“Evil Ed” (1995) – Throwback Review By Mrs. Horror Boom, Simply Titled “No”

So, ole Mrs. Horror Boom here had insomnia last night, and started searching Amazon Prime Video in hopes of finding free, newly released horror movies I hadn’t seen yet that were worth seeing (with very little hope, but it has been known to happen). I saw a review for a movie titled “Evil Ed,” which claimed to have the recent release date in 2016. I initially figured it was a new movie, though it had the same title of a really disappointing horror flick from the 1990s. Perhaps a remake? This review contained the one-word title, “No.”  That rang a bell. The more I read, the more familiar it sounded. Ever written a horror movie review fifteen years ago, started thinking you and the reviewer had a lot in common and would probably hit it off, then eventually something clicked and you realized it sounded familiar because you WERE that reviewer? No? Well, okay, but it has happened to me before. Not often, because I have used the same reviewer handle on Amazon and IMDB since I first got internet access in the mid-late 90s (drop me a line privately and I will share it with you; I built up quite a library which I am finally going to get off my ass and start recycling here), but it does happen. I was only thrown here–as I have been in the other rare cases–because for some reason my alias did not appear, and I was instead referred to as “a customer”. I actually find this concerning, since my reviews on both sites contain (or did, I’ll have to look into it)  a way to privately contact me, which resulted in some great networking with other horror fans, many offers of free review copies, and even a couple of job offers, but I digress.
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This cover art was actually kind of edgy at rental chains in the late 1990s.

I found that I still stand by this fifteen-year-old (yikes)* review. The only information I might add is that I literally just this moment realized that the movie is titled Evil Ed not as an homage to the beloved Fright Night character as portrayed by Stephen Geoffries, but because it rhymes with “Evil Dead”. Also, they manage to rip off American Werewolf in London in the end credits, another reason to be pissed off. I guess I could be more kind and say it was inspired by AWIL rather than calling it a rip-off, but I am not in a generous mood. Finally, keep it mind that I went into the movie with only mediocre expectations and was still let down. Below, therefore, is my review of the 1995 horror flick that I still do not recommend, Evil Ed. The header/title of my piece is simply, “No”.
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…and not in a good way.

Actually I feel like having my review be that one word. My friend, whose opinions I almost always trust about movies, especially horror movies, warned me NOT to rent this no matter how tempted or bored or desperate to see a new horror movie I was, because it was a complete waste of time. Unfortunately I haven’t talked to him in a while, and I was in a hurry to pick a movie, and thought, ‘what the heck, how bad could it be?’ WHY don’t I learn? What was I thinking? Did I think it would magically turn into a better movie while sitting there on the shelf for years waiting to be rented?

The ‘plot’ concerns a guy who edits films for some company. His boss is a jerk. The guy who had the job before him went insane and blew himself up in the pre-credits sequence, so for some reason the boss picks nerdy ‘Ed’ for the special project of editing “Loose Limbs” splatter movies. He never says what Ed is supposed to edit, but I guess that doesn’t matter. Ed is upset by some of the clips, working on them up at this house all by himself that the boss has decided to relocate him to for no apparent reason. He asks his boss if he can stop or do another project, but his boss doesn’t care. He starts to slowly go insane, supposedly from watching the clips, and wants to carry out the gory murders in real life. Or has he been this way all along? Please note that I am making this plot sound much more deep, interesting, and coherent than it actually is.

We don’t care about the characters at all, or have any sympathy for them, or even hate the bad guys. The plot is really, really boring and predictable. The splatter isn’t even that gruesome or creative-this is NOT worth renting just to see the gore, because what there is isn’t interesting or original.

All the ‘tributes’ to Sam Raimi just come off like really bad rip-offs, and no-one in the movie is anywhere near good-looking enough as Bruce Campbell, so you can’t distract yourself with that. I think an “Evil Dead II-Dead by Dawn” poster is only prominently displayed in one scene in the hopes that Sam Raimi will be flattered and not consider any sort of legal action. A trained chimp could have written a better screenplay. Every time I hear lines like “Are we having fun…yet?” (which even Bride of Re-Animator couldn’t pull off without making me wince) I start feeling like picking up some sort of deadly weapon myself. Characters just appear out of nowhere with no explanation, wandering in only to get killed. This might be okay if the movie was even remotely amusing or entertaining, but it was all I could do to keep from fast-forwarding through most of it. Fortunately I chose to pay some bills and balance my checkbook at the same time the movie was playing. Trust me, it did not require my full attention-I still felt like 90+ minutes of my life were wasted just by having this on in the background.

