Saturday, September 27, 2014

Vampires Used to Suck Blood, Not Dicks.

YO!  This post will contain pictures of an adult nature.  Run if the sight of non-sexually explicit peen doesn't do anything for you.  Frankly, what you will see does nothing for me but it's important in context. 

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Today on Tropefest, since we've already covered the vampire's mortal enemy, the werewolf, today I'm going to pick up my own slack and cover vampires themselves.  Evil, bloodsucking, undead purveyors of pestilence.  Mysterious lords of legions of fawning minions.  And, apparently, glittery homosexuals.

With horrific Slavic accents.
Stories of vampires have existed for-fucking-EVER.  Even going back to the early Mesopotamians, Hebrews, Greeks and Romans, folklore that contains early versions of the bloodsuckers we know and... not... love... exists but if we want to dig right into the nitty-gritty of vampires as we know them, we need to jump all the way forward to early 18th-century Southeastern Europe. That was when verbal traditions were starting to be recorded and published.

According to those tales, vampires were the undead remains of previously living evil beings; witches, werewolves, suicide victims, etc.,  but they could also be brought about through spiritual possession of a corpse or, of course, being bitten by any of the above.  And, because of the fear of these things, mass hysteria ensued and there were public executions of people believed to be vampires.

Like this handsome fellow. 
Now, there's no way on EARTH we can make a single list of all of the creepy fuckin' traits that vampires possess but let's give the old college try, hmm?  Vampires contained one or more of these common distinctions:

  • Bloated in appearance
  • Ruddy skin (attributed to the recent drinking of blood) or very, very pale skin
  • Long fingernails and hair
  • Fangs (these didn't show up until later in fiction)
  • An absence of reflection in a mirror
  • Evening wear and an attraction to flowing lingerie on balconies (also, much later)
  • Can be killed by sunlight, stake, decapitation, drowning (can't cross running water), fire, Silver or holy symbols.
  • Garlic allergy
  • Arithmomania (must count things)
  • Can't cross running water
  • Must have an invitation to enter your home
  • Immortality
  • Enhanced strength and speed
  • Enhanced senses
  • Enhanced healing, flight
  • shapeshifting
  • Telekinesis or other psychic powers
  • Control of animals
And, apparently, an allergy to vodka and decent haircuts.
And there are a metric ass-ton of culture-specific traits such as those belonging to the Penanggalen of Southeast Asia who separates their top half from their bottom half to go hunting for pregnant ladies all a-trailin' their organs in the dirt behind them.

As for the bat thing?  Bats are just creepy.  Well, creepy-cute.  I think bats are fuckin' adorable.

SEE!?!  They need cuddles.
Keep in mind that a lot of the "symptoms" listed above also apply to sufferers of Porphyria and rabies so if you were that unlucky stiff who happened to have a genetic disorder that made you allergic to sunlight or got bit by Cujo, you may as well have resigned yourself to living in a cave or getting invited to the town bonfire as the fuckin' floor show.

Y'ever get cum in yer eye, Gabriel?  It BUUUUURNS.
So, now that we have the groundwork, let's talk about the Victorians because THEY, of all people seeing as how they appear to be a LOT kinkier than their starched collars and corsets would allow them to be, took the vampire, already a symbol of pestilence and disease, and modified it ever so slightly to become the subtle representation of venereal disease it is today. 

You mean you never noticed that pretty much all vampire stories from Varney the Vampire to Carmilla to Dracula all have sexual overtones?  You haven't been paying attention.  The suave aristocratic sexual predator who is MORE than willing to pass on his condition and you'd never know it unless you know the signs of the disease.  The seductive lure of the nape of your neck or your inner thigh?  The aforementioned affinity for lingerie on moonlit balconies?

