Sunday, April 29, 2012

Vintage Video Of The Week : Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 Original Teaser!

I've briefly touched upon my love of Leatherface : Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 a few times over the years, but allow me to refresh your memory.  I personally dig the film quite a bit and have always felt that it has never quite gotten the respect that it deserves.  Sure it's no Texas Chainsaw Massacre and it's really no Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 either, but as its own movie about Leatherface and his fucked up family, I find it to be a damn solid film, one that always entertains the hell out of me.  I'm sure there are many others who feel the same way, but I never really hear anyone giving the film the props I wish it would be given.

Anyways, back in 1989, when Chainsaw 3 was getting set to hit theaters, New Line cut together an incredibly awesome and unique theatrical teaser trailer for the film.  Rare for a trailer, the teaser featured footage entirely shot for it, rather than cut together footage from the film itself.  As if that wasn't interesting enough, the teaser was actually shot before director Jeff Burr was even hired onto the project.  If you do the math there, that means that the teaser was shot before the movie itself even began filming.  You can imagine Burr's surprise when he went to see Dream Child at the theater in late '89, a week after getting hired to do Chainsaw 3, and saw the teaser for a film he himself was directing but hadn't even begun work on yet!

Chainsaw 3 was lensed shortly thereafter, in 1989, and was released by New Line in January of 1990.

So let's head back to 1989 and check out the original theatrical teaser trailer for Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3, an epic peek behind the curtain at what goes on in Leatherface's life right before he starts cutting up teens with his trusty chainsaw!


I'm pretty damn sure there's no way any horror fan could've possibly laid eyes on this teaser back in the day and not gone out to see the film opening weekend.  The comparison between Leatherface and his chainsaw & King Arthur and his Excalibur is way too awesome to not inspire a serious nerd boner, if you're asking me!

Now I must mention that I've heard rumors that Kane Hodder is actually the one who played Leatherface in this teaser, which would make sense given he was the stunt coordinator on the film and in fact did double for R.A. Mihailoff in several scenes.  I can't confirm this, but if anyone can, please do let me know!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Cool Shit On eBay : Tarman Bobble Head!

Is there anything more fun than getting drunk and searching for shit to drunkenly buy on eBay?  I don't know why I'm asking you, because I already know the answer and it's spelled N-O.

I should note that while I'm getting drunk and perusing eBay I'm also listening to the latest episode of Dear Air : The Liberal Dead Podcast.  Just to throw that out there.

ANYWAY!
 
Just found something pretty cool in the eBay universe and I wanted to share it.  I'm obviously a sucker for cool handmade/fan made goodies, and this piece of cool shit most definitely falls into that category.  We've finally this year been given an officially released Tarman action figure, but it has taken a super fan to handcraft ...
 
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 Handmade out of resin, this bad boy is actually outfitted with a spring in its head, allowing it to bobble up, down and around whenever you touch it.  I'm not sure why such an awesome piece of merch hasn't yet been mass produced, but this particular piece most definitely is not and thus, is very limited in quantity.  It's hand sculpted, hand painted, as well as signed and numbered by the artist, who goes under the name Killer Designs.  There are currently only three available, selling for $35 a piece, so snatch one up while supplies last!
 
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Must also mention that the same seller also has a handmade Jaws bobble head up for sale, which features Bruce emerging from the water in all his wobbly glory.  You can fish him out of the water for $50, also while limited supplies last!

Giveaway Time! Win 1 Of 3 Posters From Artist Patrick Carson Sparrow; Hobo With A Shotgun, Jaws Or American Werewolf In London!

I've been talking a lot lately about the art of Patrick Carson Sparrow, the dude who made the recently posted Maniac Cop playset.  The reason I'm all over his shit is not only because I'm obviously a fan of the stuff he does, but also because as a person, Patrick is one hell of a cool guy, who I've gotten to know a little bit in recent weeks.  Though he's recently been doing unique stuff that's far different from what other artists in the horror community are doing, Patrick first gained my attention through the posters he has whipped up for screenings of various films that he's a fan of.  And guess what?  He sent me three of them, to give away to you folks.

So first let's check out the three posters up for grabs, and then we'll get into the all important entry details!
 
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*This one actually has the title of the movie printed over the blood splatter in the bottom corner, with a werewolf slash through it.  CLICK HERE for a shitty picture of the actual poster you'll receive if you win**

Now the cool thing about this giveaway is that the Hobo & American Werewolf ones are currently out of stock in Patrick's Etsy shop, so right here right now is the only way to get 'em.  You want 'em?  Here's what you have to do to enter!

First, head over to Patrick's Etsy shop.  Browse around a bit.  See anything you like?  Good.  Now leave a comment below with your e-mail address and the poster you want in the event that you win, either the Hobo With A Shotgun, the Jaws or the American Werewolf.  And, well, that'll be all!

Entry deadline is next Saturday, May 5th at midnight.  Good luck to all and thank you Patrick for the awesome prizes!!

Building My Own Phantasm Car!

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To call me a car guy would be like calling Clay Aiken a boobs guy; I don't care for cars, I don't know a thing about them and I don't even own one.  Nevertheless, I have always had an interest in the car that Jody drives in Phantasm, a 1971 Plymouth Barracuda.  There's just something about that car that's so badass, and I admit that the 'something' I refer to is most likely the fact that ... it appears in Phantasm.

I don't swoon over the car or someday dream of sticking my weenie in the tailpipe, but I have always kinda secretly wanted a small scale replica of that car, to display on my toy shelf right next to my Tall Man action figure.  There are no toy cars in my toy collection, but for this particular car I'd happily make an exception.

Now there actually is a replica car company by the name of ERTL that believe it or not put out a replica of the car, branded with the Phantasm logo on the packaging.  It's one of those collectibles I've always desired, but with a price tag of at least $100, if it can even be found on eBay, I've never been able to justify it.  I mean come on, a dude who couldn't care less about cars spending 100 bucks to own a toy car?  It just doesn't seem right.

Which brings us to this here post of DIY frustration, several weeks in the making.

At my job, I've risen up to a position where my boss allows me to place orders through the various vendors we buy from.  Prestigious, I know.  Anyways, I was recently looking through one of the companies' catalogs, when I saw a section of model car kits.  Believe it or not, right there before my very eyes, was the 1971 Plymouth Barracuda, a model kit put out by a company called Revell.  Obviously there was no direct tie-in with the movie, but it was unmistakably the same car that Jody drove in it.  And so I placed the order.

A couple weeks later it arrived and I purchased it, soon after beginning my work on the first ever model kit I've ever assembled and painted.  It was frustrating as all hell and nearly drove me mad, but I wanted to show off the finished product tonight, as well as share some of my frustrations.

So come along for the journey, as a dude with no artistic talent whatsoever attempts to build a model car!
 
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When I say I have no artistic talent, believe me that me saying that isn't merely a case of self deprecation, intended to get you to comment and boost my self esteem by telling me I in fact do.  I'm not the hot chick who's claiming she's ugly here.  I really, truly, 100% have no artistic talent anywhere inside of me.  I can write, this much is true, but when it comes to drawing or painting or anything like that, I might as well be Teri Schiavo.  Artistic talent is something I always wish I had, but the fact that I can't even draw a good looking stick figure lets me know that not all dreams have the possibility of coming true.

Now in addition to having no art talent, I am also an incredibly impatient sack of shit.  Whenever anything takes too long of a time, even if that time period isn't that long at all, I tend to freak out and give up.  You can often find me at the drive-thru area of Wendy's (in a car driven by my girlfriend, of course) internally freaking the fuck out because my fries are taking too long to come through the window.  I'm not a total dickhead, so I don't yell and scream, but my internal struggle with impatience is an epic battle that has raged on for many years.  Hell, even as a kid I used to rip the pages off my parents' page-a-day calendars every December 1st, hoping that by doing so the next morning would magically be Christmas.  OK so I never actually did that, but you get the idea.

Where was I?  Oh right, so I'm impatient and have no talent.  As you can imagine, this combination of poor character traits resulted in this project being one of the most frustrating things I've ever done.  When I bought the kit I foolishly thought that it'd require nothing more than putting a few pieces together and slapping on some paint, efforts that would surely be rewarded with a car that looked exactly like the one on the packaging did.  Boy, did I underestimate the car people of the world.  These folks aren't messing around.

The idea with these things is that car freaks want to display mini replicas of the cars they love, display pieces that are 100% down to every last detail exact small scale replicas of the real things.  In other words, this kit literally contains hundreds of tiny pieces, not just for building the visible shell but for handcrafting the engine and all sorts of other little things that you'd never see unless you opened the hood or turned the car over.  I guess the idea is that these things are supposed to look like you took the real full size cars and shrunk them down in size, with the only difference being that they don't actually run.  And thank the good lord for that, because I'm shit when it comes to electrical issues too.  Come to think of it, I guess my only talent is writing, and I'm quite frankly not even sure if I'm any good at that.  Hm.

I also underestimated how much it costs to do these things.  You not only have to buy the kit ($25 plus 20% employee discount), but you of course have to buy all the paints, the brushes, the glue and the tips to put on the glue bottle so you can direct it into fine lines.  All told this thing ended up costing me nearly $50, which kinda makes me wonder why I didn't just buy the official replica release.

My original plans of getting this thing banged out the first night I bought it and having this post up by the next day didn't go so well, as you might imagine.  I bought the kit nearly a month ago and here I am tonight, with it finally sitting in front of me finished.  You do the math.  Though I admittedly worked on it off and on, a night here, a week off there, this bad boy took me several weeks to complete and resulted in many paint stained pieces of furniture, both from spills and one incident where my cat decided it would be fun to step on a paint covered piece of newspaper and then run around the house.  That's my boy.  So again, given the time, frustrations and money put into it, it probably would've been best to just shell out the 100 bucks and get a real nice Phantasm car, perfectly constructed and painted.

But if I'm being honest, frustrations and everything else aside, this was deep down on some level a fun project and I gotta say, I'm pretty proud of myself for sticking it out and seeing this thing through to the end.  Though the end result is a fairly tiny car that's a bit sticky in spots (when my gloss black acrylic paint ran out, I somehow ended up buying an enamel replacement...doh!), I kinda love it all the more for its imperfections.  I poured my heart and soul into this car, and for that I can look back on the finished product and smile.

So here it is, my completed 1971 Plymouth Barracuda ... or, as us non-car guy horror geeks know it ... the motherfuckin' car from Phantasm!!!

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CLICK to super-size the image!

As proud as that picture makes me, this whole ordeal was ultimately a reminder of why I'm a writer, and why I should probably leave artistic stuff to artistic people.  It was fun though and I'm glad I did it, if only because I got a nice long drunkenly written post out of it. And that's really what it was all about anyway.

So help me god though, please don't let me stumble upon a model kit of Gregory Tudor's truck from Ice Cream Man, because I really don't want to be tempted to do another one of these fuckin' things ever again.

Telltale's New Walking Dead Video Game : Quick Thoughts!

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A couple nights ago I made a little post letting you guys know that Telltale Games' Walking Dead video game had been released (the first part at least), and I shared some thoughts after having played the very short demo that's available for download.  Now that I've purchased and played the entire first episode, I wanted to expand on those thoughts a bit.

Just in case you didn't read that last post, the game is split up into five separate episodes, one to be released every month, with the first episode seeing release just this past week.  So we're not dealing with a disc based game here, but rather one you purchase and download in places like the Playstation/X-Box Store or on your computer.  Rather than being based on the TV series, the game is more based on the line of comic books, though Telltale has essentially created their own story with the game, rather than merely having players play through the motions of stuff they've already read.  So the basic idea is that you play as a newly created character, Lee Everett, who you guide through the zombie apocalypse, meeting up with fellow survivors along the way (most are characters we've never met before, though familiar faces Hershel & Glenn do pop up!).

I think that about covers the game in a nutshell.

So yea, after playing the demo the other night I was compelled to purchase the first episode the following night, which I completed just last night.  I got just about two hours out of game play out of the episode, which I'd say is pretty damn good considering it only cost a mere $4.99 to buy.

Now right off the bat I just want to say one thing, the same thing I'd tell you if you asked me whether or not you should check out the Walking Dead TV series; if you're looking for fast paced zombie killing action, look elsewhere.

Fitting in line with the tone of the Walking Dead comics/TV show, this game is very much character, relationship and emotion based, moreso than it is centered around killing zombies.  So again, if it's action and oodles of head shots you're in the mood for, you should probably cuddle up with something like Dead Rising or Left 4 Dead instead.  That said, much like the comics & show, there is plenty of zombie killing action in here too, and it's pretty intense and brutal. The game is just as a whole more about the characters and drama.
 
As I said in my little review of the demo, the interesting thing about this game is that it's very interactive, allowing your actions and decisions to literally guide the course of your own personal game.  In other words, you're not just doing what you have to do in order to complete it, as is the case with most games, but you're actually choosing what it is that you do.  You choose what objects in your environment to interact with and you choose what to say to other characters you come across, and even who to save when two characters are about to be feasted on by zombies, with your choices dictating your relationships with other characters and even what you learn about your own character.  If you want him to be a cold-hearted dickhead, you can make him a cold-hearted dickhead.  If you want him to be a big ole sap who helps others, you can make him that.  The game is your zombified oyster.

That's the whole basis and strong suit of the game, as you literally feel like you're directly involved with everything that's happening.  I've only played through the episode once, so I can't say how much different choices truly do affect the course of the game, and I've got a feeling that you're made to feel like you have more of an influence on all that than you really do, but nevertheless I love the whole idea of interactive gaming.  If I'm being honest I'm not much of a gamer, so maybe this is something that's been around forever, but to me it felt like a whole new gaming experience.

Now another thing I want to point out is that each episode of the game is less like a traditional game and plays more like an episode of an animated Walking Dead series, that you get to interact with and take control of every so often.  What I mean by that is that much of the game is very cut-scene based, with your participation in it only coming when you're asked to make a decision.  There are portions where you do get to roam free and actually play the game, albeit in very limited environments, but for the most part it's like watching an animated movie that you're taking part in.  So again, if you're looking for more of a traditional game, you may be a bit disappointed and bored.

As for me personally, I had a blast with the game and will most definitely be purchasing all future episodes as they come out.  When I was a kid I absolutely loved those 'Choose Your Own Adventure Books' and as I got older, and found myself spending a lot of time in front of a computer, I became hardcore addicted to those 'Room Escape games', and I'm happy to say that this game is a nice little fusion of the two.  The fact that those two elements are mixed in with something like The Walking Dead is a true treat for me personally, so I'd have to go ahead and give this one a big ole Freddy In Space Seal of Approval.  It may not be as fun or action packed as a game like Dead Rising, but let's be real here, shooting zombies over and over gets old real quick.  With a solid story backing it up, I personally see myself having fun longer with this game and getting more invested in it than one where it's just nonstop zombie action.  Seems only right, given that's exactly the way I feel about the show.

One last thing I want to mention is that at the end of each episode, the game lists off stats of decisions you made during the episode, comparing them to the decisions that other gamers made.  In other words if you chose to let character A die and instead save character B, it'll say something like 'you and 54% of players chose to save character B.'  Thought that was pretty cool, as it kinda highlights the fun and interactive nature of the game.  The fact that every player experiences their own version of the events (to a point), which they can then compare to friends who also play, is pretty neat.  Creates a whole fun little community out of the game. "Duuuude, you let the little kid die?  You're a fuckin' dick, man!!"

Anyways.  Yea.  Definitely give the first episode a purchase and check it out for yourself.  If you're a fan of the comics and/or TV show, I can almost guarantee you're gonna dig it.  We've gotten to read and watch the story unfold, and now we get to play it and be in it.  Nothing to not love about that!
 
If nothing else, the game should give us all something to pass the time with until Walking Dead returns to AMC this October!

Cool Shit On Etsy : Maniac Cop Playset!

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Remember those C.H.U.D. masks I blogged about a couple weeks back?  Well the artist that made those, Patrick Carson Sparrow, has decided to continue down the path of making cool little wearable masks such as those, only this time he's taking it one step further by making not just masks, but entire playsets in honor of his favorite horror movies.  Kinda like those little cheap cop/doctor sets you see in toy stores ... only far fucking cooler.

Carson Sparrow kicks things off with a Maniac Cop inspired playset, which I can promise you will be the coolest bit of Maniac Cop awesomeness you've laid eyes on since last week's announcement that Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn will be helping to bring a reboot to the screen! 

Check out Sparrow's 'Slasher Cop' playset, which is now available for purchase on Etsy!

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The playset includes a Maniac Cop mask as well as handcuffs & keys, a gun and a badge.  Is that the coolest thing you've ever seen or what?  When Sparrow told me he was working on this I about blew my load, and I must now admit that I've done just that here now that I've seen the finished product, only minus the word 'about'.  Let me grab a tissue here.

OK so these playsets are extremely limited to only 20 pieces, which are going for a mere $20 over in Sparrow's Etsy shop.  I don't know how many are left at the present time but I'm pretty damn certain of the fact that they won't last very long.  So get yours today, or you'll have the right to remain uncool ... FOREVER!!

Speaking of Patrick Carson Sparrow, stay tuned for a giveaway of some of his awesome artwork, coming very soon here on Freddy In Space!

A Few Quick Thank You's ...

So Sequels I've Never Seen Week has come to a close, leaving me with finally having seen several movies I have for years meant to sit down and watch, but somehow just never managed to.  I had a blast going back and discovering these movies for the very first time and I can with 100% confidence say that there will be many more of those theme weeks to come.  Hell, I've still got a solid list of sequels I still haven't seen, everything from Candyman 2 to Blair Witch 2, Fright Night 2 to Phantasm 3.  So yea, expect more of that in the future!

Just want to offer up a few quick thank you's here today for those who went out of their way to create header banners for the week.  But first, in the event that you didn't want to bother reading my long winded reviews all week, here are quick snippets of thoughts on each of the sequels I visited for the first time this week.  Click each link for the full review!

THE GATE 2 - 'It may star the same badass uber geek and may be made by the same guys, but without a host of minions, cool stop motion effects or any sense of coherent or entertaining plot, this Gate is better left unopened.'

PUMPKINHEAD 2: BLOOD WINGS - 'It's such a shame because Pumpkinhead is such a cool monster and the whole idea of that creature is so interesting, seemingly fertile ground for some really cool shit.  Blood Wings just feels like such a waste of that creature and that universe.  It's a totally lifeless sequel that saves any semblance of excitement, gore or coolness for the final 10 minutes, and by that time it's just a tad bit too late.'

PET SEMATARY TWO - 'Sematary Two is just plain fun, a batshit crazy gore-fest that's jam packed with strange ill fitting music and all kinds of wild imagery, including ER's Anthony Edwards having sex with a dog, more animal cruelty than a Michael Vick/Ruggero Deodato block party, horror movie homages and references aplenty (everything from Phantasm to The Thing, Happy Birthday To Me to The Shining), and even a kickass Halloween night sequence which features Edward Furlong dressed up as Jason Voorhees from Friday Part 3 (worth the price of admission alone!).'

PSYCHO 2 - 'Full of fun twists and turns and rife with an air of suspense that'd make the Hitch himself proud, Psycho 2 manages to do what would seem to be the impossible; be a worthy follow-up to the original Psycho.'

PIRANHA 2: THE SPAWNING - 'Piranha 2 is a godawful film, and not in any kind of fun way either.  To lump it alongside films like Troll 2 and one of my personal faves, Ice Cream Man, in the 'so bad it's good' category would quite frankly be giving it way too much credit, because there's really nothing about it that provides any kind of fun or entertainment.'

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Now that I'm done quoting myself (kinda made me feel douchey, I must say), I would like to offer up big time public thank you's to Lockheed Lee & Frank Browning, the artists who whipped up the Sequels I've Never Seen Week banners that I used at the top of each post throughout the week. Lockheed made the top one, while Frank made the following three.  Thank you both so much, I can't tell you how much I appreciate you guys going out of your way to do that for me.  It's the little things like header banners that make stuff like this stand out as being special!

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Finally just want to also publicly thank artist Tommy Lombardozzi for making the incredibly awesome Freddy In Space Facebook page cover photo, which I absolutely love.  It's been up there for over a month now but I just realized I never thanked Tommy on here, so now seemed like a good time.  Thanks again Tommy!

And of course, thank you all for reading and supporting the blog.  Without you folks, I'd just be a weirdo who spends way too much time sitting in his bedroom talking to himself!!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Sequels I've Never Seen Week - Piranha 2 : The Spawning

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The year was 1981.  Just three years after Joe Dante cut his proverbial teeth in the horror genre by making the low budget cult flick Piranha, someone decided it would be a good idea to make a sequel.  After the original director hired to tackle the project proposed the idea that Kevin McCarthy's character from the first one return as a mangled mess of a man, even though he was quite clearly killed in the film, that director (Miller Drake) was promptly fired.  It was at this point that the special effects director of the film was given the reigns to direct the entire thing.  That man, who had never at that point directed anything aside from a ten minute science fiction short he made with friends a few years prior, was James Cameron.

The script, punched up by Cameron himself under the pseudonym H.A. Milton, was essentially a rehashing of the first film, only with one slight change to the titular villains; they were given wings, the result of a government experiment (what else!) designed to create a fish that could live both in and out of the water.  Yep, before the government created mega sized piranha, they created flying piranha.  Nice going, guys.

Naturally, the flying razor tooth fucks get loose and invade a summer resort, taking it upon themselves to turn the tourists into a veritable all you can eat buffet of human flesh.  Yummy.

Now the interesting thing about Piranha 2 is that it's an Italian production, made with a mostly Italian cast and crew.  And it very much feels like an Italian horror film, with lots of weird awkward moments and terrible dubbing abound.  I actually didn't realize this until I watched the movie last night, so you can imagine my surprise when I popped the disc in my PS3 and immediately wondered if a Fulci movie had accidentally made its way into the DVD case!

OK let's just cut right to the chase here.  Piranha 2 is a godawful film, and not in any kind of fun way either.  To lump it alongside films like Troll 2 and one of my personal faves, Ice Cream Man, in the 'so bad it's good' category would quite frankly be giving it way too much credit, because there's really nothing about it that provides any kind of fun or entertainment.  It's just plain boring, and incredibly uninteresting on every level.  While it is true that getting shitfaced drunk and watching it with an audience (as Cameron himself in later years admitted was the only way to see it) would make it a bit more fun than watching it at home alone, as I did last night, I find it hard to believe that there's any pair of beer goggles on this planet that could turn the movie into anything worth spending an hour and a half with.  I know my boy Tom Bryce disagrees with me there, and I challenge him to someday get me drunk and make me fall in love with it, but there's just really nothing at all to see here.  It's just run of the mill low budget killer fish drivel, lacking in any cool kill scenes or anything else that makes the best of the low budget killer fish sub-genre fun.  There are plenty of boobies though, if that helps any.  Plenty of man bulge too.

At this point, in the year 2012, there have just been so many movies of this sort that are light years ahead of a film like this in the fun department, so it's almost not even fair for a film like this to come into my life nowadays and try to entertain me ... no matter how many beers I've guzzled down.  When I can pop in something like Alex Aja's Piranha remake and enjoy a full hour and a half of incredible creative gore and all the gratuitous full frontal female nudity I could ever desire to see in one movie, the 1981 version of such a film just doesn't do a damn thing for me.  You can chalk it up to me being jaded, but I'm pretty certain there was no point that Piranha 2 was anything more than a super crappy Jaws ripoff.  So yea, I'm pretty sure I'd feel the same way about it no matter what point in my life I saw it.

Since I always try to find the good in every horror movie I watch, I will say that this one does have two things going for it that at least help it bring something to the table; Lance Henriksen & Gianetto De Rossi.

Henriksen is one of my favorite actors alive today and in Piranha 2 he plays a role that's pretty rare for him; the sheriff, a good guy who's a family man above all else.  Though this was made before he really came into his own as an actor, and though he doesn't get all that much screen-time in it, it's nice to see him on screen, as it always is.  That said, it's generally a lot more fun seeing Lance be bad.

**HENRIKSEN FUN FACT : THE BUDGET OF PIRANHA 2 WAS SO SMALL THAT NO WARDROBE WAS EVEN PROVIDED FOR THE ACTORS.  AFTER BEING TOLD THIS BY CAMERON WHILE OUT FOR A COFFEE, LANCE PULLED A WAITER ASIDE AND BOUGHT HIS PANTS OFF OF HIM FOR $75, TO USE FOR THE MOVIE.  HE EVEN TOOK IT UPON HIMSELF TO HAND CARVE A GUN OUT OF WOOD, SO HE'D HAVE SOMETHING TO FILL OUT HIS HOLSTER**

As for De Rossi, he's the Italian special effects maestro who worked on many films in Lucio Fulci's library, including The BeyondZombie.  Of course that means that the gore and makeup effects are pretty good in the movie, though De Rossi never really gets to let loose and bring to life the extremely grotesque images he was able to pull off for Fulci.  The death scenes in the film are all pretty generic and not all that gory, and it's mostly the makeup effects on people after they've been chewed up by fish where De Rossi gets the chance to shine.  But yea, he's totally underutilized.

I'm not exactly a believer in that whole 'everything happens for a reason' thing but if I was, Piranha 2 would be a damn good piece of evidence that I'd likely use to support that claim.  Why do I say that?  Because it almost feels to me like the only reason the film exists was so that its creation could pave the way for bigger and better things in the future.  Allow me to explain.

For one, who the hell knows if James Cameron ever would've become what he became as a filmmaker if he weren't given the job directing this film.  Though he had an interest in making movies beforehand, it's quite possible that he could've continued his whole career in the business as a special effects dude, rather than a director, which would mean no Terminator or Aliens, at least the versions we know and love.

In addition, doing this film gave Cameron a lot of experience shooting in and around water, where he has spent a whole lot of his time as a filmmaker.  Ya gotta wonder if he got bitten by the deep sea exploration bug while making Piranha 2, though that's pure speculation on my part.  At the very least, he must've gained experience doing the film that helped him with future films like The Abyss, Titanic and his many underwater documentaries.

Speaking of Cameron's future work, he actually conceived the idea for The Terminator while making Piranha 2.  Story goes that Cameron became very ill from food poisoning while making part of the movie in Rome, which resulted in him having some very strange nightmares.  One of those nightmares featured an invincible robot hit man from the future that was sent to kill him.  Yep.  So thank you, Piranha 2.  And thank you, food poisoning!

Now the other thing the film indirectly led to was Lance Henriksen's career.  It was through making the movie that Henriksen and Cameron met and became friends, which later down the road led to the two teaming up for Aliens, the film that changed Henriksen's life and career.  Prior to that film he was considering throwing in the towel and doing something else with his life, and it was that movie that turned everything around for him both in terms of his career and his acting style, both of which he credits that experience for enriching.  If this hunk of junk never existed, who knows what would've ever become of Henriksen's career, and I shudder to think of a world where someone like him spent his life doing something other than acting.  Hell, it was also through Cameron that Lance ended up in Near Dark, directed by Cameron's friend/future wife Kathryn Bigelow.

So who knows.  Whether you believe everything happens for a reason or not, it's at least a nice thought to look at a bad film like this as serving some kind of purpose.  Because it definitely doesn't serve the purpose of entertaining, that's for damn sure!

Bottom line being, while flying killer fish + James Cameron may sound like the recipe for sequel success, Piranha 2 sucks shit.  It's a B movie creature feature that fails to provide the one thing B movie creature features should always bring to the table; fun.

But maybe, just maybe, the ole butterfly effect gives it a good enough excuse for existing.  For that, I will forgive it for boring the hell out of me last night!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sequels I've Never Seen Week : Psycho 2

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I really can't think of any task more daunting for a filmmaker than making a sequel to Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, one of the most respected and beloved horror films of all time.  It's a totally ballsy move, especially to do it over 20 years later, as it's pretty damn impossible for such a film to ever be seen as anything more than an inferior follow-up.  Which is why it's so incredibly impressive that Psycho 2 comes out of it all smelling like one of Mrs. Bates' delicious cheese sandwiches.  But let's backtrack here for a second...

Anthony Perkins reprises the role of Norman Bates in Psycho 2, 23 years after first playing the part.  That whole time, Bates has been in a mental hospital for the criminally insane, following the murders we saw him commit in Hitchcock's film.  At the start of Psycho 2, Bates is released from the hospital, on the grounds that he's finally fit to be back in society.  Or is he?

In perhaps the stupidest move in the history of horror cinema, Bates' psychologist decides to not only allow him to return back to his mother's house on the hill, but also hooks him up with a job in a diner kitchen, where he's of course always around kitchen knives ... and food which is about to be consumed ... even though he years prior killed his own mother by poisoning her tea.  Ya, good call, dude.  It's almost as if he says, "Here's a big knife and full access to all your past problems .... go have fun, Norm".

Anyways.  So Bates returns back to the Bates Motel and his mother's house, where things all quicky begin to go downhill for him again ... and for everyone that checks in to his life.

**FUN FACT : THIS FILM WAS ORIGINALLY GOING TO GO STRAIGHT TO TELEVISION, WITH CHRISTOPHER WALKEN BEING ONE OF THE ACTORS CONSIDERED TO PLAY BATES.  IT WAS ONLY ONCE PERKINS SIGNED ON THAT THE FILM RECEIVED A THEATRICAL RELEASE**

Psycho 2 brilliantly begins with footage of the entire infamous shower scene from Psycho, immediately setting the mood and thrusting the viewer right back into the world of that film, no lengthy re-introductions to characters or explanations of past events necessary.  Often sequels get muddled in wasting way too much time trying to re-establish things most people seeing them would already know, but with something like this I think it's pretty much common knowledge who Norman Bates is and what happened in Psycho, even all those years later.  So it was awesome to see that right off the bat they just got right to the plot of this film, rather than wasting too much time re-establishing stuff from the first one.

I just used the word brilliant above and brilliant is most definitely one of the words I would use to describe Psycho 2 as a whole.  The script by Fright Night/Child's Play writer/director Tom Holland is absolutely brilliant, a fascinating examination of a man with serious mental issues rather than a run of the mill slasher flick about a cold blooded killer who's just been sprung from prison.  I feel like a lesser writer would've gone more for the latter take on the material, and it would've been a whole lot easier to do that, but Holland smartly makes the film all about Bates and what's going on in his head, as opposed to the kind of killer set free film I quite frankly expected it to be.  Serious kudos to him for that.

The whole movie is essentially about Bates coping with life after being in prison for over 20 years, forced to resist his natural urges and quell his mental issues in an effort to remain free on the outside.  Holland's script masterfully plays with that material incredibly well, as does Perkins' acting, and you truly get the sense that Bates wants to do good but his brain will simply not allow him to.  It seems that every character in the movie is almost tempting Bates to return to his old ways (and some indeed intentionally are), including the young girl who works at the diner who he has taken into his home.  At one point she places a kitchen knife in his hands so he can cut a sandwich in half (which he himself moments earlier had avoided picking up) and at another she makes a point to tell Bates she's going upstairs to take a shower ... which he of course can't resist peeking in on.  The movie has a lot of fun with all that stuff, which makes it a true pleasure for any Psycho fan to watch.

**FUN FACT : AS AN HOMAGE TO HITCHCOCK'S WAY OF INSERTING HIMSELF INTO ALL OF HIS MOVIES, THE MAKERS OF THIS ONE PROJECTED A SHADOW ONTO THE WALL OF THE BATES HOUSE IN ONE QUICK SCENE, WHICH RESEMBLES HITCHCOCK'S FAMOUS SIDE PROFILE**

Now the really interesting and brilliant thing here is that Psycho 2 is a whodunit flick more than anything else, which you really wouldn't expect it to be.  How does a sequel remain as suspenseful as Hitchcock's masterpiece when we already know who the killer is and what his intentions are?  Well, Holland's script isn't so cut and dry and he never has Bates outwardly be the 'bad guy'.  Yes, we know what Bates has done in the past, and what he's capable of, but throughout the whole movie we're never quite sure who is donning the Momma Bates attire and doing the killing.  Is it Bates himself?  Is it a copycat killer?  Or is it Marion Crane's sister (played again by a returning Vera Miles), in an act of revenge to get Bates re-committed to the mental hospital?  Not only do we not know the answer to this question throughout, but neither does Bates, which is another brilliant little touch.  Due to his fragile mental condition, and his proclivity for blacking out, even he is never sure if he's been dressing as his mother and doing the killing or if he's totally innocent and no longer a killer or even if his mother herself is actually still alive (which he at times thinks is the case).  Hell, I almost felt like I was going a little mad myself just watching it all play out!  Hate to keep using the word but again, it's all incredibly brilliant.  It's not just 'who's the killer?', but it's also 'is Bates still crazy?', so there's plenty enough going on to keep the film utterly engrossing throughout.

I know I'm focusing a lot on Holland's script here, but I have to also point out that the direction from Richard Franklin is superb as well.  A whole laundry list of incredible and unique shots and camera angles evoke the spirit of Hitchcock, bringing the script to life in a very captivating and at times quite visually striking way.  It's a true joy to watch this movie play out.

Full of fun twists and turns and rife with an air of suspense that'd make the Hitch himself proud, Psycho 2 manages to do what would seem to be the impossible; be a worthy follow-up to the original Psycho.   In many ways it's a love letter to that film, and Franklin is in fact a big time fan and friend of Hitchcock's, but its ultimate display of love towards that movie is the fact that it's so smart and well made.  Especially given the incredibly large shoes it had to live inside, I've gotta go ahead and consider this one of the very best horror sequels of all time.  I just loved this movie a whole lot and was so impressed by how it never once comes off as being an inferior follow-up, and more than overcomes the inherent disadvantage of being a sequel to such a classic. It's its own movie, both an homage and an expansion on Hitchcock's, and it's damn good at being everything it is; a classy and respectable sequel to a classy and respected film.  It was quite clearly born out of love for the original, rather than a love for money, the latter of which many horror sequels unfortunately are a product of.  The film actually made me even love Psycho and everything about that whole universe all the more, which really says something.

I don't want to get too sappy here, but I felt an incredible sadness come over me watching Perkins in this movie.  I feel like for the first time I really felt his loss, both as a human being and as an actor, and it's just such a bummer that he's gone.  That man was a true treasure and I'm so glad, and thankful, that he got a few sequels to really dig deep into the character of Bates, which is a treat that he has forever left behind for us all.  He's just so damn likeable, even when he's about to plunge a knife into your chest!

On that note, I honestly cannot wait to dig into Psycho 34, both of which Perkins also stars in.  Definitely gonna be checking them out very soon, since I've got that DVD 3 pack of all the sequels.  I look forward to it very much!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Heads Up : Holliston Episode 4 & Walking Dead Game Demo!!

 Just two quick little things I want to let ya know about/remind you of here tonight ...

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First off, last night's episode of Holliston is now available for download on iTunes.  It's the fourth episode in the six episode long first season of the show and trust me when I say it's the best of the bunch thus far, which is why I want to urge you to check it out.  The episode is called "Candyman" and stars Tony Todd as Tony Todd, who at first Adam & Joe are all into hanging out with ... until he won't leave their apartment, starts rapping in the shower, and tries to steal Adam's girl.  Todd is absolutely brilliant playing a madball version of himself, who refers to himself as 'Candyman', and the episode is just so damn funny.  You can rent it over on iTunes for as low as $1.99, so definitely go give it a watch!

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And secondly, speaking of downloads, the demo for Telltale Games' new Walking Dead video game is now available for download over in the Playstation Store.  The game, which is based on the comics rather than the TV show, is split up into five playable 'episodes', the first of which can now be bought for $4.99.  Or if you just want to play the demo version of that episode, you can of course check that out free of charge.  You can also buy the full season pass for $19.99, and you'll get to play each episode as they become available, one per month.

Now if you'll excuse me, my download of the demo is done and I've gotta slay me some zombies!

OK I'm back.  Just got done playing the demo and I gotta say, it's looking like this one has the potential to be a lot of fun.  You play as Lee Everett, a character who doesn't actually appear in Kirkman's comics (from what I gather this game is set in the same universe as the comics, and features some of the same characters, but tells its own tale).  Lee of course finds himself in the midst of the zombie apocalypse, and it's your job to guide him and all the humans he meets up with to safety, killing zombies as necessary along the way.

The cool thing about the game is that it's a bit like those old 'Choose Your Own Adventure' books, in that it's totally interactive and you, as the player, make all the decisions for your character, choosing what to say, do and even what objects around you to interact with.  It seems as if each of those decisions affects the course of the game for you across the whole series, which is pretty damn cool if you ask me.  You essentially control the whole game, which makes your adventure unique to you.  I dig that, a whole lot.

The game does seem to be pretty simple, and very limited in roaming capability, but I think that focus on interactivity is what's gonna make this one worth the buy.  Unfortunately, the demo is incredibly short, as you only get to kill one zombie and make only a few decisions, but it was enough to get me to want to purchase the first episode and play around with it more, which I will likely be doing very soon.  So I guess that's saying something.

Definitely give the demo a download if you're into the comics, show or just zombies in general.  We've read The Walking Dead and we've watched The Walking Dead ... I think it's only right that we now play it!

Sequels I've Never Seen Week : Pet Sematary Two

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Out of all the sequels I'm getting around to checking out this week, Pet Sematary Two is the one that has been on my 'to watch' list for the longest amount of time, and the one I've been most excited to finally see.  This is precisely why I decided to tackle this theme week; because I knew it'd force me to sit down and watch shit I've always meant to watch.  I'm a lazy fucker when it comes to pretty much everything, even watching movies, but if there's one thing I'm not lazy about it's blogging, so I knew if I made a promise to you folks to watch and review all these movies I'd live up to that promise.  And in the case of this one, I'm quite glad I did.  Which is thus far the first time this week I've felt that way!

Pet Sematary director Mary Lambert returns three years later behind the camera for this sequel, which stars Edward Furlong as a kid (Jeff) who at the start of the film loses his mother, a Hollywood starlet who dies in an on-set special effects mishap.  After the death, Jeff and his father move out of California, to the small town of Ludlow, Maine.  The idea is to get away from the tragedy and rebuild their lives, but of course Ludlow and its little hidden secret over in the Indian burial ground throw a bit of a wrench into that plan.  And by wrench I mean dead things coming back to life to prey on the living.

Jeff makes quick friends with a heavyset boy by the name of Drew, who lives under the totalitarian rule of his asshole stepfather, who also happens to be the town sheriff.  One night Drew's stepfather cold-bloodedly shoots Drew's dog dead, which kickstarts a mess of Pet Sematary induced re-animations for the two young boys and their families.  Dead.  Is.  Better.

Pet Sematary Two starts off very much the same way the first one did; a move to a new town followed by the death of a beloved pet leading our cast of characters down a path of evil shit.  Only difference between the two being that this one is more about how kids, rather than adults, deal with the deaths of loved ones in a town where it's possible for the dead to come back to life, which puts a bit of an interesting spin on the subject matter.  If there's anything I love, it's horror movies with kids in the lead, so I quite welcomed this perspective on the tale.  Aside from that change though, Pet Sematary Two is pretty much straightforward stuff for at least the first half of the film, Lambert kinda just telling a similar story with a different group of people and a different set of issues.  Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it's the second half of the film that's the real treat here.

It's somewhere around the halfway mark that the whole serious family drama and kids dealing with loss thing is mostly thrown out the window and Pet Sematary Two starts to feel a bit like a runaway train, an unfocused all over the place ride that eventually completely derails in the most awesome of ways.  Some of it works and some of it doesn't, but where this sequel excels is at distancing itself as much as possible from the dark and scary tone of the first one, while at the same time feeling very much like it takes place in the same world as that film.  It's almost as if Mary Lambert said, 'alright, no more book to stick to, let's just go balls to the wall with this shit and have a blast'.  And a blast is exactly what Pet Sematary Two provides, a far different take on King's novel that sets out to do one thing and one thing only; entertain.  And boy does it ever.

The way I see it is that Pet Sematary Two is to Pet Sematary what Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is to Texas Chainsaw Massacre; a sequel made by the same director that is a complete and utter joy to watch because of the fact that it strays so far from its predecessor, going for campy gory laughs and entertainment rather than dark and scary horror (Zelda!!).  Though such a vast 360 degree change of tone is undoubtedly going to be a major turn off for some when it comes to any sequel, I personally love when a horror movie is followed up by a sequel that really just lets it all hang out and goes for something totally different, while still being faithful to what the first one was.  If you're asking me, Pet Sematary Two admirably pulls that feat off, much like Chainsaw 2 did.

Speaking of being faithful to the first one, I was very happy to see several references made to the Creed family and the events of that film.  We see glimpses of their house, hear characters tell stories about what happened, which reveal the whereabouts of Ellie Creed, and we even meet Church's veterinarian, a nice if desperate little way of bringing a new character into the fold who was present but never seen during the events of the first one.  It's the little things that make me smile, and I always love to see little references like these in sequels that remind me what I'm watching exists in the same universe as what came before it.

Sematary Two is just plain fun, a batshit crazy gore-fest that's jam packed with strange ill fitting music and all kinds of wild imagery, including ER's Anthony Edwards having sex with a dog, more animal cruelty than a Michael Vick/Ruggero Deodato block party, horror movie homages and references aplenty (everything from Phantasm to The Thing, Happy Birthday To Me to The Shining), and even a kickass Halloween night sequence which features Edward Furlong dressed up as Jason Voorhees from Friday Part 3 (worth the price of admission alone!).  It's quite the nihilistic little gem where neither kids nor animals are safe from brutal deaths, and it almost even feels like a big middle finger from Lambert to Hollywood in many ways.  I'm not even sure what the message there is, if there even is an underlying one, but I'm thinking the fact that Furlong's mom is a Hollywood actress is no coincidence.  Hell, even the scene of her funeral seems to express some pretty angry sentiments about Hollywood and fame.  Again, this is pure speculation and it's very possible that I'm reading way too far into the movie, but there's definitely a healthy dose of nihilism and anger present in the film, which really contributes to it being such a fun and oddball little movie.  It's weird as all hell, but it totally works.

One last little thing I've gotta point out that I found a little weird was the fact that Drew's abusive dad, played by Clancy Brown, looks and even moreso sounds like Fred Gwynne, who of course played Jud in the first Pet Sematary.  I can only imagine that's a big reason why he was brought onto the film, though I'm not exactly sure why Lambert wanted that.  The characters couldn't be more different from one another but I guess that was her way of somewhat infusing that element of the first one into the sequel?  Or maybe it was just an homage to Gwynne.  Kinda weird but again, I doubt it's mere coincidence.  In fact, Brown seems to be going out of his way to sound as much like Gwynne as he possibly can.

Pet Sematary Two, again much like Texas Chainsaw 2, is hard to call an inferior sequel, given it's so different from the film that came before it.  Is it as good of a movie?  No, it's not.  But it's really its own movie altogether and to compare the two would kinda be missing the point.  Pet Sematary Two stands tall as its own movie, a lighthearted and balls to the wall fun take on some pretty dark subject matter that replaces the drama and scares of the first one with laughs and gore.  For that, I commend it greatly.  It pretty much feels like the film Pet Sematary would be if Pet Sematary were buried in the Indian burial ground above the Pet Sematary; it's familiar and at first glance feels very much like its old self, but before long becomes a monstrous, gooey, blood soaked beast that couldn't possibly be more different from what it used to be.  Gotta say, I kinda loved this one!

If you, like me, have made it this far without Pet Sematary Two in your life, I'd recommend you make the time to change that.  Just don't go into it expecting Pet Sematary and have fun with it!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Giveaway Time! Win A Limited Edition Innkeepers Blu-ray!

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The above Blu-ray release of The Innkeepers, nestled inside super slick gatefold packaging, was released in very limited quantities and sent out to various movie websites around the web, for giveaways to tie-in with today's Blu-ray & DVD release of the film.  It's not the kind of thing you can track down anywhere online and purchase, making it a pretty damn special and rare collector's item.  How rare?  Only 500 were printed worldwide.

What's that, you want one?

Well, it just so happens that horror community darling Kristy Jett has a copy in her possession, which she wants to give to you.  Yes, you.  Kristy has decided to put a copy of the Limited Edition Blu-ray up for grabs right here on Freddy In Space, so say a big thank you to her and read on to find out how you can make it yours!!

In order to enter, you're gonna have to go back to Kristy's interview with Innkeepers star Pat Healy that I posted yesterday.  What I'm gonna need you to do is drop me an e-mail at MORTIS45@AOL.COM, with the subject 'Innkeepers', and the answer to the following question :

- In Kristy's interview with Pat, what two filmmakers did he reference as having similar suspenseful styles as Innkeepers director Ti West?

Please get your entries in by next Tuesday, May 1st.  Best of luck to all and don't forget; The Innkeepers is out on Blu-ray & DVD today and you absolutely must not miss it!

Now say it with me ... THANK YOU, KRISTY!!

Sequels I've Never Seen Week - Pumpkinhead 2: Blood Wings

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I've always been a big fan of the original Pumpkinhead.  At the same time though, my love for it is kind of strange.  It rarely comes to mind whenever I'm rattling off titles of my favorite horror films, and it's generally only when I go back and revisit it that I remember just how much I dig it.  Not sure what that means, if anything, but yea.  I love the character of Pumpkinhead and the whole atmosphere of the movie, and it's just all around smart and different from the typical slasher fare that the 80's were known for.  It's a special film, for sure.

Six years after Stan Winston directed the film came the sequel, Pumpkinhead 2 : Blood Wings, which went straight to video.  Directed by Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3's Jeff Burr, Blood Wings tells very much the same tale that the first one did, only this time with the spirit of a Victor Crowley looking young boy who was killed decades prior coming back in the body of Pumpkinhead to seek vengeance on those who killed him.  Story goes that after the deformed feral boy was murdered by a group of dickhead 'cool guys', his body was claimed and buried by an old witch woman named Miss Osie, who is essentially Pumpkinhead 2's answer to Pumpkinhead's Haggis.  In fact, they're pretty much the same woman, though the different names suggest they're not.  OK then.

In the present day, another group of dickhead cool kids are driving around wildly one night with their headlights off, and they run head on into Miss Osie.  When they go to check on her, they find she's nowhere to be found.  So they go to her cabin in the woods, where they fuck around with her voodoo magic, put her into a coma and unwittingly resurrect the feral boy (who's buried in her yard), in the body of something a little more formidable than a weak child who can't fend for himself; Pumpkinhead.

The rest, well, you've already seen it all before.

Blood Wings is a strange sequel because it's both very similar to and yet very different from its predecessor.  On the one hand it totally deviates from the storyline/mythos of the first but on the other, it's staged and plays out very much the same way as that first outing.  But yea, it's more a recreation of the original Pumpkinhead than anything else, only far less interesting or entertaining.  The poorly written script pretty much just goes through the motions laid out in Pumpkinhead, resulting in an hour and a half filled with the relaying of information that we already know.  It's one of those movies where we know exactly what's going on going into it and though things should be pretty clear to all characters involved, they never seem to believe that the giant claw marks or torn apart bodies are the work of the giant clawed mythical demon that lives on that land, and is known for ... tearing apart bodies.  Stupid characters who can't seem to grasp what's going on, despite how obvious it should be to them; one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to horror flicks.  It's just so frustrating and boring to watch characters for nearly the entire movie try to piece together what we already know.  This is Pumpkinhead 2 for crying out loud, can't we bypass all the getting to know you business and just get to the good stuff?

Unfortunately, there's not much good stuff here, at all.  Blood Wings is an exercise in generic horror cliches from start to finish, an incredibly boring exercise at that.  The layout of the film is so monotonous, with awkward poorly written character interactions followed by quick and lame kills of characters we never meet until right before they're killed followed by more poorly written awkward character interactions.  That's basically the entire movie in a nutshell, and the badness of it all boils down to the fact that the script is just fucking terrible.  It feels like a script written for the Syfy network, which I guess is kind of fitting given that Pumpkinhead 3 & 4 were Syfy Originals.  This one quite frankly belongs right alongside them on the network.

Another big time factor working against the movie being any good whatsoever is the acting.  Maybe it's the poor writing that is to blame in that department too, but the acting is pretty awful all around, with cringe worthy line after cringe worthy line being uttered in an awkward manner almost nonstop throughout the movie.  Again though, the writing is largely to blame for that too.

It's such a shame because Pumpkinhead is such a cool monster and the whole idea of that creature is so interesting, seemingly fertile ground for some really cool shit.  Blood Wings just feels like such a waste of that creature and that universe.  It's a totally lifeless sequel that saves any semblance of excitement, gore or coolness for the final 10 minutes, and by that time it's just a tad bit too late.  Those final minutes do sort of give you a glimpse at the fun movie it could've been though, had the original script been tossed in the trash and written by somebody a little more qualified.  For the record, the people that wrote it never wrote another movie afterwards ... gee, I wonder why?!

**FUN FACT : THIS MOVIE WAS TURNED INTO A COMPUTER GAME CALLED BLOOD WINGS : PUMPKINHEAD'S REVENGECLICK HERE TO SEE SOME GAMEPLAY ACTION!**

If there's anything good I can say about the movie it's that Pumpkinhead looks badass.  He was created this time around by KNB EFX and I was glad to see that they didn't take any liberties with changing anything from Winston's design.  A lot of times monsters look a bit different in sequels, and it was nice to see ole P-Head looking as cool as ever.  So ya, at least there's some of that cool Pumpkinhead imagery in there, including him bursting through doorways and giving dude's epic backbreakers.  Counts for something, I guess.

Aside from that, the only thing that makes the movie even remotely worth watching is the cast, which is comprised of many recognizable horror veterans.  Hellraiser's Andrew Robinson is one of the leads, as are Silent Night, Deadly Night's Mother Superior, Lilyan Chauvin, who plays Miss Osie, and Return of the Living Dead 3's J. Trevor Edmond.  Nightmare On Elm Street/Chainsaw 3's Joe Unger is also in there and a topless Linnea Quigley (that's redundant, eh?!), Kane Hodder & R.A. Mihailoff (Leatherface from Chainsaw 3) all appear in very small roles.  Also keep an eye out for a cameo appearance from Evil Dead's Book of the Dead, which KNB threw in as a set decoration in Miss Osie's cabin!

This one was a total letdown for me, given how much I dig Pumpkinhead as well as the fact that I'm a big fan of Jeff Burr's TCM 3, which he directed just a few years prior.  If things go so far downhill in only the second installment, I honestly can't even imagine how bad the following two sequels must be.  Though I've heard Pumpkinhead is CG'ed in one of them, so I think I have a pretty good idea.  Then again I also hear that those films both ignore the events of Blood Wings and instead follow the events of the first one, which I actually like the sound of.  I'm sure I'll watch them both at some point and I'm sure I'll report my findings once I do!

The immature child inside of me must point out before I end this post how unfortunate the sub-title of this film is, being that the term 'Blood Wings' has in recent years become known as something you earn when you go down on a girl while she's on her period.  Pumpkinhead, you's a pervy ass mawfucka!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Quick Thoughts On Last Week's New Trailers : Area 407, Jersey Shore Shark Attack & More!

Zombies, ghosts, monsters, sharks and home invaders ... last week's new trailers had it all.  Here are some quick thoughts on the ones that I've got some quick thoughts to share about!


AREA 407

Beyond bored with found footage but I can't help but dig the plot of this one, which sees a plane crashing in a government testing zone and the survivors encountering weird ass eggs and some sort of strange monster ... or monsters.  I don't know what the fuck that dinosaur looking thing at 1:27 is, but I'm totally sold if the villains here are old school rubber suit monsters, as they appear to be.  Hope hope.


JERSEY SHORE SHARK ATTACK

If this were a funnier faux trailer starring the real cast of The Jersey Shore, I have to say it'd be kinda awesome.  But given this is a real movie, with a bunch of actors pretending they're the cast of the Jersey Shore, I think this just might represent a new low for the film medium.  And for humanity in general.  In other words, I can't wait to watch it.  And yes, I hate myself.


THE AGGRESSION SCALE

This is the second trailer we've seen for this one, with the first one featuring only an audio score laid over some visuals from the film.  This one's got dialogue and gives you a better idea of what to expect from it.  Love me some home invasion, love me some Derek Mears and I love me some Kevin McAllister style home defense, so I'm totally on board with this one.  Super excited about the director, Steven C. Miller, directing the Silent Night, Deadly Night remake, which just began filming today!


THE PACT

Literally everything about this movie screams 'rehashing of tired old ideas' to me, from the "something's behind you!!!" webcam scene at the opening of this trailer to the poster art, which features imagery ripped straight out of Nightmare On Elm Street.  No thank you.


EXIT HUMANITY

About as tired of zombie flicks as I am found footage, but this one actually looks like it has the potential to be something worth watching.  I sure as hell hope so, if only because I want so badly for Bill Moseley to be in a good movie again.  If The Dead taught me anything it's that zombie movies can still be fresh and exciting, so we shall we.

A Freddy In Space Exclusive Chat With Innkeepers Star Pat Healy!

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After a limited theatrical run which began last December, followed by a widespread On Demand release, I'm happy to report that The Innkeepers is at long last hitting DVD & Blu-ray tomorrow.  Now I've pretty much said all that I have to say about the movie, given that I not only reviewed it but even recapped my super awesome trip to the Yankee Pedlar Inn, the hotel where it was filmed, so tonight I turn the floor over to my good friend Kristy Jett, who has something pretty special for you all to celebrate the home video release of the film.

Kristy got the chance to have a nice little phone conversation recently with Innkeepers star Pat Healy, the man who I think it's safe to say all geeky girls who watch the movie will fall in love with (while all geeky guys watching, like myself, are falling in love with Sara Paxton).  Kristy has essentially split up that phone interview into three parts; one to be posted over on Strange Kids Club, one on The Liberal Dead, and the other right here on Freddy In Space.  How cool is that!?

So without further delay, here is a nice little piece from Kristy about her chat with Pat (ha!), along with her incredibly enthusiastic thoughts about the film, thoughts which are echoed by yours truly!

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I cannot tell a lie. I got giddy like a total dweeb when I found out I had an interview opportunity with Pat Healy. Not just because he is the Pat Healy. But because finally after months and months of waiting to see The Innkeepers; after missing it theatrically both times it played near me, and being one of those silly people without cable, forfeiting my OnDemand privileges- I saw it…and LOVED IT. As of right now, at 11:23 p.m., Sunday April 22nd, 2012, it is my favorite film of 2012. I can’t say this won’t change before the end of the year. Who’s to know what could transpire between now and then? But right now, this moment in time, it is, and I want to spread the gospel of The Innkeepers far and wide. Consider me some mangy Mormon holding my Blu-ray in front of me like a bible. This is my proclamation. Watch The Innkeepers as soon as you can. Since it’s about to come out on DVD and Blu ray, Tuesday, April 24th to be exact, you’ll have no excuse not to run out and buy it. Or for sake of ease, you can just type your way over to Amazon and grab it for the insanely low price of $13.99 on Blu-ray or $12.99 on DVD.

So now on to the important part, my interview with Pat Healy!

Confession time…I creep on Pat via Twitter. He says some of the funniest stuff and I’ve laughed heartily many times at his way with words. I’d point to some of these examples, but why distract from the pertinent stuff? I had the chance to chat with him via Skype for almost 45 minutes last week (Many thanks to Daniela from Dark Sky for helping to arrange said interview by the way).  Within the first 5 minutes (and yes, I can reference the exact time because I recorded it for posterity) I was already coming off like The Chris Farley Show, “Do you remember that time in The Innkeepers when you walked up behind Claire and you were like ‘I’m right behind you’ and she flipped out? That was awesome.” Ok, it wasn’t that bad, but in my mind that’s how I sounded. Even listening back it’s not that bad, but for dramatic purposes let’s pretend it was. Only Pat Healy and I will ever really know the truth.

Immediately we got to talking about the brilliance of director, Ti West. You’ll remember him as directing the modern day masterpiece, The House of The Devil, and once you watch The Innkeepers (ya know that movie coming out on Tuesday, April 24th), you can marvel at his brilliance once again. The thing I love most about this film is how the anticipation and suspense is more fun than the actual scare itself. This is something I immediately loved with House and almost as soon was beaming about in The Innkeepers.  Pat agreed and went on to say, “There are so many ways that horror is predictable, and a loud sound and something jumping out at you will always make you jump but is that really scary?  And Ti, if some of these contemporary horror films are post-modern, then Ti’s style is post-post modern where it’s like some things are retro and a throwback to the way things were before. Other things are like the girl is looking in the bathroom mirror and she closes it and the monster is there, or there’s the other film where she closes it and nothing is there, but she turns around and there it is. And Ti’s looking at that and saying, “Ok, well what now?” and sometimes the answer is to hold onto it for an unbearable length because people aren’t expecting that now. It can be unbelievably frustrating for some people, but I think that people who really appreciate suspense know that he is quite masterful in the way he handles it.”

After that our conversation led to me bringing up the inevitable- the naysayers, and the people who don’t like a slow burn film. They want their scares and their gore and they want to get out. Pat makes a lovely point, “There’s a time and a place for all of that. I like gore films too, but this kind of film, Roman Polanski made movies like this and other great masters of film like Hitchcock, understood suspense and it’s a real skill and I just appreciate a movie more like that.”   

Then it was on to my major point of frustration- the people who I had to watch on social networking whine about how the pay-off isn’t enough and isn’t worth it when we get to it. I’d been seeing and hearing this for months, so much so that I worried about it before seeing the film. Pat spoke on this too and really made the greatest point of our entire talk, “There’s this big thing now in film criticism, both amateur and “professional,” where it’s fair for people to judge a film on what it’s not. ‘Well, I thought it was going to be this and instead it was this,’ but this film, is it successful on what it actually is? Yes, I think it is. I’m biased obviously. I will say I have noticed a difference between people who have seen it in a theater full of people as compared to the people who see it at home; it’s just a different experience.  Still, the best way to see a horror movie, or a comedy or an action film is with an audience. You get to see that way that so much of the thrill is the ride itself, and you’re not just sitting there waiting for the pay-off at the end or the twist- you just went on a great ride. At the end of a roller coaster they don’t tell you that the roller coaster you were on is really a spaceship. You just had fun because you were on a roller coaster. That’s the pay-off- the journey. And on those terms, I love the film.”

We talked a bit more about how he and Ti became acquainted and how the film came to him. Then we touched on something that really interested me. Pat sort of started talking about it before I even had a chance to ask the question. Spoiler alert, avert your eyes and skip to the ending if you don’t want it ruined.

There’s a scene where Luke (Pat’s character) and Claire (Sara Paxton) are up late at night and they’re drinking. And in a tender moment, Luke hints that he has feelings for Claire, and she unknowingly rebuffs him.  Me being the hypothetical queen had to ask if he thought that Luke really had feelings for Claire or was it a last ditch, “Last night, might as well” sort of thing. To my elation he had an answer, “In my preparation for the film, which involves reading the script and making decisions about the character, I came to find that he really did have feelings for her. In that compressed situation, he has these feelings but they’re totally wrong for each other. He could probably recognize that if he stepped back but that’s him, that’s his life. She’s a person he knows and she is nice and she pays attention to him and he really has those feelings for her and they become really intense. When you go into a film you don’t say ‘Oh, this is a horror film or this is a comedy,’ not if you really do your work and prepare and you’re truthful to the character. If I were to describe the movie from Luke’s point of view I would say it were a tragic love story, he has unrequited feelings and he doesn’t say anything about it til it’s too late. That’s also a theme of the film itself.” 

I was even more interested when he went on to say that the night he shot that he tapped into his own feelings at the time of shooting. It was late and he was feeling raw and open and sad and hurt. I am always so awed by the performances actors give, and to know that little bit of insight makes his performance all the more marvelous.

Real talk (yes I am half-handedly trying to channel Dream Warriors). This is possibly my favorite interview that I have had the pleasure of conducting.  It is strange to speak with someone you’ve been watching for years, especially when they’re as down to earth as Pat Healy. You would almost expect them to be full of themselves and talk down to you, and you wouldn’t even be surprised. Luckily this was not at all the case.

What have we learned? Pat Healy is awesome and you should go and watch The Innkeepers as soon as possible. You also learned that it comes out on DVD and Blu-ray, Tuesday, April 24th. Go forth. Preach the gospel I have quoted thee.
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Kristy speaks the truth; The Innkeepers is one horror flick you're not gonna want to miss this year!

Oh and speaking of which.  Kristy's not done with the Innkeepers fun.  Not by a long shot.  Keep your eyes peeled around these parts tomorrow for a giveaway of a limited edition promotional Blu-ray of the film, in kickass gatefold packaging.  You can't get your hands on these outside of giveaways 'round the web, so let's all offer up a huge thank you to Kristy in advance for snagging one for us!

You can keep track of all of Kristy's writing endeavors over on her Facebook fan page The Person You Benefit From Knowing.  And remember, head over to Strange Kids Club & The Liberal Dead for more of her interview with Pat Healy!