Friday, September 19, 2014

Pet Sematary - A weekend to remember!

Pet Sematary - A weekend to remember!

Long ago, back in 2011 or so I attended HorrorHound weekend way over in Ohio back when they had their shows in November. I'll be the first to admit, I was three sheets to the wind half of the weekend and as always had a blast. While trying not to guard any of the Walking Dead people, I ran into two guys who commented on my SE Fright Rags Pet Sematary T-shirt. Low and behold I met John and Justin, who guys who were from the same Boston area I grew around, and were in the middle of shooting a documentary on the making of the 1989 Stephen King classic Pet Sematary. Being a huge king and Sematary fan, I started gushing to them about how a huge draw in making the insane drive out to this show to staff it was to meet the cast from the movie. We talked for a bit and they shot me showing off my T-shirt and flashing gang signs like a total asshole.

Flash forward nearly three years and I've fully supported the making of Unearth & Untold the documentary John and Justin and put their hearts and souls into making. I've tried my hardest spreading the word on this movie, and couldn't wait to see the final result.

Pet Sematary after Cujo and Needful Things is my favorite King novel. For some strange unknown reason I re-read this book every single year and could pretty much recite it by heart. I have many memories watching this movie over and over again. In fact I believe it was one of the first VHS tapes I owned. This was a book even my mother who was one of the biggest King fan's I knew seemed scared by. The movie was one of the better adaptions, and was made in the last year of a decade filled with horror. With the perfect cast, moments, music, and of course ending scene this was a classic that I have watched over and over again. In fact it's one of the main reasons I made so many friends up at school since this was one of the first movies we all watched while being snowed in.

Well after a Church tattoo, many re-reads, and viewings, I have been dying to see all of John and Justin's hard work paid off.

Lucky for me John invited me and my friends Tara and Jeanette to spend the weekend up in the very same town of Ellsworth Maine (about five hours away from me)

After having to bail out last second on HorrorHound I knew this weekend was a must. Even though I was running on zero sleep, me and the girls rode up there and had the time of our life's. The documentary was finally premiering along with the actual film.

The cabin we stayed at was owned by this super nice guy named Jack who rented out this very cabin to Dale Midkiff who stayed here while filming. (The stories I heard were amazing and had me dying laughing.) Jack was beyond kind and by far the greatest host I've ever had the pleasure of staying with. A million thanks Jack.

John took us around to a few of the filming locations which were completely breath taking and I can't even explain the feeling I had when I drove down the road and saw the Creed house in the distance. This movie was a huge part of my life growing up and being able to stand in the rode where Gage gets killed, or in the driveway looking what where Jud's house was supposed to be had me smiling ear to ear.

Thank you John, I don't think I've geeked out this bad in years.

We were able to see the movie on the big screen (which shocking enough I've noticed a few things I've never seen before.) and finally got to see the documentary. I'm a huge film nut, and without even taking a second hands down this was the best documentary I've seen in years. Without giving anything really away, this is THE king documentary you need to see. I learned so many things about the film I never thought I would ever know. It's showing again in Boston next month which hopefully I'll be there rooting my guys on. Truly a magically King themed weekend thanks to friends. I urge anyone to check out that area of Maine and of course see the documentary. Without a shade of a doubt this is the ultimate when it comes to one of the greatest King's classics of all time!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Hellraiser I, 2, and 3...why I love these films.

Hellraiser I, 2, and 3...why I love these films.

With the upcoming SE editions of Nightbreed and Lord Of Illusions, I've been in a very Clive Barker state of mind. In fact thanks to Scream Factory, we're also getting Candyman II Farewell To Flesh finally released on DVD as well. (You have no idea how long I've been looking for this movie) So tonight I decided to post about 10 reasons why I love the first three Hellraiser movies. 

