Archive for December, 2010

The Dead Need Love, Too

Posted in Misc. Horror with tags on December 10, 2010 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Stiff“I don’t want to die…I just don’t want to be alive anymore.”

Can’t have it both ways, dude. Troy wants to kill himself, but he’s being a wuss about it. So while he’s taking up supermodel scented-air that you or I could be breathing, Lorri, a crisis counselor/necrophiliac, intervenes. Dang it.

During their counseling sessions, Lorri tells Troy her deepest, most icky desire: to have sex with a dead guy. Well, heck – this relationship is a match made in Heaven. A pact is made: Troy will off himself, and Lorri will have full permission to conduct an X-rated bedspring symphony with his corpse. But stupid Troy starts falling for Lorri and feels life may be worth living for after all. Not so fast, killer – a deal is a deal.

The movie, Stiff (Cinema Epoch, 2010), wrestles with matters of life, death and heart-shaped rigor-mortis. Gruesome and somewhat taboo topic, yes. But it’s been exploited several times before, most notably with 1987’s ultra-lurid Nekromantik.

Nekromantik

Made in Germany, where most f’d up flicks about death and back door body substances are made, Nekromantik is about a street cleaner named Rob and his girlfriend Betty. He cleans up after vehicle accidents and brings body parts home to, um, augment their fetish lifestyle, which is to have sex with a rotting corpse. No holding hands and going for walks to Starbucks™ for these two.

One day Joe hits the car wreck jackpot – an intact dead guy. He brings it home, and he and Betty do stuff to it most guys wouldn’t allow even while living. Ultimately, Betty falls in love with the corpse and leaves Joe, taking her ripe lover with her. Despondent, Joe kills himself in a way that I’d rather not go into as it is SO ICKY. Now all Betty has to do is find a shovel. Ahem.

NekromantikStiff, however well-meaning, doesn’t even get in the lobby of the shocking and graphic nature of Nekromantik. That’s good, because no one should see these types of horror films more than, I don’t know, five or six times.

Gotta strong stomach? May I suggest Nekromantik 2 (1991) – it’s twice as, uh, romantic as the first one.

Nekromantik

Return of the Saucers

Posted in Science Fiction, UFOs with tags , on December 9, 2010 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Alien MoviesIf emo vampires, assembly-line zombies and do-it-yourself ghost movies ruled the last several years, 2011 is is shaping up to be the Year of the Alien, and is poised to deliver the box office slap-down. I can’t wait, because with extraterrestrials, it’s all about the invasion, a metaphor for Big Government destroying our way of life (drinking beer, watching TV, shooting zombies/ghosts/vampires in the face).

The saucer started spinning with the crazy cool giant alien monster jamboree, Cloverfield (2008) and the kick ass District 9 (2009), a wickedly stunning sci-fi movie that redefined alien butt-probing. But the other-worldly momentum ran out of dilithium crystals with The Fourth Kind (a totally botched 2009 alien abduction big-budget flick), and the well-intentioned but flaccid Skyline (2010), which saw city-sized alien spaceships vacuuming Earth people off the carpet that is Los Angeles. No plot – just sucking.

Thankfully, movie producers haven’t given up on the idea that Earth needs to be re-invaded and everyone on its surface exterminated. I couldn’t be giddier. Here’s a quick look at some extraterrestrials (dang, that word is hard to keep typing) and UFOs headed our way that aren’t re-enactments on the History Channel™…

S.E.T.I., The People From The CloudsS.E.T.I.
Love the tag line: “The Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence Just Hit Paydirt.” Synopsis: The movie Contact (1997) should’ve been. Yeah, Contact had me up until that scientist chick was teleported across the Universe, only to meet up with her dead dad. What a flippin’ rip-off. They should’ve left her there.

THE PEOPLE FROM THE CLOUDS
New York used to be the “it” city for alien invasions, but Los Angeles, full of every spacey freak on the planet, has been the go-to town for life-ending UFO invasion action for some time now, starting way back in 1988 with Alien Nation, recently with Skyline, and the soon-released Battle: Los Angeles. In The People From The Clouds, a UFO arrives in L.A. – and you’ll never guess who is piloting the spacecraft. And no, it isn’t Jesus, though that might LOGICALLY explain a few things in the Bible.

