17 Apr 2020
Perhaps cinema has reached a telefonnummer hard pressed to surpass, but what you have to admire about cinema is that it never stops trying.
When My Bloody Valentine 3D teased me with its trailer, I was salivating for blood and guts spewing off of the big screen. Sadly to say, I did not get what I had hoped for but I did get 101 minutes of bloody entertainment.
One thing to note however is that if you set out to make a movie in 3D featuring a masked serial killer sporting a pick ax, you might want to make sure you have the die hard horror fans hooked with projectile body parts and incredible 3D cinematography. Oh sure, the fair weather fan of the genre will be screaming occasionally while ducking from a stray piece of jawbone or randomly bobbing their heads in a comical attempt to avoid a sharp object two, but the die hard horror fan (people like me) might feel somewhat slighted. Oh there is blood - there has to be plenty of blood by today’s standards - but I was left wanting a little more.
Some of you might recognize My Bloody Valentine as being a remake of the 1981 horror gem in which Harry Warden, a local miner, goes nuts and starts offing his co-workers with a pick ax. And when his killing spree is over, and Harry is pronounced dead, only one miner remains standing.
Or so the town thinks.
mbv3dA year later with thoughts of illicit sex and multiple kegs of alcohol, a group of kids decide it’s a smart idea to have a party in the very mine where Harry Warden went berserk. Needless to say the idea turned out to be not so smart when a “revived” Harry Warden, donning miner suit and mask, shows up unexpectedly and goes on yet another blood quest, killing a multitude of teenagers in prime exploitation slasher glory. It was so beautifully awful that one couldn’t help but love every minute of it!
Flash forward another 10 years, and we find the town in upheaval as the owner of the mine has passed and his son Tom (played by Jensen Ackles of Supernatural) deciding it would be best to sell the mine to “outsiders.” Being as Tom was the only surviving miner of Harry’s first killing spree, and one of the few surviving teenagers of the 2nd killing spree, he wants no ties to their little corner of the world by hanging on to the cursed mine.
The plot is typical for this genre, introducing us to alluring girl-next-door Sarah (Jaime King), the former love of Tom’s life, and her hot tempered cheating husband Axel (Kerr Smith), Tom’s former rival and now town sheriff, which ultimately presents a love triangle between the three. Pair this with the random murders happening yet again, and you have a plot that keeps you guessing until the end as to who the bad guy really is.
My Bloody Valentine 3D offers more than it’s share in B movie criteria. Among them is a scene that occurs outside a motel. Young Irene (Betsy Rue), one of the party survivors, is having a bit of a spat with her truck driving “boyfriend” for filming their tryst in the hotel room. She chases him out to his rig in the nude, and ends up fleeing (also in the nude) from a killer donning a miner’s mask and toting a pick ax. Hmmm… that seems familiar….
What happens next is murder after murder, all at the hands of an unseen foe decked out in miner suit and pick ax. Needless to say the murderer always manages to disappear seconds after his heinous crimes, and leaves no traces in his wake. Reality would dictate this being somewhat impossible, but we don’t watch these movies for their believability factor. We watch them to be scared, and while us die hard horror fanatics may have been only mildly, I think the suspense factor and added B movie effects helped make up for it.
Standard for B movies, there is an air of campiness around this one (one of the things I love about the genre) that helps in keeping it entertaining. What I also loved about this movie is that it actually kept me guessing until the end who the actual killer was. Not usually an easy task.
As with most slasher films of the 70’s and 80’s - OK, as with most all slasher films - you won’t find any really great acting in this movie (as evidenced by the casting of Tom Atkins who was rather perfect for the role) but do we really need it? As long as there are some gratuitous boob shots, ample blood spillage, occasional shock effects and the actors are really cute, what else do we need? This genre of movie simply works if the carnage startles you and makes you laugh all at the same time.
For me, My Bloody Valentine 3D did that. But the 3D side of things? Definitely overrated. Only once or twice did I feel like something was shooting out of the screen at me. And boy do those damned 3D glasses hurt! My nose was dented for almost 3 hours after the movie was over. And it’s not like you can take them off or else the movie is all fuzzy. Very weird, and a feature I feel is very overrated.)
Sidebar: I also hear they are remaking The House on Sorority Row. Being as that is the ONLY horror movie I ever walked out of, I am curious to see how well they deliver it.
07 Mar 2020
I want to start out by saying thank you for coming back to my ringede. I know that I have been neglectful in the last month or so, but with life and death ever present as one gets older, you don’t always have the time to dedicate yourself the to the things that you find simple pleasures in.
For me, one of those simple pleasures is found, oddly enough, in this blog. I don’t quite understand my fetish for gory movies, or zombies for that matter, but it exists, and this blog is my glorification of that fetish.
So that being said, I would like to get straight to the point of this post. That point being “how does one become a zombie?”
O sure, you are probably spouting the obvious right now, such as “Hey Numbnut - don’t let that undead person foaming at the mouth bite you!”