Short gym rats with inappropriate tattoos.  (YES, this is a from a vampire movie.  Wait for it.)
Yeah.  Vampires are all about sex.  More specifically, they're all about forbidden sex and its consequences.  Dracula, while using the historical Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia, as the basis for his undead nobleman (which was TOTALLY wrong and that connection only grew more accurate in later retellings), still brought us a tale of the appropriate role of women in Victorian society and the bad things that happen to them if they become... wanton.

For decades after that, we were treated to cloaks and waistcoats in both serious and comedic horror films through Universal and Hammer films.  In the 80s, vampires went a little weird, though.  The direct to video market brought us alien vampires (as in Lifeforce) and that was just... off.

And so is she.  Did you know she's a lawyer?  Weird, right?
And then, something shifted.  Rather than being something to be feared, vampires became otherworldy objects of desire.  I can TRY to blame Stephenie Meyer for this but, dammit, I can't.  That shift really started with Anne fucking Rice. 

I'll admit that I'm a fan of Interview with the Vampire and the rest of the Vampire Chronicles but fuck, for real?  Because of her, vampires went from being a disease (one that, at least, her vampires are fully aware of and try to limit) to being fully fleshed out sexual beings who, whether or not they're trying to fight their hungers, just oooooooze sex out of every pore and teenyboppers and soccer moms just eat that shit right up.  I swear, after From Dusk Til Dawn it got harder and harder to find a vampire movie where the vampires are actually monsters and not glitter-infused gay bait. 


And it doesn't even stop at  just a resemblance to gay eroticism.  That picture up there?  The one I warned you about?  That's from a soft-core gay flick called Vampire Boys 2: The New Brood.  So, not only is it soft-core gay porn but it's a goddamn SEQUEL! 

Are you shitting me?
Yes, kids, I long for the days when my monsters can be monsters again.  Please help me do all you can to stop "paranormal romance" from being a thing.  Because right now it's a thing and I kind of hate it with every fiber of my being.  Even the fact that Buffy the Vampire Slayer ended up in romances with not one but TWO vampire characters (both of which I despised because they sucked at being people) could not win me over to the "I'm in love with a vampire" tabloid-fodder.

Urban fantasy can stay.  Just quit with the inter-species, nec-romantic love-fest. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Low-Budget Delightfulness

It has come to a pretty sad state when big budget horror fails to fascinate me and I return to low-budget.

And I'm talking "Let's bust out the Handi-Cam and make a real movie instead of all of that "found footage" bullshit except we have no money so let's raid each other's attics for cheap Halloween crap and use that instead of making molds and shit 'cause that costs money."

And that is what I got when I got a hold of Demon Ressurection.





It's gonna sound like I hated this...

So, this doctor lady and her friends (you know them:  Asshole, sexually generous girl who's worried about her weight but chugs a bottle of Pepsi in about a minute, gay guy, black guy, asshole's "battered wife syndrome" girlfriend, other gay guy) all meet up for an intervention because she's afraid that her bestest friend in the world is getting all distant because of meth and Drano™.  They head up to this actually rather tasteful little cottage in the forest(?) of Long Island (next to an archeological dig site) and get with the intervening.  Turns out, bestest friend isn't on the drugs and boyfriend is actually a nice guy that just happens to be Harry Potter.  Bestest friend is running away from a cult. 

A cult that hates Laura Ashley dresses, I guess.
Old, weird guy is all "you must let her come back to me because she's my fiancée and I totally don't run the cult that got her all pregnant and shit, oh and get out of the house before dark or creepy shit will happen and in the meantime I'm gonna kill Harry Potter for realsies because I'm not Voldemort."  They don't listen, creepy shit happens with the corpses from next door.  Pregnant lady pushes out a baby Xenomorph.

Mama.
Corpses everywhere.  Joe Zaso in actual clothing (booooooooo).  Legitimate blood work (maybe a little CGI... not really noticeable).  Climbing zombies!  Puppets!

