Sunday, January 17, 2016

Alan Rickman's passing and what it means to me.

 Alan Rickman's passing and what it means to me.

Thursday, the 14th started off as any other typical day. That was until I checked my phone and instantly felt my heart drop when I saw in a group text that actor Alan Rickman had died. Double checking, I couldn't believe my eyes. It seemed as if cancer had claimed yet another victim. This past week all ready has been a hard one. Between the passing of Angus Scrimm from the Phantasm series, and David Bowie (who also passed away from cancer and at the same age.) It seemed as if 2016 was truly starting off with a bang and not in the right way.

I had this talk several times with friends. How strange it feels loosing artists, some of which we've never met but impacted our life's while growing up. Let it be reading their books, listening to their music, or watching their movies. For fans of film, these actors are a huge part of our life's, even playing a major part in our childhoods. There has been a few deaths in the media which have stunned me, but very rarely does one affect me as much as Rickman's have. In fact the last time I really did cry over a celebrity passing was John Ritter back when I was in high school. I wasn't a huge fan of John, but he did star in the mini series IT so the actual reality that this guy was now gone somehow tore me up. I still remember crying in the car pool I was in for no reason at all. All these years later I feel the reason why I took it so hard was because John was part of my childhood in acting in IT. That mini series terrified me growing up, and it was my first taste in waking up to the fact that death was a real thing, nobody was safe from it. I was now beginning to know what my parents felt when actors or singers they knew of or were fans of passed away over the years. In this generation, as a huge fan of older actors and artist from the 70's and 80's. these people are getting older, which means sadly more death will be happening. In fact I even stated that whenever Tom Atkins passes away I'm going to be a complete and utter wreck. In fact I really don't even want to think about it. 

On my birthday director Wes Craven passed away which hit very hard, but not until this Thursday since John Ritter's death have I felt this terrible.

Alan Rickman most famous for playing Hans Gruber in Die Hard, and Snape in the Harry Potter series was a beyond talented actor who actually began to film career after the age of 40. Stealing the show in everything he appeared in he showed massive range and still as an older man captured my heart very early on. In fact back in 1988 my mother was pregnant with me and received a special video store screener of Die Hard from a membership she belonged to. 1988 was a rough year for my mother since just a few months before I was born she suddenly lost her father. In a way to comfort herself as a huge fan of movies, she would re-watch Die Hard over and over almost every day for the reminder of her pregnancy. She told me she couldn't explain why she did this, only that she loved this movie. I myself really do love the original film for a feel good action/holiday movie and got a complete kick out of hearing this story from her. I would like to believe I heard Alan's voice as Hans Gruber even before I was born shaping me into the sick puppy I am today. 

After losing my mother in 2009 (this month in fact) I found comfort in certain movies as she did when she lost her father. Die Hard along with several other films strangely reminded me of her and became a comfort film of mine. In 2013 I re-watched this movie over and over again, watching it with friends and family, and admiring what a great screen villain Alan played. He was charming, handsome, and was the coolest bad guy ever who had one of the most epic deaths I've ever seen. A staple to watch around the holidays, Die Hard is in my top 20 favorite films of all time and a huge reason behind this is Alan's performance as Hans. 

I began searching several different films of Alan's. Robin Hood, The January Man, Closet Land, Truly Madly Deeply, Nobel Son, and yes the Harry Potter films (my sister got me into these movies as well as the books.) I honestly couldn't think of anyone else playing Snape as Rickman did. I could honestly spend all day naming the beyond awesome films and projects he was involved in. Let them be action, adventure, romance, drama, or comedy. Whatever role he played he stole the show and was always a treat to watch. This man was not just a crush of mine, but a favorite actor since he reminded me of my mother. The night he passed away I settled down watching his film Truly Madly Deeply where he plays the ghost who returns to visit his grieving girlfriend, trying his hardest to show her how to move on. It's a beautiful film, and I highly recommend it to any fan of Alan's. That night I looked up clips of his films including Harry Potter and found myself a complete and utter wreck. Cancer is a terrible thing which claims so many people. I can't help but think of Bob Peck (Jurassic Park's Robert Muldoon) and how he died from cancer as well. I can only hope those two bad asses are up in Heaven acting out some play with my mother in the audience watching.