Apollo 18, Arthur ChristmasAPOLLO 18
As Columbus wasn’t the first to discover America (it was those cool Vikings in The 13th Warrior/1999), ownership of the moon belongs to an alternate life-form (no, not politicians). Synopsis: “Recently discovered is a video shot by the crew of an abandoned moon mission from the early ’70s. NASA claims that the mission never took place, but this new discovery reveals the existence of alien life and explains why NASA has hidden the footage for all of these years.” Hey, NASA, I’m willing to give you the benefit of a doubt, but quit LYING to us about flying saucers, ’k?

ARTHUR CHRISTMAS
The reign of the reindeer is over – Santa is revealed to be an alien who makes his rounds in a UFO. That LOGICALLY explains how he’s able to deliver all those sweet toys to every dude and chick around the world in one night. I don’t care if he is an alien – I wanna work for Santa.

Paul, Cowboys and AliensPAUL
“Two geeks meet an alien called Paul who brings them on an insane road trip that alters their universe forever.” Didn’t this happen in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy back in 2005 (the film, not the book or the 1978 BBC comedy radio series)? And why would an alien name himself Paul? That sounds like someone from Earth would do.

COWBOYS AND ALIENS
Starring the new James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Indiana Jones (that rowdy guy from Star Wars), Cowboys and Aliens is based on the popular graphic novel of the same name and takes place in Silver City, Arizona in the early 1900s. Synopsis: “Apache Indians and Western settlers must lay their differences aside when an alien spaceship crash lands in their city.” Looks like it’s gonna be the “Not-So-OK Corral” for all involved. Heh. Look for the cowboys to slap leather and slap alien buttock. How can I be so sure? Earth ALWAYS wins, man.

Super 8, I Am Number 4SUPER 8
First rumored to be the prequel to Cloverfield (please, oh please, oh please), Super 8’s cryptic trailer shows a cargo train crashing and something big trying to pound its way out of the steel container. At first I thought it might be a tri-trunked mutant elephant or King Kong’s illegitimate primate. But the movie’s website had only this to say about the drool-worthy tease: “In 1979, the U.S. Air Force closed a section of Area 51. All the materials were to be a transported to a secure facility in Ohio.” My money’s still on the elephant.

I AM NUMBER 4
Twilight meets E.T. Instead of an emo vampire and his not-yet-sucked arm candy, we now have an emo spaceman that looks suspiciously like a J. Crew™ underwear model. Synopsis: “John is an extraordinary teen, masking his true identity and passing as a typical high school student to elude a deadly enemy seeking to destroy him. Three like him have already been killed…he is Number Four.” Based on a book only teen chicks would read, I Am Number Four is a “thrilling paranormal teen romance science fiction adventure, focusing on the plight of six aliens and their struggle to survive on Earth.” Kill him and let’s move on to Number 5.

Battle: Los AngelesDespite its “meh” title, the most anticipated alien invasion movie leading this space race is Battle: Los Angeles. If you haven’t seen the trailer, might I suggest you do so now before scratching Uranus and sniffing your fingers. Transport by clicking HERE.

The footage is exhilarating, kinda like that same feeling you got when you were first butt-probed by extraterrestrials back when aliens did that sort of thing. (Their new method is to look up your medical history charts on WikiLeaks™.)

Almost forgot – Unaware (which I previously blogged on your screen about – search for it), is another “found footage” indie flick that has a young couple finding aliens in and around their Texas vacation home. I doubt they’ll survive.

I say this to all incoming aliens: You are welcome. Just wipe your tentacles before entering Earth’s atmosphere.

