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!

Feb 27, 2012

Poor Annie

Do you remember a million years ago when I wrote a piece about Friday the 13th's unfortunate hitchhiker, Annie? This piece? Piece? No? I didn't think so. Well, read it! And then read this piece about Annie over at the Rue Morgue blog! It's by Annie aficionado Nicholas Kaufmann, and it features some words by yours truly (that's me). PIECE!

mere moments before her death, Annie celebrates feeling zestfully clean

Feb 24, 2012

awesome movie poster friday - the LINA ROMAY edition!

Most folks I know have been buzzing about the recent, terrible, and untimely loss of cult icon Lina Romay- actress, muse, and partner to the prolific Jess Franco. You won't find a better obit than this one by Tim Lucas , so give it a peep. I don't know exactly if an Awesome Movie Poster Friday is any kind of appropriate tribute to this lovely woman, but...

There are more posters from her films at the AMPF Jess Franco Edition from a couple of years back.

She was truly one of a kind, fearless and beautiful...and so captivating that even folks who can't stand Jess Franco movies would watch 'em just to watch Lina Romay. Rest in Peace.

You may have noticed...

...I just installed an ad box up there, under my header. I've never done advertising on Final Girl before, though I've had lots of offers- all blogs get 'em. It never felt right to me; the offers were from, like, office furniture suppliers and the such- stuff that simply wouldn't fit in 'round these parts.

I've seen Project Wonderful ads on a zillion sites, though, and what I like about it is that it's advertising by creators- folks who want to drive some traffic to their sites, their webcomics, their whatevers at reasonable cost. I can get on board with that notion, and hey- times be tight! If Final Girl can bring in enough to keep Briefcase Woman flush with briefcases, then I've gotta do what I've gotta do. It's a pretty prime chink of real estate as far as these things go, front and center, so I hope nothing comes up that hurts our precious eyeballs too much. And if it sucks super bad, I'll zap it!

Or hey, maybe no one will ever bid on ad space here ever, and we can all share a good laugh.

Thanks for understanding, you guys are the best!


So pal-o-Final Girl Richard Harland Smith has seen fit to interview me for TCM's Movie Morlocks. It was super fun. Good stuff. A good interview, if you will. Good and so crammed with words that one post was not enough to hold it- it has been unleashed in two parts, and they are both waiting for your eyes to join them. Hooray for everything!
Oh, and I should mention here that what! Final Girl has been nominated for BEST BLOG in the 10th annual Rondo Hatton Awards. Here is the ballot- she's an unwieldy thing, but BEST BLOG is category 18, and you'll see that I'm in some superlative company. I'm psyched to be nominated, 'tis indeed an honor most...honorful.

Before I lose that lovin' feelin'...look at this! I want to lie down in a room full of these forever.

Feb 23, 2012

Film Club: Hell Night

I wrote a review of Hell Night many a moon ago (2006! what the heck!), so, you know. That's pretty much taken care of. But I watched the film again last night in preparation for this Film Club meeting that has been called to order, and I jotted some notes and thoughts and musings whilst doing said watching. I will share in a moment, but first let me say that I was curious to see if I still liked this movie a whole mess- after all, sometimes opinions change, right? It can be bittersweet to let go of a childhood friend with a "Oh muh gah, I liked this movie? How much paste did I eat in the 80s?"

The good news is, I still loves me some Hell Night! Sure, she's got some pacing issues, but who among us doesn't? It happens with age. Sure, she's got some other issues as well, but who among us doesn't have a truckload of baggage? It happens with life. So now, here are some thoughts I had whilst a-watchin':

