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Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Straight Up Reviews #10: Friday the 13th: The Tommy Jarvis Trilogy

As noted in my CIEIR of the subject. I love Friday The 13th.  However many regard this series as trashy.  Even media mogul Roger Ebert slammed every single one of them on the grounds that it was nothing but sex and Violence.  While I respect Ebert as both a critic and as well as the obvious respect for the dead rest his soul; this is something I disagree with.  When I watched the Documentary "His Name Was Jason." Sean S. Cunningham, the series creator and director of the first said he wanted to do a knock off of Halloween that he wanted people to enjoy.  However rather than just the psychological aspect, they managed to combine in with the gore-fest aspect that was  made famous by the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  This in turn created an overlooked supergenre I like to call PsychoGore.  Where if done right can have both the mind fucked generousness of the psychological horrors and satisfy our blood-lust.  While it's debatable I believe they succeeded, but not in the first movie.  See the first movie was good, but there was a better aspect in the later sequels.  These specific ones I call, the Tommy Jarvis Trilogy.

For those who don't know what I am talking about here's the brief summary. I'd say spoilers but we all know this one. After the events of the 3rd movie, Jason Voorhees is being taken to a morgue where he miraculously recovers.  He kills two orderlies and makes his way back to Crystal Lake.  Only instead of the camp, he finds himself on the other side of the lake.  There he discovers two houses, one owned by the Jarvis family: A relatively nice bunch who's youngest, Tommy (Named after FX Guru Tom Savini and played by Corey Feldman.) is obsessed with making monster masks and other effects.  The other house is being rented by our recent cannon fodd--- duh I mean a bunch of carefree teenagers,  while they do have personalities and are all around nice people, many of them are pretty token.  We got the token prankster womanizer in the form of Ted, A token nerd in the form of Jimmy whom unlike the stereotype did have a girl, but got out of a bad relationship with her, a token one-man woman with a reputation of more than one in the form of Samantha, a token prude in the form of Sarah, her role in this series is putting up with Samantha's attempts to help her loosen up, a token Casanova in the form of Paul, Samantha's boyfriend, a nice guy who knows how to set the party moods and a token nice guy in general, Doug, he is kinda sorta Sarah's love interest. They are also accompanied by twins, Tina and Terri.  Tina also doubles as the Token slut. Seriously so far the only person she hasn't made a move on was was Doug, but that's because she tried making a move into another couple's territory.  She finally settles on Jimmy. Terri, while also hinted to be just as promiscuous is the more sane of the two.  Now you're probably thinking "S.T. what you said was not only sexist, but give these guys a chance.  Joseph Zito wanted to make them more developed than the usual teen cannon fodder." and I would agree with you. However take away their over all nice guy/girl personas away and they are just another group Jason is gonna kill.  Granted these characters are more developed and interact really well with the other main characters, but aside from Sarah finally losing her virginity and Jimmy getting a second chance at a girlfriend not much is developed.  Anywho there is still one more character to talk about.  Rob Dyer, a hunter who meets the Jarvis' and sets up camp outside their house.  Tommy sees him as the big brother he never had and Trish, his sister sees him as a potential love interest.  However this peace is shattered once Jason is thrown into the mix.  After he makes way with all the token teens Jason, just to be a hypocritical jerk kills Mrs. Jarvis, Tommy and Trish's mother, leaving Rob, Tommy and Trish to be the last on the chopping block.  It is then and there that Rob reveals that "Shh Be vewy vewy quiet I'm hunting kiwwers ehehehehehehehe!!!"  Mainly because Jason offed his sister in the second movie.  Much like another certain expert named Rob, he is killed pretty quickly leaving Trish to defend the house and her brother.  Eventually in the end it is Tommy, using his skills to imitate a younger Jason; who ends up killing him in the end.  This traumatizes him enough that he had to be sent to an institution.

Now one thing that intrigues me about this trilogy was Zito's intention.  First he wanted to give said token characters better personality.  Second was to break the standard rules of the series and rather than have a final girl get the killer, he used both a boy and a kid no less.  And third, which is the most talked about, they wanted to make Tommy Jarvis into the Next Jason Voorhees.  I for one am both glad and disappointed  that the third never happened.  Glad because Tommy is one of my all time favorite characters.  But disappointed because Jason as a Legacy character would have been an awesome idea.  They have done that lot's of times in many novelizations.  Now I don't agree with Ebert's review and I'll tell you why.  Take all the sex and violence out of the question and Final Chapter is all about growing up.  Tommy started out as an annoying kid, that panicked and screamed when Jason grabbed him.  However, he faced his fears, and got Jason in the end using his talents and a well aimed Machete.

