Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Out today!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Pieces on sale!

Hey hope everyone had a great weekend.  I know around this neck of the woods a lot of stores are starting to get all Hallow's Eved out, which is just fine by me.

Hopefully this week I get my copy of Halloween 35th edition blu ray.  I'm sure it'll be a killer transfer judging from the beautiful screen shots I've been seeing cropping up over the interwebs.

Just a friendly reminder that the Fright-Rags PIECES shirt I mentioned a little while ago is now on sale.  Catch it for the anniversary of the movie.  I might give it a spin tonight.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Coming Monday...PIECES shirt from Fright-Rags!

New PIECES shirt available for pre-order 9/23/13 from Fright-Rags!

Pieces is one of my favorite slashers; totally shameless and cheesy fun!  This shirt looks RAD!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

HalloweeN from FRIGHT-RAG!

The collector box looks dreamy.  I got the glow-in-zee-dark poster as well.  Nerdgasm.

The Night HE Came Home.

Don't Go to the Reunion - review

Don’t Go to the Reunion –

Don’t Got to the Reunion is a celebration of the slasher genre; a killer party of radical references and call outs to old slasher greats like Home Sweet Home, Friday the 13th Part2, and of course Slaughter High.  The movie definitely wears its influence on its sleeve but manages to have an identity all its own.  With a bigger budget this movie would have been the Scream 4 that Scream 4 was trying to be.  The film maker’s love for the genre seems genuine and palpable throughout the film, but never seemed over bearing to me.  The acting and story is exactly what is to be expected from a retro stalk and slash deal; the party animal, the nerd, the preppy girl, are all to be found here along with the black gloved killer.  Out of all the retro slasher movies coming out recently Don’t Go to the Reunion stands out as one of the best efforts and will fit snuggly in my collection of movies next to the likes of Prom Night and Killer Party.  I didn’t want to dive too deep into this film out of fear of spoiling some of its finer points, I just wanted to spray that you can do a lot worse than Don’t Go to the Reunion; check it out if you have even a passing appreciation of the genre.  

Monday, September 9, 2013

Blood Runs Cold - review

Blood Runs Cold –

Blood Runs Cold had my blood running bored.  It’s nice to see another solid slasher effort from Sweden, much like the highly celebrated Cold Prey series, but with a much smaller “basement” budget Blood Runs Cold has a lot to make up for.  Those looking for more bangs for their buck might venture elsewhere; the movie never attempts to step outside the box in terms of the mechanics that make up a slasher movie.  Hell it feels snug as a bug in a rug in that box. 

The movie sets itself up as an atmospheric slow melt, which might send some slash heads running right away.  Most of the film is spent watching the main girl investigate strange noises and explore the claustrophobic confines of her winter vacation home.  She gets bad feelings and vibes from the place so she invites some friends up to stay with her.  We are introduced to the proverbial meat of the movie, her small circle of friends seem to fill out the sensitive ex-boyfriend, party animal, and wild child stereotypes, but the characters aren’t offensively obnoxious, so it makes the run-time less grating.  None the less you will still be yelling at your screen for someone to kill these kids and end the thing already.  

The deaths are mostly standard fare, much like everything else in this movie, it all has that tired “been there, done that” vibe to it.  They even had the balls to throw in an off the screen death, which for a low budget deal should be a no-no.  Usually off screen deaths are there to build the audience up to the real good murder set pieces, or off screen deaths are deaths of function rather than plot driven, like the death of the mechanic in Halloween. But in this movie it just comes off as lazy.  About the most notable thing in the entire film is an excellent decapitation scene towards the end, but by the time you reach it you would have stared at your clock ten times over waiting for the damn thing to wrap up.  This is a movie I heard get a lot of praise, and while it did not offend me or have any real plot gaps and was pretty competently put together, I couldn’t help but feel like it was an effort to get through because so little happens that isn’t already found in a dozen other stalk and slash deals.  The main slasher of the movie, an undead frozen cannibal, is never explained.  He just is.  I would have liked knowing a little more about him, even the slightest detail about his past would have made him stand apart from the pack, but alas we are left with a bunch of unexplained shit, like they didn’t expect people to wonder about this guy. 

Blood Runs Cold is a competent and well put together slasher, however that in and by itself doesn’t make it an exciting movie.  Bad acting, wonky foreign accents, and a dragging pace seem to slay any chance of excitement up on the screen.  I’d rather watch an igloo melt, which is too bad because I am normally very happy with snowbound slashers, but this one doesn’t even seem to try. 

The Howling - murderous musings

THE HOWLING – film analysis

The fable of the noble savage is something this movie perpetuates.  Deep rooted neurosis is caused by the repression of natural re-occurring desires.  The Colony is a cult looking for born again werewolves, much like born again Christians.  Red lighting in the beginning and end used to represent intimacy, transformation, and horror.  The Howling is a battle within the mind and spirit.  It’s a battle of humanity versus animal instinct fought in the trenches of the medulla oblongata for the fate of the neo-cortex.  Primal desires can overshadow reasoning and logic, turning man to beast, or in the case of The Howling, man to werewolf.

