Archive for October, 2011

Paranormal Activity 3: False Advertising

Posted in Evil, Ghosts, Witches with tags , , on October 24, 2011 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Paranormal Activity 3Disclaimer: this blog/blawg is not designed to disparage the just-released Paranormal Activity 3. The movie’s quite good and in many ways, better than Paranormal Activity (2007) and Paranormal Activity 2 (2010). Rather, I take double-frown-y face issue with the misleading marketing. Or should I say…OUTRIGHT LIES.

Paranormal Activity 3We’ve all seen the commercials. Those of us with TVs, anyway. (If you don’t have a TV, you’re dead to me – and being dead you should probably audition for Paranormal Activity 4.) The commercial shows a grade-school young Katie and Kristy, the two doomed sisters, in a prequel segment, reciting the “Bloody Mary” incantation into a dark bathroom mirror. When the lights go back on they scream and leave the restroom without washing their hands or flushing, and a mysterious shadow appears in the mirror. That did not happen in the movie. A re-worked version with Katie and her step dad’s baby-sitting BFF did, though.

Paranormal Activity 3Then there’s the part in the movie’s trailer that showed Kristy jumping off the one-story bedroom balcony in the middle of the night, only to coming running back upstairs to do it again. Didn’t happen in the movie.

Then there’s a specialist who is called in to help solve the issue of Kristy’s invisible friend. He is assaulted by an unseen entity right before the shocked parent’s gaping mouthed faces. Didn’t happen in the movie. Neither did the part where Kristy, attempting to prove that the invisible “Toby” was standing right next to her and her mom by throwing water on him/her/it, and the wet demon reacts by hurling stylish furniture around. (I don’t care what layer of Hell you come from, that kind of behavior is very unbecoming.)

Paranormal Activity 3Then there’s the house on fire (didn’t happen), Kristy hiding in the car (didn’t happen), a picture of the demonic Toby drawn on the inside of the girl’s bedroom closet (didn’t happen), and dad running upstairs with his video camera just as mom was yanked out of the bedroom by an unseen yanker and hurled through the door. Didn’t happen.

What did happen: plenty of jump or “tinkle a bit in your pants” moments, most of which borrow profusely from Poltergeist (1982). (There’s even a line in the trailer – but not in the movie – that refers to Carol Anne, the Poltergeist’s demon-beleagured little gal who probably worshipped Satan behind her parent’s backs.) No soundtrack, just unnerving background noises and two impressive shock moments, one of which is a nice pant-filler.

You already knew some of the backstory, which is the premise of Paranormal Activity 3. And that is grandma was a witch. Don’t give me that look – it’s not a spoiler. Grandma, who pops up once or twice in the beginning, urges her daughter to have another kid, and to make it a boy this time. (See PA 2.)

Paranormal Activity 3I see a big red flag, which might swamp the storyline of Paranormal Activity 4 (the end of PA 3 totally leaves the lid up.) First, Paranormal Activity had a video camera obsessed boyfriend who couldn’t even take a steamer without filming it. In Paranormal Activity 2, the husband, also a video camera freak, set up cameras all over the house so he could watch ghosts take unholy steamers. In Paranormal Activity 3, the prequel (set in 1988), the step-dad (hmmm, part of the story arc?) is a wedding videographer.

See where I’m going? As each film moves backward, in order to tell evil grandma’s tale, they’re gonna have to rely on Super 8 film or View-Masters™ (plastic binocular slide shows) to convey the plot as consumer-grade video cameras did not exist that far back. Then again, with grandma being a witch, maybe she filmed her wrong-doings using…MAGIC.

Paranormal Activity 3We’ll just have to wait another year to see. Until then, my complaints with PA3 are few but valid (no possessed pool cleaner, not enough four-letter words, no nudity). But for the most part, it’s a solid value for your demonic dollar.

Hellraiser(s): Pinhead Vs. Pinhead

Posted in Classic Horror, Evil, Slashers with tags , , on October 23, 2011 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

HellraiserI’ve known of three pinheads in my life: Zippy, the Pinhead (Freaks, 1933), Pinhead (Hellraiser, 1987) and Dr. Joel Cenobite, my near-sighted acupuncturist. Barring any current GOP politician running for president, add one more pin to the cushion: Pinhead, from Hellraiser: Revelations (2011).

What’s that you say? Another Pinhead – a pretender to the Throne? Who would dare step into the shoes of Doug Bradley, the ONLY Pinhead fit to ever walk Hell’s rose garden? That any filmmaker should wave their remake arrogance around like a trouser wang at a frat party by attempting to re-interpret Hellraiser and its iconic figurehead is hubris of hellish proportions.