Don’t watch it, no matter HOW tempted you are- you’ll hate yourself for wasting your time and money. Horror fans will be completely disgusted by how incompetent it is. Even those who haven’t seen too many splatter movies should stay away, as there are so, so many movies out there you could rent that are much more well worth your while. If you want something brainless, low-budget and fun, rent something else. Complete waste of time with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Be smarter than I was at the time and don’t be fooled by the “Warning-Not For the Faint of Heart” on the box. You have been warned!
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Here’s the NSFW (technically, I guess) trailer for the 1995 movie (appears to be the unedited version; read more on that here), which contains much of the gore (and big Raimi horror fans can count the references) contained in the flick. Please just watch the trailer rather than the movie; you will do yourself a favor.

Also, this You Tube reviewer seemed to find it more entertaining than I did (in a “so bad it’s good” way-more power to him, I guess). Still curious? Then here is another way to avoid sitting through the movie, as the rest of the gore and practical effects more or less appear in this short “Monster Madness” review below.

 

*After hitting the age of forty, you will often make the unpleasant discovery that what occurred fifteen years ago seems more like a five-to-seven year old memory than something that apparently happened THREE TIMES LONGER AGO THAN THAT.  Beware, millennials, this could very well be in your future… take it from a Gen-X’er.

 

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Ten Ways To Kill Time Until The True Blood Series Finale If You Disliked This Season (SPOILERS)

All right, we’ve sort of danced around it till now and tried to keep negativity about the seventh and final season of True Blood to a minimum (unless you’ve read any of Mrs. Horror Boom’s comments on the A.V. Club/Disquis, where all tact goes out the window and there’s as much cursing as a Tarantino movie).   In particular, our venom is spewed in the direction of new showrunner Brian “Bucky” Buckner,* whom even one of the most hot gracious, professional regular cast members have vented about (citing great character arcs, plotlines, and missing scenes that were cut as a casualty of the change in showrunners). However, let’s not get too detailed about that right now. We’re just explaining why the ten ways to kill time till the series finale airing tonight on HBO have the tone that they do. We do feel this way, but take it with a grain of salt as we included this post as comic relief,

Naturally, spoilers abound, so beware!

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1.  Wonder what seasons six and seven would have been like if Alan Ball hadn’t retired as showrunner after season five (“I don’t even have the words to tell you how much I love this show, but I’m just too old and tired and beat-up to keep up after five seasons,” he explained honestly and apologetically during the panel at SDCC 2012) and handed the reins over to “Bucky”.

2. Decide there’s no way in hell they could have been worse if Ball had stayed on; brood about characters he probably wouldn’t have killed off

3.  Remember how there used to be True Blood finale parties up (until season 6 got going), held in friendly local bars and clubs; recall how sparse you found out they are for the series finale after you looked it up just for the hell of it.

4. Strongly resent the way Tara’s character (and the wonderful Rutina Wesley) was casually discarded in the pre-credit sequence on the premiere, killed off-screen. Remember how you were positive she wasn’t dead, then at least pretty positive there was going to be a great –of at least satisfying– pay-off down the line during the season to justify killing her off, with it only really seeming to bother Tara’s mother.

5. Remember what actually happened to Tara’s character instead to “resolve” the plotline, recall how the writer of the episode (in the EW.com ‘post-mortem’ to the episode where it was finally explained) actually sounded apologetic and couldn’t muster up much pride when asked to explain the resolution of the storyline. Start getting all pissed off again.

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6.  Start imagining how, if you ever ran into “Bucky”, you would probably assault him on sight. Remember that this is a felony and you shouldn’t even joke about it on your blog. Instead, imagine what you would say to his face (that would not get you into any legal trouble) and seeing that smug look wiped off.

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7.  Miss Joe Manganiello, remind yourself he’s still going to be around, then really miss his character Alcide. Wish they hadn’t killed him off so fast. Wish they hadn’t had to kill him off at all. Remember all the times Joe Manganiello said playing Alcide was a dream come true, but how he got frustrated towards the end because “the showrunner switch” took away a ton of planned scenes explaining his complicated back-story with his father and turned his character with one of the biggest hearts on the show into someone who was a total asshole, hit women, and didn’t have any more decent sex scenes.