This, kids, is guerilla film-making.  This is grindhouse goodness.  YES, it's got awful acting.  YES, it's got mushmouthed cult babe with tiny 70's boobs.  YES, it's got a set the size of a postage stamp.  But you know what?  I don't give a shit.  This was kind of amazingness on the spectrum of low-budget horror movies.  It kept me engaged and entertained and it was greater than the sum of it's laughable parts.  I APPLAUD the film makers for taking risks and putting together a movie that, on the surface, is just terrible but at its core is just begging for more money and maybe a little editing down of some of the longer scenes. 

SO much awful synthesizer for SO long.
In fact, I'd say that the only truly bad part about this is the editing but we expect that from rogue cinema.  This is how movie makers earn their chops and grow and I, for one support that whole-heartedly.  And, really, this is actually BETTER than, say, Jack Frost or Thankskilling.  At least in this one we don't have to listen to the same joke 50 times and hear horrific one-liners from a bird puppet.

I also appreciate that the black guy and the two gay dudes don't die first and they're actually fleshed out as characters.  Not WELL, mind you, because none of the characters are all that well-defined but you can at least see the attempt.

If you like 'em down and dirty, I say give this one a peep  It's refreshingly unassuming.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Dirty.

I... am gullible.

I am so incredibly gullible.  Because I picked up Sx Tape thinking that it might give me something I've never seen before.  Because I am, according to the commonly held definition of the word, insane.


Maybe it was the "Director of Candyman" thing that threw me off.  Maybe I thought Oren Peli might have wised the fuck up when he realized that Wer was actually a good movie.  Maybe I thought I'd get some illicit peen out of the deal.  I don't know, but SOMETHING possessed me to watch this movie and when I find out what it is, I'm gonna slap it in the dick.

The story.  You wanna know what the fuckin' story is?  Two young adults (and their idiotic friends) get all fuckin' artsy and decide to do their fuckin' in a fuckin' abandoned fuckin' mental hospital with a fuckin' camera and get fucked by the fuckin' ghost of a sexually abused fuckin' inmate.  And also, fuck.

Woooooo.

See this face?  Get fuckin' used to it.  It fills the screen for half of the fuckin' movie.

Don't get me wrong.  It's not the fuckin' I have a problem with (although that trope fits in pretty damn heavily since it's IN THE FUCKING TITLE).

It's like they're not even trying anymore.  Yay, pretty blonde girl that's willing to show off her (pre-boob job, assuming she wishes to REMAIN in Hollywood and have a career unless she goes all Anna Paquin and gains some actual acting chops which I do not see happening) tater tots and simulate sloppy BJs on camera gets to pretend she's all possessed and crazy (badly).

Wooooo.

Yay boyfriend with a Handi-Cam gets to chase his crazy girlfriend around the aforementioned abandoned mental hospital because "crazy shit" is happening and she gets massive nosebleeds. 

Wooooo.

Allison Harvard would be proud.

And they don't even get to the creepy stuff until HALFWAY through the damn movie!  I know that there's only so far you can take this but, fuck, for real? I have to put up with 45 minutes of "quirky, artist girl and her tiny tits being all arty and cute and Zoe Deschanel-y what with trying to be all sex kitten and all" before you get with the ghostly?  FUCK.  YOU.

No, seriously.  That's it.  It's Blair Witch done horribly wrong.  It's stunningly awful.  Can we PLEASE stop giving Oren Peli money, now?  Please?  Pretty please?  With a cherry on top?  I swear, I will blow the dude that punches him right in the sack because sexual favors are how I get shit DONE, yo.

Run screaming from the horribleness of this film.  Fucking Grave Encounters was better than this and it didn't even have the lure of sex. 

This isn't even worth a popcorn bucket handy in the back row. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Lost.

As you all know, I like to keep my eyes and ears out for fun little indie flicks and occasionally I catch a gem.

Scott Shermer's found.  is not one of them.

Kinda.


Set in nondescript suburbs, a depressed and lonely pre-teen with a fondness for horror movies discovers that his brother is a serial killer/rapist who bases his kills on a movie and carries his latest kill's head home in a bowling bag.  Of course, this goes along with his parents being somewhat distant and not really paying attention.

