February 2013

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008)

Get comfortable for this might take some time to explain and if you have liquor then now is a good time to get it a flowing.

  • Actors: Paul Sorvino, Anthony Head, Alexa Vega, Sarah Brightman, Paris Hilton
  • Directors: Darren Lynn Bousman
  • Writers: Terrance Zdunich, Darren Smith
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: January 20, 2009
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Comic style panels explain how an epidemic of organ failures devastated the planet in the future.  The mega-corporation GeneCo emerged as a savior.  GeneCo provides organ transplants, in addition to cosmetic surgeries. GeneCo is legally able to repossess defaulted organs.  Clients who default on payments will be hunted down by Repomen; skilled assassins contracted by GeneCo to recover defaulted property by any means necessary.

    The CEO of GeneCo, Rottissimo "Rotti" Largo (Paul Sorvino), discovers that he is terminally ill.  Meanwhile, Shilo Wallace (Alexa Vega), a 17 year-old, believes she inherited a rare blood disease from her deceased mother.  She visits her mother's tomb and runs into GraveRobber (Terrance Zdunich), who is digging up bodies.  They flee from GeneCops and enter a massive space of dead bodies.  After losing consciousness, Shilo wakes up to find her overprotective father, Nathan Wallace (Anthony Head), watching her.  He has kept her locked away for 17 years, supposedly because of her blood disease.  Shilo seems bitter towards her dead mother, Marni (Sarah Power), for giving her the genetic disease.  Nathan prepares for work as the head Repo Man for GeneCo.  Previously a surgeon, Nathan was forced by Rotti into becoming a Repo Man.  Marni had left Rotti for Nathan, so Rotti secretly killed Marni and Nathan became convinced that he was responsible for her death.  Rotti promised to keep it secret if Nathan agreed to work for Rotti as his top Repo Man.

    Rotti's children, Luigi (Bill Moseley), Pavi (Ogre) and Carmela "Amber Sweet" Largo (Paris Hilton), are at a GeneCo warehouse, where Luigi and Pavi bicker over who will inherit GeneCo.  This continues at the GeneCo Renaissance Fair, harassing Blind Mag (Sarah Brightman), GeneCo's opera singer, who is forced to work for GeneCo because she signed a contract with Rotti in exchange for a surgery to cure her blindness.  Amber then taunts Mag about being her replacement.  Rotti then introduces Shilo to Mag, who previously believed that Shilo had died at birth.

    While repossessing a spine, Nathan calls Shilo, who is being guarded by Rotti's hench-girls.  GraveRobber then helps Shilo escape.  Rotti announces that Blind Mag will be performing her final song.  GraveRobber then demonstrates the use of Zydrate, a euphoric pain-killer that is harvested from the brains of corpses.  Those who are addicted to surgery, including Amber, need Zydrate to ease the pain.  Amber arrives and gets a shot of Zydrate from GraveRobber, then explains that she will be replacing Blind Mag after Mag's eyes are repossessed after her final performance.  GeneCops arrive and everyone scrambles to escape, except for Amber and her two valets, who support her as she passes out.  GraveRobber and Shilo then depart and she quickly returns to her room before Nathan notices that she was gone.  Nathan delivers the repossessed organs to Rotti, who gives Nathan his next target: Blind Mag.  However, Nathan refuses. Rotti, Pavi and Luigi force Nathan to another victim, trying to guilt Nathan into repossessing Blind Mag's eyes, Nathan however still refuses to repossess Mag's eyes and leaves, Rotti then vows to have Nathan taken out.

    Later, Blind Mag arrives at Shilo's house.  Mag reveals that she is Shilo's godmother and that her and Marni were best friends.  Blind Mag cautions Shilo not to make the same mistake that she did and also tells Shilo to make a happy life for herself.  Nathan arrives home and forces Mag out after she scolds him for lying to her about Shilo's death.  While Shilo claims that a repo man will repossess Mag's eyes Nathan insists that it is best to leave the problem alone.  When she becomes upset, he asks her what chance has a seventeen year old girl.  She then rebels and Nathan slaps her across the face, but then apologizes for hitting her.

    Back at GeneCo, Amber complains to Rotti that her latest surgery ruined her face.  Rotti tells her that "happiness is not a warm scalpel", he then gives in and tells Amber that his surgeons will fix her.  After she leaves, Rotti signs his will, which shows Shilo as his sole benefactor.  Nathan finds the GeneCops searching his basement.  They accost Nathan however he kills them.  Nathan finds Shilo has left and the GeneCops have stolen Marni's taxidermy body along with her dress on it to give to Shilo.  Rotti phones Shilo and says that he would be honored if she wore the dress to the opera.  The next scene shows Nathan, Shilo, Mag, Amber, GraveRobber, Rotti, Luigi, and Pavi preparing for the Genetic Opera.

    Everyone arrives at the Opera, where a band's performance begins.  Amber takes the stage for her premiere, but her performance is ruined when her face falls off, she picks up her fallen face off the floor and runs backstage feeling embarrassed.  Mag takes to the stage and sings her final song, ending it with a final act of defiance by gouging out her eyes, stating that she'd rather be blind.  Rotti cuts the cords suspending Mag, dropping and impaling her on a fence.  Rotti assures that Mag's death is part of the performance and convinces the audience to stay seated by stating that he will cure Shilo's illness.

    Shilo attacks the Repo Man in his gear by striking him in the back of the head with a shovel.  She then realizes that the Repo Man is her father.  On stage in front of the audience Rotti reveals that Nathan has been making Shilo ill by giving her poisoned medicine.  Nathan explains that he was just trying to protect her from the cruel world. Rotti tells Shilo that if she kills her father she will inherit GeneCo.  When she refuses, Rotti uses the last of his strength to shoot Nathan.  Rotti then dies on-stage from his terminal illness.  Shilo and Nathan bid farewell to each other and then Nathan dies.  Shilo then leaves, free at last to live her own life.