8. Remember the good old days (well, years) when you eagerly anticipated every episode and the episodes delivered every time: at least A. one shocking thing, B. something that made you gasp or curse in shock C. something really dirty D. something really gory, and E. several good laughs. Then the episode would end with a cliff-hanger and half the time, a rockin’ song.

9. Strongly resent Brian Buckner some more. Get pissed off all over again, lower the bar further for your series finale expectations. Remind yourself this is not constructive and take a deep breath. Pray Pam and Eric will both survive the finale.

10. Despite all of the above, wonder if there’s somewhere you can go out and buy a bottle of “TruBlood” (yup, the show was so popular that by the end of S2, you could actually buy the stuff) in time to drink while you watch the series finale.

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BONUS ACTIVITIES:

1.  Hope desperately that (insert name of character you lust for the most) will get a nude scene/sex scene in the finale.

2. Wonder if you’ll ever meet (insert name of actor who plays character/s you lust after most here) and if so, if you’d be able to keep it together enough to even have a rudimentary conversation with them. Hope that if you do meet them, they aren’t even hotter in person to the point where you just snap and end up having to be dragged off them by security.

3. Remember when you defended True Blood to people who slammed the show, wonder exactly when it was you started having trouble defending it quite so strongly. Feel sorry for yourself.

4. Think that if nothing else, at least Buckner didn’t fuck up the awesome theme song, which you practically sprained your fingers in your haste to order from iTunes once you got the title and singer. If you ever got so excited you got up and danced to it when an episode aired, smile (even if you’ll never admit you did it).

5. Be happy and proud of yourself when remembering that when the show was great, you never once took it for granted, and made sure you took in every detail and soaked up every bit of fun. And goddamn, when True Blood was fun, it was REALLY fun. It truly was.

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True Blood Fan Fave Talks This Week’s Shocker – He Saw It Coming, We Didn’t (EW.com, SPOILERS)!,

We’d talk about it, but it’s… too soon!

Yo! It’s the Horror Boom Found-Footage Drinking Game V.2 : Now With Aliens (Plus Movie Suggestions)!

Okay, so! We almost added “Alien-themed found footage” as a category last time, but didn’t think there were enough of them out there. Well, guess what… there are more than we figured. Bigfoot-themed movies were going to be on there, but honestly, there’s only two that we know of.

Oh, and Mrs. Horror Boom here watched the worst, shittiest found-footage movie I’ve ever seen (which is REALLY saying something): The Bell Witch Haunting. It was so sloppy, lazy, and boring (toss in some terrible, terrible acting) I ended up writing a short review on IMDB just to warn people away, in case anyone thought it might be a “so bad it’s good” or “guilty pleasure” type of bad. Nope, it was just wretched. TBWH gives all supernatural found-footage horror movies a bad name. It gives all found-footage horror movies a bad name. It gives all horror movies a bad name. It gives all movies a bad name. We’ll post a review soon, we can guarantee you will be more entertained reading what we thought of it than watching the actual movie (watching your lawn grow for the running time would also be more entertaining than watching TBWH).

Here we go!

Horror Boom Presents The Found-Footage Horror Movie Drinking Game!
Or, list of clichés – take your pick!

 

In fact, depending on what movie you watch, you might want to forgo the alcohol altogether (unless it’s something under 10 proof) and just make out some bingo cards. Now that I think of it, we’d do it if I had the energy technology* to construct an actual PDF of, say, 4 different bingo boards that had some of the clichés on them scrambled up, so all you would have to do is print it out and use easily obtained household items to assemble the game of “Found-Footage Bingo”.  I suggest if the movie in question has a 2-star or less Netflix or Amazon review average, or less than a 5 out of 10 star rating on the IMDB, don’t use hard liquor, and really pace yourself.

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Pick a category below; we’ve included four common set-ups for found-footage horror movies, a “General” category that should work for just about any found footage movie, and a fifth group of things that have happened in good and bad found-footage horror.   Remember to drink responsibly,  and if you’re a minor, don’t drink anything with alcohol in it! I’m pretty sure that disclaimer is required! How’s milk sound? Try a glass of milk, we shouldn’t condone underage drinking.

