Archive for July, 2013

Putting The Squeeze On King Cobra

Posted in Classic Horror, Giant Monsters, Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction with tags , , , on July 23, 2013 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

King Cobra

Bored with cloning sheep for the betterment of society, a group of scientists cross-breed a good ’ol Texan rattlesnake with an African King Cobra in order to milk its altered venom for a hangover cure (or something equally medically ground-breaking).

King CobraA convenient explosion in the lab mutates the oversized Slinky and it slides to a nearby town holding its first microbrew fest. (I was not invited back after that unfortunate incident involving one of the Porta-Pottys™ last year.) Wally Worm is 30 feet long and has teeth the size of fireplace pokers, which it uses to dispense much poking. People wandering around the woods looking for a place to pee (the Porta-Pottys™ are closed until further notice) are rudely interrupted by the snack-minded snake.

King Cobra

King Cobra’s (1999) inexcusably lazy title/casting/DVD cover/plot notwithstanding, the monster looks like one of the rubber snake toys you win at the carnival for popping balloons with symbolically dull darts.

King Cobra

Karate Kid’s (1984) Pat Morita shows up as a professional reptile wrangler and gets his head bitten off. Why he didn’t give the snake a kung-fu grip is beyond me. Erik Estrada makes a painful three-minute cameo as a gay PR agent organizing the town’s drunkapalooza. Coin toss as to whether Erik or the snake made the biggest mistake by signing up for this flickering flick.

1,000 Thoughts on Horror & Sci-Fi

Posted in Aliens, Asian Horror, Asian Sci-Fi, Bigfoot, Classic Horror, Evil, Fantasy, Foreign Horror, Ghosts, Giant Monsters, Godzilla, Misc. Horror, Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction, Scream Queens, Slashers, TV Vixens, UFOs, Vampires, Werewolves, Witches, Zombies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 22, 2013 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

1,000 Blogs

1,000 blog posts as of this e-writing. A nice, parade-worthy milestone, yes? Not to brag, but I think a Congressional Medal of Honor or some chewing gum might be a nice acknowledgment as well. And would it kill any of you lady strippers to comp me a lap dance? Heck, I’ll even take a free boob flash (lasting no less than thirty seconds, please).

As of this writing, 585,930 views, 285 comments, 2,737 best one day ever stat, 4,008 pictures, countless typos and grammatical failings, and 16,792 total spam since starting this silly blog on June 9, 2010. (Note to spammers: die already, you worthless dumbasses.)

I’m a LIFELONG horror/sci-fi fan who has collected monster magazines since I was old enough to shoplift (just kidding – I merely used the inside of my pants to transport the mags to the counter, leaving my hands free to wave hello to people in the spirit of being neighborly), watched thousands of horror/sci-fi movies (which might explain the eye twitch), and have championed the genre for 1,000 blogs and countless hours for NO PAY. Obsessed? Duh. Stupid? Ask my mom – I bet we’re all in agreement here.

Actually, I’ve done many more than 1,000 blog postings. MSN.com hired me for two very fun years to post six days a week on a variety of horror/sci-fi subjects prior to me starting up this NON-PAID blog. (Between 600 and 1,000 posts after the checks cleared.)

So what horror movie wisdom/insight can I impart over the last five or six years of near obsessive postings? Glad you asked… (Warning – what you are about to read while moving your lips are my opinions and perspectives and are NOT intended to be taken as gospel.)

1,000 Blogs

HORROR/SCI-FI MOVIE TRAILERS: Note to Hollywood – unlike the lovely gals at Mary’s Club in Portland, OR, you’re showing/giving out WAY too much. Moviegoers don’t need you play the entire movie in two minutes. Nor do we need multiple trailers. Make better movies and you won’t need to spend twice in advertising what the film costs to overkill shove down our throats.

1,000 Blogs

ZOMBIES: More than any other genre combined, zombie movies have flooded the marketplace in unprecedented numbers over the last five years, 99% of which have the SAME PLOT. Enough already. And chew with your mouths closed. To do otherwise is just plain icky. (Disclaimer: whomsoever is behind it, DO NOT quit making The Walking Dead TV shows.)

INDIE HORROR FILMS: By and large, disappointed. After all these years, I see a continuing and unsatisfying trend wherein the bulk (not all) of indie horror filmmakers of varying budgets have abandoned any quest of breaking new ground and expanding the genre’s horizons, and simply go for the quick, formulaic cash-in. (see “ZOMBIES.”)

Then, occasionally, I’ll come across a handful of low budget horror/sci-fi movies that go a long way in renewing my faith, a few recent examples as of this writing being The ABCs of Death (2012), V/H/S (2012), Monsters (2010), Yellow Brick Road (2010), and (guilty as charged) Sharknado (2013). Seriously, how could you not like a movie that has face-eating sharks raining down out of the sky via a nature-borne delivery system?

