Thursday, October 22, 2020

Book Club: Things I Can't Explain Chapters 25 & 26

 Welcome to the Things I Can't Explain Book Club, this post I'm looking at chapters 25 & 26.  You can read my buddy Brandon's thoughts on the chapters here.  You and read about the other chapters by looking at this blogs past posts.

Chapter 25: Clarissa spend this entire chapter in her own brain over going to the wedding.  She got ready too early and then started dreading that Nick was going to no show on her.  Of course just as she is at the peak of anxiety Nick arrives. 

Chapter 26: On the back of Nicks motorcycle Clarissa breaks down the different phases of her life, from adolescence to adult hood.  I enjoyed the comments on her "Explains it all" phase.   

Thoughts:  These chapters where more about Clarissa being in her own head focusing on the now for her in Chapter 25 and the past in Chapter 26.  Neither built the overall story line of the book but did give us a deeper insight into Clarissa herself. 

Until Next Time!

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Book Club: Things I Can't Explain Chapters 23 & 24

Welcome to the Things I Can't Explain Book Club, this post I'm looking at chapters 23 & 24.  You can read my buddy Brandon's thoughts on the chapters here.  You and read about the other chapters by looking at this blogs past posts.

Chapter 23:  I've never read so many words written about an extremely short one sided conversation before.  Clarissa is at the office of Nuzegeek working on her article when Dartmoor comes up and let's her know that he is the best man at Genelle's wedding and that he is aware that Clarissa is going to the wedding.  He is also very fond of Genelle and thinks that's she's a great person.  Clarissa spends a tremendous amount of time diagramming and breaking down everything that Darty is saying to her before she responds.  So many words for very little story advancement. 

Chapter 24: To me this is a big chapter because we get the continued story of Sam and Clarissa's relationship after they had sex.  They continued to spend weekends together until the following summer when Sam got an internship in Italy working at restoring a lost city that is in the Mediterranean Sea.   They spend the Summer together in Italy and she is in love.  When the school year starts again she returns to New York and he goes off to several more sunken cities and they simply fall apart.  Clarissa also spends time finding the perfect dress for the wedding at a high end thrift store.

Thoughts:  Chapter 24 is really the only chapter I want talk about.  I'm quite shocked at how Sam and Clarissa ended their relationship, there was no big fight or argument that ended it.  She was in New York and Sam was traveling around for work and, according to Clarissa, he just stopped contacting her and that was the end of it.  It's really kind of sad that, that is how it ended.  Sam will absolutely show up in this book before it's over!

Until Next Time!

Monday, October 12, 2020

Another Saturday Night at the Racetrack

 Saturday the 10th we, Andrew, AJ, my three kids and I, headed back to the Wiscasset Speedway for Fall Fury, the final races of the year.  There wasn't as many people as I thought there would be but there was still plenty of people there. 

We were supposed to get three feature races and the 150 lap Enduro, but one division  didn't have enough cars arrive to run a race so we got two features and the 150.

The first was the Senior Modifieds 20 lap feature, seven cars arrived to the track, two broke down in practice and one crashed so we only had 4 cars in the race.  I'm glad it was only two laps as it wasn't very exciting. 

The second race of the day was the Wicked Good Vintage Early Late Models 30 lap feature that had ten cars.  On lap 13 there was a scary crash that red flagged the race.  The crash didn't look spectacular but the impact that the vehicle hit the wall was scary.  

This race was more competitive than the first and it was cool seeing all the old 1950's model cars race.

The final race was the 150 lap Enduro!  For those that are not familiar with an Enduro race the concept is simple, you must endure and finish the race.  There was cash prizes for top ten, plus random cash prizes for leading certain laps.  No pit stops allowed, if you blew a tire, broke down, crashed, or ran out of gas your race was over. There are no cautions on red flags and green flags.  

Seventy eight cars started the race but only 13 finished and the lead car crossed the checkered flag.  That's right 78 cars, they lined them up on the start finish line five wide with an fifteen or 16 cards per line.  The first red flag was on lap 1!

There were a lot of red flags early on, but as the cars dropped out there were more laps between red flags.  We had a red flag on laps 8 and 30 specifically because cars were on fire! 

They also brought out a giant fork lift the hauls cars off the track and just planted them on the infield until the race was over.  

I'm not sure how many red flags happened in the race but it did take a good 90 plus minutes for them to get all 150 laps in.  Once again everyone had a great time and we most definitely will be going back next year.  In fact next year I'm hoping to hit Spud Speedway for some dirt track racing as I've never been to dirt track racing. 

Until Next Time!

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Book Club: Things I Can't Explain Chapters 21 & 22

 Welcome to the Things I Can't Explain Book Club, this post I'm looking at chapters 21 & 22.  You can read my buddy Brandon's thoughts on the chapters here.  You and read about the other chapters by looking at this blogs past posts.

