Quick Note

Hey Gang, you might notice a little slow down in the blog posts here, but I’m going to try and do at least one Halloween Scene per day moving forward through October. I’ve got something in the works that you’ll know about soon enough. Maybe by the end of the week.

Halloween Scene: Carrie (1976)

I am ridiculously embarrasses to admit that I have never seen Carrie all the way through, unrated up until this point. I swear, I THOUGHT I had. It was even crossed off in my copy of Creature Features, but, after deciding to watching something classic on the NetBox and choosing Carrie, I quickly realized I had never seen this movie. You know how I knew I’d never seen it? The tampon scene. I’ve heard about it and remembered hearing about a little too late and was completely horrified. Not by the menstruation itself, but by how utterly horrible that would be if it happened to you in public and, instead of people being like “Oh hey, we all do that and don’t die, no worries” they laugh and throw tampons. Even the fat, ugly girl with glasses. What does she have to laugh at!!!

Sorry, I got heated up watching this flick (is that a pun?). I had three overwhelming emotions the whole time: dread, anger and hope. See, we all know about the pig’s blood at the prom and that carnage quickly ensues. But I was still gritting my teeth the entire time Carrie was getting ready for the Greatest American Hero to take her to prom. I kept wondering if he and his maybe girlfriend (the survivor) were in on it, or if they really were just being nice. I wanted him to be a nice guy because he really seemed like one, unlike that pig-killing mook Travolta. Anyway, once the craziness actually started (and boy, does director Brian De Palma play these scenes up to all their nerve-wracking potential) that’s when the rage kicks in. It’s weird because I don’t usually get this emotional when watching a movie, but the dread I felt reminded me of the first time I saw Dark Knight. I had a visceral, in-my-gut reaction to Heath Ledger’s Joker. I was scared of the screen whenever he was on. I had the same feeling leading up to the prom scene. That’s a hell of a thing to get a jaded film fan like me to feel.

Think about it. The dumb villain girl was SO angry at someone else for HER OWN MISTAKE that she set into motion a fairly complicated plan with a lot of working parts that went off without a hitch, all for the sole purpose of humiliating the initial victim of her jerkiness AGAIN. If she had survived, the CIA should have picked her up to plan assassinations, cause she’s cold blooded.

Also, wow, I did not see the teacher’s death coming. That was nutzocrazytown. Bisected even. You gotta reign that in Carrie, at least to have one witness who can blame the dumb girl with the red hat for everything even though she’s dead (sup PJ Soles).

This far into the review, I’m sure it will come as no surprise that I’ve never read Stephen King’s novel that this was based on, so I have no idea how much of the movie was in the book and vice versa or how “accurate” it was, but it works perfectly on the screen. One of the most impressive story elements is the layers of danger. You’ve obviously got Carrie with her crazy power and the evilness of teenage girls, but also Carrie’s mom. You NEVER know what she’s gonna do. Damn. I wonder of JK Rowling got the closet idea from Carrie. If so, she should have put a scene in the movies where Harry burns their stupid house to the ground, because you NEED that kind of catharsis after a movie like this. And, even as much as I wanted Carrie to survive this whole mess, move to another town and start over, maybe raise a child of her own who isn’t crazy, she had to pay for what she did.

Finally, the final bit. Unlike the prom scene, there was zero dread for the final “hand out of the ground” scare. Part of the reason is that my memory was refreshed of the scene while watching Going To Pieces, when Sean Cunningham and Tom Savini are talking about the ending of Friday the 13th. They talk about having just seen Carrie and wanting to do something like that, hence the burnt kid out of the water. Another factor that kind of took me out of the moment comes from the survivor’s mom. She’s talking to her friend on the phone and says something along the lines of “The doctor says that she’s young and she’ll forget.” Haha, what?! She’s 17 or 18 and she’s going to forget the night her entire class was decimated by Hellfire and a house fell into the earth? The night her maybe-boyfriend died? Wow, good doctoring there. The final reason why it wasn’t very scary is that it’s very obviously a dream, She’s all glowy and whatnot, plus the hand comes out kind of slow and sloppily. I guess it would have been pretty scary the first time you saw it, but I guess I’ve seen too many movies that ripped the idea of that last minute scare like F13 and The Strangers.

Halloween Scene: Going To Pieces (2006)

Are you guys psyched? It’s almost October and you know what that means? Hundreds and hundreds of horror movie reviews on blogs just like this one. After a brief sabbatical from horror, I’m back in the game myself as any regular reader might have noticed. So much so, that I’ve actually got a list on my computer with all the backed-up reviews I want to do. One such movie is Going To Pieces: The Rise And Fall Of The Slasher Film (note to NetBox users, it’s missing the “Going To Pieces” title in the beginning, but, as far as I know, it’s still on there). Holy crap, this is a great movie.

