Monday, March 29, 2010

Movie Monday - La ragazza del lago (The Girl by the Lake)

La ragazza del lago (The Girl by the Lake) (2007)

Girl by the Lake

[Toni Servillo; Denis Fasolo; Nello Mascia; Giulia Michelini; Valeria Golino]

Plot: The corpse of a young girl is found beside a lake. The chief detective on the case, beset by his own family troubles, works to understand how such a seemingly happy girl could have been murdered. His investigation takes him all over town and into a sad episode from her past.

This is an Italian film, a multiple award winner in numerous categories. And all accolades are well deserved. The plot is tragic, yet simple. Yet the maze involved in sorting out just what happened is complex.

Throughout most of the tale, we are faced with the sadness and despair life has to offer. But, at the end, we see that life can be hopeful, if you choose to look at it the right way. Anyway, just a great film.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Movie Monday - The Funhouse

The Funhouse

The Funhouse (1981)

[Elizabeth Berridge; Shawn Carson; Cooper Huckabee; Largo Woodruff; Miles Chapin; Kevin Conway; Herb Robins]

Plot: Teenage fun begets terror when two young couples spend the night inside a creepy carnival funhouse, where even the most harmless of objects can take on a distorted and sinister glare. Things really heat up when the kids play witness to a brutal murder at the hands of a disfigured killer who traps them inside with no way out and forces them to relive their waking nightmare. Directed by Tobe Hooper.

This film is one of the early 80s slasher flicks that has never had mainstream appeal, but is a classic to horror fans.

The story itself is simple, kids doing things they shouldn't be doing in a creepy, scary carnival funhouse. Of course, what makes it a slasher flick is that this particular funhouse is home to a deformed, deranged, murderous madman.

There are some very creepy/scary scenes in this movie, enough that I have been drawn back to it again and again. The climax of the film also has some major wince-inducing moments you have to see to believe.

I read the novelization of this film, which was written by Dean Koontz. It goes into more depth in regards to some of the characters, which makes some of their odd actions in the movie make more sense. This is especially true for the role of Amy's mother. She comes off as quite aloof and uncaring in the movie, with no explanation as to why. The details of her past are in the book, but I can see where it would have all been too much for a 90-odd minute movie to handle.

All in all, this is a good horror flick for fans of late 70s/early 80s stuff. Non-horror fans might not be so impressed.

A remake is supposedly in the works, with Eli Roth involved.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Movie Monday - Darkness Falls

Darkness Falls

Darkness Falls (2003)

[Chaney Kley; Emma Caulfield; Lee Cormie; Grant Piro; Sullivan Stapleton; Steve Mouzakis]

Plot: When Kyle was a kid, he claimed he woke up from sleep to find the Tooth Fairy about to kill him. From then on, everyone figured him for a loony -- except his childhood sweetheart, Caitlin, and her brother, Michael. When Kyle returns to his hometown, it seems he wasn't so crazy, after all: An undefinable evil has settled in the town of Darkness Falls, and Kyle must save everyone from it.

Yeah, I wanted to like this one. Seemed like it had everything in place to be a great little horror flick.

And I just couldn't get too into it. The acting was weak, but so was the writing, or the actual plot. Just too many moments of shaking my head where I should have been jumping out of my seat. Maybe if it was remade with a tighter script or a better cast. I don't know.

Recommended for die-hard horror fans or completists, but the rest of you can find something better to do with your time.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Cosmos on Hulu

Boing Boing post the other day about Carl Sagan's Cosmos being available to view on Hulu.

I loved this show as a kid. My mind just loved trying to grasp some of the wonders he showed us.

Hope you can get Hulu, wherever you are, and that you enjoy this.

Thanks to the fine folks @ Boing Boing.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Creative Blogger Award

First off, hope you like the new layout for the blog. I liked the new editing features Blogspot offered and played around with them. I like, anyway.


Second, Drake @ Eclectic Banana awarded some of his favorite blogs/tumblrs the following:


I am very thankful for it, even if my creativity here has been lacking. And I am honored be among the great blogs he chose for to receive this. Thanks, Drake!

I am SUPPOSED to pick seven more blogs to honor, but many I like have already been awarded this one. So, I will award it to any of you reading this who have a creative blog of your own! Feel free to add it to your roster of awards.

