Tuesday, November 20, 2018

What the cast of the Walking Dead would have looked like if it was made in the 90's?

What the cast of the Walking Dead would have looked like if it was made in the 90's?
A very special thanks to Travis from IBtrav art for making this legendary piece for Galligangiving!

Happy Galligangiving everyone! It's the most wonderful time of the year!!! In honor of this yearly celebration, there's a killer giveaway being held by myself and Shit Movie Fest. Head on over to my IG account (staystillreviews) to check out the rules to enter! Winner will be announced soon! Besides that, we're planning on drinking many gin and tonics, making Gremlin cookies, and watching non-stop Zach Galligan movies! To pay tribute to our favorite actor, I decided to cook up an article asking the question, "What would the cast of the Walking Dead would have looked like, if it had been made in the 1990's?" 
(Side note, I'm only picking several major characters from the show.)

Rick - Michael Biehn
Daryl - Rob Lowe
Carol - Emma Thompson
Michonne - Tyra Banks
Maggie - Winona Ryder
Carl - Jonathan Brandis
Glen - Jason Scott Lee

And last but not least...Galligan as Negan. We've only seen Zach play just a handful of villain roles, but how legendary would it be if Galligan suddnely appeared in the 6th/7th season of a popular show, everyone expecting the nice guy from Gremlins and BANG! He's swinging a baseball bat and killing off man characters. I believe had the show's season with Negan aired in 97/98 this would have been one for the books!

Well happy Galligangiving and remember to stay tuned for the winner of our killer giveaway!!!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Skinner (1993)

 Skinner (1993)

PLOT - Dennis Skinner, a nerdy, charming, cute, and rather withdrawn young man has just arrived in the seedy city of Los Angeles. Renting a room from a lonely housewife who's husband is constantly on the road, he befriends her, and gets a job at a local factory. Everything seems to be going fine, but somebody is following Dennis. A mysterious young woman named Heidi. She's a drag addict, wears her beautiful long blond hair in her face, a big floppy hat, long gloves, and a trench coat. Here she arrives in the same city and seems to be looking for revenge. It appears that Dennis has a big secret. Dennis is actually a deeply disturbed serial killer, who stalks hookers in the city, before murdering them, taking their bodies back to abandoned warehouses, and skins their bodies. Afterwards he wears his victims' skin, taking on their personality. He's been committing these brutal crimes ever since he was a young boy, after he witnessed his abusive father skin his own mother's dead body right in front of him. Here Heidi, the soul survivor of his very high body count is dead-set to find and murder Skinner before he claims another life.

LOWDOWN - This past October I was by far the sickest I've ever been. I seriously spent the whole month basically bed bound. on tons of antibiotics, hating so much life. One of the biggest reasons I hated being so sick was the fact that I missed the chance to meet Mr. Ted Raimi when he appeared at Rock & Shock earlier that month. I'm sure everyone knows what a MASSIVE Raimi fan I am. I adore Sam and Ted's movies, and it's a dream of mine to someday meet them. I mean I even have Sam from Intruder tattooed on me as well as his autograph. As much as I love Sam, I love Ted the same. I always get such a kick out of his cameos, and had been dying for quite some time to actually meet him and let him know how much I adored him. It seems as though sickness is a common theme with Ted and I never being able to meet. Roughly around 2014, I was working security at HorrorHound and was lucky enough to get assigned to pick Ted up from the airport as well as work his table all weekend. I can't even explain how nervous and giddy I was. Sadly when me and my friend arrived at the airport to go get him we learned that Ted had the flu and had to cancel his appearance. = Bummer of the century. Still, I was pretty pumped to meet him at Rock & Shock, but I got sick...real sick. I took a ton of meds and somehow by the will of God I was able to attend for an hour or so. My friend Courtney talked me into attending Ted' Q&A where we sat up front. At this time I was running a pretty high fever, so I can't really recall that much, but I remember sitting in awe over the fact I was sitting THIS close to a Raimi. As always Raimi was a riot, and very charming, but by the end of the panel I knew there was no way I could meet him. I knew I would probably get him sick, and even tried to rally the next day and see if I felt better to drive back and meet him...sadly my fever was really high and I had to throw in the towel. I was devastated. I spent the next two weeks beyond sick, puking, and even going to the hospital. I remember at one point as I was puking, I started being a total drama queen sobbing that this was the worst October ever since I felt like I was dying AND I missed the chance to meet Ted. I was crushed. Still, I decided to cheer myself up while recovering and tried to watch every Ted movie possible. One of which was a film I remembered seeing as a VHS tape in the horror section as a kid.

