Archive for June, 2013

Horror Flick of the Week: Waxwork

Posted in Movies and shows, Trailers, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2013 by ranranami

As I’m sure you’re all aware, anything crafted to look like a human being is creepy. Anything crafted to look like a human being that actually comes pretty close is really creepy. Anything crafted to look like a human being that comes to life and actually sucks you into another dimension, then effectively murders you and entraps your soul in a similar form…well, that one is great for a film plot.

 

 

 

Forgiving the quality of the trailer, the dvd and vhs are a little better. There are so many movies out there with wax museums as the main focus of the horror, but this is the only one I’m aware of where it’s not just people being murdered and having their bodies hidden in the figures…it’s people being sucked into the world’s of the creatures, and turning into wax sculptures if they die there. It’s a delicious piece of 80s camp I could watch a hundred times or more, and probably have, now that I think about it.

It starts with a man being murdered and robbed, to the tune of some classic swing, and from there the adventure begins. Mark, played by the amazingly awesome Zach Galligan, also known as the defeater of the gremlin army, having an intimate breakfast with his mother. Maybe it’s just the length of the table and the obnoxious centerpiece talking, but I gather they aren’t too close…

Then we meet Mark’s ex-girlfriend, China, who to put it bluntly…is a bit promiscuous. She’s chatting it up with the good girl Sarah, when suddenly…

This place appears out of nowhere, then-

OH GOD, IT’S DAVID WARNER! This isn’t good…especially not when he invites them to come to his waxwork that night…

The low budget is a given, and there are very minor outdoor moments with some shaky camera-work…but only really if you’re looking. My point being I’m not here to pick at the bad bits, only talk about the awesome ones. This movie…is the good side of 80s camp. The sequel is also pretty epic, too. In fact, I’d advise you to watch both. Seriously, they’re absolutely amazing. Here, I’ll throw in some extra pictures for you, just in case the point hasn’t been driven home yet…

The Myth and Mystique of Jack-O-Lanterns

Posted in Around the World, Halloween Junk with tags , , , , , , on June 29, 2013 by ranranami

Have you ever heard the tale of Stingy Jack? You probably have, even if you don’t know it. There are a thousand different versions, though many of them don’t go by the same name or have the same main character. The essence of his story is always the same: a man tricks the devil, the man makes a bargain, the man either goes back on the bargain or runs out of time, the man can’t go to heaven or hell, then he’s stuck here. The main facet of the story that makes Jack so interesting, is his lantern. Given nothing to light his way back from hell but a vegetable or tuber (turnip, radish, beet, potato, rutabaga…) of some kind stuffed with a coal, he became ‘Jack O’ Lantern’. This translates to ‘Jack of the lantern’, if the old englishe was too much for you.

 

Rumor: Best version of the Stingy Jack character ever.
Rumor confirmed.

 

 

My sources tell me this was mainly an Irish story, and the Jack O’ Lantern was brought over during the potato famine. Amongst food, and equality, and complete acceptance, they also found pumpkins. The turnips, radishes, beets, potatoes, and even our poor friend the rutabaga…they were all ditched in exchange for the magnificently large and easy to carve pumpkin. By the way, the bit about equality and complete acceptance was a lie, but the pumpkins were not.

 

Awwww, he thinks he’s dead people.

 

 

Traditionally, Celts used to have large bonfires to keep the dead at bay on Sowan, the transitional day between Summer (life season) and Winter (death season), but luckily for us, it gradually turned into the Jack O’ Lantern. I can’t even imagine keeping a bonfire on my doorstep. Not to mention if the headless horseman had to tote a cart behind him with a giant fire in it…

 

From your love-able Disney company, subtly
traumatizing children since 1923.

 

I feel like I should give you a pumpkin pie recipe right now, but…maybe some other time.

Drive-in Trailers: Robots, Androids, and Computers…oh my!

