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.
Since it’s October, the husband and I have decided to try to watch at least one horror film a night. The exception to this would be Fridays upon which we have been watching the James Bond films in order – including the ones not part of the ‘official’ film series (Casino Royale, Never Say Never Again).
So, what better time to resurrect my long-neglected Myriad of Reflections blog? It was this time last year that I started the blog and then failed to keep it going on a regular basis. Let’s see if I can do better this time.
I had never heard of this movie before my husband received his review copy yesterday in the mail. I noticed that the male lead on the box (Chris Marquette) was someone that I have liked in the few movies I’ve seen him in – Fanboys and Freddy Vs. Jason – so I wasn’t adverse to watching it.
The plot in a nutshell: Almost immediately after being fired from his telemarketing job, Cooper (Marquette) and everyone in his office are bombarded with an earsplitting sound that renders everyone unconcious. The next thing he knows, he’s waking up in a web cocoon. After fighting off a beetle the size of a Boxer, he rouses several people and pulls them out of the webbing, including the daughter of his boss.
The group ventures outside and finds that in addition to the beetles, there are huge flying bugs that tend to swoop down on anything that makes noise and either carries them off toward an ominous cloud or stings them in the back.
The group takes off to find relatives and help, fighting off the bugs along the way and coming to terms with their new seemingly-post-apocalyptic life.
The movie is fun, the characters deep enough to evoke some feeling when they die and the special effects convincing. By the end of the movie not all questions are answered (including where these bugs came from in the first place), but I believe this is on purpose. Especially from the last scene of the film, I’m certain the filmmakers are hoping for a sequel and I, for one, would definitely enjoy watching a second movie in this world.
Since I took the weekend off from posting, I thought I’d make it up to you by posting reviews of two horror movies tonight. One of my all-time favorites and one that I just recently saw for the first time.
I’ll start with the new one.
Several months ago my husband and I saw a trailer for a horror movie that looked like it had a good sense of humor. It would have to because really, I don’t see how you can make sheep genuinely scary.
Black Sheep (unrated cut) follows a young man, Henry Oldfield (Nathan Meister), as he returns to his childhood home after a long absence. Because of a traumatic childhood event involving the murder of his pet sheep and his sadistic older brother, Henry has a deep fear of all things sheep and has been away from the family farm for a long time.
Meaning only to visit the farm to get the check from his brother Angus (Peter Feeney), turning over full ownership of the farm, he gets stuck and spends most of the movie running from one location to another avoiding genetically mutated sheep. Along the way he picks up a couple of friends including Tucker (Tammy Davis), an employee of the farm and Experience (Danielle Mason) the obligatory cute girl who is also an animal rights extremist.
The movie isn’t great – it suffers mostly from pacing problems and from the fact that the writers just couldn’t resist going for the more obvious, gross sheep jokes. This is also the second film this year where I’ve seen a fake animal latch onto a fake penis and stretch it way out of proportion, which is two times two many, in my opinion.
(If you really need to know, the other film that features this ‘gag’ (pun intended) is Strange Wilderness, a terrible movie that can’t even be saved by its normally funny cast.)
Despite all that it was a fun watching experience and had several genuinely funny scenes. Most of the performances were better than I would expect for a movie like this and the effects are quite good, especially considering that they chose to do practical effects as opposed to all CGI (which is always a good thing, in my book.) The only thing I saw that was obviously CGI were the morphing scenes and it was very subtly done. A very nice job by the Weta Workshop.
I recommend Black Sheep if you’re looking for a tongue-in-cheek ‘horror’ movie with an original concept.
At least, I’ve never heard of any other movies about killer sheep.
There are plenty of horror movies that give me the creeps – make me turn on the lights before going into a room and all that stuff. But there have only been a handful that have scared the bejeebus out of me – made me gasp, maybe even scream a little and once, literally push away from the screen.
The Blair Witch Project was is one of those movies.
When a horror movie is good, it can scare you more with what you can’t see. It leaves you imagining what could be going on and the fact that it never shows you what is making that noise makes it all the more scary. An excellent example is the original The Haunting directed by Robert Wise. I won’t go as far as to rank The Blair Witch project with that classic, but it uses the same techniques to scare its audience.
If you can’t – or won’t – use your imagination, you can just skip this movie. There are no special effects, no music cues to tell you when you should be scared and not once do you actually see anything scary. This film depends on pure atmosphere, tension, sound effects and a dependence on the audience to have actually paid attention to what was said about the background of the strange happenings related to the titular character.
One of the first of a rash of mockumentaries, The Blair Witch Project follows a three-man team investigating the Blair Witch of Burkittsville, Maryland. Through filmed interviews of the townsfolk we learn the various legends of the Blair Witch before Heather (Heather Donahue), Josh (Joshua Leonard) and Mike (Michael C. Williams) head into the Black Hills to do some on-location shooting.
After getting lost, the three wander the woods for days trying to find their way out. Along the way they start to fall apart mentally and physically, tortured by lack of food and unexplained sounds in the night and odd ‘gifts’ left outside their tent in the morning. After Josh mysteriously disappears in the night, Mike and Heather go on alone. The film ends at the abandoned home of the alleged child murderer Rustin Parr who claimed he was told to go on his killing spree by the witch.
The final shot of the film will either have you crawling out of your seat or saying, “Huh?” If you’re one of the former, then you get it. If you’re the latter, well, here’s a little pat on the head for you.