Thursday, October 22, 2015
Six Screaming Streaming Scaries
Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
It’s that time of year! The time of ghouls & ghastly images and horrible sequels and remakes all brought out to strike fear into movie goers and cause their bowels to shiver!!! Pumpkin pops up everywhere! Everybody pulls out their amber lagers and calls them Oktoberfest! Not to mention their fresh harvest wet hop IPAs! In honor of this most incredible time of year, Izzy & I have decided that we were going to watch some more horror movies in honor of the Halloween season. We already did the first two “Pumpkinhead” movies a while back… but there are plenty more streaming on your Netflix… so here are a few that we tried out… and it’s quite the diverse groups:
First up, we continued our stroll down Stephen King heyday lane… with a movie that I vaguely remember going to see in a drive-in when I was like… maybe 3-4 years old… but I don’t remember much except evil looking children so I probably just went to play in the park when it was one… and that’s 1984’s “Children of the Corn” starring Linda Hamilton and Peter Horton (who looks like Dirk Nowitzki, no f**king joke). The movie is about a young couple (Hamilton & Horton) who are traveling across the country… and end up in rural Nebraska in a small town called Gatlin… where things are… obviously a little crazy. It’s not a spoiler alert because it’s literally the first two minutes of the movie… but the kids a few years ago just up & decided to kill all of the adults except for an old man who works the gas station. Why? Well… that you’ll have to watch the movie for. Regardless, the young couple is in for quite an adventure… and the kids in the movie are genuinely creepy looking. If you haven’t seen the movie, I’d say check it out.
That being said… I was not too afraid of this movie. Why? Well… it’s the same reason that I’m not too scared of Chucky from the “Child’s Play” movies… because I feel like… I could easily destroy a small group is children, especially if they just have a few small weapons & calls of “Fornicators!” at their disposal. A six year old comes at me with a tire iron… he’d better be a LOT quicker than I am because he may wound me… but there’s no way that he’s stopping my follow-through with an overhand right and throwing him a curb party. If I had a baseball bat… or a board with a nail in it… I’m pretty sure I can take all of his friends too. Anyway, that was my one real problem with the movie… and there’s a few scenes where I was just like “B**ch slap that kid! There’s not even a lot of them!” but overall, it’s pretty intriguing at best… and almost laughable at other parts. I say check it out & judge for yourself. “OUTLANDER!!! WE HAVE YOUR WOMAN, OUTLANDER!!!”
Next up was one that had been on the queue for a while… and that’s “The Taking of Deborah Logan” starring Jill Larson & Anne Ramsey. This is a 2014 found footage movie that centers around a couple college students filming for a doctoral thesis about Alzheimer’s Disease (just go with it). It’s the usual combination of camera guy, tech guy & mildly attractive chick who’s in front of the camera most of the time (even when she’s not supposed to be) and they’ve been invited (for a moderate cost) to live in a home in Virginia to document a quite proper elderly woman with Alzheimer’s named Deborah Logan (Larson) and her caregiving daughter Sarah (Ramsey). During the first few days, they see the effects of the disease firsthand through the many strategically placed cameras of how this horrible disease affects not only the elderly mother, but her alcoholic daughter… and you really get a sense of sorrow for their situation… but then sh*t gets REALLY messed up. Things get really creepy… Deb seems to pop up everywhere… like she can teleport… and gets weird voices… and almost superhuman strength… and just fits of craziness… and there’s even a crazy neighbor… but what could possibly be causing all of these fits? Is it the disease… or something else? Non-spoiler alert (because it’s in the title): It’s demonic possession.
Okay, I’ll admit… my description of this movie… sucks. However, the movie… is f**king awesome & creepy and I can’t recommend it enough. This is genuinely one of the best horror movies that I’ve seen in a while. Yes, there are flaws with the whole “found footage” format… but yeah, it’s still REALLY impressive… and honestly I think Jill Larson should get an Academy Award nod… she ROCKED that sh*t… and I was genuinely moved by this movie in many different ways. GO CHECK THIS MOVIE OUT NOW!!! Watch it with a loved one… in the dark… it’s what you want for Halloween… and it’s free with your Netflix subscription. You’re welcome!
Next up was the classic movie “The Fly” but not the one you’ve probably seen. This is the 1958 original starring Vincent Price… but the leads are David Hedison& Patricia Owens. Dr. Andre Delambre (Hedison) has finally done it! He’s made a machine that can teleport objects across the room… and there are limitless applications for such a machine. There seem to be some kinks though. Some solid objects come across backwards… a rabbit basically disappears… obviously there are a few kinks to work out before this can be shown to the scientific community. Then… something goes terribly wrong… and as you can probably guess by the title… it involves a fly! Okay, I kind of love the 50’s horror flicks. I have a soft spot for them… and especially the Vincent Price ones… I just dig that guy’s voice like no other & he always seems to be in the best ones (“House of Wax”, “House on Haunted Hill”, “Last Man on Earth”, etc) and even though he’s kind of a side character as Andre’s brother Francois… he still plays an integral part towards the end. The movie is actually pretty awesome… and builds up suspense pretty well (even though you probably already know how it goes) so I’d recommend checking it out… especially if you are squeamish when it comes to gore & stuff. There’s nothing like that in this movie.
