Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Um, wow?

So I discovered Letterboxd, and it's life-changing and I've been spending pretty much all my time there. All my reviews can be found there now, but I'll also continue putting them here. I'm a bit behind, but I had a LOT to say about what I watched last night so let's get right into it.

This is one of the toughest films I've ever had to review. On one hand, it's one of the coolest things I've ever seen. On the other, it has some pretty glaring flaws. There are two things that can really make a horror movie for me - atmosphere and creative kills. Those two elements make up all the bright spots in this movie, and then some, so if that intrigues you definitely check it out. But let's get the negatives out of the way.

I didn't really get into this movie until about halfway through, at the supermarket scene. It had some cool atmosphere, but was quite meandering and the impersonal tone and characters didn't pull me in. It seemed very style-over-substance, and while I enjoy stylish, artsy horror if other elements draw me in (see my Lords of Salem review), this one had all the personality of a damp beach towel. Or so I thought, at first.

The main character, a woman searching for her artist father in a small, gloomy seaside town, comes across so spineless and dull she was barely a presence. She sits passively while this group of hipsters and an old drunk they're entertaining in their motel room for some reason (?) spout word salad in response to her simple question, "do you know where my father is?" Later, the hipsters descend on her father's... home? studio? both, I guess? where she's staying, and she just lets them move right in! Um, how about no? Then the hipster dude who already has two other girlfriends starts hitting on her, and she just STANDS there while he puts his hands on her, and I'm so frustrated.

They're all just so blasΓ© and nothing's happening but then EVERYTHING starts happening, and it's amazing. And it all starts in a Ralphs Supermarket, of all places. One of the girlfriends decides to gtfo and I don't blame her, and here we start getting a real feel for how spooky and deserted this town is. She follows a lone man into the brightly-lit but empty-seeming market. She discovers some of the "townsfolk" enjoying dinner in the meat aisle, as you do if you're a... vampire? zombie? zompire? and they soon surround her in a feeding frenzy. And I'm just sitting there thinking, who flipped this movie's switch to "on??" Because this was one of the scariest, best-shot, and most effective scenes I've seen in a horror movie, and it came out of nowhere!

But even that pales in comparison to what comes next, which is the movie theatre scene. If the beginning of this movie was 2.5 stars, the theatre scene is a solid 5. I am not exaggerating when I say this is now one of my favourite scenes of all time. I don't want to spoil it, just please, please watch it. Like - this is what horror is, or should be. They nailed it.

Back to our boring main character and the hipster guy. I'm not invested in either of them, but pretty excited to see how this all plays out after those two amazing scenes. I should also mention the cool design of the artist father's home. He has all these moody, black and white murals of people and I'm like, does he have a mall escalator in his house?? But no, it's just another mural and okay, I think I need to redecorate my living room. So that makes a fantastic set piece for the confrontation between jellyfish lady and her zompire dad. (The shots of the 70s beach town are also very cool, as I love time capsules like that. The whole look of the film is great.)

Wet noodle lady is understandably losing it, so she finally shows an emotion. Hipster guy comes back to save her which is nice, and also kind of an emotion, so okay movie, I'm on board. They run together to the beach, there's some great creepy imagery, she lets out a very convincing scream in the middle of the ocean, which was a fantastic shot and the only time I really felt anything from her.

So, what a weird ride! At its best, this reminded me of Carnival of Souls, a film I adore despite its slow moments. At its worst, it felt pretentious and unfocused. In the end, the good definitely outweighed the bad for me. That movie theatre scene... holy shit.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Least Favourite Music of 2018 (that I heard)

Well, obviously I can't write about music I haven't heard. I'm saying I haven't heard much, or I heard a little bit and just started screaming. So this isn't a complete account of the year. I've never even heard a Kane Brown song. Really.

Worst pop song I heard:

"Frinds" by Marshmello and Anne Marie - I discussed this here https://mrsrowsdower.blogspot.com/2018/07/#5482303009913007983 already, so I'll keep it brief. Is this worse than Generic Mumble Rap Song #27 by Lil Generic Mumble Rapper of the Week? No, probably not. I'm sure more effort went into the production, at the very least. But this is one of the stupider pop songs I've heard. Let's make a lyric specifically around spelling a word, and somehow manage to chuff it up completely!

"Haven't I made it obvious?" No, not really.

"Haven't I made it clear?" As gravy.

"Want me to spell it out for you?" Sure, you can try.

"F-R-I-N-D-S!" *buzzer sound* Nice try, but sit down! (I won a spelling bee this year, so it just seems fitting to call this one out, y'know?)

You had ONE JOB, Anne Marie. I won't even get into how the guy sounds more like a S-T-A-L-K-R than a F-R-I-N-D. I already covered that, and this song just makes me tired. Like everything else in 2018.

Worst lyric I heard:

Which is also by the worst band name I heard! "Broken," by lovelytheband. Yup, that's really what they're called. That's not a band name, it's the twitter handle you use when "lovely" is already taken. Oh God, that's how they got their name, isn't it? Is their twitter handle "lovelythebandtheband?" Anyway... "I like that you're broken, broken like me." Okay, I get what you're trying to say - misery loves company and all that. Not everyone is perfect sunshine rainbows and unicorns and darn it, they deserve love too! As someone who suffers from anxiety and depression, I'm down with that.

What I'm not down with is the word "broken." It's like saying, "I like that you're depressed." It's awesome to find a soulmate and yeah, it can be hard if you have issues and there might be great relief upon meeting someone with similar issues you can relate to - but don't tell said person you're glad they're in pain because it benefits you. "I like that you ruptured your spleen, I ruptured my spleen too, WOOOOOOO SPLEEN PARTY!" I don't think that's what they were trying to say, and that's why it's a bad lyric. Say "I like that you're different" or "imperfect" or whatever. "Broken" just sounds so negative.

Okay, so did I actually hear anything by Lil Generic Rapper of the Week #s 1-52? Just enough to be uninterested, but not enough to call it my "worst." That would be like singling out one piece of lumpy oatmeal in a bowl as the worst. How would you do that? The biggest, the lumpiest, the most greyish-mush coloured? I'm aware that some of these terrible rappers are/were also terrible people, and that one of them died. I'm not going to listen to any of their music or talk about them here. They don't deserve to be in the limelight and I will not contribute to any discussion of them, even on my tiny blog. There's no "art vs artist" argument to even be had when the "art" itself is so trifling. And can we please STOP glorifying horrible people?? It's bad enough there's one in the White House; when they invade entertainment we don't even have any escape from it.

Why am I listing so few actual songs? In previous years I'd hear a bad song and be all, "ooh this is really bad, I must listen!" Even 2016, which I hated, I had a blast talking about. I made two or three posts gleefully describing how terrible it was. But man, the past couple years have dulled me to hate-listening. I still enjoy a good rant, but I don't enjoy the process of getting to said rant, i.e., listening to shit.

Has the world changed so much? Have I? Has music? I think the answer to all that is "yes," and I'm just not inspired anymore. Unless popular music rediscovers colour and energy, good or bad, these posts might not happen next year. I can only take so much of Lil Mumbley and all the sparse, dour, downbeat songs. WE GET IT, WE'RE ALL DEPRESSED. YOU'RE NOT HELPING! And don't you dare call it "emo." Emo music has passion, energy and y'know, EMOTION. It's not whining and slurring over a barely there beat, it's loud guitars and drums and emotive vocals. It's meant to make you feel something, not put you down for a nap.

Maybe that's the reason for all this boring music. Does everyone have insomnia? Is it helping? Or maybe everyone's doped up on prescription drugs that numb their senses. Like everyone, the artists and their audience. Damn, I might have hit on something. Can we please bring back cocaine just kidding but maybe not really?

(Don't do drugs kids, but totally do listen to awesome music that was made on drugs.)

Occasionally, one of these downvibe songs hits me. I can fuck with "God's Plan" sometimes. But that's just it; this is once-in-a-while mood music. It should be a niche, not the bloody default setting. Popular music is completely out of balance, maybe more than ever. One thing hits, then it completely floods the market til the next thing hits. And it never seems to be anything fun anymore. πŸ™ I mean the 80s were trendy af, but a lot of the trends were fun, and none of them completely took over.

Even the positive, so-called love songs are so oddly spare - "Girls Like You," "I Like Me Better," "Mine." Yeah, I can tell you're really hype about this relationship. Maybe if you forget to refill your prescription, you'll actually show an emotion! Til then, enjoy a song with all the passion of still lying in bed at 10AM even though you're not tired anymore, you just don't feel like getting up. Dude says "I'm so fucking happy you're alive," but he sounds like he's about to slip into a coma, and the music behind him is so thin. Who is this for? It reminds me of a riff from MST3K - "Drab, flat passion meanders across the screen!"


I tried listening to some hit songs for more content, and it was worse than I ever imagined. There's one in the top 10 right now that's so bizarre it doesn't even sound like humans made it. And not in an interesting way, just - WHAT? What are you doing with your life? And why are people buying it?? The phrase "the inmates have taken over the asylum" springs to mind. I'm not naming the "song" because I'm hoping it will just slink away on its own. In shame.

One more note before I briefly talk mainstream "country" - this 80s thing. It's not so much on the charts where hip-hop dominates, but so many bands are doing the synth thing and it's getting REALLY tiresome. Especially when it's classified as "rock." Just because it's a band doesn't mean it's rock, ffs. I know I've pounded this into the ground, but as someone who grew up in the decade and loves it - stop clinging to the 80s and start being the 80s. Remember why we loved them in the first place - the creativity. Taking risks on new things. As bad as things are, creativity never dies. It's always there, just waiting to be tapped into.