Alan's legacy will live on forever in his films and will always have a special place in my heart. I love you Alan, thank you for the memories, and remember…Always…
If this clip doesn't give you chills or makes you smile I'm at a loss.


Friday, January 15, 2016

Amityville films - From best to worst.

 Amityville films - From best to worst.

There is always a film series that is near and dear to your heart. Let it be the Nightmare On Elm Street movies, the Friday The 13ths, Children Of The Corns, Texas Chainsaw Massacres, or even Romero zombie epics. One series has been going strong since the mid 1970's. Based off a best selling novel, and loosely streaming from somewhat true events that began from a landmark location that was the source of a series of puzzling blood thirsty murders. The Amityville Horror is a chilling supernatural cult classic, that has spawned countless books, films, and films inspired by them. The Amityville house in Long Island is one of the most recognizable houses in the world. Here is my list of my favorite to least favorite films from the series.

Now I'll admit, I haven't seen Amityville Asylum, or the newest movie coming out Amityville Awakening. These two films will sadly not make the list. I will be judging them from best to worst in my eyes.

1). Amityville 1992 It's About Time
- Anyone surprised this made my #1? Directed by Tony Randle (Hellraiser II) This 6th installment may be cheesy, but was a very decent horror movie for the early 1990's. With killer KNB effects, a great new location/cursed object, a likable cast (Hello Damon Martin!) and one hell of an ending, 1992 will forever and always be my favorite sequel/film in the entire series.

2) Amityville The Possession 
- Many may argue that this is the best film in the series. Trust me kids, if it wasn't for It's About Time this one would have made the #1 slot no questions asked. The Possession serves as a great prequel, and even if it takes it's own route telling events, it's by far the scariest movie in the series. With a sick and twisted storyline, amazing effects, and some chilling moments, The Possession is one of the scariest supernatural movies I've ever seen.

3) Amityville The Evil Escapes
- The first in the "cursed" objects from the original house portion of the series. I actually really enjoy The Evil Escapes and sorta dig the whole cursed lamp thing. Yeah it's a made for TV movie, and has some very cheesy laughable moments, but it's really good for a TV movie. I love the location, and well as slow burn suspense that builds. Plus we get to see the world's longest cord on a lamp. That baby fell for an hour out that window!

5) The Amityville Horror 
- The original classic film is a great 70's horror film. A beautiful score, with some very creepy moments. I've read the original novel and actually think the book is scarier than the movie. Still, it's one of my favorite haunted house movies, and was the one that began it all.

6) Amityville The Next Generation
- A great sequel and follow up to It's About Time. With a killer cursed object (the mirror) and tons of great character actors, this movie has a great ending and works really well in the city setting. Only thing missing was to bring back Megan Ward and Damon Martin from the last movie!

7) Amityville 3D
- One of my all time favorite guilty pleasure movies. This is a film I could watch countless times. Sure the 3D effects are cheesy and very laughable, but this is a decent horror movie with a pretty cool ending and a young Meg Ryan! The best death in this movie is the woman who burns to death from within her car. Such a strange but awesome flick!

8) The Amityville Horror (2005)
- I actually really thought this was a somewhat decent remake. The CGI I could have gone without, and it lacked the charm the original movie had, but all things considered I thought Mr. Reynolds did a great job, as well as looked mighty fine chopping that wood! Only major thing I would change would be the house they used. I would have gone back to the original. Just something about that location creeps me out!

9) Amityville Dollhouse
- The movie I remember renting the most at the video store. It's really bad, and could have been so much better with the whole dollhouse idea. Still, not a terrible film. All I really remember from this movie was the giant rat scene. 

10) The Amityville Curse
- Such a mess. Has ZIP to do with all of the other movies. Still has that Kim Cotes (or whatever his name is in it) I've grown to find this movie somewhat watchable but it's still a huge pile of shit. I have no idea what they were thinking when they made it. Thank God they went with the direction of It's About Time for the next movie!

