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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/

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

Featured post

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.

Horrorfest 2016 Presents: Coma (1978, Michael Crichton)


Okay for a merely very good and entertaining horror thiller from the 197os this movie has a pretty awesome cast. Tom Selleck, Ed Harris and Rip Torn all appear in this film and they aren’t even the stars or major characters. Heading the film are Michael Douglas, Geneviève Bujold, and legendary actor Richard Widmark. Famous Bond girl Lois Chiles also makes an appearance as a woman who suffers misfortune, because well it’s a 70s horror thriller set in a hospital. Nothing good ever happens there.

Susan Wheeler and Mark Bellows (Douglas, Bujold) have trouble in their relationship. They also have trouble at the hospital they work at, Boston Memorial, where normal healthy people are falling into comas for no reason. Susan has her suspicions while Mark is convinced it’s nothing. Desperate, she confides in Dr. George Harris (Widmark), who tries to keep her out of trouble. Things spiral from there of course, and there are many tense and crazy scenes that are well crafted. I particularly loved a freaky moment in a clinic that is straight out of a David Cronenberg movie. Funny considering this was made during his early period, and I have to wonder if it helped inspire Dead Ringers. 

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Furthermore the last act is a bit outlandish if not completely paranoid driven, and yet it works. The movie is largely an exercise in slow burn and the payoff is worth the film’s solid runtime. Douglas and Bujold have great chemistry together, and Crichton actually shows talent as a director. Maybe more writers should make movies, or perhaps just certain ones can direct. Also the film has some interesting commentary on sexual politics (Susan would probably be more easily believed if she was a man or not in the 1970s) and some thoughts on the medical profession.

Widmark’s monologue is fantastic and crazy, a sample of it being: “Our society faces momentous decisions. Decisions about the right to die. About abortion. About terminal illness, prolonged coma, transplantation. Decisions about life and death. But society isn’t deciding. Congress isn’t deciding. The courts aren’t deciding. Religion isn’t deciding. Why? Because society is leaving it up to us, the experts. The doctors.” I guess in all of the madness I forgot that this movie is very well written and has some quality dialogue. Nice.

Horrorfest 2016 Presents: Crimson Peak (2015, Guillermo del Toro)


Gorgeous and elegant, with a grand cast and a creepy score Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak is another fine example of his ability to make a good horror film. This one happens to be in the tradition of classic gothic horror, with ghosts mostly accepted as being real or possible by many of the characters. Furthermore there is a great sense of dread prevailing through the entire movie, one that never lets up even after the credits roll.

Even though the plot is rather simple I did not mind figuring out what would happen later on. Del Toro channels many past horror films effectively while also bringing his own style to the picture. At times del Toro does not get enough credit for being a talented director, and I always look forward to whatever new project he is working on. This film benefits from his ability to paper over some of its flaws and to account for certain scenes that don’t work as well as others.

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Having a marvelous cast sure works in his favor-even Charlie Hunnam, the weak link, is good as the kindhearted and smart doctor Alan,  who has a crush on Mia Wasikowska’s young budding writer Edith. Unfortunately for him she falls under the spell of British aristocrat Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston) and his eerie sister, Lucille (Jessica Chastain). Despite warnings from both Alan and her father, Edith decides to wed Thomas and move to his crumbling mansion overseas. Anyone who’s ever seen a horror film could guess where this is going.

Yet there are plenty of creepy moments as previously noted, and the house’s presence is so notably made that it’s as if it’s part of the cast itself. Also the third act did take me by surprise in a few regards and was very tense. Some think that “Peak” is not a horror film, yet I disagree. It’s a good addition to the “Don’t go in the house” genre.

Owner of a Lonely Facebook


One of the negatives about Facebook is that you add people that you are never going to see again, just to keep in contact with them. There is utilizing the app to keep in touch and then there is “Well at least I have that person who moved away for good on my friend’s list.” Which brings to mind Fight Club’s “Self-serving friends” even though the goal is to continue being that person’s friend and not losing touch. 

Yet Facebook seems to encourage and further this behavior, also leading to multiple acquaintances who one is either too lazy or too polite to unfriend. Even worse is those who keep unfriending and the  friending back people who they regularly interact with in real life. That’s beyond silly and while I don’t engage in such behavior I know too many who do on a regular basis. 

If there is a point to this rant it is that the Internet encourages poor choices. I think in the future I shall try to pick wisely. The fear that a website meant to bring people together is in fact making it easier for people to stay fragmented. The introverts have taken over cyberspace and everyone seems to have fallen suit. Time for me to get off the phone and find some real friends in the real world. 

