Monday, April 28, 2014

Angel Heart (1987)

Sat down with my husband yesterday and we both had a good long talk about when we be acting all crazy. Lack of sleep, long days, busy schedules, and simply not feeling well can create a mighty hot soup to boil some bad blood in.

Everyone has their crazy moments, and sometimes it is justified as well as a much needed release. So long as it doesn't go to far or too long - then it becomes destructive. Personally, I'm a big fan of sitting in the tub, smoking, and singing as badly as possible until the good cry comes on. My husband is a big fan of sitting in the tub, playing his musical instruments and singing at the top of his lungs until he's too exhausted to be angry anymore. These are some of our little crazy moments and how we exorcise the demons that spawned them.

Yesterday, however, instead of bathing we made constructive peace with our angry sides fairly quickly and chilled out for the rest of the day. I know our landlord will be happy that we didn't use up so much water, and we were pretty darn proud of ourselves for being logical, helpful to each other adults while a wave of temporary madness passed through.

Which brings me to last night's movie that may or may not have been a good idea.

I've been eyeing the Angel Heart cover for a little while. My husband saw it many years ago and all he could remember was the sex scene, which is fairly graphic and nearly earned it an X rating. For some odd reason I decided Angel Heart would be the movie to watch on a lovely Sunday evening.

With me hunkered down on the Lazy Boy and my Husband crashed on the couch, I was ready for some good detective work with a mighty spooky paranormal twist. I got just that - and a cold, clammy feeling by the end of the film.

Angel Heart did crazy, madness, and suffering very well. They also didn't convince me that religions are a good idea. I already knew this - seeing organized religions as pretty creepy social projects already, this movie did not help matters at all.

This film also surprised me quite a bit. They went there in this film, in fact they went all over the place and none of it is good. If you enjoy films that tap into your craziest nightmares then this would be good one. If you enjoy films about Satanism, Voodoo, madness, and sex - this would be a very good one for you.

I enjoyed the film but I don't need to see again anytime soon. Like I said earlier, by the end of the movie I was a cold, clammy mess. This one will not make you feel good by the end. May induce some upset stomachs and an ache in your heart. Then again, I'm not a huge fan of religious horror - we've already got enough of that in the world. For me, perhaps this was simply not the right movie to watch after triumphing over a little madness and damnation in my own little sphere... or maybe it was just the right movie to watch. Let's just say I watched sweet, fluffy lovey stuff before I went to bed last night.

Recommended pairing: chicken - cooked anyway you like, hard-boiled eggs, and red wine (be sure to spill it everywhere for full effect). Throw a bit of salt over your shoulder, to taste.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Making Things Nice

I did a little rearranging, brightening, moving, and shining of the blog today. Biggest change: my detailed lists of horror movie genres are now listed at the top, while the genre tags to my reviews remain in the sidebar.

The detailed lists are still a work in progress but I hope this change will help you navigate the many movies out there so as to meet your particular tastes at any given time!

Let me know if you have any ideas or suggestions and I'll see if Blogger can make it happen!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Candyman (1992)

When I first watched Candyman, roughly 1994, I had no idea what housing projects were. I'd never knowingly seen them, heard of them, and certainly didn't understand the politics around them.

I was running around in a South Dakota prairie as an angry self-center teen, shoveling rotting fish guts into our crop soil at the time. I also don't recall that my schooling ever once introduced talks about the current inner city public well fare problems, demographic and industry changes, etc. That was a world I had sort of heard about from the news, a world still very far away from my physical, mental, and emotional view.

I think my adolescent ignorance played a very important role in my introduction to Candyman. In my head, segregation was a something that happened but was no longer a part of modern society. Slavery in all forms was abolished after the Civil War, and in all, everyone was better off because we were living in a better world being better to each other.

Ah. Yeah. Candyman pretty much tossed those rose colored glasses of mine right into a raging bonfire.

From the time the Cabrini-Green buildings were introduced in this film my mind was blown. WHAT ARE THOSE BUILDINGS? I had no idea housing complexes could be so big, so many, so broken. It took me a long time to wrap my brain around places like the Cabrini-Green neighborhood.  I couldn't pull my eyes away from the TV.

I was so confused, so focused, so intrigued, and to a good degree embarrassed. What do you mean people still live in crippling poverty, segregation still exists, police won't even go to certain parts of town in an emergency, and simple sanitation is hard to come by in a public place?  And to top all these thoughts and feeling off with one hell of an excellent horror movie?! Well, let's just say that I hold Candyman in very high regard, not only for the excellent horror story (in so many ways) that it is but also because it helped open my eyes to the world.

This post is not actually inspired by this movie but rather by a documentary I watched recently: The Pruitt-Igoe Myth. A lovely documentary that takes a long cold hard look at the sad politics behind pubic housing complexes and why they fail. The Economist also has a great article on the subject. This documentary about the St. Louis public housing complexes broke my heart quite a bit - and Candyman kept cropping up in my mind.

