Monthly Archives: November 2011
When your father is Dario Argento, one of the most iconic horror directors of the past 20th century, it’s a safe bet that you’re daughter would star in at least a couple of genre films herself. Born Asia Aria Maria Vittoria Rossa Argento on September 25, 1975 in Rome, Lazio, Italy, Miss Argento has appeared in 5 of her father’s films to date: Trauma (1993), The Stendhal Syndrome (1996), The Phantom of the Opera (1998), Mother of Tears, itself the third film in the Three Mothers trilogy that includes Suspiria (1977) and Inferno (1980); and Dracula 3D (2011). She has also appeared in George A. Romero’s Land of the Dead (2005), Sofia Coppola‘s Marie Antoinette (2006) and XXX (2002). She is a director, actress, singer, model and producer. Our hats and apparently our shirts go off to the lovely Asia Argento as she is the Scream Queen of the Month for December, 2011!
- Elvira Lists the Hottest Horror Movie Actresses: Who’s Missing? (celebs.gather.com)
- Suspiria (transgressivecinema.com)
- First Images Of Dario Argento’s DRACULA 3D (collider.com)
- Dario Argento’s Witch Trilogy / The Three Mothers (newhorrorindustrial.wordpress.com)
To tell you the truth, I’ve been itching to talk about The Walking Dead for quite some time. The only thing is that I wasn’t sure how to go about it. Do I go the critical route and dryly state that the show is one of the best shows on television? What if I were to give it two big thumbs up, or is that copyright infringement or whatever? In the long run, I’m inclined to take the fanboy route and say The Walking Dead is awesome!! It’s got zombies and blood and guts, OH MY!!!
Alright, I’m calmer now. Forgive that outburst. It’s just that it’s been a long time since my inner child has experienced the excitement of a weekly TV series that gets the horror and the zombie genre so accurately correct. What’s even more amazing is that it seems like it’s hardly even trying. The best way to describe the show is that it’s about a small group of ordinary people trying to survive extraordinary odds in a world overrun by zombies, or ‘walkers’, as they are referred to on the show. The group is led by Rick Grimes, a police officer shot in the line of duty that wakes up as a stranger in a strange land. He does his best to lead the ragtag group of survivors; while at the same time hold on to the sensibilities of what he knows are right and wrong. The brilliant ensemble cast is rounded out with stunning performances from Jon Bernthal, Laurie Holden, Jeffrey DeMunn, Sarah Wayne Callies and Norman Reedus. In fact, Reedus is perfectly cast in the role of racist Daryl Dixon and is well deserving of an Emmy nomination.
What makes The Walking Dead so amazing aside from the brilliant cast and strong storyline is the make-up. Led by Gregory Nicotero, the SFX crew goes out of their way each week to bring movie quality makeup and effects to this small screen masterpiece.
So, there you have it; my complete and total praise of one of the best shows on television, The Walking Dead. But don’t take my word for it. Watch it and see for yourself.
- ‘Walking Dead’ Star Norman Reedus Talks Daryl Dixon (mtv.com)
- One of The Walking Dead Could Be … Walking? (dreadcentral.com)
- The Walking Dead’s Laurie Holden Talks Character Direction (dreadcentral.com)
- Morning After Pill Plot Device Causes Walking Dead Controversy (dreadcentral.com)
- How To Make A Monster, Baby! A Behind-the-Scenes Look at The Walking Dead Zombie Make-Up (dreadcentral.com)
Cloverfield is a hybrid of a film that teeter-totters precariously on the line between American style kaiju (giant monster) horror and good old science fiction films ala’ The Beast From 20000 Fathoms. It is a film about an attack on the many as documented by the few. A group of twenty something’s are throwing a party for one of their own who is going away to live in Japan when they experience what they at first believe is an earthquake. It turns out to be a lot more than an earthquake and the rest of the film revolves around the six main characters attempting to rescue a friend and simultaneously try to stay alive themselves. The party, and then the attack, is chronicled from the lens of a hand held video camera. It’s odd watching as we first see video testimonies from the upwardly mobile young crowd segue-way into scenes of destruction and carnage. It’s easy to see why the film could be considered a metaphor for the 9/11 attacks; the enemy is at first unknown and the initial show of force is on a treasured landmark, in the film it’s the Statue of Liberty. 9/11 occurred merely seven years prior to the release of Cloverfield. We are just beginning to heal from that day in 2011, so one only imagines how deep the wounds ran in 2008.