11) Amityville Haunting
- Nothing good to say about this pile of shit. I paid 3$ for this…and yes I overpaid.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

What would we like to see if Doctor Sleep gets made?

 What would we like to see if Doctor Sleep gets made?
F.E.A.R stands for Fuck Everything And Run. - Doctor Sleep.

In 2013 I received Stephen King's newest book in hardcover form as a secret santa exchange at my old work. I was completely thrilled seeing that I had heard nothing but great things about it. I still remember reading it over the course of the next month being completely captivated. There have only been a small handful of novels I simply couldn't put down. Doctor Sleep was one of them.

Now I might get some shit for this, but even as a massive King fan (both of his novels and movies) I really didn't like the book The Shinning. Sure the movie is good (the original) but I just really never got into the book. I've read it three times, once more after reading Doctor Sleep and just couldn't seem to get into it. I like it for what it is, and see why King wanted to see his real vision redone in the late 90's with the mini series, but when I got my sister a copy of Doctor Sleep for her to read, I answered her question of if she had to read The Shinning first to enjoy this book. I told her not really, it helps seeing that the book is very different than the 1980 film, but besides a few background basics if you go into Doctor Sleep blind, your actually going to be okay.

This book is a complete emotional journey from start to finish with the character of Danny. It's seriously a complete epic, and I'll admit I cried more than once while reading it. In fact I would say that this novel features one of King's greatest batch of villains. The True Knot.

Now I really don't know if we will ever get a film or mini series of Doctor Sleep, maybe a mini series (ABC most likely) will pick this story up. As wonderful as this tale is, I think not a lot of studios would want to touch it since it's the true sequel to the book, not the famous "Here's Johnny!" Shinning. Audiences might get confused unless they changed certain elements which in my mind might really wreck the movie. So here is a brief list of what we might want to see if Doctor Sleep ever gets made.

1) Get a strong cast.
 A film/mini series never works well without a strong cast.  I always felt if this ever is made, I would love to see either Sherilyn Fenn or Famke Janssen as Rose The Hat. Even now I think both women could rock this role beyond belief. For Danny, I could see Nick Stahl (God knows where he is these days), Jensen Ackles (would be cool to see him in another serious role, he was awesome in the My bloody Valentine remake), or even if they could in my wildest dreams get Tom Hardy. For Barry the chink maybe Joseph Gordon Levitt, for Snakebite Annie Choe Sevign, for Daddy Crow Zach Galligan. (surprise surprise) I mean come on now, couldn't you see Bailee Madison.

2) Keep the book's opening.
What might turn some people off, or get downright confused if they went with this direction is keeping the character of Dick alive for the opening, which shows Danny and his mother living down in Florida shortly after the whole Overlook ordeal. This is a very strong opening that sets the tone for the entire book. Dick shows Danny a trick of locking these "ghosts" into a lockbox and keeping them far away in his mind. Very creepy, and very heavy stuff which leads to the epic showdown at the end.

3) Keep with how brutal The True Knot is.
What makes The True Knot such amazing villains is what keeps them going. What their drive is, and how long they have been doing this. The whole backstory of them killing children that are special or have the gift of second sight aka The Shinning, they suck the life-force out of them, taking their "steam" in order to stay healthy and young. To keep with how serious this is I would show them as a whole and as a family, maybe even the flashback of them going to New York for 911 to feed, or butchering the young boy in the field all that time ago. The effects they could pull off showing them cycling would be amazing!

4) Keep the epic showdown!
What's so awesome about this sweeping epic of a story is the final showdown. Sure it might be a little hard to translate, mostly with Abra only being there mentally, but with a good enough director, I feel however this would be edited they could really show the epic ending at where the Overlook once stood in all it's glory. I would pay to see everything described in the book shown on the silver screen!

