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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Night Of The Tricks, Halloween In The Cabin (Or: Why Are The Kids Wet?)

Down Among The Dead Men.
Last night I started the second volume of the Swamp Thing collections, just to kinda unwind after an evening of entertaining, which kept me up until around 3:00 or thereabouts, the standard story for the past few weeks.  I set the alarm for 10:00, which would afford me a reasonable amount of sleep but still get me up and moving in time to see Morris off with the wife at the airport. The Yorkie and the wife actually ended up waking me about an hour before the alarm as the dog wasn't keen to go to the Groomer and was trying to hide out in the bedroom the moment that she saw the little carrier come out of the closet.

I went back to sleep for about an hour, waking literally seconds before the alarm and wandering into the kitchen to see what everyone was up to.  As it turned out Morris had accompanied the wife on her errand to the Groomer, then they had picked up some breakfast for us on the way home.  We ate and visited for a half hour or so before it was time to start thinking about heading towards the airport, so I drove us to drop Morris off, then we headed back to the house where the wife busied herself on the interwebs while I got an Amazon sale ready to mail and then headed back out to grab lunch with the fellas and run a couple errands of my own.

Lunch with the guys was good, we caught up after missing out last week and EL spent some time trying to perk up DR, who was off on some weird depressive tangent that I couldn't even decipher; I literally have no idea to this very moment what he was actually on about and what it stemmed from - something about the 'evil' in the world and how it relates to his art, which I don't see at all.  Whatever. I just didn't have the strength to try to get into it with him today.

After lunch I ran an errand to the mall to get a head start on my Christmas shopping for the wife, then stopped into Best Buy for a wild hair purchase of Halloween on Blu-ray, just because I knew that I was going to try and re-watch it again today and have been curious about the features and picture quality and it's only $8, so what the fuck, right?  After I grabbed that I headed by the bank, where a teller asked me for the driver's license that I sent her when I sent in my stuff for deposit, so I tell her that she should already have it, but she was already sending out the little carrier anyway, which arrived with my license inside, looking straight at me.  I pressed 'send carrier' and sent it back, she could magically see it now and I was able to get on down the road.  How she didn't see the silly thing inside a clear tube is beyond me, but more than anything it all just struck me as a surreal glitch in my afternoon.

The Post Office was hassle free and I headed home to see what the wife and Yorkie were up to.  They were relaxing in the bedroom, so I spent a bit of time on the web, catching up a post from yesterday that I can finish at a later date, making an order for a few things I had noticed on sale on the web, then finally selecting the afternoon/evening viewing to account for the impending trick or treaters.

Detective...Thrill Me.
Night Of The Creeps was up first and held up well, as always.  The film is full of nostalgia for me, as well as being a well-made homage to a few different genres.  I would also venture to say that for me it's the only film that gets a pas on the whole 'naming characters after horror figures' trope that seems to pop up in so many smaller films and always annoys the shit out of me.  It was clever/amusing when it happened in this film, if you do it 30 years later it just screams amateur hour to me.  Sorry kids, it's just not clever anymore.

The wife started making some chili for dinner, which is apparently the second year she's done this on Halloween, so I guess we have a new family tradition in the offing?  I got our little selection of candy and toys ready to go in the cauldron we 'serve' out of, gave it all a good stir and then placed it by the door.  Our first guests were a friend of the wife's and her daughter, who came inside and visited for a bit, then I had to take a moment to fetch the little dog gate that we use to make sure the dog doesn't get out when we're giving stuff out, as other people had started making their way up the walk and the pup was starting to freak out good and proper.

Mind The Traditions.
We re-watched Trick 'R Treat in between greeting folks at the door, which ate up more time than you'd expect, what with pausing every five to ten minutes or so to see what the Yorkie was wailing about from the front door.  I'm sure her bouncing, grouchy antics pissed off/scared off any number of kids just because she freaked out as if someone was breaking down the door as they just walked up to the house, they didn't even have a chance to ring the bell before she started freaking the fuck out - it's a little ridiculous.  We had a decent enough run of kids to start things off, though around 8:00 things got slower, which was no doubt exacerbated by the fact that our lawn sprinklers are scheduled to come on automatically at 8:00 PM, so I'm sure some kids weren't interested in traipsing through the spray to grab a piece of candy.  And before you get all weird about it, the timers aren't anything I've bothered to learn much about, so I sure as hell wasn't going to start tinkering around with them just so we could keep giving away stuff.  I'm not THAT committed to the trick or treating process/tradition.

Blackest Eyes, Etc.
When we finally wrapped Trick 'R Treat I moved on to Halloween on Blu-ray around 9:00 or thereabouts.  I had intended to watch the film just to see what the picture quality looked like, but then I suddenly clicked on the idea that I've never listened to any of the commentaries on any of the releases that I've owned, so I turned on the commentary from John Carpenter himself, Debra Hill and Jamie Lee Curtis, which was pretty informative and interesting from start to finish.  This was also a nice way to keep the viewing 'fresh', as it's a film that I know from start to finish and had watched only a few days earlier, so this commentary thing went a long way towards holding my interest as the evening grew late.

The wife tapped out about halfway through the film, so I put both she and the Yorkie to bed before finishing it up.

Be Careful What You Wish For
With The Mer-Man.
I wrapped up my own evening with a re-watch of Cabin In The Woods on Blu ray, just to end on a meta note and enjoy the flick one more time for the season.  It holds up so well, with a great blend of humor, traditional horror tropes and straight up gore that's hard to resist.  Honestly it's one of the most enjoyable things I've seen this year and is definitely the only thing I've watched multiple times, except maybe Drive, although I can't recall the first time I saw that one; could've been last year. Cabin was a ton of fun to re-visit and ends on that amazing note as Nine Inch Nails' Last kicks in over the credits, an amazing use of the track.

I headed to the web afterward to get this post ready to go before crashing out to read for a bit and pray that the antacids settle this chili, because dinner is currently giving me fits.

Be seeing you.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween Returns, Revenged, Cursed, 20 Years Latered And Resurrected

This morning I woke after less sleep than desired, but staying up later than intended did allow me to finally finish the first volume of Swamp Thing, so I'm counting that as a win.  I got up and moving to the sounds coming from the kitchen, so I went to see what was going on in the world, and more specifically, my home.

