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!

Jan 30, 2009

awesome movie poster friday- the SLASHER edition!

Man oh man! Between My Bloody Valentine 3D and tonight when I might just be going to see something that rhymes with "shmiday shma shmirteenf", I gotta tell ya- I've been stricken with a bad case of THE SLASHERS! Actually, that sounds like something you may suffer should you travel to Mexico and unwittingly drink the water. Let's say...I've got SLASHER FEVER! Because I do. And here are the posters to prove it!

I love love love the poster for The Prowler. And yes, those are posters for Alice, Sweet Alice with one of its alternative titles, Holy Terror (the third title is Communion).

So many pointy objects, masks, people running in terror, and hulking kookadooks standing both silhouetted and menacing!

Jan 29, 2009

everything is all right!

In honor of yesterday's post:

In honor of the discussion thread over at The Final Girl Seven:

Yes, The Final Girl Seven of Facebook "fame". See, I started a thread regarding the taking of requests and how I'll be doing that for some sort of Review Event head over there and request your heart out!

By the way, I watched a late-night episode of Match Game last night and CNR was not on. What, pray tell, would be the point of that?

Jan 28, 2009

compare and contrast, part deux

Ever since I bought a region-free DVD player (aka the best purchase I've ever made EVER except, perhaps, my fog machine) and thus have looked for DVDs from all 'round yon globe, I've come to a startling conclusion. STARTLING I SAY: 9 times out of 10, the Region 2 DVD covers are better than the Region 1 covers. Now, I'm not saying this to be anti-American, so don't start busting out Lee Greenwood or some shit. Perhaps your aesthetic tastes differ from mine and you'll disagree anyway; the point is, I am just saying.

R1 vs R2

NOTE: Dear Region does not speak well to the talents and originality of the filmmakers when you say "A Saw-like twist at the end!" on the cover for a movie from the creators of Saw.

NOTE: This Region 1 Prom Night cover is especially heinous (not just ugly) because it uses a photo of Jamie Lee Curtis from Halloween H-fucking-20!

Of course, sometimes Region 2 gets it very, very wrong.

Jan 27, 2009

compare and contrast!

So, it's 11:30pm and I'm about to start writing my column for AMC, which is due in the morning. Though I'm kicking myself in the BEhind for starting it so late, it happens every week so I shouldn't be surprised. The topic for this week (ooh, top secret!) has me trawling through my archives in search of the title of a movie I've written about in the past. Said trawling has brought about this Final Girl post, which I'll call Ancient History Regarding the First Time I Was Edited Severely for an Article I Was Asked to Write and How the Results Made Me Want to Kill Myself and No It's Not Something I Wrote for AMC and Yes I Should Be Over It and I Mostly Am Although Reading It Again Brought Up Residual Feelings of "What the FUCK?" and I Probably Shouldn't Even Do This Post But I'm Going to Anyway Because I Feel Like Sharing So There.

The article in question I was asked to write- I stress this because it indicates to me that the editor was at least aware of my writing "style", which is perhaps a bit unconventional as it was born and bred exclusively on this here blog where I am THE BOSS OF ME- was to be a piece about lesbians and Halloween and all the...I don't know, getting the lesbian chocolate in the Halloween peanut butter or whatever. You know what I mean. Like, what horror movies feature lesbos? and that sort of thing. It took me forever to write that damn article, and when I saw the finished product online, well, let's just say that steam came out of my ears. In fact, steam probably came out of most, if not all, of my orifices.

You know, I was going to delete that last sentence because it's really gross and perhaps mostly untrue, but I'm tired and I have a long night ahead of me and at the moment I find it amusing so it stays.

Onward to the worthless past-dredging-uppening! Here are the opening two paragraphs I wrote:
If you’re anything at all like me, then Halloween trumps all as the most wonderful time of the year (that’s right- in your face, Escalator Safety Awareness Week!). There are scary movies on TV ad nauseum, cheap horror DVDs appear in the unlikeliest places (I picked up Salem’s Lot at my grocery store; it was displayed next to the frozen pizzas, and for just a moment I thought maybe I’d somehow passed into The Great Beyond and didn’t know it), and there are rubber-n-cardboard decorations everywhere. Walking past fake cobwebs on my way to find the Q-Tips makes me feel like my local CVS is haunted, I swear. “Mayhaps it was built on an Indian burial ground!” I say to myself, often followed by something like “Ooh look! My shampoo is on sale. Thank you, kind spirits of the underworld!”

