So many pretty parts and no pretty wholes.
- Lesbian Horror Film Weekend Extravaganza, Courtesy of YouTube Filmmakers (inyourclosetseries.wordpress.com)
THE ABC’S OF DEATH-United States/New Zealand-2012
Directed by Nacho Vigalondo (“A is for Apocalypse”), Adrián García Bogliano (“B is for Bigfoot“), Ernesto Diaz Espinoza (“C is for Cycle”), Marcel Sarmiento (“D is for Dogfight”), Angela Bettis (“E is for Exterminate”), Noboro Iguchi (“F is for Fart”), Andrew Traucki (“G is for Gravity”), Thomas Cappelen Malling (“H is for Hydro-Electric Diffusion”), Jorge Michael Grau (“I is for Ingrown”), Yidai Yamaguchi (“J is for Jidai-geki“), Anders Morgenthaler (“K is for Klutz”), Timo Tjahjanto (“L is for Libido”), Ti West (“M is for Miscarriage”), Banjong Pisanthanakun (“N is for Nuptials”), Bruno Forzani and Hélène Cattet (“O is for Orgasm”), Simon Rumley (“P is for Pressure”), Adam Wingard (“Q is for Quack”), Srdjan Spasojevic (“R is for Removed”), Jake West (“S is for Speed”), Lee Hardcastle (“T is for Toilet”), Ben Wheatley (“U is for Unearthed”), Kaare Andrews (“V is for Vagitus”), Jon Schnepp (“W is for WTF?”), Xavier Gens (“X is for XXL”), Jason Eisener (“Y is for Youngbuck”), Yoshihiro Nishimura (“Z is for Zetsumetsu”)
Written by Adrian Garcia Bogliano (“B is for Bigfoot”), Noboru Iguchi (“F is for Fart”), Yudai Yamaguchi (“J is for Jidai-geki”), Lee Hardcastle (“T is for Toilet”), Kaare Andrews (“V is for Vagitus”), Jon Schnepp (“W is for WTF?”), Yoshihiro Nishimura (“Z is for Zetsumetsu”), Simon Barrett, Hélène Cattet, Bruno Forzani, Simon Rumley, Srdjan Spasojevic, Nacho Vigalondo, Dimitrije Vojnov, Ti West
Does anyone remember The Gashlycrumb Tinies by Edward Gorey? It was an Alphabet book in which Gorey would begin with a child’s name (A is for Alice), said child’s demise (who fell down the stairs) in a way that rhymes with the demise of the next child (B is for Basil assaulted by bears). Get the picture? If you do then you get the premise, so to speak, of The ABC’s of Death; an anthology film with 26 segments directed by 26 directors and written by 15 writers. For me, anthology films have always been a bit of a pain in the ass to review. Do I review the film as a whole; or by each individual story? How much wordage do I allot to each story? A film such as Twilight Zone the Movie with its 4 stories is reason for me to climb walls and mumble; 26 stories should be just enough to make me gouge out my eyes and become a chronic masturbator. In order to avoid that I figure what I will do is dedicate a small portion of wordage to each segment and give the film as a whole the blood drop rating that has been my method ever since I began writing reviews. Does any of that make sense? For all that is good and fair in this world I certainly hope so.
“A is for Apocalypse”
A man is lying in bed when a woman, presumably his wife, enters the room and brutally stabs him with a butcher knife, throws hot cooking grease in his face and bludgeons him with a cast iron skillet while he gazes at her not with a look of ‘why are you doing this?'; but instead his look inquires more as to ‘what the hell are you doing?’ She tells him that she has been poisoning him for a year and it wasn’t supposed to end like this. Outside we hear the sounds of tires squealing, cars crashing and it all fades to red. Yawn.
“B is for Bigfoot”
I’m sure a lot of guys have had this problem at one point or another; you’re trying to score with your girl only to be headed off at the pass by her kid. So, what do you do? You put the kid to bed and tell her to go to sleep or else a monster is going to get her. Which monster? Maybe it’s the Abominable Snowman, or maybe it’s Bigfoot. It may even be the Snowman from Mexico. After all, it’s all make-believe; you just want the little brat to go to bed, right? This one is even worse than “A is for Apocalypse”.
