Posted in Music with tags , on 04/20/2013 by Chris

Today is 4/20, and while I don’t partake myself, Six Feet Under’s Chris Barnes has smoked so much weed, the last mosquito to bite him went on to polish off a 7/11 burrito and a bag of Funyuns. SFU’s particular concoction of death metal and groovy stoner rock is usually abetted by Barnes’ unique brand of creatively violent lyricism, made possible no doubt by the copious amounts of chronic in his system. The man can turn a phrase.

Though some tough choices were made, I’ve narrowed it down to my 20 personal favorites:

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Posted in Movies with tags , , , , , on 10/28/2012 by Chris

Paranormal Activity 4

Any lingering doubts that the Paranormal Activity series is following the same trajectory as the Saw series should finally be laid to rest with Paranormal Activity 4, the first of the series to officially shit the bed. I applauded parts 2 and 3 for finding creative ways of continuing the series without actually moving anything forward; as they were mostly prequels (except for the final few minutes of part 2), they still managed to build upon the mythology and occasionally offer up something new to chew on. But much like Saw IV did, PA 4 is the first entry to blatantly spin its wheels, squeezing out a placeholder of mostly cheap scares while refusing to carry the ongoing story any further. Returning from PA3, directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman retain none of the inventiveness they brought to the previous one; replacing that one’s highly effective gimmick that was the oscillating fan camera, for instance, is a lame one involving an X-box Kinect sensor and a night vision camera, which allows our protagonists to spot obvious CGI-rendered movement in the room. Yawn. To its credit, the movie is actually pretty comedic on occasion, as if the filmmakers realized they needed something to make up for the lack of real scares. As it stands, the cracks are really starting to show, and if a fifth one is to be expected this time next year (it is), then some serious reassessment should be in order.  2/5

  • Drink every time someone either screams or says “Robbie.”

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Posted in Movies with tags , , , , , on 10/18/2012 by Chris

Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride

Since his previous stop-motion adventure The Nightmare Before Christmas left female Hot Topic shoppers perpetually wet for the better part of a decade, it made sense that Tim Burton would eventually return to that well someday. Corpse Bride is assembled with similar care, with the added benefit of advances in technology lending it a more fluid look. The songs by frequent Burton collaborator Danny Elfman are largely forgettable this time, but then again Corpse Bride is less of an overt musical than Nightmare, with the small handful of tunes used primarily as vessels for delivering exposition. The story is packed with little horror references, and the colorful characters that populate the land of the dead are funny and creative. It’s an entertaining and clever little flick, and while it will never get out from under Nightmare‘s shadow, it’s probably my favorite of the two.  4/5

  • Have a drink (21 & over please!) every time a character loses a body part. Finish your drink when the prick unwittingly chugs the poison.

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Posted in Movies with tags , , , , , on 10/13/2012 by Chris

Piranha 3DD

I was a fan of Alexandre Aja’s Piranha 3D, which I thought had just the right sense of humor about it, while also featuring a generous helping of the grotesque gore that Aja practically specializes in. Though it technically had a very limited theatrical run, Piranha 3DD is still the cheap DTV sequel we all probably should have expected. Handed over to the guys responsible for the horror-comedy Feast, Piranha 3DD (shortened on DVD to Piranha DD, thus losing part of the joke) tries to be more outrageous than the first, but oddly ends up being less so. The premise (piranha make their way into an adult-themed water park) promises more than it can deliver. That’s chiefly due to a much smaller budget, which reduces the scope as well as the amount of onscreen carnage, and a script that conveniently delays the full piranha outbreak until the final 15 minutes. At least it has the good sense to briefly bring back Ving Rhames and Christopher Lloyd, preserving some continuity, and extended cameos by Gary Busey and David Hasselhoff help sweeten the deal. But otherwise there’s no denying the Sy-Fy movie vibe of it all – even if that was the intention here, the first one had some more bite to it.  2/5

  • Drink for every (onscreen) death, and whenever you see nudity. Finish your drink when you hear the Baywatch theme.

