The Creepy Merryville Brothers (on SNL) Wish You a Happy Halloween–Again!

Here’s a re-blog of one of our favorite pieces. As we sat earlier, watching the lackluster Halloween episode of Saturday Night Live, I remembered how, a year ago, one of the funniest sketches of the last few years aired. Naturally, at the time I had to put it up. Damn, The Maryville Brothers hold up to repeated viewings! Having a shitty day? Not quite into the Halloween spirit yet? This’ll turn things around for you! Do yourself a favor and check it out–it’s worth the extra mouse click.

Oh, and Thursday night, NBC is running a prime-time Halloween special that includes the sketch –we’ll be there!

HORROR BOOM

Unfortunately I can’t embed this, but it’s worth watching. If you haven’t seen the “Merryville Brothers” skits on Saturday Night LiveScreencrush.com describes them pretty well in their story about Tom Hanks making a surprise cameo on SNL last Saturday (their Halloween episode):

The sketch begins with the welcome return of the creepy/hilarious animatronic figures known as the “Merryville Brothers” and initially follows the format of their previous appearance in almost every way. A couple  finds themselves stranded in an amusement park haunted house, right next to the those creepy robots who grow increasingly threatening every time they’re activated. Even without its big celebrity cameo, the entire scene is still fantastic — we could watch the terrible/amazing pantomiming of the Merryville Brothers all day.

Yes! I agree. I cracked up the first time I saw them (could have sworn this was the third time they appeared, not the second)…

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Heads Up!

Happy Halloween! Five Last-Minute, Fun Time-Killers Before Things Get Kickin’!

Hey! I’m pretty sure you’ll all be busy tonight. Whether you’re waiting for your friends to come over and watch some scary 80s classics and get tipsy, taking your kids out to trick or treat, going to a party, or to pass out candy yourself,  or to watch Trick ‘R Treat   and wait for American Horror Story to come on like we are, you may have some time to kill. Here’s some last-minute suggestions.

1.  Remind yourself of the four Halloween Rules with this twisted, fun list Fearnet.com put together to promote their Trick ‘R Treat marathon last year. You can tell they had a pure blast creating them. Check them out below!

2. Have half an hour to kill and want to watch a J-Horror short movie that’ll scare the HELL out of you? Check out my earlier post on Scariest J-Horror Short of the Month (Hell, this YEAR so far) by clicking here.

3.  Want to see one last really great Grim Grinning Ghosts video (until the 2012 Halloween season, that is), this time that someone who knew their old-skool Disney put together?  Depending on your age, it may very well take you right back to your childhood. Being forty-COUGH COUGH…ahem (clearing throat) years old, I didn’t think this was still actually possible for me. If you remember watching Disney’s  Sleepy Hollow  on TV when they used to run it the Sunday before Halloween and getting the hell scared out of you by the Headless Horseman chasing Ichabod Crane over the covered bridge, this will warm (or chill) you right up. Those skeletons really know how to kick up their heel-bones and dance, too.

4. Have you heard of perhaps the scariest goddamned flash horror games on the internet, The House and The House 2? Well, if you haven’t seen them, hold off since I’ve been working on a piece for both. However, this truly frightening, interactive Halloween greeting-game from the same studios that created the aforementioned soil-yourself frightening games. When I played the flash games,  I got the suspicion they were created by a team in South Korea, Japan, or Thailand, because they had a serious Asian Horror vibe.  At the time (in between my high, girly screams and yelps caused by jump scares), I also remember thinking, There is NO WAY anyone in the US could have come up with something this fucking terrifying. Well, after I finished playing this one, a card hops up from the team that created it, and wouldn’t you know,  the studio that created all three was Sinthai studios in Thailand. Patted myself on the back for that call!