“C is for Cycle”
Your wife hears a noise and sends you to investigate. You do, finding nothing. You come back to bed only to find another man sleeping next to your wife. That man is you; your wife hears a noise and sends you to investigate. It’s slightly confusing, but still better than the first two segments. The actor portraying the husband does a passable Anton Chigurh impression.
“D is for Dog”
This is a definite commentary on the brutality of UFC and MMA fighting. If men are in cages like dogs then have them fight like dogs and fight dogs. Nice little twist at the end. Not sure about the kid in the diaper.
“E is for Exterminate”
Looks like Angela Bettis has been taking lessons from Lucky McKee (Sick Girl). She’s learned well; I broke out the bug spray by the time this one was over. I also loved how she managed to incorporate an old urban legend into the mix.
“F is for Fart”
My wife says that I’m weird. She has not seen weird until she has seen “F is for Fart.” There really are people out there who have a flatulence fetish. Don’t ask me how I know this; I know a lot of things.
“G is for Gravity”
Was there a point to this one? I thought I was watching a Laird Hamilton bio-pic for a bit there. This one was dumb. Move along folks, nothing to see here.
“H is for Hydro-Electric Diffusion”
Nazis and furries; who’d-a thunk it? This one was definitely the funniest so far. My wife was asking me about the ‘furry’ lifestyle the other day. I told her it was a slang term for people who attend an excessive amount of dog and cat shows.
“I is for Ingrown”
This one might have been more interesting if we had known, as the late Paul Harvey was fond of saying, ‘the rest of the story.’ It’s only disturbing like this. By the way, for the rest of story watch the credits for this segment at the end of the movie.
“J is for Jidai-geki”
According to the all-seeing know-it-alls at Wikipedia, Jidaigeki is a genre of Japanese film, TV and theater; they are period dramas usually set in the Edo period of Japanese history from 1603-1868. A samurai movie, if you will. This is a brief, twisted tribute to that genre and it’s not bad.
“K is for Klutz”
You ever have that one turd that will just not flush no matter what you do? I think this segment may be about that particular problem. It may be about something even heavier. I recommend taking lots of illegal substances while watching.
“L is for Libido”
WTF? This one is just wrong on every conceivable level. It is neither horror nor entertaining. I hated it.
“M is for Miscarriage”
I knew this was a Ti West (The House of the Devil, The Innkeepers) segment as soon as I saw the grainy 1980’s VHS quality film technique. The title is exactly what it means. West’s was one of two directors whose segments I was most interested in seeing. The other was Angela Bettis. I think Bettis has the edge here.
“N is for Nuptials”
The most hilarious segment so far as well as a cautionary tale; if you have a bird that can talk then be very careful what you let it hear. I know this from experience with a Quaker parrot I owned that picked up the F-word from my (sometimes) potty mouth.
“O is for Orgasm”
I read somewhere that an orgasm is like experiencing a little bit of death. At least that’s how I remember it. I had no idea it was also like blowing bubbles out of your mouth, burning Barbie dolls with cigarettes and being tied down with leather. Have I been missing something?
“P is for Pressure”
A good mother will do anything she can to make her child happy. The key word in that sentence is ‘anything’. This one takes a hard left at the end.
“Q is for Quack”
“How do we make our ABC’s of Death segment stand out?” asks director Adam Wingard (V/H/S, A Horrible Way to Die) to writer Simon Barrett. Easy, break down the 4th wall, feature a mix of gunplay and social commentary and throw in a really cute duck for good measure. Quack, quack.
“R is for Removed”
I think this one is homage to Russian cinema. I may be wrong; and if I am I am sure people will let me know. I have no opinion of it one way or the other.
“S is for Speed”
A druggie segment that pays homage to Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! Robert Rodriguez and “An Appointment in Samarra.” I loved this one as much as I hated “L is for Libido”.
