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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Countdown.. to FUN!

What Will We Show?

Hey kids, The Son of Madblood here.. I've been in the trenches and notching my stethoscope with all the movies I've put down in the quest to find the right one for this next Episode. I do feel on the verge of a breakthrough, however - at least I now have a short list of what we're NOT showing (and not because they necessarily are dreck - for the most part - but more because they just don't seem to click with the show's general mood):


1) Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things

An egomaniacal director, Alan Ormsby (co-writer/make-up/roustabout), forces his motley group of would-be-actors to spend a night on a graveyard island where they dabble in re-animating the dead and having party fun with Orville the corpse. Little do they know - but the dead were listening and are awake... It's kind-of a Weekend at Bernie's/Night of the Living Dead/Evil Dead scenario but, despite that I do have a soft spot for it - it just isn't scary. Some moments of eeriness somehow make it through the tongue-and-cheekiness - a credit to Bob Clark's direction of some of the zombies-coming-out-of-the-ground scenes with a good use of sped up film and mist. I like these scenes - they've got creepy.. and I do like all the weirdo acting-troupe stuff and all the pretty dismal humor - it's all as musty as the dead bodies rising from the graves. There's also a superlative music score by Carl Zittrer that sounds really scary. But, problem is: what lingers in the end isn't a feeling of dread or fright but a relief that you don't have to spend any more time with these annoying characters - even if they do have great clothes. Although it has a great pre-credit opening scare - it unfortunately takes over a half an hour more until anything at all happens besides a bunch of acting and bad jokes. I still would recommend it even though it's the least of Bob Clark's horror films - which include the great Black Christmas (which we DID watch) and Deathdream (which we WILL watch)..

2) Clownhouse

Three brothers must home-alone-it when their house is besieged by three homicidaly bent Clowns - and the youngest brother is phobicly afraid of Clowns! I know it's a favorite of one of our regulars so I tracked it down but it didn't make the cut for me. I don't know why - but I just couldn't get that creeped out by it. I think it took too long for it to get really going and centered so much on the kids that it started to feel childish. Directed by Victor Salva - it does make good use of some of the classic horror tropes that root themselves early in childhood: the quiet house, walking alone on the woods, closed doors and shadows are all exploited well and are frightening moments in themselves - but, again, it just took too long for anything to happen to make it a good movie for the show. It is an interesting movie, however (if you can get past the unsettling aspect that the director did time for molesting the main boy - that also made me not want to show it, to be honest) and has a lot of weird little nuances that keep it interesting. There's an other-worldliness and dreamlike quality where things just don't make sense logically to the point that - maybe there's something else going on here. That these murderous Clowns even show up at their particular home give the whole proceedings an air of some kind of Divine Intervention. And - Clowns are, basically - kinda scary. Maybe at another Episode...

3) A Real Friend

Ok, I admit it - I just watched this one for fun and not for the show - but it is a good companion piece to Clownhouse and fares a bit better in not feeling childish just because it's about a child. Part of a Spanish horror series - Films to Keep You Awake - it packs a whole lot into it's short-ish (73 mins) running time and it manages to be a lot, as well: scary, funny, touching, sad and truly horrifying. A young girl living alone with her Mother doesn't have many real friends but does have plenty of imaginary ones - they just happen to be Horror Movie Monsters! She hangs out with Leatherface! He sits next to her in class! This girl rocks! I wish she were my daughter! Enough with the !'s but it's just so awesome.. Unfortunately - because all of her friends are Monsters she may not realize that one of them is a little more real than the others - and this is when it gets real scary. It's a fascinating story with characters that deepen as it goes and layers and layers of ideas. I'm going to look for an excuse to show this one probably..

4) The Flesh & Blood Show

Just not that good..not really.

5) StageFright

Ok, kids - this is where it starts getting murky because this one is straddling the fence between the list of Not Showing and the list of Maybe Showing. And this is where you - The Son of Madblood Fans - can come in: if you've seen one of these Maybe Showings or want to see one or definitely don't want to see one - let me know; knock on the lab door - if you DARE! Or - if you have another suggestion that fits the 'theme' (do you see it - it's a loose one) I'd like to hear that, too..


1) StageFright (aka Deliria aka Aquarius)

This is one of the best in terms of the theme I'm aiming at - horror with a theatrical or show-type-ish backdrop - and this definitely fits the bill. I don't want to give too much away in case this is the one we watch but: a really cheesy musical/murder play is in rehearsal and there's a killer in the theater! And they've decided to lock all the doors!?! You'll see.. Director Michele Soavi worked as Dario Argento's assistant and did himself some learning - he brings a nicely stylized, witty and at times mind-boggling touch to what could have been a routine slasher picture. It takes a little while for it to kick in, though...

2) The Funhouse

The same people who said NOT to show Black Christmas are anti this one as well and we all saw how WRONG they were about that one; sooo..see down here * , near the bottom, for more about The Funhouse..

3) Phantom of the Paradise

Igor says you can't go wrong with this one and I tend to agree - this is a crowd-pleaser. Two problems: a) has The Son of Madblood crowd already been pleased enough by it? and b) it's not scary. Fun, yes - lots of fun.. but the screams it elicits are screams of joy and laughter - not fright and horror. Two solutions: a) I realize not every audience member has seen this - maybe we should do it for them? and b) I guess not every Episode has to be completely frightening.. but I do like hearing the audience jump and scream.. For those who haven't seen it: it's about a rock club and it's diminutive owner (Paul Williams), stolen music, revenge, murder, love and the mask.. it's Phantom of the Opera meets Faust meets Dorian Grey meets Rocky Horror (before there was one). And it's got "Beef".

4) Vampire Circus

This is a later Hammer horror and, as such, there's more of most everything: blood/horror/frenzy/sex/scares/violence are all upped. This one has a traveling theater troupe making it's way into a quarantined town only to bring a much more unspeakable terror. Carnage ensues.. As does our boy John Moulder-Brown. I'm just about to re-watch this one and I feel it could be just what I've been looking for.

So- stay tuned kids.. and it's a good thing I finished working on that new eye-drop formula - these orbs can use some lube.


Anonymous said...

hmm. FUNHOUSE would be some wishful thinking on your part, MadButt. That's not how i would describe YOUR house.

STAGEFRIGHT might be more apropos. When you get on stage, I have a fright.

Anonymous said...

Phantom of the Paradise? You're more like the Loser of the Hellhole.


I am The Son of Madblood said...

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