31.1.10

Self-Promotion!

Well, not exactly self-promotion, technically speaking. While it's an honor to be nominated for one of bloody-disgusting's Horror Blog Awards, alongside such luminaries as CyberSchizoid, Moving Pictures Haiku Reviews, and William Malmborg, I'm not posting this following link/picture for my own benefit-



If you've got a second, would you mind heading over there, get an account (not as much of a chore as it sounds) and vote for Zombots? It's about time that TheDivemistress was recognized as the bold new voice in the horror blogosphere that she is, and this is a chance for that to happen!

Just make sure you actually vote for 'Zombots'. There's like eight blogs there that start with 'Zom'. Just warning you.

Thanks in advance!

29.1.10

Criminal Minds 204: Psychodrama

And you thought regular bank robbers were bad? This one likes to strip people down and then force certain selected pairs to simulate sex with one another! The team is on to him, though – they know he’s a serial killer just waiting to happen!

Before they can fly out to California to help catch the guy it’s time for some interpersonal drama, as Greg’s wife drops by to remind him that their child has medical problems. What’s that? A child with a mysterious, unnamed ‘condition’? It seems to me that this will be a well that they’ll be able to mine for years of angst for their main character! Score!

But on to the actual plot of the episode. One the way to LA the team tries to figure out the killer’s specific motivation is, so as to better predict what he’ll do next. He escapes on a bike, which makes him difficult to catch, and wears a mask, so no one can recognize him! They use a little ‘geographic profiling’ to figure out where the robber likely lives, then head down to the crime scene to suss it out. From this they glean an important piece of information – he only attacked a guard at one bank robbery… but why?

26.1.10

The Ninth-Greatest Panel in Comic Book History

Okay, this is more of a promotional image than an ad, but I couldn't resist.

I must track down that issue of Master Comics. I need to know why a balloon led that gloved man to shoot that child in the face.

25.1.10

The Final Destination series is not especially good at continuity.

Or coherent rules.

With a rented DVD of ‘Final Destination 4: The Final Destination’ sitting here by my computer, ready to be watched, I got to thinking about something that’s puzzled me for a while – no, not the way everyone but the Saw franchise seem obsessed with dropping the numbers from their titles – that’s a conversation for another time.

What I want to discuss today is just what a loose relationship the entire franchise has made with ‘making sense’. It seems like a simple enough premise to execute: There’s a visually compelling disaster in which teens are killed, which turns out to be a dream of one of the teens, which motives him/her to avoid that fate. Everyone else dies, and then the Ghost of Murder – who is pissed off at having been thwarted (And I would have gotten away with it too, if it hadn’t been for that meddling dream!) hunts down the survivors and kills them in an even more brutal fashion than they would have died the first time around.

Yet each film has managed to, in one way or another, botch this simple formula. Huh.

But hey, why am I talking about this in the abstract for, when I could be exhaustively detailing examples of what I mean – which is kind of the entire point of this blog, come to think of it.

So let’s start with Final Destination.

22.1.10

Criminal Minds 203: The Perfect Storm

Cruelty’s afoot in Jacksonville, Fla, as a husband and wife receive a mysterious DVD in the mail – one depicting their college-age daughter being tortured to death, all to the tune of ‘Only the Good Die Young’! There’s not just one murder, though, as the father has a heart attack while watching the video and dies!

Who could possibly be so vile as to taunt the parents of the victim? I’m guessing we’ll find out soon, since, with the exception of a two-parter, none of the episodes have ended without someone being caught for the crimes.

Mandy immediately makes the leap that there must be two killers because one of the killers seems to be performing for someone, and not just the family watching it. This would be a useful insight, if the camera, which should be on a tripod, hadn’t moved while the killer is torturing his victim, proving the existence of a cameraman.

21.1.10

How to Ruin Your Own Movie: Shocker Edition

A recent conversation with The Divemistress about the movie Shocker got me to thinking about just how puzzling a film it is. Never has there been a movie whose purpose for existing was so unbelievably clear, yet which has done done such an abhorrent job of fulfilling that purpose.