I haven’t seen too many documentaries about horror, in fact, I haven’t seen too many docs on the whole, but that’s for another day. What I loved about this movie is that it doesn’t just cover the obvious like Halloween and Friday the 13th. You also get fairly long segments from the likes of Jeff Katz (a dude I got to interview before being bounced from Wizard, who was rad) and the girl who starred in Sleepaway Camp on movies like Sleepaway Camp and Slumber Party Massacre. These are the weird slasher flicks that I cut my horror teeth on back at the Family Video in Toledo and it’s cool to see other people talking about them with such gusto.

You also get a look at horror luminaries like John Carpenter and Wes Craven today, which is interesting. One problem I had with the movie is that they didn’t show who each person was on a regular basis. So, seeing as how I was working on the computer part of the time and have a generally crappy memory, I had no idea who the tall man sporting sunglasses and long white hair was until the very end, and it turned out to be Carpenter.

Like I said, though, I loved this movie and it is an absolute must for slasher fans. I was even jazzed to find out that movies I have only seen recently like Graduation Day, The Burning, April Fool’s Day & My Bloody Valentine. It’s also a great way to check out new movies to add to your “to see” list, though beware of spoilers. Now I gotta check out Happy Birthday To Me! Thanks Going To Pieces!

New Nightmare On Elm Street Trailer

I just realized that I never really talked about the Friday the 13th remake on here. Well, it was the last horror movie I saw in the theaters (the first in over a year I think) and I dug it, which was great, because I didn’t really like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake and hated the Halloween one. I’m long past being outraged over these kinds of remakes, I mean, you can always go back and watch your favorites again and we’ve all seen what happens when these franchises go on for too long and, if nothing else, maybe they’ll keep our favorite horror icons in the consciousness enough to get kids to check out those old movies.

Anyway, with all that being said, today /Film linked to the new Nightmare On Elm Street trailer.

A Nightmare on Elm Street in HD

I’m no NOES expert–I haven’t watched one of the flicks since my burgeoning days as a horror fan as it was one of the few series’ that they had all the tapes of–but it seems like they used a fair amount of material from the first flick. I’m looking forward to a mix of both old and new, but hopefully not so much new that I already know all the beats. What I don’t want is too much back story on Freddy, which is what the trailer starts off with. That’s where the Halloween remake went wrong, so hopefully that’s not where we’re going this time around, but we shall see. Plus, getting Jackie Earle Haley to play Freddy was a stroke of genius, so that’s at least some early points in the positive column. This trailer adds a few more, in my opinion.

Season Premiere: Saturday Night Live

I had completely forgotten that tonight was the season premiere of SNL (it’s 35th year!), with Megan Fox hosting and U2 as the musical guest, but luckily the Notre Dame game ended just in time (and even more luckily, they won), so the timing just worked out. I was impressed to see a fairly healthy roster of up and comers in the opening credits. The opening monologue was pretty good (we missed most of the pre-intro skit, but I saw Conan do pretty much the same joke earlier this week on The Tonight Show, so no big loss. All in all the episode was okay, not Justin Timberlake-good by any means, but there were more skits with laughs than stinkers, I especially liked the phone sex commercial one. That was a lot of fun and damn if Fox wasn’t both good and bewitching. Her eyes are like dude tractor beams, I’m convinced.

Also fun was seeing one of those newbie cast members drop the f-bomb during the Bicker Chick Chat segment (or whatever it was called). It made an otherwise dull skit at least interesting to listen to. The whole “friggin'” thing got real old, real quick. And speaking of old, I hate U2. I know I’m one of the few people in the world that doesn’t get Bono’s inflated self importance or why such simple music has made so many people happy for so many years, but their performances were just rough, especially at the end, when Bono was swinging around on a weird, circular light-up mic/trapeze rope. Hey, I thought Pink’s performance at the VMAs was rad too, but you don’t see me putting on a shiny suit and swinging around my living room (mostly because I haven’t filmed it yet, I’m still nailing down the routine).

So, it wasn’t a perfect episode by any means, but worth not watching a movie during that time slot (I’ve got Steel Dawn and Lake Placid burning holes on my TV stand). Oh, also, the first Digital Short was pretty lame, while the second was good. So, if you’re watching them on Hulu tomorrow/today, you can skip that one.

Ad It Up: Abadox

Those Ghost Rider comics I read the other day were a gold mine of amazing comic book ads. It’s funny to look back on video game ads because they had to make some amazing art to showcase 8-bit gams. Take this one for a game called Abadox for example:

I have absolutely no memory of this game, but it looks crazy awesome. And gross. Which makes it more awesome. In case you can’t read the text around the small boxes towards the bottom they read “Ugly Eyeballs” “Guardian Ghouls” “Skeleton Fish” and “Mutant Dogs.” Why isn’t this bad boy getting the remake treatment?

Casting Internets

After going to Wal-Mart to buy printer ink, which they didn’t have, I figured I’d send you some excellent links that I found around the net so far today. By the way, why the hell is the Wal-Mart parking lot ALWAYS full? It was 11:30AM on a Friday and I could barely find a parking space.

