Blog Archives

LEPRECHAUN

LEPRECHAUN-United States-92 Mins. 1993

leprechaun_poster_01

Warwick Davis as Leprechaun in Leprechaun

Warwick Davis as Leprechaun in Leprechaun

Jennifer Aniston as Tory Reding in Leprechaun

Jennifer Aniston as Tory Reding in Leprechaun

Ken Olandt as Nathan Murphy in Leprechaun

Ken Olandt as Nathan Murphy in Leprechaun

Mark Holton as Ozzie in Leprechaun

Mark Holton as Ozzie in Leprechaun

Robert Gorman as Alex in Leprechaun

Robert Gorman as Alex in Leprechaun

Directed and Written by Mark Jones

I wonder if after all these years if Jennifer Aniston wakes up in a cold sweat and the thought, “My God, what have I done?” running through her head. That’s exactly what I would be doing if my debut film was the debacle known as Leprechaun. Now I’ve never watched Troll 2, but I’ve heard that it falls into the ‘so bad it’s good’ category of horror movies. Leprechaun falls into the ‘it was a piece of crap, it is a piece of crap, it will always be a piece of crap’ category. What’s more appalling is that there have been at least 5 sequels and a soon to be released prequel (Leprechaun: Origins-starring WWE’s resident midget Hornswoggle) to this atrocity.

Aniston plays Tory Reding, an L.A. girl. Tory and her dad move into a fix-her-upper house located far from the pulse of L.A. in North Dakota. The previous owner of the house stole the leprechaun’s gold with the intention of living out his days in luxury. When the leprechaun comes seeking his stolen treasure he traps it in a wooden crate and set a four-leaf clover on top to keep it imprisoned within. Ten years later the leprechaun is freed and he soon cuts a bloody path to find his missing gold. It’s up to Tory, some strictly eye-candy painter named Nathan, his little brother Alex and a simpleton named Ozzie to stop the wee Irish monster before their luck runs out for good. I’m hard pressed to find any worse a menagerie of morons in any horror film before or since.

There’s not much more to be said about Leprechaun. There’s nothing to like about it or even raise it to some level of redemption. It’s poorly written, directed and acted and with sub-par make-up effects that would be more at home in a cheap haunted house at Halloween. One thing that does bear thought is the film’s tagline: “Your luck just ran out.” Considering that Jennifer Aniston has never had a true box-office hit those words now seem hauntingly prophetic.

TRIVIA

One scene required the Leprechaun to find and eat Lucky Charms cereal, which the company gave them permission to do. Upon seeing the finished film, the company was displeased and would not allow them to use the scene. The film makers had the choice to either cut the scene or to re-shoot it, costing them more money. They chose to re-shoot it, replacing the brand name with an obvious spoof of the name brand cereal, and, made one last additional surprise ending scene while they were filming. Furious with the cereal company for making them re-shoot the scene, they pulled the kid character aside and had him say a new line. His line, “Your luck just ran out!” was changed to “Fuck you, Lucky Charms!” as an obvious reference to the whole ordeal.

According to Warwick Davis, the movie was originally planned as a scary kid’s film, but the studio thought it would work better as a more adult horror, so inserts were filmed to increase the gore and violence.

Jennifer Aniston’s feature film debut.

The character of Deputy Tripet was named after David Tripet, who had been the executive in charge of production.

The video has sold less than 100,000 copies.

0 Blood Drops

Warwick Davis also appears in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Jennifer Aniston also appears in We’re the Millers and Office Space.

Ken Olandt also appears in Summer School and April Fool’s Day.

Mark Holton also appears in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure and Gacy.

Robert Gorman also appears in Forever Young and The Accidental Tourist.

