Will readings in the Rue Morgue

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The Feature film debut from Rue Morgue Magazine founder Rodrigo Gudino has a mouthful of a title. The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh. How very Toronto of him. Prick. Honestly, I liked the film. It concerns an Antiques Dealer named Leon who inherits all the possessions of his estranged mother, Rosalind, following her recent death. Upon entering her home, he finds that his mother has filled her home with antiquities and religious iconography, most of which was purchased in secret from Leon himself. As night sets in, Leon begins to feel a sinister presence in the house with him, hears whispering voices and the creaks and groans of the old house. It’s an interesting narrative, as we hear the voice of Rosalind, as if reading a letter to Leon, but as time goes on, it becomes clear she is communicating from beyond the grave. Can he hear her? What is it that scratches behind the doors and peers at Leon in the dark? What is the story with the bizarre Angel worshiping cult that Rosalind was caught up in? Is any of the supernatural activity really happening, or is it all in his mind? These questions are never answered fully, but just enough is given to us to allow us to speculate and form our own opinions. Leon(Aaron Pool) is the only character we see on screen for the entire duration of the film, with the exception of on-screen video viewing. Even when two creepy Neighbors come knocking at the door, we never see them, We just see Leon open the door, lean out, and talk to them. In a lot of ways, it’s almost as if we are seeing the film through the eyes of a spirit that is unable to leave the house. The pacing is slow and deliberate, echoing many religious horror films of yesteryear. It becomes very easy to feel the house almost as a living character, oppressive, and lonely, further entrenching the slow burn creepiness of this film. If you are going to watch this film, i recommend watching it alone, in a dark room, with no distractions, so you can truly appreciate what Rosalind is trying to tell us.

 

6/10 creepy Angel Statues

It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

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This Halloween will see the return of my #31DaysOfHorror Project, in which I will watch and review a horror film for every day all October. I’ll Post updates frequently, but they may not come on a daily basis. This year I’ll be keeping with a theme: No films made after 1989! This is strictly for the classics!

I welcome any and all suggestions and requests of what I should review, so feel free to contact me. I have a suspicion that the spam filters on wordpress are filtering more than they should, so in lieu of leaving comments here, please send them to :

doctor_havok@live.com

I welcome pretty much anything you wanna send me, especially nudes from Large Breasted ladies with Daddy issues.

The Perfect Storm…WITH TEETH!

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“This movie doesn’t know it can’t do that” – Anthony C. Ferrante(Director)

Syfy channel has a long history of commissioning hilariously bad original films (Jersey Shore Shark Attack, Rage of the Yeti, Swamp Devil, to name a few. All of which are enjoyable if you like laughing at shitty movies…and I do), as does a plucky little Production company called The Asylum, who is particularly known for producing low-budget knock offs of popular films (Paranormal Entity, Mega Python vs Gatoroid, Two Headed Shark Attack, Nazis at The Center of the Earth. Wonderful, wonderful trash!) These two have teamed up several times before and the results are always great fun, but NOBODY could have anticipated the phenomenon that Sharknado would become. The tagline is “Nuff said” and it sums everything up perfectly. Plot? Not important. Continuity? Never touch the stuff. Physics? Ha! Fuck Physics! To anyone who hasn’t seen Sharknado yet, yes. It’s EXACTLY what it sounds like. try not to think about it too hard, and just enjoy the ride. First airing on Syfy on July 11, it was never intended to be a success. It was intended to be a silly, fun movie. Only about 1.37 million viewers saw the premiere, down from the average 1.5 million viewers for Syfy original films, and that is where it likely would have ended. But then the Internet took over.

Virtually overnight, Sharknado (or #SharkNado) was trending on Twitter, and it seemed like virtually everyone was talking about it. I seem to recall reading a statistic that within the first 24hrs, 1.37 million people had seen the film, but over 10 million were talking about it. This led to the film being aired several more times, with viewership dramatically increasing each time, leading it to be the most viewed Syfy original film of all time. Not bad for a concept that was born from a throw-away line about a terrible News headline in a film called Red Clover (more details here: http://www.dreadcentral.com/news/69078/first-sharknado-sighting-flick-red-clover-finally-coming-dvd). Before anyone knew it, this weird little gem was announced for special theatrical dates.

Last night I attended one such screening, held at The Rio on Broadway (for further proof that the Rio rocks, Tonight they are screening Spice World, and on Friday, The Dark Crystal. Yeah…if you live in the Vancouver area, you NEED to become a Rio Regular). The Theater seats 420…really. It seats 420, and it was PACKED! a resounding success! A theater full of people having a great time as they cheered and clapped and laughed their asses off to a film is a truly special experience that is often lost on the Multiplex crowd. I had the pleasure of sitting next to my friend Mila for this screening. Having never seen the film herself, I was very eager to see and hear her reaction to the ridiculousness on screen. Pure joyous Bliss! I love when people get such pure enjoyment from a film. We even started a “THIS! IS! AWE! SOME!(clap-clap-clapclapclap)” chant.