1,000 Blogs

FOUND FOOTAGE FILMS: The karaoke of filmmaking. Any aspiring douche bag with enough money to buy an entry-level digital camera and able to edit it with iMovie™ can make a wretched found footage “film.” And they have been. In droves. You can thank the infuriating Blair Witch Project (1999), a found footage movie that featured little more than a few noises in the dark, a lot of snot-nosed crying and no title character for lighting the fuse here. The $22,500 budgeted project succeeded with an admittedly brilliant marketing campaign (far better than the film itself) and turned on the profit faucet to the tune of $248 million, setting off a cinematic gold rush for thousands of cash-in douche bag found footage “filmmakers.”

1,000 Blogs

Then there are exceptions to the rule: Paranormal Activity (2007), Cloverfield (2008) and since then, quite effectively, The Bay (2012), a movie about a mutated strain of watery parasites, which realistically mixes found footage with “authentic” TV broadcasts, street and cop car cameras. It’ll make you quit drinking the water, which I have done. Nothing but beer for me as I’m not down with mutated parasites from the town’s water supply getting into my body and eating their way out. I have enough problems with spiders crawling into places meant for outgoing mail.

1,000 Blogs

FOREIGN HORROR: I’m a big fan of foreign horror/sci-fi films, especially those of Japanese descent (Meatball Machine/2005, Tokyo Gore Police/2008, Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl/2009, RoboGeisha/2009, The Machine Girl/2008, Mutant Girls Squad/2010). And why is that? Because these movies are so surreal, abstract, non-linear and ridiculously over the top with gore/blood/intestines, that I often just stare at ’em without blinking for fear I’d miss something.

1,000 Blogs

Bizarre, comedic and budget/category defying foreign horror movies I’d personally endorse with my valued name brand™ are Dead Snow (Norway/2009), Dog House (England/2009), Saint Nick (Dutch/2010), Rare Exports (Finland/2010), Troll Hunter (Norway/2010), The Host (South Korea/2006), Mutants (France/2009), La Horde (France/2009), and Whale Watching Massacre (Iceland/2009). And an enthusiastic shout out to The Cottage (England/2008). There’s more, but this has already turned into a laundry list.

A personal fav foreign horror movie? Let The Right One In (Sweden/2008), which arguably reinvented the vampire genre. You didn’t like it? I feel sorry for your family and friends. In fact, I weep for you. OK, not really.

1,000 BlogsTORTURE PORN: Not sure why this distasteful sub-category of horror is so popular. What can possibly be the appeal of watching highly graphic depictions of serial killers systematically turning easily lured victims into stir-fry when you see the SAME THING on the news. These movies (Hostel, Wolf Creek, The Collector, and even the big money Saw franchise, to name a high-profile few) don’t hold a candle to the horror of the same type you see reported on in real life every day of your life. And here’s where I stick my foot right in my mouth again – I was duly impressed with the plot twist revenge aspects of The Last House on the Left (2009), a remake of Wes Craven’s 1972 lurid exploitation film. And yes, I own all the Saw movies on DVD as I lost my taste for the evening news a long time ago.

1,000 Blogs

HORROR/SCI-FI REMAKES/SEQUELS: Like non-alcoholic beer, I wish these would just go away. Yeah, I go see every single one of them, but not because I want to. I’m commanded by a higher power, which is my obsessive passion for this genre. Remakes/Re-Boots/Re-imagined – they’re irrelevant to everyone except those making ‘em.

It’s all about the MONEY. That a bad thing? Not necessarily. Good for the genre? My personal opinion: cinematic version of rat turds in your cherry Jell-O™. And even though I’ll swim neck-deep through this crap time after time (Friday the 13th, Texas Chainsaw, Dawn of the Dead, Amityville Horror, etc.), there are a few rewards: Evil Dead, Piranha 3D, The Crazies, A Nightmare on Elm Street (admit it, that was solid, if not a home run), and even the much-maligned Halloween do-overs, re-envisioned by Rob Zombie. (Anyone younger than me who saw it and didn’t like it, go to your room.)

HORROR/SCI-FI MOVIE BLOGS: Essential and pointless, both at the same time, this blog included. Why most now-commercial horror blogs (accepting paid advertising) exist is the same thing that’s subverting the very movies we all seek to promote. Hyper passionate about the subject matter, often poorly written (ahem), and hyper critical of every new horror movie – commercial or indie – to come down the pipe, often before the flick even comes out. And yet, give any one of these horror movie websites content exclusivity, advance previews, star interviews, or piles of advertising money, and watch the accolades roll in. (Note to potential advertisers – I can be bought, too.)

