Tag Archives: Movies

Halloween Scavenger Hunt: Retro Girl Jeannie

We’re back with another fun list of horror films to seek out this Halloween season with Retro Girl!  Jeannie has been a friend  for a long time and I’m glad to be able to share some of her tastes around here.

I’ve chosen 5 Unknown/Underrated films, most imports. Most modern American horror sticks too closely to a formula. They target a teen audience, so that narrows their story telling and limits the possibilities of a interesting story. I think a good horror/monster film features a cast that you are interested in hanging out with even if something doesn’t happen. Good enough to be a drama on it’s own. So the monsters and jump scares are just gravy. We can’t care about the peril of the characters if we don’t care about the characters.
1. “Train to Busan”
“Train to Busan” is a South Korean apocalyptic zombie film directed by Yeon Sang-ho. It’s a Zombie film, but more of a action thriller movie with some very touching and emotional moments.  In a world of zombies this one stands out. Kind of like “Snow Piercer” with Zombies. At it’s core, it’s a family picture. Just a Father and his Daughter on the train to see her Mother for her Birthday with a ton of fast moving zombies on board. The action scenes in this take me be back to films like “Die Hard” and “Speed”. The action keeps the viewer engaged and part of it. If you can’t focus on the action, you can’t appreciate it fully. YOU are on the ride. You feel every tense moment. Yes, take the “Train to Busan”.
2. “The Girl with All the Gifts”
“The Girl with All the Gifts” is adapted from the novel of the same name, written by Mike Carey. Also known to write comics for DC, Vertigo and Marvel.
Films about kids are great if the kids are good actors. This girl is talented and natural. Sennia Nanua holds your attention and never lets it go. Glenn Close plays a Very strong woman in this. She must have been impressed with this little movie and wonderful script to want to get involved. Glad she did. Like any Zombie film you need to put your own spin on it and this one does. They way it is spread makes it even more dangerous. Strong cast and concept. Interesting Zombie repellent used to keep them from getting too ‘bitey’.
3.  “Blood Glacier”
A Glacier in the Austrian Alps is covered in a strange Red liquid that has weird effects on the local wildlife. It pays homage to John Carpenter’s “The Thing”, but very much it’s own movie. It must be watched with the English subtitles so you hear the voices of the actors. One actress in particular is hilarious and a American dub would never replicate the sound of her voice with her accent. Something is pounding the doors trying to get in as one lady hold up there is eating a banana while crying in fear. My favorite part is the other lady yells at her, “Stop eating that banana while you’re crying!” Love these odd moments in horror/sci fi films. It’s like that nervous laugh when something really bad is happening and they give us ‘carte blanche’ to crack up.
4. “The Pack”
“The Pack” is a Australian horror film about a pack of wild dogs that terrorize a family. I think some of the best horror is coming from other countries. They let a scene breath, let the camera run on a random moment. Not cut up like a music video. They let the surroundings reflect the film. A crow just walks up to a lamb and kicks it. Random and wonderful. That would be cut out of most American horror, and that’s too bad. These moments give it charm. Of the moment, but maybe gives a feeling that it is a tough country side, even the crows are badass! So yes, it’s just rabid wild dogs, not werewolves. The sound of those sharp claws walking on that family’s floor in their house is terrifying. I love a good werewolf movie, but when you see the creature still wearing torn pants it takes me out of it a bit. These dogs are not wearing pants.
5.  “The Burrowers”
“The Burrowers” is unique just being a horror/western, and it just gets more interesting from there. It would be good enough to just be a great Western, that it is. It is also a very Unique Monster Movie. Creepy as it crawls along in the high grasses. The high plains grass hides a hideous creature and before you know it, it’s too late. It paralyzes, buries you in shallow ground and comes back for you when you are decaying and easier to eat. Gross!! This monster knows it’s strengths and uses it surroundings. I have Loved watching Clancy Brown since he was Viking in “Bad Boys”. Who doesn’t love Clancy? He makes a perfect cowboy.
Jeannie Schwartz a.k.a. Retro Girl, friend to Drunken Zombie and Geek Nerdery. I’ve loved Monster movies since I was a kid. I read and collect comics and toys. I’ve written movie trivia for Midway Games and have done movie and wrestling reviews on the local radio station. I moderated a panel on Women in Comics. I like Butterscotch way more than I should. Sing in a band and I still get up early on Saturday (& Sunday) morning to watch cartoons!

Deadpool Goes Ultra Meta In New Teaser Trailer

While Logan is being hailed as one of the best Comic Book movies of all time (after the abysmal X-Men Origins and The Wolverine), it seems that our hopes of getting Hugh Jackman as Wolverine one more time to pair with Ryan Reynold’s Deadpool is D.O.A. However, that simply wont stop Mr. Pool from taking another swipe at the Australian actor.

