Quickie 34 – Suspiria (2018)

or “Saturday Night Fever Dreams”

From the writer of less-than-stellar remake The Invasion and the director of Call Me By Your Name, this Amazon Studios remake (revisioning?) of the Dario Argento horror classic had a lot to live up.

“A delusion is lies that tell truth.” – Dr. Jospeh Klemperer

The Markos Dance Company is one of the most prestigious studios of its kind in all of Europe. Located in Berlin, its head instructor Madame Blanc somehow managed to keep it and its female wards free of Nazi interference in World War II: War-tastic Boogaloo. Going strong as ever in 1977, their prize student Patricia has gone missing to the great concern of her psychiatrist, Dr. Klemperer. Ranting about witches and being groomed for sinister intentions by the school’s staff, the notion that she’s simply joined an underground band of revolutionaries embroiled in the social upheaval permeating Berlin at the time seems a good enough story for the company to maintain plausible deniability. Dr. K though? Not so much.

Amid the mysterious happenings at Markos, American amateur dancer Susie Banion has just rolled in seeking a position with the troupe. After acing her audition (despite no formal training), she’s accepted and embraced by Miss Blanc and quickly makes her way up the ranks due to the recent absence of Pats, being so bold as to volunteer as the new lead in their big upcoming production! Now the young Mennonite from Ohio is the one being groomed for great purpose by Blanc and her staff, but will she figure it out soon enough to escape with her innocence intact? Not before a LOT of German interpretive dance!

Suspiria suffers from the instant stigma of being a remake, compounded by the fact that the movie it’s remaking has a rabid cult following, compounded further by the fact that the movie’s lead is being played by the woman who starred in those fucking Fifty Shades of Grey movies. On the positive side of this, though, director Guadagnino and writer Kajganich forego any pretense of “are they or aren’t they?” regarding the status of the faculty’s involvement in the dark arts, allowing them to embrace the theme with both arms and explore the inner politics and practices of their coven instead. There’s a power struggle between those who want to grasp desperately to the old ways and those who want to progress with the times. It bluntly parallels the subplot of social turmoil in the city at the time, as well as with many areas of the world today, including, in no small way, the socio-political ideals currently at odds here in the US.

And if you don’t give a flying turd zeppelin about this type of topic interrupting your trippy-ass horror movies, I don’t blame you. This is probably one of the more divisive remakes to come down the proverbial pipeline in the last 20 years. Whatever your opinion on it, either based on your personal viewing, what you’ve heard secondhand or what your general knee jerk “I don’t need to see it to know how I feel about it”reaction, our opinions are just that – opinions. By their very nature, opinions are neither correct nor incorrect. As such, I’d like to ask that you keep that in mind in regard to my next statement: I could not find a single thing about Suspiria that I didn’t like.

HOLD YOUR FIRE!

At first blush, I thought the idea of a 2.5hr remake of Suspiria was guaranteed to be over-indulgent. That’s not just the default buzz word particularly average people use when trying to piss on productions that go over their head or that they just don’t “get”. In this case, those 150+ minutes of movie were well utilized. I wasn’t bored at any moment while sitting there watching it. When I wasn’t intrigued by the turmoil of the faction or the tormenting of our protagonista, I was enthralled by the intensity of the dancers and the way the director highlighted the contortion and outright deformity of their bodies to accomplish their movements. The rhythmic writhing and undulation, especially during the climax performance, kept my attention rapt. I was enamored in a non-exploitative way at the talent and dedication of these women and the spell their movements cast. Imagine me as a taller, hairier version of Danny DeVito at the end of the ”It’s Always Sunny” season 14 finale to get an idea of just how deeply I was drawn into these sequences.

Visually, the movie doesn’t try to play with its color scheme the way Argento’s original vision did. Aside from some eye rattling fever dreams visited upon Susie and a visual hellscape of a final act, the air of the production is very much anchored in the real world to remind us of the conflicts going on around us. Gods damn it, I can’t keep talking like this without wanting to punch myself in the stomach for coming off like such a ponce! Fuck it. I love this movie. Hours after watching it I was lying awake, almost upset by the fact that I couldn’t find anything wrong with it. For the sake of my remaining sanity, I finally gave in. For anyone who can’t forgive me for saying it, do what you need to, but for me, the 2018 Suspiria is a perfect movie.