Morris was up and had already borrowed the wife's car to run and see the judge, which took about and hour and change but effectively got his whole estate thing taken care of for good, closing the book on his mother's equity here in town.  He had just returned as the wife was about to run Yorkie to the Groomer.  Sensing that life is too simple right now, the Yorkie throws up, so we gave her some medicine and hope for the best, postponing the whole Groomer thing for another day.  I got dressed and we piddled around the house for a bit, then decided to visit the Mother In Law and the Beau to see how they were doing, maybe try to make some kind of dinner plans.

We visited for a half or or more,  then nailed down a restaurant for an early dinner at a Mexican place across town.  This naturally meant that we'd need to head to lunch immediately if we were to be eating dinner shortly after 5:00, so we headed downtown to a local place that I usually forget about because it's sort of a niche market in that area, and we're rarely down there for more than a few minutes to drop things off at someone's office or what have you.

We had a quick bite, then left ahead of the actual lunch rush, grabbing a beverage at Starbuck's on the way back to the house.

A Welcome Return? Welll...
Sort Of, I Guess...
I spent time on the web with the blog updates and other time-sink bullshit, while Morris and the wife chilled in the bedroom, he working on some school work on his laptop while she watched some bad TV and eventually napped for a bit.  With the wife crashed out, I eventually relocated to the den and Morris joined me in pretty quick succession, then we watched Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers, which I'm fairly certain is a film that I had never seen up to this point, or if I had seen it, I'd completely blocked out the experience.  As they started to flesh out the idea that there's yet another Myers sibling out there for Michael Myers to try to track down and kill I'd say that the series started over thinking things a bit much, even if this does introduce us to an adorable little Danielle Harris as his niece.

Poor Little Danielle Harris.
Morris and I had actually finished that film and started in on Halloween 5: The Revenge Of Michael Myers just to see how far into we'd get before we had to be out the door to go to dinner.  The wife got up and moving shortly after 4:00, and we were soon on our way to the South side of town, kinda crossing our fingers that this place opened as early as we thought it did.  They were indeed open for business, and as the first guests we were seated by the owner, who I always describe as that sweet guilt-tripping aunt that I never had, because she has this weird way of thinking you for coming but also kind of trying to make you feel bad for not being there more often.  It's weird.  The In-Laws soon turned up and we had a nice little meal and visited some more, then eventually said our goodbyes and went our separate ways, heading back to the house to relax for the evening.

Back at the house Morris and I hopped back into the Halloween marathon because the wife had to split for an evening meeting, which was a big part of the reason we'd eaten so early.  We finished out Halloween 5, which proved to be another film that may've been entirely new to me (?), as I recall very little of the action, and what I did know about it could easily be chalked up to trailers, reels of various 'kills' from horror films and just reading about the series in the context of people comparing and contrasting where they think something went wrong with the franchise.  As with the 4th film, I was left feeling like it was watchable, but ultimately not all that great as it continues to build towards things that are completely scrapped later when they unceremoniously dropped the continuity of several chapters in favor of going back to the well with Jamie Lee Curtis in the '90s for a fresh take.

It Was Certainly A Pain In The Ass
To Get A Copy, Maybe It IS
Cursed...
Morris' friend ST and his boyfriend (former boyfriend? I honestly can't recall anymore and they seem to still hang out a lot) turned up to visit and watch movies with us as we moved into the 6th installment: Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers, a film that is fun for the deliriously unhinged performance from Donald Pleasance, whose Loomis character gets nuttier and nuttier as these films go along, to the point that he's just this crazed old man almost on par with that nut Ralph in the Friday The 13th series, yelling how they place has a death curse or something.  Wild stuff, but definitely a low point in the series save for the introduction of Paul Rudd as a grown up Tommy Doyle, one of the few survivors from the first film, who's been studying Michael and has all these strange theories about Celtic legends and blah blah blah - they really went apeshit with this one and it almost killed the franchise.

Sneaky, Sneaky Sister, Hiding
Out For 20 Years...
The wife returned eventually and visited with the boys for a bit while we enjoyed a lot of booze during the next film, Halloween H2O, which I'd watched fairly recently while we were on vacation in San Diego and I happened upon it in the hotel room.  It was nice to revisit in the context of the series, as well as without a ton of fucking commercials every five or ten minutes, which was what I'd most recently seen.  The film isn't the best, but it does tell a reasonably well put together story, with Laurie Strode living under an assumed name as a headmistress of a school in California, being overly protective of her teenage son, who doesn't know anything about his infamously crazy uncle Michael.  Honestly, had this one ended the series, I could've have been perfectly happy with things as they ended here.

The wife tapped out around this point, about halfway through the film and I finished it up with the boys.

We were kinda calling it a night after this one but then we noticed that ST had, um, passed out and wasn't very responsive to being woken up, so I said fuckit and popped in the next film in the series, the one that essentially poisoned the well and un-did any goodwill fostered by H2O.

Busta, Please, For The Love Of
GOD, Will You STFU?!?
Halloween: Resurrection basically gives a hamhanded 'out' to the apparent death of Myers at the end of the last film, brings back Jamie Lee Curtis' Laurie Strode character as a Linda Hamilton in T2-esque woman living in an asylum and waiting around to fight her brother, just long enough to (SPOILER ALERT) be killed off!  We're then introduced to a young new cast to be butchered in the Myers house as they participate in a reality television stunt led by fucking Busta Rhymes.  His appearance adds credence to the idea that rappers turning up in your horror franchise are never a good sign, as they seem to sound the death knell of virtually any franchise.  Plus, his character is always talking, which is annoying as hell - even when he's fucking ALONE, he's talking aloud to himself, which makes you hate him more than you really need to, because he seems like such a smug asshole.

We were about halfway through that film when ST finally surfaced and we got the boys on their way after seeing how the movie turned out, then Morris and I chit-chatted a bit before calling it a night ourselves.
I decided to pass on the blogging for the day and work on it on Wednesday afternoon.

I headed to bed and read the first chapter in the second volume of the Swamp Thing collection before crashing out.

Be seeing you.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Two More Days Til Halloween, Two More Days Til Halloween, Two More Days Til Halloween

Last night I was up until around 3:00 in the AM reading further into the first volume of Alan Moore's run on Swamp Thing, and I have to pause briefly here just to say how amazingly well those books hold up, from both a writing as well as the artistic stand point.  All involved were really firing on all cylinders with this one and I can still recall poring over the art in my rudimentary efforts to make my grocery store bought pens make those crazy feathered lines that seemed to make up the majority of character's faces in this book and gave it such a distinct look.  Interesting nostalgic feeling accompanying this one, that's for sure.