I have zero interest in the sausagefest that is the country charts. I guess you could say I'm protesting the lack of women, but that's just a self-righteous way of saying I don't care. I see the top two artists are "Dan + Shay" and "Kane Brown," neither of which I've heard, but I don't need to hear them to know what they are. Bland, safe radio filler. Country music used to kick. Now it just limps. So on that note...

Worst country Second worst pop song song I heard:

"Meant to Be" by Florida Georgia Line and Bebe Rexha - My second worst song literally just boils down to "meh." If it happens, it happens, whatever, I don't really care. That's the kind of year this was. This was the biggest "country" hit of... ever, I guess, as well as a big pop hit - "Meh: the Song." I guess the video is okay. Her plaid game is on point.

Truly, I aspire to this level of plaid. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the success of this song is partly due to how fabulous she looks in the video. That would actually improve it for me. If only the music was as vibrant as her outfits. Cause "whatever" is exactly how I feel about this song. I can't even hate it; there isn't enough there there to inspire hate, or any emotion at all. And that's worse. I'd rather have something to rant about than stare into a void.

And I think that's gonna be my final word on 2018, the Year of Xanax. As always, hoping for better next year. ☮️

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

To-watch list

Stuff I want to watch in the not-too-distant future. Marking them off as I go.

Last night I finally watched Jug Face, which has been on my list for a while. Really good, and I'll discuss it more later.

Newer (2010s) horror:

The Ritual
Starry Eyes
Insidious 2
Witch in the Window
The Canal
Sun Don't Shine
Hell House LLC

Classics, rewatch:

The Exorcist - every year I say I'm gonna rewatch this and I always chicken out
The Howling
The Omen
The Wolf Man (1941) - maybe more of the old Universal movies? I've seen a lot but not since I was a kid
The Thing
The Haunting
Killer Klowns
Phantasm series

Classics, never seen:

Texas Chainsaw Massacre - That's right, I've never seen this. I've always been too scared. I'm DOING IT, baby!
Hellraiser 1-as many of them are good lol
Amityville Horror II: The Possession
Let the Right One In (might watch the American remake too)
Eyes Without a Face
The Mist
Diabolique (1955)
Alone in the Dark
The Devil Rides Out - maybe more Hammer films? I've seen some but ages ago and I don't remember
The Old Dark House

Christmas, rewatch:

The Visit
Black Christmas (original)
Krampus - maybe? I just watched this last year but I loved it

Christmas, never seen:

Rare Exports
Better Watch Out

Netflix shows:

Haunting of Hill House
Riverdale season 3

That seems like a LOT but I've actually whittled down my list so much the past couple months, it's amazing.

Favorite Music of 2018

I realize more every year that I'm all about mood, vibe, and aesthetic. And sadly, 2018 offered very little. I guess someone gets some kinda mood from droney hip hop and middle of the road country, but I need texture in my music. It's no wonder I kinda shrugged and dove headlong into movies mid-year. As bad as popular music has been in the 2010s, lemme tell ya, this is one of the greatest decades ever for horror movies. Maybe second only to the 80s. See, this is a music post and I still wanna talk about movies. Sigh. Okay.

I wasn't inspired to listen to a whole lot, but here's the best of what I heard.

Top 10 favorite songs:

1. I Can Feel it Calling by Trophy Eyes - You know when a song just hits you, and you know it will be a part of your life forever? Yeah. In a year when music felt especially small and insignificant, my favorite song is a rousing, six-minute modern rock anthem. If you like the Killers, check this out.

2. Baby You're a Haunted House by Gerard Way - Any other year, this would obviously be my number one. I kinda wanna call it a tie. Can I call it a tie? Oh right, it's my list. Can I just say, I'm still processing that this song even exists? And it came out right at Halloween? Someone still understands me. Thank God. This is just a great, catchy song, and it came out of nowhere! What a gift to my spooky little heart. #notworthy

3. A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega by Ashley McBryde - In a year when I moved farther away from country, or maybe it moved farther away from me, here's a song that personifies everything I love about the genre. Anthemic lyrics, catchy chorus, beautiful vocals and spot-on production. Everything about this is great, but I think I wanna highlight the production most of all. Because seriously, what happened? Production in mainstream country has become so flat it feels more like a still life than a song. And not even a good one, the kind that Motel 6 buys in bulk. But "Little Dive Bar" is full of life and colour and movement. This is the kind of song that brought me into country, and it helped bring me back for a little while.

4. Life Eternal by Ghost - Best musical moment of 2018: "THIS IS THE MOMENT OF JUST LETTING GO!" Oh man, when that kicks in I get chills every time.

5. Can't Knock the Hustle by Weezer - "Dystopian mariachi funk" is definitely a mood I can get behind in 2018. If the Black Album is more of this vibe, I'm gonna be a happy camper next March. (Please, Weezer, don't make me regret writing this next March, okay?)

6. Dance Macabre by Ghost - Ghost has written one of my favourite rock hits of 1985. Seriously, this is how you properly 80s. Don't copy or remake, make it your own! And yes, I just used "80s" as a verb.

7. Killing Ourselves to Live by Halestorm - And my favourite rock hit of 1988 is... Yeah, just write these big power choruses and I'll buy your song. It's pretty simple. Lzzy Hale sounds killer on this, but she always does.

8. Africa by Weezer/Hash Pipe by Toto - Okay, so sometimes remaking 80s shit works too. Look there are no rules, just don't suck. "Africa" isn't like, the best cover ever or anything, but it kinda brings back and celebrates Weezer's nerdy side. And Toto's cover of Hash Pipe is even better. I love that this happened. I love that it brought rock back into the popular discussion, even briefly. I live for singularly weird shit like this. I get to put Toto on my favourites of 2018 list. I mean, come on!

9. You Can Count on Me by Trophy Eyes - "Some of my friends sell drugs, but I just sell sad songs" Best opening line to a song ever? Maybe! Another great, catchy anthem from this Australian band. I didn't love their album as a whole, but the standout tracks really, um, stood out. As they do. Shut up.

10. Crown Shyness by Trash Boat - Yeah, I can vibe to a good old emo-ey ballad. With these guys I really liked the album as a whole and had a hard time picking one song, but this one hits me the hardest.

Honorable mentions:

Say Amen (Saturday Night) by Panic! at the Disco - Yeah, the production on Pray for the Wicked has all the texture of an airhorn, but I can't deny this song. It's just too catchy. And while I wish it was this song instead of "High Hopes," P!atD having a TOP FIVE BILLBOARD CHART HIT in 2018 is definitely the music story of the year.

Body Talks by The Struts ft. Kesha - Of course Kesha fits right in in glam rock. I think this was her calling all along. The Struts are one of the most fun bands out there right now, Kesha has gone from a sentient eyeroll to an artist I actively seek out, and they came together for this catchy jam. Kesha might never have another pop hit, and more power to her. It feels like she's just free to do whatever she wants now, and she fits well in this lane.

Vicious by Halestorm - "What doesn't kill me makes me vicious" is another favorite lyric of the year. Just an awesome, straightforward rocker from Halestorm.

Southern Babylon by Ashley McBryde - I've already used "anthemic" and "aesthetic," now I get to use my other favorite word, "atmospheric!" Huzzah, we've hit the trifecta. But yeah, if you want a shot of smooth, smokey whiskey in a song, here ya go. I can smell the cigarette smoke and hear the katydids chirping from here. I was gonna put this in the top 10, but...

My favorite album of 2018 is, Girl Going Nowhere by Ashley McBryde! Since I'm praising the whole album, I thought I'd give someone else a shout out in the top 10. But yeah, this is my favorite country album in quite a while. This brings back the feels of when I heard Miranda Lambert's first album, so hopefully this is the start of another beautiful musical friendship.

Besides the two songs I mentioned, my other favourites are "Radioland," "Girl Going Nowhere," and "Tired of Being Happy." This is an easy and pleasant listen all the way through, with standout vocals and a clear sense of voice and presence. I feel like I'm actually listening to Ashley McBryde, the artist, not some contrived studio bullshit. That's not a feeling I get much from mainstream music anymore. So thank you, Ashley McBryde, for giving me an easy favorite new album and a pinch of hope for the future of mainstream country.

I didn't listen to many albums this year, but a quick shout out to Kacey Musgraves' Golden Hour and Trash Boat's Crown Shyness. Oh and Gorillaz The Now Now, my summer vibe album of the year. I haven't listened to it since summer and probably won't listen to it til next summer, but it serves a purpose and I thank it for its service.

Favorite pop hit of 2018:

"All the Stars" by Kendrick Lamar and SZA. The Black Panther soundtrack gave us some pretty good music from a great movie, and this bright, soaring track is a standout.

Runner-ups: "Finesse," for bringing New Jack Swing back for one brief shining moment. "Nice for What," for good use of a sample and being a non-boring Drake song. "No Tears Left to Cry," for keeping me up all night wondering what 80s song the "right now I'm in a state of mind" part reminds me of. I feel like it's a specific song, but does it just sound like the whole 80s? All I'm getting is an image of someone dancing in legwarmers. (EDIT: Okay, I think it is just "Flashdance." Glad to have that sorted.)

Favorite country hit of 2018:

Obviously it's "Little Dive Bar," but my second choice is "Drowns the Whiskey" by Jason Aldean and Miranda Lambert. Maybe not the homerun "Little Dive Bar" is, but it's a solid double, maybe a double with an error allowing the runner to reach third? Yeah, every time Jason Aldean has a good song it kinda feels like he stumbled into it by accident. But I'll take it.