This film was Skinner.

I watched the full film on YouTube, impressed by the oddball cast. Instantly I became curious since I read a small video store article stating that talkshow queen Ricki Lake refused to talk about this film. Hummm...interesting. What I really liked was the fact that Ted was the lead. Very few movies does Ted get the chance to really show his talents besides supporting roles or cameos. How this guy's career never fully took off his beyond me. He's handsome in a not so typical way, and he actually has some really great acting chops. When you set aside the fact he's Sam's little brother, you can see he's really his own person, and steals every scene he's ever been in. Skinner truly was his movie. In the early 90's there were a few low budget films where Ted got his chance to shine. Lunatics A Love Story was one, and Skinner was the other.

Skinner was a film that came in the mid to early 90's as horror for most people were taking a nosedive. (I on the other hand disagree since there were a ton of underrated horror films made this this era.) This was the bastard mix of Silence Of The Lambs, and gritty films from the 80's like Pieces and Maniac. Is this a really good film? Eh. It is what it is. I actually really dug the plot. We have Ted playing Dennis Skinner (man irony party of one is calling!) who seems to be this shy, timid, handsome, charming young man. Ted does a wonderful job playing this role, and seriously gives some major uneasy vibes since so many real life serial killers (Ted Bundy, ect) were exactly like this. Ted looks like the boy next door, harmless, and you actually sympathize with him. It's very rare a villain doing so many horrible things on screen can do this, but I think a big reason behind this is because Ted played Dennis. You can't help but like him. 

The film looks gritty, dirty, and really does show some serious sketchy parts of LA where Dennis stalks his prey in the daylight. I found the whole storyline of Heidi (Traci Lords) on the hunt after Dennis the most fascinating. This is what made Skinner stand apart for me. This is a movie jammed packed with cult actors. I found Traci not just mysterious and beautiful but hypnotizing as well. You can feel her pain. This is a woman with a dark past, that has hit rock bottom. She's a junkie, and looks to be using the last of her cash to find the man that ruined her life. I would have loved to see more backstory on this character. Just the settle scenes of her covering the mirror at her hotel room with the newspaper, or speaking to the photograph of Dennis as she takes her needles out. Was Heidi a hooker? Was she a past girlfriend or lover of Dennis? What really happened between them? Makes you wonder. Still, as in your face as the twist with her character is, I actually had no idea. I found it interesting as well as heartbreaking. 

A big WHOA...moment has to be when Dennis takes care of a man he works with who bullies him. Dennis murders and skins him, only to wear his skin around like a suit, pretending to be like this, talking in his voice, and wandering around and deserted factories in the skin suit without a care in the world. The person he murders is a black man, and he talks like a black man. This scene goes on, and on, and on, and he even chases after a poor young woman who makes the fatal mistake of getting out of her boyfriend's car after a fight, only to be chased by Dennis in the skin suit. Disturbing, terrifying, unsettling, and I'm sure a scene like this wouldn't happen today. Yikes!

I did love the little love story between Ted and Ricki Lake. It was sweet seeing the two being the company and comfort they needed. Somehow the bloody towels, and bags full of knifes...or Ted arriving and sneaking in at night wearing a skin suit multiple times never set off any warnings. But hey, when you need those rent checks, you'll take those rent checks! Ted and Ricki had great chemistry and I sorta wish they would have played it a little more serious via Manhunter. I truly believe Dennis thought he could find someone to share that part of his life, and show the real "him." Also those scenes of him toweling off shirtless, or pressing against the door. HELLO!

I have seen this film uncut and cut. Youtube is completely uncut, and features KNB's killer effects in all their glory. We get a scene where Dennis skins a blond hooker, all the while telling he story of his abusive as a child. Here we see him completely pull her face off, before wearing her skin like a suit. It's gory, bloody, and awesome.

Without spoiling anything, we do get quite the showdown, and a very unsettling ending which left things open for a sequel...which I do kinda wish we could still get! Ted Raimi posted last year he was recording special features for a proper Blu-Ray release. Still not word sadly. I'm waiting since I know for a fact this film would be killer seeing in HD. 

