Thursday, November 18, 2010

Larry Blamire Announces 3rd "Lost Skeleton" Film


Larry Blamire has just announced that he is starting on a 3rd entry into the Lost Skeleton chronicles, titled "The Lost Skeleton Walks Among Us."


While Blamire has spoken against chaining a bunch sequels onto a franchise, he also seems to be a fan of great ideas, so for now I'll just trust him on this one.

More info as it becomes available...


I sleep now!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Best Worst Movie Released on DVD

If you missed out on the excellent and award-winning documentary, Best Worst Movie, as it toured across the country, now's your chance to fix that.


You might not expect the stories of the creators and cast of Troll 2 to be extremely interesting and engaging, and if that's the case, you'd be wrong.

While it may not mean much to say that Best Worst Movie is better than Troll 2, it's definitely true. Be sure to not let this one pass you by.



Monday, November 15, 2010

The Human Centipede now available on Netflix Instant Watch


As of today, The Human Centipede: First Sequence is available on Netflix's Instant Watch. If you haven't seen it yet, you've hardly got an excuse now... unless you've eaten recently. Enjoy.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Troll

I'm always amazed at just how many Gremlins "inspired" movies came out of this period. At some point people figured out that when you make your monsters the size of children and kind of cute, you can make them appeal to a much wider audience than your run of the mill creature-feature. Gremlins proved this to great effect in 1984 and a year later, Ghoulies proved that this was indeed a winning formula. After a few Ghoulies sequels, the guys behind that film decided to try something with a fantasy angle, and what we ended up with was Troll.

I'll do my best to run through the odd plot quickly. As I recall, Troll is a Harry Potter fan-fiction about a time in the 80's when a middle-aged Harry Potter (Michael Moriarty) moves his family into a new apartment building.


As it turns out, the building's full of little singing monsters...

...and naked Julia-Louis Dreyfuses...


...so it doesn't really turn out to be a smooth transition for anyone involved.

Luckily, Potter's son, Harry "Atreju" Potter Jr. drops by to save the day with his golden spear and the help of Eunice, his elderly accomplice... but only after he gets beaten up by a little girl.

Pictured: Action-heroes

If that sounds awesome, it's because it is. Troll turns out to be much better than it has any right to be. The main reason is the great ensemble cast and the array of truly likable characters that they manage to portray here. I find most child actors to be almost unbearably bad, and the two kids are actually the main characters here, but these guys really do a fine job.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus appears here in her first feature-film role, as "pretty girl living in apartment" but does a great job of making her background character real in a way that a lesser film (especially in this genre) wouldn't have bothered to do.

Also, it cannot be overstated that... this.

I remember seeing this while Seinfeld was still on the air.
Teenage-me was never able to look at Elaine the same way again.


The villain is played ably by Phil Fondacaro, to the extent that he can express anything at all using only body language... but Fondacaro actually pulls double-duty here and also plays the role of Malcolm, a dwarf with cancer, in a tragic side-story.


The character of Torok the troll is taken in an interesting direction. He's not played for straight-comedy like the Leprechaun, but he's not really scary either... he just is. The only real conflict is that he and all the tenants of the apartment building must share the same space, but require different environments. The movie seems to go out of its way to make him not be scary actually... But since he does go ahead and turn people into trolls (or things that would better fit in troll-world), and that's probably a bad thing for those involved, the movie takes several measures to redeem him afterward. First he turns Malcolm into an elf in order to cure his illnesses and give him a chance at a life where he can be normal. As if that wasn't enough, when the time comes for Harry Potter Jr. to kill the giant monster at the end (and he fails), Torok goes ahead and kills him for him... thereby defeating himself. If that doesn't make any sense to you, don't worry, there's an easy explanation. At some point Torok must have simply decided that it would be easier to get a fresh set of clothes, change his name to Hoggle, and head out to the Labyrinth to work for David Bowie.

Really, is there a difference?

One last thing that I almost forgot is the troll chorus. It was composed by Richard Band, brother of the producers, but this whimsical tune could've easily come from Danny Elfman.



Troll is always more fun than I remember it being, and it's probably tame enough to be appropriate for even the youngest kids.

As an added bonus, the only DVD version I've ever come across is a double-feature disc that also includes the unrelated but wonderfully awful, Troll 2.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Search Engine Craziness: Humanoid Mating


humanoids mating in the deep


When I copied this from my keyword stats tab, I forgot to make note of which page this search actually leads to. I'm split between the obvious Humanoids from the Deep,where the humanoids mate, but only after leaving the deep...


