10.31.2009

Happy Halloween Friends and Readers!

I just wanted to wish everyone the happiest and safest of holidays! I also wanted to take this opportunity to explain some points of business...and by business I really mean fun...and by fun I really mean blogging. Anyway, I'll be watching Jason X at some point today, concluding my Fridays in October retrospective. Since I am observing the holiday, however, I may not have my post up until November 1st. Not cheating, right? In the meantime, check out my CAPS review for October on Hellraiser 3, as well as the other 9 posts on the Friday the 13th films throughout the month of October if you haven't do so already. I think they're pretty fun and a wonderful way to celebrate Halloween.

Lastly, I'm going to leave you with pictures of the jack-o-lanterns that my husband and I carved last weekend:


My Pumpkin. It's a skull.


Nick's pumpkin. It's an evil, scarred thing.

10.30.2009

Fridays in October Part 9



This is the Friday I have been looking forward to revisiting the most. Why Becky, why would you look forward to such an abomination? Great question. Thank you for asking. I am attracted to the unattractive. I love this movie because everyone hates it. It’s not that I’m trying to be different or rebellious, but I frankly find the ninth entry to be quite the enjoyable movie experience despite the anger it stirs up in Friday fans. I’ve decided to give this film some love in place of the hatin’!

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday


In an effort to keep this organized, I’m just going to create little subheadings for everything. It’s a lot easier than you know…planning or outlining ahead of time. I’m just gonna’ write as I go, just like the screenwriters did for this movie.

A Yarn from Film School:
Firstly, I’m going to begin this by stating a personal connection I have to this movie. One of my cinematography professors from film school was the Director of Photography for Jason Goes to Hell. Oh how I considered asking him questions about this movie numerous times. You see, he wasn’t the friendliest of professors. In fact, he made it quite clear that undergraduates were not as talented (or worth his time) as graduate students in the program. Ostentatious, confrontational, demanding, and stubborn he was, but every now and he may have shared a pearl of wisdom. He acted like cinematography was the science of gods and he insisted on putting “ASC” (American Society of Cinematographers) after his name on every single document, including power points and tests. Whenever he challenged me about something, I felt like asking, “So how did Jason Goes to Hell work out for you?” I never did though, but then again, he was never as mean to me as he was to the other students that he made cry and quit cinematography forever. Anyway, the cinematography in Jason Goes to Hell isn’t good and I’m sure he knows it.

It's Jason's turn to make the "Oh shit" face.

The Insane Plot:
So everyone’s all pissed off about Jason’s evil spirit (or whatever) jumping from body to body. Yeah, this movie doesn’t have a lot of the hockey-mask wearing villain, all because some coroner decides to eat his pulsating heart. Why? Who Cares? Cool. Like I said before about Part V, it really doesn’t bother me that Jason is missing from a Friday the 13th film. It’s the 90’s...horror is dying…they gotta’ pull out something new, right? It wasn’t time for his space adventure and he already went to the hoods of New York. I have no problem with a completely crazy, nonsensical plot. They’ve done it before and damnit, they’ve done it again—only this time its way more crazy! It’s a bold choice to completely gib Jason within the first ten minutes and then continue to his autopsy, which reminds me of Saw IV’s autopsy. Yes, he’s dead, he’s really really dead! Get over it. Oh wait…never mind. He’s only kind of dead. We kid, we kid.

Nope. This didn't happen.

What Sucks?
Now, I’m not going to sugarcoat this write-up. This movie has lots of suckage. Almost all technical elements are disappointing, ranging from epic failures to sorta-kinda working. Even Harry Manfredini’s score is not selling it. It’s way too dramatic and cued at some of the worst times.  And of course, the writing is ridiculous, to be polite about it. Things just don’t make a whole lot of sense and it’s completely out of fashion with the rest of the films. Lastly, life does suck without Jason Voorhees.  I do miss him, despite my appreciation for an attempt to explore new territory.

STFU, I like this movie.

