May 30, 2014


I just got done working overtime. I was really late going home; I checked my watch and saw that it was already almost midnight.

When I arrived at my apartment building, I pushed the button and waited for the elevator to come to the first floor. After a few minutes of waiting, the elevator finally arrived.


The elevator was almost completely full despite the late hour. There were people of all ages, from elementary school students to the elderly and young adults to the middle aged.

I was dumbfounded for a moment. The girl right in front of me spoke up as if to break my trance.

“We’re going down.”

“Going… down?”

“Are you getting on or not?”

“…It looks a little crowded. I’ll wait for the next one.”

The elevator doors closed slowly, and with a clank the elevator began moving.

I couldn’t stop shaking for some time after the elevator left.

The building I live in doesn’t have a basement.

May 28, 2014


One cold winter night, sixteen-year-old Kelly Sanders was home alone, as her parents had gone out to a dinner party at a friend's house. It had been snowing all afternoon, but had just recently stopped. After studying for a while, she decides to relax a little - after all, she finally had the house to herself. She makes some popcorn, gets a nice warm, fuzzy blanket, and snuggles under it to watch one of her favorite movies. 

In their lounge room, the television is positioned a few feet in front of the glass sliding door that leads to the patio and backyard. 

By midnight, Kelly's parents are still not home, and she begins to feel uneasy, but refuses to call them, for risk of sounding like she couldn't take care of herself. 

Suddenly, her eye catches a glint of light from behind the TV, and right there, just outside the glass door, was a crazy-eyed man, grinning maliciously at her, and holding a long, narrow blade in his left hand. Terrified, the girl panics, pulls the blanket up over her head and grabs the cordless phone by her side. Kelly calls the police, and as luck would have it, there was a patrol car less than a block from her house. In a matter of seconds, two officers are on the scene and Kelly tells them about the armed man staring through the glass. 

The first officer opens the sliding door and looks around the area. After a few moments, she turns and explains to Kelly that there couldn't have been anyone standing out there, as there would have been footprints in the snow. The second officer tells her that she is probably just tired and her imagination was playing tricks on her. He beckoned at the TV where the horror movie she had been watching was still playing. 

"Stuff like that didn't help matters, either,'' he said smiling. 

Kelly smiled too, more at her own immaturity than the officer's remark, still a little shaken. 

As the police are about to leave, the male officer stops and looks behind the sofa that Kelly had been sitting on. His jaw drops and eyes widen in shock. Kelly and the other officer notice his reaction and follow his gaze; they both gasp. There were wet footprints and a discarded knife on the carpet behind the couch. 

Kelly hadn't seen the man outside he door; she'd seen his reflection when he was standing behind her.

May 26, 2014


I’d actually seen him on our way home from school. He looked dirty and disturbed, and stared straight at us as our bus went by. We even made jokes about him, probably as our way of pretending we weren’t afraid. He was incredibly out of place in our middle class suburb, so his mere presence felt threatening… thus our panic when the three of us got off at our stop and saw him at the corner, about to look in our direction.

He was between us and our houses, and the bus had already pulled away, so we bolted for the bushes of a nearby yard. We weren’t sure if he had seen us, but we peered through the leaves and saw him stalking our way, muttering randomly. Tim, my neighbor, insisted that he’d seen a large knife in the man’s ragged clothing. Danny, a kid I hardly knew who had just moved into the neighborhood, insisted that he was imagining it – that Tim’s glasses must have reflected the sun wrong or something. Still, we were terrified, and the sidewalk was going to bring him right by us.

It was Tim that broke and ran first, keeping low. I followed, my heart pounding, as we dove into the darkness underneath the porch of the unfamiliar house we’d been hiding near. As we squeezed our bodies against the dirt, the grimy wood pressed into our backs, barely giving us enough room to breathe. From our hiding place, we could see the disturbed man turn into the yard in front of us and begin searching around, hitting the bushes and muttering angrily.

I realized then that Danny wasn’t with us, but I hadn’t seen where he’d gone. Tim had lost his glasses back at the bushes, and he just huddled in the shadows next to me in near-blind terror. We stayed there in silence, waiting. Every so often, whenever I almost thought it was safe to come out, footsteps would creep across the wooden porch above us. Tim almost sneezed, once, but I covered his mouth and nose in stark fear.

We waited there so long that the tone of the sunlight began to change. We hadn’t heard the man searching about in awhile, and I was just getting ready to peek out, when footsteps clattered and a thud hit the wood directly above us. A split second later, Danny’s face appeared in front of us upside down, and he looked at us through the lattice. A look of shock and surprise crossed his features at finally finding us. He whispered something, but I couldn’t hear anything. He seemed to be saying “come closer,” so I figured the horrible man was still around and we had to be quiet, and I inched forward.

Danny’s features grew fearful, and he kept indicating something above us. Strangely, I still couldn’t hear him… his eyes seemed to dim then, and I inched forward a little bit more. I froze for a moment in horror, then backed up. Tim mouthed to me: “What did he say?” and I just shook my head, completely in shock. Danny hadn’t conveyed “come closer,” he had mimed “he’s up there.” The drifter was unknowingly sitting right above us, waiting, because he knew we had to be somewhere in that yard.

There was nothing to do but wait in silence, trying not to scream. I was glad Tim had lost his glasses. I lay there as darkness descended, waiting in unwavering terror and trying not to feel the glassy stare of
Danny’s severed head as it rested in the grass a foot away.

