Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Watch List: All Hallow's Eve

AS I should have posted this earlier (yes I am lazy I know I know) I figured I would give a short list of movies I like to enjoy on this festive day. Now I have a lot of horror movies I am fond of but strangely I only have a hand full I actually like that have anything to do with the day itself.

Halloween (1978)

Don't get me wrong the remake is something I enjoy in its own right but its just not the original. Something about the wonders of this low budget movie for hire and the magic its creators stumbled upon while trying to make a simple story about babysitters being murdered just simply cant be duplicated again.

Halloween II (1981)

Now I know what you are thinking. "Nekko if you are simply going to list the whole Halloween series why not just save us some time and just say so?" Well dear reader thats easy to answer. These are the only two I would want to watch on Halloween honestly. I have seen all the series (minus Zombie's versions of one and two) more times than I can count. This one picks up right where the original stops and if you only had to watch two of the series you could watch this one and leave feeling completely satisfied. Again I think these two are the best in the series and probably will for the remainder of my fandom.

Night of the Demons (1988)

Purely and simply a cheese-fest. Bad acting. Nothing special about the story, just a bunch of kids getting trashed and happen to piss off the spirits of demons in the house that possess them. Yatta yatta yatta. So why bother with this one? Its so horrible its fantastic thats why. the story in itself is actually a pretty good idea if not a simple one. Bunch of kids get invited by the weird girl in school to a halloween party at a supposedly haunted house where she plans to freak them out. Things go horribly wrong and they get taken over one by one in some pretty entertaining ways. Strangely to me it feels like this movie is great in spite of itself. If you haven't seen it at least once before and you call yourself a horror fan then shame on you. Clear your mind and enjoy the movie for all the cheesy fun it brings. Heck maybe even some of the things in it will give you a chill here and there. Does have its moments.

Trick R Treat (2008)

Ah now this is new to my list. Just came out on DVD this year after a few years of being put on the shelf for other "better" horror movies. Now the pleading of those longing to see this gem have finally been heard and I personally couldn't have been happier. Its an anthology but not in the typical sense of horror anthologies like Creepshow. All the tales are happening at the same time in non-linear fashion weaving in and out of each other. This isn't a gore fest. There isn't one particular baddie to be terrified of. Instead this movie is pretty much trying to capture the spirit of the season in all is ghoulish glory and I must admit it put a nice smile on my face.

Well there they are. Now its your turn. What movies are your favorites for the holiday? Share. Maybe we can get a new list going together eh?

Friday, October 30, 2009

'Tis The Season to be Scary

I have a much better post for when I not so sleepy so enjoy this in the meantime. One od my all time favorite clips I associate with Halloween.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Diary of the Dead

The thought of the dead rising and well basically taking over honestly terrifies me. Always has from the the moment I first stumbled upon Night of the Living Dead as a much much younger Nekko. I told myself the fear was simply because I live near all the major graveyards in my hometown but now I know better. Its the fear of not being able to win. You can't very well beat death after all, be it by old age, car accident, or stalking corpses. Its been a long long time since i felt that primal fear when i watched a movie. Suppose its fitting that George A. Romero, who sparked that fear in me oh so long ago, would be the one to give it back to me in all its heart pounding glory.

The movie itself its done in a documentary style and I suppose that is probably the reason I see so many borderline reviews of this work of gory art. The horror audience has been spoiled with fast paced "zombies" hyped up on PCP or some junk that chase down their victims like a pack of damn wolves. Oh course I could be the odd one out and simply think a slow stalking terror is just much more terrifying that the instant gratification the others give. Diary of the Dead isn't top dollar horror. The effects aren't that great, the CG is late 90s quality at best, but honestly that is about the only gripe I have with the production. The script is compelling drawing you into the decline of civilization showing the moral standard decaying just as fast as the dead roaming the street. You follow several film students trying to make heads or tales of just whats going on and get home and one student decides he wants to film everything that happens so whoever is left will know what really happened. Diary doesn't really fall into the cannon of the rest of the Living Dead series and probably could even be viewed as Romero's take on what Night of the Living Dead would be if he made it in the 2000s instead of the 60s, right down to the low budget.