What is there to LOVE?
Plenty! I have three letters for you: KNB. They deliver on some awesome gore and demon(?) EFX. My personal favorite is a camper who gets a metal post shoved through her chest and then split in half.  Go HERE to see it. Beware there is nudity and extreme violence, which is why I am not posting a picture. In addition to the wonderful blood and guts, we get an all out LAWLFest. If there were a Becky laughtrack for this movie, it would never be silent. I just giggle and guffaw my way through this entry. From the quirky diner owner to the ordinary-people-turned-badasses, there’s a good share of campy dialogue and off-the-wall moments to keep you happy. I even like the minor plot point that the FBI is now after Jason. After all, it makes sense. With well over 100 kills to his name, I’m pretty sure the federal government would be sending in aerial support to take him out. Despite being sad to see Jason disappear from the screen for a while, I’m actually quite fond of watching him explode before a hail of machine gunfire.

KNB saves an otherwise disastrous day.

Badasses:
Duke—He breaks fingers instead of getting paid off. He knows the secrets of dispatching Jason and isn’t afraid to confront him.
Steven—Although he wears glasses and a letterman’s jacket, which are normally signs of death in a Friday the 13th film, this guy pulls out the stops. He jumps over his arms when handcuffed behind the back, smacks around some cops, gets his fingers broken by Duke to obtain information, and faces Jason off in hand-to-hand combat.
Vicki—This is one BAMF of a waitress. She whips out a double-barreled shotgun and blasts the Jason-possessed dude. Out of bullets? That doesn’t stop her. She grabs the BBQ skewer and goes to town. It’s too bad she’s not in this movie more.

Pure Gold.



Homages , Cameos, and Connections Galore:

Evil Dead II – The same Necromonican from the film appears in the Voorhees house.
John Landis—A character named Sheriff Landis, coincidence? I think not.
From Dusk Till Dawn – Jason’s heart was later used for the “Monkey Man.”
Cunningham County –On the police uniform. Uhhh, self-homage?
The Birds – The same jungle gym is used at the end of the film.
Creepshow – “The Crate” can be found in the Voorhees basement.
Kane Hodder – Security Guard, who calls out Jason.
Nightmare on Elm Street—Do I really need to explain the amazing ending?
Halloween—Someone mentions the “Myers house.”


Why Jason, you're just glowing! Is there someone special?

Best Quotes:
Coroner’s Assistant: “Yes, that’s a probe.” And then he is killed with it.
Security Guard (Kane Hodder): “He was nothing but a big ol’ pussy anyway.” Referring to Jason. Bad Call.
Duke: “She’s only your girl cause she hasn’t had a taste of the duke yet.”
Steven: “Planning on smoking a little dope, having a little premarital sex, and getting slaughtered?” At the Camp Crystal Lake Campers.

Conclusion:
You know you want to give this film another chance. Come on, you can do it. Just forget that you're watching a Friday the 13th and there's some prerequisite to see Jason, because it really is a fun, silly, crazy, campy movie.

10.29.2009

Fridays in October Part 8



When I first started doing Fridays in October, I watched a whole bunch of Fridays at once and then I realized “Wow, I have the whole month. I better slow down.” Now, it’s suddenly nearing the end of the month and I have some work to do. I’m actually pretty good with time management, but I’m not very good with temporal relations. For instance, I can never remember if something happened 5 or 2 years ago, 2 months or 8 months ago, 1 week or a couple days. Some days I will be involved in what I’m doing and not realize that I have spent 8 hours in the same position without food or drink. But I digress from…

Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan


As we’ve been going through the Fridays together, many of us have revealed “soft spots” for unpopular entries. Although I feel like saying I have soft spot for the series as a whole, I guess you could say Part VIII is my soft spot. Manhattan is so damn gimmicky and so self-aware that it is a Friday the 13th film it makes some people sick. However, I just love it. The gimmicks of Part VII didn’t work for me because it took itself seriously. The self-reflexivity of Part VI seemed to use its awareness as an excuse not to try at times. In contrast, Manhattan, knowing exactly what it is, throws the Friday series around like a beach ball. It delivers on some unique kills and actually shows them occurring onscreen. It brings us a new location—I love Camp Blood, but this is numero ocho and the idea of Jason in Times Square is so suiting of the postmodern attitude that the Fridays developed. While the film spends most of the time on a cruise ship, it provides an excellent variety of set pieces for Jason to explore. Hot coals through the stomach in the sauna. A young Kelly Hu thrown on the colorfully-lit dance floor like a rag doll. Nightmare-style steamy machines rooms for teenagers to explore. What’s not to love?



