27 August 2013

Final Girl Film Club: Bay of Blood (aka Twitch of the Death Nerve) 1971

I was so excited that this month's Final Girl Film Club selection provided me with a reason to unearth my Bava box sets!  Alas, as happens more often than not, I was all preparation and no follow-through when the deadline arrived, but I'll share below some comments I found about the inspiration this film had on the Friday the 13th series that I found in Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th.

Sean Cunningham, executive producer, Friday the 13th:

Victor Miller, screenwriter, Friday the 13th:

Friday the 13th: Part 2

Ron Kurz, screenwriter, Friday the 13th Part 2

Also, an excellent explanation of the plot, from The Mario Bava Web Page.

23 July 2011

You could spend ALL your money in there...

I just stumbled upon something unbelievable.  Just like Takashi Miike in Hostel, I could spend ALL my money in here at $5 a pop.  Some of these can't be legal.   

This poor guy has over 300 orders waiting.  Mine is expected in 29 days (August 21, 2011).  He's going to be exhausted.

20 July 2011

Fear Itself (2008)

Lookie who I found today...

Mouse Ears in a cop uniform!

Apparently NBC premiered a horror anthology show right before covering the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, then never brought it back from hiatus.  Whuuuut?  Typically I hear about new network programs about three years after they've been cancelled (like Defying Gravity, which would probably do great right now with the ending of the space shuttle program).  The 13 episodes of Fear Itself are currently on Netflix Instant Watch.  You can find more information about the directors of the episodes on the FEARnet page.

Now for all I know, Lizzy Moss may only be in three minutes of this first episode.  I've only watched through the opening sequence. 

The song used is what led me to discovering this show.  I found it mentioned in the comments of the video for Serj Tankian's Lie Lie Lie.

While we're waiting for Mad Men to return, you can also see Lizzy Moss in the horror flick The Attic directed by Mary Lambert (Pet Sematary). 

I sometimes confuse Mary Lambert's name with Mary Harron (American Psycho) who just happens to have directed the third episode of Fear Itself, "Community" !

Final Girl Film Club: Fritt Vilt (Cold Prey) and Nordic/Scandinavian Movies

The return of the Final Girl Film Club!

The idea of a sequel to The Shining is pretty amazing, and after the idea of that, anything is bound to fall short.   I found Cold Prey pretty decent, but lacking some needed punch. I was much more thrilled by Dead Snow.  My review will be delayed a few days for reasons detailed below.

Ingrid Bolsø Berdal (Jannicke) is in an upcoming German movie called Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters with Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Famke Janssen (and witch Zoe Bell!) directed by Tommy Wirkola (Dead Snow) so I will be on the look-out for that for sure!

But!  This reminds me that I am looking forward to seeing the Finnish Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale.  I now regret missing out when it was at the Alamo Drafthouse here in Austin last December.  Hopefully I haven't missed my only chance.

And whatever happened to the Icelandic Unholy Night?  I still haven't seen the 10 minute short, but from the looks of the trailer I was hoping it would have been made into a full-length feature by now.  Perhaps, if I am a very good girl, Santa will magically bring me a Christmas miracle this December!

So, two days before the due date, I sat down to watch Cold Prey and found NetFlix had yanked it from their Instant Watch.  I rented it on Amazon, but was disappointed to realize it was dubbed in English. I ordered a used DVD so I could see it in the original Norwegian with English subtitles.  I looked into ordering the sequel Cold Prey 2 and the prequel Cold Prey 3, but at this time there are no Region 1 releases.

Of course, this has been an issue since I started this blog.  Many titles are unavailable to me, both foreign and out-of-print.  I've bought several 80s VHS tapes that were unplayable. I've seen bootleg DVDs offered for sale online and tried one so I could see a made-for-tv movie my grandmother had taped off of PBS when I was a child (The Great American Fourth of July and Other Disasters).  I've shelled out big bucks for out-of-print DVDs that a few years later got a rerelease (Madman).  I've looked into getting a region-free DVD player, but even with one there seems to be a lot of compatibility issues.  I've been resisting using torrents for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that it seems difficult with less popular titles.  My internet provider recently announced its 65 megabits per second service, but I am wary of getting service suspended, or getting viruses/malware.  I see lots of download membership sites I'm really skeptical of.  I feel like I'm the only one not using them.  How are YOU working around this problem?  Please comment (anonymously if you wish!)

