single drive-in
Remains on the planet Earth,
We will party like jungle animals,
We will boogie till we puke.
Heads will roll.
The drive-in will never die.

"The Drive-In Oath" by Joe Bob Briggs (page 314)

Though it has what is probably the ugliest cover in my entire book collection, I cannot show enough love for Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In. This collection of Joe Bob Briggs' (real name: John Bloom) best drive-in movie reviews from his syndicated column in the early to mid 1980s is fun as hell to read and provides a marvelous snapshot of the ridiculous films available to the drive-in crowds back in the day.

The author's knack for satire is amazing as he skewers pop culture and especially political correctness by reveling in his backwards redneck persona. Prepare to laugh and be shocked by some of the wildly offensive things Briggs was able to get away with until he got fired from the Dallas Times Herald. He documents his termination from the paper as being killed and draws parallels to the JFK assassination.

As a moviethoner, I can't help but feel inspired by the insane dedication Briggs has for his beloved drive-in theaters. Damn it, that cover really is pretty awful. I think the concept of John Bloom standing on the cover with his alter ego is probably the lamest idea ever thought up by any human being ever. Okay, maybe it's not that bad. Used copies of Joe Bob Briggs Goes to the Drive-In and its sequel, Joe Bob Goes Back to the Drive-In, are available for next to nothing on Amazon. Richard of Doomed Moviethon says check it out.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

This is Horror

MTV aired a series called "This is Horror" (AKA "Stephen King's World of Horror") back in 1989 and it could be responsible for my development into the freakish man I am today. Had it not been for this collection of interviews and gruesome clips, I may never have developed my Linnea Quigley fixation and pursued Night of the Demons and Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama so doggedly. I was also introduced to the world of Sam Raimi. After watching the segment on the Evil Dead series, I immediately went out and talked my parents into renting parts 1 and 2. And then I proceeded to watch Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn about 15 times. (Luckily, they didn't watch them with me or my horror smorgasbord would have been over before it started.)

"This is Horror" was a rallying cry to horror fans. It confirmed what my 12 year old brain already loved about the genre and it opened my eyes to an entire universe of insanely sick and creepy stuff. Unfortunately, this series has been neglected by the DVD age so far. Some kind souls have placed some clips on Youtube but the entire series is tough to find. Here is an excellent review of the Japanese laserdisc which carries the title Encyclopedia of Horror.

Brian Yuzna segment

Monday, June 8, 2009

Ladies of Giallo # 1

There's a brand new online horror mag out there called The Daily Tourniquet. The site is dedicated to the world of horror and features short films, short stories, horror news, trailers, and more. I was asked to contribute a weekly column (every Sunday) over at The DT. Once I was done breakdancing, I immediately got to work on my first piece. You can check out # 1 of my Ladies of Giallo series right here.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Another Pointless Friday Post

[Yours truly and Moose in '88.]

It's Friday again and I'm just thinking about the film version of The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea, a novel by author and total nutjob Yukio Mishima. I think I was probably 12 years old when my parents rented this 1976 film (or it turned up on cable) and they totally kicked me out of the room when the demented kids in the film decide to kill and dissect a cat. Because I was a stealthy ninja at the time, I decided to pull a fast one on my folks and hover in the hallway leading to my room and watch the scene.

Now I didn't really want to see an animal killed onscreen even if it was staged but my curiosity was overwhelming. Because I was as inconspicuous as a mountain lion with Tourette's syndrome, my dad yelled from the couch, "If you're going to be a sneak just get out here and watch the damned thing!" So I come out sulking like a moron just in time to see the very vague and blurry cat surgery scene. I think what my parents were really disturbed about was these kids trying to prove that through 'objectivity' that they were capable of anything. Having seen this, I thought it was a great idea so I went out and killed every house pet in the neighborhood.

Okay fine, I was disturbed too. These English schoolboys killing a cat and Kris Kristofferson reminded me of Lord of the Flies and how when the chips are down, kids suck. At the time I was creeped out because I figured that all the shitty bullies at school were going to be the first ones to turn into soulless cannibal dicks when society crumbled. Obviously I know now that anyone can crack under similar pressure and that everyone has the potential for evil inside them somewhere.

