Soothe Your Tattered Nerves With (Throwback) Scariest Horror Short of The Week – “Playtime” (Grand Prize Winner of “Who’s There” Challenge)

Yep, this has been published before. Let’s face it, the election clock ticking down has pretty much everyone on edge (at best).  We can tell you that, through life experience, sometimes the way to get your mind off something scary in real life is to watch something fictional, like oh, a horror movie, that at least diverts the terror into a manageable area. So, we are (re)presenting a pretty goddamned scary short horror film to distract you! Enjoy, and just hit the category tag for ‘Scariest Short Horror Film of the Week’ (or month) if you want more.  Hey, things could be worse… you could be the main character in this terrifying little gem.

 

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You remember the scariest short horror film of the entire month of May, “Lights Out,” right? Uh, yeah, we remember it pretty vividly, too. We thought it won First Prize, and “Lights Out” did win Best Director. Screen shot 2014-06-04 at 11.58.37 PM

We were surprised to find there was a Grand Prize Winner of the Bloody Cuts “Who’s There?” short film challenge that was a different film. How could anything be scarier than Lights Out? We were scared to watch “Play Time”, honestly, but it WAS still light out. It’s light out right now, which is why we are brave enough to post it. However, nice summer evening out or not, this one is fucking scary. I personally would be screaming as loud as the actress in the movie if I saw it in a movie theater, and probably more than once.  If I was the actual character, I would have soiled myself (and well before the ending).

So if you want a good old-fashioned scare, turn out the lights, turn up the volume, and switch to full-screen. Then check this out:

So… not as much of a slow burn (if you can describe any three-minute short that way) as “Lights Out”, but…yeah. Doesn’t waste much time, and we loved it.

We do recommend the below “making of” short. It’s interesting… and it might help you sleep a little better.

 

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Ten Scary Things We Learned From American Horror Story: Roanoke “Chapter Five” (SPOILERS)

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Once more, BIG spoiler warnings for the entire season so far of American Horror Story: Roanoke. Especially Chapter Five! And boy oh boy, do we have lots of images for you!

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  1. Evan Peters is finally here on Roanoke! In possibly the best cold open American Horror Story has had since the “Freaks” tribute in Season 4’s “Showstoppers”, we find out he plays an extremely wealthy hardcore art enthusiast named Edward Philippe Mott. In 1792, he made the horrendous mistake of using the Roanoke cursed property to build a huge mansion as retreat for him, his art, and his lover Guinness*.  And yes, he was an ancestor of the narcissistic sociopath Dandy Mott from American Horror Story Freakshow. “Madness always ran in the family,” Doris Kearns Goodwin (as herself) tells us.

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On the night of the blood moon (we get a great shot of it hanging in the sky, crimson and sickly), his paintings get mauled and he freaks out (reacting as a parent would if they found their child’s head on a stick), screaming at his poor staff and then tossing them in the seriously deep root cellar (where they stayed until they had rotted into skeletal remains). Mott does not locate “the thief”. Instead, Tomasyn and her murderous supernatural gang drag him out of the house, impale him with a huge sharpened stake, and then push him into the fire while he is still screaming.

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So none of that worked out for anyone human.

2.  If Tomasyn is really, really pissed off at you during a blood moon, she can summon all her past victims. After the female Thai Ghost girl dropped into frame– about two seconds after Matt and Shelby told her to be brave because they were going to make it out of there– and made Flora scream, we knew they were going to wrap up the “My Roanoke Nightmare” true crime/reality show portion of the season (more on that later) and that we were in for one hell of a fun episode, so we turned of all the lights but our flatscreen, and sat back and let the roller coaster-haunted house thrill-ride begin.

Oh Shit! Run!

Oh Shit! Run!

Right off the bat, the Millers got the scary Thai ghost lady (if you are a Horror Boom regular, you already know we are huge, reverent fans of Thai ghost stories), who scuttles off speedily with poor Flora and eventually lets her go but leaves finger-shaped scars on her arms. The half-naked guy who has a pig’s head stuck over his own and makes horrible inhuman squeals, as well as the hunters who blew each other’s heads off proceed to corral the Millers for “an easy slaughter” while Tomasyn and her gang set the Miller’s cars on fire for good measure. Apparently,  what Elias told them was true: all her former victims were still so terrified of her that she could control them when she needs them.

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Can you find the Thai Ghost Girl in this photo?

Can you find the Thai Ghost Girl in this photo?

3. It turns out that Edward Philippe Mott’s severe social anxiety is what helps The Millers escape from the interior of the house and into the woods. In an extremely welcome return, he appears to them in the cellar (“Perhaps I may be of some assistance.”) and tells them he was the original owner. He leads him through the network of tunnels he included in the building (to smuggle out his beloved and expensive paintings if they were in danger) and tells them that though everything has been taken from him, he has been left with one sliver of grace: his solitude. “I can hardly suffer three more souls,” he explains. He gets them out of there and into the woods not so much out of kindness, but selfishness, but the Millers understandably don’t really give a shit because they just want to get as far away from the house as possible. To make the scene even more unnerving, his face flickers very briefly a few times in the light of his torch, revealing something far from human…

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4. Elias wasn’t killed by the arrows, but it really would have been better if he had just died in the first place. Things do not improve for the Millers after Edward Mott dematerializes in the woods, away from the house as promised. Shelby realizes that in the forest, they are nothing more than prey. But, wait! Flora sees a light! Before they can wonder where the hell they are, they get whacked on the heads by shovels and unseen figures shove burlap sacks over their heads.

Oh Shit! Run!

Oh Shit! Run!