Well, with the exception of Tilda Swinton playing an old man. The shape of her face, the sound of her voice, the intensity of her eyes, I just wasn’t able to see her as anything other than Tilda Swinton in old man prosthetics. THERE! THERE’S YOUR PINT OF BLOOD, YOU VAMPIRES! *HISSSSSSS*

Moral of the Story: Watch out for those Mennonite girls, gents! They’re freakier than their religion lets on.

Final Judgment:

Five Witchy Poos out-of-Five

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Enjoy the review? Hate the review? Have a movie you’d like to see judged in The Tomb? Fill out the feedback form! Never has it been easier to make contact with a deitic being!

All materials found within this review are the intellectual properties and opinions of the original writer. The Tomb of Anubis claims no responsibility for the views expressed in this review, but we do lay a copyright claim on it beeyotch, so don’t steal from this shit or we’ll have to go all Farmer Vincent on your silly asses. © October 1st 2013 and beyond, not to be reproduced in any way without the express written consent of the reviewer and The Tomb of Anubis, or pain of a physical and legal nature will follow. Touch not lest ye be touched.

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Quickie 33 – The Night Eats the World (2018)

or “Introverts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse”

Today’s feature is an independent horror movie proving that even in the throes of an undead plague setting, the French can’t help wallowing in their own ennui.

“No, no. He won’t eat us. Hi Alfred!” – Sam

Our protagonist-to-be Sam hits up his ex Fanny (that’s a name!?) to recover some audio cassettes she accidentally took with her when moving in with her new beau Mathieu (pronounced the same way I approach numbers – “Math. Ew.”). Being an introvert, Sammy picked the worst possible time to retrieve his tapes though, because the lovers are having a house party that makes House Party look like House Party 3 and he’s left waiting for Butt/Vagina (depending on where you are) to get away from her wall-to-wall attendees long enough to reunite him with his possessions. As such, he spends that time exactly like I would: sitting on a couch, alone in a crowd. After finally being fed up with her ignoring him, he demands to know where his sick tracks are and she directs him to an office in the back of the apartment. On the way there, his nose becomes the casualty of some douche goblin with a Polaroid camera who stumbles into our hero, giving the frail gent a seeming concussion, as he passes out almost immediately upon reaching the room. A tactic that I’ve used many times in similar social settings!

As he’s fading to black, we hearing the telltale signs of a disturbance outside. Sure enough, when Sam regains consciousness the next morning, the rest of the place is in shambles and what appears to be blood is streaked on the walls! It turns out he slept right through a zombie outbreak. *Wacky sitcom noise goes here*

Unlike 28 Days Later or “The Walking Dead”, our hero’s in no hurry to explore the lifeless streets of Paris, probably because he’s seen a zombie movie or two in his life and knows better than to leave yourself out in the open when an entire population is eyeballing you like the newest Oreo flavor. Not eager to join the crowd (his introverted tendencies ain’t so bad now are they, MOM?!), he opts to settle in as the last man (as far as he knows) on Earth and make the best of a bad situation, holed up in his ex’s building with his own best friend – himself. Yes, rather than trying to figure out a way to escape his imprisonment, Sam embraces it as an opportunity to get lost in his own creativity to keep himself safe and sane. He even manages to make a “friend” or two along the way.

If you’re a fan of these one-man show style movies that study the human psyche and blah blah blah, then this is worth a view for you. I enjoyed the tame, low stakes journey of watching our hero comfortably adjusting to a situation that would drive the average person to total madness. It gives me hope that I too will be able to pull it off should the situation present itself. As a whole, the movie is a nice break from your typical “humans vs. hordes” slaughter sessions if you’re looking for something to break up the same old same old. Not that there’s anything wrong with said same old in The Tomb, but again, sometimes it’s just nice seeing something different.

But (not Fanny), my biggest gripe with any zombie movie is almost always the biology of their ghouls and the situation here is no different. In TNEtW, that gripe is big and throbbing and turgid and aggressive. Throughout Sam’s survival tenure (of which we’re talking a minimum of a few months), the infected look as fresh on day 100 as they did on day 1. They’re never shown eating ANYTHING, and yet the scourge of time doesn’t bring with it the telltale signs of malnutrition! These aren’t rotted corpses risen from the grave, mind you, but normal everyday folk who were turned into primal attack animals that not only haven’t succumbed to muscular atrophy, but thrive despite there being no sustenance or hydration to keep their bodies fueled!

