TO CHANGE OR NOT TO CHANGE: A POLL

Short and sweet: I’ve been thinking about changing the look of my blog. It’s been the same for about 2 years now and I’m getting itchy about changing it. That is where you come in. Should I change the theme entirely? Should I keep the same theme and make a few cosmetic changes? Should I leave it just the way it is?

I’ll run this for one week. Give me your input, please. Peace out…I mean-take care…and stay scared.

EVIL DEAD

EVIL DEAD-United States-2013

evil_dead_2013_poster

Jane Levy as MIa

Jane Levy as MIa

Jessica Lucas as Olivia

Jessica Lucas as Olivia

Elizabeth Blackmore as Natalie

Elizabeth Blackmore as Natalie

Directed by Fede Alvarez

Screenplay by Fede Alvarez and Rodo Sayagues

Based on the 1981 screenplay by Sam Raimi

Let’s make no mistake about it: the original 1981 The Evil Dead is still the champ. That being said, does this mean that Evil Dead is a horrible remake that should have never been given the green light? Absolutely not; Evil Dead is a ferocious, gory and jump-inducing film that, after a rather boring first quarter of the first act, more than holds its own against its predecessor. It’s one of those horror movies that I’ve bragged about in past reviews; the kind that restores my faith in the horror genre. Trust me, after the last atrocity I reviewed I needed that faith restored in a bad way.

For the most part, Evil Dead is a carbon copy of the original. Five friends arrive at a cabin in the woods (hey, wouldn’t that make a great title for a horror movie?) for a little rest and relaxation. David (Shiloh Fernandez, Red Riding Hood, Deadgirl), Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci, Carriers, Horsemen), Mia (Jane Levy, Suburgatory), Olivia (Jessica Lucas, Cloverfield) and Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore, Burning Man) are your typical twenty-something group; handsome, pretty and smart and with their own set of demons in the form of Mia’s addictions. Before Evil Dead can turn into a very special episode of Intervention the smell of burning hair, dead cats in the attic and the discovery of a certain book best left unread make life a literal living hell for our crazy kids. Blood, gore, shotguns, nail guns, carving knives, and shards of glass, premature burial and bodily dismemberment are all a part of the fun. I said Evil Dead is for the most part a carbon copy of the original. Just as Bruce Campbell carved a name for himself in the annals of bad-assery (it’s a word, honest), a character in Evil Dead makes their bid for entry in the Demon Killing Hall of Fame. I’m not going to say who; I will just say that I was pleasantly surprised.

Evil Dead may go down in cinematic history as one of the most respectful remakes of a classic horror film. In fact, if The Evil Dead had never been made then Evil Dead might very well have been that classic horror film one day. Or, maybe not; what matters is that the filmmakers behind Evil Dead can be proud of their baby.

TRIVIA

If you take the first letters of the main characters David, Eric, Mia, Olivia and Natalie, the letters spell out DEMON.

In one scene there are cards spread out on the table. The cards are laid out in the order that Cheryl reads them in the original.

In the scene where the broken necklace is found outside of the cabin, it can be seen resting in the shape of a skull, just like in the original.

The illustration of the Abomination in the Naturom Demonto is based on the poster artwork for the original Evil Dead film.

bloodbloodblood½

THE SEMI-DAILY HORROR MOVIE QUOTE OF THE DAY-APRIL 2, 2013

From ARMY OF DARKNESS:

army_of_darkness_1

 

 

AFTER 10 EDITIONS OF “WHAT’S THEIR BEST FILM?”, WRITTEN IN BLOOD WEIGHS IN

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.

Let’s begin:

MARTIN SCORSESE

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

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MICHAEL BAY

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.

Runner-up: Transformers

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Alfred Hitchcock

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

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STEVEN SPIELBERG

Schlinder’s List. Spielberg may have given us the first summer blockbuster with Jaws; but with Schindler’s List he gave us his first and finest masterpiece. Ralph Fiennes is chilling as Amon Goeth.

