JOHN WICKITY WICK WICK

JOHN WICK CHAPTER 2 WAS AWESOME HOLY MOLY GO SEE IT

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Red Vein Army Presents: Wicked Women of Richmond

 

February is a great month to drop hints to your man that you want a bouquet of chicken nuggets for Valentine’s Day. But it’s also Women in Horror Month!

I’m so excited to find out that Richmond’s own RED VEIN ARMY is hosting a lady horror event right in my own neighborhood at the end of this month.

The event is called Wicked Women of Richmond and will take place on Sunday, February 26 at Blue Bee Cider. It will feature a live podcast with Mouthy BroadCast from 4 – 6 pm. There will also be plenty of Red Vein haunters present to take photos with the crowd and lots of spooky prizes.

I’ll be there to cover the event and if it’s a total bust (which it won’t be), then at least I’ll still be able to get drunk. Horror, booze, and women – what’s not to love?

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In Defense of Blair Witch (2016)

Horror fans, I have a request for you. I know it will be difficult, but all I’m asking is that you try. It’s time that we chill the flip out – just slightly.

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Horror fans are indisputably the most dedicated fans of any film genre. Just check out the message boards for the “Genre Zone” on IMDB.com. At the time of this posting, comedy has 769 posts dedicated to discussing the genre. Drama has 325 posts. People really seem to enjoy film noir, which has over 1,500 posts.

Horror? Horror has 34,697 posts. We are nerds, but dammit we are committed to the genre.  There’s no denying this. But we need to relax just a little bit. Our expectations as horror fans are through the skyscraper roof. It’s unlikely that any movie will scare you as much as that one legendary film that scared the living daylights out of you when you were a kid. We’re looking for that high. That thrill. That same spine-tingling sensation. It’s just not going to happen because we’re too desensitized and we’re really good at predicting the killer’s next move or the victims’ next dumb choice. We’ve watched a ton of movies, okay?

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I am not saying that we need to give a participation trophy to every fuckwit that wants to make a horror movie. We need to demand quality and innovation because otherwise this genre will not survive. We need to stay hungry for fresh talent and interesting points of view (or is it point of views?) We need to celebrate good storytelling and gnarly make-up effects.

But please – just give some of the stuff you considered “complete trash” a second look and give credit where credit’s due. My main gripe right now is with the fan response to the new Blair Witch. Yes, there are a lot of flaws. They should’ve used the drone more effectively, or at all. Why the fuck did that chick climb a tree? And what was that shit that got into her leg and what did it have to do with the story? And seriously, time warps?!

That being said, there’s some interesting film work happening here. Adam Wingard, our valiant mumblegore prince, manages to include some pretty intense and frightening stuff. There’s some great body horror visuals when Talia dies and when we finally get a glimpse of The Witch. If you’re the least bit claustrophobic, the tunnel scene works quite effectively. There’s also a lot of atmosphere going on here, folks. Lots of rain. Lots of darkness. Lots of screaming. When you take a deep breath and consider these efforts objectively, they are pretty good. Certainly not “Awful, abhorrent and wholly embarrassing for everyone involved” as one IMDB user stated.

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This is a stretch, but it’s not a dumpster fire.

As this post in the A.V. Club explains, Wingard wanted this to be a straightforward, jump-scare type horror movie. “It’s a movie that’s meant to be watched with a crowd,” he says. And I agree. In fact – and I know I may be in the minority here – watching horror films in a packed theater is one of my favorite things. This movie is exactly for that scenario.

There’s a lot to refute here, I know, because my writing style is lazy at best. But please, maybe ease up on the mainstream horror movies and try to focus on what’s working and where we can improve, not just complaining about what you think is utter crap.

Or maybe I should shut up and just let horror fans be horror fans. We are the dedicated-yet-salty curmudgeons of movie fans, after all. And proudly so.

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Your Average Horror Fan

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Yuletide Terrors Volume Two: A Christmas Horror Story

Anthology films. You love them as much as I do, right? For five years in a row I have culminated my annual 31 Nights of Horror with Trick ‘r Treat because I think anthology movies are the bees knees. You get multiple stories in one! It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

That’s why I’m elated to review a modern holiday horror anthology, A Christmas Horror Story.

First, a pro tip: when you see a horror movie on Netflix that has higher than a two-star rating you need to pay attention. That means that many REAL people who aren’t amazing horror weirdos like us gave it a good review. This one currently has three stars. Well done.

A Christmas Horror Story features four blustery tales of wintry dismay that will give the whole family a reason to believe in holiday magic. With everything that happens, it seems you’re likely to have a shitty Christmas if you’re a resident of a town called Bailey Downs. Ghosts, changelings, zombies, and Krampus are indeed the reasons for the season.

The film is well made and entertaining, and the twist to one of the main four stories is pretty good. Some of the scenes are cheesy and laughable, but they are a wonderful homage to ridiculous horror premises and the Christmas horror trope in general. As Peter Sobczynski wrote for Rogerebert.com, “Once you’ve seen one homicidal elf, you’ve seen them all”. That’s why we love this genre, though, because anything and everything goes. But the biggest scene stealer of all is William Shatner looking like an adorable grandpa in a Christmas sweater as a radio DJ who gets increasingly hammered and presides over the stories.