Horrorfest 2016 Presents: Splatter  (2009, Joe Dante)


This has a Z grade movie charm to it, which shouldn’t come as a surprise considering that it was produced by Roger Corman and directed by Joe Dante. However that charm only goes so far and results in a mostly unsatisfying short film that relies way too much on gore and has characters that aren’t even paper thin. More like paper mache.

Corey Feldman does wonderfully ham his way through this entire mess, while Tony Todd is left wondering if he should have just gone to a horror convention instead. The rest of the cast I didn’t even recognize and even if I did know who they are would it really matter? Due to being too lazy to watch the DVDs I rented from my local library I ended up watching this instead since it’s on a Netflix. Sometimes having online streaming options is a bad thing.

Netflix TV List


Sure I have made a bunch of these over the years but this one is Netflix only.

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1. Burn List Season 2 Episode 10: Do No Harm
2. Longmire Season 3 Episode 2: Of Children and Travelers
3. 30 Rock Season 3 Episode 5: Reunion
4. Angel Season 2 Episode 18: Dead End
5. House of Cards Season 3 Episode 8: Chapter 34
6. Luther Series 3 Episode 2: Episode 2
7. New Girl Season 3 Episode 11: Clavado En Un Bar
8.  Sliders Season 4 Episode 3: Common Ground

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9. The West Wing Season 3 Episode 2: Manchester Part 1
10. Life Season 1 Episode 6: Powerless
11. Portlandia Season 1 Episode 4: Mayor Is Missing
12. The IT Crowd Season 3 Episode 5: Friendface
13. Archer Vice Season 5 Episode 5: Southbound and Down
14. Leverage Season 4 Episode 2: The 10 Li’l Grifters Job
15. Daredevil Season 2 Episode 8: Guilty As Sin
16. Death In Paradise Series 4 Episode 7: She Was Murdered Twice
17. Penny Dreadful Season 2 Episode 2: Verbis Diablo

Politics, Politics


Over my short time voting I’ve been all over the map politically. I’ve gone third party (Libertarian), Republican, Democrat  (current party) and I’ve even considered voting Green Party. Too bad the GOP has completely gone off the rails by nominating Donald Trump, as in the past I’ve leaned right at times. Lately I’ve turned to more progressive causes, going with Bernie Sanders in a desperate attempt to find a decent candidate. Unfortunately and unsurprisingly, he lost and choose to endorse someone based on research and recent Internet quizzes I’ve come to support: Hillary Clinton. 

Look she is not the best choice, and I can’t blame people for voting third party. I wonder why people vote Trump but it’s not much of a mystery: it’s based around fear. However those of us who don’t buy into his bullshit have to go with the lesser of two evils. It’s not great yet I’ll take it over the person who thinks building a wall or killing terrorists families is a good idea. Still we have the problem of Hillary being a hawk on foreign issues, albeit someone who maybe can be persuaded to not embark on too many crazy wars. Anyways the sad fact is that both parties are too close to each on foreign policy issues anyways. 

No its domestic that makes the decision easy. While I want to continue mocking Hillary’s pivoting on certain keys issues such as gay marriage, the truth is that even myself and President Obama took a while to decide to back rights for the LGBQ community. We all can’t be Joe Biden. At this point I favor gun control of some kind or another, am pro-choice, and pro-enviromment. Regardless of what you think of Hillary she either supports these issues or at least pays them lip service. And we all know that she backs the ACA and the idea of universal health care, which is a good thing. Look I may have insurance with my job but there are people who are not so lucky. 

So let’s get to the emails. She lied plenty, yet there was no indictment and therefore the matter is closed in my mind. I’m more worried about her support for the Iraq War and the disastrous Libya conflict. The last one was at least an international effort, while the Iraq War got the support and vote of way too many in Congress. As for Benghazi I’m sick to death of hearing about that, too. Guess what: more people died during the presidency of George W. Bush. Yet you don’t hear about that from Republicans. 

Oh yeah anyone who gets this much hate from many hypocritical and witch hunting Republicans can’t be all bad. I know what I am getting with Clinton Presidency Part II: Hillary Takes Over. I have no idea what Trump will do as president. He’s a loose cannon who cannot be trusted to do the right thing. I would love to vote third party again, or write in Bernie in anger, yet that is irresponsible in my opinion. I live in a swing state and don’t have the luxury of others. I also don’t want minorities who will suffer under a Trump presidency to be let down because I didn’t do everything possible to prevent “Cheeto Jesus” from taking power. We can’t survive another George W. Bush style presidency. I don’t want to live through that again, and oh yeah Jon Stewart retired so we won’t have him around this time. I’m with her. 

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