I can’t pretend I’m even a little bit interested in the prompt for today (and by today I mean Wednesday). One of the suggestions: a series of vignettes connected by drinking your signature drink. This would be easier if my signature drink wasn’t tea and sadness. And by that, of course, I mean tea brewed with my tears and sweat. (Ugh, I’ll stop, I promise. I don’t want to be responsible for you being unable to drink another cup of tea again.)
So let’s talk about what I’ve been doing with my thrilling weekend. Today’s task (besides getting caught up with blogging, cooking, and watching Filth): sorting out my closet/making room for my nice new professional wardrobe (ha).
Honestly, I really, really like throwing things away. I have too much stuff, largely comprised of books, kitchen gadgets (you will pry my brûlée torch from my cold, dead fingers), and clothing. I also have a large collection of Beanie Babies in the basement that I was completely ready to donate, but my mom didn’t want to get rid of them (you’re part of the problem, Mom).
Since I know this sounds like the most fun ever, let’s play a game where you guess if I kept that piece of clothing, threw it away, or denied all knowledge of its existence (as in went back into old photos and edited it out, Stalin-style). Except not really a game because I’ll tell you immediately what decision I made. It’ll be more like I invited you over and told you we’d have a fun afternoon, but instead you got stuck with me interrogating you about my wardrobe decisions (and then completely disregarding everything you suggest).
We’ll start with an easy one:
How did you do? And, more importantly, how did I do? In 10 years am I going to look back and think my life could’ve been completely different if only I’d kept that dress with the giant ass bow?
Clive Barker directs this horror film in which a man’s dead brother begins to resurrect himself by feeding on the corpses of his murder victims.
The Trailer (soooooooo ‘80s-tastic, guys):
The Uncondensed Version:
Clive Barker supposedly writes really creepy horror stories; the only thing I’ve read of his is Abarat, which he also illustrated. Both Abarat and Hellraiser are characterized by Barker’s terrifying nightmare monsters.
Our film opens with the man we later identify as Frank opening a puzzle box and being transported to hell (only during the ‘80s could a horror movie about what is essentially a demonic Rubik’s cube have been produced). In hell, he experiences both extreme pleasure and extreme pain. Frank’s only objection is that he also happens to be dead.
In the land of the living, Frank’s brother, Larry, and his wife, Julia, move into the historic family home. Hidden upstairs, Julia discovers evidence that Frank had been living in the house until recently, smoking cigarettes and shooting dirty pictures of himself with various female partners. As she looks through the photos, Julia uncovers one of her with Frank. EARLY PLOT TWIST: Julia had an affair with Frank!
Meanwhile, Larry is helping move their bed upstairs when he suffers a nasty cut on his hand. When his blood falls, the floorboards soak it up, steam and ooze bubble up, the rats are kind of freaked out and…Frank is resurrected! Sort of.
Julia goes upstairs and, upon discovering Frank, agrees to help him become completely alive again (through blood sacrifice. Duh). Basically, Julia dresses up all ‘80s glam and hangs around in bars (“I put on women’s clothing and hang around in bars!” But literally). After she lures them back to the house, Frank kills them and eats them.
Larry’s daughter, Kirsty, who has never been a fan of Julia, figures all of this out and freaks out a little (a lot). Kirsty grabs the cube and runs, but kind of has a breakdown in the middle of the street. She gets sent to a hospital, where she accidentally opens the door to HELL. The Cenobites (essentially sadomasochist punk demons) appear and tell her she must go with them. Kirsty manages to make a deal with them: she will help them catch Frank, their only victim to escape, if they allow Kirsty to go free.
Kirsty returns to the house to find Larry…or, rather Frank dressed up in Larry’s skin, who tries to kill her. Frank stabs Julia for no apparent reason, then goes after Kirsty. He is just about to kill her when the Cenobites appear and take him back to hell.
