Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Best of 2008

Well 2008 has come to an end. Looking back, here are my picks for best movie, book and T.V. show of the year. I'm going to cheat and count everything I've seen/read this year, not necessarily just stuff that was released this year. Instead of doing a best and worst list of 2008, I'm just mentioning the best. I don't want to remember 2008 that way. :)

MOVIE: The Strangers

I never saw this in the theatre and actually didn't get to see it until it came out on DVD a few months ago. I jumped every time one of the masked killers' faces popped up in the window. The atmosphere is just so creepy. I haven't been this creeped out by a movie since The Descent, which came out in 2005, so it's been awhile.

Honourable Mention: Cloverfield

I did get to see this movie in the theatre. My boyfriend (who hates horror movies) actually went with me. Even though I felt sick after this movie because of the shakiness of the camera, I still enjoyed it. Or it may have been all the candy and popcorn I ate, I'm not really sure...

BOOK (Fiction): The Jigsaw Man by Gord Rollo

If you just scroll down a bit, you'll see my review for Gord Rollo's first novel, which I loved. Anyone who hasn't read it yet should go pick it up. I promise you won't be disappointed. It's a modern Frankenstein story that is fast-paced and has intriguing characters.

BOOK (Non-Fiction): The Book of Lists: Horror by Amy Wallace, Del Howison and Scott Bradley

Again, you can read my full review by scrolling down and see how much I enjoyed this book. Whenever I'm bored, I just pick it up and read a few lists from it. Hopefully I'm going to get around to seeing/reading some movies/books mentioned in this book.

Honourable Mention: The Godsend by Bernard Taylor

Although this book was published in 1976, I wanted to include it because everyone needs to know what a great writer Bernard Taylor is and check out his works. This was one of the best books I've read this year. It's a creepy killer kid story.

T.V. SHOW: Scream Queens

I was so addicted to this reality show this year, and usually I don't even like reality shows. But when horror and reality shows combine it equals one interesting show. And there's more horror-reality on the way. 13: Fear Is Real starts Wednesday, January 7 at 8 p.m. on the CW. It's produced by Sam Raimi and is supposed to be like a slasher movie, with a contestant "killed" each week. I can't wait to see it! Anyway, for anyone who missed out on Scream Queens here's the premise: actresses compete in horror film-related challenges to win a major role in Saw VI. I'm not a big fan of the Saw movies, but I think I'll check it out just to see how well the winner does in it. Especially since my favourite won, for once.

Honourable Mention: Fear Itself

I really enjoyed this anthology series and thought it had some creepy episodes. Unfortunately, NBC won't be airing it anymore. It was picked up by FEARnet, but I live in Canada and don't get that channel.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

MOVIE REVIEW: Critters 2: The Main Course

When I was a kid I saw a movie that terrified me. All I could remember for years was that a young girl puts her Easter eggs under her bed when she goes to sleep and monsters hatch from the eggs. I've been trying to find out what it is for a long time and I finally found it.

Last week I bought Critters 2 at the Thrift Store for $1.00. As soon as I got home I watched it, and to my surprise it was the movie I've been searching for all these years!

I can understand why it scared me so much when I was a kid. In one scene the Sheriff, dressed up as the Easter Bunny, has Krites (the critters) crawl inside his costume and eat him. And the scene I previously mentioned with Easter eggs hatching into monsters.

For anyone who hasn't seen any of the Critters films, they're about the Krites, who are aliens with a taste for meat. The Krites escape from an intergalactic jail, steal a spaceship and head to Earth in the first film. Then bounty hunters, who hunt aliens that escape to Earth, head to our planet to capture the Krites. But as we find out in the second film, they missed a few.

It wasn't as good as I remembered (nothing ever is) and it wasn't scary at all, but I still enjoyed it. The scenes I've already mentioned are pretty much all the gore in the film. Which is surprising for a movie about monsters who eat humans. They'll eat any kind of meat, so for most of the film they're eating meat other than the human variety.

The Krites have some of the best lines, spouting hilarious quips. Of course we can't understand what the aliens are saying, so there are subtitles for when the Krites are speaking gibberish.

Dee Wallace and M. Emmet Walsh don't return in this sequel, but Scott Grimes does.

Critters 2 is more than just a horror film. It's also an enjoyable sci-fi and a comedy. It entertained me and made me laugh, and also terrified me as a youngster, so I give it 4/5.

Rating: 4/5

Monday, December 8, 2008

BOOK REVIEW: The Book of Lists: Horror

Everyone loves a list. The internet is littered with them. Amazon has their Listmania lists, where you can make your own lists of books, movies, etc. And pretty much every other shopping website has ripped this off. Most of your favourite websites feature top 10 lists. And blogs are filled with lists (I even made one myself). So why not a book comprised of just lists?

I had read other editions of The Book of Lists, and enjoyed them. Some of the lists are really fascinating. And when I found out there was a Book of Lists dedicated to my favourite genre, I knew I had to check it out.