...and James Cameron's underwater opus, Piranha II, which in the first few minutes actually does feature humanoids mating in the deep. The world may never know.

Pictured: That James Cameron movie where everyone's blue.

Troll 2 DVD Released

20 years after it's debut, Troll 2 has finally gotten the DVD release it deserves.

While it was previously available on a double-feature disc along with it's namesake, Troll, the two films don't really have anything to do with one another and both stand on their own as enjoyable, albeit entirely unique experiences.

One of these is not like the other...

I was just talking to a few friends last night who have somehow never gotten the chance to see this classic bit of well-aged cheese. After today's DVD release, I'm guessing I'll be changing that for them very soon.





Monday, September 27, 2010

Four Viral Clips Released for Paranormal Activity 2

Over the last couple of days we've had 4 new promo clips for Paranormal Activity 2. These are very short clips, short enough in fact that the last 2, which are ad-supported, feature ads longer than the clips themselves.


Viral Clip #1



In the first clip, we see a camera feed from the home-surveillance camera in the living room where we see the baby standing in the middle of the living room doing the creepy-Katie staring-into-space thing for a few seconds before the feed goes crazy and starts flashing all sorts of things. Since the things shown flash by very quickly, I'll screen-shot them to pieces so we'll actually be able to see what there is to see.


After we see a couple of seconds of that, a few nondescript closeup shots of furniture pop up very quickly along with this shot of a person:


After that, the baby just walks away, exit stage right. Not much to see here really.



Viral Clip #2



In this second clip, we see a different camera's view in the baby's room. The baby moves a bit in its sleep, then the camera blurs and flashes several quick images again. First we see a frame of the baby standing at the door...

... followed by a couple of frames of a very Katie-esque person standing at the door.


It flashes back and forth between those two a couple of times, and then goes back to the normal camera view, which now shows an empty crib. The video is time-stamped, except while it's flashing through the crazy stuff, but there's no crazy missing-time gaps in the numbers or anything like that. While this second clip does have a little more interesting material in it, we didn't really see anything new, in fact a lot of that came from the first trailer. Next.



Viral Clip #3



This clip starts off with the baby at the top of a stairway turning backwards to climb down them. While the baby is on his way down, we get more of those quick flashes.


First we see a quick frame of the baby sitting on the ground out in the open somewhere, followed by a couple of frames showing a person coming from outside the frame to the right and reaching for the child...


And then a last quick image of someone holding the baby while apparently crying.



Afterwards we go back into the video of the baby crawling down the stairs backwards. I've seen a few comments about people thinking that it's strange and creepy that it's crawling down backwards, but I think those people have just never seen a little kid trying to get down stairs... Next.


Viral Clip #4



In this last clip we first see a man laying the baby in the crib with the dog hanging out in the room once he leaves... quickly followed by more of those quick flashes.

First we see one where the door the man left through is now closed, but a second to the right is open, with the baby and dog looking pretty intrigued.

But don't worry, it was apparently just a haunted boxing glove...
or something...

The next image is kind of hard to see as it flashes by, but it's a creepy black and white shot of the baby crying and... whatever else is going on here.

After that we're back to the baby's room, where we see a brief glimpse of a woman taking the baby out before it flashes again and leaves us with the camera feed showing the baby still asleep but the dog getting the hell out of there.


While there's not a whole lot of substance to these clips, they do show that several things are different, the creepy-house tone has been kept and even improved upon. Although I didn't particularly like or care about the characters in the first Paranormal Activity, and after the cartoon ending I wasn't particularly interested in seeing the sequel... it looks like an evil baby might be just what I was looking for to get my attention again.

Search Engine Craziness: Ghostgasms

women with sexual phantasms

As with most search engine terms that lead people here, I can't even imagine what this person was trying to find. A list of haunted vaginas perhaps?


Not as unlikely as you might think apparently.

Over 3 million. Apparently 1 out of 100 American vaginas are haunted... who knew?



Or maybe it was just Slimer trying to figure out how to pleasure the ladies...

Pictured: Slimer attempting to pleasure the ladies.


The strange sexual search terms are always the most interesting, luckily for me, they're always strange and sexual.



Friday, September 24, 2010

Elvira's New Movie Macabre Intro Now Available


Elvira's long-awaited return to television is nearly upon us, but until it airs, here's a brief teaser by way of the show's new intro.




After taking all that in for the first time, let's take a closer look at a few things.