Frankenstein Is Groovy, Man

Posted in Classic Horror, Giant Monsters with tags , on December 8, 2010 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

The Art of Johnny SampsonWe all know Frankenstein’s Monster, the Wolf-Man and the Creature are cool. But thanks to Chicago pop culture artist Johnny Sampson (no relation to the biblical strongman who taps Delilah), our fav monsters are also ’70s groovy. Franky with a righteous Fu Manchu ’stache, Wolfie with slick hair and wide lapels, Creature sporting a Prince Valiant bob and stylish turtleneck… All monsters should be so happening. Johnny’s bio is short and sweet: “He makes stuff that some people like and a few people want. He is perhaps best known for his fake dog poo with a foot print in it.”

I’d show you a picture of the fake dog poo, but I just ate breakfast. To see it click HERE.

Johnny’s art is knuckleheaded awesome. Deep sea cowboy fighting skeleton skindivers – underwater. Death on a bear skin rug. Amphibious giant monsters terrorizing citizens. A purple octopus with a genie head. If this guy doesn’t take drugs, I  hate to see what kind of stuff he’d come up with if he did.

The Art of Johnny Sampson

But it’s not just rainbow-colored illustrations he does. Johnny cranks out show posters for music groups like Yonder Mountain String Band (not my bag, man – I’m into metal), Blues and Soul revues (a little modern for my taste, but I could give it a listen), and a pile of indie bands (as long as they’re not emo…). And that’s just the tip of his brush – click HERE to see tons more of his supremely neato skills.

The Art of Johnny SampsonI wonder if Johnny does commission work? I can totally see a 10’ x 10’ framed print of myself making out with a robot werewolf cheerleader while SUCCESSFULLY defending the moon against giant bees in multi-colored space suits shooting poison honey bombs out of their stingers and… Sorry, I had drugs for breakfast. (Note to mom: just kidding.)

I’ve Seen The Saucers

Posted in UFOs with tags on December 7, 2010 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

UnawareNow that pro video cameras cost less than a waffle iron, and with slick video editing software you can download off the Internet for free (Limewire, cough), anyone can make a “found footage” movie. This  cinéma-vérité (or “bullsh*t”) started with The Blair Witch Project (1999) and continues to proliferate like unattended jock itch.

Then again, why not? Paranormal Activity, another Best Buy™ single-camera movie, was made for $15,000 and raked in nearly $194 million at the box office. The cleverly-named sequel, Paranormal Activity 2 (2010) upped the quality (Sears™ video camera), and was budgeted at $3 million. It went on to make well over $163 million. It’s a digital gold rush, I tell you!

UnawareThe latest in the “found footage” craze is Unaware, a 2011 movie about extraterrestrial visitation, UFOs and butt-probing galore. Maybe not that last part. But with a hand-held camera, it’d be easy to film.

The story line, conceived in 30 seconds while walking out of the movie theater after seeing Paranormal Activity 2, goes like this: “In July 2010, a vacationing couple discovered something disturbing on a ranch in rural Texas. Armed with a home camcorder, they captured their experience on video.”

UnawareSince this “disturbing” thing is found on a Texas ranch, safe money’s on horse crap that’s shaped like Stonehenge, or a gay cow. (Not that there’s anything wrong with being a cow.)

Unaware has a spare but interesting website [click HERE], with links to all sorts of UFO information. There’s a trailer for the movie as well. I hope they spend more time on the movie’s poster, though. It looks like they got it at Best Buy™, where everyone goes to purchase crappy UFO movie posters.

Grave Encounters: Busting Ghosts

Posted in Evil, Ghosts with tags , on December 6, 2010 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Grave EncountersThe abandoned Collingwood Psychiatric Hospital is alleged to be the most haunted building in the world. While I would argue that liquor stores are, as they’re loaded with spirits (sorry – sometimes I just can’t help myself), a team of amateur ghost hunters set up shop in the mental care facility to document actual proof of its hauntings. Their weapons: night vision cameras, some flashlights, a few other things that need to be plugged in, although I don’t know where as the building has been abandoned for years and there’s no electricity to be found.