There are three scenes in particular that make Jason Takes Manhattan so damn loveable in my eyes. When Jason first arrives in New York, he spots a billboard that has a large hockey mask on it. He tilts his head and then turns towards the camera, juxtaposing the billboard and his masked face in such a blatant way. Another scene I adore is when Jason is chasing Rennie and Sean through Times Square and he kicks the radio of a group of punks. They get pissed and pull out switchblades on Jason. He stops, turns around, lifts up his mask, and they stumble away, petrified of the monstrous sight before them. The fact that we don’t see Jason’s face here makes it even better. Although we all would have loved to see Jason rip the street kids apart, this was a welcome comedic change of pace.


Even Jason hates rap

I left my favorite scene for last...quite possibly one of my favorite scenes of all movies of all time. Julius’ fist fight with Jason is amazing. On the rooftop, Julius, who is a talented boxer, takes on Jason hand-to-hand. In tenth grade I wrote a report on the Friday the 13th series and for some reason, I felt the need to include exactly how many times Julius punched Jason in the essay. I can’t remember for sure, but I believe it was 87 punches. 87!!! Damn. And Jason just lets Julius go at it until he has exhausted himself and tells him to takes his best shot. BAM! Jason punches his freaking head off. End Scene. Done. Greatest thing ever.



This is also an incredibly quotable film. There are two cast members in particular that give us the best lines: Julius—the badass boxer aforementioned, and Charles—Rennie’s jerk of an uncle who is out to blame everyone about anything that goes wrong. Let’s have a quote-off between the two to determine the greater orator.




Showdown:

CHARLES:
(suspicious and appalled simultaneously)
“Are you girls using drugs?”
JULIUS:
(after asked which weapon he will take to fight Jason)
“Nothing…but this gun.”


I have to give this point to Charles. There’s something about the delivery of his line that makes it so incredible. Julius may have been even cooler if he stopped at “nothing.”


CHARLES:
“I think we’ll be more productive if we split up”

JULIUS:
(to Jason)
“Go ahead…take your best shot, motherfucker!”



While Charles’ line is beautifully trite, Julius proves that he is the ultimate badass by standing up to Jason even though his happens...


CHARLES:
(not wanting to hear other people plan’s of survival)
“No conversations please.”

JULIUS:
(talking to himself before he fights Jason)
“Just use the combos, and keep the feet light."


Julius may have some good advice for himself, but Charles douchebagness wins here. It’s lines like these that make you want him to die so badly.


"I'm a douche...tell everyone."

So far Charles is in the lead. To settle this quote-off once and for all, I think we need to put Charles and Julius in the same scene to see who is the ultimate victor.


JULIUS:
I say we regroup, and find this motherfucker before he finds us. Now who's with me?”
CHARLES:
“Watch your mouth, young man! And you'll do no such thing. I'm in charge here!”

JULIUS:
“School... is OUT, McCulloch! Okay?



PWNED!!!1 Julius gets double the points for smacking Charles around with his verbal banter. Julius reigns as the champion of Jason Takes Manhattan and the primary reason why you should love this movie as much as I do.

Other Contributors:


DECK HAND: “This voyage is doomed.”
There’s a Crazy Ralph on every ship.



EVA: “He is soooo good looking.” (referring to Julius of course)
Not hot? Not sexy? Not even handsome? “Soooo good looking.”



Who could have done this to my hair?

RENNIE: “You don't understand, there is a maniac trying to kill us!” 
WAITRESS: “Welcome to New York”
Not contrived at all.



Most expensive shot in a Friday the 13th ever?
Conclusion:

I’m well aware of the many faults and horrendous moments in this film. The half-assed revival of Jason, the random visions of a young Jason, the question of Crystal Lake being connected to the Atlantic Ocean, the toxic waste fiasco, etc. These lame moments are more than overshadowed by some great scenes, campy kills, and a terrific performance by Kane Hodder. Whether you like the film or not, it’s a fun play on the iconography of Jason Voorhees and certainly marks the end of a fine decade for horror films. 