This Halloween once I was fully recovered I even attended a party dressed as Traci Lords' character paying tribute to this highly underrated slasher. So in closing if you are a fan of Ted Raimi, or Traci Lords...or slashers with gory KNB effects...check out Skinner ASAP!

4 Stars!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

A dream sequel to Candyman - what could have been...

 A dream sequel to Candyman - What could have been...
Spoilers ahead!

About a month ago, a killer IG account I follow by the name of Spookshow_girl posted a really killer photo. Here was actress Virginia Madsen as Helen in the end of Bernard Rose's highly underrated 90's horror film Candyman. Trish aka Spookshow_girl is a fellow horror fan, who owns one HELL of a horror collection, and has amazing taste in movies. Her post basically said how badly she wished a direct sequel was made with Helen's character becoming the new villain aka Candyman for the next installment in the series. 

Instantly my jaw dropped.

This was genius. 

Basically Candyman tells the story of a young married grad student named Helen. Here she's researching urban legends for her thesis. A skeptic, she debunks a popular ghost story from the projects in Chicago. This legend is based off a spirit named Candyman. A slave, murdered after having an affair with his owner's daughter nearly a hundred years ago. The innocent man was beaten, his hand sawed off with a rusty blade, and then honey smeared all over his naked body, in which thousands of bees stung him to death. Over the years the story changed, and after a series of grizzly murders of people killed from inside their apartments. All doors and windows locked from the inside. Helen links it all back to a recent murder at an apartment building where a woman called 911 screaming that somebody was coming through the walls to murder her. When the police arrived yet again, doors and windows all locked...but the woman was torn to pieces. Helen figures out that actually these apartment buildings, as well as her own condo across the city has the small design. The  medicine cabinets are built into the actual walls. If you took the mirror off, you can climb into the next apartment. After taking some huge risks, she finally proves the truth behind this so called "ghost story" and leads it all back to local gangs in the area. 

That is until...the actual spirit of Candyman, sensing that Helen has proven his story to be that of myth, he crosses over after she makes the fatal mistake by saying his name five times in a mirror. A few weeks after she research has prove to be on the right track...he appears, and instantly she's hypnotized. When she awakes, she's covered in blood, and found in the apartment of a woman she interviewed for her paper. The woman who lives in the apartment is hysterical. Her dog has been slaughtered, and her infant son is missing. Helen is arrested, and has absolutely no idea what happened. She's taken into police custody, who believe she took the baby. Unable to remember a single thing, Candyman begins to appear only to her, haunting her, and making her look crazy. Time moves on, and more innocent people are slaughtered, all making it look as if Helen is the one responsible. Committed to a mental hospital, Helen knows that she's the only one who can stop this madness once and for all. On her journey, she discovers that her husband has been unfaithful, and has moved in his girlfriend, while abandoning her at the hospital believing she was crazy. Here it all leads back to the apartment where the baby was kidnapped. She climbs into a massive trash heap, full of broken furniture, that's nearly thirty feet tall. She climbs inside, and finds the baby, before Candyman appears. Outside the people of the community can't hear Helen or the baby's screams, and light the mountain of trash on fire. Here Helen grabs the baby, and crawls out, leaving Candyman to die, before crawling out, badly burned, hair missing, skin horribly disfigured, as she slides the untouched baby to it's stunned mother. Here the people witness that Helen was actually innocent, and dies from her injuries before them.

At Helen's funeral, her unfaithful husband Trevor stands with his girlfriend, before suddenly hundreds of people from the projects come to pay tribute to Helen, and throwing the hook they found in the fire left by Candyman on her grave. Weeks later, Trevor...Helen's asshole husband clearly is riddled with guilt. He goes into the bathroom, looks in the mirror and starts to groan and say his late wife's name who he wronged so badly. Over and over he says her name. "Helen, Helen, Helen, Helen...Helen." Just then the lights go out and flicker. Trevor turns, and sees his dead wife, her hair missing, horribly burned. Here she smiles, and holds up the large hook. "What's the matter Trevor? Scared?" With that she guts Trevor before vanishing. His girlfriend walks into the bathroom, before screaming in horror at his torn apart body in the bathtub. 

