Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Exorcist - Scenes with Linda Blair's voice as the demon

Thanks to King Joe the Wicked at Paracinema for posting this fascinating snippet. An industrious Youtuber has re-edited scenes from the Exorcist using Linda Blair's original voice, instead of the dubbed over Mercedes McCambridge voice.

Embedded player is disabled, so you will probably have to click here:


Really shows you what an amazing job the young actress did in a demanding role. It's unfortunate that the sequel (one of my favorite bad movies of all time) pretty much ruined her career thanks to scenes like this ...

And this ...

And of course, this ...

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Rock the Quote: Joe Versus the Volcano

Go ahead and laugh at me. Everyone does. But, I'll say it loud and proud: I love the much-derided Hanks-Ryan bomb Joe Versus the Volcano.

I am not alone. Check out this guy, who looks all sort or ironic hipster cool. He got a tattoo of the lightning bolt used as a visual throughout the film. I'll call him Seth. I think he'd want to be my friend if he knew our shared love of JVtV.

And consider this haters: it is written and directed by John Patrick motherfucking Shanley ... who also wrote Doubt. It rocks some heavy philosophy like Doubt, but instead of bickering nuns, we get Meg Ryan (playing 3 roles quite brilliantly) and Tom Hanks in a quirky not-so-romantic comedy about a man with a "brain cloud" willing to sacrifice himself to a volcano for the chance to live it up a little first.

Anyway, I love it and still think it's much better than people give it any credit for being. And so does Seth. And I'm sure he drives a Vespa and listened to MGMT way before you knew they even existed. So I feel validated. And now you so want to be in our club. But you can't ... until you drink the orange soda and confess that you love this deep, weird tale which contains one of my favorite quotes of filmdom ...

"My father says that almost the whole world is asleep. Everybody you know. Everybody you see. Everybody you talk to. He says that only a few people are awake and they live in a state of constant total amazement." Meg Ryan as Patricia Graynamore

(Yeah, I know this has nothing to do with horror, but it's a blog ... roll with it people ...)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Awards season

I've been getting so much love from Miss Jinx over at Totally Jinxed that I'm thinking I might have to send her a fruit basket or a nice flan.

Yes, she has now bequeathed the "Bloody Award" to me. This Dr. Blood's Video Vault creation is viewable right here:

Being the world's laziest horror blogger (see Stacie Ponder quote, blog right), I will simply cut and paste the instructions required for receiving the award from her website.

“Below are twenty horror films which are universally accepted as classics listed in alphabetical order. Just rearrange the list by cutting and pasting them into your own order based on how you would rate them. For instance, if you think that "The Hills Have Eyes" is a better movie than "Hellraiser" then cut and paste it higher up in the list. Repeat this with all the titles until you have your own personalised top twenty. Other people will then be able to see if you have the same tastes in horror as them or not.”

So here goes ...

The Exorcist (1973)
Halloween (1978)
The Shining (1980)
Psycho (1960)
Alien (1979)
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Friday the 13th (1980)
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
The Thing (1982)
Rosemary's Baby (1968)
The Omen (1976)
Hellraiser (1987)
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
An American Werewolf in London (1981)
Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
The Wicker Man (1973)
The Haunting (1963)
The Lost Boys (1987)

Though I will have to admit that almost every film below Friday the 13th (save for The Lost Boys) is a better film than Friday the 13th, it is such a sentimental part of my formative years that it just can't go any lower.

So, thank you Jinx for propping up my self-esteem for just a bit longer. Any more awards from you and I just might let my Zoloft prescription expire... wait, what's this?

For the love of love. Jinx has also awarded me the Happy award. Alls I have to do is list ten things that make me happy. Since I love following instructions, but hate giving them (see earlier awards post), I won't be passing it on to other bloggers. They should know they make me happy when my wormy face shows up on their followers list.

But here are ten things that make me happy in no particular order:

10) The extra large Japanese Cherry iced tea at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.

9) Table Rock Beach in Laguna, CA where I can dive around like a Hardy Boy with goggles and stare at all the sea life that BP hasn't gotten around to killing yet.

8) My cat Ripley (named after that other source of infinite joy ... Sigourney Weaver). I especially like it when she stretches out her fat belly to get her chubs rubbed. Ripley, not Sigourney.

7) Seeing a piece of art that completely cracks my eye open. This happened just recently with the movie Martyrs, but also happened at a Jasper Johns exhibit at MoMa.

6) Trader Joe's Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

5) Chips and salsa

4) The Mai Tais at Yamashiro in Hollywood. I don't drink very often. I have the tolerance of a toddler. But one of these puts me in a shiny happy place.

