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Showing posts from June, 2012

Direct To Video Picks For June 2012

Just the other day I was lamenting my apparent loss of passion for horror movies. When I was younger (middle school through college), I would gleefully watch any horror movie that landed on our video store's shelves. As I've gotten older, and the market more and move over saturated, I've started skipping the crap and desperately re-watching the horror I know is great.

I know this makes me a little, old, curmudgeon. I know this means I'm stagnating and my horror skills will begin to atrophy if I don't get the hell over myself and start watching more new horror.

On that note (plus a suggestion from a good friend) I've decided to embark on a new project: monthly direct-to-video horror suggestions (otherwise known as, "I didn't hate it.")

In order to make this work, I'm fairly certain I have to lower the bar on my expectations and dig deep within myself to find the gentle, compassionate, forgiving film critic I know I can be.

...what have I gotten …

Fright Night: The Past, The Present, & The Spoofs

The early 80's were hardly a slow time for horror movies however, they were a terrible time from vampires. The 80's saw a distinct move away from supernatural creatures towards slashers. (You can read more about horror history in my earlier blog.) Between 1980 and 1983 there was 1 major vampire film: The Hunger.

Vampire movies, up to and including The Hunger, traditionally depicted vampires as moody, sullen, sexualized lonely souls creeping around forever in the shadows of our world. They are short on words, menacing in actions, but generally have some sliver of humanity tinkling around in their black, un-beating hearts. They delicately tread the line between 'bad' and 'simply misunderstood.'

And then it was 1985 and Fright Night showed up.

Fright Night was a new kind of vampire movie: a classic, 80's coming of age story tinted with the darkness of a horror movie and boasting a completely different type on vampire. Chris Sarandon's Jerry Dandridge is n…

Not Your Standard Rant About Remakes

If you asked my mom, she'd tell you that I hate history. that's not really the case; I just care about a different kind of history.

It's true that I'm not particularly interested in reading about wars, politics, architecture, or genetics. I'm not really invested in biology, weather, geology or how those sciences have evolved. But if you ask me about media history or the evolution of social politics - I'm there. 100%. I very much care how we relate to, and understand history through media. I like to say that I'm interested in "relational history."

On that note, I'd now like to rant about movie remakes.

People generally congregate in two camps: remake haters and remake enthusiasts. On the surface, I am a remake hater. But, I am also an elitist film snob with an obsession for understanding how things work.

So here's the skinny
I hate remakes because people watch them in a vacuum, disregarding the fact that there is a history behind them. The a…

Prometheus: Religion, Evolution, and Existentialism

Head's up kiddies - this blog post will contain SPOILERS about Prometheus. If you don't want to read them - turn back now.


I feel like people are really struggling with Prometheus mostly because of misaligned expectations: this movie IS NOT Alien. It's not even Aliens.

Is Prometheus related to Alien? Absolutely. It takes place in the same universe that Alien does. (Same planets, same species of beings, etc.) But is it a prequel to Alien? Only in the loosest sense of the word. The events in Prometheus take place prior to the events in Alien. They also partially explain how the events of Alien came to be.

Prometheus is not an action movie (like Aliens) and it's not a psychological thriller / horror movie (like Alien.) It's much quieter than either of those things; much more subtle. Prometheus is an exploration of the human condition. It questions what it is to be human. It questions our understandings and ideas about where we come from. It questions what is more imp…

The Lost Boys, Puberty, and The Perils of Drinking Blood.

Vampirism and puberty, like peanut butter and jelly.
Turning into a vampire is a disconcerting, possibly confusing, at times painful, generally unpleasant transformation - if you're to believe the legends and lore. This is not at all dissimilar to puberty, as you probably know.

Your body changes. Your status in society changes. You becomes an entirely new being. Thus, the proliferation of coming of age vampire stories floating around out there comes as no surprise.

I feel I must pause here to write this: I'm a cranky old lady who will write absolutely nothing about the Twilight movies, save that statement.

Okay. Moving on.

The 80's were this fantastic heyday for coming of age movies; John Hughes was huge and while the basics of coming of age stories never changes, the details of the shiny world Hughes (and the majority of Hollywood) portrayed simply didn't ring true for everyone. Thus, we should offer a heart-felt thank you to the late 80's for giving us a handful …