Also, if you’re anything like me you can’t eat raisins for too long because after a while you start thinking that they’re not really fruit at all- they’re actually bug bodies- and you get grossed out. That, however, is a discussion for another time. We’re here talk about how you- yes, you!- can make this the most leztastic Halloween ever! I mean, above and beyond bobbing for fanny packs and eating Peppermint Patties until you burst, even.
I mean, it's certainly not the greatest thing ever written (that honor belongs to the novelization of the film 9 to 5, or at least so I thought when I was a wee bonny lass and I saw the paperback in the grocery store and I just had to have it), but it's definitely Final Girl-flavored. is what those paragraphs were turned into for publication:
If you’re a horror fan like me, then Halloween trumps all as the most wonderful time of the year. Sure, there are plenty of awful movies out there, but I'm an optimist when it comes to horror films. I simply love a good scare and the adrenaline rush it provides. Even better? There are tons of horror flicks (and a few TV shows) with lesbians in them.

That's why I've put together this handy guide to lesbians and bisexual women in horror.

From the tried and true (Buffy, of course!) to the rare and scary (Robert Wise's The Haunting, for instance) and everything in between (including an almost-forgotten appearance by Amanda Bearse in Fright Night), this guide takes you beyond the lesbian vampire and into the gory world of murdered sorority girls, slumber party massacres and lesbian camping trips gone very, very bad.

So light up your jack-o-lanterns and get your spooky punch ready, because now you can make this the Best. Lesbian. Halloween. Ever.

See? That's what'll get ya steaming orifices. There are words- sentences- WHOLE FUCKING PARAGRAPHS- there that I did not write. "Spooky punch"? Spooky fucking punch? I would never in a million years type those words except for right there where I typed them to make the point that I would never type them.

What's the point of posting this when the article in question is well over a year old and isn't it a little ungracious or unprofessional or something besides? None! There is no point whatsoever! Except that apparently it's a pain that will never ever leave me, much like The Clap. Not that I have The Clap or even know, really, what it is- is it short for chlamydia?- and whether or not it is, in fact, painful. It's just that no one really talks about The Clap anymore, and I think that's a shame.

Yet another shame is the fact that I've now spent half an hour writing this diatribe instead of what I'm supposed to be writing. Damn you, old ire!

Note: posting a picture of this dog in a Halloween costume in a post about an article about the phenomena known as "Lesbian Halloween" does not mean that I'm insinuating that this dog is a lesbian. First, I don't even know if it has a vagina- as Yoda is male, I would assume the dog is also male. Then again, in first grade I dressed up as The Incredible Hulk for Halloween, and the last time I checked (earlier today) I'm a female. Of course, if the dog is a lesbian, that's perfectly fine.

Note the second: I "checked" my "femaleness" by attempting to do some math (I failed miserably) and I spent some time just nagging in a general sort of way. Viva la femme!

Jan 26, 2009

nom nom nom

As I've pointed out in the past, a general rule of thumb regarding anthology movies is that there will be one stinker in the bunch, one shining star, and a few segments that aren't stellar, but at least they're largely inoffensive. This rule can also be applied to the dynamics of groups of friends and salads...stupid carrots, always ruining everything. Well, not everything, exactly- I mean, they're fine when they're cooked or on their own, but in salads? Okay, fine, even in salads they're alright, but only if they're, like, slivers. A big, fat disc of carrot will fuck a salad up like no one's business--

Before I go on and on about carrots and the myriad ways in which I enjoy them or don't enjoy them, let me just say that the 2004 Malaysian film Visits: Hungry Ghost Anthology pretty much proves my theory on the portmanteau flick- to me, this means that I'm right about everything all the time, and therefore no one can contradict my views, whether they be regarding carrots or Battlestar Galactica (best show ever) or what you should do with your hair (I say shave it all off).

Sorry, BSG just started up again and I've got the fever for the flavor of a Pringle.