Simply put, the film Shocker exists for one reason: To create a franchise horror villain that Wes Craven would own the rights to, so that he could make back some of the sweet cash he lost by signing away Freddy to New Line.

That character? Horace Pinker, the “Freddy Kruger of Television”. He would have the ability to travel through circuitry, move around as an electrical man, and, most importantly, both exist within the reality of television shows, and drag other people within the shows to be killed there.

It’s an ambitious idea, finding yourself trapped, in fact murdered, within the realm of your favorite television show. While it’s not quite the equal of ‘guy kills you in/with your dreams’, it’s certainly a decent premise, and more than capable of supporting a franchise of films.

Which brings me to the question I’d ask Wes Craven if I ever had the opportunity – why does it take this movie so damn long to get to the point?

Let’s compare it to some other films that it shares qualities with, shall we?

15.1.10

Criminal Minds 202: P911

It’s time for Criminal Minds to go back to the well. The Child Molester well. Which, if you’re making a list of all the wells out there, it belongs near the bottom. Or the top, if it’s a list of ‘worst wells’.

A group of people in one of those FBI operations where they hang out on paedophile chatrooms hoping to identify sickos is sent an image of a young boy being held in a tiny, soundproof container. The boy is ‘Peter’, an unknown sex slave who was abducted at least a year earlier, and has shown up in a few videos since then. Now he’s aged out of his captor’s attraction range, and the villain is looking to sell! But instead of just cutting a cheque (which would require a more efficient bureaucracy, one imagines, they call the profilers, because if there’s one thing profilers know how to do, it’s look at a live video feed of a kidnapped child and figure out where that child is being held.

Wait, no, I’m thinking of psychics. I’m not sure why she’s calling Mandy’s team.

Pointlessly creepy note – Peter is filmed through a camera set into the mouth of a severed mannequin’s head:

According to the random ‘creepy statistics’ section of the episode, there are 40K new pieces of child pornography uploaded to the internet every week. Which seems crazy, but I’m very na├»ve about the awfulness of the world.

14.1.10

How to Ruin Your Own Movie: Home Movie Edition

What follows is the first image that comes onscreen in the film ‘Home Movie’.

An arresting image, to be sure, for anyone who doesn’t want to look too closely, it’s flies buzzing around inside rotting roadkill.

The movie then fast-forwards a little, an obnoxious habit that will crop up from time to time-

That is either a really big fly, or a really small dead animal.

It turns out to be the second – a squirrel, which the cameraman then picks up, places in a garbage bag, and sticks in a little red wagon.

So, from these three (okay, really only the first and third images were relevant) key visuals, what have we learned? That this is a movie about a killer child.

So, exactly one minute into the movie and all suspense has been stripped away, and all that’s left to wonder is how long before the child murders his/her parents.

12.1.10

The Eigth-Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

This time we have a panel from a Bulletman story, featuring one of his patented 'way-too-brutal-for-a-children's-comic' villains.

(Click to Bigify)

Yeah, in case you wanted to know, he threw the two street kids a poisoned quarter, and while fighting over it they both died.

Again, this is a children's comic.

8.1.10

Criminal Minds 201: The Fisher King Part 2

This episode picks up just moments after the end of the last one. Stuck without any idea what the clues mean, half the team heads off to find out what they can about the victim, who turns out to have been missing for two years.

The biggest dick move I’ve seen in a while occurs when Greg heads out into the main office - he sees the agent that he told to drive Elle home, and demands to know where Elle is, since the agent was supposed to be protecting her.

Yeah, Greg? I know you’re just trying to fix the writers’ mistake here, but I just watched the cliffhanger, and you didn’t tell that agent anything about the danger Elle was in, or that he should protect her. You only sent her with him because she was too tired to drive. The whole ‘the killer breached FBI security and we’re in danger’ thing was being held close to your collective chest.

Anyhoo, we cut to Elle’s fantasy of being brought to the afterlife on the team’s private jet, which is interruped by people performing CPR on her, while tastefully leaving her bra on. So Elle’s not dead? She’s still in the opening credits. I guess she wasn’t shot in the head after all. Good for her.