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!

Dec 24, 2008

o tanenbaaaaaaaaaaa

Have you been pulling your hair and wringing your hands, wondering when I'd be back? I know I have! Then I remembered that the power of posting at Final Girl rests in my very hands, so here I am.

I've been jacked up on my beloved Dunk's for several days now, and yesterday I found a little used bookstore that had a VHS copy of Satan's Cheerleaders waiting just for me. So far, this trip rules!

Anycoffee, I wrote a piece about killer plants and trees over at Ye Olde AMC, which is now up for your viewing pleas---well, your viewing, at any rate. Killer plants and trees are pretty sweet and a great way to celebrate the season, don't you think? Baby Jesus would be proud.

coolest tree ever

Dec 20, 2008

...and to all a good night.

Well, children, I'm afraid it's time to say goodbye for...for...some amount of time. Today I'm jetting off to the magical land known as "the other coast" to celebrate what's known as "the holidays" in a whirlwind tour of New England. Yesterday I was picking oranges in my backyard, tomorrow I'll be battling several inches of snow. This does not thrill me; however, being in New England means that I'll be able to go to an actual Dunkin' Donuts and buy an actual cup of Dunkin' Donuts coffee. This thrills me very much.

I'm not sure whether or not The Internet exists on the east coast, so posting for the next two weeks or so will be sporadic at best. My AMC columns will still post on Wednesdays, however; in fact, one went up a few days ago where I blabbed about...dun dun dunnnn...elevators in horror movies. Elevators? I'm not really a fan, although they serve a noble purpose.

I hope your end of the year celebrations, whatever they may be, are bitchin. I've got lots of surprises in store for 2009*, and I hope you'll be around to check 'em out. Thanks for being the most awesomest readers who ever read a blog!

Whatever you do while I'm gone, don't be naughty. PUNISH!

*surprises not guaranteed

Dec 15, 2008

i know it's not horror...

...but I'm telling you all about it anyway. If you head over to the WB's website today, you'll see that they've launched a new show called Joni & Susanna.

You should watch it. It's hilarious, and I'm not just saying that because the Joni half of Joni & Susanna is my friend, I swear. I mean, if Charlie Sheen was my friend, I wouldn't be all "Go watch Two and a Half Men!", because that show fucking stinks. In other words, trust me. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for appearances Ghostella's Haunted Tomb regular Bridget McManus as well as her Top Friends co-star Julia Miranda. We each other and shit. AWW.

Wait, I mean AWW.

That's better. Anyway, to relate this post to horror a little tiny bit, I'm going to trot out my tried-n-true photo of the football with a sword attached, aka the greatest horror movie weapon in the history of ever. And with that, I bid you good day. GOOD DAY.

a small tribute to...

...that 80s horror trend where chicks wore sports jerseys as pajamas.





Dec 10, 2008

eh, just do it yourself.

I wrote up a bit of an ode to the back yard filmmakers of the world over at AMC this week. Go read it. Or don't, see if I care. You just think you're so big, don't you?

I finally caught the finale of VH1's Scream Queens last night and...ridiculousness aside, I think it was the first time in the history of ever that my favorite contestant from the beginning actually won a reality competition.

And yet, I still feel empty inside.

And I still won't go see Saw VI.

What I will see, however, is My Bloody Valentine 3D, which opens on January 16th. The commercials are starting to air and dammit, I'm excited. The Harry Warden costume looks great and just as scary as the original, and I find myself not caring a whit- NOT A WHIT I SAY- that it's a remake. Perhaps that's owed to the fact that the words "three" and "dee" are tacked on to the title- as we all know, I fucking love 3D. So much so that I would probably go see The Runaway Bride if it were re-released in 3D. So much so that I would probably go see some romantic comedy/frat comedy/heartwarming Christmas movie with an all-star cast that features Paul Reiser, Julia Roberts, Charlie Sheen, Cameron Diaz (I just don't get her), Jack Black (I just don't get him), and the Welch's Grape Juice Children if it were in 3D...and that's saying A LOT because for some reason those Grape Juice commercials really angry up my blood, especially this one.

