It’s time to head down to Vegas, get 10 of your best men, knock off three of Terry Benedict’s cas— no wait, that’s not right.
We’re going on a Vegas Vacation, and I have a briefcase full of reds, blues, moscat– no, still not right.
Oh, wait – it’s a zombie apocalypse and sin city is about to be nuked, so let’s get the most divisive movie maker in Hollywood right now and have him tell the story of people getting in and out before the big boom booms.
We’re not going on this journey of the dead alone – we’re bringing Dan from Netflix & Swill (Twitter:@netflixnswill) along with us. So sattle up, roll some 7’s, and let luck be a BRAAAAAAINNZZZ tonight.
Ok, here we go!
I recently saw a movie on Shudder that I’d like to talk about. We usually don’t use this space for individual reviews, but this was so unique, and so bothersome for me, that I thought I’d change up the formula.
If you don’t have Shudder, it’s the Netflix for horror films. From classics to a lot of new, to some original.. it really is a great mix of the genre. That said, horror is one of the easiest genres to do poorly, so there is quite a bit of bad amongst the brilliant.
Amongst them was a movie called ‘WNUF Halloween Special’ that came out in 2013. The reason that it is notable is that it is framed like a syndicated news report. I’m sure if you live near a larger city, you have your ‘WNYC NEW YORK’ affiliate with its ‘GOOD MORNING, DAYTON’ morning show and its weekend ‘PORTLAND LIFE WITH CHIP MOCKLY’ or whatever. They talked about the big stories, too, but they always felt a little more personal and it wasn’t unheard of to even know or run into the anchors.
Well, WNUF frames their handcam-horror show based on a report that came out in the late 80s, early 90s as a reporter and camera person go into a supposedly haunted house to perform a seance on Halloween. The anchors are smarmy, the host is a jaded old news rat, the locals that have gathered are awkward and have no idea how to talk into a mic. It feels as real as it possibly could. The first five minutes, I was floored that this concept had never been concieved of doing before.
Then the commercials. If the news spots were good, the commercials are amazing. Each one handcrafted to taste like some local business. State fairs, late movie creature features, car salesman in stupid outfits.. its all there with this grainyness and audio tinnyness that feels like it comes straight from its era and was ripped off VHS. Again – if you have nostalgia for this period of time – you will be blown away how hard it hits the nail on the head.
So we should watch it, you ask…
No – no you shouldn’t. Because what it succeeds in framing and graphical expertise in making everything feel and sound beautifully period, it fails in a story. It goes to commercials all too often, which is period accurate, but narratively frustrating as hell. In the same ways I was astounded that they made me feel like I was watching WPIX NY, I got angrier and angrier as a steady dose of nothing continued to happen.
I watch a lot of bad cinema, and I walk away going ‘well, they did what they set out to do’, but rarely does a piece of work make me feel anger at how much potential it gave up. If this is what my parents meant when they said ‘I’m not mad, just disappointed’ – then I finally get it.
If you have Shudder, do yourself a favor and watch the first 15 minutes of this… then turn it off, and imagine a really great movie they could have made. It will be better than the one you skipped.
You can find more reviews like this, over at my LETTERBOXD account where I catalog everything I watch when I remember to.
Carry On My Waayyyywarrrd Sonnnn….
Well this week we are carrying on about a show that went wayward quite a few times and yet never went too too far awayward. Dean and Sam have triumphed in Star’s Hollow, they’ve defeated the Harlem Globetrotters, they’ve taken down Galactus, twice, and now it’s time for them to hang up their monster-hunting boots.
A show with a legacy of fandom, a legacy of marching on beyond the end of the parade, and continuing to go on even after the Energizer Bunny said ‘..look, I’m taking a nap’ – Supernatural is going to stand as a testament to a lot of wonderful things about television, but also… you know.. some other things.
So did the last hurrah for the two men that have fought Satan, God, Nethercreatures, Demons, Angels, Archangels, and LARPers leave the imprint the show deserves?
…my guess is you are aware of the answer to that. OH! Before you listen ~ go click the survey button above.
So let’s get going with, shall we? Ok, here we carry on…
Been playing a fair amount of Freddy on Dead By Daylight lately, and that got me thinking about the “Nightmare” franchise, so here’s my take on ranking all nine movies from worst to best!
#9 – Freddy’s Dead : The Final Nightmare
This movie was trash. Most of their plots and ‘revelations’ were lifted from other movies that the viewer had known for a while (Wait… you can PULL FREDDY OUT OF A DREAM?!?!?…) which made things very boring for me, and the times they tried to be original (Freddy having a daughter.. his power coming from ‘Dream Demons’…) were so schlocky that this movie easily falls to the bottom of the list.
#8 – A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge
Regardless of the possible ‘subtext’ of this movie… it was a huge downgrade from the original with lackluster acting, cheesy visuals, and ZERO memorable scenes. The lack of memorable scenes gives it JUST enough of a boost over the AMAZINGLY memorable(ly bad) Final Nightmare to have this one clock in at number 8.
#7 – A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010 Remake)
Rebooting a beloved franchise that had fallen off in recent years? Casting Jackie Earl Haley (who was amazing as Rorschach in ‘Watchmen’) as Freddy? I’m in! At least… I wanted to be in. It felt like a college film project based on the original. Visually it was close (although, I wasn’t a fan of Freddy’s ‘new’ look), but it lacked the heart and… dare I say charm.. .of the original. All in all, the title was accurate, though not in the way that was intended.
