Monday, November 10, 2008

Random thoughts and links, part 113

I'm loving this new Blogger Follower thing. I'm cyber-meeting some of the most interesting life-forms (and I mean that in the best sense of the term). It's a lot like the good ol' days of Spymac.

And I really enjoyed everyone's suggestions for horror films...

Stephen: I really liked The Sixth Sense, but I have to admit... I saw the ending coming about 30 minutes into the movie. *SPOILER ALERT* In the scene where Bruce Willis' character meets his wife for their anniversary, and she slaps down the ring and says, "Happy Anniversary" rather disgustedly, I thought, "He's dead. That's why she's acting he way she is. She can't see him because he's really dead. Only the kids can see him."

Realmcovet: Heh heh heh... Red Vines... good thing you weren't eating spaghetti.

Lakelady: I have not seen Crawlspace (altho the name alone is tripping me out) nor The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake, so I'll have to add those to my list of stuff to see.

Papa: I have seen both versions of Nosferatu and I love both of them. Even the silent version has a great visual element of creepiness to it. And I've seen both versions of the Ring. Excellent ghost story!

I'll have to wave the Hammer Collection under the Spouse's nose for future gift-giving ideas ;)


In the meantime, I've been collecting a vast amount of web goodies, so here ya go...

If we don't already, we need one of these in the States.

Our wedding cake (complete with spider webs and skeleton couple topper) has nothing on these.

I love Adam and Jamie. Who else could do this is in 80 milliseconds.

This man is GENIUS!

I don't know any of these people, but after reading, you'll understand why they're here.

Great site to leave on a co-worker's desktop. Fun for the whole office!

Most user-friendly weather forecasting site EVER.

The world disasters the media WON'T be telling you about.

You know something is truly amazing when it has its own news website.

Most of you have seen this by now, right? Well, now there's a full-length video. I think I just ruptured something.

And finally, no matter how bd you might feel, no matter how bad a day you might be having, if you go here, you will be wetting your pants laughing. Promise.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Where is Duranfan? In here. With us.

So, Halloween may be over for the masses, but for me it’s a year round thing. Hell, I still have two more weekends of Tarot Card readings at the Mansion for their Ghostly Sleepovers. And if you’ve ever seen our house, you would know I rule as Queen of Halloween, what with the gargoyles, skeletons and skulls all over the place, the various books on death, ghosts, witchcraft and other occult stuff, and the growing collection of horror films.

Love me some horror movies. I’m slowly building up my collection of old Hammer and American International movies, those wonderful classics starring Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and Vincent Price. And I love the cheesy slasher flicks, too. If it has a silent, crazed, chainsaw wielding maniac, I’m all for it.

But for the most part, as much as I love these movies, they don’t scare me. I just don’t scare easily. Sure, if you sneak up behind me and yell “Boo!” I’ll probably jump and screech. I’m jumpy, just not easily scared.

So when other people say they can’t handle horror movies because they get too scared, I think to myself, “Huh. Lightweights.”

But honestly, out of all the scary movies I’ve seen (and we’re talking thousands) there’s only been three that freaked me out...

1. The Exorcist - I saw this for the first time ever when I was about 11 years old. Cut. I mean heavily edited for television. I could not sleep for weeks. I couldn’t handle being by myself and I nearly freaked out in the dark. It took me forever to get over it. It was several years later before I got to see the un-cut version. By then I was ‘cured.’ I’d gotten over my fear of the movie and could watch it repeatedly without losing it. The version we own now is the “Version You’ve Never Seen!,” complete with the infamous ‘spider walk.’ The Spouse and I love that scene so much we back it up and watch it 3 to 5 times before continuing on with the movie.
There is one aspect of the movie that does still kinda get me. It’s this face:
Damn. Yes, I know that’s the actress Eileen Dietz, but still. That face flashing on the screen for just a couple of frames is just whacked. I was so inspired by that face that I painted it on one entire wall of the Haunted House.
Yup, it’s still there, too.

2. Alien - This is one of those few movies I could watch every day for the rest of my life and never get tired of. I love the fact that it was written by Dan O’Bannon, the same guy who gave us “Return of the Dead” (“Braaaaaainssss!”) and that wonderfully bad sci-fi comedy, “Dark Star” (“Here boy, want your mouse? Nice mouse”).
When Dark Star, his pet project with fellow film student, John Carpenter, tanked, he said, “Well, if I can’t make them laugh, I’ll make them scream instead.” I don’t know about you, but I think he did a damn good job.

I saw Alien when I 10. Even at that young age I loved scary movies. I’d been watching them since I was 5 - no shit. My first horror movie was “The Sentinel,” but more on that later.

So there I was, a horror film-lovin’ 10-year-old that nearly leapt out of my seat and screamed for my parents to “TAKE ME HOME! I DON’T WANNA SEE THIS ANYMORE!!” when the famous chest-burster scene erupted on-screen.
Apparently, my reaction was very similar to the members of the cast when the scene was shot. Actor John Hurt and the crew were the only ones on set that day who know what was coming. The looks on the other actors’ faces? Those are genuine. And poor Veronica Cartwright had no clue that jet of blood was aimed right at her.
3. The Blair Witch Project - I know some people hated this film and didn’t find it scary at all. But it wigged me out something fierce. After seeing this movie opening weekend I went home by myself to my then world’s smallest 1-bedroom apartment. And every little sound got a little louder. And very little shadow got a little longer. I couldn’t sleep for several nights afterward.

So what got me in this movie that other movies don’t have? The fact that you never saw what got them. There was no chainsaw-wielding maniac, no crazed killer in a hockey mask, no diabolical torturer or spawn of Satan. All you saw was what “it” left for the victims to find and what happened to the last two survivors at the end. And even THAT is unclear.
That final scene still disturbs me. Even tho I know the actors are alive and well (and “Heather” went on to shoot a few commercials for Steak ‘N Shake) I still get weirded out those last few minutes.

Now back to my first ever horror movie. My parents took me to the drive-in to see “The Sentinel,” which is one of the many ‘demonic’ movies to come out during the 70s on the tails of “The Exorcist” and “The Omen.” The movie itself is very strange with several bizarre scenes and lots of disturbing imagery, but this scene is the one that’ll get ya.

I triple dog-dare you to watch that, by yourself, in the dark, and not wet your pants.