    In an epilogue, GraveRobber reads about the events of the opera from the previous night and reveals that Shilo has fled, leaving GeneCo with no legal heir.  A scene during the end credits reveals that Amber became GeneCo's new CEO, "auctions her fallen face to charity as a symbol of GeneCo's commitment to change", Luigi murdered the top three bidders, and Pavi won the auction and he now "wears Amber's face with pride."

    Related Articles:

    Repo! – Wikipedia

    Tuesday, February 26, 2013

    Atomic Brain Invasion (2010)

    I’m still hyped up on anti-biotics but ran out of oxy days ago so if this is gonna happen might as well do it while I’m relatively sober.

  • Actors: David Lavellee Jr., Sarah Nicklin, Michael Reed, Daniel Lee White, Colin Carlton
  • Directors: Richard Griffin
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Camp Motion Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: October 2, 2012
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • When a mysterious spacecraft carrying a deadly intergalactic plague crash-lands in a small New England town, it's up to a group of misfit high schoolers and an alien abductee to stop the army of slime-spewing brain creatures from their one goal: kidnapping Elvis Presley!  Oozing with 50's pop-culture affection, Atomic Brain Invasion is a gleefully gooey homage to classic sci-fi cinema that the critics call "a success on every level, quick on its feet and packed with in-jokes for the seasoned genre film fan." 

    I got to be honest here, I have tried to write about this movie like four times and each time I realize my words can not do this movie justice.  It is a loving homage to sci-fi movies of the fifties, takes the medium seriously without being to full of itself, funny without being silly, hits all the right notes without being condescending.  It is obvious the film makers grew up on a diet of commie-fearing analogy movies and that is what they are respectfully paying tribute to.  I sat down expecting to watch a cheesy movie poking fun at how we used to make sci-fi movies and got something that should be an example to others on how to do it right.  If the world was fair you would have seen this movie in a theater with a big name company distributing and marketing it.  Nothing I write can fully convey how much I enjoyed watching this film, it is simply done well and is one amazing ride start to finish.  The only other compliment I can add is after watching I looked up the IMDB info and discovered the makers Scorpio Film Releasing have about ten other films that I will be seeking out to watch, each one based on another sub-genre of sci-fi and horror.

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    Thursday, February 14, 2013

    Colin Wilson and Lifeforce (1985)

    Let us deviate from the usual Lovecraft centric movies and talk about an author who contributed to the mythos and the works that came from them.

    Colin Henry Wilson (born 26 June 1931) is a prolific English writer who first came to prominence as a philosopher and novelist.  Wilson has since written widely on true crime, mysticism and other topics.  He prefers calling his philosophy new existentialism or phenomenological existentialism.

    Wilson explored his ideas on human potential and consciousness in fiction, mostly detective fiction or science fiction, including several Cthulhu Mythos pieces.

    Like his non-fiction work, much of Wilson's fictional output from Ritual in the Dark (1960) onwards has concerned itself with the psychology of murder — especially that of serial killing.  However, he has also written science fiction of a philosophical bent, including the Spider-World series.

    In The Strength to Dream (1961) Wilson attacked H. P. Lovecraft as "sick" and as "a bad writer" who had "rejected reality" — but he grudgingly praised Lovecraft's story "The Shadow Out of Time" as capable science-fiction.  August Derleth, incensed by Wilson's treatment of Lovecraft in The Strength to Dream, then dared Wilson to write what became The Mind Parasites — to expound his philosophical ideas in the guise of fiction.  In the preface to The Mind Parasites, Wilson concedes that Lovecraft, "[f]ar more than Hemingway or Faulkner, or even Kafka, is a symbol of the outsider-artist in the 20th century" and asks: "what would have happened if Lovecraft had possessed a private income - enough, say, to allow him to spend his winters in Italy and his summers in Greece or Switzerland?" answering that in his [Wilson's] opinion "[h]e would undoubtedly have produced less, but what he did produce would have been highly polished, without the pulp magazine cliches that disfigure so much of his work. And he would have given free rein to his love of curious and remote erudition, so that his work would have been, in some respect, closer to that of Anatole France or the contemporary Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges."  Wilson also discusses Lovecraft in Order of Assassins (1972) and in the prefatory note to The Philosopher's Stone (1969). His short novel The Return of the Lloigor (1969/1974) also has roots in the Cthulhu Mythos - its central character works on the real book the Voynich Manuscript, but discovers it to be a mediaeval Arabic version of the Necronomicon - as does his 2002 novel The Tomb of the Old Ones.

    Tobe Hooper directed the film Lifeforce, based on Wilson's novel The Space Vampires.  After its release, Colin Wilson recalled that author John Fowles regarded the film adaptation of Fowles' own novel The Magus as the worst film adaptation of a novel ever.  Wilson told Fowles there was now a worse one, the film adaptation of Lifeforce.

    The Space Vampires is a British science fiction horror novel written by author Colin Wilson, and first published in England and the United States by Random House in 1976.  This is Wilson's fifty-first book.  It is about the remnants of a race of intergalactic vampires who are brought back from outer space and are inadvertently let loose on Earth.

    The titular space aliens are energy vampires, as opposed to the familiar stereotypical blood-sucking Earth vampires that suck blood and change into bats.  They consume the "life force" by seducing living beings with a deadly kiss and also have the ability to take control of the willing host bodies of their victims.  Though initially the aliens' "true" form appears to be a bat-like creature, the creatures are ultimately revealed to be insubstantial energy-beings from a higher dimension.  The novel's main protagonist is Captain Olof Carlsen, the commanding officer of the space exploration vehicle which discovered the vampires' spacecraft.

    The concept and set-up of the novel was apparently inspired by, and loosely based on, the purported phenomenon and mythological legend of psychic vampirism.

    In the late twenty-first century, far out in a nearby asteroid belt, a gigantic derelict castle-like alien spacecraft is discovered by the space exploration vehicle Hermes, commanded by Captain Olof Carlsen.  Investigating the spacecraft's interior, the astronauts first discover the desiccated corpses of giant bat-like creatures, then three glass coffins containing three immobilized humanoids - two male and one female - preserved in a state of suspended animation.

