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 20, 2015

awesome movie poster friday: the EVEN MORE VHS BOX ART edition!

Wow, it's been so long since I've busted out an Awesome Movie Poster Friday. I'm such a jerk! But you knew that, I'm sure. Anyway, since I recently wrapped VHS Week, I figured why not bring back one of my favorite things to feature here, VHS boxes. Aw yeah!

From the BUTTERFACE department, amirite? Honk honk!


Then there's the hair. Is this a skeleton playing a joke? With a wig and a stuffed shirt? Or did a cheerleader with a lot of secrets die a long time ago? SO MANY QUESTIONS

"Ma'am, now may not be the best time to tell you but I need to be honest: I can't see anything. Also, I have no idea what the fuck I'm doing."

Look, I really don't want to victim-blame here. But at what point do you find yourself a new gynecologist or whatever? When you realize his name is Dr. Sadism? When you get to the office park for your appointment and realize it's a castle? When the nurse comes out to the waiting room and is all "Right this way, please" and she leads you to a torture chamber? I mean, the clues that this would not work out well were kind of there, you have to admit.

"Hands" which we mean "forearms".

Looks like they're ready for Threesome on a Meathook, really, but props for those flawless blow-outs in the face of (sexy) danger.

*woman screams in terror as her throat is cut*


Okay, given the perspective in this picture, I'd say he's got a good 6-10 feet to cover before he kicks her in the butt...but his foot is already up, so I assume he's going to hop at her in a menacing fashion.

Also, Stephanie, shoveling like that is a really good way to throw out your back, young lady!

Shout out to some of horror's tiniest victims:

PS- Hey The Nest, you really should have called her an "Amuse-roach"

I'm including this one because at first glance I thought it said "Satan Wrap":

And this one, at first I thought it said "Ninja Potato Whores" WHICH IS TOTALLY A MOVIE I WANT TO SEE but all of these misreads are making me think that maybe I have some kind of brain damage? 

And finally...

Here's exclusive footage of that tagline being written:

Feb 13, 2015

Happy Friday the 13th!

It's true, I feel a bit of a moral imperative to post when a Friday the 13th rolls around. Sure, sure, I practically grew up with the film series like any good horror young'un. But it's really in the period since I started Final Girl that I've become well and truly enamored with the antics of Jason, his mama, and even that Roy fellow. It could be that the property itself has been celebrated by the community at large, what with the His Name Was Jason and the Crystal Lake Memories (the book and the documentary!) and the such. I've written about victims (I know...I should bring that feature back), I've drawn the victims (and the killers)..I've devoted a shit ton of my limited brain space to Friday the 13th!

And I tell ya, it still surprises me. See, in the world of fandoms there are certain battles that are destined to be eternally waged: The Beatles vs The Rolling Stones, Yankees vs Red Sox, Star Trek vs The Next Generation, Old Becky vs New Becky, Riunite vs Riunite on Ice. Everyone chooses a side and sticks with it forever, and in the Friday the 13th vs Halloween battle I've always been a Halloween girl. I still am! Yet...look, I've always treated Friday like a dirty secret, like an awful person I'm ashamed to date. But here it is: I can no longer deny that as a whole I prefer the Friday series. AS A WHOLE. Maybe I've been too heavily influenced by all the hours I've spent in its company, but I'd most definitely rather watch Friday the 13th Part V than Halloween 5.

If you like this image, you can buy it on a t-shirt or a print or something right here!

I've spent time this morning ruminating on who my favorite Friday the 13th character is. Not my favorite kill or my favorite final girl, but my overall favorite character.

Correction: I've spent WAY TOO MUCH time. Like, "this question is on par with 'what is the purpose of life?' amounts of time.

And I still don't have an answer, but no matter. Somewhere along the way "who is my favorite?" became "who would I want to hang out with?" and that's a way better question. Will I find an answer? WILL I?

Jimmy (The Final Chapter)

Would I want to hang out with Jimmy? Fuck no! I bet he'd be really annoying in a short amount of time. Even if he weren't, you'd probably get stuck hanging out with Ted as well, and you know he's the worst.

Violet (A New Beginning)

Listen, even if you want to hang out with Violet, she sure as shit doesn't want to hang out with you. She's so surly! You'd say "Hey Violet, wha–" and she'd say "Fuck off."

Maddy (The New Blood)

Maddy might be okay, like she'd be down to play some Dungeons & Dragons maybe. But she'd also spend a lot of time complaining about stuff and that would be too much like hanging out with myself.

Doug and Sara (The Final Chapter)

They're awfully nice and adorable and surprisingly mature for a Friday film, but...bleh. I feel like he would want to talk about finances and she would never want to go get Indian food because she's afraid it might be "too spicy".

