Monthly Archives: October 2011

The Process

In order to get myself hyped about writing reviews again, I’m going to let ya’ll in on a behind-the-scenes look at the process I use when writing reviews. It’s also a good way to get two blog entries out of one movie.

1. First, I pick the movie. This involves going through the collection of horror movies available on Netflix. I flip through the list until I read a plot synopsis that makes me wince. This week’s selection is Hanger, a movie about an abortion gone wrong. Quality!

2. Next, I watch the movie. This can take anywhere from the running time of the movie to a full week, depending on how good the movie is. As I watch, I make notes to help me when I actually start to write the review. Usually the notes are far from helpful since they’re usually things like: “Dialog bad. What write movie?” “Jesus Crickets, this sucks.”

3. After a substantial recovery period, I start to write the review. Since I need a screencap for the review and since I always forget to take the screencap while I’m watching the movie, this means starting up Hanger again. A second substantial recovery period is needed.

4. I then write the review a full month after picking the movie. Generally, I’ve forgotten a great number of details, so I end up rewatching most of the movie to make sure I get my facts right.

5. By this point, I’m now the foremost expert on this movie and it’s time to pick the next movie.

Elapsed time: 2 months

This is assuming that everything goes well. Sometimes I’ll watch an entire movie and there’s nothing interesting to say about it, so I’ll move on to something else. Hanger looks promising though.

Dylan Charles

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In the Spirit

So far I haven’t really been feeling Halloween so much.

I’ve watched an obscene number of horror movies. I’ve consumed a large amount of pumpkin flavored beer. I’ve contemplated costumes. I’ve read articles online reviewing Halloween goodies. I’ve listened to Halloween music. Emily even got me a mess of rubbery stretchy spiders.

And nothing.

Partly, it’s trying to sustain Halloween cheer for three months straight, which is getting to be more and more difficult. Partly, it’s because it does’t feel at all like Fall. There are no schizophrenically colored leaves and there’s no chill in the air yet. It’s killing my Halloween-buzz, goddamn it.

All I can do is rededicate myself to the cause. More horror movies, more costumes, more bad, Halloween novelty songs.

It’s gonna be Halloween up in here, even if it means covering myself in fake blood and running through the streets with a Jack-o’-Lantern on my head.

Dylan Charles

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Human Centipede: Why?

I’m going to talk about horror movies (again), but this will be the last time for a day or two (promise {maybe}). This Friday, The Human Centipede 2 will be on limited release. So, if you’re very, very lucky, it’ll be playing somewhere in your city.

For years, if a critic wanted to point out the depravity of horror, they’d gesture wildly at the Saw series. Saw‘s position as King of Disgusting Horror has been soundly usurped by The Human Centipede. It’s a movie so shocking that the director, Tom Six, has apparently received numerous death threats and travels with a  body guard in public.

The Human Centipede 2 was made as a direct reaction to these threats and criticisms. The movie’s plot revolves around a character who is so obsessed with The Human Centipede that he decides to make his own. It’s a movie that’s (supposedly) more depraved and more violent than the original. So much so, that it’s been banned in the UK.

I’m most likely going to go see it. Maybe not in theaters, since I don’t even know if it’s playing here, but I’ll go. And really, I can’t even tell you why. It’s not going to be good. I’ll feel bad afterward. There’s nothing to be gained.

But my dedication to Horror (with a capital H) is such that I have to see it, grump about it and sulk off.

There’s something wrong with me.

Dylan Charles

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Hellraiser: A Review of Most of the Series

I’ve only watched six of the nine available Hellraiser movies and I’ve only seen them all once, so I don’t consider myself any kind of expert. But after watching four of these movies in a three day period, I figure I’ve earned the right to vent a little bit.

The first Hellraiser movie was a great horror movie. It brought a new mythos to the table and broke free of the more standard horror movies that were being pumped out during the ’80s. It took its time and built up an atmosphere. And then knocked you down with gutwrenchingly creepy visuals. It’s an unsettling movie and reason #552 why I hope I’m never left alone in the same room with Clive Barker.

And then they started pumping out sequels. In the second movie, our wily heroine ends up in Hell itself and we find out Pinhead’s backstory.

By the fourth movie, we find out where the puzzle box (or the Lament Configuration if we want to be nerdy about it) comes from and also take a trip into space with Pinhead.

Really, there’s not much more ground to cover in the mythos, but the Hellraiser series falls into the same trap as other horror franchises and drive everything into the ground. What started off as a unique and creepy story has now been dragged so far into the light that any sense of mystery has been completely eradicated. And this series, more than most others, did best when the audience was kept in the dark.

At its best, Hellraiser was heavily driven by its atmosphere and the mythology. The characters were secondary to the backdrop behind them. The Cenobites were shadowy figures that were skincrawlingly creepy. Hell was a combination of Escher and Bosch and was probably the best representation of what the inside of Lovecraft’s brain looked like.

But as the series went on, they traded mystery for more gore and creepy for shocking. By the time you have a Cenobite who ejected CDs into his victims (Hellraiser III), the series had jumped the shark and then jumped it again for good measure.

This devolving of the series is more disappointing than, say, Friday the 13th because Friday the 13th was always a second-rate Halloween knock-off designed to make money and throw some blood on the screen. Jason X isn’t really that big of a fall of grace for the series. But Hellraiser started off striving for some much more and ended up being no better than any of its slasher brothers.

Dylan Charles

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Tales of the Whispering Mad and the Mis-Dead: Now in Paperback!

You may remember that I have a book, which is available on the Kindle.

Now, everytime I tell people that I have a book and it’s only on the Kindle, they tell me, “But I don’t have a Kindle.” To which I respond, “Then buy a Kindle and then buy my book!” This never goes over well.

So! I’ve come up with a solution. You can now buy my book IN PAPERBACK. No ereaders required, you just go online, order the book and it arrives in the mail, in paper form. Truly, a miracle in modern technology.

Go HERE to buy my book in dead tree form.

Go HERE to buy my book in electronic radioactive form.

Some day, I might even get around to putting it on the Nook.

Dylan Charles

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