After the film, we were treated to a Skype Q&A with the director, Anthony C. Ferrante. He was super humble, seemingly more blown away by the success of the film than anyone, and just tickled pink that so many people had packed into a theater to watch his movie. He called Sharknado “The movie that doesn’t know that It can’t do that”, by which he means, It was never supposed to become an internet sensation, never supposed to get a theatrical release, never supposed to generate a sequel…it can also refer to the complete abandonment of logic and laws of physics displayed in the film. You may have noticed that I haven’t discussed ANYTHING that happens in the film yet. In the words of Ferrante himself: “There’s a flood. And a storm. With Sharks. Don’t worry about it”

The Rio has announced ANOTHER screening of Sharknado on Aug 31 (search “SHARKNADO – Returns! August 31st All Ages (14A) at the Rio!” on Facebook for the event page), and i encourage everyone in the Vancouver area to attend! And keep a weather eye to the horizon for the sequel, slated to premier on Syfy Jul 2014. It’s title?

SHARKNADO 2: The Second One!

It’s Creepy, it’s Tooney, it’s really fuckin LOONEY!

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*Editors Note: This film was referred to me by Darrel, the totally rad proprietor of the equally rad Netherworld Collectibles( https://www.facebook.com/pages/Netherworld-Collectibles/447474701990897?ref=stream&hc_location=stream). Every time I go in to make a purchase, i wind up hanging out for a good chunk of time just shooting the shit. Fantastic store!*

 

Dear readers, take a moment to appreciate the poster for Evil Toons. Go ahead, I’ll wait…

Ok, now check out the trailer: http://youtu.be/J7othu6spYY

Yeah. Seriously! It’s EXACTLY as awesome as you think it is! Within the opening minutes of the film, David Carradine hangs himself! Holy Foreshadowing Batman! As soon as i saw him hang himself, I was officially in WTF territory, and laughing my ass off. Yes, I’m aware I’m a horrible person, Yes I know you love me anyway. MOVING ON!

The plot concerns a group of 4 pretty girls(well, 2 are good looking, the other two are pretty dull, but you can tell they are supposed to be hot), who are hired to clean up a spooky old house over the weekend in preparation for the new owners to move in. They are hired by the somewhat pervy Burt, played by Dick Miller(Gremlins, The Howling), and once inside the house, these dimwitted dames unwittingly unleash a somewhat ambiguous curse, reviving Gideon Fisk (Carradine), bringing on the unleashing of Cartoony Demons, blah blah blah… To be honest, the plot of this movie is pretty flimsy, and not really important. The film is a silly excuse to have a Cartoon demon molest and possess some porn stars who decided to test their acting chops. The girls (Jan, Terry, Roxanne and Megan) have cheesy dialogue with the worst delivery possible, but it’s forgivable because they are just going to get naked in about 5 minutes anyway. Seriously…for no real reason whatsoever, Roxanne(who you knew just HAD to be the Ho) starts stripping for the girls, and then trying to make the nerdy girl come out of her shell by stripping her! The whole,scene was about 10 seconds and 4 drinks away from an all girl orgy.

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Yeah, Thats what I said! The version I watched was on youtube, and in a stroke of brilliance, whoever edited the video added some trailers for other utterly shit films. This all reinforced my overall thoughts of the film. It’s stupid, it doesn’t make sense, but it is fun as hell, and I have been in a great mood ever since! Below is the video with trailer, I hope you all give it a look. On a side note, Why are there no more sluts named Roxanne? We need to bring that back!

The Rob Bottin Drinking Game

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Recently, I had the pleasure of attending a double feature at the Rio Theater hosted by FX Guru, Todd Masters, and Jen & Sylvia Soska. The films featured that night were John Carpenter’s The Thing, and Slither. Both chosen for their fantastic practical effects, as well as being crowd pleasers in their own right. Any night celebrating top notch visual effects will inevitably turn into a love fest for Rob Bottin, The genius behind The Thing, The Fog, The Howling, Legend, and many other films, and this night was no exception. The night’s festivities included a video made by two lovely little songstresses proclaiming their love and appreciation for Rob Bottin (Search Rob Bottin Song), a Skype Q&A session with one of Rob’s right hand men while working on The Thing (I’m sad to say his name escapes me), merch giveaways, doling out screen used props from Slither (Big ole slimey phallic parasites), we got to give Michael Rooker the finger (You had to be there) and a drinking game. Yes, a drinking game. The setup was, we were to all watch an interview with Rob, talking about a particular effect in The Thing, and drink every time Rob said “Yah-Know”. It was great, The Soskas even had signs they would hold up as our que to drink. I’m not adept enough to tell which Soska is which yet, so the pretty one held up a sigh that said “YAH-“, and in the same beat, the other pretty one would hold up a sign that said “KNOW”. Now, I had seen this interview before, and many like it. I know how much Rob Bottin says “Yah-Know”. I knew I was fucked. And I had Tequila. I’m not able to find a YouTube link to the interview in question, but if I’m not mistaken, it should be on the DVD release of The Thing.

