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Down The Rabbit Hole

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Horrorfest 2016: A New Beginning


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Okay so at this point I’m just ripping off titles from the Friday the 13th series. Besides any good horror fan knows never to trust a franchise that promises the next installment is the “Last one, the final chapter, the main bad guy is finally dead!, etc.” I also am using this title because this year I’ve decided not to make any pre-viewing list this time. Instead I am just listing all of the movies I actually bother to watch from August to October, plus the few movies I usually grab to kick things off with. Reviews will still be posted, although they may be even more half-assed than normal. To the few readers of this blog I have a 40 hour a week job and thus don’t have the time I used to have to watch a million things. Plus I blame peak TV widely available online for a decrease in movie viewing. Enjoy regardless, and I hope to try and see more horror that I haven’t yet fully explored.

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1. Splatter (2009, Slasher)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/08/05/horrorfest-2016-presents-splatter-2009-joe-dante/
2. Crimson Peak (2015, Ghosts)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/08/10/horrorfest-2016-presents-crimson-peak-2015-guillermo-del-toro/
3. Coma (1978, Medical)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/08/15/horrorfest-2016-presents-coma-1978-michael-crichton/
4. The Old Dark House (1932, Crazy People)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/08/15/horrorfest-2016-presents-the-old-dark-house-1932-james-whale/
5. Murder Party (2007, Slasher)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/08/28/horrorfest-2016-presents-murder-party-2007-jeremy-saulnier/
6. Jacob’s Ladder (1990, Crazy People)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/08/28/horrorfest-presents-jacobs-ladder-1990-adrian-lyne/
7. Hostel (2005, Slasher)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/08/29/horrorfest-2016-presents-hostel-2005-eli-roth/
8. Insidious (2010, Ghosts)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/09/10/horrorfest-2016-presents-insidious-2010-james-wan/
9. Session 9 (2001, Crazy People)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/09/18/horrorfest-2016-presents-session-9-2001-brad-anderson/
10. The Cars That Ate Paris (1974, Crazy People)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/09/28/horrorfest-2016-presents-the-cars-that-ate-paris-1974-peter-weir/

Featured post

Music Log 2016


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Okay let’s try this again. And I’m not bothering with months or anything. Just a straight list. Out of 10 score for all discs.

1. The Hurting, Tears For Fears-9.0
2. Secret Diary, College-9.5
3. The Cars, The Cars-9.0
4. Elvis Costello: The First Ten Years, Elvis Costello-9.5
5. Four, Bloc Party-5.5
6. El Pintor, Interpol-8.5
7. Vitalogy, Pearl Jam-8.0
8.  Emotional Rescue , The Rolling Stones-7.0
9. Neck of the Woods, Silversun Pickups-8.0
10. Tunnel of Love, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band-9.0
11. Next Day, David Bowie-8.5
12. Boxer, The National-9.5
13. In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, Neutral Milk Hotel-10.0
14. The Voyager, Jenny Lewis-9.0
15. Sandinista!, The Clash-10.0

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16. Beggar’s Banquet, The Rolling Stones-9.0
17. Aladdin Sane, David Bowie-9.0
18. Young Americans, David Bowie-7.5
19. “Heroes”, David Bowie-9.5
20. Lodger, David Bowie-9.0
21. Kintsugi, Death Cab For Cutie-7.5
22. Centipede Hz, Animal Collective-4.0
23. Underneath the Rainbow, Black Lips-7.5
24. Low, David Bowie-9.0
25. Tusk, Fleetwood Mac-10.0
26. Especially For You, The Smithereens-9.5
27. Tell Me I’m Pretty, Cage The Elephant-7.5
28. Lungs, Florence + The Machine-8.0
29. Pablo Honey, Radiohead –7.0
30. Apartment Life, Ivy –9.0

