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 29, 2010

What a wonderful day... go see The Exorcist! Well, tomorrow, I mean. DUDES. Are you going to see The Exorcist extended director's cut in theaters tomorrow? One day only! New behind-the-scenes footage! IT'S THE EXORCIST AND IT'S PLAYING IN THEATERS FOR ONE DAY. I find this very exciting, and therefore I am going. Man, classic horror on the big screen- so effing cool I can barely take it. Click here to find out where it's playing near you and then go. If I go and you go, it will be sort of like we're going together even though we're not. Won't that be neat? Yes. Yes, it will. Righteous. See you there! (not really) (but sort of) (okay, not really)

Sep 28, 2010

A thing you can read!

So the fine folks at AfterEllen asked if I wanted to start a monthly column about women and/in/about horror. I said, "Why yes, that sounds like a delight." The column is called "Take Back the Knife" and the first one is up and running right now, woo! It's all about the making of In Satan's Closet, which I hope you've watched already. If not, what are you waiting for? Git over there and watch! Or watch it here at FG! Or whatever!

I wish I could take credit for coming up with the name "Take Back the Knife", but I can't (hat tip to my friend Dara for that one). I just don't have that sort of clever-pun-riddled brain. Like, if I opened a hair salon I wouldn't call it, you know, SHEAR MAGIC or something. I'd probably call it HAIR CUTS.

Also, I posted up the third episode of Space Girls. You should watch that, too. I mean, if you want to. No pressure or anything.

Sep 24, 2010

The Final Frame

This is the final frame from...

People, get votin'!

A reminder so you remember: Sunday is the last day to get your Top 20 horror movies list to me, so if you haven't done it yet, click this to read the skinny and then DO IT! September is almost out the door, and you know what that means. Ohhhh yeah! The month of all the months arrives in full force...although I think October is slowly edging September out of the picture all together, which is fine by me. I would love an 8-week October.

There are "candles of DOOM" for sale at my grocery store. Siiiiigh...oh Halloween, you're so dreamy.

Now go VOTE while I go figure out what to do with all your responses. Don't worry! This is is how I feel about the whole list thing in my heart and loins.

Sep 23, 2010

Hey, so...

...what are you doing the weekend of October 15-17? If you live in Los Angeles or perhaps feel like traveling to Los Angeles, then you should hit Creation Entertainment's Weekend of Horrors in Burbank. Why? Well, because the lineup is pretty durn sweet: Bruce Campbell, Clive Barker, Jeffrey Combs, Adrienne King, Joe Bob Briggs...guys, the dude who played "Madman" Marz is gonna be there! You should show up in your TP belt buckle. I know you have one, so don't be frontin'. He'll be impressed!

Because I care, I'd love to make it easier for you to attend by giving away a pair of tickets to two- yes, TWO- wicked lucky winners. All you need to do is send an email to stacieponder (at) gmail (dot) (c)(o)(m) with WOH in the subject line, and cross your fingers. I'll draw the winners' names randomly, so no ass-kissing or promises of bribery are required (THIS TIME). Email me by...oh, October 9th to enter. Hooray! Stuff to do!

Sep 22, 2010

A thing you can watch!

Sorry, friendos,that I've been MIA for a few days. I was thinking of you the whole time, I swear! Also, I was making a trailer for a little something called In Satan's Closet. You can watch it...umm, well right here.

I packed this one with more people than ever I've packed a thing before. Shannon Lark, Heidi Martinuzzi, Lena Headey, Nicole Pacent, Thomas Dekker, Amanda Deibert, Jade & Nikita Ramsey, Brea Grant, Stacey Storey, Pete Loughran, Anthony Fitzgerald, Blue, Hot's like Battle of the Network Stars or something. Hooray! Here are some stills you can print out and tape to your bedroom walls. Then pull up your pants and get ready for IN SATAN'S CLOSET!

Sep 17, 2010

awesome movie poster friday - the EDWIGE FENECH edition!

Friends, yesterday I was faced with a dilemma that most every horror fan is faced with at one time or another. It went something like this: like most every horror fan, I love Edwige Fenech. Yet, I have never seen The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh (aka Blade of the Ripper). Lo and behold, I came across a VHS copy of the USA release of the film, under the title Next Victim. Now, I know that edition has about 15 minutes cut out of it (stupid America), but the wondrous DVD release is out of print and selling for approximately ONE MILLION DOLLARS. Okay, maybe $70. But still, even I won't pay that much for a DVD. So. Do I pick up the VHS? Well, it was only two bucks, so yes, I picked it up. Now, however, I debate if it's worth watching. I suppose it is, but the entire time I'll wonder what I'm missing.