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1. General Plot: Involves some type of demonic possession that was intentionally or unintentionally documented (and seems to have been pieced together). Look for the word “Devil” or “Possession” in the title. Many found-footage horror movies involving possession are notorious for vague, inconclusive endings that actively piss the majority of the viewers off. Some examples to get you started: The Devil Inside, The Devil’s Due, The Last Exorcism.**

Drink/sip when any of the following happen:

  • Interview with priest or other theological expert (or more than one) shown
  • If a married couple are the main characters shown in the footage, and the possessed one ends up killing their spouse
  • If a child is possessed, and they kill one or both of their parents/caretakers
  • Grainy footage of a documented possession and/or exorcism that was filmed by the Catholic church or other organized religion is shown
  • Someone films the possessed character defying gravity by climbing up a wall, scuttering across the ceiling, or crouched in the upper corner of the room like a damn spider
  • Possessed character bends over backwards waaaay farther that is normal and/or “spider-walks”. Take an extra drink if you know that the actress or stunt person is double-jointed or a contortionist and actually did this, rather than employ a CGI effect (IMDB trivia or a detailed Wikipedia entry will usually include this information).
  • Possessed character snarls/shrieks, and leaps across the room right at the camera while being filmed. Take an extra drink if the movie ends this way (you earned it)
  • Camera-person stupidly approaches a previously possessed character who has their back to the camera and isn’t answering them; character turns around to the camera and their eyes are completely white (or completely black)
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2. General Plot: Some type of paranormal investigators visit a certain location where they’ve heard strange events are happening. If the title is “The [fill in the blank] Experiment”, there’s a good chance the plot will be similar. Examples: Grave Encounters (and Grave Encounters 2,  which is a good companion piece and while not quite as good as the original, works well for the game), Paranormal Entity, Apartment 143 (not recommended).

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Drink/sip when any of the following happen:

  • A door opens or closes by itself
  • Inanimate object moves or levitates by unseen supernatural force
  • Inanimate object suddenly tossed/flies at a character or smashes against a wall by something we can’t see
  • A character wants to bail out of the project because they have a feeling staying and filming could get them hurt or killed
  • Someone else yells at a character who wants to bail out, because “We signed on to document this, man!”, or “Nothing like this has ever been documented before!”
  • Character lifted off their feet by some unseen supernatural force (usually by their neck), then dropped to the floor, unconscious
  • Character suddenly flies across the room, away from the camera, tossed by some unseen supernatural force
  • Character is dragged along the floor out of camera range (trying to grab things to keep from being pulled, while yelling/screaming for help) by some unseen force
  • Dead or unconscious character is dragged across the floor and out of camera range (this will usually happen when the camera has been knocked to the floor but keeps running, or captured by automatic surveillance camera) by some unseen force
  • Treat yourself to an extra drink if the previous rule is the last shot of the movie. You didn’t deserve that. No-one does.Screen shot 2014-05-23 at 8.54.06 AM

3. General Plot:  Aliens show up, frequently they will intrude on a family vacation (as in Alien Abduction) or get-together.  Sometimes, documentary film crews will go to some location to film the activity (such as in Skinwalker Ranch). Advance Warning: if you use the segment “Alien Abduction Slumber Party” from V/H/S 2 for this, we strongly suggest you drink nothing stronger than wine (in a plastic cup, as once things go wrong all hell breaks loose and it can be pretty intense) unless you want the evening to end with you passed out drunk.  It’s only around 20 minutes or so long, thus you won’t really be able to pace your drinking out like you would over a feature-length movie. Examples: Alien Abduction, Skinwalker Ranch, and Alien Abduction Slumber Party from V/H/S 2.

  • Aliens look like a version the typical “Grays”
  • Aliens have an original creature design that clearly took a lot of work and craftsmanship was put into: drink twice (especially if they used practical effects)
  • When an alien suddenly crashes the party out of nowhere, everyone wisely sprints off in all directions
  • An unnatural-looking light beams down to focus on one person, they rise into the sky/are sucked up and out of camera range.
  • Unexplained set of lights in the distance being filmed are suspiciously flying saucer-shaped
  • Entrance of alien/s accompanied by an ear-splitting blast of sound
  • Extra-terrestrial lights flood the screen along with the ear-splitting blare or blast of sound
  • The entire fucking movie passes without you seeing one fucking shot of a fucking  alien, or all you see in a blurry limb yanking someone out of camera frame: go ahead and have a shot, you deserve it!
  • Someone with the camera strapped to them (or somehow held onto by them) is yanked up and abducted, then very shortly after is dropped back to the ground (things usually are rushing back up or zip by as they drop). The camera falls with them and cracks as the unlucky character dies on impact. (Yes, this actually happens in at least two alien-themed found-footage movies)*** For this one, take two sips and toast if it looked moderately realistic.
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    Man, the poor, fairly small family dog doesn’t deserve to have a Go Pro strapped to his head, let alone have a pack of roaring, highly dangerous aliens chasing him around, for Chrissake!

