Horrorfest 2019 Presents: Ready Or Not (2019, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett)

Perhaps the 2019 horror satire thriller Ready Or Not is too clever for it’s own good. Maybe the snappy jokes and the brutal kills overshadow the fact that the movie doesn’t quite flesh out it’s main premise enough. Perhaps Ready Or Not would have benefitted from a longer run time. Yet the entire movie is so much fun, and has a nice creepy aspect that underlines the proceedings. Also Samara Weaving headlines a fantastic cast that also includes Andie McDowell and Adam Brody. I ended up liking this movie a lot even if certain parts fail.

Oh and the commentary on the rich is only too relevant today considering how they run the country. Oh it’s not just the first family, as the funny Why Your Team Sucks articles keep informing me. No it is also billionaires owning football teams, the super rich funding right wing causes to avoid taxes while the climate burns. Ready Or Not at least dives into that aspect to a certain extent, particularly since Grace, the main character, is not rich.

Also the film reminds me of how those in charge benefit from servants all too willing to aid them. The butler in particular is all too willing to hunt down Grace, and another member of the staff even yells out her location. Never trust someone willing to give you up so they can keep cleaning the floors and serving tea. Without revealing more I think Ready or Not was very realiable and a good eerie horror flick.

You Want Racists? This Is How You Get Racists

Image result for American Idiot

At this point I don’t think the Orange Idiot pretending to run this country from his golf course is attempting to distract from anything currently, as his so called administration has numerous scandals going on. In fact the obvious to about anyone else racist tweets he sends out on an almost regular basis are a feature of his “Presidency,” not a bug. I want to blame Stephen Miller for all of them yet I don’t think that ghoulish excuse for a human being needs to force Orange Man to unleash his so called thoughts upon the populace. Also forget keeping tabs on him, blocking him on Twitter was the smartest thing I have done all year, even though way too many people I follow insist on responding to his nonsense. Let it go, folks-he wants your attention, doesn’t care how he gets it, and following him and or responding to his childish outbursts only feeds the troll.

Of course I’m not naive enough to think that is a final solution, yet it sounds like a pretty good one: Trump only cares about if you are looking at his nonsense, and he goes crazy when people focus on someone or something else. The only danger in this is that he starts a major war, although that will probably happen sooner rather than later anyways. Remember folks: if the Democrats screw up 2020 it is four more years of racism, temper tantrums, meltdowns and the continuing decline of America. Oh and it’s funny how every time he does bash a city or country he never offers any solutions, because that requires time and effort-two things he has never believed in.

Hey! Click This!

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Look I get that people have to make a living, yet there are better ways than writing obvious click bait articles. Especially since most of them have awful headlines that literally scream “PLEASE CLICK ON ME!!!!” and cause most of us to roll our eyes. What is even worse is that to avoid being called out on not reading the article, all too many read the article only to discover that it does not tell them anything they could not have inferred from the headline alone. Political articles sense people often find them boring do this a lot, but the worst offenders are entertainment sites and social media feeds desperate to satisfy their advertisers. Eyeballs=dollars, yet do we have to all engage in such behavior to get someone to read what we right?

Am I doing this right now? I threw up that crappy headline just to see if anyone would bother reading this lame rant, so I guess I am an equal opportunity offender. “Equal Opportunity Offender” would make for a great band name, by the way. Hey read this article about my new band, Equal Opportunity Offender! Playing soon in, well, I somewhere, and featuring music that sounds like, well, ska? Jazz rock R&B fusion? I have no idea, so stay tuned! For the next article that grabs your eyeballs and forces them to suffer through another bullshit article penned by a person who needs to pay rent in two days. Perhaps it has always been this way and I just prefer to ignore that, as does most Internet users. Looking at you, BuzzFeed…

That's Bait

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.


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.

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. 

