So, amid all the chaos that is the United States presently, there have to be distractions to keep us all sane. I do beading and cross stitch and both the husband and I have our entertainment.
In May, “Twin Peaks” is returning to television on Showtime and I am very excited to see how that’s going to turn out. I got The Secret History of Twin Peaks for Christmas and read it in two days and last night we started our re-watching of the ‘Complete Mystery,’ as the blu-ray package calls it.
I decided we should start with David Lynch’s prequel film, “Fire, Walk With Me.” I wouldn’t recommend starting with the movie to anyone new to “Twin Peaks” but since I’ve seen the show many, many (many) times, the film doesn’t have any spoilers for me. 🙂
The film has some truly freaky shit in it and some of it still scares me. Killer Bob (Frank Silva) may look like a normal, scruffy dude, but Silva’s performance always sends a shiver. Ray Wise, who plays Leland Palmer and is known as the Master of Crying in our house, manages to give a performance both sinister and pity-inducing. You can always tell when Bob takes over and Leland’s confusion and fear is palpable.
It is a shame that the film had to be reduced to its current running time as so many great scenes were cut. The blu-ray in the Complete Mystery set includes all of those scenes as bonus features, but I would love to see it all put together. The movie is enjoyable but it so often feels choppy and truncated – because it is.
And it’s always better to have more Bowie. As my husband pointed out, he even had his red shoes on and was ready to dance the blues.
Stop telling me to stop freaking out. Stop telling me it’s just another election and life will go on as usual. Maybe for most elections that is true, but not this time.
This person wasn’t elected for any financial ideologies or brilliant national security plans. Almost every endeavor he’s tried has failed and simply stating that he’s going to get rid of ISIS doesn’t make them magically disappear.
He was elected because he told people their irrational fear of the ‘other’ is valid and that he’s going to do everything he can to get rid of and/or suppress the shit out of the ‘other.’
He was elected because his hate and ignorance mirrored the hate and ignorance of so many people in this country.
If he does as he’s promised he’s going to try his best to ruin this Republic. The USA is NOT supposed to be a Democracy where majority rules – we are supposed to be a Republic where Majority rules as long as the rights of the Minority aren’t oppressed.
If you or any of your friends or family are non-white, non-straight and non-male, this election is going to affect them. He is going to appoint Supreme Court judges who could overthrow Gay Marriage, Abortion rights, the separation between church and state. The continued militarization of our police force will continue and be used to ignore and trample the rights of minorities. It’s supposed to be ‘Protect and Serve’ not ‘Suppress and Terrorize.’
If he does even part of what he’s promised this won’t be the land of the free and the home of the brave – it’s going to be land of the oppressed and home of the cowards who can’t deal with anyone different than themselves.
I’m sick for what this means for so many people I love. Their marriages may be deemed null and void, they may be excluded from basic rights, they may be fired simply for how they feel about another human being. It’s not right.
If you are a friend or family member and you voted for Trump, I don’t hate you and I’m not going to stop talking to you. But I am so, so disappointed.
This year, due to all the horror movies that we wanted to cram into our annual horror-a-thon, we decided to start our viewing on September 1st. Yes, we need an entire additional month. And there are still movies we’ll have to skip.
We have many, many movies.
We (actually, Chris) have decided to help ourselves sort all of them out by having theme nights:
Terrible Tuesdays (I’m going to kill him for this one)
When Animals Attack Wednesdays
Stuart Gordon Thursdays
Stalk & Slay Saturdays
I’m most looking forward to Supernatural Sundays as I have recently been able to watch truly scary stuff again – and it’s the supernatural stuff that’s always scared me.
Abominable is a little known Bigfoot movie that has some amazing suit effects, tension-building direction and even some Hitchcockian vibes due to the lead (Matt McCoy) being wheelchair-bound and having a passing resemblance to Anthony Perkins. It starts off a little slow but pays off in the end. It also contains excellent extended cameos by Jeffrey Combs and Lance Henriksen – a couple of household favorites here at the Mills homestead.
The plot isn’t too complicated. Preston Rogers (Matt McCoy) returns to his wooded cabin in hopes to come to terms with the accidental death of his wife six months previous but things don’t go as planned when a huge Sasquatch tears through the woods, taking out horses, dogs and finally, several pretty co-eds. Preston does his best to prevent more deaths but no one believes him until it’s too late.
The monster suit in this movie is pretty amazing, especially those freakin’ teeth. So big and so realistic. This bigfoot has some googly eyes but I can forgive that since it resembles Ron Swanson on a really bad hair day.
Bigfoot…or Ron Swanson on a bad hair day?
Ron F. Swanson or….?
If for nothing else, watch this movie for the last shot. It’s creepy as hell.
Tuesday night was truly terrible. Not even Christopher Lee could save The Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf. A direct sequel to the excellent The Howling(1981), this movie picks up at the funeral of Karen White, portrayed by Dee Wallace in the first movie and by a very forgettable Hana Ludvikova in this movie. The plot is pretty much nonsensical, there are images inserted into sequences that have nothing to do with what’s going on in the story, the actors portraying the protagonists (Jenny Templeton and Reb Brown) are just awful and even Christopher Lee seemed rather bored in many of his scenes. Vampire lore is substituted for Werewolf lore and the gratuitous nudity and sex scenes were eye roll-inducing.
Good thing I had some beading to do while we watched it. Yeesh.
I do not recommend watching this movie, unless you’re a fan of Sybil Danning’s admittedly impressive boobage. If you like those, you won’t be disappointed. Hell, just watch the end credits – it includes about 16 repeated shots of her removing her outfit over and over again.
