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!

Sep 30, 2009

a moment of not horror

I've really been looking forward to Where the Wild Things Are (maybe not nearly as much as Mr. New Plaid Pants), although the book wasn't a massive integral part of my childhood. I don't know why, it just...wasn't. Maybe I was too old when I discovered it, or maybe it simply didn't resonate with me; whatever the case, I certainly have always had an appreciation of it, particularly Maurice Sendak's wonderful art.

Because of my disassociation from it, I don't have that "You're raping my childhood!" feeling that perhaps some of you have regarding Spike Jonze's efforts, or, alternately, "I can't wait to see my most favoritest book ever come to life!". No, I simply think it looks beautiful, engaging, and that it might be- don't laugh- a bit of movie magic. I mean, surely you've seen the trailer by now if it doesn't affect you somehow, you're probably an evil robot and I may have to report you to Bruce Willis or Harrison Ford.

The nail in the coffin labeled "Okay, I really can't wait for this movie!" was hammered into place today when I found out that the Wild Things soundtrack is by none other than Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. It's streaming right here for your listening pleasure. I've officially got my anticipants on!

talkin' 'bout mah generation

There are a number of horror films that I watched when I was a very impressionable age, and they helped mold me into the fan I am. I list a bunch of them over at AMC read and weigh in what what made you YOU. Bad movies are just as valid as good ones!

Ah, my youth. Believe me, I love living in an age of instant access. A zillion channels on the TV, a DVR, DVD player, streaming movies, blah blah blah. I do miss the charm of something like Creature Double Feature, helped make movies that much more special. Movie Loft, the Sunday Movie at Noon, and the like were events to look forward to- and there weren't many other choices available, so you'd watch whatever flick came on. It was definitely an education. And really, how awesome is this?

If there was any mystery as to why I am the way I am, I'm sure that 30 seconds would solve it!

Sep 29, 2009

i swear, i know how to talk!

Part two of my interview on The Last Podcast is UP UP UP. So LISTEN LISTEN LISTEN if you WANT WA--ehhh...


scenes i love - the haunting

All this recent talk of Paranormal Activity has got me thinking about a movie I referenced in my review, The Haunting (1963). One of greatest haunted house movies ever made (if not THE greatest), it proves that what you hear but don't see can be more terrifying than any spectacle.

Sep 28, 2009

can you say holy crap??

Hey, remember a few weeks ago when I was all, "Yeah, so I'm inking this comic book and the penciler is this guy named Brent Schoonover and he's really a terrific artist!"? And remember how we all drooled over his Creature from the Black Lagoon illustration?

Yeah, well...feast your peepers on what arrived in my mailbox today.

Click! Make big! I'm still pinching myself over the gross beauty of this 11" x 14" inch amazingness. Go to his website, get some Brent art, and let's all pinch ourselves together! HOLY CRAP!

i know how to talk!

It's true, I do...and this interview I did with The Last Podcast proves it! It's rather cracked out, but it's fun...or at least, that's how I remember it. That's how I remember most things, though. Give it a listen! Part two will come along soon enough, so don't worry.

In other me news, I have an opinion! One of my most favoritest comic book artists, Becky Cloonan, posted this picture of Dracula's Bloofer Lady on her blog and lo, I's wicked way beyond bitchin'.

one two, Freddy's doing his thing...

SO? Did you watch the trailer for A Nightmare on Elm Street? Didja didja?

As you may know, I'm not a fan of Platinum Dunes' output thus far. The trailer for their take on Friday the 13th had me all pumped but the movie...not so much. By "not so much", of course, I mean I pretty much hated it. But lawd o lawd, this looks good! And so I will cast aside my dislike of the Dunes, I'll forget how F13 pooped on my heart, I'll stop reading about NoES, and I'll look forward to this one, so there. Cynicism be damned!

And they kept the iconic "glove between the legs" shot, so that's worth at least 10 nerd points, right?

Sep 25, 2009

awesome movie poster friday - the PUBLIC DOMAIN edition!

Man, there's some good horror out there in the public domain. Despite the fact that these films are available online for free or on DVD in your local dollar store for...umm...a dollar, most of them have gotten the deluxe super fancy-pants treatment as well, such as the Criterion Collection edition of Carnival of Souls. Yeah, free is awesome, but these films below are important pieces of cinema history, so don't skimp, ya cheapo!

