Thursday, March 6, 2014

Why I Don't Believe in the Concept of a "True" Horror Fan

As a horror fan you have undoubtedly traveled through the perils of social media with many of us participating in horror forum boards and various horror groups. The one topic/discussion I have seen come up time and time again is the concept of who really is a "true" fan of horror. I have seen people label themselves as such and witnessed arguments where people lash out at each other accusing one another of not being a "true" horror fan for various reasons. So, I ask what does being a "true" horror fan mean to you? My guess is there would be a lot of different answers to this question. But, honestly how do you truly measure something like that? Is it determined by how long you have been a horror fan, what areas of horror you have the most knowledge in, how much memorabilia you have collected, how many conventions you have attended, how your lifestyle is horror orientated, how many horror movies you have watched and so on. 

As a fan of the genre for several years I have been told that because there are certain horror films I have no desire to watch somehow that makes me less of a horror fan, which frankly is untrue. I personally do not like exploitation films, Asian horror or B styled horror films. Now I have watched both the original and remake of Last House on the Left and I have no need to every watch them again. I have given Asian horror a view, but didn't really get into it and B styled horror films never really appealed to me. I also don't want to watch Cannibal Holocaust or I Spit on Your Grave. Why? Because I know what they are about and frankly I am not interested in them. Now because I don't want to watch those films does that make me any less of a horror fan or not a "true" horror fan as opposed to someone who has watched those films a dozen times? No, it doesn't. Just because I have no need to watch them doesn't mean that I don't understand the impact and influence that they have in horror. The love of horror comes from the personal preference of something that you love about the genre and it expands from there. But, to say someone isn't a "true" horror fan because they didn't watch *insert movie title* like *insert movie title or sub-genre* or don't know about *insert director, actor, etc* does nothing more than alienate those that are new to the genre and create distension between other horror fans. 

Shows like The Walking Dead, Supernatural, Sleepy Hollow and Hannibal have brought horror more to the mainstream and with that an influx of new horror fans are coming into the genre. Some may really want to get into horror, but don't know really where to start. Because let's face it, it's a big genre and it can be hard to navigate through and with the concept of a "true" horror fan looming over, it can alienate future or even new fans from being part of the horror community because they may believe they can't live up to that concept. 

The bottom line for me is that there really is no "true" horror fan because we are all fans of the genre it's just that there are varying degrees of fandom from the novice to the hardcore and everything in between that run through it. To be a fan of any fandom is wanting to share your knowledge and experiences with others. I believe that deep down it is the love of horror that brings you and keeps you in the genre and that love shouldn't be used as a measuring tool to evaluate your place in it....because there really is a place for everyone in this genre! 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Review - Nurse 3D

Abby Russell (Paz De La Huerta) is a great nurse, who on her off time lures cheating men to their deaths in order to rid the world of their disgusting behavior. But, when she develops a crush on Danni (Katrina Bowden), the new nurse on the unit all boundary lines get bloody blurred. 

I had seen the great looking posters and watched the trailer,but I was still on the fence about this film, but I like to give horror movies a fair chance. So, I will start off by saying that I understand that they were going for a single white female campy style horror movie, which can be entertaining if done correctly, but sadly this wasn't. There were so many flaws with this film I lost count and my "what the hell" kind of moments just kept adding up as the film went along. Not to give out spoilers, but I am pretty sure nurses do not wear that style of uniform any longer nor do they wear fetish style shoes for 12 hr shifts. Okay that could be a bit nit picky, but if you can look past the medical inaccuracies, the fact that no one wears gloves when handling patients and that the narration voice doesn't sound like it matches Abby's at all through out the entire film. The one thing I couldn't get past was the uneven, predictable and some times laughable (not in a good way) story line and dialogue. Some of it was so bad I had Showgirl flashbacks! I think the biggest problem I had was with the lead actress. Her acting was choppy and it almost felt like she was speaking in slow motion. Plus I never really bought her as this femme fatale style matter how many times she got naked.....and on to that.

I am sure this is not the proper statement to make, but I am not proper so I will just go ahead and say it..... I am pretty sure men will love his movie just for the sheer amount of T&A in this film. Now, don't get me wrong I like to see some T&A in horror movies I mean face it, it's pretty much par for the course in horror movies, but it just got to the point where I wanted to scream "go put some panties on"! 

The kills were lackluster and once again predictable. Much like the title says this was filmed in 3D and the kills only benefit from the 3D medium.  