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31. Young & Old, Tennis –7.5
32. Human Performance, Parquet Courts –9.0
33. Abacab, Genesis –8.5
34. Brothers In Arms, Dire Straights –9.0
35. Yours, Dreamily,, The Arcs –8.0
36. Pioneers Who Got Scalped , Devo –9.5
37. Yeezus, Kayne West-9.0
38. Outlandos d’Amour, The Police-9.5
39. The Sound of The Smiths, The Smiths-9.0
40. The Mouse and the Mask, Danger Doom-9.5
41. Heartthrob, Tegan and Sara-8.0
42. Thank Your Lucky Stars , Beach House-9.0
43. Quadrophenia, The Who-10.0
44. This Is All Yours, Alt-J-8.5
45. Nashville Skyline, Bob Dylan-9.5

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46. Human After All, Daft Punk-9.0
47. Untitled Unmastered, Kendrick Lamar-9.0
48. Fear Of A Black Planet, Public Enemy-10.0
49. Education, Education, Education & War, Kaiser Chiefs-6.5
50. Let England Shake, PJ Harvey-7.0
51. Random Access Memories, Daft Punk-8.0
52. Gossamer, Passion Pit-8.0
53. Midnight Sun, Ghost of a Sabertooth Tiger-8.0
54. Sunbathing Animal, Parquet Courts-8.5
55. Siamese Dream, Smashing Pumpkins-9.5
56. Toys In The Attic, Aerosmith-9.5
57. Violator, Depeche Mode-9.5
58. New Morning, Bob Dylan-9.0
59. Vacation, The Go-Gos-8.0
60. Paul’s Boutique, The Beastie Boys-9.0

61. Pretty Hate Machine, Nine Inch Nails-9.0
62. Moondance, Van Morrison-10.0
63. The 1975, The 1975-9.0
64. I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It, The 1975-7.5
65. Between The Buttons, The Rolling Stones-8.0
66. Marry Me, St. Vincent-8.5
67. A Quick One, The Who-8.5
68. White Light/White Heat, The Velvet Underground-9.5
69. Controversy, Prince-9.5
70. Blood Sugar Sex Magik, Red Hot Chili Peppers-8.0

Featured post

Horrorfest 2016 Presents: The Cars That Ate Paris (1974, Peter Weir)


This is a rather strange and yet intriguing movie. It is sci-fi, horror, and satire all rolled up into one cult low budget film package. Peter Weir before he hit it big in Hollywood created some interesting and unique movies that were centred in Australia or around Australians. The Cars That Ate Paris is one such film, and its title and subject is rather obvious. Well at least at face value.

Arthur is a young man who survives a car crash that kills his brother and leaves him stranded in the small town of Paris, Australia. He quickly discovers that no one leaves Paris, and also finds himself caught between the rebellious youth and the ruling elders of the town. This film despite weak acting and some questionable moments still is a bleak apocalyptic window into a society gone mad, ruined by their obsession with the auto.

The last act reminded me of Mad Max, which I’m sure was inspired by this movie. Weir has always been a director with something to say, and with Cars he delivers a good film that always kept me wathing. If one sits through the slower parts one is rewarded with a movie that has a crazy final act and even a funny scene out of a western. I would love to read the essay on this film written for its Criterion release.

Horrorfest 2016 Presents: Session 9 (2001, Brad Anderson)


Like many films set in creepy places, Session 9 is a well made slow burn that gradually builds up to events unforgettable and terrifying. There is one scene that reminds me of The Shining, and another that made me think of The Haunting (1963). Also one scene is a great reminder of why fear of the dark is man’s greatest fear. Brad Anderson turned from romantic comedy to horror with ease, and this is a well assured modern horror classic

Gordon (Peter Mullen) and Phil (David Caruso) are asbestos removal company workers tasked with clearing an insane asylum. The asylum has been closed for years and Gordon, desperate for money, agrees to clean it out in a week. Others employed are Mike, Hank (Josh Lucas) and Jeff, Gordon’s nephew. The asylum is eerie by itself, but coupled with the team members’ fragile emotional states the place becomes a house of horrors, again. The inmates run the place now, it seems.