Before I give you the link to “The Halloween”, some hints:  at least three things will be swooping down or rushing past you onscreen. Just start moving your cursor around and clicking on everything it indicates you can click on. It’s not a first-person shooter game,  it takes place all in one room, (unlike, say, House or House 2) and not really a puzzle game. The closet it comes to being a puzzle game is you have to click on everything multiple times, in various orders, sometimes many times, for the sudden scares. Light switch, the corner of a piece of paper sticking out of a grate, a pumpkin, if you can click it, keep trying.Turning the lights on and off a bunch of times will give you something …but at some point when you click them on and the room is light again, something blood-curdling may be there this time. You’ll see something when the lights are off, too.
It could take you up to fifteen minutes to get to the grand finale that wraps up the game (and the biggest scare), depending on whether you’re new to this style of point and click game,  maybe less if you play these kinds of horror flash games on a regular basis. If you need hints, comment or drop me a line. If all else fails, I’ll post a walk-through, but since there’s not much exploring to do, you’ll probably get it. You’ll discover just how brave you are, based on knowing you have to click the same item a dozen or more times before it activates the next big scare. Oh, and don’t bother scanning the code with your smart phone, it just takes you to the Sinthai company’s URL–nothing much to see there. Well, you CAN get the URL, I’m just saying it’s not a missing puzzle piece or extra to the game. I believe at the end some kind of thank-you note from the creators pops up with a friendly message and Halloween wishes. I’m sure as hell not going to play the game NOW to find out.

Brave enough to click until the game is completed? If you are and it’s after dark and you’re alone, I’m impressed. Oh yeah… here it is: the link for “The Halloween”. BTW, this is a very safe, trustworthy site, you don’t have to register (though I did), and I’ve gotten zero junk mail or newsletters since I registered. Not too shabby for a free site.

5. Watch the last five minutes of Halloween – Season of The Witch   (AKA Halloween 3 )  below:

…and there you have it. Enjoy your night!

Heads Up!

Heads Up! It’s That Time of Year Again!

Celebrate Halloween With The Scariest J-Horror Short of the Month – “‪Rattle Rattle” AKA Katakata (カタカタ)‬

“…You’ve heard the rumors, right? It gave me such chills when I heard about it…”

When it comes to frightening Japanese horror shorts, there’ s a lot of contenders. I’ve seen a ton of J-horror short this year, several so disturbing and creepy they left me badly shaken. Then there’s Keita Amemiya‘s Rattle Rattle (2006),  which is the first segment of an arguably uneven J-horror anthology called Unholy Women  (Kowai Onna).  It’s the scariest J-Horror short I’ve seen all year (let alone all month), and that’s why I saved this for Halloween!

My advice is to watch Rattle Rattle  on You Tube streaming, if you have the technology for that, and if you’re feeling especially brave, turn off all the lights. Seriously, I dare you. The first time I discovered and watched this–it was recommended to me by a trusted source– was after dark, on my lap top. I kept turning the sound down lower and lower as I got more and more creeped out, and by the last ten minutes it was down all the way. I didn’t have the nerve to watch it again until almost six months later, and since it was a sunny, cheerful afternoon, I got the nerve to watch it via streaming on our flat screen. It was still scary as hell (and also filled in a couple blanks in the plot; the first time I was too busy being freaked the hell out before to focus on every pesky little detail).

I’ve talked to other horror fans, especially those who love Asian Horror, and they agree with me that this segment embodies everything about J-horror that scares the shit out of us. Elements like not knowing quite what you’re looking at, which makes it all the more creepy and unsettling, things that aren’t supposed to be there, or move the way they do, never being safe from whatever scary entity is after you, no matter where you go, what you do, or how long you wait, finding out a horrible truth, then finding out another horrible truth on top of it. Most of the time you don’t even have to do anything wrong, or anything stupid, all you have to do is show up, and you’re fucked . It never forgives …it never forgets,  as one of the taglines for The Grudge  correctly assures us.

