Archive for » January, 2008 «

Thursday, January 31st, 2008 | Author: Casey Criswell

I figured it my be fun to share some odds and ends of the process to being a horror nerd. There’s really not much to it. Watch a shit load of movies, write about them. Write? er…sorry…Right? That’s the basics, but for me I wade through a lot of flicks throughout the course of a month. (This month, the month of January was 30 flicks)

That can get kind of hard to keep track of, especially at my advanced age. So, enter the Moleskine Pocket Reporter seen below. It’s my own take on Steve’s Handy Dandy Little Notebook. The my friends, is the movie notes. Something for all 30 flicks, at the very least just the date it was watched (If I don’t plan on reviewing it) or sometimes three or four pages worth of random thoughts, etc. The pocket reporter goes with everywhere; the theater, friends houses, home, mom’s house, etc. etc. For somebody like me? You’ll find your self catching a flick when you least expect it!

So there you go, there’s a little nugget on how I watch crap so you don’t have to. There’s a lot of movie nonsense crammed into the small space called my brain, so I like to think of the notebook as my own external hard drive so to speak. It comes in handy for the podcasts, Irreconcilable Differences, all that jazz. The only thing that would make the above package work better, is a pen with a light in it. And that, I have yet to find!

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Thursday, January 31st, 2008 | Author: Casey Criswell

Jack-O

This one’s so bad, I’m going to borrow straight from the IMDb:

“A long long time ago a wizard was put to death, but he swore vengeance on the townsfolk that did him in, particularly Arthur Kelly’s family. Arthur had done the final graces on him when he came back to life as Mr. Jack the Pumpkin Man. The Kellys proliferated through the years, and when some devil-may-care teens accidentally unleash Jack-O, young Sean Kelly must stop him somehow as his suburban world is accosted and the attrition rate climbs.”

Those damn devil-may-care teens. Always causing problems.

It’s been quite awhile since I stepped in a pile of dog shit, but history often repeats itself. In comparison, it’s been a long time since I’ve watched a movie so horrid that I couldn’t help but gaze in open mouthed awe. But, as our slogan says, that’s my job and history does in fact repeat itself! “Jack-O” had one deciding factor in it’s favor when I first decided to give it a go, and that ass-et was Linnea Quigley. Mind you, I do indeed love me some Linnea Quigley, but Ms. Quigley does not a good movie make. With this in mind I decided to try it regardless! Sometimes I get surprised! Thankfully, there’s a solid five minute fully nude shower scene which is the highlight of Ms. Quigley’s role. The thing is…it was the highlight of the whole damn movie.

There is some down right horrific elements in this mid 90′s bowl movement. Absolutely none of them have anything to do with dead wizards, or the pumpkin man. First and foremost, young Sean/David Kelley… how he won the starring role of this one is beyond me. Lifeless, unexciting, and frankly a bit slow, this kid is not an actor. Plain and simple. When you find yourself facing a giant scarecrow with a rubber pumpkin on it’s head, most would either laugh hysterically or run screaming. Not this kid though. He’s going to stagger back a step or two and mutter ‘oh no please no’ in the most dead pan voice possible. As a father, there was another element of the movie that scared me deeply. When Sean/David is getting beat up by bully’s, some random weird lady with huge hair stops to help him out. Before you know it, she’s walking him home, telling his dad that she ran into him at random on the street, and soon she’s practically moved in with the family. There’s not much on explaining why this family takes her in like they do, aside from Dad possibly being horny. Weirdo Lady wasn’t exactly a find, but she at least wasn’t a drooler. Mom on the other hand comes with a set of crazy eyes bugging out of her head and a serious case of mom-butt with those fashionable 90’s high wasted jeans that she wore pulled up to her nipples. The inhabitants of this small town are…scary. Except for Linnea Quigley. She must have gotten a flat and got stuck there. (And just to add here; I want Linnea Quigley to be my babysitter too.)

I find my self quite relieved to have made it to the end of “Jack-O”. I was somewhat fearful for my life in that if I had started drooling as this movie wiped out brain cell after brain cell, I may have electrocuted myself on the keyboard. Quite honestly and straight forward; “Jack-O” is boring as hell. It’s that bad. I try and entertain some idea that there’s something worth watching in any movie but with the dead panned incapable acting contained within, I do not lie when I say the highlight was the blond in the shower. You know, boobs.

Stay away folks. Ms. Quigley bares the girls in many other movies, take your chances with those. This one is an avoid at all costs.

.5 ‘Do not operate heavy machinery after viewing this movie’ out of 5

Dear god I need a beer.

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Wednesday, January 30th, 2008 | Author: Casey Criswell

It’s that time once again folks, time for another night Irreconcilable Differences and another night of myself and the First Lady of Fright waxing ecstatic on horror!

This week we dive head first into the blood meat pies (and corseted cleavage of Helena Bonham Carter) of Sweeney Todd!

Check it out, let us know what you think!