Chapter 21:  Clarissa calls her mother to come clean about Nick but her mother ends up going off about her dad and she doesn't end up telling her.  She decides it's better for her parents to think her "boyfriend" is a two-timer than tell them the truth about her.

Chapter 22: Clarissa goes to talk to Nick about the wedding and much to her surprise he agrees.  He also tells her the story of his relationship with Roxie and how it's been on again and off again and how he feels obligated to be with her because of a record he financed and produced.   He also tells her that his friend is back from the war and that 

Thoughts:  Both chapters are pretty short but they cover a lot of ground.  As we are getting closer to the end of this book I getting more anxious for Sam to return even though I'm enjoying her "relationship" with Nick. 

Until Next Time!

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Book Club: Things I Can't Explain Chapters 19 & 20

Welcome to the Things I Can't Explain Book Club, this post I'm looking at chapters 19 & 20.  You can read my buddy Brandon's thoughts on the chapters here.  You and read about the other chapters by looking at this blogs past posts.

Chapter 19:  Genelle and Clarissa meet up, essentially Genelle wants rub it in Clarissa's face how good she is doing.  She had a boob job, laser eye surgery, had her nose done, and has a self help book coming out.  She is also getting married and wants to invite Clarissa and her boyfriend Nick, who she learned about from Clarissa's mom.  She does all this by thanking Clarissa for the inspiration back in high school to do better, she is not sincere about this.  Feeling backed in a corner she accepts the invitation even though her and Nick aren't on speaking terms.

Chapter 20: Clarissa meets up with her friends for a girls night out at the club.  She catches them up on Nick, Genelle, and her new job. Jody, with her annoying abbreviation speech pattern, heard from her mom that was told by Clarissa's mom that after they met Nick they saw him at the airport kissing another girl.  Another one of Clarissa's friends is familiar with Nick and HeadSpace as she has played drums for him on some tracks.  They are also familiar with Roxie, Nick's on again off again girlfriend.  They encourage Clarissa to tell Nick about the wedding and to ask him to go.

Thoughts:  Great couple of chapters that really help answer some questions and advance the story.  There are about 100 pages left in the book I'm still hoping we get a current day Sam sighting and they end up together.  I guess I'll find out. 

Until Next Time!

Friday, October 2, 2020

September Movies Watched

Here is the shallow dive post into the movies I watched in September.

Love, Guaranteed - Netflix original romantic comedy with Rachel Leigh Cook and Damon Wayons Jr. that is beyond predictable and the wife and I loved every minute of it!

I'm Thinking of Ending Things - Netflix original that is complete garbage! How this had 83% on Rotten Tomato's I will never know.

Freaks: You're One of Us - Netflix original where people find out they have superpowers and when they stop taking the pills that are suppressing them.

Unknown Origins - Netflix original from Spain.  In this story a serial killer is killing people based on comic book origins.  The story is good, I enjoyed the movie, the dialog is bit quirky and odd at times, of course that could just be the subtitle translation as this movie is in Spanish. 

Red Dragon - prequel to Silence of the Lambs with Anthony Hopkins back as Hannibal Lector and Edward Norton playing Will Graham.  

The Social Dilemma - Netflix original docu-drama about Social Media and the dangerous human impact of social media.  

The Babysitter: Killer Queen - Netflix original sequel to 2017 The Babysitter, I thought that this movie was pretty fantastic.  If you liked the first you'll really like this one too.

Four Rooms - Released in 1995, it's an anthology of stories centered around the Bell Hop of an old hotel on his first night, New Years Eve, and the interesting guests staying at the hotel.  Each segment was written and directed by a different director with Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez each tackling a story.  

Message From The King - Netflix original with Chadwick Boseman, typical revenge flick, I enjoyed it

Bill & Ted Face The Music - I don't think is for the casual fan or for someone that didn't like the first films.  It's not bad it's just not great either. 

The Devil All The Time - Film is very slow, complex intertwining stories, and some decent violence.  I enjoyed the movie quite a bit, but it's not for everyone. 

The Take - Netflix original French thriller about a pick pocket who steals the wrong purse and gets mixed up with the CIA.  Decent flick. 

The Three Amigos - The 1986 John Landis classic with Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Chevy Chase.  I picked this VHS up for 25 cents at a yard sale, my 14 year old son loved it. 

Until Next Time!

Thursday, October 1, 2020

October Horror Movie Month 2015

I wrote this post in 2015 and it was posted on another blog of mine.  I've decided to repost it now.

So I’ve decided to have my own 31 days of Halloween if you will by watching a horror type flick every day and blogging about it!  So check this post for updates as I will only be posting the one blog about it whole experience.   Also I don’t have anything pre-planned, I’m just deciding what to watch day of.

October 1st

I decided to start the month off with the movie that made me a fan of horror flicks when I was a kid and that is “The Monster Squad.” 