At first the story in Rattle Rattle seems like the familiar–but always creepy on varying levels– theme of an innocent, frightened young woman being pursued ruthlessly and horribly by an onyro  (a vengeful female ghost such as Kayako Saeki or Sadako from Ringuhere’s a great, thorough article I highly recommend if you want to learn a little more). As I said, it’s hardly a new theme if you’ve seen a couple J-horror movies; I hear a lot of people say thery’re sick of seeing the pale, skinny ghostly girl with long black hair hanging over her face bla-bla. However,  in nine out of ten cases, I’ve noticed those same people continuing to see Asian horror and admitting they’re scary when done right.

“Someone did  jump from here recently…”

 

Anyway, that’s what I thought this short movie would completely consist of. Don’t get me wrong, I was already terrified and my heart rate was up. Then, though I didn’t think it possible and already was regretting my decision to watch the movie after dark as I knew I’d have to really apply myself to relax enough to sleep, I got even more frightened when I turned out to be wrong… and wrong a second time…


OK, I don’t want to talk this little-known gem up too much, so I’ll just tell you if you want a real scare for Halloween (or any time), invest half an hour and watch one of the most frightening J-horror shorts you’ll ever see. That’s why I saved this for Halloween. Watch this till the very end—there’s a moment when it looks like it’s over, but isn’t. You’ll know it when it’s over, trust me…  Happy Halloween!

 

Horror Boom Halloween Treat! Mountain Devil Prank Fails (Short Movie)

Hey! I highly recommend going into this one clean. Just give it a watch.  Relax, though! It’s just one of those funny prank fails, happens to be Halloween-related. Would you wear this lame costume to scare your friends? Watch the short (it’ll fly right by), THEN read my piece underneath (trust me).  Perfectly safe for you to shut off the lights and crank to volume up while you watch this viral video below! What could possibly go wrong?

Yeah, you could say that prank failed horribly! I love the idea that someone on You Tube might just think it’s a regular “fail” viral video and have no idea it’s made by a team of talented horror filmmakers. Surprise! Hopefully including the idiotic tweener trolls that now seem to make up half of You Tube’s viewers base, or the elitist hipsters who go out of their way to find something to insult in every video/trailer/clip, no matter how good it is. Actually, I kind of feel sorry for that last group, they’re missing out on some cool stuff.

I found this one while I was looking into the directors of the various segments of V/H/S.; I was most impressed by the first and last stories. The most memorable and fun ones, the ones that actually frightened and even disturbed me.  I was fairly sure of the direction “10/31/98” (the segment where three guys go to what they think  at first is a really inventive haunted house on Halloween) was taking, though that was due to the fact that one reviewer spoiled the hell out of it by not understanding the fucking difference between writing a plot set-up and a plot synopsis.

That’s on the reviewer, though, because knowing where the plot was going was not due to the writing and acting in the segment itself, which was outstanding. Even with the spoiler for everything but the last five minutes lurking in my brain, things got so freaky and wonderfully chaotic in that final segment that I was 100% in for the ride, and the dénouement was a brilliant and fun payoff. They definitely made the right call saving their segment for last, because it was a show-stopper. Both David Bruckner’s “Amateur Night” and especially “10/31/98”  brought something fresh and thrilling to the found-footage genre that’s been given a very bad name in the last ten years by dogshit movies like The Devil Inside, Apollo VII   (I don’t respect that crappy movie enough to research the correct Roman numerals in the title),  8213 Gacy House, and many, many WAY too many more.  You know, the all-too-familiar kind; the ones that don’t have an ending, and instead just …stop.

Yup, the short you just saw and the final segment of V/H/S are indeed both the work of Radio Silence, AKAthe team Chad, Matt & Rob.  Like “10/31/98”, the above video sure didn’t end the way I thought (I knew something scary was going to happen, but not ...that ). This “Mountain Devil” short is one of their highest-rated on You Tube, but you can bet your ass I’m going to start watching the rest and posting the best. Let’s hope their work appears in more movies soon and gets the wider audience it deserves!

Nope, I do NOT mind waiting for the fresh popcorn.