 

4. General Plot:  Students collecting footage to document some project get more than they bargained for (they’ve usually travelled to do this). Potential titles that follow this plot will commonly either be the name of the place they are trekking off to, followed by the word “Project” or “Diaries”. Here’s some examples to start you off: The Blair Witch Project, Devil’s Pass, Atrocious, The Frankenstein Syndrome. Banshee Chapter might also work, although that one is actually better than average and has some genuine scares.

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Drink/sip when any of the following happen:

  • A character that was key to the safety of the cast gets killed or injured, and they’re on their own
  • Person in charge of the project turns out to be a selfish asshole who doesn’t care if someone gets mangled or killed because “the project is more important”
  • Character snaps and starts screaming at the character in charge of the project for putting them in the situation
  • Someone says something to the character holding the camera along the lines of, “Dude, what the fuck is wrong with you still filming this! Put down the fucking camera, this is not cool to be recording!”
  • During interviews shown as part of the ‘found footage’ during the start of the movie –usually the characters/camera crew ‘talk to some of the locals’– said locals warn them away, tell them a creepy anecdote, are uncooperative and hostile, or clearly insane. None of this registers with any of the enthusiastic, genius main characters on the project as serious red flags.
  • A card at the end of the movie tells us viewers that to this day, whereabouts of the film crew are unknown… all that remains… is this footage.
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General: These should work for any basic found-footage movie. Some examples to get you started: any of the Paranormal Activity series, Quarantine, Delivery: The Evil Within, V/H/S and V/H/S 2 (careful on those last two! You may want to skip the game for the entire movie and just do it every other segment), Cloverfield, Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes (that last one is not recommended unless you don’t care how stupid what you’re watching while you drink is)

Drink/sip when any of the following happen:

  • Cover art/poster for the movie is a shot of someone (usually young and female) being dragged away from the viewer and into the dark by something we can’t see as they try to dig their fingers into  the ground or floor for purchase.
  • Someone continues to film even though any sane person with working legs would say, “fuck this,” and drop the camera to run to safety/call 911
  • Person filming freaks out and runs while still holding the camera, treating us to an exciting montage of blurry, jerky movements where we can’t see shit (treat yourself to an extra drink if this continues for over a minute)
  • A soundtrack –or music stinger during “jump scene”– is added, even though this is supposed to be raw, unedited footage (at which point you are completely justified in turning off the movie and watching something else)
  • Such a cheap, shitty, obvious, lazy CGI effect is used that the entire movie screeches to a halt (you are also completely justified in watching something else in this case, especially if the effect was supposed to be the movie’s best part or “money shot”**).
  • Camera’s “night vision” is used during climactic scene (not necessarily a bad thing, it sure as hell worked in [REC] and Grave Encounters, for example)
  • Picture conveniently gets very bad or turns to static when we are about to see something that would have been expensive or required some creativity on the part of the film-makers to include
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  • Camera used as a weapon while filming
  • 911 call transcript
  • Cheap “false alarm” jump scare
  • Something so genuinely frightening and/or awesome happens that you’re pretty sure you’re going to have trouble sleeping: toast and take a celebratory drink (if you didn’t spill it, and after you calm down)
  • You literally cannot tell, or see, what the fuck is going on (other than hearing the characters freaking out) Screen shot 2014-05-23 at 6.40.52 AM

 

5.  General Things That Can Actually Work In A Found-Footage Movie

Why end this on a negative note?   I think I’ve seen more found footage movies in the last two years than I have all put together since both of us went to a midnight showing of The Blair Witch Project. Interesting trivia: while we walked to our car in the parking lot, Mr. Horror Boom actually said, “That was scary,” and meant it. If this has happened more than twice during our marriage–hell, entire relationship–I don’t remember it. Now, I’m not saying the ones I watched were all good. I’d say only about 25% of them kept my interest from straying to my iPad, most were mediocre, and I’ve seen some pretty terrible ones (not on purpose, though).

