What I’ve Learned from Horror, &etc

or, more particularly, from DEAD SILENCE: going to the Guignol ‘doll’ Theater on Lost Lake in a town called Raven’s Fain when there’s a killer on the loose who eats living tongues is pretty much just asking for trouble. This isn’t to say DEAD SILENCE isn’t pretty surprisingly good either, though. I’m not really one for doll-movies — they all kind of smack of Chucky, and I was tired of him instantly (though, just because I’m scared, I’d never badmouth that twisty-armed POLTERGEIST doll) — and those familiar SAW cheekbones in the trailer weren’t especially promising (though I have dug all the SAWs), but, anyway, it’s not like BEHIND THE MASK or HATCHET is soon to open at my local Cinemark, so DEAD SILENCE it was. And it did about everything right, too, I thought. Which I guess is the sum-total of my non-review, yeah, except to note that the bad Olds in DEAD SILENCE is the second one this year, right? Didn’t the C. Thomas Howell kid in THE HITCHER remake drive one too? The saddest moments in all these movies are always when the car gets it. I mean, when all it was doing was being cherry, sleeping, carrying those scenes which would have otherwise been kind of boring.

And, I’ll just bullet-point the rest here, as it’s random as can be:

  • GOING TO PIECES is now availabe on DVD
  • Joe Hill’s HEART-SHAPED BOX is pretty good so far. Next up: Lansdale’s DEAD IN THE WEST, though I did just nab a COMPLETE SANDMAN or something. But it’s so pretty I don’t even know if I can read it. Just want to set up a shrine or something
  • The new PIRATES trailer rocks.
  • Sherman Alexie’s FLIGHT is getting solid reviews, looks like. And of course, just hearing about it indirectly these last couple of days, I was kind of terrified, as it’s about a time-jumping Indian, as that could be some kind of not-at-all inaccurate description of that LEDFEATHER I just finished. Sounds like his is more historical in scope, though, whereas LEDFEATHER‘s a love story. Can’t wait to get my hands on it, anyway, FLIGHT. Alexie’s always good
  • And, I just stumbled across this, but it pretty much made my week: a script for an unproduced STAR BLAZERS movie. STAR BLAZERS being about the best thing to ever happen to television, or maybe even just the world.
  • Cat With Hands” is one of the cooler little shorts around
  • Also, I’ve come to the conclusion that not nearly enough people watch these movies:
    1. SWITCHBACK. maybe my all-time favorite serial killer movie. though FELICIA’S JOURNEY‘s excellent as well.
    2. SPARTAN. as clean a thriller as you’ll find. but then of course it’s from Mamet — what else could it be?
    3. GRAVESEND. I checked this out years back on VHS because that’s where Pocahontas is buried. But then it’s just about these Jersey kids having a bad night. Reminds me of THE RIVER’S EDGE, I suppose, except maybe even better.
    4. LAWN DOGS. it just captivates you, or at least it did me. Not even sure how to categorize it. Just that it’s good.
    5. DEATH & THE MAIDEN. not sure what eclipsed it that year (1994), but man, it’s just some serious good storytelling. Feels like one of those films that maybe used to be a stageplay or something, even.
    6. RETROACTIVE. I probably rewatch this movie more than any other movie in my collection, save THE DIE HARDs and THE LAST BOY SCOUT. I just so so love the way it iterates through the story. Perfect.
    7. Jan Svankmajer’s version of ALICE. it just stopped my heart, made the story matter. His FAUST is pretty excellent as well.

    And I could go on – SAFE comes to mind – but I can see that pretty soon I’m going to be offering up defenses for underdog movies (example: I loved the rashomon BASIC was, even though I think every other human in the world loathed it), which wasn’t at all what I intended to do here. Though, talking unjustly not-yet-king-of-the-world stuff, with novels I would submit Marasco’s BURNT OFFERINGS, McCarry’s THE SECRET LOVERS, and Michael Kimball’s UNDONE. All of which made it to pulp, I think, so, I mean, yeah, they were read in their time. But not anymore. And I think they should be.