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They end up in the same blood-curdling house where they’d seen the grotesque feral kids suckling the pig (who as I recall was dead or dying at the time–there were lots of flies around at the time, anyway).  It turns out they are all members of the same terrible Polk clan, who are not only probably inbred, vicious, hostile, and insane hillbillys, but are also predatory cannibals! They kept poor Elias (who is terrified of “Mama Polk” and begs Matt to just kill him) alive so they could take his leg and his arm and eat him.screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-8-16-08-pmscreen-shot-2016-10-14-at-8-16-22-pmscreen-shot-2016-10-14-at-8-16-32-pmAs a small mercy for Elias, Mama Polk (Frances Conroy, another welcome familiar face along with Evan Peters) tries to eat a piece of “jerky” from him but spits it out, declaring that it, and Elias, are rancid. She says there’s no more use for him and they promptly cave in his head with a shovel. It isn’t pretty.

Looks like Denis O'Hare needed a head cast made at some point in the production of this season.

Looks like Denis O’Hare needed a head cast made at some point in the production of this season.

Oh, but it gets worse. It turns out The Polk family have had a deal with Tomasyn going back 200 years; they help provide for the blood sacrifice, and she leaves them (and their cannabis crops) alone. Could we mention that Frances Conroy can be really, really fucking scary when she wants to be?  She delivers her most frightening performance–as Mama Polk– on the entire series to date.

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As such, the Polks are going to return them to the dreaded house and the even more dreaded Tomasyn and her large group of murderous pilgrims.

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Oh Shit! Run!

5. Did we mention that Matt means well, but isn’t a rocket scientist when it comes to escape? They ride back in the bed of the pick-up with two of the Polks; Ishmael drives and Lot, played by Chas Bono, holds a shotgun pointed at them (also in the back). Matt makes his move and forces the shotgun away from him and his family, and successfully  (though also possibly accidentally) blows Ishmael Polk’s head clean off (okay, maybe not so clean, but that head is mostly gone).  Then he shoves Lot Polk over the side of the truck, leaving him sort of disabled on the road! Why, this is great news! Matt can simply shove the headless body out of the driver’s seat, grab the shotgun for back-up, hop in with his family, put the pedal to the metal and drive to safety at top speed! The keys are in the ignition, and the motor is even still running! Wait, Matt? Matt? Where are you going, Matt? Don’t run off into the woods, dummy, Lot is clearly not dead and still has his shotgun! Sigh.

Jesus! We thought her foot was actually severed at first.

What is left of Ishmael’s head.

The only explanation we get for this stupidity (other than total panic) is his statement: “I figured I’d rather us take our chances in the woods than be slaughtered like pigs”. Nope, that still doesn’t make sense to us, there was very little chance of them being slaughtered if they had grabbed up all the shotguns and drove out of town as fast as they could, meanwhile NOTHING has ever worked out for them in the woods!** In fact, the woods are not even safe in broad daylight, especially during the blood moon! They run into the woods, huddle up together and hide (sort of) behind a log.  Within seconds, Lot is standing over them with his shotgun pointed in their direction and soon after that, Mama Polk is so infuriated with them killing her son that she brings her shovel down on poor Shelby’s ankle, hobbling her in a gruesome mess.

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Jesus! We actually thought her foot was severed at first.

Jesus! We actually thought her foot was severed at first.

7. Matt’s sister Lee, though, is thinking straight.  “Whatever was going on, it was bad. Matt wouldn’t just ignore my call, especially if he had Flora,” she recalls, and immediately asks the cop leaving the station with her for a ride. When they get near the Roanoke house, with all the murderous colonists plus Tomasyn carrying torches and standing around a blazing inferno of a bonfire in front, she calls out for the cop giving her a ride to stop and tells him to call for backup.  For some reason (possibly because he sees what is going on and says “fuck this, I’m outta here”) he pulls out and hastily drives off, but Lee hears Flora’s screams and heads towards them.

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8.  Apparently, Tomasyn’s son Ambrose (Wes Bentley) is still pissed at his mother for killing him. He has also had enough, because he snaps.  Right before it looks like poor Flora is going to die horribly, Ambrose puts Flora down instead of into the fire and yells, “Nooooo! I shall not stand by and watch thou shed another drop of innocent blood!” Ambrose conks her over the head with a huge piece of wood, then pulls her into the fire with him. When the Millers make their getaway (thanks again to Lee, pulling up in a car and yelling for them to get in) Shelby looks back and sees Tomasyn engulfed in flames, but still blundering towards them.

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Oh Shit! Drive!

Oh, and you know who else is not too fond of Tomasyn? Little Priscilla, who was Flora’s “invisible friend” and probably remembers Tomasyn bashing her head in with a giant rock. Seriously, watch the smile on her face as The Butcher burns.

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“How do *you* like getting hit over the head, bitch?”

9.  Shelby still has nightmares. We get a fake-out at the motel, when Shelby makes her way slowly on crutches towards the door and sees smoke leaking in from under it. She opens it just in time to see a burning Tomasyn before The Butcher buries a cleaver in her skull… then she jolts awake. “To this day, I still have that dream,” Shelby tells us. “I’ve tried yoga, meditation, hypnotherapy… We escaped with our lives, but I never completely got over it. I’m not sure I ever will.”

CHOP

CHOP

10. “My Roanoke Nightmare” as we know it has ended, but we still have five episodes left in the season. Ryan Murphy told us that in episode six, everything would get turned on its head. From the teaser for next episode of American Horror Story: Roanoke, it looks like we are entering (at least partially) “found footage” territory. Cheyanne Jackson, who played the interviewer in the reality-show segments, is seen in what looks like some kind of studio interior telling the camera, “Rolling?  The camera never stops. No matter what anyone says, even if I tell you to stop, keep rolling, got it?”  Cuba Gooding Jr. also made a comment about “breaking the fourth wall”, which leads us to think we might see some of the “re-enactors” such as Sarah Paulson and Kathy Bates playing themselves. Notice how we never got any closure on Lady Gaga’s primal witch character, Scathach? We think we might see her again. Hell, the Polks didn’t get killed off either (other than Ishmael), they just drove off.