But today is not a day for angried-up blood! Let's all GET PUMPED to the strains of "Rock n' Rock" from the little1986 masterpiece called Killer Workout. So much rock, they don't have time to roll! Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go make out with my KW videocassette.

Dec 8, 2008

six of one...

You know how sometimes you wish you could watch a movie again for the first time? How you were totally blown away by a movie and even though you still like (or even love) it, it never holds as much power as it did during that first viewing and you'd love to recapture that?

Well, my friends, if you feel this way about Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later then you're in luck! Check out the 1988 flick Primal Rage and all your needs will be fulfilled.

That is, of course, if you find yourself saying "Gee, I really love 28 Days Later but I wish it took place quietly on a college campus. And I wish the characters were fairly irritating and they'd do really nonsensical things. And I wish that there was an awful '80s soundtrack that consisted mostly of one song played over and over again. And I wish that there was really no urgency to the proceedings, even when three rage-infected rapists run around at a Halloween party killing people...basically, I wish 28 Days Later was a fair-to-middling, mildly entertaining '80s movie that doesn't capitalize on a good concept, even though it has decent enough gore!"

Dec 7, 2008

more stuff for y'all to buy

So, remember how I, like, opened up that Amazon store? Well, I just spent way too long adding a whole new category:

Yessiree, there are Nintendo, Playstation, and Xbox games as far as the eye can see. I fully support you buying lots of stuff that requires hours of staring at your television, killing zombies, carjacking, and ignoring your real life friends. Shut-ins 4-eva!

Dec 4, 2008

the continuing adventures of carl anne, part 2

Maybe it was Kindertrauma's loving ode to Poltergeist III during this year's Hey, Internet! Stop Being Such Cynical Effing Douchebags! blog-a-thon that got me predisposed to like a film that's almost universally reviled. After all, I tend to take the words of Unkle Lancifer and Aunt John as gospel. It couldn't be that the movie really isn't that bad, could it?

'Cause when you break it down, Poltergeist III (1988) is all kinds of lousy. Somehow, though, all the crappy elements come together to create a work of magically enjoyable crap. In other words, The crappy sum is not nearly as crappy as the crappy parts. Poltergeist III is a bit like the cinematic equivalent of Desperately Seeking Susan-era Madonna, all jelly bracelets, lace, greasy hair, untweezed eyebrows, gloves, crucifixes, oversized bows, animal prints, and neon. Each horrid enough on its own, together they form a vortex of nonsense that's disturbingly compelling.

In related news, I still loves me some Madonna despite the fact that she's slowly morphing into the puppet from Saw and I'm starting to find her thighs threatening.

It was flat out ballsy- or just plain stupid- for writer/director Gary Sherman (Raw Meat, Dead and Buried) to essentially strip away everything people loved about the first two films as he embarked on P3. Gone were most of the Freelings as Carol Anne (Heather O'Rourke) went to stay with her aunt Patricia and uncle Bruce (Tom Skerritt and Nancy Allen) for reasons that remain vague throughout the movie (really, would Steve and Diane ever let Carol Anne out of their sight after everything they've been through?). Gone was the bland suburbia, as the action moved to a glass and chrome Chicago high rise. Additionally, Poltergeist III is more gory and teen-oriented than its predecessors. All of this new inevitably leads to cries of "Hey! What gives, jive turkey?" from legions of the world's Polterfiends. It's understandable, but sometimes change is good. Of course, I think the idea behind Halloween III is kind of a good one too, so take what I say about it with a grain of something or other.

What the film gets right, it gets really right. The ample use of mirrors as Reverend Kane pursues Carol Anne throughout the skyscraper is killer. Everyone's got a creepy, shriveled up, ne'er-do-well doppelganger and though it's cheesy at times, the effects are mostly spooky enough. Brood-esque Carol Anne in particular is bitchin'.

