Jan 31, 2012


The family in the Enfield case consisted of a mother, two daughters and two sons; Margaret, aged 12, a younger sister, Janet, aged 11, Johnny, aged 10 and Billy, aged 7. Billy had a speech impediment. Johnny featured only marginally in the inexplicable events, at least 26 of which the investigators considered could not be accounted for by fraud. These included moving furniture, flying marbles, interference with bedclothes, cold breezes, pools of water on the floor, apparitions, physical assaults, graffiti, equipment malfunction and failure, disappearance and reappearance of objects, apparent levitations, and fires which spontaneously ignited and extinguished themselves.

Among other alleged phenomena they witnessed was Janet speaking using her false vocal folds for hours on end while she was apparently possessed by another entity. Speaking in this way is believed to be medically impossible. When speaking with the false cords Janet said she was "Bill" who had died in the house of a brain hemorrhage. The "Bill" persona habitually made jokes and exhibited a very nasty temper, swearing at Maurice, once calling him a "fucking old sod." Grosse was contacted by a man who claimed to be Bill's son. Recordings were made of these occurrences.

Jan 27, 2012


Shitty Flicks is an ongoing column that celebrates the most hilariously incompetent, amusingly pedestrian, and mind-bogglingly stupid movies ever made by people with a bit of money, some prior porn-directing experience, and no clue whatsoever. It is here you will find unrestrained joy in movies meant to terrify and thrill, but instead poke at your funny bone with their weird, mutant camp-girl penis.

WARNING: I tend to give away major plot points and twist endings in my reviews because, whatever. Shut up.

Holy shit.

What's that expression? Something about putting a bunch of monkeys and typewriters into a locked room and eventually they'll write Shakespeare?

The Asylum has produced approximately 65 films, and if we're sticking with the monkey metaphor, they are still at the "hurling turds" stage.

The Amityville Haunting portrays – in the ever-so-popular found footage format – the Benson family moving into 112 Ocean Avenue. Your family unit consists of Doug (the angry Marine father), Virginia (the way-too-attractive-to-have-three-kids wife/mother), Lori (the generic bitchy teen daughter who spends the entire movie texting), Tyler (the shaggy-haired middle child/our cameraman), and Melanie (the generic youngest daughter who quite ably communicates with the ghosts while simultaneously doing nothing to dispel the stereotype of the shitty child actor). They move in, last five days, test your patience, and then die. (Spoiler.)

For those of you who don't know about The Asylum, they are an ultra low-budget production and distribution house that primarily support the horror genre. They've been in the business for over ten years, and in that time, they've developed a reputation for producing "mockbusters," which are rip-offs of more popular – and generally better – mainstream films. And when I say rip-off, I don't mean that Apollo 18 is a rip-off of Paranormal Activity. I mean that in the same year Sony released Battle: Los Angeles and The Da Vinci Code, The Asylum released Battle IN Los Angeles and The Da Vinci Treasure. When Marvel Films released Thor, suddenly Almighty Thor existed.

My personal favorite? The Asylum produced a movie with this log line:  
A race of alien robots has conquered the Earth and forced humanity underground. After three hundred years of domination, a small group of humans develop a plan to defeat the mechanical invaders in the ultimate battle between man and machine. 
It is so very awesomely called Transmorphers.

There are numerous other examples, but I believe you get the point.

The Amityville Haunting was announced not too long after another, more legitimate project was announced: The Amityville Horror: The Lost Tapes. What was supposed to serve as a quasi-sequel to the 2005 Ryan Reynolds-starring The Amityville Horror was put into turnaround soon after its initial announcement, I believe due to the then-financial woes of MGM. The Asylum snapped up this concept and shot their own movie – from the looks of things – in roughly a day and a half. Aping what was obviously going to be the concept, we have The Amityville Horror meets Paranormal Activity.

While it suffers from the same ailments that plague most low budget horror films (terrible acting, a terrible script, terrible pacing, and a rudimentary attempt to jazz up the execution in hopes to cover the bad odor of those three previous terrible things), I freely admit to you that during the film I became genuinely freaked out. I honestly didn’t think I would experience anything like this during the movie, but it happened. (More on that later.)

As previously mentioned, your host is unfortunately a very precocious child named Tyler. His camera-handling skills are about as adept as a dead man's ability to jazzercise. Numerous times during the film he defends his decision to film everything with the excuse, "It's for my documentary." Not a single explanation for what this documentary is about ever comes up. He also says the line, "I hate it when no one believes me!" at least three times during the movie…to himself. Over the course of five days, he never changes his clothes. Not a single time.