Name That (Horror) Frame – Week of 8/28/12 – Halloween Edition

So, probably not a big shocker what “Halloween Edition” means… these are all from horror movies that take place on Halloween, or in the days leading up to it, with at least the last act taking place on Halloween. You won’t see Michael Myers, but John Carpenter is in the mix here. Actually, once I started in with the screen caps I was having so much fun I had trouble stopping… Anyway, check this out. Look familiar?

Hey! No white shoes after Labor Day! BITE

I only own one of these movies, and I’m re-considering that right now.  Second, I own the special edition of this flick and boy is it worth it:

Ginger is looking good …for now!

and finally… I think anyone who saw the movie will pick up on this one…

Hint: we’re in flashback/back-story mode.

OK, that’s it! Now I have to force myself to toss the rest of the grabs on my desktop. More Halloween goodness coming soon, so I better get to writing it. Plus, you guys remember there’s a prize for this, right? 

No need to guess this, I just really liked it and wanted to put it in here!

 

Horror Boom Halloween Treat – Giant Ju-On Gallery, Featuring Kayako Saeki!

Ok! So here’s the second Halloween 2012 treat (three more to come).  I promised another Ju-On  gallery, and this time– y’know, Halloween Treats and all– I’m going to focus on Kayako. It also seems fitting,  since on Halloween 2004, I was first introduced to the series and to Kayako (and her family) when my mom and I went to see the movie The Grudge in the theater (in a packed house, closer to the screen than was optimal when seeing a really scary movie). By thirty minutes in, we were holding hands!

Looks like lots of people have been doing searches and landing here because they want to dress like her for Halloween. Maybe this will help you out with the make-up. There’s a couple of make-up tutorials on You Tube but it seems as though most of them don’t understand Samara from The Ring and Kayako from The Grudge/Ju-on are two different characters. Here’s the closest I got, just taking photos to use on T-shirts I’d be selling. I wanted a recognizable image yet needed to do my own to avoid copyright infringement. Well,  I gave it a shot, anyway!

Ok, I lied, I bleached out color a little bit, but trust me, I used a TON of make-up.
©2011 D.D. Reinert/Horror Boom

Oh, and please note I’m going to be adding to it over the next 48 hours until it is juuuuuust right. I have over 100 images but need to start sleeping before dawn breaks. It can’t be healthy for my system to keep the sleep-cycle of an undead crack whore, so I’m making an effort to get in bed and at least TRY to fall asleep before I hear birds chirping outside. Keep checking back,  as you’ll keep finding plenty of new, scary, Ju-On photos and content all the way up to Halloween night!

Overall, I really made this as a tribute to her character. I even added a little behind-the-scenes stuff on the multi-talented Takako Fuji, who has played Kayako six times in full-length features, in addition to the two short films. As far as I’m considered, The Grudge 3 doesn’t even count as part of the series, since she didn’t play Kayako in it; in fact she wisely turned it down. I’ve read a few recent interviews with Fuji-San (they needed a translator) which I purposely sought out to remind myself that the Ju-on series were only movies,  and Kayako doesn’t really exist.   Fuji-San said that even though she has a strong background in modern dance, her back would always hurt for a day or so after each time she filmed a staircase-crawl (that makes my back hurt just thinking about it), that she’s a smoker who would take cigarette breaks in costume as Kayako which would make anyone walking by seeing her start to laugh, that she sometimes gets asked to “do” Kayako at parties (she always does), but most of all, kept apologizing “for all the nightmares!”  That helped… sort of…  a bit… a little, tiny bit, anyway.

So here’s that gallery, in some different formats to mix it up. She remains one of the most frightening female horror icons of all time, even probably up in the top five for me.

The above and below are shots where the lighting is dim, but what you CAN see is clearly Kayako,  just enough to know who you’re looking at and to scare the shit out of you.

mirror mirror, on the wall, who’s the scariest one of all?

Fuck!