Irreconcilable Differences

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Monday, January 28th, 2008 | Author: Casey Criswell

The old school gaming episode. We trace a loose history of horror video gaming, from the Atari 2600 through the Super Nintendo days. Everything from Halloween, Friday the 13th, Mortal Kombat, Doom and more. Plus, DVD releases, Horror News, Custer’s Revenge, and I pick up the most ridiculous film ever made at a thrift store.

Click here to check it out!

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Friday, January 25th, 2008 | Author: Casey Criswell

Thanks to Eric at Bloody Good Horror.com!

Don’t send a lame Starring You! eCard. Try JibJab Sendables!
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Thursday, January 24th, 2008 | Author: Casey Criswell

Ghost Game

Seven friends (more like five friends, one new girlfriend, one bitchy chick that shouldn’t have been there) head out for a weekend trip to a remote cabin. Little do they know, said cabin was the location of the brutal slaying of three witches some thirty years beforehand. (They killed each other, natch) With their ritual incomplete the three witches have been bound to a metal ammo box stashed in the cabin marked ‘DO NOT PLAY THIS GAME’! So what do they do? They play the game! Unfortunate for them but fortunate for us, the soon figure out why they shouldn’t play the game when the ghosts of the EVIL WICCANS arrive to finish off what they had started thirty years before!

After reading through all that you may be thinking “Wow, that sounds pretty awful!” You’d be right. Our first major problem in “Ghost Game” is the introduction of our cringe worthy talent. No names all around, it’s obvious that this is a group of kiddos fresh off the bus in LA ready to make a name for themselves. That’s commendable and all, but so many times I found myself wanting to cover my eyes in embarrassment for these poor souls. Ham handed is being polite; all are over the top in their designated schtick. For starters, we get to listen to this group make small talk in the car on the way to their weekend excursion. The dialog is corny at best and fails to make us get too emotionally invested in the four that we’re first introduced to. This awkward exchange however is Shakespeare after the arrival of ‘Cousin Ted’. Cousin Ted is our token comedic outlet; if you’re still in junior high, you’ll eat this shit up. If you’re of more mature taste, (I know, I know, who am I to talk on ‘mature taste’) you will be groaning audibly as you may have once done watching your awkward friend approach his first female; uncomfortable, and again embarrassed. Let’s not even get started on ‘Talia’, the conceited token rich bitch. She’s just annoying as hell, plain and simple. I think the rest of the cast was happy to see her demise as well.

The acting is not the worst thing here though; no no. Once the entire cast is assembled and our ghost witches arrive, this toilet clog of epic proportions only manages to raise the water level even more! First off, there’s a loose attempt at setting a time line. This is all well and good; to bad they screwed it up. I may be mistaken; it’s easy to get lost in the mire of random anecdotes thrown at us left and right. After first introducing us to the three witches, we get an interstitial stating that it is now thirty years later. At another moment, there is a diary entry saying that the three witches died in 2002. That’d make this movie take place in 2032. But I don’t think that was the case, at least there was nothing stating this fact! Odd ball time lines aside, the writing is a hodge podge of genre elements tacked together. Some ghosts, some boring deaths, random crazy guys in the woods, a little bit of everything. Too bad none of them are tied together in the same movie.

The only positive thing I took away from “Ghost Game” was the following: ‘Cousin Ted’ was a rich wastoid who liked to PARTAY and BANG CHICKS. (WOO!) That in itself wasn’t that exciting. How he made his riches however was; at some point in his life he ran out and copyrighted every conceivable spelling of the word ‘extreme’. That in itself was pretty damn funny and now thanks to me, you don’t have to waste your time watching the movie!

Teenage goth witches in mini skirts are always entertaining for a few minutes though.

1.5 SOME ONE KILL THE RICH BITCH’s out of 5

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Thursday, January 24th, 2008 | Author: Casey Criswell

It’s that time once again? Time for what? Time for some more direct to video loving!

Join myself and the First Lady of Fright as this week we talk about Boogeyman 2, Dr. Chopper, and Storm Warning!

Give it a listen, be sure to leave us feedback on what you think of the show!

Check it out!

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Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008 | Author: Casey Criswell

Boogeyman 2

Two young kids, Henry and Laura, share a fear of the dark. After celebrating Laura’s birthday, the family settles in to play with the new presents while dad is changing out the light bulb in the darkened hallway. As the kids keep a fearful eye on the dark, something, the boogeyman in their eyes, sneaks in and murder’s mom and dad pretty brutally. Cut to many years later. Both have grown to have irrational fear of the dark. Henry wises up and checks himself into a mental hospital. Feeling that he has been cured, he informs his sister that he’s moving away after checking out. This sends her into a downward spiral of nightmares as the thought of living by herself consumes her. So, she checks herself in to the mental institution as well. Surrounding by other phobic patients, they soon find out there is something dark and sinister haunting the hallways playing on all of their worst fears.