I woke with the alarm this morning at 9:30 and found the wife long gone to run her own errands, so I gave the Yorkie some love and noticed that she was moping around as if her stomach was bugging her, so I figured I should keep an eye on that for later and got the house opened up for the day while making a mental list of crap I wanted to try and get done before Morris arrived in the late afternoon.  He's supposed to be here for a day or two, so I waned to get the recycling done and work on laundry, replace a few security lights outside, just some odds and ends crapola that I've been ignoring for a couple days now.

As we got closer to noon I grabbed a shower and loaded up the last of the recycling, then left the pup moping around on the couch in the sitting area off the kitchen and headed out to drop the recycling and grab a sandwich for my lunch.  The drive-thru was kinda packed due to my impeccable timing in the middle of the lunch hour, but I was soon enough on my way home, where I arrived just moments behind the wife, who I shared part of my lunch with while getting a clearer picture of her afternoon plans.  As it turned out she had some rat-killing to do on the web, then was going to go grab Morris from the airport around 3:00, then take him with her while she kept a nail appointment.  This being the case, I decided to bow out of going with her, as I figured I could get other stuff done around the house.

I caught up on last night's Venture Brothers Halloween episode while I ate, then blew through the new 666 Park Avenue just to be doing it.  I stand behind my initial feelings on this show, it's interesting but definitely not my favorite thing: should a recording conflict ever come up, it's likely going to lose out.  The wife split for the airport after we went through the mail together and I busied myself about the place with another load of laundry,replaced those pesky bulbs, and even sorted and filed away a pile of stuff that's been watched off the To-Watch Pile this past week.

Totally The Boogeyman. For
Reals.
It occurred to me that I might want to replenish the Maker's Mark supplies, since I know it's something that both Morris and I will drink, so I stepped out to make a quick run to the liquor store, then settled in to start the final re-watch process of this Halloween season - the Halloween series from start to finish, including the Rob Zombie re-makes if at all possible.  I was about 15 minutes into the original Halloween and sipping on a cocktail when the wife returned with Morris.  We all visited for a bit and then settled in the den because Morris had a conference call that he had to be a part of around 7:00, then we would go and grab some dinner.  We watched Halloween while shooting the breeze a bit, as we're all familiar enough with the film that it's easy to drift in and out of it without losing anything at all.  Hell, I'd wager that I know about half the spoken dialog as it's being said, which I can't say for that many films.

The conference call was naturally canceled, so after the movie we headed to a Mexican food place somewhat near the house and Morris treated us to dinner, then we headed back home to relax.  The wife poked around on her phone as I popped in Halloween II on Blu-ray and Morris started working on some stuff on his laptop.  I dug into the film and spent any downtime onscreen action poking around in the iPad with the (surprisingly) still addictive Simpsons game.  We were kinda discussing the other version of the movie that's been released recently, then the wife steps away from the room for a few minutes and returns with a 'Halloween' gift for me, which turned out to be that very same Halloween II release from Scream Factory, as well as their Halloween III Blu as well, which I've been kinda dying to check out.  What a sweetheart.

Turn It Off! Turn It OFF!!!!
After we wrapped the 2nd film I jumped naturally right into the sequel, though the wife had to tap out about 30 minutes into it, as it was past her bedtime.  Morris and I re-watched Halloween III: Season Of The Witch, which holds up as well as I remembered even with all the various questionable bits; it remains a lot of fun even when it might be going off the rails with silliness.  We ended up wrapping the film around midnight, then I left Morris to finish up his laptop stuff while I settled into the Office for the night and got started on this post.  

I got distracted by a sale that Barnes & Noble is running on their website, but I was able to catch a pre-order title for half price, which is something that I can never seem to squeak past them, so I hope that they honor it come early December.  Now it's off to bed so that I can try to get a jump on the blog in the AM and get something published, as it's been a few days without a post now and I can only assume that someone, somewhere is starting to care.  But probably not.

Be seeing you.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Mortuary Girl

After a not so late night last night, I woke with no alarm as I heard the wife getting dressed in the bathroom, so I got the house opened up and inquired about her plans for the day.  She was about to head out to do the grocery shopping, so I offered to dress and do that with her if she was inclined to wait for a few minutes and then we were soon on our way to the store.

It's All Very Black & White, Isn't It?
The grocery routine went pretty quickly and we grabbed some Chinese on our way back to the house, then unloaded everything and put away all the food before settling into the den to watch something off the TiVo and eat some lunch.  We caught up on Thursday's episode of Children's Hospital, then moved on to the newest episode of Elementary, a show that I can honestly say is growing on me if only for the rapport between the leads.  We also watched last week's episode of Hawaii Five-O, then I kinda broke my 'all horror, all the time' rule for the month with a viewing of the HBO film The Girl, which I knew would likely be of interest to the wife.

The Girl is the tale of the behinds the scenes battles between Alfred Hitchcock and Tippi Hedren on The Birds and Marnie, a fact that I was pretty much unaware of, but the upshot is (according to this film and a fairly recent Hitchcock bio that evidently brought this subject back into the news) that Hitchcock molded Hedren to be a star, and according to the film went on to fall for her and treated her rather shabbily when she did not return this affection.  Granted, the film does paint things in an unsettling black and white, in that he was a tyrant who tried to get over on her at every turn because it was owed to him, while she is an unblemished rose who doted on her daughter the whole time in between his abuses, but you gotta figure that the truth is somewhere in between, right?  Or maybe Hitchcock was like Hitler with a boner, alternately chasing around after his leading lady or abusing her on the set as much as he could, who knows?

No One Here Gets Out Alive.
In the late afternoon after the movie I made myself a cocktail while the wife stated piddling around with a needlepoint project that she'd been planning, then I threw in a little horror flick to pass the time until we got into the evening's television.  Mortuary is an '80s flick that I've heard of but had never seen, so it was nice to cross it off the list as part of my 31 Days Of Horror.  The film features a hooded killer lurking around killing folks and shoving a large embalming needle into them, which naturally leads to the local mortuary, its owner Christopher George and his teenage son, played by a young Bill Paxton, which is pretty amusing.

