May 31, 2009
It's a proud moment for us here at THC; our little horror blog has been looked at and searched 100,000 times! I installed the hit counters sometime in November, just as a goof to see if people were actually checking us out on a regular basis. Imagine our surprise when the numbers kept climbing, and climbing...
-The top number indicates actual page views. For instance, if you come here, that's one page view; if you click on 5 of our links, that's 5 more.
-The bottom number is the number on unique ISP's that have visited the site. If you come here once, the number goes up by one and won't count you again unless you have one of those ISP's that change every time you browse the net.
This first screen grab was taken by me on December 30th, 2008:
This next one, was taken today:
That's 83,618 times that people have read our pages since essentially the first of the year. It's also 62,072 new people who have found their way to us.
To us, that's simply amazing.
We love horror, we love all of our friends around the world (you), so keep coming back and we will keep doing our best to give you a reason to.
Needless to say, we haven't watched much horror in these past few weeks, but were starting to get back to normal...
At the Box-Office we got...
-One more-than-welcomed gem, Drag Me to Hell. Haven't seen it yet, but word is that Raimi's triumphant return to horror does the genre proud.
-One cool movie available on IFC In-Demand, Pontypool- Great movie; see it if it's in a theater near you, or rent it On-Demand now! (Review coming soon.)
On DVD we got...
Own it- Mum & Dad, Underworld 3: Rise of the Lycans, My Bloody Valentine 3-D, True Blood: Season One, Plague Town
Rent it- The Grudge 3, Eden Log, Outlander, The Devil's Tomb, Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus,
Skip it- End of the Line, Scarce, S. Darko,
The ones we haven't seen yet- Unconcious, House of the Demon, The Last Horror Film, Bane, Ambition, Beneath the Flesh.
-They're remaking Alien. Seriously. After typing this, I have no energy left to type anything else...
Aside from a the great theatrical releases and a few really good DVD's, May mostly sucked. Will June give us more to be happy about than crappy old May did? I sure as hell hope so... True Blood returns for its second season on HBO, and we do get theatrical runs for Dead Snow and Moon... Things are looking better already!
*Make sure to check our Release Date List to stay up to date on what's coming out and when.
May 29, 2009
Get your butts to the theater and see Drag Me To Hell, it comes out today and from what I hear is a good, old fashioned hell of a horror film. I won't get to see it yet, as my theater going partner is in the hospital trying to survive, so live vicariously for me!
Also, Pontypool is out in limited release, and thanks to the IFC, it's also available on cable on IFC On-Demand too ( I checked last night, it's there and only costs $6.99.) It looks bad ass, and has gotten great word of mouth from those that have seen it thus far. I'll be renting that tonight fo sho.
Today is a great release day for horror us fans, so let's enjoy it if we are able to.
May 28, 2009
Sub-Genre- Serial Killer
In Attendance- Meeeeeeeee!
Cast Members of Note- The hotness of Hanna Mangan Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Michael Dorman, Sebastian Gregory, and Joshua Payne. Directed by Jon Hewitt.
What's it about?- Mark and James are best mates, and Chasely is the sassy young harlot who comes between them with her schoolgirl uniform and blossoming sexuality; you see, Chasely and Mark are an item, but like James likes her and stuff, but she doesn't know what to do because she thinks she likes James or whatever but she doesn't like know for like sure... OMG! (This concludes my good-natured poke at teenage culture. What can I say, I'm snarky like that.)
One day, while they're all making out together in the woods, James wanders off (presumably to rub one out) and stumbles upon Somebody's Dad burying something and then running off. Soon enough, they find out that Somebody's Dad is actually a serial killer, and that they've stumbled onto his hunting/burial grounds. At least Somebody's Dad didn't catch them snooping around, or they may have just ended up grounded... to death! (Stop rolling your eyes, It's the best that I've got!)
I really don't want to explain away too much more of the plot other than to say that instead of calling the cops and reporting their grisly discovery, they decide to track the killer down and do their best to blackmail him. I don't think I'm giving anything away by saying that things pretty much go to hell from there on out.