3) My nephews ... they just rock ... and watching them grow up, unafraid of the gay ... even writing essays about how "Gay Must Be Okay" ... makes me realize how all of us are seeds of a greater revolution.

2) My boyfriend ... he puts up with my 12-levels of crazy disconnected thoughts all crammed together like trains in Penn Station at rush hour ... he makes sure I remember to get three squares ... he pulls me out of my computer cave to make sure I go outside and speak to other human beings ... he warns me when I'm about to walk into things ... or onto things ... or under things. And he's super cute. I got lucky.

1) Getting recognition, love, and comments from readers. I still can't believe anyone takes the time to read my blog, but it always makes me happy to see my Follower tick increase or to get a comment or, of course, an award.

OK, so that last one was pure unpasteurized suck-up, but it also happens to be true. :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Review: Martyrs (2008)

French filmmaker Pascal Laugier has done something that happens only about once in a decade. He has created an original, coherent, and uncompromising vision of horror. It is, IMHO, the first truly great horror movie of the 21st century: Martyrs.

I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew the film was controversial, but had carefully avoided reading too much about it. I knew that it was a divisive film, scoring a perfect 50% on the Tomatometer.

I became further intrigued after putting in the DVD and selecting an option for the filmmaker’s introduction. Laugier (I kid you not) apologizes for what you are about to see. I've never seen that before. It’s no grindhouse gimmick. He doesn’t plea with you to repeat “It’s only a movie” as a mantra to get yourself through it. He seems utterly casual and sincere in his apology. He seems to be saying: “This is the vision that came to me and now you must wrestle with it as I have.”

Where to begin? The narrative has so many clever redirects, so many jogs to the left when you thought you were going right, so many mind fucks, and so much yummy subtext that a plot summary almost does it a disservice.

But here is the setup: Lucie is a young girl who escapes a hellish torture chamber in an industrial building. She is brought to a hospital where she is haunted by the vision of an attacking demon, and is befriended by another orphan named Anna … a helping, loving giving tree of kindness, who is pained by her friend’s torment.

That’s everything up until the opening titles. Then, its 15 years later. That’s all I can say without a …


Instead of going through the clever plot twists (a plot synopsis is available on Wikipedia if you must know), I really want to get into the character of Anna and the ending which is, I assume, where much of the controversy lies.

Anna, our ultimate final girl, is a good soul. She is also a ragingly co-dependent lesbian stuck on damaged, psychotic straight girl Lucie. But she always tries to do the right thing. Though she is stuck in a universe devoid of moral absolutes, she is compelled to try to save everybody. But it is she that needs saving. And you want her to be saved. You would reach into the screen and do it yourself if you could break that fourth wall.


We want to save Anna so much that when, in the 3rd act, her relatively good deeds land her in the hot seat of torture, it is a miserable experience. And her ultimate fate incites deep dread.

I imagine many viewers might interpret Anna’s "transformation and enlightenment" after her abuse as a statement that women (and perhaps gays) are meant to be beaten, tortured, and abused. That they/we are put here on the earth to carry the sins of the unenlightened.

But that is not the meaning I got from Martyrs. I got quite the opposite.

For in the end, Anna’s abusers, led by the evil Madamoiselle, are revealed to be a bunch of twisted soulless religious wackos looking outside themselves for meaning, literalizing the idea of martyrdom, and trying to steal spirit from someone who has the heart and soul they lack. In the end, what they get for their evil deeds is nothing. They are still as hopeless and devoid of meaning as when their fiendish plot was devised.

Yes, Anna quite literally transcends the flesh to become pure consciousness. She is the Christ. Their calculated martyrdom of Anna “works.” It is perhaps true that people who are subjected to horrible amounts of cruelty may have no other place to go than to the deeper realm of spirit and/or psyche.

But the misguided, selfish (and doomed) fools who have engineered her martyrdom for their own salvation (instead of looking within) are ultimately left with nothing. In that sense, it doesn't work. It fails miserably.

The closing scene (and especially the closing line) delivers the true theme of the piece. It is what, I believe, reveals Laugier’s true intention. Watching it made me realize that Martyrs was both a direct dick punch to Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ and a French existentialist fuck you to Christian fundamentalism.


In the last scene, Madamoiselle, having received reports from martyred Anna on the secrets of the afterlife, gets ready to report her findings to her anxious flock. After causing the suffering of so many innocents to steal the essence of their consciousness, what is the message that Madamoiselle has to relay?

“Keep Doubting.”

Then she blows her brains out.


Fuck you, Mel Gibson.