The biggest faults in Poltergeist III are...well, they're pretty big. The script is fairly weak and no one is given much to do beyond yelling "Carol Anne!" repeatedly- and boy, do I mean repeatedly. After it started to get on my nerves, I kept track; I counted 19 "Carol Anne!"s in a matter of ten minutes.

Despite this, most of the cast soldiers through admirably. As Bruce's daughter Donna, Lara Flynn Boyle (looking a bit like a young Lindsay Lohan), is both dull and charming. Tom Skerritt is reliably Tom Skerritt. Heather O'Rourke gives her all and rises above the material as best as she can. It's heartbreaking to watch her in her red footie pajamas, smiling though she must have been in pain, her face puffy with illness.

Nancy Allen, though...was she blackmailed into doing this picture? I love Nancy Allen, but man, she didn't even try. In fact, She was, like...anti-trying, to the point where you could read on her face how little she wanted to be there. Her performance sucked all the life out of every scene she was in, and I'm not sure why. Maybe the weight of her massive shoulder pads was too much to bear and her concentration was off.

At times, the entire production falls victim to a kind of lethargy. The most egregious example of this comes as Bruce, Patricia, and Tangina (Zelda Rubenstein) set off to find Carol Ann, who has fallen into the clutches of Reverend Kane. Tangina says "We must get upstairs as fast as we can!" and the three of them proceed to take their time, casually making their way with zero urgency. There's simply not a lot of tension to be found in Poltergeist III, and it's a shame. With a heavier hand, perhaps, from the director and a bit more enthusiasm, the film really could have been something.

That said, the scene where Donna busts out of beef jerky Tangina screaming her head off is really something, and that really something is totally boss.

Poltergeist III, I know you're no good for me, but I think I love you anyway. Why oh why do I always fall for the bad ones?

Dec 3, 2008

scenes i love - [REC]


In the interest of public service, this week at AMC I wrote about winter-themed horror movies that don't revolve around Christmas. I mean, did you ever notice how Christmas totally hogs the season? With the Baby Jesus and the frankincense and myrrh (whatever the fuck that is) and the trees and the nog and the presents, it's know, okay, Christmas, we get it. We'll all watch Black Christmas, duh. But what happens when February rolls around and we're still miserably cold? What will we watch then, huh, Christmas? We'll watch Shredder, that's what we'll watch!

It's okay, you don't have to be ashamed if you like Shredder. In fact, there's a coalition of Shredder-likers growing over at AMC. One of us! One of us! Gooble gobble one of us!

Speaking of winter-flavored horror movies, the only way this picture would be better is if that was Erin Moran about to get killed by an angry snowman:

Oh well. Maybe some dreams aren't meant to be realized.

Dec 2, 2008

who likes to buy stuff?

The answer is: EVERYBODY except perhaps Ebenezer Scrooge. Yes, children, it's that time of the year when people spend money they don't have buying gifts for people they don't really like out of obligation. So, I say unto thee, BEHOLD, for today is a grand day for a Grand Opening, is it not? Boils and ghouls, I give you, my brand newAmazon shop!

Take a look around, why don'tcha? Mayhaps you'll find that special something for that special someone. There's a permanent link over yonder in mah sidebar, so anytime you've got the itch to buy something from Amazon- which happens to me all the time- just come on in. I'll be adding stuff all the time, so check back if you feel like it. Or don't, if you're not cool enough.

If this was a real Grand Opening and not just a cyber one, I'd have cupcakes and fruit punch for you, I swear. Maybe even a barbershop quartet or a small brass band! Certainly the Mayor would be in attendance, and he'd hand me those giant novelty scissors with which I'd cut the ribbon that'd be draped across the front door of my shop; then everyone in the town square would let out a cheer, and people would rush in and buy so many copies of Sssss that I'd be able to pay my rent! "Hooray!" they'd yell..."Hooray!" and the crowd would lift me up and I've feel even prettier and more popular than Courtney Thorne-Smith of television's Melrose Place did when she was crowned The Dairy Princess in the made-for-TV thriller Midwest Obsession. Later on the mayor would hand me a Proclamation on REAL PAPER stating that December 2nd is, in fact, Final Girl Day, and he'd also give me the key to the city, which I didn't even know was my life's dream until right this very second.