Next on the queue was 2001’s “The Others” starring Nicole Kidman. Now… a little backstory on this one. I watched it a while back when it first came out… but I fell asleep about halfway through… because it was a little slow paced & I was also living on 4 hours’ sleep max with school & work… but yeah, I woke up for the last… about 66 seconds of the movie, had no idea what I was seeing… but assumed it wasn’t work another two hours of my life if it didn’t even wake me up with my surround sound system. The end. So this was… kind of like the first time really seeing it… but knowing the basic story. It’s a mother in a palatial estate with her two young children… and her husband has been away at war, but she hasn’t heard back… and her estate needs some care… so some caretakers answer a call into town & help her out. Her children have an allergy to light… so for their sake the estate is very dark & generally creepy… but then some other unexplained things start happening. Ghostly things…
Now, the movie was pretty good. Aside from the sound being memorably bad with the voices being REALLY quiet and the other sound effects being REALLY loud to basically give ever meaningless thing jump scares… there is some great suspense built… and it’s an intriguing kind of character study. Are there ghosts? Is the mother just insane? It’s a lot like “The Babadook” if it were set in a different time. That being said… if you’re going to watch one of the two… “The Babadook” is still streaming too. “The Others” was a lot better than I remember (though I love a good nap) but it’s another good movie if you’re not into gore but enjoy a good haunted house flick. Check it out!
Right after that, we watched a 1990 movie called “Nightbreed” from director Clive Barker (“Hellraiser” & “Lord of Illusions”) and starring Craig Sheffer & David Cronenberg (yes, the director of “Dead Zone”, “The Fly” remake, “History of Violence”, etc). This movie is about a young man named Aaron Boone (Sheffer) who is having terrible dreams… so he’s been going to a therapist (Cronenberg) to get his dreams & violent urges under control. Then one day, the police come to the therapist’s office… and there’s been a serial killer on the loose with killings matching Aaron’s dream descriptions almost to the word… so to find answers, Aaron starts asking around about a place in his dreams called Midian… and he finds out some pretty startling things in his journey. Okay, I’m just going to come out and say it… there are monsters involved… and it’s not a spoiler alert because they’re teased as the credits are rolling & in his dreams the first few minutes. This movie was pretty dang interesting… and I really enjoyed it. Now, I’ll warn you up front that it’ll probably seem REALLY weird to today’s audience because the makeup is pretty fantastic & not CGI… some of the backdrops are almost obviously paintings… there are a few cumbersome oddities like that… but it really just adds to the atmosphere of the whole movie being in a borderline dreamscape & keeps you on edge with regards to what’s going to happen. The monsters are also greatly designed& REALLY inventive… and yeah, there’s even a few titty shots. Enjoy!!!
About the only beef that I have with this movie… isn’t even with the movie… it’s with the Academy Awards committee. As I mentioned before, the makeup & special effects in this movie are pretty damn impressive, especially by 1990 standards. However, any guesses to what movie won the Academy Award for Best Makeup that year (1990)? Well… let’s start with the nominees that didn’t win… and this movie wasn’t even nominated though it really should have been. First up was legendary makeup & effects specialist Stan Winston for “Edward Scissorhands” which… yeah, the love of Vincent Price comes into play again, I can see that. Then there was “Cyrano de Bergerac” (basically the French adaptation of the novel that inspired Steve Martin’s “Roxanne”) where they essentially put everybody in feudal French garb and gave Gerard Depardieu an even bigger nose. Okay? What possible masterpiece of a movie could beat them both AND this movie? Why it’s “Dick Tracy” in which everybody wore essentially the same outfit in vibrant Crayola colors so that you could tell them apart… and they have Al Pacino a big nose… made Paul Sorvino look like he had a stroke… squared off the top of William Forsythe’s head… made Dustin Hoffman look like mumbling Javier Bardem in “Skyfall” and even made R.G. Armstrong’s face (star of last entry’s “Children of the Corn” oddly enough) look like a nut sack as a guy named Pruneface. AWARD WINNING MAKEUP!!! Anyway… it just irked me that “Dick Tracy” won an Academy Award for makeup… and yes, the award also takes into account wardrobe & hair styling for some reason… but let’s be real… it’s not impressive in any aspect of the award. So yeah, check out “Nightbreed”! I think you’ll like it.
Last movie of the day… “Creep” starring Mark Duplass (“The League”) and writer/director/actor/caterer Patrick Brice. This story is about a videographer named Aaron (Brice) who answers a Craigslist ad for a one-day job in a remote California mountain town. He meets his employer Joseph (Duplass) who tells them that he has an expectant wife… and an inoperable brain tumor with only a few months to live… so he just wants Aaron to follow him around for a few hours and document this video so that his unborn child has something to remember his father by. You know… like that Michael Keaton movie “My Life” from the 90’s. However, Aaron starts to suspect things are a little odd… and things aren’t quite what they seem. No, this is another found-footage movie… and of course the movies have their limitations & some disbelief is involved. “Why the hell is he videotaping this scene?” However, this movie is pretty good about that… and there’s no additional score… it’s a very minimalistic approach… and for a scant 77 minute runtime, I would highly recommend it. Don’t want to give anything else away. It’s streaming now! Great flick!
What I wouldn’t really recommend… is watching six seasons of “The League” in the past few weeks to catch your girlfriend up… and then watch this movie… because you’ll totally see this as like a long special episode of “The League” and one of the greatest & creepiest pranks of all time. I honestly would not be surprised if this movie was condensed a little bit and shot almost frame for frame with either a creepy version of Pete… or just replace him with Rafi taking things a little overboard as he’s prone to do. Oh, you haven’t seen “The League”? Then this probably doesn’t affect you… but it certainly did for us. Watch both “Creep” and “The League”!
So yeah… that was a LOT of movies… but yeah, a bunch of spooky movies that you can still enjoy on Netflix this Halloween season. Go forth & check them out!!! I’ll be helping to move family members across the state… yay!!! Have a great weekend everybody!!!