May 12, 2008

Top 10 worst things horror has done to us in the 2000's

Where to start; the old "Top 10" list is a must for every critic/blogger/columnist/self-indulgent pompous asshole, I think, yet it's such a necessary tool...

For our first list, let's cover the Top 10 biggest disappointments of the 2000's. This decade has crapped on horror fans plenty, and really, this could easily be a top 50 list rather than narrowing it down to the 10 worst biggest suck jobs we've had to suffer through.

I'll start at 10, and work down to 1... Far be it from me to ruin the element of surprise, and kill all of the tension that's bound to well up inside of you.

Here we go...

The puzzle of Hollywood baffles us all.

10- Any Stephen King movie other than "The Mist"
Dear Stephen King, Hollywood hates you.

Try nonexistent.

9- Can I get a werewolf movie that doesn't suck?
The Howling Rules (Though it's 134 sequels suck horribly). An American Werewolf in London was way ahead of its time visually. Silver Bullet delivered the goods, and how. Even The Moster Squad handled lycanthropy with dignity; have any other wolfie films ever given the Wolfman nards? No, no they haven't.

Thank you decade of the 80's. Thank you.

So what of the shape shifting flicks of the year 2000 and Beyond you ask? Underworld is the benchmark here. Dog Soldiers manages not to offend. Brotherhood of the Wolf is decent enough even though its a French movie. The Ginger Snaps series... meh. As for the rest of the offerings we've gotten lately...

This really exists. Seriously.

Van Helsing? Don't get me started. I'll kick you square in the nuts.

Blood and Chocolate anyone? Sure it's PG-13, sure it's mired in mediocrity, sure it sucks, but here it is anyways!

Cursed??? Has Wes Craven gone retarded?

Screw you decade of the 2000's. With a twist of lime.

I'll always love you Tar-man.

8- Can someone other than Romero make a good zombie flick?
The Dawn of the Dead remake, Planet Terror, 28 Days Later and the down under indie Undead managed to pull it off, so where are the rest of them? Romero always makes horror fans smile, and Land of the Dead is proof of that. I did have issues with his Diary of the Dead, but I'll save those for another day... 2 of the 3 Resident Evil flicks were good.

So what in the hell were the makers of these films thinking?: Children of the Living Dead, Day of the Dead 2: Contagium, Day of the Dead 2008 (Remake), House of the Dead, Return of the Living Dead 4-5, Vampires vs. Zombies, Wicked Little things, Zombiez, Hood of the Living Dead.

Sure, the market for direct to video and made for cable horror is a cheap one, and they are meant to turn a quick little buck, but do they have to suck so bad? Plenty of horror flicks in the 70's and 80's cost $1.50 to make also, but they delivered the goods.

I guess I'm spoiled having grown up in a time where Romero was the king, Italian horror was plentiful and nasty good, parachute pants were rad, and Return of the Living Dead was at my local Cineplex (Which only had 4 theaters mind you).

Can we ever get back to the old people "Trapped in a house-fending off hordes of rotting undead who are hell bent on chewing them to death then pooping them out-the earth is doomed at the end" movies?

Now that I think of it, do zombies really poop?

No Snoop, The Leprechaun isn't your crimey.

7- Pointless Sequels
Sequels are one thing; who doesn't want to revisit a good story that they loved and check on the characters, make sure they're doing good? I do. I'm still waiting for the Cool as Ice sequel. Vanilla Ice pierced my soul with his talent and crazy outfits, and I still haven't let go. Don't make me wait Vanilla. Aww yeah, get off your butt and lets G-O!

Sequels to crap movies are another thing altogether. Fine, Hollywood needs to make its money, I get it; but good god, cant they find another way?

I have yet to meet one person ever who admits that they like Leprechaun in The Hood, or its drive-by inspiring sequel, Leprechaun 2: Back To Tha Hood. These are the 5th and 6th movies in the Leprechaun series folks, who the hell is watching them?!? And is there a reason that "Tha Hood" is the target audience for these two POS's? I always new leprechauns were racist.

Bloodrayne 2: Deliverance was necessary; the 7 people who actually liked the first one practically demanded it.