Overall, I really wanted to like this film and for it to be one of those hidden gems that it's so bad it's good horror films, but there was just to much damage to ever revive this film.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Women in Horror Recognition Month - Dee Wallace Stone

As Women in Horror Recognition Month marches on any discussion involving women in horror usually always comes back to Scream Queens. These specific actresses have carved out their careers in horror and remain in the genre contributing through their movies, books, convention appearances and more. I love a variety of different Scream Queens, but this particular actress has been my #1 Scream Queen for years! This actress single handily gave me the best horror movie memories of my childhood.....Dee Wallace Stone.

If you watched horror in the 80's there is no doubt Dee Wallace was part of it. Her horror resume spans from battling werewolves in The Howling, taking a baseball bat to Cujo, defeating space creatures in Critters, witchcraft in The Lords of Salem and she came up against Michael Myers in Rob Zombie's Halloween. She can more recently be seen on NBC's Grimm playing Monroe's mother.

She is currently a motivational speaker and healer through her website. She is also on the horror convention circuit and will be appearing at Days of the Dead in Atlanta. I will tell you that if she is at a horror con that you attend I highly recommend stopping by her table she is a down to earth and genuinely nice person. 

Her career has spanned from television to film and still continues on and her place as a Scream Queen is cemented in horror history!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Women in Horror Recognition Month - Female Horror Movie Posters

We continue on with Women in Horror Recognition Month with a few horror movie posters with women front and center!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Women in Horror Recognition Month ~ Elsa Lanchester

February is Women in Horror Recognition Month and through this month I wanted to share some great women in horror that prove not all women are the victims and horror with no women is really no genre at all!

She played one of the most iconic characters in the horror industry and the beauty of this character is she doesn't even appear until almost the end of the film. Even though the character never spoke only letting out several high pitched screams her movements on screen conveyed more than words from a script could. If you fast forward to now her image is almost everywhere. She is still a top Halloween costume and has been cosplayed at cons with great new twists added to her. Now with the insurage of the horror genre into mainstream a whole new generation is getting to know this timeless character.....The Bride of Frankenstein. 

The film debuted in 1935, The Bride of Frankenstein was the ultimate tale of a created love gone wrong. The demand of a mate for Dr. Frankenstein's monster was a great premise for the sequel to the first film, Frankenstein. But, the doctor and his monster soon find out that even when you create a mate it doesn't mean she will love you. Even though their love never formed it was from the movement she was brought to life with her electrified hair, sheet dress and bandaged arms that the costume became just as well known as the image of the actress that played her Elsa Lanchester.

Elsa was born in London on October 28, 1902, the beginning of her career involved theatre and cabaret and small roles in films. When she met and married her husband actor Charles Laughton it was their relocating to Hollywood that help define her place in the horror genre. After The Bride of Frankenstein her career continued to grow even earning her two Oscar nominations (Come to the Stable & Witness for the Prosecution). Her additional films included Disney movies such as Mary Poppins, Blackbeard's Ghost, as well as television series and shows. She even returned to the horror genre in Willard and Murder by Death. In 1983 she released her autobiography entitled Elsa Lanchester Herself. Even though Elsa passed away on December 26, 1986, her contribution to the world of horror was a great one and her image continues to live on. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

My Favorite Comic Book Covers

They say don't judge a book by its cover, but we all do. If everything had the same cover it would be difficult for anything to direct our eye to the material and the same can be true for comic books. We all have our different reasons for picking one comic book over another or even giving a new comic book a chance. A lot can be said about cover art and artists, some cover art can make or break a comic, while some comic art can tell a better story then the pages inside. I thought I would share with you some of my favorite cover. But, before you get your knickers in a knot this is my favorite cover art from comic books that I own, which I am on my second longbox now although I know it doesn't seem like a big collection, to me it is and it's still growing. I feel no need for a write up about each cover I will just let the art speak for itself.

Cover Art by Tim Seeley with Dave Stewart

Cover Art by TrevorMcCarthy

Cover Art by Ryan Otley & John Rauch

Cover Art by Jenny Frison

Cover Art by Rodin Esquejo

Cover Art by Ed Benes & Ulises Arreola

Cover Art by Lukas Ketner

Cover Art by Capullo and FCO

Cover Art by Jenny Frison

Cover Art by Juan Ferreyra

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

5 Horror Sequels That Were Better Than The Original

A lot of things get a bad rap and horror movies are no exception. The genre has run the gambit with bad decision making from prequels, remakes, re-imagining and everything in between. But, never fear the horror genre still has a silver lining in it's blood soaked rainbow. Most ho-hum when it comes to the announcement of a sequel, but sometimes in those rare moments the sequel exceeds exceptions and even surpasses the original in terms of characters, storyline, setting and most important bloody goodness! So, I thought I would share which sequels I thought were to me better than the original.

