Archive for August, 2010

Predators: In Your Face

Posted in Science Fiction with tags on August 31, 2010 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

PredatorsUnquestionably, the Predator movies are one of the pant-wettingly coolest horror/sci-fi franchises ever in the history of human skull trophy hunting. Heck, I even thought the Alien vs. Predator mash-ups were rock horn worthy, even though the billing was out of order. (Sorry Alien – you’re still cool and everything, but Predator has a better hat.)

So with great pee-shiver anticipation, comes the special edition Blu-ray™ super-tronic mega-brain fry edition of Predators, which delivered a spine-yank spank at the box office. (Domestic $51,633,073, Foreign $64,000,000 = $115,633,073 worldwide.) That means there will be more sequels. That means I still have a chance at happiness.

PredatorsPredators, due out October 19th, 2010, comes loaded with enough geeky fan stuff to make you want to move the Predator’s planet and, like hang out with them ’n stuff.

From the studio’s press release: “This planet is a game preserve, and we’re the game.” The ultimate hunters are back when Robert Rodriguez’ PREDATORS arrives on Blu-ray and DVD on October 19th from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment with all new special features, bringing you deeper into the Predator universe.

Robert Rodriguez also presents a series of exclusive prequel motion comics on the Blu-ray and DVD that take you beyond the movie and deliver a truly one-of-a kind PREDATORS experience. The Blu-ray version harnesses the power of BD Live to extend the experience even more with exclusive PREDATORS content and interactive entertainment.

PredatorsHere’s but a small sampling of what your grocery money will get you:

Moments of Extraction: Robert Rodriguez presents exclusive prequel vignettes voiced by the cast of PREDATORS. Witness the secret adventures that turned our world’s most ruthless killers into the ultimate Predator prey.

Evolution of the Species: Predators Reborn
• Bloodline
• De-cloaking the Invisible: Alien Terrain
• Intelligent Design: The Hunting Camp
• Predators as Prey
• Yuatja Transformed
• Rite of Passage

There’s also deleted/extra scenes and a bunch of other neato stuff. Didn’t see anything about the Predator dogs, though. If had me one of those things you can bet my neighbors would be a LOT quieter while I’m trying to sleep off a hangover.

PredatorsPREDATORS will be available on a 2-Disc Blu-ray package with Digital Copy for suggested retail price of $39.99 U.S. / $49.99 Canada and on a standard DVD for suggested retail price of $29.98 U.S. / $43.48 Canada.

Stick it to Earthlings/Canada, I always say.

Monster Public Service Announcements

Posted in Classic Horror, Misc. Horror, Vampires, Werewolves with tags , , , on August 31, 2010 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Monsters PSAsDracula worried about my credit rating? The Invisible Man warning of the consequences of experimental science? The Wolf Man offering advice on what to do if you smell smoke in your house? Why, this is downright useful information. And since its being served by the most trustworthy of monsters, then I’ll  be more prone to take their advice.

These are Monster PSAs, or “Public Service Announcements.” And clever ones at that. Professional illustrator Rob Kelly is the man behind these monsters and their public service messages. Working his artistry out of New Jersey (there’s a NEW Jersey?), Rob has designed this rather cool series of posters with classic horror figures in place of Republicans (not sure there’s a difference).

Monster PSAsBut monsters aren’t just his main specialty. Rob has done covers for paperbacks (books that you don’t have to plug in), magazine covers and inside illustrations (yep, the printed word hasn’t been killed off just yet), portraits (if he ever does mine, he’ll have to use a LOT of black to get my soul just right), and a wide-spanning range of advertising, sports stuff and glamour girls (which is short for “not naked”). Best of all are his takes on classic horror movies, though I wouldn’t refer to Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954) as horror, as much as it’s a heartwarming tale of forbidden fishman love.

Monster PSAsRob also goes under the name Namtab, which is “Batman” spelled backwards. I don’t know why I never thought to do that. His blog [click HERE] is packed with examples of his exceptional talent at finding the heart of his subject matter. For instance, like depicting Harry Hamlin as Perseus in Clash of the Titans (1981) holding up Medusa’s severed head along with the caption, “Sometimes You Just Have To Take Matters Into Your On Hands.” That’s pretty funny stuff.

Monster PSAsGo to Rob’s website and peruse his gallery – not only is way cool, but it’s appropriate for some who calls himself…NAMTAB. (Dang it – I wanna be a Namtab.)

Mexican UFOs

Posted in Science Fiction, UFOs with tags , on August 29, 2010 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Seres: GenesisIn Mexico, a UFO is called an Ovni (“pronounced ahv-knee”). That’s a bit easier than saying “fleye-een saw-sir.” Just so you don’t get ’em mixed up, Ovne, also pronounced the same way, is an antique stove, which you can find HERE. OvneStoves.com is located in Ireland, and are the people who designed and supplied the antiquated food heaters for the new Harry Potter movie. (Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Grill. Sorry – couldn’t resist.)