Story source.

May 25, 2014


Except to a cineaste, the musical score might be one of the most important aspects of film that is consistently taken for granted. Tasked with both complementing the action on-screen as well as manipulating your emotions, film scoring is essential to creating an effective tone and generating the appropriate response from its audience, whether that response is fear, melancholy, excitement, or jubilation. Regardless of the actual film’s quality – whether great or ghastly – the score is the only component of the film that will live on in perpetuity in a separate form. Some of these scores stand head and shoulders above others and deserve to be recognized. This is one of them. 


I can't shut the fuck up about Exit Humanity. I mean...I really can't. Sorry? (Although I'm not – I really really dug this film.) I can't help but heap praise on and enthusiasm for genre films that come completely out of nowhere and sucker-punch me with their awesome. Such is the case with this Canadian-lensed zombies-meet-the-Civil-War epic, narrated by Brian Cox and containing brief segments of hand-drawn animation. That's about where my review portion of the film ends – you can check out the above link for more on that.

I find that one of the major pitfalls of low-budget film-making is a supreme lack of resources when it comes to the musical score. Stuff composed on a synthesizer, and by someone who isn't quire ballsy enough to establish their own sound – you can hear that from a mile away. So when it comes to low-budget horror, I really only ask that the music just be serviceable. If I'm wanting for the actual film to be of decent quality – the story, the acting, and the directing – then I wouldn't allow myself to be so picky about the music. The way I figure: don't push your luck.

So when I hear music that's as beautiful as the score to Exit Humanity, composed by Nate Kreiswirth, Jeff Graville, and Ben Nudds, I just can't help but love it all the more. And I really do love this score – it might just be up there with Phantasm and The Fog as my most played. And that's pretty surprising, because so much of this score would sound right at home in a dramatic sweeping epic about war-torn lovers or some such mother movies, not a film in which faces get bitten off and zombs are shot full of holes. Naturally, since Exit Humanity does feature scenes of zombie attacks and other undead carnage, there are some tracks in there to jar and unsettle you, but the majority of these are something well beyond that. In a way, the score is genre-less – you can place any one track against any one scene in any one movie and they would work – and elevate – the actions and/or emotions on screen.

Listen carefully to "A Fresh Grave." You will hear this theme occur throughout the entirety of the score; a mixture of strings and harp get things going before it all takes a backseat to a pretty and sad piano melody. That pretty much sums up Exit Humanity the film and Exit Humanity the score: pretty and sad. (Plus ghouls.)

"Searching for Answers" is a foreboding track pulsing with heavy low piano that soon meshes with distorted and shrieking pulls on an instrument that I couldn't even decipher. Hands on cat-skin tom-toms back everything up and keep things moving while electronic warbling in the background fill in the eerie gaps. It's a pretty appropriate track to play alongside the film's protagonist waking up to discover his wife is dead and his son is missing.

"Seeking Family" dials down the horror and ups that gorgeous harp, which will drive this particular track, along with those sustained strings. With 45 seconds left in the track, it all falls silent, allowing the harp to solo before bringing it all back together again. (I sincerely hope that is a harp I am hearing, or else I am going to feel like an asshole every time I bring it up.)

With "Bitter Reunion," I hope by now you're noticing the vast collection of instruments that comprise this score, with a flute leading the charge this go-round. Unless you're writing background music for a fairy tale, or you're the feature film Titanic, the flute is very rarely relied on front-and-center when it comes to film music, and yet, here it is all the same. Once again, it's pretty, but also somewhat feverish at the same time.

Both "Looking Back" and "Moving On" revisit those same stirring strings and harp established in "A Fresh Grave." Once again, we're nowhere near horror territory here. The score exists not to give you the creeps or get your pulse going, but instead make you feel. I know! It's crazy! And in a zombie movie!

"Edward and Isaac Bond" is a superb fucking track, and the filmmakers must know it, because it appears mid-way through the film as well as a reprise during the cut-to-black end credits. This track sounds like no other in the film, driven by a banjo, of all fucking things, and it's one that builds and builds, layering in more and more instruments. It's a damn shame it's under two minutes, as I'd listen to an entire score based just on what's going on here. You can tell the second it begins that it's going in a direction completely opposite to where we'd been heading up to this point. If I were to listen to any one track on repeat, it's this one. Simply awesome.

The score takes a darker turn with "Enter the General," "Emma's Escape," and "The Witch." At this point, we're now facing our antagonists for the first time – a sort of Day of the Dead-ish band of military outlaws kidnapping the uninfected and exposing each of them to the zombie virus in hopes of finding a bloodline immune to the "scourge." Since we're in unfamiliar territory here, not only does the score get darker, but it adds some unorthodox approaches. Small trap instruments rattle in the background and make you think of small, scurrying rodents in the corners behind you. In fact, this is largely a percussive-driven series of tracks, along with those screeching strings, and all of it comes together to sound nightmarish and unnerving.

"Looking Forward" – there's nothing I can even say. To even try would make me sound like some kind of douche bag, and since I've been kind of straddling that line with this entire post, I guess I'll have to refrain. But...just gorgeous. A chorus of voices, those strings, the harp, the piano. Beauty personified. It's the stuff happy tears are made of.

