[SISTER SITE] It Has Begun!

I have three–count ’em!–THREE reviews up at the Sister Site.

They are, in order:

  • Frankenstein: We’re talking the original, 1910 version. Expect thrills, chills, and bone cuddling horror to be completely absent from this review. As it is from the movie.
  • The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave: Seven versions of this flick, and every last one of them should be burned or otherwise destroyed. This is a Golden Oldie review from Before the Reboot. I’m thinking going new review, old review, new review so I can get everything I wrote before formatted and back up some day in the distant future.
  • And last but certainly least, Doctor Faustus: The tragic tale about an out of control ego. Which can describe both the protagonist and the man playing him.

In other news, I’ve written another story and had a good start on another.

Progress? I’d like to think so.

[THOUGHTS] Shelob’s Sister

Shelob's Sister

That image is from a Fail Army video I found on Youtube. See that little shape right by Shelob’s Sister’s head there? That’s a regular sized spider. Our girl here is just.

That.

Big.

Check it out for yourself if you don’t believe me.

Surprise the one filming this thing didn’t try to pet it next. I swear, half the videos are people trying to pet wild animals and having the nerve to be shocked when they get bit.

Anyways, that’s someone’s basement in Australia. No way I’d be doing this. I have a hard enough time going into my basement now, and my spiders are normal sized.

Probably.

Look, I don’t go into the basement unless forced in fear of running into something like our girl here.

Just look at her.

I can take tarantulas. All day, all night. But her?

No.

The way she casually scuttles up the wall at the end of the clip.

Not a care in the world, that one.

Meanwhile, I’d be upstairs prepping to burn the whole place down.

Just to be sure.

[BLOG] New Year’s Resolution 2023

So.

2022 was not my best year. Ranging from Mom getting sick, a horrible vacation, losing my job and one or two other things, I’m glad to see the end of it. I’m not saying it didn’t have a few good moments. Nor am I saying it hasn’t improved. It just sucked over all.

This year hopefully will be different.

To that end, I’ve a few thoughts.

I’ve started a program learning Computer Graphics. The light house island picture is a start. I haven’t done much more, but more I intend to do.

I intend to also write more. Yesterday I started and finished a short story. More would be nice. I also have been working on notes for my novels. Yes, plural. Over 15. I’m nuts.

I intend to write movie reviews again. Next Friday should see the start of that. I hope to have at least one review up every Friday.

I intend more posts on this blog on no certain schedule. I hope to have more than just one post a month. I hope not to miss a month like I did last.

I am also cleaning house, looking for another job, and other activities to improve both my mood and general situation in life.

This is my resolution for 2023. If I stick to even one thing, I’ll count this as a success. I’m just shooting for a total success.

Let’s see what happens.

[Month of Horror] Yokai Monsters: 100 Monsters

Yokai Monsters

100 Monsters

An evil landowner pushes his luck once to often and awakens the ire of the Yokai.

Here’s a fun little flick. While I was unable to ascertain whether the title was misleading or not, it does have plenty of monsters in it. Not the best special effects, mind you, but most entertaining nonetheless.

Watching this, I was reminded of Daimaijin, which perhaps isn’t surprising. Not only was this made by the same company, it was directed by the same guy.

Anyways, both this film and Daimaijin follow the same structure in terms of story. The bad guy has a host of henchmen who run rampant across the medieval Japan. They more or less have their way about things until they offend the local supernatural agency. Said supernatural agency then starts acting up, leading to the climax.

Of the two, 100 Monsters is probably the more kid friendly. The monsters are plentiful and come far more frequently than in Daimaijin, which not only has just the one but reserves him completely for the finale. It’s a bit dark. Not too much so, just enough to mention.

Were I to compare the two, though (as if I’m not doing so now), I’d give the win to Daimaijin. There’s an awful lot of padding in this movie, and no real rhyme or reason why which Yokai appears where. The finale, which is deeply satisfying in Daimaijin, doesn’t have the punch.

A tighter structure would have helped enormously. There are also two short stories buried in this movie that should have either been removed or made more a part of the over-all narative.

To summarize, it’s a good flick (1.5). I rather liked it (1.5) and will watch the sequels.

But there’s better variations on this plot out there.

3 out of 4

[Month of Horror] Vicious

Only one short tonight. Lost track of time.

Vicious

A young woman comes home one night and finds something bad in her house.

A problem I’ve noticed with a lot of these shorts is lack of context. The protagonist encounters something weird seemingly without rhyme or reason and it’s never explained.

This might seem unfair. There’s not a lot of time to get into things in under, say, fifteen minutes. However, it can be done.

Take Trick or Treat! for instance. It isn’t much longer than Vicious, and yet you know why what happens to the protagonists happens. Oh, not the whole story behind what happens, sure. Enough, though, that it makes a degree of twisted sense.

Here, something bad happens. You don’t know why. And when dealing with the Supernatural, as you are here, an explanation of some sort would be nice.