1) Clive Barker 
- After Craven, Carpenter, Cunningham, there came a second wave of directors that ushered in a new vision of horror for the late 80's and early 90's. This included such names like Mr. Sam Raimi and of course Clive Barker. Both men had Stephen King and his rave reviews of their first films that sky rocketed their careers. Clive Barker finally was able to show his true vision of storytelling with Hellraiser after he was unhappy with how Rawhead Rex came out. This being the only film out of 1,2, and 3 that he directed he set the bar very high making an instant gothic classic. With a memorable villain in the form of Pinhead, sickening gore, and of course a great haunting story Clive made the first out of the three films he directed in his career (Hellraiser, Nightbreed, and of course Lord Of Illusions.) An artist, storyteller, and master mind with horror he created some of the most original and scary monsters of all time. 

2) A darker/colder look of Hell
-  This is a terrible reference but I always loved how in the third season of Supernatural how Dean asks the demon Rudy what hell is like and she remarks how the film Hellraiser got it pretty close besides all the custom leather. The Hellraiser films show the opposite of what so many of us have envisioned as the stereotypical "Hell" with flames, fire, and the devil with horns and a tail. These films, mostly Hellbround show the most unsettling vision of Hell yet. It's the opposite of warmth, just cold darkness with nothing but suffering.

3) Monsters with a soul
- I remember in a creative writing class I sorta rolled my eyes at my teacher when I tried to bring up the scene in Hellraiser II when the demons are revealed in their true human form and are murdered, trying to prove a point about how even the darkest demons and monsters have a soul. My teacher at the time seemed to brush over this example (too hard core for you hun?) but I still stick to my guns. What I love about Hellbound, and a little of Hellraiser III is the backstory behind these demons, showing that at one point they were all human at some point and simply lost their souls after all the pain and suffering. I love the scene at the end of Hellbound when Kirsty shows off the photograph of Cap. Spencer. 

4) A powerful female villain 
- The main villains of the first two Hellraiser movies aren't Pinhead but Julia and Frank. These are two sick and twisted people who would kill for pleasure. It kills me they didn't continue their storyline for the rest of the films. I love how fucked up these two are and how Julia resorts to murder to simply get laid. Love their showdown later in hell and of course those amazing effects with them skinless!

5) Mr. Oliver Parker
- Oh Mr. Parker. I may have fallen in love with you in Nightbreed, but underneath all that makeup you're actually a really handsome guy! (those eyebrows!) Oliver Parker, long before he was a director was an actor and friend of Clive Barker. He had two brief cameos in the first two Hellraiser movies, both playing moving men. In the first one he's one of the moving men who help bring in that famous mattress and later asks for a beer (it kills me they dubbed over his voice) and again in Hellbound is the very unlucky moving man who gets dragged into the bloody mattress causing that pillar to rise. My fantasy is to meet Oliver and gush over his bit parts in these movies like an idiot. Let's get him to some conventions people!

6) Cameo by Zach Galligan
- Why do I love Hellraiser III? Hum, well the first movie was directed by the master Clive Barker, the second Tony Randel (Amityville 1992), and finally the third and in my eyes the last of the series Anthony Hickcox (who directed my favorites Waxwork 1 & 2). Hickox brought his A game with this third installment as he did with Warlock 2 (he was the king of the 90's sequels) and of course had to use his leading man in a very brief cameo in the Boiler Room Club massacre. If you look VERY closely in the matter of two seconds you see a young guy in a white t-shirt get a pool stick impaired through his chest. Well, that's no other than my all time favorite actor Zach Galligan (Gremlins, Waxwork.) Zach and Hickcox had worked together several times and I've asked Zach about this cameo before and it was sorta a favor for Hickox while he was visiting on set. I find it a riot and had Zach sign a screenshot of him getting killed from the movie which is framed in my office. = No shame.

7) The score
- You'll never feel like a true idiot until you pick composer Christopher Young from the airport and he asks if you like the Hellraiser movies and you sorta shrug because you're running on 3 hours of sleep = FML. Sorry Chris! No the truth is I do love these movies (the first three at least), and do admire the score. Like a beautiful gothic opera these films feel like an epic whenever the big bombing score begins.

8) Tony Randel
- Like I said Clive Barker directed the first movie, Anthony Hickox did the third...Tony Randel directed the second film which is often debated to give the original a run for it's money. Randel returned to help write the screenplay for part III, but it was here with Hellbound that he really showed off his killer directing chops. I love Tony from his directing in Amityville 1992 It's About Time, but a few years before he made Hellbound which takes place instantly after part 1 and has some of the most memorable moments out of all three films. 