Okay, that's done! I know it was pretty perfunctory, but it was a perfunctory year. If you keep saying the word "perfunctory" it sounds weird. PerFUNKtory. Should I even do a "worst" post this year, or just say "LITERALLY EVERYTHING ELSE?" πŸ€”

Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/27G74gAnYbHYGNf94LF0go

Monday, December 03, 2018

3 more movies!

I've been catching up on more recent (2010s) movies I missed. There are 3 or 4 more I wanna get to, then I'm gonna watch some old classics, then it's Christmas horror time! I have two new-to-me Christmas movies lined up that I'm pretty excited for, plus a couple rewatches.

The Invitation - This was an engaging sort of thriller-horror. Once again you're presented with this awkward situation where you don't know what's going on. I think these movies work so well for me because awkward social situations scare me in general, then on top of it you don't know if there's actually something sinister going on or if it's just weird. Well it's a horror movie, so the audience knows something's up but the protagonist doesn't, and it's easy to put yourself in their place. (Other good examples of this are the Creep movies, The Gift, and Get Out, which adds yet another layer with racial tension.) If you can tap into that kind of realistic-feeling uncertainty and unpredictability, you've got a good psychological horror flick.

Man, I loved this one. It's not a spoiler to say it involves a cult; even knowing that the ending is quite shocking. Cult movies are some of my absolute favourites, whether it's something supernatural or just brainwashed people. It's fascinating. Highly recommended!

The Barn (2016) - I then watched two movies I probably should have saved for Halloween, but I'm still in denial it's December and that's okay. This was a fun throwback with some sweet practical and makeup effects, beautiful shots, and original lore. First off, if you're looking for perfect Halloween imagery, this is right up with Pumpkinhead and Trick r Treat. You've got your pumpkin patch, your corn maze, your creepy old barn, and it all takes place in the 80s so A+++++++++. The 80s touches they put in felt fun and authentic without becoming parody, like the metal show veejay called "Dr. Rock." :D

The legend goes, if you knock three times on this old barn in this creepy little farm town and say "trick or treat," demons will be set free in the form of the miner (boogeyman), the jack o'lantern, and the candy corn scarecrow. The jack o'lantern has a power where he can see through the eyes of all the pumpkins in the town to stalk you, then turn into one to kill you. I thought this was cool and unique and pretty much Peak Halloween. Normally I don't condone smashing pumpkins, but in this town it might save your life! If you love Halloween, you can't go wrong with this movie. Note: there seem to be a couple movies made around this time called The Barn; this is the 2016 one with the Linnea Quigley cameo. (She plays a pearl clutching church lady lol)

Also, random boobs because it takes place in the 80s. It's been awhile, random boobs. Welcome back?

Creepy, artsy shots like this feed my soul.

The Houses October Built - With a name like that, I had to watch it. In December. Shut up. While this was my least favorite of the three, it's still pretty darn good. This is a found footage movie. They can be hit or miss for me, but I thought this was a hit. I'm obsessed with haunted houses, so of course I loved the concept of finding the most extreme scare. Would I have been up for the "Blue Skeleton?" Nah, but I still like the idea of an "anything goes" haunted house, and I like how it played out here. I do NOT like that there's a sequel starring the same characters - kinda takes away from the ending, doesn't it?? I'll be missing that. But this was a fun, suspenseful watch and I liked the documentary style and look inside the haunted houses - and the kind of people who might be running them. I don't think I'd want to watch this right before visiting a haunted attraction, so maybe December is the best time!

This one has rare present-day random boobs, because zombie strippers. It's not as silly as it sounds.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Let's lighten things up - horror comedies

What We Do in the Shadows - "Found footage vampire comedy" isn't exactly a phrase that sent me scrambling into my seat - I was expecting some Real World shit with "edgy," wise-cracking, Hot Topiced vamps. But this was so critically acclaimed I had to give it a shot and yeah, it's not that at all. It's hilarious. It totally makes fun of the whole "sexy vampire" trope. I mean, hundreds-year-old dudes probably wouldn't be all suave and shit, vampires or not. They would be weird, awkward freaks in poofy shirts who try too hard and argue about doing the dishes. There's a newbie vampire who does dress in what I'm pretty sure is a Hot Topic Black Parade jacket, but he's not a caricature. He's just some dude with a friend named Stu who happened to get turned into a vampire.

Oh man, I loved this movie. If you're like me and aren't usually into vampire movies, watch this vampire movie! It kinda takes the piss out of that stuff you don't like, but not in a mean-spirited way. It's just fun, with occasional dark moments to make it horror and not just comedy. Another score from New Zealand!

And remember, vampires don't put down towels. At least, not the cool ones.

The Frighteners - This was a first time watch for me. 90s horror isn't usually my thing, at least not past 90/91 which was basically still the 80s. So I missed this '96 flick the first time around. For a mainstream movie starring Michael J. Fox, this thing was pretty darn weird! It was directed by Peter Jackson, so it was also overly long. I enjoyed the movie, for all its oddness, but man you could've easily trimmed 15-20 minutes. Fox plays a con man with a sad past, and he has ghost pals he uses to frighten his unsuspecting victims. But of course, there's an actual spirit going around killing people, and adventure ensues. Right off the bat, the ghost effects are impressive. This was made in the mid-90s, and its use of CGI and makeup looks better than many modern films. Clearly a lot of work was put in. So major props there; I'd recommend this on the visuals alone.

The story is a bit convoluted but I'll give Jackson credit, it does all tie together. It's just by the time you reach the end, the beginning seems so long ago and you're trying to remember everything that happened. The length did detract some from my enjoyment but I still recommend it, especially for fans of Fox, as this was his last starring film role, and Dee Wallace, who gives an awesome against-type performance. But Dee Wallace is always awesome. I also liked the "adventurey" feel, which kind of threw back to the 80s. This is what the Haunted Mansion movie should have been. If you like stuff like Poltergeist and Ghostbusters, you'll probably dig this.

Two horror comedies in a row. I needed them after Blackcoat's Daughter and Southbound, those were an intense couple of watches.

Finally I watched another Shudder exclusive, Another Evil. This is listed as a horror comedy, and I kinda see why, but this was some Creep shit right here. That's a compliment, I really liked it, but those kind of situations genuinely creep me out. Like Creep, a man develops a working relationship with a quirky guy - this time, an exorcist. That's right, it's Creep with ghosts! Also like Creep, you soon realize the quirky guy is more than just quirky, he's off his wheels and you don't know what he might do. This setup really hits a sweet spot for me. It's genuinely unsettling because it feels real, but it's so awkward that it's kinda funny?

I generally like supernatural horror (which this is, but the human interaction is the main focus), and not "people being awful to each other" horror. (Not including slashers. Slashers are their own thing, and I dig them.) I'm talking "torture porn," etc. There's a reason I've never seen any of the Saw movies, or any of the Purge movies, or stuff like Hostel. Not for me. But this, the two Creep movies, and even something like Get Out, they don't feel mean-spirited, just weird and awkward and you occasionally laugh to break the tension. Until the murder starts, of course. And even then, it doesn't seem deliberately cruel. It's more complex. And I like that feeling. Not knowing is often the greatest horror.

Next week - my year end music stuff. Oh boy?

Thursday, November 29, 2018

tbt ~ 6 favourite hits from the Summer of 84

Since I just watched Summer of 84, I'm counting down six songs I heard that summer that made me a music fan forever!

6. The Reflex - Duran Duran

5. When Doves Cry - Prince

4. Ghostbusters - Ray Parker Jr

3. Borderline - Madonna

2. Magic - The Cars

1. Sister Christian - Night Ranger

What a great year. I feel so lucky that this was my first exposure to popular music. Say what you want about the 80s, and they weren't perfect, but not a single one of these songs feels cynical or lazy like so much of today's music does. I hope today's kids have as much fun with their music as I did with mine but man, it's hard to imagine. In 30 years, when music is just a continuous low keyboard hum set to a drum machine, today's kids will pine for the good old days of Post Malone. So I guess it's all relative. But I maintain that 1984 had a special spark that transcends nostalgia.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

It's still Halloween, right? Right??

And the terror train keeps chuggin' along. I delved into some Shudder exclusives, with great results!

Summer of 84 - Obviously I had to watch this. The summer of 84 is my summer of 69 - the best days of my life. Okay, maybe I was too young for it to actually be the BEST. But it was the first time I really became cognizant of pop culture, and also one of the best times for pop culture. It was the perfect storm of awesomeness. Ghostbusters, Gremlins, all that amazing music. So how'd this 2018 movie do in capturing the feel?

Pretty damn well, actually! It's definitely 1984, but it doesn't hit you over the head with IT'S THE 80S BITCH, HERE'S A NOSTALGIA PIE TO THE FACE! You've got the 80s cars and fashions, there's a Gremlins reference, "Cruel Summer" is played. But there are none of those aggravating "wink wink" moments that are designed to speak to the modern audience more than feel natural in the scene. In fact, this is a very naturalistic movie which is its greatest charm.

Another sign it's the 80s is all the kids are outside adventuring. And it's this that leads them into a terrifying, real life adventure, when one suspects his next door neighbour is a serial killer. Is he right? Watch and find out! I highly recommend this; it should appeal equally to 80s kids and modern fans.