About these ads

CHILD’S PLAY 2

CHILD’S PLAY 2-United States-84 Mins. 1990

chucky-2--la-poupee-de-sang-affiche_332830_33683

Alex Vincent as Andy Barclay in Child's Play 2

Alex Vincent as Andy Barclay in Child’s Play 2

Jenny Agutter as Joanne Simpson in Child's Play 2

Jenny Agutter as Joanne Simpson in Child’s Play 2

Gerrit Graham as Phil Simpson in Child's Play 2

Gerrit Graham as Phil Simpson in Child’s Play 2

Christine Elise as Kyle in Child's Play 2

Christine Elise as Kyle in Child’s Play 2

Grace Zabriskie as Grace Poole in Child's Play 2

Grace Zabriskie as Grace Poole in Child’s Play 2

Directed by John Lafia

Written by Don Mancini

Based on Characters created by Don Mancini

What do I remember the most about Child’s Play 2? The answer to that question would have to be that stupid trailer. You know; the one where Chucky steps on the Jack-in the-Box and says “Sorry Jack, Chucky’s back!” Why do I remember it so well?  It’s because I had a friend of mine who had a kid who repeated that line over and over. The problem with that is that the little ankle biter had a speech impediment so that made it come out more like “Sorry Dack, Thucky’s back!” I think the kid grew up to be Justin Bieber or some other famous twerp.

Anyway, what was I talking about in the first place? Oh yeah, Child’s Play 2. You can sum the production of this film up to the excellent box office that the first film achieved. The plot of Child’s Play 2 is so threadbare that I still have trouble comprehending how the filmmakers managed to stretch it out to 84 minutes. It’s two years after the first film and Andy Barclay, the kid who Chucky the murderous My Buddy-err-Good Guy Doll wants to transfer his human soul into, is sent to live with foster parents while his mom spends time in a psych ward for backing up his story about a killer doll. Naturally, Chucky finds Andy, kills the foster parents and then takes off with the kid for a grand finale at the toy factory that mass produces the Good Guy dolls in the first place. In between all this are several scenes of Andy being blamed for trouble that Chucky causes and having no one who will believe him. There is just not enough of a plot for this film to justify an 84 minute run-time. Do you think they might be accounting for the lackadaisical performances from each and every one of the cast members; with the exception of Brad Dourif in his reprisal of Chucky?

Is there any part of Child’s Play 2 that even remotely looks as if the filmmakers were trying to make a scary movie? I don’t think that there is. It seems like all I have done for this entire review is ask and then answer my own questions. For my closing sentence let me ask one more question about Child’s Play 2: is it as good as Child’s Play? Answer: not even close.

TRIVIA

According to commentary by writer Don Mancini on the DVD of the first film, the reason the rest of the “Child’s Play” films are released by Universal instead of MGM/UA (despite the first film being highly successful for them), was that United Artists was about to be bought out by a company that wanted to abstain to a “family friendly” slate of films. The property was then gladly sold to Universal. Ironically, Qintex, the company that made the bid to purchase United Artists, dropped the deal not long after the film set up shop somewhere else.

The only film in the series where entirely Chucky doesn’t use a real gun as a weapon (although he does use a squirt-gun as a decoy).

In the later seasons of Seinfeld (1989) (in which Grace Zabriskie plays “Mrs. Ross,” after playing “Grace Poole” in this film), a copy of Child’s Play 2 can be spotted on the shelf in Jerry’s apartment where he keeps his VHS tapes.

Kevin Yagher ended up directing several scenes featuring Chucky when the puppets proved problematic to work with.

Adam Wylie’s first film role.

Christine Elise’s film debut.

blood

Alex Vincent also appears in My Family Treasure and Dead Country.

Jenny Agutter also appears in Logan’s Run and An American Werewolf in London.

Gerrit Graham also appears in Phantom of the Paradise and Demon Seed.

Christine Elise also appears in Body Snatchers and Boiling Point.

Grace Zabriskie also appears in Wild at Heart and The Grudge.

Brad Dourif also appears in Dune and Halloween (2007).