There are really some wacked-out posters for Night of the Living Dead in the world. What's up with the German on featuring Jesus as a hairless werewolf? And the Italian poster that seems to credit the director as George A Kramer...?! Boy oh boy, I tell ya...something something something.

Paranormal Activity

The entire world, it seems, is touting Paranormal Activity as the scariest movie in the history of ever, a film so frightening that your eyeballs will defy the laws of science as they up and die from terror-induced heart attacks. There's so much effing hype surrounding this movie that over 4,000 people lined up for a free midnight screening in Los Angeles. Trailers and teasers don't need to show much beyond audience members jumping out of their skin.

Is it worth all the hype? Well, everyone's going to have a different opinion on that, which is why I detest "hype". Movies get talked about and talked about to a point of total saturation; then people actually see the movie and instead of simply enjoying a film for what it is, the criticism becomes about expectations not met. In other words, "Yes it was scary, but my eyeballs didn't have heart attacks as I thought they would and therefore this movie sucks and why do I ever listen to hype?" Sure, we've all experienced movies that turn out to be not quite as good as we'd hoped, but what I'm talking about goes beyond that. I'm talking about people who buy into the hype and walk into a theater with their arms crossed and a "Scariest ever? Then prove it." attitude. How could a movie ever please an audience like that?

So...don't believe the hype. Or rather, don't pay attention to the hype, and don't get your cynical on- after all, everyone's "scariest movie ever" is going to be different. The Exorcist still freaks my shit out beyond belief, but plenty of folks laugh it off. Meanwhile, someone out there, I'm sure, can't sleep at night after a viewing of Child's Play. Diff'rent strokes and all that, you dig?

I went into Paranormal Activity without having read any official reviews and without so much as watching the aforementioned trailers. I didn't want to know anything or see anything: I simply wanted to believe that this movie was going to be really effing scary. Waiting in line last night, my friends and I were bundles of energy, SO READY for this movie, hoping it would be well and truly terrifying.

It is.

Paranormal Activity is a throwback to films such as Robert Wise's The Haunting: it proves that noises and dark corners are all you really need to make a horror movie...well, horrifying. It's amazing what can be accomplished with a well-placed sound effect- your imagination fills in the blanks and the next thing you know, you're holding your breath.

I held my breath a lot during this film. I had goosebumps for minutes on end. I could feel my eyes open as wide as they'd go...then I reverted to my ridiculous childhood defense of squinting, my philosophy being if my eyes were already closed halfway, when something scary happened I could close them all the way much faster. Yes, my eyeballs had heart attacks.

When I got home in the wee hours of the morning, I was glad that my roommate was sleeping soundly not far away, because yes, I would have psyched myself out of sleep. Paranormal Activity plays upon your fear of things that go bump in the night, that feeling in your stomach when you're awakened in the dead of night by a creak in the living room. Watching it alone at night with the lights off seems to me an insurmountable task- even after I've seen it once.

That said, it's certainly not a perfect movie- the end may be a bit problematic for some (though, to be honest, I have no clue what would make a stellar conclusion to it), and there's not a lot to dig into when it's over. However, Paranormal Activity absolutely accomplishes what it sets out to do, which is to scare the shit out of you. Horror movies these days seem to forget that scaring the audience should be, you know, a goal...but not this movie. It's incredibly effective on a primal level and as a fan, I simply could not have been more happy. It was everything I wanted it to be, and I can't wait to see it again...but no, I won't watch it alone.

I don't know, am I feeding into the hype I'm asking you to ignore? Eh. It was really fucking scary, and that's that. If you'd like to judge for yourself, then go to the Paranormal Activity website and demand that it plays in your town, dammit. Small horror movies screening in theaters is always a good thing, right?

Sep 24, 2009


While I know you're a drooling fanboy/fangirl/fanthing for the So I Made A Movie series, it may not satisfy your itchy tasty cravings for some more practical low-to-no budget horror filmmaking. So...I Made A Column! At AMC! And it features Five Wee Rules for Making Your Own Backyard Horror Movie- sort of my mini version of Zen and the Art of DIY Horror, or some such. I'm not claiming to be an expert on anything, or even the person who bags the expert's groceries...but in the last year I've picked up the camera and pointed it at stuff many times, so I've learned a few things. Go and read it! Repost it! Then my editors at AMC will be all "Wow, Stacie, you're right- people are interested in this sort of column!" and I can write another one that contains more nuts and bolts advice, like how to make fake blood and stuff like that instead of counting down my top 5 favorite movies that feature people without hair or whatever. Do it for me! Better it for Briefcase Woman!