Parts One and Two of "Ashes on Waterfall" bring back that melancholy feeling in a big way. I suppose that's inevitable, since this sequence has our hero traveling to Ellis Falls to disperse his son's ashes, after remembering a promise to him that he would take him there...while he was still alive, that is. Still, this father wanted to make good on that promise, and so off he goes. This track and the next are likely the most beautiful, because it's here where the narration by Brian Cox is at its most poignant and uplifting. And you take all that and marry it to the pink and purple sun-skewed sky and the billowing landscapes filled with green trees and brown wheat, and yeah: film boner.

After a few more tracks that lend themselves to the dark and deranged, our heroes break free from their prison and take back to the zombie-infested forest. "Chase" sounds like something nearly out of Batman Begins. It's relentless, though it does break every so often for what could only be described as film-score improvisation. Great stuff, and yes, perfect chase music.

"Reunion/Ending" revisits all the themes previously established, and is again bolstered by the powerfully affecting voice of your narrator Brian Cox. I even have this track ripped from the blu-ray and it appears dead last in the album. The music by itself is amazing enough, but the "farewell" of sorts using Mr. Cox's voice-over transforms it into something else entirely. I actually wish they'd release a version of the score that contains the film's voice-over. Even without the visual components of the film, the voice-over tells one complete story – like listening to an audiobook that happens to have exceptional music.

Much like the film itself, the score to Exit Humanity kinda comes out of nowhere. It's easy to read a one-sentence synopsis for the film and based on that, deduce what kind of garish death metal or keyboard-slamming music you're about to receive alongside it, but you'd be wrong. So pleasantly horribly wrong.

Grab the complete score (and how often does that happen?) for Exit Humanity right now from the composers' bandcamp page. And tell Nate I said, "hey, man."

May 22, 2014


I'd already been out there for about four days, doing some off trail hiking, and I had a great time. I used to love going out in the woods by myself; I liked the solitude. I must have gotten turned around; I didn't end up back where I wanted to be at what was supposed to be the end of my trip. I later found out that I had been going in the almost complete opposite direction of my car. It was about three days after I was supposed to be home. I was just trying to get out of there, when it started with seeing things.

Just on the edge of my vision; shadows. I'd look, but then there'd be nothing there. At night, I would hear noises outside my tent. At first I thought it was just animals, and I'm sure some of the sounds were, but others...I heard scratching, and sometimes late at night, I'd wake up and hear breathing, not like any animal. I'd call out, thinking maybe someone was there, but I'd never get an answer.

This went on for a few days; I thought maybe it was just the woods getting to me. You hear horror stories about hunters who get lost and start hallucinating, or who die of thirst with water in their packs. The forest can mess with you. But about a week after I got lost, I saw her off in the distance, maybe 200 ft. away, hands at her sides, and she was tall. Six or seven feet, with her head craned downward, like she was deformed or something. But she was still looking at me.

She wore this dirty dress that hung down to the ground. I called out, but she didn't do or say anything. I started running towards her. I was scared, but by then I was worried that I wasn't going to make it out of those woods. I got within maybe 100 ft, but she stepped behind a tree, and when I got up there, I was just alone. I don't know where she could have gone.

The next couple days I didn't see anything, and the nights were quiet. I just kept following this creek, hoping I'd find something, anything. I ran out of food on the tenth day, and that night I woke up, not sure what time it was, to this laughing from outside; a low giggling, it lasted for a few seconds. Had I dreamt it? I opened the flap of my tent and called out, but all I could hear was the sound of running water, which was strange. There should have been bugs, deer, wind, something...but it was just so quiet.

Then a loud snap from about twenty feet away I shined my flashlight and I saw her there, half-hidden, poking out from behind a tree, grinning at me. I got a better look at her than before. She was old, her hair done up in a bun. And her face was...distorted. Her nose was too long, crooked. Her eyes were too close together, too big. Black. We stared at each other for a long time, and when I called out to her, her grin just got wider. I just sat there, frozen, looking at her. I yelled again; I asked her what she wanted. And she just laughed, this scratchy, painful laugh. Then she stepped out of the light and I couldn't find her again.

The rest of the night, I heard...things outside. Even the constant bubbling of the creek scared me. I wanted out; I was hungry, exhausted, and scared for my life. I truly believed that I was going to die in those woods. At first light I set out, walking as fast as I could away from my campsite. Sometime in the late afternoon, I came across an old logging road. It didn't look like it had been used in years, and I knew that it didn't mean that I was safe yet, but still, seeing that sign of humanity was happiest moment of life.

It was getting dark and I felt like I was going to pass out, but I didn't want to stop. I don't think that I could have slept anyway. Somehow I found the energy to keep going. About two hours after I started following the road, it was pitch black out, and it started to rain. I'd been lucky enough to have good enough weather for my trip, but within a few minutes it was pouring. I was plodding along as fast as I could when I heard the footsteps behind me. I'd stop and listen, and they would stop, too. I'd start walking and I'd hear them again. A few times I thought that I could see her, stopped not too far behind me. And more than once I heard her laughing, that disgusting laugh.

It was almost dawn when I came to the top of a hill and saw lights. Lights! Mankind! Civilization! I practically fell down the hill, stumbling to the door of the small house, I must have looked like some kind of monster; dirty, wet, exhausted. They took me inl it was an old couple; they gave me some food and a bed to sleep in. I woke up and they told me that I slept for 15 hours. I told them about the woman I saw, and nice as they were, I could tell that I was making them uncomfortable. They told me it was just the hunger, but I know what I saw. Out there, deep in the woods. And I'll never forget the laughing.