The Monster Squad
TriStar Pictures
August 12, 1987 82 minutes

To me “The Monster Squad” was to monster movies as “The Goonies” was to adventure movies.  I mean the stars of both film have the same mom, Mary Ellen Trainor.  Another similarity is in “The Goonies” has Chunk but “The Monster Squad” was less PC and just calling a character Fat Kid. 

 Sean and his group of friends call themselves “The Monster Squad” and they discover Monsters are real and only they can stop Dracula’s plan to take over the world.  Featuring such Monster’s as Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolfman, The Mummy, Vampiresses, and one that is The Creature from the Black Lagoon but they legally can’t call it that because of Universal Monsters copyright so instead it’s called Gill-Man. 

This movie is also the first time I learned about Nazi Concentration Camps because I asked my Nana what was the tattoo on the Scary German Guy’s arm was.   The most memorable scene for me was when Jonathan Cries who plays the Wolfman was calling Sean’s dad to warn him and that Dracula was going to kill his son while he was transforming into the Wolfman.  Great scene!  Of course the most well-known line is “Wolfman’s got nards!” 

Great start to the month!

October 2nd

Wes Craven’s New Nightmare
New Line Cinema
October 14, 1994 112 minutes

The seventh film in the series is the most unique as it takes place in the real world mixing reality and fiction.  Heather Langenkamp who played star of the first & 3rd films Nancy Thompson returns playing “herself” in a story where Freddy Krueger crosses over into the real world going after Heather through her family.  Many actors and Hollywood executives played themselves in the film such as various studio executives and personnel, Wes Craven, and Robert Englund playing himself and Freddy Krueger.

My favorite death scene in the flick is the nanny Julie who is killed in a similar fashion as the character Tina Grey from the first flick dragged up the wall and across the ceiling.  Although this killing, as well as the rest of the killings in the movie, is more realistic with an appropriate amount of blood spilled instead of gallons using human emotion to garner an audience reaction.

As a whole this film is much darker and Freddy is much more serious and evil than how he portrayed in the other films. 

October 3rd

Almost Mercy
Magna Entertainment
May 26, 2015 85 Minutes

I found this movie on Netflix in the Horror section although I wouldn’t categorize it as horror myself because to me horror is scary, this wasn’t scary.  It wasn’t a comedy either it was mostly a good story that got very gory at the end.  I really enjoyed it, but what really held it all together was the narrative by the female star of the film Danielle Guldin and co-starring roles from Horror movie Icons Bill Mosely and Kane Hodder.
The film is about two outcasts, friends from childhood who are bit sociopathic and are pretty much treated like the dirt on society’s boot heels.

October 4th
Dark Was the Night
Image Entertainment
July 24, 2015 98 Minutes

Set in an isolated northeast logging town called Maiden Woods this creature feature is actually based on an event that occurred in 1855 in Topsham, England when the town awoke to biped foot prints through town in freshly fallen snow. 

The star of the flicks I Kevin Durand who I’ve recognized in several movies and TV shows usually playing the bad guy or secondary rolls.  He was really good in this as the town Sherriff who is the town’s only defense against these unknown beings. 

October 5th
Viva Film
February 27, 2015 91 Minutes

I found this film on Netflix with the description that was basically teenagers at an all-night party at an abandoned insane asylum where they inadvertently summons a demonic spirit, sold.  The opening scene was a topless girl shooting up heroin before eating a bullet.  Well it started strong!

As the movie progressed and the cast was unveiled there were several people that I didn’t know their names but I did recognize them from other movies and I had liked them.  I really enjoyed this movie, good tension, practical effects, good story and it was well acted.  Some good unexpected stuff along the way.  Well worth watching. 

October 6th

Universal Pictures / Blumhouse Productions
October 7, 2014 82 Minutes

Video cameras are sent to a college girl, a wanna be clown, and a husband and wife duo who each think they have won a prize.  However shortly thereafter they received threatening letters warning they are not to stop filming or they will die. 

This is a found footage style film that I watched on Netflix.  It was ok, don’t think I’d ever watch it again. 

October 7th

Devil’s Backbone, Texas
March 31, 2015 82 Minutes

I found this movie in the new release horror section on Netflix.  The synopsis they have is “A filmmaker returns to the scene of his father’s mysterious death in the wilderness to uncover the madness – or the evil – that claimed his life.”  I’m not sure this is descriptive enough.

This is a documentary about filmmaker Jake Wall and his journey with his friends and siblings to his father’s beloved land in “Devil’s Backbone, Texas” to spread his father, Bert Wall’s, ashes.  Bert was a horror writer who claimed this land to be the most haunted land in America and it was even featured on Unsolved Mysteries in January 1996.  They have a “clip” of Unsolved Mysteries complete with Robert Stack talking about it. 

This film wonderfully blurs the lines of fiction and reality mixing first person interviews and home video footage like an actual documentary.   As the picture progresses the footage does start to become less documentary style and more like found footage, especially the last several minutes.  Doing some research this is an actual highly paranormal sight and it really was featured on Unsolved Mysteries on January 12, 1996.  