I know, I know, “suspension of disbelief” and all. Sorry to say that my personal suspension (of disbelief) bridge doesn’t reach that far and thus these particular infected freaks Wile E. Coyote off into the void below. Nits picked.

Moral of the Story: No man is an island… except for Sam. He’s the Malta of men!

Final Judgment:

Three Frogs Wearing Berets out-of-Five

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Enjoy the review? Hate the review? Have a movie you’d like to see judged in The Tomb? Fill out the feedback form! Never has it been easier to make contact with a deitic being!

All materials found within this review are the intellectual properties and opinions of the original writer. The Tomb of Anubis claims no responsibility for the views expressed in this review, but we do lay a copyright claim on it beeyotch, so don’t steal from this shit or we’ll have to go all Farmer Vincent on your silly asses. © October 1st 2013 and beyond, not to be reproduced in any way without the express written consent of the reviewer and The Tomb of Anubis, or pain of a physical and legal nature will follow. Touch not lest ye be touched.

Quickie 32 – Apollo 18 (2011)

or “Kiss of the Spider Monsters”

50 years ago this year, the Apollo 11 NASA mission successfully placed astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the surface of Earth’s solitary satellite: Moon. Yeah, of all the moons in the Milky Way, ours got the laziest moniker. Go fucking figure. Anyway, in 1992, They Might Be Giants released their album “Apollo 18”, which would be introduced to me by my friend and fellow HOPELESS stalwart Mike and go on to be my favorite TMBG production. It was named for the canceled NASA mission that was meant to follow Apollo 17 (weird, right?) but would never fly thanks to budgetary constraints. Said failed flight is the focus for our feature…which you probably already pieced together, given its title. I just wanted to shoehorn in the TMBG reference because my editor/wife isn’t a fan and I like to playfully dick with her! *blart*

“The men who went to the moon to explore in peace, remain there to rest in peace.” – Nathan Walker

As mentioned, Apollo 18 and any further manned missions to the moon were kiboshed in the ’70s because of those previously mentioned lacking funds. However, that’s just what the US government wanted you to think, because according to the found footage used to assemble these next 90 minutes of story, 18 DID happen! It was put back into action under the secrecy of bureaucratic red tape, the truth redacted along with the likes of the second shooter, the secret blend of herbs and spices of MK Ultra, and the identities of the victims who succumbed to Taft’s cannibalism addiction.

Air Force astro-boys Nathan Walker, Benjamin Anderson and Jonathan Grey were shot, on Xmas day 1974, into the inky black void of the galactic butthole with a top secret payload of spy equipment (to keep an eye on those dirty commies) and a shit ton of cameras to record every aspect of their mission, leaving behind a whole lot of loved ones who are no doubt gonna be memorializing them before you can say “acceptable losses”. While John Boy stays behind in their intended ride home (sorry boys, not how these black ops things work), the other two land moonside to carry out their mission, gathering moon rocks and setting up their surveillance equipment.

No sooner have they set up shop, the duo start hearing weird phantasmal spook noises over their radio and unsettling scratching sounds at the outside of their capsule. To make things creepier, overnight one of their rocks somehow escaped its containment bag and made it into the floor, contaminating the sample. Further sleuthing outside turns up a mysterious set of footprints that, when followed, lead them to… A Russian lander?! Cosmonauts of the Damned! 

The only evidence of life that Ben (“Jalapeno Dick” to his friends) and Nate uncover near the abandoned pod is an emaciated corpse in a Russian spacesuit left in a nearby crater, surrounded by… more moon rocks. Nate gets Space Invader’d by some spidery-looking thing we glimpse for a brief second, but when Ben gets him back to their lander, he notices a wound on his partner’s stomach and a hard, ROCK-LIKE substance that he pulls from inside of it. Long story short, their paranoia tells them that their country isn’t just “spying on the Ruskies” and they realize too late that they’re jolly well fucked because the bizarre moon rocks that litter the surface turn out to be HOSTILE ALIEN SPIDER MONSTERS!

Apollo 18‘s reliance on the “found footage” motif works to both its favor and its failure. The dozen or so cameras from which the footage is spliced feels too much like a movie and not enough like actual found footage. This isn’t helped by the eyesore computer generated aliens that we’re supposed to believe are caught on camera and not just digitally smeared over the footage after the fact. Additionally, the actors here aren’t good enough to make their experience feel genuine. These guys are clearly going by a script. Genuine emotions are lost in exceedingly sterile or overwrought performances. There’s never a convincing halfway point between the two.