The Crow: Salvation, and The Crow: Wicked Prayer are two unnecessary follow-ups to an absolutely classic first film; for an encore, the producers behind these gems should just go and piss on Brandon Lee's grave... at least then the insult would be so direct that maybe his fathers ghost would rise from the grave and nunchuck the bastards to death.

Need I even comment on Witchcraft 11 & 12? I'm not kidding. Wishmaster 3? Mimic 2 &3? Tremors 4? Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman? I wish I was kidding...

Are you ready to cry yet?

Please stop. Please!

6- The Sci-Fi Channel
Ok, so it's very cool that there is a channel for Sci-Fi/Horror geeks to turn everyday and get a fix of what they need. The part that ruins it all has something to do with The Sci-Fi Channel making original movies. Pterodactyl, The Rock Monster, Aztec Rex, Sabretooth, Pythons 2, Species 3, Abomidable... the 45 movies about natural disaster that they churn out such as Magma and Meltdown... And don't forget The Ogre. Wow.

Even the movies they don't make themselves, yet laugh as they subject us to, are horrific; The Carnosaur Trilogy, Bloodrayne 1&2/House of the Dead/ any Uwe Boll movie, Death Valley: The Revenge of Bloody Bill, Earth vs. Spider, Mosquito, Crocodile 2: Death Roll, Centipede!... I'm stopping now, as I'm sure you get the point. If you don't, then wipe your chin... your pudding is dripping. Good boy. Now put on your helmet and go play.

Ok, Rest Stop tried it's ass off, but it still lacked something. Dog Soldiers was pretty good. The Tin Man miniseries was ok... Sci-Fi really tries, and even the schlock is fun sometimes, so I do give them credit.

All I'm asking for is that they try harder. Instead of showing Bzzzz: Evil Bees 4-The Sting again, use your position to push the TV envelope. I'll admit though, I did like Bzzzz: Evil Bees 3-Gettin' Bzzzy.

Hollywood doesn't have the balls to film this scene!

5- The Rape of Asian Horror
My online friend, PC Bang, once said to me "Why am they make many a lot Asia Horror film and suck please when time be good because movie?" Exactly my friend, I've wondered the same thing for years now.

You see, Asian Horror is all about pacing and atmosphere; The pacing is slow, the atmosphere quiet and moody, and every bit of it deliberate. They tend to start slow, sucking you in, feeding you info and quick glimpses and flashes of creepy shit here and there, then in the final reel, smash you in the face with the "Oh my fucking god!" hammer. They want you to feel the movie, and not just watch it. Much of it is brilliant, and will disturb you more than the Bea Arthur sex tape I downloaded last night. Trust me, the woman absorbed more KY than a Shamwow! sucks up water. Terrifying.


Unfortunately, American audiences as a whole need their movies dumbed down and explained to them, and god forbid if the action and cut scenes aren't aplenty; "something better jump out and scare me at least 20 times, or this movie sucks!" So, to feed the retarded nation of theatrical lemmings, Hollywood buys up the rights and gives us dreck like Dark Water, The eye, One Missed Call, and Shutter; each one a horribly abused representation of the original.

Keep in mind that The Ring was good, and so was The Grudge. Then again, they were basically the first of the Asian ports, so audiences had no clue what they were in for. the themes that drive Asian horror, and the visceral lengths to which Asian filmmakers are willing to go to get their point across has yet to be unparalleled in any of the American remakes.

The beginning scene from The Suicide Club is such a haunting visual and premise, that you can't help but be unsettled; Oldboy, a kinda-horror movie, gives us an ending so messed up that I still cry when I eat hot dogs; H, is more strange than terrifying, but if the scene on the bus doesn't make you close your eyes and try to turn off the TV, I don't know what will.

Until the American studios buying these films to remake tell their directors to have at it, and don't worry about ratings or box office, they will remain poor shells of the magic they're trying to recreate... er, cash in on.

Remake Battle Royale Hollywood, I dare you.

Don't forget random tea bagging.

4- PG-13 Horror Movies
Sounds redundant sounding right?

You see, three things make up a horror movie; Blood, Sex and Violence. And foul language. Also, disturbing images and intense themes. Sometimes rape. So a bunch of things make up a typical horror movie, and the more of them included, the better the movie tends to be (usually.)

Is it a coincidence that many of the crap remakes are released with the PG-13 rating? Of course not, Hollywood wants to make its money, and I can understand that. What I cant understand, is why make a horror movie that is missing most of the elements of a horror movie?

Wes Craven's Cursed, 2005's werewolf misstep was PG-13. It was also funnier than it was scary. Wes Craven is the godfather of exploitative and brutal horror; Last House on the Left anyone? The Hills Have Eyes maybe? Where is the FX mastery displayed in An American Werewolf in London? A frigging CGI werewolf? Imagine The Howling as a PG-13 movie. Thats actually depressing.

Some movies can work with a PG-13 rating. The Ring is a good example, so is The Lady in White (Excellent little movie from 1988), and Tremors worked no matter what the rating; the only thing is, movies like that have a strong script and story, and are usually well made. It isn't the bad movies that are the issue here, they're doomed anyways; it's the "could have been better" movies, that instead could have been great movies, that suffer the most.

Thank god for independent horror.

Ask Tara Reid...

3- Uwe Boll
Why is he alive? Scarier still, how in the world does the man keep getting work? Have actors like Ray Liotta and Jason Statham not seen his movies? Why has Michael Pare' been in 6 of the man's movies? Ok, so Pare' has also starred in Ninja Cheerleaders and Komodo vs. Cobra lately, but still...

Hmm... Now Quasimodo vs. Cobra might be a fun movie... Pissed off shut in mongoloid against sassy snake... sorry... I'll get back on point...

Uwe Boll has made a career out of adapting video games to film, and very poorly. House of the Dead, Bloodrayne, Alone in the Dark, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale... I'll stop there, because it doesn't get any better. The movies are so horrible, that none have cracked the "magical" 6 million dollar mark opening weekend at the box office in the U.S. The guy has failed with zombies, vampires, mongoloid monsters, and Tara Reid. He has failed horror fans at every turn.

What he does, see, is use an obscure German law that in essence, allows film makers to write off 100% of the cost of making a movie as a tax credit. Boll sucks so much, that the German government has changed the law, eliminating the tax credit completely. His lack of talent made a government change a fucking law. Wow, just... Wow.

The guy has so many people who hate him, that he challenged any critics of his to a 10 round boxing match. He fought 5 people, beating them all. Those losers should have been made to go home and watch each of Boll's movies, one after the other, until they found a way to kill themselves with the DVD cases. shame on you all for losing to the insane German!

In April 2008, Boll promised to retire if an online petition gained 1 million signatures asking him to do so. I pray to every god or deity that exists, please make this happen. I swear that if he retires, I'll stop watching clown porn, and let the kittens out of the "Hamper."

I swear.

Kitty hates remakes most of all.

2- Remakes
This really should have been #1 on the horror travesty list, but for reasons beyond my control, remakes will just have to be happy here in the #2 slot. You'll see.

Why Hollywood? Why must you not only remake movies, but remake movies that didn't need remaking in the first place? Further more, why must these unnecessary remakes be, for the most part, so god awful?

You can definitely make a case for remakes being a good thing; John Carpenter's The Thing is a great example of a remake being better than the original. Hell, even Sam Raimi remade The Evil Dead twice, and called them sequels. Dawn of the Dead, TCM, The Ring, The Fly... there are examples of good, effective remakes out there...

What I don't get, are remakes that suck so bad that I want to slap myself just for knowing that they exist. It's like killing your daughter and making a new kid out of clay; sure, you can call her Molly, but guess what, she's just a big pile of clay! Do you really think she's going to clean her room? Clay can't move!

Just like Molly, the non-child made of clay, most horror remakes are useless too. Can someone explain why The Fog was remade? As a horror flick, the 1980 version is a near perfect creep fest, which delivers in every aspect. The 2005 version is as bad as seeing your grandmother naked, and less scary. I mean, what's with the graveyard slow dance-kiss thing at the end? Huh?
And who the hell told Tom Welling he could leave Smallville? I guess random flashbacks and psychic visions of the past are useful... The 1980 version was about a fog bank that rolls into a sleepy seaside town, and the ghosts coming with it unleashing bloody retribution; the 2005 version is about a girl looking to unravel a mystery before anyone even cares to know the answers.