October 8th

CineCoup Film
June 6, 2014 79 Minutes

I figgin’ love film!  A local alcoholic police officer is bitten by a werewolf and becomes one himself.  However in wolf form he retains his human side and continues to work as a cop working to uncover an evil plan that is being carried out by reptilian shapeshifters. 

Just watch this movie, it’s awesome and you won’t regret it!

October 9th

Blumhouse Productions
October 7, 2014 79 minutes

Based on a short story by Stephen King entitled “Gramma” that was published in 1985’s Skeleton Crew collection.  The story is about George a boy who loves his Gramma calling her his best friend.  After a stroke George, his brother and mother must take care of her and he discovers that Gramma has supernatural abilities.

October 10th

New World Pictures
August 31, 1984 88 Minutes

I was very excited when I saw this on HULU because this is movie I wanted to start my October Horror Month off with, but it wasn’t on Netflix, HULU, You Tube, or any other of my streaming channels. 
This is the first horror movie that I can remember watching and I was way too young to watch it. 

I was with my dad and we were house sitting at Aunt Clara’s house.  I was probably 6 years old at the time as the movie was just out on video.  My dad had fallen asleep in a chair and the house was pitch black, that’s how I remember it.  Anyhow I had pee and was scared out of my mind and was afraid to go down the hall to the bathroom because I didn’t know where the light switches were, so I peed in the kitchen sink.

There is more.  At my Nana’s house we entered through the basement and as you are walking through to get to the door to go upstairs the wood furnace is right there.  Behind the furnace it was dark and I have never been back there, to me that was a perfect place for a C.H.U.D. to live and when I was alone I would run through there so ensure a C.H.U.D. would not get me.

C.H.U.D. stands for Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller.  They didn’t eat each other, only normal humans so the Cannibalistic part doesn’t really fit.  The film stars John Heard and Danielle Stern, better known as the narrator from The Wonder Years and a bunch of other stuff.   There are a bunch of bit players in this film that I recognize from other TV shows and movies including John Goodman.

Basically toxic waste has been dumped in the abandoned subway tunnels of New York City and the underground homeless population that has come in contact with it were mutated into C.H.U.D.’s.  So of course a battle ensues to cover up the incident and expose the incident and to deal with the C.H.U.D.’s.  

I haven’t seen this movie unedited or in its entirety in at least 20 years and I must say that it is nowhere near as scary as I remember it, which is rather disappointing. 

October 11th

American Horror Story Hotel
Season 5 Wednesdays at 10pm on FX

Ok so today’s movie isn’t a movie at all but the season premiere of American Horror Story Hotel.  I had watched the first, 2nd, & 4th seasons but have yet to watch season 3, which is on Netflix.  Luckily each season is stand alone. 

I can honestly say after watching the first episode I’m not 100% sure what this season is about.  It implies that the Hotel is akin to the Eagles hit “Hotel California” and it seems vampires are involved.   This season starts out with lots of sexuality, violence, and gore.  My type of show!

Not returning season is Jessica Lange, however returning is Evan Peters, Sara Paulson, & Lily Rabe who are the only actors to appear in all 5 seasons.  Nine other actors are returning from last season to this season.  Lady Gaga is making her debut with a leading roll and appears to be a vampire. 

This season is connected to the first season as realtor that sold the house to the Harmon’s their home in the first season is seen in the first episode of this season.

October 12th

Twisted Pictures
October 29, 2004 103 Minutes

I went and saw all the SAW movies in the theater and I would have to say the first is indeed my favorite.  It was cool that for 7 years in a row a new SAW movie came out always at Halloween time.  The stories got more and more complicated as the series went on losing the simplicity that made the first one so awesome.  

Also none of the films managed to match how amazing the ending of the first film was with Jigsaw rising up from the floor having been in the room the whole time.  The score of composer Charlie Clouser added to this scene making it still one of my all-time favorite movie moments.

The last SAW film came out in 2010 however it appears there is a possibility of a SAW 8 in 2016.

October 13th

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil
Magnet Releasing
January 22, 2010 89 minutes

I love this movie!  Starring Alan Tudyk & Tyler Labine as the main characters it takes the stereotypical kids going into the woods for the weekend slasher story and twists it adding both comedic and horrific misunderstandings.

There are several funny moments but my favorite unintentional moment is the very beginning with the nerd driving his father’s vehicle and he is worried that driving it too fast will cause his father to be angry with him.  The funny part for me is the fact that the windshield has a crack from one side to the other.

If you haven’t seen it you really should take the time to check it out as it is outstanding!

October 14th
Motel Hell
United Artists
October 18, 1980 102 minutes

Found this flick on Hulu, touted as a Cult classic.  I’m not sure about that, I didn’t find it to be very good.  Vincent Smith and his sister run the Motel Hello and Vincent has a very locally popular smoked meat business. 
Apparently the secret to Vincent’s prized smoked meats is people.  Vincent booby traps the road at night, captures passerby’s and vagabonds slicing their vocal cords and burying them in the ground up to their necks in a secret garden until he deems them ready for harvest.
You could probably skip this one, I wish I had.

