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!

Aug 17, 2017

One More Dark Night

About a month ago I saw a listing for a brand spankin' new Special Edition of One Dark Night and let me tell you, I clicked "add to cart" so fast that my finger actually caught on fire. It was very painful but so worth it. A horror movie from 1982 starring Meg Tilly? Yes and please! And then My Brain chimed in.

"You've seen this," said My Brain.

"No I haven't," I replied. "I would remember."

"You saw it once and you didn't like it."

"Haha, oh Brain," I said. "Stop trying to fool me with all of this FAKE NEWS. Didn't like it? Brain, you know my Meg Tilly feelings are everlasting, strong, and true. Not liking this movie falls into the realm of the unpossible."

"Why don't you check the Final Girl review archive if you don't believe me?"

"I will not be doing that. That's enough now Brain, I bid you good day!" I shut My Brain down completely so I wouldn't have to endure any sass, and for the next several hours I sat staring into nothingness and drooling all over myself. This, too, was so worth it.

Then lo, time passed (as it does) and the Blu-ray arrived. I secretly thought...hmm, I think I have seen this. I feel like maybe I didn't like it? Could My Brain have been right all along?

In search of answers I finally clicked the FG review archives and there it was. I had already seen One Dark Night, and no, I didn't like it. I gave it a 2/10! (Rating movies was a thing back then, what can I say.) Sure, sure, I had soldiered through a very rough cut of the film with no sound effects or music, but even so, I estimated that a fully-realized version would still only rate a 4/10 from me. While the film seemed to have the requirements for some delightful B-grade delight, I said that ultimately One Dark Night "could barely muster enough thrills to merit being called D-grade." So harsh! Would my feelings change more than a decade (!!!) since that original review?

Fuck yeah they would, are you nuts?

While relaxing in a tub filled with the blood of a hundred virgins every night ensures that somehow I become more beautiful with each passing year, it seems that I also grow wiser and, although surely no one thought it was possible, my taste gets better and better. What I am saying is that Past Me had no idea what's up, because obviously what's up is One Dark Night. This shit rules!

If you want a rundown of the plot, you can read that dopey old review. But I'm living in the now, baby, where all we talk about is what makes One Dark Night so great.

It is EG Daily at perhaps her feistiest. It is purple satin jackets and Kitty chewing on a toothbrush throughout the proceedings ("I guess I just like the way it tastes."). It is insults like "nerdlebrain" and "turkey", it is Spencer's Gifts-style blue movie lightning shooting out of eyes and fingertips. It's teenagers handing out downers (Demerol, to be specific) like it's no big deal. It's an army of telekinetically-controlled corpses dragging their toes as they float down the mausoleum hallway. It's grosser than its PG rating warrants, with slime and maggots and peeling skin; it's got sequences that are genuinely unnerving, whether it's girls scared into silence as they watch a coffin slowly open or those same girls getting all besheeted and laughing as they try to scare the life out of one of their own.

I will cut Past Me some slack, as the cut I watched–and, to be fair, the cut I probably shouldn't have reviewed–was designed to be a bonus feature for those who have already seen the movie. With a cruddy picture and no sound, I'm sure One Dark Night seemed far beyond salvation and completely without merit. To be fair, the movie does have some pacing problems and more than a few questions that remain unanswered after its abrupt ending. But when the blue movie lighting and corpses start to fly, it's a damn good time.

I am so glad I didn't listen to My Brain, otherwise I probably would have said "Oh yeah, that movie stinks" and subsequently canceled my order. Look what changes in opinion a decade can bring! What a fool I was! Should either of us–you and me, Reader–ever listen to My Brain? NO. Should either of us ever trust my opinion? NO.

Except now, when I tell you that One Dark Night rules!

Aug 15, 2017

Watch out behind you...NIGHT TRAP is back!

I've got a wee retrospective and review of Night Trap: 25th Anniversary Edition up over at Kotaku today, huzzah! It was sure fun to dig into the history of this controversial horror-flavored game and play through the updated version. Spoiler alert: I LOVE IT. It's like playing through the absolute corniest B-grade horror movie you never knew was missing from your life.

Here's a real bummer, though: when watching a few circa-1995 video clips about the hubbub surrounding the game, I came across this quote from the late Dana Plato:
I had some controversy in my life and I just found it interesting that there was some controversy behind this also. It's like this dark cloud, you know? It just kind of follows me.
Plato would go on to overdose on prescription pills four years later. But her work as undercover S.C.A.T. agent Kelli in Night Trap and her performance in Exorcist II: The Heretic will not be forgotten! Not around these parts anyway. Plato always has a home where Final Girl's heart should be.

And yes, I know..."S.C.A.T." A most unfortunate acronym for sure.

Aug 7, 2017

Pressing Start

As everyone knows, horror and video games are two of the greatest tastes there are, and so fuck yes they taste great together. Adding me to that beautiful mix is a bit like adding cilantro to an already-delightful dish. Perhaps I will bring out some extra, even more wonderful flavors! (Is that how food works?) Or, if you are my ex's mom, perhaps you will say NO THANK YOU and cast me from the already-delightful dish right into the garbage because you find that for some reason, I make everything taste like pennies.

What I'm getting at is that I am covering the horror beat for Kotaku! (That's a video game site, in case you didn't know.) Yes, like the love child of Forrest J Ackerman and Lois Lane (I WISH) I'll be bringing you...well, horror game know, stuff. Hot scoops and the like.

My first piece went up today, and it's all about counselors killing other counselors in Friday the 13th: The Game. At the risk of sounding like some total loser who enjoys things, I'm definitely pretty excited about the gig.

PS: throwing me in the garbage because I make everything taste like pennies is an insult to me and more importantly, an insult to pennies