Thursday, July 29, 2010

Shelf Porn 2

Below these words lies complete and utter disorganization (mostly). I have so many horror movies hidden behind what you can see in these lame pics. Sigh... I feel so inadequate. (And I'm talking about my horror collection this time.) Man, this summer is just burning away, ain't it? Anyway, my half-hiatus continues.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Shelf Porn

(click to make bigger, you pervert!)

I decided to put all of my Eurohorror DVDs together. Of course, I failed. I have too much to fit on one set of shelves. The millennial Eurohorror is stashed somewhere else as are a few other things just wouldn't squeeze in. Where's the rest of my dang collection? The Asian horror, American, classic, crappy, and all the rest are stashed in two other overflowing and less photogenic cabinets. There's also the Rubbermaid tub of DVDRs in the closet which is dangerously heavy. So this poorly taken picture is a poor representation of my collection but I wanted to share it anyway. I like how The Day the Sky Exploded sticks out like a sore thumb.

Top Shelf - Argento, Bava, and Fulci
Second Shelf - gialli*
Third Shelf - Italian, Spanish, and French horror

*some homemade covers in there

Friday, July 23, 2010

Something is Here: Giallo Meltdown 4

Way back in April, I staged the 4th Giallo Meltdown. I managed to get through 16 gialli in around 75 hours. It was pretty laid back now that I think about it but it felt very painful and wacky. I can't tell you how happy I am to get this 8,000 word piece (of crap) out of my "to do" ("doo doo") queue. See, I told you there was good stuff on the horizon. Thanks a bunch and I'll see you all in September for the The Invasian. As if I could actually stay away for that long. I'll be around. Enough babbling, my brain is toast. You can check out (AKA help me proofread) Giallo Meltdown 4 right here. Take care, you wild kids.

In case you missed them...

Giallo Meltdown 1 - Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Giallo Meltdown 2

Giallo Meltdown 3

Friday, July 9, 2010

My Dedication to Absenteeism

Here is where I'm at right now: I'm on the corner of Blech Street and Meh Lane. While I won't be completely absent, I am going to let the blog slide for the rest of July and all of August. I'm doing this so that I can focus all of my energy on the NEHF book. I'll most likely be back on my birthday with some reviews of 1976 (my birth year) movies and some other things that might crawl out of my mind's butt in the dog days of summer. And who knows, maybe I'll get off my ass and have a moviethon! Stranger things have happened. Wait, when the hell did having a moviethon involve getting off my ass. Usually they involve getting on it.

There is some big awesomeness coming when I return though. The month of September will truly be a September to remember as I hereby declare it Asian horror month here at CinSom. I will be posting every friggin' day for the entire month in order to bring you the most insane shit I can come up with. I'm a huge fan of Asian horror but I've always been kind of intimidated when it comes to writing about it. Over the years, I have managed to get my hands on some rare and wonderful things. So you'll want to come on by for all of your Asian horror needs. Movies that are amazing, transcendent, boring, gory, perverted, brilliant, stupid, repulsive, hilarious, and mediocre will all be covered, yo. Hopefully, I'll be able to convince some fellow horror bloggers to contribute their radness to THE INVASIAN. Email me if you're interested, duders.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Rescued: Satan's Dish

Last year, I wrote several pieces for a site that is unfortunately gone now. I thought I had rescued all of those articles from oblivion but one had escaped me somehow. In September, I wrote about my favorite Paul Naschy film, Horror Rises from the Tomb. Blah blah blah, recycled content, aw phooey! Anyway, you can check it out here and throw sticks at me later.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wednesday Ramble: Repo Man Sauce

One lazy summer day, my plans fell through. Take my hand and mourn with me! You see, I was 16 years old and I had failed my driving test (a huge blow to my gigantic ego) so I was pretty much stuck. I might as well have been 12 years old in my worthlessness (as you’ll soon see). It feels so wrong not being able to do jack squat on a Saturday when your buds are out doing God knows what and giggling maniacally at the very mention of your name. Friend 1: “Should we call Dicky?” Friend 2: “Har har, that’s a larf. Let that loser soak in his own loser juices until Hell freezes over.” Wow, some friends! Am I right or am I right? Paranoid delusions aside, I was having a pretty lame day.

