Sunday, October 4, 2015

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood: Let's Go to the Crayon Factory!

For many people out there--a 'swinging' Friday night is made up of dinner, drinks, dancing and debauchery. For my sister and I a 'swinging' Friday night consisted of Wendys, drinking a bottle of wine, dancing to Stevie Wonder in my living room and then watching Mr Rogers Neighborhood. Honestly, I don't see why people leave their houses to have magical journey's when the land of make believe is only a few clicks away from your computer. ESPECIALLY, when you spend the better part of your lives reminiscing about the crayon factory and then realize that the ability to be transported back to the magic of the crayon factory can be possible in only a few seconds.

Here is what my sister and I looked like when the crayon factory segment began playing.

More on that experience later. First we had to sit through Mr Roger's awkward assembly of  a weird chair and then were treated to this very strange scene. 

Which now that I think about it was probably the 2nd best thing to happen to me all week. The best thing to happen to me though, was getting to see the crayon factory once again after all those years of thinking about it. 

It was more wonderful than I imagined. 

Why does this episode continue to be so magical to so many of us?

Although let's be honest. I could do without the white crayons am I right? Useless.

So anyways our Friday night was magical was then ruined by our trip into the land of make believe, where I discovered that puppets still make me very uneasy.

I immediately sank back into the couch and took hold of a pillow for comfort. Why why why?! 
The puppet hands! The puppet hands!?!?!

And then the most awful thing in the entire world happen. 

Lady Elaine.

I just can't understand it. Who in the hell decided this was an acceptable puppet for children to lay eyes on? No one in the planning meeting was like oh wait--this might cause many children to suffer terrifying nightmares of revulsion for years to come? 

Come on!

Was Fred an overtly kind man on the outside but on the inside a meanie who couldn't give two fucks about children's well being?!!?

OK you're right that was mean. Mister Rogers was the best. Lady Elaine was obviously the brain child of someone far more sinister. I won't name any names but.....

I think it's pretty obvious.

Monday, September 14, 2015

20 Questions: The Monster Squad

I will preface this post by saying that I love The Monster Squad more than most things in life. It was the first horror movie I can remember wanting to watch when I was little. Every time my Dad took me to the video store, I would demand that we get it. The only problem was I could never remember what it was called. In my defense I was young and seemed to only catch it playing on TV. I'm also not entirely sure I could read at that time so cut me slack alright? Anyways. My Dad would always go up to the nerdy kid at the checkout counter and describe parts of the movie, to which the nerdy kid would say, "Oh. The Monster Squad". After a few instances of this I vaguely remember the nerdy kid writing the title down on a sticky note so we wouldn't forget. You know what would be awesome? If I still had that sticky note today. Well too bad because I don't and I probably made that up anyways after all my endless dreams about the Wolfman and his nards. So deal with it.

Despite professing all my love to this movie, I do want to clarify that about 3 things make sense in this movie. The rest leaves me scratching my head in wonder. Which is why I am going to unmask all the things that do NOT make sense at all and then we can all laugh about it and get drunk and go back to loving it. But honestly, if I could award a 'what the fuck moment' to an entire movie---other than Hellraiser 2, it would have to be this one.

1. Why is a World War II bomber carrying the dead body of Frankenstein's Monster?

 This is probably obvious to you all but for me I always find myself scratching my head here because
 a. Why are they using a World War II bomber in the first place and
b. who found Frankenstein's monsters body and arranged for it to fly to whatever town this takes place in?

Oh, it was Dracula? Well he is just one resourceful mother fucker isn't he? I still find it highly suspect that the World War II bomber was the appropriate choice of aircraft to undertake such a task. I know this movie is all about not questioning the silliness, but so much in this is just like what a 10 year old kid would do to solve the things that don't make sense right? Nothing wrong with that of course but the World War II bomber is just the breaking of the seal on this idea really.

2. Well that's lucky!

Ok so Frank's coffin plummets to the earth and then just HAPPENS to land not just in the exact town where the coveted amulet is BUT also where The Monster Squad holds their meetings?!

Dracula is also one lucky motherfucker. Or are you telling me he planned to be caught by the pilot as he was gently caressing Frank's coffin and then used his weird psyhic powers so that the pilot would open the floor hatch as soon as they were flying over Anytown (but probably California) USA?

3. But seriously where is this? 

Thanks to that shot of Dracula standing on a hill top and gazing down at the town below, I always assumed this was California. But this place is also very swampy.

Is California swampy? There are definitely giant boa constrictors hanging out in trees? Plus swamp creature (Bonus trivia fact he is credited in the movie as 'Gillman") lives in the swamp. Please someone tell me where we are here. At times the Monster Squads clubhouse feels like it's just hanging out in the middle of a swamp but then later when Dracula gets pissed off and drives his ghost hearse into Sean's yard, he just walks in the backyard and find the clubhouse. Is this the Dagobah system?