Stray Thoughts:

  • Evan Peters seemed to be having a blast playing Edward Mott. Nice to see a little snippet in the final act of the episode where he returns and cuts Matt and Shelby’s ropes so they “can make a grand escape”.

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  • If we were in the middle of building a house and heard a loud, horrible sound (the Closed Captions described it as an “inhuman howl”) coming from the woods in broad daylight, we’d dismantle the house and build it the fuck somewhere else.

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  • Doris Kearns Goodwin (who was wonderful to see cast as herself) reports that the “last Mott” died in South Florida in 1952.  That story checks out. Good riddance, Dandy!
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  • So far, the AHS stars that we were told would appear as cast members this season but have yet to see are: Matt Bomer and Finn Whitrock. We wouldn’t be shocked to have a surprise appearance from, say, Gabourey Sidibe, Mare Winningham, Connie Britton, or NPH.

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Aaaand, here’s the rest of those photos! Horror Boom does not own the rights to any of the American Horror Story images in this piece, FX owns the copyright. The ones here are provided for entertainment purposes only.

*Was I the only one that loved it when Evan Peters (as Edward Mott, that is) grabbed Guiness by his collar and pulled him in for a big deep kiss? The icing on the cake is that since Edward was part of the Mott family and had so far seemed pretty arrogant and snotty, we thought when he snapped, “Wait! Come back,” to Guiness it was going to be because he was going to bark some racist order at him. Instead, he passionately kissed him in front of his workers and staff.

**Unless you want to count Matt getting to bang Scathach (Lady Gaga), though from the look on his face, he wasn’t getting any pleasure out of it at all.

Ten Killer Things We Learned From American Horror Story Freak Show Episode 12 “Show Stoppers” (SPOILERS)

Note: we realize this is not exactly the ideal timing to post, since the finale has aired before this went up, but the delay is due to major technical difficulties over here (such as the goddamned images refusing to load for–no exaggeration– the first time ever since we began Horror Boom in 2012). Pardon us posting at this late date, but better late than never. We loved this episode.

 

 

Now this is more like it!  Episode 12, “Show Stoppers” lived up to the title. The A.V. Club really hated the episode, but plenty of people online disagreed (the IMDB rating average for the episode was 9/10, from 7,000 votes as of this writing), and it was our second-favorite episode of the season so far, surpassed only by Pepper’s swan song, “Orphans”. This was definitely the best (and most satisfying) cold open of the season, too.  Which brings us to number one…

 

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1. If you’re going to get greedy and scam a close-knit group of circus sideshow performers, which includes killing at least one of them, see Todd Browning’s Freaks first. That way, when you’re sitting down to an elaborate dinner with them where you are clearly outnumbered, and they start to make pointed references to how brilliant and perfect a movie it is while staring you down, you can say “Oops! I’ll be back in a jiffy, I just remembered I forgot something in my car,”  slip out quickly and quietly, get in your car, put the pedal to the metal and get the hell out of dodge.  Stanley didn’t see the movie and had no idea what was coming until they brought him a festive-looking yet suspiciously large gift box which featured a jar containing the severed head of someone who illicitly paid large sums of money to him for the bodies/body parts.

 

Darling, don’t spoil the ending for him!

 

2. Reasoning with a gang of justifiably enraged and bloodthirsty people you screwed over will not work. Lying (especially playing dumb) will not work. I wonder, if Stanley had any idea what was coming (see above), if he could have made a run for it as soon as he saw the head of the shitty museum curator and sprinted off to his car at top speed,  he would have had a chance to escape? It would have been better timing than waiting to run until after he got stabbed in the leg so brutally that he could just sort of lunge and stumble out of the tent and start slipping around in the mud. All through the episode–except when I was distracted by something I could not look away from– I was hoping they’d follow the whole Freaks homage all the way through. More on that later.

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3. The freaks will turn on you pretty quickly if you lie to them, no matter what you’ve done for them in the past. While they have drinks in Ethel’s memory and look through her possessions (a little late for that, but fine) they can’t help but focus on what Stanley had blurted out to them while wildly bargaining for escape. “She… killed… Ethel. I’m telling the truth. She killed her.  I helped her cover it up. She’s not who you think she is! She killed Ethel!”  After Paul mentions that he knew Ethel a long time, and she would never kill herself,” they briefly mull it over and come to a somewhat spontaneous decision to kill Elsa for ‘breaking their code’–killing one of their own. Del didn’t count, that was justice for Ma Petite.

Relax, folks, it’s just a magic show!  I can put her back together… watch…

 

4. Jimmy also does not forgive easily. In fact, he tells Elsa and Maggie flat out: “I don’t forgive.” He’s not kidding No matter how sweetly Maggie tries to tell him she will make it up to him, and how they still have a future together, and blah-de-blah (she does seem torn up over what happened to him and her part in it), he doesn’t budge. Can you really blame him? Jimmy tells her she can rot in hell for all he cares and ends up telling her, “If I was you, I’d get the hell out of dodge before I get these new hands.” Later, when Amazon Eve informs him Maggie is dead, his facial expression barely changes. Maybe it was just one too many pieces of really, really bad news and he went numb and dead inside… but we doubt it.

 

You saw what they did to him.

 

6.  Désirée is maybe one notch up from Marie Laveau when it comes to holding a grudge (Marie wins as she becomes immortal and continues to hold a grudge and punish her enemies for over 100 years) . Désirée is still pretty cold when it comes to outsiders, though. She (and all the rest of the freaks) only seem dismayed a bit to see Maggie sawed in half by the new owner of the Freak Show, whose head was ‘full of bees’ after coming back from the war. Paul: “What do we do now?” Desi: “She had it coming.  Steal her jewelry and bury the bitch.”  She was heading up the posse to go get Elsa for killing Ethel, even though as far as I can recall she had known both of them the same amount of time. We loved the scene of them preparing in the caravan;  Desi calling “ETHEL!” to the heavens, draining the remainder of a bottle of booze as the freaks went into kind of a rhythmic stomp, then her smashing the bottle for a makeshift weapon and declaring, “Let’s get our girl some justice!”