    Nothing to do with this book, just came up while searching for "space vampires" Returning to Earth with the preserved humanoids, Carlsen discovers the true nature of the beings when one of them kills a young man, a reporter (and the son of a friend of Carlsen) whom Carlsen illicitly allowed to view the body. The woman kills her victim by completely draining his life-force (a quantifiable energy measured by a device called "lambda-field scanners"), then, when Carlsen attempts to intervene, partially draining him of energy as well. Carlsen is left still alive, but unable to prevent the woman from escaping from the hospital.

    Carlsen joins forces with Dr. Hans Fallada, a scientist researching energy vampirism and longevity, to find the escaped vampire and recapture her.  In the course of their investigations they discover that the aliens can transfer from one body to another, and that the other two have also escaped; they also discover the potential for energy vampirism - and more generalized voluntary energy transfer - that exists in all humans, and the parallels between vampirism, criminality, and sexual fetishization.  At last Carlsen tracks down the vampires in London, their leader having possessed the body of the Prime Minister; but their confrontation is averted when representatives from the Nioth-Korghai, the vampires' original race, appear and offer the vampires (the Ubbo-Sathla, as they call themselves) the chance to regain their original nature as higher-dimension energy-beings.  The vampires accept joyfully, but destroy themselves upon regaining the ability to see themselves for what they had become.

    An epilogue, set nearly a century later, reveals that Carlsen has used the techniques of benevolent energy transference he learned via his encounters with the vampires to live an extraordinarily long life, and possibly (it is implied) to have achieved a kind of transcendence upon his death.

    Directed by Tobe Hooper

    Produced by Yoram Globus and Menahem Golan

    Screenplay by Dan O'Bannon and Don Jakoby

    Starring - Steve Railsback, Peter Firth, Frank Finlay, Mathilda May

    Studio - Cannon Films

    Distributed by TriStar Pictures

    Release date(s) - June 21, 1985

    Running time - 116 minutes

    Country - United States

    Lifeforce is a 1985 science fiction film directed by Tobe Hooper and written by Dan O'Bannon and Don Jakoby, based on Colin Wilson's 1976 novel, The Space Vampires.  Featuring Steve Railsback, Peter Firth, Frank Finlay, Mathilda May, and Patrick Stewart, the film portrays the events that unfold "after a trio of humanoids in a state of suspended animation are brought to earth after being discovered in the hold of an abandoned European space shuttle."

    The crew of the space shuttle Churchill finds a 150-mile long spaceship hidden in the corona of a comet. The crew finds hundreds of dead, shriveled bat-like creatures and three naked humanoid bodies (two male and one female) in suspended animation within glass containers.  The crew recovers the three aliens and begins the return trip to Earth.

    During the return journey, mission control loses contact with the shuttle and a rescue mission is launched to investigate.  The rescuers discover that the Churchill has been severely damaged by fire, with its internal components destroyed, and the three containers bearing the aliens are all that remain intact.  The aliens are taken to the European Space Research Centre in London where they are watched over by Dr. Leonard Bukovski (Gothard) and Dr. Hans Fallada (Finlay).  Prior to an autopsy, the female alien (May) awakens and sucks the "life force" out of a guard.  The female then escapes the research facility and proceeds to drain various other humans of their life force, revealing an ability to shape-shift.  It transpires that the aliens are from a race of space vampires that consume the life force of living beings, rather than their blood.

    Meanwhile, in Texas, an escape pod from the Churchill is found, with Colonel Tom Carlsen (Railsback) inside. Carlsen is flown to London where he describes the course of events, culminating in the draining of the crew's life force.  Carlsen explains that he set fire to the shuttle with the intention of saving Earth from the same fate and escaped in the pod.  However, when he is hypnotized, it becomes clear that Carlsen possesses a psychic link to the female alien.  Carlsen and SAS Col. Colin Caine (Firth) trace the alien to a psychiatric hospital in Yorkshire. Whilst in Yorkshire, the two believe they have managed to trap the alien within the heavily sedated body of the hospital's manager, Dr Armstrong (Stewart); but Carlsen and Caine later learn that they were deceived, as the aliens had wanted to draw the pair out of London.

    As Carlsen and Caine are transporting Dr Armstrong in a helicopter back to London, the alien girl breaks free from her sedated host and disappears.  When they arrive back in London it is clear that a plague has overtaken the city and martial law has been declared.  The two male vampires, previously thought destroyed, have also escaped from confinement by shape-shifting into the soldiers guarding them; the pair then proceed to transform most of London's population into zombies.  Following contact with the male vampires, the victims turn into "living-dead" and seek out other humans in order to absorb their life force, thereby perpetuating the virus.  The absorbed life force is collected by the male vampires and delivered to the female vampire, who transfers the accumulated energy to a waiting spaceship in Earth's orbit.

    Fallada manages to impale one of the male vampires.  Carlsen then admits to Caine that, whilst on the shuttle, he felt compelled to open the female vampire's container and to share his life force with her.  She is later found lying upon a church's altar, transferring the energy to her spaceship.

    Caine follows Carlsen into the church and is intercepted by the second male vampire, whom he dispatches. Carlsen manages to impale himself and the female alien simultaneously.  However, the female vampire is only wounded and returns to her ship with Carlsen in tow, releasing a burst of energy.  The two ascend the column of light that leads to the spaceship which then returns to the comet it came from.

    The initial cut of Lifeforce as edited by Tobe Hooper was 128 mins long.  This is 12 minutes longer than the final version which had several scenes cut, most of them taking place on the space shuttle Churchill.  According to Nicholas Ball, who played the main British astronaut, Derebridge, it was felt that there was too much material in outer space and so the majority of the Churchill scenes were deleted.  Also, most of Nicholas Ball's performance ended up on the cutting room floor according to an interview he gave on the UK talk show Wogan in 1985.

