Monthly Archives: October 2010

Halloween

So October has gone by with barely a word from me. I was a little burned out on Halloween, before things even really got started really. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that I was chattering away about Halloween back in August.

So, lesson learned: next year, Halloween celebrating will start October 1st, not June 25th.

I’m going to spend the rest of my Halloween quietly watching horror movies while a small bird sits on my head. Here’s hoping ya’ll have a happy Halloween!

Dylan Charles

Leave a comment

Filed under Halloween: Rock and Shock, 31 Days of Spooktacular, Spoooky Beer Reviews and More

A Troll 2 Movie Review in Two Parts

Part II: Viewing

There is, perhaps, little that I could add to the general cacophony of voices that have judged Troll 2 and found it wanting. One more damned cry in the night will affect no-one; especially when there already exists so many who have suffered.

In spite of numerous preparations, I was ill-prepared for what I endured and, now that the event has transpired, I do not believe that tthing that I could have done to fully prepare myself what I went through. Can anyone truly prepare for Troll 2? I had watched videos, little snippets from the movie beforehand. I laughed, with a light heart, at the dialog and terrible special effects. I believed that I was ready for anything that the movie could throw at me.

But I was not.

The acting alone would have sufficed to break down any mental barriers I had erected to protect me from the badness. From the actors who clearly had never worked in the field before to the people who had been culled from the local community theater, nay, culled from the people who could not make it in community theater.

To be fair, no actor, no matter his or her talent, should have been forced to read those lines. That alone was a crime to which there is no response, save public execution.

Troll 2 has bleached my soul, robbing it of vitality and life and left me with the barest wisps of humanity to sustain me. I am an old man, aged before my time, a husk that has weathered the worst that humanity has created. I am now frail of spirit, weak of heart and feeble of mind.

I live, yes, but only so much as the barest and lowest of life could be said to live. There are deep sea sponges that have greater claims to life than I, in my post-Troll 2 existence.

In spite of the futility of such an attempt, I rise up and cry out, with the millions of others who have suffered this same fate and say, “Do not watch Troll 2!” before I slip back, back, back into the abyss of my now wretched existence.

It’s not the worst movie I have ever seen, but lord, it weren’t good.

Dylan Charles

2 Comments

Filed under Horror: Movies, Books, Stories and More

A Troll 2 Movie Review in Two Parts

Part I: Preparations

For the bad horror movie aficionado, there are several movies that must be seen. Plan 9 from Outer Space, for example, is a given. It’s delightfully awful and made with love, which makes its terribleness that much more tragic.

I have seen a great many bad movies, but there is one that I have avoided. Not with deliberate intent, but our paths have never had occasion to cross.

But now I finally have the means and opportunity to watch it and I make plans to do so.

I am going to watch Troll 2.

Troll 2‘s badness is legendary, perhaps surpassing even that of Plan 9 from Outer Space. This is no small accomplishment and even more respectable considering the relative youth of Troll 2. Since its creation 20 years ago, Troll 2 has achieved a level of cult-like fandom of such fervor that a documentary was recently released. It detailed the creation and then the aftermath of Troll 2 and also delved into the minds of the people involved.

I must prepare to watch this movie and I will do my best to maintain both composure and rational thought as I begin my journey into what many have called The Worst Movie Ever Made.

Upon the conclusion of this journey, I will return and share with you, my reader, what hath transpired. If I am still able.

Dylan Charles

1 Comment

Filed under Horror: Movies, Books, Stories and More

Horror Movie Primer: Zombies

Movie zombies haven’t always been what they are now: rotting corpses who eat the living.

Before George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, cinematic zombies were more steeped in their original voodoo lore. They were the result of witchcraft and bad juju, not viruses and teethmarks. If you really want to see zombies as they were before The Change, check out White Zombie, starring Bela Lugosi, where a witch doctor holds a young woman using magic and the like.

After Romero, cannibalistic undead were all over the place. His original series, Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead are perhaps the most influential on the genre, with Dawn of the Dead being widely regarded as the best zombie movie of all time.

