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1 hour ago, nate said:

My brain sings the tune of "My Funny Valentine" every time I see this movie's title.

Thanks for sticking that in my brain too, Nate.

I hate you.

Even worse, the version of My Funny Valentine I hear in my head when I see the movie title is the creepy awesome version sung by Matt Damon in The Talented Mr. Ripley.

Edited by J.T.
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Phantasm is one of those special films to any hardcore horror fan of a certain generation. Specifically, the second one is even as much if not more special to me than the first. It was one of those sequels I managed to catch and record on late-night regional television (along with a butchered but still potent Texas Chainsaw 2, missing the entire LG skinning). The original was already crazy but II just cranked everything to ten. The monsters were wilder, the weapons were bigger and cooler, and the fucking Hemicuda was the fucking Hemicuda; I've never been a "car guy" but if I could own any gas guzzler just for looks and performance it'd be that sucker. But going back and renting the original film was like finding the root, getting sucked into this saga with its own mythology... indeed, much like LOTR or Star Wars. 

I still need to finish Ravager. And I will review it for everyone, I promise. 

Edited by Curt McGirt
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I probably should have proofread this





Best Worst Movie is a delightfully joyful documentary based on the abomination of a movie known as Troll 2. It is directed by Michael Paul Stephenson who was the child “star”… hmm… that’s not right. Child lead – that’s probably better. Stephenson got the idea to do the documentary, he says, because he was on Myspace and he started to notice all these people saying that Troll 2 was one of their favorite movies.

Hold up. What a minute. (God I wish the was an audio medium so I could drop Nate Dogg in here). Quick backstory on Troll 2. It is horror movie with a plot of a family going on a country vacation. The town they go to is Nilbog which is… GOBLIN SPELLED BACKWARDS~! (So many TNA folks feel a sudden disturbance in their pants.) The town is full of goblins but not ordinary goblins. VEGETARIAN GOBLINS! They are trying to turn the family into vegetables so they can eat them. Yup… 

I should also point out that it has nothing to do with the original Troll.

You get your standard introduction as it lays the groundwork for what we are going to watch. Most importantly, it introduces us to George Hardy, a dentist whose only movie roll (well at the time*) was this movie. And Hardy is possibly the nicest man ever. Basically, he doesn’t realize there is this phenomenon around the movie and when he finds out he starts going around to all the screenings. (It was sweet when he is reading Myspace comments with his daughter and she starts to realize what a quasi-big deal her Dad is. And yes, I am going to go along with kayfabe and assume the MySpace comments were real.)

With the benefit of age comes wisdom… or more specifically, cynicism. So I spent far too much time on this watch through debating the chicken or the egg scenario in my head of how much buzz was there really and how much was generated because the folks from the Upright Citizens Brigade and the Alamo Drafthouse willed it into being.

Okay – between mention Myspace and The Upright Citizens Brigade – I should probably mention that is like the most 2000s time capsule ever. From the giant fucking bubble TVs to folks still clinging to VHS tapes. 

The middle of the documentary features the Italian Director and Crew trying to convince us that the movie is actually good and misunderstood. It also has Don Packard, who is the Drugstore Owner, who is legit crazy. Like shouldn’t be allowed children crazy. Considering he talks about how he wanted to legit murder Stephenson while filming Trolls 2. But it’s okay because everyone loves the movie now! Sweep that under the rug right quick.

I would say my other issue is that there is a large chunk of the movie comes across as a glorified advertisement for Alamo Drafthouse. I love me some Alamo but boy how did I not notice that the first time. It might be tied into that I didn’t get The Upright Citizens Brigade 15 years ago and I still don’t get them now.

My favorite part probably is George Hardy’s heel turn during the end of the movie as he gets burnt out on the Con scene, starts analyzing everyone’s teeth and is basically done with Troll 2. (It is hilariously contrived and it is impossible to take him seriously but you forgive him since he is just a loveable doofus.)

At no point does Best Worst Movie break new ground in the field of documentaries, in fact, you could say it is an unintentional sendup of Trekkies just as Troll 2 is a sendup of… umm… which ever Leprechaun started Hornswoggle.

* - I said at the time because looking at IMDB George Hardy has done a bunch of straight to DVD horror movies (at least I am guessing they are horror movies and straight to DVD. Fuck they could be porn) this past decade. Also most importantly, he apparently just finished work on some sort of Troll sequel called Under ConTROLL)

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3 minutes ago, RIPPA said:

I forgot to mention that Best Worst Movie is on Amazon Prime and Tubi

Troll 2 is on at least Tubi

Yep.  I believe that this is a true statement.   

I think that if you watch one of those movies, the other automatically pops up in you Recommended Viewing queue.