In my eyes this was one of the best endings not only to a film in the 1990's, but one of the best endings to a film ever. I constantly tell people this film is worth checking out, and a perfect example that believe it or not a whole handful of awesome horror films did come out in this decade long before Scream. We all know Candyman got two more sequels. 

Part 2 was Farewell To Flesh, which I actually have to admit is a REALLY great sequel. It's really not completely a direct film to the original besides a character who appeared in the first film, and is murdered in the opening of this movie. It takes place in New Orleans, has a great cast, huge gory moments, and really expands on Candyman's backstory. I always enjoyed it, but can't really speak for part 3 since I've never seen it. From what I hear, it's really not that great. Still, the first two films had strong female characters, a beautiful haunting score, and what I really loved was Tony Todd's portrayal of Candyman. It's very rare we get to see an African American horror icon. I love Tony, I've met him several times, and I'm sure I'm speaking to anyone who has met him he's a total class act. Candyman which is 26 years old now (damn I'm old!) is a beautiful haunting love story if you really think about it. Watching Helen's sacrifice herself to save the baby always gets me, as well as totally rooting for her when she guts that scum bag of a husband of hers at the end of the first one.

So to build of Trish's killer idea, she wished instead of continuing Candyman's story, why didn't they keep up with Helen's story? I feel in my eyes, it's very rare to have a female villain. Sure there's a few of them (Friday the 13th, The Devil's Rejects, Fright Night II, ect) but not many iconic females that rank along the sides of Leatherface, Freddy, Jason, Chucky, ect. I feel they really could have tried something different by making the next movie completely about Helen, and how years after the original she's become something of legend, murdering unfaithful lovers all over the world. 

I mean think about it.

They could have saved a sequel mostly about Candyman (via Farewell To The Flesh) as the third and final movie in the trilogy. I feel maybe even had Helen (Madsen) returned in the sequel she should have been front row and center as the main "villain" now I really don't like using that term since I found even the Candyman a misunderstood "monster" with a heartbreaking past. This vengeful spirit, collecting wronged souls. Helen is basically the same. Could she have killed right beside Candyman, her soulmate in the afterlife? Sure. But I truly would have just wanted to see just Helen as the killer in the next movie.

My rough pitch is that it should have been made in 1995 (Farewell To The Flesh could be made a year or two later, making this a trilogy.) I would have a series of grizzly murders (maybe mostly men) who have been unfaithful or abusive being found brutally murdered. What if a young rookie police officer begins following these murders, and links them back to the legend of Candyman and of Helen who in her own right has become just as popular as a ghost story over the years. I could totally see this rookie getting over his head, as the murders begin to pile up, and it all leads back to the mysterious woman who will appear, hook in hand, horribly burned, and waiting in the shadows...

Spooky right?

What if this rookie is approached by a biker with white hair, who has a connection to the whole Candyman/Helen murders so many years ago. 

Billy aka Ted Raimi from the opening of the first movie.
It's so hard to tell, but I photoshopped Ted's hair "somewhat" white for this. I'm dying. Super proud of it.

We all remember this killer cameo from the original film. Billy (Raimi) appears as the bad boy biker who comes over, hoping to get lucky with the babysitter. Here the two start getting frisky in front of the mirror as they talk about the urban legend of Candyman. Billy stopped at four, going downstairs to wait and have a beer, while the babysitter makes the fatal mistake in saying Candyman a 5th time, and being slaughtered. In the beginning of this movie, a student tells Helen as she does her research that the babysitter was split in two, and the baby was murdered as well. Billy's hair turned white from fright and lost his mind. Maybe this was part true? What if he was blamed for the murders originally?  What if his hair really did turn white from seeing what he saw, and spent a few years in a mental hospital. Since then he's been on the rode, going from place to place trying to track down any murders connected to the Candyman or Helen. Here he ends up working side by side with this rookie cop to discover the truth and put this to an end once and for all. 

What I love about these movies are how beautiful and downright heartbreaking they are. I would have loved a great killer ending, and Helen making a small cameo in the third movie, showing that Candyman and his long lost "love" are together now for all time.

So thoughts? Yay or Nay? I for one would have LOVED to see this kind of sequel! Who knows, maybe we'll get a forth film after all these years. I'm not too sure if Madsen would be down to return, but she is hands down one of my favorite female characters in a horror movie. Plus, with Michael Myers returning, and maybe Freddy...who knows maybe Candyman and Helen are waiting for us to say their name 5 times!