The Blackcoat's Daughter - And on the opposite end of the spectrum, we have a winter not-so-wonderland. Warning: if you have seasonal depression, DO NOT watch this movie in winter! Watch it in the summer when it can't hurt you. That said, this is a good movie and I do recommend it. It's a slow burn and it's quite bleak so it won't be for everyone, but I found it rewarding. Like It Follows, I immediately googled it at the end to make sure I grasped what had happened, and for the most part I did. Filling in the blanks was helpful though. This is the story of two girls left at a remote Catholic school over a winter break, and that's all I'm gonna say. Watch it, but wait until you can go outside and see flowers growing in the sunshine afterwards.

Southbound - From an 80s suburban summer, to a bleak New York winter, to a lonely desert highway. These movies really ran the gamut in aesthetic. I feel like it took all their restraint to not play "Highway to Hell" in this movie, and I admire that, because it would have been a bit on the nose. This is an anthology movie and a really damn good one! Like Trick r Treat, all the stories take place in the same area and connect with each other. I didn't know what to expect from this at all, but I loved the sound of the Route 66-type setting, with the old timey truck stops and half-deserted towns. You can mine a lot of creep factor from that, and this lived up to my expectations and then some. The atmosphere was great, and they could have coasted on that, but the stories were surprisingly well done. A lot of care and skill went into this and I highly recommend it.

Three more standout films from this awesome decade of horror. I can't get enough. Feed me more!

After Summer of 84, I felt like revisiting an 80s favourite I hadn't seen in ages, The Lost Boys! This is one of the few vampire movies I dig (along with Fright Night). No tedious melodramatic bullshit, just creatures of the night who want to kill you. And talk about atmosphere! You know I will. The lair of the vampires is one of the coolest settings ever, an old sunken seaside resort hotel. It makes this like, deserted luxury cave by the sea and it's SO COOL!

This is a fun, kinda quirky, very 80s movie that doesn't have a ton of substance but has a lot of entertainment value. A fast watch with memorable lines and characters and a great cast. If you haven't seen this for a while, give it a watch!

Thursday, November 22, 2018

More late night movie madness!

The awesome train just keeps on rollin'.

Spider Baby - The subtitle for this is THE MADDEST STORY EVER TOLD and yeah, that's not hyperbole, this thing is pretty darn mad. This is somewhat of a cult film from the 60s that I'd never heard of before lucking into it on a horror podcast. This is why you should listen to horror podcasts. This movie could have been cheesy as hell, like Ed Wood territory, but it's surprisingly well-made and well-acted. It's about a family with a syndrome that causes them to regress into violent mutants in late childhood. The two creepy girls, especially the "spider" one, are really effective. Lon Cheney Jr. brings a subtle and even touching performance as their caretaker. I like how the story progresses, it's suspenseful and the ending is perfect. Definitely recommended!

The Devil's Candy - This is a 2015 film that covers some very familiar territory - family moves into a house but oh oh! It's already occupied. By SATAN. But like any good movie, this takes old themes and makes them seem new again by giving us fresh, sympathetic characters and a story and feel of its own. This is another metal horror movie, in a way, but there's no evil in the music this time. The father and daughter are metalheads, and it comes into play GLORIOUSLY at the end. I love the creepy images manifesting in the father's paintings, and Pruitt Taylor Vince gives a standout performance as the house's previous tenant who just can't let go. This is an awesome movie; you really care for the characters and want them to make it out. And remember: butterflies aren't metal!

Autopsy of Jane Doe - Another awesome one, this time from 2016. For as much as everything sucks right now, the 2010s are one of the best decades for horror movies. I just keep getting blown away. This is an extremely suspenseful film that takes place entirely in a morgue, and it's as creepy as that sounds. The pacing really stood out to me here, it builds perfectly to an ending that's both sad and satisfying. Father and son coroners are, obviously, doing an autopsy on a Jane Doe, and things are not as they appear. She doesn't have a mark on her... on the outside. Once they start cutting they discover a mystery to solve, and that's my favorite aspect of the story. The movie is scary and horrific, but that mystery element really pushes it over the edge. They do finally solve it and it's very cool, but is it too late for them? Watch this movie!

Insidious - Another modern horror I adore. It had been a while so I gave it a rewatch and it totally held up. Amazingly, I've never seen the direct sequel, so I will be remedying that. (I did see part 3, for some reason, which is a prequel.) There are many things I love about this, but I think my favorite is in the early part of the movie, when you start yelling at the people to GET OUT OF THE DAMN MURDER HOUSE, they do! They move. Unfortunately, the thing in the house packs itself up with their books and spoons and makes itself at home. It's insidious, you see. This is a fun ride with a pretty shocking ending.

Amityville Horror (1979) - I'd been meaning to rewatch this for a long time, and it made a great companion to Insidious and Devil's Candy. Yup, this is one of the original family-moves-into-a-devil-house movies, or at least one that really put them on the map. It's long, but it never really feels slow to me. I like the buildup, I like getting to know the characters, and I really like all the artsy shots of the house.

Say it with me - atmosphere, bitches! This is a must-see for any horror fan, a landmark film that totally holds up. Take the two hours to watch it, it's worth it.

The Innocents - And finally, this might be my favourite yet. Amazingly, I had never seen this classic until last night and WOW. I'm saying it now, best performance by a child actor I have EVER seen. Holy shit, this kid Martin Stephens was uncanny in the best way. I loved Deborah Kerr's character, she was so brave and selfless in her determination to save these children from the malevolent forces in their home. And talk about atmosphere! The house and lake and gardens are amazing, at once beautiful and creepy. The little girl also gives a great performance, and she grew up to be the medium (AKA the winner of Britain's prestigious Floppiest Collar Award) in Legend of Hell House! Cool! I can't express how much I loved this movie, just watch it. It's watching you. πŸ‘€

Whew, I'm all caught up now. I will be taking a break to watch the new Mystery Science Theatre episodes, but I'll be back with more late night horror movie madness next week. My end of year music posts are also coming soon, however brief they may be.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Late Night Movie Madness

Beginning with Lords of Salem, which I discussed in my previous post, I've been on a helluva roll. Nine movies watched and not a bad one in the bunch. And eight were totally new to me! Splitting them into two posts.

Deathgasm - I watched this after Lords of Salem, so I had a completely accidental "someone plays demonic music and all hell breaks loose" double feature. It worked well in both movies. While this isn't as epic as Lords, it is kinda an updated version of 1986's Trick or Treat, with humour and way more gore. This was a lot of fun, especially if you like metal horror movies. I'm not even a metal fan but I love these, for some reason. This is from 2015 but I guess it takes place in the 90s, because the girl was using a discman and no one had a phone. It didn't really feel of any particular time, though. This is a New Zealand film and damn, NZ and Australia have been killing it with cool horror movies.

Black Sunday - AKA the good version of She-Beast, kinda. After hating that movie but digging actress Barbara Steele, I found another, more highly acclaimed witch movie she was in. The story isn't exactly the same, but it is the "old timey witch back for revenge" trope, so you know I'm there for it. Barbara Steele plays the dual role of the witch and the princess whose body she wants to possess and YESSSSSSS, this is what I wanted out of She-Beast! Good performances, no goofy shit or foreign Torgos, and OMG atmosphere for days. The castle and the wild, desolate landscape around the old abandoned crypt set my spooky lil heart all aflutter.

There's probably a Starbucks there now. πŸ™

Popcorn - AKA the good version of Movie House Massacre! Yeah, this is what I wanted out of that piece of crap. What an awesome, layered movie this is, damn. How had I not seen this before? How is this not a classic??

Already sold, 10/10!

This 1991 movie is an homage to 50s schlock and 80s slashers, and both are done skillfully. A college theatre department is holding an all night movie fest in an old cinema to raise money. They're bringing back three 50s movies and showing them in their original formats like "aroma-rama" and "shock-o-scope." But there's a killer on the loose, and he's pretty creative! He probably could have had a bright future if he didn't kill people. Oh well.

Not only did they film parts of the fictional 50s movies and show them within the movie, the gimmicks even play a part in some of the the kills. What an awesome idea! Starring Jill Schoelen of The Stepfather and When a Stranger Calls Back, and seeing her rock a cute kind of Lydia Dietz look here makes her mullet in Stranger even more tragic. Yikes. Also starring Eric from Phantom of the Mall, coincidentally. I mean, I didn't seek him out, but there he was. I highly recommend this if you like goofy 50s movies, slashers, or both. It's a little silly, but overall well done and vastly entertaining.

Intruder - Speaking of Phantom of the Mall (as I probably will for years to come), here we have 80s Kid Nostalgia Porn, Part Two: the Supermarket! Awwww yeah, did this take me back. You don't realize how much the look of stores has changed until you watch something like this. I especially dug the groovy checkout stand lights. There were also great shots of old cereal packages, and even a bonus glimpse of some vintage holiday decorations in the attic. Score!

If you didn't grow up in the 80s and don't care about that, don't worry! There's still plenty to enjoy here. It's a cool setting. Something I learned is there are a lot of things lying around a supermarket that can kill you. Spectacularly. Yeah, the kills in this are fantastic. Watch it for that. And the cereal boxes. And some of the weird shots, like one from the inside of a phone(?) It sounds goofy, but it kinda weirdly works? I don't know, there's just something about this movie. It's cool. You'll probably know who the killer is, but that's okay.

My only complaints? The ending is terrible. Doesn't take away from the rest of the fun, but really dumb and implausible. And I'm using "implausible" in the context of a movie where a guy gets hung from a meathook, there's a bloody hand in a lobster tank, and another guy gets beaten with a severed head. There's implausible and then there's just silly, y'know?

And finally, the title. Intruder? Generic and unmemorable, and doesn't even really fit the plot. Why not something splashy like SUPERMARKET SLASH, or CLEANUP ON AISLE FIVE? There's even a great pun in the movie involving "half off," so why cheap out on the title?

