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.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Search Engine Craziness: Cretacious Cloistered Crackheads


dinosaur nun gang members

Strangely enough, another set of Google keywords that aren't obviously sexual...
This one is doubly strange in that it's also something that links to an article that does actually contain all of those words.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

All About Evil

Last weekend I managed to catch Peaches Christ's directorial debut, All About Evil, as it stopped off at the Midtown Art Cinema in Atlanta, Georgia.

The event, (described by Peaches as a "spooktacular"), includes a pre-screening live show that features a couple of song and dance numbers perfomed by Peaches Christ and an assortment of local drag-monsters. The film is touring through 20 or so stops across the country, featuring one or more cast members at each stop. In my case, I got veteran John Waters actress, Mink Stole...


and I can't say that I would've had it any other way.

For any not familiar with Peaches Christ, she is the stage persona of Joshua Grannell and regular host of "Midnight Mass" shows. In appearance, she's a sort of glittery drag-Elvira with just a dash of Divine.


Probably not a coincidence.

After the song and dance bits, "Gore Gore Girl" and "Female Trouble" (that was still stuck in my head when I woke up this morning), and a brief clip-show introduction piece revisiting famous Mink Stole scenes, the lights went down and the real fun began.

All About Evil is the story of a mousy assistant-librarian named Deborah (Natasha Lyonne) who has inherited her recently-deceased father's beloved old movie house, the Victoria Theatre. When we meet her she's grieving over her father, but is particularly upset that her father has died without getting to see her succeed at "the business of show," as she's never had any luck getting work as an actress.

When her cold-hearted mother (Julie Caitlin Brown) comes in to try threatening Deborah into selling the theater, she snaps, killing her with a stab to the neck... and then giving her a few more for good measure.



What she doesn't realize until later is that the murder has been captured by surveillance cameras and, as luck would have it, almost immediately gets accidentally played back to the entire theater.

The attending cult-horror fans mistake the CCTV snuff film for a well-acted homemade cult film and embrace it wholeheartedly. When Deborah realizes what's happened, she seizes the opportunity to rejuvenate the independent theater and, most of all, to finally get her moment in the spotlight.

Short after grisly short is filmed and screened like this, seemingly daily in a very quick sort of macabre Be Kind Rewind fashion and the theater's popularity swells nearly as quickly as Deborah's growing ego.


The diva-directress (now pronouncing her name De Bor'a) finds she can't do all this on her own however, so she and the projectionist (Jack Donner) round up the twisted twins, Vera and Veva (Jade and Nikita Ramsey)...


...and a murderous young drifter (played by Noah Seegan, who you've probably last seen in Dead Girl)...


...to round up these victims a bit more efficiently. The shorts this little team produce really are brilliant, and with names like Gore and Peace, A Tale of Two Titties and The Diary of Ann Frankenstein I'm sure that will come as no surprise.

Seriously.

Their first team production takes them to the library Deborah had worked at earlier, to have a go at the librarian, Evelyn (Mink Stole), to create a very persuasive video about keeping quiet during movies. I'm not going to give away what exactly they do to her, but Mink Stole's version of the All About Evil poster gives a little bit of a hint...


Things eventually hit a snag for Deborah when her biggest fan, Steven (Thomas Dekker, from the Terminator TV series and the Nightmare on Elm Street remake), starts noticing that all the young folks appearing in her films happen to overlap with the growing number of students going missing from school. Steven doesn't have an easy time looking into this though, as he's constantly interrupted at school by the faculty who are convinced that his horror-interests mean that he's going to "Columbine" the place at any second... And things don't go too much smoother at home where he's got his concerned mother (Cassandra Peterson) to deal with.

Freud would have a field-day with this kid.
This is what's on his wall just to the right of the frame there.

The murder-movies get bigger and better until they culminate in the biggest show at the theater, which pretty much involves the whole town. I won't spoil any details regarding the climactic ending, but it manages to be even more over-the-top than the rest of the movie thus far.

Since the Victoria is in San Francisco, "the whole town" includes Peaches Christ herself in one of her several cameos.

Low-budget, independent horror movies are often either so horribly acted as to become unwatchable, or so financially restricted that their silly effects prevent the movie from being taken seriously... but All About Evil suffers from none of that. The production values really shine throughout, and with such a surprisingly strong cast, there's never any bad line-reads that take you out of the scene or anything of that sort.

Long-time Elvira fans may find themselves pleasantly surprised and impressed by Cassandra's Peterson's ability to change tones and actually play a "straight" character role for a change, but she makes the transition look easy. Vera and Veva, the evil twins, were even more surprising. They're genuinely creepy throughout, in a sort of slasher-Wednesday Addams way, but all their other work seems to be stuff like this:



Those "Brit twins" were not exactly an obvious choice for this sort of role by any means, but the result speaks for itself.