October 15th
The Blob
Paramount Pictures
October 12, 1958 82 minutes

This is part of Hulu’s Criterion Collection of films.  Starring Steve McQueen in his debut roll as the oldest looking teenager ever, he was 27 when he filmed it after all. 

The film opens with Steve McQueen as Steve and his girlfriend necking on lover’s lane when they witness a meteor crashing to Earth.  The meteor is found by a local farmer living nearby the crash site and after poking it with a stick the contents of the meteor engulf his hand. 

Of course our star struck lovers find the man and bring him to local doctor and this is where bad turns to worse.  The old man is completely absorbed by the meteor contents becoming The Blob.  The Blob then absorbs the doctor’s nurse and then the doctor himself.  With each person it absorbs the Blob grows in size. 

Steve goes to the Police and although they actually look into it.  In the end Steve and his fellow “teenage” friend’s band together with the Police to stop the Blob the only way they can, freezing it.

This is a monster movie/horror flick but the opening theme made me think I was going to be watching some beach movie.  The special effects of the Blob I’m guessing were cutting edge for their time.  They are actually quite good.  The acting wasn’t the best but it was a really good story and I really enjoyed it.

The Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, PA where a major scene in the movie was filmed celebrates an annual Blobfest, the next being July 8 – 10, 2016. 

October 16th
Mine Games
August 16, 2012 93 minutes

Found this flick on Netflix, the title was listed as Mine Games but during the credits the title screen calls the movie “The Evil Within”.  Now I’m heard of movies having the title changed but they usually don’t leave the old title in the opening credits.

The premise of the flick, 8 freshly graduated college kids head off to a secluded cabin in the woods to celebrate, these things always work out.  Included in the group is a psychic and Michael, the friend who is on antipsychotic medication but hasn’t been taking them.

Things get weird while exploring an old mine nearby the cabin where they find a few dead bodies of themselves.  The weirdness doesn’t stop either as it appears the group is stuck in a time loop caused by an aurora borealis. 

Lots of people die watch to see which one of them is the killer!

October 17th
Tales of Halloween
Epic Pictures
October 16, 2015 92 Minutes

This is an anthology of 10 interlocking stories all taking place on one Halloween night.  I heard about this because one of my favorite B Movie Scream Queens was plugging this on her facebook page like crazy because she is in one segment and her daughter is in a couple.   Also one of my favorite directors Darren Lynn Bousman directs one of the segments.

The stories range from the supernatural, to the comedy, to very disturbing.  It’s definitely worth checking out.  

October 18th
It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
CBS Television United Feature Syndicate
October 27, 1966 25 minutes

A Legit timeless classic I watched this with the kids tonight, they both love it.  I shouldn’t have to say anything about this show but Linus stays up all night awaiting the mythical Great Pumpkin and Sally blindly follows him because she is so deeply in love with him.  Of course the Great Pumpkin doesn’t show but Linus is not deterred and begins his plans for next Halloween.

The Halloween Tree
October 1993 69 minutes

The brilliant Ray Bradbury first wrote The Halloween Tree in 1967 as a screenplay for an animated film to be done in collaboration with the cartoon legend Chuck Jones.  When that fell through Bradbury released the story in 1972 has a book.  Finally in 1992 Bradbury and the Hanna-Barbera company came together and made The Halloween Tree.  Bradbury wrote the screenplay and narrated the film. 

The film tells the story of a group of children who, on Halloween Night, search for the spirit of their friend Pipkin who is gravely ill.  Under the guidance of Mr. Moonshroud the kids travel through time learning the origins and influences of Halloween while trying to save their friend.

I’m a huge Ray Bradbury fan and I truly love this Halloween classic. 

October 19th
Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead
Guerilla Films
February 12, 2015 98 minutes

Found this flick on Netflix, it’s been in my queue for quite a while, just hadn’t gotten around to watching it.
Set in the Australian outback this low budget flick is not your typical Zombie flick.  We find out who is infected and possibly why the infection started.  The military and Government are essentially the bad guys.  It appears they enacted Martial Law have no regard for anything besides their unknown agenda to save the human race that includes experimenting on people.  Society deteriorated very, very quickly in this film.  The way the flick ends there will be a sequel that I look forward to watching.

It was the directorial debut for Kiah Roche-Turner who also wrote, edited, produced, and just about everything else making this flick.  The cast is made up of little known actors, who I have a feeling will start popping up in a lot more pictures in the future.

October 20th

A Thing Double Feature!

Swamp Thing
United Artist
February 19, 1982 91 minutes

When I was kid I really liked the Swamp Thing series on the USA Network.  It stared Dick Durock as Swamp Thing and it was very, very dark.  This film, directed by Wes Craven, is apparently not a horror film but a Sci-Fi/Fantasy Action flick. 