The Book of Lists: Horror is broken up into five sections: movies, books, music, miscellaneous (which includes T.V, video games, etc.), and lists submitted by horror fans. Most of the lists are by celebrities in the horror community such as Stephen King, James Gunn and Eli Roth.

Some of my favourite lists from the book:

Charles Black's Five Favourite Nightmare on Elm Street Tie-In Products - I had no idea there was a 1-900 number where you could call Freddy. Or a Freddy's Greatest Hits album.

Anthony Timpone's Ten Movies I Wish I Never Put on the Cover of Fangoria - Who knew putting Species II on the cover of Fangoria would be a mistake?

T.E.D. Klein's Twenty-Five Most Familiar Horror Plots - I can't even count all the times I've read a story ending with it being all a dream.

I was surprised how varied the lists were. I thought there would be a lot of repeats of the classics, but there were only a few.

What I liked most about The Book of Lists: Horror, is that it gave me tons of movies and books I had never heard of before. Now I have a huge list of books and movies that I want to check out thanks to this book.

This book is a must-read for all horror lovers. Even if you're not into horror you would probably enjoy it. Lots of the lists are funny and all of them are interesting. It's definitely fun reading.

Rating: 5/5

Sunday, December 7, 2008

MOVIE REVIEW: The Hills Have Eyes 2 (2007)

I don't need to say much about this one. If you're a horror fan, you know it's going to suck. First of all, it's both a sequel AND a remake. That pretty much says it all right there. But for some reason, I felt compelled to buy it for $2 from Rogers Video. Despite that fact that:

a) The reason it was only $2 was probably because it's awful and no one else is dumb enough to buy it.
b) I didn't even enjoy the first remake.
c) I had already read reviews on Amazon and saw that it got 2 1/2 stars.

That's why I'm only getting around to seeing it now, over a year after it was released. And even though I knew it would be terrible I thought I should at least give it a chance. I'm a horror movie optimist. I always hope that a movie will exceed my expectations, even though I now deep down that it won't. And The Hills Have Eyes 2 definitely did not.

Unfortunately, this film follows the trend of other recent horror movies, replacing plot with gore. The description on the back of the DVD sounds interesting, stating that the mutants want to breed with women to keep their family going. But that doesn't really happen in the movie.

The film begins with that idea in mind. In the first gory scene, a woman gives birth to a mutant baby. And that's the only scene which has something to do with the supposed plot line. The rest of the movie is just a mutant killing spree.

It doesn't have any of the elements that make a movie good. The plot was non-existent. There was barely any dialogue, and when there was some, it was boring. The pacing was slow. The characters were stupid and dull. You end up wanting the mutants to get them all so the movie will end.

All this film has to offer is gore, and even that sucked. The "gore" scenes were pretty tame compared to other movies.

There is nothing to like about The Hills Have Eyes 2, so I give it a 1/5.

Rating: 1/5

Saturday, December 6, 2008

MOVIE REVIEW: Diary of the Dead

George Romero's newest addition to his zombie series follows the video diary trend (like The Blair Witch Project or Cloverfield), telling the story of a crew of young adults filming a low-budget horror movie when the dead begin coming back to life. With the world in turmoil, the director of the film decides it is his duty to document the horror.

Diary of the Dead is nowhere near as effective as The Blair Witch Project or Cloverfield. This film doesn't look as if it was shot with a camcorder like the other two. It looks like a regular movie, except he zooms in and out a lot and sets the camera down a couple of times.

The film is narrated by one of the main characters. She explains that she edited the film, adding music for effect and her narration. This ruins everything that made other 'documentary' films successful. They actually feel as if you're watching the horrors unfolding and seeing the characters' real emotions.

The characters in Diary of the Dead are like robots, rarely showing emotion. Especially the guy filming the movie. At first I felt sorry for him and how the rest of the crew kept giving him a hard time about documenting everything (which happens during the whole movie). Until one of his friends was being chased by a zombie and he just kept filming instead of helping her. What kind of a person would do that?

The characters are also stupid. Obviously they've never seen any zombie movies. They insist on keeping dead loved ones around, just in case they come back to life and are normal. Yeah, obviously if someone who was dead came back to life, they wouldn't be back to their usual self.

And the dialogue is stupid, especially the narration. Here's a quote:

"Are we worth saving? You tell me."

The narrator says this after mentioning how cruel people were for shooting a zombie in the head. Are you kidding me? Yes, the whole human race deserves to die because they're nothing but horrible zombie-killers. Give me a break...

Diary of the Dead was dull, there was no suspense at all, and the gore was pretty tame for a zombie flick. This movie really has nothing going for it, so I give it 1/5.

