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!

May 28, 2010

awesome movie poster friday - the TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE edition!

As promised last week! Massacre of the Texas Chain Saw variety! Or of the Texas Chainsaw variety, depending on how nerdy you want to get.

The Media Home Entertainment advert may not belong necessarily, but it's too cool not to include. *cue theme from All in the Family*

May 27, 2010

take action!

Here's an easy way to help out an indie filmmaker: if enough people 'save' Lis Fies's The Commune to their Netflix queues, then Netflix will license and carry the film. The exposure that Netflix can provide is invaluable to people making movies on their own terms- all you have to do to help is click here to save the film! Well, that's what Netflix users can do. Non-Netflixers, I suppose, could just get a copy of the film if they wanted to help. Either way you'll end up doing a good thing and watching a good movie to boot. What you do, however, is your business! I'm not here to be bossy (right now).

I've got a review of this movie coming, when I'd end up linking to all this stuff anyway. Save us all some time and click now!

I done talked...

...a whole bunch with Shauna MacDonald of The Descent and The Descent 2. Now you- yes, you!- can read that interview right here at Pretty/Scary.

Now that I've interviewed her and Alex Reid, I've talked with my two favorite cavers from one of my favorite horror films. What else is left?

Ah, this Diet Coke!

Happy 88th, Christopher Lee.

Glad to see you avoided wagon wheels and icy rivers for another year!

May 26, 2010

news you can possibly use

Wednesday is upon us, my friends, and that means this evening will be ripe with The Scare-ening! Tune in at 8pm PST / 11pm EST as Heidi and I talk zombies, zombies, and more zombies. It's going to be a total zombie power hour, so bring your game face! I'm not sure what I mean by "game face", exactly, but let's say it means "You should listen and perhaps think about calling in."


Now then...a choice.

A wild Film Club appears!

Final Girl chooses It's Alive!

It's super effective!

Yes indeed, for the next go-round of the Film Club I say we watch It's Alive- mind you, I'm talking about Larry Cohen's 1974 film, not the recent remake. Don't write about the remake on Film Club day unless you want everyone to laugh at you! Oh, how they will laugh. It'll be like Carrie White at the prom all over again! Except probably without the telekinetic destruction. Probably.

Well, I mean, you can write about the remake if you want- even on Film Club day. I'm not trying to run your life here...I just want you to feel like you belong on Monday, June 28th when we're all talking about the original. That's because I care.

Anyway, It's Alive is available on Netflix- even streaming, so you have no excuses! Man, I wanted to make a Donna Rice joke there, but then it seemed a little dated, even for me.

On to other things: The Large Association of Movie Blogs has just released the list of nominees for the 2010 Lammy Awards and Final Girl is nominated for a few of 'em: Best Random LAMB Banner, Best Horror/Sci Fi Blog, and Funniest Writer. I think voting is only open to LAMB members, but to see a complete list of awards & nominees (and to vote) click here. Thanks to whoever nominated me, good luck to everyone involved, and that's all I'm going to say about the Lammys. Hooray!

May 25, 2010

Film Club: City of the Living Dead

As I think back on Lucio Fulci's City of the Living Dead (aka The Gates of Hell), I wonder at my own weird prejudices- like, why am I so quick to give Italian horror films a break? Whenever a plot is thinner than wafer-thin, or nothing really makes sense, I just shrug and give it a "Yeah, but it's Italian so it it's okay!" Hmm. Maybe I should clarify: I give a pass to directors like Fulci and Dario Argento. Sometimes their films have no logic to them whatsoever, but even so they're evocative. I'm willing to go hungry on the story if I get all full on feelings and frights, you know?

City of the Living Dead is a prime example of this. Here's what happens, as best as I could figure: Father Thomas hangs himself in a cemetery in Dunwich, which was built on ground that was originally part of Salem. His suicide opens the gates of Hell. A psychic (Catriona MacColl) realizes that stuff is hinky, and she knows that the gates must be closed by All Saints' Day (which is totally coming up soon!) or the dead will walk the Earth. She enlists the aid of a reporter (Christopher George) and together they seek to destroy the body of Father Thomas. They don't manage to do it in time, but it kind of doesn't matter. Or does it?

