Friday, June 28, 2013

Stacy's picks for the top best thrillers of all time

 Stacy's picks for the top best thrillers of all time.


Dressed o Kill

Basic Instinct

No Country For Old Men

Shallow Grave



Body Double

Closet Land

Wait Until Dark




Silence Of The Lambs

Blue Velvet

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Spiral (2007)

 Spiral (2007)

PLOT- A reclusive telemarketer has only one semblance of a friend: His telecommuter boss. But the telemarketer's social circle seems to improve greatly when a whimsical co-worker enters his life. Only, as he begins to sketch his new friend's portrait, disturbing "voices" from the phone man's past threaten to lead him into a network of destruction

LOWDOWN -  Just last month I attended Adam Green's silent auction for the Boston marathon victims. Green did a week long of events and special appearances to raise money for the tragedy that fell upon us in April. I was lucky enough to attend the silent auction and then the next night the Hatchet marathon where they showed all 3 Hatchet films back to back including the first ever official premiere of Hatchet III. At the silent auction, I had my eye on the prize...and that prize was Zach Galligan's personal Waxwork II crew shirt he donated for the event. Well like a complete psycho I sat up on the balcony where all the items up for auction where I seriously camped out for three hours straight not moving making sure nobody outbid me. (Hey, I'm a dedicated fan!) Well while up there Green, along with several other guest stars stood up on stage to auction off special items. One of them was Hatchet's original star Joel David Moore, who's best known for his roles in Dodgeball, Grandma's Boy, and yep...Avatar. I was sorta stunned seeing him there since as far as I know he's never done any local conventions or shows I've attended to in the past. Well at one point Joel stood up to auction off a DVD copy of the movie he co-directed with Adam Green called Spiral. Here Joel impressed me. Knowing that this was going for such a great cause he took things to a whole new level when he promised that whoever was the highest bidder for this item would be treated to a night out on the town in LA with himself and Green, everything on them. Well a woman standing up next to me ended up bidding either 500 or 600, can't really remember. Still, pretty awesome it went towards an amazing cause. The following night when Jeanette, Casey, and myself attended the Hatchet marathon, I was touched by how funny and down to Earth he was. In fact when we first arrived Green was standing on stage talking about the making of the first Hatchet and the three of them not wanting to be rude sorta stood back in the hallway that opened up to the theater. Joel was there, towering over us listening and leaning against a wall. When he saw us waiting he simply smiled and told us we could go in. That whole night Joel told funny stories with Green about the making of the first film and how yes, it was really him puking on screen in all his glory. = wonderful.

Well I was still in a complete Galligan haze to sadly even care about meeting anyone else. I was running on  hardly any sleep, and I think I was still in a daze over winning the Waxwork shirt. So when we were given the chance to meet everyone afterwards, I just stuck to Zach and Jeanette and Casey met everyone else. I don't regret this of course but just last week it hit me that Joel was in one of my all time favorite guilty pleasure movies, Shark Night 3D (Yep, you read right.) All I have to say is "FML!" and just hope I'll get another chance to meet this very cool dude again. Funny enough the whole weekend Jeanette, Casey, and myself kept making Grandma's Boy jokes "Please sit on my face..."

Long story short, I decided just last weekend to finally check out Spiral after hearing so much hype about it. Buying it for seriously a buck, I sat down and decided to watch this indy movie that had some pretty awesome talent behind it.

At first this sort of movie seemed all too familiar, I really don't know why that was but as the movie continued I just sorta sat back not feeling that impressed. It felt as though I had seen a million other movies exactly like this yet couldn't name one. Then as the movie went on I began to become more and more unsettled and captivated as the story unfolded. Somehow you just can't help but sympathize with the lead character. Joel is simply adorable in this, playing an over sensitive, awkward, painfully shy guy. Amber Tamblyn, who I've always liked plays off him nicely with her spunky and lively energy. Still, some of her acting had me cringing. I hate to blame it on the script, but some of those lines just didn't sit well with me. I feel had they paced out the relationship a little bit better, things would have translated better. I also as much as I hate to admit this, but I absolutely HATED Zachary Levi's character. I don't want to blame the actor, but his character was completely unlikeable and seemed very forced. Then again maybe that was for a reason, that the audience hated him, constantly putting down Mason.