HellraiserAnd that’s the shameful mess that is Hellraiser: Revelations, the ninth installment of the Hellraiser franchise. Filmed in an insulting three weeks (it should’ve taken 666 days minimum), Revelations is no revelation at all, making a mockery of the original groundbreaking Clive Barker short story, Hellbound Heart (1986) by loading it up with bland sexual deviancy (been there, debauched that), Clearasil™ method actors and the poorest excuse for a Cenobite to ever put chains on the snow tire that is your face.

Don’t take my prejudice for it – Clive Barker himself issued a terse Tweet, proclaiming that “I want to put on record that the flic [sic] out there using the word Hellraiser IS NO F*CKIN’ CHILD OF MINE! I have NOTHING to do with the f*ckin’ thing. If they claim its from the mind of Clive Barker, it’s a lie. It’s not even from my butt-hole.”

Yes, he said butt-hole.

PinheadsThe movie’s press release even set themselves up for an epic FAIL: “Two friends discover a puzzle box in Mexico, which opens a gateway to Hell. Before long, dermatological nightmare Pinhead has returned to make the lives of everyone in his way miserable.”

Mission accomplished.

Harry Hellraiser

Tasmanian Devil – The New Werewolf

Posted in Nature Gone Wild with tags on October 22, 2011 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Tasmanian DevilsThe name Tasmanian Devil is so bad ass, you should think about getting your name legally changed to it. Sure, your first introduction to the Tasmanian Devil was via the Looney Tunes™ cartoon character voiced by Mel Blanc from 1954-1989. But better Tasmanian Devil than Foghorn Leghorn or Hippety Hopper (though that one could be co-opted by a rapper).

In what may very well be a first crack at headlining a horror movie, Tasmanian Devils, a SyFy™ original, looks to shake off the T–Devil’s goofy yet highly entertaining cartoon legacy and pump up the body count. Here’s how the balls of fur and teeth make their debut:

“Five daredevil friends break the rules and BASE jump into a remote area of Tasmania – where another group of devils is waiting for them when they land. When Park Rangers arrive to arrest the BASE jumpers for disturbing a pristine, ecological haven, they don’t believe their stories about the monsters they have uncovered. But before they know it, the jumpers and the rangers are in the fight of their lives. Can they stay one step ahead of a clever enemy with lightning speed or will they all be ripped apart by poisonous teeth and claws?”

They had me at poisonous teeth and claws.

Tasmanian Devil

The cartoon Tasmanian Devil was a short-tempered little douche bag that spun around so fast he looked like a mini tornado. He also ate anything in its path, from other cartoon characters (often edited out) to raw garbage.

The real Tasmanian Devil is a carnivorous marsupial, eating everything in its path, from Australian tourists to BASE jumpers. According to Wikipedia™, the little f*cker’s large head and neck allow it to generate the strongest bite per unit body mass of any living mammal. Not buying it. I’d like to see the Tasmanian Devil and Jaws lock up in a hot dog eating contest. (My money’s on the Big Guy.) The real Tasmanian Devil probably doesn’t spin fast enough to look like a tornado, though.

Tasmanian Devils comes out whenever. I’d do a little more research, but I’m starving. Gotta go find me a tourist burger or some tasty raw garbage to snack on.

Chronicle: Sci-Fi Super Teens

Posted in Science Fiction with tags on October 21, 2011 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

ChronicleSeattle is home to many things: Bigfoot, flying saucers, emo vampires, testosterone-y werewolves, me… Now you can add sci-fi super-powered high school students to that illustrious list.

In Chronicle, due out February 3, 2011, three teenage jackasses with a penchant for practical jokes and painful white boy rapping, discover something in the woods that bestows them with superhuman powers. My guess: a half-rack of Budweiser. Hey, it worked  on me. These chuckleheads use their growing abilities to play pranks and to remove superfluous clothing from females. Then things get really fun.

ChronicleIn addition to their powers, which makes them out to be alt-rock X-Men, their dark sides come out and, like all teenagers, abuse their privileges, causing moody destruction and acne-prone problems.

I liked this better when it was called The Craft (1996).

ChronicleExamining the screenshots, the one with a kid sitting all moody pout-y in a junkyard, has the Space Needle in the background. I live here. There’s no car dump on West Seattle’s waterfront. There is an over-priced seafood restaurant (Salty’s on Alki), a walking park land-mined with Canadian geese poop, a greasy fish ’n chips shack, and a water taxi that doesn’t give back change. Because of this false metal depiction of Seattle, I hereby deem Chronicle to be fake. I can believe in teens who can fly and bend cars in half with their minds. But a less-than-hygenic junkyard on our/my scenic waterfront? How dare you.