Crap – where was I? Oh, yeah… Ovnis are pretty much commonplace in Mexico. They fly around in the day time where everybody can take a siesta and go out and look at mysterious flying discs and/or balls of light that don’t seem to be plugged in. So it was only a matter of time before someone did a movie about ’em. Based on SERES: GÉNESIS, a mucho popular graphic novel published by Huma Comics, the movie of the same name deals with extraterrestrial interaction, which ultimately reveals the secrets of our destiny. (Hey, no big secret to my destiny – I’m just here to rock and roll all nite, and party ev-very day.)

Seres: GenesisThe first of a trilogy of movies, which are the adaptations of the three novels, is called SERES: GÉNESIS. (Genesis meaning the beginning and Seres translated as Beings. Man, those internet Spanish lessons are really paying off.) Here’s the synopsis, or “sinopsis”…

“When a young girl is found amid the wreckage of an accident caused by an alien craft, Mariel, head of a secretive task force investigating the paranormal, must solve the riddle of a frightening message the girl delivers, which suggests humanity is on the verge of extermination by a hostile alien force.”

Seres: GenesisSweet. Aliens…human extermination…ovnis…accidents. I haven’t seen it yet and already SERES: GÉNESIS is my favorite movie of all time. The translated website info goes on to say that “Luisa Guerrero, who plays Fernanda, the little girl possessed by aliens, is one of the creepiest and most memorable moments in recent sci-fi movie history.” They had me at Seres.

Ovni ProofThe other two movies to follow – SERES: EVOLUTION and SERES: EXTINCTION – look to further exterminate all of humankind. ¡Excelente! If you live in Mexico, you can see the movie on Septembre 24th, 2010. If you live in the States, which at times looks like Mexico, it’ll be released here sometime in Octobre, 2010. If you can’t wait to get a taste of some cool ovni action, click HERE to watch the asno del retroceso trailer.

The Last Exorcism Should Be

Posted in Evil with tags on August 28, 2010 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

The Last ExorcismThe problem with making a movie with the word “exorcism” in the title, is that you have a pretty big bed pan to fill. Every movie about demon possession and the exorcising thereof that came out after 1973’s The Exorcist – universally regarded as the scariest horror film of all time (yep – loaded my britches after seeing it, too) – has pretty much sucked the big demon weenie. So does The Last Exorcism, the latest over-hyped devil possession movie, apply suction on said hellish appendage? More yes than no, as it turns out.

A documentary film crew follows Reverend Marcus Cotton, a 40-something slightly smarmy church guy, on his last fake exorcism ritual. He’s had a crisis of faith is setting out to prove the church is a scam. But that doesn’t stop him for charging cash for his services. (Apparently, God giving him and his family daily bread isn’t enough to cover the rent.)

The Last ExorcismCotton goes way out to a reclusive Louisiana farm house where a 16-year-old girl is being felt up from the inside by some demon calling itself by some heavy metal band name. The mom passed away a while back, dad is a hard core Christian, and Jake, the teen son, is skeptical that religion and prayer can help his sister. Seems Nell, the home-schooled daughter, has been slicing open farm animals just for kicks, and not to prep for snacking purposes. And she doesn’t remember doing any of it, but must have done it all the same because her stylish frock is covered in blood all the time.

Cotton performs the “exorcism” with all the bells and whistles, and Nell seems OK. That is, until she shows up later at Cotton’s motel room miles away in the middle of the night. (Nothing kinky, just a bad case of possessed sleep-walking.)

Exorcise Your Inner Demon This sets up a pot boiling set of sequences that has Nell acting all demon-y and diagonally slashing open her brother’s face. Then her bones crack and re-shape and now she can touch the back of her heels – with the back of her head. Another exorcism (no charge this time) reveals that the girl is preggo. That explains the mood swings. But not the animal sacrifices.

Thinking they solved the case, the film crew (a guy and a chick) and Cotton take off down the road. But his instincts lead him to uncover a missing piece of the puzzle and he races back to the farm. And this is where all the careful plot structuring and tension goes straight into the dumper.

In a scene lifted straight out of an X-Files episode, Cotton and the two film-y people arrive to find the house completely dark, but they can hear Nell screaming like Hell out in the woods. It’s there they find a Satanic ritual in progress, which is so limp as to be half-cooked farm animal. (While I won’t spoil this scenario, you’ve seen it before.) Throwing everything out the door, the ending was a complete rip-off. Won’t spoil that, either, but if you were one of the ones suckered by The Blair Witch Project (I still can’t believe I fell for the stupid hype), the ending is EXACTLY the same.