    Despite being credited on the US domestic cut, the following actors were deleted from that cut of the film: John Woodnutt, John Forbes-Robertson and Russell Sommers.  The Churchill commanding officer Rawlins, played by Geoffrey Frederick, was British, but in post-production it was decided to re-voice him by Patrick Jordan, a US performer.  Also in the US version, some of Geoffrey Frederick's voiceover heard on the Churchill is also dubbed.

    The film was edited for its US theatrical release by Tri-Star Pictures to a 101 minute domestic cut version that was partially re-scored by Michael Kamen, with a majority of Henry Mancini's original music still remaining.  The original 116 minute international theatrical cut version, which is now currently available on video and DVD, contains more violent and erotic footage that Tri-Star cut from the domestic version, along with the entirety of Mancini's full music score in place of Kamen's occasional music cues placed at the last minute for US domestic prints of the film.

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    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

    Killer Klowns From Outer Space (1988)

    PT Barnum said it so long ago

    There's one born every minute, don't you know

    Some make us laugh, some make us cry

    These clowns only gonna make you die

    Everybody's running when the circus comes into their towns

    Everyone is running from the likes of the killer klowns

    from outer space

    killer klowns from outer space

              – The Dickies “Killer Klowns (From Outer Space)” – Killer Klowns EP

  • Actors: Grant Cramer, Suzanne Snyder, John Allen Nelson, John Vernon, Michael Siegel
  • Directors: Stephen Chiodo
  • Writers: Stephen Chiodo, Charles Chiodo, Edward Chiodo
  • Producers: Charles Chiodo, Christopher Roth, Edward Chiodo, Helen Szabo
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: MGM
  • DVD Release Date: August 28, 2001
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Killer Klowns From Outer Space is a 1988 American horror comedy movie made by The Chiodo Brothers and starring Grant Cramer.  It is the only Chiodo Brothers' directed and written film – they have worked in many other projects in other roles, such as producing and visual effects.  The film is about a race of aliens (who resemble evil clowns) that arrive on Earth to capture and harvest people to use as sustenance.

    In the town of Crescent Cove, California, Farmer Gene Green spies a comet-like object fall to Earth.  Believing it to be Haley's Comet he goes to find it, coming across a large circus tent-like structure.  He is at first amused by the sight, but he and his dog Pooh Bear are quickly killed by mysterious clown-like creatures.  Meanwhile, Mike Tobacco (Cramer) and his girlfriend Debbie Stone (Snyder) had also seen the comet and she convinces him to follow it. Coming across the same structure, they discover a massively complex interior that looks nothing like a circus tent, and a room with cotton candy-shaped cocoons. Discovering the old man and a friend's remains in the cocoons, they are nearly captured by the alien clowns who coat them with a popcorn gun as they escape before giving chase with a balloon-animal dog that comes to life. Narrowly escaping, Mike and Debbie travel to the police station to confide in her ex-boyfriend Dave Hanson and his skeptical, curmudgeonly partner Curtis Mooney about the killer klowns from outer space. The latter believes it to be a hoax, and so does Dave after they drop Debbie off at her home and investigate the site to find the ship missing. Coming across a group of cars on the makeout hill "Top of the World", Dave finds the place destroyed and several cars filled with the cotton candy-like substance, and finally believes Mike.

    Meanwhile, the Klowns journey into town and proceed to garner a supply of townspeople using ray guns that resemble toys to wrap them in cocoons. While their tricks seem whimsical and innocent, tricks like boxing gloves and shadow puppets to rubber mallets often turn deadly before the townspeople realize what is happening. One Klown invades a drug store knocking over everything in sight and then kills the clerk, while a group of klowns pretend to deliver a pizza to a girl's house as a klown jumps out of the box and kills her with his cotton candy ray gun; another klown in the park puts on a puppet show that lures a guy to his death; downtown, a Klown drives up in an alley full of biker thugs. One of the bikers decides to pick on the little klown by smashing his tricycle. The klown gets mad and punches the thug's head clear off while the rest of the gang flees; another klown goes to Big Top Burger Hut and tries to lure a little girl into its trap but fails (which infuriates the clown); a tall klown (who has the ability to float on the highway) has a demolition derby with a guy on the road, resulting in the klown ramming right into him and plowing him off the road and over a ledge to his death.

    Mike and Dave encounter Slim, one of the klowns, using a shadow puppet to shrink a crowd of unsuspecting people into the palm of his hand before feeding it to a bag full of baby klowns who look like popcorn, but it escapes before Mike can run him down. Mooney, convinced that the calls to the police station are the result of a hoax, encounters one of the clowns and a series of pranks makes Mooney lock him up, not realizing the threat is real however until it is too late. Dave returns to the station to find two prisoners dead, the station decorated with shoe prints, and Mooney being mimicked like a puppet with Jumbo's hand inserted in his back. Dave shoots Jumbo several times before destroying its nose, which causes it to spin wildly and explode. In town, Mike and his friends Rich and Paul Terenzi, who own an ice cream truck they were using to warn people, notice the town overrun by the Klowns and run to avoid capture. At her home, Debbie is attacked by creatures that grew from the popcorn she had been sprayed with, and then is captured by the Klowns when they arrive, trapping her in a giant balloon. Mike, Dave and the brothers give chase to an old abandoned amusement park where five of the movie's primary klowns (Slim, Fatso, Shorty, Rudy and Bibbo) had already killed a security guard by plastering him with acidic pies.