This is a great movie to watch over Christmas weekend or, if you’re lucky enough to have one, during your Christmas vacation. It’s an easy watch and a great holiday tradition to start. I give it two Krampus thumbs up.

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Yuletide Terrors Volume One: Treevenge

DISCLAIMER: If you don’t care about words and shit, I understand. Scroll all the way down to the bottom for the good stuff. Merry Christmas, you ungrateful bastard.

Dear Nerds,

I deeply apologize for my absence. After Halloween I pretty much go on a Thanksgiving bender until it’s suddenly December and I can’t remember how many leftover turkey sandwiches I’ve eaten. But I’m back. And today is my 30th birthday (shameless birthday plug).

If Halloween, horror, and turkey sandwiches are my first loves, Christmas doesn’t fall too far behind on the list. Hate all you want, but I am a sucker for tacky Christmas lights (follow my Instagram for photos of #ProjectTackyBalcony) and I just can’t get enough of Sharon Jones’ Christmas album (RIP).

When Christmas and horror collide it is truly a beautiful thing. Seasonal horror movies have been around for decades (thank you, Black Christmas) and there are so many wonderful Christmas horror movies that I’ve decided to come out of hibernation and share my favorites with you all month long.

I’m going to start off with a BANG because I take this shit seriously. I could’ve saved this entry for tiny, 8 lb baby jesus’ birthday as the centerpiece of this merry compilation, but I want to establish my street cred and you always have to take out the biggest mother fucker in the yard once you get into prison. Amirite?

Point is, show them that you mean business and the rest is gravy. Mmmm. Gravy. Omg..turkey. Mashed potatoes. Can it please be Thanksgiving every day?

Oh, right – the list. Starting this jolly ride into hell with my ALL. TIME. FAVORITE. Christmas horror movie. It comes from the fantastic and arguably criminally insane director Jason Eisener (Hobo with a Shotgun) and it’s called Treevenge. Yes. TREEVENGE.

Say it with me, you falalala loving maniacs, Tree-venge. If it were described by Tina Turner herself it would be simply the best. God damn, girl is a legendary performer.

Outer Space level craziness doesn’t even begin to describe this short film. At under 17 minutes long, it packs more punch, more gore, more camp, and more great one liners than most modern feature length efforts in the last 5 years.

If you are not a fan of outlandish, bizarre, and/or splatter movies, you are NOT the audience for Treevenge. If you love Troma Entertainment, Hobo with a Shotgun, and the basketball scene from Escape from L.A. (so what, it’s in Spanish), THIS IS THE SHORT FILM FOR YOU.

Treevenge is a 2007 short film about what happens when Christmas trees stop being polite, and start getting real. Real pissed, that is. Humans are the scum of the earth and we treat everything like shit. Including our most precious resources – Christmas trees. Imagine a world where you wake up on Christmas morning and instead of opening presents in your fucking one piece jammy jams you are greeted by a bloodthirsty tree hell bent on getting revenge on your sorry ass for allowing folks to chop him and his entire family down in his fucking home (the forest) so that you can put a stupid costume on him for 25 days until you let it brown out and die and throw him out. It’s barbaric!*

*Note: I cut down a live Christmas tree and will never stop. They are the best and they smell better than the artificial ones, even with those fancy scentscicle things. Quite your PETA-ass whining.

WATCH THE ENTIRE SHORT FILM HERE AND THANK ME LATER:

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31 Nights of Horror V, Night 31: Trick ‘r Treat

31 Nights of Horror V, Night 31: Trick ‘r Treat


Three sentence review:

Well, it’s been a gruesome, spooky, and sometimes Christmas-y 31 Nights of Horror and I’m sad to see it end with me stuck in bed with a fever. As always, we end the month with Sam and the Trick ‘r Treat gang. I’m still waiting on that damn sequel!

See y’all next October!

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31 Nights of Horror V, Night 30: Halloween III: Season of the Witch

31 Nights of Horror V, Night 30: Halloween III: Season of the Witch

More than sentence review:

Halloween III: Season of the Witch goes completely cuckoo bananas away from the plot of Halloween and Halloween II and doesn’t have one single appearance of Michael Meyers (besides the meta Halloween trailer playing in the bar). It’s incredible. Apparently John Carpenter believed that the “Halloween” franchise could evolve into an anthology series revolving around stories that take place around Halloween. WAT. Incredible. The film begins with a fabulous opening credits sequence we can only expect from the early 80s – an 8 bit rendering of the iconic Halloween pumpkin that we only see in ‘bits’ and pieces until the whole thing is revealed (GOD I LOVE THE 80S). Anyway, this insane and incredible Halloween installment is actually a science fiction story about a doctor who unravels a plot by the Silver Shamrock corporation to turn Halloween masks into exploding killing machines that summon witches. I can’t really express how insane and amazing it is. It’s definitely one of my favorite sequels of all time.

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