The second movie in the trilogy, A New Beginning, takes place six years after the events in Final Chapter.  Tommy, now in his teen, has been taken into the Pinehurst Halfway House.  An institution that is meant to help delinquents and other people of various disorders.  Then and there he is met (startled.) by Reggie The Wreckless; a kid who's grandfather, George is the cook at Pinehurst.  Of course Tommy retaliates with his own created monster masks, which he lets no one touch.  No one knows exactly what happened to Trish, but strangely in this movie and the next, they treat it as if she died between films.  Now here many characters are less token than that of final chapter.  We have Matt, who runs the institute, not much is said about him, but he really is genuinely concerned about his patient's well being.  His assistant, Pam a kindly girl who shares an uncanny resemblance to Trish.  Then we have the inmates.  First is Jake, a quiet man with a stuttering problem,  Robin, not much is known about her save for Jake's pining over her, Eddie, a practical joker who is highly promiscuous, Tina, who is the other side of Eddie's Promiscuity, (Ironically the actress' last name is Voorhees.).  Violet, a lover of the punk genre, who has an interest in dance,  Victor, a bad tempered man, and Joey, a know nothing, but well meaning kid.  Before Tommy's arrival there had been a slight problem involving Tina and Eddie as they were caught having sex on the grounds that belong to Ethel Hubbard, a grouchy chicken farmer who inappropriately calls Pinehurst a loony bin.  She lives with her adult son, Junior.  If there was a personification of "Too Dumb To Live."  That wouldn't even be half of what Junior is.  Upon Tommy's arrival on the other hand, starts a slew of new problems.  During a recent scuffle, Victor murders Joey in cold blood.  He is arrested, but that only is the tip of the iceberg.  Upon his arrest, a series of murders occur at or around Pinehurst.  The police, specifically Sheriff Tucker suspect that Jason Voorhees is back in town, but the mayor says otherwise.  For it seems Jason was cremated to make sure events like Final Chapter never happened. (Which raises a lot more questions, but we'll get to that.).  The kills seem to be random at first as only a couple of 50s Greaser Style Men (Seriously what was the point of those two?).  Later while people are dealing with Victor's death, Tommy has a psychotic episode where he hallucinates the real Jason is stalking him.  Said episode becomes a break when Eddie uses one of Tommy's masks as a Joke.  This prompts Tommy to savagely beat Eddie until Matt restrains him.  Wow seeing that makes me feel Wreckless got off easy. The killings get closer to Pinehurst as Billy the hospital orderly that Dropped off Tommy as well as his girlfriend.  Then Tina and Eddie bite the dust.  That evening Tommy is invited by Pam and Reggie to visit, Reggie's brother Demon (Played by Miguel A. Nunez Jr. Who is no stranger to horror movies.)  hoping the change in scenery might help him better cope with his episodes.  However upon arriving there Tommy is accosted by Junior, which prompts him to snap and beat him up.  Strangely unlike his encounter with Eddie, this fight raised a lot of questions as it was more controlled and even almost MMA style on Tommy's part.  Like did Dan Inosanto visit him in the institution one day? did he read about martial arts to help cope with his psyche?  Did he suddenly flash forward into the future and switch places with the Power Ranger Tommy? It makes no sense.  But the messed up part is on both fights, no one ever speaks of it again. It's a Big Lipped Alligator Moment.  Anywho, he is stopped by Pam before he could do more damage, but runs off in the woods whilst Junior and Ethel are promptly slaughtered.  As well as Demon and his girlfriend.. Upon their return they discover Matt and George are missing, leaving Robin, Jake and Violet.  Now these kills are the ones I never liked, because all and unlike most characters in the series, those 3 didn't deserve it.  Jake embarrassingly tried to make a move on Robin forcing him to retreat and get hacked with a meat cleaver.  Poor guy didn't even get a chance to do it, before dying.  Robin, who wanted to apologize for laughing at him, gets offed next.  Well at least they died in bed together.  Then Violet, in a bizarre setting, she does this weird pantomime/robot dance to the song "His Eyes" By Psuedo Echo.  She is promptly gutted (In the Alternate version she was stabbed somewhere else I don't wish to mention.)  She never even did anything and she is gutted.  If anything, she was one of the nicer characters in the movie.  Her biggest mistake was setting the table for two more when said guests are gone for good reason. (One dead, the other in jail.).  Hell this dance would have been another Big Lipped Alligator Moment, had the killer not end her. This leaves Reggie and Pam as the last members.  Reggie has the fortunate timing of seeing what was left of the 3 in Tommy's Room, with  Pam being the second.  Upon trying to escape they soon run into Jason, who's back from the dead......and stole Michael Myer's boiler suit......and the triangles on his mask are a different color (Does that mean he's switched from being a Devils fan to a Leafs fan?)  Not that it matters, since Pam and Reggie run from him regardless and Reggie has the bright idea to run him down with a tractor.  However that only slows "Jason" down.  A final showdown leads to the barn next to the institute, where it seems the two are helpless.  Fortunately Tommy arrives, but upon seeing "Jason" he has another episode.  As his mind tries to figure out if what he's seeing is real or another hallucination, "Jason" promptly slashes him.  This proves real enough for Tommy as he stabs "Jason" in retaliation, whilst Pam, Reggie and He climb to the top of the barn.  With both Reggie and Tommy's help "Jason" is promptly thrown off the barn and onto a spiky pit.  His mask is off so let's see who he really is.  Why it's old man Roy Burns.  This deserves a big rewind.  See Roy Burns was a paramedic and a recurring character in this movie.  As it turns out, Joey was his son and seeing his corpse caused him to snap Mrs. Voorhees style.  He donned Jason wear in order to cover his tracks and planted the bodies in Tommy's room in hopes to frame him.  He woulda gotten away with it too, if not for a meddling kid, an adult assistant and the psychotic teenager that he intended to pin the murders on.  However not all is well as Tommy's finally driven over the edge and dons the mask for himself.

This movie wasn't as bad as most say it was, but it was poorly executed.  For one the clues were too obvious, but the kills were very realistic, more-so than Savini's work in Final Chapter.  The not so obvious clues were too well hidden, but I was able to find them.  First off Tommy wasn't the only suspect.   There was Victor as he killed before.  As well as Ethel and Junior.  I think the intention of those two were to be the polar opposites of Pamela and Jason.  Both Jason and Junior are not so smart, but where Jason is resourceful, Junior doesn't know when to shut up and is promptly insulted, beaten or killed for it.  Ethel is the complete opposite of Mrs. Voorhees.  While Pamela loves Jason with all her heart and has a kindly atmosphere shielding her sinister side, Ethel despises Junior and makes no hesitations to insulting her son.  She also makes it well known of her intentions to keep Pinehurst closed whilst Pamela's intentions were only known after their death.  They of course were killed off, so that rules them out.

Then we have Tommy.  Not much has changed about him (Save for the actor.). He is still tormented by Jason even from beyond the grave and hallucinates his foe.  To make matters worse, his sister isn't around, so he has to face his demons alone. Then when he sees "Jason" he wasn't sure if he was hallucinating again and when "Jason" cuts him that snaps him back....sort of.  While he does make a few friends in Pam and Reggie, he doesn't really interact with them in the slightest.  He distances himself as his hallucinations and trauma becomes more severe.  Hell he barely speaks throughout the entire film.  It was almost as if he was literally becoming Jason like Zito originally intended.