The themes of isolation and the absence of traditional movie soundtrack are the best parts of the movie’s gimmick and give the foreboding tone that a good horror movie needs, shored up by the creepy radio transmissions which, speaking of, are never explained. I guess the rock spiders are just naturally disruptive of radio waves and can make scary noises across them? I don’t fucking know. Just because it’s effective doesn’t mean it’s without fault. Kinda like my writing!

REVIEW OVER.

Moral of the Story: Never trust “the Man”. Even when you’re part of “him”? Especially when you’re part of “him”!

Final Judgment:

Two-and-a-Half Jars of Tang out-of-Five

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Enjoy the review? Hate the review? Have a movie you’d like to see judged in The Tomb? Fill out the feedback form! Never has it been easier to make contact with a deitic being!

All materials found within this review are the intellectual properties and opinions of the original writer. The Tomb of Anubis claims no responsibility for the views expressed in this review, but we do lay a copyright claim on it beeyotch, so don’t steal from this shit or we’ll have to go all Farmer Vincent on your silly asses. © October 1st 2013 and beyond, not to be reproduced in any way without the express written consent of the reviewer and The Tomb of Anubis, or pain of a physical and legal nature will follow. Touch not lest ye be touched.

Quickie 31 – The Babysitter (2017)

or “Don’t Tell Mom, the Babysitter’s Occult”

The man known only as “McG” made a name for himself in the ’90s as one of the prominent names headlining the crop of “music video directors turned feature film helmers”. Then he made Terminator: Salvation and nobody really wanted to touch him outside of directing some TV show episodes. Believe it or not (said in Jack Palance’s voice), The Babysitter is my first McG movie and I’m not going to lie, I came into it with a little bit of bias as his prior works all came off as the type of sullied celluloid that I wanted nothing to do with. Today, that stance has changed. For the better? Find out!

“Why is he shirtless?” – Cole

Meet Cole. He’s your typical movie nerd stereotype. His choice of hobbies and nerdy attire make him a target for the local bully. He has asthma and a crippling fear of spiders. Physical activity is not his friend and he’s too afraid of fucking things up to try new things. Despite being 12, his parents still insist on him having a babysitter (hence the title). However, since his sitter Bee (as in the insect, not the Golden Girl) is a barely legal blond bombshell who’s into geeky shit and is disturbingly physically comfortable with her “is he or isn’t he” pubescent ward, this is probably as far from a negative as Cole’s got in his life.

After a 15 minutes intro of scenes establishing potential dangers around their house for Home Alone style reasons later, Cole’s parents (including his dad, played by Ken Marino!) go away for a weekend, leaving Cole in that “enviable if this were a porno” position of being alone with Bee for two days and nights. Too bad for him this is a horror flick instead, cuz it turns out she and some of her buddies from school are planning to do some very bad things (involving neither Christian Slater nor chainsaws, spoiler) after he goes to bed…

And no, it’s not an orgy.

But it does involve lots of bodily fluid. Like, buckets of. It’s a slippery, sticky, bloody good time.

Without pouring out too much in the way of spoiled miak, Cole ends up fighting for his life, challenging his own perceptions of himself, and learning to stand up for himself in that way that cinematic protagonists tend to manage over a 90 minute runtime that the rest of us need months or years of therapy to even scratch the surface of.

The Babysitter is a comedy horror flick that goes beyond the pale of simple “black humor” and goes full “words written on the screen” aesthetic. If excessive levels of absurdity, especially those in which every character has snappy dialogue to the point that you presume they all went to the same improv workshop together. Bee’s peers’ ridiculous personalities are each hilarious in their own way, and it’s extremely rare when I can say that I enjoyed every member of a movie’s cast.

As for McG, again, I can’t say anything about his work outside of The Babysitter, but at least here the guy has a great sense of pacing. Once things go sideways, they don’t stop until the end credits crawl. My only gripe is the climax, which gets ramped up to such a degree that it goes too far and completely derails the last ten minutes for me. It doesn’t ruin the rest of the movie by any measure, but it’s ridiculous enough that one of the movie’s most emotional moments didn’t land with me, as I was too preoccupied by, well, you’ll have to see it for yourself.