"I'm gonna mumble about ghosts for thirty minutes while
someone plays video games loudly in the background and my
mother makes dinner. Then I'm gonna put this on Youtube and
people are gonna care for some reason."

When the Benson family first tours the Amityville house and decide to buy it, the realtor goes outside and is immediately killed. Man, I knew the current real estate market was hurting, but I didn't think it was full-on murder!

Click me!

Tyler tells us the realtor has died of an "anerism," but still, "it's really weird!" Later, he overhears a conversation between the parents about the house's history – namely the 1974 DeFeo murders that started this whole mess in the first place – and decides the house must be haunted. While I want to commend the filmmakers for setting this film outside of the Amityville world we all know and loathe – meaning the 8 films – and having it be "the real house" in which the DeFeo murders took place, I soon quickly realized this was probably due to a legal loophole that allowed them to make this movie and not have their asses sued off by MGM/Dimension Films, who own the actual film rights. I should also mention that the house where the movie takes place is clearly nowhere near the same shape, size, or in the same location as the “real” Amityville house.

The movie goes to great lengths to establish that much horror has occurred at 112 Ocean Avenue (in the form of both a nervous realtor and a suspicious detective who later shows up and really wants to know why the hell the family would choose to live in such a terrible house). Despite this, when Tyler asks three moving men in the beginning of the film about the "Amityville house" and its legend, the three men laugh, never having heard of such a thing. The black mover even makes a joke about black people dying first in horror movies. One of the other movers responds, "You better watch out, then!"

Huh? He knows. He's the one who just made the fucking joke.

Though The Amityville Haunting desperately tries to ape the Paranormal Activity formula, it fails miserably. For instance, Paranormal Activity features escalating levels of creep and leads to a final-act death of a lead character. It's a subtle film that takes its time, and effectively so. The Amityville Haunting, however, kills six people within the first fifteen minutes (one of whom is enigmatically named Reddit), and yet you still manage to stop caring about anything happening in the film almost immediately. 

Many of the events are excruciatingly dull, and those that aren't manage to be interesting only because of the pedestrian manner in which they are executed. At no point do the ghosts actually look like ghosts, but rather bored actors in thrift store suits with a splash of blood across their faces. In fact, the one ghost that Melanie interacts with the entire movie – whose name alternates between John Matthews and John Matthew – is just some random kid. Watch as he sits on the floor, or at the table, and wears very modern clothes. No blood—not even white powder slapped across his face to make him appear the least bit unnatural. He's just...some kid.

Realtor, this is one of my annoying children.
And that's my other annoying child, but in boy form.

Based on how the characters interact, I can only assume a very loose script was used, allowing actors to bounce dialogue off each other and improvise in the moment—and by this I mean they randomly speak over each other's lines, so most of the dialogue never sounds genuine.

For instance:

Mother: (pointing out son who is filming) Don't mind him, he thinks he is the next Steven Spielberg. He films everything.

Realtor: Oh, don't we all?


My personal favorite line exchange comes during the second act of the film, when the father discovers his teen daughter, Lori, has been sneaking out late at night to see a boy from the neighborhood. Sitting at the table with a police officer, this masterful wordplay ensues:

Father: My daughter has been sneaking out with...this kid.

Cop: I bet it was that kid!

- "It was that kid, right?"
- "It was that kid!"
- "That fucking kid!"
- "That...fucking...kid."

At one point in the movie, Tyler has Melanie ask the ghost what it wants. The ghost then tells Melanie, who tells her brother, "he wants you, Mommy, and Daddy to leave, and he wants me to stay here forever."

Ouch. Quite a burn for Lori, who is apparently destined for neither leaving the house, nor staying. Have you ever tried being nowhere? It's really, really hard.

As you can imagine, the scary events in the house escalate, leading to a terrifying conclusion. Now see, I said "you can imagine" because you'd have to, as that doesn't actually happen here. Things remain painfully dull up until the last second, in which each family member is murdered in completely unimaginative (and off-screen) ways.

The movie ends with close-ups of "coroner's investigation reports" for each family member killed. An official cause of death for one of the family members reads: heart and lung “separtion."

Good one.