 

THE LORDS OF SALEM

THE LORDS OF SALEM-United States/United Kingdom/Canada-101 Mins. 2012

TheLordsOfSalem_Poster_2764x4096

Sheri Moon Zombie as Heidi Hawthorne in The Lords of Salem

Sheri Moon Zombie as Heidi Hawthorne in The Lords of Salem

Bruce Davison as Francis Matthias in The Lords of Salem

Bruce Davison as Francis Matthias in The Lords of Salem

Jeff Daniel Phillips as Herman 'Whitey' Salvador in The Lords of Salem

Jeff Daniel Phillips as Herman ‘Whitey’ Salvador in The Lords of Salem

Ken Foree as Herman Jackson in The Lords of Salem

Ken Foree as Herman Jackson in The Lords of Salem

Patricia Quinn, Dee Wallace and Judy Gesson as Megan, Sonny and Lacy Doyle in The Lords of Salem

Patricia Quinn, Dee Wallace and Judy Gesson as Megan, Sonny and Lacy Doyle in The Lords of Salem

Maria Conchita Alonso as Alice Matthias in The Lords of Salem

Maria Conchita Alonso as Alice Matthias in The Lords of Salem

Meg Foster as Margaret Morgan in The Lords of Salem

Meg Foster as Margaret Morgan in The Lords of Salem

Directed and written by Rob Zombie

I want to go on record that; at most, I have liked Rob Zombie’s movies. I wasn’t especially fond of House of 1000 Corpses; I thought it was rather pretentious. As for Halloween and Halloween II, I actually thought that his re-telling of Carpenter’s original film was actually better in some ways and the less said about II, the better. The Devil’s Rejects will always stand, in my eyes, as Zombie’s masterpiece and the assurance that we were seeing the upward progression of a new horror director whose name would fit in with that of (George) Romero, (Tobe) Hooper and the aforementioned (John) Carpenter. After ‘Rejects’ (and the animated The Haunted World of El Superbeasto, which I have yet to see) comes The Lords of Salem and with it is the sound of all that progress coming to a screeching halt. The Lords of Salem is an overblown, pretentious and nepotistic waste of celluloid that reverses the momentum that Zombie had going for him and diminishes the talents of its supporting cast to that of caricatures.

Heidi Hawthorne (Sheri Moon Zombie, The Devil’s Rejects, Toolbox Murders) is one third of a trio of radio DJ‘s that also include Herman (Ken Foree, Dawn of the Dead, The Boneyard Collection) and Whitey (Jeff Daniel Phillips, Faster; and he was also the guy that originated the Geico caveman character of Maurice; I wonder if I get another 15% savings on my car insurance for mentioning them in this article). The film doesn’t mention the shift that the trio works; I’m assuming that its night. They do interviews that include the usual smart-aleck and self-indulgently witty comments from the DJ’s and the complimentary sound effects to get a laugh out of their probably stoned and definitely half-witted listeners. One night Heidi receives a strange package at the studio addressed to her actual surname of Hawthorne (she uses an alias for the show). The package is a vinyl album from a group that merely calls themselves “The Lords”. Heidi plays the record and hears a woman uttering an unknown chant and she has visions of a coven of witches damning the soul of a newborn infant. The album is, you guessed it, a means to resurrect the witch Margaret Morgan (Meg Foster, They Live, Masters of the Universe), the head w(b)itch in charge of the coven and the one who placed a curse on Heidi’s bloodline, notably that of the Reverend Jonathan Hawthorne (Andrew Prine, Grizzly) that would ensure that the anti-Christ would spawn from a Hawthorne female’s loins. Guess which Hawthorne’s loins are ripe for the spawning? Yep, Heidi’s; damn, you guys are good.

Heidi is ‘prepared’ for her role as Satan’s baby mama by the sisters Megan (Patricia Quinn, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Shock Treatment), Sonny (Dee Wallace, The Howling and the forthcoming Apparitional) and Lacy Doyle (Judy Geeson, To Sir, With Love, The Eagle Has Landed), who perpetually appear with scones and tea and smiles that never quite reach their eyes. Every now and again we see the witch Margaret as she stands naked in Heidi’s bathroom or on her kitchen counter. Heidi’s visions get weirder and the only support she may have comes from Francis Matthias (Bruce Davison, X-Men, and Short Cuts), the author of a book on the Salem Witch trials who becomes obsessed with the vinyl and the connection it has to Margaret Morgan, Jonathan Hawthorne and Heidi. I will tell you that I am strongly tempted to break my ‘no spoilers’ policy to give away the finale so you don’t have to suffer through The Lords of Salem like I did; but no, I’m not going to do that.