Based on the DC Comics character Dr. Alec Holland is transformed into Swamp Thing after a laboratory accident caused by the evil Dr. Anton Arcane who wants to steal Dr. Holland’s work.  During the raid on Holland’s lab is sister Linda is killed by Arcane’s men.  Swamp Thing battles Arcane and his men to protect government agent Alice Cable (Adrienne Barbeau) leading the final show down with Dr. Arcane who has been mutated by Holland’s formula. 

Durock’s Swamp Thing costume featured a massive upgrade from this film to the television series that was produced from 1990 – 1993.  Personally I’m not a big fan of this film, I know some view it as a cult classic and all, but when I compare it to the TV Series it pales in comparison.

Lions Gate Films / Marvel Entertainment
April 21, 2005 97 Minutes

This direct to video film is based on the Marvel Comics character but there are several deviations from the comics including Man-Thing’s origin story. 

Kyle Williams is the new sheriff of Bywater a town plague with the disappearance of 47 people, including the previous sheriff.  Town folks believe that Fred Schist is responsible as he is developing ancient tribal lands that he purchased from Ted Sallis a shaman and Seminole chieftain.

Other thought believe that a swamp spirit protecting the scared ancient land is responsible for the disappearances and vandalism done to Schist’s equipment.  Sheriff Williams investigates to determine what is really going on. 

Basically Schist killed Sallis, who then became Man-Thing to seek revenge on Schist and apparently kill anyone that went into the swamp.  At the end of the flick Man-Thing deteriorates back into the swamp for no known reason, I’m guessing he could come back someday. 

The Comparison
Both Things are people mutated into Swamp creatures.  Swamp Thing maintains his identity of Alec Holland and retains the knowledge that he had when he was once a man.  Man-Thing loses his humanity and only retains fleeting moments of it. 

As far as which movie I like better, it’s pretty much a toss-up.  The effects in Man-Thing are better and the look of the film is better.  Swamp Thing has a better story but Man-Thing executes theirs better.  I’m going to say it’s a draw, I really wasn’t overly impressed by either one of them.

October 21st
Night of the Living Dead
The Walter Reade Organization
October 1, 1968 96 Minutes

Night of Living Dead is George A. Romero’s cult classic and zombie masterpiece.  Although it wasn’t the first zombie picture it revolutionized the genre.  The distributor of the film, The Walter Reade Organization, never placed a copyright indication on the prints so it entered the public domain status.  You can find this movie online for free virtually anywhere. 

This version first aired on HULU Halloween night 2014 as part of 13 Nights of Elvira.  Elvira is a horror movie hostess who started in the Los Angeles area in 1981 before becoming a national and cultural icon of Halloween.  She does and introduction to the movie and a closing as well as popping up through-out with quirky comments about what is on the screen. 

The film is about 7 people trapped in a farmhouse in Pennsylvania as it comes under siege from the Living Dead who want to kill and eat all of the people in the home.   What I really liked about the film was that I was the first movie I ever saw where everyone dies.  Yes all 7 of the people in the house are eventually killed by various ways.  That just doesn’t happen, people like things to end all happy and rosy.

An excellent remake in 1990 was directed by special effects master Tom Savini and George A. Romero even rewrote the screenplay for it.  In this film Barbara is strong character and is the sole survivor from the house. 

You should watch both of these flicks. 

October 22nd
Vertical Entertainment
April 11, 2015 110 minutes

This is an infection movie that takes place on a remote mining planet Infini in the 23rd Century.  Essentially those infected slowly take over the host driving them to psychotic hyper aggression. 

The infection reaches Earth through the teleportation system causing the West Coast station to be destroyed.  The East Coast Station sends a team to Infini to stop the payload that is headed for Earth and locate survivor Whit Carmichael.  Obvious this search and rescue team gets infected or there would be no movie.
There’s a scene between Whit (Daniel MacPherson) and Kent (Luke Hemsworth) where they are both infected and are having a conversation about going to sick bay that is pretty amazing.  I can only imagine that it’s like two paranoid schizophrenics talking.

The ending is quite surprising, I didn’t see it coming which is nice for a change.  Netflix has this in their Horror section, not sure I agree but I did enjoy the movie.

October 23rd

May 28, 2015 87 Minutes

Not a horror film I realize, it is a psychological thriller and it is very awesome!   The film takes place almost entirely in one room save the last scene of the film.  The premise is approximately 50 people in one room standing on red circles that will kill them if they stop off them. 

Turns out they are one an alien spaceship and for no known reason have taken these people and only 1 of them will leave the room alive.  Who dies is decided by those in the room, however it’s not that simple.  Naturally a lot of social issues are addressed in the flick like racism, gender bias, and what not.  The ending is surprising and really, really good. 