Mark (Part II)

Okay, I would totally hang out with Mark! He seems so nice, and who wouldn't want to look at that handsome face all the time? Here's the thing, though: my apartment isn't wheelchair-accessible, so we'd have to hang out at his place or out out all the time. That's fine and all, but it doesn't really jive with my "creepy recluse" lifestyle and I'm sure we'd only hang out like twice before we just stopped texting each other.

JJ (Jason Takes Manhattan)

She might be cool...for ten minutes. Beyond that, you know she'd bring her guitar everywhere and she'd want to play all the time and you'd have to cope with that while secretly thinking that her music is garbage and you'd feel bad about that because you're supposed to be her friend and it's not like you have any musical talent for sure so who are you to judge well maybe you're just a terrible person because unterrible people don't think those sorts of things so do you just accept your station in life or try to change and for fuck's sake you don't really have much in common with JJ when you really think about it so it's best if you quit hanging out. Or something like that.

Fox (Part 3)

I imagine hitting it off well with Fox, but then ultimately she'd keep showing up at my place with her friends in tow wanting to "party" and I'd have to be like "Fox, I'm reading right now" but I'd let them all in anyway. Then the next day I'd wake up and my place would be trashed and all my booze would be gone and some DVDs would be missing and I'd be so mad, but then I'd think "Well, they are literally a gang so what did I expect?"

Brenda (Friday the 13th)

Okay, Brenda seems nice and all, and she reads, but–

Wait! I don't think there's a but! I would totally hang out with Brenda.

Ginny, Paul, Ted (Part 2)

I would also hang out with these three. Right? Only a jerk wouldn't want to.

So there you go. Out of, like, 200 characters in the series, I've found four I would hang out with. I could go through everyone else, but it would probably take me the rest of my life to go through them all. Suffice it to say, everyone else would probably be dismissed with a "boring", "gross", "annoying", "what would we talk about?", or "obnoxious".

Unless I'm forgetting someone tell me. Who would you hang out with?

Feb 12, 2015

why you gotta test me

Like most cranky, entitled horror fans, my relationship with remakes is a tempestuous one. The trend has been going on for so long–should a ten-plus-year trend actually be called a "trend"? or is it a "wave", maybe?–that it's just a way of life now. I've experienced nearly all the highs, lows, and creamy middles that remakes can bring and I've been left numb. I'm good at ignoring movies and the such if I'm not interested in them, and of course there's that ol' chestnut of an argument: well, a remake doesn't take away from or change the original you love so much, so what's the harm? (The counter to this, of course, is that money spent on shitty remakes is money that could be spent on original stories, that's the harm. But let's let that lie for now.) I just can't get angry anymore. You wanna remake an already-good horror movie? Go for it. You wanna remake a remake? Like I give a shit.


There have been a few rumored remakes that angered up my blood (you're going to remake Suspiria come on now), sure, but beyond initial reports they just seemed to disappear. Then one day, a couple of years later "Hey, wasn't Michael Bay going to remake The Birds?" runs through your mind. You realize this has yet to be, and you immediately banish the thought forever in case a mere mental mention is enough to summon it. You know, like it's the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man or something.

The point of all this is, you guys I thought the HOW DARE YOU American remake of Martyrs was banished to the Cinematic Negative Zone of Really Fucking Bad Ideas, but now Bloody Disgusting reports that it's already finished. Filmed totally in secret! I'm not sure if that portends good or ill, but in this day and age of endless (pointless) set updates and photos and press releases, I'm shocked. In a good way.

But that's all you'll get from me, Martyrs remake! I'm putting away my wussy "wait and see, who knows, give everything a chance, maybe I'll like it" giant foam finger and replacing it with the one that says FUCK YOU. I'm going to get irrationally, pointlessly irritated about this because 1) come on, it's still a really fucking bad idea to remake Martyrs and you know it is, and 2) it's something to do.

Here are your new martyrs:

Apparently the one on the left (Bailey Noble) hails from True Blood, while the one on the right (Troian Bellisario) is on Pretty Little Liars. Look, I don't watch those shows so for all I know these women could be terrific actresses. All I know for sure is that names like "Bailey" and "Troian" make me feel old and scared.

And YES they look as uninteresting as slices of J Crew pretty white bread, so imagining them in fucking Martyrs is making my brain hurt. However! (What's this "however" shit? JUST BE IRRATIONALLY MEAN AND ANGRY.) Judging from "actress" headshot photos isn't really fair, and also let's not pretend that Mylene Jampanoi and Morjana Alaoui (OG MARTYRS 4 LYFE 5EVER) aren't like supermodel gorgeous. If I judged them the way I'm apparently judging these Designer Imposter Martyrs, I wouldn't have had faith in them, either, and we all know that's stupid.