You tried to kill my dreams, but they cannot be murdered.

 

7.  Bette and Dot still felt they owed Elsa something, and ended up saving her life by bursting into Elsa’s glamorous tent to warn her of the freak’s “Planning to kill you all day.” Though she more or less waited until the last minute to warn her, she ignored the discovery that Elsa had partially amputated legs and cut to the chase (“You need to leave,” was what she led with). When Elsa tried to protest that what Stanley said were the rantings of a desperate man, Bette (I think) replied, “Who’s desperate now? You saw what they did to him,” and we see the color drain from Elsa’s face.

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8. We find out what they did to “him”, Stanley, in the second-to-last scene of the episode. When Dandy, the new owner of the entire place (eeeeek!)  thanks to Elsa hastily paying him off so she could make a hasty retreat, was strolling grandly around the performance tent after being snotty to all his new employees, he heard a kind of inhuman grunting coming from the wings. He wandered over and there was a slow pan to the contents of a chicken-wire cage. Stanley’s arms and legs had been crudely amputated (along with his tongue, apparently), and he looked like he was hoping someone would just kill him as he squirmed around wretchedly and painfully, covered in feathers, wearing one of Meep’s old hats (nice touch). Dandy unsurprisingly got a big kick out of this discovery.

 

Now the other, don’t rush it this time.

 

9. In an episode full of great reveals, we were blown the hell away when it turned out none other than “Dr.” Hans Gruper, AKA Dr. Arden from American Horror Story Asylum, was the one in charge of making the snuff/torture-porn film where Elsa’s legs were sawed off with a chainsaw. Since it was a flashback, James Cromwell’s son John (who looks just like a younger version of his father) made a return appearance to portray him.  Elsa was lucky they just sawed her legs off and didn’t inject her with about 5 different horrible diseases at once, then later, drag her off and leave her in a child’s playground. Guess Gruper/Arden was just getting warmed up… though when Massimo Dolcefino (Danny Huston) went to kill Gruper to avenge the “Monster In-Chief’s” savage treatment of Elsa, Dr. Gruper was, very unfortunately, ready for him. “He took it personally when I tried to kill him… very personally,” says Massimo as we see flashback shots of Gruper electrocuting his genitals (though I think most people would take someone breaking into their home for the purpose of murdering them personally). Gruper tortured Massimo so long and so brutally that Massimo says though his body healed, his spirit was so broken that he no longer has a soul and has lost the ability to love. Elsa is in tears by the time Massimo has filled in his missing backstory.

10. Speaking of Massimo, who lovingly made such beautiful legs for Elsa and nursed her back to health, he is more than happy to use his expertise to fashion a perfect pair of hands for Jimmy that will fool everybody… and when Jimmy scoffs at him, Elsa shows him her wooden legs, and he shuts up pretty fast.  Massimo has an elaborate blueprint drawn up and everything, but in the final reveal of the episode, we see that Jimmy requested they look like his former “lobster-boy” hands when he could have had the next-best thing to normally formed human hands. Jimmy wanted to be himself. “They’re perfect,” he quietly tells Massimo.

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Jamie Brewer as Chester’s hallucination of Majorie, her best acting on American Horror Story yet.

 

Stray Thoughts:

  • People were talking about the top hat (clue to season 5) on the dinner table during the cold open, but did you see that bizarre bird that was the centerpiece? I swear it had two heads. If you can, watch the scene again. There were four… limbs, for lack of a better word, sticking up, and usually a normal turkey/goose/pheasant, or whatever type of bird you serve up whole only has two. I wonder how many other cool creations for the prop/set dressing department for this season we missed because they were in the background?
  • I’m pretty sure there were more limbs hacked off this season than any other season of American Horror Story, which is no small feat.
  • Paul was the only one who seemed upset over Maggie getting sawed in half, yelling “WHAT THE BLOODY ‘ELL!” when the blood started flowing. The rest of the gang just looked mildly dismayed. We sure as shit didn’t hear, “What have you done to Maggie?” or even “poor Maggie!” from anyone. From what I’ve read online, people either loved this scene (like us) or hated it (sigh), but everyone loved Desiree’s heartless, but hilarious reaction.
  • I could write an entire piece on the genius of the magic-trick-gone-horribly-wrong scene, but I’ll try to shorten my reaction here. Everything in that scene was goddamned gold, from Chester’s costume changing when the lights went down and came back up, to the silhouette of him sawing furiously as we hear Maggie’s screams. Also, due to Neil Patrick Harris performance, I felt sorrier for Chester than I did Maggie. He didn’t kill for the fun of it (like, say, Dandy) or because someone was in his way when he wanted something (like, say, Dandy); he was a soldier who came back from the war “with a metal plate and a head full of bees,” as his hallucination of Lucy says. When he realized what he had done to Maggie, he was horrified (more than the freaks were, that’s for sure). He was upset enough to stab the shit out of “Margorie” when she tried to leave him right afterwards.
  • The magic rehearsal scene had caused me to momentarily forget about  Stanley. However, as soon as Dandy got distracted by the strange noises coming from backstage, I started chanting, “C’mon, c’mon, please, please,…”  and then burst out with “YEAH!” at the sight of at the cage made of chicken wire as I realized that my season-long wish to see someone–especially Stanley–get the Todd Browning Chicken Lady Treatment had come true.
  • The twins turned out not to be as much of a simpleton (or should that be plural? Wording can get complicated when writing about Bette and Dot) as we thought. Exhibit A: they were smart enough not to get in that fucking box.

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Next Week’s American Horror Story Freak Show Episode Has An Entertaining New Title

This week’s upcoming episode, 4X09,  was previously titled, “The Fat Lady Sings”. Some time during the two-week hiatus, it got retitled…

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Tupperware Party Massacre!