Fox was airing the World Series or some other sports bullshit, so we instead dove into tonight's episode of The Walking Dead in an effort to have no one blurt out shit to spoil in on the interwebs, which is always a possibility, because some idiot people just Tweet what they're seeing a if we're all in a viewing party chat-room or something, which is just maddening.  Afterward we moved on to the new Boardwalk Empire and Dexter before the wife called it quits and headed to bed.  Since I was still up and alert I decided to wrap my evening with the new episode of Comic Book Men, if only because those are short and easy to breeze through.  I left the Venture Brothers Halloween Special for later and finally headed to the Office to work on this post and also make a list of errands I want to run tomorrow, as we also have Morris coming into town for a whirlwind afternoon/evening sleepover, so I need to get things taken care of before all that starts in the mid-afternoon.

Be seeing you.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Throwdown Hoedown Showdown (Or: Where Has My Saturday Gone?)

Okay, this may be a pretty boring post, as I spent the entire day in front of the computer checking out the Outside The Cinema Halloween Throwdown, which I went into thinking I'd watch bits and pieces of and I ended up losing almost my entire day to it, which I will likely spend tomorrow apologizing to the wife about, as it did eat up virtually all my time and left her to entertain herself for the day, which I don't normally do.

Still Stunning After All These
Years.
Last night I stayed up late working on the blog and poking around the web before settling in bed and then reading the first issue in the first Swamp Thing collection reprinting Alan Moore, Steve Bissette and John Totleben's amazing run from the late '80s, which I haven't re-read in ages.  The really surprising thing about it was how well these held up, from the writing down to the very small details that I used to try to mimic so very hard in my own little art projects.

I had set my alarm for 10:00 this morning just so I wouldn't sleep the entire day away. I woke from 5 hours sleep and got up and moving, opened the house up and fired up the PC. Unfortunately my alarm also woke the wife, who I'd kind of assumed would likely sleep through things, so I felt a little guilty about that but figured she'd end up napping later anyway.

Buy A Fucking Map, Sir.
I spent time getting a blog post ready to publish as the OTC pre-show stuff happened, then I hopped on the chat room to visit and see what was up first.

We started the marathon with Lucio Fulci's 1991 film Door Into Silence, in which a man finds himself harassed on the road by a hearse after attending a funeral, forced into increasingly silly detours as he tries to make his way home. The film has very little real action but was kinda fun to poke fun at in the chat and some of the Louisiana back roads were kinda interesting to look at, but overall I'm really happy this wasn't a random blind-buy for me, as watching it alone might be the kind of thing that'd drive me to madness, since so much of the film is really a guy just driving in his car.

Never Trust New Pussy, It's
Likely Too Good To Be True.
The next film was a little something sleazy called Death Game where a married man has a couple young girls turn up at his home when he's left alone for the weekend, claiming that they have to come in out of the rain. The girls make themselves at home and the three of them engage in vigorous (if poorly shot) sex, but when they refuse to leave the next morning he begins to realize how out of his element he is. The film got a little grating as the girls kept repeating his name every other word (drink when they say George and you'll die before the 20 minute mark), so I eventually decided to step out and grab a late lunch, because we were well into the afternoon by this point.

The wife had been in and out of the Office during the early afternoon, but she eventually settled in the bedroom for a nap, so I ran by Taco Bell for some lousy food, then reconvened in the Office to see what was up next on the docket.

Savage Weekend had just started, so I ate while watching a fairly standard slasher, with some odd thriller overtones as a killer stalks folks on a couples weekend rather than the usual teenage cannon fodder. It was pretty watchable, but mostly for the fun to poke in the chat room, it really didn't have all that much to set it apart except for William Sanderson playing another greasy redneck type.  Oh well, at least he wasn't quite as offensive here as he was in Fight For Your Life; that movie was kinda rough going because of how over the top his character was.

The wife popped on during the next feature, which was Blackenstein, a Blaxploitation flick that I've always been curious about. As it turned out, it's a largely slow moving film (this motherfucker slow-walks EVERYWHERE, and we don't miss a minute of it) but benefited deeply from having people online to make fun of it with.

Still Have Ho Idea What I
Watched...
I took time to apologize to the wife for kind of blowing her off today, even though she'd been very sweet to not be shitty about it. I definitely need to spend time with her tomorrow, try to make it up to her.

The next film on the docket was Alabama's Ghost, which is an OTC staple and a virtually indescribable mish-mash of nonsense that starts off with a guy becoming a magician, then goes off on tangents with ghosts and vampires; hell, there's robots in there as well. It's ridiculous and bears re-watching just to try to puzzle over it, because I'm still not really sure what I watched, but it's hard not to love a film featuring the zany line "I ain't afraid of no white racist ghost!"

But Are They...Evil?
Such Ridiculous/Great Line
Readings...
Mardi Gras Massacre was the final film in the normal rotation, which is a movie I actually have on the To-Watch Pile but watched here because its another 'signature' film that gets mentioned a lot on the show. It's about a really weird guy who starts killing 'evil' hookers and strippers in New Orleans, and features all manner of weirdness and digressions, including a budding romance between lead detective and one of the hookers. It's hilarious and even ends on a great car chase through New Orleans; well worth a look.

The evening wrapped with the 'mystery movie' that viewers/participants are quasi-sworn to secrecy about, so I'll just say that it was a Grindhouse style edit of a fairly classic film and very enjoyable from star to finish, as the new fan edit had put a really unique spin in the material. The chat thinned out and I let it play in the background while working on this post in the notes function of the iPhone and playing the Simpsons Tapped Out on the iPad, because I remain obsessed with that stupid game.

I'm out kids, it's gotten rather late.

Be seeing you.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Rocky Horror Shock Treatment Of The Devil Within The Night Child

This Has Happened Before.
Last night I finally jumped back into my re-read of The Invisibles, as well as the Anarchy For The Masses notes about the issues that I read, so I was up fairly late with all that, waking with the alarm this morning at 10:00 to see what the wife and Yorkie were up to.  The wife was working on stuff on her Mac in the Office, so I joined her after getting the house opened for the day and popping a handful of Advil for the neck pain that I woke with; apparently I slept 'funny' last night.  Sigh.