    Journeying through a funhouse leading to the ship, the Terenzi brothers become separated, meeting two female klowns who sexually harass them off-screen while Mike and Dave find their way into the ship and free Debbie from her imprisonment after witnessing one of the Klowns using a silly straw to devour one of the liquidized townspeople. They run through the maze of a ship together, encountering several strange traps and tricks along the way before reaching a main room called "Klown Kathedral", and are surrounded by the Klowns. They are distracted when Rich and Paul arrive, after escaping the female clowns in their ice cream truck, and manage to trick them into stopping their attack using a fake plastic clown head to give them orders. However a viceroy, and supposedly the giant leader of the Klown army, named Jojo the Klownzilla, arrives as a stringed puppet and breaks free from the strings, wanting to destroy the humans himself. After the other Klowns flee from the leader, he destroys the truck with Rich and Paul still inside. Dave starts a battle with Jojo called Klownfrontation. Dave shoots at the massive clown to distract him from Debbie's and Mike's escape. They escape as the ship begins to coil in and spin like a top before lifting off the ground to leave Earth. Inside, Dave destroys the massive clown's nose with his badge and as a result, he explodes and the ship is destroyed with him. Having escaped to the authorities who had gathered outside the amusement park, Mike and Debbie briefly mourn their friends' loss until the Klown's miniature car drops out of the sky. Dave is alive and they all embrace before Paul and Rich appear from the back of the car themselves, having hidden in the ice cream coolers to avoid the explosion.

    As of the writing of this article I discovered the existence of a sequel previous unknown of.  From Killer Klowns Wiki, didn’t know that existed either, comes the following:

    The Return of the Killer Klowns from Outer Space is the upcoming sequel to the 1988 film that will also be directed, produced and written by the Chiodo Brothers. It will be released in 3D, meaning that the Killer Klowns will possibly be computer-generated instead of being portrayed through costumes and masks. Grant Cramer has given details of the upcoming film in an interview.

    Grant Cramer, who was 27 years old in 1988, will be returning as the original film's protagonist Mike Tobacco in the film and will be 51 years old when he enters the production phase of the film. Grant Cramer claims that he is not the main character again, instead there will be 2 new younger leads,who are circus performers who are stranded in the town the new Klowns invade when their car breaks down who Mike Tobacco will teach through his experience with the 1988 Killer Klowns massacre. These 2 new young leads will have to save the world from the returning Killer Klowns while they are being blamed for what is happening.

    The film is in the late stages of development, and the script has been finished. Grant Cramer has stated that the crew will need the budget to start production. While the first film cost $2 million (and yet was still a box office failure), the sequel will be far more expensive especially due to featuring 3D. So far, there is very little information of the film.

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    Monday, February 11, 2013

    Bitten (2008)

    Oh Jason Mewes, I am so sorry that I kept pushing back this article to talk about other movies.  It honestly had nothing to do with your acting or quality of your films, other movies just took precedent at the time but now I am going to give you the attention you deserve.

    On the left a random headshot of Mr. Mewes and on the right is a photo of his most visible role.  The “Jay” portion of “Jay and Silent Bob” reoccurring characters in the Kevin Smith film set in his Jerseyverse series of movies that begin with Clerks in 1994.  But you know that already.  What you may not know are his credits in major films like Thirteen Ghosts, Scream 3 and Feast just to name a few.  Not to mention his appearances on video game, television and music video credits.  Not to shabby for a guy who is most famous for being a foul-mouthed drug dealer with a mute sidekick.  But we aren’t talking about one of my favorite actors to also happen to be from The Garden State like myself, we’re talking about what happens when you find a vampire in a dumpster.

  • Actors: Jason Mewes, Erica Cox, Richard Fitzpatrick, Jordan Madley, Nick Nicotera
  • Directors: Harvey Glazer
  • Writers: Tim McGregor, Tyler Levine
  • Producers: Barbara Sacks, Emlyn J. David, Jacqueline Kelly, Joseph Bechor, Kate Harrison
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Rhi Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 6, 2010
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Jack, a paramedic, is frustrated with his life after he breaks up with his girlfriend.  He discovers a girl (Danika) in an alley way covered in blood, clinging to life.  Jack takes Danika in and soon discovers that she is a vampire.

    Jack and Danika try to find a way to feed her cravings to drink blood while killing as little as possible.  All their attempts end without success because a vampire needs fresh human blood.  Jack also must find places to hide the bodies in his apartment, including the body of his ex-girlfriend, who had gone to his apartment to reclaim several of her possessions before Danika had bitten and killed her. Jack discovers upon his ex-girlfriend's corpse reanimating into a vampire (and having to kill her when she attacks him in a rage) that only a stab to the heart will kill a vampire.

    When Danika becomes more violent, killing several people, including a young woman, Jack is forced to kill her with the help of his paramedic co-worker and friend, who stabs Danika in the heart while she attacks Jack, and succeeds in killing her, but not before Jack is bitten, leaving Jack's fate to be unknown during the final credits and an out-take sequence.  However, we then see that Jack has become a vampire, apparently cared for by his co-paramedic, who is feeding him from a dish of blood.

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    Friday, February 8, 2013

    Squirm (1976) and Frogs (1972)

    Let us continue the man versus nature theme from last week with two more terrible ideas put to celluloid.  Grab the one you love, turn down the lights and get comfortable as we once again head to the drive-in.

  • Actors: Don Scardino, Patricia Pearcy, R.A. Dow, Jean Sullivan, Peter MacLean
  • Directors: Jeff Lieberman
  • Writers: Jeff Lieberman
  • Producers: Edgar Lansbury, George Manasse, Joseph Beruh
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • Release Date: August 3, 1999 (VHS) - August 26, 2003 (DVD)
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Now that is a lot of worms! Squirm is a "nature-strikes-back" horror film starring Don Scardino and Patricia Pearcy.  It was the debut of cult horror director Jeff Lieberman and remains the director's most popular film.  Squirm also features early makeup work from Oscar-winning makeup artist Rick Baker.  The film was shot over the course of 24 days in Port Wentworth, Georgia.

    Looks like it's business on both ends! When a powerful storm knocks Fly Creek, Georgia's power lines down onto wet soil, the resulting surge of electricity drives large, bloodthirsty worms to the surface-and then out of their soil-tilling minds.  Soon, the townspeople discover that their sleepy fishing village is overrun with worms that burrow right into their skin. Inundated by hundreds of thousands of carnivorous creatures, the terrorized locals race to find the cause of the rampage-before becoming tilled under themselves.

