Archive for January, 2013

The Gift of Re-Imagination: Nightmare On Elm Street (Scott’s Horror Corner)

Posted in Updates on January 31, 2013 by splatterpictures

A_Nightmare_on_Elm_Street_2010_posterThe Nightmare on Elm Street reboot raised a lot of interesting questions when it came to light. Most notably, who’s playing Freddy. As I’ve touched on in the past, perhaps the most iconic horror character of the last 30 years has been Freddy Krueger, and it’s always been Robert Englund. Englund was very enthusiastic about a reboot of the franchise and , in fact, about finding a new Freddy.

 

“Let’s face it I’m not a kid anymore; I have done a variety of films in many genres. I came out of that makeup after 10 years, and after I did a whole bunch of different films I did Freddy vs. Jason and have been real busy since. I could probably don the makeup, but they would certainly need a stunt double for the action stuff. I’m only good for about one take; then I get kind of sore…I haven’t seen the movie yet, I’ve only seen the trailer but you know, I’m more than happy to hand off the baton to Jackie.”

 

I get the feeling with or without his blessing, this thing would’ve found a new, more high profile Freddy, but it was gracious of him to say as much. Why would they find a new Freddy? Because Englund has no real mainstream appeal and Freddy is a leading man role, unlike Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers. The man they got to fill the role was Jackie Earle Haley. Probably most notable as Rorschach in the Watchmen to those of the same mind of Nightmare on Elm Street. Certainly someone who is up to the task of filling Robert’s glove. In fact, Robert thought he was a great pick.

 

How did the movie turn out? Well, let me start out by saying it’s a perfectly fine horror movie. In fact, it takes a lot from the original Nightmare on Elm Street; namely just about every shot. If you had wondered what the original might look like with heavy CGI editing in lieu of man-made Special Effects, you are in for a treat! Ipersonally was a little disappointed with the results however.

 

There are a few key things that made this movie not scary to me. Me, a guy who is scared pretty easily by horror movies. Firstly, Freddy himself. Englund played Freddy like a creepy son of a bitch. Licking his lips, laughing and enjoying the torment he was putting on Nancy and company. Even in the original movie, he had some sarcasm to him (It really got ridiculous as the franchise moved on, however). Haley’s Freddy looks…off. Perhaps it’s because I have the original version so ingrained in my thoughts, but the new one looks sort of like if Clint Eastwood stopped eating for several months, molested children, and then died. He snarls like him in all of his lines as well. Everything is said like he was a tough-as-nails cop as opposed to a frightening monstrosity of a man. It was not something I could really shake and it made me chuckle instead of scream.

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Problem number two is the CGI. We’ve made a lot of advances with computers, but sometimes there’s just no beating real life ingenuity. Some of the scenes ARE more visually impressive, others look laughable compared to the original. Probably the most obvious one would be Freddy pushing his way through the wall. In the picture below, one certainly seems a little more plausible. The new one looks more like someone froze the guy who did CGI for the Mummy 2 the moment he finished and thawed him out specifically for this movie.

NES Comparison

I kind of came to the same conclusion at the end of Halloween in my last review, so one might label me a curmudgeon who doesn’t like anything new, but I’m ok with that. This one, moreso than Halloween, really has no reason to be made artistically. As it’s the same movie, the only thing on display is not creativity or cinematography, just computers and their place in film. One might argue that Freddy being more of a grump is a change, but honestly unless he goes full goofball by the end of the third sequel, he’s just another slasher character. His definition becomes his glove and not his one liners. There’s a reason why he’s the only horror character with a completely non-ironic, completely for kids pull-string doll.

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On the other hand, you could say this is about as true an homage to the original as one could present, and I’m sure a lot of horror fans are thankful for that regardless of the result. In fact, this is probably one of the few times where you could put a movie side by side and see the difference between CGI and good old Special Effects. It’s well worth seeing, if only to compare.

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Dark Night of the ScareCrow (Scott’s Horror Corner)

Posted in Scott's Horror Corner, Updates with tags , , on January 22, 2013 by splatterpictures

MV5BMTY2ODE4MTE1NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNDA4OTk2Mw@@._V1._SY317_CR5,0,214,317_Not to be confused with its sequel Dark Knight and the Scarecrow….okay that’s a lie, I’m just trying to keep your attention, because honestly, I saw this movie as a kid and I thought “What a terrifying movie!” and subsequently “This would be great for SplatterPictures” and now, I say “Well, it is probably good for the site in its own special way…”

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Speaking of special, the basic plot of this movie is that there is a mentally handicapped man who makes friends with a young girl. They sit in fields and sing songs, all the while the mailman watches menacingly through binoculars. Kinda weird, but it’s understandable since apparently they routinely beat the hell out of him, per his conversation with a flannel wearing companion. One day, the girl sneaks through a hole in a fence and gets massacred by a guard dog. Of course, in lieu of actual action or reactions, we get GNOME REACTIONS.

The Horror...The Horror.

The Horror…The Horror.

He drops off the girls’ body to her Mom, saying his catchphrase “Bubba didn’t do it!” to less than warm fanfare, then takes off running. The two man gang is now a small militia chasing after him. His kindly mom has him play ‘the hiding game’ which is, she puts him up on a scarecrow stake dressed as a scarecrow. They find him, light him up, and ol’ flannel has a victory beer.

About that time, the CB Radio informs us that they called off the search because the girl is fine and Bubba saved her life. WHOOPS! The mailman puts a pitchfork in the dead Bubba’s arm and hey, nobody is the wiser. At the trial, they get off free, and leave the courtroom to throngs of well wishers! You’ve never seen a happier bunch of murderers in your life!

His young friend climbs out her window and goes looking for him, Bubba’s mom tries to inform her that he’s died but she insists he’s still playing ‘the hiding game’. Meanwhile, our motley crew of pro killers is back to everyday life. Mailman is peeking at the mail, mechanic guy is injuring himself working on cars, and flannel is placing his hands in a woodchipper. You might be thinking “ohhh man, he’s going in the woodchipper!” but instead it turns out there’s a SCARECROW IN HIS FIELD! HE DIDN’T PUT UP ANY SCARECROW!

Flannel’s having himself a midnight beer, coping with unexplained scarecrows when his threshing machine is turned on! He climbs up into the hayloft to look for the culprit and of course, he gets ghost pushed into the thresher. In lieu of blood we get HARD CUT to ketchup on the mailman’s plate.

Whoever decided on the implication of violence via cuts is a true genius. Truly. As you can tell by now, this is sort of like Final Destination if death was a handicapped 30 year old man. Murder Inc. decides to check out the thresher and figure out that someone did this to their flannel wearing buddy. Mailman has a package for Bubba’s mom, they quote some scripture back and forth before she I believe calls him a pedophile. It would certainly explain the binoculars.

I find that constantly repeating “I’m not going to hurt you” isn’t as effective as the person saying it might hope. The mailman does not, as he confronts the girl who says Bubba is still alive. Likely story!

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Turns out hat guy did not die from a heart attack, but later in the night, he gets spooked on his farm and hides himself in a grain silo. Of course, the door gets locked on him and he gets buried alive. I suppose he died the way he lived. Covered in corn.

Mailman and the mechanic dig up Bubba’s body and well, there it is. Go figure. Mailman quickly figures it out..it’s the 8 year old girl scaring these men and pushing them around. As mechanic guy closes the casket on Bubba, Mailman also decides it’s probably easier to just hit his friend with the shovel and bury him alive so that….uh…I’m really not sure why he decided to kill him. I guess killing is sort of like Lay’s potato chips.

Mailman decides it’s time to do some drunk driving and nearly runs over the young girl who’s walking in the middle of the road. She runs off and he decides it would be far more effective to chase after her in his mail jeep, which he promptly crashes off-road. He finds her next to a tractor, which turns on and chases him. Much like the tractor, he has no real movement ability beyond straight ahead and manages barely to stay ahead of this machine traveling at its lowest speed. He ends up running head-on into a pitchfork held by, you guessed it, a scarecrow.

In all honesty, the movie is not so bad, it just has one of those scripts that is limiting. It’s hard to be taken too seriously when you write Gomer Pyle in as every bad guy. It’s quite well acted and lemme tell you, the ending is STILL creepy.

Un-debatable: Handicapped ghost-haunted scarecrows are the SCARIEST scarecrows.

UN-debatable: Handicapped ghost-haunted scarecrows are the SCARIEST scarecrows.

Quick Update

Posted in Updates on January 22, 2013 by splatterpictures

angrynoose2Hey guys!

As you might have noticed I’ve reached 100 posts on the site. Along with that splatterpictures is approaching it’s 2 year birthday Within that we’re going to be moving forward with a few new things.

First off I’ve decided to finally make a facebook group. I did this for two reasons. One, it’s just easier for people who wish to make comments on posts and share their opinions about the content of the site (for better or worse). Secondly I did it to remove a lot of self promotion on my personal Facebook account. Some of my friends just don’t give two shits about horror. The site is here http://www.facebook.com/Splatterpictures

For those of you enjoying Scott’s horror corner, the good news is we’re keeping him on as my promise for more consistent content. I personally think he’s been doing a fantastic job while I was away.

Lastly, this secret project I’ve been working on. Well it’s still secret. I’m afraid legally not much has changed but I will say that next year (2014) all will be revealed. Maybe even a little earlier. It depends on a lot of factors.

Before I go I want to thank everyone who reads this site. I honestly, couldn’t be happier. A special shout out to those who’ve donated over the last few months. Remember all funds are 100% for the site! Thanks again.

-Dead Air.

Osombie (Nazi Zombies out Terrorist Zombies in?)

Posted in Updates with tags on January 20, 2013 by splatterpictures

Osombie posterWell it’s award season in Hollywood. All that really means are celebrities I don’t care about will get awards for movies I’ve never seen. That’s life. However, one of the big movies getting a lot of buzz is Zero Dark Thirty. You know the one about the mission to kill Osama Bin Laden? Sure, I guess if you like Hollywood “fantasy” it’s probably a good watch – if you like that sort of thing. Not me though. Around here I like to get down to business and dig through the crap to find a movie bold and daring enough to tell the obviously true story about what –really- happened. That’s where Osombie comes in.

I remember seeing advertisements for this movie a short while ago and my first reaction was a bit of a surprise. Not surprised so much that there was an upcoming movie about an undead Osama but rather that people to my knowledge weren’t making a big stink about it. I was reminded of a time not too long ago when Towers of Terror –the film about zombie terrorist and the 9/11 attacks- was making a lot of genre fans upset. I just assumed that people weren’t ready for exploitation about that just yet. Then, I realized that this isn’t a movie about 9/11 but Osama Bin Laden.

Osombie is a story about an elite squad of soldiers. That is really just some of the NATO forces still left behind in Afghanistan. They’re battling small pockets of undead. This is common knowledge to them, and they dispatch the zombies with comic book levels of gunplay and swordsmanship. For some reason an American soldier has a katana on her back. Not sure if that’s standard issue or not.

The soldiers run in to a civilian women and her guide under attack, and find out she’s there looking for her brother. The woman’s brother is on a one man mission to take out Osama bin Laden, who was officially killed in the now famous mission. Despite what the official reports say it’s widely rumoured that Osama Bin Laden is back from the dead, thanks to some chemical compound.

There is a certain expectation I had going in to this movie. I was expecting a plot where soldiers started encountering undead and we were to learn (after a lot of digging) that behind it all was Bin Laden, who is now turned in to some sort of super zombie. It would end with a climactic battle between our heroes and a deranged zombie overlord. Sadly, it’s not even close to that.

What we have is; the audience being told exactly what happened, how and why from the very beginning. We spend the majority of the film listening to this group of soldiers prattle on and on with barely formulated opinions about the current war on terror while at the same time trying to figure out what we (the audience) already know. This has always been a particular pet peeve of mine and while I get that you pretty much lose out on mystery when you choose to name your movie Osombie but, I would at least like the how, why and what not told to me in the first five minutes.

There is a lot of talking for this kind of film. I mean a lot. It’s strange to me how serious this movie seems to take itself in some moments then in others there is a cartoon level of action and violence.  In some misguided attempts to remind us that this is a zombie film, during most of these extended dialogue scenes a character will be head-shotting the undead with really obvious (and sub-par) CGI. I’m not one to crap on low budget movies CGI but I really can’t stand computer blood. It just doesn’t look good. It really doesn’t help that a lot of these shots are in broad daylight which is very unforgiving with those kinds of special effects.

With a little bit of script editing this movie could have been a pretty decent step in to the world of the zombie-terrorist movie. While it’s no completely unwatchable it was definitely not worth the 12 bucks I paid for it.  If you’re a zombie nut and you’ve been curious about this title, sure,  give it a look but for everyone else who’s tired of the undead, I’d say head-shot this one and keep on walking.