Uh, anyway.

You know what else people love to receive for ChristmaKwanzaKkah? REAL ART! Yes, it's true. Giving art to your nearest and dearest for the holidays makes you seem classy. Why not commission a painting from moi before time runs out? Why, these fine works adorn some of the finest walls in all the land; doesn't that make you want to yell "Me too!" or something?

I realize this is an awful lot of pimping and I feel a little gross about it, but then again I'm broke. Happy holidays!

scenes i love - the texas chain saw massacre

Nov 30, 2008

Sunday afternoon search terms

Once again, it's time for that ever-so-popular* feature, These Are Some Google Search Terms People Have Typed In And Subsequently Found Their Way To Final Girl.

Mind you, these aren't all from today, but that doesn't diminish their power! Feel free to hazard your guesses to the many, many questions in the comments.

sex goddess loses her wig

supernatural nudies

magic little nudies

- Clearly the two "nudies" searchers should meet and fall in love.

master of unlocking

- This one pleases me to no end.

horror movies good for the soul

- Why yes...yes, they are.

retro tits blog

- "retro tits" are almost as good as "worker boobs".

Naked Bea Arthur photos

- Really? REALLY?

what movie was it when a giant worm fucks a girl?

what it means if girl laughs at you at night club?

- Your fly is open?

if a girl uses a pen to masturbate what will happen?

- There's a Vagina Monologues joke in there somewhere...

girl with masturbating shoe

- A masturbating shoe? I'd pay real money to see that!

will you marry me with string?

- Sir, I wouldn't marry you with twine.

what does it mean when burning sunshine while been horny?

genie francis plastic surgery

- This has become my most frequent search hit, surpassing even "Shannon Tweed nude".

what if a car has a wig on that stink like a terd would I still love her.

- Car...has wig...that stinks? You know, putting a bunch of words in a row doesn't necessarily constitute a sentence.

I once knew a chick named annie may oooh

- Good for you! Celebrate this moment of your life with some International Coffee.

It amazes me that people sometimes click through to Final Girl when the search results come up. I'm also amazed by what people are searching for.

You said it, Charles Nelson Reilly!

Previous editions of These Are Some Google Search Terms People Have Typed In And Subsequently Found Their Way To Final Girl can be found HERE and HERE.

*it amuses me

Nov 27, 2008

holiday time!

Have a very jaunty Thanksgiving, y'all...and for those who don't celebrate it, have a very jaunty Thursday!

Nov 26, 2008

i love the 80s, even though sometimes they sucked.

Let's get this out of the way: Sorority House Massacre (1986) blows with a capital BLOWS. Last night, however, I was in the mood for a big fat slice of 80s slasher, and in the end, SHM delivered. Mind you, it only delivered in that it fulfilled my wispy nostalgia-fueled desires; even as cheesy 80s slashers go, this one is bad.

Bad bad.

As in really not good.

Still, I was okay with that because popping in the DVD immediately took me back to sleepovers at Elena's house, when we'd walk down the hill to Nick's Video and rent crappy horror movies even though we were underage, and then we'd walk next door to Nick's Pizza and pick up a pizza to go with the movie.

Apparently Nick had a real stranglehold on that section of the town.

Anyway, we'd pretty much bring home anything- the more lurid the better. Titles featuring the words "massacre", "blood", "death", "slaughter", "evil", or "the" were sure to be mind-melting winners. Of course, our hopes for mental scarring were rarely realized, but who cares? Even when the movies stunk, they were still fun- and that's why, every once in a while, I get the urge to watch some 80s crap. Sometimes they stink, but they're usually still a bit fun.

Sweet mama, I'm old.

Sorority House Massacre really effs with your head, man, as Beth (Angela O'Neill) keeps dreaming these, like, totally creepy dreams involving the horror movie dream staples: children, bloody ceilings, mannequins, and boring dinner parties.

