FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Oct 1, 2006

Day 1- Night of Endless Boredom

Maybe I need to get my priorities straight, or become more skeptical or more of a cynic or something. See, the problem is, I'll pick up something like 1969's Night of Bloody Horror and read:
During its promotion, filmmakers glorified the gory scenes saying the film was filmed in "Violent Vision"; while television commercials offered $1,000 to the families of viewers who dropped dead of fright, as well as claiming that many of the scenes were too violent to show on the commercials.
Couple that trivia with the fact that it stars Gerald McRaney of television's Major Dad and I'm somehow sure I've stumbled across pure cinematic gold.

But why? Why on earth would I think that? I know it's not going to be as good as it claims. I'm sure I won't be scared. And for god's sake, since when do I get excited about the prospect of Gerald McRaney of television's Major Dad being onscreen in anything?

I'm what you might call an eternal optimist about a select few things, the biggest being that I'm willing to give any horror movie a chance. No matter how many times the horror genre craps on my neck, I'm always ready to take more punishment. Yes, I might for a second think "Hmm. I bet this movie is going to crap on my neck...maybe I shouldn't--", but then I immediately correct myself with excuses, hope, selective reading, and a feigned dubious memory. "But!" think I, "Violent Vision! Gerald McRaney of television's Major Dad!" and the next thing you know, the movie is in my DVD player, crapping on my neck. This endless hope is a blessing and a curse, I tells ya, not unlike mint chocolate chip ice cream.

Night of Bloody Horror opens with the sounds of a couple quietly humping. After fists have clenched bedsheets and the humping has ended, I was not pleased to see that the skinny fella who dismounted the humpee was none other than Gerald McRaney of television's Major Dad. Having Gerald McRaney of television's Major Dad in a movie is one thing...having Gerald McRaney of television's Major Dad in a movie humping someone is quite another. The problem is, immediately I thought about the fact that in real life, he humps Delta Burke. Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with Delta Burke; she's lovely and I'm all about people with names torn straight from the Greek alphabet. The problem is that after thinking about Delta Burke, I began to think about Designing Women. When I think about Designing Women, I think about Dixie Carter and her fucking righteous soliloquies on that show and how she'd always rail against something for five minutes in some cheap "I am woman" way and she'd end with some sassy zinger and the audience would go crazy, clapping and whooping and...and then I found I was having a hard time concentrating on Night of Bloody Horror because I was blinded by rage at Julia Sugarbaker's soliloquies but moreso at the fact that I've seen enough episodes of Designing Women to have even developed a burning rage at Julia Sugarbaker's soliloquies. Not to be melodramatic or anything, but it puts my entire life into question.

Anyway, soon after the humping, Gerald McRaney of television's Major Dad clutches his temples as if he has a headache this big while a pinwheel of color spins around in the can only assume that the pinwheel indicates that we have now crossed into Violent Vision. Suffice it to say, it's a bit of a letdown...not that I had any clue what to expect, but still.

The next thing we know, the girl is getting stabbed in the eye while making her confession to a hooded priest. Violent Vision causing Gerald McRaney of television's Major Dad to become...violent?

Fast forward a year and Gerald McRaney of television's Major Dad has a new girlfriend, a pasty young nurse who took him home after he got roughed up by some hooligans one fateful evening. We learn of their budding romance through that most unique of cinematic devices: the musical montage. This montage, however, is leagues above all I've ever seen before for one reason. No, it's not the late-60s lite music's the fact that it's a montage of still images. We see the young couple walking past a roller coaster, standing by a tree, having dinner, and in my favorite photo, smoking together at the dinner table.

Soon enough, Violent Vision does its twirling thing and the pasty nurse has an axe in her chest.

And so on and so forth for another hour. There's fistfights, laughable special effects, a musical interlude featuring the psychedelic rock of The Bored (how appropriate), and some garbled family history for Gerald McRaney of television's Major Dad involving shotgun "accidents", dead younger brothers, a shrew-y mom, and insane asylums. Is Gerald McRaney of television's Major Dad really a cuckoo nutso killer? The answer lies somewhere in this secret recipe:

Take one brother accidentally killing another with a shotgun, the grief over which leads to their father committing suicide. Add to this a zesty sprig of the mother who has decided to store the bodies of her dead husband and son in the basement. Sprinkle on some spite towards the son who's still alive. Bake for 80 boring minutes, Gerald McRaney of television's Major Dad is not the killer.

Perhaps Night of Bloody Horror would have been better if I were on drugs. As it was, I was only high on Diet Coke during the viewing and thus can only give this flick 3 out of 10 Gerald McRaney of television's Major Dads. Thanks for crapping on my neck, Day 1!


Amanda By Night said...

Another AWESOME review, Stacie... I was beginning to miss these whilst you were out of town...

I have heard of this movie, but never had the actual guts to see it...

However, I have seen as many Designing Women as you! Yup, Julia was a pisser, but I like to remember Annie Potts when I think about that show... Me-ow!

Can't wait until Day 2!

Anonymous said...

Night of the Lepus! Night of the Lepus!

Anonymous said...

La Stace,

The first three sentences of paragraph six had me laughing out loud, not an easy trick. The whole paragraph is just terrific. Excellent work!

And poor Gerald McRaney of television's Major Dad, what with all those gals dying around him and his thinking he might be responsible and all. It's enough to drive one to Delta Burke.

Heather Santrous said...

Good review as always Stacie. You know, this would be the perfect time for you to get The Hills Have Eyes remake!

Anonymous said...

I too suffer from the "Horror Movies Crap on My Neck" syndrome. I'll stand in the aisle of Best Buy staring at the DVD in my hand for 10 minutes, knowing it'll be terrible, but thinking maaaaybe it won't be as bad as I think. (How's that for sick? I'll buy hoping it won't be too bad...a little terrible, sure that's okay. Yeesh.)

Btw, back in 1964 or so, one of my (female) friends had the exact same Casper costume. I have a picture to prove it. What is it with little girls dressing up as male ghosts?

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah - "Night of the Lepus" rocks! Giant bunny-fu...

Also, any word on when
"Re-Animator" or "From Beyond" are gonna be reissued on DVD? It's a sorry state of affairs when "Re-Animator" isn't easily available...

Anonymous said...

"Re-Animator" has been out in a special edition DVD put out by Elite Entertainment a couple years ago. Jeez, unless it's already discontinued... I'm not sure about "From Beyond," if that's on DVD yet or will be soon, because it was the subject of a recent cover story by Rue Morgue magazine.

And since we're all yelling titles from the stands: "Of Unknown Origin" with Peter Weller!

Anonymous said...

drugs always makes it better.

this blog is like a sitcom, not one starring Gerald MaRaney of television's Major Dad, but a cool one, like "My Name is Earl" or "The Office."

What would we call it, "Girl meets Slasher Movies"?
"Saved by the Final Girl"?
"Eight is Enough"?

Anonymous said...

Amazon only has used versions of "Re-Animator" for sale. I believe it's out of print.

Stacie Ponder said...

"Of Unknown Origin" was featured in last year's Shocktober, I believe. I liked it.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I see how it is... I have to actually look through your ENTIRE BLOG HISTORY to discover what you've already seen and reviewed?!
The heck!
Fine! So be it!

(Seriously, glad you liked "Of Unknown Origin")