What I first recognized was the theme music, an instrumental version of The Black Belles' song, What Can I Do. I'd been thinking that The Black Belles were creating an original song for some reason... but the instrumental track actually works pretty well on its own.


Probably the most surprising thing about the intro is that a character from Peaches Christ's film, All About Evil, pops up about 15 seconds in...


Initially I wasn't too sure that this was really an exact match, but upon my second viewing I decided that this probably wasn't just a coincidence.



Take note of the cast listings up there...


As for the other featured one-sheet on the right, I have no idea what it might be. If you happen to recognize it then by all means, leave me a comment below.


For a list of TV stations with Movie Macabre syndication, check for your city on the PDF file from Elvira's official site.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Human Centipede gets DVD / Blu-Ray Release Date

The Human Centipede will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray on October 5, 2010. Suggested retail price is $30 for the DVD and $35 for Blu-Ray. If that sounds a little steep to you, you'll be happy to know that there are currently some nice discounts for pre-orders. Amazon's currently offering the DVD (at a 36% discount) for $15.99.




The Blu-Ray (discounted 30%) is currently offered for $20.99.




If you're planning on picking up this anyway... or just want to avoid having to ask the guy at Best Buy where the "Ass-to-mouth" section is... you might as well go ahead and pre-order.


Special features on the discs include:
  • Trailer
  • Making Of
  • Deleted Scene
  • Director Commentary
  • Alternate Posters

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hobgoblins Soundtrack

Last weekend I got a copy of the Hobgoblins soundtrack in the mail. Because this isn't the 90's, the first thing I did was rip digital versions of my all my new Fontanelles tracks into iTunes. Unfortunately, upon doing so I discovered that I couldn't find a picture of the cover anywhere online...

So today I hauled out the camera and just took my own picture. Hopefully Google will get itself over here and index it before anyone else runs into the problem I did.


House

House is a film that seems to set out to defy all attempts at categorization or even comprehension.

If you were to imagine a version of Evil Dead directed by Luis Buñuel using overly-colorized sets from H. R. Pufnstuf... from the point of view of a half-dozen Japanese schoolgirls that are simultaneously having the same nightmare about it... that is House.

But I'm getting a little ahead of myself. This movie has a lot of interesting history so I'll need to back up a bit.

In the mid-70's, after emerging from an art group that included the likes of Yoko Ono, a lifelong film-experimenter by the name of Nobuhiko Obayashi was working as a director of strangely avant-garde television commercials. After a few of these...


One of his most famous series of commercials starred Charles Bronson for Mandom cologne.

...he managed to catch the eye of Nagaharu Yodogawa, a journalist, who wrote "If Obayashi can make such TV commercials, he should be able to make Japanese films more exciting." Only a year later, Obayashi was approached by Toho Studios about trying to make a film "as exciting as Jaws," and he was finally given a chance to make his first commercial feature.

After his initial meeting however, Obayashi found that he didn't really want to go in the direction the studio was hoping for at all. He just couldn't find any artistic appeal in trying to make some sort of man-eating animal Jaws clone like they were suggesting. When he got home afterward he found his 13 year-old daughter Chigumi brushing her hair in front of a mirror, so he asked her what she thought about his predicament. Her reply was, "If my reflection in the mirror could jump out and eat me, that'd be scary." Obayashi knew she was onto something altogether different than Jaws, so he immediately followed that by asking what else she thought might be scary. Her reply? "I love playing theme tunes on the piano after watching the films, but I can't play as well as you dad... and it feels as if the keys are biting my fingers."

Pictured: Not Jaws. I think we're onto something...

Later, while visiting relatives in the country, Nobuhiko and Chigumi retrieved a watermelon from a well, split it open with a cleaver and ate it. Afterwards Chigumi remarked, "As the watermelon came out of the well, it looked like it was a smiling head and it was scary."

Pictured: Also not Jaws

The story's generation proceeded along those lines until what emerged was a strange fantasy about a group of girls who go to stay for a while in a house belonging to one girl's widowed aunt... who's a cannibal... and can possess the house itself to make it do her bidding.

Also, this cat's involved.

Now just in case those glowing eyes were a little too subtle for the viewer to pick up on, the film goes out of its way to rationally explain why this is a paranormal cat...