After laying in the floor trying to stretch for a bit and keep the Yorkie from forcing her tongue into my inner ear, I finally settled into my desk chair and spent a good hour and change getting the blog updated, then I took the wife's order for some lunch and called it in so that I could just hit their drive-thru to easily grab our food.  I got out to do that and then settled into the den to watch some television and eat my lunch after delivering the wife's stuff to her in the Office.  She'd fallen down a rabbit hole of planning a friend's birthday party and was looking at decorations and things of that nature, so left her to that and watched last night's episode of Person Of Interest, then decided to move on to a movie off the TiVo, as I feel it's been neglected over the course of the month, what with all the To-Watch Pile viewing.

Evil Baby Attacks. Need I Say
More?
The Devil Within Her is a fairly silly movie that makes up for the corny concept with decent production values, what with being filmed in a mid-'70s London, which is a cool time period (for me anyway) to have a little time capsule to look back into. Joan Collins plays a former stripper who rebuffed the advances of a dwarf that worked at the same club, then moved on to a better life after meeting and marrying an Italian businessman, but not before the dwarf cursed her.  When she delivers her first child the boy immediately bites her while she tries to nurse it, and it's all downhill from there as this 'vicious baby' (description courtesy of the TiVo synopsis) starts to destroy the nursery when no one's around, driving Collins to the brink of insanity with all this dumbass impossible shit, including a scene when we see a shovel chopping someone in the neck, which is meant to somehow be wielded by a fucking BABY.  It's gloriously ridiculous and I would suggest it to fans of 'so bad it's good' type stuff.

Toward the end of the film the smoke detector started chirping, which it'd done a few days ago once or twice, then stopped.  Since it was getting into a late Friday afternoon it naturally started doing it once a minute, thoroughly freaking out the Yorkie, so I popped it open and finally found the battery that might be the culprit and replaced it, which left the damned thing still chirping.  The wife and I both spoke to the alarm folks about how to sort it out, none of their solutions changed anything though, so I eventually was left playing a waiting game of when the tech guy could get by the house to look things over.  The wife had a few errands to run in advance of a couple friends coming by in the evening, so she split and I tried to calm the Yorkie, which was a futile effort at best, what with the noise never abating for more than a minute at a time.

The alarm guy turned up and got the batteries in the panel replaced with no problem, then I was surprised to find that the smoke alarm that was causing the problem wasn't even a part of their Goddamned system, but was instead a generic variety that builders install automatically.  Since it is located exactly two feet away from the one that IS wired into the alarm system (and will alert someone outside the house if there's a fire, not just us if we happen to be home) we just took the damned battery out of the thing and pulled the wiring on it so that it'd shut the fuck up.  What a pain in the ass, but at least it was all over with.

This Is Why Children Make Me
Edgy...
I decided to try and squeeze in another movie before our friends turned up for dinner, so I popped in the Arrow UK DVD of The Night Child, which I figured might fit in well with the whole 'evil kids' theme, as it looked to be about a young girl who starts to experience hallucinations and possible possession once she and her father travel to Italy where he's doing research on the Devil for a documentary.  The film is pretty decent, sort of a low rent riff on The Exorcist, but it's got some fun moments and a young Joanna Cassidy as a love interest for the widowed father, so good on him for that one.  This film is one that's eluded me for some time, as the most recent DVD incarnation was an Out Of Print one from Code Red DVD, and I just couldn't bring myself to pay some Amazon vendor asshole $40 for a film that I had only seen a trailer for.  I can say that the import disc from Arrow is well worth the $12-$15 it cost to have shipped from across the pond.

Oh, Rocky.
The wife returned from her errands briefly, then split again to pick up dinner while I finished the film, then Brian arrived just ahead of JH, so we spent time around the kitchen counter visiting and chowing down, catching up on the past month or so, then eventually relaxed in the den with a re-watch of Rocky Horror Picture Show, which JH had somehow never seen, a revelation that surprised me.  I guess I felt like I ws the last person to ever discover this one at age 18 or thereabouts, so I was kinda shocked that someone had made it to almost 40 without picking it up via osmosis from a friend somewhere along the way.  She seemed to dig the movie well enough (which was a relief, as I would've been even more shocked if she had hated it), then she and Brian called it a night shortly after 10:00 in the evening.

Still Not Grabbing Me 100%
I Must Need Some Treatment.
I put the wife to bed, then decided to try to give the sequel Shock Treatment another shot, as it just didn't grab me the first go around.  I can say that the songs are catchier on the second viewing, but I'm still not 100% sold, if only because the new guy they cast as Brad seems so Goddamned lifeless, but maybe that's just because he has very little to do here, as Jessica Harper's Janet is much more the star of the show.  Oh well, it's still decent, but I dunno if it'll ever grow on me to rival Rocky Horror itself, just because there's too many fond memories attached to that flick for me.

I finally drifted into the Office to start working on this post, then fell down the rabbit hole of dumbass interweb searching and shopping, a sure way to end up being awake at 4:00 in the morning before I know what's happening, and that's exactly what seems to have occurred.  Bah.

Be seeing you.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Black Rose N Roll Nightmares

The wife had meetings this morning, so she was up and showering when the alarm went off and woke me at 10:00.  The Yorkie cuddled with me, then watched our every move as the wife made us coffee and I made the bed and opened the house up for the day.  I spent some time on the PC getting a post cleaned up to be published, then fetched the newspaper to see if any garage sales caught my eye.  As it turned out there was at least one that sounded promising, so I got dressed and pretty much followed the wife out the door as she left for her meeting, giving the Yorkie a final warning about pooping on my rug in our absence.

The garage sale in question wasn't very far from the house, so I gave that a once over and came up empty handed, then stopped at another one that was happening down the street, which was also a bust.   I decided to pop into Barnes & Noble next to see if I could turn up the new Rue Morgue Magazine, as they always have a big fat double issue for Halloween and I wanted to make sure that I found my copy on the off-chance that it suddenly started selling out locally.  I grabbed a burger on my way home, then ate my lunch while watching last night's South Park and being ignored by the Yorkie once it became clear to her that I wasn't going to give her a bite of anything that I had.

After the show and lunch I moved into the Office and spent some time getting the blog cleaned up a bit more and actually got the first of the wife's Christmas stuff purchased, just because I know that the item I grabbed today is a limited edition item and I could see being totally screwed if I tried to shop for it at the beginning of December.