The 15th night of the 7th month marks, essentially, Chinese Halloween. During this time, "hungry ghosts" are released and spirits walk the earth to mingle with the living. Hungry for what, you ask? No, they're not here for your Cool Ranch Doritos, my friends...they're hungry for your face! At least, that's the way the film played out in my imagination. In reality, the hungry ghosts of Visits are just...sort, despite the fact that we're promised some truly scary stories in the framing narrative, which finds a radio DJ recounting stories to his listeners.


Two girls lie on the ground in a bloody pile. One of them dies, one of them ends up in the hospital with a concussion and amnesia. Was it a suicide pact? Why is the dead one hanging around the largely-empty hospital, showing off her scabby face? How does her boyfriend tie into all this? Flashbacks fill in all the predictable blanks, but unfortunately it all happens a bit too fast. There's no build to the story, and there's little tension- just a few jump scares. Honestly, 1413 had me dreading the hour-plus I still had to slog through in Visits; I'm happy to say that the stinker of the bunch was out of the way first.


Sam receives a phone call from her childhood friend Anne, during which Anne imparts that she's recently broken up with her girlfriend and as a result her world has gone to hell. Her ex isn't returning her calls, how did things go wrong, she can't live with out her, blah blah usual breakup drama blah. Soon Sam can't get a hold of Anne- until she finds Anne wandering down a lonely road late one night. Anne has nowhere to go, so Sam takes her in. Anne sees clammy feet in Sam's closet and splits, and only later do we learn her fate.

Huh? Yeah, clammy feet peeing (typo but it stays) out from the back of a closet are about as spooktacular as Waiting For Them gets. It's much more a character study/drama with a few bizarre sequences (a moment that finds the two women brushing their teeth together was a highlight) (yes, brushing teeth was a highlight) than a straight-up horror story, ghost or otherwise. It's odd, then, that I enjoyed this segment- it's so quiet and still that you may wonder if there are actually actors or if the director has simply staged set pieces with mannequins. I liked getting my Murder She Wrote on, though, as I tried to figure out Anne's story. Your mileage, of course, may vary.


I know, that title, right? I was totally all "What the heck is a nodding scoop? Does it involve ice cream? 'Cause if it does, I'm totally nodding yes! HA HA HA!" Sadly, it does not involve ice cream. "Nodding scoop" is a device constructed from a ladle and a wig, and it's used as a sort of Ouija board when people attempt to communicate with the spirits. So, if you were like "Hey dead person, are you here?" and the dead person was, the scoop would, you know, nod. In this segment, which finds some college students filming themselves using the device as they perform a seance, the silliness of the contraption gave way to supreme creepiness. As can be expected, the students really do summon a spirit; the creepiness promptly goes out the window and the plot quickly devolves into nonsense. An extremely disappointing end to a very promising start.


Here we have a security guard who's obsessed with one of the female inhabitants of the apartment building in which he works. He plants tiny cameras in her apartment to spy on her, and his behavior continues to escalate until he's spending time in her home when she's not there. Soon he finds out that she's got a secret of her own.

Anybody Home? was my favorite story of the bunch, and it's certainly the standout of Visits. The segment is almost completely wordless as we view life through the various cameras of the apartment building- we see the girl coming home drunk at 2 am, stumbling to the elevators; we watch every boring facet of her life, from doing the dishes to going to the bathroom- we see what's arousing the security guard. We watch him in her apartment, invading her space and reacting violently to something he finds in her freezer. This moment marks a shift in the story's narrative- the stalker becomes the victim- and unfortunately it's also a change in narrative devices. The security camera conceit is dropped and the rest of Anybody Home? plays out in standard style, which is a complete detriment to the piece. Still, it's an unusual spin on fairly standard Asian Horror fare.

That seems to be the biggest problem with Visits: Hungry Ghost Anthology- each segment treads overly familiar waters, waters that have been explored to much greater effect in other films. Each story here fell victim to the anthology format, in that they're essentially short films. Horror shorts need to pack a wallop, and if anything, Asian ghost stories are slow mood pieces. It's difficult to build ample tension and create an unsettling atmosphere in such a short amount of time. While none of these segments truly pays off in a completely satisfying way, there is some interesting material to be found for enthusiasts of the genre.

