Archive for November, 2012

Santos vs Las Lobas (Scott’s horror corner!)

Posted in Scott's Horror Corner, Updates on November 24, 2012 by splatterpictures

 

 

What’s the number one problem plaguing Mexico today?  Mexican Drug Cartels.  You know what is NOT the number one problems?

Werewolves.  Much like Frankenstein monsters (in my first review) they were on the wrong side of a vs. with El Santo!  While he has a son, El Hijo Del Santo, unfortunately he has not had as many high profile run-ins with monsters.
Let’s not preface too much though, let me tell you how Santo got rid of the werewolves.  It seems that the Queen of the Wolves is in trouble.  She’s come to end of her life and frankly it’s looking a little bleak.  So she convinces a leggy blonde girl to stab her and I guess forcibly reincarnate her into the woman.  The lady seemed okay with it, so who am I to judge?  Then what do we get?  Further information on the wolves?  Maybe some background on how the lineage works; something to orientate ourselves?
Wrestling!  Santo and a guy who is of no consequence vs. a couple of other guys.  I say the guy is of no consequence because Santo beats the shit out of both the guys by himself.  When he finally tags out, the nameless tag partner proceeds to get beat up before Santo submits everyone.  In the back, the aforementioned new Queen of the Wolves comes to visit Santo and hits on him, but he breaks out the flying cockblock and shuts her down.  After she leaves he gets another visitor, this time it’s a representative from a small village.
Santos isn’t buying this werewolf jive and sends him off as well.  Queen Wolf wasn’t happy with the results of our visit and we get our second match!  Santo vs. a pack of dogs!  Thankfully, they follow the rules of Professional Wrestling and only one dog comes in the ring at a time.  Meanwhile, Queen Wolf convinces the rep that she was attacked by…something.  So he does what any gentleman would do.  Takes her to her hotel room, tells her she was imagining things and starts to seduce her.  Meanwhile….
Santo tries to call that weirdo, but he’s busy getting killed by Queen Wolf.  Santo shows up at the location the representative gave him and meets…a werewolf hunter.  This man briefly explains that since Santo has been bitten by one of the dogs, he’s a victim of the curse of the werewolf and has to stop them before the ‘accession of the red moon’.  We get a quick cut to a girl in the nearby pool calling out for help and before we can quick cut back, this nameless man is already running.  Guess what?!  It’s a werewolf!  She tries to drown him, but Santo intervenes and she escapes.  In a hotel room he further explains that his family is immune to the curse and now they’re trying to kill him ‘in original ways’ to make it look accidental.  They then show him at a golf course and I’m not at all sure what they’re insinuating here…I think the werewolves were hitting golf balls at his head?  Is that a natural cause of death?  I’m surprised we didn’t get a montage of werewolves placing strategic banana peels on sidewalks.  Why not just do Werewolf Home Alone?
Mere moments later our mysterious stranger is jumped in a barn by a she-wolf!  His, apparently, minions seem to think he’s in trouble though are in no great hurry to help.  They do know exactly which wolf did it though and track her down where she dies of…natural causes?  She just sort of lays down.  Apparently that was Queen Wolf, too.  So they’re fucked.  Unless…
Santo arrives at the airport and meets an old train station hand who points out an eerie package from Transylvania!  We learn that that guy who died a few scenes ago was named Cesar Harker.  A good name for a good man.  Santo instead is put in contact with his identical twin brother who was nice enough to lay his dead brother out on the coffee room table.
