Just a Little EXCISION

EXCISION (2012)
Written and Directed by Richard Bates Jr.

So Excision just blew my fracking mind. First off, I wanna give a shout out to AnnaLynne McCord in the lead (as Pauline) because whoa, you are now my official Scariest Girl Ever. May? Lola from The Loved Ones? They once rattled and delighted me with their dark indulgence, their glee at the macabre mess they created all around them…until I met Pauline. She is a Master. To be so delusional to the point where not only do you find nothing wrong with the grotesque acts you are performing but you fully give over to the fantasy (and ecstasy) of your deepest carnal desires, finding them positive, helpful, inspirational even…that is True Madness. And Pauline has it. To spare. Observing and sharing that slow, spiraling loss of control on the path to evil is terrifying (or is it electrifying?). But can Pauline really be categorized as evil?  She doesn’t intend her acts in an evil or anarchic way. She is experimenting, yes, but she is destined for great things. She’s going to be a renowned surgeon after all.
 
The dark yet ‘enlightened’ path that Pauline goes down is also terrifying to me on a more personal note. I have a few gnawing “mind wanderings” of my own. This movie actually made me wonder if they could ever grow to a level that would make me act out in such a way. And being a slave to my subjective mind like all of us, would I even know the difference if I did? Could any of us turn into Pauline? That to me was actually the most horrific thing about this movie. It really made me think about our definition of sanity…reality…everything. Everything is so subjective. Society is just one giant Collective Subjective. But I digress.


Excision: removal by cutting
-       In surgery, the complete removal of an organ, tissue, bone or tumor from a body
-       The process of removing, cutting out or off

It may also be important to note that Pauline’s fantasies are not the only thing to contain the idea of excision in the film. Her parents (played by Traci Lords and Roger Bart) try desperately to change her behavior (mostly her mother), to remove the parts they do not like or see as socially acceptable. Over the years this controlling, manipulative behavior makes Pauline act out even more bizarrely and may even be partly responsible for the beginnings of some of her first, more innocent fantasies. Parents truly know not what they do to their children. Eventually Pauline’s mother reaches out to her and tries to give her opportunities for guidance.  Unfortunately while attempting to finally have a heart to heart with her daughter, her own mind trappings and baggage keep her from reaching out to Pauline in the way that she really needs to before it is too late.

I’m still cleaning the brains off my keyboard (see first sentence of this musing). Wow.

-Hakk Wylde!

8.5 (out of 10) Bird’s Heart Beers

Other noteworthy performances by:
Traci Lords, Roger Bart (Hostel II, Smiley) and Ariel Winter (Modern Family)

THE MADNESS 2012: WEEK 3

V/H/S (2012) 1hr 56min – Repeat viewing
Directed by: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, David Bruckner, Tyler Gillett, Justin Martinez, Glenn McQuaid, Joe Swanberg, Chad Villella, Ti West, Adam Wingard
Pretty decent as far as horror anthologies go. I’ll ignore that one segment was recorded in a Skype session…and then viewed on…VHS??!! Sure. The segment with the POV from the young man’s eyeglasses was hands down the best.

7 (out of 10)
Base Points: 2
Bonus: 1 (Vampire)
Total Points: 3

THE WOLF MAN (1941) 1hr 10min – First full viewing
Directed by George Waggner
Lon Chaney Jr. was easily the best part of this movie. What a charmer. I am even more excited to see all his work now. I can also now see why so many ‘Monster Kids’ were let down by the 2010 remake of The Wolf Man. Benicio Del Toro was obsessed with Lon Chaney Jr.’s performance from the original. He did manage to bring some of it to the screen but Chaney had a lightness of heart that was missing from del Toro’s performance. Del Toro just kind of sulked for the entire movie. I found myself caring more for Chaney’s character once the Curse is bestowed upon him. He really doesn’t want to believe that such evil can exist in the world, let alone within himself. A product of more innocent times, perhaps.

5 (out of 10)
Base Points: 2
Bonus: 1 (Werewolf)
Bonus: 1 (On camera transformation from Humanoid to Monster)
Bonus: 1 (1959 or earlier)
Total Points: 5

SUNSHINE (2007) 1hr 47min – Repeat viewing
Directed by Danny Boyle
This movie is far more than the space monster romp some people call it. It’s a gorgeous blend of 2001, the original Alien and a smidge of Event Horizon for fun.