Jan 23, 2009

easy like Friday mornin'

Last night (or this morning, if you want to get all semantical about it), I went to see Underworld: Rise of the Lycans so I could review it for AMC. I can't say I was overly enthused; beyond the catch a 12:10am show, then immediately write a review aspect of it, I knew next to nothing about the franchise and I didn't think it would be my cup of tea at all. How did I fare? How did the movie fare? Did I enjoy it, or did I want to kill myself? Read and find out, lest Rhona Mitra stab you with that pointy thing!

There's some new art posted over at my website- namely, a commission I recently completed: Miike's Audition.

No, I still haven't seen it. Yes, I'm a wicked big lame. I'd say I'd watch it tonight, but tonight Battlestar Galactica holds my heart and my mind captive.

Yes, I'm also a nerd...oh, come on. Like you didn't know that already.

Jan 22, 2009

aaOOOO, werewolves of comics

How fortuitous! Just as I jump back into stick figure comics full force- like, I'm talking Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam with Full Force full force here- my old pal Dirk Manning writes me to let me know that Shadowline web comics has just finished posting up our collaboration "Hungry Like the Wolf". Mayhaps you remember the 8-page comic from its original run at Dirk's Nightmare World. Mayhaps it's new to you. Mayhaps either way you should go check it out by clickening ze click click! "Hungry Like the Wolf" starts on page 82.

Shadowline is running thorough the entire Nightmare World series- all 52 stories- for your webcomics reading pleasure. There's goodness to be found in there, and it's all free free free. Read it- it's what all the cool kids are doing! They're also swearing, because swearing is cool.

Jan 21, 2009

on to happier things

In light of yesterday's internegativity, I feel the need to clean my cyber-palate, or at least to have something else at the top of the page here at FG. What better is there to help us forget our worries than the odd, manic intensity of a dancing Ed Harris?

don't let go don't let go DON'T LET GO!

Jan 20, 2009


Come on, now. Write your own words.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B, a couple of hours later.

Yeah, I'm calling this shit out. I can't be bothered to scroll his archives to find out if there's more. Should I be flattered? Fuck that. This site isn't changing the world or anything, but I work really fucking hard at it. I spend an awful lot of time thinking of what to write, jokes to make, blah blah fucking blah, purely because I want to. If you can't think of anything original to say and you start cutting and pasting my words, then fuck off and don't come back. And really, don't link to me.

Look over to my sidebar on the right, and scroll all the way down to the bottom. See where it says don't steal my shit? Well, I put that there because you shouldn't steal my shit. Click that little button and see what it says.

A pox AND fire-farting cockroaches upon his house!

UPDATE (ooh, saying that makes me feel so Unsolved Mysteries)- apparently the offending blog has winked out of existence. An odd resolution, but a resolution nonetheless. I'm not going to delete this post, however, for reasons that are twofold:
  1. This way, my expletive-riddled feelings regarding stealing are on record.
  2. I haven't talked about fire-farting cockroaches in quite some time, and I'd like it if they got a little attention.
Thanks to everyone who sounded off here or there. The support is mucho appreciato.

Boy, speaking French makes me feel so cultured. What a day of feelings!

news and the such

Today's edition of News and the Such is brought to you by everyone's favorite excited person, Briefcase Woman. Wheeee!

  • Shock Till You Drop has posted the newest trailer for the forthcoming Friday the 13th documentary His Name Was Jason, which drops on February 3rd. The 2-disc DVD features gobs (GOBS I SAY) of interviews with some of the most positively random Friday alums around as well as short films, a tour of the Jarvis house, and more. Jasonites should check it out, and I'm not just saying that because I worked a teeny tiny bit behind the scenes on it, I swear.
  • My Bloody Valentine 3D is getting heaps o' praise from critics and fans alike. It's undoubtedly some of the most craptacular modern horror movie fun you're apt to have...unless you're this guy. I saw it again this past weekend, and my friends couldn't decide if it was simply the worst thing they'd ever seen, or if it was a subversive/genius piece of 80s-flavored horror. I told 'em it was the latter; I have no idea if they ended up believing me.
  • For the second year in a row, Final Girl has been nominated for a "best blog/website" Splatcademy Award, courtesy of the kind folks over at Dead Lantern. Click here to vote. I'm honored to be listed alongside some of my biggest influences and cyberpals, such as Curt and Co over at Groovy Age of Horror and David Zuzelo of Tomb It May Concern.
  • This just in! I've consolidated my web-ness just a bit and I've just launched my eponymous website. That's where you'll now find my daily photo updates, Toosday Toons, all my art galleries, random bloggery and whatever- pretty much anything I'm doing / have done / will do that isn't Final Girl. Visit if you like, comment if you want. Just make sure you bring over a welcome basket. I like cookies.
  • Talking about tomorrow TODAY: check out my Horror Hacker column tomorrow at AMC to learn about Stars Before They Were Stars and the Horror Movies in Which You May Find Them. Check out Final Girl tomorrow for something or other.