Rating: 1/5

Friday, December 5, 2008

Leisure Horror 2009

Someone on LibraryThing posted part of Leisure Horror's 2009 publishing schedule. Here it is:

JAKE'S WAKE by John Skipp & Cody Goodfellow
BLACK CATHEDRAL by L. H. Maynard and M. P. N. Sims

CASTAWAYS by Brian Keene
SOULTAKER by Bryan Smith

MARCH 2009
DARK MOUNTAIN by Richard Laymon
CRIMSON by Gord Rollo

APRIL 2009
GOLEM by Edward Lee
BESTIAL by Ray Garton

MAY 2009
DEATH MASK by Graham Masterton
SACRIFICE by John Everson

JUNE 2009
COVER by Jack Ketchum
PRESSURE by Jeff Strand

JULY 2009
THE SHORE by Robert Dunbar

URBAN GOTHIC by Brian Keene
FAR DARK FIELDS by Gary A. Braunbeck

FLESH by Richard Laymon
WOLF’S GAMBIT by W. D. Gagliani

FEEDING GROUND by Sarah Pinborough
DEPRAVED by Bryan Smith

(Currently Untitled) by Edward Lee
THE 13TH by John Everson

I think I'm going to join the Leisure Horror Book Club since I'll probably be buying most of these anyway.

BOOK NEWS: Castaways

I know this is old news, but I wanted to post something about it anyway because I'm so excited about it! Brian Keene's next novel, Castaways, will be released from Leisure January 27, 2009. Here's the blurb:

They came to the deserted island to compete on a popular reality television show. Each one of them hoped to be the last to leave. Now, they’re just hoping to stay alive, because one of them isn’t who he seems, and the island isn’t as deserted as it appears. The men will be slaughtered. The women will be kept alive as captives. And before it is over, the survivors will turn on each other. Night is falling, the creatures are coming, and rescue is so very far away…


I can't wait! With all these great new horror books being released from Leisure, I think I might as well join the book club. There's an early review on The Horror Fiction Review which you can read here.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Trash or Treasure Thursday

Kaw (2007)

I hate birds. They swoop at your head, have long, pointy beaks and poop everywhere. Yep, I'm afraid of birds. So, last week when I was flipping through the channels and came across a movie called Kaw, I figured it might scare me. It was kind of creepy.

It stars Sean Patrick Flanery as the town sheriff...and that chick from The Secret Life of the American Teenager...and that chick from Privileged.

Kaw is about intelligent meat-eating ravens with a taste for human flesh terrorizing a small town. Hm, that one sentence pretty much sums up the whole plot. I don't want to give the ending away, so you'll just have to watch to see what made the ravens go nuts and start eating people.

It was sort of creepy how intelligent the ravens were, but not that creepy when you think of how impossible it is. I mean, they used a child as bait so that when a bunch of adults came to save him, the ravens could kill and eat them instead (more meat I guess). Having crazy meat-eating ravens is one thing, claiming that they're super-intelligent and can plan ways to kill people is another. Having the killer ravens be smart made the movie stupid.

But there was lots of gore. Like a bunch of ravens killing a dog and watching them pull it to pieces with their beaks, and such. The deaths by ravens were all pretty good and gory.

There were a lot of characters in the movie. A bus driver who first discovered the ravens but no one believed him. The strange Mennonite family and their secret, which was another spooky part of Kaw. The annoying, bitchy teenage girls who I was hoping the ravens would get, but never happened. Kaw definitely loses points for that.

Overall, I would say Kaw was entertaining, and pretty good for a Sci Fi Channel movie. It would make an okay rental.

Rating: 3/5

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

BOOK NEWS: Jake's Wake

A new John Skipp book, co-authored with Cody Goodfellow, will be released January 9, 2009 from Leisure. Here's the blurb:

A crooked TV evangelist who preached eternal life proves himself right, on one score at least, when he returns from the dead at his own wake and sets out to slaughter everyone who he thinks has wronged him.

I can't wait for it to come out. I'm a huge John Skipp fan. I haven't read anything by Cody Goodfellow, but I think I'll check him out.

Fangoria has already reviewed the book and gave it a 3.5/4 rating. In the review they gave away some exciting news: "
JAKE'S WAKE is currently in production to be made into a low-budget film and THE LONG LAST CALL will soon follow. Skipp intends to direct both features." Wow two films based on John Skipp's books AND directed by him? Sounds awesome!

Here's the creepy book trailer from YouTube.

BOOK NEWS: Crimson

At the end of Gord Rollo's first novel, The Jigsaw Man, there was an excerpt of his next book, Crimson, which will be released by Leisure February 24, 2009. I thought the excerpt was creepy and I can't wait to read the rest of it.

Here's the blurb for it:

The citizens of the Canadian town of Davinsport, Ontario, are no strangers to fear. Evil has walked their streets before, leaving in its wake a legacy of murder, and madness. No one likes to talk about it anymore, and most people have managed to convince themselves it never really happened, but secrecy and denial can only hide the truth for so long. Evil can wait forever. By 1967, what had happened was nothing more than a legend, a scary story told around roaring campfires. Four boyhood friends are about to discover the truth, but no one will believe them.

It sounds awesome and I love the creepy cover.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

BOOK REVIEW: The Jigsaw Man by Gord Rollo

What would you do if someone offered you a million dollars for your right arm?