    Squirm was a popular late night feature on SuperStation TBS in the 1980s after Atlanta Braves baseball games. Braves announcer Skip Caray famously "promoted" the movie by sarcastically offering Braves fans an autographed baseball if they actually stayed up to watch it, then sent in a review of it.  TBS got a couple thousand reviews in response.

    Pittsburgh musician Weird Paul Petroskey created an entire album dedicated to the worm in the egg cream scene. The album is called Worm in my Egg Cream, and all 16 tracks are titled "Worm In My Egg Cream".  It makes extensive use of sound bites from the film.

    Yeah, it's that kind of movie! Did you think I was joking? In 1999, Squirm was one of the final films to be featured on the cult TV series Mystery Science Theater 3000.  The film was heavily edited for its appearance on Mystery Science Theater 3000.  Among the many scenes cut from the film was the scene of Mick trudging through the swamp, the conversation between Mick and Alma, the worms' graphic attack on Roger, the gruesome fate of Mrs. Sanders, and the climax where Roger crawls after Mick and attempts to bite him.

  • Actors: Ray Milland, Sam Elliott, Joan Van Ark, Adam Roarke, Judy Pace
  • Directors: George McCowan
  • Writers: Robert Blees, Robert Hutchison
  • Producers: George Edwards, Norman T. Herman, Peter Thomas
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • Release Date: June 6, 2000 (VHS) - September 19, 2000 (DVD)
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Frogs is a 1972 horror film directed by George McCowan.  The film falls into the "eco-horror" category since it tells the story of an upper-class U.S. Southern family who are victimized by several different animal species, including snakes, birds, and lizards, as well as the occasional butterfly. Nature, the movie suggests, may be justified in exacting revenge on this family because of its patriarch's abuse of the local ecology.

    Pickett Smith (Sam Elliott) rows in a canoe and takes photographs of various animals in a swamp from around the Crockett family's estate; a scenic plantation located on an island on a lake in rural Florida.  After Clint (Adam Roarke) accidentally tips Pickett's canoe over, he and his sister Karen (Joan Van Ark) escort Smith to the family mansion where he meets the entire Crockett family.  The grouchy, wheelchair-bound patriarch, Jason (Ray Milland), intends on spending the next day enjoying both the 4th of July and his own birthday celebrations uninterrupted.  Due to the mutual dislike of the fauna around the mansion, Jason has sent a man called Grover to spray pesticide in order to get rid of the amphibians.  Pickett discovers Grover's corpse covered in snake bites in the swamp not far from the house.  Despite this warning, Jason continues with his celebrations the next day, unaware that the frogs and other animals plan to get revenge for the constant pollution around the area.

    On the mainland, Michael checks the telephone lines in his car (when the phone line is dead) but is distracted by birds.  Hoping to shoot them down, he chases them but accidentally shoots himself in the leg.  A swarm of tarantulas cover him with webbing and moss, cocooning him completely.

    On the island, Kenneth leaves to get flowers from the greenhouse but lizards infest the greenhouse and knock over jars of chemicals.  The mixture fills the place with poisonous gases and Kenneth asphyxiates.

    Pickett warns everyone that everyone should try to leave the island but Jason is adamant that nothing will ruin his day.  Meanwhile, Iris is lured into the path of several frogs and snakes while chasing after a butterfly.  Trying to escape, she falls into a small swamp of leeches which latch on to her until she manages to pull them off. Massively fatigued, she falls near a rattlesnake which promptly bites her and kills her.  Her husband Stuart comes looking for her, only to meet a grisly end when he falls into the swamp and is eaten by an alligator.

    Charles and Maybelle, Jason's long-suffering butler and cook, decide to leave along with Kenneth's fiancee, Bella, on Pickett's advice.  Clint takes them across the lake in his speedboat.  Clint stays behind and searches the nearby grocery store while the others walk on.  They are soon attacked by birds and pecked to death offscreen. Clint discovers his boat has been untethered and swims to reach it but a water moccasin kills him in the water.  His wife, Jenny, witnesses this through binoculars and attempts to rescue him, but gets stuck in the lake mud and is killed by a large snapping turtle.

    Karen and Pickett decide to leave with Clint and Jenny's kids and leave Jason behind, his mind still intent on celebrating.  They cross the lake in Pickett's canoe encountering alligators and more water snakes, which Pickett dispatches with the boat paddle as well as a shotgun.  They eventually make it ashore and to a road where they hitch a ride with a woman and her son.  While the woman tells the four survivors that they are driving towards Jackson City and have strangely not seen a single person or car on the road all day, the boy shows them a huge frog he took from summer camp where his mother picked him up...

    Later that night, Jason, now alone in his mansion, witnesses hundreds of frogs breaking their way into the house and staring at him.  Looking around the room at his stuffed animal trophies adds to his tension and he collapses out of his wheelchair from a heart attack.  The frogs croak louder and louder as they hop over his corpse.  The final shot shows all the lights in the mansion flickering out for good... implying that nature has won, and the rest of the humanity is apparently next.

    Needless the say not the happiest of endings or the highlight of Ray Milland’s career.

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    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

    Hour of The Wolf (1968)

    One of the small problems with WTF Wednesday is sometimes finding films that are weird versus just plain crap, and there is a lot of crappy films out there.  I know because I sit and watch the ones I’m not familiar with or re-watch the ones I haven’t seen in a while.  If you’re keeping score at home that means I sat through two films today with the hope of not losing three hours of my life (2x 90 minute runtimes) before coming across a diamond of pure insanity.  We’re going old school and big name today so open your film history books because we’re going to discuss Ingmar Bergman’s one and only horror movie.  Warning: there will be a lot of Swedish words ahead.

  • Actors: Max von Sydow, Liv Ullmann, Gertrud Fridh, Georg Rydeberg, Erland Josephson
  • Directors: Ingmar Bergman
  • Writers: Ingmar Bergman
  • Producers: Lars-Owe Carlberg
  • Language: Swedish
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: April 20, 2004
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • The film is framed through the account of Alma (Liv Ullmann), who addresses the audience directly while sitting at a picnic table. She tells of her husband's disappearance, which is explored in a flashback constructed of his diaries and her words.