Aside from the finale, which I was not a fan of, I thought this movie was fantastic. I’m still behind on modern horror and this was a blind spot for me for years. Sometimes it’s good to find a horror film that gives a window into the dark recesses of the human mind and soul.

Movie Collection Part 1


In no order:

1. Man With No Name trilogy (Sergio Leone, 1964, 1965, 1966)
2. Magnum Force (Ted Post, 1973)
3. Blade Runner collection (Ridley Scott, 1982)
4. 12 Creature Features
5. Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)
6. Big Trouble In Little China (John Carpenter, 1986)
7. Night of the Creeps (Fred Dekker, 1986)
8. 12 Monkeys (Terry Gilliam, 1995)
9. In The Mouth of Madness (John Carpenter, 1995)
10. The Social Network (2010, David Fincher)
11. Legend (Ridley Scott, 1985)
12. 20 John Wayne Movies
13. The Great Escape (John Sturges, 1963)
14. Airplane! (ZAS, 1980)
15. Dawn of the Dead (George A. Romero, 1978)
16. Death Race 2000 (Paul Bartel, 1975)
17. Ben Hur (William Wyler, 1959)
18. Killer Klowns From Outer Space (Stephen Chiodo, 1988)
19. Seven (David Fincher, 1995)
20. Inception (Christopher Nolan)
21. Major Payne/Sg. Bilko (Nick Castle, 1995/Jonathan Lynn 1996)
22. Amelie (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001)
23. Spartacus (Stanley Kubrick, 1960)
24. Gremlins (Joe Dante, 1985)
25. Sneakers (Phil Alden Robinson, 1992)
26. Fargo (Coen Brothers, 1996)
27. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (Guy Ritchie, 1998)
28. Piranha (Joe Dante, 1978)
29. The Omega Man (Boris Sagal, 1971)
30. My Bloody Valentine (George Mihalka, 1981)
31. The Driller Killer (Abel Ferrara, 1979)
32. Star Trek II The Wraith of Khan (Nicholas Meyer, 1982)
33. Hard Boiled (John Woo, 1992)
34. What About Bob? (Frank Oz, 1991)
35. Dogma (Kevin Smith, 1999)
36. Legend of the Lost (Henry Hathaway, 1957)
37. Gojira (Ishirō Honda, 1954)
38. The Last Man On Earth
39. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
40. Once Upon a Time in the West (Sergio Leone, 1968)
41. South Park Bigger Longer and Uncut (Trey Parker and Matt Stone, 1999)
42. Fight Club (David Fincher, 1999)
43. Bulworth (Warren Betty, 1998)
44. Office Space (Mike Judge, 1999)
45. The Truman Show (Peter Weir, 1998)
46. The Wild Bunch (Sam Peckinpah, 1969)
47. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (John Ford, 1962)
48. The Maltese Falcon (John Houston, 1942)
49. The Warriors (Walter Hill, 1979)
50. Minority Report (Steven Spielberg, 2002)
51. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
52. Kingdom of Heaven (Ridley Scott, 2005)
53. Burn After Reading (Coen Brothers, 2007)
54. Re-Animator
55. T2 Judgment Day (James Cameron, 1991)
56. Indiana Jones trilogy (Steven Spielberg, 1981, 1984, 1989)
57. Beavis and Butthead Do America
58. El Mariachi (Robert Rodriguez, 1992)
59. Desperado (Robert Rodriguez, 1995)
60. Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003, Robert Rodriguez)
61. The Princess Bride (Rob Reimer, 1987)
62. Planes, Trains and Automobiles (John Hughes. 1987)
63. This Is Spinal Tap (Rob Rainer, 1984)
64. Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)
65. Blazing Saddles (Mel Brooks, 1974)
66. The Godfather Trilogy (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972, 1974, 1990)
67. The Searchers (John Ford, 1956)
68. Rio Bravo (Howard Hawks, 1959)
69. The Cowboys
70. Stagecoach [John Ford, 1939)
71. Apocalypse Now/Redux (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979, 2001)
72. Ghostbusters I and 2
73. LOTR trilogy (Peter Jackson, 2001-2003)
74. Memento (Christopher Nolan, 2000)
75. Eight Legged Freaks
76. Frailty
77. Catch Me If You Can (Steven Spielberg, 2002)
78. OUATIM SE (Robert Rodriguez, 2003)
79. Shaun of the Dead (Edgar Wright, 2004)
80. Collateral (Michael Mann, 2004)
81. Spartan (David Mamet, 2004)
82. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (Shane Black, 2005)
83. A Scanner Darkly (Richard Linklater, 2006)
84. Trick ‘r’ Treat
85. First 20 Bond flicks 4 box sets
86. True Romance (Tony Scott, 1993)
87. Ernest 3 pack
88. Dirty Harry (Don Siegel, 1971)
89. Friday the 13th The Collection
90. Reservoir Dogs (Quentin Tarentino, 1992)
91. Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarentino, 1994)
92. Jackie Brown (Quentin Tarentino, 1997)
93. Kill Bill Vol. 2 (Quentin Tarentino, 2004)
94. Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarentino, 2009)
95. Slumber Party Massacre 3 pack
96. Hot Shots 1 and 2
97. Hot Tub Time Machine
98. Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927)
99. King Kong
100. MSTK The Movie