Ghost In The Flying Machine

Posted in Asian Horror, Evil, Foreign Horror, Ghosts with tags , , , on October 20, 2011 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Dark Flight 3DIt’s bad enough when airports use Superman technology to look into your underpants before boarding a doomed flight. But to actually travel on a ghost plane? I can put up with an X-rayed wee wee and even airport security intercepting beer smuggled inside a squeezable bottle of Massengil™, but not polter-pilots. Billed as Thailand’s first 3D horror movie, Dark Flight 3D puts you in the cockpit of SPOOKY ASS STUFF and coach-class ghosts.

Ten years ago, which is about a decade, give or take, a supermodel airline hostess (or “peanut lady”) survived a horrific plane crash. (No peanuts made it out alive.) And like all pre-screened employees of the airline, she logically believes that vengeful spirits (or “ghosts”) landed the plane into pieces. So gooned out was this gal, she had to undergo a decade (or 10 years, give or take) of psycho therapy to get the wrinkles ironed out of her belief system.

Done and done. Now she’s ready to take flight once again and…hold it Mable, don’t set the table – the plane she’s on is the SAME ONE that crashed all those electro-shock treatments ago. Not to worry, the aircraft has been fixed and re-painted, with hardly a trace of blood and gut splatter anywhere. How ironic is it, then, that the same ghosts booked seats on that flight? The odds are so astronomical as to be comical. Hey, that rhymes! I’m in the zone today.

The Ghost of Flight 401Any of this sound familiar? It should – Dark Flight 3D uses The Ghost of Flight 401 (1978) as its template for terror. Based on a true event (Wikipedia™: “Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 was a Lockheed L-1011 Tristar 1 jet that crashed into the Florida Everglades on the night of December 29, 1972, causing 101 fatalities”), The Ghost of Flight 401 (book and movie) has engineers sifting through the doomed plane’s salvageable parts and uses them to repair other aircraft. Not cool, air dudes. Soon passengers and crew on those aircraft report seeing what they believe to be the ghost of the wrecked airplane’s flight engineer.

I believe them with all my heart.

The Ghost of Flight 401So the next time you book a flight, choose one that doesn’t have ghosts, vengeful or otherwise. Knowing airlines these days, they’ll charge you extra for that.

Acid Spiders – Bugs on Drugs

Posted in Aliens, Science Fiction with tags , on October 19, 2011 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Acid SpidersInstead of taking music lessons to actually learn how to play their instruments, a chick rock group decides to take lysergic acid diethylamide (drugs) to open their minds to new sounds. (Don’t judge them – ’60s L.A. beach hippies The Doors did it, too.) But instead of seeing the dark side of the moon, they see evil space spiders. For druggies, that’s kinda the same thing when you think about it. Unfortunately for everyone involved, rock and roll can’t save them now.

Acid SpidersThe Acid Spiders, a 2011 15-minute film short from Australia (where otherworldly life-forms originate), has these critters spraying space goo on your face, which causes your outer shell to dissolve like powdered Kool-Aid™ in a refreshing pitcher of nitroglycerin. And if you think the idea of space spiders spraying skin-liquifying juice is dumb, remember the Alien was spitting face-melting mouthwash since 1979.

P.S. Don’t do drugs.

Acid Spiders

Zombie Grocery Store

Posted in Asian Horror, Zombies with tags , on October 18, 2011 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Scary MarketIf your local grocery store doesn’t carry zombies, then you’re shopping at the wrong place. Take China for instance. Their stores not only stock multi-tentacled sea creatures marinated in a mild soy sauce, rat patties and those freakin’ addictive Choco-Sticks™, but aisles upon aisles of the undead.

Scary MarketScary Market, an odd but kinda cool movie title, is about a zombie infestation inside of a supermarket. Pure genius. A supermodel store employee with a machine gun encounters aisles upon aisles of the said undead. She has to re-kill them all and get back to stocking products that’ll fix those “not so fresh feeling” days. And no, your grocery club card will not get you discounts on anything dead alive. You have to go to Costco™ for that.

Scary MarketScary Market, the horror comedy starring hottie Athena Chu, opens in China on October 21, 2011. I don’t know where China is. I thought it was next to the mall, but I couldn’t find it on Google Maps™. Stupid Google Maps™ – they don’t know anything.