The Good- I've been waiting for what seems like forever to see this movie, and when I finally had the chance to, I wasn't disappointed at all. This is a taut, tense thriller, that may walk the road of "Now why would they do that instead of...?" territory, but makes up for it with high marks in every other category. Visually, this movie is stunning. The characters, though frustratingly dumb at times (because sometimes kids can be that way), are believable and sympathetic. The script is great. The casting, cinematography, direction... works on all levels.
I also like that there were several twists and turns in the plot which never seemed like the "twists" that so many horror flicks get caught up in trying to amaze us with these days; instead, they were actually important plot developments, and were handled perfectly. Thank you Jon Hewitt for not treating horror fans like we're idiots... it's quite a refreshing feeling for a change.
Some have said that the beginning half of this movie dragged a little, but I beg to differ; the first half of the movie seemed to me a meditation of sorts on teenagers, in which sexual angst and troubled pasts are set up to play an important role in what comes later. Good stuff.
The Bad- Again, stupid kids making painfully stupid decisions all but decides their fate. Are all teenagers truly this frigging dumb? I mean, I did plenty of stupid shit in my youth, but never anything close to blackmailing a serial killer or trashing my moms car on purpose. Or antagonizing a recently paroled bully that once raped me. Just call the damned cops!
The Downright Horrendous- The whole rape subplot was really creepy. I know it's rape, so of course it's a disturbing topic, but the dirty flashback scenes really skeeved me out.
The Gory- There are definitely some scenes filled with uncomfortable violence to be found here; the film doesn't go overboard with the gore, but it's surely effective when it strikes. I guess it's really more disturbing that graphic for the most part.
The Naked- This movie is filled with teen sexuality and erotic angst but no nudity save a mom bathing with her baby.
Best Line- "Do you know what an acolyte is Petra? It's a beginner."
What did we learn?- Teenagers shouldn't ever leave the house; it's just too dangerous for them out there. Also, never antagonize a sociopath.
Final Thoughts- For the record, Hanna Mangan Lawrence is a sexpot. You heard it here first.
May 26, 2009
"Everybody is a book of blood; wherever we're opened, we're red." -Clive Barker.
Clive Barker's Book of Blood
In Attendance- I'm Alone!
Cast Members of Note- Jonas Armstrong, Sophie Ward, Paul Blair, and Pinhead himself, Doug Bradley! Based on a short story by horror legend Clive Barker.
What's it about?- This movie starts out with a homeless guy being kidnapped, then segues (via flashback) into a scene of a kinky death-obsessed girl being raped by a ghost for mocking the spirit world; she must have been goth. What other answer could there be? I've had sex with ghosts, but they've never "made" me do it... though I do think it's because I'm of "easy virtue." You know, a slut. (Just don't tell my mom, she still thinks I'm an Angel.)
The story then becomes a tale of a fake medium and a milfy professor/psychic researcher who decide to stay in the ghost-rape house to obtain proof of the existence of the spirit world. One of them does a lot of writing and self mutilation, the other turns into a whore and sleeps with him. I'll leave it to you to figure out which is which.
From here on out the ghost world get's even more mad at people mocking them, and decide to take action; they make dragonflies land on peoples faces, make whispery noises, and carve their untold stories into a guys body... I won't spoil the ending here, but suffice it to say that pissing off the entire spirit world at a nexus point between their world and ours probably isn't the best of ideas.
The Good- Book of Blood is technically the cornerstone of Clive Barker's horror world; The main character (Simon) becomes a living book of the dead's tales, their stories being imprinted on him for us to read. Lord of Illusions, Rawhead Rex, Candyman, Midnight Meat Train, and the upcoming Dread, all are from the Books of Blood. They could easily make about 5-10 more solid movies out of those little short stories.
The movie is filled with some great and gruesome special FX, and some pretty good moments of tension. My only wish is that they had tightened up the plot a bit and moved forward full bore, rather than spending so much time on set up and trickery.
