Sunday, July 28, 2019

Don't get stuck in the middle of nowhere

Hidey-ho, horror fans! Welcome to another WTFHM!!

Today’s horror movie is a throwback to a time when the Sci-Fi channel decided to join in on the horror movie game.

Yeah, the early 2000s was a weird time for cable tv. I’m not gonna say all the movies that came out of that time were bad, but…

I mean, it’s called Frankenfish, guys. Frankenfish. They had me at hello.

Needless to say, these movies were not exactly Oscar award-winning…but really, few horror movies are anyway, so, no judgment here.

This week’s movie…

Hallowed Ground starring Jaime Alexander, Brian McNamara, Ethan Phillips, Chloe Grace Moretz, Ned Vaughn, Jim Cody Williams, Nick Chinlund, and Hudson Leick.

Before we get going, some of you serious sci-fi/horror geeks might recognize a few names in that list. I know you all know Chloe Moretz, (Let me in? That last Carrie movie? Kickass?) but if you’re an old head like me, then you probably recognize Ethan Phillips and Hudson Leick.

That’s right. Neelix from Voyager and Callisto from Xena: Warrior Princess. It wouldn’t be a made for cable tv horror movie without at least two veterans in the game.

Aaaanyway, let’s do a dos and donts list for this one.


Get your car checked before you go out of town. This movie begins with our main character Liz (Alexander) driving out in the middle of nowhere when her car breaks down. She ends up in a small town with creepy people. Typical horror movie set up.


Agree to go to a sketchy abandoned anything with somebody you just met. I mean, if you go into a town and some reporter named Sarah (Leick) tells you an ancient messed up story about a curse and some killer scarecrows, don’t go to the abandoned house where the curse started. If you do, you might get messed Sarah.


Go get help if a crazy killer gets murdery. The one thing that Liz does almost immediately, is run and get help when a scarecrow. Unfortunately, just like poor Laurie in Halloween 2, the scary scarecrow shows up and starts murdering people, buuuttt…


Be afraid to fight back when a killer is coming after you. Find a weapon and use it. A shotgun works really good.


Trust no one. A few times while Liz is trying to run from the monster she puts her trust in the townspeople. That pretty much goes bad every time she does it. So it’s better just to not trust anybody. That being said, especially, but ESPECIALLY


Trust the good-looking Sherriff. When everything starts going haywire, old Sheriff Hottie (McNamara) flips on her like a pancake and sells her out to the crazy townspeople. It's like I always say:


Rescue abandoned children in the crazy killer cult. I mean, rescue abandoned children when there’s a killer anything around. It’s just good Karma.


Hesitate to get the hell out of dodge as soon as you possibly can. And take the abandoned child with you.

So, did I like this movie? Eh. I didn’t hate it. And as sci-fi horror movies from 2007 go, it wasn’t that bad at all. Yeah, I’ll throw it a jewel.

So, next week we’re tackling another new edition – the Hellboy remake…reboot, whatever. See you next week!


Sunday, July 21, 2019

Time Trap Halloween

Hidey-ho, horror fans and welcome to another WTFHM! Today, we’re doing...wait for it...wait for it…


The 2018 version. Now, if you’re any kind of horror aficionado as I am, then you know all about John Carpenter’s Halloween movies. They are an integral part of any horror nut’s proper education. In fact, you cannot graduate as a proper horror fan if you have not seen this series. I mean, it’s a part of Horror 101, for crying out loud. Right under “Slasher movies”. Make it a point to binge the series. (all of which are available at the Ferndale Public Library for all of you in Michigan, btw)

If you’re reading this and you haven’t seen the originals, this is usually the part of the blog where I tease you mercilessly for bringing your inexperience and lack of faith to my table.

Fortunately, for you newbies out there, you don’t have to have seen any of the originals in order to see the new one. And, in fact, it’s actually better if you haven’t as this version has the audacity to throw out everything that happened from the second movie on. Yes, folks. This Halloween takes place 40 years after the first movie.

Does that make it a reboot? I don’t know! I like to think that it’s more like an alternate dimension version of the story, personally.