Grave Encounters, a ghost movie rushed into production to blatantly capitalize on the Paranormal Activity (2007/2010) craze and that abundantly ridiculous Ghost Hunters reality show on TV, takes a little from both and attempts to come up with some scares. If the movie trailer [click HERE] is any indication, they might wanna go back and bump up the bumps in the night.

Grave Encounters

Not to say its bad, but it seems like there’s a heckuva lot of “been there, haunted that” stuff goin’ down. That, and the hand-held camera/found footage shtick is really played out. The twist here, though, is that the building itself may actually be alive, with possessed wall paper and demonic brooms around every dark corner. (I’m really not trying to yawn right now. I could manage a fart or two, however.)

Maybe I’m just getting cynical in my old age, but all of this has been done before – and better – by the ORIGINAL ghost hunter, Luther Heggs (aka, Don Knotts). In the terrifying spook thriller The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (Universal/1966), Luther, a budding news reporter and all around nervous Nellie, has to spend the night in the Simmons mansion, the site of a murder/suicide that left an indelible poltergeist imprint on the exceedingly haunted house. Legend has it, the ghost of Mr. Simmons, who murdered his wife and did a half-gainer from the mansion tower to the not soft ground below, plays the organ in the tower at midnight. And there’s bloodstains on the keys! Just thinking about it is making my bladder lose its tenuous grip.

The Ghost and Mr. ChickenFor the prospect of a sensational news story, on the 20th anniversary of the murder, Luther stays the night in the mansion and encounters said organ stroking itself at the stroke of midnight, and gardening shears stuck into the painting of Mrs. Simmons, with blood gooshing out of her artistically depicted neck. Yes, gooshing. Luther barely escapes with anything remotely dry under his clothes. In the end, Luther solves the horror mystery and gets himself a ghost groupie trophy wife. He deserved it.

The Ghost and Mr. ChickenToday’s Ghost Hunters and Grave Encounters owe a debt to Luther, whose pioneering ghost-busting methods raised the bar for every spook thriller that ever followed. And he did it with nothing more than a sleeping bag, flashlight and 115 facial expressions, proving that real ghost busters don’t need fancy pants night vision cameras or expensive plug-in equipment. All you need is a Silly Putty™ face that can be stretched and reconformed to 115 different expressions of fear.

God bless you, Luther Heggs.

Monster Friends 2

Posted in Giant Monsters with tags on December 5, 2010 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Monster FriendsThe Phoenix is a supernatural creature who celebrates 1,000 birthdays before starting a BBQ and throwing himself on it. Once the screams/flames die down, the Phoenix rises from the ashes, needing a shower, and lives for another 1,000 years. (Geez, all he had to do was push his face into his birthday cake – with 1,000 candles on it, that thing counts as a four-alarm blaze.

El Chupacabra is a cryptid (rejected by scientists, worshipped by Mexicans) that attacks delicious goats and sucks the barnyard chi right out of their fur. El Chupacabra also enjoys a brisk, branded merchandising business, with T-shirts, lunch boxes and stuffed animal plushees keeping Chupie in mucho pesos.

The Leviathan is a sea monster who was first introduced to us in the Bible. I haven’t read the Bible (too many words), but from what I’ve been able to dig up, Jesus used to ride the Leviathan back and forth to work. Leviathan, church dudes will tell you, is one of the seven princes of Hell and its gatekeeper. Yep, I totally believe that with all my heart and soul.

The Behemoth is a roller coaster in Southern California. It’s also any creature that’s bigger than other creatures. In this instance, it’s a giant cow, swinging its udders of doom around like it was at an alternative lifestyle glo-stick party. I can’t verify this, but I think its horns act as lightning rods and some sort of atomic gas shoots out its ass. I can dream, can’t I?

These monsters are the subject of the Family Tree Design & Illustration artist collective. Second in a series (the first batch depicted The Kraken, Loch Ness Monster, Yeti and Sasquatch), these kick ass designs are printed on 100 lb. matte poster paper and measure out to 12” x 18” inches. And they’re as limited as the scientific community’s belief in these creature’s existence.