Cloverfield is the American Godzilla movie that the (Roland)Emmerich Godzilla movie should have been. Emmerich’s film was more about Matthew Broderick acting cute, Jean Reno acting embarrassed and GINO (Godzilla In Name Only) wanting to crawl into a hole and die. Cloverfield is more about the people than the monster. It is about what they do in the face of adversity and the decisions they make when hard pressed. They don’t always make the right choices, but, hey, that’s life.
The first trailer for this movie played before Transformers. It showed a giant explosion in the heart of New York City and the Statue of Liberty’s head being thrown down a street. It was shot with a hand-held video recorder. There was no title.
The title “Cloverfield”; initially just a codename for the movie, is named for the boulevard in Santa Monica where the Bad Robot offices were located during the making of the film.
The decapitated head of the Statue of Liberty in the street is inspired by the poster for John Carpenter’s Escape from New York, which depicts the head of the Statue of Liberty lying in the middle of the street.
- Cloverfield Director Snags Gig On New Twilight Zone Remake! (perezhilton.com)
- New Writer Hired! It’s Godzilla vs. David Goyer! (dreadcentral.com)
- Cloverfield (peneloperocksout.wordpress.com)
- Affiliate Link – Cloverfield Monster on Sale at Entertainment Earth (battlegrip.com)
Have you ever been so bored that your boredom was bored? If you ever get that bored let me know and we’ll hang out. Unless you have cooties.
The most horrifying words ever spoken in any language are “Congratulations, Mrs. Bieber. It’s a boy!”
Andy Kaufman was a professional wrestling genius. Yes, that Andy Kaufman. If you don’t believe me then check out this promo that he cut during his feud with Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler. I’m from the South and even I think this is funny as hell.
My guinea pig is mad at me. I don’t know why. All I know is that I got up this morning and went to feed her and she…wait…you know what? I got nothin’.
If I were a porn star my name would be Johnny C*ckring. Or would that be my professional wrestling name?
What do you call a country singer with aspirations of becoming an evil Sith lord? Darth Brooks.
Some people’s most productive time at work is during lunch.
A Safeway security guard was fired after interrogating a 4 year old girl for taking a bite out of an apricot and then putting it back on the shelf. Looks like there’s going to be a new picture beside the word ‘stupid’ in the dictionary next edition.
There is something about this picture that makes me really uncomfortable:
I’ve been pissed off at the makers of Tickle Me Elmo for quite a number of years. They stole my idea and changed the name and that pisses me off. I didn’t see anything wrong with Show The Court Where Daddy Touched You Elmo.
Take care and stay scared. everybody!!
Last night I submitted a post for a review of the film Final Destination. I submitted to the various share sites like StumbleUpon and Twitter and Digg; as well as the numerous facebook groups that I belong to. Like most of my reviews I received comments and ‘likes’ and all that jazz. But, I also received a comment from a regular reader stating that “I hate to see someone whose opinions I usually appreciate so much taking the time to give any sort of endorsement to this execrable series.”
Now, I want it to first of all be known that this is by no means an attack on this person. He is entitled to his opinion and I respect him immensely for speaking his mind. This is basically a breakdown of why I watch what I watch and how I come up with the ratings that I do for each film. I watch what I watch and review what I review because I either A. own the film, or B. I saw it in the theater. Most of my reviews are films that I own (Final Destination, Frontiers, and Saw). I have what is fast approaching to be well over 300 films. I find films by reading magazines like Fangoria and Rue Morgue or by visiting sites like Bloody Disgusting. I type in searches for the top horror films of all time and I also go by word of mouth. I just recently began reviewing films that I see in theaters. I believe the first one I covered was Paranormal Activity 3. So, that’s how I pick the films I review.