My buddy Kiel tackles the Jack Kirby’s-family-suing-Marvel case. I’m not quite sure I understand it, or how exactly I fall on this case (it’s called “work for hire” for a reason and I don’t want to see these characters ripped from there homes, but they should also be compensated fairly). Read and form your own opinions.

Check out Jim’s Enemy of Peanuts to see a video interview he did with the Panels On Pages guys. Kinda makes me wish I would have made a slightly bigger splash on the Wizard message boards. Which is a roundabout way to say I will do an interview with anyone about anything. Holla atcha boy. Or whatever.

/Film got an exclusive look at Disney’s poster for its first animated musical in years The Princess And The Frog. Good for them! I’m not a huge fan of the animated musicals, but Em is and I’m sure we’ll be seeing this bad boy in the theatres. Plus, that’s a rad poster.


Ben posted this picture of him, Rickey, Dave and I literally laughing in the face of danger. Em and I have a version of this picture where I don’t look like a complete weirdo hanging in our hallway. Check out The Cool Kids Table for more pics.


And finally, Rob over at Topless Robot posted this video of the dude from the zombie game Dead Rising facing off against guys from Gatchaman and Power Rangers in the upcoming Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom game. Not sure what all those words mean, but you can THROW ZOMBIES AS A FIGHTING MOVE. So, it’s gonna be pretty amazing.

Boys Just Want To Have Fun

I can’t decide if releasing video dating clips from the 80s or early 90s (or any time for that matter) is a huge violation of privacy or a hilarious look into people’s lives with some clever editing. Right now, I’m leaning towards that latter, especially after seeing this video on Boner Party.

The Box: Ghost Rider 1-5

My inlaws bought these two boxes of comics for me at an auction for $25. I’m guessing there’s 250-300 comics in there. The one on the left is all Marvel, the right a mix of stuff. In an effort to get through these boxes, I’m going to pull an issue or run out at random and give it a good read through and review it here. If the issues has one preceding or following it in the box, I’ll read those too, but only those.

This week it’ll be Ghost Rider Volume 2 #1-5 written by Howard Mackie and drawn by Javier Saltares from 1990. My interactions with Ghost Rider have been fairly limited, I’ve read random issues here and there, bought that Devin Grayson mini a few years back and saw the movie, but these are definitely the most consecutive issues of any Ghost Rider series I’ve ever read. And for the most part, I liked them.

As far as I can tell, this first issue is the first appearance of the second Ghost Rider Danny Ketch. I don’t really know what happened to the previous GR Johnny Blaze or how his motorcycle ended up in a dump in NYC, but it didn’t really hinder my enjoyment of these issues. These first five issues consist of a three part story in the, a one-off where Ketch fights Mr. Hyde and the first part of a two part story where The Punisher meets this new RIder for the first time. Of course, the box contains #7 and a few other random issues, but I’m trying to follow my own rules.

So, the first three issues deal with these three canisters that a gang kid grabs and hides thinking there’s money inside. Turns out that a dude named Deathwatch (he gets off on watching deaths through others’ eyes) who wants the canisters so he can get off big time when the biohazard inside gets released. He’s got a bunch of Hand-looking ninjas and a light-killing vampire thing called Blackout working for him, but he doesn’t succeed against Ghost Rider and the Kingpin, who also wants the vials for himself. I like that they threw Kingpin in there too, to make this solid Marvel New York comic. This is the kind of continuity I’ve always heard about in regards to Marvel, but haven’t really experienced for myself.

Following that strong sense of continuity, you get issue #4 which has Ghost Rider facing off against Mr. Hyde, who, according to some thought bubbles and an editor’s note, we know has recently run into Captain America and the Hulk, the latter giving him brain damage, which inhibits his ability to change. While I hoped this issue would be mostly two titans squaring off, we get a lot of Danny Ketch out of his leathers. In fact, pretty much every time Danny’s in his regular identity in these issues, he’s sitting next to his sister’s bed and wondering if he should keep changing into Ghost Rider. It’s kind of interesting and definitely necessary, and I’m sure if you were reading these things monthly, you might not notice, but reading five months’ worth of issues in one sitting it got a bit old. Once he does finally fight Hyde, it’s pretty cool, but it could have gone on longer in my opinion.

Finally, we end with the Punisher guest appearance. Turns out that Flag Smasher is trying to give away free guns to kids for some reason (guess I’ll have to get #6 to find out). Earlier in the issue we get a news reporter who wonders if GR and Punisher are one in the same, which is a pretty ridiculous concept when you think about it. Why would the dude dress up in two different costumes? Also, it doesn’t seem like anyone remembers that there already was a Ghost Rider, but whatever. Maybe he only operated in secret in the west, I dunno. This is definitely a set up issue and I’m sure the next is full of radness, but we do get a fun little fight between Punisher and Ghost Rider.

So, all in all, I liked these issues and would definitely not be opposed to delving deeper into Ghost Rider and this series. I have one random issue of Midnight Sons from back in the day and really want to check it out. Also, I know it’s totally 90s, but I love the design of the bike. I like how it changes from a regular motorcycle into this crazy mech-looking thing. Fun stuff.