I could go on and on about the movie but that would require spoilers and well this is a movie I don't believe needs to be tainted with a detailed review. Its not a movie for gore hounds. Its not a film for somebody looking for the typical high budget Hollywood thriller. What it is, is simply another gritty view of the decline of society in a disaster with zombies as the filter done only the way Romero knows how. Check it out with an open mind and you should enjoy it, hopefully as much as I did.

4.5/5 stars

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What Halloween Means to Me

I have reviews I want to get around to but here is a lovely treat in the spirit of the season. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


I have been curious about this movie since i heard about it a year ago and I must say it was well worth the wait for this breath of fresh air in the stagnant world of remakes, rehashes, and overdone sequels. Pontypool is a fairly low budget Canadian film that takes place in a small radio station in the name sake town. I suppose you could call this a zombie flick but the infected in this movie are by no means your average brain eaters. The premise of the story revolves around a radio host, his staff, and sudden violent mobs surfacing through out the town that are chanting strange things.

I don't really know the best way to describe the infection without giving the plot away (its revealed to the cast as well as the audition as the movie progresses) so I won't try. What is important to know before you go into this movie is its not a visual movie by any means. All but the very opening moments take place in the station and all outside accounts of the "riots" are communicated outside parties calling the station and describing the events. I have seen the negative thoughts on this approach as being too confining. I too find it confining, but in a much needed manner. You as a viewer as just as paranoid as the people in the station about wahts happening around them. You feel the claustrophobic tension of an ever strinking safe zone from an threat no one have a full understanding of and the despair of the voices on the other end of the fragile phone lines. This movie seemed to touch on the nerve that very well was flared by the likes of Orson Well's broadcast of The War of the World. This movie does have some gore but you shouldn't be expecting buckets of blood and guts by any means. This is a thinking movie and if you can get down with that I believe you will enjoy it as much as I have.

4.5/5 stars.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Drug of Choice

I fear a lot of things. Some fears are pretty standard and have no real originating cause I can think of like my fear of heights and spiders. Others stem from early childhood exposure to horror by unwittingly walking in on a horror scene my sister, brother, or mother would be watching. For example Stephen King's "It" in which there is a scene that blood sprays from the sink covering the bathroom and little girl in the scene with blood. I don't really remember how old I was or even why it scared me so bad, but for the longest time I couldn't go to the bathroom with the door closed (pretty glad i got over that one). Pretty sure Pennywise the Clown from that is also a heavy factor in my fear of clowns too.

Want another example? Well there was this book series when I was a kid that really creeped me out, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and though all the tales would keep me up a bit at night there was one in particular just got a good foothold in my over active imagination. The story was called "Harold" and mistreated scarecrow that decides to start moving and skinning things and hanging the skins out to dry. To this day I catch myself looking on my rooftop with a little twinge of childish fear that maybe, just maybe, Harold was real and he somehow found my house. This isn't possible but its that "but what if?" that sits in the mind that makes thoughts of that story have such an effect on me for so long.

I am and have always been superstitious (my family has one for just about everything even though I personally think the majority are overly silly) and some superstitions I still practice even though the rational part of my brain knows better. Knows it cant be real. I still like to keep my closet door closed. I stilll don't like having a completely dark room or house when I am alone. I have never been brave enough to do Bloody Mary in a darkened bathroom in front of the mirror. I wont go near a witch board or have anybody use the likes in my presence. I fear these things, but its that same fear that drives my love of horror movies. Watching someone do what I personally would never have the desire or courage to do, like wondering into haunted woods (though I have been known to spend time in graveyards), or tempting some ancient curse for giggles, is like a drug. I get the adrenaline rush and quickened pulse without ever being in danger. When it gets to be too much all I have to do is remember I am sitting in a theater, at a friend's house, or at home at my computer or in bed watching tv. The things cant hurt me, but on foggy nights with moonless nights I think of what could be out there. I think of the graveyards only a few streets over in several directions. So why do I keep watching/reading/playing these things?