But ... over the years, I’ve discovered that one out of ten found footage movies turns out to be memorable enough for me to watch more than once and give a pretty high IMDB rating. And out of that 10%, one or two will be fucking gold, special enough to make wading through all the lazy ones– the ones that gave me approximately two minutes total (or less) of adequate entertainment– completely worth it. When found footage horror works–off the top of my head, Grave Encounters, [REC],  [REC2], and several of the short from both V/H/S movies–it works. It scares the shit out of the watcher, sometimes enough to forget it’s being presented as found footage, only knowing we are watching a rare horror movie gem. So here’s that last list. These are tropes that I’ve seen in some of the best out there… though they’ve popped up in the shitty movies too, they can actually work effectively.

OK, what is the absolute LAST thing you want to see when you switch on your night-vision setting? (from [REC])

Drink/sip when any of the following happen:

  • Whoever is filming uses something other than a camera( to lug around) or cell phone to record, such as glasses with a recording device, one of those button-cams, or a Go Pro strapped to a bike helmet
  • A character is alone with the camera and films themself to make a ‘confessional’ because there’s a good chance they won’t get out of this alive. They usually fall into two categories: A. the person barely keeping it together (sometimes weeping openly) and asking whoever finds this to tell their family they love them very much, oh God, they are so sorry and don’t want to die, etc. and B. the character saying, “I’m recording right now because I might not make it out of this. Whoever finds it, do everything you can to make sure this footage gets out… because the world needs to know.”
  • The camera operator starts swearing under their breath, “Holy fuck, you see that shit?” or panicking and yelling variations of “fuck” when all hell breaks loose, usually during the climax. Fairly believable reaction, as the below image from Grave Encounters is an example of:ohfucktonguegraveencounters.jpg
  • A character off-camera can be heard crying and heading towards a meltdown
  • Someone asks, “What… the fuck.. .just happened?”
  • We can see something horrible creeping into the background that the person facing the camera can’t see
  • Someone loses their shit and angrily curses at the camera, or person filming:
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  • Blood or gore splatters onto the camera lens
  • Someone turns to the camera and tells them to “record everything”, no matter what
  • Effective seat-jumping scare that you in no way saw coming (clean up your spilled drink first, then have two sips)

 

...and this is how it's done. (from [REC])

…and THIS is how it’s done (REC).

*actually, one of the two writers/staff that Horror Boom is composed of has the skills and even access to technology needed to do that, but not the time. Last year, a total genius out there (I can find the link if you ask me) made a carefully and cleverly crafted version of Monopoly called Breaking Bad-opoly (or maybe it was Heisenberg-opoly) that was composed of a detailed board, “Chance” cards, everything, all for free, though you needed access to a large-format printer and some decent backing-board to complete it. We really, really want to construct this and the other half of Horror Boom has the skills and tools, but we haven’t had time and that’s on the list first.

**No, this term is not confined to use within the porn industry.

***There’s actually a pretty decent one out there–better than the last three combined, at least it takes a different approach, gets a lot done for such a low-budget, and features a ton more gore (bonus points for nearly all of it being practical) than most found-footage movies–called Chasing the Devil. You can rent it on Amazon for a couple bucks and who knows, may even be on You Tube.

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Read Variety’s ‘Stage Fright’ Review – They Weren’t Too Thrilled With It Either

Yeah, and this isn’t the first review we’ve read about Stage Fright that doesn’t exactly make it sound enticing. Hell, the trailer isn’t even that good. We’ll wait till Netflix has it.

Check Out Variety’s Tribeca Film Review of ‘Zombeavers’

Rubin and company have clearly made a close study of Raimi’s original “Evil Dead” (and its inspired, latter-day successor “Cabin in the Woods”) as well as such tongue-in-cheek invasive-critter pics as “Gremlins,” “Ghoulies” and James Gunn’s marvelous “Slither.” But the best of those movies achieved a deadpan grace, a certain conviction in their own absurdity, that “Zombeavers” never approaches. Rubin’s style is more Wayans brothers than Zucker brothers, with a lot of how-low-can-you-go gross-out gags (including a bit of beaver-assisted castration) and lots of shouted line readings in place of characters whose survival (or lack thereof) might engender even the slightest rooting interest.