“T is for Toilet”
This one is funny despite the fact that I despise Claymation. It’s not as funny as “N is for Nuptials”; but it’s still funny.
“U is for Unearthed”
I was beginning to wonder when we would see a traditional monster tale. Thank you, Ben Wheatley (Kill List, A Field in England) for this nifty little vampire tale.
“V is for Vagitus”
Vagitus is a newborn child’s first cry. On rare occasions it’s happened even before the child leaves the womb. Here I thought this one was going to be a “Don’t fuck with Canada” propaganda segment and instead I learned something new.
“W is for WTF?”
A comment on a phrase we use with alarming regularity nearly every day. The only way to comment on such a phrase is to feature a segment that makes us say exactly that: “What the f*ck?”
“X is for XXL”
There’s a song by Lou Reed called “Harry’s Circumcision”. It’s about a man who mutilates his face because he fears that he is turning into the image of his parents. Director Xavier Gens (Frontier(s), The Divide) directs this segment on the basis of the term ‘image is everything.’ It’s a bloody good one.
“Y is for Youngbuck”
There’s not one word of dialogue in this Jason Eisener (Hobo with a Shotgun) tale about a deer-slaying pedophile. There’s no need for dialogue; it’s disturbing enough without it.
“Z is for Zetsumetsu”
Leave it to the Japanese to make a commentary on war using food porn, Nazi blonde bitches with giant penises, and a vegetable-shooting vagina. Holy crap.
The ABC’s of Death is an uneven mess of a film with a few gems thrown in to the mix. I can’t recommend it to anyone and still keep a good conscience. See it at your own risk.
The child featured on the movie poster is the son of director Kaare Andrews. He is also featured in Andrews’ segment in the film.
The characters name ‘Frau Scheisse’ means literally translated ‘Mrs. Shit” in German.
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- The ABCs of Death (2012) (rantbit.wordpress.com)
- Watch The ABCs Of Death 2012 movie online for free. Full length version. Download The ABCs Of Death 2012 movie. (occurwatchanddow.wordpress.com)
- Watch The ABCs Of Death 2012 movie online free. (prematurelywatc.wordpress.com)
Directed by Lucky McKee
Story by Sean Hood
Teleplay by Sean Hood and Lucky McKee
I read a blurb somewhere that said that Lucky McKee’s contribution to Masters of Horror, Sick Girl, was about the dangers of rushing into relationships too quickly. Having watched the episode a few years ago, I re-played as much as I could remember in that thing I call a brain and I thought, “That’s not what it’s about. That’s just dumb.” Then I re-watched Sick Girl for this review and all I can say is son of a bitch that’s exactly what it’s about. I believe at some time or another we’ve all dove headlong into a relationship and then had it bite us in the ass when the person turns out to be way less than the sum of their parts. I know I have and so has my wife. Hell, she insisted we live together for a year before deciding whether we wanted to get married. Why? Because her last husband was a verbally abusive douche bag, that’s why. Having been the king of fast relationships I was more than happy to take it slow and it certainly paid off in the long run. I love my wife. I also realize I just told you way more information than you need to know. Let’s move on.
Ida Teeter (Angela Bettis, The Woman, and May) is a lonely entomologist desperate to find the right person to share her life with. She meets Misty (Erin Brown aka Misty Mundae, The Rage, An Erotic Werewolf in London), a pretty young girl, and they hit it off and are living together before you know it. In the meantime, Ida also receives a package containing a mysterious and aggressive species of insect. The only way to describe this bug is that it is butt ugly and eats Pomeranians. The mystery bug infests Misty; and we soon notice a change in her behavior from sweet innocent hippie chick to cruel and mocking bitch. The change occurs after she moves in with Ida, and that is where I can understand it as the metaphor for going too fast with the matters of the heart. That girl or guy that you meet and date might be great in small doses, but all that can change once they settle in for the long haul. But again, I am digressing a bit.
