Sunday, January 30, 2011

Devil (2010)

 After enjoying some decent comedy last night, my wife brought home Devil. This tale, written by M. Night Shyamalan, sounded interesting, but so did some of his other films that were huge disappointments.

Plot/ A group of people trapped in an elevator realize that the devil is amongst them.

I like many have stayed away from Shyamalan movies, for me it had been since I was extremely disappointed by The Village. With that being said, I am glad that I broke down and watched this one of his Night Chronicles. The pacing, atmosphere and subtle cinematography were tremendous, with a sound storyline. Yes, there was some cliché, almost no character development and at times the acting was a bit pedestrian, but it came together nicely. The flick did lack gore and major special effects, part of falling into that PG-13 trap that is plaguing movies today. While more of a mystery than horror, this tale of death despair and redemption is far from perfect, but it is an underrated and entertaining ride.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Gate (1987)

After spending last night dealing with a formal Air Force Dinner, it was nice to enjoy a blast from my youth today in 1987s teen influenced The Gate.

Plot/ Three young children accidentally release a horde of nasty, pint-sized demons from a hole in a suburban backyard. What follows is a classic battle between good and evil as the three kids struggle to overcome a nightmarish hell that is literally taking over the Earth.

Wow, what a blast from the past. I remember seeing this when it came out, but honestly, I like it more today. Yes, this supernatural / horror / thriller is just a PG-13 entry, but there is a lot to like (especially a young Stephen Dorff). The flick featured a great storyline that was centered on an extremely popular topic from back in the 1980s, the relationship of Satan and Metal Music and was backed by some decent special effects. Yes, at times the pacing is a bit slow, the feel is a bit off and there is an extreme lack of gore, sex and violence, but it is a trip of good campy fun with even some Lovecraftian influences. Check it out and enjoy!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Don't Look Now (1973)

The winter weather is really starting to get old, nothing like a freezing rain before a snowstorm to start the evening. With there being a chill in the air, I decided on the chilling 1973 supernatural thriller Don’t Look Now for my evening entertainment.

Plot/ An American architect living in Venice, Italy with his wife on a getaway after the death of their young daughter, begins to question his sanity when he begins having a series of disturbing and fragmented premonitions which coincides with a series of murders in the city.

This is a great movie, one that definitely does a great job at creating atmosphere and having it crawl under your skin. There is a haunting subtlety that works well within the disturbing character driven plot. Yes, the pacing seems a bit slow and it does not answer all of the questions that pop into your mind, but it all comes together with the Venetian backdrop. Being from the 1970s, the film also contains one of the original (and in many ways beautiful) love scenes ever filmed in a horror / thriller. Movies like this are few and far between (especially today), check it out if you have not seen it, you will not be disappointed.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

ETSY Update - OOAK Jersey Devil Items

What a great game this past week as the Steelers moved one step closer to a seventh Super Bowl title. Tonight, I was bored and decided to start adding to and updating my ETSY page. Below are some pictures of the items that I relisted from the OOAK Jersey Devil Collection. More items will be following soon, so keep checking back!

Everyone has heard of the Jersey Devil, the winged creature that has been tormenting the Garden State and the Pine Barrons for almost Three centuries. With that in mind, we have created a line of OOAK wall-hanging heads to pay homage to this mysterious creature. This demon complete with real horns (deer antlers) hangs quietly staring outward waiting to overtake the world.

Everyone has heard of the Jersey Devil, the winged creature that has been tormenting the Garden State and the Pine Barrons for almost Three centuries. With that in mind, we have created a line of OOAK bottles to pay homage to this mysterious creature. Each bottle that is used as the base material of the sculpture has been discovered and rescued from Leeds Point, where in 1735 Mother Leeds gave birth to a 13th child, the famed Jersey Devil that escaped into the fabric of of Americana.

This winged demon stands staring outward with an original poem on its chest. The poems states

Every night he struggles with the loneliness
His mind wandering the pathways that will be
Hoping to find the love of a mother lost
Or a life never shared
His torment, in this world we now share
Within the reeds he calls home

Myth or legend
Devil or angel
Forever he will survive
A lone link to days of yore
A dark shadow in the fabric of the whispering pines
Following his golden spiral of life

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Cannibal: the Musical (1993)

After a long week of work, I needed something to help take the edge off, while helping get my mind right for the Steelers vs. Jets AFC Championship Game. What a better was that taking a comical, yet bloody, view of famed cannibal Alfred Packer in 1993s Cannibal: the Musical.

Plot/ Alfred Packer was a mountain guide and sole survivor of a party of pioneers that got lost in the mountains in winter. Accused and convicted of murdering and eating his traveling companions, he was to be executed by hanging.

