Saturday, December 25, 2010

Black Christmas remake love bitches!

I'm sitting here at 3AM watching one of my favorite christmas films -  and one of my guilty pleasure horror flicks - Black Christmas.  Not the Bob Clark original. The 2006 remake.  Yes all you hateful bitches, I love the remake.  I love it better than the original. In fact, I'll be so sacrilegious as to say I thought the original was... well... a bit dull. John Carpenter did a much better job of Black Christmas with his Halloween (which incidentally was supposed to be a sequel to Clark's film). The remake is much better paced, has some very creative gore gags, and doesn't take itself too seriously. It has a wicked sense of humor that was sorely lacking in the original.

The plot?  Pretty much the same. Billy Lenz escapes from the asylum and stalks a bunch of sorority girls living in the house where he once committed his ghastly deeds. Much deadness ensues. What did they improve on? Well, the first was all tension and mood, which when done right has a heavy impact. Mood and tension are definitely lost here.  But director Glen Morgan (an X-Files alum) replaces the tension with gore and humor.  Seriously, there's a lot of fun grue in this flick. There's stabbings aplenty, impalements, strangulations, fleshy gingerbread cookies, scalpings by ice skate, and enough eye trauma to make Lucio Fulci proud.

Also, as mentioned before, the flick has a great sense of humor. Sure, unlike the '74 BC, its hard to like any of these sorority bitches (except Andrea Martin, who starred in the original and cameos here) but that makes their deaths all the more enjoyable. Plus, they take a creative approach to the use of cell phones. In most modern horror flicks, the use - or uselessness - of cell phones is usually explained by "oh, no service" or some other lame excuse.  In this movie, not only do cell phones work, but they are used by the killer to stalk and torment his prey. In the original, Billy made a few crank calls to the house's old rotary.  In the remake, Billy steals each victim's cell and uses them to terrify and confuse each new target.  Sure, there are other plot holes, but the fact that the producers dealt with a common horror cliche in such a creative manner was refreshing.

The film is not without its flaws.  In typical remake fashion, they spend way too much time giving the killer a backstory to explain his motives.  Couldn't we just leave it at "Billy went nuts and killed his family"? Instead, the producers felt it necessary to tack on a whole abusive mom angle. Plus there's a whole incest scene i could have done without.  In a film with, for the most part, a great sense of black humor, the family drama felt out of place.

Also, once nice thing about the original was that they kept the killer hidden for the most part.  Just like his origin story, we see way too much of Billy for him to be as menacing as he was in the '74 version.

But these are minor flaws in a great no-brains, popcorn munching, dumb-ass yuletide horror flick. If you've always wanted to decorate your x-mas tree with guts and eyeballs, this is the perfect seasonal treat for you. Pop this on with Santa Slay and rot your brain.

As our Bad Santa Kyle would say, "HO HO MOTHERFUCKIN HO!" Happy Horrordays y'all!
Thursday, May 13, 2010

NHL Dopplegangers

Not really horror-related, but food for thought: is Jordan Staal a Klopek?

oh and also...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

3D Gimmicks and A-Hole Grifters

So this weekend Clash of the Titans made an estimated $61.2 million across North America. For genre fans like us, this should be a good thing - so why am I so apprehensive?  I haven't seen the film yet, but the consensus from the majority of the critics is that while its a decent enough movie, the 3D is fucking atrocious. Here's what the New York Times Mahnola Dargis had to say:

"The 3D in the Clash of the Titans remake, which was added after it was shot, has none of the immersive quality of Avatar and instead segments the image into discrete planes, bringing to mind the unintegrated levels of a pop-up book.

A pop-up book.  For an extra five fucking bucks per ticket.  Now that Clash and Alice in Wonderland, both using the "post" 3D conversion, have made millions, the fear is that every film will now be pushed through a crappy conversion just to con you from your hard-earned cash.  Could we be seeing crap like "Sex in the City 3D" soon? Jesus horse-fucking christ, imagine the thought of Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Catrall's old asses in IMAX 3D - that's one scary flick.

Despite the impressive tech wizardry of Avatar, 3D is ultimately a gimmick.  If Hollywood wants to keep people in theatres, it needs to go William Castle and embrace the gimmickry. Why was 3D so successful in the 1950s? Because it was used by real showmen to give their audiences a new experience.  And why did it die out?  Because Hollywood over-saturated the market with cheap-ass 3D films.  Same with the 3D resurgence of the 1980's.  And with Alice and Titans, it's happening again - studio execs taking a great idea and running the fucker into the ground.

Thankfully, a few horror filmmakers are still embracing the roots of the technology.  Patrick Lussier, director of last year's wicked My Bloody Valentine, knows the purpose of 3D - to THROW SHIT AT THE AUDIENCE.  As great as an immersive three dimensional environment can be, at the end of the day we go to 3D flicks to duck, bob, and scream as shit flies at our heads.  Lussier is following up MBV with a new Nic Cage flick called Drive Angry, a violent, supernatural car chase thriller.  While the prospect of Cage's hair in 3D is frightening, Lussier is shooting the film in 3D, not post converting.  Chatting with MTV, Lussier said:

"No, none of that post-conversion crap. This is totally shot in 3-D. We have 3-D cameras out from Paradise FX, which are working brilliantly. We're shooting 3-D every day. We're watching all our 3-D effects on every single shot as we shoot."

So what can you, the horror fan do?  Like any good consumer, just keep yourself informed.  Sites like Ain't It Cool News, Shock Till You Drop. Dread Central, etc. will give you the straight-up on whether a film is worth that extra fiver or not.  And while this new 3D trend may just be another fad, just like in the 50's and 80's, let's hope that guys like Lussier can still crank out eye-popping films that do exactly what 3D should do - make us shit our pants.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Hi Gang!

After a lengthy absence, and due to a bout of (temporary) unemployment, I'm back in the blogging saddle. At least for now, until I run out of topics or you get sick of my ass.

Lets just get right into it... there's a shitload of events to cap off the month of March. First off...

NEAR DARK! If you're not familiar with this movie, all you need to know is that it's the first solo directorial effort from this year's Academy Award Winner for Best Director, (the uber hot) Kathryn Bigelow. Plus, its a vampire movie that doesn't involve shirtless, poncing, sparkly models from Details magazine pretending to be creatures of the night. The vamps in this one are of the freaky, southern-fried drifter variety - stone cold killers. As an added bonus, 1/3 of the cast of Aliens are featured.

Don't miss out on a rare 35mm screening of this horror classic, this Friday, March 26, 9PM at Metro Cinema. Tickets are only $10 and available at the box office. We'll have prizes to give away, and as always, drinks will be provided by Filthy McNasty's (where good people do bad things!).

Then on Saturday, we've got not one, but two events involving sexy, kickass girls. Whet your appetite for destruction with the Alberta Six Pack Roller Derby match, where the girls of Eville will take on Calgary in not one, but THREE matches.

The girls will be hitting the track at 6PM, but before that, you can check out Eville's new junior team, showing off their moxie at 5:45. There will be plenty of vendors on hand, and even a wrestling demonstration at halftime!

Tickets are available at all Happy Harbor Comics locations, Megatunes on Whyte Ave, NABI in St Albert, online at or email Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. Kids 10 and under are FREE

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