Friday, November 16, 2018

November is just the second October

I've been watching a horror movie every night, and plan to for the foreseeable future until my giant list is more manageable. I signed up for Shudder recently, which has increased my list even more! Why didn't I wait til I'd cut it down more first?

That meme is pretty much just me at all times.

Okay, so I watched Rifftrax' Halloween offering, Terror in the Wax Museum. This isn't a good movie, but it might be one of John Carradine's least embarrassing later performances? Kind of your standard "old Hollywood actors slumming it in a silly B horror movie" deal. Would probably be watchable on its own, but made great with Rifftrax. I then watched the most recent Rifftrax release Truckers Woman and forget the wax museum, this is where the real terror lives. Worst movie "protagonist" since Mitchell. Were we supposed to like this guy? This was the only movie I had to take a shower after watching, and I watched something called Deathgasm.

I then attempted to watch Teenage Exorcist, something I don't recommend you do. Man, this started out so promising. There's a cool animated opening credits scene complete with cheesy theme song - "teenage exorcist, teenage exorcist!" Yeah, sing it! Then the first scene has creepy real estate agent Michael Berryman and I'm like, YESSSSSSSS. Then he goes away. Then the movie sucks for an hour until Eddie Deezen shows up. Seriously, I kept falling asleep. He's first billed, but is in the movie for like 10 minutes. See, they were trying to call an exorcist, but instead ordered a pizza! OMG, so wacky. Deezen plays the pizza "boy" and was the only funny part of the movie. Lead actress Brinke Stevens is fine, so if you're a fan you'll probably get your money's worth, but the rest of the cast, UGH!

I know, let's get Michael Berryman and Eddie Deezen in our movie but only give them 15 minutes combined screen time, and fill the rest of it with lame, unlikeable nobodies! I know it's a low-budget movie and the nobodies were probably paid in pizza (hey, it was already in the budget, genius!) but did their characters have to be so awful? There's nothing worse than awful characters who are also uninteresting. Brinke Stevens' brother in law was an insufferable douchebag. I guess they were going for an 80s "yuppie" parody but he wasn't funny, just annoying. And OMG, the so-called "love interest." One of the worst characters I've ever seen in a movie. I've said how much I hate the trope of the guy "wearing down" the girl until she agrees to be with him. It's disgusting. This guy just pushes himself all over her even though she's clearly uninterested, and they end up together in the end! BARF. He was never likeable, it was never like "aw, she should give the poor guy a chance," he was AWFUL. She should have ended up with Eddie Deezen, except I guess he was supposed to be a "teenager" despite being 34. It should have been called Pizza Exorcist or something.

Okay that's out of the way, the rest of the stuff I watched was good or at least interesting!

Next up was Lords of Salem, and boy am I glad I gave Rob Zombie another chance. I found his Halloween remake unbearable due to the writing and characters ("THAT'S NOT LAURIE STRODE!" I kept yelling as I cried into my wine. That was a fun night πŸ™„). But the direction and cinematography weren't bad, so I thought I'd give him another try with original characters that couldn't be ruined. Three rock radio deejays in Salem? That sounds great! Old timey witches seeking vengeance in modern day? You know that's my jam! They start out playing my favourite Rush song and it only goes up from there. Cool characters, great performances, awesome music, and some of the most beautiful shots I've seen in a horror movie. Like, the framing and the colours look like something in a museum.


I guess some people have issue with Sheri Moon Zombie's performance, but I thought she was awesome. I mean, nepotism's only bad if the person isn't talented. Then there's one of the other deejays, played by an actor I didn't know, but he was great. He was her friend who obviously had a thing for her but unlike Teenage Exorcist, this movie understands that the character becomes unsympathetic if they push. He was like, a genuine friend, which showed that he actually cared for her. But she was too fucked up to reciprocate. Damn, she was a heartbreaking character. Then you have horror icons like Ken Foree (as the third deejay), Dee Wallace, and Bruce Davison who is electric every time he's on screen. What a fantastic actor.

I don't wanna say much more, this is now one of my favourite movies in my favourite subgenre (witches/satanic cults) and I don't want to spoil it. It's beautiful to the point of being artistic, and every horror fan should watch it. It doesn't have the yelly, trailer trashy characters that were in Halloween, everyone is either sympathetic or interesting in some way. The pacing is just what I like, a slow burn that builds up the characters and tension and leads to an explosive ending. LOVED it!

And I'm gonna end on that positive note. I have more movies for another post, so stay tuned!

Friday, November 09, 2018

Feel Good Friday ~ camp songs!

Does anyone else sing their old songs from camp when they feel down, or overwhelmed by the world?

Sometimes you just need ME AND MY DINOSAUR! or BOOM CHICKA BOOM! or my personal fave, HOT DOG, I LOVE THAT WEENIE MAAAAN!

Now tell me this isn't a mood for 2018.

Eight year old me once sang "I'll be his weenie wife" with no trace of irony and hot dog, that makes me happy. Try it! It's better than therapy. Really. :)

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Phantom of the Mall, AKA 80s Kid Nostalgia Porn

Attention! If you grew up in the 80s and spent a fair amount of time at your local mall, you will want to watch this movie. Even if you don't usually like horror movies. You might shed a tear as the bygone stores of your childhood flash by... B. Dalton Books, Contempo Casuals, Swensen's Ice Cream, Kinney Shoes, Sam Goodys, Millers Outpost, JUDYS!!! An actual Judys sighting. I've hit the motherlode. The two main girls went shopping at WET SEAL and I nearly wept. Since I would cheerfully watch 90 minutes of just footage from this mall in the 80s, the question remains - how was the actual movie?

Pretty damn good! Yes, Pauly Shore is in this, which might be why I've never seen it before now. He is pure movie repellant. I enjoy fun, natural stupidity like Troll 2, but contrived stupidity can fuck right off. I also have to say that yes, he's annoying in this and no, he doesn't get killed by the slasher. WAIT, COME BACK! The movie is so fun that I let it slide. Yes, I am here to tell you that this movie is worth having to see Pauly Shore's butt. That is not a statement I make lightly.


This is actually called Phantom of the Mall: Eric's Revenge, which makes it sound like a sequel to something but it isn't. What would they have called a sequel? The Revenge of Eric's Revenge? Eric is a teen who was thought to have been killed in a suspicious fire in his home, on land where Greedy 80s Villain wanted to build a mall. It's one year later and the mall is opening (that was fast!) and Eric's girlfriend and her friend are starting jobs there. Eric's gf starts receiving gifts she suspects are from not-actually-dead Eric, and she's right. A masked Eric has been hanging out in the mall's intestines and watching her. As one does, if they're in an 80stastic update of Phantom of the Opera.

One thing I liked is for the most part, Eric only kills people who do shitty things. A security guard who creeps on girls in a dressing room, the mall owner's delinquent son, the hitman who set the fire and is trying to kill Eric's gf and her friends. People don't die just because they're not the main character. So that was cool (even if it means Pauly Shore lived), and it makes Eric seem like less of the villain.

Only at the end, when Eric reunites with his former gf, does he lose any sympathy he might have had. He gets jealous because she's been getting friendly with a reporter investigating the fire, played by a guy who was either on Silk Stalkings or Melrose Place.* She thought you were DEAD dude, give her a break. What was she supposed to do, become a nun? Also, you seem to have gone a little nuts. Nothing personal. Eric succeeds in his plan to blow up the mall, but everyone gets out but him. Cue end scene of charbroiled Eric lying in the rubble and I'm like oh nooooo, his hand is gonna twitch or his eyes are gonna open and maybe they were gonna make Revenge of Eric's Revenge, and that would be stupid! But nope, he just lies there like a piece of toast. A++ ending. Seriously, you've earned my everlasting devotion just by not giving in to that overused trope.

*he was on BOTH! And also 90210! All hail our new king!

There's even another sweet closing credits song by a band called the Vandals, who seem to be kind of a goofier, 80s version of Blink-182. They also remind me of Too Much Joy, who found brief fame on "120 Minutes" in the late 80s. (The "if I had a billion dollars, I'd buy back my old room" line on this blog comes from their song "Making Fun of Bums.")

Oh, and random boobs because 80s.

I am having a blast watching these movies, and I'm finally on a good roll after a bunch of stinkers! Even I've Been Waiting for You, while not great, was watchable, and everything else has been good to great. Hopefully I didn't just jinx myself. 🀞

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

And one more!

This one needed its own post.

I've Been Waiting for You - THE 90S-NESS, IT BURNSSSSSSSSS! Starring the second Becky from Roseanne, Punky Brewster, and Markie Post from Night Court. God I love TV movies. This one, though - okay I watched this cause it's one of my favorite tropes. Old-timey witch comes back to modern day to seek vengeance, aww yeah. I will watch pretty much any movie with that plot. This made no sense though. SPOILERS FOR A 1998 TV MOVIE:

Okay, so put The Craft, Hocus Pocus, Scream, and pretty much any 90s movie into a blender, add some cheese and an extra dash of 90s ATTITUDE, MAN and you get this movie. New kid moves from California to a small town in Massachusetts. You may now check off Hocus Pocus on your 90s bingo card. However, this time it's a girl and she's snarky and new agey and doesn't fit in, despite just seeming like an edgy 90s teen. But she wisecracks, doesn't wear preppy clothes and perhaps the worst sin of all, is from California, so total reject I guess! (Do movie people have some kind of complex where they think the rest of the country hates California, or something?)