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THE CHANGELING (Medak, 1980)


(Not to be confused with the Angelina Jolie movie)

PICKED BY: @Execproducer

Everybody likes a ghost story, right? The Changeling may be tame by today's standards but it still ranks as a minor classic. Basically, George C. Scott is compelled by a very unhappy, house-haunting ghost child to solve a decades old mystery and to be said spirit's instrument of revenge.

REVIEWED BY: @Travis Sheldon

The Changelng (1980) is a Canadian film starring George C. Scott, Trish Van Devere, and Melvyn Douglas.

Scott portrays John Russell, a famous composer, who witnesses his wife and daughter perish in an auto accident while they are on vacation.  Months later Russell is trying to move on and gets a job teaching at university. He comes into contact with Claire Norman (Van Devere) who rents him a local mansion that is under control of the historical society that employs Norman. 

After moving in Russell starts experiencing unexplained phenomena. It quickly goes from him hearing extremely loud and pounding noises every morning to finding all the water taps having been turned on in the house. It's during the water tap incident that Russell has a vision of a child underneath the surface of the water. When leaving the house Russell is struck by pieces of glass from a upper story window that explodes. Russell goes upstairs to discover a secret room that had been closed off and hidden Russell goes to the historical society and tells Norman of the activity he has witnessed. After research they come to the conclusion that Russell is being haunted by the ghost of a girl that lived in the house. Russell decides to hold a seance to learn more.

During the seance, which Russell records, a medium attempts to speak to the spirit in the house. After a glass is smashed by the spirit, the seance ends. Russell listens to the seance audio to see if he can learn more, when he hears a voice that was unnoticed during the seance. The voice gives it's name as Joseph Carmichael, a boy that lived in the house in 1909 and was murdered there by his father. The weird thing is Carmichael is now grown and is a United States Senator and a contributor to the historical society. Russell surmises that Carmichael was actually swapped by his father with a orphan boy in Europe. Carmichael's father did the swap so as to retain control of the Carmichael estate.

Russell takes his newly found information to Norman and they eventually travel to a home that was owned by the mansions' former occupants. There they discover the skeletal remains of the real Joseph buried in the bottom of a well that had been filled in with dirt.

After everyone leaves Russell decides to keep digging into the bottom of the well and he finds the christening medal with the child's name engraved upon. He takes the medal to show it to Senator Carmichael (Douglas), but is turned away by the Senator's security. Carmichael sends a policeman to muscle Russell into giving him the medal, but Russell refuses. After leaving the mansion, the policeman has a fatal car wreck seemingly caused by Joseph. Russell is then invited by Senator Carmichael to come to his house. When Russell arrives and tells Carmichael of his suspicions, Carmichael is incensed and defends his father. Carmichael is convinced that Russell is out for money and asks him how much money he wants to keep quiet. Russell is offended by the offer of money and decides to give his evidence, the seance recording and the medal, to Carmichael and he leaves.

While Russell is at the Senator's house, Norman can't reach Russell on the phone and she decides to go to the mansion to find him. After she gets there, she hears noises coming from upstairs and goes up to find Russell. What she finds is Joseph's wheelchair and it starts to chase her down the hall. She eventually falls down the stairs and is saved by Russell.

Russell tells her to stay in the car while he goes back in to the house. He tries to go up to Joseph's room but Joseph is having none of that and knocks Russell off the 2nd floor to the ground. Meanwhile, Senator Carmichael has been entranced looking at a picture of his father. He drapes the medal over the picture of the senior Carmichael and is projected to the mansion where he goes up to Joseph's room and witnesses Joseph's murder by his father's hands. Russell sees Carmichael's spirit go up the stairs in the mansion, which by now is on fire Corman/Poe-style.

Russell and Norman leave the fire engulfed mansion and go to Carmichael's house where they see his body being loaded into an ambulance. The last shot is Joseph's wheelchair sitting amidst the charred remains of the mansion.

I remember seeing The Changeling back in the 80s on home video, but only remembered a few things about the film. It's a bit slow paced at times and there are no Universal Monsters, so young me didn't pay all that much attention. After watching the film with adult eyes, I now can appreciate it for the classic that it has become.

Scott gives a great peformance as John Russell and it is neat to see him play off with his real life wife, Trish Van Devere. The film has a plot that can be a bit farfetched, honestly which horror film doesn't, but it keeps you interested.

(Editor's Note: Can be found on archive.org - https://archive.org/details/TheChangeling1980ClassicGhostStoryHighQualityVersion_201811)

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2 hours ago, RIPPA said:

THE CHANGELING (Medak, 1980)

(Not to be confused with the Angelina Jolie movie)

Which was still pretty good and directed and scored by Clint Eastwood no less.

You'd have to work really hard to fuck up a J. Michael Straczynski script, though.

