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DRAG ME TO HELL

DRAG ME TO HELL-United States-99 Mins. 2009

Alison Lohman as Christine Brown

Directed by Sam Raimi

Written by Sam Raimi and Ivan Raimi

It sure is a bitch getting a promotion these days. You scratch and claw and fight your way to the top of the ladder. You kiss ass and lower yourself to levels you never dreamt possible. Even after all that, there are no guarantees.    Christine Brown wants the assistant manager’s job at the bank she is employed at. The only other person in the running for it is Stu, a true Stiffly Stifferson if ever there was one. Christine merely has to deny poor old Mrs. Ganush an extension. That will show her boss she has what it takes. Oh, but be careful how you treat the elderly, Christine. Mrs. Ganush may just put a curse on you that will drag you straight to hell itself. Still want that promotion?    Sam Raimi returns to horror after a spectacular Spider-man, an amazing Spider-man 2 and an uneven and disappointing Spider-man 3. Drag Me to Hell is certainly no Evil Dead, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its merits. Raimi is a master at mixing humor with horror to call up an uncomfortable comedic atmosphere to his films. In other words you don’t know whether to laugh out loud or be scared shitless. A huge fan of the Three Stooges, Raimi never fails to put some element of their slapstick antics into his films and Drag Me to Hell is no exception.    So, is Drag Me to Hell Raimi’s triumphant return to horror that his fans were hoping for? Uh…well….hmm, I guess I’m a little undecided on that. It’s good to see him making a horror film once again, but after the great Evil Dead series Drag Me to Hell is a bit of a letdown. It’s not a bad film; it’s just not the Raimi film we were hoping for.

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JEEPERS CREEPERS

JEEPERS CREEPERS-United States-90 Mins. 2001

Gina Philips as Patricia Trish Jenner

Justin Long as Darry Jenner

Jonathan Breck as The Creeper

Patricia Belcher as Jezelle Gay Hartman

Eileen Brennan as The Cat Lady

Written and Directed by Victor Salva

Jeepers Creepers is the Chris Benoit of horror movies. Okay, now that you are scratching your head and wondering what the hell I’m talking about, I will explain via comparison. Jeepers Creepers is a skillfully directed horror film. Chris Benoit was a highly skilled professional wrestler. Jeepers Creepers has two characters, Trish and Darry Jenner, who are believably portrayed by Gina Philips and Justin Long. Chris Benoit could take a sport (or spectacle if you so prefer) like pro wrestling and make it believable. In 1988, while filming Clownhouse, Victor Salva, the writer-director of Jeepers Creepers was convicted of five felony counts of sexual relations with a 12 year old boy. In June of 2007, over a three day period, Chris Benoit strangled his wife and seven year old son and ended his own life by hanging himself with the weights and pulleys from his personal weight machine. Salva served 15 months of a three year sentence and was paroled. He is now a registered sex offender. Any mention of Chris Benoit has been erased by World Wrestling Entertainment at the behest of its Chairman, Vince McMahon.

I was a huge Chris Benoit fan. I am a huge Jeepers Creepers fan. That is, I am a huge fan of Chris Benoit the professional wrestler. I am not so sure about Chris Benoit the man. I am a huge fan of Jeepers Creepers. I am not a fan of Victor Salva. But then again, I don’t have to be. I don’t have to agree with what he stands for as a human being. I believe that what he did is one of the lowest acts that a grown man can do to a child. Just as Chris Benoit took the lives of his wife and child, Victor Salva has taken away the very thing that makes a childhood special and that is his innocence.

Jeepers Creepers is an almost-great horror film. Too bad the same can’t be said for Victor Salva.

Trivia

Victor Salva originally wrote the role of the Creeper for Lance Henriksen.
The original truck from the film is owned by a private collector in Maryland, who keeps it in storage awaiting the filming of JC3.
The Creeper’s single line of dialogue was cut from the film.


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