Sunday, July 16, 2017

RIP George Romero, 1940-2017

Greetings, Horrorthonners. For weeks I've been meaning to throw something down here as a beginning to a pre-Horrorthon ramp-up, probably something quick with a promise of more action later. I still haven't seen Get Out, so I still haven't chimed in on Crystal's review. I think the break has been a good thing, and one of my favorite Lego blogs just emerged from a similar hiatus and it's going strong, so I'm excited to restart the engines for October.

BUT, here we are on a bummer day, and I figured George Romero's passing demanded some immediate attention.  Not the reintroduction I would hope for, but that's death (or undeath) for you.

Here's some official words from Tre'vell Anderson at the LA Times:

"Legendary filmmaker George A. Romero, father of the modern movie zombie and creator of the groundbreaking “Night of the Living Dead” franchise, has died at 77, his family said.

Romero died Sunday in his sleep following a “brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer,” according to a statement to The Times provided by his longtime producing partner, Peter Grunwald. Romero died while listening to the score of one his favorite films, 1952’s “The Quiet Man,” with his wife, Suzanne Desrocher Romero, and daughter, Tina Romero, at his side, the family said.

Romero jump-started the zombie genre as the co-writer (with John A. Russo) and director of the 1968 movie “Night of the Living Dead,” which went to show future generations of filmmakers such as Tobe Hooper and John Carpenter that generating big scares didn’t require big budgets. “Living Dead” spawned an entire school of zombie knockoffs, and Romero’s sequels included 1978’s “Dawn of the Dead,” 1985’s “Day of the Dead,” 1990’s “Land of the Dead,” 2007’s “Diary of the Dead” and 2009’s “George A. Romero's Survival of the Dead.”

The original film, since colorized, has become a Halloween TV staple. It also has earned socio-political points for the casting of a black actor in the lead role.

Romero wrote or directed projects outside of the “Living Dead” franchise too, including 1973’s “The Crazies,” 1981’s “Knightriders” and episodes of the 1970s TV documentary “The Winners.” His last credit as a writer was for his characters’ appearance in 2017’s “Day of the Dead” from director Hèctor Hernández Vicens."

So how about it folks?  What's your favorite Romero moment?  Pay tribute in the comments, I've missed you guys.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Off-season horror review, anyone?

Has anyone seen -- and planning on reviewing -- Get Out? It seems my corner of the internet, consisting of NPR and Slate articles, has all but exploded with analyses of the film since it was released back in February.

Get Out seems an invaluable piece of pop culture criticism of the hero-villian dichotomy, not exclusive to the horror movie genre. Jordan Peele of Comedy Central's "Key and Peele" is the brain-child behind the writing and directing of this unique feature. He admittedly labels his film being more of a "psychological thriller" than straight up horror, but conceding with this New Yorker article that the African-American experience can be "a horrific one." David Edelstein's NPR review highlights an awkward first meeting between protagonist Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and girlfriend Rose's (Allison Williams) parents. Aisha Harris' Slate article discusses the relevance of Get Out to the race discussion [that isn't happening on a national scale in my opinion], while also acknowledging the horror film's influences from Rosemary's Baby and The Stepford Wives.

I normally avoid reading too many reviews that "unpack" a film's nuances and relevance if I really want to see it, but I broke that rule namely because newborn babies are a 24-hour job and there seemed to be so many articles out there eager to jump on the popularity of Get Out, which reached #1 on its opening weekend.

As a Horrorthon reviewer, I have always tried looking for something more in my movie reviews, whether it is a critique on feminism through my review of Martyrs or the prison industrial complex with The Human Centipede 3: Final Sequence (har, har). I'm looking forward to October for reviewing Get Out and others, for whatever social commentary they might offer (or not).

Monday, January 23, 2017

Bullets have a beauty and I don't know why

Hey it's the new song I can't keep out of my head!  I learned about it from this trailer for Cyberpunk 2077, an exciting video game that doesn't exist yet.  If you'd like to hear the whole song, check it out below.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Buh-bye 2016!

Even though traffic on the blog has been super sparse, I wanted to wish everyone a very happy new year.  On my end, 2016 has had quite a blend of highs and lows in almost every arena of life, and I get the feeling I'm not alone in that. Highs included some great moments with friends and family, an academic promotion, some wonderful concerts and comedy shows, and getting to see dress rehearsal of SNL (bucket list!). The lows have included world events, too many celebrity deaths, too much work and work-related stress, family drama, and some recent but hopefully temporary health challenges (or in other words, real life). For 2017 want to put my energy towards the things that matter most to me, and that includes this blog community, however it may morph.