Supposed to state seven facts about myself, but I have done that before and don't really have any 'new' facts to add. Although one thing that is new is our new puppy, TJ:

He is a shelter dog (originally called Pierre - didn't fit him), and we adopted him back in February. He is almost 7 months old and he has A LOT of energy.

TJ is probably one of the reasons for the lack of creative postings here, come to think of it! hahaha


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Horror Montage from the Academy Awards

I didn't watch the Oscars, didn't care which flicks won which awards.

That said, I am thankful for the internet. I would have missed out on the cool horror montage that aired. Not perfect, by any means, but hey - Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees and Freddy Kreuger at the Oscars! Pretty cool.

Thanks to for posting this!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

(Almost) Every Alfred Hitchcock Cameo

YouTube user royvanderzwaan assembled these cameos into this video.

Missing are only Easy Virtue (1927); Blackmail (1929); Foreign Correspondent (1940); Suspicion (1941); Spellbound (1945); The Paradine Case (1947); and Under Capricorn (1949).

Thanks to Neatorama!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Movie Monday - The House of the Devil

The House of the Devil

The House of the Devil (2009)

[Jocelin Donahue; Tom Noonan; Mary Woronov; Greta Gerwig; AJ Bowen; Dee Wallace]

Plot: A cash-strapped college student takes a babysitting job during a full lunar eclipse. She soon discovers that her employers are hiding a wicked, sick and twisted secret. Then she is in for the fight of her life

This is the movie that had horror blogs all a buzz not long ago. I agree that it is a good horror flick, but it might not appeal to the ADD-crowd.

The story starts off quietly, and keeps a slow pace almost until the very end. Don't expect a thrill-a-minute movie here. This one builds slow. And I am okay with that. I liked getting comfortable in the subdued, almost boring life of our lead babysitter.

It takes a wee bit of the suspension of belief to get us, and our heroine, into the situation where all Hell breaks loose. But when the film does kick in, the scares and thrills are good, albeit quick.

Minor plot holes aside, the late 70s/early 80s atmosphere is done well. I actually like the retro, no cell phones, time frame for movies like this. You could really be isolated back then, without all the technology we take for granted these days.

Jocelin Donahue

And the lead actress, Jocelin Donahue, does her job very well. She is likable and cute, but has an independent spirit. And, as all 'final girls' need be, she is a fighter. All we want in our horror-movie leading ladies, yes? I see big things in her future.

I guess, with all the build up this film has had, I was just hoping for it to be... more. That said, I can enjoy it for what it is. And I am sure I could go back to this one without those high expectations and enjoy it again. In fact, I look forward to a return trip to this House.

Recommended for horror fans, as well as those just looking for a good, old-fashioned, scary movie.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Film Noir Mashup

A great mashup of classic film noir scenes with the song "Angel" by Massive Attack:

From YouTube user RubyTuesdays717 (via The Daily What)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Movie Monday - Altered


Altered (2006)

[Paul McCarthy-Boyington; Brad William Henke; Michael C. Williams; Adam Kaufman; Catherine Mangan]

Plot: Five high school buddies were abducted by aliens from a farm in Florida -- but only four of them survived. Fifteen years later, the friends -- whose lives have been altered ever since -- return to face their enemy and seek revenge.

I had never heard of this flick, but thanks to the Horror Squad and their new Movie Club, I found a great little movie.

I have to admit, I wasn't expecting more than a half-rate alien movie, but I was pleasantly surprised. The story, while not without its issues, was entertaining. It starts off running, without wasting a lot of time on flashbacks or explanations. They realize the audience is smart enough to figure things out for themselves. I appreciate that.

The alien is creepy, done 'throwback style' (as in costumes and makeup instead of CGI). And other effects are done amazingly well. Kudos for the amount of time and care put into these aspects, they do help the film succeed. Eduardo Sanchez, co-creator of The Blair Witch Project, was at the helm of this film.

Guess, in a nutshell, I am saying I liked it. Definitely recommended for fans of horror or sci-fi, or even just someone looking for a 90-minute thrill ride.

Thanks for this pick to:
Horror Squad Movie Club and their Altered discussion