Last we have Roy Burns.  the concept is rather clever, but poorly executed.  He serves as not only an expy for Jason, but for Pamela Voorhees as well as his motivation for killing was the death of his son.  Though as nonsensical as his killings were, in a profiler's perception, it makes perfect sense.  The two Greasers he kills were practice kills, so he could see if he had the stomach to commit murder.  The other two were to make it so Tommy was a suspect as he knew one of them.  Then the real killings began when he killed the rest.  He had a bunch of clippings in his wallet, so it was obvious he knew about Jason and the people he affected.  So knowing Tommy well enough to frame him was a smart move and disguising himself as Jason would just make Tommy look more crazy, if he did survive long enough to tell a cop.  However it worked too well.

The last movie in the trilogy is well known for being one of the few horror Sequels that have improved after the Sequelitius phase: Jason Lives.  Tommy is finally released and along with a friend named Hawes, goes to Forest Green Cemetery.  As the residents were sick of the Jason legend, they changed the name from Crystal Lake.  It is then and there Tommy reveals his plan to burn Jason's body, as he found out it wasn't cremated.  He hopes this will end his nightmares once and for all.  Upon unearthing his old foe, Tommy has another psychotic episode and promptly stabs the corpse with a broken fence pole.  Said fence pole gets struck by lightning and brings Jason to life. More powerful than ever, Jason proceeds to kill Hawes and leave his corpse in his coffin, while making his journey back to his home turf.  Tommy tries to warn the local Sheriff, but upon hearing his name, Sheriff Garris believes Tommy is crazy and locks him in jail.  It was in the next morning that Tommy meets a group of camp counselors lead by Megan Garris, The Sheriff's daughter.  Tommy of course tries to warn them, but if falls on deaf ears.  Garris promptly tries to banish Tommy from Forest Green.  I am not gonna name the rest because they literally have no personality, not even token ones....well except Megan as she is the classic "Rebel teen never listens to strict father or any authority figures."  Anywho Jason makes it back to the summer camp where he drowned and proceeds to kill the counselors one by one.  However there is an extra danger in there, because unlike the other movies, where the camp is abandoned, this one is up and running and with kids.  Tommy of course is once again a suspect as he tries to both clear his name and stop Jason once and for all.  In the end Tommy manages to put Jason in his place literally as he chains his body to the bottom of Crystal Lake. 

This particular sequel becomes a self parody, while at the same time raises the stakes of danger. Even poking fun at the horror genre in general. "I seen enough horror movies to know any weirdo wearing a mask is never friendly." Being one of the funniest lines.  Tommy himself is more developed in this sequel, as he is more talkative and only prone to one psychotic episode.  He even reverts to his annoying kid persona in one way or another, making fun of Megan's drawings, being perverted even mocking the deputy when he gets out of jail.  Then there is Jason, he is not only back and returned the series into the status quo, but he is more stronger than ever and more durable.  A shovel shatters on his head on impact when his part 3 counterpart would have been knocked out..  Lastly there is the overall plot,  the stakes are higher since he is stalking an up and running summer camp with kids present.  While we as an audience know he never kills kids, the adult characters don't know that which makes their fears not only justified, but equal to a real world parent worried that their child won't make it home.  While each movie separate has their own uniqueness and flaws, all three flow together to form the journey of Tommy Jarvis.  From his horror obsessed preteens, to his catatonic post teens and his near adult normalities.  We can be safe to say he has earned his peace, after a long battle with Jason Voorhees. That is of course until 2009 when he and the other survivors of Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street team up with Bruce Campbell to take on the two title killers, but that's another story.

As usual, debate, argue and let me know what I missed.  Stay Tuned For More.  Happy Devil's Night.

Thursday, 24 October 2013


Well with Halloween only 7 days away, I thought I would close this mostly Horror filled month with the movie that started the slasher genre. Halloween has had 8 movies, (one of which didn't have the titular killer but I'll get to that another time.), 2 in the Remake series, an atari game, various comics and a hell of a cult following.  I watched this movie about 4 years ago, I was told it wasn't worth the watch as there was nothing there, no blood, no gore, no reason for the killer to do what he does. I saw it for the first time, on Turner Classic Movies and met this 31 year old movie that had a dark, creepy, emotionally terrifying atmosphere and the darkest of soundtracks, the devil's soundtrack.  I spent two years trying to understand it and another two trying to keep it out of my nightmares, because I what I found behind those traits was purely and simply....scary.  I watched it once and I'll watch it again and try to find how real this could be.  I won't do the sequels and I will explain my reasons in my final thoughts. So anyone commenting, on them before reading the rest should keep their texting fingers shut and their eyes open.

Now the story goes like so.  Halloween Night 1963, in a peaceful town of Haddonfield Illinois was shattered, when 6 year old Michael Myers (No not that one, but he is equally scary.)  murdered his sister Judith in cold blood.  After being caught by his parents, he gets sent to a mental institution.  15 years later, Dr. Sam Loomis, Michael's psychologist at the time arrives at the institution to take Myers to a hearing.  The intention was to keep him locked up for life.  However as he arrives, Myers steals his car and makes his escape and return to Haddonfield.  Myers now dressed in a blue boiler suit and a white mask (a William Shatner Mask to be specific.) Stalks his old neighborhood on the anniversary of his murder.  One by one he kills the teens currently living down the street from the old Myer's house until Laurie Strode (Played by Jamie Lee Curtis.), who happens to be babysitting 2 kids at the time, is the last alive and it's a fight for survival.  At the same time, Loomis and Sheriff Brackett are in hot pursuit of Myers with the intention of putting him down for good.

Now for the fun part, Could It Exist In Real Life?