Here's the thing: I know I'm going to have to see this remake. It's just too much to ignore, isn't it? It's such an outlandish notion, I simply must see how it turns out...because how do you remake Martyrs I have so many Martyrs feelings and YES I KNOW I've yet to write anything about it but it's very difficult for me to even think about trying to try to articulate those feelings okay I just aokjnlklkdnfldskndfdddddddddddddd



Hey, maybe the remake will finally get me past my write about Martyrs-block! Maybe that's the reason it exists. I guess we'll see. I'm really really going to try to go into it with as open a mind as possible (yeah right) and curb my urge to slap this remake right across its audacious face. RIGHT ACROSS IT I SAY.

Ah, sometimes irrational anger feels good, doesn't it? It's sure warming me up on this cold winter's day!

Feb 9, 2015

amazon one-star reviews: CHILDREN OF THE CORN (1984)

About a year and a half ago, I gave a day of my life to a little something called The Corn-ening, wherein I watched all of the Children of the Corn movies in a row. These marathons are are an endurance test for sure! No matter the series, around film #4 I begin to question my sanity, the point of the marathon, the point of movies in general, the point of my life. But, you know, I keep on sloggin' away on my vision quest and eventually I emerge on the other side in the harsh light of a new day, having achieved...well, nothing, really. I don't think I learned anything, either. But it's the journey that's the thing, right? I read that on an inspirational watercolor painting in a bathroom one time.

Anyway, this one-star review for Children of the Corn struck a chord, for the reviewer embarks on his or her own personal corn journey. It begins with confusion, moves through disappointment, and ends at place that's "[not] bad"...of course, this person also logged on and gave the film a one-star review at the mid-point of the movie, so who knows how it really ended? What a cliffhanger! But again, I remind myself: it's the journey that's the thing.

Back in the day I watched a movie called Children of the Corn. Well at less that's what I thought it was called. It starts with a small town. Everyone is put on a spell and fell asleep. After everyone wakes up all of the woman are pregnant. Everyone gives birth to children who want to kill the town. Only one little boy doesn't want to kill the town. He try's to stop the others.
I thought this movie was the same as I described. I am very disapointed that it is the wrong movie. I really really want the other Children of the Corn movie. There are way too many Children of the Corn for me to find the one I am looking for. If any one reads this and knows what movie I am talking about message me. I hope there is a way to message me. Well since I was so unhappy with this movie I didn't really give it a chances. I am in the middle of watching it now. And I guess this movie isn't bad.

It seems that this poor person confused Village of the Damned with Children of the Damned and then ended up buying Children of the Corn. Is it right for me–or any of us, now that you're aware–to sit on this info, or do we reach out and offer up our knowledge? W.W.H.W.W.B.T.R.D.? 

Honestly, my urge to help is tempered by the fact that this poor confused person rated a movie one star because of their own stupidity instead of its own awfulness. You're out of order, reviewer! The whole trial's out of order!

Never Forget

Feb 8, 2015

VHS Week Day 7: Q- The Winged Serpent (1982)

Y'all've been telling me since the beginning of time to fix my peepers on Q, but for whatever reason I never took the advice to heart. Maybe it's because I always want to like movies from writer/director Larry Cohen more than I actually do? Maybe I was never in the mood for a monster movie?


Is it overstating things to say that it's one of the best B movies I've ever seen? I don't know, and I don't really care. All I know is that I was not expecting to have so much fun watching it...yes, even though you guys have been telling me. It's a humbling lesson I've learned, I'll never doubt you again, etc etc.

A series of Aztec-flavored human sacrifices leads to the resurrection of the Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent deity. Quetzalcoatl roosts in the Chrysler Building and flies around Manhattan chomping on New Yorkers whilst the police try to stop Quetzalcoatl and the human sacrifices, the end. This is the stuff dreams are made of, my friends! Especially when it's early-80s Manhattan, full of gangsters and assorted other bada bing baba dook types, and especially especially when the cops on the case are played by David Carradine and Richard Roundtree.

And especially especially ESPECIALLY when things like this happen:

THOSE GANGLY LIMBS. Glorious, ain't it? Scenes like that are why movies were invented.