However, the Cenobites do not keep their promise to leave Kirsty alone. Each one tries to send her to hell. Luckily, Kirsty manages to get hold of the cube again. She twists the cube in different ways to solve it and make each Cenobite explode into light/return to hell.
Her boyfriend shows up, and the two escape the burning/collapsing house. Kirsty throws the cube into the fire, hoping to destroy it.
Then this homeless guy who has been showing up at random intervals walks into the fire, TURNS INTO A FUCKING DEMON DRAGON SKELETON, and flies away with the cube. THE ETERNAL QUEST TO SOLVE A DAMN RUBIK’S CUBE CONTINUES…
I unabashedly enjoyed this movie. Some of the effects were actually really disgusting, and most of the monsters were pretty creepy-looking. Although Kirsty was kind of annoying in a generic ‘80s heroine kind of way, she could have been worse. I kind of wanted Frank to successfully come back to life. Is that weird? What does it say about me as I person that I sympathize with demon-worshipping sadomasochists who kill and cannibalize other people?
Apparently there are 8 sequels involving Pinhead, the latest of which came out in 2011. I had no clue this was such a big franchise. Sorry, but there’s no way I’m watching all 8. Maybe 1 or 2. A remake is also in the works; if this ever actually happens, you know I’ll be critiquing it.
Favorite piece of IMDb trivia about this film: It was originally entitled The Hellbound Heart after the Clive Barker novella it was based upon. The studio thought this title sounded too much like a romance and wanted to change it (I don’t know what kinds of “romances” these people read/watch). Barker’s suggestion? Sadomasochists from Beyond the Grave.
A tire goes on a killing rampage in the desert (Is the title of this post making you cringe now?).
Doing my best to include a link to the trailer for movies I critique from now on, when possible.
The Uncondensed Version:
With this movie, the prologue is essential. Through the bizarre sequence of non-sequiturs that occur, we learn that, like many other things in both art and life, there is no reason. To begin with, a car drives up to a man standing in the desert holding a dozen or so pairs of binoculars. The car hits a series of chairs in the middle of the road, breaking them all; when it stops, a police officer steps out of the trunk of the car and begins his monologue to the camera about the lack of reason in a few films: ET, Love Story, JFK, Texas Chainsaw Massacre,The Pianist. He then empties a glass of water onto the sand and gets back in the trunk. After all of this, it is revealed there is a small group of people, who receive binoculars to watch the events about to unfold.
First, there is life. Or at least animation. The tire gets up and starts rolling (by the way, my cat did NOT appreciate these sound effects).
The tire starts small, rolling over and crushing a water bottle, then a scorpion. It approaches a glass bottle that is not so easily destroyed. Not to worry—at this point, the tire discovers its telekinetic powers. Or, rather it discovers the ability to blow things up with its mind. So 2 important questions: 1. Is this a form of telekinesis? 2. Do tires have minds?
As the sun sets, the tire decides to rest. The audience goes to sleep as well. In the morning, the guy with the binoculars wakes them up and they continue to observe the tire blowing things up. It blows up a bunny, which is kind of sad.
The tire’s rampage is interrupted when a young woman in a convertible drives by. It’s kind of difficult to tell if the tire has a crush on her or wants to kill her. After the tire makes her car break down, it’s just about to catch up to her when a man in a pick-up truck drives by, hitting the tire. Now the tire is really enraged.
When it catches up to the pick-up truck guy, the tire makes his head explode.
The tire then follows the girl in the convertible to a shady motel. Also in the motel is the binoculars guy, who is slaughtering a turkey in his room. What. He then brings the turkey to the audience members, who fight over their first meal in days (with the exception of this middle-aged guy in a wheelchair).
The tire is taking a shower when the maid comes in and throws it out. This is not wise.
We also meet the owner of the motel and his emo son. The emo kid puts 2 and 2 together, figuring out the tire is the murderer. Of course, no one listens to the emo kid.