-from the Variety review by Scott Foundas

Yeah, well, I suffered sat through fucking Beneath yesterday (the only reason I bothered to watch the entire thing was out of hatred for the characters  and the chance to see them die horribly*), and even with this, well, mixed review from Variety, Zombeavers still doesn’t sound too bad.  I think I can stand 76 minutes of a ‘one note horror parody’ when the filmmakers were trying for ‘Sam Raimi meets Jim Henson’, even if they didn’t quite get there, and give Zombeavers a shot. Also, the end-credits teaser described –you’ll have to read the entire Variety review to find out the title– sounds worth the rental alone.

*I ended up giving “Beneath” two out of ten stars on IMDB, one for casting Mark Margolis–who deserves much, much better even if he hadn’t played Hector, AKA Uncle Ring-a-Ding, on Breaking Bad–and one for using practical makeup/creature FX. Two stars still seems generous, though.

Paleyfest 2014: Ryan Murphy Lauds ‘American Horror Story Coven’ Cast as “Most Amazing Group of Women Ever on TV”

Featured photo above: Ryan Murphy (left) laughing in our faces when we asked him how any suspense or dramatic stakes can be maintained if any character killed off can be brought back to life and/or patched back together whimsically,* including a decapitated main character with one hand being put back together offscreen, which is barely mentioned other than a throwaway line.  Meanwhile, Kathy Bates (middle)  and a woman who appears to be a young, strangely friendly Naomi Campbell Angela Bassett (right) are good sports and laugh at how much fun they had playing fictional versions of Delphine LaLaurie and Marie Laveau while wiping the floor with certain younger cast members –without even trying –no matter how goofy or nonsensical their plot-lines got.

Okay, uh, moving on a bit, to the Paleyfest 2014 panel that actually took place…

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It is our firm hope that whoever she is cast as (in American Horror Story -Freak Show), Frances Conroy still has as much of a blast playing as she clearly did when she played Myrtle Snow.

 

Well, Coven started OUT feminist, anyway… the women in American Horror Story Asylum went through way more pain, suffering, and heartbreak–mostly at the hands of men–but we thought that all in all (other than poor, wretched Chloë Sevigne’s character Shelly, whose fate was so horrible that several fellow female friends of mine said was the reason they decided not to watch the rest of Asylum as it was “too disturbing” for them, and actually gave me a rare nightmare or two) the women in the show prevailed. However, that’s another article.  Plus, the Coven cast really did kick ass. Click “View original” in the lower left to read the entire Paleyfest article… and check out the beautiful Ms. Angela Bassett (and friend), looking thirty-five tops, not fifty-five, below (and not looking too bad in the featured image, either)! Let’s hope she gets to have just as much fun on “Freak Show”, which will premiere in October 2014.

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*including a decapitated main character with one hand being put back together offscreen, which is barely fucking mentioned other than a throwaway line because, you know, witches …then telling us “Don’t be a hater, dear,” when we express valid disappointment in the last 1/3 of the season or ask for clarification on plot holes we could drive a frat party bus through, and then laughing heartily while patting himself on the back at his own clever reference to a line of dialogue on the show.  Later, Murphy howled with laughter when asked to define the term feminism, then  soon after composed himself and changed the subject when another audience member pointed out that feminism is comprised of more than women characters deciding to use the majority of their time and supernatural powers by hurling physical abuse, bitchiness, and actual intentional slaughter at other women on the show, rather than having man-on-woman violence.  Wow, I would have no problem writing a fictional version of the entire panel like this, but hopefully I got it out of my system for now.

Also, in the interest of honesty and full disclosure, I freely admit that I would have KILLED to be an audience member at that panel, no matter how much of a let-down the back half of “Coven” was (I’d only kill if the seats were really good, though).

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:

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…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!

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*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.

‘Sleepy Hollow’ TV show boosts tourism in real Sleepy Hollow

COPYRIGHT FOR FEATURED IMAGE ABOVE: Francesco Francavilla, ©2010. Check out his awesome blog, Pulp Sunday, right here. If you’re the author and want the image removed, please contact us and the webmaster (me) will take it down. Also, your art is pretty goddamned cool and I’d buy a giant print of that Headless Horseman art if I had any disposable income.

ANYWHERE that says, “Halloween is our Christmas” gets our business. Maybe we’ll even check out the TV show.   I’ve got to watch the Tim Burton flick, but not unless it’s daylight out.