 

Which sounds pretty damn great.  If we could, we would have used a font that appeared to drip blood for the snappy new title! Supposedly, it has a really high body count (as you can tell from the preview, and the title), and is definitely at least as bloody.

"Honey, I'm home! How did the Tupperware party goooOOOOOAAAHHHHHH!"

Honey, I’m home! How did the Tupperware party goooOOOOOAAAHHHHHH!

The title is kind of a spoiler; then again, you have a pretty good idea that something along these lines is going to happen from the preview. Dandy seems to take it up a notch with every episode. If he does what it looks like he did with his mother’s body in the preview,  it’s going to be pretty horrifying.

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Who Will Die On ‘The Walking Dead’ Midseason Finale? EW.com Has Some Good Guesses…

Oookay. We’re really hoping it’s not Beth. For one thing, Maggie seems to have completely gotten over her already which we have been pissed about since, oh, the mid-season premiere of S4. She also won us over singing “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up” back in the prison to baby Judith. Before the episode she sang it in was even over, though (and it was towards the end), we were strongly concerned it was foreshadowing. We don’t want to see Carol go for the same reasons everyone else does, and we really don’t want to see another black character killed off. They threw some not-too-subtle hints about Father Gabriel our way during last week’s episode (titled “Crossed”), and since he only showed up recently it’s possible. But come on, they already killed off a black character, and we were getting really attached to Bob. We hope Noah sticks around (because he actually went out of his way to be genuinely kind to Beth in a building full of varying degrees of selfish assholes). They better not even think about killing off Tyreese; his character has a way to go and he’s very easy on the eyes. Would they really heap Abraham losing Rosita on top of having his (remaining) hopes and dreams ripped out of him and burned to the ground (The Walking Dead: Where Hopes Goes To Be Sodomized), at least this soon? Probably.

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Ok, let’s face it… we don’t want to see anyone die yet in the list EW.com gives, really. The only ones we did predict before the actual episode started were tied in with the comics — either the character died in the comics and there was no way they could keep them alive because they’d done too much horrible shit or were a threat (The Governor) or we saw one character clearly replacing another in a specific comic story arc (Herschel, Bob).

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COMICS SPOILER AHEAD: If Carol does go, at least she will have lived longer, done way more good, and died a less hideous, blood-curdling death than she did in the comics.
As far as how someone could die, there has been a ton of speculation online (most of it sensible and backed up by good points) about zombies coming back as a threat in a big way. Only one character (who was a regular, anyway) was killed by a zombie –Bob apparently got bitten or badly scratched in that fucking horrible watery pit in the food bank by one of the zombies that were rotting like a “Ghastly” Graham Engels sketch in an E.C. comic, only way messier. He did more or less get a chance to go out on his own terms, though …less one leg, that is.
Click “View original” in the lower left to read the entire article by Dalton Ross on EW.com, and definitely be sure to take the poll and see how the voting has gone so far (people are pretty sure they know who it is). The only character not to have a single vote from anyone thinking she was in danger of being on the kill list? Our girl Michonne.

Ten Disturbing Things We Learned From American Horror Story Freak Show Episode Five, “Pink Cupcakes” (Spoilers)

For some reason, we found “Pink Cupcakes” (which have never before sounded so unappetizing) to be the first real episode this season that really ...bothered us. Not that we found vicious killer clowns (who friends of ours understandably referred to as “Stabby the Clown”) with no lower jaw (due to a tragic backstory) cheerful or anything, and Twisty’s whole storyline had a perfect payoff. We don’t have a pathological fear of clowns, but he was pretty threatening.  So I could have started writing these “Ten Things” pieces as usual,  right after the premiere, but there weren’t any big plot or character reveals (okay, Elsa’s legs were a surprise) that Ryan Murphy hadn’t already either hinted at or flat-out told us about in the media, or that we hadn’t more or less figured out.  We hated Dandy by the time the second episode he appeared in ended, and it was kind of obvious he wasn’t going to be a benevolent character.  Last Wednesday, though, we got some good reveals, and for the first time, we exclaimed out loud in surprise, and really, really were disturbed by a murder enough to also curse loudly. So let’s get on with the show. One, two …three.

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1.  Del is a closeted gay. Well, of course he would have to be closeted even if he wasn’t a manly circus strongman for a living; as a gay man outed in a small town in 1952 you would almost certainly end up on the receiving end of a vicious blanket party, set on fire, or be the victim of another hate crime (or have your life ruined in some other way) if you were not closeted. That’s why we were genuinely surprised to see him at a gay bar, and more than that, desperately, hopelessly infatuated (and even professing his love) with guest star Matt Bomer, playing a smoking hot young man named Andy who turns tricks and hustles for a living. He basically referred to the bar as his office. It was hinted at before that Del was not 100% heterosexual, though you had to pay attention to pick up on it. Well, being married to a woman with a male member next to the female one was kind of a red flag, but it could be argued that if a man had an opportunity to be with a hot, gorgeous woman with three perfect breasts, he might be willing to overlook the male member.

2. …or what appears to be a male member. Turns out Désirée is all woman. Well, maybe even more than all woman, since she has three breasts and a clitoris large enough to be mistaken for a penis. When she’s hammered and lonely and turns to Jimmy to “make her feel something”, they both panic when his hand comes away from between her legs covered in blood and Ethel takes her to see the kindly, compassionate Dr. Bonham from “Edward Mordrake Part One”.  He’s got some news for her: what she (and a doctor in her past) thought was a penis turned out to be a (very) oversized clitoris. It’s (figuratively) connected to her extra breast. He gives some medical explanation about her body producing a really, really high amount of estrogen because it was trying to compensate–it didn’t sound completely medically legit to us, but we will suspend our disbelief.  He tells her surgery can give her normal-sized lady parts (we liked how removing the “accessory” breast wasn’t even alluded to as an option when doing surgery–hey, let’s not get crazy here!).