Would love to hear even a micro life update from whoever is still reading... miss you and love you! Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Rogue One was flipping GREAT

Yeah, four and a half stars, easy.  There are flaws to be found, sure, but I'm not going into that or anything else.  I'd wager it will leave you more satisfied than Force Awakens. Avoid all the spoilers you can, and may the Force be with us.


Omigod I just watched this trailer and I feel like half the stuff in here wasn't actually in the movie.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

All good things...

Wow, time flies.  For the better part of 12 years Horrorthon has been a fun part of my life.  Over the years I have spent the first hour of nearly every weekday scouring the internet to find fun things to generate conversation.  It has been a place for me to stay connected to everyone who has contributed to this site and it has been a terrific way to pass the time during downtime at work.  

For whatever reason, there has been a steep drop off in participation over the past couple years, especially this year.  Twelve years is a long stretch of time and I’m certain that the low traffic is due to life's responsibilities/priorities.  I also believe that these days people tend to stay connected through Facebook and other social outlets rather than Horrorthon.  Given that people are not really looking or posting on this blog any  longer I have made the decision to stop the upkeep of this site.  This doesn’t mean that the blog is ending; people are always welcome to post things, it simply means that I will no longer be making daily updates.  If people are interested in writing horror movie reviews during October I would be delighted and I would gladly do so myself (heck, there are 15 movies I didn’t bother to write reviews for this past October).  Thanks to all who have contributed over the years, it has been so much fun!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Awesome international trailer for "Star Wars: Rogue One"!

Freaky trailer for "Tank 42"

Want: Star Wars Clue

From geekology, This is the 3-D Star Wars Clue game available from Hasbro ($25). It plays like a traditional game of Clue except it takes place onboard a 2-story Death Star and instead of figuring out a murderer, weapon and location, you have to solve what planet Darth Vader plans to use the Death Star to destroy next, which room the Death Star plans are hidden in, and what escape vehicle was used to escape the base. That sounds like fun. Tatooine, in the men's shitter, with a TIE fighter! "Not even close." Whatever, I just wanna play video games.

'Kong Skull Island' trailer

Friday, November 11, 2016

Donald Trump ruined my Horrorthon

Wait.  Before you say anything, watch this in full screen!

I was planning to do a light-hearted post with this title, apologizing again for my lack of Horrorthon participation, because the truth is I was extremely anxious about the election and I was letting it get in the way.  I couldn't help it.

After National Curl Yourself in a Ball Day (November 9th -- it'll catch on!), I've managed to find some semblance of myself and I wish to reconnect with Horrorthon anyway.  Because I need it and I love it.  And because I choose hope.  Doesn't matter if I'm wrong, that's what hope is.

I've been thinking of starting a political blog or Facebook page or something else of questionable significance to get my thoughts on the world out there -- but not here.  This is where we talk about movies and TV and whatever weird, scary art catches our fancy.  I was listening to Abbey Road today and feeling rueful about it, because they weren't dealing with what we're dealing with.  But well before it ended I realized that didn't matter.  They're cheering us on from back there, all of us.  Urging us forward and wishing us well.  And someday our descendants will have crazy space adventures.

Now watch it again.  I love you guys.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Monday, November 07, 2016

Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story


Cameraman, Milo, and his reporter, Sarah, and their boss, Charlie, are assigned to cover a story on house foreclosures. They are perplexed when they stumble across a house that still looks lived in. They soon conclude that the family has vanished without a trace. Milo breaks into a locked closet in the basement and discovers a box of videotapes. Upon viewing the tapes it becomes clear that the family was being stalked by a faceless man in a suit seen in the far background of their videos. Soon Milo, Sarah, and Charlie are “marked” and they realize that the shadowy man is now stalking them. The man can only be seen through a camera lens.

Bearing similarities to “It Follows”, “Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story” (terrible title) combines the found footage and the unstoppable “monster” genres with fairly satisfying results. The shadowy man stalking them, “The Operator” is clearly based on the “Slenderman” mythos and his sudden appearances are effectively creepy. Similar to the Paranormal Activity series, with every slow pan around the room you are expecting to be jolted. With such a cookie cutter genre to play with, “Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story”, is a slight cut above the others.