1,000 Blogs

THEATRE REWARDS: I am a rewards card-carrying member of AMC Theatres and Regal Cinemas as I am fortunate enough to live close to both and who bring in all of the big budget horror movies (with the exception being an AMC showing at the mall of The Lords of Salem/2013, directed by Rob Zombie. Not a good movie, though I probably missed the point. Regardless, I remain a big fan of his work.)

AMC’s $12 annual Stubs™ rewards give you popcorn and soda upgrades for free without having to reach a spend goal ($100). Once your spend minimum has been reached, you get $10 back in free snack counter goods of your choice. I always go for the hot dog as that’s a high ticket item. (Note to AMC – your hot dogs are fine, but when you steam the buns to heat them, they turn into glue. I’d rather eat a raw hot dog bun than a steamed one.)

1,000 Blogs

Regal Cinema’s Crown Club™ rewards card is free, with points racked up for how many times you go to the movies. (For me two to three times a week.) Rewards are free movie tickets, free popcorn and free sodas. (Not candy, dang it.) And popcorn upgrades are $1.50. Stingy, I say. Regal’s hot dogs are far better than AMC as they are bona fide Nathan’s™ franks, and they don’t steam the bun. AMC’s popcorn is slightly better, though they tend to re-heat yesterday’s leftovers. Soda pop taste at both theaters: depends on what airline bottles you smuggle in to “accessorize.”

Both theatres: your snack counter employees are either dumb as Jell-O™ or they’re just plain stupid. Recent true experience at Regal: Bought $10.75 worth of stomach-pumpers at the snack counter and handed over a $20 bill. The teen gal working the counter actually had to call for management to come over to assist with making correct change. I wish I was making this up. But alas, this is the true horror of going to see a horror movie these days.

Onto the next 1,000 unpaid blogs…

A Brainless Headless Horseman

Posted in Classic Horror, Evil, Ghosts, Scream Queens, Slashers, TV Vixens, Zombies with tags , , , , , , on July 20, 2013 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Headless Horseman

As freshness-expired as Headless Horseman (2007) is, seven teens end up in Wormwood, a mysterious rundown town with no Jiffy Lube™. What it does have, though, is a vengeful headless horseman, called Headless. Cute.

Headless Horseman

HH coincidentally needs seven heads to drop into that boiling tar hole in his garage. This dirty orifice is Hell’s dumbwaiter as a tentacled thingamajig reaches out to snag said offerings, thereby allowing HH to roam the earth. If he doesn’t put the required amount of heads in the pit by midnight, he and the whole town will be sucked down to Hell.

Headless Horseman

Craniums get lopped off, but sadly it’s all done digitally. The best moment – aside from a young supermodel-in-training slowly changing clothes – comes when she drives her  father’s truck right over Horsy’s head and it pops like a grape in pliers. (Major plot spoiler: the Headless Horseman has a head.)

headless Horseman

There’s a third-grade backstory about a priest, enchanted sword and the snake constellation whose stars line up to… Yep, it’s stupid. So is the Headless Horseman himself, who even rides a motorcycle at one point. (Ghost Rider™ is gonna want to have a word with you, pal.)

It takes less than two minutes total for the heads to be cut off. You’re on your own for the movie’s remaining 88.

Godzilla – Standing Fully Erect

Posted in Asian Horror, Asian Sci-Fi, Classic Horror, Giant Monsters, Godzilla, Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction with tags , , , , , , on July 18, 2013 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Godzilla

Few things in life anymore are able to give you a rise in your Levis: ViagraCialasLevitra… (As opposed to when I was 13 – EVERYTHING.)

Forget all that stuff – the teaser poster for Godzilla (2014) is the best shot of full blown testosterone you can get without a prescription.

Godzilla

From what I’m able to gather in-between fits of uncontrollable drooling and cold showers, this “Godzilla” thing looks to be a mega gigantic reptile that more than likely comes out of the ocean and SMASHES EVERYTHING. Other than that, I know nothing.

I do know one thing, however – ask me for directions right now and I can point without using my hands.

The Horror of Air

Posted in Misc. Horror, Nature Gone Wild, TV Vixens with tags , , on July 17, 2013 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

The Happening

Something in The Happening (2008) is causing people to stop what they’re doing and kill themselves. Some accomplish this by jumping off rooftops, others by laying down in front of industrial lawn mowers. Both harsh, but effective.

Thinking it might be a terrorist attack (man, those guys get blamed for everything), or a military thing gone wrong, no one grasps why this is happening, but are instructed to get out of major populated areas all the same.

