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!

Jan 30, 2015

Wherein I Say Things

Friends, Romans, non-Romans, lend me your hearing parts so I can blast some words from my mouthhole into your earholes! Even though given that this is a blog and not an assembly, it's more like I'm blasting words from my fingers (fingerblasting, yes, I said it) to your eyeballs but you know what I mean! But for real, lemme tell ya. I have been in a total funk for, like, too long, too many months, like more than a year. A year! And sadly, I don't mean "funk" like I have traveled back in time and now I am a member of Parliament. On the upside, I don't mean "funk" like body odor, either! (At least I don't think so, no one has dropped any hints like handing me some Secret or something, nor has anyone come right out and said "YOU STINK, TAKE A BATH." But I worry, I really do.) No, I mean "funk" like "the sads."

I'm not going to go into all the whys and whyfors of it, nor is this some bid for some "Please, DO cry for me, Argentina!" action. I'm only bringing it up because this Funk of At Least 40,000 Years has, amongst other things, meant that my work has majorly suffered across the board. And that work includes Final Girl! It's hard to create when you find that you no longer care. But I am trying to care, because I want to care, because I want to create.

So, I'm making changes to help myself along, which will in turn help the process along. One of those changes came earlier this week, when I fingerblasted (aw yeah) the Final Girl Facebook page right out of existence. Those of you who were a part of it may have known this already. I had some fun there for sure, but I've come to realize that overall, it contributed to my funk. Instead of writing something on Final Girl, like an actual review, I would simply take to Facebook and post, like, "This movie was pretty good" and that would be that. Some folks might comment. The end. What a cop out on my part! And so stuff continued to spiral into that funky ouroboros my life has been of late: I feel bad because I'm not creating, but then I'm not creating because I feel bad. It is the worst cycle, a real shit-fest penny-farthing of existence. Again, this is where fingerblasting (I'm just going to say it as much as possible apparently) Facebook comes in. I'm breaking out of that "but if it's not on Facebook no one will know" box I'd put myself in, with a "well then who fucking cares, I'm just going to do this because I want to, and if no one knows then tough shit for them." I hope it helps. I think it will.

To help kick off this "fuck off, funk" thing I'm trying, I say let's have an event. Starting Monday, let's have...


VHS Weeks are always a lot of fun. This one should be no different, and it's not going to be one of those lame-ass five day "week"s, either. We're talking seven days of hot, hot videotape action! Here's the lineup- now don't go getting so excited that you don't sleep all weekend in anticipation!

MONDAY: Shadow Dancing (1988) - I don't know that this one will be "horror" per se, but I can't wait
TUESDAY: Valentine (2001) - I know I've seen this, but I don't remember a thing about it
WEDNESDAY: Nude for Satan (1974) - FINALLY
THURSDAY: Leviathan (1989) - I just love the fact that "underwater horror" was a thing for a while
FRIDAY: Dagon (2001) - can't believe I haven't seen this one yet
SATURDAY: Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001) - ditto
SUNDAY: Q- The Winged Serpent (1982) - FUCKING DITTO

That's a sweet-looking bunch of movies, no? YES. A little something for everyone, or at least for all the awesome people.

Okay then. I hope to see you around these parts more often! As always, thanks for reading, you're the knees.

Jan 14, 2015

THE DARK SECRET OF HARVEST HOME (1978)

Even though I am an elderly person, there are plenty of ways I utilize the technologies of the young. For example, I definitely know how to boot up a JPG. For another example, I only order pizzas via the Information Superhighway. However, sometimes my brain completely forgoes new technology in favor of the old. For example, I always have a spiral notebook and a pen at arm's reach. For another example, when I want to watch something like the 1978 made-for-TV mini-series Dark Secret of Harvest Home, I don't first try YouTube, where the entire 4-hour affair is readily available. Instead, I spend a lot of time tracking down a bootleg, paying for a bootleg, waiting for the bootleg to arrive, and then digging in. (And I would have forgone the bootleg if the long out-of-print VHS edition wasn't edited to half the original length.)

For every second of "Aw man, YouTube would have been way easier and free-i-er," I have several minutes of sweet satisfaction because when you stream a movie, you don't get the crappy bootleg box art to treasure! Behold:


"Betty" Davis! "Sacrifaces"! It's the small things that please me so.

Also, "Sacrifaces" sounds like a new Satanic show by Mummenschanz. More Satanic, anyway.

Typos aside, that sentence...sort of sums up The Dark Secret of Harvest Home, in the same way that "A young woman enrolls in a ballet academy and is caught up in witchcraft and sacrifaces" might describe Suspiria. Like, it works but there's more to it than that.