Loosely based on the true incidents that led to Alfred Packer being the first person ever convicted of cannibalism in the United States, this comical ride is very entertaining. While some of this demented horror/comedy is totally ridiculous, the laughs that come from this intentionally hilarious take on history cannot be explained unless it is experienced first hand. Yes, the sets are poor, the acting is choppy and the film has many flaws, but it is truly forgivable due to the sneaky dialogue, some nice gore and of course, the music, which are well written and performed exceptionally well. If you are a fan of perfectly crafted and obscure “B” Movies this one is for you. It may just motivate you to build a snowman.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Philadelphia Experiment (1984)

After a long weekend traveling to Pennsylvania for my oldest daughters birthday (Happy Birthday Genesis), it was nice to get back to the couch and curl up watching something more of my speed (although watching the Steelers beat the Ratbirds was awesome). My choice for the evening was the 1984 Sci-Fi (reality?) entry The Philadelphia Experiment.

Plot/ During World War II, the government was trying to develop a way to render their naval vessels undetectable to radar. When the scientists in charge of it think they have done it, they try it out on one of the ships in the Philadelphia harbor. When they turn it on, the ship disappears. Two of the ship's sailors find themselves in 1984. While they try to find out what's going on. The scientist who developed the technology in 1943, is now involved with a project that somehow brought the two sailors to 1984. And it seems that a black hole has emerged and he thinks the sailors can help. So he tries to get them.

To me, the story and legend of the Philadelphia Experiment has always interested me, as it is one of the most fascinating stories I have heard. If true, this experimentation was truly that of genius. That being said, I had always wanted to see the movie, as I missed it when it hit theatres back in the 1980s. Now that I have finally watched it, I have to admit I was impressed. The plot (although I am not a love story fan), the acting and the effects are all pretty good and stand up rather well. Sure, the script is choppy and some of the action seems a bit out of whack, but it definitely makes for good science fiction. This is a great flick for Sci-Fi fans, and definitely one that is worth watching.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Dying Breed (2008)

As the snow fell last night, I ventured back into the After Dark Horrorfest. This time, being a bit of a Cryptozoology and Folklore nut, I chose Dying Breed.

Plot/ Between 1788 and 1868, Australia served as a penal colony for the British Empire and Tasmania was the most feared. The prisoner Alexander "The Pieman" Pearce escaped and survived in the woods eating human flesh. In the present days, the researcher Nina organizes an expedition to Tasmania to proceed the work of her deceased sister Ruth and find evidences of the extinct Tasmanian tiger in the wilderness. She travels to a remote area with her boyfriend Matt and his troublemaker friend Jack that brings his girlfriend Rebecca and they spend the night in a village of descendants of "The Pieman". Sooner the quartet discovers that things have to stay hidden to survive.

This is another entry in the After Dark Horrorfest, and like some of the others it is definitely a mixed bag. Yes, it is far from perfect, but, I did enjoy watching it. Like many films from that region, the movie is chalked through with some great landscape shots, something that definitely adds to the creepy and foreboding atmosphere that left a very heavy feel throughout the flick. Yes, the plot was a bit cliché and really nothing new, although, there was a touch of suspense and gore inside that was nice. The acting was uneven, and the characters really did nothing for me, but I will admit that the ending, while predictable was entertaining. True this is not a perfect film, but I have seen MUCH worse.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Autopsy (2008)

After watching the Ravens beat down the Chiefs, I was hoping to find another bloodbath. My choice for the evening is Autopsy, from the third edition of the After Dark Horrorfest.

Plot / In this entry of the After Dark Horrorfest, A young woman tries to find her injured boyfriend in a bizarre and dangerous hospital.

It is funny, sometimes things just pop up in a way that you do not understand. For the longest time, I thought this was a different movie and stayed away. Looking back it is funny, because I was really missing out. I really enjoyed this flick, and I believe it is truly underrated. Yes, it is far from perfect with some choppy pacing and uneven moments, but for the most part, it is an enjoyable blood-filled delight. The plot is basic, but it is the effects and cinematography that really bring this movie to life. A definite must see for gore fans!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Invaders From Mars (1986)

As the snow continued to fall today, it was fun to offset Ancient Aliens on the History Channel with the 1986 Martian themed Invaders from Mars.

Plot/ In this remake of the classic 1950s Sci-fi tale, a boy tries to stop an invasion of his town by aliens who take over the the minds of his parents, his least-liked schoolteacher and other townspeople. With the assistance of the school nurse, the boy enlists the aid of the U.S. Marines to help save the world.

While the movie is far from a classic, this modernized version of the original film is actually pretty entertaining. Director Tobe Hooper did a great job at staying true to the original idea while creating what remains a strange tongue-and-cheek alien movie. The cinematography, dialogue and effects are actually pretty good considering the era, and they do a good job at masking some of the uneven acting and pacing throughout. In all, this will not go down as an all-time great, but it a fun movie that is great to catch on snowy afternoons if you remember not to take it too seriously.