Through the course of the film we get some revenge and some gore and a whole lot of mileage out of the word "faggot" which, seriously, is totally uncalled for.

Oh and "nigger" gets bandied about a bit, too.  Racism.  Yay.
It's too bad, too, because I was really looking forward to this one.  From a story standpoint, other than the glaring "Why didn't you call the cops, you fuckwit?" question, this had a lot of potential. It was quite dramatic and it was an almost effective coming-of-age story but it needed something.  A little oomph.  A little pizzazz.

And not this guy.
What we got was relatively lackluster even if it was supposed to be about half drama.  I don't particularly care for drama in the first place and, frankly, it was the gore that drew me in but for real, this was a slow-fucking-burn.  And it was a slow-burn with an awful message.  Oh, yeah, if you're getting picked on, you can count on your older brother but older brothers tease, too, and considering the amount of use "faggot" gets in this on top of the ending, the ultimate message is that it doesn't get better.  In fact, if the story is to be taken as a metaphor of real life, it just keeps getting more and more insane and not in a good way.

I mean, it's not a BAD movie but it's definitely not what I was expecting and it's racist and homophobic to boot.

It does have it's merits, though.  The film within a film was what all young gorehounds want to see and the acting was acceptable.  If only they had a better script to work from.

Meh.  Meh, I tell you.  Meh.

Friday, September 5, 2014

That's Not Your Mommy Anymore

Your mom.  Your kid brother.  Your Dad.  Your best friend.  You want to know what they have in common?

If you're in a horror movie where there's any kind of disease transformation, such as a zombie flick, these people are all FUCKED.  That's right, fucked.

I don't feel so good.
For realsies, kids, don't get attached to folks you love in horror movies about zombies (rage or otherwise), vampires, a killer virus, werewolves or anything that gives humans the supernatural ability to fucking turn on you (mindlessly or otherwise) and eat your goddamn face.  Because your face is GOING to get eaten.  You're not going to like it and your dermatologist is going to be very angry with you.

OR!  Or.  You're going to have to take it upon yourself to look your loved one in the eye and give them the fuckin' double-tap and nobody wants to be that guy.  Especially little kids and they tend to be the one holding the large firearm a lot of the time.  Because death trauma builds fucking character, that's why, now be a good girl and shoot daddy in the head.

Or stake mommy in the heart.  Whichever is appropriate.
Starting with Dracula, this is a SERIOUSLY common trope and it does what it's supposed to do.  It yanks at your fucking heartstrings and then ties them in a damn granny knot.  I'm a sensitive bitch.  I can't take this kind of stress.  Were I in a horror movie, I would pull the trigger but then I would have a full-blown, screaming-and-crying, psychotic snappy-snap and pull the trigger on myself  There would be absolutely no way I could live with the knowledge that I'd blown a loved one's face clean off.

Well, maybe not if it was her... She freaky.
And it does this BECAUSE they're loved ones.  Nobody wants to see a loved one suffer but nobody wants to admit to themselves that that's just not the same loved one anymore.  It hurts us, sometimes physically, to have to be the deliverers of a final solution.  War is totally one thing (except that sometimes loved ones fight on opposite sides so it's not like it doesn't happen) but when the war is internal, it gets real.  People have legitimately had to put down pets and human loved ones because of rabies in real life and there are those who had to pull the plug on a relative that they just know isn't going to make it and it's NOT an easy choice to make (unless you're Terri Schiavo's douchebag family who refused because they're dicks).