If you are a millionaire, take note: a limited number of tickets to the Reaper Awards are available to lucky fans for a mere $150 a pop! That doesn't get you into the cocktail party, but you get to watch the ceremony, all about horror on DVD. Some online and print genre journalists came up with a list of nominees, and now you can go vote to determine, say, the best Blu-Ray horror release.

In other awards ceremony news, I present to you the five nominees in the category Things I Would Get With $150 Instead:
  • 18 copies of Shark Attack 3: Megalodon to pass out on street corners
  • 340 postage stamps to use on 340 letters to Lifetime Movie Network, thus beginning my grassroots campaign advocating Final Girl as Lifetime Movie Network Programmer for a Day
  • 26 gallons of Raspberry Ice Crystal Light ('cause I believe in me!)
  • I could make a few short films for $150, no probs
And the winner is...I'll let you know as soon as I have $150 lying around!

Sep 19, 2009

of interest!

Boy oh boy, true believers, there's a lot of good horror stuff comin' down the pike. I say we all link pinks and spend the next couple of months gettin' our gorge on! Shocktober is so close I can smell it.

Wait, sorry...I think that's actually Wind Song by Prince Matchabelli.

Anyhoo, check out what's coming soon to a DVD near you! October 13th is gonna be a bank buster of a day.

Hardware (10/13)

This 1990 sci fi/horror cult classic (killer droid...'nuff said) is finally getting released in an unrated cut. Notice how every caca horror movie is "unrated" when the DVD hits, and it usually doesn't mean squat? Well, that's not the case with Hardware; those pesky Miramax folk chopped an X-rated flick up, but now it's restored to director Richard Stanley's totally cyber vision. Watch a preview right here.

Phantasm II (available now!)

Long out of print and hard to find...but no more! The Tall Man returns, wielding deadly flying silver balls in his quest to build a dwarf army that will do his bidding in a red-hued negative zone.

Wow, it sounds really dumb when I say it like that. We all know, however, that Phantasm rules! I've never seen this follow-up (or any of the sequels, for that matter). I'm psyched.

Happy Birthday to Me (10/13)

Ah, a decent edition of this decent 1981 slasher flick...most importantly, the original score has been restored- as has the cover art. Thanks, Anchor Bay! This one's worth a re-visit, I think.

The Stepfather (10/13)

Thanks to the TV show Lost, people everywhere are going all goo goo over Terry O'Quinn- we horror fans, however, say "Pfft!" to that. We knew he was awesome all the way back in 1987, when he got his psycho on in The Stepfather. Now that the film is finally going to be available on DVD, we can all feel even more superior when people are like, "Wow, have you seen The Stepfather? That dude from Lost is in it and he was acting all kill-y and ca-razy!", and we can be all, "Duh, old news. Now let's talk abut Jill Schoelen!"

Night of the Creeps (10/27)

Yup, I just talked about the shitty cover art on the DVD and Blu-Ray editions of this cult classic, but really, they're beside the point. The point is, Night of the Creeps is finally going to be out there! FINALLY! Tom Atkins! Yearrrrgh!

The House on Sorority Row (11/24)

Another one I've talked about recently, but it's worth noting again. I haven't watched this one since I reviewed it...lawd lawd, it's been years now! I can't wait to dig in. I know there are plenty of folks whose fancies aren't quite tickled by The House on Sorority Row, but I think it's a little gem. So there.

Look for reviews of these films- the one's I've yet to review here, anyway- in the coming weeks. It's a good time to be a horror fan!

Hey, remember that time I put my hat out for donations so I could complete filming Ludlow? Well, if you donated as a means to starting your career as a movie mogul (in addition to helping me out, of course), then I've got good news for you! Charred Oak Films is looking for backers for their comedy-horror short Always A Bridesmaid, and you- yes, you- can be a backer. Head over HERE to watch their pitch and learn how you can help make dreams become a reality.

And no, it has nothing to do with my trailer/short/whatever Deadly Dress 4: Never A Bride- I know you were dying to ask! me me me I'm sure their effort will be at least 66% less...well, less retarded.