As the police attempt to solve the murders, the policeman from earlier interrupts the scene and informs them the audience is dead; therefore, they can all go home now. Minutes later, he receives word that one spectator is still alive, so they have to continue with the production. The binoculars guy renews his efforts to get the guy in the wheelchair to eat something; instead, the binoculars guy eats the poisoned food and dies.
After the tire kills the emo kid’s dad, it’s on the run from the police. There is an extremely high speed chase with the tire that ends poorly for the police. The tire continues its rampage.
Later, the police locate the tire camped out in someone’s house and set up a trap for it. They attach a bomb to a mannequin, which they leave outside of the house. After they ring the doorbell, the girl in the convertible reads from a truly terrible script, encouraging the tire to blow up the mannequin. At this point, the guy in the wheelchair intervenes, telling the actors that this scene makes no sense.
Finally, the policeman goes into the house and shoots the tire. Then, in a shocking plot twist, the tire is reincarnated as a tricycle. The tricycle kills the guy in the wheelchair and rallies its fellow tires to take down Hollywood.
I don’t even know where to begin. This is a pretty funny movie, but it’s also so strange. I liked it, but it also endlessly confuses me.
I honestly have no clue if this is the smartest or the stupidest movie I’ve ever seen.
I’m going to have to break out half Pink Panther heads for this.
For this Blogging 101 post, I’m trying 2 new things: 1. New format. 2. Abnormally low word count.
This is essentially the Behind the Music version of my blog (with slightly less drama, drug use, etc.). In photos, these are the essential elements of my typical blog posts:
The essential tools. Notepad, pen, Kindle. (Don’t worry: Pontypool is coming up on the blog.)
Occasionally Joey helps while I blog.
I’m almost constantly wearing slippers. (This is the part where I hope none of you, readers, are weirdos with a foot fetish.)
This is the face I’m usually making as I watch films. It’s the face of serious analysis.
Sometimes I draw angry cats as I take scrupulous notes.
I CANNOT do this without tea.
Lately I can’t blog without Whitney. She gets my rage.
Coming up in honor of Halloween: Movies featuring the Brutal, Ludicrous, Or Otherwise Deranged. Yeah…October is BLOOD month. It will be a change of pace from the sober and reflective posts that typify this blog.
“You’ve come into possession of one vial of truth serum. Who would you give it to (with the person’s consent, of course) — and what questions would you ask?”
It’s like these WordPress people know how much I despise talking about myself in blog posts. I’M JUST HERE TO WRITE MOVIE REVIEWS, OKAY???
So I’m going to avoid talking about myself and writing about what truth is to me or listing honest things about who I am. I’m into all that po-mo bullshit about truth being subjective anyway.
Since I primarily use this blog to post film reviews, I decided to write a short list of movies I honestly love to an embarrassing degree. This may be cheating slightly because I made an unnecessary list the last time I had no clue what to do with a prompt as well. IF BUZZFEED CAN DO IT, SO CAN I. Without further ado:
10 Things I Hate About You
Not that I’m embarrassed about the degree to which I ADORE this movie, but it was the first thing I thought of when I was trying to work on today’s prompt. Ha, kind of because I considered writing a list of reasons I hate the daily prompt. This was my favorite movie when I was 10 and is still my favorite comedy. Heath Ledger in our hearts forever.
13 Going on 30
I love ‘80s movies, guys, especially of the teen angst variety. So it kind of makes sense that I love this film, which is basically a tribute to those movies. Really cheesy, but so fun to watch and surprisingly heartfelt. Any movie that features a large group of people performing the “Thriller” dance has to be at least halfway decent.
Mixed reviews for this one, but you’ll have to stab me in the heart to kill my love of this movie. TOO SOON. I find this movie every bit as traumatizing as I did as a child. It pretends to be a fun medieval adventure and then it breaks your HEART. Sean Connery voices the dragon, which is pretty fantastic. The line “To the stars, Bowen. To the stars” in Sean Connery’s voice randomly pops into my head to this day.