The wife returned from her outing and we visited for a bit about her day, as well as her late afternoon/evening  plans, as she had another meeting on tap later in the day.  I left her relaxing with the pup in the bedroom and finished up my interweb bullshit, then settled in the den for an '80s metal/horror movie double feature to continue my 31 Days Of Horror.

Remote Farms Are For Suckers.
Rock 'N' Roll Nightmare was up first off the To-Watch Pile, which tells the tale of a rock band who retire to a remote farm to work on a new album, only to find out that the evil that destroyed a family there years ago is eager find new victims.  Band members are turned into demons and the band leader (played by the uh, 'real-life' rocker Jon-Mikl Thor) eventually must do battle with the Devil himself, who he calls by about a dozen names and slang for Satan, which is a little hamfisted but what are you gonna do, it's a low-budget horror film filled with hair metal and demon puppets.  The movie has its amusing bits and was fairly entertaining, though the aforementioned puppets are a little hard to take in a couple scenes, just because they do look SO fake, but what can you do? In for a penny, in for a pound at that stage of things, right?  Bottom line is that fans of '80s cheese will likely find something to enjoy here.

The wife split for her meeting as I was wrapping up this film, then texted regarding dinner about midway through the second half of my double feature, so she was able to catch the end of Black Roses with me, for better or for worse.

Rock On Satan.
We finished out Black Roses together, which is a film about another '80s hair metal band, but this time the hook is that this group Black Roses wants to perform a series of concerts in a small town, which makes the local yokel parents wary at first, but after a really quiet ballad style song is played for them as a sample of the music, they forget all about their fears and approve the concerts. As the band's performances continue the teens begin to undergo strange transformations, a turn that is seemingly noticed only by the vigilante English teacher, who then starts trying to investigate and put an end to things, just like all heroic English teachers would do in that situation.  It's pretty silly,  as with the other film, but at least this time around you don't have quite as much puppetry happening, though you do see Big Pussy from The Sopranos in an early role getting dragged into a speaker by the power of evil music.  So y'know, if that sounds like something you'd be into...

After the movie ended the wife and I spent the evening with the usual NBC fare, new 30 Rock, The Office and Parks And Recreation, then wrapped the evening with a couple episodes of The Soup that'd piled up over the last week or so.  I put the wife and Yorkie to bed, then got started on this post in between the usual web travels that always eat up more time than I expect them to.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Watching Television With The Maid At The Boardinghouse

Volume Two Is Building To A
Nice Conclusion.  Plus: Zealot!
Last night I was up late composing yesterday's post, then read a couple more issues out of the current WildC.A.T.S compilation (Battery Park, if you care) in bed before calling it a night around 3:00 or thereabouts.  I was able to squeeze in a solid 6 and a half hours before the alarm woke me, then I dragged myself out of bed to get the day started before the Maid invaded us for the afternoon.  The wife was already out of the house for the day, as she had a full plate, so the Yorkie followed me around to make sure I wasn't trying to slip away as well.  She seemed to relax a bit once the house was opened up and I had settled in the den to fire up the PC.  I folded some towels and picked up the recycling in the kitchen before I finally got started on the blogging process.

The Maid turned up around 11:00 and got started on her routine while the Yorkie and I moved back into the Office to chill while I got a couple blog posts ready to publish over the next day or two.  I was starting to think about lunch when I got a text from EL begging off of today's normal meal, as he needed to spend some time with his brother one on one, whatever that means, so I told him it was cool and decided to step out and grab some food to try and avoid the lunch rush.  Naturally by the time I got to a restaurant it was right in the middle of things, which meant that I still got stuck waiting around in a drive-thru line, but what the hell, at least it gave me some time to catch up on a couple podcasts.

Back at the house I ate while watching a couple episodes of The X-Files via Netfux Instant Watch while the Maid finished things up, then she split while I was updating the various nerdlists a bit before finally selecting something off the To-Watch Pile to check out in the den.

This Is Why You Should Own Instead
Of Rent If At All Possible Ladies...
Boardinghouse is a shot on video, low-budget looking affair about a guy who opens a boardinghouse with the intention of surrounding himself with beautiful ladies as his only tenants, but soon the horrible history of the house begins to creep into his life and the gals start to turn up dead.  I gotta be honest, I think I missed a lot of what the filmmakers intended with this one, as the interview materials on the disc told me later that this turkey was supposed to be a horror/comedy spoof of the genre, which their distributor had nixed at the last minute, so after a kinda winking 'horror vision' intro, the rest of the film is played 'straight', making for a weird viewing experience to say the least.

The wife finally made her way home just before 6:00 in the evening, so she ended up catching the last part of the movie with me as we caught up on her long day out and about.  We spent the evening with new episodes of Arrow, Supernatural and then American Horror Story, which I'm digging but slightly put off by right now as it doesn't have the same layered feeling that the first series did at this stage of the game last year.  I think this is likely because the storyline we have this time around is only taking place in the present and the mid-'60s, whereas last season had stuff set across decades, from the '40s up until present day, which sort of gave the viewer more stuff to take in and keep track of, which means that the current season's storytelling almost feels simplified to me at this point.  Oh well, I'm just nit-picking I suppose, it's a fun show and I'm curious to see where they take it next.

I put the wife and Yorkie to bed after the show and got started on this post, which was pretty simple, because quite frankly, very little has happened today.

Be seeing you.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Zombies, Werewolves, Strippers, Katies

Fare Thee Well, Spider.
Last night I sat up later than intended but I did finally finish out the re-read I've been doing of Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson's Transmetropolitan, blowing through the final volume in one sitting.  The series ends well, which a lot has to be said about, as it's great to tell a successful story, but if you muff the ending the readers can turn on you in a heartbeat, and a lot of writers just don't know how to end things, which is an issue that Stephen King has been criticized with in the past. Ellis absolutely killed it in the final chapters, bringing the fever pitch of Spider Jerusalem's crusade against the president to a great climax, leaving us with a denouement that satisfies as much as any end could, seeing the characters we've grown to love finally wrapping their story for good.