I love that everyone plays the material straight (especially Michael Moriarty as a weaselly two-bit crook), but a little twinkle in their eyes belies the fun they're having with the material. I love that every random kill scene is set up a bit like the opening scenes from Law & Order–you know, like, two construction workers will talk about sandwiches on their lunch break when OH MY GAHD THERE'S A DEAD BODY. In Q, it's more like two construction workers talk about sandwiches on their lunch break when OH MY GAHD ONE JUST GOT HIS HEAD BIT CLEAN OFF BY AN ANCIENT AZTEC GIANT FLYING LIZARD BIRD. It happens over and over again, and I could never get enough of it. Ever.

Boy oh boy, what a way to end VHS Week, I tell ya! Listen, I'd really like to thank you all for introducing me to Q. You're all invited to our nuptials, which will of course take place on the roof of a skyscraper. I can't promise that you won't die when Q flips out and tosses you off that roof, but it will fill me with so much delight that it'll be worth it!

Feb 7, 2015


"Come on down to Video World! Where we really fucking want you to rewind your rentals!"

Once upon a time, I saw a trailer in a theatre. The names of film in the trailer and the feature I was there to see both escape me, but they're inconsequential. The trailer was big and flashy, full of explosions and movie stars and action and music razzle and dazzle! And when it was over, I turned to my friend, shrugged a shoulder, and simply said "Nah."

It occurred to me later on how sort of sad it was to give such a brief dismissal to a film so many people had worked so very hard on. Hundreds of people! Hundreds of hours! Millions of dollars! Blood, sweat, tears, and who knows what other bodily fluids went into the thing, and when it was offered up for judgment...nah. Cast aside with a sneer and a shrug.

I think of that little scenario often. I definitely thought of it after watching Brotherhood of the Wolf, because here was this massive fantasy epic historical razzle dazzle effects-laden action thriller (I mean, you can just picture the "SEXY AND STYLISH!" - cool movies poster-ready pullquotes while taking in this movie, I swear) and when it was over...nah.

WHEN IT WAS FINALLY FUCKING OVER I MEAN, because my gaaahd is this thing bloated like a 10-day-old river corpse. At the hour mark, I didn't think I was going to make it, especially when I realized there were nearly 90 more minutes to go. What a relief it was when those credits rolled! For fuck's sake, it felt endless.

What I am saying is, Brotherhood of the Wolf and I didn't really get along. I will cop to this mostly being my fault, however. I admit, I had a patriarchy-sized chip on my shoulder from the get-go because what the hell: the brotherhood is all about awesome wolves while the sisterhood gets some traveling fucking pants? How is this fair at all? What a world, what a world.

More than that, however, I went into this expecting some kind of werewolf movie. Yes, it's true! I had no idea what it was about, despite the fact that the videotape has been in my house for about five years. I just saw the world "wolf" in the title and assumed! My bad, my bad, y'all. It's not the first time this has happened, either. The Wolf of Wall Street and Airwolf were also big disappointments, but I guess it's on me to pay more attention to things. Or any attention, I guess.

Had I known, I wouldn't have wondered why there were so many kung fu fights and why the "monster" wasn't the focus. I still would have been angry at all the gawdawful slo-mo happening every ten seconds, because wow, way to take an effect and run it straight into the ground, Christophe Gans.

But, I mean, come on.

Look, I could have done with about an hour less of Brotherhood of the Wolf. I feel like it's taken enough of my life away already, so I don't want to spend any more of my precious, limited lifeforce telling you anything substantial such as what actually happens in the film. Nor will I give any reasoned criticisms of it. You'll get nothing more from me, movie, nothing! I'm not even going to finish writing the last sentence, that's how strongly I fee

Feb 6, 2015

VHS Week Day 5: DAGON (2001)

As I popped in the Dagon cassette, I questioned why it doesn't seem to have the following that director Stuart Gordon's other Lovecraft adaptations do. Re-Animator...From Beyond...even Castle Freak! Beloved by the horror community, talked about and referenced and worn on t-shirts and put on the cover of horror magazines and blah blah. Is it Jeffrey Combs? Is he the common denominator Dagon lacks that leaves the film out in the cold all alone? Or maybe Barbara Crampton is the secret ingredient? Is the movie just another casualty of the 2001 limbo zone I talked about earlier this week? It just didn't make sense to me. Then I remembered that even I had yet to see Dagon and so I punched myself in the face because if you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem.

(Aside: more Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton in things, please, Hollywood. I KNOW YOU'RE READING THIS.)

(Another aside: after nearly 15 years of thinking "Oh yeah, Mia Kirshner's in that" every time Dagon came up, I learned that this is not actually her. THE MORE YOU KNOW *rainbow starburst*)

About 25 minutes into the movie I had a thought: "Man, I could watch weirdo fishpeople make strange noises and flop-run around all day!" and let me tell you, it's a good thing I had that thought because that's pretty much all Dagon is.