I’ve since played the Rob Bottin drinking game on three other occasions. I am the undefeated champion.

 

 

 

Terror Trailers of the 80s vol 2 1981

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The Legend of Victor Crowley

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When a film gives itself the Tagline: “Old School American Horror”, one would think it left zero room for fucking around. Yet the Hatchet franchise is one giant-3-film-fuckaround. But it’s a fuckaround done RIGHT! The Slasher genre had its glory days, then went out of style only to come back into vogue years later, but something had changed. Modern Slashers seem focused on delivering a visceral experience and less on being a fun movie. This is not to say that I don’t enjoy modern slashers…I mean, who couldn’t love the pulse pounding “I know what you did…” series? Ok , bad example, Wrong Turn , Behind the Mask, and the various remakes and re-imaginings of the 80s classics have all been good, but when i watch them, i can’t help but feel they lack the spirit of old. I get the feeling that Adam Green felt the same way.

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Adam Green is the Mastermind behind the Hatchet franchise, serving as creator, writer, director, producer and bit-part actor, I think it can safely be said that Hatchet is HIS baby. The story arc follows the legend of Victor Crowley, a vengeful spirit haunting the Louisiana swamp that was once his home, but is now his killing field! Over the course of the 3 films, we learn about the legend, how Crowley came to be cursed, and the eventual resolution of the curse, and along the way we are treated to near countless inside jokes for genre fans, wildly over the top and inventive kills, as well as appearances by some icons of horror cinema.

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Hatchet (part 1) opens with a pair of Gator hunters, Sampson Dunston (Played by Horror legend Robert Englund), and his son Ainsley, out on the Bayou late at night trying to bag a catch. In short order they are set upon by Victor Crowley (Played by Kane Hodder of Friday the 13th fame, who also plays Victor’s Father Thomas in a flashback, a rare unmasked role for Hodder), who dispatches them in over-the-top, bloody fashion, setting the tone and standard for the franchise. Our Narrative next cuts to Mardi Gras where we meet Ben (Joel David Moore, quite possibly the best “lovable loser” in film history) and Marcus (Dion Richmond, who clearly tries too hard in this role)(Adam Green makes a cameo as their drunk friend), two friends who at Ben’s insistence, and despite Marcus’s objections, seek out a Haunted Swamp Tour, and seek out Reverend Zombie (Tony Todd, of Candyman, and Night of the Living Dead (1990) fame). The Rev informs them he can’t do tours anymore after being sued for negligence, but instead refers them to a shop down the street, where the duo meet Shawn (Perry Shen), an Asian sheister with a fucked up fake Creole accent, as well as Shapiro, a sleazy porn producer(ooooooor IS he?) and two prerequisite disposable sluts. Misty is a dumb blonde, while Jenna is an “Actress” who seems to think that filming “Bayou Beavers” will be a stepping stone to a real career…uuuuuh-huh. They also meet an older couple, Shannon and Jim Permatteo (Jim played by Richard Riehle, Fuck yeah! Diabetus Walrus!) and the intense and aloof Marybeth (played by Shannon Feldman). As the tour goes on we briefly meet a Piss-drinking Gator hunter named Jack Cracker(played by FX guru John Carl Buechler) who warns the group not to enter the swamp. Ignoring Jack’s warning and carrying on the tour, we learn the legend of Victor Crowley, that of a deformed boy who was accidentally killed by his father via a hatchet strike to his face, and ever since then, he haunts the swamps and can be heard calling ominously for his Daddy. After running aground and being forced to abandon their boat, the group is alerted to the danger they are in by Marybeth, a local resident who is searching for her Father, Sampson and brother Ainsley. One by one, the group are picked off by ole Hatchet-Face himself, Victor Crowley in several inventive and hilariously awesome ways, such as a Belt-Sander to the face, ripping the head apart via the jaw, Decapitation with a shovel, etc. It’s a fun romp that is a gore effects aficionado’s wet dream. I’ve heard the film described as a love letter to the slasher films of yesteryear, to which I couldn’t agree more. It manages to pay homage, while still being entertaining enough to stand on it’s own. After the first film, Horror had gained a new hot director, and a New icon was born in Victor Crowley.