I'd really like to see Cold Prey 2.  This girl behind Jannicke looks adorable and I love the actress' name, Marthe Snorresdotter Rovik!  The prequel Cold Prey 3 looks really great (especially the posters) but the reviews don't look as promising.  Can anyone help me figure out HOW to safely see these?

I've enjoyed recent Nordic/Scandinavian movies I've seen: Trollhunter, Dead Snow, Let The Right One In,  Kitchen Stories, and the Finnish Joulutarina (Christmas Story).   I poked around NetFlix Instant Watch to see what else was offered from Film Movement. I was so dissapointed to find Monstertorsdag (Monster Thursday) is a SURFING film!  I think I will give Troubled Water a try.

13 May 2011

It's Friday, FRIDAY

Murderin', murderin', arrrrrrrgh!

28 January 2010

There's Always Room For Giallo

Jell-O introduced that slogan in 1964, and I love that pun, because like Jell-O, giallo has a reputation for being brightly colored, and not very substantial.

However, not all giallo is in color - author Tim Lucas, who has provided commentary on the Bava #1 box set I'm starting with, tells us that La Ragazza Che Sapeva Troppo or The Girl Who Knew Too Much is generally regarded as the first giallo film, in black & white. This makes it my choice to kick off this year's exploration into the world of giallo.

This trailer is so dee-luscious, I'm reluctant to watch the actual movie. I don't see how it could possibly be as awesome as this trailer makes it look.

Review to follow at my leisure.

27 January 2010

Cinema Italiano

I feared it might never happen for me, but I've gone and managed to finally come down with a raging case of giallo fever! Several outside forces over the past few years have now conflagrated to bring me to this point.

Since being diagnosed with the pandemic Mad Men Madness over two years ago, I've been ravenous for early Sixties culture (it's "feed a fever", right?) - reviewing the history, reading the books and watching the movies referenced in every episode. If you've been following along, you'll know that Season 3 concluded at the end of 1963.

Until I can find a photo of Roger riding Mirabelle like a horse,
this photo of Betty & Don in Roma will have to stand in...

One of the many classic films this incited me to finally get around to was Fellini's La Dolce Vita (1960) referenced in Mad Men episode #110, The Long Weekend. I followed it up with his 8 1/2 (1963) to have it under my belt before the musical remake Nine arrived in theaters.

Fortunately, my mom needed a ride to the airport last week, giving me the perfect last-minute excuse to see Nine on the ginormous screen at the state-of-the-art Muvico Rosemont, the first theater in the United States with all Sony 4K high-def digital projectors. (They're hosting After Dark Horrorfest 4 starting this weekend.) You could physically feel the bass line in this video. It was just fan-damn-tastic!

I've been doing the pony through the house all week!

The lyrics of "Cinema Italiano" really have me in the mood to watch more actual Italian cinema. At one point in the movie, someone tells the main character, fictional director Guido Contini, that the only notion many Americans have of Italy is what he has shown them in his films. That brought to mind, for me, Anthony Minghella's The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999). When I read that Mario Bava was born in San Remo, my image of that town comes only from my many viewings of The Talented Mr. Ripley, which I find enchanting, and bordering on the horror genre. While it's a film set in Italy, by a director with an Italian surname, it's not actually an Italian film. Anthony Minghella also wrote the screenplay for Nine. I find the lyrics of "Be Italian" really interesting, as Sophia Loren might just be the single solitary Italian cast member. Surely there were some other actual Italians in there somewhere. By the way, I'd like to know, just who makes up the brain trust that decided The Hangover and Nine should be in the same Golden Globes category?