Which obviously leads me to Headbangers Ball. Wait, what? You see, I wasn't exactly forbidden from watching this ragtag metal video show but if my dad caught me up after Saturday Night Live had ended, he'd give me shit. So I would pretend to be tired and go to my room (WHERE THERE WAS NO CABLE!) until I thought my folks were asleep. They I'd sneak out, turn the TV on, put the volume at the lowest possible volume and bask in the metal goodness. This was at the time when hair metal was at war with death metal and thrash for supremacy of HB so it wasn't easy to sit through the whole show. Of course, I always got caught and never got to watch the whole show anyway. My dad would always come storming in with the "what the hell are you watching?" bit and that would be that.

And now I'm thinking of one of the strangest double features I ever accidentally had. Had I not stayed up way, way past my bedtime, I would have never experienced the joys of Deadly Friend and Surf Nazis Must Die on good old cable TV. Watching horror at 2AM and eating Easy Cheese right out of the can... This was pretty much the most amazing night of my life. When I finally revisited these two flicks years later, I found out how awful they are. In defense of Surf Nazis Must Die, at least it was meant to be bad. Deadly Friend has no such excuse. (Though it does have one spectacular death scene.)

So what does any of this mean? I don't know. My parents were kind enough to give me their old VCR back then so I could rent Hellraiser and The Brood to watch alone in the privacy of my own room. Yet they were totally brainwashed by all the bad press heavy metal was getting at the time and were convinced their son was at risk. When I was a full blown metalhead a few years later and my folks were accusing me of smoking dope, I tried to explain to them that I just had bad taste in music and fashion. Good thing they never snapped and sent me off to boarding school in England, that's where the true evil lies.

Have a good weekend, y'all.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Scream for Help

Scream for Help
Directed by Michael Winner
Released: 1984
Starring: Rachael Kelly, Marie Masters, David Allen Brooks, Lolita Lorre, Rocco Sisto, Corey Parker, Sandra Clark
Running Time: 89 minutes

Christie Cromwell (played by Rachael Kelly) is convinced that her new stepdad Paul Fox (David Allen Brooks) is trying to kill her mother to get a hold of their money. Everyone, including her mother Karen (Marie Masters) think Christie is crazy. First she proves that Paul is sleeping with a woman named Brenda Bohle (Lolita Lorre) and then the truth comes out: duh yes, Paul is indeed trying to kill Karen. Christie and her mom kick Paul out of the house (but they forget to take his keys!) so he, Brenda and a thug named Lacey (Rocco Sisto) come back to murder the both of them and make it look like a burglary. Now the ladies must fight for their life (even though they clearly deserve to die).

Obviously, Michael Winner, director of Death Wish and a bunch of other Charles Bronson-related things, didn't give a flying fuck about Scream for Help. Then there's the writer, Tom Holland, who wrote and directed both Child's Play and Fright Night. He manages to have characters speak their every thought so that no one in the audience gets confused by the complex plot. Somehow, these two goons managed to have careers after poisoning the Earth with this beast that is part inheritance scam, part home invasion, part T&A and part teen melodrama.

Before I go on I have to take a moment to call out former Led Zepper John Paul Jones on his score for Scream for Help. Clearly, Jones HATED this dang movie or used some pieces of music lying around his house to do this one. Nobody told the guy that it was 1984 and not 1974 when he composed his exaggerated diarrhea music. While some of his stingers work during the suspenseful scenes, the rest of Jone's music is so totally inappropriate for this flick that it's comical. Don't believe me? Dig on the music for the bicycle chase:

Poor Rachael Kelly! While she looks oddly familiar, this is her last film role to date. And what a fine exit. She isn't the worst actress in the world but potty mouth Christie is unfathomably irritating and we even get her narrating the friggin' story. When Janey, her pregnant best friend (played by Sandra Clark) gets run over and killed, what does she do? SHE SLEEPS WITH THE DEAD CHICK'S BOYFRIEND! Talk about winning some points with the audience. One odd indication that something went terribly wrong is when they show Rachael Kelly's name in the credits, it appears next to an old bum living on a bench. Maybe I'm reading too much into it but that is just wrong.

Okay, the cast can only do so much damage. The fact is that Scream for Help feels like a really dirty TV movie. The violence is pretty intense but the home invasion aspect of the plot is ruined by poor plotting. There are a couple of ridiculously gratuitous nude scenes and a few unpleasant sex scenes. One of those is Christie losing her virginity to her dead friend's boyfriend and crying out in pain. It's funny because it is such a lousy and totally pointless scene but it's also funny because it is impossible not to hate Christie. Damn it, I'm harping on her again.