4. Why are they friends with Eugene?

Am I wrong in thinking that Eugene is probably like 1 year older than Phoebe, yet was somehow deemed cool enough to be let into the Monster Squad? Let's look at the facts. Eugene can barely speak in coherent sentences, still needs his Dad to get rid of the 'monsters' hanging out in his bedroom and also does not know how to ride a bike.

Yup, Monster Squad material all the way.

5. The Ghost Hearse

We know Dracula is resourceful, but is he resourceful enough to procure a spooky as fuck looking ghost black hearse with a SKELETON hood the time span of roughly 2 hours? At first I liked to imagine that Dracula went to the used hearse lot and then bought a skeleton hood ornament and painstakingly screwed it on but THEN I remembered that the hearse is actually a GHOST HEARSE. What the hell? How does Dracula do these things?!?!

6. Who bit Uncle Rico?

We all know one doesn't just wake up one day and become a werewolf. And even though I'll admit that Dracula may be powerful enough to procure usage of old artifacts and weird ghost cars on a moments notice, I just really don't think he'd have the power to just turn someone into a werewolf. So this has to mean that a werewolf bit Uncle Rico right? So what happened to that werewolf? And why couldn't Dracula use that werewolf instead?!

7. The Mummy

I have so many issues with The Mummy that I don't think I'll be able to cover it all in one post. More on that later. Seriously though how lucky (again!) is Dracula that the mysterious amulet just happens to reside in a town where they just happen to have a 200 year old Mummy on display? And actually now that I think about it, 200 years is hardly old enough to be a legit Egyptian Mummy. Who is this mummy? Is it George Washington?

8. Why is the Mummy hiding in Eugene's closet?

OK it's later. Maybe the Mummy was given some crazy psychic power like Dracula which gave him the ability to find out who this group of 'kids' were that have the diary. Maybe I guess. But then why did none of the other monsters make contact with the other kids? Why out of all the kids in that town, does the Mummy choose Eugene's closet to hide in? What is he doing in there? Doesn't he have more important things to do?

9.  But how did he know?!!?

How did Dracula find out that Sean had Van Helsing's diary?! Did he go looking for it and find out that some batty old lady found it in an old house and then sold it at a yardsale? Did he then ask the batty old lady who she sold it to? I NEED TO KNOW. Had Dracula been combing the world for all traces of the amulet for the past 100 years????

10. Use your powers?

OK so up to this point we've discovered that Dracula has some pretty impressive powers, none of which make sense or I actually believe in--however......if you're skilled enough to track down where the amulet has been hidden, and Frankenstein's monster AND obtain a ghost hearse I'm sure you have better ways of trying to get the diary back then by calling the kid who has it and leaving a message with his mother. Oh look here's a page from Dracula's planning journal:


A. Call Sean
B. Call Sean again and leave a message (disguise name)

uhhhh OK. It's kind of similar to trying to figure out why Dracula just punches people who get in his way. I're Dracula.

11. Van Helsing is a well traveled man.

Apparently, Van Helsing was so desperate to keep Dracula from ever discovering the amulet that he traveled to the far reaches of.... California? To hide the amulet in some crumbling old mansion? That is devotion. Keeping in mind it's 1870-1890 ish and traveling ain't easy. But don't worry because luckily it's the same swampy town that has a 200 year old Mummy on display in the Egyptian section of the museum.

12. Where are these girls from?

and why are they wearing school uniforms from the 1890s?


Me again back to discuss the stupidity of the Mummy.  HE'S THE WORST MONSTER IN THE WORLD. He moves at a snails pace and unravels at the slightest pull of his bandages. What does he do if he somehow manages to catch up to you? Breathe on you?

14. He's gonna kill your son....!!

How does the  Uncle Rico know that Dracula plans to kill Sean? Better question. How does the Wolfman know that Sean's father is the lead cop investigating all the strange happenings AND is the cop that just so happened to answer the phone at the police station? Or did he call Sean's dad directly? How does he know his name and his number? Why do the monsters know everything and we know nothing? It ain't right.

15. Of course Wolfman has nards!

Kudos to my old pal Bryan White for reminding me of this question as well. Even though it's the movie's most famous line---it also makes little sense. Let's look at the facts. Wolfman is part wolf part man---a Werewolf but not a werewolf on all fours kind of beast (which actually would also have nards) a walking on two legs Wolfman. He wears PANTS! He obviously has nards.

16. Ghost Hearse/Solid Hearse make up your mind

So when Dracula throws a hissy fit about Sean getting the amulet. He drives his raging ghost hearse through town but not before almost 'hitting' Sean's dad and his partner. However, the ghost hearse goes right through them...because it's a ghost hearse. BUT then.......he drives right to Sean's house (again how does he know where Sean lives?) and crashes through the front yard wrecking the nice white picket fence. Is this like in Ghost where when you get really angry you can kick old sneakers and shit?