Its a drug. The more I get of the feeling the more I want. Horror movies remind me that no mater what it is I am afraid of there is always something much much worse that could happen. I admire the story telling and artistic flair some movies have. Now you ask me "what art??"yes? Well how many times have your thought to yourself "my that was a creative kill", watched a horror movie to pick up the subtle every heavier growth of the atmosphere, or just admired the blending and twisting of reality to the point even you don't know whats real and not anymore. That's art to me.

With that said and this rambling nearing its end I would like to give you an idea of just what it is I like in my horror so you have a bit of warning as to where my ranting could lead and what not. First off I am a huge fan of less is more. What does that imply? Well to me what it means is this. I don't have to be shown anything in great detail. I don't have to see the bad guy in all his full frontal glory. I am not a gore hound I don't have to see every single bit of the gore and guts in a killing. I don't have to be told where something happened in particular. Seems a lot more creepy to me to think "that could be here" to me (for example "every town has an elm street". I don't even have to know why its happening. The human mind is more than capable of filling in the gaps. Any monster Hollywood can spend millions on is nowhere near as scary as what your mind could dream up with rare exceptions to the rule. The mind also likes to fill in the gaps for you so you don't have to see everything going on.

I tend to lean more towards actual story crafting rather than your usual teens have sex teens die horribly in grotesque/funny ways, though I do enjoy my cheesy slashers don't get me wrong. Since I have told you I am a less is more kinda girl how is it I like story so much? Well good stories don't have to spell everything out to you in great detail. A good story can just punch you in the story skin your knees and never even look back. You don't have a why or even a who done it BUT does that make your stomach or knees hurt any less? Horror to me is the fear of the unknown and unreasoning. The story I need is the people its happening to. I don't need to know who they were before hell found them all I need to know is who they are at that moment in time and how this is effecting them, making them grow and change. I like my horror to make me think. I want the writer to make me get in the story with the persons its happening to. As such my movies don't have to be in english for me to like them. I have no problem reading subtitles and of late those foreign movies about about the only horror I watch anymore with the super gore crazy and need to reuse the hell out of an idea that was good once upon a time.

When it comes to horror movies in general I am pretty open and will try to watch just about anything with few exceptions like the super gorey ( though I will watch that) or something that has sexy in the title. I am sorry but if you have to use sexy as a tag with something that isn't like some sort of succubus/incubus situation or equivalent you are really just trying to appeal to the sex starved "I wanna see boobs 80% of my time watching" crowd and I am sorry if I wanted to watch something like that I would get an adult movie and cut out the middle man. I have my own breast thank you, I have no need to see another woman's. Ok....sorry got a little sidetracked there...where was I? Oh yes. Due to my taste in movies I often find a pearl in a movie most claim is horrid or something I think is a pile of seaming gopher poo if often proclaimed the best thing since sliced bread. Tastes differ and as such I think every movie deserves the benefit of an attempted watch. This does not apply to Uwe Boll and what he calls movies. I learned rather quickly that when I see that name I should proceed to act as if that movie doesn't exist.

Ok, I believe that a good start to seeing what this lil' Nekko (yeah I wont be calling myself Ed here as Edy is my wow name this is my pen name) is about. I am sure my opinions will become even more clear as time goes but for the moment I feel this is a good start. Next time we get to the meat.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Chldren of the Night, What Sweet Music They Make

Why start this?

Passion. Yes those of you that know my other blog know I am a rather large WoW head and since I blog about it that should be my only real interest right? Hell no. My first love is horror and probably always will be. I like other things too but there is just something about the quickening of one's pulse as some actor goes against your pleases of "run" and walk into the room with the killer that I just can't get my fill of. Now as fall approaches my need for fear really begins to stir. I hunt like a rabid beast for books, movies, comics, and whatever I can find. I am a junky, I freely admit this.

Ok so as to why I have started this blog....well its rather simple. I cant talk about this love on my WoW blog, there is enough ranting and rambling from the game I don't need to mix the two. This is a passion and I think it deserves its own space to fester and rot. I somehow doubt the hand full of people that read my "musings" at Code Red really wanna hear me rant about my thoughts on the remake/3d crazy hollywood is all about right now.

So now you know why. I do hope this is going to be an enjoyable ride for you. The darkness awaits us all....