Carping done. This is a very good short (2.0). My one complaint aside, it does everything right in terms of atmosphere, acting, and all. It was a pleasure watching it (1.5), though I don’t think I liked it quite as much as Trick or Treat! Which makes it feel a little strange that this has the higher rating.

Oh well. Never said the rating system was perfect.

3.5 out of 4

[Month of Horror] Night Visions: Now He’s Coming Up the Stairs/The Gate/The Backwater Gospel

Night Visions

Now He’s Coming Up the Stairs

A psychiatrist with the ability to absorb the illnesses of his patients comes upon a situation that may be more than he can handle.

Yes, I cribbed that summary from the show’s Wikipedia page.

Yes, I am ashamed of myself.

One confession done, here’s another.

At some point I grew tired of TV shows. Could not force myself to watch them. Told myself something had to give between the reading, the tv, and the videogames, might as well be the TV.

Watching Now He’s Coming Up the Stairs, it occurs to me this apathy started around the same year this series came out.

There is something entirely too familiar about this story. The acting, the direction, I don’t know what. It just felt too much like something I’ve watched a thousand times before. Or struggled to watch a thousand times before.

How bad did it get? Well the episode comes with two stories and I’m only talking about one. How bad do you think it got?

I had a similar problem earlier in the month. I tried to watch an episode of Ghost Story staring Jason Robards (of all people) and I didn’t make the halfway point. Too dull.

Or seemingly dull. Same thing, though, when push comes to shove.

All of this might seem to point towards me carping about Now He’s Coming Up the Stairs. And I did have problems. The script could have used a rewrite, maybe even shortening. Certain parts to my mind didn’t add up. There was entirely too much Luke Perry.

Entirely.

Too.

Much.

Those, though, might be considered Cullen Carps and discarded. The moment Our Hero begins his latest attempt to help someone on is gripping stuff. Well worth the wait getting there.

In other words, it does it’s job. Maybe not a great episode, but certainly a good one (1.5). I kind of like it (1.5) and might seek out some more. Especially the ones directed by the Great Joe Dante and Not Really That Bad Toby Hooper.

Though I’m not finishing the episode Now He’s Coming Up the Stairs belongs to. That story just ain’t clicking with me at all.

Oh, and Henry Rollins as Rod Serling? Really? Nothing against the guy, but really?

3 out of 4

The Gate

A couple of kids open up a gate to Hell. Typical weekend, actually.

This is yet another one of those films I can slip on and watch anytime and still get a kick out of it. Yeah, the effects can be lame, and yeah, the acting is only just adequate. Watching it this time I thought it would have worked better if it was a wee bit shorter.

And more Italian leaning. If you catch my drift.

But you know what? When it works, it works. It’s funny most of the time, and it has more than a few truly nightmarish moments. The final monster is one of cinema’s best.

It’s a good movie (1.5) that I love (2.0).

Oh, and the Dark Gods as malicious pranksters? I can almost see that.

3.5 out of 4

The Backwater Gospel

An agent of death comes to a backwaters town.

I didn’t like this cartoon short the first time I watched it, and I can’t now say why. It’s perfect, nasty in the way Horror should be nasty.

Great stuff (2.0). But do I love it? Yeah, maybe I do. (2.0)

Oh, and the Undertaker’s smile? Yeesh.

4 out of 4

[Month of Horror] Last Bus Home/Trick or Treat

Last Bus Home

A young woman and a young man wait for a ride in the dark of night.

Same premise as with our previous subject, Waiting, with a young woman experiencing difficulties while waiting for a bus. Short, well acted, but not particularly scary.

Good (1.5), but I didn’t get the same kick as the earlier film. So maybe a meh (1).

2.5 out of 4

Trick or Treat

A couple faces a persistent Trick-or-Treater.

This one, though, is a delight. Well acted, decent story, it made me wish it was longer. Not scary but creepy, very creepy.

I’ll say good (1.5) and liked (1.5)

3 out of 4

[Month of Horror] School Tales: The Series: 7AM

One might think I’m pushing it including TV episodes. However, the rule here is that whatever show I discuss has to be an anthology. Thus mini-movies.

So Tales From the Darkside gets a pass, but Buffy the Vampire Slayer does not.

Sound good? Great. Knew I could count on you.

School Tales: The Series

7 AM

student goes to class early to bring his classmates a vital message.

I stumbled over this series on Netflix while looking for something to watch. Here was a series from Thailand done by Thai Horror directors. Too tempting to pass up. This happens to be the first episode.

To give a little more meat to my summary, the student, Q, goes to school to take a picture of a chalkboard. There’s a book title written there, and any student who doesn’t have the book by 8 is killed by a ghost. The other school mates forget about the hapless student, but there are reminders that someone is missing.

And that’s all I’m saying about that.

7 AM has it’s problems. It’s central premise could do with some fleshing out. The forgetting part hampers thing. You see way too much of the ghost and learn too little about her. And, to make everything worse, there’s an over reliance on bad CGI.

That said, it’s a well done episode (1.5) that heads in a direction I didn’t see coming. I liked it (1.5) and no doubt will watch more of the series.

3 out of 4