The Water Park of Death

30 08 2013

The Water Park of Death

#3 “The Woman”, and I’ve Got A Crush on Charlotte Gainsbourg

29 08 2013

Stephen King calls Jack Ketchum “the scariest writer alive.” Jack Ketchum got together with filmmaker Lucky McKee to make “The Woman” as a sequel to Ketchum’s novels about feral cannibals living in Maine. In “The Woman”, the books’ last surviving cannibal is captured by a dysfunctional middle-class family. Sexism and patriarchy are dissected just as thoroughly as in “A Serbian Film”, but the worst of the violence is kept off-screen. The crescendo of the plot comes too easily, the ending has one twist too many, but the acting and direction make this movie worthwhile.

Meanwhile, Charlotte Gainsbourg makes me sigh. Now, what would happen if Charlotte were to go feral? I can already imagine her in a bar punching somebody upside the head. Both women have directness and grace. Both speak their own language, whether it is art or nature. Both live life on their terms (spoiler: woe betide the family man in “The Woman”). Something to meditate upon.

Movies You Should See: #4 “Sex House”

27 08 2013

This is webseries is a spoof of “Big Brother”, and like a lot of humor from the website The Onion, it’s pretty dark. This is the next-to-last episode. The wacky, sexy contestants have rebelled against the oppressive show producers and gone feral. They now subsist on the mold growing in the ventilation. They have not seen the sun in months. Conversation is reduced to rituals of survival. Yeah, this is pretty cool.

How To Make Me Walk Out Of Your Movie

25 08 2013

It actually physically pains me to watch a movie when these things happen. It is a squirming pain, part embarrassment and part frustration, like being in front of relatives while a dentist extracts a sex toy that took a really wrong turn.

For those who think I am “picky”, please keep in mind that while I walked out of Francis Coppola’s “Dracula”, Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus”, and Pixar’s “Rango”, I sat through and enjoyed “Balls Of Fury.”

Every annoyance has been assigned a percentage. When the total reaches 100%, I am gone. Current record: Turning off “Insidious” on Netflix in ten minutes.

For each instance of:

Self-reference, say by using sound effects from other movies like The Wilhelm Scream +10%
I get it, Director! You are an old movie fan. Now that you have carefully crafted a world, by all means put in an inside joke to jolt me back out and make me roll my eyes at your pretension.

Predictable Dialogue +20%
If I can predict what the character is about to say, you are not paying homage to a genre. You are boring me, “Insidious”. (I lasted until I was leading Rose Byrne by thirty seconds)

Kevin Smith +30%
He is witty. He is clever. However, he talks about people I already know, using language I already use, composed in camera shots I could have done. Thanks to Kevin Smith, I discovered I go to movies to go somewhere new. And get away from…

Stunt Casting +15%
…Alanis Morisette as Mime God. (Which is why I did not make it through “Dogma”)

Poor Research +10%
Hey “Prometheus”, a billion miles from Earth, you are still in the Solar System.

Instance of Inconsistent Character Behavior +20%
If a man is terrified of the prospect of meeting aliens, why would he volunteer for deep space travel? And if he finally meets an alien, why would he suddenly want to put it in his pants? My god “Prometheus”…

Acting That Hurts +20%
Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder in “Dracula” were accents wrestling with affects.

Trying To Be Tarrantino +50%
What was that movie with Walken and the cute tangential stories about off-beat petty criminals? That one. (“Three Days In The Valley” and that movie with the dogs and Tom Waits, both within twenty minutes)

Distancing Your Story Through Finding DEEP PORTENSE +50%
DEL TORO-O-O-O-O-O! Not everything is a goddam fairy tale! Sometimes things are scary because of unanswered questions, not because of elaborate backstories “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” (The third BIG TRACKING SHOT) and “Mama” (When Ti-D-Bowl Mom finally showed up after scores of shadows, knocking, music stings, dire warnings, kid stares, and it was still the first reel).

Quirky Campy = Scary! +75%
“American Horror Story” will soon be performed at parties by fans of “Glee” and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

Do not ask about the sex toy reference. It was a dare and my elementary school records were expunged.

Movies You Should See: #4 “Antiviral”

25 08 2013

In the near future, an unseen result of genehacking is the collection of genetic material from celebrities. Share the same strain of Herpes as your favorite actress. Buy cloned muscle tissue from your favorite actor, then eat it as a steak. Imagine this on a global scale. This movie slides from this premise into a pretty interesting noir thriller.

Movies You Should See: #5 “Absentia”

23 08 2013

A husband disappears from a condo complex. Seven years later, the wife’s sister visits to help have him declared “dead in absentia.” Then he reappears, dehydrated and hysterical, and terrified of the dark. Yeah, it’s a tidy premise. Nice chills. A suspenseful “Twilight Zone” tale.
My friend Tori plays video games and writes sophisticated ship; she liked this movie because it was smart and intense.

Things I Don’t Want To Read

21 08 2013

Things I Don’t Want To Read.

I finished the newest draft of my novel…

21 08 2013

…based on the stories kindly published by
It’s 52K. Does it count as a novel?
It’s got beings popping out of brains, a ship of doomed souls, a man transformed into a worm which will eat his mother’s corpse, a man’s body tearing itself to shreds, people damned to various hells, and it’s a love story.
It is what it is, and I plan on cashing some gift cards to celebrate.

Movies You Should See: #6 “Rammbock: Berlin Undead”

20 08 2013

“Shaun of the Dead” without the laughs and in German. Gritty like France’s “The Horde”, but more believable. A kitchen sink drama turns into a fight for survival in an overrun apartment building. I’m not much on zombie movies, but “Rammbock” approaches it from the angle of ordinary people dealing with a threat to a society that’s challenged but not overwhelmed.

Movies You Should See: #7 “Resolution”

20 08 2013

This starts out as two dissimilar high school friends reconnect over a weekend like in “I Love You, Man.” Then the successful friend discovers the wastrel friend is pretty damn serious about drinking himself to death. And he owes money to local meth dealers. But the big problem is that weird clues keep appearing, suggesting that they are all being watched by unseen, omniscient beings. The movie lives between “Breaking Bad” if done by Kevin Smith, and “In The Mouth Of Madness.” Turns out the boundary between Tom Stoppard and Weird fiction is a simple scream.

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