Anyway, I hate the overdone "new kid in school" trope but I'm already here so whatever. Let's get to the witch stuff. So Becky is named Sarah in this movie, which is also her real name and also the name of the witch who was burned at the stake 300 years ago and is rightly a little miffed. Sarah and her mother are renting the house she once lived in, and she's buried in the little park next door. While moving in, Sarah keeps getting creepy phone calls saying "I've been waiting for you" despite the phone not being connected. And there's a cat scare. In 1998. Look, I've had cats my whole life and they do not jump out and go "RAWR!" at you. This is in every dumb horror movie and I don't know why. Do people not know how cats work? They make that noise when fighting with other cats or if you accidentally step on their tail. Not if they just like, jump out of a cupboard. They also don't randomly jump out of cupboards in empty houses. Cats aren't like dust bunnies, you don't just find one when you're cleaning and surprise! cat.

At this point I'm still enough on board with the movie to tolerate the EXTREEEEEME 90s dialogue. The 90s really thought they were clever and lemme tell you, by the end of the decade that stuff was wearing thin. Sarah meets Charlie, who works at an occult bookstore, and they become friends. Aww. Charlie is also an outcast, and with him at least it makes sense. The big clique at school happens to be the 5 descendants of the witch-burners. Convenient! When one of them dies suspiciously, Sarah is accused of being the witch. It turns out Charlie is also a descendant and is almost killed in a fire. One of the other boys is killed, and one of the girls gets her face scratched up by the witch's Freddy Krueger claw-hand. Oh yeah, did I mention the witch has a Freddy Krueger claw-hand that she scrapes along the wall? Cause she totally does! Did I also mention she wears a Scream-esque mask? Cause she totally does! Anyway, this culminates in the remaining descendants (minus Charlie) kidnapping Sarah to burn her at the stake (!) and okay, that's pretty dark. At this point I'm still on board. Then it all goes off the rails.

They've set it up so this teacher (who's also dating Sarah's mother) looks like the witch/killer. Surprise, he's not, it's Charlie! But I guess the teacher, who's also Charlie's illegitimate father, helped him do it? I just realized this movie has the same themes as Alice Sweet Alice. Illegitimate kid, the sins of the parents revisiting the children. Weird. Anyway booo, I liked Charlie, I didn't want him to be the killer. But whatever. He was taking revenge on the pious townfolk for driving his mother out when she got pregnant - you know, just like what Jesus would do! πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„ Not sure I really blame him. Nothing pisses me off like religious hypocrisy. But still... murder, Charlie, really? Couldn't just tp their houses or put itching powder in their shorts or something? Religious hypocrites have notoriously bad senses of humour.

So already not everything adds up, but then the final scene - Sarah 2 kneels at Sarah 1's grave, and a voiceover reveals she actually IS the witch returned, and will get revenge. "6 descendants, 2 down, 4 to go." Okay, this doesn't make sense.

1. She didn't kill the first 2, Charlie did. So how is that her getting revenge? I guess she's gloating over getting his sloppy seconds, or something? Like it just seems like the curse wouldn't be complete unless she killed ALL of them herself.

2. Is this meant to imply she set the fire that almost killed Charlie? Cause otherwise that made no sense.

3. When did she become the witch? It would have to be after she received the creepy phone calls, but before she set the fire. Some explanation of that would be nice so it doesn't feel like the movie pulled the "twist" straight out of its ass. Like, I'd buy that she wasn't the witch the whole time until she was almost burned, then that made her receptive to the vengeful spirit. But that wouldn't explain the fire, and I'm also just making it up cause the movie never explains. Clearly, I should build a time machine and use it to travel back to 1998 to rewrite I've Been Waiting for You. And only for that. Priorities!

4. At the end she's shown to be dating the kid who kidnapped her and almost BURNED HER AT THE STAKE and okay, her motive is obviously revenge. I don't know why she doesn't just kill him and has to date him first, but whatever. But the rest of the world is supposed to believe a girl would date a guy who almost burned her alive? Why isn't he in JAIL for attempted MURDER? WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCKY FUCK, MOVIE?!

Okay, I've talked more about this movie than anyone has, should, or ever will again. It's not good. Unless you want a late 90s time capsule, I'd skip it.

I watched some movies!

Witchboard - I thought this would be cheesier, since it stars a woman most known for writhing around on a car, but she was surprisingly good and so was the movie. It's not amazing, but it's very entertaining and actually touching at times. Yeah, 1986's Witchboard has character development. Who knew? Like you start out hating these two guys and then... awww! If you love occult/demonic possession movies like I do, this is a really good one in the genre. Definitely recommended. Don't know if I'll check out part two or not; it's one of those in-name-only sequels and I'm still not over Pumpkinhead 2. I wish Tawny Kitaen had done more movies. I looked her up and she has more arrests for substance abuse than acting credits lately. Too bad.

Also, this movie has a KICKASS closing credits song by a band called STEEL BREEZE. These guys were kind of a one-hit wonder, if having a forgotten #16 hit in 1982 counts. This song was not the hit, but IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN. Enjoy!

Just Before Dawn - Just when you think you've seen every 80s slasher... j/k, you'll never see every 80s slasher. But if you want a good one you might have missed, watch this! It's actually kinda great. You see the group of campers going into the woods and think hoo boy, here comes the Friday ripoff. But it totally isn't. This movie has its own story and is surprisingly riveting.

So you have Camper Guy and Camper Gal and their friends, fodder. It's a standard slasher in that you know exactly who the fodder is. But it doesn't matter, because it's done so well and the atmosphere is so fantastic. You have beautiful scenery, peppered with a creepy abandoned church and cemetery and backwoods cabin and it's just so damn immersive, you get pulled in. It really gets going when the backwoodsy Nell chick shows up and you know there's gonna be more going on than just some random slasher. And there is, and I'm gonna stop there and not spoil anything, because every horror fan should watch this. And, bringing back an old favorite, random boobs because 80s! (This also applies to Witchboard, but you probably didn't need me to tell you that.)

Dementia 13 - How had I not seen this before? Francis Ford Coppola's first film, and it's a cool little short but sweet b&w horror. This isn't a great movie, but it is an easy watch and a must-see for all horror fans for the history alone. I enjoyed it on its own merits as well. I've never heard of any of the actors and they all gave good performances. The movie is clearly low-budget, but that almost plays to its advantage. I like no-frills horror. It's tight and never feels purposeless.

It begins with a young widow afraid to be written out of her mother-in-law's will, so she hides her husband's death. She then starts trying to gaslight the mother, who hasn't been right since her daughter died 7 years ago. But there's also a killer on the loose! I don't want to say much more, cause it's definitely better going into this blind. It has a neat old spooky castle setting, and a small but interesting cast of characters. You will likely guess who the killer is but that's okay. It didn't ruin the experience for me. This would make a good double feature with Psycho. Watch this first as kind of an appetizer, and Psycho as the main course.

Night Warning, AKA Butcher Baker Nightmare Maker - I had never heard of this, and with a name like that who could blame me? Let's see, we have Night Warning, a generic title that means nothing in the context of the film, or Butcher Baker Nightmare Maker, a more umm, memorable but equally meaningless title. This is a cool little forgotten 80s psych horror with a killer performance by Susan Tyrell. She plays an aunt who raises her young nephew after his parents die in a car accident. Now he's all grown up, has a girlfriend and is about to go off to college, and auntie ain't havin' NONE of that. She wants to keep him all to herself. I found this movie genuinely disturbing, not just for Incest Aunt but also this weird homophobic detective. To give 1982 credit, the homophobia is framed as wrong and even crazy so I'm down with that. This was good. If you have the stomach for it, watch it. Also, random boobs because 80s.

Alice Sweet Alice - Ah, how bout some 70s disturbingness? This is an ahead of its time pre-Halloween slasher, but it's pretty downbeat so I wouldn't call it a "fun" watch. Definitely worth watching though. It has this depressing working-class atmosphere, but it's effective in its authenticity. You can almost smell the stale cigarettes and burnt TV dinners. So there are two sisters, Alice and Karen. Younger sister Karen (Brooke Shields' first role) is the favourite. Alice is just kinda there and unsurprisingly, has a tendency to act out. When Karen is murdered at her first communion and Alice is found holding her veil, the suspicion begins.

I will say I was confused as to why Alice, the older sister, couldn't take communion, and why she was treated the way she was. I don't know if they say it in the movie and I missed it, or if it's just implied, but it's because Alice was born out of wedlock. There's talk of the mother being a "whore," but I thought that was because she was divorced. Anyway, once I looked that up the movie really fell into place for me. Can you imagine that, ostracizing a child for something completely beyond their control? How would they not develop psychological problems? I hope the Catholic Church doesn't still do that. My God is not about shunning innocent kids.:( Good Lord. Literally. But yeah, the theme of the movie is the sins of the parents being revisited on their children. Brutal, but effective. This one has no boobs, once again proving my theory that nobody likes 70s boobs.

I watched one more, but it's getting its own post. πŸ‘€

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Final list - 31 Scary Movies in 31 Days

Which actually turned out to be more like 57 movies in 31 days, oh well!

31. Halloween 1-3
30. Pumpkinhead & Trick r Treat
29. House of the Devil

28. The Devonsville Terror - Okay, this might seem like a weird pick. Director Ulli Lommel is not exactly the seal of quality. I watched this on cable back in the day and found certain scenes so memorable, I was desperate to remember the name of the movie 20 years later. I described the "burning witch wheel" on one of those find the movie sites, and someone immediately knew. I was so excited to rewatch it and amazingly, it held up! The 70s and 80s were big on witch stuff - this, Crowhaven Farm, MST3K-famous Touch of Satan, Superstition, etc. There was even a Scooby Doo episode in Salem. I think it was called Which Witch is Which, because I mean, obviously it was. But Devonsville Terror is my favorite. If you like this kind of witchy movie like I do, also check out Crowhaven Farm. And Scooby Doo too, why not.