    Painter Johan Borg and his young wife Alma live on the small island Baltrum where he seeks rest after a crisis which is not explained in further detail. He is regularly approached by odd and suspicious people. He confides to Alma that he believes them to be demons, and begins to give names to the figures who approach him, including the Bird-Man, the Insects, the Meat-Eaters, the Schoolmaster (with pointers in his trousers), and The Lady With a Hat. Also, his insomnia is growing worse. On the nights when Johan can't sleep, Alma stays awake by his side.

    One day, an old lady stops by the house and tells Alma to read Johan's diary which he hides under his bed. Alma discovers that Johan is not only haunted by the real or imaginary strange figures, but also by images of his former lover Veronica Vogler.

    The couple are approached by a Baron von Merkens, who lives in a nearby castle. The painter and his wife visit them and their surreal household. After dinner, the barons wife shows the couple into her bedroom where on display is a portrait by Borg, depicting Veronica Vogler. The painting appears to be so beautiful, the barons wife proclaims, "It has become like a part of my solitary life. I love her." After Johan and Alma have left the castle, she confesses to him her fear of losing him to the demons, but also her will not to give up easily.

    A superimposed title "Hour of the Wolf" marks the end of part one and the beginning of the second part of the film. Again, Alma stays awake with Johan who cannot sleep. He tells her of the "vargtimmen" ("Hour of the Wolf"), during which, he says, most births and deaths occur. He also recounts his desperate love affair with Veronica Vogler and his childhood trauma of being locked into a cupboard where, as his parents said, a small man lived who fed on children's toes. Then he recalls a confrontation with a small boy which occurred some time ago and culminated in his killing of the boy. Whether this encounter actually took place or was part of his imagination is never revealed. Alma is shocked by Johan's confessions.

    One of von Merken's guests shows up at the couple's house to invite them to another party at the castle, pointing out that Veronica Vogler is among the invited guests. He places a pistol on the table, to protect them against "small animals", as he states, and leaves. Johan and Alma get into a fight over his obsession with Veronica Vogler. Johan finally picks up the pistol, shoots Alma down and runs to the castle.

    Johan attends the party. The baron's guests, all of which previously attended, are revealed to be each demon that Johan described to Alma. As he rushes through the castle to discover Veronica's whereabouts he meets the prophesied "Bird-Man" who applies cosmetics to his pale face and dresses him in a silk robe. He then leads Johan to Veronica. Johan is humiliated as he finds the reunion a jest, with Veronica and the baron's guests laughing at his sincere and passionate display of love, incredulous, he declares "I thank you, the limit has finally been transgressed. The mirror has been shattered. But what do the splinters reflect?" Johan is physically attacked by the demons and flees into underbrush.

    In the last act of the film, Alma searches the forest for her husband. She witnesses the attacks on her husband, before he finally disappears, leaving her alone in the woods.

    In the final scene, Alma addresses the camera, "Is it true that a woman who lives a long time with a man eventually winds up being like that man? I mean, she loves him, and tries to think like him, and see like him? They say it can change a person. I mean to say, if I had loved him much less, and not bothered so of everything about him, could I have protected him better?"

    This film, much like much of Bergman’s work, is heavy and prodding and filled with anxiety both for the characters and the viewer.  Be warned, once you watch it done by a master film maker you have trouble going back to blindly enjoying the straight to video or SyFy original of the week.  No words are able to properly describe this film and it’s amazing level of weird so please hunt it down and view it yourselves.

    I include this section only because as I was viewing this film earlier today my teenage daughter walks in and asks what I’m watching.  She then asks why is it in black and white, to which I respond with a brief history lesson.  She then informs me I have failed as a parent and that all black and white movies suck and everyone knows that movies were invented the year she was born and that I was a big poo poo head.  So just because she ruined it for everyone by taking away my faith in the future from her generation I present a refresher on the director for the rest of the unwashed heathens who also believe the greatest film maker ever to exist is Eli Roth.

    Ernst Ingmar Bergman (14 July 1918 – 30 July 2007) was a Swedish director, writer and producer for film, stage and television. Described by Woody Allen as "probably the greatest film artist, all things considered, since the invention of the motion picture camera," he is recognized as one of the most accomplished and influential film directors of all time.

    He directed over sixty films and documentaries for cinematic release and for television, most of which he also wrote. He also directed over one hundred and seventy plays. Among his company of actors were Harriet Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Gunnar Björnstrand, Bibi Andersson, Erland Josephson, Ingrid Thulin and Max von Sydow. Most of his films were set in the landscape of Sweden. His major subjects were death, illness, faith, betrayal, and insanity.

    Bergman's film career began in 1941 with his rewriting of scripts, but his first major accomplishment was in 1944 when he wrote the screenplay for Torment/Frenzy (Hets), a film directed by Alf Sjöberg. Along with writing the screenplay, he was also given position as assistant director to the film. In his second autobiographical work, Images: My Life in Film, Bergman describes the filming of the exteriors as his actual film directorial debut. The international success of this film led to Bergman's first opportunity to direct a year later. During the next ten years, he wrote and directed more than a dozen films including The Devil's Wanton/Prison (Fängelse) in 1949 and The Naked Night/Sawdust and Tinsel (Gycklarnas afton) and Summer with Monika (Sommaren med Monika), both from 1953.

    Bergman first achieved worldwide success with Smiles of a Summer Night (Sommarnattens leende) (1955), which won for "Best poetic humor" and was nominated for the Palme d'Or at Cannes the following year. This was followed by The Seventh Seal (Det sjunde inseglet) and Wild Strawberries (Smultronstället), released in Sweden ten months apart in 1957. The Seventh Seal won a special jury prize and was nominated for the Palme d'Or at Cannes and Wild Strawberries won numerous awards for Bergman and its star, Victor Sjöström. Bergman continued to be productive for the next two decades. From the early 1960s, he spent much of his life on the Swedish island of Fårö, where he made several films.