This one is a less supernatural one than my most work, but I can give it a go and since it's only thing I am defictionalizing, it's gonna be a short one.

Michael Myers can exist.  Once again I am not talking about the actor, though he is still equally scary.

For starters the person himself was based off a kid director John Carpenter encountered during a field trip. Said trip was in an institution in Kentucky.  This kid was described by Carpenter as having a "Schizophrenic Stare."  A trait that Myers possesses in the entirety of the movie franchise.  Even the shitty Rob Zombie flicks, knew if you wanted to successfully scare someone like Myers, you need the stare.

Now as for Myers himself as crazy as it seems everything that has happened to him, or what he's capable of in the first movie could happen in real life.  From his unnatural strength, to his shrugging off of near fatal or even fatal injuries.

Many Patients with psychotic disorders, specifically Schizophrenia, are capable of inhuman acts.  In fact studies have shown that during a psychotic break would cause a rush in adrenaline and endorphins.  This renders the patient to be able to use the well known Hysterical Strength and also reduces the pain receptors so even the most fatal of wounds wouldn't be able to put them down without a lot of effort.  Take those factors into account and you got the physical aspect of Michael Myers.

As for the mental aspect, that is debatable.  Loomis describes his mentality as " reason, no conscience, no understanding; and even the most rudimentary sense of life or death, of good or evil, right or wrong."  Now there are many disorders that can describe that, the most common being Antisocial Personality Disorder.  Sociopaths in layman's terms.  Now while it can be debated otherwise, it is pretty common to suffer from more than one mental disorder.  Combine what I mentioned in the physical aspect of Myers and you got yourself a hybrid between Psychopath and Sociopath.

Now for my final thoughts.  The reason I don't take the sequels into account are because they destroy Myers as a character. In the first movie, he had no motive, no reason to do what he did to his sister or to the teens and he doesn't get any satisfaction of killing that killers like Jason or Freddy would get. This in turn made him more scary, because it made him unpredictable.  When the second movie revealed his connection to Laurie as his sister, it made his stalking and killing more personal.  Ergo making him more human than what Loomis initially described.  As if that was bad enough, they gave him a half assed reason to why he never dies, some Celtic curse that requires him to kill his family to balance the universe. Seriously, that was fucking stupid.  H20 at least knew better than to sling that bullshit around.  To put it lightly, he was meant to be the Slasher movie genre's equivalent to Tara Markov and The Joker.  No stable motive, but still a great villain none the less.

As usual debate, argue and let me know what I missed.  Stay Tuned For More. Happy Halloween.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

S.T. Rants #1: The 2 Step Program

This is a bit of a minor rant.  After watching shows like Breaking Bad, The Shining and pretty much any joke that involves drug and alcohol rehab,  I couldn't help but wonder about the classic 12 Step Program: 12 Steps by Alcoholic's Anonymous, as a way of trying to beat alcoholism and other addictions. Right now as I am typing this I am reading up said program out of curiousity as I myself am a drinker.  Not a -holic, but I'm Irish and Scottish, it goes with the territory.  Some of these rules seem reasonable, such as apologizing to who you hurt during drunken episodes.  However then there is these rules, such as Step 2, accepting a higher power will directly cure you.  This I call bullshit on.  Now I myself believe in Higher Powers, I am Pagan Wicca. However, I also believe said Higher Powers have better things to do than cure something that people choose to do.  Yes addiction is bad and can affect you psychologically however despite all that, it's still has to do with choice.  You choose to get hooked and yo choose to get off the hook.  The other thing I call bullshit on is that many of these steps are mainly just differently worded versions of Step two. Don't believe me read for yourself I'll even mark the parts that are the same.

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
With the exception of the obvious step 2, there are 6 sayings that either point to God, A Higher Power, prayer, or Spiritual Awakening. Take all that away plus step 2, and you got 5 steps.  Which while more understandable and reasonable are still pretty pointless.  8 and 9 are just 1 step split into 2. So that leaves 4 steps Step 10 is pointless, because when applying to organizations like A.A. you already admitted you were wrong and wanted to change your life. So that makes 3 now. Step 1 is also pointless because you made that step when you applied.  Admitting you are an addict, is also admitting you are powerless against your addiction.  That makes 2. Moral Inventory and Making amends.  Those 2 are also pointless because when you do apply to A.A., you are already making amends by trying to get rid of what you think is hurting the people you have hurt.  The moral inventory is pointless because, when you are trying to kick your addiction you are already setting a moral for yourself and those that look up to you.

After reading this, I come to the conclusion that I do not believe in the twelve step program.  I do on the other hand believe in the 2 step program which is introduced like so.

Step 1: Stop Drinking. No seriously, put that bottled down or whatever it is you have an addiction to.  Throw it away, and lock yourself in a room for a few days with nothing but your basic meals.  If you can go 3 days without booze, drugs and or any other habits you are willing to kick, you beaten it forever.  Beware of any withdrawals as they can affect the body and mind.  It's like that movie, Trainspotting, where the guy kicking heroin saw a dead baby crawl on the ceiling and twist it's head all the way around.

And Step 2: Why the hell are you still Drinking?

See where I am going with this, it's not the booze, it's not the drugs, its not even spending too much time playing WoW.  It's your choice, your consequences.  No Higher Power is gonna help you unless you help yourself.  Why? Because Higher Powers aren't dictators that force you to do what they want when they want it.  They are Parents, Teachers and even religious figures and all they can do is show you the door.  You have to choose to open it.

As usual debate, argue and let me know what I missed.  Stay Tuned For More. 

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Top 5 Underrated Stephen King Adaptations

If you been around this blog for a while you know I am a huge fan of Stephen King.  I got introduced to it, by an old collection of books my mother had. That collection soon became mine, but some of them were too worn out to read save for a few new ones I bought for her 3 years ago. My personal favorites out of them being Carrie and Christine.  Now that the new version of the former is out and since Halloween is a week away I want to do another tribute.  This time to the most Overlooked, Underrated adapations that very few have either seen and if they have, didn't care much for it. Why? Because I think they deserve a little love.