9) Great female leads
- I roll my eyes whenever people start going off about strong final girls, or female leads (this is coming from a woman) I hate to say it but I rather see a movie with a final guy. It seems rare now a days, but the Hellraiser movies are some of the few that I actually really like the lead girls. (Kirsty, Tiffany, and Joey) Gorgeous strong woman going head to head with the demons. I loved the scene when Kirsty and Julia come face to face for the first time in part II and Julia just whacks her down. Boom, bitch went down.

10) Wasn't a slasher series.
- Soooooooo many people say that the Hellraiser movies are slasher movies (no, they aren't) these are movies about opening the doors to hell and what pleasure and pain you'll find. These aren'r psycho killers, these are demons...or angels if you ask different people. Like I said Barker, Randel, and Hickox created a haunting and wonderful world between two worlds. These are the only three films I urge anyone to check out in the series, and please for the love of God DON'T watch the other movies. You'll seriously want to set yourself on fire.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Stephen King questions

 Stephen King questions 

Favorite novel? - That's a tough one. Can I do top three? Cujo, Needful Things, and The Regulators. The runner ups have to be The Stand, Pet Sememtary, Night Shift, and Doctor Sleep. I hated The Shinning, but Doctor Sleep has been the best book I've read in years and really truly packed such an emotional punch for me I couldn't believe it.

Favorite short story collection? - That's easy, Night Shift. My favorite short story from that has to be Gray Matter. The next is Skelton Shift. I loved the short story Gramma. Which will be turned into a movie next year by the title of Mercy. 

Favorite Movie? - Christine

Favorite mini series - King sure goes know how to make a great mini series, the best has to be The Stand. Such an awesome epic that holds tons of childhood memories for me and my sister. The next is Rose Red. I wish that house was real! 

Favorite unknown King fact? - I wouldn't call these unknown facts but the first that King was so heavy into his coke habit and he doesn't even remember writing Cujo (insane) and that Zach Galligan read for the lead in Maximum Overdrive. - Maybe that would have saved that shit show...

King movie you liked better than the book? - Firestater

Favorite villain? - The True Knot from Doctor Sleep. I all ready have my dream cast if it's ever made into a movie! 

Favorite quote - "Norris also felt very blessed." - Needful Things. I really can't explain why I love this line, but it seems so fitting at the end of such a crazy ride you take reading Needful Things.

Grossest movie/book moment? - I would say in the Jaunt when the father wakes up to see that his son stayed away for the time travel "jaunt" and has aged and ends up clawing his eyes out after being driven insane. "Longer than you think dad! Longer than you think!"

Funniest movie/book moment? - I hate to say it but when Sam Raimi and Ossie Davis have their showdown together in The Stand. "BASTARDS!"

Saddest movie/book moment? - Um...the entire fucking novel of The Green Mile? As for other novels in Doctor Sleep when Dick gives Danny the lockbox. When Dennis doesn't know which coffin is Arnie's in Christine and puts his hand on one and begins to cry. In The Stand when Frannie makes Stu put his hand on what they believe is Nick's blood splattered on the porch step to promise that he'll come back.

Scariest movie/book moment? - In IT when the child is chased by the creature from the black lagoon or when the dead drowned kids slowly walk down the sand pipe after Stan. In fact the whole fucking novel of IT is terrifying. 

Book you'd like to see get turned into a movie? - Doctor Sleep of course or The Regulators. As much as I liked Desperation I feel had they made it on FX or HBO along with The Regulators they really could have made King's vision of these two novels come true.

Favorite hero? - Dan from Doctor Sleep or Alan from Needful Things.

Favorite overlap? - I love all the Castle Rock stuff of course in Needful Things dealing with Cujo, and The Dead Zone. I love polly going up to the old farm and thinking she saw glowing eyes in the barn. Or how in Gramma the little boy mentions how they live near Joe Chamber's, and of course in Gray Matter how the storyteller mentions how a friend who worked in the underground sewer works saw a giant spider rolling cats and dogs up in it's web and how it turned his hair white. 