Of course you would instinctively say no and think they're nuts. But if you stopped and considered the proposal and what you could do with all that money, it might not seem like such a bad idea. Especially if you're homeless, have no family (except a daughter who hates your guts), and are about to jump in front of a train.

This is the dilemma facing Michael Fox in Gord Rollo's engrossing first novel, The Jigsaw Man.

Since his wife and son were killed in a car accident, Fox has had nothing to live for, becoming a homeless drunk/drug addict. His daughter, who survived the car accident, wants nothing to do with him. So, one bleak day Fox decides he's worth more dead than alive, mails his insurance policy to his daughter and heads to the railway tracks.

While Fox is waiting for the next train to end his life, a man pulls up in a limo and offers him two million dollars for his right arm. Thinking of how much that money could do for his daughter, he accepts. Of course there's more to the offer than Fox is told.

Poor Michael Fox. I don't think I've ever felt as much empathy for a character as I did for him. During the course of the novel things keep getting progressively worse for him. I don't want to give anything away, but his life definitely would have been better living on the streets. And don't even get me started on Lucas and Red Beard. I'll admit I teared up a couple of times while reading.

The characters were very well-developed. As I already mentioned, I felt empathy for the hero and truly cared about him. And I hated the antagonists with a passion. I found myself grinding my teeth when I read about some of Drake and Dr. Marshall's atrocities.

The Jigsaw Man grabbed my interest immediately and held it for the length of book with its quick pace. Whenever I thought I knew what was coming next there would be another twist.

Although parts of the book require a huge suspension of disbelief, and you know nothing like that would ever happen, it's not a problem. Rollo's writing is so convincing that you'll believe even the craziest scenarios in the novel.

I loved this book and if you're a horror fan I'm sure you will too. It looks like I may have a new favourite author.

Rating: 5/5

Monday, December 1, 2008

I'm back!

After my computer being broken for a month, it's finally fixed. Now I can review everything I've seen in the past month...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Trash or Treasure Thursday

Trick or Treat (1986)

Acquired at:
Giant Tiger
Cost: $4.99

When I saw this movie for $4.99, I was like "Ozzy Osbourne and Gene Simmons? Score!" But they're barely in the movie. Ozzy is a minister against rock music and it only shows him in a brief clip where he's interviewed on T.V. Gene is DJ at the local radio station. It's unfair that they put both of them on the cover to sell more DVDs, but I guess it works.

Trick or Treat is about a high school outcast, Eddie, who loves metal music, especially Sammi Curr. When his idol dies in a hotel fire, Eddie is devastated and goes to his friend Nuke (Gene Simmons), the local DJ, for comfort. Nuke gives him the only copy of Sammi Curr's last, unreleased album. When the record starts skipping, he notices something strange about the words. Eddie plays it backwards and Sammi Curr speaks to him from beyond the grave, telling him how to get even with some bullies. When Sammi's plans turn sour, Eddie wants to stop talking to him. But when he spills his pop on the record, an electrical surge brings him back to life - sort of. He can only travel through electronics. When Sammi travels to the school's Halloween dance, it's up to Eddie to stop him.

This movie wasn't scary at all, but it wasn't bad enough to be so-bad-it's-good either. It was interesting up until the point where he came back to life. After he started jumping around through electronics it became stupid and boring. The premise was so good: playing a record backwards to raise your favourite dead rock star from the dead to help you get revenge on your enemies. Sounds interesting, but the execution was disappointing.

I give this movie a 3/5. It's not an amazing treasure, but I wouldn't call it trash either.

Rating: 3/5

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My Halloween Haul

Every year I can't wait to see the Halloween displays go up. Especially at stores like HMV. I'm addicted to buying horror DVDs. And every store that sells them sets up displays of cheap ones that they get in for Halloween. This is the only time of the year they have an abundance of horror films. In the past I've bought such films as Friday the 13th, Sleepaway Camp, and Pin for only $5 each. This year I went a little overboard and bought a bunch of DVDs. Here's my Halloween far...


Acquired at: HMV
Cost: $5.99

I just reviewed this film last week. I watched this as soon as I brought it home. It was just as good as I remembered.

My Bloody Valentine/ April Fool's Day

Acquired at: HMV
Cost: $8.99

Two for the price of one! I haven't seen either of these cult classics yet, but I can't wait to watch them. Especially before the 3-D remake of My Bloody Valentine comes out.

Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers

Acquired at: HMV
Cost: $5.99

I loved the first Sleepaway Camp, so hopefully the sequel will also be good.

Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland

Acquired at: HMV
Cost: $5.99

I rented this movie a long time ago when I went camping. The campground had a bunch of camping-related horror films, but I just remember this one and Campfire Tales. I remember hating it, but I think that now I've seen the original I'll appreciate this one more.

A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

Acquired at: HMV
Cost: $5.99

This was the only Nightmare On Elm Street movie I didn't have. I've heard that this one is supposed to be one of the better sequels. It does have Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) in it.