I really wanted to give The Asylum the benefit of the doubt when it came to this movie. First of all, at the end of the day, they manage to make movies. That's something most of us wish we could do, and for those of us that have, we know it's not a terribly easy thing to accomplish. Not to mention that The Asylum's usual budgets are never that big for their productions, which doesn't make things easier for them. Regardless, they sometimes manage to attract people worth a damn (Lance Henriksen, for instance). I was hoping that the ability for them to spend even less on a movie by making a found footage flick would, in turn, allow them to focus more on the script and telling a good story. Sadly, I was wrong. Not only is the movie incompetently made in almost every general sense, I am really starting to feel like we’re all being had—every single one of us that goes out of our way to see one of their movies. I feel contempt from these filmmakers. I feel like they are laughing at us all – in some Andy Kauffman-esque way – as we struggle to remain invested in their work. These people clearly have money (when compared to me, anyway), and as previously mentioned, are capable of attracting people I actually want to see in movies. Why won’t they try? Why won’t they attempt to make something that’s good? Just by odds alone, that should have happened by now.

Oh, right. The thing I mentioned earlier that completely freaked me out? During the movie, I went into the other room and one of my flameless LED candles had turned on by itself!

How did it DO that??


Jan 26, 2012


The Demonologist, an account of Ed and Lorraine Warren's career in demonology, is one creepy-ass book. The Warrens' names should sound familiar if you’re an "Amityville Horror" obsessive. (I am—with the original conspiracy, anyway, not the tepid film series.) To those who followed the saga of 112 Ocean Ave, either in its heyday, or in subsequent books, television specials, and/or truly abhorrent film adaptations, the Warrens should already feel like family. When the Lutz family fled their brief home after only 28 days and spouted off about the evil residing within, outsiders who eventually became involved in the controversy were actively split in regards to the legitimacy of the claims. In short, they either believed the Lutzes, or they didn’t. The Warrens and other occult specialists did, Law enforcement didn’t, and the media didn't care—but they covered every inch of it like hungry canines.

While The Demonologist does mention Amityville from time to time, the Warrens don’t have much to say on the subject, other than they believed in the Lutzes and tried to help as best as they could. Instead, the book is actually a very detailed account of their careers and their life together—and of the evil that often followed them home from their “exorcisms.” The Warrens generally helped rid two kinds of infestation: oppression (ongoing harassment by a demon to break down a person’s will and make their body easier to inhabit) or possession (the invasion of a person’s body by a foreign entity). The book is largely comprised of direct quotes from Ed and Lorraine themselves, relating their own experience and encounters. 

The book’s author, Gerald Daniel Brittle, does a commendable job taking this information and weaving in relevant information to fill in the gaps and create a coherent narrative. Chapters alternate between recollections of more memorable visits to homes where demon infestations once occurred, and the Warrens’ clear explanations of demonology in answers to questions author Brittle poses—and it’s especially helpful that Brittle asks the same questions that you or I would while reading the book.

What exactly is demonology? How does one become a demonologist? Because psychology is so often mentioned alongside cases where demonology (specifically exorcisms) is involved, does that mean there is a correlation between the two? Why don’t more people know about demonology?

Ed mainly handles these questions, answering each with a wealth of information based on his years of experience in the field. While Lorraine, too, is considered a demonologist, she instead refers to herself as a clairvoyant—one who is more sensitive to her surroundings and capable of seeing, hearing, and sensing things that most people do not. Houses infested with demons, she explains in the book, give off moods just like a human being does, and she is able to sense these moods during her preliminary walkthroughs of the houses in question. She also claims to see “auras,” which provide information – in the form of different colored halos – that surround every human being.

The Amityville House: 112 Ocean Ave

Even with Ed matter-of-factly reiterating information from past cases, the book is effortlessly creepy. A typical person who saw 1973’s The Exorcist and found it over-the-top would be shocked at how that film only managed to scratch the surface of what a true exorcism entails, and the traits those infested with a demon or demons may possess. The Exorcist featured unnatural vomit, physical manipulation of the unfortunate host, wildly fluctuating temperatures surrounding the possessed, and the knowledge of previously unknown languages. Ed Warren verifies all of this activity in the book. What The Exorcist didn’t portray was the materialization/dematerialization of objects, faces of the possessed briefly transforming into that of an animal’s, the smell or even physical appearance of excrement, or the presentation of foreign objects not previously located in the house. In one instance during an exorcism, Ed claimed a softball-sized rock appeared in midair and thudded on the floor, and upon having the rock tested by a specialist at a nearby university, confirmed that that specific rock was from a wooded area over 75 miles away. It’s this kind of information – unorthodox, unusual, and inherently unthreatening – that truly makes the claims that much more unnerving. Yes, if during The Exorcist Regan’s face had broken out into that of a cat or dog (or a gorilla, which Ed claims occurs the most frequently), the audience would have broken out into jeers. But with the mere explanation of that having happened in the past before you only in words, your imagination fills in the gaps, and it becomes a genuinely frightening thought—because that simply does not jibe with everything we like to think we know about the subject of exorcism. We think spinning heads and pea soup, not animal noises and mysterious stones falling from the sky and pelting the house of the afflicted.

