Saturday, March 27, 2010
Last Sunday I really wanted nothing more than to kick back and relax before I had to get back to my weekly grind of, well, my weekly grind. So what better way than to pass a Sunday afternoon than a good old fashioned movie about two subjects that everyone loves: A) The Mexican - American War; and B) Cannibalism!
Throw in Guy Pearce and Robert Carlyle (throwing down some of the creepiest moves ever to be caught on celluloid), a shitload of the red stuff, and you've got 100 minutes that have to contain at least one scene that will either make you feel like your lunch is going to come up; or have you questioning that decision to make sloppy joes for supper. (And yeah, before you ask, that's EXACTLY what was simmering away on the stove on this particular Sunday)
Ravenous was one of those little hidden gem movies - I watched it because I worked in a video store; and in those days, I watched things just because they existed and they were free. (What happened to all that free time? anyway.....)
I was so blown away by Ravenous - the freaky-ASS score, the story, and whatever-the-hell-Robert-Carlyle-is-doing-outside-the-cave-with-his-crazy-man-on-acid-moves (and honestly, nobody has scared me more just by digging in the dirt) - that I pushed this movie on everyone around me, and probably ended up seeing it myself a half dozen times.
I didn't own a copy till a few years ago - pretty sure it was a gift from the BFF, KK - and despite thinking of the movie often and genuinely wanting to see it again - I just haven't.
I think the more time that went by - and therefore the less I remembered about it, other than that I loved it - which made me want to rewatch it even more - but I think that since I couldn't remember it that well - I also became more apprehensive about watching it. Just what was it about the movie that a)freaked me out so much and b)made me rave about it so much.
What I found was this:
1) I never forgot that I thought the score was beyond creepy; and as soon as that bing-bing-bing crap started, I was all 'OH CRIPES THERE IT IS'
2) I actually remembered the entire first half of the movie
3) It was just that I forgot the whole second half.
Which was actually a good thing, because once the first half was over, (besides Robert Carlyle doing his Creepy McCreeperson Dance), I was kind of wondering why I liked the movie so much years ago. Then in the second half - in my opinion- things REALLY get interesting. Throw in a little Native American legend for good measure, and let the Freakiness fly.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
It's the weekend and everybody knows that there's no better way your old Ma loves to relax than by watching a Mutant Killer Animal movie.
This time however, it's time to move from land into the water and get into the horror that is....
Tentacles comes to us all the way from 1977 and is another Samuel Z Arkoff presentation, which is He Who What Brung You Empire of the Ants.
Tentacles and Empire of the Ants are both actually on the same MGM Midnite Movies disc, but for my money, Tentacles is the more fun of the two. It has more action, more interesting characters, and people actually try to save their own lives when attacked by the monster! Crazy!
We also start our film with a little PSA showing us what could happen when you leave your kids unattended with a mutant killer octopus around:
Let that be a lesson to you, people!
Tentacles is also the movie that inspired a trip down my TV memory lane.
The 70's are a decade that never fail to amaze me - and by that I mean by the level of cheese produced by the film and television industry. However, I am a fan of cheese - especially when it's been aged by about 30 years. I grew up during the 70's, but since I was born just before they started (literally - by days) a lot of my memories of that time is fuzzy around the edge. But give me a nudge in the right direction (like this classic of a film did) and it tends to knock the dust of other memories of things I do remember enjoying back then (and thought I couldn't live without).
The cast is pure 70's goodness. For instance, we have John Huston as the crack reporter, and Claude Akins (!) as the sheriff.
Claude Akins was the John Saxon of the 70's. Which means, pretty much every time you see him on screen, he's playing a cop of some kind. And it also means every time I see him, I'm going to yell out 'Sheriff Lobo!' to nobody in particular.
Which was a spin off from this show (sadly, Sheriff Lobo is NOT found in the opening credits)
And to borrow a quote from the great Barry White, not 'nothin' and nobody could keep me away' from my BJ and the Bear as a kid.
