Thursday, March 31, 2011

10 Things I Wish Were April Fool's Jokes!

The clock just struck midnight, which means we've now entered perhaps the most annoying day of the year, the day of the year where everyone thinks they're a comedian; April Fool's Day. As a horror blogger, this day leaves me with one of three choices - to talk about April Fool's Day, the horror flick, to play some kind of lame joke on you or to entirely not acknowledge this useless holiday whatsoever, the latter of which has been my stance since starting this blog. But this year i've decided to acknowledge it and bring a little something different to the table. So here are a few things that have gone down in the world of horror in recent memory that I WISH were merely bad April Fool's jokes!



While I wish the entire Elm Street remake was one big expensive April Fool's joke, the main gripe I had with the movie, before even seeing it, was how pathetic and lame the makeup job on Jackie Earle Haley was. I love the guy but I just don't feel he was right for the part in terms of his stature and the makeup work the effects crew did on him was downright terrible and will go down in my mind as one of the most epic fails in horror history. Freddy was always the coolest looking horror villain out there and this was an opportunity to make him even more badass looking and introduce him to a whole new generation. I feel truly sad for the young folks whose only image of Freddy is a pathetic looking turtle faced dude. EPIC. FAIL.



Goddamn I love High Tension. It's one of my favorite horror movies in recent years. And though I love it so much that I tend to look past the lame twist it ends on, I will still always wish it was just a mean looking dude as the killer rather than a hot lesbo chick who thinks she's a mean looking dude. High Tension is proof that a twist ending is not always the way to go ... and that every Cecile De France movie should have a masturbation scene.



After years of being in relatively crappy low budget horror flicks (no disrespect to Bruce or those movies), Bruce Campbell got the role of a lifetime in Don Coscarelli's Bubba Ho-Tep ... and he totally nailed the part, delivering the acting performance of his career. Sequel time rolls around and Bruce declines, forcing Coscarelli to slap the Elvis suit on Ron Perlman. I talked with Coscarelli at a convention a while back about this and he said Bruce made the decision because he wanted to continue working on his own projects. Really Bruce? You'd rather do stuff like My Name Is Bruce than a sequel to a great movie directed by a brilliant filmmaker? Can't help but feel like you're robbing both yourself and us of another great flick. But suit yourself.


I grew up idolizing pro wrestlers Kevin Nash, Kurt Angle and Psycho Sid and I shed a little bitty tear inside for each of them when I saw the above trailer for their new horror flick River of Darkness (which just hit DVD this past Tuesday). I grew up thinking these guys were the coolest dudes on the planet and it's a real jolt of reality to see them in their old ages slapping on piss poor makeup in a desperate attempt to make a quick buck off a shitty no budget horror movie. Ah, who am I kidding? I'm dying to see this movie, just not for the reasons the filmmaker probably hoped!



There has perhaps been no sadder day in the last few years of my life than the day I turned on my TV to watch MONSTERS HD and couldn't find it, soon after realizing that the channel went under. I used to love leaving the channel on in the background when I blogged and I was introduced and re-introduced to some really great stuff during its admirably long run. MONSTERS HD, I will always cherish and miss the many hours we spent together. Horror movies in high def at my disposal 24/7. Goddamn, life was good back then.



I know i've bashed Zombie's Halloween flicks so many times already so i'm gonna try and keep this short. It's not that I feel Rob has lost any of his filmmaking flair these last couple years, I just think he's the kind of filmmaker who should stick to directing his own stuff. Look how awesome House of 1000 Corpses was. Look how totally mindblowingly amazing Devil's Rejects was. And then look at Halloween and H2. I truly believe he did the best he could do with both films, it's just that he never should've headed to Haddonfield in the first place. Zombie used to always be against directing a remake and I really wish he had stuck to his guns on that. Win me back with Lords of Salem, Rob. I have the utmost faith in ya.



This is another one i've harped on a couple times before, but I couldn't not include it in this post. While I can't rag on the Scream sequels two much, being that I always had fun with those movies (at least I used to, haven't re-watched them in many many years), it's movies like Red Eye, Cursed and My Soul To Take that have really convinced me that Craven just doesn't have it in him anymore. The fact that those movies were made by the same guy who made Elm Street and Last House never ceases to amaze me. That being said, i'll always love Wes no matter what he does and i'm really pulling for him with Scream 4. I truly hope this is a return to form for Craven, though I can't say my hopes are too high. I'm CRAVEN it!



Good god I was so into The Walking Dead and I was totally shocked when, 5 weeks in, the AMC announcer popped on the screen and announced that the following week's episode was the season finale. I guess I should've done my research and known that already but I was completely taken by surprise and so bummed that the season was such a short one. This October can't come soon enough!



George Romero is responsible for bringing us some of the greatest practical gore effects movies of all time, which is why it was so surprising and heartbreaking when I saw Land of the Dead on the big screen and found that the amazing Savini effects we came to know and love in the Dead flicks went the way of modern technology, making the movies suffer big time as a result. There's no greater proof of the fact that practical will always be better than CG than the last couple Romero '... of the Dead' movies. Please George, convince Savini to return for one last mega epic zombie hurrah for the both of ya.



This is another one i've talked about a few times in the past but it still makes me sad. After the triumphant announcement that Hatchet 2 would be released UNRATED in AMC Theatres, the first unrated horror release in over two decades, the film was pulled from the theatre chain almost immediately. What started out as a big victory for the genre was quickly revealed to be further confirmation that we will probably never see horror the way we want to see it on the big screen again. When I heard the news, I could literally envision studio execs sitting around greenlighting more PG-13 horror. The silver lining to this one is that I rushed my ass out to the city the day of release, so I got to enjoy it in all its glory like so few were able to/bothered to. It's a night i'll always cherish.


Sarah Queen said...

I agree with your list for sure! Especially Rob Zombie's Halloween films and the High Tension twist ending. Genius film, I usually just ignore the ending too!

Mr. Mike D. said...

Great List Johnny... Here are some of my toughts:

1) I liked Red Eye, but the rest of Craven's shit has been drivel. Scream 4 is going to suck... I don't want it to, but it will.

2) Hatchet 2... good memories. We mixed up the times that night, missed each other, but then ran into each other and met for the first time... cool stuff. Can't believe it got pulled so quick!!!

3) Bruce Campbell is really becoming quite dickish in his older age. For a guy who built his career on being a "people's champion" ty[e of star, you hear stories like him turning down Ho-tep 2 and get mad as shit. Not to mention that I met him at Comic Con and he was a real douche to me.... its sad.

4) I liked the Halloween remake, but H2 blew dicks. I really did enjoy the first one though. Not to mention Devils Rejects & 1,000 Corpses rocked!

5)I kinda liked the ending of High Tension, but I can see your point... actually, it would have been much cooler the way you described it.

Great list...

Mike said...

I love the excuse that they wanted to make Freddy look more realistic... like a burn victim. They completely overlooked the fact that that is what a burn victim looks like after skin graphs.

Assface Freddy ( technically accurate as the most common place to get the skin for such graphs is your theigh and ass ) is an epic fail... but luckly nothing happened on Elm Street.

The diner... not on Elm Street.
The school... not on Elm Street.
The bookstore... not on Elm Street. The pharmacy... not on Elm Street.
Look on the pill bottles, mail, anything with an address.
The only mention of Elm Street is in the opening drive sequence where the camera hangs on the sign as the car passes. The car 'passes' and goes another block then turns in... guess what... that means... the characters, events, everything in the fucking movie is at best Elm Street adjacent.

It probably is for the best... Assface can go jerk off in the shadows on some other block and leave Elm Street alone.

Johnny said...

'Assface Freddy', haha I think I might have to start calling him that!

Caffeinated Joe (Wings) said...

Agree with almost everything you said. I still haven't watched Zombie's H2 because his Halloween sucked so much in my opinion! And THANK YOU for calling out the end of High Tension. Perfectly good movie into the trash at the end, in my opinion. And I feel the same way about Funny Games.

Johnny said...

Funny Games is one I dug from beginning to end. Not the most enjoyable movie to watch, but I love the message that comes along with the torture and, at times, boredom.

justin said...

I agree with every single one of those. Excellent piece.

CRwM said...

I'm a little confused by the High Tension/Funny Games comparison. In Funny Games, the fact that the home invaders know they're in a movie is brought up about 15 to 20 minutes in. It isn't a twist or anything at the end. It could be argued that it's the point of the film.

Johnny said...

CRwM - I think Joe just meant that he didn't dig the ending of Funny Games, though i'll let him be the one to defend that point.

Caffeinated Joe (Wings) said...

Yeah, that is what I mean. I know the movie is more upfront about their twist, the whole movie is askew. But the end was just over the top, for me anyway.

Jayson said...

Still think H2 is woefully time people will see...

Ryne said...

Excellent list; my sentiments exactly for High Tension and especially for the new Elm Street remake, which reeked of neo-slasher failure.

I'm also pulling for Scream 4.

Anonymous said...

i never liked rob zombie's work and always though high tension suck i think i just have and odd taste in horror movies it's sad that hachet 2 getting pulled

Nik Holmes said...

Great post as usual Johnny, I agree with you on all of these with one exception. Bruce Campbell not returning for another round of Bubba? Good for him. For me personally, while all the genre trappings where a hoot, what stood out for me and made the film great was Campbells performance as a broken man at the arse end of life. Robbed of all dignity and self respect it's a joy to watch him rediscover his zest and sense of worth. While it would be a blast to see Campbell as an in his prime Presley battling She Vampires, it would probably belittle the original film and go against the performance he gave. Good on him for taking that much pride in a a great role and a great movie. I've already seen Arnie soil two great Terminator movies by doing the third solely for the cash, and Bruce Willis turned John McClane from the first average joe action hero into a Saturday morning cartoon. Good for Campbell for respecting his craft and his fans.

Johnny said...

Eh, all I know is i'd rather see Bruce return for Bubba Nosferatu than him do My Name Is Still Bruce or some crap like that.