26 February 2009

Best New Party Game: Backwards Movies

"If you watch the movie JAWS backwards,
it's a movie about a shark that keeps throwing up people
 until they have to open a beach." - from Reddit

23 February 2009

Final Girl Film Club: A Bloody Valentine to Friday The 13th

If you were wondering, as I was,  just what in Sam Hill this was all about, Marcie's excellent "Kate the Great" impression is a monologue from The Rainmaker, inspired by evaluating oneself in a mirror.   The 1954 Broadway play preceded the 1956 film in which Katharine Hepburn starred.  I'm only guessing, but I imagine many of the actors in this first Friday the 13th were more interested in theater, as they were cast out of New York near the shooting location rather than Hollywood.  I don't think we're likely to see many more Bogart or Hepburn impressions in modern horror! 

The Rainmaker is airing on TCM this Tuesday, March 3rd.   Although Katharine Hepburn has long been one of the women I admire most, I can hardly tolerate this performance through the end of this video clip.  I'll still give it a try, though I'd much rather watch Marcie.

I'll be updating this entry with my Final Girl Film Club review, to be completed by the end of March.

20 February 2009


I must spend today making a few screencaps of favorite moments from Friday the 13th III through IX, as they are rented and due back Saturday.  

Today I also plan to watch The Ruins on TiVo.  Tonight, I am going to see Twilight at our college student union theater, but only because admission is a dollar.  I can see it cheaper on the big screen rather than renting it later.  

I'm planning on posting a few thoughts on the new Friday the 13th and completing a review of the newly-released uncut DVD of the first Friday the 13th (1980) for the Final Girl Film Club before the due date on Monday.  

If I don't show up, send out a search party!  And be sure to split up!  (No, in the event my cable provider absolutely can't wait five days for me to submit the 37 dollar discrepancy from the payment they received on the 3rd, just sit tight.  I'll be back on Wednesday or thereabouts.  I told you I blew my entertainment budget this month!) 

14 February 2009

My First Friday: Crystal Lake Memories

My earliest Friday the 13th experience was at our now-closed local double-feature theater just over the Illinois state line in Genoa City, Wisconsin.  (If that sounds familiar, it may be because the creator of the soap The Young & The Restless lives nearby and borrowed the name.)  My friend and I arrrived near the end of whichever was currently playing .  We would pay a dollar and you could watch as many times as you wanted as they alternated both movies on a single screen.  I'd love to know what the other movie screening that night was.   (That must have been the one we told my mother about, if she knew we were there at all.)

I know I had already been exposed to some gore at the age of 10 when my Uncle Hugo had taken me to see John Carpenter's The Thing while I was visiting his family in Pasadena over the summer of 1982 (and for that I'll be forever grateful).   I only have a vague recollection of my first bit of topless cinematic sex and one of the girls thinking she was talking to someone in a top bunk and realizing it was actually dismembered body parts, mostly glimpsed through my fingers as my hands were covering my face.  

However, this theater often screened films from earlier years.  Considering there were only two years a new Friday the 13th movie wasn't released from that time until I graduated high school, that doesn't help me narrow it down much.   We did see the Final Girl Film Club pick Visiting Hours there also, which was released in 1982, so it possibly could have been Part 3, the first with the hockey mask.  Looks like I'm going to have to watch them all again and see!  

UPDATE:  Thanks to a tip from J. Astro from The Cheap Bin, I confirmed that it was indeed Part V.  It was the hedgeclippers that jogged my memory!  They were in the earlier sex scene I recalled, and the bunk bed scene was later in the film.  I don't have any recollection of having seen the rest of the film before, and now I see why.  Having also just watched Part 3, I'm really glad I don't have to associate any fond memories with that one!

Friday the 13th was especially fun because "Crystal Lake" seemed very familiar.  I spent most of my childhood and adult life living within a few miles of Crystal Lake, Illinois, first in Richmond and then in McHenry.  (Incidentally, Kevin Smith's Dogma begins in McHenry.  Jay & Silent Bob end up there while trying to find the fictional Shermer, the setting of several John Hughes films.) This photo of the lake on the city's website looks like it could be a still from one of the movies, and the "Welcome to Crystal Lake" caption simply makes me adore the matching tagline on the new F13 movie poster.

Crystal Lake

Just an hour north of John Wayne Gacy and an hour south of Ed Gein & Jeffrey Dahmer!