The movie did have it's sweet parts such as when Mason takes Amber to It's A Wonderful Life. I found the chemistry between them wonderful, but like I said there are just some lines and scenes that make you roll your eyes or cringe. Her slowly dipping his paint brush into which paint to do her shadow. I almost died...

Oh yeah and the duck scenes. Yikes...

Still, the movie had some tender moments, and others that made the viewer feel uncomfortable. Maybe that's what they were going for...

What I mostly loved about this movie and what redeemed it for any flaws that it had was two things. One was the odd ball love story between Mason and Amber. I loved all the sketch books of all the different women all in the same exact poses. Then of course the big showdown.


I loved how Mason comes into work a bumbling mess, telling his friend/boss that he had killed Amber. Curled up, helpless as he did in the opening of the film when he woke him up with a call in the middle of the night for help. I loved how as Mason is confessing to the murder, his boss simply tells him the truth. That he's done his dozens upon dozens of time. He gets hooked on some mystery girl, paints her for weeks on end, obsesses over her until finally he breaks down calming he's killed her. That he's been doing this years, but his boss has never put a stop to this since it seems to make him happy living in this fantasy world. He explains that he's heard enough, and that he's finally putting an end to this. He tells his friend the truth and tells him to think about it. Think of all those times he was out with her, how nobody never spoke to her, talked with her, or even noticed her.

She's never existed...none of these girls in his paintings have.

Mason tries to show him the blood on his hands, but his boss simply tells him he's never seen blood on his hands, only paint. Here it truly hits Mason about the reality of what happened and he understands. His boss tells him to clean up and Mason simply leaves. Moments later a manager comes strolling into the boss' office, asking him if he's seen the new girl around. A girl named Amber who has been hanging around Mason lately. That's when it hits the friend. Mason was telling the truth. There really was an Amber, and he did in fact kill him. Sadly before the boss can reach his friend, Mason has left.

The question now remains, how many girls were real?

Spiral is all about build up. You may not be a fan of the first hour, but the last fifteen or so minutes are the total payoff. Like old fashion suspense thrillers, Spiral gives a very in depth look of a twisted man's mind, and how far down the rabbit hole you'll go with him. Even though the movie did have plenty of flaws, I totally have to hand it to Moore and Green on co-creating this awesome movie that seriously has one of the best twists I've seen in a very long time.

4 Stars! 


The Kindred (1987)

 The Kindred (1987)

Amanda's deathbed request to her son, John, was for him to destroy all the lab notes etc. from her last experiment. She also blurts out he had a brother. At the funeral John meets Melissa, who claims to be his mothers biggest fan. Together with some of John's friends they go to Amanda's house, but none are prepared for what they find there.

Years and years ago I vaguely remember walking into the horror section of my town's local video store and of course going straight towards the horror section. There I strolled down the two beloved aisles gazing at all the colorful and truly stunning eye catching artwork on the covers. One of these covers sorta blended in, not having the color such titles as A Nightmare On Elm Street 3 Dream Warriors had, or packed the punch April Fools Day had it's cover. Instead what I remember gazing at was a simple black and green dark cover with what appeared to be a large baby bottle on the cover with a creature lurking inside. I can't tell you if I had ever rented this title (If I had, I seriously don't remember it.) But I do remember several times afterwards while renting videos or tape hunting I would come across the same cover over and over again.

Just this past May when I attended Spooky Empire in Orlando, I was perfectly content after meeting Zach Galligan. Still, I decided to go into the vendor rooms and look around simply to kill time with my friend. Knowing I couldn't buy too much since I had to pack everything up in my one tiny suitcase a few days later, I looked around before stumbling upon a tiny little table selling bootlegs. Here I found myself highly amused since they had Return Of The Living Dead II presented by Joe Bob Briggs when it originally aired, bloopers from the original Nightmare On Elm Street, Spinal Tap the work print, and Jack's Back. I decided to snatch up these titles simply because I have a horrible addiction with buying bootlegs no matter how shitty they are. In fact my friend even pointed out that the bloopers on the Elm Street DVD most likely had the same ones on my blu-ray box set. Instead I just shrugged, not minding I was blowing five bucks and snagged it simply because of the cartoon badly photo shopped DVD cover. Sad...I know. Among these titles I found The Kindred, and right away that classic cover caught my eye. Without so much as a second thought I snagged this and went about my way.