Ultimately, what I think I was most impressed with was the tasteful handling of wink/nod distribution concerning all the little genre references sprinkled throughout.

The logo's font is a derivative of the Evil Dead font for example...


While not everything is quite as subtle as all that, you get the idea. Considering that such subtlety usually seems out of reach to horror-comedies (and, come to think of it, drag queens too for that matter...) this reserved sort of homage-handling was one of the most surprising and appreciated aspects for me.

As I recall, there was only one small technical detail that bothered me with this movie. There were a couple of times (one of which I remember was in the very beginning when Deborah's mother comes by) when the hand-held camera shot was uncomfortably wobbly to me. That only happens about two or three times as I recall, but it just always bothers me when tiny things like that pull my attention away from a story that I'm really enjoying otherwise.

I don't think enough good things can be said about Joshua Grannell's first attempt at direction here. I left this thinking that it's pretty much exactly the sort of thing that any genre-respecting filmmaker trying for a horror-comedy should aim for, and that's certainly not a bad standard to set with your first try at making a film.

I can't wait to hear more about Grannell's possible upcoming new project that may be in the works. In the meantime, if the All About Evil spooktacular extravaganza comes through your area, be sure not to miss out. Tour information can be found at the film's website, AllAboutEvilTheMovie.com.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Search Engine Craziness: Freezer Section


it was a bad idea to cool off in walk in freezer

and almost immediately after that:

surviving temp in walk in freezer

Well this doesn't look good...
I just hope I gave the guy a few giggles before he turned into a stalagmite.


Queen of Outer Space


Queen of Outer Space is a campy sci-fi film about a spaceship crew that, while on a routine trip out to a space station, gets thoroughly lasered and crash-lands on Venus.

As it turns out, Venus is inhabited solely by women, whose queen, Yllana (Laurie Mitchell), had destroyed the space station with a death ray and now wants to destroy the planet earth before its inhabitants destroy Venus.







"But how could a WOMAN be smart enough to create such a powerful weapon?"


Queen Yllana's opinion of the earth-men is colored by the fact that her face was disfigured by radiation during an earlier war waged against men from another planet.

I
'd guess that she also has a little bit of pent up anger from a lifetime of being named Yllana...

Psst... that's "Anally" spelled backwards.

As it turns out, Yllana's beliefs aren't shared by all the Venutian "Glamazons." In particular, someone in her royal court, Talleah (Zsa Zsa Gabor), actually leads a secret resistance force that quickly decides to help the captured earthmen escape.

"I HATE HER! I HATE ZAT QUEEN!"

Because it's the 50's, the men quickly take charge of the revolt force by virtue of their overwhelming charisma and the resistance force is no longer much use for anything but swooning.

Of course, eventually everything culminates in a giant catfight... and those silly dames get easily overwhelmed by the side that includes men.


The queen is easily dethroned and the men get their opportunity to communicate back to earth to schedule a rescue mission to pick them up... in one year so they'll have plenty of time to do a little repopulating with the locals.

The men reluctantly accept their duty.

It probably won't surprise you to learn that the first third of this movie was actually shot in only one day. The movie gives us a few intro shots of the space-crew to introduce their personalities and let us see the interior of their ship (which looks strangely like the ship-interior set in World Without End ... which is also where the men's uniforms were last seen).

Right away the men blast off and we're shown stock footage of an actual rocket launch of a completely different looking rocket.


Moments later, we're given a shot of their transforming ship flying through space... Only now it's actually the spaceship model from Flight to Mars.


While I'm on the subject of borrowed props, the little rayguns the Glamazons use are lifted out of Forbidden Planet.

Anyway, my point is that the movie wastes no time at all getting to the point, even if that requires taking a few shortcuts. A lot of old movies are paced so slowly that they can be hard to watch today... but not this one. Within five minutes or so we're already on Venus with the Glamazons and things are actually happening. The movie keeps a nice novelty-to-pacing balance, doesn't go on for longer than it needs to, and makes a real effort to keep itself entertaining throughout.


Actually, it might have tried a little too hard to keep things interesting...
"There's been nothing but calm dialog against a boring backdrop for the last 60 seconds!
Quick, throw the giant paper-mâché bug into the scene!
"

"Yeah, the one we found in the prop box we got those uniforms out of."

Queen of Outer Space has a reputation for being among the cheesiest, campiest relics of 50's sci-fi, and for good reason. While the cardboard sets and misogyny don't hold up, the entertainment value definitely does.

Available on Amazon