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3. Désirée was also pregnant, and was bleeding so badly because she was having a miscarriage. The doctor tells her that she can even try again and having a child is a distinct possibility for her (though she should probably hurry because her biological clock is ticking). We see surprise, then wonder, then hope in her eyes as this sinks in. “I can have a baby with Del,” she murmurs. But, she damn sure has a change of heart before long, because…

 

 Why are you still moving? You’re supposed to be dead!

 

 

4.  By the time Del finds her, she’s packed a suitcase to movie into Ethel’s trailer.  Del is desperate to get her to stay, and we half expected him to hit her or shake her or some other form of domestic abuse, but guess he knew better.  She tells him she was pregnant, he says, “A baby… great!” half-heartedly, and then it escalates very quickly.  Turns out she knows Jimmy is his son.  She keeps telling him that he is the one with freak blood in him, not her, but all their years together he made her feel like she was such a freak of nature that she didn’t deserve anyone better than him …or a better life.  She wants to have a kid, but not his. To add to Del’s despair, remember that this is taking place after Andy pretty much broke his heart, telling him Del he was delusional if he thought they would ever have any kind of relationship, or even contact, without having to pay like ever other trick. After telling him she was leaving him for a real man who deserved to be with her (and she tells Del what he calls her “big dick” is going to be surgically corrected by Dr. Bonham), Désirée leaves him standing there,  with Del clearly about to have some kind of meltdown. Towards the end of the episode, Del pays a personal visit to Dr. Bonham and breaks his fingers, possibly his hands too. Then, just in case the doctor didn’t get the message, Del threatens to snap his grandchildren’s fingers “like twigs.”  Soooooo, that surgery won’t be happening.

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5.  Stanley has an extremely creepy fantasy life. All of his lovely daydreams we saw underscored how vile a man he really is. His grandiose dream of Paul’s body floating in a tank before an awed crowd of horrible rich people was unsettling. The horrifying shot of the Tatler Twins torso floating in the glass display tank–and especially the fact that Bette’s head was dead and rotting probably days before he finally smothered Dot, who was begging him for help (and begging Bette to wake up) –was disturbing as hell. So was Stanley’s casual explanation to the museum owner he sold the body to when she asked how they “expired”: “The droopy one caught a cold and died first.”

Please …kill me. Please, kill me?

 

6.  Elsa is getting desperate. She practically spits on the floor when Stanley tries to entice her with the idea of her own television show, but then when the entire crowd (not into anachronistic performances of songs, no matter how good they are) turns on her, we see her hopes burning to the ground. When Stanley comes by after the disastrous show, and she says to him wearily, “Tell me about zis… television,” we can see her fighting back tears. Once again, Jessica Lange’s performance on AHS breaks our hearts. She doesn’t get really scary until she sees Stanley driving away without her, Bette and Dot in the back seat. Her next move is to talk to the twins and tell them she wants to help their and look after them since they’re new to the business and Elsa is not. We didn’t expect, though, that she would drive them straight to the Mott residence in the guise of taking them in for a wardrobe fitting. “I have brought you something I believe you want,” she starts out to Gloria right before the episode ends. To be fair, I don’t think she would have taken them there if Elsa knew Gloria’s son was a blood-thirsty, homicidal sociopath. She probably just wanted them out of the way, maybe even only temporarily. How could THAT go wrong?

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7. Maggie is having second thoughts. First she tells Stanley she did not agree to be involved with murder. Later, when she surprises Jimmy rehearsing, she pretends to read his palm and gives him a not-too-subtle fortune: something bad is coming for him, and he needs to get the hell out of there fast. She seems to be attracted to him, but still won’t let him kiss her. Hopefully she will end up ratting Stanley out more directly, and the freaks will end up cutting his throat and stabbing him (all together) about 70 times and then burning the body, the way they did with the police detective.

 

Jack the Ripper was a Windsor, for God’s sake.

 

8. Dandy’s mother Gloria is more batshit crazy–and darker–than we thought. At the very least, a sociopath. She’s mad at Dandy for killing Dora (“She was a mother!” is her first horrified reaction),but is pretty casual (and clever) about the way they dispose of the body. “These are special bulbs from Holland. Please do not question me!” she shrills at the men hired to dig a twelve-foot hole ( actually for Dora’s body). Oh, and we find out that Dandy’s father also had homicidal “urges”,  due to inbreeding (according to Gloria). One day he ended up “swinging lifeless from a Japanese Maple” because he couldn’t stand struggling with his urges any more and “suppressed them the only way he could” (also according to Gloria).  She tells Dandy he has to be careful who he kills, since it’s 1952 and they might have relatives who come looking for their missing family member; instead it needs to be people no-one will miss. The scene of them finishing up the bulbs planted over Dora’s corpse ends with on a disturbing note, with Gloria quietly telling her son, “we’ll figure something out.”

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9.  Jimmy is a local hero, though when Maggie points this out to him, he says, “Right now, I want to throw up.” Turns out Jimmy still feels terrible about poor Meep (though I bet the local chicken population is feeling better) being beaten to death in prison and then dumped in a sack on their doorstep.  In the scene where Jimmy and Désirée are drowning their sorrows in her trailer, he loses it and weeps, “it shoulda been me.” Interesting trivia: Ben Woolf, the actor who played Meep, also portrayed the Infantata, arguably the most frightening character from AHS Season One, AKA Murder House.

There’s nothing worse than the hurt of loving someone you can’t have.

 

10.  Dandy, unsurprisingly the new big bad (well, next to Stanley, who is also deadly but mainly just a greedy, scheming piece of shit looking for a big payday) is clearly just getting started. Either he or his mother decided a gay bar would be a good place to find a victim (we also loved the very serious MAN WANTED poster with an ‘artist’s sketch’ of a clown mask that Dandy passes). When Del leaves, crushed, Dandy zeroes in on Andy, and pays him a hundred dollars to come back to the Abandoned School Bus of Murder with him, and of course, things get really disturbing.  The fact that Andy turned out not to be dead even after Dandy stabbed him brutally over a dozen times in the torso AND sawed one of his arms off was the first thing this season that really caused us to feel deep horror.

 

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Stray Thoughts:

 

  • Gabourey Sidibe will be back as Regina Ross, Dora’s daughter in New York.  We loved the “Mrs. Mott, I’m feeling really uncomfortable, so I’m going to go now” line of hers when she was on the phone with Gloria, who was starting to ramble about raising Dandy. We doubt she’s going to stick around more than a couple of episodes, though it would be nice if she ended up beating Dandy to death. That was also a great reveal when Gloria hung up the phone and the split-screen disappeared to show Dandy, standing in his underwear, covered with Andy’s blood.
Motion pictures are the expression of our souls, our inner dreams, our fantasies.

 

  • We knew the Bette and Dot torso in the giant fish tank was a fantasy, but did anyone else worry at first that poor Paul the Illustrated Seal was really floating in the formaldehyde and that the rest of the episode might be the flashbacks to how he ended up in there? We were unsure, but did let out a big sigh of relief when we realized what the writers had done. Everyone should probably worry about his place in the new knife throwing act, though…
  • I had a good laugh at the way Dandy at first tried to act innocent when his mother screamed because she found Dora dead with her throat cut. “Somebody’s broke into our home and murdered Dora!”  he proclaims unconvincingly. Meanwhile, his mother, who immediately figured out that he did it , starts yelling at him about having to clean up his messes almost the second he rushes into the room. That smirk he got after he turned his back and walked away from Gloria to go to his room was chilling, as was his practicing ‘acting faces’ in the mirror.
  • That was an amazing monologue written for Del talking about the pain he goes through and how he is only strong on the outside, and Michael Chiklis knocked it out of the fucking park. It was obvious Del knew how desperate he sounded, begging Andy to let him get him a nice apartment with a record player and good light so he could sketch, to only be with him because he loves him so much, but the words kept flooding out as if he was trying to purge himself of something he’d wanted to tell another human being all his life. Give him a couple more scenes like that and Chiklis might just earn himself an Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actor. For the record, a month has passed since Del and Désirée arrived in Jupiter.
  • Look around that ‘Morbid Museum’ in the scenes where Stanley is talking to the owner about the twins. There is some seriously disturbing stuff in there (and once again, we are 99.9% sure it was inspired by the real-life Mutter museum*). There are at least two Elephant Man-like skulls, and some really horrible things in jars.
  • I got a huge grin on my face when Jimmy referred to the pinhead duo as Salty and Pepper to the crowd after their act, which seemed to include a drum kit, a large mallet, and slapstick humor. “Salty and Pepper, Ladies and Gents!” We love it.
  • Boy, that crowd REALLY turned on Elsa fast. Guess they are not Bowie fans. Speaking of Bowie– great song choice to use of “Fame” in the montage of her getting ready to go have “publicity photos” taken (that ends with her hope being crushed).  The self-satisfied smirk on Stanley’s face when he saw Elsa unravelling onstage made me want to break his neck …and I’m a huge fan of Denis O’Hare, so I have always taken his side before no matter how much of a rotten prick his character is –until that moment. Hopefully Stanley and Dandy will both get an even more horrible variation of the notorious Todd Browning “chicken lady”  treatment.

Next episode, “Bullseye,” the freaks–including Ethel– seem to be turning on Elsa too. Check out the preview (again) below!

 

*Which I hope to visit some day, then sometimes during dark, sleepless nights question the decision of putting a visit to that house of horrors on my bucket list.

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Possibly the most breathtaking still of the set yet.

GROOVY NEWS! ‘Evil Dead’ TV show Starring Bruce Campbell Officially Greenlit by Starz

It’s official! Also, they can get away with pretty much anything on Starz. Watch this space for more as it comes in!

31 Horror Movies In 31 Days – Check Out What We Saw, Including Best and Worst! (Part One of Three)

This is going to have to be split up into three posts, since we already needed to take a month to watch the movies and don’t want to take another month writing this.

Even with the number of horror movies ole Mrs. Horror Boom sees being more in a month that the average movie-goer sees in a year, you’d think finding 31 I hadn’t seen yet would be a cinch, right? Wrong! Fortunately, there was a huge number of new releases for the month of October 2014. I actually saw more than 31, but some were so shitty I don’t even want to add them to the list. A couple of them literally put me to sleep, and there were a couple of others that were so bad I blew a mental fuse just sitting through and trying to tolerate the goddamned things, and either picked up my iPad for some task/game that required most of my attention, or just said the hell with it and turned it off, then re-watched something I knew was a sure thing and would not disappoint me (thus, the few re-watches on the list).

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However, let’s just start with the list. I could put them in the order I saw them, but then I would have to look at a detail of our Amazon Instant Video and the VOD cable bill, which I am too nervous to look at and see how fast the charges added up (I’ve seen enough scary movies, I don’t need scary real-life).  Let’s try alphabetical order. An asterisk means that the movie was a fairly new release, say available on VOD less than six weeks.

Oh, and if there is an R-Rated and an Unrated version available for a flick, assume I watched the Unrated (such as the very torture porn-y Carver.  Also if they ever tried to make an R-Rated version of The ABCs of Death 2,* it would probably cut the running time by a good 10 minutes, depending how much of a prude the ratings board members were for that project. For PG-13, there would be about 200 words that you cannot say in a PG-13 movie cut out, and some of the shorts (they usually average 3-4 minutes) would last maybe 30 seconds and you would not definitely know what the fuck was going on with most of them. So thank you, Magnet Releasing!

I also added links to the IMDB pages (or pieces Horror Boom did on the fright flick in question previously), and stuck in a few of the better trailers to keep things interesting. Turns out roughly a third of the horror movies on the list are found footage, and while at least a couple will end up on the “worst” list, there were some nice surprises (including the “mockumentary” The Gerber Syndrome).

The list, and links:

*The ABCs of Death 2 (2014)

(Here’s the gory Red Band trailer, NSFW–enjoy!)

Alyce Kills (2011)

American Mary (re-watch, 2012)

Any Minute Now (2013)

Antisocial (2013)

Bad Kids Go to Hell (2012)

 Black Death (re-watch, 2010)

Here’s the Black Death HD trailer (and yeah, it’s as grim and bleak as it looks)

*Cabin Fever – Patient Zero (2014)

*The Canal (2014)

Carver (2008)

Chasing The Devil (2014)

*Chemical Peel (2014)

Dark Mountain (2013)

*Dead Snow 2 – Red VS Dead (2014)

*Deliver Us From Evil (2014)

Evil Things (2009)

*Found (completed in 2012, but not released on VOD till Fall 2014). Trailer is below, and it earned every blurb and award)

The Gerber Syndrome (2011)

*Horns (2013, but only released recently)

*Housebound (2014)

*The Houses October Built (2014)

Here’s a clip for you from the above movie (yep, more found footage).

*Inner Demons (2014)

The Monkey’s Paw (2013) (quit laughing! I was scraping the bottom of the barrel by this point, I believe Day 29.)

Open Grave (2013)

The Possession of Michael King (2014)

Here’s the trailer for the latter:

*See No Evil 2 (2014)

Sleepy Hollow (1999, re-watch…on Halloween, Day 31)

*The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014 – sale rental on Amazon, free on Netflix streaming)

*V/H/S Viral (2014)

Witching and Bitching (2013)

*Wrong Turn Six- The Last Resort (2014)

Up next? The ten worst films on the list; after that we’ll get to the ten best.

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* We will have a review of ABCs of Death 2 coming up where we name the top ten entries. This will actually take some work, because the shorts were so much better it’d be faster just to name the few stupid or lazy ones. In the first ABCs of Death, I couldn’t even get a list of the top ten together; after “X is for XXL”, “L is for Libido”, “T is For Toilet”, “Young Buck”, and “Dog Fight”,  picking five more would be a stretch.  A list of the ten worst for the same movie, however, would pretty much write itself. I was happy to discover after the sequel roared to a finish that I could barely list the five worst. But I digress…

Variety Review of ‘[REC] 4: Apocalypse’ Says The [REC] Franchise Has “Largely Bounced Back”

Well, after we just spent over an hour combing the net, trying to find out if Javier Botet is back to appear as The Medieros Girl (AKA the ‘attic monster’) in this “final” installment, we only succeeded in scaring the shit out of ourselves, especially with some of the horrifying galleries that Tumbler has put together. So we’ll let you know when we know. By the way, if you’re wondering why the word ‘final’ is in quotes when we use it referring to [REC] 4: Apocalypse, that’s because this review from Variety.com states that the door is more or less left wide open for a sequel. That’s just fine with us!

Click “View Original” is the lower left to read the entire review.

Ten Highlights Of American Horror Story Freak Show Post-Premiere Interview With Ryan Murphy (EW.com)

…and much, much more!

You know, normally we’d just re-blog this, but this piece was so long and packed with interesting information– and dish– that we’re going to relate ten of the most interesting points given when Ryan Murphy spilled his guts (so to speak) on EW.com right after the American Horror Story Freak Show premiere …THEN give you the link. There’s plenty about the Freak Show season to come, that’s for sure. So, according to Ryan Murphy (and EW.com’s Inside TV, the source for all this)…

  • The new, all-animated opening credits have plenty of little hints in them, goodies for the fans that, if you pay attention closely, will tell you what will be happening this season (eek).
  • The colors in the credits are deliberately dimmed to signal “the end of an era” when it comes to the old-school-style freak shows.
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  • Jessica Lange’s character Elsa was inspired by Marlene Dietrich (which fans have figured out by now), but also Bette Davis. The monkey-fur coat she wears is a real coat made of monkey’s fur, and weighs about 80 lbs, according to Murphy. The first time she wore it, the temperature was over 100 degrees. At some point, Lange got fed up and ‘made’ Ryan Murphy wear it to see how horrible it felt.
  • We will find out the back story about the big reveal at the end of the episode (Elsa’s legs). There will be lots of flashbacks.
  • Murphy knows what S5 will consist of and is interviewing actors now. He also says there are hints dropped about the theme during the first two episodes.
  • A scene usually takes 4-5 hours to shoot. If a scene has Sarah Paulson as the Twins in it, it can take 20 hours. Also, Ms. Paulson “pre-records most of her dialogue. So she’s wearing an invisible earwig when she’s doing scenes with herself,”  Murphy explains.
  • Yes, that was a deliberate Baltimore accent Ethel (Kathy Bates) has. According to Murphy, she worked very hard to perfect and sound like a character straight out an earlier John Waters movie.
  • The woman billed as “The Tallest Woman Alive,” Amazon Eve (played by Erika Ervin), was written for a man (originally called Johnny Long in the Pants).  The actress auditioned Murphy liked her so much that he re-wrote the part for her.
  • Jessica Lange never dated or had any, er,  intimate relations with David Bowie (much to Murphy’s disappointment). There will only be five musical numbers tops, one a Fiona Apple cover, and a Lana Del Rey ‘song’ (we think they should have stuck with Bowie). Kurt Cobain’s name was also brought up, so hopefully they’ll pick a great Nirvana song.
  • Dandy may become Twisty the Clown’s apprentice (and we’re guessing, eventual victim). At least two people at the premiere walked out of the theater because Twisty was too scary for them. We will see the bottom of his face in episode two, and we’ll find out about his gruesome reason for it in episode… well, you’ll have to click here read the EW.com piece to find out which episode his backstory shows up in!
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This… just… no.

There’s much, much more, including guest stars Matt Bomer and (hopefully) Neil Patrick Harris. The piece is a must-read if you’re already hooked on this season… which many of us are!

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Source: Tim Stack, EW.com.