The Devil's Rejects - The follow up to Rob Zombie's House of a 1000 Corpses continues with the story of the Firefly clan and the aftermath of their killing spree including the death of Sheriff Wydell, which leaves his brother out for revenge. There seems to be a love hate relationship with Zombie's House, which plays more into the vein of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre in terms of mood and setting. The Devil's Rejects comes off more streamlined and on point than House did, which to me makes it a better film. The characters were further expanded into more devilish and enjoyable characters with a more condensed storyline and a darker turn which makes it a great follow up to House of 1000 Corpses.

[REC]2 - This to me has been one of the most solid franchises out there in horror. What makes me really love this sequel is what you believed was happening in the first film is explained in the sequel and it's a complete different scenario than you thought it would be. This film continues in the same setting the first film started in, which was a quarantine apartment complex, but this has a SWAT medical team who's allowed inside to help control the situation and what they find is shocking. There is not enough good things I can say about this franchise other than go and watch it, you will not be disappointed.

Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 - With Pinhead and the other Cenobites returning to the Leviathan the ordeal has left Kristy institutionalized and an obsessed occultist trying to resurrect Julia which unleashes Pinhead and the Cenobites once again. What I really enjoyed about this sequel is that a good portion of it takes place inside of the Leviathan to which you actually see a Cenobite being "created" so to speak. I enjoyed the continuation of the story even though they took elements of the first film they didn't rehash what the first film was like most sequels do, plus who doesn't enjoy seeing Julia slip out of her new skin.

Insidious Chapter 2 - For those that have read my previous blog entries I have expressed my fandom for director James Wan several times. I really do love the first film, which was a rare combination of a creative story, genuine jumps, twists and turns that I truly thought a PG-13 couldn't do. So, I figured with the sequel there was a slim chance that it could live up to the original, but it did and to me even surpassed it. Insidious Chapter 2 starts off with the Lambert family still dealing with the effects of what happened to them in the first film, moving into a new home, but with the supernatural entities still haunting Dalton and Josh. Wan took the overall mood and setting and turned up the creepiness with the addition of the back story of the woman in black it also explains occurrences that took place in the first film. All this combined with great directing and storytelling makes a worthwhile sequel.

Underworld: Evolution - I know this franchise doesn't get a lot of love, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the series. Underworld Evolution picks up where the first film left off with Selene and Michael running from the coven due to her killing, Viktor, leader of her coven. This film delves back to the origins of the first Vampire Marcus and his brother William, who was the first werewolf. What I like best about this sequel is it further expands on the story of the various characters, it amped up the blood and action, which are some of the right elements to make a successful sequel.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Favorite Horror Films of 2013

Hello everyone I am back from an extended exile in solitary confinement, but I am hoping the peace and quite of a small dark room will be good for my soul....if I had one. With my entry into the general population again Dr. Lector still feels that opening up is still the best therapy he can offer right now. So, on that note I figured with the end of an old year and the dawn of a new one I would start off on a positive note and share my favorite horror of 2013.

American Mary - Mary (Katherine Isabelle) is an intelligent and beautiful girl who's dream is to be a surgeon, but when an event occurs Mary decides that maybe being a surgeon isn't in her future, but when she gets lured into the world of body modification the sky is the limit and the stakes are high. Directed by The Soska Sisters this a stylish view of the world of body modification and the extremes that some people will go through to achieve perfection. On face value this looks like a straight forward torture film, which this is not. This a good example of a strong female lead in a horror film that takes charge and doesn't let it go. It has blood and beauty throughout with really interesting characters that keep the story going. You will want to set an appointment with American Mary.

Evil Dead (remake) - When a group of friends decide to take their friend, Mia up to a cabin to help her go cold turkey on her drug addiction everything seems to be going according to plan until they discover the book of the dead in the basement and one of them decides to read from it causing all hell to break loose....literally. I know when they announced this was going to be remade there was a lot of grumbling about remaking a classic, but I think they did a really good job. The movie still pays homage to the original, but with it's own little spin on the story. I think it also helped that the director, Fede Alvarez was a huge fan of Evil Dead to begin with and Bruce Campbell was involved. The story is fast pace and the gore is there in a big bloody way. This is a fun gory romp of a movie that still keeps to the original.