Jan 19, 2009

the EYES have it (wakka, wakka)

Once upon a time, some friends of mine and I started another review blog for stuff that wasn't horror-related. Long story short, it didn't really go anywhere.

CUT TO: now! A cyberpal recently asked why I haven't yet to review Eyes of Laura Mars, and I though to myself, "Didn't I review that already? I think I did. Am I crazy? Am I imagining things? Things I've done, things I've seen? Was my stint as a cast member of The Golden Girls also merely a figment of my imagination? Where am I? Did I really buy this shirt? It's awful."

Then I remember that I had, in fact, reviewed Eyes of Laura Mars for that other now-defunct blog. In the interests of humanity and laziness, I'm re-posting it here. Rejoice!


The 1978 mystery thriller flick Eyes of Laura Mars has been on my list of "must see"s forever, and when I saw Laura's eerie glowing eyes looking at me from the shelf at my local library last night, I decided to make the leap from dreams to reality. Was the film worth the long long wait? Sure, I suppose. Why not?

Faye Dunaway stars as the titular Laura Mars, a glamourous and edgy photographer whose glamourous, edgy photographs are pushing the boundaries taste. Though they often depict murders and crime scenes, Laura's photographs are nevertheless used in cool, hip advertising, forcing the audience to confront everyday violence and the ways in which society celebrates heinous crimes. It's fuckin' deep, man...her photos really make you think, you know? It's art, baby. You probably don't get it.

Laura is soon haunted by fuzzy psychic visions of the brutal murders of her closest friends and associates. Because she's seeing the crimes through the eyes of the killer, she has no idea who the perp is...this means it could be anyone! Anyone at all! Maybe even...Laura herself. Again...deep.

Eyes of Laura Mars is firmly entrenched in its era: the decadent late 70s. The first giveaway that this is a 70s flick is the fact that it's got its own theme song: Love Theme from Eyes of Laura Mars (Prisoner), sung by none other than Barbra Streisand. That's right, this is no B- or C-level theme song by, you know, Kiki Dee or something. Laura Mars hauls out the big guns straight off. Man, every movie from the 70s had its own damn theme song. The only hold out on that trend are the James Bond flicks. I say we bring it back, dammit! I want to see Love Theme from The Hot Chick (Pillow Fights and Strange New Feelings) sung by Marilyn McCoo sprawled across the screen. Are you listening to me, Hollywood? I certainly hope you are.

Oh, honey, the stars in this movie are mega-watt! MEGA-WATT! Behind the scenes we've got a script and story by horror maestro John Carpenter and competent, confident direction from Irvin Kershner- the man in the director's chair for a little something called The Empire Strikes Back. On screen, first and foremost we've got Faye Dunaway. I love Faye Dunaway. I mean...Network! Bonnie and Clyde! Chinafuckingtown, y'all. Tinseltown simply does not produce the caliber of woman equal to your Faye Dunaways anymore. While Ms Dunaway's presence is certainly enough to get me to watch a movie, Eyes of Laura Mars also boasts Raul Julia as Laura's creepy ex-husband, Brad Dourif as Laura's creepy chauffeur, Rene Auberjonois as Laura's creepy manager, and Tommy Lee Jones as Laura's sometimes creepy new boyfriend. Yes, he's the least creepy man in Laura's life, he's the lead detective on the case, and he's fallen head over heels for Laura and she's the love of his life immediately. Can you see where this plot is going? Yes...yes you can. I tell you, the Eyes of Stacie Ponder figured this movie out pretty quickly, but it really doesn't matter. Thriller/mysteries are always enjoyable to watch unfold, and Laura Mars is no exception. Besides, one spends a majority of one's viewing time transfixed by Tommy Lee Jones's unibrow, anyway.