If you’re looking for some over the top absurdist shit to lighten up your evening, I can’t guarantee that this feature is the cure for what ails you, but it definitely gets my figurative seal of approval. If not for that ending, I might have given it a perfect score. Keep your comments in your pocket.

Moral of the Story: No one wants to fill a great porpoise. You hear that, Flipper? STOP CALLING ME!

Final Judgment:

Four Billy Jacks out-of-Five

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Enjoy the review? Hate the review? Have a movie you’d like to see judged in The Tomb? Fill out the feedback form! Never has it been easier to make contact with a deitic being!

All materials found within this review are the intellectual properties and opinions of the original writer. The Tomb of Anubis claims no responsibility for the views expressed in this review, but we do lay a copyright claim on it beeyotch, so don’t steal from this shit or we’ll have to go all Farmer Vincent on your silly asses. © October 1st 2013 and beyond, not to be reproduced in any way without the express written consent of the reviewer and The Tomb of Anubis, or pain of a physical and legal nature will follow. Touch not lest ye be touched.

Quickie 30 – Hush (2016)

or “Speak No Evil, Hear No Evil, See LOTS of Evil”

Hush. Hush. Thought I heard her calling my name now. Hush. Hush. She broke my heart but I love her just the same now. Lyrics so deep. Lyrics so purple.

“…” – Maddie

Another initiate into the Gimmick Thrillers Movie Club, the protagonista of tonight’s feature is Maddie: a deaf-mute author who has exiled herself to a handicap-friendly home in the nigh-solitary surroundings of “the woods”. Though she does have a few friends in the area, for the most part she’s cut off from the rest of the outside world..with the exception of phone service, internet, and the possibility of a telegraph machine in the basement. One thing she DOESN’T have is a direct emergency security alert line to the local police or fire departments, but maybe her last book didn’t sell THAT well.

In traditional cinematic torment, Maddie becomes the prey for an ambitious predator (simply credited as “The Man”, to which Becky Lynch and Ric Flair would no doubt disagree) that conceals his identity behind an uninspired Eyes Without a Face knock-off mask. Seriously, those Rejuvenique facial cleansing appliances are at minimum 17.4% more horrifying than what this guy’s picked out for his big murderer’s night out. A pallor visage counts as scary? If this guy ever found himself in Ireland or at a Cure concert, he’d probably shit himself into a fatal case of dehydration!

Our backwoods mantagonist must fancy himself one of those sexy white trash Daryl Dixon types too, since his weapon of choice is a crossbow. Granted, it makes for far less aural feedback than a firearm, but it also screams “wannabe survivalist” so loud that it would fuck up the echo location ability of a passing colony of bats. [Editor’s Note: Your man was good in The Belko Experiment AND looks like a non-union equivalent version of Kenny Omega, so the wannabe survivalist gimmick gets a pass. For now. If he ends up using a crossbow in another movie and it isn’t a joke, points will be subtracted accordingly.]

The cat and mouse game we’re audience to is pretty much what you’d expect from The Movie Duplicator Engine and suffers a smidgen from over-telegraphing its path. However, to its credit, the high tension works and the cinematography keeps much of the action visible despite the middle-of-the-night mood lighting. In the end, Hush does its job and it does its job more than capably. Nothing to break the tried and true stalker flick mold, but a step above your standard mundane murder movie.

Moral of the Story: It’s called a “home security system”, people. If you’re gonna live out in the middle of fucking nowhere AND you’re exceedingly vulnerable due to a lack of sensory perception, INVEST IN ONE!

Final Judgment:

Three-and-a-Half Rejuvenique Masks out-of-Five

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Enjoy the review? Hate the review? Have a movie you’d like to see judged in The Tomb? Fill out the feedback form! Never has it been easier to make contact with a deitic being!

All materials found within this review are the intellectual properties and opinions of the original writer. The Tomb of Anubis claims no responsibility for the views expressed in this review, but we do lay a copyright claim on it beeyotch, so don’t steal from this shit or we’ll have to go all Farmer Vincent on your silly asses. © October 1st 2013 and beyond, not to be reproduced in any way without the express written consent of the reviewer and The Tomb of Anubis, or pain of a physical and legal nature will follow. Touch not lest ye be touched.