The Conjuring -  I want to start off by saying I am a huge fan of James Wan. I have said it once and I will say it again the man knows how to do horror right, regardless of the rating,which is priceless in this genre. Having tackled Jigsaw in Saw, creepy puppets in Dead Silence and astro-projection in Insidious Wan takes on the Warrens, one of the leaders in paranormal investigation. The Conjuring centers around one of their cases that has never been discussed until now. When the Perron family moves into an old farmhouse they soon encounter one of the most malevolent spirits the Warrens have ever encountered which not only effects the Perron family living in the house, but the Warrens as well.

To simply put it this is a solidly good horror film. Wan knows how to tap into the human psyche in a new way and leaves the tired and worn out horror cliques at the door. This film starts off solid and just builds from there, unlike Insidious which relied on music to build the suspense, Wan uses good old fashion sounds to help shape the intensity and fear throughout the film. The cast gave a great performance from Lili Taylor as the mother, Carolyne Perron to Patrick Wilson as Ed Warren and to the always spot on Vera Farmiga as Lorraine Warren. This movie proves that you don't need over blown budgets, crappy CGI and misleading trailers to sell horror movies. Horror movies already sell due to its own built in audience and Wan knows how to give the fans what they want.

Insidious Chapter 2 -Insidious Chapter 2 continues the story of the Lambert family and the entity that continues to terrorize them. This sequel deleves further into the mystery of Dalton and his fatherJosh and their supernatural abilities and unlocks the mystery behind the woman in the black dress.

Sequels are always a tricky subject to tackle considering most of the time they are not warranted or just become a mirror image of the original with just a different cast. Insidious Chapter 2  does return with the same cast from the first film with once again James Wan at the helm. I had high expectation when going into this film and thankfully it didn't disappoint. I have always enjoyed sequels that continue where the last movie left off instead of taking the film in a different direction. Wan still uses the same elements of sound and music to give layers to the suspense, which doesn't let up throughout the film. Not only does this film continue the story, but it also explains events that were contained in the first film. Overall this is a solid sequel and if you enjoyed the first Insidious you will enjoy Chapter 2.

You're Next  History has taught us family reunions don't always end well. They certainly don't end well when the guests are being picked off one by one by masked assailants  So, marks the story for You're Next. When a family comes together to celebrate their parents wedding anniversary it's all fun and games until someone shots their eye out or in this case takes an arrow to the head.

Directed by Adam Wingard this film harkens back to the great slasher style films of the 70's and 80's in terms of overall tone and filming. Even though it took almost 2 years to reach theaters in most aspects it was worth the wait. This film has those elements that make horror good with annoying characters you can't wait to die, unexpected and at times fun kills, plot twists and turns and of course blood and more blood. I will admit that at times it does play off like a sequel to The Strangers, which by no means is a negative considering how great The Strangers was. The music that was infused into the story added another enjoyable layer to the film. This was a fun and bloody movie from start to finish with homages to slasher films thrown in for good measure. By the end this film teaches us that at times family means nothing and survival is everything when You're Next.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

31 Day Horror Movie Challenge - Movie #31

Since I have spent the last 30 days writing a mini review for every horror movie I watched through the month I figured on the last official day of Halloween I would take a break from a review. Instead of just watching 1 movie on this day I watched a few so I figured I would share what I watched through pictures....enjoy and Happy Halloween!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

31 Day Horror Movie Challenge - Movie #30 - Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow- Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp) is dispatched to Sleepy Hollow to help investigate a series of grisly deaths. As he gets further in his investigation he learns the sorted history of Sleepy Hollow and its inhabitants and also the Legend of the Headless Horseman. Believing this is just a myth created by the town, Ichabod sets out to use science to help prove that it is a town's person that is responsible for the killing and not a headless horseman. But, when Ichabod experiences the Horseman for himself he starts to rethink his plan on solving these murders. This is a re-telling of the classic story of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, but this is done with Tim Burton's style. I have always enjoyed Burton's style of direction and the vision he uses when creating his films. Johnny Deep always shines in Burton movies and this one is no expectation, with the supporting cast of Christina Ricci and Christopher Walken as the Headless Horseman you can't really go wrong. Sleepy Hollow has such a great combination of suspense, horror, humor and a bit of love thrown in for good measure that it is worth the trip to Sleepy Hollow.