Story source.

May 21, 2014


"Couple months ago, my parents had a problem with their gas water heater. Gas company sends a guy out, as they have some kind of warranty. He goes down the basement, comes up later and says to my parents, 'I fixed it and it works fine. If you have any problems just call and they'll send another tech out. It won't be me because there was an old guy standing down there watching me the whole time. Bye.'"

May 19, 2014


Normally you sleep soundly, but the thunderstorm raging outside is stirring you from your sleep. You begin to doze, then another crash jolts you awake. The cycle lasts most of the night. So you lay there, eyes open and outward, looking at your room stretching out before you in oblong shadows. Your eyes move from nameless object, to object, until you reach your mirror, sitting adjacent to you across the room.

Suddenly a flash of lighting, and the mirror flickers in illumination. For a scant second the mirror revels to you dozens of faces, silhouettes within its frame, mouths open and eyes blackened. They stare out at you, their black pupils fixed upon your face.

Then it is done. Are you sure of what you have seen? Unsettled, you don’t sleep for the rest of the evening. The next morning you remove the mirror from your wall and toss it in the trash. It didn’t matter if the vision you had seen was of truth or falsehood, you wanted to be rid of that mirror. In fact, you scrap every mirror in your house.

Weeks pass and the event of that night falls into passive memory. You are spending the day at a friend’s house and it’s time to use the bathroom. While you are in there the faucet starts to run without you prompting it. Taken aback by this, you do not yet act, trying to reason with your paranoia in your mind. The water starts to steam and a skin of moisture covers the mirror up above. You’re watching intently as words form:

“Please return the mirrors. We miss watching you sleep at night.”

May 16, 2014


In the 19th century, the famous horror writer Egdar Allan Poe wrote a book called ‘The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym.’ It was about four survivors of a shipwreck who were in an open boat for many days before they decided to kill and eat the cabin boy whose name was Richard Parker. Some years later, in 1884, the yawl, Mignonette, foundered, with only four survivors, who were in an open boat for many days. Eventually the three senior members of the crew killed and ate the cabin boy. The name of the cabin boy was Richard Parker.

May 15, 2014


 The Strange Case of Jeremy Bentham: At his request, he was taxidermied after his death. Supposedly, the process to preserve the head went terribly wrong and left his face showing lack of expression therefore, unattractive. So, his head was replaced with the wax substitute and for a time was placed on the floor between his legs. It now sits in storage, safe and sound.

May 14, 2014


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.

I went to Venice once. It was beautiful. The canals smelled of rainwater. Bistros perfumed with the scent of fresh garlic and spicy meat-a-ball-as. 

"Hey-a, Giuseppe!" called the dude operating the gondola. "Ciao, bella!"

It was my favorite day.

And then a shark bit my fucking neck off. 

I was never the same after that.

Because I was neckless.

Of all the sub-genres previously featured on Shitty Flicks, killer shark seems to be leading the pack. Is that because I gravitate toward them, since I find sharks to be genuinely captivating creatures? Or is it because there are so many bad movies made about them?

You might could ask director Danny Lerner, because he's not only made three killer shark movies, he's also made three of the worst killer shark movies of all time.

America's got talent!

Sharks in Venice begins with brilliance; after showing some stock shots of Venice, we cut immediately to Bulgaria, where Bulgarian actors sport the absolute worst Italian accents since Lady and the Tramp. A crew of who-fucking-knows sit behind computer screens in the most archaic looking command center since North Korea's nuclear missile tests. Turns out these dudes are looking for artifacts from the expeditions of Marco Polo (Italian!) within the canals of Venice. They locate some kind of buried plaque, leaving one of the command-center guys to call out "Grazie!" (Italian!) for no reason. Then things go very poorly very quickly.

Before I can wonder if composer John Debney was paid for the use of his score from End of Days, a shark comes up quickly from nowhere and makes all these divers sleep with the fishes.

Cut to: Professor (of diving!) Stephen Baldwin giving a presentation on the S.S. Andrea Doria (Italian!), a real ship that sank in the mid-1900s. When he air-quotes the word "unsinkable," try not to notice how fat he's gotten.

"I miss you, chalupas..."

Because there's never been a scene in a movie before in which an esteemed professor is giving a presentation to his class when he is interrupted by a school official, and must leave the class to confer with this official, well, that happens. The official tells him that is father – one of the divers in the film's intro – has gone missing. Professor Baldwin almost looks like he might react to this news, but then doesn't. He might as well have looked directly into the camera and said, "Well, off to Venice, then."

And off he goes, with his girlfriend who works at the same university and apparently knew the bad news before he did.

In Venice, Professor Baldwin is forced to identify the bodies of the two divers.

"Is either of these men your father?" asks the Bulgtalian police detective, as a coroner insensitively whips off one of the sheets concealing the dead men, which they love to do in movies for some reason, and I have to tell you, if someone did that to me in real life, I would say, "What the fuck kind of horrid monster are you?" and I would probably stick that coroner's head directly into a pile of human man poop, which is probably somewhere in every coroner's office, no matter how well hidden.

Anyway, based on Professor Baldwin's non-reaction, it's hard to say whether or not his father lies upon the corpse bed.