On the surface, Sick Girl, despite its metaphorical leanings, could have easily been just an average episode of Masters of Horror. Could have been, had it not had an actress with the talent of Angela Bettis to carry the film. There is something about the woman that I find so charming and I feel that she is by far one of the most underrated actresses in the business today. Her acting is so vibrant and yet so tragic that she never fails to weave a small piece of her personality into the fabric of her characters.
If you’ve just met someone, and you think they’re the bees’ knees, and you just can’t wait for them to move in with you; may I suggest you watch this little cautionary tale? You might just change your mind.
Roger Corman was going to direct Sick Girl but was replaced by Lucky McKee.
The role of Ida Teeter, played by Angela Bettis, was a role originally written for a man with the character name of “Ira Teeter”.
- The Sick Girl (ariaphoenix.com)
- Ramble: Chapter One. (thehuntersnight.com)
- Masters of Horror Season One, Episode Seven: Deer Woman (jmountswritteninblood.com)
- Masters of Horror Season One, Episode Four: Jenifer (jmountswritteninblood.com)
- Masters of Horror Season One, Episode One: Incident on and Off a Mountain Road (jmountswritteninblood.com)
- Masters of Horror Season One, Episode Five: Chocolate (jmountswritteninblood.com)
- Masters of Horror Season One, Episode Eight: John Carpenter’s Cigarette Burns (jmountswritteninblood.com)
- Masters of Horror Season One, Episode Three: Dance of the Dead (jmountswritteninblood.com)
- Masters of Horror Season One, Episode Six: Homecoming (jmountswritteninblood.com)
- Masters of Horror Season One, Episode Nine: the Fair-haired Child (jmountswritteninblood.com)
Wow, I’ve done ten editions of “What’s Their Best Film?” already. In that time I have received great response from some of my regular and my non-regular commentators. I’m sure that a lot of you have voiced your opinion of not what you thought a particular filmmaker’s best movie was; but listed your favorite film from said director instead. Hey, that’s cool; because in order to accurately give an opinion of a director’s best movie you would have had to have seen every film in their catalog. I love movies, but I will not and cannot watch movies 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are more important things such as work, supporting a family and figuring out ways to get Honey Boo Boo off the air. Damn what an annoying kid and her equally annoying mother!
So why am I babbling on and on? I shall tell you. In the last ten editions of “WTBF?” it has been you, dear reader, who has voiced your humble opinion. Now it’s my turn to give you my opinion. I will list each director below and I will tell what I think is their best movie or my favorite movie; whatever you want to call it.
Is it any surprise that I’m going with Goodfellas for this one? In my opinion it’s the greatest gangster flick ever made.
Runner-up: Taxi Driver
Most of what Bay puts out is complete shit; but if I had to choose a movie of his to watch I’d go with Armageddon . At least it got the Criterion Collection treatment.
Psycho. It’s my favorite “Hitch” film and in my humble opinion it is also his best. The shower scene alone is worth the price of admission.
Runner-up: Rear Window
Two words: Kill Bill Vols. 1 and 2, Okay, so that’s six words. That’s because these movies rock so hard they blow up two words and turn them into six!
Runner-up: Pulp Fiction
I loved Magnolia and watch it at least three times every year. There are just so many great performances in this film from Julianne Moore to John C. Reilly. Tom Cruise was robbed of an Oscar for his role as informercial sex guru Frank ‘T.J.’ Mackey.
Runner-up: Boogie Nights
Do you honestly think I would choose anything other than The Thing?
Jeff Goldblum had the role of a lifetime in Cronenberg’s vision of the George Langelaan short story The Fly. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Runner-up: The Dead Zone
BRIAN DE PALMA
Some might say Carrie, some might say Scarface; I’m going with Blow Out as De Palma’s best. Travolta’s performance is one of the key reasons Tarantino wanted him for Pulp Fiction.
Runner-up: Carrie or Scarface (tie)
I loved Short Cuts the first time I saw it and every time after that. Fantastic ensemble acting.
Not only is Sin City Rodriguez’ best film; but it is also the single most faithful adaptation of a graphic novel from page to screen that I have ever seen in my entire life. It’s also the movie that once again made a contender out of Mickey Rourke.