While the book touches on some rather famous cases, such as West Germany’s Annaliese Michele (which inspired The Exorcism of Emily Rose), and the possession of Robbie Mannheim (alias), a boy from Maryland (which later inspired The Exorcist), a large portion is dedicated to the oppression/possession of the Donovan family. It is during these pages when the book is at its creepiest, and photographs of the damage done by the spirits are present.

Ed shares one particular encounter – not related to a case the Warrens were investigating – that I found especially unnerving, only because of how random the encounter was:
Only a few months ago, Lorraine and I had just been on a television show uptown in New York City. Afterwards, we took a taxi down to Chinatown for lunch. As we were walking along the street we saw there was some trouble at the corner, with police cars all around. So I suggested we cut through a walkway or alley on our left-hand size, which led to Mott Street.

Well, we took the alley, which was full of beat-up trashcans overflowing with garbage. Flies, maggots, and vermin were everywhere. The combination of the heat and the stink of decomposing garbage quickly began to sour our stomachs. Nevertheless, we kept going. Further back, the alley crooked slightly, so that beyond the middle you could no longer see the street.

We walked quickly, but as we got to the middle of the alleyway, at the end of this long row of trashcans, we saw two feet sticking out. I told Lorraine to stand still while I walked up ahead. When I got closer, I saw it was a man—a derelict. He was a Caucasian, between thirty-five and sixty-five—you couldn’t tell. The man was barely alive, sitting up against the wall with his legs stretched out into the path. He was filthier than anyone I have ever seen: covered with sores and scabs, and obviously riddled with disease.

But that just begins to tell the story. Because piled on top of him – as though he were sitting in bed with a quilt over him – were heaps of runny, putrefying garbage. This foul mess covered the man all the way up to his chest and down to his knees. His arms were plopped in the middle of this rotting slop, and flies were landing all over his face and body. Rats had apparently been gnawing on his feet and toes. It was evident the man hadn’t moved in days.

Ironically, his shoes were neatly placed beside him, shined up and ready to go. Now I have been in war and I have seen spiritual abominations in haunted houses but I doubt if I’ve ever seen anything so repulsive or disgusting in my life. How could this happen? How could a human being be reduced to such a stage?

I looked at this poor, wretched soul from the feet up, and was overtaken with compassion and grief. When I finally came to look upon his face, I was stunned and instinctively took a step back. His face was twisted into a perverse sneer—and there was that ugly, inhuman look of delirium in his eyes. Then I knew what had happened to him. And what was possessing that man, in turn, knew me, too.

‘You bastard!’ I said to it, so sickened was I by this scene. It laughed, mockingly. ‘I am killing him,’ it said to me. ‘In a few days, he will be dead. And do you know, there is nothing you can do about it. Because it is already done.’
Also in the book are several pages of transcribed audiotapes featuring Ed’s interrogations with the possessed. A piece of one of those interrogations is as follows:
Voice: I do not choose to be here!
Ed Warren (EW): Why did you come then?
Voice: I am under the Power!
EW: Whose power?
Voice: A white light!
EW: Describe yourself to me.
Voice: No. (A crucifix is then set in place, followed by agonized screaming by the possessing spirit.)
EW: Describe yourself to me!
Voice: I must in truth tell you what I look like. I am wicked—and ugly looking. I am inhuman. I am vindictive. I have a horrible face. I have much gross hair on my body. My eyes are deepsunk. I am black all over. I am burnt. I grow hair. My nails are long, my toes are clawed. I have a tail. I use a spear. What else do you want to know?
EW: What do you call yourself?
Voice: (Proclaiming) I am Resisilobus! I am Resisilobus!