Posted in Movies and shows, Trailers, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 27, 2013 by ranranami

Artificial intelligence. Sentience created by man, which may or may not become genuine. You’ve got your regular robots, your good robots *such as J5 and Robin Williams*, and you’ve got your downright EVIL robots. They’re usually pretty damn strong, they have no remorse for man-kind, and they usually have some sort of vendetta against us for creating them. The following trailers are here to inform and protect you, should the inevitable Robocalypse occur…

 

Spooky Board Games: Ouija Board

Posted in Fun and Games, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2013 by ranranami

Okay, I guess you were wondering when I’d get around to this one. I mean, what list of scary board games is complete without something marketed to children that clearly encourages them to contact the dead and other questionable entities, provided they exist and aren’t moving it? The concept itself is pretty disturbing.

Of course, Parker Bros didn’t invent the Ouija board. ‘Modern Spiritualism’ kinda did most of the work, and Parker Bros just slapped their brand name on it.

If you need me to explain the concept, here it is: you use a planchette (a small triangular piece of wood or cardboard, generally with a hole in the top) to receive messages from THE OTHER SIDE. You move it around on a cardboard (or wood) board with letters and numbers on it, sometimes even the words ‘hello’ and ‘good-bye’ scrolled at the upper left and right-hand corner. There’s also a ‘yes’ and ‘no’ somewhere on there, just for those of us who are too impatient to let the word spell itself out.

I can’t confirm whether it does or doesn’t exist. There’s questionable evidence on both sides. If you’re in a group of people who really commit, and refuse to move the planchette, but just let it ‘move’, you may have some tedious fun. Usually, though, the case is that there’s some joker in the group who either can’t wait or wants to mess with everyone else by pushing it to their own answers.

The Ouija Board has been around so long, and been so popular throughout the years, that there are a thousand different incarnations, whether Parker Brothers or not. They range from the cheap and tacky to the incredibly ornate and gorgeous, as well as everything in-between. My personal favorite is a miniature one that came with my precious dvd ‘Witchboard’. Heck, you can even use the cover itself.

I don’t advise playing with this game if you aren’t prepared for something to happen, or if you’re so prepared that you’ve got satanic symbols scrawled on your wall with the black mass being perpetually looped on your computer…y’know…just in case something does happen. Winky face, grin. I do not use emoticons, so you’ll just have to accept the verbal description of my facial expressions.

R.I.P Richard Matheson

Posted in People, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , on June 26, 2013 by ranranami

I may have been a little slow on this one, but I just found out Richard Matheson passed away. He was a wonderful author, and in fact wrote a lot of major stories we all know and love. Of all the modern writers I’ve been familiar with, I feel Matheson managed to be the most influential without a lot of people even knowing. He had a way of writing that really managed to bring out the emotions and humanity of characters, no matter the subject. His works had heart, which is something I don’t believe truly great horror can ever be without.

 

When I was a kid, and I consumed books like fire tearing through a dry thicket, I discovered a very small entry in an encyclopedia of horror stories. It referenced a tale I would spend a fair amount of years trying to find, as the only evidence of it even existing was in out-of-print magazines and a practically impossible to find book called ‘Nighttouch’. Just this past year, though, I picked up a book from a garage sale, and discovered this same story I’d been looking for, completely by surprise when I was browsing through the pages later. The story is called ‘Drink My Blood’, also called ‘Blood Son’, and it was written in 1951. Though the story wasn’t my favorite Matheson work, it did motivate me to read and see his other works, and truly appreciate him for the artist he was. For those of you interested in reading this story, I found it in a horror anthology called ‘Vampires: Two Centuries of Great Vampire Stories’, edited by Alan Ryan.

 

Here’s a very short video I found on youtube of Richard discussing how he wants to be remembered. I think he got his wish. R.I.P. Mister Matheson. I, for one, will never forget you.

 

Horror Flick of the Week: Evil Dead

Posted in Movies and shows with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2013 by ranranami

As a sort of belated reference to Bruce Campbell’s recent birthday this past week, I think I’m going to suggest one of my favorite films, a piece no true horror fan can go without seeing, and also a movie that got a fairly good remake this past year. Evil Dead. The stage musical is also awesome, and worth seeing a thousand times.