We are only about a month away from the glorious Iowa caucuses. So I’m here to encourage you to vote for Bernie Sanders, the lone candidate in this race who is progressive. He favors helping the middle class, collage affordability, universal health care, ending the drug war and making the top percent pay their fare share. He opposes costly foreign wars, believes in global warming and supports marriage equality.

If these things appeal to you then support him as much as possible. I plan to caucus for Senator Sanders. Look Hillary Clinton is not the worst candidate in the world and Martin O’ Malley would be a good choice in another election year. Still Clinton has tons of baggage and will be easily attacked by Republicans in the general election if nominated. And O’ Malley is polling so low I’m surprised he’s still running for president.

What made me also like Bernie is that he opposed the Iraq War when everyone, Hillary included, voted in favor of invading. Plus his accepting only small non-super Pac money, not being beholden to Wall Street, having a long standing record of supporting civil rights…the list goes on and on. Last time President Obama easily received my support in 2008. Bernie Sanders has my vote, easily. If you are progressive or wanting to support someone awesome, vote for Bernie Sanders.

Horrorfest 2015 Presents: Vampire In Brooklyn (1995, Wes Craven)

Lost in the discussion about Wes Craven’s career is that he engaged in comedic moments in many of his horror films. One such movie was Vampire In Brooklyn, a rather entertaining and fun horror comedy that has some good funny moments and even a few scares. Eddie Murphy in a rare horror movie role stars as a vampire seeking a cop played by Angela Bassett, who happens to be half human and half vampire. Without her the line of vampires from the Caribbean will finally die off. This movie has some decent homages to previous vampire films, and is also Wes Craven’s own take on the sub genre.

Much like some of his other films Craven presents social and political commentary. Murphy turns into a preacher and manages to convince an entire congregation that they should turn to evil. Unfortunately considering the hate many so called Christians push today such a moment is relevant and also darkly humorous to a degree. Also you have the police failing to comprehend and understand what they are dealing with, another theme that is prevalent in not only Craven’s work but also in many horror movies. I rather like how Craven is able to balance humor and horror, two genres that are tricky to get right.

Also it’s cool that he cast Zakes Mokae as a vampire hunter, since he was a horror veteran and he was great in The Serpent and the Rainbow, another Craven film. John Witherspoon and Kadeem Hardison provide additional comedic relief, yet it is Bassett who gives a strong performance and has superb chemistry with Murphy. It’s too bad that Eddie Murphy only made one horror film as he has a menacing presence. Despite its flaws this is an good, solid movie and is an example of how vampire movies contain views on society, religion and repressed feelings.

House of Spacey

Right now I am watching a Netflix original show titled House of Cards which is an American version of the famous BBC show by the same name. As I view episode seven I am amused that I am also going through The West Wing, a show that paints a more lighter picture of politics in Washington D.C. One is light the other dark, both having some realistic aspects of the political world yet also are fantastic versions of what is going on. At the heart of this gripping thriller drama is Francis “Frank” and Claire Underwood, who after being turned down for an important cabinet position go on the offensive and take the power that they were denied.

One of the best things about this show is watching Kevin Spacey act deliciously evil each week. Robin Wright is also excellent as his wife, Claire, who might be worse than he is at times. The subplots include Zoe Barnes (played by Kate Mara), an opportunistic journalist, and Peter Russo (Corey Stoll), a young Congressman. Both people are used by Francis and his sinister chief of staff, Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly), to advance Francis’ agenda. A favorite moment of mine is when Francis delivers a sneaky and lie filled sermon to a church in the third episode. Its textbook Spacey and a shining example of his brilliance as an actor.

Although the subplots are rocky at times the main storyline is incredibly well crafted. Wright and Spacey’s scenes together is the foundation of House of Cards. Some of the comedy that actually occurs is unintentional or subtitle yet the drama is very focused and engaging. Plus for some reason Francis is from the South and therefore Spacey has a Southern accent that makes him appear friendly even as he stabs people in the back and destroys anyone who gets in his way.