As for my system of rating a film, it’s very simple. I don’t have a system. I don’t say ‘Oh, well I’m going to give this movie 4 stars because it’s a great movie and everybody likes it; or I’m going to give this movie 1 star because it’s a piece of buffalo dung served on a steaming cow patty.” I go with my gut. I rate the films on what they say to me at that particular point in time. What did I like about this film? What did I not like? I’m not a professional reviewer. I review horror because I love horror. It is the one genre of film that I have gotten the most consistent enjoyment of any of the genres of film. I love good horror (Inside, May) and I love bad horror (Final Destination, The Saw Series 2-3d).
I hope this clears things up. I also hope the fellow who made who made the comment I quoted doesn’t feel slighted in any way. I think he and I have a lot in common. But sometimes you got to agree to disagree. Take care and stay scared everybody!
FINAL DESTINATION-United States and Canada-2000
“You can be a king or a street sweeper, but everybody dances with the grim reaper.”-Robert Alton Harris‘ final words before his execution in 1992.
If there is one thing that is 100% inevitable in this world, it is the fact that we all will one day leave this world. Some people say that there are two things that are inevitable in life; death and taxes. I don’t find that to be a very accurate statement. I don’t have to pay my taxes. I’ll go to jail, of course, but that would be my choice to make. When it comes to our appointment with Death, we have no choice in the matter. We may escape the scythe one day, only to be decapitated by it the next day, or the next after that. That’s the premise behind Final Destination. A group of high school students are about to embark on a plane trip to France when one of them has a premonition of the plane exploding, killing everyone on board. He freaks out, of course, and is swiftly escorted off the plane, accompanied by a handful of his classmates who assume that the cheese has slid off of the boy’s cracker. That is until the plane goes up in a fireball in mid-air. After that the film takes us through a series of Rube Goldbergesque scenes as death slices through the survivors one by one.
“Mulder, everyone dies, even Bruce Springsteen said that in ‘Atlantic City’”.
“There’s a conspiracy here, Scully, I can feel it, and I prefer Bob Dylan.”
But anyways, that never came to be and the script was made into the film that is being reviewed right before your very eyes. I admit I wasn’t too turned on by the movie the first time I saw it. I felt like the death scenes were just a little too convenient (or is it coincidental?). But it’s kind of grown on me with repeated viewings and I find myself watching it every now and again. Besides, it’s got Tony Todd in it. He plays a mortician. There’s no way you can go wrong if you have Tony Todd playing a mortician in your movie. The dude could keep ice cubes frozen in the Sahara desert.
THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT-United States-1999
The Blair Witch Project has been reviewed, scrutinized, praised, vilified and has wrung virtually every emotion out of anyone who has ever seen it. It is an oxymoron of a horror film in that it is shot on a budget so low as to be almost non-existent and yet it is a horror film of epic proportions. Without The Blair Witch Project there would not be a Paranormal Activity, REC, Quarantine (which itself would not exist without REC), The Last Exorcism and especially Apollo 18. In fact, Apollo 18 was so much like The Blair Witch Project I’m surprised the filmmakers weren’t sued for plagiarism. Roger Ebert referred to Blair Witch as one of the most influential films of the 20th century. Delving deeper, it’s easy to see that the film breaks new ground while staying true to its roots. The best scene in the film is when Heather, worn down and on the brink of death, points the camera at herself and apologizes to her friends and their families and says goodbye to the world. It is an intense and superbly acted scene that reminded me of the apology that Captain Walton presented to the world in the pages of Frankenstein.
But the most important aspect of the film is that it taps into some of our most primal fears. The fear of the unknown, the fear of the dark and most importantly the fear of dying alone are all major elements of The Blair Witch Project. The tagline for the film reads “In October of 1994 three student filmmakers disappeared in the woods near Burkittsville, Maryland while shooting a documentary. A year later their footage was found.” Their footage was found, but not the students. Even the advertising of the film plays on our fears.
It’s been 12 years since The Blair Witch Project was released and its influence is still being felt to this day. It’s almost a sure bet that influence will still be felt in the years to come. Masterpieces don’t fade away; they only get better with age.