5. The Langoliers:
This one barely survived thanks to a combined effort of Bronson "Balki" Pinchot's over the top performance and the Nostalgia Critic's review.  I didn't even know of it's existence, until watching said review and upon watching this miniseries, I loved every minute of it. The story goes like so, a group of passengers find themselves waking up to an empty airplane. Upon landing they find more strange happenings and try to figure out what's behind it all.  Crappy CGI aside the pacing was actually pretty good and you really feel fear from their isolation. I won't describe anymore than that as the rest you have to see for yourself.

4. Tommyknockers:
Now this one I was aware of, but could never find anything on it until NC's review of said miniseries.  This tale is all about a radiation emitting spaceship, increasing the intelligence of everyone in Haven (Yes that Haven.) Maine.  While in the process making them more aggressive beings.  I love it mostly, because much of their dependence of their brain boosters realistically mirrors real life addictions; from the user staying awake beyond what the body can allow to said body decaying. That and drunk Gardner (who you recognize for being Princess Leia's adoptive father.)  is hilarious, especially when he does it on purpose knowing what damage he might do. As well as the miniseries having a better twist than the book itself which is Rare among adaptations.

3. The Stand:
Many people know this one and hate it. Mostly because there were a lot of heavy changes from the book to the movie.  But what do you expect, when said book (One of the few not in my collection.) is as long as the Tolken series it was inspired by?  A super flu infects all of the world, causing all but a select few to die off.  Said few divide themselves between Boulder Colorado, which is mostly a peaceful Town trying to bring civilization back to it's peak; and Las Vegas full of Anarchists, low lives and Arsonists.  It is a classic tale of good versus evil and much like the book it was based off of, it introduces a recurring villain in the King franchise: Randall Flagg. Played by Jamey Sheridan.  Speaking of which I hear there is gonna be a Dark Tower movie.  If they don't get Sheridan to reprise this role, they better get someone who can top it. I also like it due to a certain song in the soundtrack: The Beginning of The End, By W.G. Snuffy. That song is modern day Medieval personified.

2. Maximum Overdrive:
Many people dislike this movie, even King and Star Yeardley "Lisa Simpson" Smith consider it an old shame. However, there are certain things about it that make it worth the watch. Loosely adapted from "Trucks" A local truck stop is being held hostage by the world's technology.  Everything from Cars, Trucks, Electronic devices and the like have come to life and are pissed off.  The movie is worth it for 3 factors: 1. Stephen King himself gets called an asshole by an ATM. 2. It's one of a few movies that has the guts to show kids getting killed. 3. AC/DC.  The third factor especially caused the Angry Video Game Nerd, to give the movie a full 5 star rating. This in turn inspired a meme that shows any movie from Disney Princess to Harry Potter can be awesome when AC/DC is in the soundtrack.  King you may not like this movie, but we love the monster it created. 

1. The Shining Miniseries:
Ok this is gonna take some explaining.  There are two adaptations of The Shining.  One is the well received Kubrick Adaptation and the other is a less well received unless your a purist Miniseries.  How did this happen?  King himself never liked Kubrick's version, it was actually one of the first adaptions of his work that he was ashamed of. So taking matters into his own hands, King along with director Mick Garris who worked with him again in Bag of Bones; created a 3 episode miniseries that was more faithful to the book.  The story was all about recovering alcoholic, Jack Torrance who takes his family to the Overlook Hotel, to which he is hired as a Caretaker.  What they don't know is said hotel is haunted by a malevolent force that is after his son, Danny; who has an incredible psychic gift that allows him to see said force.  Now here is where the problem lies.  Kubirck's version while scary, was less faithful to the book, making everything ambiguous: Are the ghosts real or are the Torrances insane?  Was Jack Crazy the whole time or was it the booze?  (With the exception of the hedge maze, Kubrick wanted to have Topiary animals, but couldn't find a way to bring them to life. So props to him for trying.)  The story in the movie, became less Stephen King's The Shining and more Stanley Kubrick's the Shining.  I myself knew of the Shining by watching the Kubrick version, then reading the book.  Upon reading it, I myself was pissed off because so many crucial elements to the book were ripped out, such as why the ghosts were after Danny and how they were able to get Jack drunk again.  As well as the overall tone.  Both the book and miniseries played off more as a horror/drama, with the supernatural elements just being incidental like a normal day at work with everything being straightforward.  And that's probably why the Kubrick side of the coin hated the miniseries.  When you make something straightforward, yes it bores people, but it also helps them understand what is really going on, but when you make it ambiguous it let's the viewer not only decide what happened, but also scare them when they don't know.  However despite my understanding of why Kubrick's is more well liked, I am gonna have to side with King on this one. Mainly because regardless of what version people liked, it started with King.  Kubrick fans need to accept that without King, their movie wouldn't even be made, whilst King fans need to understand that if not for the Kubrick version, they wouldn't have something to fight for.  That being said I can't wait until Doctor Sleep is adapted. Having Danny battling the things he's been running away from is gonna be awesome.

As usual, debate argue and let me know what I missed.  Stay Tuned For More.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Interstella 5555

I love this movie.  I can't really explain why.  It started out as just a few music videos put together, but then it became a full story involving, kidnapping, alien fantasy and Daft Punk.  I unofficially heard the first song on the album when I was about 9 or 10 it was playing on the bus heading for a school I went to.  Said school was hell, but this was one of the happier memories of my childhood.  I officially heard Daft Punk during Much Music's Video On Trial, they did a review of one of their first songs "Da Funk" But I didn't hear a full album of their music until Tron Legacy.  This on the otherhand was Daft Punk's equivalent to The Wall only their story made more sense.