Horrorfest 2016 Presents: Insidious (2010, James Wan)


The opening shot is grainy, as if out of focus, centering on a children’s bedroom. The camera pans away from him sleeping blissfully, going towards the closet, quietly detailing everything happening. Only to rest on a freaky older lady, not moving, staring into the darkness. The music picks up and the title card slams onto the screen, violently. INSIDIOUS. From this point on I was bloody terrified. James Wan is a master of horror, crafting nightmares with ease.

Poor Renai and Josh (Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson) are parents dealing with their son being in what appears to be a coma. In a great twist on the haunted house genre he is in fact haunted, which means that the family is still in trouble no matter where they move. Wan is offering his own take on classic horror films such as Poltergeist and Burnt Offerings, movies where a family unit comes under attack from malevolent spirits. One scene where Byrne deals with a man invading her room left me scared to the point where I stopped the film midway through.

If anything the main complaint about this film is that by the last act you are so numb to the frightening elements that the film stops having the scare effect on you. There is a demon ghost that reminded me of the infamous face from The Exorcist and several other moments that encouraged me to sleep with the lights on. Oh and one hell of an ending that I did not see coming. This is probably his best film, even though I still have one other horror (this film’s sequel) and several other non horror films to see from Wan. I’m glad he’s become famous yet I’m bummed that he’s going away from horror.

Horrorfest 2016 Presents: Hostel (2005, Eli Roth)


Literally this is a nice homage/quasi remake of the 1974 classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, with some notable twists. A trio of friends travel to an Eastern European hostel and discover unknown terrors. Jay Hernandez is the main leader of the trio which also includes one other American and a guy from Iceland named Oli. Eli Roth lures us in with the first, quiet fun half, only to dive into a second, brutal act.

One scene that is blood curdling is when a man proceeds to cut a girl’s toes off. You don’t see it happening, though, and the scene is shot in a way that pays homage to the famous Chainsaw Massacre moment when Leatherface clubs someone and slams the door shut behind him. Another scene involves creepy and brutal torture, displayed in unflinching realism. Which is what the film got unfairly criticized for, along with other similar movies of that time period.

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I’m sure that better writers have dived into Hostel, Saw and other horror films that depict torture as being awful and morally wrong. Others, however, argue in favor of these movies being a mirror into American horror after 9-11 and the use of torture on terror suspects. I feel that such movies are, for better or worse, in line with the later. Particularly with the movies commentary on Americans, consumerism, and even class and social politics. Even if such thoughts are obvious or not quite well illustrated.

