Thursday, February 4, 2016

UMM TEEN WITCH YOU GUYS



I'll have you know that nothing is better than Teen Witch. I know this because:

A. Its soundtrack predominately features a Jazz Saxophone.
B.  Its musical numbers are topped by nothing in existence (see what I did there?)
C. It's an 80s explosion of endless, nonstop awesomeness in your face over and over and over again.
D. BRAD
E. Shut up I'm always right about everything except when I thought 'too much cheese' wasn't a thing.

Teen Witch is one of those movies that makes me feel instantly better about myself, my non-existent love life and the fact that I didn't have a gross little brother who ate cake under my bed while I was sleeping.


And then got his gross cake fingers stuck to my love letters about Brad.




There's just so much to love. But since we're all busy and stuff here are just 5 key things.

1. Fashion.

Nothing says 'these characters are nerds' more than the early fashion sense of Louise and Polly.

The hobo biker look is in you guys. I swear. 

2. Rap Posse

Like most high schools---this one has an official Rap group compromised of white guys wearing their grandfather's old coats. We are still unsure of whether these are original rap numbers or if they are just lip syncing.


3. Musical numbers

God I miss the days of dancing around in my purple leotard in the locker room.



I also love when they awkwardly stick the actresses who can't dance into these group dance scenes.

\"What? You say you can't dance? OK well just stand on the side and hop around a bit, no one will notice!"



Hey guys, what do you feel like doing today?
Oh, I don't know let's stand outside my car and rap. Good thing none of you can top my tank top that accidentally shrunk in the dryer. Oh wait...that vest is KILLING IT. 




4. Mr. Weaver






Things I love about the Mr. Weaver scenes:
--No other teachers seem to think it's alarming that a pervert, asshole possible 2nd coming of the devil and/or Hitler is teaching these kids English.
--Louise somehow uses her witch powers to know not only what exact clothes Mr. Weaver would be wearing in class but also the color of his underwear.
--Speaking of which. No one seems to notice Louise is disrobing a doll in the classroom.                        

--Why does the class think their perverted, asshole teacher stripping his clothes off is funny? Why aren't people horrified and crying?

                           

"HAH I'M GOING TO SEE OLD MAN BALLS. BEST DAY EVER"

5. BRAD

Rejected photo from Tiger Beat  shoot circa 1988

Oh wait no that was this one--editors deemed it too sexy for the centerfold. Jokes on them--I already blew this photo up and taped it to my ceiling.




Sigh.


Sunday, December 6, 2015

Goodnight Mommy: Nevermind, I Don't Want Kids Anymore.



Goodnight Mommy has been recommended to me by at least 2 people. Of those 2 people, 1 is famous and the other one I've never met in person. Those of you bad at math this equals= must see in my book. But honestly, I'm just really looking for a good movie you know? Unfortunately, I could only watch Goodnight Mommy on Amazon which means I can't take fun screenshots which is a shame because I had some really good ones in mind---and also this post probably won't be as funny now without them. Poo.

Goodnight Mommy is an Austrian 'Psychological Thriller' which in layman's terms means that the movie is not what you think it is about and also probably there is a twist. It's important to know what these genre tags really mean you know. SO, the movie is about twin boys who live in a secluded Austrian arty house and who get into shenanigans on a daily basis. One day their mother returns having just had plastic surgery and to them she seems different. Soon their suspicions escalate into dangerous and terrifying territories.




First of all---the BEST thing about this movie is how it brings me back to Eyes Without a Face.




There is nothing better and I repeat NOTHING BETTER than a creepy bandage mask that distorts an actor or actress' face. There is something so simplistically creepy about this that makes my insides squirm with excitement. I love it because it's not some otherworldly mask or some ingenious special makeup effect. It's bandages.



Second of all---I love me some psychological horror. Unfortunately this means that I can guess 'twists' within seconds of watching a movie and then I spend the whole movie checking off points in my theory that continue to be correct. Good news I won. The thing is though--knowing the twist right away doesn't ruin the movie. What happens as the movie progresses is terrifying whether you know the twist or not.



Also notable here is how our loyalties change throughout. In the beginning part of the film, we are made to be on the boys' side. 'Playing along' so to speak and questioning at least on some level that their suspicions may have some truth to them after all. But the really great part of this is that even if we trust their suspicions at least to some extent---what ends up happening is so off-putting and horrifying that we come away being on the mother's side by the end. Actually, maybe we are never meant to be on the side of the boys. I mean......little boys that fill an entire fish tank with cockroaches are no friend of mine OK? What the fuck.



Here are some other thoughts about this movie.

Gross. 

I continue to be amazed at how good foreign movies are at gore. This is not gore as we know it-- this is gore done with a steady hand that knows exactly what will make you cringe without being too over the top. There is a scene here involving superglue and scissors that made me climb out of my skin and cower in the corner, weeping. I still get the heebie jeebies  thinking about it.