"This was not a propeller accident," he says, stealing a line from a better film about sharks. Music sting. "It was a shark."

We meet some more "Italian" characters, one of whom is named Captain "Bonasera." I shit you not and fucking seriously: his name is Captain "Good Evening."

While speaking with Captain Good Evening, Professor Baldwin asks to help with the investigation. Captain Good Evening agrees, but forbids him from speaking to the press. He also tells him:

"Venice has no sharks. Capisci?"

My ancestry has never been prouder.

If animals were given royalty payments, this specific fucking shark
would be rich, given how many times the SciFi Channel have used him.

At his missing father's flat, Professor Baldwin finds a hidden briefcase that contains a notebook, which brings with it a chorus of soprano voices whenever one looks upon it with immense intrigue. The notebook provides a lot more back story on Italian conflicts than a killer shark movie has ever needed. All you need to know is, one group of Italians sacked another group of Italians, stole a bunch of treasures, and then fucking lost that same treasure instantly. 

Wait a minute – missing father? Venice? Historical conspiracies? Hidden treasure? A father's notebook of clues?

I guess it is time to rip off The Last Crusade.

Professor Baldwin and a couple other prepackaged shark dinners go locate the treasure, I guess? Or find his missing father? Both?

It doesn't matter, because a shark comes along and says hi to everyone with its teeth. Professor Baldwin survives the attack and finds himself in an underground tunnel, out of the water, and discovers a whole mess of treasures.

AND skeletons!

Professor Baldwin takes a step further into this tunnel and sets off a series of booby-traps that nearly kill him.

Seriously, people – you may have well just called your film Fat Indiana Baldwin and the Last Mysterious Mystery of Marco Polo OMG Sharks.

He finds some kind of handsome rhinestone, gets back in the water, and is instantly attacked by the shark again, and somehow miraculously survives, even though there's no way he could have. Honestly, the only thing that saved his life was the film cutting to the next scene of him waking up in a hospital bed, where even he looks irritated at how cheap this is.

"Someone's in my butt!"

Later, Professor Baldwin and his girlfriend have dinner with Vito Clemenza (yep; Puzo/Ford Coppola were truly honored), and the film is finally blessed with its sole actually-Italian actor playing an Italian. Clemenza offers Professor Baldwin a buttload of money to help him find the rest of the treasure, but he declines, because of pride or something.


Meanwhile, some Bulgarian teens are pretending to be both Italian and drunk...right next to the canal. If you guessed what happened next – an unsurprising shark attack married to the worst CGI you have ever seen – well, no one's proud of you.

Professor Baldwin and his girlfriend walk the streets of "Venice," as the poorest Dean Martin imitation the filmmakers could find croons on the soundtrack and soothes the savage soul. Watch as Girlfriend wears an orange scarf and looks at all the surroundings. Then, watch as Professor Baldwin buys that same orange scarf for her later in the scene. (?)

And then watch as Girlfriend gets kidnapped by Clemenza's henchmen.

Mi amore!

Oh, 49 minutes in and Girlfriend has a name. It's Laura.

Another shark attack occurs in the canal; a poor unfortunate gondola driver is mercilessly attacked by a bunch of Animal Planet footage, and his black-and-white striped pajamas are torn to shreds.

Back with Professor Baldwin, he looks nearly as bored as I feel. As he attempts to sleep, a bunch of dudes in ski masks attack him in his hotel room and try to kill him, but because Professor Baldwin is the hero in this film, he covers his head with his hands and flees down the hotel corridor, bellowing, "He's got a gun!" and a bunch of hotel security lose their lives.


The longest chase scene ever filmed in Bulgaria then unfolds, where Professor Baldwin manages to take out his pursuers one by one. He threatens the last man with a buzz saw into spilling the beans on where Laura has been taken. It works until he is attacked by a bunch of bikers, and even MORE security is killed in the process.

Yo, but P. Baldwin don't care, 'cuz he steals a boat and he's out of there, his man-boobs pressing against his tight shirt as he looks majestic under the Bulgarian moon.

His evasion of Clemenza's men is short-lived, as he's kidnapped a few minutes later.

I'm exhausted.

So, it turns out Clemenza has purposely been putting baby sharks into the canals to keep people from diving there. He wants the treasure THAT badly. 

With Laura still being held hostage, P. Bald has no choice but to dive into the shark-invested waters to recover the treasure he'd earlier discovered. 

It plays out pretty much the way you'd expect: the sharks eat everyone but P. Bald and one of Clemenza's henchmen, who have a slap/punch/gun fight in the treasure room, which is so beyond thrilling that Stephen Baldwin manages to look awake for most of it. Baldwin literally kills the henchman with laughter by telling him several behind-the-scene anecdotes about the filming of Bio-Dome.

P. Bald demands that Clemenza trade Laura for the treasure, which he doesn't go for, and then the police randomly show up, leading to the longest shoot-out ever filmed in Bulgaria. Clemenza falls into the water and gets eaten by sharks, and if you didn't see that coming, I've got a bridge I can sell you.

"I stole this from that fat Goonie."

In full view of everyone, P. Bald takes out a huge piece of stolen treasure and proposes to Laura with it.

"As long as we don't honeymoon in Venice!" she replies.

Might I recommend Bulgaria?

May 11, 2014


"Fiery the angels fell. Deep thunder rolled around their shoulders...
burning with the fires of Orc."