Runner-up: Jaws

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QUENTIN TARANTINO

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

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PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON

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

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JOHN CARPENTER

Do you honestly think I would choose anything other than The Thing?

Runner-up: Halloween

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DAVID CRONENBERG

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

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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)

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ROBERT ALTMAN

I loved Short Cuts the first time I saw it and every time after that. Fantastic ensemble acting.

Runner-up: M*A*S*H

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ROBERT RODRIGUEZ

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

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CLINT EASTWOOD

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)

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SAM RAIMI

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

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DARIO ARGENTO

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.

Runner-up: Opera

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DARREN ARONOFSKY

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

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WES CRAVEN

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)

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TOBE HOOPER

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.

Runner-up: Poltergeist

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ALEXANDRE AJA

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 

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ROB ZOMBIE

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.

Runner-up: Halloween

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JOE DANTE

What have I said before? The Howling is the greatest werewolf movie ever made; so the choice here is a no-brainer.

Runner-up: Gremlins

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STUART GORDON

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

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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.

Runner-up: Hellboy

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GEORGE ROMERO

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

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BRAD ANDERSON

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

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WILLIAM FRIEDKIN

William Friedkin

The Exorcist. Nothing else need be said.

Runner-up: The French Connection

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LUCKY MCKEE

Lucky McKee

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

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EDUARDO SÁNCHEZ

Eduardo Sanchez

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.

Runner-up: Altered

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MARIO BAVA

I’ve only seen one Bava film and that is Black Sunday. I do want to see more.

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LUCIO FULCI

The same goes for Lucio Fulci and Zombie. I know, I know I need to watch more Fulci and Bava.

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SERGIO LEONE

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.

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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.

Raimi, Argento, Aronofsky: What’s Their Best Film?

It’s a Friday afternoon and normally I would be watching a movie and blogging on it. But, with a new job comes new hours and therefore I have to work. So, before I depart for my place of employment I wanted to get a quick post in just to let everyone know that I am still alive and still blogging. Those of you who have read my previous “What’s Their Best Film?” installments know the drill. I name three directors and you tell me what their very best film is, in your opinion. Those of you who are first time readers I urge you to read the previous sentence as I do not like to repeat myself. I love to hear comments from each and every one of you and I try to reply to each and every one. So, without further ado let’s get this show on the road.

SAM RAIMI

IT’S MURDER!-1977

THE EVIL DEAD-1981

CRIMEWAVE-1985

EVIL DEAD II-1987

DARKMAN-1990

ARMY OF DARKNESS-1992

THE QUICK AND THE DEAD-1995

A SIMPLE PLAN-1998

FOR LOVE OF THE GAME-1999

THE GIFT-2000

SPIDER-MAN-2002

SPIDER-MAN 2-2004

SPIDER-MAN 3-2007

DRAG ME TO HELL-2009

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DARIO ARGENTO

THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE-1970

THE CAT O’ NINE TAILS-1971

FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET-1971

LE CINQUE GIORNATE-1973

DEEP RED-1975

SUSPIRIA-1977

INFERNO-1980

TENEBRE-1982

PHENOMENA-1985

OPERA-1987

TWO EVIL EYES (Co-Directed with George Romera. Argento directed “THE BLACK CAT“)-1990

TRAUMA-1993

THE STENDHAL SYNDROME-1996

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA-1998

SLEEPLESS-2001

THE CARD PLAYER-2004

DO YOU LIKE HITCHCOCK (TV MOVIE)-2005

MOTHER OF TEARS-2007

GIALLO-2009

DRACULA 3-D-2012

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DARREN ARONOFSKY

PI-1998

REQUIEM FOR A DREAM-2000

THE FOUNTAIN-2006

THE WRESTLER-2008

BLACK SWAN-2010

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Don’t be strangers; I want to hear from you. Take care and stay scared!!