You’re not even safe under your own bed sheets…

This is from the very first Ju-On TV movie, and the first time I’ve ever let out a shriek watching something on my TV in my own home. During daylight, no less. Almost had a goddamn heart attack when Kayako quietly said, “Kobayashi?” held still for a long moment, then suddenly SWOOPED down close to his face. And that was the last time we (or anyone) ever saw Kobayashi Dear…

Here’s some really frightening PR shots taken…

When someone dies in the grip of a powerful rage…

…a curse is born.

…The curse gathers in that place of death.

 

Those who encounter it…

…will be consumed by its fury.

More quotes from this interview later on.

 

More coming soon; I’ve now looked at the maximum amount of depictions of Kayako (after dark) that I can without risking nightmares.  If you have requests for photos/pics, please put them in the comments below and I will do my best to accommodate them!

Horror Boom Halloween Treat – Grim Grinning Ghosts (From Disney’s House of Mouse Episode “House Ghosts”)

As the moon climbs high o’er the dead oak tree,
Spooks arrive for the midnight spree.
Creepy creeps with eerie eyes,
Start to shriek and harmonize.
Grim grinning ghosts come out to socialize!

I can’t believe this FIRST aired in 2003 (according to this great Disney Wikia);  it looks so old-school –AND SO COOL! “House Ghosts” was the 50th episode of House of Mouse, originally aired on Toon Disney‘s New For You! Show on October 10, 2003. Plot: It’s Halloween, and Pete unleashes some grim grinning ghosts onto the club to try to scare everyone away. This is definitely the highlight of the episode! OK, I haven’t seen the entire epiode, just this, but I find it hard to believe anything could top this show-stopper. Oh, and I forgot all about the Disney character “Pete” until I saw this. Among others, look for an appearance from Constance, AKA the Ghost Bride, who resides in the attic section of the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland. She had a fun back story; a “black widow” who had chopped off, I think, her last six husband’s heads!

“I do!” CHOP

I don’t know who did the vocals used on this re-recording of the “Grim Grinning Ghosts” song (© Original music by Buddy Baker and lyrics by F. Xavier Atencio), but it’s one swinging wake. Expect more special Halloween treats to pop up here soon.I’ve got five of them, and will post the final one on Halloween. I’ll toss in as many extras as I can along the treat countdown, too; we horror fans know that Halloween is the real  “most wonderful time of the year”  Enjoy!

-Mrs. Horror Boom

Maybe this is a tribute to the rare “Hatbox Ghost” from the attic. The mid-60s-looking Herman’s Hermits/Brian Jones shag hairstyle threw me off.

Yep, I think that’s him. Either way, both these guys are beyond cool-looking!

OK, I actually stumbled on the whole 8-minute “House Ghosts” episode, and it had so many great references, including appearances by James Woods   Hades (and his demo reel), the Devil in Night on Bald Mountain, and …more than I can count. Worth watching just to see the cameo by Mr. T alone! Nope, I am not making that up. Check it out  below!

 

The Creepy Merryville Brothers (on SNL) Wish You a Happy Halloween!

Unfortunately I can’t embed this, but it’s worth watching. If you haven’t seen the “Merryville Brothers” skits on Saturday Night LiveScreencrush.com describes them pretty well in their story about Tom Hanks making a surprise cameo on SNL last Saturday (their Halloween episode):

The sketch begins with the welcome return of the creepy/hilarious animatronic figures known as the “Merryville Brothers” and initially follows the format of their previous appearance in almost every way. A couple  finds themselves stranded in an amusement park haunted house, right next to the those creepy robots who grow increasingly threatening every time they’re activated. Even without its big celebrity cameo, the entire scene is still fantastic — we could watch the terrible/amazing pantomiming of the Merryville Brothers all day.

Yes! I agree. I cracked up the first time I saw them (could have sworn this was the third time they appeared, not the second) when Jim Carrey hosted, he was funny but Bill Hader‘s face was what made my husband and I started laughing so hard we almost had tears rolling down our faces. For the Bruno Mars-hosted Halloween episode, he (my husband, not Bruno Mars) fell asleep between the opening and the first sketch, and he sleeps like a log. However,  I was howling with laughter so loud it actually woke him up. He squinted at the screen, said, “Oh yeah, those ride guys again,” and fell back to sleep (he says he doesn’t remember).