The ExorcistThe ad materials show Nell doing demon things that aren’t even in the movie (except for the bending over backward thing). She throws up, but only about a half cup full – a complete disgrace to the dignity of demon possession. Nell doesn’t speak in tongues or turn her face into tenderized flank steak. There’s blood, but not enough to make your mouth water.

The Last Exorcism is OK, but it comes up way short on marketable evil, to say nothing of the hurried and cliched ending. Why can’t demon possession mean something anymore?

Werewolves: Howling Mad

Posted in Werewolves with tags on August 27, 2010 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

The HowlingHere’s some real movie marketing genius at work: take the lamest three of the seven Howling movies (OK, Howling VII: New Moon Rising, while not included, was the all-time worst), package ’em in a “trilogy” DVD box set (on two discs!), and wait for a full moon to come out and grant the movie studio their sales wishes. If I was a legitimate werewolf instead of pretending to be one (it’s how I explain what I’m doing in my neighbor’s garbage cans at night), I’d be royally pissed. Still, even untouched by lycanthropy (for now), I’m the extreme opposite of happy.

As stated there are SEVEN Howling movies. After the first groundbreaking film in 1981, this franchise has been circling the drain with no one standing by with a plunger. Cash-in packaging like the above (just released) is but one of many problems plaguing a once-promising series of contemplative films about stinky werewolves. By the time they got to Howling III: The Marsupials (kangaroo werewolves), fans the world over were howling at the moon – and not in a socially acceptable way, either.

Here, then, is a rundown of the Howling franchise. You can actually see the Bell Curve at work here…

The HowlingTHE HOWLING, 1981
The first and the best. A news anchor woman, looking to crack the big story of a serial killer, meets the criminal in a porn theater where he does the wolf-up thing. Soiling her designer skirt so bad, she has to buy a new one. That, and go to a Rehabilitation Center way out in the woods to emotionally deal with what she saw in that adult movie emporium. The place is run by a self-help guru whose patients are all werewolves. Kick ass.

HOWLING II: STIRBA – WEREWOLF BITCH (aka, Howling II: Your Sister Is A Werewolf), 1985
A dude whose sister was turned into people lasagna by a werewolf is convinced by a hunter of such mythical creatures to track those flea bags down throughout Transylvania, Dracula’s neck (heh) ’o the woods. Their main target: Stirba, Queen of Werewolves. (They’re in for rough ride; for starters she doesn’t shave her legs.) Howling II became cult notorius for the looped scene at the end where Queen Werewolf/Sybil Danning rips her top of seventeen times, exposing her full moons. That part was good and possibly integral to the plot. Everything else, not so much.

The HowlingHOWLING III: THE MARSUPIALS, 1987
Weirdo half-human/half-kangaroo people are turning up all over Australia. Seems like just another day Down Under. But a sociologist, there to investigate such nonsense, falls for a chick who is “one of them.” And she’s got a built-in fanny-pack to prove it. Of course, these aren’t ordinary human/kangaroo hybrids – they’re werewolf kangaroos, or “were’roos.”

HOWLING IV: THE ORIGINAL NIGHTMARE, 1988
A chick author is having a nervous breakdown after watching the last two Howling movies. So her publishers send her to a scenic little town called Drakho to take her mind off all those fever dreams of demons and werewolves. Of all the places to visit, she goes to the one loaded with demon werewolves. What are the odds?

The HowlingHOWLING V: THE REBIRTH, 1989
That Romanian castle was sealed over 500 years ago for a reason. But that doesn’t stop a bunch of people from all over the world visiting the place and buying souvenir coffee mugs and over-priced sweatshirts with I Heart Romania printed on ’em. Good thing they brought along a werewolf as a tour guide. One movie reviewer called this “The Howling ala Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians. I didn’t see that movie as it didn’t have any werewolf reference in the title. I’m sorry, but I have standards.

HOWLING VI: THE FREAKS, 1991
Here’s a clue as to how great this one was: HVI was direct-to-video. That means the “filmmaker” got all his friends together to star in it. And half the time you can’t tell who is human or a homeless version of a werewolf. A greasy circus owner collects freaks and catches a young werewolf to add to his staff. In an effort to turn this into something other than crap salad, the circus guy is actually a vampire. Oh, dang – I just spoiled it for you. Now you’ll probably never watch it.

HOWLING VII: NEW MOON RISING (aka, Howling VII: Mystery Woman), 1995
Just when you think they couldn’t slide any further down the Sewage Pipeline, they go back to Australia and make us watch a red-headed Crocodile Dundee type drink beer, tell jokes and hang out in bars. The locals are getting turned into biltong by some mysterious creature around the same time Red-Head Ted shows up. Right about now, Scooby Doo is crapping on a rug. The local priest, defying his belief system, is convinced the slayings are the work of a werewolf. You’d think so, too, until you see the wolf man. His face resembles that of a plastic Planet Halloween™ werewolf mask. Last one renting this movie, please jiggle the handle.