Well worth checking it out, I found it on Netflix. 

October 24th

Dimension Films
August 31, 2007 109 Minutes
Directors cut 121 minutes

I love John Carpenter’s Halloween and when I heard this film was coming out I was afraid that they would ruin what I loved about the original and the character.  Rob Zombie’s previous films weren’t my favorite, but I loved this movie.  It was brilliant his sequel though was just as horrible as I thought this one would be.

Let’s reiterate I love this film. 

Basically this film is about a kid who on Halloween kills a bunch of people, is institutionalized escapes and returns to Haddonfield looking for his baby sister.  In the original flick he came back to kill her, no doubt.  But in this version I’m of the belief that he came back to find her as she was the only person he seemed to really love when he was a child. 

I loved how this version delved deeper in to the psyche of Michael Myers showing us why he was the way he was.  The darker tones and theme of the film was outstanding.  I like that Danielle Harris was in it as she was in Halloween 4 & 5.

I saw this in the theater and then later bought the home video.  The home video version was released as an Unrated directors cut with different scenes in the theater.  I can honestly say I like the theater version better.   The biggest change is how Michael escapes Smith’s Grove sanitarium, in the theatrical cut Michael is being transported by a crew of guards he kills them all.  In the director’s cut a janitor and another man bring a female patient into Michael’s room and then proceed to rape her, there is no logic here that I can fathom has to why this happened.  Michael kills them both, and I think the girl as well and then escapes. 

In the end though I really like this flick, it fast went into my top favorites, just not the sequel.  Definitely not the sequel, no matter how many times I watch it the sequel doesn’t get better.

A new sequel is being put together and it is tentatively set to take place after the original second film disregarding the rest of the series.

October 25th

Scream movie poster.jpg
Dimension Films
December 20, 1996

This Wes Craven directed film is said to have single handedly saved the horror genre which had been relegated to B-Movie direct to video status. 

The opening scene with Drew Barrymore is pretty intense and unexpected.  The movie is about a bunch of high schoolers who are being terrorized by a masked killer name Ghost Face.  The main character, Sidney Prescott, has major baggage in that just a year ago her mother was brutally raped and murdered.

Lots of teenagers die in various violent and bloody ways and the film is riddled with movie jargon and what the stereotypical actions of both the killers and the victims in horror films.

The flick has a great cast of, at that time, young Hollywood and a very good twist surprise ending.  This film has spawned 3 sequels and now a television series.  The original is still my favorite. 

October 26th

Evil dead ver1.jpg

The Evil Dead
Renaissance Pictures
October 15, 1981 85 minutes

This is my all time favorite movie! I was introduced to this flick by a schoolmate when he gave me a very rough dubbed VHS of it.  At that time I was either out of print or had never been released on VHS.  I also love both sequels.

Walking through Wal-Mart one day back in 1998 I just happened to look into the Electronics department and there sitting on the shelf was The Evil Dead on VHS for a mere $9.99, it became mine instantly!

I have owned this series of films on VHS, DVD, and now Blu Ray versions.  There is a 4th film entitled "Evil Dead" that takes place on an alternate universe and is also awesome. I was able to download a copy of "Within The Woods" the short film that inspired "The Evil Dead" to add to my collection.

I've read the comic books released such as "Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash" and "Marvel Zombies vs. Army of Darkness."  I've read Bruce Campbell's book, Bill Warren's "The Evil Dead Companion" and a movie log of a crewman that came with a Anchor Bay special edition  VHS so I know so much behind the scenes of this film.

Back in 2010 Grindhouse Releasing acquired a 35MM print of the film and toured it around to local theaters.  Through much hard work I was able to bring it to Maine as my friends and I could watch this movie on the big screen.  You can read all about that here, Evil Dead: How I brought the most ferocious orginal film to Maine.

In October 2013 Kate and some friends traveled to Lynn, Ma for production of "Evil Dead: The Musical".  It was outstanding!!  You can read about that here; Evil Dead The Musical.  Thanks to my friend Ju I also own the Musical soundtrack and the script.

I truly love this film and everything associated with it.

Now I realized I have already written a lot and haven't told you about the movie and I'm not going to.  This is a cult classic, it's a cinematic masterpiece, in my mind, and if you haven't seen it you need to.

Also on October 31st on Stars you can catch the premier broadcast of "Ash vs. Evil Dead" a season of ten 30 minutes episodes starring Bruce Campbell as Ash.  It's going to be amazing!!

Update: Ash vs. Evil Dead has been renewed for a second season before the first episode ever aired.

October 27th
Children of the Corn
New World Pictures
March 9, 1984 92 Minutes

This Film was one that I watched a lot when I was a kid on the USA Network and it seemed a lot scarier then.  The opening of the film where the kids attack everyone in the diner, I don’t remember that at all! 