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Hatchet II picks up literally where Hatchet left off, as the film begins during the final battle between Marybeth(Now played by Danielle Harris of Halloween fame).  Marybeth manages to escape the seemingly inevitably bloody end at the hands of Crowley and attempts to flee the swamp, being assisted by Jack Cracker who takes her back to his Cabin.  After learning that Sampson is her last name, he fearfully kicks her out, telling her that if she wants help, she needs to see Reverend Zombie. Moments after she leaves, Jack is killed by Victor Crowley, who gouges his intestines out and strangles him with them until he decapitates him…Leave it to an FX guy to give himself one of the coolest deaths!. Marybeth returns to Reverend Zombie’s shop and, after demanding to speak with him, he reluctantly lets her in(Along the way, we see Adam Green, passed out in the street). After learning her last name, he tells her that her father was one of the 3 boys responsible for causing the fire that originally killed Victor Crowley. He also tells her that Thomas, Victor’s father, had an affair with his wife’s nurse after she was diagnosed with stomach cancer. Moments before dying, Shyann Crowley placed a curse on the child conceived by the Nurse from the affair. Months later, she dies after giving birth to the deformed Victor Crowley. Initially ashamed of his son, Thomas hides Victor from the world, and becomes a bit of a recluse himself, but gradually grows to love his son. After Victor is killed in the fire, Thomas confronts the three boys responsible but they, along with their parents, deny it. Thomas becomes a shut-in and eventually dies of a broken heart ten years later. Ever since then, Crowley’s spirit has Haunted the swap, as he slaughtered anyone who entered. In Zombie’s shop, we learn that he was in fact running the ill-fated swamp tour, having set up a dummy operation to keep the heat off him. We also meet Shawn’s brother Justin, again played by Perry Shen. Marybeth enlists the help of Zombie to retrieve the bodies of her family, which he agrees to do, enlisting a posse of hunters to help retrieve his boat while they are at it. What follows is more over the top slaughter and for some reason a lot of mutilation that starts at the crotch. This is especially curious when you consider Victors use of a giant goddamn chainsaw…a killer Phallic symbol!

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Was Adam Green riled up into sexual frenzy at the pressense of Danielle Harris? I sure would be! The blood flows like wine and the limbs fly like…well, flies…i guess. Fuck it, it’s a swamp! Victor deals out one of his most brutal slayings to Rev Zombie as we see the continuation of a theme within the series, Kane Hodder(Jason Voorhees) brutally slaying his horror peers in Robert Englund(Freddy Kreuger), and Tony Todd(Candyman). Either Adam Green is the be-all-end-all Friday the 13th fan, or he was so terrified of Kane Hodder that he chose this trend to appease him. Both seem equally possible.  The climax of the film sees Marybeth using Victor’s own Hatchet to hack his head to a bloody stump, then deliver the Coup De Gras with a shotgun blast to what is left of his face, yelling “FUCK YOU!!!”” in defiance…Which leads us straight into…

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Picking up literally the instant we left off, Hatchet III opens to Marybeth shotgunning Crowley’s head to mulch, only for him to rise again and attack yet again. After knocking him back onto the running 8ft chainsaw from last film, literally splitting him in two(to which i stood up and cheered). This time believing Crowley to be truly dead, Marybeth grabs the spent shotgun, and a large piece of Crowley’s skull, and starts marching back to town with a catatonic look on her face. She stumbles into a Sheriffs office, gun and scalp in hand, muttering “…I killed ‘im…”. She is arrested and upon tellign authorities what happened, and where to find all the bodies, the Sheriff screams at her “That is the stupidest story I’ve ever heard, with the most asinine logic I have ever heard!” We then immediatly cut to a shot of Adam Green, now in the drunk tank, who looks up, and has a hurt look in his eyes. Brilliant! Because this film is still new, I won’t give away anymore details of the plot, but i will say we get to see appearances from  Perry Shen, who plays a Paramedic unrelated to the brothers from the first two films, all so they can make the “All Asians look alike” joke. Sid Haig(Devils Rejects, House Of 1000 Corpses, Coffy) makes an appearance as a relative of the Crowley family, and in a moment of Horror film geeky glory, Derek Mears plays a bad ass Swat leader who takes on Crowley. As we all know, Kane Hodder(Crowley) is famous for Playing Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th 7-10, while Derek Mears played Voorhees in the 2009 Reboot. Imagine seeing two Jasons square off! Will the new blood be able to match up with the crafty Veteran?

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All in all, I think the Hatchet franchise was a great ride. I’ve heard several criticisms that the plot lacks structure and the violence is unrealistic, to which I say: Good! The whole point of a slasher film is to let go of the real world and immerse yourself in a world where people make dumb decisions, and suffer horrible fates. These movies are meant to be fun. An early review of Hatchet III said it felt like a 90 minute Friday the 13th fan film. It is. It is made by fans of classic slasher films, FOR fans of classic slasher films. Hatchet is devoid of social commentary, of morality plays, it is a franchise that knows exactly what it is, and doesn’t try to be anything else…

A BLOODY GOOD TIME!