The English Patient
I know…it’s that movie Elaine from Seinfeld hates. As a result, this film has gotten the reputation of being boring and pretentious, but it’s so good. The desert shots are absolutely gorgeous, and the story is utterly devastating. I love that this movie is incredibly romantic, but it’s also a disturbing and kind of creepy love story. And I’m sorry, but I find Ralph Fiennes ridiculously attractive (ahem, even when he’s playing Voldemort), and this movie is basically the equivalent of looking at his face for 2 ½ hours.
This is a Dutch children’s movie about a cat who is transformed into a woman and takes down an evil corporation. I don’t know if it would be considered a classic of filmmaking, but there are so many kittens in this movie, the acting is actually pretty great, and it never fails to make me laugh. I may post my Facebook review of this film here on WordPress someday.
Hmmmmmm…I’m starting to realize what a shallow human being I am when it comes to movie watching. I basically love this movie because James McAvoy is rocking some beautiful shaggy hair throughout, and he never once gets beaten or tortured (if you follow his career, this happens A LOT in most movies he’s in). The film kind of hits you over the head with its message and features some very one-dimensional characters, but it’s still pretty cute and mostly works.
The Pink Panther (and all of its sequels)
I feel like such a jerk for neglecting to mention this movie more frequently. Obviously I love it if I named my damn blog in its honor. Peter Sellers is so brilliant in these movies, even when they devolve into absolute nonsense. Even though the first one has some spectacularly dark humor, I enjoy the sequels (esp. The Pink Panther Strikes Again) featuring Burt Kwok and Herbert Lom as well.
Included this movie because the premise is really sketchy, but I love it anyway. Humphrey Bogart pretty much plans to seduce his younger brother’s fiancée because she’s their chauffeur’s daughter and not good enough to marry into the family. Plus Bogie is waaaaaaaaaay too old for Audrey Hepburn, but I just don’t care. It’s Humphrey Bogart. This movie is so much better than I’m making it sound, I swear.
Shakespeare in Love
All I ever hear people say about this movie is that it shouldn’t have won Best Picture over Saving Private Ryan. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the outrage—Shakespeare in Love also won over Life Is Beautiful, one of my absolute favorite movies. Should this film have won Best Picture? I don’t know, but I LOVE all of the Shakespeare references, and I flipping love Judi Dench. Also, like his brother Ralph, Joseph Fiennes has a pretty nice face to watch for a couple of hours.
10. Star Trek IV
I think this is the most critically acclaimed of the Star Trek movies until the reboot. That being said, it’s still an incredibly cheesy movie that makes very little sense (even for Star Trek). This movie makes me laugh every time, though. It almost makes up for the effrontery to filmmaking that is Star Trek V (sorry, Shatner).
It should go without saying that I love a lot of bad movies too…but it was just too difficult to decide which ones to list here. Maybe I’ll do a top 10 bad movie countdown eventually.
I am also honestly trying to get my posts to 500 words or even 750…but I’m not a particularly concise writer. There’s a reason I don’t do Twitter.
Hobo with a Shotgun (Appreciate that I was watching this in the middle of the day in a sandwich shop between shifts.)
Where to Watch:
Amazon Prime, Hoopla (shamelessly promoting the shit out of library resources)
A corrupt mob boss rules Scum Town through violence and terror until he encounters Rutger Hauer, the titular hobo with a shotgun (yeah, I know he’s in Blade Runner, but I always think of him as the Huntsman from 10th Kingdom).
The Uncondensed Version:
Our film opens with deceptively cheerful music accompanying shots of the hobo riding the rails, waving at the occasional car, and generally enjoying the sunshine and greenery he passes. All of this exists solely to provide contrast with the environment of Scum Town. There’s graffiti everywhere, street fighting (some of which has been staged for filming), litter filling the streets, and the sounds of nearby gun shots.
The villain of this film arrives on the scene, a really obnoxious mob boss who calls himself “The Drake.” He’s pursuing a guy with a manhole cover around his neck. After catching this guy, The Drake and his sons (Slick and Ivan) put him back in the manhole, attach a spiky rope to his neck, and drive, thus decapitating him.