However, no one I knew went to camp there.  Crystal Lake was actually the biggest city nearby, where you would have to go if you needed anything high-falutin' and citified.  I picked up a few classes at the community college there, which, unfortunately for sweatshirt purposes was not named Crystal Lake College, but McHenry County.  For camping, anyone would come out to the sticks, where I lived.    I actually now live even nearer where I did my camping as a Girl Scout at Camp Anokijig in the Kettle Moraine Forest.

This recent revisiting of the Friday the 13th franchise as well as the long-awaited Return to Sleepaway Camp made me wonder, how many of you fellow fans actually attended a summer camp? 

Turns out there just happens to be a contest over at Evil On Two Legs if you'd like to share your own Friday the 13th  memories.

13 February 2009

Friday the 13th Headlines

Just for fun, here's a corner of the front page of today's local Crystal Lake newspaper:

Front Page

I had to laugh after seeing the movie.  Too bad the headline ends with "in McHenry home", indoors and just a few miles outside Crystal Lake.

The review is syndicated from the Los Angeles Times, by Dan Zak, and besides not agreeing with it I thought it was really poor for such a large market.  He actually says, "If you love America, you will not pay to see it."! LOL!  Well, sir, I surely do love America, and I'm paying to see it twice.

The New Friday the 13th : First Impressions


Did Awesome Day fall on Friday, February 13th this year?  Did the horror gods on high hear my humble prayer?  Because, by gosh and by golly, I wasn't disappointed!

Am I actually going to trade in the contents of my piggy bank, literally, to see this again this very weekend?  I am!  

I very nearly flung my Junior Mints everywhere at the opening lightning strike.  And the first Jason appearance.  And the second.  And the following jump scare.  I held my breath as the opening cast appeared and slowly realized the dialogue...wasn't inspiring instant ridicule?  Nay, was amusing?  A sleeping bag kill homage!  And then when the title screen popped up striking all forty of us in the theater momentarily dumb, and we let out a collective breath and began to giggle as one guy said aloud for all of us, "That was the opening?!" I allowed myself to believe everything was going to be okay!  

Tonight filled the hole left in my heart of horrors by my horribly mismanaged expectations of Hatchet.  I dorked out the entire five-minute drive home, giggling and clapping on a happy high. Apparently the early word seems to be harsh (as I write this, a 27% on the Tomatometer?  Really?).  An hour later, I'm beginning to go over everything once again with a slightly critical eye (how badly did I want to see Padalecki go into that chipper?) , but all-in-all, it's Friday the 13th, the waiting is over, and verily I say unto thee, it was good.

The Morning After: Oh!  I'm feeling so badly that so many fans were so disappointed.   I feel like we've all been to a birthday party, where I was having a lovely time, until someone started crying and then five more kids started crying, and now all the parents are here to pick us up and there isn't going to be any cake. :(


11 February 2009

Flicks That Give You The Willies: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 1941

Since the 31 Flicks That Give You The Willies event at Shoot The Projectionist , I've been wanting to revisit the movie first brought to my mind in contemplating my own list, the 1941 version of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde.

This is perhaps the only movie I first saw as an adult that so disturbed me that I never wished to see it again.  I slightly hesitate to watch it now because as usually happens when reviewing films that scared you as a child, they rarely have the same effect as you remember them having.  It was not more than ten years ago that this film gave me the willies, and just watching Ingrid Bergman in the trailer leads me to believe I'm still going to find it quite scary. 

In finding a double feature DVD of the film on Amazon, however, I soon learned that this version of the film is widely derided in favor of the pre-Code version made ten years earlier, starring Fredric March.

Happily both versions are scheduled to air on TCM this week.  On their website, they have a video about movie makeup comparing the two versions.  In any genre it seems as a rule people tend to like whatever version they saw first.  I suspect I'm still going to prefer the more realistic Spencer Tracy version, considering also that during the first I won't have Ingrid Bergman to look at, but we'll see! 

Airing 7 PM Central Thursday, February 12th: 
Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde (1932) Robert Louis Stevenson's classic tale of a scientist who unleashes the beast within. Cast: Fredric March, Miriam Hopkins, Rose Hobart. Dir: Rouben Mamoulian. BW-96 mins, TV-PG, CC

Airing later that evening at 3 AM Central:
Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde (1941) A scientist's investigations into the nature of good and evil turn him into a murderous monster. Cast: Spencer Tracy, Ingrid Bergman, Lana Turner. Dir: Victor Fleming. BW-113 mins, TV-PG, CC, DVS 

Between which I will be attending a midnight showing of Friday the 13th!