That "or does it?" comes courtesy of that ending which...was vague and weird and made no sense and felt like it happened spontaneously in the editing bay.

I don't know, I guess if my interpretation is right then it's not that nonsensical. But as the film was passing in front of my eyeballs, it seemed incredibly disjointed- characters come and go and get their brains ripped out and I never felt like I knew who was who...nor did I much care.

But see? I was okay with that because there was so much weirdness going on. Who needs character development when you've got drills going through faces (so gross) and rooms full of maggots (SO GROSS) and people puking up their insides (SO GROSS)? I'm torn regarding my allowances with City of the Living Dead: is it okay to cut it this much slack?

I'm not giving it a total pass, mind you. It was entertaining (and so fucking GROSS), but it's no The Beyond- aside from the TOTAL GROSSNESS of it (have I mentioned how gross it is?), I don't think it'll resonate in my brain for all that long.

It was certainly creepy, though, but that may simply be my weird weakness to Italian flicks (especially the zombie variety) coming into play. There's something about them that makes me incredibly uncomfortable and puts me in a permanent willies-state. I can't really explain it- it's a combination of the music and the dubbing and the anything can happen-ness and the graphic, unrelenting violence and the way characters in Italian horror films seem to simply stare at the oncoming threat until it attacks them...all of it automatically induces goosebumps. I had them before the credits of City of the Living Dead stopped rolling. As I said, though, that's probably just my weird neurosis- your mileage may vary.

I think I'll continue to feel torn about City until...I don't know, until I stop thinking about it, I guess (profound, I know). It did make me nostalgic for the good ol' zombie days, though- where the gates of Hell opening and unleashing walking corpses upon the Earth is kind of a big fucking deal; in this day of virus-riddled notzombies and no one ever rising out of the ground anymore, the undead have lost their otherness. Their otherness and their GD scariness. Too many satirical takes on the genre have sort of neutered them, made them essentially just like us, but stinkier- you know, what if zombies had jobs? What if we used them as laborers? Meh. Give me the rotting, shambling (and TELEPORTING!) variety any day. As torn as I remain, I'll take City of the Living Dead over Day of the Dead 2. I know, that's a big NO EFFING DUH.

Film Club Coolies, y'all!
Nilbog Milk
The Vault of Horror
Less Than 3 Film
Cinema Suicide
Things That Don't Suck
The Hougly Film and Beer Journal
In One Ear...
From Midnight, With Love
emma blackwood
Hugo Stiglitz Makes Movies
The House of Sparrows
Mondo Bizarro
Aphorisms and Ectoplasm (it's gif-a-riffic!!)
Fear on Friday (first timer!)
Moon in the Gutter
Pussy Goes Grrr

May 24, 2010

film club postponed! world outraged!

It's true, friendos- I won't be able to post my thang about City of the Living Dead / The Gates of Hell until sometime tomorrow That sucks. What doesn't suck is that it gives the world more time to participate! And more world participating = more good.

If you're into making the world a better place, then send your Fulcitastic links to stacieponder (at) gmail dot com.

May 22, 2010

If you feel like clicking something...

...then why don't you click the big green VOTE button at this link and vote for my friend Bridget? She's entered an audition video in the hopes of winning her own show on Oprah's new network. And yes, I mean Oprah Winfrey, not Oprah Goldblum.

Voting is super easy; you don't have to sign up for anything or create a profile- you just have to click. You can click as many times as you want! Not only is it good karma, but you Final Girl regulars can pay her back for the enjoyment you got watching Bridget in many episodes of Ghostella's Haunted Tomb as well as the trailer for Deadly Dress 4: Never a Bride. If you didn't get enjoyment out of those experiences, well, that's probably my fault, not hers. So click a few times, won't ya? Who can turn down this face? She oughta be on the teevee!

May 21, 2010

don't forget!

This weekend you must get you zombie grossness on with Lucio Fulci's City of the Living Dead...or The Gates of Hell...or whatever you want to call it for Monday's Film Club roundup!

Email me a link to your review at stacieponder (at) gmail (dot) (c)(o)(m)()(). Remember, you have to link to Final Girl somewhere in your piece or I will cry. Also, you'll be disqualified.