There are so many arguments out there about this movie, whether it’s horror or comedy, and I feel the need to set this record straight. Part 2 is a comedy. Army of Darkness is a comedy. Evil Dead…is not a comedy. This is Sam Raimi cutting his teeth way before he got into the big leagues. A fun fact I’d like to mention is that Sam, Bruce, and Ted (Sam’s brother, also known as Joxer the mighty) had actually done a lot of movie projects together in high school on Super-8 film. This isn’t really relevant, but I’m a fan girl, therefore I sometimes say irrelevant things. Or maybe that’s just my ADHD…

Anyway, it begins with a group of friends driving out to a cabin in the woods, with something…moving through the woods. Too fast to be an animal, and it’s basically floating over the water. Luckily, everyone has the joy of singing in the car to protect them. Also somewhat reckless driving…

After nearly crashing into a truck, we discover early on that the driver of the car, Scott, is an asshole. This isn’t too important, I just wanted to let everyone know Scott’s a dick.

The human version of freaking Larry.

I suppose I should mention Ash at this point. Everybody loves Ash. He’s got so much charisma and personality, right? Wrong. In the beginning, he’s hollow and empty, like that pathetic feeling you have once you’ve finished a pint of ice cream, when you promised you’d never touch the demon milk again. Demon milk…maybe I should have used a different term…

When everybody arrives at the cabin, we discover a shocking fact: this empty, abandoned house in the middle of the woods…is creepy. The first person to grasp just how creepy is Ash’s sister, Cheryll, when an innocent sketching hour turns into a DEATHLY SKETCHING…HOUR!

The cellar door-thing goes crazy, and then everyone sits down to eat. She doesn’t bring up her terrible paper genocide, which leads me to assume she is an idiot. Just then, that door-thing I mentioned bursts open. When Cheryll suggests that it might have been an idiot, Scott the dick chimes in that it’s a stupid idea. I mean, it’s not like large rodents knock crap over and destroy property all the time or anything. This was obviously done by the wind. Damn that wind!

This isn’t relevant, it’s just an obligatory picture of Ash.

After some general snooping, Scott and Ash find your average, every-day, run-of-the mill skull dagger and Necronomicon.

Scott makes a wise-ass crack, and Ash laughs at his cleverness, likely biting out the bitter hatred he’s developed towards Scott over the years. A tape player is also discovered, and we discover the story of a doctor, the book, and a demon summoning. Part of it, anyway, before Cheryll goes nuts and runs out. Eventually she ends up in the woods, and let’s just say…she gets raped by trees. Say it with a sexy intonation in your voice though, as if it’s some sort of indirect reference. There’s no other way to imply someone’s been raped by trees than actually literally coming out with it.

At this point, it’s safe to say a good bit of hell has ‘broken loose’. I suspect some of it is also stuck, but we’ll leave that for another day…

Cheryll is the first victim. From here on out, if you don’t see what happens to a character, but they come back with torn clothes…it’s safe to assume…yeah. There’s not much in the ways of great acting her. There’s a lot to say for some great camera work on a low budget, though. It’s also a pretty great story, if you haven’t been tired out by all of the references to this concept. By all means, I feel it deserves it’s spot as a cult classic, and a classic in general. If tree rape didn’t grab your attention though, maybe this isn’t the movie for you. Look for something tamer, like the edited-for-tv version of Hellraiser, or maybe just an hour-long test pattern. I don’t know, you’ll think of something. However, if you ARE intrigued by the tree rape, or the fact that this is just an epic movie in all, definitely check it out. Try to get as many unsuspecting victims…I mean friends…to watch it with you, too.

Drive-in Trailers: Evil Houses and Homes

Posted in Media, Movies and shows, Trailers, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 23, 2013 by ranranami

Let’s be honest here, you have nothing to fear from vampires, zombies, werewolves, giant animals, creatures from questionable places, or even mother-in-laws…if you have an evil house. All of these things may make it difficult to sleep at night, but an evil house makes it downright impossible. Here are some trailers to illustrate my point…

Personally, I think I could still manage living in these sorts of places, provided I had a night light…