Anyway, the aunt/house proceeds to try "eating" the girls and has some degree of success. The pretty girl's face shatters and falls off, men are reduced to skeletons and/or piles of bananas (in a scene I couldn't even begin to describe), and eventually we find ourselves at a climax that must include every crazy camera effect Obayashi had available to him. That clip is long enough to shows how the movie resolves the little haunted-house problem: at the last minute disembodied legs kick a painting of the cat, which kills the cat, which kills the aunt... Now at this point I'm sure the more logically minded readers are thinking, "Wait, wouldn't that cause the room to fill with cat's blood?"

Well yes... yes it would.

As strange as all of this might have been, as it turned out this was the first time in Japanese history that a film studio had been willing to risk getting behind a filmmaker that wasn't one of their contracted employee-directors, so, whatever Obayashi produced, it was very important that it be well-received. Luckily for Obayashi and the rest of Japan's stranger filmmakers, it was a huge success... The industry was changed and actual film-making was now a realistic ambition for Japanese crazies everywhere.

Pictured:
Cast of House at the "Weird-Shit-in-Japanese-Films" official floodgate opening ceremony
.

Visually, House is an hour and a half of interesting-looking and historically significant art. As strange as the images we see are, not a single thing in the film wasn't specifically intended to look exactly as it does.

I think the trailer said it right by introducing this film as: A FEAR TOO BEAUTIFUL TO RESIST! If you're as interested in not resisting as I am, tour dates for screenings are posted on the Janus Janus site. DVD and Blu-Ray are available on Amazon.


Note: As for the title, House seems to usually be referred to as the Japanese word, "Hausu." The English word "House" is used as the actual title on even the original Japanese promo artwork... so I'll be sticking with that.


Trailer:


Thursday, September 16, 2010

"Best Worst Movie" Gets DVD Release Date

Michael Paul Stephenson’s award-winning documentary film about the creation of Claudio Fragasso's TROLL 2 (and subsequent fallout left in its wake) has been picked up by New Video Group and will be available on DVD and digital platforms on November 16.







DVD extras include:

• Director commentary.

• More than an hour of deleted scenes and interviews.

• Fan contributions, including music videos, mash-up trailers, and scenes from screenings.

• Filmmaker Q&A with Creative Screenwriting magazine

Michael Paul Stephenson has hinted at some of the other extra content already. Most interestingly, he's mentioned material with the Goblin Queen herself, Deborah Reed, who was conspicuously absent in the documentary.

Stepenson stated “We didn’t get enough time with her early on. It was hard to coordinate. As we got a little bit further down the road, we had shot a few things with her, but by that time, it had become very clear to us that the story was so much more about George and Claudio and a few of the other people we had been focusing on. There was no intention [to exclude Reed]; it was just that we were happy with this story the way it was, and anything additional at that stage felt like a distraction, or a deviation of where we were going with this movie.”

When asked if fans will actually get to see this material, Stephenson answers, “Absolutely! ... There’s so much great material that is perfect for them ... It depends on how much space they’re going to give us, but I’ll do everything I can to get as much extra material in there as possible.”

The DVD retails for $19.99 but can be preordered on Amazon now for $17.99.

Three New Sharktopus Clips Released

Three new Sharktopus clips were released yesterday (via Syfy's Blastr). Our first clip is the wonderfully ridiculous bungee-jumping bit that we see at the end of the trailer... only now it's in context. Nothing too new or interesting here, although the fairly slow and silly tone of the buildup makes the sudden attack even better.




The second clip shows Roger Corman's cameo scene and that a sharktopus can hide in only a couple of inches of water...




And finally, the last clip gives a glimpse at some of the other characters and shows us the surprisingly simple way in which the experimentally weaponized sharktopus gets off his leash and escapes into the wild.





Mark your calendars folks. Sharktopus airs on September 25th on SyFy.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"Boy Scouts Vs. Zombies" Brings on Director, Andy Fickman


According to a tweet from Production Weekly, the upcoming horror-comedy, Boy Scouts Vs. Zombies has been attached to director, Andy Fickman (Race to Witch Mountain, She's the Man).

This movie is coming from a script by the well-proven horror writing duo (Carrie Evans, Emi Mochizuki) behind such genre classics as... College Road Trip (Trailer) and... well, that's all. This doesn't look good.

I've always thought that one of the worst horror-movie crimes is to waste a great title / concept on a movie that's got no chance of living up to its own potential. With a concept like Boy Scouts Vs. Zombies, there certainly seems like there's potential for something fun with a Fido-ish, Leave it to Beaver feel or something like that, but as for whether or not this team can actually pull it off... I'm not holding my breath.