Less than a week later after I arrived safe and sound back in MA, and the night before Adam Green's awesome silent auction I decided to pop The Kindred in to pass my evening. 

I was blown away.

My friend Nate had checked out this same exact title less than a month ago on tape and raved about it. Now I know exactly where he was coming from. In fact just last night I decided to pop this in a second time just a few weeks after originally viewing it, and it's safe to say this has found it's place in one of my all time favorite monster movies.

The movie tells a simple tale of a young doctor who's brilliant scientist mother has fallen ill after a sudden heart attack. When she wakes, she's dazed and terrified claiming he needs to go back to her secluded sea side house and burn all of her journals and experiments dealing with his brother Anthony. Confused, the young doctor doesn't understand...he's never had a brother nor has ever heard about somebody named Anthony. Shortly after his mother passes away taking the answers to that mystery with her. At the funeral, the doctor meets a gorgeous young woman named Melissa who closely followed his mother's work. Taking her along with his girlfriend and med school friends, they decide to spend the weekend going through all of his mother's things and trying to sort out exactly what she was talking about before she died. 

Right away things don't feel right. The group arrives in the large house only to smell something rotting underneath the floorboards of the back deck. In the doctor's old childhood room, his mother had turned it into a lab, and strange noises are heard at night. Trying to search for answers, the young doctor isn't the only one who is searching for Anthony. An old friend and fellow scientist Dr. Lloyd, seems to be running dangerous and back door experiments himself. 

On one stormy night that weekend at the house, the group discovers the terrifying truth of who Anthony is.

Okay so, here we have it. Perfect ingredients for a great splatter movie. First off you have a great cast. As much as people give Rod Steiger a hard time for appearing in this movie, I honestly have to say the man has been in worse. I mean just a decade or so before he was in the first Amityville movie. He's no stranger to horror and believe it or not this was actually a pretty decent movie! The group of doctors and med students that follow all do a great job as well. In fact actors Amanda Pays and Peter Frechette truly steal the show here. 

With a great setting (loved the sea side home, likeable characters for once, and a very awesome set up, The Kindred shys away from the typical slice and dice that decade had become overloaded with. Besides a few cheesy moments and some dated effects, this movie is nothing short of brilliant. In fact had they made more movies like this as the decade came to a close, maybe...just maybe horror wouldn't have taken such a long dirt nap in the early 90's. In fact had The Kindred maybe been made a few years later maybe it would have been an even stronger film even though I'm almost certain it would have fallen into a deep abyss where so many great underrated movies went. The Kindred still fell in this very abyss but lucky for it's strong cast, great script, and amazing effects it has a small shimmering of light behind it. 

This movie catches the audiences' interest right away. I love the set up of how Dr. Lloyd gets his bodies and how truly crazy he is.

I loved how terrified Amanda, the mother character is when it dawns on her that her experiments are still alive and well in that house. The look of pure horror that enters her eyes is amazing. Also the Melissa character, who seems so mysterious. Loved the exchange between her and Brad "I promise never to kiss anyone uglier than you." In fact these two were my favorite characters. Also that beautiful lullaby that plays through the entire movie. A song the young doctor's mother used to play for him as a child to calm him down and now plays to smooth her experiments. If anyone can find an MP3 of that song I would love it. Not only is it beautiful it's haunting which perfectly fits with the theme of the movie. 

I loved once things began picking up (The watermelon attack is laughable but I still enjoyed it.) I loved the big reveal behind Melissa's character, in fact it's my favorite scene out of the whole movie and features some truly breathtaking special effects. This plot twist, which I won't give away is so out of left field you seriously have to take a second to truly try to understand what happened.

Loved the gross slimy creature effects that are smartly used and not overdone until the big ending. The stormy night, the crazed scientist, and the poor people trapped inside are what makes the perfect ending. Loved how instead of becoming a typical slasher with a high body count, they kept the characters you cared about. More than often I hate it when this happens but this time I acutaly liked it a lot. In fact those ending scenes of the creatures behind the flames seen through the windows, and then our cast shaken but alive and smiling as they drive away. A perfect way to end such a thrill ride.