I woke with the alarm this morning at 9:30, then cuddled with the wife and Yorkie for a few before getting the house opened up for the day and firing up the PC to work on the blog for a bit.  I had a dentist appointment this morning, so I wanted to get some stuff published before I had to split for that, plus I had another Amazon sale to get ready to mail out, so the next thing I know it's about a quarter til my appointment and I'm still sitting in the Office in my freaking pajamas.  I dressed quickly, gulped down the last of the coffee the wife had made for me, brushed my teeth (as if that last moment might somehow un-do six months of half-assed commitment to dental health) and kissed the wife goodbye as I dashed out the door.

The dentist's visit was fairly painless (though they are always just a tad more aggro than I prefer with the scraping), but I walked away with no bad news about follow-up visits until well into next year, so that's a relief, especially with the world ending in December anyway, right?  As I was leaving the dentist's office I noticed a text from my buddy The Minister, who I had made tentative plans with regarding lunch at some point this week, and the next thing I know I'm on my way to meet him at a crowded barbecue joint somewhat near the house.  We caught up on the past Summer, as it's been a fairly long time since we'd seen one another, which ate up a good hour and a half but was time well spent.  We said our goodbyes and made noise about possibly doing brunch with the wives at some point in the future, then I headed back home to see what the wife was up to.  A wild hair along the way took me into the local books, music and video outlet, where I found the final volume in the Swamp Thing set that I was interested in for only $4, which made the trip well worth my time.

When I finally got home I found the wife and Yorkie chilling in the bedroom, so I related my outing to the wife and caught up on her plans for the afternoon and then settled in the Office, where I piddled with both the blog as well as the stupid nerdlists for a bit before finally selecting a movie from the To-Watch Pile to check out in the den.

Features One Dollar's Worth
Of Entertainment Value.
Exactly ONE.
Zombie 4: After Death is a film that I bought for $1 on clearance at a Pawn Shop, and I sat down with it fully expecting to get at least a dollar's worth of entertainment value out of it, and hoo-boy, was I not disappointed.  A group of mercenaries end up on an island whose jungles produce nothing but fog from a fog machine regardless of the time of day and terribly made up zombies who have been brought to life via a voodoo curse at the beginning of the film.  This one is brought to us by Claudio Fragasso, the man who gave us such corny fare as the Alice Cooper vehicle Monster Dog and the film immortalized in Best Worst Movie, the ridiculously silly Troll 2, so you have to kind of know what you're in for from the word go with this Italian cheese fest.  The movie also starred Jeff Stryker (credited as Chuck Peyton), a man whose name may sound familiar to you because he was a full-on gay porn star in the '80s and '90s, another fact that may give you a clue as to the quality of the material you'll be getting with this film.  It's amusing as background noise, but I was thankful to have the Simpsons: Tapped Out game to kill time with on the iPad as well, that's for sure.

Insert Pun About Bitches, Amirite?
Har-de-har-har.
The wife made a lasagna for our dinner and we eventually dug into that with a viewing of the recently purchased British film Strippers Vs. Werewolves, a flick whose title alone should be enough to pique the casual interest of most horror fans, just because it sounds amusing.  While we frustratingly never get a full on werewolf (instead we see folks with shaggy facial hair and slight facial changes accompanied by dog-like ears), you do get some slick comic-book-esque editing and intros for the major characters, and the whole thing is a quick breezy affair that doesn't overstay its welcome, so I enjoyed it well enough.  It seems like the kind of thing that has enough fun elements in it to allow for revisits from time to time without becoming annoying.

Bore Katie Malone, More Like It.
Yawn.
In the late evening I started a third and final movie off the TiVo called Kill Katie Malone, in which a trio of college pals buy a ghost off the interwebs, then find themselves at the mercy of the spirit of an Irish servant girl who at first targets their various enemies, but then starts to turn on them as things progress.  The film was barely interesting, as the ghost makes her presence known via moving items for most of the attacks, which isn't all that interesting or cinematic to watch a character be thrown around by an unseen force, unless it's hellaciously well done, ala the Paranormal Activity series of films, so this one never really grabbed me all that much to be perfectly honest.  I made it through to the end, which features a puzzling cameo from Dean Cain, who the TiVo had listed like he was the star of the film, confusing me even further, but I suppose you focus on your bigger names to sell a feature.  At any rate, you've likely seen better ghost stories, so I really wouldn't suggest checking this one out unless you have an extraordinary amount of free time or are a fan of the talent involved.

I finally called it a night and headed to the Office to get started on this post, then promptly fell down a rabbit hole of Facebook jackassery for the better part of an hour, putting me up much later than I want to be in the face of the Maid's presence tomorrow morning.

Bah.

Be seeing you.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Bay Of Shame Monday

A storm rolled through the area early this morning, unsettling the Yorkie from her normal perch at the foot of the bed, so I was kinda surprised to wake with her shivering and trying to scratch my pillow to make herself a little nest by us at the head of the bed.  The wife and I both coo'ed at her to soothe her and she did settle for a bit, then some more thunder and apparently some pea-sized hail came through and she got kinda freaked out again.

The wife had a meeting this morning, so she was gone when I woke with my alarm, then I lay in bed for a bit with the dog looking at e-mail and Twitter until the sounds of the wife returning rousted the dog from the bedroom.  We caught up a bit and I got an Amazon sale ready to mail, then I dressed and got ready to go run a couple errands while the wife and pup chilled at the house.  I hit the Post Office first, then ran by the arts and crafts store for some paints that I noticed on sale in their circular Sunday afternoon, so I figured I would use this opportunity to load up on a few colors that I might not normally buy.

Since I was grabbing myself some lunch I spoke to the wife on the phone to see if she wanted anything, then grabbed some food at a drive-thru and headed back to the house to eat and see what the TiVo had to offer by way of entertainment.  I ended up passing the time with last night's episode of 666 Park Avenue, a show that I continue to want to like, but have yet to be blown away by.  The weird thing is that some of the various twists have been akin to the old Friday The 13th: The Series that ran during my youth, in that Terry O'Quinn's character (as the evil building owner) keeps offering to 'help' people, usually tenants, who then find out that his help is something of a Monkey's Paw type situation that ends up fucking them over entirely, in much the same with the older television show sold cursed antiques, which then forced the owner to kill people or whatever.  I mean, it's kind of interesting, but it's just not blowing my skirt up so far, so I won't be shocked if it gets the axe.