SCREAM QUEEN OF THE MONTH-SEPTEMBER 2012-RACHEL WEISZ

SCREAM QUEEN OF THE MONTH-SEPTEMBER 2012-RACHEL WEISZ

She was a black haired beauty with big dark eyes…Bob Seger

A longtime favorite, the beautiful Miss Weisz has starred in “Dream House” with her husband Daniel Craig, the first two installments of “The Mummy” franchise with Brendan Fraser, “Constantine” with Keanu Reeves and “The Lovely Bones“, directed by Peter Jackson. In addition she has starred in films as diverse as “Stealing Beauty“, “Runaway Jury“, her Academy Award winning turn in “The Constant Gardener” and “The Deep Blue Sea” with Tom Hiddleston. Her latest film is the Sam Raimi vehicle “Oz: The Great and Powerful“, a prequel to “The Wizard of Oz”. It is with great pleasure that I welcome the lovely Rachel Weisz as Scream Queen of the Month for September 2012.

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES-United States/United Kingdom-2012

Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman

Michael Caine as Alfred

Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon

Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle

Tom Hardy as Bane

Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate

Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake

Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox

Directed by Christopher Nolan

Story by Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer

Screenplay by Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan

Based on characters created by Bob Kane

I had no intention of even writing about “The Dark Knight Rises.” For the most part I review horror films and I leave the reviews of the mainstream films in the hands of others who are perfectly capable of the task. Does this mean I hated the film? It most certainly does not. “The Dark Knight Rises” is a superbly written, acted and directed motion picture and it is a fitting end to a trilogy that began in 2005 with “Batman Begins” and which continued with “The Dark Knight” in 2008. It is a rare film that can be viewed as an individual effort and be enjoyed and still be regarded as part of something way bigger. From the very start, Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer and Jonathan Nolan had an epic story that they wanted to tell and they never lost sight of that vision.

I tried to pinpoint the theme of this film, but I just couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Then, as luck would have it and I was glancing over the trivia for the movie I noticed that Christopher Nolan had said that the theme of “Batman Begins” was fear, “The Dark Knight” was about chaos, and finally “The Dark Knight Rises” was about pain. When I read that, I thought back over the events of the movie and realized that that was exactly what this film is about. There is pain all through this movie; the pain of loss, physical pain and finally the pain of betrayal.

But there is a pain that overshadows this film because of one man’s cowardly actions. I am of course talking about the horrific events of the shooting that occurred in Aurora, Colorado during the midnight premiere of the film. 12 people dead and 59 injured because of the rage of one idiot. I refuse to mention this piece of shit’s name for the simple fact that he does not deserve that recognition. People work hard for the right to enjoy themselves, whether it is at a baseball game, a vacation or just going to a movie with friends and family. No one should ever have to suffer the way these people and their loved ones have suffered. For that the only thing I can do is say that I am truly sorry.

Finally, as I pulled up to the theater I expected to see a crowd lined up and waiting to see the film; but that was not the case. I asked the ticket taker if the events in Colorado had put a damper on attendance and sadly he said that they had.  I also know that there have been a lot of people saying that the release of the film should have been moved to a later date. I am sorry, but I disagree. To do this would be to admit that the man responsible had won. He has won nothing and is a complete coward. Oh, and don’t try to tell me he’s crazy. His act was completely premeditated. I know there will be people who disagree with me and that is perfectly fine; but this is one moment when the show must go on.

Thank you.

TRIVIA

Christopher Nolan is the first director to complete a full trilogy of Batman films, but the second to direct a full trilogy of films on one superhero (after Sam Raimi completed his Spider-Man films).

One of the reasons why Christopher Nolan cast Tom Hardy as Bane was because of his performance in the film RocknRolla. Hardy stated that he thought he was cast because of his role in Bronson. He arrived on set only to learn that Nolan has never even seen Bronson.

Anne Hathaway, who plays Catwoman, had been cast as Black Cat (Felicia Hardy) in The Amazing Spider-Man in 2010, which at that time was under Sam Raimi’s direction as “Spider-Man 4″ and was going to feature the Vulture and Black Cat.