If we don't, remember me.

May 10, 2014


Years ago, my family went on a vacation in Cape Cod and we rented a small old house to stay in for two weeks. On the main floor was the kitchen, the living room and a bathroom. The bedrooms were on the second floor. There was a basement room downstairs, with a washer and dryer, a sofa and a television.

On the fist night, we were all awakened by a terrible scream from my sister’s bedroom. When my dad burst into her room and turned on the light, he found her sitting up in bed, screaming and crying. My parents sat with her and comforted her until she finally calmed down enough to tell them what had scared her.

She said that she had been awakened in the middle of the night by a horrible stench. When she opened her eyes, she had seen the entire bedroom soaked in blood from top to bottom. There was blood all over the floor, bloody handprints on the walls and blood spatter all over the ceiling.

We all thought that she had just been having a nightmare, but she refused to go back into her bedroom and stayed in our parents’ room for the remainder of the holiday.

One evening, my mother was cooking dinner in the kitchen upstairs and my father had gone out on an errand in a nearby town. My sister and I were in the basement room, watching TV, when all of a sudden, the lightbulb popped and the TV went off, leaving us in complete darkness. The basement was unfinished and had old stone walls, making it a bit of a creepy place. For a few seconds, we just froze, not knowing what to do. Then we started to smell something horrible.

It was a terrible stench and when it hit our noses, we felt nauseous. It smelled like rotting flesh. The smell quickly grew worse and worse and then we just heard a scratching in the darkness. Something seemed to be scratching at the floor or the walls. We screamed and began scrambling around in the pitch black, trying to find the door. Eventually, we managed to open the door and ran upstairs screaming to our mother.

We kept telling her about the disgusting smell and we heard something scratching and scraping around down there. My mother eventually agreed to go down to the basement, replace the bulb and check out the source of the horrible smell. She took a flashlight and a new bulb and disappeared into the darkened basement, as we waited for her at the top of the stairs. We expected her to return quickly but she seemed to be down there for an eternity.

Suddenly, we saw her emerge out of the darkness and come running up the stairs. She slammed the basement door behind her and bolted it as fast as she could. She turned to us and we could see her face had completely drained of color. Her eyes were wide with fear and she just said “I don’t want you going down there again.” Then she went into the kitchen and called the police.

We overheard her conversation on the phone and managed to figure out that she’d seen someone down in the basement room. As we waited for the police to come, we huddled together in the living room, staring at the basement door. At any moment, we expected to hear someone banging on it or trying to break it down. My mother refused to tell us what she had seen.

When the police arrived, my mother greeted them at the front door and ushered them inside. She unbolted the basement door and they went down into the darkness with their flashlights out and their guns drawn. They searched the entire basement room, but found nothing. There was no other way out of the basement, no windows, no doors. Whatever was down there would have had to come up through the basement door.

After the police left, my mother finally revealed what she had seen down there in the pitch black basement room. As she spoke, she became very still and quiet. She said that she had been changing the lightbulb downstairs, when she began to smell the horrible stench we had described to her. Then she started to hear a faint scratching noise. She shone her flashlight around the room and suddenly caught sight of something crouched between the washer and dryer.

It was a man, crouched on all fours. His clothes were tattered, his hair was wild and tangled, and his face didn’t look human. It was twisted in an expression of pure hatred. In that split second, he looked up at my mother, his eyes reflecting the beam from her flashlight.
Then he suddenly crawled forward and disappeared through a wall.

May 8, 2014


Kristin had always been the “black sheep” of her family. She came from a rural and very conservative Middle Georgia clan, and had fought constantly with her parents since she was a child. Kristin wanted no part of the settled and routine life her parents had lead – she was an impulsive free-spirit who would travel to the far corners of the earth at a moment’s notice, sometimes not even knowing where she was headed, or why.

So it came as no surprise when, a few weeks shy of her 30th birthday, Kristin announced that she was leaving her high-paying job at a major corporation to fulfill her life’s dream – to become a professional sculptor. She sold her expensive suburban apartment and moved into an abandoned mill in one of the rougher areas of Atlanta. She planned on converting part of the space into a full-time studio and living area.

Her parents were horrified, especially when they learned that her studio was just a few miles down the road from the county jail. And Kristin didn’t see the need to rig her studio with an expensive alarm system, for her neighbors seemed nice enough. But like every other discussion Kristin had with her father, his words of warning went in one ear and out the other.

So on her 30th birthday, her father took matters into his own hands and bought Kristin a guard dog – a Doberman named Bishop from the local humane society. The dog had been abused by his former owners, and had become mean and distrustful of humans. But Kristin always had a strong love for animals, and she took the poor dog into her care. In a matter of weeks, Bishop became very attached to Kristin, and extremely protective whenever anyone else would approach her.

One morning, Kristin came home from a trip to the hardware store to find Bishop lying in the middle of the floor, coughing and wheezing uncontrollably. She immediately rushed him to the local veterinarian, who performed a series of tests. After a while, the vet was satisfied that Bishop wasn’t dangerously sick, but he couldn’t figure out why the dog was still coughing.

“Don’t worry,” he told Kristin in his calm and soothing voice, “Bishop looks perfectly healthy. But I’d like to run some additional tests on him this afternoon. Why don’t you go home and I’ll call you when we know something. There’s no sense in sitting in the waiting room all day.”