Acquired at: Zellers
Cost: $2.99

I watched this a couple years ago and remember enjoying it.


Acquired at: Zellers
Cost: $2.99

The tagline made me buy this movie. "Remember, Jason and Freddy were kids once too." I do love killer kid movies...


Acquired at: Zellers
Cost: $2.99

Sounds like an okay zombie flick.

The Butcher

Acquired at: Zellers
Cost: $2.99

Hm another car-breaks-down-while-young-beautiful-people-are-on-a-road-
trip-and-the-house-they-go-for-help-houses-a-killer slasher movie. It could be good...

Leprechaun 4

Acquired at: Zellers
Cost: $2.99

I remember watching this when I was younger. This and Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood are the only Leprechaun movies I've seen. I remember thinking this movie was creepy, but I would've been 10 at the time, so that might have something to do with it.

The Off Season

Acquired at: Zellers
Cost: $2.99

Looks like an all right ghost movie. The cover claims "The most haunting film since The Shining." I doubt it.


Acquired at: Zellers
Cost: $2.99

A horror film that takes place in a mental institution? Sounds like good watching.

Looks like I'll have a lot of movies to review.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Last year on my birthday (October 19), I went to Screemers, a haunted house type thing in Toronto. It actually has six different haunted houses. It's at Exhibition Place in a huge building. There are midway rides, a fortune teller/palm reader, an arcade and a Pizza Pizza. Last year they also had a show with a Criss Angel sort of man who did stunts where he could be killed (like putting a box on his head like the one in Saw).

I thought it was pretty scary, but of course the people I was with thought it was lame. They stamp your ticket at the entrance to each haunted house so you can only go in each once. At one haunted house, the ticket-stamper made me go in alone and I was terrified. There was someone dressed up as Michael Myers but I thought it was a mannequin...until he started chasing me. I pretty much ran through the whole thing. Another one is pitch black so you have to feel along the walls to get through. My friends and I fought over who would be the first to go through. And afterward they said it wasn't scary.... The fact that you don't know what's around the bend is what makes it scary.

I would definitely recommend Screemers for some creepy fun this Halloween. Admission is $28.50 plus GST, but you can print out a $5 coupon on the Screemers website (the coupon can't be used on Halloween). It's open the following dates:
Tuesday, October 28 7 pm - 11 pm
Wednesday, October 29 7 pm - 11 pm
Thursday, October 30 7 pm - 11 pm
Friday, October 31 6 pm - midnight
Saturday, November 1 6 pm - midnight

I've always wanted to go to Canada's Wonderland Halloween Haunt, but I haven't been yet. I've heard it's really scary. They have way more rides than Exhibition Place. Screemers only had three rides plus the bumper cars and the funhouse. Canada's Wonderland has tons of rollercoasters and their website says they run in complete darkness, which would be even creepier.

Their haunted attractions are mazes instead of haunted houses, according to their website, and there's 10 of them. And they all have a spooky back-story which you can read on the website.

There's also a show which sounds similar to the one at Screemers. Most of the restaurants there are open, or you could also buy a ticket for a buffet online. It's open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday 7 pm - midnight until November 1. The admission is the same price as Screemers.

Even though I'm sure both of these are scary, nothing will ever compare to the haunted road I went to with my family. It was a sideroad in the middle of nowhere that you drove down in your car and actors would walk around banging on your windows and pretending to drag you out of your car. My cousin was pretty young at the time and an actor opened his door and tried to drag him out, making him start bawling.

And there was something in the woods that we argued about whether it was a person or a mannequin. So to settle it, I got out of the car and walked up to it to grab the mask off. But I chickened out when I was an inch from its face. My cousin argued that the person was waiting until I ripped off the mask to grab me. I argued that if I was an inch from its face, it would've grabbed me then. But we'll never know. It was shut down a few years later. I guess with actors dragging people out of cars, they could've been sued if someone was hurt.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Top 10 Treehouse of Horror Segments

I look forward to The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episode every year (even though they're not as good as they used to be). Unfortunately, for the past several years, the Halloween episode of The Simpsons hasn't aired until November. So, instead of watching a new one, I downloaded all the old ones. There is a Treehouse of Horror DVD, but it only has episodes V, VI, VII and XII on it. I think they should release one with all of the episodes on it. Anyway, I'm going to give you what I think are the top 10 Treehouse of Horror segments (each episode has three segments).

10. Hell Toupee

Snake is given the death penalty for smoking in the Kwik-E-Mart, with Apu, Moe and Bart as witnesses. After, Homer receives his hair for a transplant. But the hair grows into Homer's brain, controlling him. And then Snake can seek revenge on the witnesses from beyond the grave.

Classic Line(s): Chief Wiggum: This is your third strike. First you torched that orphanage, then you blew up that bus full of nuns.
Snake: Hey, that was self-defense!
Chief Wiggum: Well you'll be seeing lots of nuns where you're going, pal... Hell!

9. Clown Without Pity

Homer buys Bart a Krusty doll as a last minute birthday gift but it's evil. Meaning it comes to life and tries to kill people.