So there's my dilemma, which I guess isn't really a dilemma and honestly, I'm not sure why I shared it at all beyond, you know, how sharing is nice and the such. It does tell you what caused me to do the FENECH edition of AMPF, though, so I guess my lame story was worth something after all!

Wow, I either need a lot more coffee or a lot less.

PS - No, I didn't include Hostel II because looking at the posters for it, they just didn't seem like it would fit in with all of these beauts. New vs old, everything was better back then, blah blah blah.

The Final Frame

This is the final frame from...

Sep 16, 2010

What, no ILLBLEED?

Via Kotaku, here's a big-n-handy chart listing a whole messa scary, horror, and mindfuck video games across multiple platforms.

Sure, it's horribly (HORRIBLY I SAY) out of date- last updated June 2009- but it's still a terrific resource for those of us who dig it when horror and video games hang out together.

I've played most everything on there that's not a PC title, although I'm still a bit desperate to get my mitts on a copy of Rule of Rose.

How many have you played? What's your favorite title on there? Aren't video games the best?

Sep 15, 2010

wednesday comix: AMERICAN VAMPIRE vol. 1

When American Vampire showed up at my door and asked to come in, I reluctantly opened the door. Effing vampires are everywhere these days, you know? They're on the got-danged see-doubleyuh! All those moony-eyed Twilight types stare out at me from bedsheets and towels in Target's domestics department! I considered myself officially vampired-out, but this is comics, a medium around which I manage very little self-control. I figured I'd give American Vampire a chance since it arrived all bedecked in a hardcover and all co-written by Stephen King. Yes- in the interests of Final Girl I cracked it open...

...and man oh man did I fall for it in Necco Conversation Heart-"American Vampire, can I hold your hand?"-style. I guess that's what happens when I encounter a horror comic book with gorgeous art, terrific dialogue, tons of blood, and vampires that are monstrous. That last, you see, is the key that sets American Vampire apart from most every other bloodsucker who's sparkling around town these days. The book, published by Vertigo, is vicious and violent. In his introduction to this edition (which collects Cycle 1, the first 5 issues of the ongoing series), Stephen King says:'s all about giving back the teeth that the current "sweetie-vamp" craze has, by and large, stolen from the bloodsuckers. It's about making them scary again.
King and Scott Snyder, the writer behind the series' concept, succeed in giving vampires...well, by giving them their bite back.

Wow, that's bad. Sorry.

There are two storylines at work in the book. One, written by Snyder, is the tale of Pearl Jones, a hardworking wannabe starlet scraping by in 1920s Los Angeles. King relates the origin of Skinner Sweet, a mean ol' outlaw turned vampire- America's first- in 1880. As the two stories intertwine, blood and bullets fly. It's European ideals versus the western frontier as somehow Snyder and King manage to give a fresh take on the vampire mythos. Most importantly, however, the two have created characters you want to learn about, characters you invest in and root for and root against. I kind of fell in love with everybody, and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.

I can't say enough good things about Rafael Albuquerque's art, either- I wanted to eat this book. From the crispness of Pearl's story to the lush washes of Skinner's, Albuquerque and coloist Dave McCaig have created a harsh, rugged world inhabited by distinctive characters.

The next cycle of American Vampire heads to Las Vegas in the 1930s, and there's more to come after that. I thought I was completely tired of the genre, but this book seriously bowled me over and I honestly can't wait for the next. For me, this is definitely a "hit the comic shop on Wednesday" series. Fans of horror, fans of bloodsuckers, fans of comics, fans of King- there's a lot to love here.

The bee-you-teous collected edition features all 5 issues of the first cycle as well as a cover gallery (including variants by the likes of Jim Lee and Paul Pope), a foreword by Stephen King and an afterword by Scott Snyder. Super wicked highly recommended, the hardcover hits comic stores on September 29th and bookstores everywhere on October 5th. Yeah comics!

Sep 14, 2010

This is not a review.

Now, y'all know I love my movie multi-packs. In fact, "multi-pack movies" is one of the categories in Operation: 101010. Quite frankly I'm not sure I hope to fulfill all the categories in the remaining time of the year, but I'm still trying. As such, I figured I'd add another review to the list today by watching A Bell from Hell (La campana del infierno, 1973). "Ooh, Euro-horror," thought I. "I like that. And the synopsis on the cardboard sleeve! I do so love movies where people try to drive other people insane in order to procure their's such a deliciously Scooby-Doo notion. Oh, and it stars Maribel Martin? How surprising! Why, after seeing The Blood Spattered Bride, I'd watch her in anything. And it also stars Viveca "dotty old Aunt Bedelia" Lindfors? Verily, this Bell from Hell should be a delight."