In the far reaches of space, there lived a race of humanoid aliens. They looked like us, but had Jetson style clothing and Smurf Skin.. The main protagonists are a nameless rock band, that entertain the masses in a never ending party.  The party is cut short when a group of humans incapacitate and capture the band and take them through a wormhole, that leads them to earth. Then and there, they become humanfaced and brainwashed into working concerts by Earl De Darkwood; a manager obsessed with getting gold records.  They are then renamed, The Crescendolls:  Stella the Bassist, Arpegius the guitarist, Baryl the drummer and Octave the Keyboardist/Vocalist.  However the result leaves them overworked and on the brink of exhaustion.  Meanwhile back in space, Shep, the only blue guy that actually had a name, catches wind of the kidnapping by his planet's guards.  He hightails after them in his own guitar shaped ship, mostly out of his near stalkerish crush on Stella.  He makes it and manages to free the band save for Stella, who he couldn't get to in time. Shep gets wounded as they make their escape and the rest of the band race to get Stella out of Earl's clutches. Upon rescuing her, they discover a horrible truth behind Earl's scheme and try to stop him.

Now for the fun part, Could It Exist In Real Life?

Now if you been around long enough you'd know I said time and again, that there is no proof of alien life, let alone humanoid alien life. However if it did exist what better way to hide it through today's musicians.  That's right folks. While there is no evidence to state it, this movie flat out says that every great Gold Record worthy musician from Mozart's time to now is an alien.  Which if that is proven true would explain why the music is so powerful.

The next thing is Earl's Scheme.  In the Veridis Quo segment, the Crescendolls discover that Earl has been trying to harness the power of golden records.  He does this, by sacrificing the musicians to a machine mix of technology and alchemy and in turn, harness their power into golden records.  Earl needs 5555 records in order to be powerful enough to take over the universe. Hence the title. While this machine does not exist, the concept behind it does.  Music is a very powerful weapon.  It has been used to alter various courses of history.  From the classical days to now, we either have a genre to love or have one to hate. Either way because of it, some of us strive to be musicians in order to either pay tribute to the things we listen to, or top off the ones we don't like. Music can be used for good or in Earl's case pure evil depending on the motive.

Last but not least, the two robotic musicians that attended the gold record ceremony. They not only exist, but they are the only thing I written about that are exactly the same as their movie counterparts.  They are Daft Punk.  That is exactly what they look like when out in public.

As usual debate, argue and let me know what I missed. Stay Tuned For More and don't forget to read this One More Time.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

El Laberinto Del Fauno Aka The Labyrinth of The Faun Aka Pan's Labyrinth

What happens when the director of Hellboy and Blade 2 does his own original thing?  He entertains and scares the crap out of more people.  Pan's Labrynth was very influential by combining the horrors of war, with the dark whimsy of fairy tales and in the end gave us more questions about the movie, but in a good way. It also gained its fame, as being one of the first few trailers in the world to fool us into thinking we were seeing a kid's movie.  Ya.....we were idiots to think an adult themed director would do something like that. -insert Martin Scorsese Hugo Joke Here-.  I first saw this movie in film class, it was one of the few foreign language movies I could ever watch from beginning to end.  I am not culturally insensitive or anything, I just like dubbed movies better in that department.  But ya one of the few I seen beginning to end.  Needless to say I liked it. Since I like this movie I do warn spoilers and like NIMH forbid you to read further until you do. If you don't the Pale Man will get you.

The story begins in 1944 WWII was a year away from closing, but Spain had it's own civil war problem. Ofelia, a fairy tale obsessed girl, along with her mother and soon to be born baby brother are to meet her stepfather, Captain Vidal.  Or as I like to call him Spanish Bizarro Hitler.  Why?  I'll tell you later.  Anywho during their stay at the compound, Vidal has his own problems. As the rebels are stealing supplies from his compound and he suspects inside jobs.  During a routine interrogation, you will see why I call him Spanish Bizarro Hitler.  He brutally murders two innocent hunters who were accused of being members of the rebels. Ofelia during her stay is visited by a fairy who leads her into an ancient labyrinth, where she meets a faun who claims she is really Moanna, a princess who came from the underworld out of curiosity of the surface world.  However in order to go back to the underworld, she must pass three tests before the next full moon. The first test being that she make a giant toad throw up a key.  (I'm surprised said toad didn't try to eat her, but I guess her princess...ness.  Shields her from harm.)  The second to use said Key and a chalk that turns any surface drawn on with it into doors, to find the lair of the Pale Man: an evil Child Eating beast who guards a door to a dagger. While all this is going on her mother's condition is worsening, two rebel spies (one of which is a close friend to Ofelia) are close to being found out and Vidal is going insane.  All of the subplots come crashing together as Ofelia prepares for the final test.

Now for the fun part.  Could It Exist In Real Life?

First let's start with the Labyrinth. While this particular one does not exist. There are real Labyrinths all over the world.  Some of which have decayed, to the point where they are easily navigated.

Second are the creatures, the fairies as I stated before are elementals. However something about them as well as the overall world has me think of a theory I won't say until the conclusion. The Faun also exists in myth.  Most famously in greek myths is the God Pan which the English title derives itself of.  Pan himself was of all thing referred to as a friend to the Nymphs another name fairies have gone by.  Is it no coincidence that the fairies are this Faun's companions throughout the movie?  Lastly there is the Pale Man.  He does exist in a way. But he is not based on any ancient myth or legend.  Oh no, he is much much worse.  The Pale Man is based on an ongoing legend passed down from parent to child since the beginning of storytelling.  He is....the Bogey man and how was he able to get from place to place?  Why Ofelia gave him the way through that chalk I mentioned.  The one that turns every surface drawn on it into a door.  Nice job breaking it Heroine. Last but not least is the Mandrake, which Ofelia used to keep her mother alive.  It does exist.  Infact it's been used a lot in wicca and other occult organizations. 

Third is the interpretation of the story.  What I said aside. Guillermo Del Toro made it very ambiguous to whether or not the fantasy scenes were real, or Ofelia's imagination running wild to cope with her living situation.  Even Del Toro decided to fuck with our minds by saying that he believed the fairies were real.  However I take the third option that it's both.  For you see, the world and it's creatures are called Tulpa's.  A Tulpa is a manifestation, created by the mind and the senses using intense concentration.  However once created unless, others have helped, only the creator of said Tulpa/s can see it.   There was a particular scene that proved such.  In the beginning of the movie, Ofelia spotted a stick insect which she thought was a fairy.  Said stick insect visited her in her mothers bed later that night and she showed it a pictorial representation of what a fairy looked like to her.  The insect then changed into said representation.  Later on in the climax of the film she was arguing with the Faun on whether or not her brother should be sacrificed in order to get her home into the underworld.  Moments before Vidal killed her, he could only see her and the baby she was holding, but not the Faun she was talking to. Lastly, after she died she was welcomed into the underworld, as she imagined it with her mother and father as they looked like in the real world welcoming her to sit with them on the throne.

Now for my final thought. By now you are probably wondering why I called Vidal "Spanish Bizarro Hitler"? That's because he is just as ruthless as Hitler, however unlike Hitler he does his own dirty work, he tortures prisoners with his own set of tools and during the war scenes has fought along side his men when he could have stayed behind.  As for the overall movie itself. It's a good watch and I recommend it to everyone.

As usual, debate, argue and let me know what I missed.  Stay Tuned For More.

Also added bonus to Stephen King. Why? Because if Del Toro can make a movie that could make King squirm, he can scare anyone.

Monday, 7 October 2013

The Invisible Man

H.G. Wells. When not warning us about flesh eating Morlocks or Aliens that caused a real world national panic, he was writing about how mad you can go once you turn simple science into a terrible superpower.  The Invisible man was such a story.  It was one of the lesser known Universal Monsters, but has received enough adaptations to gain it's fair share of cult.  From movies, to TV shows, to a spot on the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. This story made us fear what we couldn't even see.

The story goes like so.  Meet Griffin, a scientist who specialized in optics, invented a formula that turns the user invisible.  Upon taking the formula, Griffin went mad with power and started a moodswing between trying to find a cure and terrorizing the populace with his new found ability.

Now for the fun part.  Could It Exist In Real Life?  Yes, but it hasn't been made yet.

First let's get down to the obivous,  yes there are ways of making one invisible.  From certain color changes in clothes and decor in the form of camouflage Other things like using certain metals and technology to make you technically invisible to radars and other forms of detections, much like the stealth planes. Last but not least you have nature's original Invisible Man, the Chameleon.  While now, the color change on that one has been debunked as the result of temperature change;  There is still the mystery of how it always blends into the surrounding colors.  I theorize that it doesn't that it's simply flashing every color at once in milliseconds. Like that controversial seizure scene in Pokemon only faster.

Next and last this was something that just hit me.  While there is no chemical way so far to make us completely invisible.  Like the Chameleon there is a way to change our colors.  Now I know what you're thinking "-Insert Michael Jackson Joke Here-"   But no, there is a more natural way of doing so.  On Popular Mechanics For Kids, there was an episode on Worm Research.  They discovered that if you can change a worm's diet you can change their color from their natural pinkish/brownish to a glowing green.  How they did this, they refuse to say on account of Trade Secret and all that.  However it doesn't apply to worms only, humans can do it too.  For example if we eat too many carrots we absorb a biological pigment called Carotene that when enough is consumed, you can turn a bright orange.  Wow I think I just proved the existence of Tamaranianface.  There is also the Collidal Silver Mathew Pattrick of Game Theory fame. As well as the classic "Piss Blue" prank that Biomedical students play on one and other.  I recommend you not try the second 2 at home.

All and all the question is which chemicals would provide the same effect that Griffin figured out.  We may never know in our life time, but we can hope we never have to as the power of total invisibility is one that can drive you mad.  As proven with poor Griffin.

As usual, debate, argue and let me know what I missed. Stay Tuned For More and beware the Invisible Man.  He could be anywhere.  Even Behind you as you sit at your computer reading this.

Friday, 4 October 2013

The Shadow

What started out as a novel and a radio show that help start Orson Welles' career;  blossomed into a phenom that became the inspiration of superheroes such as Batman. Hell Detective Comics #27 Long before it became cool, The Shadow is considered one of the darkest Superheroes to ever hit the stations at the time.  It has had Radio Shows, Movie Serials, Comics, A feature length movie and a video game.   I myself got introduced to this particular crime fighter through said movie which I might add is dangerously underrated.

The Story goes like so.  Lamont Cranston, Billionaire Playboy is secretly a dark vigilante called The Shadow.  Who investigates crimes and fights the evils of New York's underbelly.  With the help of his Girlfriend/Assistant Margo Lane, his various agents stationed around the world and his ability to turn invisible.  The Shadow wages war on crime.  The concept was pretty clever at the time.  Have someone who has every characteristic of a villain: Various thugs, intimidating stature and even something as cliched as an evil laugh.  However he is the good guy.

Now for the fun part, Could It Exist In Real Life?

First and foremost is The Shadow's invisibility ability.  Nowadays thanks to the movie, it was changed to him having telepathy. -insert psychic organization I mentioned alot here-  However in the original stories he attributed his abilities to a technique called Self Hypnosis.  In which he hypnotizes himself and his intended victims into believing that he is invisible.  This does work in real life and there are schools of hypnosis available to potential therapists and magicians. 

Last but not least is The Shadow himself.  He does exist.  He is none other than David Copperfield.  I know laugh it up, call me crazy.  However let's get down to some factors that prove true.

Factor number 1:  His Magic.
Copperfield is a magician,  his techniques include sleight of hand, and self hypnosis.  His took on a grand scale by making us believe that he made the Statue of Liberty disappear.

Factor number 2: His Wealth.

Copperfield's Net Worth is $450 Million. He's not quite a billionaire, but  he is 50 million away from getting there.