Amazing Looking Blu-ray, And The
Film Holds Up Well On The Re-watch.
Since I've been on this whole Friday The 13th kick I'd already decided that I would be watching Mario Bava's A Bay Of Blood as my Movie Shame Monday selection, just because I've only seen it once before and have the Arrow UK Blu-ray on hand just waiting to be watched.  The film is somewhat well known in relation to the Friday series because there are a couple kills in the second film that lift almost shot for shot from Bava's earlier film, and the setting of things beside water and frisky 20-somethings banging in old buildings.  The Blu looks great, but I have come to expect nothing less from the Arrow folks, they always come through with a great package that's worth importing.  Very pleased with my purchase, let me assure you.

Not Too Shabby, Not Too Shabby  At
All, Aside From The Perpetually Hateful
'Friends' 
In the late afternoon I spent some time on the interwebs working on the nerdlists while the wife put the final touches on the crock pot dish she'd made for dinner, then we tucked into that while watching the Friday The 13th re-make off the To-Watch Pile.  I guess I originally watched it by myself, as the wife seemed to be seeing it for the first time, but I know I watched at some point.  It holds up well enough, and I don't really mind the faster moving Jason of this incarnation.  Hell, the only thing I found odd was due to my own typecasting: when a certain douche-bag character starts hassling Jared Padalecki's character early in the film I was actually puzzled for a few seconds why he didn't just lay the fucking guy out, then I had to remind myself that he's not necessarily playing his Supernatural character Sam Winchester in this film.

Oh, and I've officially made the command decision that I'm done with my re-watching, eschewing the Nightmare re-make, as I watched it not that long ago and recall being pretty much completely underwhelmed, so I'm saving myself the hassle of sitting through it yet again just to say that I did.

Since the movie ended around 9:00 or so we wound down the evening with a recorded episode of Hawaii Five-O, then  I put the wife and Yorkie to bed and got started on this post.

I want to try and be in bed at something resembling a decent hour, as I have a dentist's appointment in the AM that I'm dreading like a death sentence.  I normally wouldn't be so edgy about it but the last few times I've seen this guy he's found shit to drill on or be concerned about, hell, the last time the phrase 'root canal' came up, which kinda freaks me out.  What I find the most bothersome about this is that I went for a DECADE or more without visiting a dentist (no insurance), then had like 3 cavities when I first saw this clown, no big deal for the time away, y'know?  Now every other time I'm in there he wants to start fucking with my mouth further even after all the damned orthodontic work I had done at his behest to make sure things would go smoother further down the line. I mean if 'smoother down the line' means this guy is tearing my mouth up every six months, I say fuckit, I wanna ignore this until we go directly to the dentures or dental implants stage and just completely clean house to be done with it.

Oh well, fingers crossed for the AM.

Be seeing you.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Freddy Vs. Jason Vs. Pro-Life Vs. Television

Since I went to bed late last night I was hoping to catch a reasonable amount of sleep, so I naturally slept about 3 hours and woke at 7:00 AM with acid reflux driving me from the bed.  I spent an hour or so reading and waiting for a hastily popped Zantac kick in, then I finally headed back to bed around 8:00 as the wife and Yorkie were getting up for the day.  I couldn't settle down and tossed and turned for a bit, then finally wasted about an hour or so dicking around with the iPad playing the stupid Simpsons game and looking at Facebook, then fell asleep and pissed away most of the day in an attempt to catch up on my rest.

When I finally surfaced in the mid-afternoon I found myself alone with the Yorkie, who seemed pleased to finally see some activity on my part, so she happily followed me around and watched me get the house opened up for the day, then I fired up the PC and checked in on the Simpsons just before the wife returned with groceries.  The Yorkie and I helped her unload all that and then we put stuff away while visiting about her outing.  I heated up some leftovers from yesterday for my late lunch and the wife made herself a little snack, so we chilled at the kitchen counter while the Yorkie impatiently begged at our feet.

The wife spent some time on her Mac playing around with the Cricut stuff, as she's been making some cute Halloween themed stuff recently, and I eventually settled in the den to see what the evening's television schedule looked like, realizing that the Fox schedule would be boned by some major league baseball tonight, so I would still be able to try and squeeze in a movie and maybe a little something else for the 31 Days Of Horror.

More Bad Puns, And You Root
For The Relentless Killing Machine.
Nearing the end of my Friday The 13th/Nightmare On Elm Street marathon at long last, I threw on Freddy Vs. Jason, which is something that I enjoy pretty well, even if some of the Freddy shit gets cartoonier than I would really prefer.  The wife actually joined me for the movie, since she had coincidentally finished up her web stuff as I was getting the film cued up.  I was kinda struck on this re-watch by how cruel and mean-spirited Freddy comes off in this film, as he is shown to torment and torture the Jason character when he starts killing more people than Freddy wanted him to (the plot of the film being that Freddy encourages Jason to kill for him on Springwood, where the deaths will be chalked up as Freddy murders, giving him power to enter people's dreams again) in the process reducing Jason to a whimpering little retarded boy, which just feels exceptionally cruel when you consider that he's generally considered a 'charismatic' villain.  So anyway, the movie is decent, though there are definitely wince-inducing moments, most involving Freddy and cementing the fact that I'm just not a huge fan of that series, as only a handful really stand out as successful in my mind.

Keep Your Rosary Away From
My Ovaries.
As we got into the early evening the wife made our dinner while I filed away the gigantic stack of stuff that I'd watched off the To-Watch Pile this week, then we ate while watching another episode of the second season of Masters Of Horror, the John Carpenter-directed Pro-Life, which remains one of the better ones in the series, even if it suffers (as MOST of them seem to) from the fact that it somehow feels stretched to meet the hour limit of the show instead of being organically suited to that running time.  Oh well.  I do like the idea of a misguided father trying to protect the 'wrong' baby (to not get TOO spoilery about the subject matter), and the episode moves along at a decent pace, only bogging down slightly once the siege of the abortion clinic begins to happen and the father begins to demand that his daughter is remanded into his custody, regardless of who he and his sons have to kill.

We spent the evening with new episodes of The Walking Dead, Dexter and then the latest Boardwalk Empire before the wife called it a night and I wrapped my night with the new Comic Book Men, a show that I watch out of habit because of the subject matter rather than how much I might actually enjoy it.  Don't get me wrong, there are amusing moments, but the nerd pecking order of the show does sort of grate on me at times, as the one Ming guy is mercilessly mocked by equally dorky guys, which I find maddening.

I'm out kids.

Be seeing you.