Once zombies were considered profitable in the box office, they began to show up everywhere, with cheap foreign knock-offs and spoofs abounding. Fulci’s Zombie, the only zombie movie to depict a zombie fighting a shark, even went so far to imply that it was a sequel to Dawn of the Dead. The Return of the Living Dead, an over-the-top splatter comedy from the 1980’s, introduced the notion that zombies are really after our brains.

Zombies have made a resurgence in recent years. Romero is cranking them out still, with sub-par offerings like Land of the Dead and Diary of the Dead. Zack Snyder’s remake of Dawn of the Dead , is nothing special, but with its fast zombies introduces a new freaky element and is definitely worth watching.

Shaun of the Dead, a loving spoof of the entire zombie genre, is definitely something you should check out, though maybe after you’ve watched a few of the classics first, if only so you can get all the jokes.

Lastly there are the movies that aren’t technically zombie movies (instead of the undead, it’s just crazed, infected people), but they have the same spirit, so what the hell. 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later are great, post apocalyptic flicks, with the former being more of a tense survival picture and the latter being more an extremely tense action movie. Zombieland is also, technically, not a “true” zombie movie, but only purists would think to complain about that. It’s a dark and grim comedy with limbs a-flyin.

Dylan Charles

2 Comments

Filed under Horror: Movies, Books, Stories and More

Horror Movie Primer: Ghosts

Movies about ghosts, spirits and the like can really be separated into two categories: Haunted Houses and Everything Else.

I’m not the biggest fan of haunted house movies. If one’s house is haunted, one simply moves to a new house. Problem solved and there’s no reason to have fifteen movies based on one goddamn house.

Still, there are a few exceptions to the rule. Poltergeist is a creepy and funny movie, directed by Tobe Hooper (director of Texas Chain Saw Massacre) and produced by Stephen Spielberg, it’s got a good pedigree and it’s a good choice for those who scare easy.

The Changeling is another classic, starring George C. Scott, though not one of my personal favorites. A bit too slow and draggy for my tastes. Haunted house movies are almost always slow to build up the tension, which might be good for some folks.

Moving on from the haunted house, your options are far more varied and much more interesting. For your comedic needs, there’s the obvious choices of Ghost Busters and Beetle Juice. There’s also Peter Jackson’s The Frighteners which you need to check out if you haven’t already. Michael J. Fox plays a conman who pretends to exorcise ghosts from houses, except he’s the one who put the ghosts there. Creepy and funny, it’s Peter Jackson while he was still in his horror period and not making movies about little people with hairy feet.

For something scarier, you can always go for recent entries like The Sixth Sense and Paranormal Activity. The Japanese have also been importing their supernatural horrors for the last fifteen years now with movies like The Ring (Ringu), The Grudge (Ju-On) and Dark Water (Honogurai mizu no soko kara) with varying degrees of success. My personal favorite bit of East Asian horror is Shutter. It’s a combination of a mystery and a supernatural thriller with a slow build at a pace that never lags. And the payoff was actually creepy and unsettling.

And that’s the best I can do with ghost movies, since ghosts don’t scare me so much.

Next up will be something I care more about.

Something….dead and shambling.

Dylan Charles

1 Comment

Filed under Horror: Movies, Books, Stories and More

It’s Halloween Month!

It’s finally, finally October and I’m all kinds of giddy.

I’m still not really sure what I’m going to do for the month, aside from the vague plans that I’ve mentioned from time to time.

I’ll do my best to post something vaguely Halloweeny as the month goes on though.

For me, it’s a time when my oddities and curious hobbies don’t seem so strange as everyone else begins to take them on as well. Now everyone is reading and watching horror and talkin’ about the macabre. I don’t have to hide (so much) anymore.

It’s even greater for me since I peddle horror (or try to). It’s not just my time to fit in, it’s my time to shine.

So, to start with, let’s just rehash the past, cause I’m tired and lazy. Here are some Halloween themed entries I’ve written so far:

Anticipation

Beyond the Veil

A Rough Beast Slouches Toward October to be Born

Horror Movie Primer: Monsters

Hopefully these will help get you into the Halloween spirit and we’ll be on the same page.

Dylan Charles

Leave a comment

Filed under Halloween: Rock and Shock, 31 Days of Spooktacular, Spoooky Beer Reviews and More