Or “Yo Dipshit! See that guy over there with his eyeballs hanging out of their socket and uttering gibberish? Don’t let him bite you!”
And of course there is the “Hey Assmunch! Pay attention and run from that staggering corpse ‘cuz even though he doesn’t move so fast, he will “F” you up!”
As stated in previous posts, knowledge is key to survival and when it comes to zombies, there is no such thing as too much knowledge.
hollyzombieYou see, I was watching Quarantine again now that it is out on DVD, and I realized that, besides the fact that there are a shitload of stupid people out there, that pretty much none of us are safe. Sure we have precautions against break ins and robberies; car jackers and muggers. But we have no precautions readily available when it comes to being faced with the zombie virus. Like the people in the movie Quarantine. Their guns and axes and brains did not help them.
But then again, they never believed zombies could exist. I guess none of them ever watched a horror movie because if they had, they would have known to shoot the drooling and bloody F’er’s in the head on the first shot! And that shot isn’t just for zombies, ya know. Shooting any enemy in the head (the brain more specifically) is also a good way to stop psychotic deformed mutants with machetes. No need to wind up being lunch because you felt the need to shoot them in the leg or arm or something equally stupid. Come on people, use your brains for something other than a meal!
So let’s take a look at the origin of the zombies, shall we? And since Hollywood loves to exploit how these nuisances come to be, let’s focus on the three most popular ways:
THE VOODOO ZOMBIE
voodoo19With origins in Haiti and Africa, it is believed that a voodoo sorcerer (or a bokor) can create two types of zombies with the use of toxic powders being forced into their blood stream:
A Living Zombie: this guy poses no real threat on others as they are not contagious and tend not to have a desire to eat human flesh. This “Living Zombie” if you will, is merely a breathing person under the spell of the toxic powders, and can actually be cured. The only problem is that the bokor can control the living zombies to act out their evil commands. Not nice, but not entirely intimidating (think White Zombie with Bela Lugosi.)
An Undead Zombie: in this case, the bokor will use black magic to raise the dead. Now these zombies are what you would expect: shambling corpses with intense desire to eat living flesh thereby creating new zombies from those they bite. These are the types of zombies I expect. These are the types of zombies you as living breathing people need to be prepared to annihilate. (Think 1941’s King of the Zombies.)
THE “VIRUS” ZOMBIE
There are two main types of this zombie as well. The “man-made” bio-zombie, and the zombie that results from some natural virus. A virus like much like herpes, or rabies, but worse. Worse in that there is nothing, no cream nor pill nor shot, that will help you live a normal life. Once you acquire the zombie virus and experience firsthand the attack of the munchies, you are doomed. History. Finished.
Let’s break them down for easy comprehension:
- Man-made “Bio” Zombies: Typically man made zombies begins with some sort of genetic engineering, usually at the hands of some covert operation under strict and hushed orders of the military or some sort of government agency, that is “enhancing” humans for the sole purpose of creating a superior being that will kick ass when needed, be it for war, or simply some mad scientist with an agenda to take over the world, one town at time.
biohazardYou will find that this type of man-made zombie is not always portrayed as being a shambling eater of the flesh. Instead, they use their zombie transforming bite to convert the living “enemy” into their undead partner in crime. You will also find there is often a hierarchy of rule with this type of zombie, where there is one “smart” killer calling the shots, such as found in the movie I Am Legend, where the zombies were created from a discovered cure of cancer.
Then of course there are the Zombies that can be the result of toxic waste (one of my favorites being Troma’s Class of Nuke’Em High) and post-Nuclear debris, although unintentional, still the result of man-made “error.”
- Natural Born Zombies: Here we have zombies that are the result of a natural occurrence, rather than something occurring due to man’s intervention. Such as rabies, as in Quarantine; or as with the “Solanum” virus in Max Brook’s very informative book World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, which began with it’s initial outbreak in China, then spread globally. This kind of zombie freaks me out the most as the reality of their creation is a little more believable. Let’s face it, rabies is alive and running rampant in today’s world, so to play on it’s detrimental effects in society has merit.
These zombies of course, are your more traditional undead, and tend to be sluggish, drooling and rather stupid, flesh eating ghouls.
There are several primo examples of alien zombies, but two in particular come to mind: Night of the Creeps, and Slither. I am especially fond of this type as they tend to stem from some sort of alien bug and if you know anything at all about me, it’s that I love bug movies. Mix the bugs with zombies and that spells BONUS!
bullseyeThis particular “story” line for a movie is easy to cheese out on however, as you’ll find writers do not feel the need to explain much, leaving all questions to the vast realm of the “alien unknown.” Plus I am not a big believer in alien annihilation. I do, however, fear a zombie apocalypse looms near, and I am not referring to the Quisling Zombie’s Max Brooks writes of either. All those people are just wanna-be zombie’s who glorify the condition with Zombie Walks and parades in the same manner as gay pride. Well I have news for these people - being gay is OK - being a zombie would SUCK!