- An Interview With Eduardo Sanchez (jmountswritteninblood.com)
- Update on the Return of the BLAIR WITCH (geektyrant.com)
- Eduardo Sanchez Talks Third Blair Witch Project (dreadcentral.com)
- New Details On The Long-Awaited Blair Witch 3! (lukewilliamss.wordpress.com)
- Plans Are STILL In The Works For A Proper Sequel To ‘The Blair Witch Project’ (pinkisthenewblog.com)
So, Justin Bieber is taking a DNA test to prove that he’s not the father of some older woman’s baby. I don’t know what’s worse about that; that he might be the father, or that she admits that he might be the father.
Dwayne ’The Rock’ Johnson teamed with John Cena at Survivor Series Sunday night and is going to face him at Wrestlemania in April. Hey, Dwayne, how’s that movie career coming along? You know that big movie career? The one where you starred as the Tooth Fairy. Yeah, that one.
Charlize Theron has got to be one of the most beautiful women in the world. To be honest, I even got turned on watching ‘Monster.’ That’s a little too much info, isn’t it?
I would like to volunteer my hedge trimmers in the fight against child molestation.
This guy was reported on Yahoo! as having eaten the world’s hottest chili pepper. Apparently no one has informed him that what goes in must come out. Trust me, I know this.
Jenny McCarthy is apparently trying to find a man via online dating. Okay, now I think it’s a disgrace that a beautiful woman like that has to lower herself to such a thing. Jenny, I want to personally tell you that what you are doing is repulsive, disgraceful and that I like long walks on the beach.
Michelle Obama was booed recently at a NASCAR outing. I’m not racist by any stretch, but it brings to mind the scene in Blazing Saddles when Gene Wilder says to Cleavon Little “What did you expect?’Welcome, sonny’? ‘Make yourself at home’? ‘Marry my daughter’? You’ve got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know… morons.”
Speaking of Blazing Saddles, and on a more serious note, I miss Madeline Kahn. That woman was so incredibly funny.
I notice that when I go to Pet Smart or Petco that none of the animals that come in with their masters are buying those magazines they have there like REPTILE or GERMAN SHEPHERD QUARTERLY. Those guys would sell a lot more magazines if they’d put a centerfold in there for the pets to enjoy. I’ll take some pictures of my guinea pig in a bikini and sell them for a reasonable fee. Plus, my German shepherd is willing to make a ho of herself for Jerky Treats.
Martin Scorsese has directed a 3-D film entitled “Hugo”. Scorsese putting his stamp on 3-D is like God creating the world in 7 days.
Take care and stay scared everybody!
- Scorseses Hugo pays enchanting homage to movie magic (theglobeandmail.com)
- Jenny McCarthy Looking For Love On The Internet (rightcelebrity.com)
- 12 Craziest Pie Scenes (thedailybeast.com)
No, it’s not a movie. It’s a competition. I’ve written a short story and I need your votes. Click on the link below. It will take you to a site where you can read my story. if you like it then give me a thumbs up. If you don’t then just hit the back button and be on your way. I appreciate each and every one of you who take the time to read my posts. This is the first short story I’ve written in a long, long, long time. Thank you.
Conducted by John Mountain
Eduardo Sanchez is the co-writer/director of The Blair Witch Project. I became friends with him on Facebook, where I asked him for this interview. The interview took place on November 20, 2011 at 1 P.M. It is a telephone interview.
According to the Internet Movie Database and Wikipedia it says you were born in Cuba in 1968. Is that correct?
That’s right, yes.
How old were you when you came to live in the United States?
Well, we went to Spain. We immigrated to Spain and then I came here when I was five years old.
What led to your interest in horror films and to becoming a filmmaker?
Well, you know what I wasn’t really into the horror movies that much. I’ve been a fan of all genres, really. I liked horror movies, but I wasn’t really a horror guy. Basically I decided to do Blair Witch because it was the cheapest and best idea we had at the time. That was basically how I became a horror guy, and I like horror movies. I like making horror movies and eventually I would like to break out into other things, you know?
What were some of the films that were an influence on your work?