Wait, is there more to Suspiria than that? Never mind, I'm getting off track here. And YES I'm going to use "sacrifaces" all the time now so get used to it.

I've said it before and I'll say it again and again until we're all tired of hearing it: I love a movie about a town with a secret. From Dead and Buried to The Wicker Man to Bay Cove to everything in between, give me some fish-out-of-water types trying to figure out what the heck is going on in an idyllic country town and I'm all over it. Toss in some witch robes, some sacrifaces, and some old people and I'm all over it AND all up in it. Let me tell you, friends, The Dark Secret of Harvest Home does not disappoint!

Oh sure, the set-up is as old as them thar hills, but who cares? The Constantine family is fed up with life in the big city and all the big city problems they face. Dad Nick (David "Original Gary Ewing" Ackroyd) yearns to leave the hollow world of Madison Avenue behind and make some real art. Mom Beth (Joanna "There's A Fire-Farting Cockroach in My Hair" Miles) spends her days reclining on a shrink's couch in a bid to overcome her neuroses. 15-year-old daughter Kate (Rosanna "Doesn't Need a Nickname for You to Know Who She Is" Arquette) totally has asthma and her life sucks.

On a little getaway trip to Connecticut, they cross a whimsical/ominous wooden bridge and find themselves in Cornwall Coombe, a small farming community that's super friendly and everyone seems happy and there's an amazing house for sale for wicked cheap and isn't that great let's all move to Cornwall Coombe! So they do, and everything is just great. Mostly. Widow Fortune (Bette "Betty" Davis) has a tight (if benevolent) grip on the town. Folks are reluctant to talk about the past, and no one ever ever goes "against the ways" if they know what's good for 'em. Why, it's almost as if the town has a dark secret!

Yes! Check out Rosanna Arquette and Widow Fortune. "Widow" is pronounced "widda", by the way. And everyone says "Ayuh" a lot like this is a goddamn Stephen King movie even though they're in western Connecticut. On the one hand, this made my eye twitch, but on the other hand it just made me want to hug New England because I love New England and even though I grew up in eastern Connecticut there was definitely that feeling of "thar werest wytches here" to it at times, like when you go to Devil's Hopyard State Park, I mean who names a park "Devil's Hopyard" come on now

Kate and Beth adjust quickly to life in The Coombe. Widda Fortune shushes away all of Kate's asthma attacks. Beth likes being party of a community and begins busting out the local corn-speak. Nick, however, digs deeper into the town history for a book he's writing and finds that sometimes people go missing and sometimes you see a skeleton somewhere but then when you go to show it to the constable the skeleton is gone and sometimes you find the local peddler in a cabin in the woods and someone has cut his tongue out and no one admits that anything weird is going on or has gone on, ever.

Oh yeah, and a little babby Tracey Gold is a really fucking weird kid who screams sometimes and she picks the new Harvest Lord by smearing sheep's blood on a contender's cheeks. Just another day in The Coombe!

TRACEY GOLD YOU GUYS

So you know how it goes, right? A big Widda Fortune-sized wedge is driven further and further between Beth and Nick as the former adapts to "the ways" and the latter does not. As the year goes on and the mysterious "Harvest Home" ceremony approaches, we begin to wonder: is this a Babiez4Satan thing, or Babiez4Corn thing? Because somehow, it's always about women making babiez for some reason, ain't it?

It is! But I'm not going to tell you everything because this shit was four hours long and because if you like classic they don't make 'em like that anymore made-for-TV horror movies (aka "being a person with awesome taste"), then you should just watch it. I mean, it's right there on YouTube. Bette fucking Davis! A reasonably restrained Bette fucking Davis, even, who doesn't simply bleat-shriek all her lines like she did throughout much of the 1960s.

After you're done watching The Dark Secret of Harvest Home, you can help me settle the argument I've been having with myself since I saw it: is this feminist, or anti-feminist? There's certainly a slight whiff of Neil LaBute's Wicker Man in here as a matriarchal society proves ball-crushingly bad for the menfolk. Then again, there's also a slight whiff of The Stepford Wives in here as Nick frequently asks Beth if she wants to give up her autonomy and life goals to join in "the old ways." I need the Widda Fortune to shush away my social justice anxiety attack!


Jan 7, 2015

This is the best thing.

YouTube user gigerbrick has done gone and made a trailer for the trashtastic 1977 film The Car (honk, honkhonkhoonnnnnnnk) using in-game PS4 footage from Grand Theft Auto 5. I bow before the perfection!