  • RED TITLES. They were ubiquitous back in the day (for reals. check out this gallery.) and I miss 'em. I'm not really one for big fancy title sequences in general- keep it simple, stupid! And RED.
  • PETER BARTON. Another 80s mainstay! Where is Peter Barton now? Is he dead? I have a feeling he's dead. Mind you, I have no proof of that and I can't be bothered to look it up...and he's not the only WHERE ARE THEY NOW person I feel that way about. I assume the broad from Ice Castles is dead, too. It's just a thing I have.
  • I JUST REMEMBERED that Linda Blair dated Rick James. Kids on cocaine do the darndest things!
  • I LOVE LOVE LOVE the legend of Garth Manor. And why not? Who doesn't love a good campfire tale? Only jerks, that's who. Whether it's Hell Night or Friday the 13th Part II or Madman, I find that these stories about wackadoos from years past really give the films some atmosphere. They instantly bring to mind being a young'un, telling dopey yarns and doing dopey things- heading off into the woods in search of a mythical Satanic church, that sort of jazz. Kids who love horror movies do the darndest things!
  • MAN they sure say "radical" a lot in Hell Night. This is in addition to the other gems of dialogue, such as "Quaaludes are murder on my skin!" and "The whole world's gone mad!"
  • LINDA BLAIR is not always the most convincing actress. Yes, we all love her, but I think it's okay to admit this. She certainly screams well enough, though.
  • MARTI is not the gold standard of Final Girls. Sure, she's the Final Girl and as such, she earns points for simply surviving the (Hell) night, but she just sort of cowers and shrieks through the whole movie. I would do the same, I suppose, but still. At least she wears a cameo choker the whole time!
  • CORPSE PARTY! INEFFECTIVE AUTHORITY FIGURES! Oh Hell Night, you drag out all the tropes. You could go through Slashers 101 while watching this movie and check off pretty much the whole book.
  • POOR SETH. He should have been Final Boy, I swear. He gets away, tries to find help, runs all over town, gets a gun and a car, goes back to the source of danger, kills a Garth, and then...gets dead. This is not fair!
  • WHAT DID THE GARTHS EAT whilst holed away in their dusty manor? Rats and stuff, I guess. Or maybe they had a potato patch on the grounds that we didn't see.
  • YOU HAVE TO ADMIT, Andrew Garth impaled on the fence all bloody-mouthed is a pretty cool end.
So there! I think my love for Hell Night is cemented in foreverness. The gothic angle gives it some pure panache and sets it apart from its slasher contemporaries. Hell Night is boss, and yet oh- why is it so often overlooked? It is a mystery worth ten Jessica Fletchers for sure. As for me, I'll be gorking out for a long time to come.

Slasher Studios
Thrill Me
Old Horror Movies (.net)
Movie Locations and More: Not a review, but check out these pics of a location visit!
The Movie Waffler
Sticky Red
Zombie Club
Scare Tactic
Vegan Voorhees: Lego. FOR REAL.
Greetings from Movie City USA
Life Between Frames
The House of Sparrows
The Scream Queen
Soresport Movies
Montana Mancave Massacre
Cinema Gonzo
The Great White Dope's mecha-blog-zilla
Scarina's Scary Vault of Scariness
Film Shuffle

Feb 22, 2012


Film Club is back on for tomorrow! So! You still have today to get me your Hell Night reviews- email them to stacieponder at, and don't forget to link to Final Girl in there somewhere, hooray.

To tide you over until then, here are a couple more sketches I've done for the fancy-pants sketch edition of Slashers 101. If you didn't already want one, boy! I bet you do now.

Feb 10, 2012

awesome movie poster friday - the IN SPACE edition, part two!

Now, y'all probably know by now how I feel about sci-fi-flavored horror movies. To reiterate: I LOVE THEM SO MUCH. Most especially I love the ones that take place in space- that's why this AMPF isn't about genre mash-ups like, say, Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Gimme some spaceships!

No, it's not a large subgenre by any means, but oh, it has a special place in my heart. It's safe to say, then, that I'm peeing my pants with anticipation over Prometheus. (And because of general incontinence issues owing to age, but still. I am EXCITED.)

And before you get all "What, where's Alien?"...I think those films deserve their very own AMPF, so stay tuned, Aunt Demandy!

Feb 8, 2012


Well, would you look at that.

(props to carrie for the Shirley Jackson pic!)