Anyway, let’s get to it. And, as per usual with the slasher flicks, let’s play a little game of Blood, Boobs, Body Count, and Bad Acting!

Halloween starring Jaime Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, James Jude Courtney, Nick Castle, Haluk Bilginer, Will Patton, Rhian Rees, Jefferson Hall, Toby Huss, Virginia Gardner, Dylan Arnold, Miles Robbins, Drew Scheid, and Jibrail Nantambu.

Blood: B+

Not a lot of gore in this one, but then, there wasn’t a lot of gore in the original. The filmmakers did a pretty decent job staying true to the original in that there was a lot of use of music and light and shadow to create a sufficiently scary atmosphere.

As a point of note, however, there is a pretty cool scene where Dr. Sartain gets his head stomped like an overripe pumpkin.

Boobs: C+

Even less boobage in this one. The only boobs we get to see are from a flashback of the original movie. Personally, I was gonna give it a lower grade as I don’t think that counts at all...but they did actually use footage from the first movie, so the filmmakers earned some extra credit points.

Body Count: A+
As with any good slasher movie, a high body count is a pretty good indicator of how entertaining the movie is going to be (especially when the killer gets creative with it). While there are no extra credit points for creativity here (Most of the victims were head bashed or stabbed), Halloween 2018 clears the board with a whopping 18 kills. That’s 11 over the original and 8 over the other alternate universe sequel.

Bad Acting: F----

I mean, look at the cast, for Pete’s sake. These are not rookie actors. Everyone in this movie (with only a couple of exceptions) were all well seasoned before coming onto this project. And, you know what? While we’re on the subject, can we talk for a second about Jaime Lee’s Laurie Strode going all Sarah Connor in this movie?

I mean, really, she plays a severely traumatized Laurie Strode who - at some point -- decided that WHEN (not if) this SOB has the nerve to bring his behind back to her house, she’s got something for him when he walks through the door. Curtis plays her like a woman that you might think is nuts, but in reality - is very much on mission. She’s in the killing Michael Myers business and business is booming.

Also, fun fact - Curtis and Carpenter put their heads together to produce this one and in what would turn out to be a plethora of genius decisions in making this movie, they decided that the actress that should play Strode’s granddaughter Allyson (Matichak) has to be an unknown, just like Curtis was back in the day.

And she, like the rest of the cast, killed it.

So what do I give this alternate timeline remakeboot or whatever? You already know.

Shoot, I liked it so much, I debated giving it two jewels.

So, next week we’re in the Hs with Hallowed Ground, which kind of sounds like a really old movie I might’ve seen as a kid. We’ll see though. See you next time!


Sunday, July 14, 2019

Dance, Dance, Revulsion

Hidey-ho, horror movie fans! Welcome to another edition of WTFHM!

This week’s horror movie comes from another pretty messed up individual that loves to make movies that wipe their proverbial feet on your nice, clean soul. Yes, I’m talking about you, Gaspar Noe. Now, I’m not going to put down the directors that work that way, mainly because a part of me enjoys having my cold, dead heart kicked around like a football from time to time.

Call me a masochist (shrug). But when we’re talking horror, I kind of feel like movies like this don’t really fall into a “horror” category, per se, in that most horror movies follow a particular design. Lure, stabby-stab, repeat, basically.

So, I have no real quarrel with movies like that as such...but they can be a hard watch they get mired down in the art instead of getting to the stabby-stab already.

Case in point:

Climax starring Sofia Boutella, Romain Guillmeric, Souhaila Yacoub, Kiddy Smile, Claude-Emmanuelle Gajan-Maull, Gizelle Palmer, Taylor Kastle, Thea Carla Schott, Sharleen Temple, Lea Vlamos, Alaia Alsafir, Kendall Mugler, Lakdhar Dridi, Adrien Sissoko, Mamadou Bathily...and at least 5-10 other people. It’s a ridiculously large cast.

All right, so the movie begins with video interviews of members of a dance troupe. Now, one might think for the sake of pacing that we’re only going to see about a quarter of those interviews - you know, focus on whoever the main characters are instead of looking at everybody. Nope. Sorry. We’re looking at everybody. That’s about 24 interviews we’re watching. The whole thing takes about 12 minutes of the movie.