5) Keep the story's overall message.
What made this such a strong and impactful story was the character of Danny. Showing how low he started off in the beginning (the very strong scene of them stealing the money and watching the little baby reach towards the table with the coke thinking it's candy) how he drifted about for years, even being homeless working odd job to odd job pretty much following in his father's footsteps. Showing him making the choice to stay sober, and fight to stay that way is one of the most moving points of view throughout the entire book. How he fought, trying to do the right thing and even put Abra under his wing to teach her not to have history repeat itself. My favorite part of the entire book was him at his AA meeting years later finally making it ten years sober, and telling the story of his lowest moment and it dawning on him that it actually wasn't as bad as he thought and how he was finally able to break free from this pain. Very moving, and very beautiful.

So fingers crossed, and stay tuned!

RIP Angus Scrimm

 RIP Angus Scrimm

This morning I was woken up to some truly devastating news. Angus Scrimm passed away.

I really shouldn't feel that bummed out since the man lived a very full and happy life, but I can't help but feel a massive loss in the world of horror for two simple reasons. One being I never got the chance to meet Mr. Scrimm in person, and the second being that the Phantasm series is one of my all time favorites. 

I could go on and on about how much I love the Phantasm series. In fact this morning on my IG account I expressed how for years I've adored this series. I have written about the films, thought of theories, did artwork based off them, listened to the beautiful soundtrack, and have re-watched this sega over and over again with good friends. Angus was a classically trained actor who truly brought to life this living breathing colorful work of art in the form of Phantasm. By far one of the greatest villains of all time. My thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family and I'm sure wherever he is, he's strolling down some long hallway searching for his boy. Thank you Mr. Scrimm for inspiring me, and thank you for bringing us this amazing character. Just another reason why I want to get a Phantasm tattoo!

RIP Angus, you will be missed! Truly can't wait for part 5!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

2016 begins with a bang. News from Pee Wee's Big Holiday!

2016 begins with a bang. News from Pee Wee's Big Holiday!

Just a few days ago I was completely blown away while looking up news of the upcoming movie Pee Wee's Big Holiday. I'm a massive fan of Tim Burton's whacky feel good classic from 1985, and even owned it's lackluster sequel Pee Wee's Big Top as a kid on tape. Big Adventure is a must to watch, even if it's just background noise for me. I really can't explain but it's humor still holds up today and it's a movie I could honestly quote for hours. 

A huge reason why this movie is so near and dear to my heart is the fact it stars a young Damon Martin. Damon is one of my all time favorite actors and has always intrigued me on his varying career. Damon was in such films as Ghoulies II, Kid, Amityville 1992, and episodes from 21 Jump Street and Freddy's Nightmares. Quitting acting in the early 90's, Damon landed a record deal and formed the band Naked which had two number one hit singles Mann's Chinese and Raining On The Sky. After the band broke up Damon began several very successful production companies, even producing the 2009 remake of Night Of The Demons. Damon now works as a famous mural artist in the LA Arts District as well as being part of the Say No To Ivory campaign for the International Fund For Animal Welfare. I really can't explain it but Damon stars in 3 of my all time favorite feel good movies, and he has lived such an interesting life anytime at conventions that I've gotten the chance to speak to past co-stars of his they have nothing but awesome stories to share about working with him. In fact I've even had my friend and amazing artist Travis Falligant begin an art series of Damon based off his different roles. I've only had a little social contact with him thru IG, but it completely warmed my heart when I saw that this past summer for the 30th anniversary they screened Big Adventure at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. There Paul Reubens, Lou Cutell, E.G Daily, Diane Salinger, and Damon all reunited to talk a little bit on stage before the film began.

There Paul shared a few great stories, as well as letting it slip that Damon would be in fact starring in Pee Wee's Big Holiday which is coming to Netflix in March. As a massive, and I mean massive fan of Damon's this made my entire day. As a huge fan of his, (Trying to find his movie Sky High is mission impossible, as well as finding him somehow to sign my Amityville laserdisc) I have collected several pieces of artwork of him in it, as well as gathering a pretty impressive Amityville collection. Strange you might say? You should see my Galligan collection. Anywho, seeing that Damon (who's actually a really great actor) coming back to the silver screen warms my heart. The man hasn't acted since 1992 so it makes me even more excited to see him (perhaps returning to play Chip) in Big Holiday. All I have to say is this comeback is well welcomed and makes me even more excited for the spring.

We've missed you Damon, can't wait to see you soon!