A DELIGHT IT WAS NOT...but it's not really the movie's fault, I discovered quickly enough- it's the cruddy 50-pack quality of the transfer. Sometimes you can live with it, and sometimes you simply should not. Remember how I said as much when I recently reviewed Messiah of Evil, how you'd be cheating yourself if you watched the Mill Creek cheapo version and not the special edition? Well, I'm going to take my own advice with A Bell from Hell. Yeah, I watched the whole thing. But the audio was so damn awful- I mean truly, truly, truly outrageous awful that I could barely tell what was going on. Huge chunks of dialogue were simply lost to me because it sounded like the cast of characters consisted solely of Charlie Brown's teachers.

The picture quality was equally awful, but I'll get to that.

Basically, I got enough of the gist of things to know that the film had to be better than what I was watching. I wondered if there was a better version out there somewhere- and guess what? There is! Take a gander at these comparisons between the "Chilling Classic" version I watched and Pathfinder's Special Edition:

There are COLORS! I had no idea. And this isn't the worst of it; there were certainly plenty of times I couldn't tell what the hell was going on at all.

So, I'm going to pretend I've never seen A Bell from Hell at all. I'm fixin' to seek out the Special Edition so I can give both the movie and my eyeballs the treatment they deserve. The multi-packs are sneaky, you see, and cheaper isn't always better. They've got good films- really good films- mixed in with the utter crap. I know enough to stay away from the obligatory Argento films, to wait to see those the way they're meant to be seen. But A Bell from Hell...I didn't know, I swear! A real review, then, will have to will we. Nyah.

Sep 13, 2010

Friday the 13th Victim of the Week: Ethel Hubbard

Does Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning get a bad rap when it's called a terrible movie?

Of course not. It's a terrible movie, with a terribleosity that's deeper than a simple...well, terribleness. See, fans didn't like it when, at the film's end, the face beneath the infamous hockey mask reveals that the killer is Roy the paramedic and not Jason the Voorhees. It doesn't feel like a neat twist on the series, although Jason purportedly dies in The Final Chapter and this is purportedly A New Beginning so the imposter angle sort of makes sense. That's beside the point. Dagummit, Jason is Jason and that is that!

However, I'm not here to argue the plot or the Roy or the anything except the Friday the 13th Victim of the Week (and yes I use the word "week"...umm...loosely), and that victim is...

Ethel Hubbard (F13 V: A New Beginning)

Dudes, I don't know what happened to me. I fully intended to have the amazing Violet (who I've mentioned before) as the VotW...but then Farmer Ethel (Carol Locatell) came on the screen and I lost all control. ALL CONTROL I SAY. I've always pretty much hated Ethel and her loudmouthed son Junior. In fact, I've always pretty much hated this movie, with the exception of Violet and her hair and her dance moves...but today, something changed. Something changed within me, friends, and I don't know if I'll ever go back. Suddenly- oh so suddenly- my hate turned to love! Suddenly I found Ethel to be hilarious and amazing, and a fondness for all of Friday the 13th Part V bloomed within my heart like...I don't know, a flower or some shit. Junior still sucks, but Ethel is where it's at, baby!

She comes blasting into our lives on the back of a dirt bike; it seems a couple of "perverts" from the "loony bin" were humping in her yard, so she gives the sheriff and the whole loony bin a piece of her mind. She threatens to blow their heads off with a shotgun, and she claims to have a bomb on her.

While I don't condone the violence, Ethel kind of has a point. If troubled teens repeatedly humped in your yard, wouldn't you do something about it? I would. And, like Ethel's, my something would probably include this:

Ethel goes on with her miserable existence, holed up in her filthy farmhouse with her awful son. Their one bright spot seems to be her fabulous stew, although she occasionally spits in it. Hey, maybe they're into that. Who am I to judge?

I think she really won my heart when she called her son a "big dildo". I swear, she's like a little Adrienne Barbeau-as-dirt farmer! No wonder I'm under Ethel's spell. I could make a list of cinematic women who use inappropriate language with authority and it would be a list of characters who tickle me to no end. I don't know why it took me so long to add Farmer Ethel to that list, but she's there now and that's all that matters.

In one of the loudest and most obnoxious scenes in the film, Ja--err...Roy puts an end to Junior's big mouth and Ethel meets her end while cooking another batch of her famous stew- oh, if only we could all die while doing something that we love!

Mind you, if this was Part One, that cleaver would have been buried in Ethel's forehead- not simply implied to be such as she plops face-down amongst the vegetables. Still, it's nice to see that the time-honored Friday the 13th tradition of people squeezing produce as they die is being upheld here (see also: Banana Girl).

Oh Ethel. I'm sorry I've neglected your greatness these long years. I've finally rectified that, though, by naming you Victim of the Week!

Yes, it's truly a subtle performance.