With The Lords of Salem Rob Zombie is of the mindset that naked ugly witches, satanic worshipers, hideous apparitions and ominous lighting are going to frighten us. Please; it’s been done before, and better, in films far superior to this tripe. Furthermore, Zombie relies on his wife to lead the film and she’s just no match for the supporting cast. You know a film is in trouble when it shows the leads naked ass for the first minute and a half of their screen time to get the audience’s mind on the body and off the lack of talent. Bottom line is that I’ve seen scarier things at a Halloween haunted house than what Rob Zombie is showing me here with The Lords of Salem.

TRIVIA

There are no digital effects in the film.

Billy Drago is included in all cast listings for this movie despite his leaving the project before shooting began.

First film or TV project Sid Haig was ever cut from in his 51 years in the entertainment industry.

Richard Lynch was cast as Reverend John Hawthorne, but due to his worsening health he couldn’t perform the role properly. Lynch died a few months before the opening of the film.

Bruce Dern had to leave the production due to scheduling conflicts and was replaced by Bruce Davison.

Clint Howard, Camille Keaton and Udo Kier had supporting roles but all of their scenes ended up being cut.

Rob Zombie wrote himself a novelization of the film along with writer Brian Evenson. According to Zombie, the novelization is based on his original screenplay, which differs significantly from the final script used in the film.

½blood

 

THE SEMI-DAILY HORROR MOVIE QUOTE OF THE DAY-NOVEMBER 26, 2013

From Maniac and featuring Liane Balaban as Judy and Elijah Wood as Frank Lupo:

pdsysbmaniac

Please don’t scream. You’re so beautiful.

A HORRIBLE WAY TO DIE

A Horrible Way to Die-United States-85 Mins 2010

Print

AJ Bowen as Garrick Turrell in A Horrible Way to Die

AJ Bowen as Garrick Turrell in A Horrible Way to Die

Amy Seimetz as Sarah in A Horrible Way to Die

Amy Seimetz as Sarah in A Horrible Way to Die

Joe Swanberg as Kevin in A Horrible Way to Die

Joe Swanberg as Kevin in A Horrible Way to Die

Brandon Carroll as Rusty in A Horrible Way to Die (Image not from film)

Brandon Carroll as Rusty in A Horrible Way to Die (Image not from film)

Lane Hughes as Reed in A Horrible Way to Die (Image not from film)

Lane Hughes as Reed in A Horrible Way to Die (Image not from film)

Directed by Adam Wingard

Written by Simon Barrett

I became confused when I first began watching A Horrible Way to Die. The film was advertised as being about an escaped serial killer, Garrick Turrell (AJ Bowen, The House of the DevilYou’re Next) as he makes his way to his estranged girlfriend and the trail of blood that he leaves in his path. Aside from an opening scene that hit me in the face like a bucket of cold water, what I thought I was watching was a typical cautionary tale on the dangers of alcohol; of which the irony was not lost on me as I sat drinking a 25 ounce can of Budweiser as the film rolled on. I realized what director Adam Wingard (Pop SkullYou’re Next) was doing; in order for us to know Garrick Turrell it is important that we get to know Sarah (Amy Seimetz, Wristcutters: A Love StoryUpstream Color), his ex-girlfriend, and her life after his incarceration. An alcoholic, she attends AA and meets a nice guy in Kevin (Joe Swanberg, V/H/SDrinking Buddies). Life seems good. It’s when a friend and co-worker is murdered that Sarah comes to understand that though she may be through with the past, the past is not through with her. In fact, the past is creeping up on her inch by inch, car by car, and victim by victim.

A Horrible Way to Die is a bleak film. This bleakness invades not only every frame of the film; but it gets under your skin like a cancer. AJ Bowen is excellent and understated in his role as Turrell; Amy Seimetz is at times charming and tragic as Sarah and Joe Swanberg is his same reliable self in his role as Kevin. I don’t have many complaints about the film; if I did the biggest would be that the non-linear narrative is confusing at times; the film employs Turrell’s beard as a way to assist us in separating the past from the now. Also, look out for a twist ending that, if you paid attention to the rest of the film, is easily spotted.

