Sunday, March 30, 2008

Astounding Tales of Broads and Monsters

Book • Comic • THE CLAWS COME OUT • Pat Lewis • 2007
Why is the monster always the enemy? It’s great to see girl power in a book about monsters, but just once I’d like to see the monster come out as the winner. Bad date = monster? I suppose by definition, a man who tears people to shreds because they hit on his date would be a monster; but why should he be a vampire? Pat Lewis, have all vampires treated you this poorly? Maybe you should get out more. There are plenty of fine, upstanding vampires in the world.
The host of the book is Lily St. Evil. She’s got a similar personality to another horror host I know. If you can’t guess by her first panel, you have no business reading this book. She pulls off all the silly puns I love, and she holds the book together the way fly paper can hold lots of marshmallows (I’ve gotten 42 stuck - how many can you get?).
My favorite story was Abominable. It reminded me of Creepshow somehow. Zombie Trouble showed the most promise for me. Ms. Abigail, the fortune teller was a brilliant character. I’d love to see more of her. The ending, however, reminded me too much of Zombie Honeymoon. Must be serendipity that I should read this book on the same day I saw Zombie Honeymoon.
The art was fantastic. I don’t know if he Pat Lewis has ever acknowledged this, but his style looks a lot like Bill Watterson’s (Calvin & Hobbes). I’m going back for seconds after my next cupcake.

Sleep-walking horror

Producer Val Lewton gets a Mulligan on this one. The zombie genre had not yet been established other than with a few ignorant ideas about Voodoo. These zombies aren’t hungry, they’re sleepy and boring. Other zombie movies of this time period succeed only in making zombies look silly and unscary. At least there were a few characters here who looked nightmare-worthy.
The story was pretty much Jane Eyre set to West Indies Voodoo. The only cringing happens when you hear the “jungle drums at the sugar mill.” If not for the great music and some early krunk, the native sets would be way too stereotypical. Lost fans might notice something that looks like a Dharma logo on the door at the ceremonies.
See you soon. I’m heading to the sugar mill for some good music and tasty treats.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

True romantic horror

I've fallen in love with this couple. At first I thought I was wasting my time. This movie took itself way too seriously, and would have worked better as a dark comedy. I was glad to be watching with a tray of brownies and tall glass of chocolate milk.
Then it occurred to me. This movie is a romance. The writing was poor, but Tracy Coogan played her part as the broken hearted bride brilliantly. What would you do if your new husband, the man you love ate your friends and your travel agent? You cry and cry, but you love him unconditionally. Even if you’re a vegetarian, you accept that your husband now prefers a tasty noggin over bell peppers.
What the movie was missing was wedding cake. Through the entire hour and a half, I didn’t see a single dessert.

Friday, March 28, 2008

NIN • Ghosts I-IV

Music • NIN • Ghosts I-IV • 2008
I just downloaded this album (legally of course) after finally receiving my download link. The purchase timed out, but it took my money. It took a few days for their support to send my proper download link, but I’m happy it finally arrived.
This is an experimental album that takes NIN in a moody direction. The song groups work well together, and they definitely take you away to a place that feels gloomy and hopeful at the same time. I even recognized lots of sections of his older work.
I got the feeling this music was about invading robot aliens from beyond Pluto. It was like a soundtrack all the way through. Probably why Trent Reznor has invited fans to make videos inspired by the music.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

They Live

Movie • THEY LIVE • 1988
It’s directed by John carpenter, so you know it’s not going to flat out stink; but there is a wild card that can take you either way. It stars professional wrestler Roddy Piper. He’s so deadpan, I wish he could have worn his Rowdy Roddy Piper kilt. He’s brilliant in this character. His famous line when he’s had enough will echo forever through the halls of cheesy horror, “I have come here to chew gum and kick a**… and I’m all out of bubblegum.”
There is a fight scene in this movie that lasts a full seven minutes… all because one man doesn’t want the other to make him wear a pair of sunglasses. Boys.
But these glasses are special. They help you see the alien invaders who look like people in bad Mars Attacks costumes. They make the masses obey, stay asleep, and marry and reproduce — all in the name of making us worship money or something. Roddy stumbles upon a secret rebellion (the people who made the glasses), and the plot thickens. Maybe about as thick a cold glass of chocolate milk.
Great for a laugh, I love this movie, and have seen it over and over.
I haven’t read it, but the movie is based on a short story by Ray Nelson called Eight O’Clock in the Morning.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Host

Movie • THE HOST • 2006
As goofy land-running giant fish monster movies go, this wasn't too bad. Try not to pay attention to the story. You'll be disappointed unless you like to make fun of bad writing, and worse acting. The monster shows up pretty early, so there isn't any time wasted, but they certainly tried too hard to shoe-horn in government reaction and family chemistry that never seems to work.
The best part was when the monster regurgitates the bones of all his victims. The sound of the bones trickling all over the concrete floor of the sewer reminded me of jelly beans in a plastic Easter egg.