At this point the hobo lays low; he just wants to collect bottles and get enough money for a fucking lawn mower (seriously).
Later, the hobo follows Ivan and Slick into a seedy club with deadly bumper cars and other games generally involving blood and torture. The hobo saves a prostitute named Abby from Slick, making a citizen’s arrest and taking him to the police station. At this point, the hobo finds out the hard way that the police are corrupt; he is thrown into a cell. Later, Slick and Ivan arrive, carving the word “SCUM” onto his chest. That’s just rude.
Abby helps the hobo to her apartment and lets him stay for the night. She gives him a sweatshirt that rivals 3 Wolf Moon.
Then the hobo tells us some facts about bears: They live in a magic circle; You should never hug a bear. It made me wish the movie were Rutger Hauer talking about bears.
In the morning, the hobo leaves the apartment and chews glass for the guy filming street fights. AT LAST he has enough money to buy a lawn mower.
Unfortunately, he arrives at the pawn shop as it’s being robbed. At this point, the hobo becomes the titular hobo with a shotgun, shooting the robbers and saving the people in the pawn shop. What we need now is a montage (even Rocky had a montage) to show the hobo shooting the bad guys and cleaning up the city. And we get it, along with the newspaper headline “Hobo Stops Begging, Demands Change.”
In retaliation, Ivan and Slick light a school bus on fire in case anyone is still confused about whether they have any moral scruples. Then The Drake tells the town to kill the entire town’s homeless or he’ll kill all the children. “Bring me that hobo” becomes a line that receives significant use.
The hobo saves Abby again after Ivan and Slick try to kill her in her apartment. Ivan likes to walk around on ice skates, which is a convenient set up for him being electrocuted with a toaster.
Abby ends up in the hospital, where the hobo brings her some flowers in a Dixie cup. He then gives the babies in the hospital the most de-motivational speech: essentially, some day you’ll all be prostitutes, drug dealers, or maybe a hobo with a shotgun.
At this point, The Drake unleashes the Plague (basically robot Nazis), who catch the hobo.
Now the movie is Abby with a shotgun. She rallies the townspeople by forcing them to confront the nature of being homeless; what does homelessness mean? Who is truly homeless?
The Drake begins a public execution of the hobo, but Abby arrives in the nick of time with the shotgun and a hacked lawnmower. She threatens to shoot his son Ivan (Slick has already died), which doesn’t faze The Drake. He shoots Ivan, then grabs Abby and sticks her hand in the mower (total Romancing the Stone moment). Abby then stabs The Drake repeatedly.
Bizarrely, Abby kills one of the Plague robots; the other tells her she must replace him as a member of the Plague. When she declines, he just walks away.
Meanwhile, The Drake is miraculously still alive and attempting to escape. The hobo is just about to shoot him when the police arrive and order him to stand down. He shoots The Drake, and then dies when the police open fire. Shortly after, the townspeople arrive and rebel against the corrupt police force, order is restored, etc.
The hobo’s last words: You’re riding shotgun.
This movie looked like it was shot in a 13-year-old’s basement. Maybe it’s supposed to. Because this movie is a tribute to ‘70s exploitation films, the acting is soooooooooooooo bad; the dialogue is worse. I don’t really understand how they convinced Rutger Hauer to appear in this movie. The plot is really predictable except for maybe the sudden appearance of the Plague. It’s still not clear to me what the Plague IS except for robot Nazis. Do they work for The Drake or just generally anyone who wants to commit evil acts? Are they evil fairy godmothers? THIS IS AN IMPORTANT ISSUE THAT REMAINS UNRESOLVED.
2/5 Pink Panther heads
Apparently this movie was based on the winning entry in a trailer contest. It probably should have just stayed a trailer.
I was reading One Little Library’s post The Best of 2014 (So Far!) on her favorite books of 2014, which gave me inspiration for this post. Some of her favorites are ones she didn’t think she would like (Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest, for example, which sounds like a fun read).