Guess who’s dying!?  It’s the train station hand.  He actually gets the goriest death I’ve seen in a Santo movie thus far.  The box from Transylvania is open and IT’S THE KING WEREWOLF!  Is my lore wrong?  Are all iconic monsters from there?  I thought it was just vampires.  Well, he’s here to take things over and pick a new Queen.  How can a man choose just one of these lovely, hairy ladies?  But no!  It’s a random girl in a room somewhere!
Santo heads to the border town he was told about originally where they give him the traditional Mexican greeting of beating him with pitchforks and throwing rocks.  His buddy Rob Halford from Judas Priest shows up and they’re friends now walking through a cornfield to escape the scorn of this little village.  I know it sounds like I didn’t watch this movie carefully enough and that’s why I keep using phrases like ‘I guess that…’ and ‘Apparently…’ but in fact I’ve watched this movie three times now and I’m still not entirely sure what’s going on.  For instance, men surround them in the corn field with guns!  I’m assuming these aren’t werewolves…were they paid by werewolves?  Where do werewolves get money?  Are they villagers?  If so, that escalated pretty quickly.  Well, Gipsy (aka Rob Halford) and Santo split up in the corn field.  How will they escape this?!  Well, they don’t really have to because the worst sniper in history proceeds to shoot all of his friends.  His one alive friend tells him to stop shooting and runs away.  Meanwhile, Gipsy is laughing in a tree eating bamboo, apparently impervious to conventional weapons through years of waxing himself? Poor Cesar’s funeral is today, Santo wears his finest suit and mask, Gipsy his best vest with no shirt.
We’re introduced to the mysterious…actually mysterious implies a kind of calculated suspense; this is more like they didn’t feel like having any continuity so they threw him out there.  Anyway, here’s Dr. Marcus…wonder who this guy who just showed up could be?  He invites everyone to his mansion for a party.  Probably best to forget about all this werewolf stuff and the impending doom that assumedly will accompany the red moon.  This begins the climactic ending!  The lights are turned out and werewolves descend upon Santo, Gipsy and the girl who was the supposed new Wolf Queen maybe…after about 2 minutes they realize “hey, maybe we should turn the lights back on so people can see the fight.”  Anyway, Santos body slams some werewolves (for any faults this movie has, and there are plenty, I’ll watch them all for that) and they get away after incapacitating the Wolf King.
It turns out the reason Santo is so important is because of his silver mask.  You see, because the bane of Werewolves is silver.  He’s the silver symbol they were told about!  Just in case, though, he hands out silver bullet-shooting rifles to a bunch of villagers as they prepare for the REAL final battle. Hey guys, remember about a paragraph ago, I mentioned how the poor lighting was ruining the fight scene but then they came to their senses?  Well, sense is for people who do not make these movies.  Yes, as you’ll recall it’s the night of the RED MOON.  And the moon is SO FREAKING RED that everyone looks like a bland, detail-less blob.
I tried adjusting the picture using brightness and contrast, tried adjusting the colour to no avail.  On third viewing, it actually is starting to slowly become apparent…I guess my eyes now suck as much as the editing.  Santo chases down the Wolf King.  Santo doesn’t take offense from anybody!  He basically beats the crud out of the Wolfman, and throws him off a cliff.  Fin.
Seriously, the poor guy hits the bottom of the valley and that’s it.  I’d be disappointed but aside from maybe a killer rendition of “Breaking the Law” I can’t say I’d really care for anything else this movie might have offered in the way of an epilogue.
You may ask, what have we learned?  That werewolves are cunning?  That Santo doesn’t job to any movie monsters?  That life itself is fleeting and we must fly at it with the fury of a 70’s luchador and ride that momentum until you finally crash?