Well, horror-wise The Exorcist, Amityville Horror, The Shining; basically films from the late seventies and early eighties. Then, when we decided to do Blair Witch really the biggest thing that influenced us for Blair Witch was that show In Search of…that Leonard Nimoy hosted in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s. That whole sort of pseudo-documentary thing was really fascinating to Dan and me. We were always just so scared by In Search of…and that’s how we kind of came up with the idea for Blair Witch; that something we could play off as being real like what In Search of…did. So, it worked well for us.
You guys did a fantastic job with that. I remember In Search of…I used to watch that show all the time. I loved it. I can understand where you’re coming from.
Yeah, it still works to this day, you know something about that way it looks and Leonard Nimoy’s voice it’s just a very creepy show, you know?
So, how did you guys come up with the idea for The Blair Witch Project? Did it just basically stem off of In Search of…? How did you come up with the idea to use a witch?
Well, the witch was, you know the first idea was to use a legend, some kind of mythology that lent itself to somebody going out and researching it, you know, like something weird was happening in this area. So we knew that it was going to be some kind of mythology. Basically for us it was like “Well, it’s not New England but it’s near, it’s sort of in the middle of the East Coast, sort of close to New England sort of that way of the Salem Witch Trials kind of thing, so we were like “So what about…what if it’s a witch? So that was kind of the idea of like the mythology. But the actual idea for the movie came from just, you know, us just not liking the horror movies that came out in the early ‘90’s; not having been scared in a long time, so we were like “How do we capitalize? How do we make something scary and that’s how we came up with Blair Witch from the idea of making something that appeared to be real. So that’s how we came up with the idea
Now, The Blair Witch Project is on several lists as one of the best horror films of all time and Roger Ebert even said that it was one of the most influential films of the 20th century. What are your thoughts on that?
I mean, um, I don’t know. You know, look, I’m proud of the film and I’m proud of the collaborators that I worked with on the film and I just feel lucky to be a part of it. You know I think that the film kind of triggered something and it was very much a spark that ignited something we never imagined was going to happen. It was something very strange that just kind of got into the zeitgeist of really the world because I’ve had people come up to me from half-way around the world and tell me their Blair Witch story. So, it’s a very popular film and even if people didn’t see it they know about the Blair Witch. I don’t know why that was or why that happened; it was just a combination of several different things. But, like I said I’m proud of it and wherever it ends up in the history of cinema, whatever little corner I can occupy I’m happy occupying it.
My favorite scene in the film is when Heather gives her apology speech to the camera. That is such an intense scene and it is so well acted. I know that most of the film was either improvised or ad-libbed but did you or Daniel either one give her any special direction for that scene?
Yeah, well you know basically for that scene is “You’re dying. You’re lost and you’re going to die, so you have to kind of..” It was more of a confessional, just like saying goodbye to everybody; to apologize to people and then say goodbye to the world so it’s like, I think Heather kind of took that and just ran with it and gave a very powerful and very real performance. But we basically just said “Point the camera at yourself and say goodbye to the world, goodbye to your family and goodbye to everybody you know.
I did, I loved that scene. Did you still keep in contact with Daniel (Myrick) or any of the three actors from the film?
Yeah, yeah, we keep in touch. Heather (Donahue) and I keep in touch through Facebook and Dan and I talk pretty frequently. Then Mike (Williams) and Josh (Leonard) we’re friends and we talk every once in a while. I talked to Mike a few weeks ago. We’re friends and we’ve done other things together. So we keep in touch mostly through Facebook these days. We were supposed to do a reunion in December that fell apart. We were kind of talking about what we were going to do there. But yeah, I definitely keep in touch with everybody.
After the Blair Witch Project you went on to direct Altered and Seventh Moon. Can you share any insight on those films?
Yeah, it took me a while to get back into the horror thing after Blair Witch. So I didn’t make a film for like five or six years. So the script (for Altered) came to me called ‘Probed’ and I really loved it and it happened to be that the writer lived 45 minutes from where I lived on the East Coast which is pretty much kind of a weird coincidence and we did it in 2005. It’s a good movie. It’s a kind of science fiction/horror/alien movie. Then Seventh Moon we did in 2007. We shot it in Hong Kong and it came out a year later and it stars Amy Smart. It’s like a dark ride movie; one night of hell in the China countryside. Then I just finished another movie called Lovely Molly that’s going to come out in the spring, I think, that just played the Toronto Film Festival. To me it’s just a matter of doing the right projects and feeling compassionate about the material.