8.5 (out of 10)
Base Points: 2
Total Points: 2

THE WALKING DEAD (2010- ) 43min Season 3, Episode 1 “Seed” – First viewing
Wow! Just when I didn’t think the effects team could possibly outdo themselves on this show they had to prove me wrong. Dead wrong. From the very first shot this is just amazing television. In fact, it’s better than most horror movies I have seen lately. Color me delighted that they’ve only managed to plow through less than 20 issues of the comic so far (?). I want to look forward to having The Walking Dead around for a long time.

9 (out of 10)
Base Points: 1
Total Points: 1

BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA (1992) 2hr 7min – Repeat viewing
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
This is one of my favorite movies of all time. I try to re-watch it at least once a year. If you haven’t watched the special features on the newest bluray release of this, please do! So many fabulously interesting facts about the love (and obsession!) that went into making this film. And I have a whole new appreciation for the in-camera effects that were used and the costume design and its symbolism. Breathtaking!

9 (out of 10)
Base Points: 2
Triple Bonus (Features Dracula)
Total Points: 6

DRACULA 2000 (2000) 1hr 39min – Repeat viewing
Directed by Patrick Lussier
Even more horrible than I remember. No, maybe worse. Gah.

3 (out of 10)
Base Points: 2
Triple Bonus (Features Dracula)
Total Points: 6

FLATLINERS (1990) 1hr 55min – Repeat viewing
Directed by Joel Schumacher
I forgot about the dark and dreamy atmosphere of this movie. And Julia Robert’s huge hair (and glasses!). Pretty good. Some of my liking has to be nostalgia, though.

6.5 (out of 10)
Base Points: 2
Total Points: 2

SLEEPT TIGHT [Mientras duermes] (2011) 1hr 42min – Repeat viewing
Directed by Jaume Balagueró
Co-director of the original [REC] gets real with this quietly terrifying account of home intrusion and invasion of privacy. Riveting and magnificently acted. Luis Tosar is stupendous in the lead. What a creeper!

8.5 (out of 10
Base Points: 2
Total Points: 2

HOLLISTON (2012 FEARnet) Season 1, Episodes:

     1. The Hooker
     2. Camera Rental
     5. Laura’s Little Twitter
     6. Weekend of Horrors

39 min ea. (approx) – First viewing
Directed by Adam Green & Joe lynch
This show is going to be Huge! A smart-mouthed Oderus from the metal band GWAR…Dee Snider as an androgynous and (tri?)sexually promiscuous boss…guest stars like Tony Todd (Candyman) showing up on the regular…just buy a copy of season one now. Wow. Oh, and it’s actually funny and the cast has fantastic chemistry.

8 (out of 10)  
Base Points: 4
Total Points: 4
EXCLUSIVE ODERUS REEL (Clips)
Holliston Homepage
Buy Holliston Season One on BluRay

GOD BLESS AMERICA (2011) 1hr 45min – First viewing
Directed by Bobcat Goldthwait
So this is what Bobcat has been up to. Saving up his rants on the state of American society and the collapse of the family unit so he could have Joel Murray recite them amongst sprays of blood and sassy verbage. I liked it!

7 (out of 10)
Base Points: 2
Total Points: 2

MONSTER HOUSE (2006) 1hr 31min – First viewing
Directed by Gil Kenan
Very cute. These CG goliaths never cease to amaze me with their actual likability and depth. Oh, and the art direction was good too.

7.5 (out of 10)
Base Points: 2
Bonus: 1 (Haunted house lit by moonlight)
Bonus: 1 (Trap door)
Total Points: 4

Favorite This Week: HOLLISTON!
EXCLUSIVE ODERUS REEL (Clips)
Holliston Homepage
Buy Holliston Season One on BluRay

THE MADNESS 2012: WEEK 2

SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE (2000) 117min – Repeat viewing
Directed by E. Elias Merhige

E. Elias Merhige also directed the abstract, yet harrowing Begotten (2004) So hard to believe! Shadow of the Vampire is such a delightful watch to me. Great dramatic moments. especially one scene where Wilhelm Defoe describes how he felt sorry for the Count while reading the book Dracula. Sad and sweet and funny all at the same time… but it all works so well. A sort of old-school black and white naughty-joke tone is set from the very first scene. Willem Dafoe (the vampire Max Schreck) is amazing pitted against a frustrated John Malkovich (F.W. Murnau). I also find this movie so beautiful. It’s a gorgeous homage to 20’s cinema, costume…and design!

10 (out of 10) Bloody Beers
Base Points: 2
Bonus: 1 (Vampire)
Total Points: 3

THE WEREWOLF (1956) 1hr 19min – First viewing
Directed by Fred F. Sears
Ha! Nuclear radiation can turn a man into a furry-faced werewolf. Who knew? This movie started alright and I enjoyed the clever way they concealed kills while preserving some sort of emotional weight. In the end though, this movie was just kinda meh. Gonna have to watch the original Wolf Man (1941) again soon if I wanna get a proper classic wolfie fix.

5 (out of 10) Furry Beers
Base Points: 2
Bonus: 1 (Werewolf)
Bonus: 1 (On camera transformation from Humanoid to Monster)
Bonus: 1 (1959 or earlier)
Total Points: 5

WISHMASTER (1997) 1hr 30min – Repeat viewing
Directed by Robert Kurtzman.
I forgot how cool the transformations and practical effects (the CG…not so much) were in this movie were! Although, they kind of blew their effects wad in the first few scenes, depicting the background of the djinn and showing exactly how bad things could possibly get when people are foolish enough to indulge in “wishezzzzzah”.  };)

7.5 (out of 10) Wishful Beers
Base Points: 2
Bonus: 1 (On camera transformation from Humanoid to Monster)
Total Points: 3

FREAKS (1932) 1hr 4min – Repeat viewing
Directed by Tod Browning

The world will Never be ready for this movie. And what it boasts in the intertitles at the beginning is true. Something of this nature will probably never again be filmed. Go ahead and tell me you can see a time in the future where some director is allowed to give a mentally challenged or deformed child a knife and let it crawl in the mud maliciously without fear of lawsuit or complete public shame. Yeah. Oh, and I totally spied Angelo Rossitto, “Master” from Mad Mad: Beyond Thunderdome, this time around. Wow. THAT blew my mind!

7.5 (out of 10) Knife-in-the-teeth Beers
Base Points: 2
Bonus: 1 (1959 or earlier)
Total Points: 3

THE WOODS (2006) 1hr 31min – Repeat viewing
Directed by Lucky McKee
Seriously charming, time capsule of a movie! The dark, mysterious 60’s overtones are so beautiful to me at times. Love the dark magic of the woods…and the score too. Watches like a 60’s/70’s slower burn pagan tales. Oh, and a little bit of “The Chin” (Bruce Campbell) too!

8.5 (out of 10) Magick Beers
Base Points: 2
Total Points: 2

INFECTED (2012) 1hr 30min (approx.) – First viewing
Rock & Shock Horror Convention (Worcester, MA)
Directed by Glen Ciano
Low budget stab at a threat of infection/survival flick. It attempts to flesh out a few relationships between the characters early on, with varyring success, but the effort was appreciated. A bit overscored but the gore is quite convincing. Director of last year’s Inkubus, with Robert Englund.

5 (out of 10)  Beers
Base Points: 2
Total Points: 2

HOLLISTON (2012 FearNet) Season 1, Episode 3.Skunked / 4.Candyman – First viewing
Rock & Shock Horror Convention (Worcester, MA)
Directed by Adam Green& Joe lynch
This show is going to be Huge! A smart-mouthed “Oderus Urungus” from the metal band GWAR…Dee Snider as an androgynous and (tri?)sexually promiscuous boss…guest stars like Tony Todd (Candyman) showing up on the regular…just buy a copy of season one now. Wow. Oh, and it’s actually funny and the cast has fantastic chemistry.