Classic Line(s): Homer: Do you sell toys?
Shopkeeper: We sell forbidden objects from places men dare to trade... We also sell frozen yogurt, which I call "frogurt".
Homer: Yeah, well I need something for my son's birthday.
Shopkeeper: Ah... Perhaps this will please the gentleman...
(The shopkeeper reaches the shelf and takes the Krusty doll.)
Shopkeeper: Take this object... But beware, it carries a terrible curse.
Homer: Ooo, that's bad...
Shopkeeper: But it comes with a free frogurt!
Homer: That's good!
Shopkeeper: The frogurt is also cursed.
Homer: That's bad...
Shopkeeper: But you get your choice of topping!
Homer: That's good!
Shopkeeper: The toppings contain potassium benzoate.
(Homer stares at the shopkeeper.)
Shopkeeper: That's bad.
Homer: Can I go now?

8. Bart Simpson's Dracula

The Simpsons are invited to dinner at Mr. Burns' castle in Pennsylvania, not knowing that he is a vampire. While there, Mr. Burns turns Bart into a vampire, prompting the rest of the family to kill Mr. Burns, who they believe is the head vampire.

Classic Line(s):
Kent Brockman: Another local peasant has been found dead, drained of his blood with two teeth marks on his throat. This black cape was found on the scene. (It is labeled "Dracula.") Police are baffled.
Chief Wiggum: We think we're dealing with a supernatural being, most likely a mummy. As a precaution, I've ordered the Egyptian wing of the Springfield museum destroyed.

7. Nightmare Cafeteria

When over-crowding of the detention room becomes a problem, Principal Skinner finds a solution: cooking the kids and serving them for lunch in the cafeteria. Which also solves their problem of having to use Grade F meat for lunch. An homage to Soylent Green.

Classic Line(s): Principal Skinner: Oh, relax kids. I've got a gut feeling Uter's around here somewhere. After all, isn't there a little Uter in all of us? In fact, you might say we just ate Uter and he's in our stomachs right now! Wait. Scratch that one.

6. Attack of the 50-Foot Eyesores

Homer goes to buy a colossal donut, but is disappointed by the size, so he steals the giant donut from the Lard Lad statue outside the store. Then a freak storm brings all the giant statues in Springfield to life, causing Lard Lad to come after Homer to get his donut back.

Classic Line(s): Homer: Hello? Yes? (opens door and sees Lard Lad) Oh, it's you… Uh, if you're looking for that donut of yours, um… Flanders has it. Go smash open his house.
(Homer shuts the door as Lard Lad leaves.)
Homer: (to himself) He came to life… Good for him.
(Loud smashing is heard, then loud thumping and the doorbell; Homer opens the door and sees Lard Lad again.)
Ned: (runs past) Help me, Lord!
Homer: I told you! Flanders has it! …Or Moe. Go kill Moe.
Marge: Homer! Give him the donut! Once he has it, it will be the end of all this horror!
Homer: Well, okay… If it will end horror…

5. The Homega Man

Mayor Quimby makes a joke about the French which enrages them, so they bomb Springfield. At the same time Homer is bomb shelter shopping and he survives. But others also survived and were mutated by the blast, and now they're after Homer. A parody of the film The Omega Man.

Classic Line(s): Homer: (While mourning.) Little Bart!
(Envisions him hitting ball with bat.)
Little Lisa!
(Envisions her hitting ball with bat.)
Little Marge!
(Envisions her swinging and missing.)
And the rest!
(Envisions Maggie, Santa's Little Helper, Snowball II, and the television set.)

4. Time and Punishment

While fixing the toaster, Homer turns it into a time machine and is transported into the past. When he goes back in time, he accidentally destroys things, resulting in the present changing. He keeps returning to the past to try to get the present back to normal.

Classic Line(s):
Homer: What the hell is that geek, Flanders, doing on TV?
Ned: (on TV) Oh, I see by the Big Board we got a Negative Nellie in Sector 2! I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask the whole family to kind of freeze and prepare for re-Neducation.
Bart: Don't you remember, Dad? Flanders is the unquestioned lord and master of the world.
Homer: D'oh!

3. Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace

A parody of A Nightmare on Elm Street, but in this version Groundskeeper Willie is accidentally killed by the children's parents. He comes back to get them in their dreams and the only way Bart and Lisa can stop him is to kill him while they're sleeping.

Classic Line(s): Groundskeeper Willie: (after being nearly burnt to death) You'll pay for this…with your children's' blood!
Chief Wiggum: (not serious) Oh, right… How are you going to get them? Skeleton power?
Groundskeeper Willie: I'll strike where you cannot protect them: in their dreams!

2. Terror at 5 1/2 Feet

This spoof of The Twilight Zone's Nightmare at 20,000 Feet (both an episode and a segment in the 1983 film) features a gremlin on the side of a school bus instead of a plane. Bart and Lisa's school bus. But Bart is the only one who sees it and everyone thinks he is insane.