I hope that when a Michael Winner boxset comes out that instead of Death Wish, The Mechanic and Chato's Land being prominently featured, the whole set is just 12 copies of Scream for Help. This film should be remastered, restored in widescreen and even put on Blu-ray. In the audio commentary, I think I'd like to hear Micheal Winner, Tom Holland, John Paul Jones and the cast of the film (especially Rachael Kelly) expound upon and reminisce about what they were snorting, smoking or shooting up their veins while making this crap festival. Meanwhile, I'll be jumping up and down and hitting my head on the ceiling until I can forget that I ever watched Scream for Help.


"Fuck you, Josh Dealey!"

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Directed by John A. Russo
Released: 1982
Starring Melanie Verlin, Lawrence Tierney, John Hall, Charles Jackson, Doris Hackney
Running Time: 91 minutes
DVD Studio: Lions Gate

After her sleazy detective stepdad (played by Laurence Tierney) tries to rape her, Nancy (Melanie Verlin) packs a bag, grabs her guitar and starts hitching to California. Somehow she ends up in a van with Tom (John Hall) and Hank (Charles Jackson), two goofballs heading down to Ft. Lauderdale. Together they run afoul of some racist rednecks and even the local law enforcement but the real trouble begins when Nancy, Tom and Hank run into a family of Satan worshippers. Now alone and locked in a cage, Nancy must find a way to escape this deadly clan before she becomes a human sacrifice.

There is something special about this blunt and desolate little loser that is hard to define. John A. Russo (co-writer of Night of the Living Dead) wrote and directed Midnight. The film is apparently based on his book and I am trying NOT to imagine what reading this story would be like. And yet this cheap junker is worth a look for folks sorting through every single piece of early 80s trash.

So what's wrong with Midnight? There has to be something wrong, right? First of all, that God damned song that just keeps repeating the phrase "You're on your own" over and over again is quite pitiful. Most of the cast is really, really bad. The one actor who stands out the most with his awfulness is Bob Johnson who plays Father Carrington, an unlucky priest. Johnson was the voice on tape in all the Mission: Impossible episodes and Midnight is what he did in between the 60s series and the 80s series.

So what's right about Midnight? First of all, the setting is perfect. This sucker was filmed in lovely Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with some seriously overcast skies and it lends to the feeling of dread hanging over everything. The frenzied synthesizer soundtrack is fantastic and there is plenty of violence and bloodshed to go around.

Last but not least, there is Cynthia played by Robin Walsh (pictured above) who has yet to star in another film. When the matriarch dies and needs blood sacrifices to return to the world of the living, Cynthia steps in to the lead her satanic family. This chick is on fire in this movie and steals every scene she's in with campy ferocity. My heart was stolen.


"Could I have a six pack of Pabst please?"

Monday, June 1, 2009

Drag Me to Hell

You know I hate to be topical but I do get out of the house once in a while, yes I do! I figured that Sam Raimi's first time directing a horror film in nearly 10 years was a reason to get my ass to the theaters. I met up with my friend and part-time moviethoner, Nafa, at Muvico Starlight 20 to catch Drag Me to Hell yesterday. When is the best time to catch a horror movie? Why Sunday morning, obviously.

The theater was almost deserted with only about 20 or 25 people showing up for the 11:00am show. Nafa and I sat almost next to each other but we had that empty seat between us (AKA 'man-space'). This prevents us from reaching for each other if things get too scary. We did not want this to turn into Drag Me to Cuddlefish or Drag Me to Spooning. My wife and his girlfriend need to be able to trust us on our man-dates. Armed with my Mountain Dew and Reece's Pieces and Nafa with his Diet Pepsi, we were fully prepared for Drag Me to Hell (or were we?).

Without doing an actual review (LAZY!!!), I will say that Drag Me to Hell is like going to the Haunted Mansion at Disney World if the animatronic ghosts threw hammers at your face. Muvico always cranks the volume so a roller coaster flick like this one with excellent sound design really kicked ass. What the film lacks in gore (no bodily dismemberments), it makes up for in gross outs, violence and some very bizarre imagery.

I consider this a must see for Sam Raimi fans. It's both scary and funny. He has taken a break from emo spiders to do something really friggin' cool. The story, the cast, the soundtrack and airtight direction are all aces. Plus, on the drive home in broad daylight, I was getting very creeped out just thinking about what I had just seen.

So let's see: $16 million for opening weekend? That's not too bad but let's not let this one drop off the map, okay folks? Go see Drag Me to Hell. You won't regret it.