The Red Cross

I don't know how they do things over in Austria, but if solicitors come a knocking and you don't answer apparently they just fucking come in? What the hell. If you can't pretend that you aren't home when the Jehovah's Witnesses come---what safety is left in this world? Ooh....that might just be a fantastic idea for a horror movie. Don't steal it.

Cat

Yes there is a cat in this and yes it ends up dead.


Holy Shit Balls

By the end, this movie becomes so unsettling that it's difficult to digest all at once. It kind of sadly reminded me of that movie where the kids lock their parents in the basement so that they won't get a divorce...what was that called..,OH yeah House Arrest.



What a shitty movie. The entire time you are thinking---'Well, I guess they can never let their parents out because then their parents will probably kill them'. And also, 'Wow this movie really sucks.' The same is true (except for the shitty part) of Goodnight Mommy in that at one point you determine that the boys have definitely gone too far and when that happens you come to the horrific realization that there is no turning back.


Overall, I was mostly impressed with Goodnight Mommy. It's very quiet in how it delivers its horror and it kind of sneaks up on you. You really need to stay with it I think in order to become affected here. It's the building up of the madness that really seals the deal. Sure, I came away with a few questions but they weren't deal breakers. Knowing more about certain aspects of the film won't make it any more or less great and that is important to note. It has some superb shots happening and I find overall that it's very understated in its attack but dang, does it sneak up on you in the end.

Feel free to discuss fun spoilery stuff in the comments!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Taking of Deborah Logan: Your Inspiration is Showing



I'm not 100% certain, but I think that there's been a lot of talk about The Taking of Deborah Logan. Probably good talk but then again I find it difficult to keep up with these things while trying to remain vigilant about watching Teen Mom 2 so who knows. What I do know is what I think about it and what I think is well.....I don't know--- let's talk it out.


The Taking of Deborah Logan is essentially a student film about an Alzheimer's patient named Deborah Logan. When we first meet Deborah and her daughter Sarah, things haven't gone completely south yet.



Soon, her condition worsens and eventually we come to the conclusion that this is probably more than just Alzheimer's. It's probably the devil.





OK, Deborah Logan gets major points for not just being an exorcism movie. Instead of relying on the expected exorcism tropes it does take the movie to several new and unexplored places....well places that haven't all been combined into one film at least. What I mean by that is that The Taking of Deborah Logan seems to make a list of all the films that have scared us over the past few decades or so and then used the high points of said films to its advantage. Let's do a quick recap of 'inspirations'

The Exorcist III 
--The concept of mentally ill elderly people being possessed was never more fantastic than it was in the Exorcist III. Old ladies crawling on the ceiling is something we as horror viewers will never forget--but also the concept of the elderly and more importantly the elderly suffering from Dementia or Alzheimer's being sound passageways for demons and their shenanigans is brilliant. So although I applaud Deborah Logan for recognizing that--I don't find the film's overall concept too groundbreaking. Also not enough old ladies walking on ceilings.



Paranormal Activity
When I first began watching, I was pleased to see that the video taping was A. explained and B. not accented by loud amplified sounds and lame night vision cameras. However, then the cameraman begins installing motion capture cameras in the house which immediately made my excitement fizzle. These cameras are installed way before there's any inkling that something nefarious is afoot, so their early presence makes you question their necessity. Also, it immediately brings us back to the Paranormal Activity hey-day of night vision scenes and replaying moments that we already saw so that we can hear the characters in the film discuss how crazy it is that it happened. Hey, at least Micah Sloat was not in this.



The Blair Witch Project
Old town legends, creepy old cabins/mines in the woods, disappearing children....you wouldn't immediately think of Deborah Logan having all these tropes (especially because it's supposed to be a documentary about Alzheimer's. But lo and behold, there they are. And then it's not too long before we see  our main characters running in the woods while holding their camera and being scared or people's backs being used at ultimate moments of terror.



The Descent
When I saw Sarah start crawling through the claustrophobic mine opening, I had a feeling we'd be seeing some Descent nods.. And here we do---quick startling glimpses not of cave dwellers but of Deborah Logan looking very scary is enough for me to remember how great The Descent is.

Sure, there are probably more I'm missing, but these stuck out to me the most. It's not that I feel like Deborah Logan stole these scare tactics but more of a feeling that I wish it would have made some scare tactics on its own. The film tries to bring some of its own special brand of scares but by the time we get to that point--it has all suddenly become too ridiculous to swallow. Pun intended....mwahaha.



Look---it has its strong points but unfortunately all those strong points owe their strengths to better, more well done movies. Also, I wish it hadn't relied on the jump scares noises...! I was so excited that we'd be missing those, since it's you know....a documentary and everything but nope, there they were. I felt actually a lot like I did when I saw Paranormal Activity---that the real 'scares' are the noises and that those noises really only work if blasted into your ears at the movie theater. Yes, there are some gross moments of skin trauma, some fun spewing of earthworms, and some naked switchboard action but overall I think the film suffers from just wanting to do and BE too many things.

Oh and serious serious bonus points for casting Anne Ramsay aka Helen Haley ('Has anyone seen my new red hat? Oh, piss on your hat) from A League of Their Own. She is fantastic.