So if your looking for a well written story with amazing practical effects, and some totally jaw dropping scenes, go check out The Kindred. Trust me, it's amazing!

5 stars!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The epic conclusion - Hatchet III

  The epic conclusion
Hatchet III
PLOT - A search and recovery team heads into the haunted swamp to pick up the pieces and Marybeth learns the secret to ending the voodoo curse that has left Victor Crowley haunting and terrorizing Honey Island Swamp for decades.

LOWDOWN – Back in 2007, the film Hatchet had been released to a limited number of theaters, in which a friend and myself tried in vain to go see. I remember clearly that my friend told me about this new gory slasher film that had been released and featured a bunch of famous horror icons. In fact, if I remember clearly, she told me it had Freddy, Jason, and even Candyman. That the deaths were all practical, and amazing. Of course my interest was caught, and the two of us tried to go see it. Sadly as a big epic fail, the movie was pulled from most theaters and we had to wait to buy it on DVD. Funny enough, a few months later we went to Newbury Comics to buy Hatchet and my friend was able to get a pretty cool Newbury drinking glass since she had bought this movie. Well that afternoon, she watched the first movie at her house and I remember how much fun it had been. This was legit a movie that reminded me of the good old days. A great creepy setting, a ghost story background, a likeable cast, funny one liners, great cameos, and of course an amazing villain and some of the greatest deaths I had seen on screen in years.

Well sadly my friendship to this girl didn't last, but my love for Hatchet did. It wasn't until 2010 when I was away at school when another friend of mine said she had rented Hatchet II on Netflix. The two of us sat down together sculpting in my apartment and watched it, cheering, and yet again loving the same fun as the first which seemed to be pumped up another notch. Of course the two of us were left completely breathless at the epic AMAZING final death that made us cheer and have to rewind and watch it a few more times. 

My love for director Adam Green found a much higher level of respect when the following year my father and caught Frozen on TV. I seriously have to give Mr. Green props. First off he made two very awesome slasher films that were a complete homage to old school horror movies. He made them the way he wanted to make horror movies, which were fun, gory, and over the top. Then it seemed as if he took pages from such movies as Jaws, and other suspense thrillers, and seriously created a complete and utter panic attack for myself while I watched Frozen. Instead of a over the top splatter movie, he made an amazing thriller that dare I even say it sorta reminded me of a classic Hitchcock film. This was seriously Jaws for skiing. In fact, back at school when me and my friend rented Hatchet II, I had asked her if she had seen Frozen yet. (A lot of my old roommates raved about it.) She said no, simply because her brother worked at a ski place, and the idea of that ever happening really made her uneasy. See, this is when you know you are one amazing story teller. When you made realistic things happen, and cause people to start truly thinking “What if this happened to me?”

Well like I said, Frozen held my heart, and I really had to cheer for Adam Green since he was a fellow horror fan at heart from Boston who was making some really amazing movies. That's when I began to hear about the making of Hatchet III. I welcomed it with open arms, and began to follow the production online.

I hate to say it, but I still haven't gotten around to watching Chillerama or the seasons of Holliston yet. I've heard nothing but good things and I know when I finally get some free time I'll try to tackle them. Funny enough when I was staffing HorrorHound this past March, the cast of Holliston was there and my good friend Jeanette brought them in thru the back door and seriously had them walk up and down the same flight of stairs twice before figuring out where they were going. I remember keeping the back door open and laughing my ass off at this before Joe Lynch just looked at me and started cracking up. Nice to see that they were easy going guys who didn't give a shit and like us were there simply because they loved horror.

Well I think it's pretty clear what a big Zach Galligan fan I am. The very second I found out he had been added to the cast, I couldn't wait to see the movie. I love Adam Green in the fact that he casts people who were in movies we all watched growing up with. Such names as Zach and Caroline Williams, brought a huge smile to my face. It's nice to finally start seeing these people again!