Watch! Enjoy! Don't enjoy! Participate! YES!

awesome movie poster friday - the MASSACRE edition!

As fans are well aware, "massacre" is one of the most overused words in the horror title pantheon. It conjures up such horrendous images in the mind that slapping it on a movie poster or box guarantees titillation and, at least, a rental. Unfortunately, fans are also well aware that only one or two "massacre" movies actually live up to the promise of the word.

Now, you may be thinking "Umm, where's the Texas Chainsaw variety? Moron!". To this I say "Patience, my pets. Next week. Surely the film deserves its own AMPF edition, yes?"

You may not know: many films feature "massacre" in their alternate titles. Por ejemplo, Strange Behavior is also known as Small Town Massacre; The Nesting is also known as Massacre Mansion, and The Final Terror is also known as Campsite Massacre. Dazzle your friends with useless knowledge!

Yes, I realize that Nail Gun Massacre is actually a VHS box, but it's not as if the film ever saw a theatrical release. I've been thinking about NGM a lot lately, and I've been struck by the urge to watch it again- if I indulge, it will surely be my undoing.

In other news, I desperately want to see Meat Cleaver Massacre. A killer with tiny heads on his fingertips? Sign me up!

lame in a negligée

Though I try my best to maintain a positive outlook when it comes to horror movies, I have to say that I wasn't terribly excited for Life Blood (aka Pearblossom, aka Murder World, 2009). Mind you, I say this despite the fact that it's a movie about lesbian vampires. I know, right?! It's like not getting excited about a pizza that's on its way to your mouth, or the finale of Season 2 of Dallas, wherein Sue Ellen bribes a nurse to get some booze, escapes the sanitarium, drives drunk, and crashes her car, endangering her life and the life of her unborn child which may or may not be J.R.'s. In other words, it's blasphemy.

But! Excited I was not. I don't know, there's something about modern lesbian vampire movies that makes them so...modern. It's just me being the cranky old woman who frightens the neighborhood children to the point where they dare each other to run up to her door and knock, but I tend to like my lesbian vampires vintage style: all Hammered out, if you will. I mean Hammer of the production company variety, not the MC variety...but I'm sure you knew that. Anyway, what I mean is, I like the gothic and the flounce and the castles and yes, the blood. As "scandalous" as lesbian vampires are, you see, they're erotic- and I think that's what's missing from the modern incarnations. The modern incarnations I've seen, anyway. But then, I'm old and cranky.

WHAT AM I TALKING ABOUT? I don't even know anymore. Something about Life Blood...hmm.

It's New Year's Eve, 1968. Total lesbians Rhea and Brooke (Anya Lahiri and Sophie Monk) leave a party after Brooke kind of sort of stabs a guy in the neck 87 times. See, he was probably going to rape this girl (Scout Taylor-Compton) and when Brooke walked in, he got all mouthy. She had no choice!

As they drive off into the Joshua Tree-dotted desert, Brooke continues her death rampage by accidentally running over a possum. Rhea demands she pull over because she totally can't take anymore killing- not tonight! Not on New Year's! Brooke complies and after they get out of the car, a CGI black hole appears in the night sky. The CGI black hole turns into a CGI dust storm. Out of the dust storm walks a woman wearing naught but a sheer negligée.

This woman, apparently, is God.

God makes out with Rhea and informs her that she created the Great Flood way back when because she was so angry at mankind's evil ways...well, it wasn't enough! Mankind is still evil, so God has chosen this pure and innocent lesbian to be reborn as a vampire who will then rid the world of evil and even though Brooke is neither pure nor innocent (what, with the murder and all) she can become a vampire too and I can't believe I'm typing all this and that it's actually the premise of the film and why the eff would God create VAMPIRES to do her dirty work when it's such an inefficient method gdufduf;asodfiycoiyhhhhhhhhhhhh

So, Rhea and Brooke somehow end up buried out in the desert. They're birthed out of the dirt 40 years later, wearing naught but negligées and lip gloss.