The film is about kids in an isolated town that have killed all the adults forming their own cult worshipping “He who walks behind rows” and communicates through an annoying arrogant pipsqueak named Isaac.  Here’s what I find to be Ludacris, after the kids kill all the adults it’s not until 3 years later that Burt and Vicky stumble across them.  No one found them in 3 years, no outside families thought it was odd?  Not only that, but instead of killing the adults on sight they take the girl prisoner.   They just spend the whole moving screaming “outlander” at them.

Vicky gets caught and Isaac orders Malachai to use her as bait to lure Burt out.  So he bring hers to the center of town screaming outlander, and when Burt doesn’t appear Malachai says “Outlander you don’t hear so well” so he slashes her cheek and then immediately covers her mouth when she screams. 

Later in the Cornfield Malachai and the rest has had enough of Isaac and tie him to the cornstalk cross and it doesn’t go well for him.  Eventually Malachai is defeated, most of the kids realize that is really messed up.  The cornfield is set on fire, Burt and Vicky walk away who a brother and sister combo that most likely end up being adopted by them. 

This film is based on a short story by Stephen King and spawned 8 sequels.

October 28th

Curse of Chucky
Universal Studios
September 24, 2013 97 Minutes

This is the sixth Child’s Play flick and I’m pretty sure it’s my favorite.  I’m not the only one either as on rotten tomatoes it has a rating of 80%, higher than any of the other films.  The first one came out and I watched it when I was like 10, it was pretty dark and scary and I definitely didn’t want a My Buddy anymore.  The second and third were decent but Bride of Chucky and Seed of Chucky were horrible. 

Chucky mails himself to paraplegic Nica Pierce who lives with her mother.  Shortly after the mother dies and that brings more family into the home.  There is of course family issues among the sisters and eventually Chucky reveals himself, there is a long complicated backstory that is actually a prequel to the first film. 

Honestly it’s all really good and this movie is as a whole is really good, very little comedy.  There is a post credit scene that is pretty awesome that is not on the Netflix version.  I did watch the clip on YouTube.

October 29th
 Goodnight Mommy.jpg
Goodnight Mommy
Ulrich Seidl Film Production GmbH
August 30, 2014 99 Minutes

This Austrian film is about a recluse woman and her twin boys in their isolated lakeside home.  The mother has just had major plastic surgery to her face and does not want to leave the home because she needs time to.  Because of her actions and behavior they boys begin to suspect that she isn’t really their mother.

I’m not going to give any more spoilers on the flick because I have family that hasn’t watched it yet.  This movie is in German and the first half of better of the flick go very, very slow but stick with it because it picks up and the ending comes at you like a tidal wave.  It’s got a couple twists in it that one I called straight away and the other I didn’t see coming. 

Well worth your time. 

October 30th
 Knock Knock poster.jpg
Knock Knock
Camp Grey / Dragonflay Entertainment
October 9, 2015 99 minutes

This remake of the 1977 flick “Death Game” is directed by Eli Roth and stars Keanu Reeves as an architect home alone of father’s day weekend working on a design while his wife and children are away for the weekend.  Two girls show up lost, young but appear legal age, and as it’s a torrential downpour he takes pity on them and that was his first mistake.

Honestly I didn’t like this movie at all.  I don’t think it’s a horror flick or even an erotic horror flick.  The girls are mentally unstable and super annoying, not look at us we are so crazy, but over the top annoying to the point where I want nothing more than see them get their throats slit and when nothing happens to them and they ruins this guy’s life for no reason it pissed me off. 

At the end of the Strangers the bad guys had no reason to do what they did, even when asked why they did it they responded “why not” or something similar.  It was scary and creepy, this film was just dumb. 

October 31st – Halloween

 Blair Witch Project.jpg
The Blair Witch Project
Haxan Films
July 30, 1999  81 Minutes

I feel this is a great flick to end on.  It was very unique when it came out because of the marketing campaign.  It’s not the first found footage film but it did revolutionize the genre and caused and explosion of found footage films.

This movie was touted as being a true story and that the footage was actual footage found and cut together to make a film.  They even had a special on Sci-Fi Channel about it and print media also wrote articles about it being a real footage.  Three unknown actors were cast and they even actually filmed the movie.

People truly believed that this film was real.  I went to the opening night at then regal cinemas in Augusta and they were not expecting it to be as popular as it was and quickly sold out the first theatre so they stretched the reel between two projectors and sold out a second theatre.  It was the first time I can ever recall being in such a packed theatre.  They even had people come in to sell concessions in the theatre, at an even higher price. 

About 15 minutes into the movie the screen froze and went crooked, the audio skipped, and then the picture deteriorated causing several theatre goers to scream and an actual panic ensued.  I mean it felt like a legitimate volatile situation.

In reality what happened was the projector broke and a frame of the film got stuck and the bulb from the projector melted it.  The lights came on and an employee announced this and that the movie would be back running in about 10 minutes.  The first theatre was sent home with passes. 

Thanks for reading, feel free to leave a comment. 

Until Next Time