27. The Changeling
26. The Midnight Hour & Night of the Living Dead (1990) - The Midnight Hour is basically a fun Halloween party in movie form. Probably funner than most actual Halloween parties tbh. Night of the Living Dead (1990) - a remake I actually LIKE? It's a Halloween miracle! Yeah, I really Dif this updated version directed by Tom Savini. Tony Todd is great, Barbara becomes a badass, the ending is different but still effective.

25. The Shuttered Room
24. Silver Bullet
23. The Gift and Creep. Also Creep 2
22. House on Haunted Hill
21. Fright Night (1985)
20. The Babadook
19. The Fog (1980) & The Legacy
18. Curse of the Cat People
17. The People Under the Stairs
16. Beetlejuice & Ghostbusters (1984)
15. Let's Scare Jessica to Death
14. Legend of Hell House
13. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter
12. Night of the Creeps
11. The Dead Zone
10. It Follows
9. Troll 2 & Best Worst Movie
8. The Gate
7. Carnival of Souls
6. The Last Exorcism
5. House with a Clock in Its Walls
4. Ghost Story
3. Poltergeist
2. Black Roses
1. Boys in the Trees

Honorable mentions (too obvious/popular) - Psycho (1960), Carrie (1976), Get Out, Creepshow, Elm Street 1-3, and The Conjuring 1 & 2.

Honorable mentions (kinda goofy but I like 'em) - Psycho II, Chopping Mall, Trick or Treat (1986), Freddy vs Jason, Graveyard Shift, and Devil Dog: Hound of Hell.

I've watched a lot of movies over the past few days. Post coming tomorrow!

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Scary Movie (1991)

I'm gonna keep watching scary shit all through November. You're not the boss of me, calendar!

For Halloween yesterday, I managed to watch about 2 1/3 of the 4 movies I wanted to. We moved into a house this year, so we had trick or treaters! Awesome, but not conducive to movie watching. So I'll watch the other... 1 and 2/3 today. First I want to discuss Scary Movie. This is NOT the 2000s Scream parody; I don't watch that cheap crap. I watch this cheap crap!

So this says 1991 but it might as well be 1981. We've got all the tropes - button-down Norman Batesy nervous guy, dudebro named Brad or Chad, we'll just call him Chadbrad, his hot blonde girlfriend with feathered hair and a skimpy outfit who spends most of the runtime with her face mashed against his, and a big-haired brunette hot chick in a low-cut dress who Norman is lusting after. We'll call him Norman, but what was his name? Something equally sweater vesty - ah yes, Warren. There's also a fat bearded guy in a red striped shirt who exists only to stand around pointing and laughing at Norman. He's like a weird amalgamation of Nelson Muntz, Where's Waldo, and a lumberjack. This movie has really well-rounded characters. πŸ™„

Standing around awkwardly while a guy tells a girl in a bee costume "let's pollinate" is definitely a mood. I mean, we've all been there.

This guy is totally wearing an invisible sweater vest.

So the plot here is there's an escaped killer mental patient on Halloween night - no really, I know your mind is blown by that original concept, but that's what they went with - and he's near this farm that holds a yearly haunted attraction, which is where our Trope Squad is. If you watch this movie for any reason, watch it for the design of the haunted farmhouse. The scenes where Norman gets lost in the house's various pitfalls are cool, though they'd be even more effective if Norman was more compelling.

Okay, so our mismatched group is hanging out by the entrance goofing around. Brunette chick seems to kinda like Norman and at first you're like, no way. Then you realize brunette chick is kinda weird and might actually go for him, who knows. This is a girl who steals salt shakers and toilet paper from restaurants, carries them around in her purse and shows them off like trophies. This is an actual plot point. Norman overhears on the police radio that the killer has escaped, and starts suspecting he's inside the house. Is he right, or just paranoid?

There's an incident inside the house and everyone is told to evacuate. Is the killer on the loose? Norman sure thinks so. Some neat scenes of him wandering through the house becoming increasingly scared and confused ensue, though it goes on for too long and starts to wear out its welcome. Like, just LEAVE dude! He finally makes his way towards the exit but oh noooooo, brunette chick's purse is lying on the floor with the salt all spilled out, symbolizing... nothing, actually. But Norman decides to be a hero and runs back into the house. That might make him sound all noble but he really wasn't that interesting.

At one point he falls through the floor and lands on a big pile of pumpkins and I just have to admire how pure the Halloween imagery is.

The he tries to get up and his feet get stuck in rotting pumpkins and I just start giggling. I feel a little bad laughing at this poor sap, but he's stuck in gooey pumpkin guts! Best scene of the movie, 10/10. Alternate title: Pumpkinfoot!

I am giving this movie a soft recommendation, so I won't give away the ending. I didn't like it very much, but it is kind of a twist.

THIS JUST IN! The actor who played ol' Norman/Pumpkinfoot was nominated for an Oscar for best supporting actor in 2010. You cannot make this shit up. It was for something called Winter's Bone, which is a way better title for a horror movie than Scary Movie. It was nominated for an Oscar, so is probably not a horror movie. Let's just say his twitchy bug-eyed performance in this movie did not exactly scream "future Oscar contender," but hey, you gotta start somewhere. You go, Pumpkinfoot!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Movie update

I have not had the best luck with new-to-me horror movies this year. I'm going to attempt to watch four movies today and hopefully turn that around. I mean, one's gotta be good or at least so bad it's good, right?

So I watched Movie House Massacre aka Blood Theater aka Why Did I Watch This? Why did I watch Movie House Massacre if I was looking for a good movie, one might rightly ask? The short answer is, I'm an idiot. The longer answer is, I'm always looking for hidden "so bad it's good" gems. Stuff like The Brain and Black Roses. Movie House Massacre is the debut of Rick Sloane, known for the MST3K-famous Gremlins ripoff Hobgoblins. Hobgoblins is a bad movie, but it's really entertaining and I like it. Sadly, I can't say the same for Movie House Massacre. You can see some of his humour starting to develop, and I loved the ridiculous B movies they were showing at the theatre. ("Who brought a chainsaw to the prom?!") These were apparently nods to Sloane's earlier short films, such as "Chainsaw Chicks" and "Clown Whores of Hollywood." I think I would have rather just watched a collection of those.

Sloane was only 21 when he made this, so props there. I did make it all the way through, it went by pretty fast I guess. There are some great 80s fashions, and a memorable popcorn stand kill (that unfortunately is just a dream sequence, but still a cool visual).

Unfortunately, the rest of the kills are lame and completely unmemorable. Oh, and there's one truly awful thing - this weird little sting plays EVERY TIME a door closes. Is it supposed to be... funny? Scary? Annoying? It's so baffling I don't even know what to call it. This movie sounds cool on paper - killer stalking a spooky old abandoned theatre with a history of violence - but there's very little payoff. I think this is the third movie I've watched this month with Mary Woronov. She's like Cameron Mitchell, she just shows up in everything. But except for one funny line about "chalk lines," she's wasted here. This needed to be really over the top to work, like Hobgoblins. Unfortunately, the curtain just falls flat.

Then I wasted a whole night on something I thought would be horror but turned out to be Canadian made-for-tv drama. I kept falling asleep, and when I woke up the third time and realized there was nothing supernatural like the movie had hinted, I just gave up and went to bed. A quaint curiosity I guess, if you like low-budget Canadian dramas with misleading titles (Graveyard Story) and really stupid people. A child was kidnapped, and the kidnappers send her mother a coffin with a bit of the kid's dress hanging out when they don't get the ransom they asked for. Neither the mother or the woman she works for (who's there when it happens) ACTUALLY CHECK TO SEE IF THE COFFIN CONTAINS A BODY. Cause kidnappers are so honest, they'd never fake anybody out, the kid must be dead! They then BURY THE COFFIN WITHOUT EVER LOOKING INSIDE IT and the mother ends up COMMITTING SUICIDE OVER AN EMPTY COFFIN. And like, couldn't you tell just by the weight there's no body inside? I don't think they put rocks in there, or anything. UGH! I hate plot contrivances that hinge on dumb shit like that - but that's for another post.

I haven't wasted the whole month, I rewatched some of my shout out movies I hadn't seen in a long time, like The Changeling and Night of the Living Dead (1990). I also rewatched Session 9, a really cool movie that does deliver on its supernatural promise. It takes place at an actual abandoned insane asylum in Massachusetts, it's creepy as hell, and if that sounds cool just watch it. I don't want to give anything away. I highly recommend it, to the point that if I do another shout out next year I'll include it.

The four movies I'm planning to watch today are Witchboard, Dementia 13, Just Before Dawn, and Scary Movie (1991 - NOT the dumb Scream spoof thing). If I don't watch them all today I'll at least watch them this week. Oh and I also really want to rewatch the first Insidious.

Wicked Good (Halloween) Wednesday

Enjoy Halloween with a couple of great creepy sounding songs, and rocktober on!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

My theme song for this month, and probably going into next month too! I've had a fair amount of horror movie disappointments this year, so I'm gonna keep searching for good (or at least so bad they're good) ones.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Feel Good Frightful Friday ~ Gerard Way

Okay, how about something positive for the last weekend of Rocktober? This new Gerard Way song is amazing! Super catchy with maybe the best title ever. This has almost 900 likes to one dislike. ONE. On the cesspool that is youtube. Enjoy!