Oh okay.

17. Dynamite? 

And while we're on the subject. Why can't Dracula use his arsenal of crazy weird superpowers to blow up the clubhouse? Not long after this he exhibits his special talent at becoming electrified

and shooting little balls of light at old men to knock them off their feet. I'm sure in him somewhere is the power to obliterate a few pieces of wood hanging in a tree. But nope, nope, dynamite. Dynamite is the answer.

18. Is this a School night?

Remember how the crucial point of the amulet is that it's midnight when limbo opens up? OK. Well how come when they decide they need to go to a place with a lot of people they suggest the church? Do you know a lot of people at church at midnight? Me neither. Better question, why is E.J. and his friend hanging out at midnight in a comic book store that is still open?

19. Frank can power walk?
When we last see Frank he is crushed under pieces of  the wall at the old mansion. After that, the kids hitch a ride in Scary German guys cool jeep and gun it into town. So from this we can deduce that the distance from the old mansion to the center of town is fairly far. Far enough to where Frank would not have been able to catch up walking on his giant shoes going maybe 2 miles faster than The Mummy was able to. Did he hail a taxi cab? How did he get there so fast??

20. Why do you not die?

Apparently normal laws of Vampires do not apply to Dracula. I don't know why I'm surprised anymore--the man has the power to do whatever he wants. So obviously after being impaled by the spike on the Church fence, he was able to pull himself out and then attack Sean one last time in the hopes of being victorious.

Phew I did it. 20 questions. To be honest I really thought I'd be able to come up with 10 but apparently I just got on a roll.

OK listen. The Monster Squad rocks. I know that the answers to these questions are not important and that you need to suspend your disbelief and it's just a fun movie and blah blah blah. It's just that sometimes it's fun to list out all the ridiculous right? What do you think? Any burning questions that I left out?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

We Are What We Are: Fatty and Not Very Delicious

I am on a roll with watching movies that I meant to watch like a year ago. Looks like I'm putting laziness to bed suckers...... until my next wave of laziness.. mwahaha.

Anyways. Out of all the movies that have come out recently, We Are What We Are has been at the top of my must see list. I figured it was one of those movies that I would appreciate--probably filled with enough artistry to keep me satisfied and then also some great performances and horrific subject matter to boot. It was also about cannibalism which I find to be one of those sub-genres that people think are 'cool' but then they get a whiff of a really powerful cannibalism film that isn't terrible and is like you know... terrifying and they suddenly remember that they prefer the lackadaisical style of cheesy slasher films and/or horror movies structured around the presence of some boobs.

Cannibalism does not mess around. And We Are What We Are definitely does NOT mess around. So much so that I still find myself playing the ending scene over and over in my head and then dying a little bit on the inside. It's plaguing me with its horror. THE HORROR.

The film centers around a family of -'unspecified' religious nut bags. Or maybe they did specify it and I was too busy trying to not be fooled again that Senor Esteban Vihaio is not really Mexican. But actually no, I think it's supposed to be unspecified because that makes it more terrifying. So yeah. Religious nut bag father, his two daughters and son try to cope with life after the untimely and suspicious death of the matriarch. As the film progresses we slowly start to be let in on their little 'secret' and fall prey to the horrors that come with knowing about it.

I wasn't entirely sure this was about cannibalism until about an hour or so into the film. It's set up in such a way that the audience has to do a little detective work on their own. We aren't given an open book look into the family and their private lives. We are there with them yes, but it's like we have to get to know them first before being let in on the secret. That basically rocks because it allows us to really absorb the characterization of the family before becoming completely disgusted and upset about that they do.

It's important for instance to understand and to know the daughters. Their lives are controlled by their father and their family's longstanding traditions but when we meet them, we start to see things that things are unraveling for them. Now that their mother is gone and the oldest daughter must assume the main responsibilities, they are finding it hard to swallow. Pun INTENDED.

Truly, I felt very moved by the entirety of the film. But nothing was more terrifying than watching that ending scene. I like to think that I have a fairly strong stomach but watching that was....difficult. It was also disturbing just because of what it suggests. The implications of their actions (and what they chose to take with them when they leave), is almost more disturbing than everything else.

I'm also in love with the cannibal sickness---Kuru. I had remembered this from an X-files episode and was thrilled to see its name pop up again. The realization that the family has been doing this for centuries and then connecting the apparent 'symptoms' with the mother's death at the beginning was a moment of pure genius.

Alright well I came here armed to talk about stuff and wax poetic on We Are What We Are but I'm failing. Let me just say that I loved this (well like loved it like giving someone an imaginary hug love because really I am a little terrified of what actual contact would bring you know?). It really makes you think and appreciate the fact that there are things out there more terrifying than monsters and serial killers. There are traditions. And religion. And internal prisons.'s scary out there.