Lunchie-Munchie does not come with an apple and a Twinkie.
Seriously, it's hard to list the movies where this DOESN'T happen.  And it's not limited to movies, either.  There are plenty of instances in other media as well.  One of my favorite instances in literature comes from the first book of the Newsflesh, series, Feed, where George (short for Georgina) is deliberately infected with the Kellis-Amberlee virus as part of a political conspiracy and she has her brother shoot her as she's typing a final blog post and you can FEEL the panic rise up in her as she feels herself succumbing and she's trying to remain coherent and the post ends with her typing:

"Shaun I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I didn't mean it I would take it all back if I could but I can't I can't I I I I I I I all fading words going can't do this can't Shaun please Shaun please I love you I love you I always you know I Shaun please can't hold on everything jfdh can't do thisjhjnfbnnnn mmm have to name my name is Shaun I love you Shaun please gngn please SHOOT ME SHAUN SHOOT ME N---"

There's a lot more to it but it's a POWERFUL read.  Thoroughly recommended series.

But, yeah, this is possibly one of the most depressing tropes out there.

Hug your mama, kids. 

That's it.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Titties. Gigantic Titties. 'Nuff Said.

Alright, straight boys.  You wanted it, you got it.  I'm stepping outside of my safe zone, here, and bringing you Roger Corman B-Movie realness.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the boob joke that walks, Attack of the 50-Foot Cheerleader.





You know, I would question the wisdom of watching this one but it's Roger Corman and I tend to give the man a break.  We KNOW he's all about a cheap movie with boobs in it.  Lots and lots of boobs.  Attached to nubile young twits who are more than willing to show their boobs.  This is not to say that showing your boobs is bad.  I'm all about a nekkid selfie.  I'm just saying that the girls in Corman's films, even the smart ones, tend to have the brains of a pint of cottage cheese liberally laced with hash.

ALSO.  Before I begin, I am only counting this movie as "horror-adjacent" because it's not really a horror movie.  It's not about revenge and heartbreak and the horrible squishy-pain and the hey-hey-hey, geflavin.  It's about a smart, nerdy girl that doesn't want to lose her scholarship because mom is only going to pay for school if she gets on the cheer squad.  Because mom is a half-baked cougar who has discovered the power of wine (and is played by Sean Young).

Whattaya wanna bet that bottle's been somewhere nasty?
To GET herself on the cheer squad, she willingly injects herself with a serum that she helped invent that would eradicate the need for plastic surgery (and, yet, somehow manages to pack a full fuckin' load of silicone into the sweater-puppies of the injectee).  Where would we be if this serum didn't somehow make her grow taller?  As in ten times her original height?  We get to see it happen to a spider that, somehow, doesn't actually manage to eat anyone on campus, including the mean girl in the shower that manages to trap something that's known for getting through small space in a bathroom stall.  It gets all squishied.

Plus, her boobs knock John Landis' eye out.
And then there's the mean girl head of the sorority who's out to get her because she's tall and beautiful, the owner of the serum who's more than happy to taser the shit out of a girl to chain her up to make her a test subject, the goth roommate with a thing for shoving organic cucumbers up her playthings butts, and the nerdy scienc-y boyfriend who's going to swoop in and save her... with science.

And giant cheerleader balloons that just happen to be her size.
Y'all know me, I'm not a fan of sexism but dammit if this wasn't chock fuckin' full of it.  Roger Corman has never been known for messages in his movies and this half-assed "Be happy with who you are" screams of "I got nasty letters from N.O.W. and Andrea Dworkin".  Aside from that, though, it wasn't that bad a movie.  Yeah, it was all tits-a-bobbin and "Let's use our feminine wiles as a weapon" but for the most part it was cute.

Yeah, she's just not havin' it.
Cute in that throwback to the 50s with boobs kinda way.  It's play-doh for the brain.  There's no darkness to it.  It's, for lack of a better word, even barring the objectification of women for objectification's sake, fun. 

Extra-fun if you have a thing for catfights and a gigantism fetish
Let's just say I didn't hate it.  It's not something I'd watch twice but for trash cinema it wasn't bad.  The CGI and green-screen weren't done too badly, either, so I'm OK on that front, too. Your mileage may vary.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Faith and Fuckin' Begorrah

In another day of astounding cinematic failure, I sat and watched Leprechaun: Origins.