And another, in which the possessing entity allegedly called himself Fred and spoke in a British cockney accent:
EW: Do you want me to bring a priest in here?
Voice: Yeah, all right. Bring ‘im in here. I’ll kick ‘im in the backside.
EW: What would you say if the Blessed Mother told you to leave, Fred?
Voice: Yeccch. Ugh.
EW: Do you know what this is, Fred? What do you see?
Voice: Uh…a cross.
EW: That’s right, a cross. That cross means your days are numbered here.
Voice: I’m gonna chop somebody’s head off.
EW: The next time I come back here, Fred, you’d better be gone. Because the next time I come I’m bringing a very powerful exorcist with me, someone you won’t want to mess with.
Voice: (There is a long lull.) Ed. Ed. Ed…Ed…Ed-ward.
EW: What is it, Fred?
Voice: Let’s play exorcist. Go get the holy water.
The Demonologist is infinitely fascinating to those with even a passing interest in the subject, regardless of where your belief system might lie. However, I must warn you that this book is definitely not for everyone. If you are a person who fervently believes that the world you see before you is all there is to see—that there’s nothing beyond—then you will probably receive no enjoyment from this book whatsoever. While the history and information would probably be interesting to all readers, its claims would be so easily dismissed from the first page that there would be no point for some people to continue reading. For all intents and purposes, the book is labeled and considered non-fiction—much to the chagrin of the more close-minded that question that label with a smirk.

I am a skeptic, by and large. I don’t necessarily believe in ghosts and demons and everything in between, but I also don’t believe things like that are impossible, either. Unlikely, perhaps—but not impossible. So when Ed recites, without a hint of irony, his experiences with haunted mirrors, or Ouija boards presenting very real dangers, your own personal prejudice is going to determine how you react. Because I am not 100% on board with the beliefs of the Warrens, I found some of the claims bordering on absurdity. However, the Warrens firmly believe in their careers as demonologists, and in the unseen entities they battle on almost a daily basis, and so because of that the book gets my respect. They were fully aware, even during the writing of this book, that they were opening themselves up to mockery by the more close-minded, but they were not deterred by that fact—instead, their aim of the book remains emphatically clear: demons are very real, and can very easily enter our world. The Warrens dictate what kind of people are more open to these invading entities (those who spend most of their days angry, or depressed; those considering suicide; alcoholics/drug addicts), and what things a person has to do to invite them in. (While the Warrens resist talking specifically about what a person has to do to entice these entities, they do confirm certain ceremonies performed by various people who later became victims of demons they foolishly invited into their life.)

To lend a little credibility to the Warrens’ careers, it should be noted that they have never accepted payment from those claiming to suffer from demonic oppression or possession. If you called the Warrens, they came to you, and if they determined your claims were genuine, they stayed until the invading entities were gone—for free. Further, they even insisted on bringing home with them any particular items that may have been the catalyst for an invading demonic entity in the first place. They reason that to leave the objects with the family runs the risk of letting the same demon back into their lives, or to destroy the cursed item would unleash the demon into the world in general. And so, their “dark museum” grew considerably over the years:
There are about a hundred items in the collection so far, and almost every item has a story attached to it. There’s a string of pearls that when worn around the neck, strangles the wearer. There’s the long black spike a satanic witch used long ago to murder her newborn infant as a sacrifice to the devil. There is the sage plaster doll dressed in Victorian clothing that not only took on the features of the old lady who once owned it, but became animated and behaved like a human being for over 20 years. There are the crania of human skulls that have been used as “chalices of ecstasy” for drinking human blood during witchcraft rituals. There’s the coffin in which a possessed man slept each night for his whole adult life. There are stones – some quite sizeable – that fell out of the sky onto homes under diabolical siege. There are crucifixes that have actually been exploded by demonic spirits and excrement. There are written pacts with the devil, the black candles and conjuring book from the Hillman case, and by the door to Ed’s office is hung the conjuring mirror take from Oliver Bernbaum’s house in New Jersey. The planchette and burned picture frames from the Dononvan case are displayed on a table not far from a wooden cabinet in which Annabelle, the Raggedy Ann doll, now sits holding a plain wood crucifix in her little cloth hand.
The Demonologist was first published in 1980 and then for a long time afterwards was out of print, but a new edition is available, and time has been well to its contents. The information remains rich, intriguing, and scary. While Ed Warren is sadly no longer with us (he died in 2006), Lorraine has continued the battle against the darkness as a member of The New England Society for Psychic Research.

As I write this, James Wan is hard at work on a film tentatively known as The Conjuring, which will dive into the Warrens’ past to tell the story of the Perrons, a Rhode Island family who dealt with a demon infestation of their own during the 1970s. While the exploits of the family may have been discussed in the book, their name is never used, so it’s hard to say. So far the cast is looking great: Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga will play the Warrens, and Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor will play the Perrons. After James Wan showed what he could do with Insidious, and Dead Silence before it (shut up, I liked it), I look immensely forward to another creepy show.

The book is available on Amazon, naturally, and several chunks can be sampled here.

For more information on the Warrens, be sure to check out their (woefully out-of-date) official website.