Feb 7, 2012

RIP Bill Hinzman

By now you've likely heard that this past weekend, actor Bill Hinzman passed away at age 75. I'm not so good at writing obituaries and things of the sort- I'd give that honor to Arbogast...but I'll just have to imagine what he would have written since the bastard recently closed up shop for good.

Like most horror fans, I've got a little Bill Hinzman at a convention story. And like most horror fans who have a little Bill Hinzman at a convention story, it took place in George Romero's most famous stomping grounds, the outskirts of Pittsburgh.

You know, I shouldn't build it up that much because to tell it, it doesn't seem like such a great tale, but oh well. Told you I'm not so good at this!

Anyway, I was standing and talking with John Russo, the man who co-wrote Romero's Night of the Living Dead. He had some pictures- trading cards, maybe?- from the NotLD and they were in color. I couldn't get over it, seeing all those familiar faces, humans and ghouls alike, like I'd never seen them before. I know there's a colorized version of the film floating around out there, but it's never appealed to me. The behind the scenes stuff, though, I was eating it up.

Then someone came and stood next to me. I figured it was just another fan waiting his or her turn, but then the person leaned over a bit and quietly said, "You know, I was the first zombie." I turned, and it was Bill Hinzman...and let me tell you, it was not at all obnoxious. It sounds as if it might have been, like the equivalent of someone laughing so loudly in that way that lets you know he or she is an actor- but it wasn't. When I turned , he was just beaming, an adorable old dude in glasses. I'm sure he loved the attention and the "Oh my God, you are the first zombie!" I gave him, but after a moment, when he and Russo and I were talking and then oh, Russ Streiner came over and across the way were Karl Hardman and Marilyn Eastman and I was suddenly kind of surrounded by horror movie royalty and they were a gang, it felt like, both then and nearly 40 years prior, and it was just the best.

Bill Hinzman's death has affected me more than I could have thought it would- not that I ever sat around thinking about it much, mind you. But it's made me realize (or possibly just remember) how much Night of the Living Dead means to me as a horror fan. I wrote about it- and Barbra in particular- in this post (spurred on by Arbogast...damn you, man!), and I can't see a reason to try to say it any better than I did then:
Let me say right upfront: I adore this film. It's in my Top Ten or whatever number would actually make up the list of my all-time favorite horror movies. I think it's an absolute masterpiece of genre filmmaking, and in my opinion it's on the short list of Romero's best (the others being Dawn of the Dead and Creepshow, although my soft spot for Creepshow is so soft that I have no idea whether or not it's actually a good movie, you know?). Night of the Living Dead is all shock and far gorier than you remember it being; it's all exquisite lighting and camera angles; it's all horror with a bit of rotting meat on its bones, terrifying in its simplicity. Somehow, this film is one of the very few that I can always manage to watch with the mindset of the era in which it was made, and perhaps that's why it's one of my favorites, why it never fails to work for me, why I still get scared.
While Hinzman wasn't really the first zombie, he was totally the first zombie, and even if my adoration-colored glasses at that convention wouldn't let me see a plain old boast as a boast...well, he deserved to boast, dammit. So tonight I'm going to pop in the restored and re-mastered edition (finally got it!), turn off the lights, and raise a glass (of water, it's all I have in the house) to the first zombie. Rest in Peace, Bill Hinzman. Thanks for all the scares (and the conversation).

Feb 3, 2012


"Lester's barking again and getting on my nerves again."

awesome movie poster friday - the HAMMER edition, part two!

The Woman in Black opens today, and I'm pretty pumped about that. I'm a big fan of the original, but even more it pleases me that a Hammer film is playing at the multiplex. Most horror fans- especially those of an age- cite Hammer goodness as playing a huge role during their formative years, and I am no exception. Why, if the only film they'd ever released was The Seven Brothers Meet Dracula, that would have been good enough for moi, but no! Hammer has done so much more. Too much, in fact, for one mere AMPF. See more Hammer posters here, here, and here. Oh, and here.

Why haven't I seen The Nanny yet? What is wrong with me? (don't answer that)