I tried but couldn’t sleep in. I called my friend who was to be my ride to whatever event was going on that day and found out about the cancellation. I called some other friends that I couldn’t reach (no cell phone in 1993, y’all). I found out there was no food in the house. I called my mom to see what she was up to and found out she wasn’t going to be home until later that night. My dad had been dead a month or two so his ghost was kind of lingering around the place but was no help whatsoever. Oh yeah, one more thing: I had stupidly dumped my girlfriend a few weeks before but don’t think I wasn’t tempted to call her to try and patch things up (at least so I could get a ride somewhere).

So I did what any lame-brained teenager would do. I poured some Ragu pasta sauce into a bowl, heated it up in the microwave, threw in some chunks of cheddar cheese, and ate it with a spoon. Sounds delicious, right? Well, I thought it was. See, there was no macaroni and cheese in the house so I didn’t really know what to do with all that pasta. To give you an idea of how dumb I was, I had no idea how to prepare pasta for myself. Macaroni and cheese? No problem! You boil the macaroni and then add the sauce. Simple. But what about pasta? How does that shit get magically transformed from its hard form into its soft form. I shit you not, dear reader, I had no clue.

So I turned on the TV and there was a movie called Repo Man about to start on TV. To this day, I can’t remember what channel was showing it. It may have been TNT or something. It was definitely a channel that edited out cursing, that’s for sure. But anyway, I had never heard of this movie before so I just left it on. Suddenly, the punk rock credits kick in and I was glued to the spot. In the desert, a cop pulls over a guy named J. Frank Parnell driving a 1964 Chevy Malibu. The man is singing to himself and is almost totally oblivious to this cop’s presence. The cop knocks on the window and asks to see what’s in the trunk. J. Frank Parnell says “Oh, you don’t want to look in there.” The cop takes the keys and walks around to the back of the car. As he opens the trunk, J. Frank Parnell’s eye, reflected in the rear view mirror, widens with anticipation. The cop is instantly vaporized. The car speeds away leaving only the cop’s smoking boots and his lonely motorcycle behind.

That is how Repo Man begins. Basically, every scene will knock your socks off. This is what I discovered, eating spaghetti sauce, and cheddar cheese. I can’t imagine a better film for a boring Saturday morning. Nearly every frame of this movie is hilarious, quotable, and just supremely awesome. Since then, I have watched this film more times than I can remember and can quote pretty much every line for you, if you’d like. No? Okay, I won’t. “You wanna be a hero or rather be a chickenman? You ever see a farmer’s wife?”

Okay, the movie is actually about a loser punk named Otto (played by Emilio Estevez) who is full angst and can’t hold a job to save his life. After his “best friend” steals his girlfriend from him at a party, Otto goes on an all night drinking binge. While walking home the next morning, he is approached by Bud (Harry Dean Stanton), a repo man who tricks Otto into helping him repossess a car. At that very moment, he is hired by the “Helping Hand Acceptance Corporation”, a sleazy repo outfit. Otto quickly discovers that the life of a repo man is a dangerous one. He gets a new girlfriend, Leila (Olivia Barash), a member of UFO (United Fruitcake Outlet) who is desperately searching for some proof of life from outer space.

When word comes down that there is a Chevy Malibu worth $25,000, every repo man in the city and various government agencies goes after it. What’s with this mysterious car? Are there decomposing aliens in the trunk? Is that a crazed scientist behind the wheel? This is Repo Man and it's all you ever needed to know about the 1980s.

Obviously, Repo Man made me aware of both Harry Dean Stanton and Tracey Walter, two gentlemen who rule the Earth as brilliant character actors but the film’s other major accomplishment is introducing me to the amazing Fox Harris as J. Frank Parnell, the man with the aliens in his trunk, inventor of the neutron bomb, and victim of a (probably) botched lobotomy. I tell ya, this actor is so over the top in his scenes that you can almost feel him burning right through your fucking television. Harris made a few appearances in some pretty decent B movies and just about every one of those appearances is totally unforgettable. The guy died in 1988 and his picture can be seen next to the term ‘underutilized’ in the dictionary. He did get his chance to shine in the totally bonkers Dr. Caligari and the obscure horror anthology Dark Romances (among other things).