Jan 24, 2012


On paper, 7 Nights of Darkness shouldn’t have worked. And it barely did. It was low budget to the nth degree, and Allen Kellogg is not only credited as the lead actor, but also the writer, director, producer, and editor. Ed Wood should have just flashed through your head, as he did mine while the credits of 7 Nights rolled. The film, on its own merits, wasn’t bad. It doesn’t come anywhere near the heights of its POV-ghost-hunting brethren like Paranormal Activity or Grave Encounters, but it could easily have been just another piece of shit direct-to-video trash hole.

I give Kellogg semi-credit for finally committing to film an obvious premise like ghost hunters investigating a supposedly haunted building and actually coming across real ghosts(!) That may come across as a slight against the film (and I guess it kind of is), but seriously…it’s about time someone finally brought that concept to a film. That premise was just hanging around in the air, waiting for someone to grab at it and nail it down. And while it would be easy to just accuse 7 Nights of being a rip-off of the very similarly themed Grave Encounters (which was shot in 2009 and made film festival rounds for nearly two years), I have enough knowledge of low budget filmmaking to know that small, passion projects like these can sometimes take years to complete. In this case, I’ll give 7 Nights the benefit of the doubt that this premise came about organically, and its creator could only say, “oh, God damn it,” when news of Grave Encounters began making the rounds.

The plot is fairly simple: six folks (four dudes, two chicks) are chosen to spend seven nights in Madison Seminary, an abandoned and allegedly haunted building. Those who remain in the building all seven nights will be rewarded with a million dollars to split between them. They are to film everything at all times, and they are to complete a task assigned to them each night they are there. Failure to follow these orders will be considered non-compliance, and the offer becomes void.

Needless to say, the inhuman sounds begin, as do the fuzzy sightings of something leering in the corner. The creepy set pieces begin to escalate…and people start to disappear.

The Good:
Kellogg as a director does a nice job of working well within his budget and manages to create some genuinely creepy moments—some of which you may see coming, but are still effective, anyway. (Fuck that doll.)

Kellogg as a writer is also quite competent. At no point does any character ever do something beyond belief—and one of them even surprises you with a clever revelation of their own. Everyone reacts how one should react (well, mostly…until the end)—and this is a real service to the film.

The ending is quite Blair Witch-inspired (let’s face it, no one ever survives the found footage sub-genre, do they?), and if you’re watching the film under the right circumstances, it’s a satisfyingly creepy conclusion to the journey.

The Bad:
I’ve seen a lot of garbage over the years—ranging from the A-list to off-the-alphabet low budgeters that offend you with the thought of their very existence. When 7 Nights began, I honestly thought it didn’t have a prayer. The caliber of acting in the film becomes painfully clear almost immediately, and my own personal prejudice against low budget horror admittedly made me discard the idea that Kellogg purposely attempted to fill his cast with “real” people instead of raiding a local community acting troupe. While I won’t say the performances are across-the-board bad (Meredith Kochan’s Brooke comes across as very natural and believable), let’s just say some of these folks need to seriously reconsider their future as actors. Kellogg’s own performance as Carter left a lot to be desired: His “natural” attempts at humor came across as forced and utterly obnoxious, and for me he was nearly the most unlikeable character in the film. (That honor goes to Todd, played by Mick Garris doppelganger Larry Nehring, who [betraying my role as a “professional” reviewer for a moment], acts like a total bitch from his first minute until his last.) At one point in the film, when one of the film’s characters insists on investigating a crawl space under a set of stairs, Kellogg’s Carter literally repeats derivates of ”wait,” “stop,” and “don’t go in there,” so many times I literally wanted to rip the DVD out of my player and throw it at my neighbor’s dog. By the time Carter’s tearful third-act revelation in his private diary video entry takes place, which would have been a great service in establishing sympathy, it is too little, too late. And despite his desire to become “the leader” of the remaining characters, he spends the rest of the movie hiding in a room and begging everyone to just stay there with him.

Lastly – and this is more nit-picky than anything else – why is this film taking place in a seminary? At no point in the film is religion mentioned – nor anything having to do with priests. But what we do see, however, is a medical chair allegedly used for lobotomies. Why is this chair in a seminary? Did the filmmakers suffer a brain fart and call it Madison Seminary when they really meant Madison Sanitarium? Or am I just a dumb ass who was asleep when this chapter was discussed during Common Sense 101

The Low Down:
All in all, I’ve seen a lot worse in this sub-genre. It’s certainly better than both Apollo 18 and Atrocious—two POV flicks that received much more attention and were actually turgid wastes of every filmmaking-related resource. In the right frame of mind, and if you’re forgiving of supremely low budget films, this is a gem, while unpolished, that is still worth your time.