So, next, the dancers are all rehearsing at a party they're having in a big warehouse and yes, we are treated to a very sexy 5-minute dance number.

After the dance number, we take another 10-ish bunch of minutes listening to the dancer conversations which consist mostly of gossiping about the other dancers...and a rather disturbing conversation from two of the dancers talking about beating up one of the other dancers.

Yeah, so, we’re about a half-hour in at this point and it’s time for another dance sequence. After the dance sequence, we’re flashing names on the screen of the actors and actresses and various other artists.

Alright, so we’re coming up on the first hour of the movie and the party is winding down. Our main character, Selva (Boutella) starts to notice that she’s feeling kind of strange. Alarms go off when Psyche (Schott) stops in the middle of the dance floor and starts peeing in the middle of the dance floor like Regan in the Exorcist.

Selva deduces that the sangria they’d all been drinking has been spiked with something. She goes to their manager Emmanuelle (Gajan-Maull) and accuses her of spiking the drinks. Everybody else gets in on it and things very quickly turn into a witch hunt. Emmanuelle convinces everyone that it couldn’t be her because she was drinking the Sangria too.

So, who wasn’t drinking?? OMAR!

Omar(Sissoko) is quickly accused, grabbed, and thrown out in the snow. From there, several things happen in fairly quick succession:

1) Emmanuelle’s son (who’s, like, eight) is caught drinking the punch. Emmanuelle freaks and locks him up in the electrical room to protect him from the crazy dancers

2) Selva finds her friend Lou (Yacoub), who confesses to her that she didn’t drink because she’s pregnant. Another dancer finds her and upon finding out she wasn’t drinking either, beats her up and kicks her in the stomach.

3) Lou, hysterical and in pain, follows her and threatens her with a knife. Everybody gangs up on her, though and tells her she should kill herself. Lou stabs herself in the stomach.

4) Ivana (Temple) grabs Selva and pulls her back into a room for some girl on girl action. David (Guillermic) tries to break it up (Because he wants to have sex with Selva) but she kicks him out and proceeds to do the dirty with Ivana.

5) David stumbles on Gazelle(Palmer) and her brother Taylor(Kastle) about to have sex. Gazelle runs away from Taylor to the main room where everyone is in full, crazy acid-trip mode, writhing around, chanting, screwing, etc.

6) Everyone pretty much goes coo-coo.

From there, the movie kind of descends into a spinning, red-toned, kind of madness. Everyone has lost their ever-loving minds.

And by the end, we see shots of the aftermath. A couple of them are dead, a few are passed out and in bed together, one girl is tending to the remains of her burnt up hair because she was set on fire, Omar is a popsicle in a tracksuit, you get the picture.

The last shot is of Psyche, who’s still awake and sitting on a bed with her bags, a book on LSD coming out of it. She takes an eyedropper and puts what we assume is LSD in her eye.

So, what did I think of this one? Well, let’s start with the good points.

It’s a Gaspar Noe film, so you have to realize that it’s gonna be kind of messed up going into it. He doesn’t really make warm and fuzzy movies. It’s fairly well done. The style of the majority of the movie kind of follows the dancers around as they slowly go crazy in a seemingly one-shot, go-pro kind of way. The dancing is pretty entertaining too.

And it should ALSO be noted that the actress that plays Emmanuelle is trans. She's playing a cis-gendered woman and she does a pretty good job at it, too.  Noe gets points for inclusiveness on that.

The bad? Oh, my God, I can’t tell you how many times I was like; “Can we just get on with the dang plot already?” Yay for art and dancing and Spike Lee style homages and upside-down cameras, but I got the distinct impression that Noe forgot that the movie was supposed to go somewhere at some point. Like he just went “Oh! Right! Let me get the script so we can finish this thing!”

Do I like it? Eh. I didn’t hate it. I’ll give it a jewel for the sake of art.

Now, next week, we’re doing a good old fashioned slasher movie in Halloween..the last one that just came out, I mean. Yay for slasher movies!