There are no episode titles as each one is called a chapter instead. The pilot episode was as long as an actual movie and the show has the look and feel of a cable show. David Fincher is involved although different people direct each episode. I also enjoy it when Francis (or Frank as he’s usually called) breaks the forth wall and talks to the camera. I’m amused when he says what he is thinking even as he pretends to act civil. So far this is one of the best young shows and I like that Netflix is challenging traditional TV. Right now I need more than two seasons. Badly.

Whatever, Man

Caring is hard and takes a lot of work. Its much easier to just be passive, to sit back and not give a shit. I’ll admit I’ve been plenty guilty of this, although being active say, politically, takes a lot of time and money. I have some time but not the money-yet. I’ve encountered too many people lately who ask “What’s the point?” in regards to people trying to change things for the better, or dedicating themselves to a particular cause. I’m reminded of the great journalist Greg Palast, who has spent his entire career fighting for those who can’t fight for themselves, trying to uncover the truth. I’m sure he would disagree with that assessment, and would argue that getting mad and getting even is an American right-hell a world right even. Apathy has infected our political process, and yet I wonder if somehow I could get all those who are disgusted with politics and who don’t vote to support a particular party or a decent candidate at least if I could enact some change.

Imagine if someone managed to find those independent voters and those who are disgusted with both parties and convinced them to form a party of their own. I bet it would be a decent enough number to get a good candidate on the ballot somewhere. If not then at least they tried. After all the great Teddy Roosevelt, one of our best presidents, said “Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” He was also the last independent candidate until Ross Perot to actually get a good percentage of the popular vote in a presidential election, and the Bull Moose Party ended up championing a bunch of progressive causes, some which were actually adopted later on and made into law.

For now I’ll have to settle with using my crappy blog and my Twitter account to try and spread my opinion, bashing those who deserve it while praising those who earn such approval. I certainly would love to be involved in politics at some point, although maybe I would be better off volunteering for a much nobler cause. Impacting just one person in a just way is better than having a negative outlook on the world that aids no one, particularly oneself.

A Violent Act Committed by a Terrible Person or Persons Unknown

One’s reaction to the horrible Boston attacks committed merely days ago would be to argue that no where is truly safe. But then again maybe that was the point of whoever was behind this terrible act of terrorism-and other word to call it-to strike fear into the hearts of many. If you want to be paranoid your entire life than yes allow the actions of crazy people to dictate where you go. Myself I choose to not live in fear, and I suggest everyone else do the same. That’s not to say that being prepared is a bad thing, so long as you don’t go overboard: knowing safety exits, having certain supplies handy, and being aware of your surroundings is all a good idea. However if one is to enjoy life, then you cannot be afraid to go out and experience all that life has to offer.

Terrorism will always exist-hence the reason the “War On Terror” is incredibly silly and shortsighted, only responding to threats without figuring out the causes and trying to solve the problem by attacking the root and the source instead of killing innocent people in drone attacks. Maybe this recent crime of murder and horror committed against Americans can shift our notions of accepting foreign bombings overseas and being unaware of the violence wrecked by our own government on others. Its rather different when bloodshed and death is at home, able to be viewed on TV or in person, and you realize that this is what some people overseas go through everyday.

Yes I hope they catch those responsible, and for now I think it was the work of asshole extremists, attacking for whatever insane political reasons they have going on in their heads. Hopefully this is not the work of a foreign citizen, simply due to political implications but also because I’m tired of the media not treating American citizens who commit acts of terrorism as extremists instead of what they are: terrorists. Terrorism is murder and acts of aggression wielded against innocent people and those unable to defend themselves for political reasons, and that’s what the Boston attack was.

Also my prays and thoughts are with the victims and their families. Its really sad that what was supposed to be a proud day was instead tarnished by someone or some group hellbent on harming people enjoying the freedoms of this great nation.

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