Usually, I finish a review with a smart-aleck remark about whatever comes to my mind at that particular time. After the experience of A Horrible Way to Die I don’t find myself up to the task. Besides, is a film about a serial killer really something to be flippant about?

NO TRIVIA AT THIS TIME

bloodbloodblood

THE SEMI-DAILY HORROR MOVIE QUOTE OF THE DAY-NOVEMBER 5, 2013

From Maniac and featuring Joe Spinell as Frank Zito:

maniac1980gallery3

Now you tell me what I should do. I heard about it, I always do. I can’t go out for a minute. It’s impossible. Fancy girls, in their fancy dresses and lipstick, laughing and dancing. Should you stop them? I can’t stop them. But you do, don’t you? And they can’t laugh and they can’t dance anymore. You’ve got to stop, or they’ll take you away from me. I will never, ever, let them take you away from me. You’re mine now forever. And, I’m so happy.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN FROM WRITTEN IN BLOOD AND PRESENTING THE SEMI-DAILY HORROR MOVIE QUOTE OF THE DAY-OCTOBER 31, 2013

From The Wicker Man and featuring Christopher Lee as Lord Summerisle:

Wicker Man 1

Animals are fine, but their acceptability is limited. A little child is even better, but not NEARLY as effective as the right kind of adult.

A Happy Halloween to everyone! I know I didn’t go all out this year with celebrating; last year I decided a post a day every day for a month and between that, work and home it nearly caused me to shut down Written in Blood for good. So this year I thought I would take it easy.

Thank you to anyone who has read, followed, commented, liked, re-blogged and followed this blog. You have no idea what that means to me. Thank you also to those of you who sent in your personal ghost stories. 

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!! TAKE CARE…AND STAY SCARED!!!

SORORITY HOUSE MASSACRE

Sorority House Massacre-United States-74 Mins. 1986

sorority_house_massacre_poster_01

Angela O'Neill as Beth

Angela O’Neill as Beth

Wendy Martel as Linda

Wendy Martel as Linda

Pamela Ross as Sara

Pamela Ross as Sara

Nicole Rio as Tracy

Nicole Rio as Tracy

Directed and written by Carol Frank

There are over 1,000,000 levels of suck and Sorority House Massacre achieves every damn one of them. This piece of ’80’s slasher garbage is so bad that I highly recommend that every VHS, LaserDisc, Beta, DVD and Blu-ray edition be tracked down and buried in the desert alongside all those copies of E.T. the Extra-terrestrial the Video Game. It’s a stupid excuse of a slasher film that tastelessly rips off every major plot point of John Carpenter’s classic, Halloween. It also makes me ashamed as a reviewer to mention the two films in the same sentence.

The film centers on Beth (Angela O’Neill, Grandmother’s House) a young woman who has nightmares about a man stalking her with a knife. Meanwhile, Bobby (John C. Russell in his only film credit according to IMDb.com) has escaped from the mental institution (*HALLOWEEN RIP-OFF*) he has resided in after murdering his entire family except for his little sister, Laura (*ANOTHER HALLOWEEN RIP-OFF*). Bobby steals a car (*STILL ANOTHER HALLOWEEN RIP-OFF.IS THERE NO SHAME?*) and makes his way back home to finish her off. Only now home has been turned into a sorority house and he has a whole new set of victims in nubile co-eds Linda (Wendy Martel), Sara (Pamela Ross, Moonstalker) and Tracy (Nicole Rio, The Zero Boys, Gang Justice). Don’t worry; I’m not going to shout out how badly this film rips off Halloween anymore. I think I got my point across just fine. It’s no wonder the majority of the actresses in the film have little to no credits in anything else; their acting is so atrocious they couldn’t find their way out of a paper bag with both of their hands, a flashlight and a neon EXIT sign above the door. Here’s an experiment: take some shit and pile more shit on top of it. Voilà! You have just made your own copy of Sorority House Massacre. Bury it deep, please.

TRIVIA

The blonde woman in the poster artwork for this movie is actress Suzee Slater.