I did like the beginning and end wrap story though, which came from Barker's "sequel" to Book of Blood, On Jerusalem Street (A Postscript.) It added some nice nastiness to the whole affair and gave a bit of closure in a way.
The Bad- The third act... it was a bit disjointed. All of the tension and mood that had been built up from the beginning went right out the window towards the end... it almost made me feel bad for the ghosts instead of being afraid of them like I should be. I guess I just didn't like the "good guy" becoming the "bad guy." Having read the story years ago, and having always loved it, maybe I overreacted a bit seeing it on screen for the first time.
The Downright Horrendous- The dreaded "twist"... To be fair, the twist in this movie was a part of Barker's original short story, but I don't remember it leaving me feeling cheated in print. I seem to remember it serving the plot in a more subtle way too, rather than upending the whole damned story.
The Gory- Ghost rape, face ripping, multiple acts of body carving/writing, vomiting, gallons and gallons of blood, and a skinning. This is one bloody book.
The Naked- Plenty of nudity, eroticism, sex, and um... well, ghost-rape to go around. A good deal of it was creepy.
Best Line- "We have such sights to show you!" Oh wait, wrong Clive Barker movie...
What did we learn?- The dead have highways. Also, old chicks are pretty slutty, and easily duped.
Rating- C (6.0/10) This is a pretty good movie, albeit with some misgivings that keep it from being what it should have been. You can definitely feel Clive Barker's touch throughout Book of Blood, just not near enough of it. Check it out, but beware the twist that pretty much craps on the first hour of the movie.
Final Thoughts- Clive Barker has one of the most twistedly brilliant minds that the horror genre has ever known. Recognize.
May 24, 2009
I'm not sure that I'll have the time or inclination to catch Drag Me To Hell at the theaters this coming weekend (That's something Matt and I would normally do together), but I'll definitely be checking out Pontypool on IFC In-Demand when it hits Friday. I love how their putting it on In-Demand and in theaters simultaneously... kudos IFC.
Here's our slate of upcoming reviews, which I'll do my best to get up ASAP:
*We love you Matt, and keep fighting!
May 23, 2009
Sub-Genre- Serial Killer
In Attendance- Me
Cast Members of Note- Dennis Quaid. Also, this is an original Platinum Dunes movie produced by... Michael Bay! Since when do they do anything but remakes? Interesting.
What's it about?- After seeing the title to this movie, I thought it would be about some Ranch-Hands gone insane or something, maybe killing a bunch of hookers and hiding them in the hay, or even a serial killer that targets horses or something like that, but no; it's about some morons thinking that they're the four horsemen of the Apocalypse who kill people in elaborate ways to "make us see." How cliche'. What the fuck are we supposed to see? I like the horse-murder idea way better:
The serial killer (or is it killers?) is/are on the loose, and it's up to depressed and bitter detective Dennis Quaid to stop them. He might neglect his kids, essentially leaving them alone in the world (their mother recently died), but he has his trusty partner Stingray by his side, and loves the Detroit Red Wings, so I just have to pull for him.
As the grisly murders unfold, the deadliest lesson of all becomes apparent; adopted Asian kids grow up with huge issues, and are really creepy. If I say too much more, it will give away some of the intricate plot details and spoil the "unraveling" of them for you. That being said, you'll see E the big twist M coming from O a mile away... unless you're not very bright.
The Good- Overall this movie works for me, mostly, as far as atmosphere goes. I love the stark, cold, "winter 1979" feel that it has about it. I do think that it makes the same mistake that so many American horror flicks do in that they try to explain everything to the audience, thereby making it seem less effective in the end.
Comparisons will no doubt be drawn between this movie and the brilliant Se7en; and yeah, there are some similarities, but not enough to really consider these two movies akin to each other. Se7en worked so well because it didn't preach... You eventually find out who was killing and why, but a lot of it was left ambiguous. the motives behind the killings are a bit preachy too, but it was decent overall.
The Bad- Oh god no... whiny Emo kids! Seriously, no one wants to hear about your "problems" or watch you mope around all child-like when you don't get your way... Maybe brush your hair, stop writing your crappy "poetry", bathe, smile now and then... you know, give people an actual reason to want to talk to you. Sure the world is tough, and no, nobody cares about you, but you'll always have twilight. And cutting.
The Downright Horrendous- Kiddie porn. I hope I don't need to say any more on this subject to illustrate how horrendous it is.
The Gory- Plenty of postmortem nastiness including a bag of teeth, and a bag with... well, I won't even say it here (it's nasty.) There's a moderate amount of blood and guts throughout to keep most of us satisfied. There's a scene that takes place between two brothers that is especially nasty...
The Naked- No, although Dennis Quaid does take a shower. Yeah.
Best Line- Anything Ziyi Zhang said was comedic gold, and not in the good way.
What did we learn?- Raising kids is way too much work. Also, don't adopt.
Rating- C+ (6.5/10) This is a decent enough movie, although it could have been far better with a little more mystery and minus the lame twist ending. Still, if you dig serial killer flicks you might just dig this too. Check it out when it hits DVD in your country.
Final Thoughts- There is only one true Horseman... The Na-ture Boy, Ric Flair!
I found this neat little story on Variety website:
Chris Gorak (Right at Your Door") will direct thriller "Dead Loss" for Palmer West and Jonah Smith and their Thousand Words banner. The script, penned by Josh Baizer and Marshall Johnson, is set in the dangerous world of crab fishing and explores what happens when a crew rescues a castaway adrift in a life raft with mysterious cargo.
I'm a sucker for The Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch; I have no idea why, but I can't turn the channel when it's on, and I don't even like seafood. Watching a bunch of rough and rugged men alone on a boat catching crabs must just be my thing. I really wanna catch crabs with them.
That all sounded really wrong.
Anywho, I'm all for some crab fishing horror! And check out the show an Discovery, you'll totally get hooked like I am. Get it? Hooked... Fishing... Yeah.
May 18, 2009
Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus
In Attendance- Just Moi.
Cast Members of Note- Lorenzo Lamas and Debbie Gibson!
What's it about?- Leave it to the U.S. Government to mess up the tranquility of the Alaskan wilderness, and unleash upon the world both a Mega Shark and a Giant Octopus from their deep frozen slumber. At least renegade scientist Debbie Gibson is... Whale pod attack! Thank god Debbie Gibson is not only a brilliant scientist, but an accomplished whale fighter as well! An acoustic rendition of "Shake your love" sent them scurrying... but why were the normally docile whales all riled up?
Oil Rig grapple-attack! That Giant Puss is pissed off! (Due to budgetary constraints, the attack is more "implied" than it is "shown.") In one of the greatest scenes ever put to film, Giant Shark takes down a jet plane in mid-flight! He doesn't stop there either; he makes quick work of a U.S. Battleship too. Giant Puss is being naughty at the same time, taking out fighter planes and doing other Giant Puss-like things. Will the madness ever end?
Only Debbie Gibson and her crack team of scientists can stop the rampaging beasts... and that of course includes Lorenzo Lamas. I wont spoil what comes next other than to say Mega Shark and Giant Octopus don't VS. each other until the last 10 minutes of the movie.
The Good- The Asylum strikes again!; the masters of cheesy rip-off cinema make a pretty bad, yet fun "Event Movie" here, which is total guilty pleasure caliber. Understand that the reason it's enjoyable at all is because it's so bad and cheesy; the acting is poor, the script is laughable, and they don't actually show the massive title beasts very much, but it's kitschy fun.
The best thing about this movie is as ridiculous as it is, you can tell that everyone involved was having a hell of a lot of fun and really giving it everything they had, from director to actors.