[Tim Burton rave/rant/geek-out ahead, warning.] Remember when any Tim Burton movie automatically would be worth standing in line in the rain to buy advance tickets or for a sneak preview (which we actually did for Batman in 1989–the one line that was closest to a campout , with my best friend at the time–Ed Wood, and Mars Attacks)?  Add up the number of times I’ve sat through all three, especially the latter two–mostly with the ‘other half’ of Horror Boom, my husband–all three of them and it’s over three figures. And I’m not apologizing for that, goddammit! Ever! Mars Attacks had me practically levitating in my theater seat! That’s got tons of the coolest fucking things I’ve ever seen! Ed Wood is genius, and may have tanked at the box office, but my husband and I, along with the rest of the crowd at the midnight showing we waited three hours standing in on-off drizzling rain, roared through the whole thing!  Some people who were big fans of Ed Wood Jr. shouted out lines of dialogue (“You see? Your stupid, stupid minds! Stupid!” and Lugosi’s “Bevare… take care… bevare” among others). Have you ever been to a movie premiere where no-one had seen even a clip from the movie and yelled out lines of dialogue correctly? Maybe a few who are as big of movie geeks  cinephiles as we are (who are reading this right now), but it’s something that hasn’t happened much with the general public!  I watched my copy of Mars Attacks! on the horrible historical afternoon of 9/11 just to get my mind off it for even five minutes, and it worked for the whole running time, which is even more of a compliment to the movie when you consider that it features scenes of famous landmarks being attacked …probably because a flying saucer with 50s-style Martians was much more cheerful and campy an attack! What, are some hipsters going to make fun of me? Fine! OK, I don’t even know who I’m yelling at anymore here, or why, that’s how pumped up those get me. Ever since the Planet of the Apes remake, it’s been hit-or-miss.  I tried to like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory sitting there in the theater the Friday it opened, I really did, I didn’t even bother reading a review, thinking at the time Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka, how could this possibly go wrong?  I barely, barely made it through Alice in Wonderland, and that was for free on premium cable. AND I  tried (unsuccessfully) not to reach for my device to play Angry Birds. Dark Shadows? CGI everywhere… I own a coffee table book on Mars Attacks! and back in the mid-90s, Burton wanted the Martians to be a combination of animatronics and stop-motion, but finally had to very grudgingly cave when the studio insisted on CGI.  He’s capable of being the Tim Burton everyone (of a certain age) fell in love with, but Frankenweenie seems like the exception, not the rule. Same with The Corpse Bride, the last Burton movie to give me a genuine smile. What the hell happened? [end of rant/rave regarding Tim Burton]

OK, I wandered a bit there, but it’s just such a drag you can’t count on him anymore. Instead I’ll enjoy the great movies over and over… starting with Sleepy Hollow.

 

We Are Sorry To Report ‘Dexter’ Finale Leak Sounds Terrible (MAJOR SPOILERS)

So, yeah, this isn’t satisfying at all. It sounds the most likely of the leaks and the photos from the Dexter series finale (titled “Remember the Monsters?” – too bad “Surprise, Motherfucker!” has been used already, that title had a lot more pizzazz) that Showtime has released pretty much mirror the hospital stuff. Click the big link below if you want to read the blow-by-blow… We think the odds are high that this leak is in fact correct, so another SPOILER ALERT is probably in order.

Our “Spoiler-A-Rama” page hasn’t seen much action lately, so we cut and pasted it (and fixed some typos and formatting for your reading convenience) on that page. You can cut to the chase if you want by clicking here if you must know immediately what the leaked Dexter finale entails.

 

There is a major, unexpected death, but you’re probably not going to like it.  We can’t guarantee this is what will transpire in the finale, it could be a fake to throw us off, but we doubt the writers care enough to bother. In this leaked Dexter finale, it’s what we’ve come to expect – lazy writing with a “shocker” death that was not earned. It’s easy for a writing team on a series TV show to kill off a major character for shock value –especially when they can’t think of anything else. Cross your fingers that this turns out to be a planted, fake leak and that for the first time since Rita’s death, the show pleasantly surprises or, better yet, thrills us.

Most of the related articles below, unfortunately, support this leak. It definitely leaves ‘some interpretation’ and we can’t see how it could not have a ‘polarizing fan reaction’.