Meanwhile, at The Old Mental Asylum Place, some dude who may or may not be seen in Beth's dreams is thrashing about and displaying an overabundance of beta waves, meaning: he's a good 9.5 on the crazy scale.

Are you scared yet? If not, then pull up your pants and hold on tight, kiddies, for things are about to get all ten kinds of terrifying up in here: Sorority House Massacre is an endless parade of some of the worst 80s fashions you will ever, ever see. EVER. EVARRRRRR.

They just. Kept. Coming. I realize that, you know, every era has its own style. I realize that I myself was certainly a fashion victim in the 80s- we all were, and we all thought we were cool. It's pointless to get all wrapped up in outdated hair and clothes when watching a movie, but... JESUS FUCKING CHRIST.

Even the background players are an affront to my delicate eyes! Yes, I'm talking about you back there, Banana Orbison. We see you, and we see that your outfit is atrocious.

I know those outfits are causing you to think "Oh, horror movies. Those sorority girls are such degenerate sluts!" and boy, are you right! In fact, when the whole entire campus except them and their boyfriends goes away for the weekend, our Fashionable Foursome gets up to some dirty, dirty no-good! All alone in the big Kappa Kappa They Never Named The Sorority In This Movie house, the girls immediately decide to "eat Melanie's ice cream" and "try on Cindy's clothes"...and then they do. Those crazy college kids! What shenanigans.

The girls try on Cindy's clothes in a montage set to music that sounds like the theme of an 80s morning show, and it's all just the lamest excuse in the history of ever to get some tits on the screen.

It does, however, provide us with an inkling as to exactly how deep Cindy's love of the jumpsuit is.


So the brainwavey kookadook busts out of the asylum and further gets his Michael Myers on by breaking into a hardware store to steal a knife and then speeding off in a battle wagon.

Beth's dreams continue, and it seems that she and the brainwavey kookadook are connected somehow. Could it have anything to do with that story about the guy who, years before, killed everyone in his family except his one little sister? Could Beth's dreams be not dreams at all, but rather...dun dun dunnnnn...repressed memories? Gee, I wonder.

It plays out how you would expect: the cuckoo nutso shows up at the sorority house and he kills everybody. Beth finally remembers her sordid past and kills the killer...or does she? Dun dun dunnn...cue the reappearance of the bad guy at the end when Beth is in the hospital! Is it all a dream? Or is there really a boy in the lake?

Who can say? All I know for sure is that Beth really needs to learn how to scream with her eyes. I wonder if Tyra and Company could teach her that?

Sorority House Massacre is the gift that keeps on giving, though, and the most perplexing mystery of all is saved for the end credits.

The biggest problem with this film isn't the plot, which is standard 80s slasher stuff- in fact, while watching this I thought, "I'd love to remake the shit out of this movie"...or maybe it was "remake the fuck" out of it, I don't remember exactly. The point is, there's a little glimmer of an alright slasher plot in there, but it dies due to poor execution all the way around.

The acting is some of the most lifeless I've ever seen; really, a box of crayons would have done as good a job. People die and no one reacts. Lines are read in a monotone. In the big end battle between Beth and the wackadoo, he repeatedly stabs her in the legs as she tries to crawl away, or so, at least, I thought: I couldn't be sure if that's what I was seeing, because she didn't acknowledge it at all, not even with an "Ow, cut it out!" There's no sense of urgency or terror or...or anything, really. The guy shows up, stabs people in the gut, and that's that. There's nary a scream echoing the halls of Ye Olde Sorority House.

Of course, the action itself is as lackluster as the performances. Survivors run upstairs, then downstairs, then upstairs, then downstairs, and that's about it. This film does make me wonder, however, if it really IS possible to dive INTO a second story window from the ground.

As I said when I started this post, Sorority House Massacre is a pretty terrible movie, but it scratched my 80s itch, and for that I'm thankful. Perhaps, though, I should stop scratching before it gets infected.