I was thinking about my movie shout out from yesterday, The Shuttered Room, and how I need to watch more old British horror. So of course, I picked the worst possible thing ever!

It sounded like a straightforward, moody witch flick, which is what I was in the mood for. "A young woman is driving alongside a lake. She has an accident and the car plunges into the water. Her body is then possessed by the spirit of an 18th-century witch who was killed by local villagers, and is bent on avenging herself on them." Sure, sign me up. But what I got instead was a weird, silly, unpleasant thing that made little sense, looked like shit, and didn't even deliver on the synopsis.

May I present (sigh)... The She-Beast.

A couple is honeymooning in Transylvania for reasons that are never explained. I wouldn't even honeymoon in Transylvania, and I'm a damn ghoul. These seem to be quite normal British people, so I have no idea. They're forced to stay the night at the only hotel in town, run by who I can only refer to as Romanian Torgo. Get this - the couple pull up to the hotel, the husband says "it will be dark soon," and then a creepy bearded dude shows up at the car to take their things in. Both this and Manos the Hands of Fate were made in 1966 so I don't see how one could have inspired the other. (And the only thing either movie could inspire is a sigh.) So yeah, I guess 1966 was just the year of the Bearded Peeping Tom at Questionable Lodgings.

I prefer Manos to this movie. Yeah, really.

So the couple settles in and things start getting steamy, cause nothing says sexytime like a hotel room that almost definitely contains lice. Romanian Torgo peeps on them through the window, because of course he does. He's Romanian Torgo. It's a fascinating coincidence, and it's one of only two reasons to ever watch this movie. Husband beats up ol' RoTorg, he doesn't much care for that and tampers with their car. So yes, they do end up plunging into Drowned Witch Lake, that part is accurate, but "Her body is then possessed by the spirit of an 18th-century witch" NOPE! Instead of the actress being possessed by the witch, which might have saved this movie because she's the OTHER reason to watch it at all, we get a dude in hag makeup. I'd question this choice but they could obviously only get the actress (Barbara Steele) for a day or two, so instead gave us dude in hag makeup. The makeup is suitably hideous but with how unpleasant everything else is, it's almost too hideous. This movie never rests your eyeballs from ugly, except the few scenes Barbara Steele is in.

It's also really weird tonally. Why is there unfunny comedy? I half expected the Benny Hill theme to fire up during RoTorg's unnecessary attempted rape scene. It's that kind of movie. I really expected it to start playing during the wacky car chase that seemed straight out of a caper movie. What IS this thing?? There were even "boing" noises when two men fell down. Hilarious! I'm guessing the attempted political (?) humor went over my head, as I don't know anything about 1960s Romania, but who the hell would?

Oh, and Van Helsing is in this. Because witch hunting is what he's known for. Sure.

This is a damn mess and I don't recommend anyone ever watch it. So why did I see this through to the end, when I gave up on Spookies? Well, I didn't remotely care about anyone or anything in Spookies; there were no stakes. But I liked Barbara Steele and wanted to see if she'd be restored to her body (or whatever the deal was) at the end. And she was... I think... but there's a creepy little moment with her at the very end that offered the only slight "scare" in this "horror" movie. So... yay? Maybe I'll check out something else she was in. It couldn't be any worse than this, right? πŸ‘€

Wednesday, October 24, 2018


After last night's glorious Red Sox victory, I was in the mood for some good old bottom shelf of the video store 80s trash. Sometimes these turn out really fun, like The Video Dead or The Brain. And then, sometimes you get...

Spookies. This movie is AWFUL. I couldn't finish it, and I finish most every bad movie I start. Sometimes I watch them again! This was so bad, I turned it off and put on Rifftrax A Talking Cat?!? instead. At least I got some real horror, thanks to the cat mouth animation.

"And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you."

I only watched 30 minutes of Spookies, but where do I even begin? It starts with a kid acting the way no kid ever acts. Talk to a random guy hanging out in the woods like it's no big deal? Sure! Walk through an old cemetery up to a creepy house like it's no big deal? Sure! Become delighted upon discovering balloons and a cake with his name on it in said murder house instead of becoming terrified and running the fuck away? Sure! Only a laughing severed head in a gift box finally clued him in that something might be a little off. Look, growing up in the 80s was different, but it wasn't that different. We still had a healthy fear of scary things. And there's no explanation of who the kid is, what he's doing there, just plop! random kid we're supposed to follow. And then he's gone! I'm sure glad that pointless crap was in the movie.

Then a group of... varied adults show up to the house? I say this because one acts like a punk straight out of an old juvenile delinquent film, one is at least 20 years older than the rest of them, and the others just seem to be random 20somethings. Who they are, how they know each other, what they're doing there, why that's none of your business, mister! Just watch the damn movie! These people range from meh to annoying to omg I want to strangle you.

And the acting. OMG, the acting. There's this creepy old wizard (?) who lives in the house and he's so hammy and bad. Not even in a fun way, just NO. Everyone's terrible but he might be the worst. And he has this... cat-man pet (?) that doesn't really look like a cat. The talking cat was more believable! Is he enchanted to think he's cat, or something? It just seems to be weirdness for weirdness' sake, and I HATE that.

Writing, direction, editing, all a big nonsensical mess. I didn't know what was going on and I didn't care to. No one acted like a person or was remotely engaging. The ONLY things I'll give this movie are one, the setting is actually cool. Big old spooky house with a graveyard, that should be my jam, but they wasted it. And two, there were some surprisingly good makeup effects. A movie like this you'd think would have the cheesiest effects ever but nope, someone actually put effort into it. Another waste.

Maybe I'll watch the rest of this sometime, just cause I'm a completist, but I can't imagine it gets better. The tone it set really left a sour taste.

EDIT: I watched a review of this, and some fart monsters show up later. Yeah, looks like I dodged a bullet. Like the rest of the effects, the fart monsters look good. Damn shame, really. I hope the effects guy got paid in something other than hot dogs and skunky weed, but I kinda doubt it.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

When Nostalgia Eats Itself

So this Pitchfork article about rock band Greta van Fleet has been all over my timeline today, and for good reason. It's amazing. I have no hate in my heart for this band but damn, do I aspire to this level of savagery.


I should say, I have never read Pitchfork and have only heard a couple Greta van Fleet songs, so I'm about as far from an expert on these subjects as you can get. But it does reiterate a point I've been trying to make for so very long.

While I've heard little of Greta van Fleet, that's kinda the point. What I heard didn't inspire me to seek out more. I'm not saying they're bad, they just struck me as more of a cosplay or tribute band than a real thing. What's the difference between them and other bands I've praised for their more traditional sound, like Blackberry Smoke's 70s-esque Southern rock? Blackberry Smoke doesn't seem to be aping any particular band, they're just doing a sound that should be kept alive. They're carrying a torch. Same with The Struts and their take on glam. Should Led Zeppelin-esque hard rock be kept alive too? Absolutely! But when it's so on the nose, it just isn't that interesting.

But as someone who loves classic rock, shouldn't I be glad someone's carrying that torch? Shouldn't I be glad it's popular? I guess it's better than than no rock at all, sure. But honestly I don't know. It goes back to what I said yesterday about movies in the 80s vs now. People who loved the 80s are now making movies, but instead of channeling WHAT we loved about 80s movies - the creativity, the originality, the sense of fun and adventure - they're just remaking 80s products. Way to miss the point. No one's gonna be nostalgic for 2010s 80s nostalgia in 30 years, you know? If we'll be nostalgic for anything in this becursed decade, it'll be original stuff like The Conjuring movies or yeah, Stranger Things. An homage with an original story is the good form of nostalgia. It's like Stand By Me, or It.

We seem to have entered the age of endless remakes, reboots, and sequels - which isn't always a bad thing. I've watched all the big horror franchises through many times. I like franchises. Sequels can be a great way to expand your characters and world. But I'm SO sick of all the remakes and reboots and sameyness. It's short-sighted and cynical. If you want to cash in on my nostalgia, make something I'll actually be nostalgic for. And while I enjoy the superhero and Star Wars movies, there's definitely a glut, and eventually the bubble will burst. It already has somewhat, with the underperforming Solo. (Which was a fine movie, but oversaturation's a bitch.) This is happening because for now, these are proven moneymakers. Why not just keep making them instead of trying something new? Imagine if that had been the case in the 80s. "Okay, it's 1988 and we're losing money, time to remake ET!" Sure, there were plenty of sequels, some good, some bad, but at least they were original at one point. Now we're rebooting sequels! And there was always fresh content coming along, they weren't so utterly reliant on the familiar.

And the same goes for music. I don't just want a Led Zeppelin remake. I want a band that channels the excitement and power and NEW-feelingness of now-classic rock that fans must have felt back in the day. That's what makes something nostalgic in the first place. Please, do keep classic sounds alive. Music doesn't have to be of a specific time. Music has no confines. But it does need to feel inspired. I feel like creativity has been slowly grinding to a halt this decade, and I don't want it to die. We had a real, explosive rock revival not that long ago with bands like The Killers, The White Stripes, MCR, The Strokes. They didn't sound just like anyone else; they were an organic mix of all their influences which produced something original.

From what I've heard of Greta van Fleet, they're another case of nostalgia eating itself. In 30 years, people might still be nostalgic for Zeppelin, but their knockoff will be all but forgotten. It's like erasure by nostalgia; the original almost always wins. But hey, if you like them, rock on! I get the appeal. There are WAY worse things you could hear in 2018. But to me, they're kinda the endless Spiderman reboots of bands. I want something new. I want to be surprised by entertainment again.