So Kristin got back in her car, made a trip to the health food store, then returned home. As she walked through the door, she could hear the phone ringing in her bedroom. Loaded down with shopping bags, she decided to let her voice-mail catch the call. But no sooner had the phone stopped ringing then it started ringing again. Thinking it may be an emergency – or perhaps an annoying telemarketer who needed to be yelled at – Kristin dropped her bags and ran to the phone, catching it on its last ring.

“Hello?” she breathlessly answered.

She was surprised to find her veterinarian on the other end. “Kristin, we have some results on Bishop. We need you to come back to the office.”

“Okay. I’ll be there in an hour or so…”

“…No, Kristin,” interrupted the vet in a barely controlled voice. “We need you to come down now.”

Kristin was taken aback by the sound of his voice. She could hear the tension lurking behind his words. There was something he wasn’t telling her. “What’s wrong?” she asked. “Is Bishop okay?”

“We’ll talk about that when you get here,” answered the vet, his voice growing louder and more agitated. “Just get in the car now.”

“Why can’t you tell me over the phone?” asked Kristin.

The vet suddenly blurted out, “Are you in the house alone?”

A chill ran through Kristin’s blood. She slowly sat on her bed and replied, “Yes. Why?”

She could hear the vet taking a deep breath on the other end of the phone. Then, barely able to contain the tremor in his throat, he said in a hushed voice, “Listen to me carefully. We found out why Bishop was coughing.”

It was then that Kristin noticed her bedroom window. A hole had been punched through the glass, and it was unlocked.

“Kristin, are you there?”

“Yes,” Kristin answered, her voice starting to shake.

She then noticed drops of blood on her carpet. They stretched across the room and underneath her closet door. “I don’t know how to tell you this, but what we found in your dog’s throat were fingers. Human fingers.”

As the vet spoke, Kristin sat frozen as she watched the closet door slowly creak open on its rusted hinges. “Did you hear what I said? He bit the fingers off somebody’s hand!”

Kristin still didn’t answer. In the darkness of the closet, she swore she could see the hand of a large man, blood dripping from where his fingers had been gnawed off. And on his arm was the orange sleeve of a prison uniform.

May 4, 2014


Nurses deal with death on a daily basis, so it’s hardly surprising that many turn to religion as a source of wisdom and comfort. However, encounters with demonic forces may also influence nurses’ views on the battle between good and evil. In a chilling tale on, one nurse shares her experience with a dying patient who was more than he seemed.

According to the nurse, the patient suffered from a variety of ailments that could end his life at any time. However, the man was terrified of death and raged at the nurses to keep him alive.

“Every time his heart monitor beeped, he would go into a rage screaming, ‘Don’t let me die! Don’t let me die,’” the nurse writes. “We soon found out why he didn’t want to die.”

One night, the patient took a turn for the worse, and the nurse rushed into his room with emergency supplies. However, she wasn’t prepared for what she found.

“This man was sitting about two inches above the bed and was laughing,” the nurse writes. “His whole look completely changed. His eyes had a look of pure evil and he had this evil smile on his face. He laughed at us and said, ‘You stupid bitches aren’t going to let me die are you?’”

After this frightening outburst, the man went into cardiac arrest and died 20 minutes later. However, the terror was far from over. Five minutes after a doctor pronounced the patient dead, the newly-deceased man sat up in bed and started to laugh, saying “You let him die. Too bad.” What happened next sounds like something from a horror movie.

“We heard a horrible, agonizing scream and then you could hear ‘don’t let me die’ whispered throughout the unit,” the nurse reports. “Every one of the nurses that night was pale and scared. Nobody went anywhere by themselves. By morning, the whispers of ‘don’t let me die’ were gone.”

 Story source.

May 2, 2014


When it got hot in the valley, Thomas and Alfred drove their cows up to a cool, green pasture in the mountains to graze. Usually they stayed there with the cows for two months. Then they brought them down to the valley again. The work was easy enough, but, oh, it was boring. All day the two men tended their cows. At night they went back to the tiny hut where they lived. They ate supper and worked in the garden and went to sleep. It was always the same.

Then Thomas had an idea that changed everything. "Let's make a doll the size of a man," he said. "It would be fun to make, and we could put it in the garden to scare the birds."

"It should look like Harold," Alfred said. Harold was a farmer they both hated.

They made a doll out of old sacks stuffed with straw. They gave it a pointy nose like Harold's and tiny eyes like his. Then they added dark hair and a twisted frown. Of course they also gave it Harold's name.

Each morning on their way to the pasture, they tied Harold to a pole in the garden to scare away the birds. Each night they brought him inside so that he wouldn't get ruined if it rained.

When they were feeling playful, they would talk to him. One of them might say,"How are the vegetables growing today, Harold?" Then the other, making believe he was Harold, would answer in a crazy voice,"Very slowly." They both would laugh, but not Harold.

Whenever something went wrong, they took it out on Harold. They would curse at him, even kick or punch him. Sometimes one of them would take the food they were eating (which they both were sick of) and smear it on the doll's face.
"How do you like that stew, Harold?" he would ask. "Well, you better eat it - or else." Then the two men would howl with laughter.

One night, after Thomas had wiped Harold's face with food, Harold grunted.
"Did you hear that?" Alfred asked.

"It was Harold," Thomas said. "I was watching him when it happened. I can't believe it."