Old YellerThere’s supposed to be yet another Howling sequel, this one tentatively called The Howling: Reborn (due out in 2011). If they had any dignity at all, they’d put this hound out of our misery, Old Yeller style. That said, the next Howling sequel should be Travis: Werewolf Stopper.

The Return of Ghost Shark

Posted in Ghosts, Nature Gone Wild with tags , on August 26, 2010 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Ghost SharkWhen we last left Ghost Shark, he was confined to an extra-dimensional prison for crimes against humanity. And for littering. Years later, Ghost Shark has managed a jailbreak and is back to chomp the calories out of the delectable citizens of Auckland. (So named because “Auck!” is the sound coming that burps out of your mouth when Ghost Shark puts the clampdown on your groin.)

A ghost shark expert is called into stop the slippery shapeshifter, which isn’t gonna be easy as Ghost Shark can now travel through anything liquid. This includes water (which I’m told is a liquid), ice (WTF?) and steam. (I repeat, WTF?) In a scene this close to being indescribable, Ghost Shark shoots out of the steam coming from an iron and puts permanent creases in the, um, ironer. (I swear, if I’m ironing my Iron Maiden shirt or drinking a beer while ironing my Iron Maiden shirt and Ghost Shark shoots out of the bottle and/or iron and bites my face off, there will be hell to pay. Real hell, too – not that fictional church place.)

Ghost SharkThis is not fiction. Ghost Shark 2: Urban Jaws is an actual movie. Is it a comedy? A drama? A contender for the Blair Witch Award for Worst Horror Movie Ever? (Actually, that honor may very well go to Thankskilling (2009). Ghost Shark 2: Urban Jaws has yet to score a U.S. release date, but if I know those chuckleheads over at Netflix™, they’re probably chasing it down as we speak.

Ghost Shark Just so you don’t think the filmmakers are total dweebs, there is actually a species of cartilaginous fish in the order of Chimaeriformes called “ghost sharks.” DO NOT get ’em mixed up with spookfish, or “Opisthoproctidae.” Spookfish cannot travel through steam or ice cubes, so make sure you have your facts straight before know-it-all-ing at some cocktail party.

P.S. Ghost Shark 2: Urban Jaws is being called Flying Death Shark: The Returning in Japan. I cannot verify that. But what I can tell you is that title most definitely sucks steamy ice cubes.

Wizard of Oz: The Ultimate Horror Movie

Posted in Misc. Horror with tags on August 25, 2010 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Wizard of OzAugust 2010 marks the 71st anniversary of The Wizard of Oz, one of the most horrifying movies of all time. (Historians, however, will bitch slap you for calling August 25th the film’s debut, when actually it opened at the Strand Theater in the easily-pronounced Oconomowoc, Wisconsin on August 12, 1939. I was in a bar around the corner and didn’t even notice.)

Due to its enormous budget ($2,777,000.00, which in 1939 was, like, half a billion dollars), Wizard barely made a profit. But as soon as the word got out about the movie’s flying monkeys, it was as if someone turned on the money spigot. Today, the Library of Congress named The Wizard of Oz as the most-watched film in history, and has since made over eleven trillion dollars and 37 cents.

But what of the sub-text of this so-called “ultimate family film”? Drugs, hallucinations, mutants, wiccans, bestiality, demonic conjuring, airborne primates, singing… Only thing missing is the Necronomicon.

Wizard of OzThe plot follows thrill-seeking bitch Dorothy, who runs away from her Kansas farm looking for adventure and a tattoo/piercing shop. She doesn’t get far before an F-5 tornado/drugs whisks her away to an enchanted land with talking trees and hookers floating around in bubbles. This is getting to be too much of a head rush, so Dorothy decides she wants to go back to the farm and shovel pig crap. The floating hooker tells her the Wizard of Oz is the only guy who can give her a “lift” back home. (The “wizard” is an old man with a penchant for school girls.)

Along the way to Oz she hooks up with three pimps and off they go in search of mushrooms. But it isn’t until they piss off the west side’s gang leader, a green-faced witch who huffs paint fumes and lives in a sweet condo filled with crap-throwing monkeys with wings, that this magical journey goes off the yellow brick runway. Turns out Dorothy jacked some property of the witch and the little ho won’t give it up. It’s on now.

Flying monkeys, with a taste for human flesh, are dispatched to jack the girl. Her pimps give chase and there’s a serious street rumble, ending in the witch being whacked and the posse heading back to the magic kingdom. What follows next is a finale filled with lies, deceit, and green smoke, to say nothing of the symbolism of five leering guys all standing around Dorothy’s bed when she comes down off the ’shrooms.

Wizard of OzHappy anniversary, Wizard of Oz. Thanks for being the gateway drug for generations. Are you happy with yourself?