The Happening

Everybody’s freaked out, especially Zooey (it doesn’t, but it should rhyme with “gooey”), who thinks meeting another man for lunch constitutes an affair, for which she feels plot-distracting guilt. Nice timing. Her husband Marky Mark Walhberg is trying to keep her and some kid they got saddled with away from the invisible airborne threat that’s systematically working its way through towns and cities, and heading right for them.

The military can’t help because they keep shooting themselves in the head. No one seems to know which direction to go as intermittent reports indicate this invisible “contamination” is almost upon them.

The Happening

Seeking refuge in an old lady-occupied house out in the country, Marky, Zooey and their newly-adopted daughter get about two minutes rest before the elderly house-owner becomes possessed by the thing everybody’s been avoiding like the plague, and smashes her own face into glass, thereby bringing an end to a boring country life no one gave an industrial lawn mower about.

The Happening

Tired of running, Marky, Zooey and the kid give up and go outside for one final embrace. Just like the movie, nothing happens. The media reports that the “epidemic” was perhaps a warning (probably for us to quit watching movies like this). The world is back to normal. Sorta. Next stop on the contagion tour: Paris, France. Good – Paris smells weird and the air will help air it out.

To get all the way through the flick only to find out the thing causing all the suicides was nothing more than eco-friendly wind, is a total eco cop-out. As such, The Happening ain’t happening.

Mad At Mad Ghosts

Posted in Asian Horror, Classic Horror, Evil, Foreign Horror, Ghosts, Scream Queens with tags , , , , , on July 16, 2013 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

The Grudge

The Grudge (2004) is a near frame-by-frame remake of the sequel crazy Japanese horror hit Ju-on: The Grudge (2003).

The Grudge

The US-made version merely substitutes Japanese actors for round eye Americans. They even used the same director, the same haunted condo and the same ghosts, only this time no one is screaming in sub-titles.

The Grudge

The near-plotless story revolves around a murder in a small, unassuming modern townhouse in a Tokyo suburb. Yep, that scared the hakama (Japanese pants) right off of me, what with its feng-shui, bamboo top counters and daylight windows to let relaxing sunshine in while you sip your green tea and read New Age haikus.

The Grudge

The ghosts that stick around are really mad (where the title gets its name) and any non-ghost that moves in is terrorized by the little ghost boy who snarls like a cat and the black-haired chick ghost with one eye poking out from her stringy black tresses.

So boring is this re-boot, you’ll actually look around your house for real ghosts to entertain you.

Godzilla – The Ultimate Pest Control

Posted in Asian Horror, Asian Sci-Fi, Classic Horror, Godzilla, Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction with tags , , , , , on July 14, 2013 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Godzilla Vs. Megaguirus

As Tokyo’s most bankable franchise, the world’s greatest reptile returns in Godzilla Vs. Megaguirus (2000) yet again to battle a new fast food tie-in toy, er, devastating foe, this time a giant dragonfly.

Godzilla Vs. Megaguirus

In their bid to develop a weapon powerful enough to make Godzilla quit wrecking stuff, scientists accidentally create a sort of “black hole”, which accidentally allows a creature from the other side to slip through. This ray beam is dubbed the Dimension Tide. (That’d be a cool name for a space laundry detergent.)

Godzilla Vs. Megaguirus

Megaguirus, said giant dragonfly, sees its chance, pops in for a howdy, lays an egg, then goes back into the hole. That somehow seems familiar. A kid finds the egg, and when it starts leaking, he responsibly dumps it in the sewer. But the egg isn’t just an egg – its just a shell holding hundreds of eggs. When they hatch, one million baby Meganuron pop out. After they grow to adult size, they’re referred to as Meganuera. I stepped in a pile of Meganuera once. Not cool.

Godzilla Vs. Megaguirus

These swarming bugs flood Tokyo (cool scene, but noticeably fake) and attack Godzilla where they suck out some of his blood as if heavy metal mosquitoes. Flying back into the sewer the Meganuron transfer the blood into a huge sleeping Queen Meganuera. After moulting, she grows to the size of Godzilla’s guest house and the two go at it like they were enemies or something.

Godzilla Vs. Megaguirus

Megaguirus has some cool powers, like the radiation ball. But Godzilla is nothing if not a huge nuclear reactor that feeds on radiation. Do your friggin’ homework, Megaguirus. During the battle Godzilla bites Meg’s stinger off and jumps 500 feet (!) into the air, squashing the buggering bug as if it was an employee of Orkin™. Corny, but mildly entertaining.

The military unleashes the Dimension Tide and kaBOOM – Godzilla is gone. (Gonzilla – heh.) That is, until the dust settles. It’s then that you hear Godzilla’s trademark skronk. I’d give anything to be able to make that noise, especially in a public restroom toilet stall. Good place to make people crap their pants.