Classic Line(s):
Ned Flanders: Oh Dear Lord, it's some sort of hideous monster! Aw isn't that cute? He's trying to claw my eyes out.

1. The Shinning

In this parody of The Shining, the Simpsons are the winter caretakers of Mr. Burns' lodge in the mountains. Before he leaves, Mr. Burns cuts off the cable and the beer supply, driving Homer insane. Meanwhile, Groundskeeper Willie realizes Bart has "the shinning," meaning he can read his thoughts, and tells him to use it to call him if he's in trouble. And his family is in danger when Moe's ghost and other ghouls (Freddy Krueger and Pinhead among others) convince Homer to kill them.

Classic Line(s): Homer: So what do you think, Marge? All I need is a title. I was thinking along the lines of "No TV and No Beer Make Homer Something Something".
Marge: "Go Crazy"?
Homer: Don't mind if I do!

Saturday, October 25, 2008


It's the most wonderful time of the year
With the kids trick or treating
And horror films giving you something to fear
It's the most wonderful time of the year

Halloween is my favourite occasion. It's a holiday dedicated to horror. There are tons of horror movies on T.V., sales on horror DVDs and creepy decorations up everywhere...I also really love candy. So I wanted to do something special. Beginning tomorrow, I will start Halloweek, a week of Halloween-related posts. Happy Early Halloween!

Online Horror Book Club

I just have to write something about this because I am so upset. I joined an online horror book club which I found on my local library's website. Every week they send me the first few chapters of a horror book. I love it because I can find out about authors I've never heard of, and I can see if a book I'm interested in is good or not. Usually I get hooked and have to buy the book to see what happens. A sample of some of the excerpts I've been sent are Slither by Edward Lee, Breeding Ground by Sarah Pinborough, and Nightmare at 20,000 Feet by Richard Matheson.

I've been getting these e-mailed to me for two years and now they're changing it. Now it's going to be a Thriller Book Club. I don't read thrillers, I read horror novels. I don't understand why they're changing it. Can't they have two separate book clubs? I guess people really aren't reading that much horror anymore. I wrote in the past about how there wasn't anything horror related at Word on the Street. I'm so disappointed, I loved that book club.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Trash or Treasure Thursday

C.H.U.D. (1984)

Acquired at: HMV
Cost: $6.99

Actually the first time I saw C.H.U.D. was on T.V. awhile back. All I remembered about it was that I liked it. So I was excited when I found it in the cheap bin at HMV for $6.99.

C.H.U.D. stands for Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers. They're humans who were mutated into monsters by toxic waste and live underground, feasting on the homeless. When they run out of people to eat underground, they're forced to surface through manholes to get their fix. A cop (Christopher Curry) investigating the disappearances of C.H.U.D.'s victims, a soup kitchen worker (Daniel Stern) who wants to know what happened to his clientele, and a photographer (John Heard) working on a project taking pictures of the homeless, get to the bottom of what is really going on.

I watched this DVD as soon as I got it home, and it was just as good as I remembered. It's genuinely creepy, especially the shower scene. I even jumped a couple of times when the C.H.U.D. grabbed people. It was really effective how they mostly only showed its claws or pointy teeth or glowing eyes. The mystery makes them even creepier.

The plot is interesting and not that far-fetched. We don't know what toxic waste can do to people. It probably can't turn people into cannibalistic monsters, but you never know. There's a subplot about the photographer's girlfriend being pregnant which drags at times. And a lot of the film focuses on a government cover-up, which slows down the story. The acting is great, not at all what you would expect from an 80's B horror movie. John Heard and Daniel Stern also star together in another movie I love, Home Alone.

I give C.H.U.D. a 4/5, making it a treasure.

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

MOVIE REVIEW: Prom Night (2008)

In my last post I mentioned how I fell asleep during almost every movie I watched Thanksgiving weekend. The Prom Night remake was one of them. I almost made it to the end, but then I just couldn't keep my eyes open any longer. Yes, it is that slow and boring.

I'm not really a fan of the original Prom Night. I don't understand why it's a cult classic. I've seen it a few times, most recently last week, and I always think it will be better than I remember. But it's just a run-of-the-mill slasher flick with an interesting beginning and ending. But this isn't a review of the original.

The remake is even worse than the original. The plot is completely different, the only similarity is that it takes place on prom night.

Three years ago Donna (Brittany Snow) comes home to find her father and brother dead. She hides under a bed and watches her mother be murdered by her teacher (Jonathan Schaech), who is obsessed with Donna. He's caught and sent to jail, but escapes on prom night.

Prom Night is missing everything a movie requires to be interesting. The plot stinks. How many times have we seen a psycho escape from prison to come after someone? It's predictable, you can tell exactly what will happen, who will live and who will die. The dialouge is stale and boring. There is no suspense whatsoever. The killer is shown at the beginning of the movie, so there's no mystery or incentive to keep watching. There is very little gore. It isn't scary or creepy whatsoever, instead it's boring and slow.