Paired with Logan, Fox drops one of the best teaser trailers ever right into our collective laps to hype up the Deadpool sequel that begins shooting May 1st in Vancouver, Canada. The trailer is rife with in jokes, meta humor and even gag straight out of Marvel’s long time rival, DC Comics. Plus, there’s even something for the ladies! (Or the guys, we don’t judge!)

Check out the teaser below. Deadpool 2 is slated for sometime in 2018.

Why Horror Movies Are No Longer Scary – An Editorial

If it is one thing that fandoms like to do is bitch and moan about their particular obsessions, how it doesn’t live up to the experiences and the expectations one had when they were first introduced to whatever their fandom is and one of the most vocal and unapologetic is the horror community.

Their biggest complaint is that horror movies made today simply aren’t scary anymore. I personally love horror movies, as do, I am sure, a lot of you reading this. The first horror movies to scare the hell out of me were Return of the Living Dead and Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.

I saw these at a very young age when home video was in its infancy and I still believed what the television had to show me was real. I mean, I still believed that some fairy came in the night and took the teeth that had fallen out of my face and traded it for money, so I was not the most logical of humans when I was 6 years old.

Now I go back and watch those same movies and I laugh along with the joke that they are laying out. It is well known that both of those movies are more comedy than horror with some wonderful gore elements thrown in for us hounds, but that got me to thinking, why don’t I find these movies scary anymore? What ever happened to that sense of foreboding and dread that circled my gut when I see something horrific on the screen and I came to the conclusion that I simply grew up.

That’s not to say that I lost the love for the genre. If anything it has grown since then because I understand the magic behind the scares. Also what scares me has drastically changed since that point of my life.

To me the slasher style killers like Jason and Michel Myers are just fantasy, but people like Sy the Photo Guy from One Hour Photo terrify me. I didn’t take my film to be developed for 2 years after I saw that movie.

Obsession scares me. Several years ago I had my own stalker and working in the news industry where I have watched my co-workers being stalked and have seen the less than stable public who flock to news personalities scare me more than some random knife wielding masked killer. It is the reality to the situation and I can see myself as the person being threatened.

If zombies scare you, I’m sure zombie movies will scare you, however if witches, tooth fairies, aliens and the like don’t scare you, it’s highly unlikely that The Blair Witch Project, Darkness Falls or Signs will do it for you. I don’t go to these movies to be scared, because I know its not going to happen. Gross me out, maybe, creep me out, sure, but not scare me. I’m an adult, not a child. Super natural threats don’t exist, so there is no fear to coincide with seeing such movies.

Also, one has to look at the underlying issue of the fear. If you are afraid of zombies, what about them scares you? You understand that it is someone in extensive makeup and effects, but what about the undead sends that chill up your spine? It is probably a fear of death, being consumed, or changed without your consent.

As an adult you have to look deeper at the fear, because as a kid we are so emotional to begin with that our fight or flight response gets triggered easier when we we are faced with these kind of images.

We as horror fans, ADULT horror fans that is, look at these movies through the wistful eyes of our child hood and pine over the time when these movies had power over us, because we believed what we were seeing. Return of the Living Dead destroyed several years of my life because it said “Based on True Events” at the beginning of the movie which has now been removed from modern releases, at least I have not seen one with that graphic since childhood except for screen shots of the original release. It was because I believed what I could see on TV and that it would not lie to me that I believed that zombies could happen.

Now I know that zombies aren’t real, dead girls won’t crawl out of my TV when I pop in a mysterious VHS and a I won’t be possessed by a demon in an old, scary house so there is no chance for these kind of movies to engage my fear response on a deep level and give me the thrills of my childhood.

That is why, I believe, that movies like the Chucky series, The Freddy movies and others began to emphasize the more comedic aspects to the horror. They are still doing grotesque things to innocents, but the same scares that their core audience (those that saw these movies when they were young) no longer worked, and comedy and horror are intrinsically tied to one another on a very base level in the primordial mind.

I do miss those feelings, that terror that crept up my spine when I watched Freddy Krueger stalk the dreams of teenagers, or watching Dracula bite deep into the neck of a virgin, but like so many things, that flood of terror from watching these movies are sadly lost to ravages of adulthood but I can still look back on that time and appreciate what it did to and for me and I can share that same feeling that I had at that age with my nieces and nephews when, against their parents’ wishes, I pop in a copy of Night of the Living Dead and scare the shit out of them.