10.27.2009

CAPS: Hellraiser III (1992)




It's been a long time since I've done a CAPS review and I promised I would do one sometime in October. I was worried because I hadn't seen any good contenders for a while. After watching Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth, I knew I had a winner. When did I realize this? Well, I didn't get too far into the movie when I noticed that all the film's dialogue must have been dubbed in post and my lukewarm feelings towards the film were cemented by an unnecessarily convoluted plot and cheesy one-liners from Pinhead. I figured it would be perfect for CAPS. So here is a very long edition of my pictorial snarkiness.


What a stunning city! You'd never know it wasn't real.

Enrique Iglesias has a starring role.

Enrique buys a piece from this homeless drug dealer...I mean art dealer.

And we are introduced to our ambitious reporter Final Girl

And her trusty cameraman

As well as the darkest hospital ever seen in a developed country

Anyway, this happens



And she's totally freaked out

But she still needs to get the story and this Club Rat is the key

"I don't talk to reporters. They are sooo mainstream."


"I'm not crazy! I know what I saw last night at the hospital."
"We believe you. Now, can you bend over?"

Investigating at the hip nightclub. A Freddy reference?

She's unaware that hip doesn't mean 1940's wardrobe.

Maybe she took her wardrobe cue from this style of dancing.


So there's also a fancy restaurant somewhere in the club. Ok...

And that's where she finds Enrique who blows her off

Back at home, she dreams about her daddy's death in Vietnam

I mean...daddy's death in North Carolina...definitely not Southeast Asia.

Club Rat decides to meet up with the Final Girl.

"I really don't appreciate you coming into my home dressed like Satan's spawn."

"Well I don't appreciate you putting up a fake backdrop and pretending it's New York."

Anyway, Enrique spills blood on his art piece and this happens

He thinks it's pretty cool. Maybe he'll write a song about it.

Meanwhile, Club Rat just can't get over the facade that our Final Girl is putting on

Investigation #2 in the art gallery. Again, our Final Girl is trying her best to blend in with her wardrobe choices.

They find this!!!!!!!

And we're back to Enrique scoping out ladies at The Boiler Room


"How did you write a song about me already when you've just met me?"

Awkward sex scene....

Will he die of cancer or an STD first?

Pinhead likes to watch.

And just when you thought it couldn't get more awkward

Enrique wants her out cause he's BOSS

And she ain't gonna have it

Pinhead's pissed because his peep show is over

Uh oh

"Oh shit."

The inspiration for Martyrs

"Does this mean I'm not god's gift to women anymore?"


Club Rat gets a phone call from Enrique.

Luring Club Rat over to Pinhead with such subtlety

"Why do you want to have sex by the big statue thing?"



Enrique gets killed eventually

Enrique's soul lights up Pinhead's life

And he is now complete

Our Final Girl meets Captain Elliot Spencer (Pinhead in human form) in the dream world

"Walk with me darling. This is going to get quite convoluted."

"I'm going to admit, I'm a little confused what's happening right now."

"Screw it. Let's just watch some people die."

Pinhead busts into tha club

"If I close my eyes, it will go away."

"Still there."

Bartender dies

Down with the DJ

And Pinhead's lips are feeling a bit chapped

The reporter comes to check out the bloodbath at The Boiler Room

LOLZ cuz of teh BAWLZ

Get it? It's the cameraman!

Pinhead attacks, unleashing hell on earth

Explosions in earth!

Cameraman cenobite

Bartender cenobite

DJ cenobite

Enrique cenobite

Club Rat cenobite

Join forces to destroy empty city streets

Alas, the box thwarts their plans to have the Final Girl run from explosion for another 2 hours

"LOUD NOISES!"

Scottie beams them straight to hell.

But not before Pinhead invades the dream world and pretends to be daddy

*Cackle, cackle*

"What do you mean this isn't scary?"

*Cackle* "Wind angle lenses are too scary" *Cackle*

The human Pinhead comes to save the day.

When two become one

We are Siamese (twins) if you please...is that offensive?

"Yes actually. I find that horribly offensive."

My bad.

THE END!


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