A direct to video sequel spells fear of it’s own kind; this is generally not a good omen for the flick contained within. Add to that that it’s a sequel to a forgotten 2005 horror flick that in itself wasn’t….horrible…but far from good, and you have to wonder why. Why make a sequel? After settling in, you soon realize that this sequel has pretty much nothing in common with the first except for the eponymous bad guy. At this point, I’m really wondering what the hell! Imagine my surprise when you get to the meat of it, the movie was actually a lot more enjoyable than the original as well!

“Boogeyman” is the name of the flick, the name of the bad guy. In a sense, there’s more to the death and mayhem going on here. The key element to “Boogeyman 2″ is fear. All of our victim’s have crippling fears. Agoraphobia, Germophobia, Fear of the dark, Anorexia, they’re all covered and exploited to lead to a character’s demise. This factor is what makes the movie interesting. There’s a bad guy here, a ‘monster’ so to speak, but he’s pretty much just a tool to enact the true horror. Watching how the germophobe freaks out over cockroaches, or the Anorexic goes into palpitations over her misguided body views, these are the fun factor of the movie.

The cast here wasn’t horrible either. The kids playing the patients were adequate. No oscar performances here, but they were enjoyable all the same. All managed to make us buy into their phobias, even though the teen angst was a little thick at times. The big surprises here were the appearance of Tobin Bell of Jigsaw fame and Renee O’Connor of “Xena Warrior Princess” fame. Mr. Bell gives us his token creepy guy schtick while Ms. O’Connor gives us a doctor who is slightly wishy washy, yet believable all the same. (And still pretty cute!)

“Boogeyman 2″ checks in with a couple decent jump scares and more importantly, some creative deaths. The story itself is pretty generic overall. Nothing you haven’t seen it before; this time the path is a relatively scenic one. Worth a watch on late night cable and worthy of a Netflix slot. But for shit’s sake, don’t buy it. And don’t worry if you never saw the first of the franchise. You’re better off for that fact.

3 ‘I didn’t recognize Gabrielle without her leather bra’ out of 5

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Monday, January 21st, 2008 | Author: Casey Criswell

The all Clovervield edition! Listen to us describe why this film gets the first ever perfect rating from the podcast crew. Major spoilers start at about 33:00, and end at roughly 1:38:00. Enjoy!

This episode of the podcast is sponsored by “Horse Bites Designs.” Check them on the web at www.horsebitesdesign.com for all of your design needs. Richard, the resident artist, designs skate decks, album covers, logos and much, much more.

Click here to check it out!

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Friday, January 18th, 2008 | Author: Casey Criswell

Undead or Alive

Geronimo’s pissed at the white man, so he casts a curse upon us all. Skip ahead a few years to a random old west town and meet Elmer Winslow. He’s a US Army deserter trying to make his escape. After entering the town, he runs into Luke Budd, a hapless cowboy who has just learned that the love of is life is a prostitute. This unlikely duo decides to team up to make their escape after robbing the town’s corrupt sheriff Claypool blind. Posse’s form, people die, except thanks to Geronimo, the dead ones come back to life. While on the run our two bumbling heroes run into boarding school educated apache warrior, niece of Geronimo, who is hell bent on revenge against the US Army. Zombies in pursuit the entire time, we watch along as this trio fights for their lives.

Cowboy Zombies, simple enough. “Undead or Alive” does not try to fool us the viewer with some high falutin’ end of the world epic. No sir. They’re pretty much straight and to the point that this movie’s going to be just as ridiculous as it sounds. I mean really; it stars Chris Kattan! Do you really think there’s going be anything remotely serious to this? From our first introduction to Kattan’s Luke Budd, we know he’s his typical bumbling oaf character. In love with a prostitute, slightly effeminate (such is Mango.), in love with his horse named ‘Frisky’, the humor runs high in the first half. Through in the likes of a zombie Brian Pohsen to kick off the show as well as “Desperate Housewives” James Denton in the role of Elmer, and there’s some elements that balance this flick out to be a decent watch.

For the first half of “Undead or Alive”, it really is a decent watch. The laughs are plenty and the acting is just over the top enough to round out said laughs without being embarrassing. Mind you this is no “Shaun of the Dead”, but it’s still pretty funny and enjoyable. The problem here is that it doesn’t last. Once Elmer and Luke head for the hills, this one drops off to a crawling pace. There’s still some laughs sprinkled about here and there, but there’s not enough in between to keep it interesting. The majority of the characters are interesting; Sheriff Claypool is downright hilarious as is his deputy, yet there’s not quite enough of them in the second act to make it feel as good as the first. The pace picks up once the third act begins, but by this point it’s too little to late and you’re just ready for the ride to be over.

Sad really, cause it could have been a highly enjoyable direct to video flick.

“Undead or Alive” has its fair share of problems. Slow pace being the biggest problem, blood and guts and talking zombies still make it worth a late night cable watch for any insomniac out there. Definitely not one to buy, you’ll laugh enough to make you not regret throwing it in the Netflix queue. Just keep your expectations in check.

3 Wow Chris Kattan really did make a zombie movie’s out of 5

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