 

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The Case for Dr. Loomis (Scott’s Horror Corner!)

Posted in Scott's Horror Corner, Updates with tags , , on November 15, 2012 by splatterpictures

I hesitate to be a guest on this site and do much more than review because if I give my opinion on wrestlers vs. horror figures, that can only be entertaining but I don’t think I can fool anyone into thinking I’m an expert on horror like Wes. That said, I’m a brash American and I’m going to give my opinion on horror! To be specific, I wanted to talk about probably my favourite character in horror and that’s Dr. Loomis from the Halloween movies.

I have a hunch that I’m not alone in this, as certainly I’ve seen him quoted a lot by horror fans I know and while perusing the Comic Book Shoppe, for example, I saw a little diorama/toy set of Michael Myers and his counter was not a random victim but rather, Dr. Loomis. I’d say it’s rare, at the very least in the slasher genre, to have a secondary character who is popular and not just because of kitschy one liners or the way they died. As Halloween movies got more ridiculous, Donald Pleasance was as good as ever. I don’t really want to get into the new Halloween movies much because that’s certainly its own rant, but it says something when I actually dislike a Malcolm McDowell performance. Pleasance was just perfect in the Loomis role.

So, I thought it would be fun to look in to what made Samuel Loomis such a great character.

The Lines: I watched the original Halloween on VHS in the middle of the day at about the age of 9, I’m not sure why I was allowed to do this, but in spite of it being broad daylight it scared the hell out of me. Loomis only made things worse. It’s one thing to be scared, it’s another when someone justifies it to you. You SHOULD be scared.

Through the movie, Pleasance conveys the looming evil better than any cheap scares could. Not that Halloween didn’t have cheap scares. But it was Pleasance’s fatherly delivery, authoritative but with that hint of worry he added, that scared me. Of course, perhaps his best line was his simple answer to Laurie Strode’s question “Was it the boogeyman?”

“As a matter of fact, it was.”

 

Unwavering Dedication: The empathetic nature of Loomis’ character stems mostly from the fact that he has taken all of Myers’ evil onto himself. He has made it his own personal mission to assure he does no more harm to the world around him. As Wes has often put it to me, he was in the “Ahab Archetype”, single-mindedly chasing this ‘evil’ thing. Of course, Moby Dick didn’t have nearly as many sequels, but Loomis survived as the bright point of the later Halloween films. He stuck around through 3 generations of Strode’s all the while, shooting Michael and beating him to (near) death with wooden planks. Jason was first round KO’ing all of his victims, so it says something when a man has that much longevity, which brings us to….

 

Durability: Loomis was looking old in Halloween. We’ve all had tough Grandpa’s, but Loomis was the toughest. He didn’t know martial arts, he wasn’t a weight lifter in fact he was sporting a cane and still chasing Michael around. And he took his beatings! Head smashed against windows, thrown out of windows. (Spoiler alert, though if you haven’t watched this movie in the past 31 years you probably chose to skip it) Loomis even went so far as to blow himself up with Michael in a room full of gas at the end of Halloween II. It was supposed to wrap up the series and if you watch it, you’ll see that explosion would’ve wrapped anybody’s lives up pretty nicely. Of course, you can’t let a good story get in the way of money, so it turns out they only kind of blew up.

The good doctor made it all the way to the sixth movie before being offed. Pleasance himself passed roughly six months before the film was released. It was a fairly disappointing (and off screen) end to such a wonderful character. My personal favorite scene of his was in the fourth movie, The Return of Michael Myers. The plot was not quite too wacky yet, Michael was just going after yet another Strode family member, this time his young niece Jamie. At the end of the movie, Myers is shot repeatedly by a police force until he falls down a well; the well is then blown up. Don’t worry though, in the end he was alright. For the time being, it seemed to all be over.

I tend to judge the success of a person based on whether I can find a YouTube video set to the Johnny Cash cover of ‘Hurt’ and sure enough, Loomis has one. I do think it’s a shame that he never got a proper write off. I guess the very essence of a successful horror franchise is to keep going until the entire cast is gone, or nowadays, until it gets ‘re-imagined’. Personally, I couldn’t imagine Loomis being done any better than Donald Pleasance. Pun intended. Cue “Nobody Does It Better” playing over a montage of Sam beating Michael to death with a 2X4.

World War Z trailer

Posted in Updates with tags on November 8, 2012 by splatterpictures

Just one last thing. The World War Z full trailer is here! As much as I am getting overloaded on the concept of Zombies it’s no stretch to say that World War Z is the best Zombie fiction I’ve ever read. To me it seems that the scale of the book would make it something that would be extremely difficult to translate to film but they’ll try anyways. I don’t know how I feel about them focusing on one family. Check it out!

 

 

Special updates and Annoucements!

Posted in Horror News, Updates with tags , on November 8, 2012 by splatterpictures

As I’m sure most of you noticed the updates to the site have been slow the past month. I try my best to maintain content here so that you always have a reason to check in.  Recently I have begun work on writing a massive creative project. Probably the biggest project I’ve ever done. When I am able to give you guys more details I will post it so in the meantime be patient.

While I am away, my good friend Scott has agreed to keep the site content rolling for the next month. Scott is an extremely talented writer that I couldn’t be more happy about contributing to Splatterpictures. His unique perspective of Horror has always kept me entertained. I think you’ll find his stuff to be some damn fine writing.

 

During the course of the month I will try to give some updates myself but they will most likely be bare bones stuff.