Despite this film’s flaws I think Hostel is an engaging slasher film with more bite than many of its breatheren. The slasher was mocked for being dumb so Eli Roth and James Wan, among others, decided to make the genre leaner, nastier and smarter. I think they succeded, and I would prefer more films like theirs than usual mindless fare, even though I do enjoy the dumb ones, too.

Horrorfest Presents: Jacob’s Ladder (1990, Adrian Lyne)


For some reason psychological horror thrillers were a big thing in the late 1980s and 1990s. They were usually well made and had a higher pedigree than many lower budget horror films. Jacob’s Ladder was one of them, and it’s a great and freaky journey into the psyche of its main character, played by the famous actor Tim Robbins. Robbins does a fantastic job of conveying man on the verge of madness, haunted by his past. Adrian Lyne does a fine job of visually presenting these nightmares and giving us a window into Jacob’s shattered mind.

Dealing with his troubles are his girlfriend, Jezzie, played by Elizabeth Peña and his chiropractor, Louis (Danny Aiello). Neither though really has answers for what is going on with Jacob, and even his own old army unit fails to give him any peace. One scene where Jacob is wheeled through a hospital is quite freaky, and there are other eerie moments that make the viewer wonder what is really going on.

My only major complaint about this film is that I already knew certain major details. I wish I could have seen this in theaters back in 1990, as I’m sure that this movie surprised many movie goers. I consider this to be a well made horror drama, one that is much tragic as it is scary. Also it’s too bad that even decades later Vietnam and other war vets suffer from the traumatic events of war.

Horrorfest 2016 Presents: Murder Party (2007, Jeremy Saulnier)


Most of this film is build up to a wild final act, and yet the movie is constructed in a way that it makes sense. Poor Christopher unfortunately shows up at a party full of costume men and women that have decided to kill him. For art, of course, since that’s what’s hip nowadays. Before Jeremy Saulnier gave us Blue Ruin and Green Room him and his buddies crafted this weird slasher movie full of awful people and strange happenings.

Despite being really low budget this movie has good pacing and is entertaining. The murder artists have radical costumes-the ones inspired by The Warriors and Blade Runner were my favorites. Also being in line with Saulnier’s other films this one has gore and violence to spare. I loved Blue Ruin and I enjoyed this film so up next is Green Room, which I’ve heard good things about.

Communication Breakdown


I love that song. Great album. Today after driving my roommate to work I heard a DJ on a local radio station talking about millennials. Apparently work places are having their older workers do bullshit sounding work exercises to better connect with younger workers. As a 30 year old retail employee who deals often with people almost half his age or young college kids, I think that’s a stupid idea. Look whatever happened to just talking to people, getting to know them better? I could blame the Internet and smartphones for this lack of connection, yet I just come off as a grumpy old man.

No its simple: find something people can relate to, or just listen to people when they talk to you. I’m an anti social asshole and even I understand that talking and listening to people isn’t difficult. Maybe its because I do it on a regular basis, which means that retail is mostly good for forcing people to act like human beings. Well at least half of the time. Some of the time? Okay a forth of the time.

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Horrorfest 2016 Presents: The Old Dark House (1932, James Whale)


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James Whale created some memorable and classic horror films. The Old Dark House is one of those films, and while it’s not as good as his best work in the genre it’s still very good. I loved the dialogue in this movie, which is sharp and funny, along with the wonderful characters. This is one of the most delightful bunch of people I’ve ever encountered in a horror comedy picture. It also helps that most, if not all, are British and have that “What, me worry?” take on things that always amuses me.

A trio of wary travelers end up in an old mansion where the butler is played by horror legend Boris Karloff, who of course has a scar and his usual imposing presence. This film helped create many horror cliches, from people stuck in a creepy house in the middle of a storm to someone possibly crazy being kept locked up in the attic. I didn’t really care for the last act but the rest of the movie works and I think it’s a fun, if not scary at all, movie.

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