    In the early 1960s he directed three films that explored the theme of faith and doubt in God, Through a Glass Darkly (Såsom i en Spegel – 1961), Winter Light (Nattvardsgästerna – 1962), and The Silence (Tystnaden – 1963). Critics created the notion that the common themes in these three films represented trilogy or cinematic triptych. Bergman initially responded that he did not plan these three films as a trilogy and that he could not see any common motifs in them, but he later seemed to have adopted the notion, with some equivocation. In 1964 he made a parody of Fellini with All These Women.

    In 1966, he directed Persona, a film that he himself considered one of his most important works. While the shockingly experimental film won few awards many consider it his masterpiece. Other notable films of the period include The Virgin Spring (Jungfrukällan – 1960), Hour of the Wolf (Vargtimmen – 1968), Shame (Skammen – 1968) and A Passion/The Passion of Anna (En Passion – 1969). Bergman also produced extensively for Swedish television at this time. Two works of note were Scenes from a Marriage (Scener ur ett äktenskap – 1973) and The Magic Flute (Trollflöjten – 1975).

    After his arrest in 1976 for tax evasion, Bergman swore he would never again make films in Sweden. He shut down his film studio on the island of Fårö and went into self-imposed exile. He briefly considered the possibility of working in America and his next film, The Serpent's Egg (1977) was a German-U.S. production and his second English-language film (the first being 1971's "The Touch"). This was followed a year later with a British-Norwegian co-production of Autumn Sonata (Höstsonaten – 1978) starring Ingrid Bergman. The one other film he directed was From the Life of the Marionettes (Aus dem Leben der Marionetten – 1980) a British-German co-production.

    In 1982, he temporarily returned to his homeland to direct Fanny and Alexander (Fanny och Alexander). Bergman stated that the film would be his last, and that afterwards he would focus on directing theatre. Since then, he wrote several film scripts and directed a number of television specials. As with previous work for TV, some of these productions were later released in theatres. The last such work was Saraband (2003), a sequel to Scenes from a Marriage and directed by Bergman when he was eighty-four years old.

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    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

    American Mary (2012)

    Emily Perkins Katharine Isabelle Before I begin…If you have been coming to read me over any length of time it is no surprise that “Ginger Snaps” is easily one of my favorite movies of all time, due in no small part to the amazing skills of Emily Perkins and Katharine Isabelle.  I have followed both their careers since the release of that film and both of them always bring their best to a film whether it be working independently or on the rare occasions they are working together. 

    This may sound like stalker talk but through interviews and behind the scenes videos I have the impression they are both very nice people who deserve to be much bigger names in the industry.  I also proudly proclaim that I am in love with both of them but haven’t figured out how to work that whole multiple spouse things…plus my wife informs me she has no intention of sharing.
    I have tried over the years to make this site as family friendly as I can so please excuse my language when I say that this film, besides scaring the crap out of me, filled my nether regions with the overwhelming desire to do things with/to Ms. Isabelle that wouldn’t be gentlemanly to discuss in open forum.  Holy crap that woman is sexy even when she is peeling a tangerine.  I may have to reevaluate my current marriage situation.

    American Mary (2012)

    Directed by:  Jen Soska & Sylvia Soska
    Produced by:  Evan Tylor & John Curtis
    Written by:  Jen Soska & Sylvia Soska
    Starring:  Katharine Isabelle, Julia Maxwell, Paula Lindberg
    Music by:  Peter Allen
    Cinematography:  Brian Pearson
    Distributed by:  IndustryWorks Pictures
    Release date(s):  August 27, 2012 (Film4 FrightFest)
    Country of Production: Canada

    Mary is a student studying to become a surgeon but she is behind in payments. She finds an ad online that promises to pay 1,000 dollars. When she goes for the interview to strip joint she brings with her a resume which details her education as a surgeon in training. While there they bring in a guy and they promise to pay her 5,000 to do surgery on the guy. She goes home and the next day she receives a call from a stripper that worked there who had gotten her information. The woman shows up at her place and promises to pay her if she could do skin removal surgery. She shows up and the surgery is for body modification. She wants to be a living doll so that she is not sexualized. Later on she is invited to a party by her resident staff surgeon. She is drugged and raped by her professor. As a result of the trauma she quits medical school. And this spirals into a world that gets her involved in the underground world of bod-mod pushing the limits more and more.

    Oh the things she does to her former professor, such incredible and horrid things.  From the same minds that brought you “Dead Hooker in The Trunk” the Soska Sisters and their Terrible Twins production company are on my radar as rising stars in the horror industry.  In addition to directorial and writing duties they also have roles in the film that can only be described as creepy and disturbingly arousing, one of those things that makes you look down at your penis and ask “really?! You like that now huh?”
    To quote Sinful Celluloid:

    This brings us to the Soska sisters. The girls are wise beyond their years and talented beyond reason. That may sound heavy-handed, but I've seen many many films by many many writer-directors and it takes a very special person, or persons, to make a film this perfect on their sophomore try. The last person to do it was David Fincher with his film “Seven” and that was almost 20 years ago.

    With Dead Hooker in the Trunk, Jen and Sylvia Soska showed the horror community that they can make complete and entertaining film with almost no money. With American Mary, they're about to show the world what they can do when you write them a check. Beautifully composed shots, lighting that conveys warmth while sustaining the feeling of cold isolation, and layers of imagery and emotional substance, this is a film to be absorbed, and you will do so with minimal effort. A film about hope and love as much as it's about violence and violent intent.

    Outside of two scenes that required me to look away due to my dislike of seeing male body parts mutilated (imagine that, I get all wussy when penii get cut in half…), this is an amazing film and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good scare.  Those outside the US will have an easier time hunting this down since there still doesn’t seem to be a US release date as of this writing.

    Well now I want to marry four other women.  Did I mention the Soska Sisters are also really cool?

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