Then, I swear to Charles Nelson Reilly, they hole up in a gas station called "Murder World" (seems a likely business name) for 75 minutes. Brooke loves killing and bites a few people, Rhea insists that they use their powers for the good that God intended, they fight, and I wonder why I'm wasting my time on a movie that doesn't fucking GO ANYWHERE. Not even a bit part by Charles effin' Napier was enough to save Life Blood from the horrible, horrible, kill it with fire pile.

I feel your pain, Scout Taylor-Compton

It just...none of it made sense. Maybe...maybe...MAYBE there's an interesting kernel of plot or premise in there somewhere, the whole "God's Avengers" angle or the "God's Avenger gone bad" angle. I'll be generous enough to say that, but for fuck's sake if that kernel was, in fact, present, then it was completely wasted. There are countless scenes that are completely many that the entire affair ends up feeling unnecessary. The movie is a (CGI) total black hole, sucking in your time and energy...and unfortunately, when it's over no negligée-wearing God-broad is going to emerge from that black hole to make out with you. You'll be left shaking your head at the most anti-climactic climax in the history of forever and ever and if you're me, you'll be wondering why you didn't just watch Vampyres again instead of this crappy crap.

Is there anything in the world more disappointing than a bad lesbian vampire movie? They should make your life full of joy and light, like the laughter of a baby. By the time Brooke snarls "I am Murder World!" you'll think you'll never know what it is to feel joy or light or laughter again. Stay away! You'd be better off burying yourself in the desert for 40 years, even if a lip gloss-tastic reemergence isn't guaranteed.

May 19, 2010

why don't you...

...put your ear holes to use and listen to The Scare-ening? It goes on the air- LIVE AND EDGY AND TOTALLY...EDGY- in half an hour! It's a proven scientific fact that people who listen to The Scare-ening are at least 17% more attractive than people who do not*. I mean, you can ignore that if you want, but it's also a proven scientific fact that people who ignore proven scientific facts are jerks**.

*not true


Friday the 13th Victim of the Week: Banana Girl

Okay, fine- so the character is officially listed as "Hitchhiker" in the credits, but come on. We all know her as...

Banana Girl (Bonnie Hellman) waits patiently by the side of the road for a ride to Canada. And love. Or both.

A car full of Teens to be Killed at Crystal Lake passes her by (there's no room for Banana Girl in the car), but not before shouting some insults out the window. This always reminds me of that old adage, "Teenagers are such assholes!". Banana Girl comes prepared for such slights however.

After her rejection, Banana Girl sits atop her pile of stuff and lives up to her name by, you know, eating a banana. Then along comes Jason, however, and messes up a perfectly serene moment by grabbing her with a bloody hand and ramming a knife through her throat. Poor Banana Girl.

Of course, her death brings to mind another old adage: "Somehow, banana drool is way grosser than a the blood gush that results when a knife is plunged through someone's trachea."

So many questions arise during this sequence! For example: Who is Banana Girl, and why is she going to Canada (or Love)? She sure has a lot of stuff with her, so she must be planning to stay for a while. Also: Did Jason eat the banana that Banana Girl drops? He's probably hungry, so he'd might as well take advantage. And: What does Jason do with her body and stuff? Does he take it all back to his lean-to? For that matter, does Jason still have his lean-to, last seen in Part 2? Oh, Friday the 13th Part IV, you make my brain work.

And as for you, Banana Girl- R.I.P.. Though you never said a word, you will live on in our hearts and minds forever and ever!

a question that has plagued horrordom...

Who the frig paid for this?

In related news, that's the worst excuse for a graveyard I've ever seen.

May 14, 2010

awesome movie poster friday - the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET edition PART TWO!

With Pac-Man Nightmare on Elm Street fever sweeping the globe, I figured it would be a swell time for a little Awesome Movie Poster Friday love for everyone's favorite child murderer.
  • Did you listen to this week's episode of The Scare-ening? Heather Langenkamp was a guest. She was Nancy in A Nightmare on Elm Street. NANCY WAS ON OUR SHOW. It was pretty good, if I may be so bold.
  • Part One of the NoES AMPF is here. Freddy vs Jason posters are here.
  • I love the Dream Warriors.
  • I wonder if somebody actually won the contest advertised below and got to be in Part 4.
  • I like the Platinum Dunes/remake posters. There, I said it.