Leading up to seeing Nine, coincidentally all month long I'd been preparing for the Final Girl Film Club selection due this week, Mario Bava's Black Sabbath also from 1963! Stacie has carefully laid the groundwork by gently and inconspicuously writing me a prescription for Italian horror at the beginning of each year: Dario Argento's Suspiria early in 2008 and Lucio Fulci's The Beyond early in 2009. She's now taken a solemn vow to review 10 Italian horror movies in 2010.

Ever since seeing Hostel and its sequel (both of which I adore), I've been looking forward to seeing all of the Italian horror movies Eli Roth cited as influences. I remember making a mental note at the time to add Torso, Cannibal Holocaust, Night Train Murders, and Bava's Twitch of the Death Nerve to my queue.

Finally, I've had a particular interest in getting familiar with Italian cinema eventually because, although two of my great-grandparents were native Sicilians, from a small village just like The Godfather, just about zero culture has been passed down to me! No cooking, or language, or anything whatsoever. Shameful, isn't it?

My great-grandparents, who immigrated to Chicago from Sicily

Now that my appetite has been whetted, I plan to watch many, and review several, Italian horror films this year. (After all, Mad Men doesn't return until August!)

Get down with the sickness!

14 January 2010


By the way, there's still time to head to the snack bar for refreshments!

10 September 2009

Blair Witch kitteh iz SO sorrie!

Blair Witch kitteh

28 August 2009

Rob Zombie's H2

Just returned from seeing H2 and was pleasantly surprised. I'll just be posting some quick notes tonight - if I attempt to do a proper review it just won't get done. I don't want to say too much for those on the fence about seeing this one- I'll put anything TOO spoilerish in white text and you can select it with your mouse to reveal the words if you want to read those parts. Perhaps you'd rather wait until after you see the movie.

The trailers discouraged rather than encouraged me to see this first-run, but I gave it a chance anyway, and I'm so glad I did!

Things I Like About H2

1) Rob Zombie added an original element by depicting Michael's psychotic headspace and motivation. I appreciated that he brought a new perspective while still leaving mystery by not explaining it away too much. (I haven't looked at any reviews yet, but I can just imagine that those that hated the backstory in H1 will be hating this as well, and dismissing it as just a conceit enabling him to (spoiler: put his wife in the film again.) I agree with those that feel that in the original Halloween (1978) knowing very little about Michael contributed greatly to its success, but ten movies in, I say the new angle is welcome. It's creepy and weird, and makes it fresh.

2) The whole Dr. Loomis storyline was an excellent way to modernize the story and make it timely. It made for a great reveal (spoiler: Laurie finds out she is Michael's sister by reading it in Loomis' exploitative tell-all book for which he abandoned Michael's treatment to write) and taking the character's pomposity to new heights (spoiler: turned the audience against him, setting up his demise beautifully).

3) It had humor! Most of the audience laughed out loud at many parts where I was merely amused, and I laughed out loud at parts no one else laughed out loud at, but we all laughed. The hook-up between (spoiler: Dr. Frank-N-Furter & The Wolf Man) was, for me, almost worth the price of admission in itself.

4) Most have heard that Daeg Faerch did not return to reprise his role as young Michael. The resemblance between the new actor, Sheri Moon Zombie, and Scout Taylor-Compton was remarkable. And this made (spoiler: the wicked Psycho-like ending amazing.)

5) Lots of nods to previous Halloween films. I love that (spoiler: Danielle Harris, little Jamie of IV & V, reprises her role as Annie; the "it was just a dream" sequences from II, the contemporary Halloween party echoing the local party from V, because I always wanted there to be more costumes! the Rabbit in Red is a strip club, etc.)

6) Seeing Margot Kidder, and Dauber from Coach!

I'll leave it there for now, as it's time that all good little girls are in bed, but there was plenty to like. I think I may go see it again tomorrow.

There's a much more artful (but spoilerish) overview by Maitland McDonagh that I really admire at AMC.