Holliston Rock and Shock 2012 Panel Part 1:
Holliston Rock and Shock 2012 Panel Part 2:

8 (out of 10)  Skunky Beers
Base Points: 2
Total Points: 2

Favorite thing purchased at Rock n’ Shock this year:

THE MADNESS 2012: WEEK 1

ALIEN: The Director’s Cut (1979) 1hr57min – Repeat viewing
Directed by Ridley Scott

In space, no one can hear you scream. Damn straight. But I hope someone can hear me complaining endlessly about how Prometheus pales in comparison to Ridley Scott’s original stab at what has become the colossal Alien franchise we know today. This is slow burn Harrowing space horror at its best!

10 (out of 10) Silent Space Beers
Base Points: 2
Bonus Points: 0
Total Points: 2

A FOOL THERE WAS (1915) 1hr7min – First viewing
Directed by Frank Powell

“Kiss me, my Fool!”
This movie is obviously silent, so I decided to watch it alongside some of Type O Negative’s album, “October Rust”. Not too bad! Theda Bara smolders onscreen as The Vamp. I read somewhere that she retired after only 6 years as an actress. Hard to believe, since she has a huge pop culture presence that is still felt to this day.

7 (out of) 10 Foolish Beers
Stream and watch it for free HERE
Base Points: 2
Triple bonus (1929 or earlier)
Total Points: 6

NATURAL BORN KILLERS (1994) 1hr2min – Repeat viewing
Directed by Oliver Stone

I love this effing movie! Social commentary disguised as a bloody romp. My favorite! Mickey and Mallory Knox…American sweethearts and cold-blooded killers all in one. You gotta love ‘em. Hell, you helped create ‘em! Mickey and Mallory represent how we love to glorify wrong-doers in the American Media. We love to put them way up on high…so they’re closer to the cross at the time of crucifixion, methinks.

9 (out of 10) Snakebite Beers
Base Points: 2
Bonus Points: 0
Total Points: 2

NIGHTBREED (1990) 1hr42min – Repeat viewing
Directed by Clive Barker

“You call us monsters. But when you dream, you dream off lying and changing…and living without death.

You envy us, and what you envy…
We destroy.”

This movie has such a great atmosphere. Too bad it’s a jumble of a mess. I basically re-visited Nightbreed in an attempt to hold me over until I can somehow get my hands on the ‘Cabal Cut’ that is currently screening in various cities this fall. I hear Clive Barker cried when he first saw the re-cut version. Can’t wait to see it myself someday! Hopefully they rediscovered the missing Majesty of it all.

6 (out of 10) Mutant Beers
Base Points: 2
Bonus Points: 1 (On camera transformation from Humanoid to Monster)
Bonus Points: 1 (Underground Lair!)
Total Points: 4

SOME GUY WHO KILLS PEOPLE (2011) 1hr37min – First viewing
Directed by Jack Perez

Not exactly a full-on horror movie in my book but nonetheless an interesting, and surprisingly touching, flick. It also features one of those creepy, too smart pre-teens that are awesome but leave you with an unsettling feeling. Charming and thoughtful at the same time.

7 (out of 10) Ice Cream Flavored Beers (ew.)
Base Points: 2
Bonus Points: 0
Total Points: 2

NOSFERATU: The First Vampire
[Hosted by David Carradine and with music by Type O Negative]
(1922) 1hr15min – Repeat viewing

Based on Bram Stoker’s infamous ‘Dracula’, Nosferatu is an exquisite example of the earliest horror on film. With repeat viewings I have noticed how nicely a lot of the shots were set up. Also, the effects were cutting edge for the time and still play off as truly haunting somehow. It’s nice to remember a time before Vampires dawned the cape and the sex appeal…when they stalked the shadows and were truly diabolical.

10 (out of 10) Rat-infested Beers
Example on YouTube of how this watches
Base Points: 2
Triple bonus (1929 or earlier)
Total Points: 6

CHAINED (2012) 1hr34min – First viewing
Directed by Jennifer Lynch
“You’re a paper doll.”
Fantastic psychological horror starring Vincent D’Onofrio. A horrific metaphor for child abuse of any type, Chained ponders the Nature vs. Nurture question in a whole new way.

9 (out of 10) ‘Taste of A Woman’ Beers
Base Points: 2
Bonus Points: 0
Total Points: 2

PERSONAL FAVORITE THIS WEEK: CHAINED (2012)