The Bad- Really, Debbie Gibson as a world saving scientist? I mean she can drive subs, punch tough (sic) Navy sailors out, analyze 18 million year old teeth with a laptop, mix up some glowing pheromone potions... the only part of her character that I truly bought was when she randomly slept with the Asian guy. I know she's done that before on tour, I just know it!
The Downright Horrendous- If this movie had a little bit more of a budget for effects, it would have been epic; other than at the end, they barely even showed the major action set pieces on screen!
The Gory- Not so much.
The Naked- Debbie Gibson jumps into bed with the first Asian scientist she sees, but alas, no boobs are to be had.
Best Line- "It rises!" or "Jesus Christ, he's comin' faster than a jet!" Stop stealing my ex-girlfriend's lines, Lorenzo!
What did we learn?- Debbie Gibson can act just about as well as she can sing... I'll leave it to you to decipher exactly what I mean by that. Also, Lorenzo Lamas is a man's man.
Rating- C+ (6.5/10) Would I buy it? No? Would I watch it with some friends and a bunch of beer, and possibly some Jager shots? Yes. It's bad-goodness personified, and if you're looking to just have some good fun, give this disc a spin.
Final Thoughts- Maybe I do have some Debbie Gibson MP3's on my computer, and maybe I don't.
May 17, 2009
Death of a Ghost Hunter (2007)- Someone needs to stop Sean Tretta from directing, or at least teach him how to make a watchable movie. This one almost had me, as it started off with promise, but as it went along, the cracks began to show, and it became pretty painful to sit through.
-There were a few genuinely tense/creepy moments in this movie, and the premise was interesting, but all of that was quickly nullified by the faults of the movie.
-How obvious can you make your big, shocking twist?
-The sound mix is terribly uneven, going from soft to loud at a moments notice.
-The acting is laughable.
-What is with Tretta and these horrible film techniques he uses?
No Through Road (2008)- What a moronic movie; A geek comes home from work one night to find a skanky junkie chick hiding in his closet. Call the cops, right? Nope. Let her stay for a while because she needs to hide, although she wont tell you why. When a group of skanky rape-ish looking guys show up and demands the geek hand over the girl, still don't call the cops. Call an ex-cop friend of your dads to come help instead, pussy.
- Makes perfect sense for the ex-cop to play football with the rapists. Perfect sense, I say.
- When a guy caves the ex-cops head in, still don't call the cops. Nice job getting your family friend killed, nimwit.
- Let's booby-trap the house, not call the cops.
- Also, sit with your backs to the bay window.
- Wait... Heavy Metal and one bright light will scare them off!
- By the time the "rape" guys caught the main character, I was rooting for them to torture his poorly written ass.
Whatever this movie was aiming for, it failed.
This, my friends, is the answer:
Check the trailer here, and I dare you not to laugh and say "I have to see that!"
May 15, 2009
Our friend is alive and well, in stable condition and improving slowly every day. He's 36 years old, and has been my best friend in the world since 5th grade... shut up with the age jokes! :) I can't articulate with words what he means to me and everyone who know shim, nor how brutal these past few days have been for all of us.
He very nearly didn't make it in the early hours of Wednesday morning, and the nurse told us to call whomever we needed to and do it quickly. Two hours later she came out of the OR clapping and smiling and said "Whatever you people did out here must have worked, because we've got him back." One moment he was essentially gone after bleeding out for a good part of 4 hours, the next, he was stable. I don't use the word miracle a lot, ever really, but i don't know...
To male a VERY long story short here's the skinny; He'd had some abdominal pain last week which they thought might be his gall bladder, upon further testing he was found to have and aneurysm on his heart and an aortic dissection:
Aortic dissection is a tear in the wall of the aorta that causes blood to flow between the layers of the wall of the aorta and force the layers apart. Aortic dissection is a medical emergency and can quickly lead to death, even with optimal treatment. If the dissection tears the aorta completely open (through all three layers), massive and rapid blood loss occurs. Aortic dissections resulting in rupture have an 80% mortality rate, and 50% of patients die before they even reach the hospital. If the dissection reaches 6 cm, the patient must be taken for emergency surgery.It's basically what John Ritter had and died from.