So what did I learn on that fateful Saturday? I learned that eating nothing but pasta sauce for an entire day can give you massive amounts of life-altering heartburn. I learned that Ecco the Dolphin gets way too difficult after a while so just give up. I learned that life is long and boring and that Repo Man will only get you through 90 minutes of it (or 2 hours if it’s on network TV). I eventually bought the movie on VHS and played it for everyone who would sit still long enough to enjoy it.

A few years later, I dated a girl whose family ran a repo lot. The first night hanging out with her and her folks, her mom asked me if I had ever seen Repo Man. I, of course, said yes and they didn’t believe me! Well, after I telegraphed the dialogue for the first 10 minutes of the film, they conceded that I did indeed have proficient knowledge of Emilio Estevez’s finest work. Somehow, that nerdy act got me the girl and even earned the respect of her family. How many times has a movie done that for you?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Brinke Stevens Interview

Hey folks, I told you I was working on a little surprise, didn't I? Well, I wasn't lyin'. Click here to read my interview with the legendary Brinke Stevens. That's right, it's my first interview since my 2005 conversation with Ken Foree. Anyway, I hope you guys dig it.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Search Continues

Okay folks, here's the deal: My buddy Scott and I are looking for a horror novel. He lent it to me many, many years ago and neither of us can remember what in the hell it's called. We've been in communication about it and we certainly remember the dang plot but as for author and title, well... No dice. I think the book is British from the early 80s. Here's what I've got:

All I can remember is that there was a group of people who were infected with some kind of disease or possessed by some kind of force that made them extremely violent and I think bloodthirsty as well. They go from house to house in this small town killing and turning everyone into creatures like themselves. I think they're eyes turn red and they become extremely powerful. Some folks rise up to combat these ghouls and I believe the book ends very abruptly.

Here's what Scott remembers (some spoilers):

I think it was the first zombie/infected book I ever read. I was wondering why they never tried to make it into a movie; it had potential. I think the infection started by touching a watch or some other jewelry, and it started with a severe headache. It ended with the local police finding all the infected holed up in a movie theater, and then burning it down. I believe a kid was re-infected in the last paragraph.

I ran this by Will at the great Too Much Horror Fiction blog and he suggested it might be The Fog by James Herbert. I've confirmed that this isn't the one but looks like a friggin' great book anyway. So the search continues. In any of you can remember or locate the title and author of this book, I'll give you a (crappy) prize. If you know of an archive of 80s and/or British horror novels I could go scrounging around in, that would be very helpful as well.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Suspiria on a Plane!

Whoa! Passengers on a plane headed for Charlotte got the Suspiria treatment as maggots from some spoiled meat starting dropping from the ceiling. The flight had to be canceled. Dario Argento could not be reached for comment.

Laughter in the Dark

I don’t mean to brag but I used to read books. Yeah, it’s true. Ask just about anybody. One night, about 12 years or so ago, I was finishing up reading this awesome book by Vladimir Nabokov called Laughter in the Dark and as I got to the last chapter, it hit me: I had seen the movie adaptation of this book before (perhaps on cable when I was a kid). The climax of Nabokov’s sardonically cruel thriller (a prototype for Lolita) is amazing and unforgettable and the filmmakers had done an awesome job putting it on the screen. As for the rest of the movie, I couldn’t really remember any of it (and that may or may not be a comment on the film's quality; I just don’t recall anything else). The next day, I checked my local video store and couldn’t find a copy of the film. Pretty soon, Laughter in the Dark slipped my mind and years went by before I thought about it again.

When I did think of it again, IMDB told me that it starred the great Nicol Williamson of The Seven-Per-Cent Solution and Exorcist III and it also told me that it wasn’t available on VHS or DVD. Upon further investigation, anyone who wants to see Laughter in the Dark is pretty much screwed. I can’t even find a bootleg of this damn thing. I can't even find a friggin' trailer on Youtube. Jeez! Every couple of years, I run into the book on my shelves and I decide to go and hunt for the film again. If any of you crazy kids have seen this flick, let me know if I should just give up looking for it (even though I won’t). And if you happen to have a copy, please please please please please please please hook me up.