Quickie 29 – Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (2015)

or “Always B Prepared”

When it comes to Doomsday scenarios, everybody always wants to be a “prepper”. They think that looking up life hack blogs and ordering half the LL Bean catalog makes them trained survivalists. It doesn’t. You know what does? A decade in the Boy Scouts or a non-homophobic equivalent. You thought that Pinewood Derby shit was just for kicks? Strap a quarter stick to one of those things and you’ve got instant zombie crowd control from the safety of a steep incline!

Anyway, today’s movie embraces the benefits of merit badge based education in a world where there’s no more room in Hel.

“Tonight, we’re gonna show them what being a real Scout’s all about.” – Ben Goudy

Ben, Carter and Augie are three of the oldest Boy/Cub/Eagle Scouts you’ll ever meet. Well into their high school years, the trio are the only remaining members of their troop, guided by their long time mentor, Scout Leader Rogers. While their peers are experiencing sex, drugs and whatever today’s version of “rock n roll” is, the lads are learning how to MacGyver Mother Nature into being their plaything. While Augie couldn’t be happier (he’s the stereotypical socially inept fat ginger kid, after all) about obtaining his final badge and thus becoming the pinnacle of Scouthood, Carter just wants to party with his classmates, imbibe in controlled substances, and date rape any drunk pair of tits he can get his pathetic hands on. You know, typical horn dog “coming of age” future sex offender caricature. As for Ben, he’s caught in the middle, morally doing everything he can to keep from hurting Augie’s feelings while hormonally doing whatever might put him in the panties of his long time crush, Kendall… Carter’s sister.

When Carter and Ben score an invite to the ultimate high school rave of ultimate destiny, it turns out that it’s happening the same night as a big ceremonial camp out honoring Augie. At Carter’s behest, good guy Ben agrees to sneak away to the party once Augustus falls asleep. Though the plan doesn’t exactly go as, well, planned, shit swan dives headlong into the proverbial fan harder than when that guy in the first episode of “Lost” got Hoover’d through that jet engine. It turns out that, thanks to Blake from ”Workaholics”, nothing less than a FULL BLOWN ZOMBIE EPIDEMIC has broken out in town! Teaming up with a former school alumni-turned-strip club employee-turned-shogun-wielding movie heroine named Denise, the boys will have to call upon all of their badged merits to escape town before the military goes full-blown genocidal super villains and carpet bomb the entire zip code back to The Stoned Age!

I would’ve given this flick a whole additional grade point if I weren’t about 15 years too old for some of the humor. From Carter’s sexual assault on a topless zombie woman’s jiggling chesticles to an extended scene of Ben hanging desperately onto a zombie geezer’s impossibly elastic wonder worm (seriously, this ghoulish granddaddy’s member gets more length than Mister Fantastic) to zombie Cloris Leachman aggressively gumming a teenage boy’s bare butt cheeks to an undead aggressor going down on an unsuspecting girl, there were too many gross-out gags that landed, for me,about as well as Sid Vicious coming off the top rope.

My other gripe with the flick comes from the rave finale, where zombie mass re-murder happens under the double down disorientation of strobe lighting and shaky cam stabbed furiously into our eyes, leaving us wondering what the fuck we’d just watched. A shame too, given that our heroes go full Dead Rising on the risen deceased only for half the action to end up almost unwatchable. Likely chosen as a cover-up for less-than-impressive computer generated gore rather than for style’s sake, it put a sour back taste on an otherwise sweet treat of a movie. Oh well, you can’t win ’em all! Scouts is still worth a view in my little black book, so if you’ve ever wanted to see Super Bad but with zombies, get on it.

Moral of the Story: Never underestimate the lethality of a Boy Scout in a hardware store.

Final Judgment:

Three Merit Badges out-of-Five

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Enjoy the review? Hate the review? Have a movie you’d like to see judged in The Tomb? Fill out the feedback form! Never has it been easier to make contact with a deitic being!

All materials found within this review are the intellectual properties and opinions of the original writer. The Tomb of Anubis claims no responsibility for the views expressed in this review, but we do lay a copyright claim on it beeyotch, so don’t steal from this shit or we’ll have to go all Farmer Vincent on your silly asses. © October 1st 2013 and beyond, not to be reproduced in any way without the express written consent of the reviewer and The Tomb of Anubis, or pain of a physical and legal nature will follow. Touch not lest ye be touched.