I give Prom Night a 1/5. Don't watch it unless you want to fall asleep.

Rating: 1/5

Thursday, October 16, 2008

MOVIE REVIEW: Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead

I had a feeling this straight-to-DVD sequel would be horrible. I love the original and think it's one of the creepiest movies I've ever seen. I still get freaked out by transport trucks following me for some reason.

Surprisingly, Joy Ride 2 wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Obviously it's nowhere near as good as the first one, but I was mildly entertained.

A couple is heading to Vegas for a joint bachelor/ bachelorette party with the bride's sister. Along the way, they meet up with a guy the bride's sister met on the internet, who the couple takes an instant disliking to. Of course they decide to take a "shortcut" and surprise surprise their car breaks down. There's only one house in the area, and when they break in they find the phone doesn't work. So they steal - I mean borrow - the home owner's muscle car that has a nifty CB radio. The bride-to-be leaves a note with her cell phone number to make sure he doesn't think it's stolen. The car is Rusty Nail's of course, who kidnaps the groom to make things even. He wants to play a game, which is sort of like truth or dare, but with mutilation.

It's not scary or creepy at all, but it has some humour in it. I laughed a lot during this movie. Especially when the tough emo/punk guy had to dress up as a woman.

Joy Ride 2 is also more gory than the first. It definitely fits in with the torture porn trend. There's lots of blood, deaths and a torture scene.

This was the only movie (out of four) I watched on Thanksgiving weekend that I didn't fall asleep during, so I guess this earns some points for that. It kept me entertained, had lots of gore and some humour, which I think makes it a good horror film. But on the other hand, it was half as good as the original and not scary or creepy whatsoever. I'm on the fence on this one. I guess I thought it was okay, so I'll give it a 3/5.

Rating: 3/5

Trash or Treasure Thursday

Wendigo (2001)

Acquired at: Blockbuster
Cost: $1.99

I shouldn't be reviewing this because I fell asleep halfway through. But I couldn't force myself to watch the rest of it.

I bought this movie way back when Blockbuster sold VHS movies. It was in a bin for $1.99 and I went a little overboard and bought a bunch of movies that I didn't really need.

The movie begins with a Deliverance-like scene. A family (Jake Weber, Patricia Clarkson, Erik Per Sullivan) driving up to their cottage hit a deer, which was a group of hunters' prey. They're angry that the deer has been killed and confront the family. The rest of the movie (or at least what I saw) one of the creepy hunters lurks outside their cabin, watches them making love, etc.

About a half hour/ hour into the movie, the Wendigo is finally mentioned. At a small shop, the boy is given a Wendigo figurine from the aboriginal shopkeeper. He tells him about the legend of the Wendigo, a cannibalistic beast that is half-man, half-deer.

That's pretty much all that happened before I fell asleep. This film was so dull. I'm surprised I made it halfway through before falling asleep. I was struggling to keep my eyes open the whole time. Nothing remotely scary happens, at least of what I saw.

I know I should watch the whole movie before reviewing it, but I can't bring myself to. It's painfully boring. The Wendigo isn't even mentioned until halfway into the movie. And when it's supposed to be creepy, for instance the scenes with the hunters, it fails miserably. So, I give Wendigo 1/5, making it trash. I'm warning you, don't watch it.

Rating: 1/5

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

MOVIE NEWS: Ghost House Underground

Ghost House Pictures, Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert's horror production company, launches a new franchise today, Ghost House Underground. In the past, Ghost House Pictures have released such films as The Grudge series, Boogeyman and 30 Days of Night. Their next picture Drag Me to Hell, will be released May 29, 2009, and is directed by Sam Raimi and stars Alison Lohman and Justin Long.

Now, they have partnered with Grindstone Entertainment Group to delve into the direct-to-video horror market. Today they release eight films, available in a boxed set or individually.

Brotherhood of Blood - Two brothers unleash a super vampire and a clan of vampire hunters realize the only way to defeat him is to team up with other vampires. Starring Sid Haig and Ken Foree.

Dance of the Dead - On prom night, radiation from the local power plant brings the dead to life. And the only ones who can stop it are the nerds of the high school.

Dark Floors - A father decides the hospital his autistic daughter is in doesn't provide enough care, and sneaks her out. But when the elevator door opens, the hospital is empty - except for monsters.

The Last House in the Woods - A couple on a road trip is harassed by a group of punks who beat up the man and try to rape the woman. Fortunately, they're saved by a middle-aged couple who take them back to their home to recuperate. But the couple has a dark secret.
No Man's Land: The Rise of Reeker - Part prequel, part sequel to Reeker (2005), from the same director, Dave Payne. A sheriff and his son chase robbers, but are being chased by a reeker.

Room 205 - A girl moves into a dorm and learns a legend about the girl who was murdered in room 205. Supposedly she haunts the dorm.

The Substitute - Sixth graders think their substitute teacher is an alien but no one believes them.

Trackman - The Trackman, a deformed killer who prowls the subways, is after bank robbers and their hostages.