Happy Birthday Kim Novak – Watch Ms. Novak as Madeline At The Bell Tower In “Vertigo”!

When I think of Kim Novak, I have two initial thoughts: the first is the fact that when she started dating Sammy Davis Jr., the then-Studio Head of Columbia Pictures and well-known total asshole Cohn threatened Mr. Davis–to his face–that if he didn’t break things off with her and marry the first black woman he could find who was interested (the rotten prick started off by threatening to ‘put out his one good eye’, and  blinding him as he’d already lost the one eye in a car accident by then. Wedding bells rang ASAP. Wish that wasn’t what always, er, jumps to mind at the mention of her name, but her unforgettable performance in Vertigo comes along with it and quickly wipes the first thought out.

I also remember watching Vertigo for the first time in a theater as a teenager, at a really cool revival movie theater who showed different movies every day. Some bigger ones and premieres got one week, but most just got a day. We sat in the front row of the balcony and she proceeded to blow me away; I actually thought two different actresses played Madeline and Judy up until after I saw it and someone pointed it out to me. I remember that it was a weekend matinée, and there were lots of other teenagers there. Many audience members, including my date (who had his arm around me at the time), actually SCREAMED in a high voice during this, er, jump scene. Take a look below the SPOILER ALERT…

Although this happens in the middle of the movie, SPOILER ALERT if you haven’t seen Vertigo (which you really should do).

Happy 81st birthday, Ms. Novak!

Variety Film Review: ‘Haunt’ (So You Want To Hear A Ghost Story?)

Hey, good news: if you want to see this R-Rated haunted-house movie and don’t mind paying the price to rent it on VOD, Xfinity On Demand has Haunt (click for IMDB page) under IFC Midnight. If you live in one of those “Limited Release” cities (up in Seattle, the closest they usually get to us is Portland–if that–and I’m a pretty loyal movie geek, but it’d take a lot to get us drive down to Portland to see even a really cool horror movie, such as being escorted personally by Bruce Campbell the entire time and not having to wait in line) then you may get to see it theatrically in March 2014.
Check out the mostly positive review by Peter Labuza here; as an aside I’d like to bitch about how irritated I get when genre movies are referred to as “Following on the coattails of (insert similar, better-known box-office success film here)”. Yeah, the original Insidious came out before this movie, but it sounds like the filmmakers just saw The Conjuring was a huge hit and slapped something together to cash in. OK, yes, some genre movies–which I try to avoid–really do only get made in hopes of cashing in on a current trend.* Anyway, if a review is going to make a comparison of something that might be made in the same vein (so to speak) but independently, just use a different phrase other than “following on the coattails.” A more memorable, less vague title than “Haunt” is the only complaint I can think of right now–then again, some of the most unforgettable, exceptionally terrifying movies I’ve ever seen have simple titles (take Inside, [REC], The Thing, and most recently, The Conjuring–though that beats the film’s original boring-ass title, “The Warren Files”) Take a gander at the awesome Haunt poster below:

Screen shot 2014-02-13 at 5.00.57 AM

…and check out the review. There’s no “Parent’s Guide” section on the IMDB page to skim over; however, sounds like this movie, unlike Insidious and The Conjuring, does contain some violent and grisly moments (unlike the first two which scared the living shit out of people with relied on creeping dread, ‘fridge scares’ AKA creepy reveals, and jump scenes that didn’t contain violence or gore but elicited plenty of screams). The reviews we’ve read do point out that the film does have its share of creepy moments, however, so we’re in. Note: for some reason, either Variety or WordPress has changed their link to “re-blogs” from “Read More” to “View Original”, so to read the entire Variety review, look for a link that says that instead.

Here’s a second less-than-subtle poster, though it does feature what we thought was the better tagline: SO YOU WANT TO HEAR A GHOST STORY?  Fuck yeah, we do! Let’s hope it’s a great one!

Screen shot 2014-02-13 at 5.22.25 AM

*There are some really, REALLY bad found-footage movies out there; some even have the balls to use something close to the title (“Paranormal Entity”) as if horror fans are such fucking morons we won’t be able to tell the difference. The half-hearted rip-off crap that gets released just to do that borders on insulting, and–OK, I’m preaching to the converted here, probably, and I was yelling at the hacks out there, not you.