So, in the holiday spirit (and for a good laugh), click here to watch the Halloween Merryville Brothers sketch on Hulu!

You don’t need to be a member, just watch– though if you’re on your iPhone, it might not be compatible, but it’s you can still watch it online.  Not a good idea to throw popcorn at them if you get bored. “Why did you do that? They’re gonna get mad!”  I like the “Grim Grinning Ghosts“-type vocals (‘GGG’ is the theme song they play towards the end of the Haunted Mansion Ride at Disneyland, when you’re going through the graveyard and seeing the swinging wake with the singing busts, the terrified caretaker, etc.)* Wanna hear it for comparison? Watch THIS more up-tempo “classic” version below! It makes me want to grab my suitcase and freakin’ RUN to hop on the nearest plane to Disneyland.

 

Plus, when I was trying to find the name of the brothers, I found this really funny Facebook page someone put up for them.   Nice! Let’s hope they show up again this season.

Ting!

*I’d purchase that song if I saw it on iTunes, DAMN I love The Haunted Mansion! The version I posted isn’t even the most elaborate and awesome, either. There’s a ton of ones that light you up even more. Saving those for a later post!

 

Name That (Horror) Frame – Week of 10/21/12 – Special J-Horror Edition!

Ten more days till Halloween, Halloween, Halloween (Silver Shamrock)!  I actually saw Halloween 3 – Season of the Witch  in the theater with my mom. I was young enough that my memory is kind of fuzzy, but I remember the evil mask scene and the ending pretty well. That jingle got stuck in my head for life! Anyway…

Okay, first of all, none of these are from Ju-On/The Grudge   (I’ll have a new gallery for Ju-on   coming up soon, though – check out my last one if you’re in a Kayako-kinda mood). These are all J-Horror, but they’re not all from the same horror movie – just the same franchise. There’s three installments. All three of them have pretty goddamned scary scenes, but the first is still my favorite. Anyway, if you’re a fan of any of the installments, I think you’ll be able to figure it out –comment away! Those DVDs (all in great condition) are still waiting on a winner…

First up, here’s a scary-ass thing to see talking on the phone… especially if the other person blows you off!

Oh, stop kidding around! There’s nothing behind me…

You’ll REALLY recognize the franchise fast if you recognize this one. Also, if you saw it and don’t remember it …you must have missed this scene!

and finally…

You know, the picture quality is not one is kind of rinky-dink, so here’s a bonus photo (same franchise):

So! Put your guesses in the comments section – and by the way, a shitty US remake was made of the first installment of the series. They managed to somehow take a great set-up and just destroy it. Oh well, if they can fuck up a remake of Shutter,  I guess it’s no big shocker.

Happy Monday!

Bonus Scary Short Horror Film of the Week – “Suicide Girl”

Well, it’s getting closer to Halloween, so I figured I’d toss in a bonus scary short film (since I can’t really say there are TWO  “Scariest Short Horror Films of the Week”).  This was in my private stash I save for future Scariest Shorts; I like to have a few lined up in advance for security, plus I set the bar kind of high and now it can take me sitting and sifting through a dozen of them until I find one that’s nightmare-worthy. Shit, I’d post one a day up until Halloween if I wasn’t worried about running out.

This bonus film is also from the old Daywalt Fear Factory, and it’s called Suicide Girl.  No, not the trashy kind who looks like she fell down a flight of stairs carrying an open tackle box (sorry, not a fan), the kind who is just sad and had all she could take. It’s also always nice to see someone in one of those shorts get what he or she deserves… turn the lights off, the sound up, and check this out…

This is not only creepy and scary as hell, but could also work as a nice anti-bullying public service message! This was written and directed by Drew Daywalt. I need to start checking out his ongoing web series, Camera Obscura.