0 BLOOD DROPS out of 5

A PERSONAL GHOST STORY FOR OCTOBER 10, 2013

living-with-ghosts

Hello again, ghost story fans! I promised that I would share my own personal ghost story and that is exactly what I am doing with today’s post. Check it out:

I was 13, maybe 14 years old when it first happened; which would be sometime in 1975-1976. My grandmother had passed away about a year before at the age of 97. Grandma was a strange sort, seeing as to how she took to wandering the house late at night, shuffling her slippers on the carpet. Don’t even get me started on the banana peels she would stuff in the heating vent in the floor in her bedroom. There were many times when I would be watching Chief Wahoo McDaniel chopping the snot out of some poor jobber on World Wide Wrestling late Saturday night only to look up and see Grandma, with her Albert Einstein hair and a washcloth in her mouth peering around the corner at me sitting on the couch. She nearly gave me a heart attack every time. I would always just say, “Go to bed, Grandma.” and she would moan and I would hear her feet shuffling as she made her way back to bed.

I’m going around the world with this story, but I am getting to the point. After Grandma died I moved into her old bedroom. Her room, and her bed, was way bigger than the previous one I was residing in. One Sunday night I was nearly asleep with my body turned toward the wall when I heard a familiar shuffling behind me. It’s just Grandma, I thought; I’ll tell her to go back to bed.

“Grandma, go back to bed.”

Now, there are two very important facts to consider here. One, Grandma had been dead for at least a year. Two, I was sleeping in her old bed. I heard a moan and more shuffling and you can imagine my surprise when I felt the bed push down behind me as if someone were indeed crawling into bed with me. You can imagine my even greater surprise when I felt them pressed up against me, back to back. As I stated earlier, I was facing the wall; needless to say I was too scared to turn over and see who or what had crawled into that bed with me. This was not the last time that this would happen. It went on for at least six months and then it stopped, cold. I have no idea why it stopped. I asked my parents about it and they looked at me as if I just grown a horn in the middle of my head. All I know is that, aside from the initial incident, I never felt afraid when it would happen; I figured Grandma would never hurt me while she was living and she never would while she was dead, either. That’s my ghost story and I’m sticking to it.

Do you have a personal ghost story to share? If you do, then by all means we want to hear it. ‘We’ meaning me and the people who read this blog. Send your story to:

writteninbloodjrm@gmail.com

Try to make it at least 100 words and remember to let me know whether or not you want your real name, or a nickname, to be used when the story is posted. I look forward to reading the accounts of your experiences. Take care…and stay scared.

A PERSONAL GHOST STORY FOR OCTOBER 6, 2013

We are moving right along with another contribution of a personal ghost story for the month of Hallow-tober, or Octo-ween if you prefer.

This one comes from Misty at Cinema Schinema:

My parents’ house, the house where I grew up, had a friendly (and mischievous) spirit in it.  Odd things would regularly occur such as footsteps on the stairs when no one was there or hearing someone say my voice when I was alone.  There were also times where as I walked down the hall to my room, the door would open on its own.  Stuff like that.  I eventually named the spirit “Harold”, and he/she/it kind of became part of the family.  Oh and Harold eventually took up playing the drums – after I left for college, my brother and parents told me that every night for like 15 minutes my brother’s drum set in the basement would be played.  Oh, that silly Harold.

He wasn’t the only one in the house though, at least not all of the time.  One night when I was 11 or 12, as I was lying in bed trying to fall asleep, I opened my eyes to see a woman with dark hair and a white dress standing in the corner of my room.  She slowly started walking towards me and I, of course, utilized the great childhood theory of hiding under my covers so she couldn’t get me. I eventually came out and she was gone.  I told my mother about it the next day and she said that the description fit HER mother exactly…my mother’s mother, my grandmother, died when my mom was 8 – I never met her and I had never seen a picture of her. It made me feel a little better hearing that.  I figured she was just checking in on her grandkids.

Thanks, Misty!

Got a personal ghost story to share? Send it to:

writteninbloodjrm@gmail.com

Remember, try to make it at least a hundred words and let me know whether you want your real name used or not.

Take care…and stay scared.

1 gHOST PHOTO

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,047 other followers

%d bloggers like this: