“Masters” of Horror, Indeed

I’ve been cruising through some horror offerings lately, some written, some viewed. During my vacation, as I previously blogged, my beloved spouse indulged my horrific whims with movies and permissive blind-eyeing. So, one of the things I wanted to check out was an old series on Showtime (I think) called Masters of Horror.

MastersofhorrorIt aired back in 2005, and brought together 13 masters of the horror genre who directed a one-hour short film. I’ve seen two so far: Deer Woman and Sick Girl.

Either one is enough to turn me off the series for good.

John Landis did great with An American Werewolf in London, but his entry to the Masters of Horror episode was a disaster. It was boring, comical and not at all what I’d hoped. It did have a beautiful topless woman, though, and I have to say, even that couldn’t save it.

Sick Girl is a lesbian-commentary piece about being different for most of its run. At the end it actually becomes a predictable and laughable body-horror entry, and again, the topless shots (of a fairly mediocre-looking actress) didn’t help. In the end, it fell flat and was a bit ridiculous. Oh, and predictable.

Now, I don’t want to give up on this series just yet. The whole reason I started watching it in the first place was because of a discovery I made last month that a horror comic from the 1970s (I think) was the basis for one of the episodes. It’s called Jenifer, and from what I can see they stayed relatively true to the original story. It was only about ten pages long originally, so we’ll see how they choose to fill the space.

If that one is disappointing, I quit. On to something else. I’ve seen a lot of good movies and read some interesting stories, but you can’t win ‘em all.

If anyone’s seen Jenifer, no comment-spoilers please. Unless it’s really bad. Then please save me from myself.

Hope you all had a good weekend!

Movie Trailers

I need a little break from the SSRLP I mentioned to you yesterday, so here I am, getting in a second blog post this week.

317ASP897-44137913If you like horror movies, you need to subscribe to Al Bruno III’s blog. He’s a creative writer, for one. For another, the guy finds some very cool trailers and I can’t wait to see some of the movies. Good horror movies, as you know if you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, are hard to come by. They’re few and far between. While the job of a trailer is to make the movie look good no matter how bad it is, some of these trailers I’ve been seeing on Al’s site are absolutely amazing. If the movie can deliver on what the trailer promises, they’re going to be a lot of fun to see.

Problem is, I don’t go to theaters. Even if I did, I don’t know if these sorts of movies play at just any theater. They seem sort of counter-culture in genre and tone. While I’m sure some of them will make popular rounds, not finding them at the local multiplex sometimes means it’s going to be a bear to find them on cable, too.

That’s a shame. With some of the tripe I’ve seen on cable passing as “horror” movies, complete with Muppet monsters and high school theater actors, getting good movies into the cable array of garbage would be a boon. And hanging onto them around Halloween makes sense to me from a marketing perspective, but then, I never studied marketing.

movie_theater So I’m interested to find out whether I’ll see any of the cool movies Al’s posting about. There are sites dedicated to finding these apparent gems, and Al’s a guru at finding those sites and sharing the goods. But actually getting the goods once the road map is open is another matter altogether.

How about you? Do you find yourself unable to see movies you thought you’d enjoy for availability? I’m sure this is a non-issue for people who can spare the chump change for something like NetFlix or Blockbuster’s online service. But for po’ folks like me, the pickin’s get might slim.

Where do you go for your entertainment fixes? Do you have a secret storehouse you like? Or are you a traditionalist going through mainstream outlets?

Sound off, y’all. 🙂

-JDT-

All original content © 2009 DarcKnyt
ALL rights reserved.

Mirror, Mirror

mirrors_movie_poster This past weekend I watched a horror movie called Mirrors.

Mirrors is a supernatural thriller sort of movie starring Keifer Sutherland and some other people I can’t recall and don’t care about. (You might though. 😉 ) It’s a remake of an older movie I know nothing about. Now you know as much about the movie as I do. Aren’t you glad?

Anyway, the movie opens with a pretty nice hook. If you’re not into gore, it’s not a great scene, but it’s tense and leaves the viewer intrigued. Then Keifer comes on screen and we have a whole other set of things to remember and deal with. He’s a psychologically damaged cop on medication to help him overcome alcoholism. He and his wife are separated. There’s a lot of stuff going on there, but that’s all I want to say about the sub-text.

The plot is interesting. Things in the mirror are closer than they appear, and they’re not what they appear, either. Whatever is back there is in search of someone named Esseker, which at first glance looks like it might be a mirror-image of another word. It’s not. Turns out Esseker is a former victim of the mirror monsters. and it’s Keifer’s job to find Esseker and turn them over to the mirrors before they claim his family.

The dizzying, frustrating feeling Sutherland’s character portrays is done well. And the viewer could actually pull for him. This is a man willing to sacrifice another human being to save his family. The inner demons he must mirrors_1overcome to achieve his objective include his own psychosis, self-doubt, and the pills he’s taking. He also has to find this Esseker, convince someone – his wife, actually – to believe him, and figure out why a dead man would send him a FedEx package. He has to figure out what the mirrors want before they get his family, and he has to convince someone who escaped the mirrors to come with him and surrender themselves to him.

The ending was rushed, period. Those are a lot of things to overcome, after all, and the movie might’ve benefitted from more time to develop those things. The responses the characters give is realistic and I thought normal. The climax was … well, climactic. And the ending, in the spirit of good fiction, saw the resolution of the story lines.

Overall, I give this one a B+. Not great, but not bad. And considering the genre? Well, I’ll just say I was pleasantly surprised.

If you get a chance to see it, go ahead and do so. (Don’t pay for it, though.) And once again, there is a bit of a gore factor to be aware of.

-JDT-

All original content © 2009 DarcKnyt
ALL rights reserved.

On Shaky Ground

unearthed I watched a movie today on FearNET called Unearthed. It’s about a small Arizona town cut off from the rest of the world when a tanker carrying the fuel for the only gas station has an accident and all the gas is burned. The town sheriff begins to determine something strange is going on when animals and people begin being mutilated.

The basic set-up isn’t complicated. The plot isn’t tough to figure out either. If you’ve seen Alien, Jaws, or pretty much any horror movie you know the premise. A small band of survivors isolated with a monster of tremendous power and frightening as all get-out.

The movie was pretty bad. I don’t need to tell you the sheriff is a drunk because of an incident a year before involving a little girl who died. The sheriff blames herself and drinks to forget or calm or insert-your-own-excuse here. Of course the

incident is played back in a series of ill-devised flashbacks of a couple seconds each. (Of course it was an accident and the sheriff wasn’t to blame. We learn this right before the end of the movie.)

What I will tell you is, I’m sick to death of this cinematographic trick of shaking the hell out of the camera during filming. Holding it by hand, deliberately rattling it, whatever they’re doing. I think it’s supposed to emulate the realistic feeling of being in the scene the way it did when Steven Spielberg used the device during the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan, but all it does in these cases is make a bad movie worse. TV shows use it too and

I’m tired of it. JUST SHOOT THE SCENE, dammit! If you don’t want the audience to be able to see what the hell’s going on why make a movie at all?!

A lot of the movie is filmed in dim lighting too. Not a good choice. And the CGI looked like a couple of students from a local community college’s computer animation program did the work. The lighting didn’t match the environment, the monster was not believable (not to mention being pretty much a modification of the creature from Ridley Scott’s classic, the aforementioned Alien), and the characters? Well, let’s just say it’s not a good idea to use stereotypes as characters in fiction, either written or visual.

So I wasted a good hour and a half of my life watching this dog and all its fleas. I don’t recommend you do the same. *Sigh*

-JDT-

All original content © 2009 DarcKnyt
ALL rights reserved.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

I Duditz!

*Whew!* That was close!

I didn’t think I was going to get my #FridayFlash done this week, but I did it. Yes, it’s late, yes, I probably won’t get many views, but I did write something. It’s just short of 1k this time, but I’m not going to quibble. I wrote it and posted it and put it in the collector.

Better late than never, right?

Hope you all have an exciting weekend ahead if you’re into that sort of thing, and if you’re not may you have the exact kind of weekend you are into.

God bless and I’ll see you all Monday.

-JDT-