Slowly photos from set were getting released along with the epic Comic Con poster of Victor in all his glory. Then on Halloween night last year the first couple of photos and clips were starting to get shown. Seeing Zach and Derek Mears standing side by side warmed my heart.

Then the trailers were released and as much as I was sorta bumped out that Adam wasn't coming back to the director's chair, I felt with Mr. McDonnell, we were in good hands. The film had still been written by Green, and he was very heavily involved in production, but it was nice to see a crew member who had been there since the beginning was taking the wheel. In fact, I honestly don't think anybody could have done it better since Green didn't direct. 

Now this is the truly awesome part of this movie. For those who have been reading/following my blog they know I had planned a trip to Florida to attend Spooky Empire to FINALLY meet Zach Galligan. Well as luck would have it, Adam Green decided a week after my trip that they were going to have a party/fundraiser for the tragic Boston marathon bombings that had happened in April. Since Green is from Boston, he decided to do a week long of events to raise money for the amazing cause to help the victims and families. One night he was going to do a silent auction where the cast of Hatchet III would join him, to auction off some truly amazing items to raise money, and then the next night in Boston show a private special screening of Hatchet III for the first time ever two weeks before it finally got released. This would be the first time himself, the cast, and a public audience would see the finished film on screen. (pretty amazing huh?)

Well the first night I won the Waxwork II shirt and was able to hang out and talk with Zach again and introduce my friends to me. Seriously one of the coolest nights ever. The next night was even better tho. In Boston was the premiere of Hatchet III, and they were showing the first two movies before hand in which Adam Green and the cast would stand on stage and talk a little bit about the production and the making of each one. This was truly amazing since the cast just saw a few feet away watching the movies with us. For those who have watched horror movies with an audience...mostly an audience of fans they know how much fun that can be. The Hatchet movies are perfect examples of that.

Hatchet III was everything I had expected. Many people are calling it the Aliens of the series. This is the epic conclusion to the amazing slasher series that brought us one of our newest modern day villains. I remember loving the shot of MaryBeth and Victor rising at the same exact time. This movie picked up exactly where it left off and had a bloody brutal opening. I couldn't stop cheering with everyone else. Loved the opening credits with Hail,Genocide playing loudly over the credits. Such a great way to set the tone for the movie.

I loved of course the addition of the sheriff played wonderfully by Mr. Zach Galligan, who in fact does a really awesome Southern accent in it. Funny enough, I somehow thought he was going to play the villain in this movie, but the night before at the auction he told me he played actually the good guy. He was the voice of reason in the movie, and after watching it he was seriously completely likeable much like the first film's lead played by the great Joel David Moore, who also attended both events. I loved the faint back stories we got, mostly between Galligan and Williams as playing ex husband and wife, who still clearly care about each other. I love how Williams is pretty much playing the same character she played in TCM2, looking for a story and trying to put the legend of Victor finally to rest.

Daniel Harris on the other hand, well...I've sadly never been much of a fan of hers. I met her once and she was very nice, and I loved her when she was a young kiddo in the Halloween movies (Not Rob Zombie's.). Eh, but now...I could take her or leave her. She's MUCH better than the original MaryBeth, who was a complete idiot not to return for the other two films. Harris' accent is pretty cringe worthy and those eyebrows...oh those eyebrows...

Anyways she really doesn't do much in this movie besides sits with her hands cuffed and really just gives a lot of sass. But after all, her character had been thru a lot, so I'll give her a break. Still whenever she says “Get out of my face bitch!” I really want to slap her. Eh...

We got a great cast, with the S.W.A.T team coming into the swamp with the local police to try and save the recovery and clean up team. Cody Blue Snider pretty much steals the show as the nervous deputy who I think represents the audience in this movie. I loved his little one liners, pointing to the balls hanging from the tree, and of course the epic rocket launcher moment that I had complete tears in my eyes from laughing so hard from.

Loved what a dick Derek Mears played (which is funny because in real life he's one of the nicest guys. The entire night he sat next to Zach Galligan a few feet away and the two took photos together on their cell phones and were on heart was melting.)

Loved how Kane and Derek go face to face and have one Hell of an epic scene together.

We got some pretty awesome cameos that I won't give away. One in which I couldn't stop laughing over. Trust me if you are a huge fan of the original movie, you'll love this one.