I saw the trailer for Lovely Molly and it looks downright creepy. It looks like you just knocked it out of the park with that one. I don’t mean to sound insulting, and no offense, but we all know that trailers can be very deceiving. What would you tell a hardcore horror film fan to convince them to see Lovely Molly?
The thing about Lovely Molly is that it has an unbelievable performance by the lead actress Gretchen Lodge and it’s a film that, you know, just read some of the reviews. It’s a film that gets under your skin. I’ve talked with a lot of people who have said that they keep thinking about it for days and it’s not exactly a fun film, but it’s definitely a film for a lot of people that will basically stay with that and it affects different people in different ways. It’s definitely not an easy film to watch. It’s got some really kind of crazy scenes and it’s very serious kind of film, a dramatic thriller. It’s my own film so I don’t like really talking this much about it, but it’s a fun ride and if you are a fan who likes something a little more psychological and not completely ‘in your face’ then you will love it and I think that even that people who like stuff ‘in your face’ will like it because there’s a lot of kind of shocking scenes that you haven’t seen in other films. So I think it’s a pretty original ride and that a lot of people are going to really dig it.
What is your opinion of the state of horror films today? Do you believe that films like Paranormal Activity, REC, The Last Exorcism or Apollo 18 would exist if The Blair Witch Project had not been made?
No, I don’t think so. Eventually somebody would have come up with the same idea that we had. But we didn’t really originate that idea. There was a movie called Cannibal Holocaust which is almost the exact same story as Blair Witch and Dan (Myrick) and I hadn’t seen that movie before we made Blair Witch. It was banned in the United States when we were kids and I didn’t hear about it until after Blair Witch played Sundance and somebody sent me a VHS copy of it. But, Blair Witch brought this kind of first-person reality cinema to the forefront and I think that somebody would have done it eventually but I think that Blair Witch popularized it. I think that these other films seem to have been inspired by Blair Witch.
I understand what you’re saying about Cannibal Holocaust. After Blair Witch I had heard the same thing I was finally able to get a hold of a DVD copy of it. I understand where there’s kind of the same idea as The Blair Witch Project. It’s kind of a disturbing film.
I mean it’s disturbing because they’re killing animals on film. Then there’s some questionable scenes, one of which where it looks like they used a human cadaver in the movie. I haven’t really looked into that much, but yeah, I know why it was banned in the United States. But it was a really an interesting film and actually the thing about Blair Witch was that the original idea for the movie was that it be a lot more like Cannibal Holocaust. Cannibal Holocaust was basically a documentary about some footage that they found, that these people found. Blair Witch was going to be like that. We basically were going to make a documentary about the footage and we realized we didn’t need the documentary and we just made it with just the footage of just the filmmakers in the woods. So I think that if Dan and I had saw Cannibal Holocaust I don’t think we would have done Blair Witch. It would have just been an exercise in futility at that point. But, you know sometimes ignorance breeds different kinds of creativity and we were pretty happy that nobody showed us that movie.
Eduardo, I really appreciate you taking the time for this interview
Yeah, no problem, man, anytime. You know I’m on Facebook and you’re on Face book so if you have any questions feel free to ask.
I sure will. In closing is there anything you’d like to say to your fans?
You know, not really, man. I appreciate all the support and I’m happy to be a filmmaker. Check out Lovely Molly. It’s a different film from Altered or Seventh Moon or even Blair Witch. I think it’s my best film to date, so you know I’m pretty happy with it and I’m glad things seem to be moving forward me. I appreciate all the support and I hope to continue to keep making films.
I appreciate it and I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving and I will see you on Facebook.
You too, thank you.
- AFM 2011: Lovely Molly Finds a Home at Image Entertainment (dreadcentral.com)
- Eduardo Sanchez Offers Update And Details on ‘The Blair Witch Project 3′ (slashfilm.com)
- Tortoise Score Film by Blair Witch Director Eduardo Sánchez (pitchfork.com)
- TIFF 2011: Badass Teaser Trailer Debut – Lovely Molly (dreadcentral.com)