BTW....Now all I can think of when I watch this (and I haven't seen it since the show was on) is how much that f**king cab must REEK of monkey shit. I mean, think about the last time you went to the zoo and visited the primate building - seriously, HOW DID THIS MAN EVER GET ANY CHICKS???? Which is exactly what he did, was hook up with a new female every episode.....all of which, of course, loved the monkey. First thing BJ probably did was get them to change the damn monkey's diaper. Good Times!!! No wonder he had a new woman in every episode, who's going to hook up for a long term relationship with a stinky trucker who lives in a poop filled 18 wheeler and makes you change his monkey's diapers?
Back to the film....
We also have Shelley Winters and we even have Henry Fonda.....who phones in his small part:
I'd like to sum up what makes this movie so much fun using a new segment we've developed here at the Firefly Ranch. A little segment I like to call :
Ah, The 70's!
Where I point out features of this movie that could only exist in the 70's and nowhere else.
Here we go:
Ah, The 70's!
1. Where THIS guy can be the EXPERT on life in the sea:
This would be Bo Hopkins, who's pretty much the 70's version of Matthew McConaughey. Which is a pretty good trick, considering that Matthew McConaughey is pretty much already the 70's version of Matthew McConaughey.
But don't underestimate Bo Hopkins, he's got a pair of these and he's so NOT afraid to use them:
(Think I'm kidding, don't you?)
2. Where Shelley Winters and John Huston can be siblings.....and Shelley can be the hot mama who seduces a new man every night and tells her brother about her recent conquests the next morning:
3. Where THIS is what you wear to take your kid on an outing and five bucks to enter your kid in a sailboat race is highway robbery:
4. Where only CRAZY-ASSES put sunscreen on their kids!!
So, anyway, here's the plot:
Killer. Giant. Octopus.
Well, listen to this:
The octopus also manages to put a damper on the race:
Shit, what is a small oceanside town to do?
Well, thank our lucky stars, we've got not only an EXPERT oceanographer in our midst:
(Apparently a graduate of the Dean Stockwell School of Facial Expressions):
But also he's a Bona Fide Killer Shark Whisperer as well!
So well, apparently, that all he has to do is just ask the Killer Sharks reeeeeeeeel nice like.......
Apparently buttering up your killer whales with a few compliments doesn't hurt either:
And Killer Whales will GLADLY lay the smackdown for you:
That's a killer whale laying the smackdown on an octopus, btw.
And all's well that ends well, apparently.
Only one thing left to do....
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Or, the post where I divulge that there is actually an aspect of zombie infiltration that even I have never considered.
More on that in a second.
Last week, I had the chance to FINALLY check out Dead Snow. Even though it just came out on DVD and Blu-Ray, it seems that everyone in the blogosphere has seen it already. I did have the chance to check it out at Zombie Con last October, but it'd been a long day and I probably needed to get home and take my Geritol or something.
Which is too bad, because watching this with a group of like minded lovers of horror would have been fun. Liberal amounts of alcohol wouldn't have hurt either.
The first thing that struck me about Dead Snow was what I referred to earlier: Never in all my years of considering what might happen if I was in the middle of a zombie apocalypse have I ever once thought about this: How do you run from a zombie in knee-deep snow?
I found some genuinely scary moments in Dead Snow, and the image of a woman trying to run from zombies in deep snow was among the best. Not only did Dead Snow manage to give me some real thrills, it also takes zombies in a new direction that I don't believe I've seen before: these zombies will take a brotha DOWN with a punch. Maybe the zombies ate these people at some point, but the movie doesn't focus on that. No, the zombies are hunting them because they can, because they're dead and they're bad and they're all really kind of angry and merciless about it.
And I'm not lying about the punching part.
Dead Snow seems at first to be filled with the standard sort of cliched characters, but as the movie unfolds, reveals itself instead to have characters who have more resources and wits about them and respond to the situation in interesting and unique ways.
Also, we finally have someone who actually knows a thing or two about zombies for once - which always bothers me about zombie movies set in modern times - how is it that NOBODY in the movie has ever seen a zombie film and doesn't know the basics like shooting them in the head, getting bit is bad news, etc. But why does the guy who loves horror movies have to be the weird, nerdy, chubby one? Just sayin'.
First time I've been genuinely on the edge of my seat since Paranormal Activity last fall. Mama like.