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Posted in Movies with tags , , , , , , on 10/05/2012 by Chris

It’s Year 3 of the HHMC and if previous years are any indication, I’ll have 31 movies ranging from classics to absolute turds, with a simple drinking game to go along with each one (for some of these, you’re gonna need some booze). So let’s get crackin!

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Posted in Movies with tags , , , , , , , on 09/28/2012 by Chris

[Editor’s excuse note: Due to this bullshit closing out last October, the final two RETURN OF HHMCs didn’t make it up. Rather than post them last November, I decided to hold them off till this year, so they’ll make a nice appetizer for my third annual Halloween Horror Movie Challenge. October is upon us, so get psyched assholes!!]

John Carpenter’s Vampires

John Carpenter is like the cinematic equivalent of Metallica: he’s got a couple of classics (and at least one or two arguable masterpieces) under his belt, but the rest of his output ranges from so-so to Lars Ulrich. Vampires is thoroughly mediocre, but I like it perhaps more than I should. Much of the reason is because of James Woods, who carries this movie practically single-handedly. He’s so good here, however, that it only seems to amplify the rest of the movie’s shortcomings. Woods plays the foul-mouthed leader of a team of Vatican-sponsored vampire slayers, who finds himself up against a “master vampire,” who’s trying to recover an ancient relic that will allow him to walk in daylight. This is especially a problem considering that the vampire mythology is largely simplified here – crosses and garlic don’t work, which leaves sunlight or a good ol’ staking as your only options of killing one. There’s two main problems with this movie: first, after a pretty cool introductory scene, nearly all of Woods’ team is wiped out. I realize he’s the star of the show, but the idea of a team of vampire hunters seemed more fun than watching one or two guys chasing one. Second, the supposed “master vampire” – excuse the pun here – sucks. He’s supposed to be one of the most powerful vampires ever, but he never really seems menacing, even when disemboweling people. But I dig the movie’s southwest-sorta flavor; Carpenter has always stated that his first love was westerns, and this seems like his attempt at bringing some of that into the horror realm. And Woods, like I said, elevates it greatly. Check it out for a decent waste of time, but avoid the in-name-only DTV sequel starring Jon Bon Jovi, which is about as enjoyable as slamming your dick in a car door.  3/5


Posted in Movies with tags , , , , , on 09/23/2012 by Chris

[Editor’s excuse note: Due to this bullshit closing out last October, the final two RETURN OF HHMCs didn’t make it up. Rather than post them last November, I decided to hold them off until this year, so they’ll make a nice appetizer for my third annual Halloween Horror Movie Challenge. October is upon us, so get psyched assholes!!]

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

Not completely unlike Dark Castle Entertainment, Platinum Dunes started up with the (initial) intention of resurrecting dormant ’70s and ’80s horror franchises. Chainsaw was their first offering, and to this day it remains their best. The dirty guerilla-esque look of Tobe Hooper’s original is predictably replaced by much slicker camerawork, but director Marcus Nispel compensates by desaturating the colors and keeping things as bleak-looking as possible. It’s a remake in the loosest way, as very little seems lifted from the original. One glaring omission is the infamous dinner scene; in fact, the whole cannibal family aspect is largely downplayed here. Leatherface is the main attraction, and rightfully so. But something must be said of R. Lee Ermey as the sadistic sheriff (a character not in the original) – he basically steals the whole fucking movie, as half the stuff that flies out of his mouth is golden. [Nitpicky side note: Whoever decided to open this movie with “Sweet Home Alabama” certainly gets an F, not just because it’s a totally cliched song choice, but because the movie takes place in 1973 and the song wasn’t released until 1974.] Box office success it was, you can pretty much blame Chainsaw for opening the floodgates for the many other horror remakes, but judged on its own it’s a decent one. And if you don’t believe that, try watching Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation.  3/5

  • Take a drink whenever you see shots of stuff in Leatherface’s man cave with water inexplicably dripping over it.

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