Favorite male character? -  Nick from The Stand and Ben from Salem's Lot.

Favorite Dark Tower Book? - Haven't read them yet! "Gulp!"

Favorite female character? - Polly from Needful Things. Loved her backstory in the book.

Least Favorite book? - Hate to say this but I really didn't like Under The Dome. So far I dig the TV series but the book itself was horrible!

Favorite Richard Bachman book? - Desperation and The Regulators.

Least Favorite movie? - Bag Of Bones. My heart was broken with how it ended up. Great elements and yes I do own it and watch it every year but the casting was way off and I love that book!

The Biggest book you've read from King? - The Stand. I've read it three times.

Favorite King cameo? - Him as the pizza guy in Rose Red.

Top 10 guests I would freak out over meeting at a convention.

Top 10 guests I would freak out over meeting at a convention.

Today John from Freddy In Space posted a very interesting article that hit home with me over how conventions just aren't what they used to be over the last several years. More and more shows are popping up all over the map and the cons are getting bigger and bigger. The true question is? Is it a good thing? It's all a business sadly, and it comes down to how they can make the most money. John proved a good point in his article when he brought up how the show The Walking Dead honestly was the final nail in the coffin for this to happen. The Walker Stalker conventions are getting so nuts the idea of twin babies being guests makes my stomach roll. Mind you I enjoy the show, but the massive amounts of people who swarm to these conventions to wait in line for hours to meet the actors makes me shake my head. Maybe I just don't get it. I like the type of shows that have rare guests show up, actors and directors from movies from the 1970's, 80's, and 90's. People who we've grown up watching and can't believe we're finally meeting in person. I said it once and I'll say it ten million times again. I rather go to a convention and meet Zach Galligan from Gremlins and Waxwork over waiting in line and paying 100$ for some shitty photo op with Norman Reedus (this is coming from a girl who met him at HH when the first season of TWD was happening and doesn't have any beef with the man at all, he was very sweet and even signed a Boondocks Saints poster for my sister and her husband.) But for me, I want to go to conventions to be able to either staff it and see friends I don't get to talk to that often, find rare stuff at the vendors room, go to screenings and Q&A's, and mostly meet icons that I've watched in movies over and over again growing up.

So here is my list of my top ten convention guests I honestly think I would freak out over meeting.

10) Anthony Hickox
Writer director - Waxwork, Waxwork II, Warlock 2, and Hellraiser III.

9) Jamie Lee Curtis
Scream queen and Christopher Guest's wife. = Halloween, Prom Night, Road Games, Terror Train, Halloween II, Halloween H20, Grandview USA, and My Girl.

8) Jason Lively
Actor = European Vacation, Night Of The Creeps, 21 Jump Street, and Hollywood Monster.

7) John Stockwell
Actor and director = Christine, Radioactive Dreams, Dangerously Close, Friday the 13th the series, North And South, Blue Crush, and Into The Blue.

6) Clive Barker
Director, writer, artist. = Hellraiser, Nightbreed, and Lord Of Illusions.

5) Stephen King
Master of horror = Carrie, The Stand Salem's Lot, The Shinning, Cujo, Christine, Needful Things, and Doctor Sleep (just to name a few!)

4) Oliver Parker
= Actor and director. Hellraiser, Hellbound Hellraiser II, Nightbreed.

3) Damon Martin
= Actor, singer, producer, artist. Pee Wee's Big Adventure, Ghoulies II, Amityville 1992 It's About Time, and Kid.

2) Sam Raimi
= Actor/director. The Evil Dead trilogy, Intruder, Darkman, The Gift, The Quick And The Dead, A Simple Plan, The Spiderman trilogy, Drag Me To Hell, and Oz The Great And Powerful.

1) John D Lemay
= Star of Friday The 13th the series (seasons 1&2) and Jason Goes To Hell.

- And a very happy weekend to my friends over at HorrorHound! I had to bail out last second sadly but I hope everyone drinks a lot for me!