Aside from said unibrow, I found quite a few things about Eyes of Laura Mars amusing. First, there's Laura's photographs. While they're talked of as "reprehensible", "ultra violent", and "tasteless", they're really quite tame. In fact, most people probably wouldn't use "reprehensible" to describe a photo of two topless models pulling each other's hair. I certainly would, however, use that word to describe their crimped and frizzy hair.

I also immensely enjoyed the fact that Laura has a driver amd must be driven everywhere in New York rich! How positively glamourous! Eventually, the camera pulls back to reveal the vehicle in which Laura is chauffeured around the city:

It's a fucking battle wagon! Do we think that Sue Ellen Ewing is glamourous driving around Dallas in her battle wagon? No. Everyone else is driving Mercedeseseses and Corvettes and Porsches and we feel bad for Sue Ellen Ewing. Battle wagons are not sexy. Those are some sweet rims, though.

It's difficult for me to be objective about a thriller like Eyes of Laura Mars because I almost always love a thriller like Eyes of Laura Mars. Even if it's (or is that because it's...?) silly and over-the-top and I know whodunit about 5 seconds after they walk onscreen, it's always a good time. Look into my eyes!

Jan 16, 2009

Harry Warden is back, baby...

My review of My Bloody Valentine 3D is up over at AMC. Go read it!

Essentially, it comes down to this:
  • go see it
  • it's so much fun
  • gore
  • full frontal nudity
  • go see it
  • it's 3D
  • I super heart 3D
  • I loved it
  • go see it
  • Tom Atkins
  • go see it, it's so much fun
I didn't even get to the Little Person!

Jan 14, 2009

The World Series of Abominable

Today over at AMC, I pit the Yeti of Yeti against the Snowbeast of Snowbeast in a "Yo Mama" for the ages.


Alright, so it's more like "This one was made in the 70s and this one was made last year. I will now compare and contrast them in the hopes of elucidating, perhaps, which is the better film." Well, maybe a wee less dry than that, but still, there's not a "Yo mama" in sight. Thinking about it now, this seems like a missed opportunity, although I'm not exactly sure what a "Yo mama" contest between the Yeti and the Snowbeast would entail. Perhaps something about one's mama being so fat she needs to use an igloo for a tampon or something.

Anyway, go read it to find out who rules all of snowdom. Oh, and last week I wrote about Scream and the slasher renaissance, so there's that, too. Wow, it's your lucky day!

Jan 13, 2009

Film Club 2: The Rechoosening

When I started Final Girl once upon a Ye Olde Time, my niche was covering slasher movies. I slowly began writing about other subgenres because let's face it, there's only so much you can write about slasher films on a regular basis...and besides, I love horror in all shapes and sizes and flavors. I don't discriminate!

For the next Film Club MEGAEVENT, however, I'm takin' it back to my slasher roots. A positively DREAMY early-80s double bill, folks:

Friday the 13th, UNCUT.

My Bloody Valentine, UNCUT.

I've written about both films before, but these forthcoming special editions feature footage never before seen by my very eyes, so they're definitely worth revisiting. Friday the 13th is rumored to have a...err...whopping 34 seconds of lost footage added, but My Bloody Valentine promises to be a real treat with upwards of a (for reals) whopping nine minutes of additional footage- largely, all the gore and effects (in)famously excised by the MPAA. Fans (me) have been wanting to see this footage forever, and now all of our (my) dreams have come true. Alright, so not ALL of my dreams. My cat is still unable to scoot around the house like a fat furry hovercraft. I have faith, however, that someday technology will catch up to my deepest desires!

MBV hits this week! THIS WEEK! This very week in which we are living! F13 should be out on February 3rd. I have no idea what the Netflix deal may or may not be- you may, in fact, have to leave your house to seek out a copy when the time comes. Write about one movie, write about both- just make sure you're writing about the new editions. Whatever you choose, this is a primo opportunity to check out some of the finest slasher flicks from the genre's heyday. As President and Supreme Ruler of Final Girl, I simply can't pass them up!

The films: My Bloody Valentine (uncut) and Friday the 13th (uncut)
The due date: Monday, February 23