So I thought for today’s Blogging 101 task, I’d make a list of some things I have expected to hate, but have actually enjoyed quite a lot this year:
Battlestar Galactica: science fiction tv show about humanity’s struggle to survive after sentient robots attack.
I didn’t necessarily expect to hate this show, but didn’t expect to get so sucked in by the plot and characters. There’s a lot of sci-fi that is just a vehicle for phallic spaceships exploding, but this isn’t one of them. BSG is a really intelligently written show that uses its sci-fi premise to offer social criticism and make you very uncomfortable. You will probably be extremely upset that Starbuck is a fictional character if you watch.
Hanging out by myself in public places.
I have a lot of down time between many of my shifts, but it’s not worth my time/gas money to drive home. As a result, I’ve been spending a lot of time in sandwich shops reading, eating, and/or watching bad movies. It’s been quite pleasant to sit in a corner while people make me food and expect minimal human interaction. Even though I would still rather sprawl at home on the couch with no bra.
Wolf Children: anime about a woman struggling to raise her half-wolf children after their father dies.
Guys, I am really not someone who enjoys anime. It usually just confuses me endlessly, but Wolf Children was a lovely movie about loss, family relationships, and establishing an identity independently (spoiler alert: there are also wolves. And children). I find Hosoda’s films highly imaginative but grounded in the deep emotional connections between characters. Plus there’s some beautiful animation going on in his movies.
Kindred by Octavia Butler: science fiction novel about an African-American woman in the 1970s who is thrown back to the early 19th century to guide her plantation-owner ancestor.
I find sci-fi is very hit or miss for me, so even though I’d heard great things about Octavia Butler, I was skeptical about picking up this novel. I’m so glad I gave it a chance—one of my favorite books of any genre now. Kindred is so action-packed and absorbing with some very unsettling observations about race and gender in both the past and the present. No matter how disturbing this book became, I couldn’t put it down until I knew how it ended.
Enlightened: tv show about a woman trying to change her life and the corporation she works for after having a huge meltdown on the job.
Cheating because I didn’t expect to hate this show, but I did read a lot of negative reactions towards Laura Dern’s character, which put me off watching. I ended up loving her character, who is extremely flawed but stubbornly optimistic. I didn’t expect a show about a woman having a mid-life crisis to seem all too relevant to my own life, and for the writers to basically send a giant “fuck you” to corporate America. Added bonus is the appearance of Luke Wilson in this series, who is aging extremely well.
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart: pretty much the contemporary YA version of King Lear.
I don’t read a ton of YA fiction (too much angst—been there, done that), but I wanted a nice light summer read. While I suppose it didn’t end up being nice or light, it was a lot of fun to read and kept me in suspense until the end. Much more carefully and intelligently written than many other YA novels out there.
Iron Sky: bad movie about Nazis who colonize the moon post-WWII.
I didn’t expect to hate this movie, but I didn’t have high hopes for it. The premise sounded like it could either be brilliant or horrendous. With its hyper-awareness of its own absurdity and surprising amount of snide political commentary, it’s definitely one of my favorite bad movies now.
The Walking Dead: I’m going to go out on a limb and guess you’re familiar with this show. If not, it’s a tv show about zombies.
I just started watching this show, and I’m enjoying it so much more than I thought I would. It’s really disgusting, which is somewhat problematic because I’m usually eating when I watch tv. That being said, it’s not (quite) as much about blood and guts as I thought it would be, though I’m not sure how much longer I can keep watching without becoming totally repulsed by the human race as a whole.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: comedy tv show.
Kind of cheating again because I couldn’t think of any reason I wouldn’t love John Oliver’s show. However, I do love it more than I thought humanly possible, especially this clip from his latest episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDPCmmZifE8.
What about you?
Have you been pleasantly surprised by anything that you initially thought would be terrible? Or maybe you’ve gone back to something you hated the first time and loved it the second time around.