Wednesday night we returned to decent fare with Alligator starring the always enjoyable Robert Forster and female lead Robin Riker – known by me for playing Amy’s witch mother in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer“. And I’m not name-calling. She played an actual witch.
This movie follows the life of police officer David Madison, a man scarred by the death of his former partner, who stumbles upon an Alligator in the sewers who has been feasting on the discarded remains of illegal test-subject dogs. These animals have been pumped full of a growth hormone causing the Alligator to have a few growth spurts himself. Unfortunately, moments after discovering the Alligator, his new partner (of about 10 minutes) is snatched away and eaten by the car-sized reptile.
No one believes Madison, blaming his delusion on the stress caused by losing a second partner. But after a reporter is eaten by Ramon (yes, he has a name, but you’ll have to watch to find out how we know it), taking pictures as it happens and the pictures are found and developed, the city is put on full alert.
In the end, Ramon goes on a city-wide rampage, ending up at the estate of the owner of the lab that pumped those poor pooches full of growth hormones and you can probably guess that sleazbag’s fate.
Alligator is an enjoyable Animal-on-a-rampage movie with good writing, better-than-average character development and impressive special effects, especially for it’s time.
So, in all, I recommend both Abominable and Alligator, but wouldn’t wish The Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf on any discerning horror fan. It’s just not worth the pain.
Back on World Book Day (March 6), the World Book Day website listed their poll results of books that changed readers’ lives. Here’s that list for my own personal reference and an asterisk next to books that I have read.
Books that will scare you…
The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
The Rats by James Herbert
The Shining by Stephen King *
1984 by George Orwell *
Lord Loss by Darren Shan
Books that will teach you about love…
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Forever by Judy Blume
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte *
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte *
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank *
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer * (They didn’t guarantee it’d change your life for the better)
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
Books that will make you laugh…
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams *
Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison
Geek Girl by Holly Smale
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Age 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend
Books that will transport you…
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman
Percy Jackson series by rick Riordan
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling *
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein *
Books that will change the way you think…
Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
A Streetcat Named Bob by James Bowen
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Norman Taylor (Peter Wyngarde) is a professor at a prestigious British college where he teaches psychology, in particular the psychology behind superstition and various belief systems. When he finds out that his wife, Tansy (Janet Blair), has been practicing witchcraft in order to protect them from what she believes are outside forces and attacks, he insists that she destroy all of her charms.
Almost immediately disaster reigns down on Norman and Tansy in the form of strange, hypnotic noises, lewd telephone calls, a near-death run in with a van and rape accusations. Norman shrugs it off as coincidence but as the strangeness continues he finds himself wondering if it was all true and if Tansy had been protecting them all along.
In the end it’s up to the audience to decide whether there was any real witchcraft going on or if it was all the power of suggestion.
Based on a novel Conjure Wife by Fritz Leiber Jr. and a screenplay by Charles Beaumont and Richard Matheson, this British black and white horror flick rises above the cheesy pre-credits sequence that American International slapped on it when it obtained the American distribution rights. Once Paul Fries finishes dispelling any evil spirits that could be caused by watching this movie, the film maintains a serious tone throughout and leaves AI’s attempt at camp behind.
Modern viewers may find this film slow and talky, but I found it to be a serious-minded, atmospheric examination of the power of suggestion and how easily it can be to be convinced of the supernatural when a person’s mind and body is stressed beyond endurance. The performances by Wyngarde, Blair and Margaret Johnston (as Flora Carr, a colleague of Norman’s) are top-notch and not once do they not handle the subject matter seriously.
If you’ve seen Night of the Creeps (1986) (and if you haven’t, you really should) then you know the plot of Slither. An alien comes to Earth via meteorite and takes over the first human who comes upon it. Eventually the alien spawns slug-like minions who roam the countryside, taking over any mammal it encounters and it’s up to the film’s heroes to figure out how to take them all out to save the world.
Prior to this year I had only seen Slither once and I remembered liking it quite a bit.
Upon re-watching, I’ll update that opinion to – I still like it, but not as much as I used to.
For one thing, I remember Nathan Fillion being in it a lot more than he actually is and I didn’t remember how low-key he plays the part. I had completely forgotten Elizabeth Banks is in it and that she’s pretty much the main character. I’m not saying that’s a problem – I like Elizabeth Banks – but I just forgot. Probably because I have Fillion-blindness – if Nathan Fillion is in it, that’s what I remember.
Sue me. I like Captain Tightpants.
The main thing I had forgotten though is that early in the film there’s a rape scene and later an attempted rape. Yeah, I know, it’s an alien transferring its slimy critters to incubate in another host and yeah, you could technically call the face-huggers in the Alien franchise rapists because they’re doing the same thing.
However, in Slither the incubation scenes are done with phallic appendages and it always involves a woman flat on her back, pinned down by her attacker. In the first scene, the woman even flails about rhythmically while alien-infested Michael Rooker sits by looking as if he’s really enjoying it. I admit to being hyper-sensitive to rape scenes so it left me uncomfortable for the rest of the movie.
However, Greg Henry is still a hoot as Mayor Jack MacReady and his over-the-top temper tantrum concerning some missing Mr. Pibb is a highlight of the film.
I can understand. Mr. Pibb is ‘da bomb.
Overall it’s an entertaining little creature feature with a nice sense of humor and heavy-handed with the gore effects. For some that’s a plus, for others a minus. It’s all a matter of taste.