31 Days of Soul-Crushing Depression

I'm digging all the October stuff, but when it comes to producing content and BEING A PERSON, I'm sapped.  Fuck this shit.  And it's so goddamn frustrating because I want to write reviews.  I just can't.  Hell, I couldn't even find my copy of The Exorcist.  That was a "throw your middle fingers up" moment where I realized it was time to pull the plug.  Again.  I apologize, people.  It feels pointless to apologize.  I feel like I'm always apologizing to someone for failing to see something through.  Doesn't help the depression, not one bit.

So I'll fuck off into the sunset.  As per our agreement (???), I'll let you know if/when I return to maintain this place.  I'm not doing well.  No, I'm not suicidal; I'm just...I'm just.  Don't fret for my Halloween spirit.  It has remained oddly unscathed.



The Texas Chainsaw Massacre ('74)

Image created by StuntmanKamil on Deviant Art.

Finally!  I can't believe that I have never reviewed 1974's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, what with it being my favorite film of all time.  Why did I wait so long?  I wouldn't call it waiting per se; it was always a daunting task that I enjoyed putting off.  I majored in Procrastination at Asshole Academy with top honors.  If you need substantiation of my puttering, it's already the seventh of October, and I'm just now tossing up my first review of the month.  I don't like doing stuff.  This much is patent.  I do like Chainsaw (even my segues are laggard), warts and all.  In fact, the warts play a pivotal role in why I love this flick so much.  It has grit.  It has character.  It has a dude in a wheelchair.

You see, Chainsaw is based on the true story of...heh, just kidding.  I believed that bullshit for a long time as a teenager.  Here is something you may find interesting - upon my initial viewing of the film, I wasn't crazy about it.  It was a chaotic blur.  Chainsaw's 83 minutes rushed past me, and I wasn't really sure what to expect to begin with.  Maybe it was the ceaseless screaming that prorogued my appreciation for Tobe Hooper's debut set of scares.  Today, Sally (Marilyn Burns) Hardesty's wails don't rasp my nerves, although I do turn the volume down during certain scenes.  Between her and the saw, it's enough to make your ears bleed.

Over the years, I've often asked myself why this particular movie resonates with my wheels, and I still don't have a lucent answer.  My best guess...it's horror.  Pure horror.  There are no supernatural elements, but Chainsaw never pretends to be anything other than a horror film.  The opening reels are an effigy of death.  The spooky text scroll, the ingrained image of a corpse shackled to a headstone, the dead armadillo...it's almost as if Hooper is clearing the decks with reserved stillness to ready your mind for the entropy that is to come.  It's masterful.  You wouldn't know it from watching 1990's I'm Dangerous Tonight (ergh), but Hooper is talented as hell.

Can we talk about the characters for a minute?  Burns (rest her soul) is never brought up as one of the original scream queens, but I have no idea why.  Her performance is natural.  Her body (and psyche, I would imagine) was put through the wringer on set, which could be said for most of the cast.  The infamous chase sequence is fucking INTENSE.  A fair share of genre enthusiasts despise Franklin, and look, I get it.  I do!  But for obvious reasons, I was able to empathize with the guy.  That's a testament to Paul Partain's method acting.  He was so method, in fact, that Gunnar Hansen hated his guts for years, not realizing that he was basically acting all the while.  Yeah, it was a rough shoot.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was filmed in Texas in the strangling calefaction of summer.  As a result, the celluloid sweats.  It reeks!  You can see the swelter shedding off of the television screen.  It's the polar opposite of Carpenter's The Thing, a shocker that freezes you numb.  Polar opposite.  Is that a pun?  Did I make a funny?  I don't care.  I'm tired.  I hope you have already seen this mortifying classic.  If not, don't look me in the eyes; I will turn you to stone!


A new Halloween tradition...

Yes, the first review of the month is on its way, but before we show up to that party, here is a party of a different nature.  The Halloween mood table!  This was an idea brainstormed by Matt over at Dinosaur Dracula.  I don't want to take any credit for it because Dino Drac is, like, the best site in the history of the internetscapez (navigatorz).  It's basically Random Reviews Inc., only...good.  I'm being too hard on myself, I know, but Dino Drac is so goddamn rad!

Anyway, a mood table is something you can come to whenever you need to lift your Halloween spirit.  Even though I have a Halloween mood room, I was still moved to create one.  The sole requisite is a table.  The rest is up to you.  It can be quaint; it can be epic; it can be themed (clowns, werewolves, candy, etc.); it can be anything!  Most importantly, your mood table should represent YOU.  Whatever makes your horror heart quiver.  Do hearts quiver?  Beat.  Whatever makes your horror heart beat.

Without further ado, here is my 2015 Halloween mood table.

Click to see it slightly larger.  The figures across the top are Hedorah (The Smog Monster, yo) and The Gillman.  The VHS tapes are Shadow Creature, The Regenerated Man and Winterbeast.  I could have chosen a Halloween sequel, but what can I say?  I live for obscure b-movies!

Frankenberry head alert!  Also, a big box VHS to the left and a scale replica of the house from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Freddy and Jason are in town for a BBQ).  To the right, you will see a partially obstructed graphic novel.  It's a collection of Marvel's horror anthologies.  I have cool stuff.

Thanks to my mummy for helping me decorate!


Blood Capsule #55


I've been a casual KISS fan for awhile now, so I figured I should finally watch their bizarro made-for-TV movie that solidified their cartoon cachet.  I expected cheese, and yeah, it's cheesy.  On a scale from almogrote to cervelle de canut, Phantom of the Park is...well, it's cheesy.  Supposedly, it's based on a KISS comic book.  Man, I need to read that motherfucker, if only to see if the plot holes are similarly stretched beyond the limits of wisdom.  The "phantom" is a mad scientist by the name of Abner Devereaux.  He creates robot monsters in the bowels of an amusement park.  In substance, he's a Scooby Doo villain.

Anthony Zerbe's performance is so over the goddamn top, you have to dig the guy.  Fuck the teenagers.  I want Abner's battery-operated superghouls to rule the world!  We get chalk-faced panther humanoids (!?), kung-fu masters and Universal knock-offs (Dracula, The Mummy, a bloated Frankenstein, etc.).  Oh, and KISS makes several appearances throughout the film.  As the band's votaries already know, Ace Frehley didn't bother to show up to shoot half of his scenes, so his African-American stand-in (no, that's not a joke) handled the fight choreography.  Peter's dialogue is dubbed.  Gene's voice is distorted, so you can't understand anything he says.  Fuck.

Right now, I'm wishing this wasn't a blood capsule.  I could continue clacking about Kiss Meets Blah Blah under the proviso that I would be killed afterward, but hey, quality of life and all that.  Do I recommend it?  Of course.  It's terrible.  Paul Stanley has special laser powers, people.


31? You mean the Rob Zombie movie?

Whoosh!  I took a whole damn week off, didn't I?  A couple of reasons for that.  RAISIN ONE - Yesterday was my 31st birthday, and I spent the whole weekend celebrating with family from out of town.  It was fun!  Actual fun!

RAISIN COUPLE - Resting up for October.  I'll be posting a blood capsule tomorrow, but after that?  All bets are off, pal!  This Halloween, I'm going to review my favorite films of all time (that I haven't reviewed yet).  I've hit Creepshow, but somehow, I have never covered my numero uno scare flick.  How is that possible?  Don't ask this dude.  I will try...TRY to cover five.  We'll see if that happens.  Again, that doesn't start until after the next blood capsule, which is a doozy in and of itself.  Heh.


Night Train to Terror

1985's Night Train to Terror reminded me of a couple of things.  For one, it reminded me of 1957's The Story of Mankind, a morality piece where Vincent Price (as Satan) debates whether or not humanity is inherently pernicious in a court setting.  It's a duffer.  Secondly, it reminded me of my uncle Slobberberry.  The last time I saw him, he shit on his foot to put out a "political fire."  Ol' Slobber spends his days in a madhouse.  He's also not real, but Night Train to Terror is evocative of a mental patient.  It's goddamn wobbly.  You know how Spookies is a composite of two different shoots?  Well, this flick feels like ninety different movies edited together.  In reality, director John Carr united three fright cheapies into a single ludicrous viewing experience.

Carr didn't have to worry about a running narrative; this is an anthology.  We get three "cases" and a wrap-around segment starring God and Satan as themselves.  On a train.  In outer space.  Basically, they are locking horns to see who will collect the souls of people on a night train to terror (sorry, I had to) that is fixing to crash.  So many questions.  Answers?  Yeah, right.  Let's do this!

"The Case of Harry Billings" ~ After an auto-accident, Harry wakes up in a hospital bed.  The nursing staff inoculates him at odd hours, and eventually, he is used in a grisly plot to corral cadavers.  I would say that this is a weird vignette, but they're all fucking weird.  You can tell that there are scenes missing.  On the bright side, the pacing is breakneck.  Richard Moll sighting!

"The Case of Gretta Connors" ~ This is where the b-fun kicks into superlative spurwheels (just roll with me, kids).  Some dude and a porn star are decoyed into an underground death club.  It's a group of rich folks playing outrageously dangerous games, games that involve wrecking balls and Tanzanian stop-motion dragonflies.  Gore is ramped up, though the ending is gloriously daft.  The story simply ends, and we're told that the main couple lived happily ever after.  Okay?

"The Case of Claire Hansen" ~ Um, a Satanic...evil guy attacks various people.  I try to write a synopsis that matches the film, and this shit is brainless.  But fun!  I spotted three stop-motion beasties (!), and on a sidenote, Robert Bristol is AWESOME as Evil Satan Guy.  I'm positive that the character has a name.  Here again, the ending is hysterical, but I wouldn't dare spoil it for you.  Bonus Richard Moll sighting!

"The Night Train" ~ This is the framing device you ordered.  It's fine.  However, it keeps cutting back to a pop/rock music video on the train itself.  We bear its hardships on at least four occasions throughout Night Train to Terror, and each time, it's the same fucking song.  You're telling me that Mama's shoppin' for shoes, huh?  Fuck you!  And fuck your mama!  I don't care where your daddy is, you Loverboy-sucking tosspot!  Man, I'm riled up.  I didn't expect to get angry because I dug this motion picture.  That fucking song.  Great, now I want to fuck.  I really hope my mother doesn't read this review.  Where the hell was I???


October Day

Aren't these kids adorable?  They're dead now, but weren't they adorable?  Hey, they were getting on my nerves.  Ease off.  Nah, I'm just kidding.  They died of cancer.  Again, kidding!  Calm down!

I've been thinking about Halloween a lot lately, and I decided to do something "special" for the site next month.  So for those of you wondering, yes, I'll be doing...something.

Alright!  I'll announce it...sometime.  Before October.  Okey-dokey!  Movie review tomorrow!


Album Cover of the Whatever

You thought I forgot about this "column," didn't you?  Well, I didn't.  I'll just post a cool cover every now and then.  Like this one!  FYI: Vampire is a Swedish death/thrash band.