A jungle of neon clouds the senses just as it confuses and scrambles radio signals and broadband communication.  The television is the retina of the mind’s eye, a reflection of true subconscious desire.  Television static is reasoning clouding desire, subjugating it and repressing it.  Words and images may escape through the fuzz but they are fragmented misrepresentations of their original intent, twisted and often times confusing.  To escape the neon static that clouds the soul and confuses the mind one must leave the urban jungle return to nature; return to yourself.  Incompetence and uncertainty are products of a clouded mind, of one who does not understand the longings of their inner beast, or who are afraid to act out on it.

Fear springs from this uncertainty, for if one does not know themselves then what can they know?  Fear is not for the id, the impulsive; the passionate do not experience true fear.   Fear is manufactured through the conscious mind, therefore it is a product of the neo-cortex, of humanity and logic and compassion, for true compassion is the fear of loss, the recognition of potential disaster.  Eddie doesn’t experience fear because he is the living embodiment of the id.  He has been reborn to accept the “gift” given to us all, the gift of a life without worry or fear, a life of simplicity and survival, of embracing the beast within. 

Karen is nearly crippled with fear.  Her every movement is cautious and calculated; every potential threat analyzed and mulled over.  Karen internalizes her struggles with the beast, with the id; her journey through the film is a struggle against Mother Nature and all her carnal influence.   Karen cannot see Eddie because she cannot accept the id.  She abstains from it.  Eddie wants to give her a piece of his mind; a symbolic offer to embrace impulsive desires, to shed the chains of  repression that have lead to her deeply rooted neurosis, to kill the fear by becoming one with it.  

But Karen seems incapable of accepting what Eddie has to offer.  Her conscious mind reactively buries it into her subconscious, leaving her dazed and confused as if in a trance.  Her civilized mind cannot readily express what her primitive subconscious is trying to tell her.  She needs time to process the information, she needs time for Eddie’s gift to transform her from within, and she struggles against this metamorphosis throughout the film.   She struggles to suppress the id with the fabric of her being, as the id would rob her of her civilized identity, it would consume her and transform her into something new, something dangerous, and uproot her social status, severing ties with humanity as she gives herself over to the natural world, and to a certain degree the supernatural one as well. 


Deadly Blessing - review

Deadly Blessing

Beware all ye heathens for the Incubus walks amongst men.  We must be steadfast in our conviction of God as the Holy Savior of all humanity least the Incubus will tear our mortal souls asunder and feed it to the dark one called Satan.  Any man who follows the Incubus to her den of sin also follows the ways of evil; our hearts and ears will be stones to them, for they have become instruments of Lucifer.

Deadly Blessing is the world’s foremost leader in old school Amish Hittite terror; a kaleidoscope of religious and sexual symbolism playing along the back drop of a murder mystery story with strong leanings to the Giallo genre.  The realm of the supernatural is heavily alluded to, but only truly seen through dreams and visions, keeping the story mostly grounded in the real world, making all the Hittite talk about a living demon-like Incubus very suspicious.  There are the trappings of the classical slasher story with red herrings in heavy supply and a black gloved murder suspect on the loose, plus a heavy dose of girls sitting around doing nothing in their underwear.   Sinners.

The symbolism comes fast and heavy handed; there are snakes and spiders getting tossed around, roosters flying out of coffins, blood milk, and several scenes that make it a point to show women sharing eggs.  I’m not sure what they all mean yet, but it’s got to all add up to something.  All those faithful in the good Lord will get their just reward.   If anything Deadly Blessing feels like a lot of heady ideas thrown in to the batter, but the cake isn’t quite ready to come out of the oven.   He who doth not bake the cake to completion…bewares the Incubus.  Also beware the snake in the soapy bathtub and the spider in the mouth.  The Incubus will defy the temple of God and Sharon Stone with the wretched vermin of the Earth. 

There seems to be a heavy focus on the sins of the flesh; of giving into the desires of the body, and how restraining and subjugating sexuality causes psychological trauma.  The son of Hittite clan leader Isaiah is constantly at odds with his father’s strict puritan rule, relenting against an arranged marriage and refusing to accept his father’s lashing punishment.  For his brief rebellious streak he is banished from the clan; he belongs to the Incubus now, and for his infidelity he is stabbed to death.  Another member of the clan, a mentally handicapped Hittite who sneaks a peak at the next door beauty gets a knife in the spine and hung from the rafters for his insolence.  Whenever a parent or guardian is disobeyed the punishment is severe and often deadly.  The first victim of the tale, the reformed Hittite farmer, has had a long standing disagreement with his father as well, and is run over by a tractor in slow motion. Manure happens.  So the movie itself seems to get behind some puritan slasher code; ye who disobey your elder will be struck down by God’s wraith.

Much like some of the themes extrapolated from The Hills Have Eyes, this film seems to draw comparisons between the modern family of close friends, to the more traditional familial arrangement, presented by the Hittites.  These Amish folk are more strict and unforgiving, but at least they seem to stick together.  By the end of the film the group of close knit friends is all but kaput and saved by Isaiah and company to boot, so again the movie seems to favor the Hittites, but all the proceeding scenes of child abuse and turmoil within the Hittites makes me think that maybe the movie couldn’t settle on either family.  Maybe if we are to wean some meaning from this it is that families are fucked up no matter what.