Grade: B–

Jan 20, 2012


Normally don't splurge on stuff like this, but I simply could not resist... This limited run sold out in about 36 hours.
La-La Land Records presents FRIDAY THE 13TH: PARTS I-VI: LIMITED EDITION, a 6-CD BOX SET of acclaimed composer Harry Manfredini's (HOUSE I-IV, SWAMP THING, JASON X, DEEPSTAR SIX) original scores to the Paramount Pictures iconic feature films FRIDAY THE 13TH: PARTS I-VI. This comprehensive box set showcases some of the most chilling, daring and skillfully orchestrated film music ever composed for the genre. The remastered scores for the first six FRIDAY THE 13TH films are presented here - featuring more than 5 full hours of music, much of it previously not available in any official format and most of it exclusive to this special release. Also included - a 40-Page booklet, packed with exclusive liner notes by film music writer Brian Satterwhite that drag you deeper into the music of Camp Crystal Lake and the composer who empowered the unstoppable horror that dwells there, Jason Voorhees. Both the booklet and the six CDs are housed in a frightfully attractive hard-cover slipcase. This is a limited edition of 1300 units.

ABOUT THIS RELEASE: Elements once thought lost were located at Paramount Pictures and at the composer's home. Parts 1 -5 were pulled from Paramount's original music stems, assembled by Neil S Bulk and mastered by James Nelson under composer Harry Manfredini's supervision. Part 6 will sound the best of all. Luckily, those original tapes were still in the composer's possession.

Jan 17, 2012


"My father was a fisherman. He ran a trawler out of Whitley Reef. One night, late, he was coming back in. He was out beyond the reef, out near Spivey Point. He looked to windward and saw a brig under shortsail, heading right for him. And he radioed, there was no reply. Nothing moved on deck, but she held her course. My dad and two of his hands, they boarded the brig, the Risa Jane. No one was on board. There was food on the table, and a hot, steaming cup of coffee. But underneath, the tin cup was rusted to the table. And then something caught my father's eye. It was a gold doubloon, minted in Spain, 1867. My dad picked up the coin, put it in his breast pocket of his jacket, and zippered it up. He came home, told us the story, and he unzippered the pocket to give me the coin. It was gone."

Jan 16, 2012


I'm pleased and happy to repeat the news that we have, in fact, caught and killed a large predator that supposedly injured some bathers. But, as you can see, it's a beautiful day, the beaches are open, and people are having a wonderful time.
Amity, as you know, means "friendship."

Czechoslovakia (ver 1).

Czechoslovakia (ver 2).



(Kidding - although this is a real movie.)

Jan 14, 2012


Contortionist Linda R. Hager was hired to perform the infamous "spider-walk scene" that was filmed on April 11, 1973. Friedkin deleted the scene just prior to the original December 26, 1973 release date because he felt it was ineffective technically. However, with advanced developments in digital media technology, Friedkin worked with CGI artists to make the scene look more convincing for the 2000 theatrically re-released version of The Exorcist: The Version You've Never Seen. Since the original release, myths and rumors still exist that a variety of spider-walk scenes were filmed despite Friedkin's insistence that no alternate version was ever shot.


Jan 12, 2012


Shitty Flicks is an ongoing column that celebrates the most hilariously incompetent, amusingly pedestrian, and mind-bogglingly stupid movies ever made by people with a bit of money, some prior porn-directing experience, and no clue whatsoever. It is here you will find unrestrained joy in movies meant to terrify and thrill, but instead poke at your funny bone with their weird, mutant camp-girl penis.

WARNING: I tend to give away major plot points and twist endings in my reviews because, whatever. Shut up.


LOS ANGELES, CaliforniaFour scantily-clad teen girls with substantially-sized breasts, three of their typically annoying boyfriends (including John Minor, the biggest man on campus), their high school basketball coach, and a pizza delivery man were found massacred to death in a suburban home yesterday morning owned by Trish, one of the young victims.

The victims that have so far been identified are Trish, Kimberly, Jackie, Diane, Neil, Jeff, John Minor, Coach, and Mr. Contant, the leering and purposely suspicious looking neighbor.

While considering breaking her own
"No Kiss on the First Date" rule,
she suddenly felt John Minor's
finger south of the equator.

The killer, Russ Thorn - who had easily escaped from the mental asylum where he had been committed - was also found dead in the pool. He was missing a hand, proper character development, a coherent motive, and wearing a denim jacket. It appears that Thorn had used some sort of pneumatic drill to take the lives of his victims, all the while barely getting any blood on himself.