Runner-up: From Dusk ’til Dawn
Unforgiven is one of the greatest westerns ever made. It was directed by Clint Eastwood; who in turn learned a few tricks from one of the greatest filmmakers, Sergio Leone.
Runner-up: Million Dollar Baby or Mystic River (tie)
This is cheating, but I’m going with the entire Evil Dead trilogy for this one. Who needs Spider-man when you’ve got Ash? Bruce Campbell rocks!!
Runner-up: Spider-man 2
To be honest, I’ve only seen three Argento films: Suspiria, Mother of Tears and Opera. Of the three of those I suppose my choice for his best would be Suspiria. What a creepy and atmospheric film.
I have to go with The Wrestler on this one. I’ve been a fan of the squared circle for quite a long time and it’s the first film to take the subject matter seriously. Mickey Rourke was amazing as Randy “The Ram” Robinson.
Runner-up: Black Swan
I could be a complete asshole and go totally against the popular choice of A Nightmare on Elm Street as Craven’s best; but that would just be stupid. He gave us Freddy Fucking Krueger with this one, for crying out loud!
Runner-up: The Last House on the Left or Scream (tie)
Just as Craven brought usFreddy Krueger with his greatest film A Nightmare on Elm Street; so did Tobe Hooper bring us The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Leatherface 10 years prior. Watch this movie and you’ll think twice about picking up hitchhikers and eating Texas Bar-B-Que.
It may seem like a strange choice, but I pick his remake of Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes over High Tension (aka Haute Tension aka Switchblade Romance) as Aja’s best film. It’s close though; both movies are fucking brutal.
Runner-up: High Tension
Some people seem to love Rob Zombie’s films and other people seem to hate his films and his fucking guts. There’s no middle ground. What’s his best film? That’s easy: The Devil’s Rejects.
What have I said before? The Howling is the greatest werewolf movie ever made; so the choice here is a no-brainer.
Re-animator, of course. Those of you who disagree can get a job in a sideshow. This film brings a whole new meaning to the term ‘giving head.’
Runner-up: From Beyond
GUILLERMO DEL TORO
I haven’t seen everything by Del Toro, but I thoroughly enjoyed The Devil’s Backbone. It was an amazing little ghost story.
There is no question that Night of the Living Dead is Romero’s greatest film; the trouble is that Dawn of the Dead is every bit as awesome. Folks, we have a tie! Zombies everywhere have Uncle George to thank for their popularity.
Runner-up: Day of the Dead
I loved Session 9 and The Machinist on equal terms; but if I had to choose I’d have to go with the latter based simply on the strength of the performance from Christian Bale. The Machinist is a brilliant film about guilt and how it can affect us so deeply.
Runner-up: Session 9
The Exorcist. Nothing else need be said.
Runner-up: The French Connection
I choose May as McKee’s best for one simple reason: the deliciously disturbing performance from Angela Bettis. She deserved an Oscar for that movie.
Runner-up: The Woman
It’s going to take Sanchez a long time before he gets out from under the shadow of The Blair Witch Project. He’s been making heavy strides with films like Altered and Lovely Molly. Still, it is the witch who holds sway over all.
I’ve only seen one Bava film and that is Black Sunday. I do want to see more.
The same goes for Lucio Fulci and Zombie. I know, I know I need to watch more Fulci and Bava.
The man who gave us The Man with No Name. It’s hard to pick one great Leone film. A Fistful of Dollars? The Good, the Bad and the Ugly? Once Upon a Time in the West? Once Upon a Time in America? Nope, I just can’t do it.
There you go; my choices. Some are your choices as well and some are not. Opinions are like assholes; everybody has one and they make the world go ’round.
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Make your choice. What’s their best film?