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It's a fairly somber film, and more of a drama than a horror film to me, but it's really good and the one great shock in it -- the wheelchair scene -- is utterly terrifying. I'd recommend to watch the film before reading that review but you should still enjoy it.

George C. Scott was always good at bringing levity to horror films. He did his best with Firestarter and absolutely anchored Exorcist III: Legion.

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ANNABELLE COMES HOME  (2019, Dauberman)


REVIEWED BY @Travis Sheldon

I'm not ashamed to admit that I am a fan of the Conjuring series. It pleases me that James Wan and company have made a shared horror universe that has encompassed 7 films, so far.

The first Annabelle (2014) movie was not that great to me. The second, Annabelle Creation (2017), was a great stride in the right direction, which was surprising to me since it was a prequel.

The plot of the film is simple: The Warren's, Ed and Lorraine (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga), get a babysitter for their daughter, Judy (Mckenna Grace from The Haunting Of Hill House), so they can go out of town to investigate another case. The babysitter's friend, Daniela (Katie Sarife), crashes the scene and goes into the Warren's locked museum and conjures, see what I did there, spirits causing a night of mayhem. Okay, conjures was the wrong word, but I really wanted to get that bit in there. She actually release Annabelle who serves as a conduit for the evil spirits trapped in the basement. 

I would not be surprised if a couple of the aforementioned spirits get their own spin-off films like The Curse of LaLlarona.

Annabelle Comes Home is a fun popcorn flick. And the popcorn I recommend is Jolly Time - Simply Butter & Sea Salt. #notsponsored

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THE FOG (Carpenter, 1980)



(Curt wanted me to include a spoiler warning for a 40 year old movie so here ya go)

Hot take: The Fog is John Carpenter's best film. 

Well, okay, it isn't. But it's my favorite John Carpenter film. It's also a horror film good enough to put up against any other horror film you can probably name and say it is as good as or better, or slightly not as good but still close to the quality of. It works as a slasher film, a ghost story, and (to a lesser extent) a murder mystery as well. There aren't too many films that you can say do that much less try to. 

We start with an absolutely stellar campfire story told by John Houseman to a group of youngsters. It's about the fate of a boat that crashed on the rocks a hundred years ago to the day where they're located, in Antonio Bay, California. Between Houseman's perfect telling, the ambiance of the setting, and the slowly emerging score from Carpenter, we are already deep into getting the willies. This increases as we see a series of shots of the silent, dead town having things start going wrong as soon as the clock strikes midnight. Clocks go batshit, gas pumps fly off their handles and start leaking, windows break for no reason. We witness everything going off-kilter to silence. It's a masterful piece of work that seems like vandalism being perpetrated by unseen forces. 

We get introduced to our leads -- and victims. Jamie Lee Curtis plays a hitchhiker picked up by Tom Atkins, her real-life mom Janet Leigh plays the town busybody readying things for Antonio Bay's 100th anniversary, Hal Holbrook is the drunk local priest, and Adrienne Barbeau (or "Big Boobs Barbeau" as my folks nicknamed her) is the DJ at the local radio station that plays smooth jazz and gives weather updates to the local sailors from her lighthouse. A boat full of those sailors is surrounded by a thick fog out of nowhere and attacked by unknown figures who slice and dice the crew. We learn bit by bit that the fog contains the victims of the boat crash from a century ago, who have returned as ghosts to gain revenge on the surviving descendants of the original Antonio Bay settlers, who sabotaged their voyage all those years ago. 

All of this moves like clockwork. Carpenter packs the film with atmosphere, a modicum of gore, some nice kills, suspense, surprising revelations, jump scares, and an awesome final twist. All the leads are perfect at selling the surprise and then panic of their situations, regular people forced into a situation beyond their control that seems to have them by the balls. Hal Holbrook steals the show as the priest who discovers the truth behind it all buried in the walls of his church. His reading of his ancestor's diary to the group, and to us, is one of the greatest pieces of acting in horror, a series of moments cut back to that build the tension into a final revelation that gives the film such weight and power. It elevates a simple ghost story with slashers in the fog into something sublime. 

So, John Carpenter may have scored, written, produced, and directed greater horror films; specifically Halloween and The Thing. But for my money, The Fog is the total package. It still casts a spell over me to this day. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/10/2019 at 3:20 PM, Curt McGirt said:

I found those books surprisingly fast. It's the Crestwood House Monster series. 



I can probably draw my obsession with retrospective books on film and music back to these. 

Shame that Repulsion isn't on the list because it's about ten times scarier than Rosemary's Baby (which is practically a comedy IMO) and The Tenant.

My school library had those Crestwood House books. I always wanted a set but the price was too high. Then a few years ago I was at my local library and saw one I had never seen before.



Yep there is a early 90s Crestwood House horror book. THat is loaded with gory pics. Can't find much info about this online. 

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