We all wanna send out an endless THANK YOU to those of you who have sent us well wishes and kind words via comment, email or even a silent and unspoken "I hope he get's better." It's a beautiful thing when strangers can give you a piece of their hearts like that.
Cheers for now, and as things keep improving, I'll be excited to start watching some horror again!
May 14, 2009
I won't be updating the site much for the next few days, and I ask all of our readers worldwide just to say a little prayer for him and his quick recovery. The more love the better.
May 10, 2009
The Devil's TombSub-Genre- Possession/Supernatural
In Attendance- Me
Cast Members of Note- Cuba Gooding Jr., Ron Perlman, Taryn Manning, Henry Rollins, Ray Winstone, and Valerie Cruz. Nice cast for a straight to DVD horror flick...
What's it about?- Mack, the leader of a crack team of commandos, leads a mission into the bowels of an Archaeological dig somewhere in the deserts of the Middle East; right off the bat he should have known not to trust the CIA, as they're obviously responsible for all of the world's evil-doing, including (but not limited to) deals with The Devil and/or evil Angels.
Once inside the underground Raccoon City-like bunker, they meet all sorts of interesting characters that are nothing but trouble, including a possessed doctor who quotes bible scripture, a straight-edge priest that riffs on spoken word poetry, and a dad that wants to kill his daughter. Gun fire and futility ensue.
I won't spoil what comes next, but suffice it to say that there's really only one place that anyone involved in this mission is headed...
The Good- Think Event Horizon, just in the desert instead of space; also, throw in some Prince of Darkness. Then, take a dash of Ron Perlman, a pinch of Ray Winstone, and add Cuba Gooding Jr., and you have a crazy dark horror version of Band of Brothers. Kinda.
This was an effective little movie, with a great cast, and an interesting premise; then again, I'm a sucker for the whole "Evil Demon" scene. I'm sure some people will have issues with this movie, but I don't see why... It did it's job of entertaining me while not shitting all over the genre, which is all any of us can really ask for these days. I was honestly expecting a Sci-Fi channel type of an effort here, but was pleasantly surprised instead.
The cast was a definite strong point, especially Cuba Gooding Jr.; he does his best Steven Seagal impersonation here as a tough as nails merc, and he actually pulls it off better than Steven Seagal usually does.
The Bad- Am I really supposed to buy Taryn Manning as a military doctor? Sure she's cute and all, and I'd love to someday have a love child or two with her, but accepting her as a gun wielding, tough as nails, camo-wearing mercenary named "Doc" is just too much for me to swallow.
The Downright Horrendous- The lesbian scene was pretty messy. As a piggy-minded male, I expect hot girl on girl action to be soft, unrealistic, and chauvinistically exploitative; you know, two ridiculously hot girls playing into my sad ideal about what sapphic love is all about... What I don't expect is for the women to start melting in mid-kiss. Or more than that even, for them to be kissing each others festering boils full of evil pus without really noticing. Thanks for ruining it for me, Jason Connery!
The Gory- All sorts of vomiting, puss filled boils, cutting, bleeding, ripping, tearing... this one was surprisingly gory.
The Naked- Yes! We do get one total hottie in the all-together, and even some mild lesbian action! I do have to say that the girl on girl stuff got pretty gross, pretty quick, but it was still nice to see them at least making an effort.
Best Line- "Stop name-dropping, Mack." or "Let me help you repent!"
What did we learn?- Cuba Gooding Jr. kicks ass. Also, you can't really ever hope to defeat an evil angel. Never. Unless you kick ass like Cuba Gooding Jr.
Rating- B (7.0/10) The Devil's Tomb was pretty entertaining and well made; a hell of a cast, nice atmosphere, liberal amounts of gore and nastiness... an overall good effort by director Jason Connery. Definitely check this one out when it hits DVD on May 26th.
Final Thoughts- Oh Taryn, why don't you return my calls/tweets/myspace emails?