THE BIRTHDAY PARTY-1968
THE NIGHT THEY RAIDED MINSKY’S-1968
THE BOYS IN THE BAND-1970
THE BRINK’S JOB-1978
DEAL OF THE CENTURY-1983
C.A.T. SQUAD (TV)-1986
C.A.T. SQUAD: PYTHON WOLF (TV)-1988
12 ANGRY MEN (TV)-1997
RULES OF ENGAGEMENT-2000
THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT (w/Daniel Myrick)-1999
- I used to love horror movies. Then I became a mom. | Babble (babble.com)
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- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D Movie Preview (dangerouslee.biz)
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- TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D Featurette Explains the Return of Leatherface (geektyrant.com)
- ‘Texas Chainsaw 3D’ Set Visit: ‘A Really Frickin’ Scary Movie’ (moviesblog.mtv.com)
- ‘Texas Chainsaw 3D': Everything’s Bigger in Texas (and 3D) – POSTER (hollywood.com)
- 10 Things to Know About TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D from Our Set Visit; Plus a Filming Recap and Exclusive New Image (collider.com)
- Halloween Series: Leatherface (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Texas Chainsaw Massacre II, Texas Chainsaw Massacre III) (thatguythatreviewsstuff.wordpress.com)
- ‘Texas Chainsaw 3D': Will There Still Be a Massacre? – POSTER (hollywood.com)
Directed by Lucky McKee
Written by Lucky McKee and Jack Ketchum
Based on the novel “The Woman” by Lucky McKee and Jack Ketchum
The Woman is a film about the thin line between the civilized and the uncivilized; between the decent and the depraved. There is a statement on the DVD box indicating that it was an official selection of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. I get a strong feeling that the audience attending its premiere were wondering about the truck that hit them. The Woman will shock you, it will even disgust you; but it will not leave you. It’s been a few hours since I watched the film and I still can’t get it out of my head. I don’t think I ever will.
I’ve been watching movies for as far back as I can I remember and I am of the opinion that there has never been a character that I have hated more than that of Chris Cleek. It’s not because of bad acting. Sean Bridges brings an Oscar worthy performance to the role of Cleek. It’s not because of bad writing, either. The film is co-written by two of the most ingenious and twisted minds working in the horror genre today, author Jack Ketchum (Off Season, Offspring, The Girl Next Door) and director Lucky McKee (May, The Woods, Red). No, my hatred for Chris Cleek is because of the person that he is. To Cleek, women are slaves to fetch his coffee, an occasional place to put his penis and they are always there to slap around when they get out of line.
Cleek is a man so low that he would molest his teenage daughter. This is something that’s never mentioned in the film, but it doesn’t have to be. The knowledge of it festers throughout the course of this movie like a pus-filled wound ready to burst. Cleek’s wife, played beautifully by McKee mainstay Angela Bettis, is but a punching bag to him; he says jump, she doesn’t ask ‘how high’, she just does. His son, Brian, at 14 already displays the sociopathic, misogynistic tendencies of his father. When a girl bests him in a free throw contest, he congratulates her to her face, but then sticks gum in her hairbrush and plays the hero by helping her when she gets it stuck in her hair. Like Chris Cleek, he sees women as objects; but not only for his sexual satisfaction. They are for hurting, for torture. Just ask the one shackled in their storm cellar. That’s what this movie is all about; the woman.
The book ‘The Woman’ will be released to coincide with the film.
Chris Cleek repeatedly uses the word “anophthalmia” in reference to one of his daughters. Unilateral anophthalmia is the congenital absence of one eye, and bilateral anophthalmia is the congenital absence of both eyes.
- The Woman Movie Review (screenhead.com)
- AICN HORROR: Ambush Bug talks with Lucky McKee about music, Angela Bettis, the Sundance controversy, and of course, THE WOMAN!!! (aintitcool.com)
- Film: Interview: Lucky McKee (avclub.com)
- Exclusive Interview: Lucky McKee Talks The Woman (dreadcentral.com)
- Exclusive Interview and New Clip: The Woman Speaks! Dread Central Chats with Actress Pollyanna McIntosh (dreadcentral.com)
- Doctor Gash’s Tip of the Scalpel: A Tribute to Angela Bettis (dreadcentral.com)