Factor number 3: He has fought crime.

In April of 2006 he and two of his assistants were robbed at Gunpoint.  When they went to check his pockets they were empty. Little did they know, David used his skills on them.  It's alot easier to make your items disappear than people. Much like my theory on Prince Harry being Batman, it's laughable at first, but when you really look into it, it's quite plausible.

As usual debate, argue and let me know what I missed.  The weed of crime bears bitter fruit, who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!!!

Thursday, 3 October 2013

The Mummy

With Halloween Approaching I figured I should do more Horror Genre films.   Since I already did the original Universal Trio, I thought I would go for the lesser and more known ones.  The Mummy, much like the Wolfman, was not based on a Novel.  However in this case it's a per se, because it shares a striking resemblance to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Ring of Thoth.  Much like the other Universal monsters, This Egyptian Horror has it's fair share of giant legacy, from the 1932 movie starring Frankenstein himself Boris Karloff, in a dual role this time.  He not only plays the titular Mummy, but a character named Ardath Bay.  Among it's legacy was the well known remake trilogy Starring Brenden Fraser and Darkman's second actor Arnold Vosloo. So it's twice Vosloo is in bandages, but I'll get to Darkman soon enough.

The story goes like so.  Imhotep, a high priest of Ancient Egypt was mummified alive whilst trying to use a magic scroll to resurrect his diseased lover, Ankh-es-en-amon.  In the present 1932, he is dug up and accidentally revived by a group of Archeologists.  The resurrected Imhotep sets out to finish the job by finding and killing his reincarnated lover in the form of Helen Grosvenor  so both would be immortal bride and groom. 

Now for the fun part.  Could It Exist In Real Life?

First Mummies in general.  They do exists.  Mummification is a process in which the corpse is prepared for passage into the afterlife.  It's not just Egypt though,  various mummies exist throughout all over the world.  Even our modern funeral practices are a form of Mummification one way or another.  As for mummifying them alive, that's impossible as being mummified is basically like being dissected.  If one were alive during the process, all they would have to do is take out a vital organ and your dead.  This was where the remake was more realistic in the terms.  While being mummified alive as punishment is next to impossible,  being buried alive is a different story.  In Ancient Egypt, if you committed a serious crime, among most punishments, you could get buried alive.  Odds are this is what happened to Karloff and Vosloo's Imhotep.

Second the, Scroll of Thoth.  This exists, but it's also known by another name.  The book of the dead.  An Egyptian Funerary Text that contains various magic spells.  No I am not just talking about the one in the remake either.  This Particular one was Ancient Egypt's equivalent to the holy bible as much of their passages involved safe passage to the afterlife, judgment to those being punished. and preservation of corpses.  Unlike the movie's examples which claim only one exist, there are various incarnations of this book.  Some of which actually carved on the tombs themselves.

Last but not least,  does Imhotep exist?  Yes, but unlike the way he's portrayed in the movies, he is not evil.  He is not even a priest.  This particular Imhotep is actually one of the world's first engineers, architects and physicians. He designed the Pyramid of Pharaoh Djoser and was one of the first builders to make use of Columns.  When I was a kid I watched the remakes and when I heard this guy existed I was scared shitless.  All I could think of was "Holy shit this guy is real he's gonna come back from the dead and kill us all!!!"  But when I found out what he was really about I have an odd respect for him.  However much of the movie version exists through him in a certain point of view.  There were cults dedicated to him.  Imagine that scene in the remake where all the people mentally enslaved are chanting the name.  That practically fucking happened.

However Imhotep wasn't the only inspiration for this Titular Mummy.  As I mentioned in my Indiana Jones Analysis, there was an archeological group lead by Howard Carter.  They were the ones who dug up Tutankhamen aka King Tut.  The titular curse of that dig was another main inspiration for this movie.  So odds are Imhotep could really be Tut and simply posed as the well known Architect or the real Imhotep went nuts.

As usual debate, argue and let me know what I missed.  Stay Tuned For More and Beware the Mummy's Curse. Imhotep.....Imhotep.....Imhotep......

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Top 10 Crappy Pick Up Lines of George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg

Well with Jurassic Park IV and Disney's Star Wars being in development hell I might as well crack a few jokes at the expense of their respective Filmmakers Steven Spielberg and George Lucas.  While I respect the hell out of them.  I also dislike much of their film choices in the dreaded late 90s early 2000s period as at the time they both violated the sacred pact of a good filmmaker "If it ain't Broke. Don't fix it."  So I warn you so called "pure" fans that much of what I say may insult them.  You can flame me all you want, but don't ever say I show disrespect.  Anywho the reason for this specific list is because I often noticed in both their films, much of their romance scenes often sound like the heroes are trying to pick up their respective love interests like they were at a bar.  The famous example being Han and Leia's Dialogue In Empire Strikes Back, when he assumed she didn't want him to leave because of her feelings for him.

This list goes like so.  10 lines, 5 for each filmmaker.  These are meant to be crappy, but if you get a good laugh from them more power to you.  Let's Start With Lucas.

10. I always shoot first.
9. I got away with duck tits, who knows what I can do with you.
8. Wanna see my lightsaber?
7. The hornyness is strong with this one.
6. If you strike me down I shall become more powerful than you can ever imagine.

Now Spielberg

5. You're gonna need a bigger bed.
4. Do I have a Walkie Talkie in my pocket or am I just happy?
3. To me X always marks the spot.
2. You know that boulder chasing Indy? Look down.
1. How about I have a close encounter with all three of you.

In the comments below I encourage all who read this to come up with lines that work with your favorite filmmakers.  I am actually curious to what you come up with.

As usual, debate, argue and let me know what I missed.  Stay Tuned For More.

Bonus for both of them:

For Lucas: I'm ashamed of the Holiday Special, but I'm not ashamed of you.
For Spielberg: Schindler's not the only one with a list. Look at my black book.