Quickie 28 – House of 1000 Corpses (2003)

or “A DIYer’s Nightmare”

We recently lost the great and gruesome Sid Haig, and as a God of Death, I want to take this chance to apologize to everyone upset by this. He wasn’t on my docket, so I’m not apologizing personally but on behalf of the Bureau of Deceasement. The word “indelible” gets thrown around a lot (especially by people who don’t know what the fuck it means but like to sound smarter than we are), but Sid’s legacy in the world of less-than-fine cinema is indelible to be sure. From the first time Krix introduced me to Spider-Baby to the time the RiffTrax guys tackled Wonder Women (and MST3K included Wizards of the Lost Kingdom 2 in their 1st season with NetFlix) to his final role in 3 From Hell and the dozens of blaxploitation roles and “weird looking guy” cameos in between, Haig’s, uhm, unique(?) visage is only as noteworthy as his love for his fans, shown during what amounted to no-doubt hundreds of convention appearances. I don’t generally get upset by movie industry deaths and you can take solace that the man had a full 8 decades of life to live, but this one actually gets me.

Or maybe I’m just more depressed today because Set probably replaced my meds with Tic-Tacs again. I thought my breath smelled a little fresher than usual…

“It’s all true. The boogeyman is real and you found him.” – Otis Driftwood

Wayback in the year that was nineteen-hundred and seventy-seven, that creepy guy from ”The Office” and the host of ”Singled Out” were road tripping across country with their female significant others, cataloging odd roadside attractions for a book they planned to write. One late night they stumbled upon a tourist trap called “The Museum of Monsters & Madmen”, a sideshow style shack hosted by owner-operator Captain Spaulding – a foul mouthed clown who you’d never want to rob and whose fried chicken I’m not sure I’d want to eat. Included in the museum is a carnival type tour of some of America’s most infamous serial killers and cannibals. Here, among the likes of Albert Fish and Ed Gein, the Cap’n regales the twenty-somethings with the tales of local legend Dr. Satan. Intrigued by the ghoulish creature’s backstory, they prod Spaulding into giving them direction to the tree from which the diabolical doctor was supposedly hanged, only to have disappeared from the next day faster than Jesus Houdini-ing his way out of that cave blocked by the boulder.

On their way to the site, they make the cardinal error of picking up a hitchhiker. In this case, her name is Baby and she looks like she just off of her shift at the Strip N Flip (my favorite strip club combination pancake house) and has an ear rattling cackle that most viewers will get tired off REAL quick. After a series of unfortunate events, the entire gang end up at Baby’s family’s compound where they’re invited to dine with her adopted brother Otis, her half-brother Tiny (a colossal mutant burn victim), their grandpa Hugo and their mother, uhm, “Mother”. After the meal, the family puts on a weird variety show for their guests that ends rather ugly and ultimately leads to the quartet being kidnapped, tortured, maimed, assaulted, mutilated, vivisected and violently killed by the Firefly clan and their subterranean landlord (I’m assuming), Dr. Satan himself.

Nothing ground breaking by any stretch of the exposed brain’s imagination, House of 1000 Corpses is basically a music video director’s rendition of torture porn. Your typical “love letter” movie, it harkens back to the likes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Last House on the Left, Manson and even a little bit of My Bloody Valentine what with its mine shaft chase scene. The only problem with doing this type of flick, comparisons to the originals aside, is that these are usually best saved for a director’s later efforts. Their first movie is best used to establish their own “voice”, so to speak (pun fully inserted rectally for maximum effectiveness), rather than pay tribute to the ones that inspired them.

However, given that Ho1KC could very well have bombed the man right out of ever making another feature again, you can tell by his music and resultant videos that if he was only going to get one shot at telling his story, there’s no way he wasn’t going to highlight the “Thank Yous” portion of that book prominently. Hey, if nothing else, at least the guy is proud of what inspires him.

Though Bill Moseley’s Otis is chillingly effective (think Chop Top minus the comedy) and Mrs. Zombie’s Baby would give Harley Quinn a weak stomach, the outstanding performance here has always been Haig’s Captain Spaulding. An introduction to one of the most iconic clowns in horror, who held down the fort between Pennywise’s dueling iterations. He’d only cement his clown shoes’ place in the genre further with the sequel, but that’s a tale for another time…

Moral of the Story: How many times does it need to be said? DO. NOT. PICK. UP. HITCHHIKERS!

Final Judgment:

Three Captain Spauldings out-of-Five

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