#6 – Freddy VS Jason
It was a bold move to even attempt this movie as it had the potential to ruin two different, beloved horror franchises…however, out of all the matchups that could have been made… the ‘immovable object’ of Jason paired up with the wise-cracking Freddy was the perfect match. While the ending was to be expected, it was a valid homage to both fan bases and well done.
#5 – Wes Craven’s New Nightmare
This movie is underrated. Arriving 3 years after ‘The end of the franchise’, I love the metaness of it. I love seeing the principle cast back. While it’s the poorest performing movie of the lot, and falls a bit outside of the continuity of the franchise, it was an amazingly bold direction to go in and I applaud the choice.
#4 – A Nightmare on Elm Street : The Dream Child
The wrap up of the ‘middle trilogy’, “The Dream Child” uses Alice’s unborn baby’s dreams to fuel Freddy’s ability and was the poorest performing of said trilogy. The gas was starting to run out of the series, which lead to the inevitable “Final Nightmare” debacle.
#3 – A Nightmare on Elm Street : The Dream Master
This was the mid point of the “Dream….” trilogy and it effectively put Renny Harlan on the map. Pulling in nearly $50 mil on a $6.5 mil budget, it was the highest grossing film of the series in the U.S. until Freddy VS Jason came out… even with Patricia Arquette’s role recast to Tuesday Knight.
#2 – A Nightmare on Elm Street : Dream Warriors
Spots 2 and 1 are close enough for me to almost be interchangeable… (almost). With a great cast (Langenkamp, Arquette, Fishburn…) it revitalized the franchise after the dismal “Freddy’s Revenge” and really drove the series for the next two films. Had this movie tanked, it easily could have relegated “Nightmare” movies to late-Saturday-night-schlockfests until it died with a whimper. Instead, it lit a fire in the fandom and shifted the series from straight horror/slasher to more Horror/SciFi/Fantasy which was a wise choice.
And the number one is!
#1 – A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
This is the one that started it all, and therefore deserves top spot on the list. With an original concept for a slasher/killer and amazing practical effects, this movie put not only Freddy, but Langenkamp and a young Johnny Depp on viewer’s radar. Without the impact this movie had, none of the others would have been made, and therefore takes its rightful spot at the top of my list.
Every week, the Somethings will be giving you a little something extra, so please check back every week for reviews, lists, cool finds, and more!
It’s the end of October, which means it is time for The End, but… spookier.
What can we talk about that features one of the scariest men in horror cinema, produced by one of the trendsetters of the last 30 years of scares? Why, what about a show featuring a greasy spoon diner and a strange vaguely Twilight Zoney premise.
That’s right, it’s Nightmare Cafe, from the mind of Wes Craven.. or at least one of his relatives.. the story of two people trying to do good with a traincar diner in the middle of nowhere.
To put it simply… it’s… something. So let’s go with The End: Nightmare Cafe
Ok, here we go…
Themed around the scary and horror-tastic, we are here with this month’s Review, and since we’re talking scary – who better to get than the scare-tacular friends of the Somethings,Megan and Katie of the Silver Screams (@Silver_Screams)
Which brings us to what we are reviewing… and we decided to dive into a oft-overlooked and forgotten movie from the late 90s, arguably the ‘before & after’ moment for Tim Burton and Johnny Depp – Sleepy Hollow
So lets dive into a horror mystery and find out who is the Headless Horseman, and whether this movie has held the test of time.
Okay, here we boo!
LET’S GET SPOOKY!
It’s October, and we know that is a favorite of so many of you out there – whether it is the cool crisp fall air, the badass costumes, or the unrelenting dread of a world outside the doors we haven’t opened since we ran out of hummus last week….. OCTOBER!
To celebrate this horrorific month, we are bringing you our favorite moments in horror – and to give us some of that good ol’ fashion scare cred, we have invited Fear from The World According to Fear & MDI (Also on Youtube) to help talk about not the greatest moments IN horror, but our favorites…
Grab your candy corn and your dentist’s business card and
Okay, here we boo!
Vampies and Werewolves and Magic, Oh My!
It’s time again for the Somethings to journey into the last of a series and see whether or not it holds up. This time, the boys have headed to the Grove – a place where foreigners show up to a small town and all sorts of strangeness goes on.
When the show ends, there are relationships asunder, big fights between monsters, and – well – really a lot of things one of the Somethings wasn’t too sure about.
So settle in – we hope you lychan this episode…
Also! Don’t go away, as the last episode of Stories To Amaze: D E M starts right after the episode ends!
So let’s get to … THE END: HEMLOCK GROVE
Ok, here we go!
If there is one sect of the movieverse we don’t touch on a lot – it is horror. That’s not because we don’t love horror.. Hatton has spent most of this quarantine binge watching Shudder – so we’re going to do our best to change that a little bit moving forward.
Enter Children of the Corn: Part 1, with an eventual desire to do all of the other parts. Is this classic horror movie worth a cob? We get into that and a whole lot more about things completely unrelated to Children and Corn….
And – after the episode is over, be sure to stick around as CHAPTER 4 of STORIES TO AMAZE starts right after that!
Ok, here we go!
It’s time for another edition of STORIES TO AMAZE!
It is a monster of a time as the pair of Hatton and Podcast Rob dive deep into Lovecraftean Lore. Previously only available on our Patreon, this features the whole series in one amazing file!
Beware and be wary…
Ok, here we go!