After a storm lodges their boat on a rock, Paul (Ezra Godden) and Barbara (Raquel MeroƱo) seek help in an eerie, decrepit fishing village on the shores of Spain. It's not long before Barbara goes missing and Paul runs from the townsfolk, aka the weirdo fishpeople. And then Paul finds a hiding spot for a minute, and then he runs again. And then he finds a hiding spot, and then he runs again. It just keeps happening over and over! Poor Paul. I should be saying "poor me" because this pattern sounds really boring, doesn't it? But it's a testament to Gordon's skill as a director and/or my heretofore unknown love of weirdo fishpeople that I wasn't bored in the slightest.

It's also a testament to Ezra Godden charms and/or skills as an actor that I didn't hate Paul, because he's the sort of whiny dweeb you might grow tired of very quickly. Especially when he reminds you of the lead character in one of the worst video games you've ever played.

Eventually the run-hide-run pattern is tossed aside and shit gets really nuts and occasionally wicked gross in the last 15 minutes as the weirdo fishpeople set about sacrificin' in the name of their fishgod Dagon. If you wanna be spoiled and see some hot GIF and screencap action, head on over to our pal JA's My New Plaid Pants where he talks about a way you really don't want to die.

To sum it up: I was so into this movie! I loved it, even without Crampton and Combs. Even with spots of dodgy 2001 CGI! I mean, I can't imagine not digging a movie set in a creepy town with a secret, especially when that secret turns out to be weirdo fishpeople. It's like Dagon is right out of My Super Movie Wish Diary. I don't know if the horror community at large will ever embrace you fully, Dagon, but I sure will...with all the love my disgusting tentacle arms can hold.

Feb 5, 2015

VHS Week Day 4: LEVIATHAN (1989)

Well, I suppose I was expecting perfect for VHS kind of fun sometimes but mostly garbage when I popped in Leviathan and that's exactly what I got. It's nice when life works out that way, isn't it? Everything is tied up with a nice little bow and you feel the certain satisfaction that a job well done brings, even though you didn't do anything. So soothing, so soothing.

All that said, holy fucking shit there were parts of this movie that were excruciating to sit through. At the 15 minute mark, in fact, I considered throwing in the towel and swapping this shit out for just about anything (but not you again, Shadow go sit in the corner and think about what you've done). What got the flames of my ire fire burning so bright? This guy did:

"Wowee wow wow! Honk honk! ArOOOOgah! Humina humina wolf whistle! Hatchi matchi! Boi-oi-oi-oi-oi-nnn-nggg!"

That screencap tells you everything you need to know about the character called "Sixpack", as if his name wouldn't do the job in and of itself. Sixpack is an underwater miner who sexually harasses his female co-miners to the point of...well, okay. Have you ever seen one of those anti-sexual harassment videos that places of business have to show new employees? The ones with actors playing out various scenarios that are so completely over-the-top you just have to laugh because humans don't really interact that way? Sixpack is the awful dude in all those videos times a billion. He gropes, he stares, he touches, he makes lewd comments, he grabs, he busts out Penthouse at the dinner table...I mean, he's a caricature beyond belief. I imagine that if poor Daniel Stern felt the need to ask director George Cosmatos about his motivation, the answer would have been a simple, "You're an asshole."

While there are still Sixpack-esque characters in movies today–Diet Sixpacks, if you will–they're a lot less common and they don't tend to harass or objectify women to this extent anymore. Wow, we really have come a long way, baby!

Luckily, Sixpack is killed off fairly quickly (OH WOW SPOILER ALERT), because of course he is, because he's the asshole. Therefore, I was able to watch the rest of Leviathan without having to worry about blood pressure spikes and/or rage-induced hulk-outs.

Oh yeah, "underwater miners". Let's just sum this shit up with some math, okay? Everybody loves math.

It's so Alien underwater it's nuts. A bunch of working-class everyfolk only care about getting paid! A thing that turns into a penis-worm-looking thing is brought aboard the ship and kills kills kills! Computers must be consulted! A sweaty black dude wears a headband! Ooze oozes through metal grates! The two female characters are "strong" (she starts "astronaut training" two days after this job ends) and "not strong" (she cries)! There's a heartless company overseeing the entire operation, and they only care about the bottom line!

Leviathan isn't terrible, per se. Faint praise, I know, but it's not as if I went into this expecting a masterpiece. The schlock in between "everything until Sixpack dies" and "did you really just end this movie by having a woman get punched in the face" is occasionally gross and somewhat enjoyable. Ultimately, though, you'd have a better time sticking your feet in a bucket of water and watching Alien.