Because I'm an idiot, apparently.  An idiot who has done something so horrible in his life to deserve whatever the fuck this was.  I'm assuming some puppies were kicked but I don't remember kicking puppies.  I repent for kicking imaginary puppies.  I do not ever intend to injure puppies, imaginary or otherwise.






This almost-watchable pile of horse shit starts the way a lot of horror movies do.  With the road-trip.  In this case, four college friends taking a last-hurrah trip through Ireland.  One of them, of course, is a History major which is why they're in Ireland instead of, y'know, Fort Lauderdale.  Barring the copious amounts of booze and throaty, shaven-headed torch song performers, Ireland is all about culture and strife and history and kilts and motherfucking potatoes.  It's still in my top 10 travel destinations but that's a cultural thing because I have a sad, sad addiction to fairy tales.

And like any and all stupid teenagers, they decide to trust the fat, avuncular, shanty-Irish Mick who says, "Oh, hey, there's this big mine that has all kinds of history and booga-booga and stay in my cabin because I'm all generous and shit."

And you can frolic through the emerald fields and not actually have sex.
But did the jolly fat man tell them about the hideous creature that can see people in shades of gold that has to be appeased for taking all of the gold out of the aforementioned mine?  Nooooooooooo.  'Cause he's a DICK.

Don't get me wrong, kids, there's definitely a market for this kind of creature feature but for the life of me, I have NO idea why WWE Films (which should tell you everything you need to know right there) chose to reboot the Leprechaun series in this fashion.  Other than a short... thing... with a taste for glitter, there's nothing even remotely "leprechaun" about the creature.  They even say the thing's name is Tuatha Dé Danaan, for cryin' out loud and that's the name for fairies in general (the translation being "Tribe of (the goddess) Danu).

Oh, if only they'd actually read the badly researched book.
If they were going to refer to it as anything, they should have at LEAST gone by the fucking illustration and I need to smack me some researchers because it's not like fucking Wikipedia doesn't exist.

And let's talk about the creature, shall we?  I don't necessarily need kelly green swallowtail jackets and buckle shoes but, fuck, you gave me a beakless bird abortion with teeth.  Why would you DO that?  And where were the fucking shoes, man?  Leprechauns are COBBLERS.  They make SHOES.  Yeah, they're greedy bastards but you've turned something that, while it can be monstrous (since it's usually armed with a goddamn HAMMER), into a full-on thing with a hankerin' for human flesh and earrings and no reference to the source material other than location.


Buck-CAWWWK!
And you took the greatest trope of all time (or at least the easiest to play off), the Town With a Secret, and took a steaming dump all over it.  There should have been paranoia.  There should have been more interaction with the locals.  This is the ONE situation where isolation does not work and you gave me a product that smells like failure.

Plus, and probably worst of all, you took away the humor!  That was what we LIKED about the original series.  Darker and edgier is one thing but there was no attempt at ALL to temper this with any kind of humor.  We didn't need four-leaf clover jokes but fuck, man, come on. One whiskey-dick joke and we're done?  Seriously?

Plus you gave me this Scooby-Doo bullshit and a leg injury that would have kept anyone from walking at all yet allowed actual running.
Yeah, there are some decent kills but most of it took place off-screen because they couldn't bother actually showing them, there was no final showdown and our final girl should have been shot for being Needy McWhiney-Pants when her "boyfriend" basically broke up with her at the beginning of the movie but never actually said anything to that effect.  About the ONLY thing I can give this is that you didn't feel like the actors were stumbling around the set huffing glue.  I'm telling you, if WWE films and the Soska sisters fuck up See No Evil 2, I'ma have to slap Katherine Isabelle to teach them all a damn lesson.  I adore Katherine.  Don't make me slap her.

Riverdance your way past this one, kids.  No, seriously.  Get that shit up on YouTube.  I will totally post that video right here.  You get bonus points if you can do it while eating a bowl of Lucky Charms.