Two other victims were found earlier that day: an unidentified and previously "hot" phone repair woman who was found drilled in the back of her van; and Linda, a student found murdered within her own school - a result of every single door being chained up after classes had let out only five minutes prior.

Janitors of the school are being held for questioning and may be forced to take classes on how to prevent inadvertently creating death traps out of traditionally safe environments.

For a prank, the girls killed
Mary as she slept.

Two survivors, Valerie Bates and her younger sister, Courtney (an avid fan of ashamed masturbation), took the life of the killer in self-defense and miraculously managed to keep their clothes on.

"I'm not sure how I managed to remain clothed throughout the night," says Valerie. "Us teen girls...it's almost effortless that our tops fall off. But I guess that's why I'm still sucking air! Had my top and bra fallen off, my head would probably be sitting in the next-door neighbor's garbage can."

While Valerie's breasts managed to avoid exposure - or the mouth of a very inexperienced teen boy - her ordeal was not without its detriments.

"This incident has made me go batshit insane," continues the eldest Bates girl. "I probably won't be around to save the day, should something like this ever happen again. Courtney will just have to deal with it, I guess."

Courtney was unavailable for comment, as she was playing the bass at a garage practice for her terrible rock band.

"This is one of the oddest crime scenes I have ever seen," says Officer Kruiger, a member of the LAPD. "If I had to take a guess, it would seem that one of the girls actually ate the pizza delivered to them by that delivery boy who had been tragically killed. That's just strange. Who does that? What a dick head. I just don't get these kids today."

Officer Vorhies, another police officer, adds: "It's such a tragedy, really. These were just your typical girls: eating junk food, having sporadic and shirtless pillow fights, all the while copulating with their obnoxious boyfriends who acted like they had never seen a single breast in their entire lives. It really is a shame - a shame that I wasn't invited. I would've brought Mall Madness."

"And it's weird that their coach ended up here, too," continues Office Kruiger. "I mean, what the fuck is that? Was she a lesbian? A hot, hot lesbian? Were all these girls lesbians together? Man, I hope so. I hope they were all hot lesbians. I hope they were having some kind of hot, sordid, lesbian affair. I mean, I've seen that team play...there wasn't too much practicing going on. Without being too obscene, maybe these dead girls were hot for the clam."

Mr. Contant, the neighbor who was also killed by Thorn, says, "It sucks that I died because I was the best character in this movie. I was awesome, I would just pop up out of nowhere in the darkness wielding a cleaver, so of course everyone would think I was the killer. No sir! I was merely hunting snails in the darkness. That's right, I would be in another person's garage, holding a MEAT CLEAVER above their head. Oh, but I'm not the killer. I'm just killing snails. Hey, me, ever hear of salt? Or better yet, insecticide? But whatever, I can't complain; if I wasn't set up as a red herring every five minutes, I'd barely be in this movie."

Dick Weapon vs Vagina Weapon 2:
The Quickening

Pam, the carpenter known for suddenly drilling holes through front doors so as to provoke a shocking moment, only to sheepishly claim she is making a peephole, offered her own two cents: "This is just a tragedy. What happened here in this community will never be forgotten. A piece of this community's heart died today. We're really going to miss Mr. Contant."

A nameless friend of Diane remembers her friend as well: "She was so nice. She was a real giver, and she was always telling me when my tits were getting bigger. I'll miss her. Soaping up in the shower room as we talked about penises won't be the same without her."

Rumors that Spy Kids 3D and Assassins actor Sylvester Stallone was sighted at the scene of the crime could not be confirmed, but when his name was brought up during questioning of the younger Bates sister, Courtney, her cheeks grew red and she clenched her legs together.

Rita Mae Brown, author of several books she co-wrote with her stupid cat, Sneakie Pie, says, "Listen, the giant drill, the male killer...I knew what I was doing when I wrote this movie. I'm an angry lesbian, so of course the killer was going to hold the drill between his legs when he massacred the girls. God, that's clever, isn't it?" Brown then drove off in her stained panel van to continue working on her newest book, Men Built This Country But Women Are Better Anyway.

"Hey, look! Tanya's just...hangin' out?"
"OMG, shut up, Susan."

Mrs. Bates, mother of Valerie and Courtney, tearfully hugs her two daughters, thankful for their lives. "I'm just so glad my daughters are safe; they're all I have. I hope no other giggling teens ever have to endure what my daughters endured, especially Courtney, perhaps while at a friend's beach house when she is older. Or even maybe an unrelated girl who doesn't realize that the killer is her crush - that nice boy, Ken."