The Phoenix (by Alex Pearson), El Chupacabra (by Julian Baker), Behemoth (by Jim Tierney) and Leviathan (by John Solimine) come in two versions: the ones you see in the example for $25, and a snazzy glow-in-the-dark version for $35. I know that look – you want the glow posters, don’t you?

I did a blogamajig on the first series (type in “Monster Friends” in the search-o-matic box on the right) on September 2nd, 2010. As I recall, it was a hazy afternoon, with winds coming out of the east. And my toaster quit working. What does that have to do with monsters? Not a lot, as it turns out.

Show your support for independent art and all things cryptozoological (things that exist, but have yet to be acknowledged by butt-hole scientists in lab coats) by clicking HERE. And stay away from giant cows that spray atomic gas out of you-know-where.

Cloverfield Monster: A True Inspiration

Posted in Giant Monsters with tags on December 4, 2010 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Stockholm IncidentInspired by the Cloverfield monster (who wasn’t?), Swedish digital artist Levi (no last name given) designed his own monster in homage, with which to destroy his home town of Stockholm. (Hey Levi, I need to borrow your giant creature when it’s done. How much to ship it to Seattle?)

So realistic is his monster, I actually called up Stockholm to see if it was still standing, or if they need me to come over and stare blankly at it as I do a live report back to the States. (Tell me you got that reference.)

Stockholm IncidentActually, this art has been on the web for a while. I would’ve found it earlier, but I was busy doing stuff. Don’t look at me like that, I WAS. A such, I tripped over the VFXTalk website while Googling™ for a Godzilla bathrobe to go with my ’Zilla jammie jams. Couldn’t find one. Not in my price range, anyway.

Stockholm IncidentSomeone in Hollywood and/or the SyFy Channel™ needs to hire this guy to make their monsters not suck so much, or to suck less. Legal note: I get a finder’s fee. The monster, part of what Levi calls The Stockholm Incident, comes in wallpaper size (computer, though it’d be cooler than all get out to have my living room covered in this monster wallpaper).

So as a message to all monster artists, send me your stuff and I’ll forward it on to Hollywood. I have a lot of sweet hook-ups there. OK, not really – but I’m your best shot at making it in the movies.

Vampyre Nation=Daybreakers=Powdered Milk

Posted in Vampires with tags on December 3, 2010 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Vampyre NationIt’s the future and vampires are now the majority, while blood-rich humans are the minority. Since food is scarce, the vampires have been experimenting with synthetic blood substitutes. In non-vampire terms, that’s like drinking powdered milk. We call this…Vampyre Nation.

Before you get your face all in a pinch, yes, this the same plot as Daybreakers (2009). But then, what else would you expect from the bottom scrapers over at the SyFy Channel™? No, they didn’t make the movie, the guys over at UFO International Productions, LLC did. But plagiarism is a neck sucked equally. Their “plot”…

“Bucharest, Romania. The not-too-distant future, but an entirely different city. The human population is dwindling. The vampire population, meanwhile, is exploding. Having emerged from the shadows a decade earlier, vampires now walk openly amongst the human population, as a precarious peace exists between the two. A peace made possible by the introduction of a synthetic blood substitute, dispensed by the Romanian government, making traditional vampire feeding, and preying on humans, no longer necessary. But even so, it’s not a peace that everyone is entirely comfortable with…”

DaybreakersThe movie’s press release goes on to say that Vampyre Nation “combines the thrills of Blade (1998) with the human drama of True Blood (HBO series) and Twilight (2008), and is a frightening tale of science fiction and horror that will question the way you think.”

I don’t question the way I think. I’m more of a man of action. As such, any movie – horror, sci-fi or not – that uses Twilight in their description automatically gets a power flush and a double jiggle of the handle.

While Daybreakers…uh, Vampyre Nation is a made-for TV movie airing in 2011, it also ripped off its title from the Central Massachusetts Vampyre Nation research website. Their mission statement: “This is not a role playing site. It is meant for the understanding and development of Vampyres as a community.” I’m glad they cleared that up as I was showing signs of being confused. Show ’em some vampyre love by clicking HERE.

