Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Cropsy got the new The Burning blu-ray!

The Burning is on boo-ray and it looks about as phenomenal as a cult summer slasher flick from the 80’s can possibly be.  

Stay tuned for some new commentary on the classick slasher throughout the week!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Happy Friday! 5/17/13

Check out this link for the Friday the 13th screenplay.  Some of you might be surprised at the differences between the screenplay and what ended up on screen.  I know I was.  And if you're a Friday the 13th nut like me the screenplay really sheds some light on certain aspects of the film that I never noticed before.

Friday, May 10, 2013

More rambling thoughts about HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY

Oak Mansion is a purgatory for the victims of Dr. Freudenstein’s ravenous appetite for the life extending blood of the innocent. Each new victim finds their soul trapped for all eternity in Freudenstein’s old New England style mansion. The past and present collide for the ghosts that dwell the old house by the cemetery. Existing in a perpetual dream like state, these poor souls often experience episodes of extreme déjà vu as they gaze upon the living world from beyond the veil of death. Characters from the past and present can co-exist in this reality, a limbo between worlds brought on by Dr. Freudenstein’s mad experimentations. By consuming their life force Dr. Freudenstein tethers their soul to this reality, never allowing them the peace of death. The children victims seem to be able to recognize their situation; perhaps youth grants are more sensitive connection to the spiritual world. The little girl with auburn hair (Mae) tries repeatedly to warn Bobby about his families impending doom at the hand of Freudenstein, something that seems almost destined or fated to occur. Bobby however has no luck convincing his parents of any immediate danger from Oak Mansion, although it’s apparent that something is amiss the moment they step into town.

The real estate agents and local librarian all seem to remember Bob’s parents being in town prior to their arrival. Norman, Bob’s dad, encounters several people along the way that seem confused by his presence. At one point Lucy, Bob’s mom, notes that people tend to look right through them, almost as if they weren’t there at all. I think that some of this is Fulci pointing to the uncertainty of a subjective reality; where you cannot trust your own senses. Perhaps the family is already dead and the movie is a recollection of their shared memories before meeting their gruesome end at the hands of Dr. Freudenstein. Logic seems to dissipate as time goes on in the movie, and the horror begins cropping up with more frequent occurrence. If House by the Cemetery follows the same nightmare logic as the other films in Fulci’s Gates of Hell trilogy, then the seeming lack of consistent logic or narrative could have been deliberate.

Like all Fulci films during the Italian splatter era House by the Cemetery focuses on the gushing gore on screen; the camera held in one spot, zoomed in, seemingly fixated by the violence. Fulci not only cuts the narrative and logic to pieces, he cuts the characters on screen to pieces as well. The real estate agent had it the worse, but her fat ass cracked Freudenstein’s tomb. She kind of had it coming in a movie like this. For my money nobody shoots gore like Fulci, and I doubt anyone ever will again.

The scene where the bat attaches itself to Norm’s hand is a perfect example of Fulci’s focus on over the top gore. The scene seemingly goes on forever with the bat causing a crimson arterial spray to fly from Norman’s hand. As he struggles his family is covered with the flying streams of blood cast from the bat bite. Of course this over the top amount of blood could be attributed to Fulci simply doing his best to be a gorehound crowd pleaser, but I think the blood Norm covers his family with, his own blood, has some subjective meaning as well. Bob and Lucy would have not found themselves in Oak mansion if it had not been for Norm’s eagerness to appease his employer. And Norm seems to ignore Lucy and Bob’s reluctance to stay in Freudenstein’s mansion until it is too late to move. As Freudenstein brought destruction upon his own family through his crazy experimentations, Norm brought destruction to his own family by his persistence at completing the work of his former peer. Much like The Shining, there is a deliberate re-occurring theme of fathers bringing turmoil to their own families out of a selfish pursuit to “get ahead”.

Friday the 13th part 3 Mondo poster

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

An analytical review of Friday the 13th by Joshua Gratton

The Bodycount Continues message board ( has some of the most passionate and respectable slash-heads I've ever encountered on the interwebs.  Joshua Gratton from shared this excellent analytical review of the original Friday the 13th that I really enjoyed.  It definitely got my gears turning over a film I have seen dozens upon dozens of times.  It has me thinking about it in a different way and seeing more going on beneath the surface Jason lurking under the surface of the dark waters of Camp Crystal lake.... 

Friday the 13th (1980) - 10/10 - I see why people may find this slow or dull but I think it's an absolute masterpiece on forgetting and suppression. None of the young folks really remember what happened way back in 1957 or 1958. But somebody does. Mrs. Voorhees remembered her tragedy differently and as such placed blame where there may have been none on the counselors. They were making love. They were into themselves and forgot all about Jason.

Skip to 1979 and we have people who do not want to listen to silly old legends. They are carefree and honestly good people but Voorhees cannot see this because they do not occupy her reality with her memories. Everybody is wiped out leaving Alice to fend for herself. Her whole motive is to avenge Jason so that others will not follow the same fate, and her hurt will not continue on. But she talks with him. Jason is still as alive as he is dead to her. When she is killed, this entire tragedy lives on in Alice's view, where the deaths of her friends replace the drowning of Jason. The murders from 1958 are now just as real as the 1979 killing spree. She sees Jason pull her down to the lake (I take the original film on its own to be that canoe tip was a dream/hallucination).

Jason is the representation of what remains for survivors of traumatic experiences. "The boy! Is he dead too?" "We didn't find any boy..." "Then he's still there!" So many people take this to be his physical body is still there. I don't agree. Alice sees Jason as still being at the bottom of the lake because like Pam, in that she knows he's dead but references him as present, the horrific night will play in her mind for the rest of her life. I feel that Cunningham is helping to explain how one can have one foot in reality and another in the past with Jason.

With Marcie, I think that her entire "And then the rain turns to blood. The blood washes away in little rivers. Then the sound stops..." is a moment where events of trauma, unbeknownst to her perhaps since it is from a dream, are being recalled. Personal as this is for Marcie, it's also a memory of bloodshed that is not understandable to her or Jack. They are facing something unsettling, but then they forget all about it before they make love and are dispatched by the survivor, Pamela. Sure, she didn't live through a serial killing, but I'd argue that she's just as much a survivor as she is a killer, and this is shown in comparison to Alice when she wakes up in her hospital bed at the end.

Cunningham has gone off to say that Friday the 13th is a film, not a movie, and I wholeheartedly agree. That's why a lot of people stick with the likes of Part 2, 4 and 6 for pacing. Part 1 is as real as it gets in this universe and I think that its very natural look goes back to that. Natural in the camp, in the cinematography and so forth. That's why I love it. There's something I can grasp that relates to me and something beyond movie script. Of course we have heard the story about how Betsy Palmer wondered why Pamela was never shown in the film before the reveal, and Cunningham would say "let them guess". How could they guess? But that's the point.

We see 1958 happen and we see 1979 occur, but we only hear about the drowning in 1957. That's the red flag. Why would a random event be placed in the movie before the prologue? That's where we should have turned to. It's also the thing that we never saw so we passed it off. "Eh... didn't happen to me so nothing to wonder about." Pamela remembers though and it's as real as it is non-existent to us. For the fine folks at Crystal Lake, the 1979 massacre was a travesty, but it's another footnote in the camp's history. For Alice, the sun on that June 14th Saturday morning has yet to rise.

 Visit Joshua's blog for more excellent movie insight!

Monday, May 6, 2013

New Maniac movie poster

Can't wait for the new Maniac rehash; me thinks it will be goregasmic.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Mondo Friday the 13th poster