Let me talk briefly about 2007's The Hitcher. Not atrocious, but it still sucked, and isn't as good as the 1986 versions credits.

How about the 2008 Version of Prom Night? What a gem. How can you remake an 80's slasher film with no blood or nudity, and rate it PG-13, and be satisfied with it? These damn O.C. rejects starring in horror movies adds nothing to them either, except for the twelve year olds who watched shows like the O.C to begin with. They like, love scary movies and stuff. Like.

The worst of the bunch has to be the magnum opus of horror movie fuck-ups: When a Stranger Calls. Wow, this movie is as terrifying as Michael Jackson and Prince having a Karate fight. Only less purple. Yet more gay. Odd...

The 1976 original has maybe the most terrifying opening and ending I've ever seen in a horror flick; sure, the middle was slow, but damn if the beginning and end didn't more than make up for it.

It sure as hell wasn't some "Chase me around the house" BS, nor did it make use of the sudden "Boo" type of cheap-o scares 453 times in 90 minutes. I guess she was a babysitter, and some guy called and asked her "Have you checked the children?" though, so its alright. Right?

Don't worry though, Hollywood isn't finished. , Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm street (With no Robert Englund), My Bloody Valentine 3-D, Hellraiser, Night of the Demons, The Blob (Which is a remake of the 1988 remake)... it's enough to make me cry.

Kudos to the people/studios that have given us solid and near faithful remakes. To the rest, feel free to make out with my penis.

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1- M. Night Shamalamayanamnalan
Is there a better ambassador for douchebaggery in all of Hollywood? The guy starts off with two really good (arguably) movies (The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable), one pretty good movie (Signs, although it got all religionish and preachy on us at the end), then turns the corner and hands us The Village and Lady in the Water. Some modern day Hitchcock he turned out to be.

The Village was bad enough with it's lame ass, cop out, negate the whole fucking movie "Twist" ending, and we sure as hell don't need him preaching to us how quickly society is rocketing towards hell gates. He made me pull for the blind girl for two hours, only to find out that her tool of a dad is hiding her and all of his friends from black carjackers? Fuck me sideways!

But when he gave us Lady in the Water, his ego feeding own hype selling "My stories can save humanity if you sheep would just get it" suck job of a suck ass movie, he truly arrived as the defacto Swamp Donkey of the decade (I'm talking Hollywood only here)

The man pushes on us a story about a Narf named Stori (Story, get it), who will inspire a writer (Played by Shyamalan) to write a story that will one day inspire some kid to change, and thereby save, the world.

If that isn't pretentious, I'm not sure that anything else ever will be. It's so shameful, that the guy had to play the part of the guy that he based on himself. Ugh.

Let's not even talk about the ridiculous names he uses for people and things in the movie; Narf, Scrunt (Thats the retarded wolf monster), Tartutics (Evil wolf-like monekys)... or the fact that the whole movie was based on a bedtime story he wrote for his kids, which is painfully evident... or the fact that they sucked...

It's one thing to be self absorbed, self indulgent, and preachy if you make good movies; hell, I'll sit through anything that Sean Penn is in, but when you churn out uninspiring crap and you're an asshole, you lose. We all do.

It's a shame, because The Happening looks interesting at first: People start randomly dying, and the ones left alive have to figure out why and how to stay alive. It was originally titled "The Green Effect" , and from the script spoilers I've heard, we should all be terrified of plants and trees, because they are tired of our negativity. Ok fine, or not... except for the fact that we know that he's got some kind of crap "Twist" in store for us. SPOILERS- Everyone is dying because they don't recognize his true genius as a filmmaker -END SPOILERS.

Swamp Donkey.


  1. Funny enough, you say here that Dog Soldiers manages not to offend, and 1 year later you are all "OMG, Dog Soldiers is so cool!". What happened here? :)

  2. Well, Mr. Siderite, let me explain...

    A year ago, I hadn't seen Dog Soldiers, but I remembered our very own Machine saying he liked it, so whilst needing a werewolf movie to reference, I used his "It was good" comment.

    So shush! LOL