There’s also another blog called Vampyre Nation Gazette. I don’t know what a “gazette” is. I think might be one of those bitchin’ fast sprint mooses that leave skidmarks across the Serengeti at a wicked 50 m.p.h. Visit Vampyre Nation Gazette by clicking HERE. Don’t know what an African moose has to do with vampyres, though.

Visit the Serengeti by clicking HERE.

Lastly, Vampyre Nation Group is a home for wayward Goth wads on Myspace™ who refer to their fans as the Vampyre Nation. Visit VNG by clicking HERE.

If you’re still interested in Vampyre Nation, the movie, might I suggest watching it while drinking a refreshing glass of powdered milk.

Vampire Milk

Godzilla vs. Japan. Again.

Posted in Giant Monsters, Godzilla with tags , on December 2, 2010 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

GojiraGodzilla, king of monsters, has a proven track record of taking out everything from skyscrapers to other giant monsters that are the size of skyscrapers. And that kind of spiritual inspiration is just what the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (i.e., “whale huggers”) have invoked to make Gojira (Godzilla’s birth name), their new anti-Japanese whaling boat weapon.

GojiraLooking like something designed to stop Godzilla himself, the Seattle P.I. reports that Gojira is a “swift and ominous-looking interceptor vessel, replacing the trimaran Ady Gill, the bow of which was sheared off after it was struck in January by a Japanese whaling ship in the frigid waters of Antarctica.” Of course the waters of Antarctica are frigid – that’s where imported ice cubes come from. Geez.

The P.I. further goes on to say that Gojira is headquartered on San Juan Island and is led by Captain Paul Watson, who earlier co-founded Greenpeace (i.e., hippie club). The San Juan Islands are not far from where I ride up and down skyscrapers, so maybe I’ll go there to see if they’ll let me drive Gojira around and see if I can pick up any sea chicks. Chicks dig futuristic anti-whaling boats. I hear it gets ’em hot.

Of course, Godzilla himself has some experience with boat-crushing. Shown here in a picture out of the Bible™, Godzilla intercepts some toga-wearing Jesuits from over-fishing and depleting the ocean of G’s main source of protein outside of Mothra sushi.

GojiraGiven how Godzilla’s name and likeness is trademarked up the whazoo (is that how you spell “whazoo”? It might in fact be “wazoo”), I’m wondering if Big G’s attorneys aren’t gearing up to do a little boat-smashing themselves. And given that the whaling boats Gojira is going after are from Japan, it’s adding insult to injury (though it is pretty darn funny).

If I was an attorney, I’d sue the rudder off of them.

Gojira

Horror, Hedonism and Vegetables

Posted in Evil, Misc. Horror with tags , on December 1, 2010 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Garden of HedonGarden of Hedon, which I’m certain has less to do with cabbage and corn and more to do with horror and hedonism, is a new indie film that’s a “cross between the good 10 minutes of Eyes Wide Shut (1999) and a supernatural element.” It also throws in plentiful gore and a new type of monster. I bet anything it’s a multi-stemmed radish creature.

Garden of HedonThe film’s website describes their movie as a “mystery/horror about a detective who wakes up in a surreal house where every pleasure is indulged. Drugs. Sex. Gambling. It’s all there and more…including murder.”

Three things: Where is this house? Can I get there by public mass transit? And lastly…WHERE IS THIS HOUSE? SOMEONE TELL MEEEEEEEEE!

Garden of HedonThe film’s producer looks to offer a PG-13 version of the entire movie in segments online for free shortly after their premier, sometime in 2011. Very innovative, but I can do without the PG-13 part. That said, you can watch the well-produced trailer by clicking HERE. Warning: It has a brief flash of a naked blonde girl with sliced vegetables on her garden-y parts. Best to not hypothesize where she put the cucumber.

Garden of HedonP.S. Not to be confused with the Garden of Hedon pin-up/burlesque show in London, the online Garden of Hedon antiques store, or the Garden of Hedon folks in Nevada who always show up at Burning Man and won’t share their fire extinguishers.