Monday, March 25, 2019

Farewell to the captain. Saying goodbye to Joe Pilato

Farewell to the captain. Saying goodbye to Joe Pilato

This week has been rough.. Not only am I fighting a pretty bad case of bronchitis, but I was sent home from work last week with a high fever which resulted in me being hospitalized twice. Laying down Monday, I woke up to the worst news ever.

Joe Pilato had died.

Joe is best known for playing Captain Rhodes in George A Romero's Day Of The Dead (1985) One of the most over the top and iconic villains of all time. Joe along with the bloody mind blowing effects, were the two true stars of this third entry in the dead trilogy, and Joe goes down in history as featuring one of the best on screen deaths ever featured in a horror movie. 

Long before Negan was one of the most famous villains to battle the undead there was Rhodes.

Captain Rhodes was one of my first movie crushes, and for years I had promised myself when I got the chance I would meet Joe and let him know how much his role in Day Of The Dead meant. I still get chills whenever I think of the elevator slowly beeping and all of the military men standing back as Rhodes stands back and watches the dozens of zombies slowly lower into the underground bunker.

With his over the top lines, beyond attractive dark black hair, and of course epic showdown with Bub the zombie, Rhodes has forever cemented himself as one of key favorite characters in a horror movie, and is a huge reason why Day of The Dead has always been my favorite. In fact back in 2017 I oddly found this movie a huge comfort to me, and watched on a constant loop. It seems unreal that Joe is gone now, and the sad reality that I never got the chance to meet him is truly sinking in.

Joe was from Boston, and appeared in the underrated film Effects, a cameo in Dawn Of The Dead, and Wishmaster. He was also originally supposed to be written as the lead in From Dusk Till Dawn. Man that would have been something! Just recently he did some independent work as well as being the lead in the comic series.

 He always seemed to be a complete joker at conventions, and always had a drink in his hand. Totally my kind of dude. I really have to hand it to George Romero for going against grain and casting this short attractive Italian man as the man villain. He stole every scene he was in, and truly made you wonder what made a man like Rhodes tick. Clearly there was more going on behind him than what we were shown.

My only comfort at this time is knowing that Joe will forever live on in Day Of The Dead, and if there hadn't been this dark classic movie back in 1985, there probably wouldn't have been a Walking Dead, which gave birth to iconic villains following in Rhodes' footsteps like Negan.

So three cheers to Joe. I'm sure whenever he is, he's with George having a stuff drink, and telling those zombies that they are puss fucks. Until next time Captain. Thank you for the memories!


Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Top 5 Ted Raimi movies!!!

 Top 5 Ted Raimi movies!!!!

I'm still in complete awe that this up coming summer I'll be flying to Chicago to visit one of my closest friends to meet Sam AND Ted Raimi!!! My two convention unicorns. I'm honestly still in awe that this is even possible. I've been a fan of the Raimi brothers for years now, and have both of their handsome faces tattooed on me. The fact I'll be able to meet both is seriously a complete dream come true. I'm sure I'll be a bubbling mess. I've never gotten a chance to meet Sam (The fact he's doing shows blows my mind. Can't wait to show him how I have his character from Intruder tattooed on me, meathook and all!) Massive fan of the films he's written and directed, but I'm an even bigger fan of his brief but memorable acting career. Can't wait to gush to him about how much I adored his character from Indian summer. "Nothing like a good moose!" Ted on the other hand has seriously been fate laughing in my face when it comes to meeting him. The first I was assigned to work his table all weekend long at HorrorHound a few years back. Sadly when I went to go pick him up at the airport, I learned he had the flu and had to cancel (damn!) Cut to this past fall, Ted was scheduled to appear at a local convention, but I had the flu from HELL and was basically in a complete antibiotics haze, and was too scared to meet him since I looked like a walking zombie and didn't want to get him sick. (Double damn!) I did attend his Q&A and legit fell in love with Ted all over again as he cracked jokes and talked about his career. Shortly after that, as devastated as I was for missing the chance YET again, I celebrated my love for Mr. Raimi and got a matching tattoo to go with my Sam tattoo, and this time got Ted from Darkman (directed by his brother) Well, a few weeks later life decided to toss me a bone, and it was announced both Sam and Ted would be appearing at Flashback Weekend. I had been dying to visit Chicago again, and this was all I needed to book my flight. I'm sure in the months counting down, I'll be in a complete Raimi mania haze. So to kick things off, I decided to name my top 5 favorite Ted Raimi movies of all time!!1

5) Evil Dead 2
- Ted plays Henrietta, the possessed old mother locked in the fruit cellar in the old cabin in what I believe is one of the best horror sequels of all time. Henrietta is one of the most iconic horror creatures, and displays truly how talented the effects team was that worked on this film. They took a young 20 something Ted and made him into a frighting witch/hag that lives Bruce Campbell a total run for this money. Ted and his brother will go down in horror history for this trilogy and TV series. In my eyes Evil Dead 2 is a text book on how to make the perfect horror movie. I think Ted's frighting character screaming "Dead by dawn!" has a little something to do with that.

4) The Grudge
- I still remember seeing this in theaters and how popular this remake to the frighting Japanese horror film was at the time. Just recently I rewatched it and do see why it was so popular. I mean how awful is it that you are completely screwed the second you step foot inside the house were the curse is?! Ted's role is small, but he plays the owner of the clinic that sends the lead to her fate accidentally. Ted pops in for a few scenes, and he's also featured in one of the most frighting moments int he whole film.

3) Lunatics A Love Story
- This was the film that Ted spoke about the most during the Q&A I went to. I just recently bought it and was completely charmed by how zany, weird, and downright adorable it was. It's rare to see Ted as a lead in a film, let alone playing the romantic leading man! He plays opposite Deborah Foreman and I adored the shared chemistry between the two. Ted plays Hank, a agoraphobic, who has a "few" screws loose, and is very lonely. Unable to leave his apartment, he has fighting visions of massive spiders, killer doctors, and rappers. It isn't until fate has it that his phone lines cross with a pretty young girl who's new to the city, who believes she's cursed, and anything that touches her dies. The two meet, and it's love at first sight...or at least Ted thinks so!

2) Shocker 
- This was actually the first movie I ever saw Ted appear in. Shocker was Wes Craven's effort in making a few Nightmare on Elm Street villain in the shadow of Freddy. Sadly, lighting didn't strike twice, but nevertheless this is a highly amusing movie with a pretty cool plot. Ted plays a supporting character, the assistant coach Pac Man who sadly has a VERY violent death. Ted's role is small, but sweet. I kinda wish Wes Craven had decided to go against the currant, and cast Ted as the lead role. Now that would have been interesting!!!

1) Skinner 
- This is hands down Ted's greatest movie. In fact, I was pumped when this movie got a SE blu-ray release this past winter that it very much needed! Ted plays Dennis Skinner, a charming, handsome man who's hiding a secret. He's actually a psychopath drifter who skins women and wears their skin as suits. Sounds weird huh? Well guess what? It IS! Skinner ends up renting a room from a lonely housewife (Ricki Lake) who he begins to fall for, all the while going to the seedy streets of LA late at night and stalking new victims. Unknown to him a woman he tried to kill many years ago that escaped, horribly wounded is hot on his trail...seeking revenge (Traci Lords) The showdown between these two is legendary! Skinner is a wonderful film with many jaw dropping moments, and TONS of gore! Ted rules in this film and I'm still waiting for a sequel! 

So there you have it. My personal favorite Ted movies! Also can we also pay a little respect for his cameo in Candyman? Pure perfection!!!