Part III is full of action, lots of guns, explosions, bullets flying, the whole nine yards. I loved how the sheriff, S.W.A.T member, and paramedic are trapped inside the boat as Victor starts cutting his way in. I seriously gasped when the sparks started flying. Great tense fun moments like this was what made the movie. 

Even though this is the darkest of all three films, it still has lots of humor, and sets the tone and this really is the end (or is it) I would like to think so simply because it was the perfect way to close this story.

My heart broke at Galligan's line in the boat when he hears Amanda calling and goes “It's my wife!” Seriously, so fucking sad.

I loved the whole ghost story/supernatural element that Green had been building on, and of course the epic ending that happens. I have never screamed/cheered so much before in my life. Without giving anything away, I loved the ending to this movie. Mostly the heartbeat, and the very ending shot. It seriously gave me chills. When the credits started to roll, everyone stop up and couldn't stop clapping. It warmed my heart to see Adam Green stand there with proud tears of joy in his eyes.

This was an amazing story that took three very awesome movies to tell Green's tale. I thought this movie was utterly amazing and exactly the reason why so many of us love horror. My only true complaint was the effects. I have being a snot about them, but even my friend Jeanette leaned in towards me and said “Why does the blood look orange?” The deaths, which have made the Hatchet movies weren't really that mind blowing. I've heard many people say the same thing. Maybe they wanted the deaths to take a backseat with this movie, but they just didn't seem that truly awesome. Some of the effects looked super cheesy and well...fake. But Hell, maybe that's what they were going for. Who knows...

Besides that, Hatchet III was a complete blast to watch and is my new favorite film out of the series (When I told Zach that he laughed and said he knew why...I have no idea what he's talking about...) Still, being able to watch this movie for the very first time with the cast was amazing. This was an event I'll never forget. I really do hope there isn't a Hatchet 4, but then again I'm sure people in the 80's said the same thing after Friday the 13th the final chapter

This seemed to close up everything neatly and after re watching it when I rented it on I-tunes I seriously can't wait until it comes out on Blu-Ray. Some of those shots in the movie were breathtaking.

In fact Adam Green said if he ever figures out things with the rights he would love to release the Hatchet movies as one big movie. I for one would love to see that. I mean what better way to spend three hours drinking beers?

So all and all an epic, action packed gore fest that I loved. Yet another part III that goes in my favorites. Hatchet III was great, and I highly recommend it to anyone/

5 Stars!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Best Stephen King adapations

  Best Stephen King adaptations 

There has honestly never been a better storyteller than writer Stephen King. For decades his novels have become terrifying nightmares, and of course very memorable films. Here is my list of some of the best, and some of the worst adaptations from Stephen King's novels.

The Best


The Dead Zone


Stand By Me

Pet Sematary

Riding The Bullet


The Mist

The Worst

Maximum Overdrive 
Graveyard Shift

The Dark Half

The Tommyknockers 
Needful Things

 Side note -
Of course I love many things King have written over the years. I adore The Stand and IT mini series, but for those who have read the novels, they are SO much better than what ended up being made. Still, those mini series captured the spirit of those amazing books and were huge parts of my childhood. I also enjoyed King's work in Silver Bullet, Cat's Eye, and The Creepshow films. I also loved the original and mini series of Salem's Lot and Rose Red. One film I find by King that's actually TEN times better than the book itself is Firestarter. Besides a few problems with the casting, I have always enjoyed the Drew Barrymore film MUCH better than King's Novel. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Summer time horror!

 Summer time horror!

Not that long ago I made a list of some very good movies that reminded me of the spring. Well with summer right around the bend, I decided to whip out a little list of certian horror movies that just remind me of the lovely season of summer.

All of the Friday the 13th films (mostly 1-5)

Summer Of Fear

Summer Camp Nightmare

The New Kids

The Prey 


House On Sorority Row

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2

Sleepaway Camp (1-3)

The Uninvited 

Joy Ride

Bag Of Bones

The Burning

Cabin By The Lake

Chopping Mall



Jaws (1-2)

Return Of The Living Dead

I Know What You Did Last Summer

Burnt Offerings

The Hearse