My Husband and I are active supporters on behalf of the under served, forgotten, treated less simply because they have less. In fact, our little home remains on a shoe-string budget and frankly one paycheck away from financial catastrophe. Like so many, so so many. Perhaps that is why Candyman scares and saddens me so much. The real monster in this film is not so much in the broken mirrors of Cabrini-Green bathroom mirrors, a version of it can be found in almost everyone's mirrors.

Simply, it's everyone's responsibility to contribute and take care of our neighbors, society, our future. It's a damn shame when we let any part of that go to the wayside. Doing so breeds fear, ignorance, and stalls successful development for everyone.

Okay - I know I'm talking a lot of politics with this movie but I find it to be a very political film as well as a very good moral lesson. I'll end this review with: I love this powerful piece of horror cinema.

Here's to all who continue to fight the good fight, despite all odds, for the betterment of everyone.

Trollhunter (2010)

This movie has been in my Netflix queue for - oh - ever. No good reason why I've not taken the time to watch it, no good reason at all. Therefore I needed no good reason to watch it today! Which I did!

Trollhunter, what a surprising serious side-tickler of a movie. Filmed first person style with all the camera movement of a Blair Witch project, this little Norwegian gem is sure to please most Horror, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy lovers. Some of my favorite elements was all the omnipresent growling. EH GADS! Get's me every time, growling - always sends chills up my spine and goosebumps down my arms. Fun fun!

This film focuses heavily on build-up to an unseen beast, so I can understand why some people liked the film until things were made clear. I get it, I also was a little taken back for a short while, but soon I was sitting back and enjoying the clever entertainment. Which Trollhunter is. It's a clever take on legend and making the mysterious appear to be your normal everyday ordinary government cover-up - horrifying having trolls roaming about of course - but that combined everyday ordinary is part of the horror.

My only complaint are the bears. I'd like to think they would have done a better job with them. If you watch this movie then you'll know what I'm talking about. BUT that is also part of the serious side-tickler I referred to earlier.

This is a fun film for the serious movie fans and the not-so-serious. This is a great film if you love legends, appreciate a well played veterinarian, have always been fascinated by bad ass hermits, or really get a kick out of good growling in movies.

Recommended pairing: aquavit, lingonberries, perhaps a little Havarti cheese, and snuggled up in a warm couch.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Poodle Exercise with Humans (2000s)

Although this is a blog dedicated to horror movies, every once and a while I stumble upon something so truly horrifying that it needs to be shared, even if it's not actually a movie. Why does it need to be shared, you ask? Why spread further terror in an already terrible world? Because. That's why.

Today I present to you something that came across my Facebook news feed that I'm certain it will give me nightmares for years to come. Although Youtube tells me this 3 minute 30 horrible seconds video clip was made for the 2004 Athens Olympics, I'm pretty sure it was actually formed in the largest bubbling cauldron of Hell where night terrors, empty hopes, dreams where you are falling, and the worse work-out videos ever conceived were cooked together until it molded into this nightmarish creation I'm about to show you.

There is no other way to prepare you for what you are about to see except, once you've seen it you'll never be the same again:

You're welcome. I'm so sorry.

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Boy and His Dog (1975)

Imagine, if you will, a beautiful Sunday - full of laughs, hugs, and kisses with your loved one. As the day progresses so does the joy. Chores are done with glee, cooking projects mastered, leisure time is enjoyed peaceably.

And then...

This actually happened to me. Yesterday. I'm still not sure what transpired exactly but a total and complete meltdown of a part of our universe occurred because of a misunderstood comment on social media.

Still stunned, and after a few hours of wandering around the house in disbelief, I dried my eyes, satisfied how my nerve-induced hives had calmed down, and my Husband and I went for a walk. A whole two blocks to the nearest bar.

We saddled up and ordered two of the most potent IPAs on tap. That's when we witnessed a total and complete meltdown of cinematic sanity: A Boy and His Dog.

We couldn't hear a word coming from the big screen looming over our heads, but we didn't need to - and I'm not entirely sure I wanted to. The lack of sound make this movie far more horrifying.

A patron, sitting next to my Husband, began asking us questions about the Crazy Town happening on TV. My mouth agape and eyes wide may have been viewed as excitement about a beloved classic rather than experiencing some sort of  full body opposite day mind meld (which was happening). My reply to the fellow confused was: I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT'S GOING ON!

The movie: There's a young man who can telepathically communicate with his dog, people with clown faces EVERYWHERE, lines and lines and lines of insane brides, complete and total destruction of the world as we know it, uncomfortably slow chase scenes, nasty ass mattresses, you know - nightmares in all forms.

The kicker: these movie scenes are not all that far off from how our real-life day turned out. (really not really)

The movie ended, our day was done, and I laid awake in bed for several hours that night wondering what the hell just happened to the world.

Do not watch this movie if you are looking for answers for why people act the way they do. Do watch this movie if you have had a total and complete meltdown in your life and want to see something crazier than the already crazy in your life. Yet, be prepared to be disturbed ... the kind of laughing while crying while shredding paper kind of disturbed.

Recommended pairing: Strong Drink, raw vegetables with the grocery store stickers still on, watch while sitting on the toilet or while laying upside on the couch.

In fact, you know what?! You can watch this crazy thing for free through the Internet Archive: