Monday, August 30, 2010
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
I spend a lot of time in my car. It's not unusual for me to put in 200 miles in a day on my way to meet up with my clients. There's only so many times I can listen to the music on my iPod and after an hour of sports talk radio, I'm reaching for the Advil. In the past couple months, the horror podcasts I've subscribed to have gotten me through those multi hour stretches with nothing but asphalt and white lines as far as the eye can see see. After listening to many hours of some of my favorites from Horror Etc., The Vaultcast , Bloody Good Horror amongst others, I finally gave into the urge to start one of my own.
You may have noticed that we're not calling this the All Things Horror podcast. There's a good reason for this. Aside from Chris and myself, we're going to have another horror host for future episodes. We could tell you the person's name, but we're going to hold off just to keep you coming back for more. Let's just say he or she is another horror blogger and said person is nearly universally beloved by all of us. Since it's not just an ATH jam, we figure it's pretty stupid to use that for a title. Since all of us love American Werewolf in
You can listen to our first episode below, or you can click and add us to your current podcast subscriptions. In our first episode we talk about Alexander Aja's Piranha 3D, whether it delivered on its promise of a bloody good time, and if there's such a thing as too many boobs.
Let us know what you think and give us some feedback for future episodes.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Put “Contest” in the subject line
- Drop us any sort of note-what you like about the site, what doesn’t work, and what you’d like to see in the future. Or just say hello. Or tell us to piss off. It’s all up to you.
- We’ll pick winners randomly from any of the emails we receive before Noon on August 30th and announce them that evening.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Ok, before I even start with this comparison, I should not that there’s debate as to whether or not Alexander Aja’s Piranha actually constitutes a true remake of the 1978 original film. It definitely stands on its own in terms of story, the origins of the piranha differs greatly, and it really doesn’t retell the story of Joe Dante’s film. That said I doubt the new one would exist without the Corman produced film, and I really just want an excuse to talk about two fun as hell movies.
The two films both deliver on what they set out to be. Roger Corman set out to do what he did so well for so long: take the concept of a blockbuster film, add more blood and more boobs, make it on the cheap and rake in the profit. In the case of Piranha, Dante, in his first directorial feature delivers a note-perfect send up of Jaws. The updated version set out to make a cheesy horror film that delivered a high quotient of gore, gratuitous nudity and good times, and it delivered all three in spades. This is the rare case where horror fans don’t have to get up in arms over a classic property getting tarnished.
One trait the two share is the tip of the cap to Spielberg’s classic popcorn flick. Just in case you had no idea what you were in for, Dante kicks off his film with a pair of hikers sneaking into a hidden government facility for a, you guessed it, midnight skinny dip. After the two unwittingly become fish food, we cut to our lead lady and bounty hunter Maggie (Heather Menzies) playing the arcade version of Jaws. Well done, people. If you can believe, Aja one-ups the homage by getting Richard Dryfuss to reprise his Jaws role in the new versions opening scene. This inspired piece of casting goes down as my favorite cameo in a film, edging out Bill Murray in Zombieland.
Piranha ’78 works do well because the cast play off one another perfectly. Menzies manages to make her character competent (she pretty much solves her missing persons case in a day and uses tricks she’s learned on the job to get herself out of numerous scrapes) while still exhibiting odd character quirks that humanize her. She works terrifically with Bradford Dilman’s Grogan character (in a role that must have served as if not an inspiration, then a blueprint for Ron Burgundy) but the two aren’t forced together in a shoehorned romantic entanglement. Aside from his role as the bombastic television station owner in UHF, this might be Kevin McCarthy’s greatest performance as the semi-mad genetic scientist Dr. Hoak. While Dante and screenwriter John Sayles had no illusions that they weren’t making anything other than low budget cheese, it says a lot for how much they put into their craft by not making Hoak completely a one note bonkers mad genius. While he provides the needed exposition as to how the flesh eating fish came to be, and comes off as someone that puts science above humanity, he gets the most moving death scene in the film. When he spots the boy clinging to an overturned raft for dear life, Hoak leaps into the lake, despite knowing full well he’s signing his death sentence.
|If only Dr. Hoak had done experimental gene splicing with himself and Mark Spitz, he may have lived.|
It’s a good contrast between his modern day equivalent. While it’s a fun while it lasts five minutes of screen time, Christopher Lloyd doesn’t get much to do as he pretty much plays Doc Brown as a paleontologist with a John Waters moustache. It’s indicative of the performances in the update as a whole-on one hand, they’re fairly one note. O the other hand, every single person involved in this movie looks like they’re having the time of their lives.
OK, who am I kidding here? The reason you watch a movie about man-eating fish is because you want to see said man-eating flesh chomp on some tender vittles, not because you’re expecting a Kenneth Branagh Tour De force of emotional outpouring. Both films deliver what you want in spades, and Aja’s film manages to be something very few horror movies the past decade have been-FUN. If you’re looking for the typical dour, xanax riddled emo kids that have descended on the genre like locusts, you’re watching the wrong film. Whether the camera is feasting on the endless array of suntanned naked flesh sweating under the Arizona sun, or zooming in on a school of piranha devouring the party goers, Piranha never takes itself seriously for a moment, and is just a fun way to kill brain cells for ninety minutes.
|Riley Steele & Kelly Brooks in Piranha 3D|
While I definitely found myself rooting for the fish and not the jackass frat kids, there is no shortage of eye candy in this film. Plus, Jerry O’Connell deserves some type of award for his thinly veiled portrayal of smut peddler and genuine creepy asshat Joe Francis. When he’s not snarfing tequila off silicon enhanced chests, he’s having an absolute shriek plowing through his scenes in wide-eyed douche bag fashion. You know he’s going to get his comeuppance at one point, and his death scene (last line included) delivers the goods. I strongly urge you to catch this in a theater, where it plays great to an enthusiastic crowd. While the Piranha are obviously a CGI creation, there remains a large amount of cartoony and practical gore in the film, and props go out to some outstanding kills. I could easily do a “top 10 deaths” in this film, and my top two wouldn’t even involve the Piranha. There’s one moment where a girl gets her hair caught in a boat propeller, and without spoiling anything, let me just say that it will go down as one of m top five favorite kills in a movie of all time.
One area it only dips its toes in the water is with regards to putting children in peril. It continues the trend of small children being untouchable in a horror movie. I think we’re about five years away from a reedit of Jaws where Alex Kintor lives and Mrs. Kintor slaps Chief Brody for failing to rescue his water raft (I’m also slightly afraid that in the upcoming Star Wars blu Ray, not only will Han not shoot first, but he and Greedo will simply agree to disagree and go about their separate business). Dante has no such problem in his film. The campsite massacre is a genuinely disturbing sequence as kids are indiscriminately picked off and devoured by the fish. I also love the practical effects in the film, and what they’re able to get away with for short money. The piranha work because you never quite get a good close up of them, everything is cut super fast, and, accompanied by Pino Donnaggio’s score for the film, give them a sense of overwhelming menace.
|Gore in 1978|
Speaking of the score, comparing the original versus the update has made me long for the days when film’s actually composed a sound track, rather than just compile whatever pop tracks are hot that day. If I have one real beef with Aja’s film, and I know I’m veering into “You crazy kids get off my lawn!” territory here, is it contains the most obnoxious sound track I’ve ever been subjected to in a film. The eighth rate blast beats made me long for the simple motif that accompanied the original fish’s arrival whenever they burst on to the scene.
|Gore in 2010|
Like I mentioned earlier, horror fans of all sorts should come to love and embrace both these movies. I’m giving a slight edge to the original, because it should be clear to anyone that watches the film that yes, the cast and crew knew they were making a knockoff, but they were intent on making the funniest, scariest knockoff that time and budget would allow. It’s a lesson in film making that the “mockbuster” folks at The Asylum and SyFy channel could learn a great deal from, as they consistently churn out lowest common denominator crap and scratch their heads in wonder at the scorn they receive online (due to scheduling push backs, the knockoff Mega Piranha actually premiered on SyFy about six months ahead of Aja’s film). I also loved the little quirks of the film, like the sensational newspaper headlines that pop up throughout, and the one liners like "Cool your jets" (can that come back into everyday vernacular please?) and the deadpan exchange between Dick Miller's wonderfully assholish resort operator and his hapless underling: "What about the goddamn piranha?" They're eating the guests, sir." I can forsee many a drunken weekend evening viewing both movies back to back with friends. In both the case of the new and the old, B Movie doesn’t have to equate to Bad movie.
Monday, August 23, 2010
I'm giving you ten seconds to name one great filmmaker from the mid-west. Counting down...now! Ok, times up! If you came up with more than one, I'll be very surprised. We just don't think about films being made smack dab in the middle of our vast country. That's reserved for places with reliable weather or accessible locations. The many talented people born of the mid-west inevitably migrate to L.A. or NYC to escape lack of opportunity, scant support, maybe even boredom. So how the hell did Jon Springer get so good? His body of work is astounding and diverse, ranging from horror to religious allegory, to cautionary science fiction. It would seems he's a bit of an exception considering many of his films put a lot of Hollywood directors to shame. If you're unfamiliar with his wide range of work, well this is the introduction you need. Even though I’m limiting this piece to three shorts, there is much more to find at Jon’s production site Cricket Films
No doubt the urgency of nature, the isolation, the punishing weather has given Springer the opportunity to devote every ounce of himself to his work where a bustling city might prove a distraction. I get the feeling that Jon doesn’t like taking things the easy way. Here we see a filmmaker at work that is very in control of his craft, very detailed, and very driven. He's possibly a perfectionist, but definitely an artist who is in love with everything he produces. Ok, I know I may be over-stating the severity of the Minnesota climate, however once you’ve been snowed in for an extended period, you start to notice all sorts of little details in the furniture, the insect life in your room, or the mysterious creaks of your home settling into the pressures of wind and ice. It’s here in these details that Jon Springer really shines.
I got to talk to Jon briefly last year when his latest directorial effort The Hagstone Demon screened here in Boston. Read that interview here if you’re so inclined. The film is very much a slow burn requiring the right amount of patience, but I did enjoy it for its thematic elements as well as the gorgeous cinematography. It's a film that fits right alongside the work of Stanley Kubrick and Roman Polanski, joining those great works of film fiction like The Shining or The Tenant where the building is just as much a character as the players themselves. With his carefully composed shots I might even draw a comparison to Michael Haneke's static, but ultimately beautiful and striking work in Time of the Wolf or The White Ribbon. What's very clear is that Springer always has a specific vision and works meticulously to achieve it.
Hopefully a well-deserved appreciation for Springer's films will manifest over the next few years as his work gains prominence on the internet. That's what the medium promises after all, and it would be a real shame if only a handful of people witnessed the allegorical and striking work he's delivered time and again. To satiate you until then, check out a few of these works:
No doubt channeling the isolation of harsh winters in his home state Minnesota, Springer delivers a disturbing puzzle with his short Dollface. Utilizing carefully placed static shots and stark black and white photography, the meticulous feel mimics that of someone with a lot of time on his or her hands. Each shot is like staring at the wall and counting cracks in the ceiling, but I don't mean that in a bad way. In fact, at only 20 minutes in length, Springer is able to create a good bit of tension while commenting on sexual frustration and repression, and finally, transformation. Another “slow burn”, it gives the viewer time to contemplate a great deal before a gooey and disturbing climax.
Aside from the crisp photography, some highlights include lingering views of odd but beautiful wood carved furniture, tension filled basements and staircases, and a haunting piano score. Tiffany Moy does a great job as a young painter who takes on a house-sitting job in the impressive but ominous home of a businessman.
Dollface Part 1
Dollface Part 2
The Wood Witch (2005)
The Wood Witch is a striking fairy tale and allegory about the innocence and purity of youth and its struggle against corrupt and archaic evil. When two children find a toad, they decide to return it to the bog of the Wood Witch where it belongs. By trespassing, they anger the Wood Witch who pursues them to their home of powerful religion and love. What transpires in a scant 8 minutes or so is an epic struggle between ultimate good and profound evil as the children attempt to thwart the Wood Witch and escape her wrath. The true test is whether or not their faith and love is strong enough to keep them alive.
Video removed by director's request because The Wood Witch (originally shot in 35mm) will soon be available in a newly transferred HD version.
Living Dead Girl (2003)
Living Dead Girl is another potent allegory in which a recent zombie apocalypse stands in for lost souls searching for meaning. After a botched stand-off at her apartment, a beautiful young woman is infected by a zombie plague of sorts. She flees the scene to find herself stumbling around amongst the confused, angry, and hungry undead. The undead are driven by an insatiable hunger, but it may not necessarily be for human flesh. Living Dead Girl bounces between B & W and color and packs a lot into a very brief 8 minutes or so. Aside from the great intellectual content, there are plenty of great gory flesh eating moments to keep the most jaded zombie fan interested. Jon gave me a heads up that Living Dead Girl (originally shot in 35mm) will be available in newly transferred HD on September 15.
No Video for Living Dead Girl is available, but will be screened in a future presentation of our All Things Horror Presents series.
All photos are courtesy of Jon Springer/Cricket Films
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Fantasia is an experience. If you've never been, I'll give you a quick picture of what it's like. About eight hours in the car with a few rest stops and an hour-long stop somewhere in Vermont or New Hampshire for lunch. Leave around 9am, get there at about 5pm. Check into the hotel, quickly unpack and get some food, then hustle down to the first screening. Grab a snack. Get to the next movie across the street. Go the sponsor's patio and bar for drinks and hanging out with industry folk 'til the wee hours of the morning. Walk back to the hotel and successfully fall asleep at 3am, perhaps 4 or 5am if it's an especially fun night. Repeat lots of movie screenings and premieres, and networking (perhaps a party if you're lucky enough to be invited) for several days. Drive home happy but exhausted.
It ends the same every year. You wish you could stay longer and regret running out of cash to house and feed yourself. I'd stay the entire three weeks if I was able.
On to the reviews.
Phasma Ex Machina, Matthew Osterman, USA
The rumor circulating is that Fox has already optioned this title for a remake. That's bewildering, seeing as the film is already in English – no subtitles. Perhaps they just want to put in some big name talent and see what happens. This is good and bad. Good because cinema snobs like us will always want to go back and see the original film that inspired the remake. Writer-director Matt Osterman will get some great exposure and will hopefully go on to make more films. Hell, he might even be hired to direct his own remake, (ala Funny Games) you never know.
The bad? It might not stay as true to Osterman's original vision. They may replace lead Sasha Andreev, who's versatile and easy on the eyes. In his very first scene, he's at his parents' funeral, and he portrays some pretty real emotion. His older brother Cody to slacking pre-teen James (Max Hauser) is believable and resonated (with me as an older sibling bringing up younger ones) as true.
The story is thus: Cody and James' parents die prematurely, and Cody, barely out of high school himself, is forced to become the head of the household. Cody's a pretty smart guy who's working on something fairly complicated in the garage. That something just might be a machine that can bridge dimensional planes and bring the dead back into our world.
Without giving too much away, Cody befriends Tom (Matthew Feeney), an engineer who also geeks out with spare parts and electrical currents. Cody's experiment starts working, and Tom's deceased wife of six years returned and does chores around their house like she never died. Tom's really freaked out at first, and begs Cody to stop the machine. Unlike Tom, Cody is still mired in grief, and does not acquiesce – his goal is to bring back his parents. And maybe it worked – Cody and James are starting to hear things in the house. Footsteps. Shadows. Glimpses of people in their home. Eventually, Tom gets used to having his lovely wife back, while Cody's not so lucky. It's not his parents who are back home. It's a couple far more sinister. Without giving anything away, there's a race to protect James, while Tom will stop at nothing to keep his wife.
Phasma Ex Machina is a deftly-wrought drama with a science fiction backbone and a splash of the supernatural. There are some genuine moments of dread, and discovering these in cinema is what every horror lover lives for.
We Are What We Are, Jorge Michel Grau, Mexico
Fresh from Cannes, this film surprised and delighted me with its gallows humor as well as its serious take on flesh eating. A middle-aged man dies at the local mall, and leaves behind... a family of cannibals. As the clan grieves, they try to figure out how to survive without the him, their foundation. Useless as he was, he provided food for the group, and unless someone steps up, they'll starve without him. (I guess they don't believe in sides in addition to the main course.) In-fighting occurs over who's next to lead, and a prostitute becomes fodder for an at times, hilariously botched hunt. But because Momma don't like street girls, the catch is thrown back at the feet of her friends with a warning that can only be delivered by a seriously pissed off matriarch. The laughably incompetent police then attempt to find this familial band of killers. I may have already given too much away, but if you get a chance to to see this movie, jump at it. IFC has picked up the rights to distribution, so chances are good you can at least catch it on dvd sometime soon. We Are What We Are is perhaps one of the genre's finest films to ever escape Mexico.
The plight of the anthology film is that the stories don't always connect well within the broader context of the piece. Here are four directors with four, loosely connected takes on the modern zombie mythos – an action film involving a crooked drug company, a love film whose couple tries to escape quarantine, a mother-daughter story, and a revenge story. As a result, there is often a loss in translation that's more confusing than hilarious. However, that's not to say that the film itself as a whole is a throwaway. One of the more interesting stories is the segment that deals with former zombies. They've been cured, but now face discrimination in the workforce, in culture, and life in general. This innovation could have served as a feature film in itself entirely. It's never been done before, and was the most interesting piece of the story by far. Of course, revenge in cinema is always satisfying, and there's a decent vignette on that here as well.
Re-Animator and Nevermore: An Evening With Edgar Allan Poe, Stuart Gordon, USA
For two nights at the Rialto, the incomparable Jeffrey Combs channelled Poe in his one-act show with frightening accuracy. I can't recall another performer who's used a Virginia lilt in his impersonation. Combs ran through a juggernaut of emotions as his doppelganger Poe swung from drunk hilarity (dancing a frenetic jig while reciting The Bells) to somber devastation (Annabel Lee). Combs also attended a packed-house, 25th anniversary screening of 80s splatterific horror comedy Re-Animator with director Stuart Gordon and screenwriter Dennis Paoli. The trio weren't intending to stay for the whole film, but found the audience so appreciative that they couldn't leave. I've gotta say, it was fantastic. The theater was filled with a huge percentage of kids who'd never seen the film, period. The energy was high and to see such an amazing cult classic as Re-Animator, with all the cheering, hooting, and laughter, was a killer experience.
If that weren't enough, Gordon and Paoli also taught a masterclass on adapting H.P. Lovecraft at new screening room, Blue Sunshine. They discussed the difficulties of Lovecraft's endlessly adjective-filled prose in bringing his work to the big screen, answered questions, and read passages. The audience was also treated to specific clips from their work after said passage, including Castle Freak, From Beyond, Re-Animator, Dagon, and Dreams in the Witch-House.
Here's a link to a cool interview with Combs and Gordon from Panorama-cinéma via Twitch:
It was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet and interact with these titans of terror, and I'm grateful to Fantasia. Can't wait til next year! Until then, it's on to Rue Morgue's Festival of Fear in Toronto and David Cronenberg.
With Master of Horror, Stuart Gordon at the Rialto Theatre.
With Jeffrey Combs at a private party.
With the last third of the trifecta, screenwriter Dennis Paoli.
The all-black brigade! Left to right: Rue Morgue Editor-in-Chief, Dave Alexander, myself, Stuart Gordon, and Dave's girl Marie-Eve.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
We all know that filmmakers like David Cronenberg and Sam Raimi got their starts in visceral and violent low budget horror films. Since, they’ve gone on to become pretty big deals in Hollywood as Oscar contenders or managers of mega budgets. Those two directors in particular are obvious choices with several non-horror films in their canon, but we may also consider directors like Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro who are still making fantasy-based films, but for a more conventional and less discerning audience. I’m not trying to diminish their hard earned success, but if you compare Dead-Alive with something like The Lovely Bones, there’s a gore spattered world of difference, no?
Unfortunately, due to matters of ego, money, status, trying to please critics, or simply lack of interest or ideas, a lot of directors break away from horror as soon as they find their footing. With a modicum of success, they are ready to leave the nest with wings flapping double time, often forgetting, or worse, denying their horror roots. In some ways, it’s understandable. To this day, the horror film is still the whipping boy of the film community. Those rare instances where horror films are lauded by the top critics are usually the most sterile and least envelope pushing of the bunch. Maybe a big name director or actor is attached lending “validity” to the film. Who knows, but it really sucks. If a filmmaker is somehow “cursed” with success (for example: Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez of The Blair Witch Project fame), they may inadvertently be pigeonholed into making them for the duration for their careers, quite possibly expected to deliver the exact same film over and over.
The choices I made in this write up are not necessarily directors who wanted to leave horror behind, but it’s about the non-horror films they made that were either ignored, hated by fans, criticized for “selling out”, or were just crappy. Most are considered missteps or oddities in the respective careers of their maker, but a few are pretty damn good.
George A. Romero’s Knightriders (1981)
Poor George Romero, forever relegated to being the zombie guy when a lot of his best work resides outside of his popular Dead series. I’m a fan of the recent entry Survival of the Dead, I really am. I gave it a positive review a few months ago and I stand by it being a pretty fun time at the movies. I’m often accused of being a Romero apologist, and I’m sure that’s true to an extent. I did live in Pittsburgh for a few years and made regular treks to the Monroeville Mall to re-enact key scenes from Dawn of the Dead, after all. With that confession, I’ll say that I’d really love to see what else Romero has up his sleeve when able to break away from the zombie stranglehold.
Anyway, I’m going to make a bold statement here: Knightriders is a better motorcycle flick and statement on the struggle for personal freedom than Easy Rider. No, I’m totally serious, and it all boils down to a completely naked and honest script by Romero who is clearly battling his ideals with compromise, even to this day. It’s like everything boiling within Romero’s brain was poured out in the story. It doesn’t hurt that the performances by Ed Harris and Tom Savini are stellar. Sure, the damn thing is long at about 2 hours and 20+ minutes, but it never seems to drag (great stunt work). Highly recommended from this Romero apologist!!!
Stuart Gordon’s Stuck (2007)
In my opinion, Stuart Gordon is the horror world’s most consistent filmmaker in delivering smart, scary, gruesome horror films with an undercurrent of sly humor. With a background in theater, Gordon’s strongest points are mood, setting, and performance, as evident in great stuff like From Beyond, Castle Freak, Dagon, and, of course, Re-Animator. With Stuck, Gordon has crafted a darkly rich story ripped from the headlines of any sensationalist rag. Mena Suvari (American Beauty) gives a great and underrated performance as a young woman who inadvertently takes home a hit-and-run victim STILL STUCK TO THE WINDSHIELD OF HER CAR. Stuck is nicely paced, acted, and morbid in all the right places. Yet, I still wouldn’t classify it as a horror film when compared with the rest of Gordon’s body of work. (see also: Edmond)
Wes Craven’s Music of the Heart (1999)
Look, maybe Wes Craven has stumbled quite a bit since his highly successful Scream series, but the man is clearly intelligent, very talented, and certainly a legend. His output contains some of the most effective, brutal, and well-crafted films the genre has to offer. Just off the top of my head, some of the absolute best horror films were created by the former college lit professor such as The Last House on the Left, The Hills Have Eyes, and A Nightmare on Elm Street. Craven is inarguably a master, especially when he’s able to do things his way.
However, it may have completely gone over your head that Craven also made a drama starring MERYL STREEP. Yes, the Streep of 1,000 Academy Award nominations. That very Meryl Streep, can you believe it?! This from the guy who filmed Krug and Co. making a young woman piss her pants. I haven’t seen Music of the Heart (nominated for many awards), but it’s based on the true story of teachers fighting budget cuts at the Harlem School of Music. I’m kinda curious about it, I have to admit, even though I’m not a Streep fan.
John Carpenter’s Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992)
When all is said and done, John Carpenter is probably my absolute favorite filmmaker. Period. Not only is he an auteur, but he’s also a musician, and a rebel. Mentioning his name these days brings about grumbles and scoffs due to recent output, but the man is responsible for many of the best films ever made. I don’t even need to mention them, do I? Screw it! Halloween! The Thing! Prince of Darkness! The Fog! In the Mouth of Madness! Big Trouble in Little China! They Live! Come on, I bet you’ve seen all those movies at least 20 times each.
I really haven’t seen Memoirs in a very long time, but it’s a comedy with Chevy Chase, Daryl Hannah, Sam Neill in which Chevy Chase comes down with a case of the invisibles after a binge drinking accident. I’ll probably revisit it as I’d planned to re-watch a number of soggy Carpenter stuff like Village of the Damned and Ghost of Mars. Maybe it’s better than I remember?
Tobe Hooper WTF?!
Some might say Tobe Hooper hasn’t made a horror movie in decades. I’m going to take a hit here and say that for the most part I enjoyed The Toolbox Murders and Mortuary. Sure, they were both a little goofy with Toolbox’s awkward supernatural element and Mortuary’s abundance of horrible CG effects and nearly nonsensical story. You’re probably wondering what non-horror film I chose for Mr. Hooper, eh? Did Tobe Hooper make some sort of secret film with Meryl Streep? Did he attempt his own film version of a respected Mamet play? No, Tobe Hooper’s non-horror movie would have to be The Mangler, one of the biggest missteps in a career that is arguably the biggest letdown in horror. What a waste of an awesome Stephen King short story. Tobe, I love you, but please find yourself again! I know you can recapture the spirit of your best work!
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
For all you horror scholars out there, we just got an email that should perk the interest of anyone looking to get there smarts on. The folks at Star Costumes have just announced the creation of a $1000 Scholarship aimed at students that are studying with hopes of working in the horror industry.
This strikes me as a fantastic idea, and in the spirit of what the horror community is all about. Anyone that is currently working to put themselves or kids through school, or signing a monthly check to the loan sharks at Sallie Mae understand full well high cost of higher education.
Here are the details from the Star Costumes website (the deadline to apply is Halloween-naturally-with a winner to be chosen on November 5th):
Star Costumes is awarding $1,000 to a student studying to work in the horror film industry.
Why a Horror Scholarship?
- A citizen of the U.S.;
- with a 3.0 GPA;
- 18 years or older
- who's currently studying full-time at a undergraduate or graduate post-secondary institution.
- Makeup artist
- Special effects artist
- Costume designer
- Set designer
- Lighting designer
- Film sound artist
- VFX/CGI artist
- Postproduction specialist
- Film critic
Application is Easy
- What sparked your interest in the horror industry.
- Your accomplishments and goals as they relate to horror cinema and related fields.