"How could he grunt?" Alfred asked. "He's just a sack of straw. It's not possible."

"Let's throw him in the fire," Thomas said,"and that will be that."

"Let's not do anything stupid," said Alfred. "We don't know whats going on. When we move the cows down, we'll leave him behind. For now, let's just keep an eye on him."

So they left Harold sitting in the corner of the hut. They didn't talk to him or take him outside anymore. Now and then the doll grunted, but that was all.
After a few days, they decided there was nothing to be afraid of. Maybe a mouse or some insects had gotten inside Harold and were making those sounds.

So Thomas and Alfred went back to their old ways. Each morning they put Harold out in the garden, and each night they brought him back into the hut. When they felt playful, they joked with him. When they felt mean, they treated him as badly as ever.

Then one night Alfred noticed something that frightened him. "Harold is growing," he said.

"I was thinking the same thing," Thomas said.

"Maybe it's just our imagination," Albert replied. "We have been up here on this mountain for too long."

The next morning, while they were eating, Harold stood up and walked out of the hut. He climbed up on the roof and trotted back and forth, like a horse on its hind legs. All day and all night, he trotted like that. In the morning Harold climbed down and stood in a far corner of the pasture. The men had no idea what he would do next. They were afraid.

They decided to take the cows down into the valley that same day. When they left, Harold was nowhere in sight. They felt as if they had escaped a great danger and began joking and singing. But when they had gone only a mile or two, they realized they had forgotten to bring the milking stools.

Neither one wanted to go back for them, but the stools would cost a lot to replace. "There really is nothing to be afraid of," they told one another. "After all, what could a doll do?"

They drew straws to see which one would go back. It was Thomas. "I'll catch up with you." he said, and Alfred walked toward the valley.

When Alfred came to a rise in the path, he looked back for Thomas. He did not see him anywhere. But he did see Harold. The doll was on the roof of the hut again. As Alfred watched, Harold kneeled and stretched out a bloody skin to dry in the sun.

May 1, 2014



The rather cornball cover art chosen for the video release of Piggy is, while cosmetically correct, tonally misleading. It’s easy to look at that picture of a man holding not just one but TWO knives and wearing a pig mask and thinking, “Oh boy, here we go.” What Piggy actually is, however, is not some random, generic, slice-and-dice. Technically it’s not even a horror film. (But that doesn’t mean it’s not horrific.)

Joe (Martin Compston, The Disappearance of Alice Creed) is a shy Londonite longing for human interaction much like all of us do. His only real friend appears to be his brother, Jamie (Ed Skrein, “Game of Thrones” [Daario Naharis: the season three version]), who may or may not be romantically involved with Claire (Louise Dylan), whom Joe may or may not be crushing on. One night at a local pub, Joe quite accidentally sets off a chain of events with a local gang that leads to some tossed threats, some minor fisticuffs action, and eventually the stabbing murder of Jamie. Joe naturally blames himself for having caused the conflict to escalate out of control and he disappears inside himself, confining himself to his apartment. That is until Piggy (Paul Anderson, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows) knocks on his door, explaining that he was mates with his brother and will be around should Joe need anything. That “need” turns out to be vigilante revenge, unleashed upon each member of the gang responsible for Jamie’s death, except for that of the gang leader, who ends up in prison on an unrelated drug charge. Joe rides his fury at the loss of his brother and enjoys a front-seat view of Piggy’s fury against the gang members, but soon Joe starts to feel the opposite, becoming disturbed by Piggy’s unhinged and incredibly violent attacks on their prey. Soon Joe wants nothing more to do with Piggy…who doesn’t like suddenly not being needed anymore.

While watching Piggy, I couldn’t help but keep Fight Club in the back of my mind. Though tonally, one film has nothing in common with the other, I was struck by one particular dynamic the two films do share: that of one strange mysterious character quite randomly showing up in the life of another and providing some measure of strength and/or awakening that our “narrator” was missing. Post-viewing, and after having done some research, I found I was not alone in thinking like this. So it was when the film was leading up to its inevitable payoff that I (wrongly) assumed I knew the twist to be coming.

Luckily, the film was smarter than I was.

The power of Piggy comes from its feeling much more violent then it actually is. And don’t get me wrong, it is violent, but for every one brutal throat slash or head-stomp, we get several more left to our imagination. Piggy is out to make you unsettled and disturbed, sure, but it wants to earn that reaction from you. It also wants to make you question what exactly constitutes strength in a person. Is it taking revenge through force? Or is it confronting your own fears and taking responsibilities for your own actions?

The acting ensemble delivers on every level, perhaps top honors going to Anderson as the titular character. Everyone shares excellent chemistry, though they all look appropriately glum beneath writer/director Kieron Hawkes’ muted palette.The film is well-written, somberly shot, and beautifully scored. I'll be, it's actually a film.

Vigilantism is never largely discussed as a sub-genre of filmmaking, though it remains ever popular, recently attracting an eclectic collection of names like The Rock, Jodie Foster, Kevin Bacon, and Rainn Wilson. There is something dangerously appealing of seeing someone out for revenge and willing to go to great lengths to achieve it. The rational side of us know such actions are better left to the judicial system, but the emotional side of us live vicariously through our chosen vigilante as he/she exacts the kind of justice their targets have coming.

Piggy ends on an extremely dour note, but one that will have you smiling anyway.

It hits video May 13.