So in conclusion, I would like to remind everyone of the importance of using your brains for something other than a meal. Remember - and say it with me now - knowledge is key, and the one piece of knowledge I want you to take from this post is to aim for their head. I would advise that you practice so as not to miss, though. You will need each and every one of your bullets, regardless of the type of zombie you are fighting for your life with. And if in doubt, shoot first. Your gut instinct won’t let you down. Usually. Just don’t say you weren’t warned or informed.
See you on the battlefield.
22 Feb 2020
Ever since I saw the preview for Hivott about 6 months ago, I have been itching something fierce to see it. Promising debauchery and old school Grindhouse only Quentin Tarentino can deliver, the bikerploitation release starring director Larry Bishop as the lead role of “Pistolero” and Michael Madsen (one of my favorite “not really big actors in Hollywood but big enough that you recognize his face”) as “The Gent”, Hellride had me all revved up for an awesome ride!
Nothing sucks worse than anticipation of greatness, and getting shit instead. Not to mention that I have no idea why Quentin Tarentino’s name is on the box “presenting” the movie since I cannot find that he had anything at all to do with the film. Talk about false promises.
So Hellride, being ever evasive and never really laying out an easy understanding of the “plot,” apparently is about an old mature biker named Pistolero who wants revenge on rival old mature bikers who killed his girlfriend 32 years earlier, in the bicentennial year of 1976. It only makes matters worse when there appears to be a traitor or two among Pistolero’s own gang.
The ego of Larry Bishop is more than in your face obvious as the movie is filled with 1/2 naked and completely naked women, all under the age of 25, who immediately want sex with him from the second he walks into a room. Now I may not be the best judge of looks but I assure you, no one I know would even consider having sex with Pistolero unless he had a wad of cash in his hand, and then only if you could take it to the bank first. He looked like he had not had a bath in a month, had not shaved in a year, and probably doesn’t use deodorant. But what do I know about Hollywood? Especially when the director, who happens to be the main character, gets to call the shots.
So anyway, Hellride is a series of flashbacks to ‘76, along with a few well planted double crosses, as Pistolero narrows down who the traitors in his biker gang could be while leaving a bloody path of bad guys that all lead up to the inevitable showdown. The disappointing showdown between bad guy and good guy, both of which are OLD guys, and a few more naked women thrown in for decoration.
It is more than safe to say that Hellride is the director’s mid-life crisis that he was fortunate enough to glorify on film. Unfortunately this movie is anything but glorious and I would strongly urge saving yourself the headache of suffering through even a minute of it - Hellride was definitely one HELL ride.
Unless you want to allow me the luxury of saying “I told you so” then have at it!
10 Feb 2020
What if I told you there was no dzwoniacy? Would you believe me? Or would you think I was a heathen who was going to rot in hell for not having faith in the “written word”? The verbal word handed down, subject to interpretation and memory of the transcriber? Would you chastise me for doubting what I could not see or touch?
What if I told you Jesus had taken a wife, and fathered children? Would you call it blasphemy? Even though it has been written, as the bible has been written, and has many believers in it’s validity?
If I said all this, would you stop reading this blog post, for fear of possible questions that could arise in the back of your minds….. fearing that should you question him, as we are taught not to do, you would be committing some unspeakable sin?
Now imagine this……
What if I told you zombies exist? Would you consider believing me? Or would you think I was some kook that needed their head examined because there is no way un-dead people are out there wandering around, eating other people and causing their victims un-dead transformation?
What about Haitian or African VooDoo? Middle Ages Folklore? Even Norse mythology had their share of reanimated corpses. Could there be any merit to the theory if so many believe it to be true? Granted these cases do not depict “zombies” as eating human flesh, but they all share the common thread of the dead coming back to “life.”
We are taught faith is not based on the tangible, rather it is belief in the intangible. What do you base your faith on?
Flesh Eaters in America
Jeffrey Dahmer. Albert Fish. Two very sick individuals who liked to eat their prey. Cannibalism. More evidence that there are people who actually like the taste of human flesh.
What about Ed Gein? He didn’t eat his victims, but he certainly liked decorating with their flesh.
“Food” for thought??
Zombies in America
While there is no concrete evidence to support the validity of the existence of zombies, there is quite an homage to their viability. Annual “zombie walks” held in various cities throughout the world; the “zombie squad” which boasts awareness for disaster preparedness and community service by holding rallys, fund raisers, and even blood drives (you can visit their cause here.)
So what does all this mean?
This page doesn’t mean I believe zombies are real, but it also doesn’t mean that I don’t believe they could actually exist. If I am to believe in the impossible that religion has taught me and not question it’s reality, then perhaps……
And why not be prepared for an apocalypse? Russians invaded us in Red Dawn; aliens invaded us in War of the Worlds; spiders invaded us in Eight Legged Freaks….. who am I to say it can’t happen??
All I know is I’d rather be safe than sorry….. how ‘bout you?