I excel at contradiction. I've been unfair to my forty three followers (who thought I'd be here in a year? Definitely not me) as August was the month to restart my reviews but I've only done two, with only a week left in the month. Balancing my two jobs, social life, and this blog have been a lot more difficult than I thought, and it's taken my more time to adjust. But I do think I'm on my way, somewhat. To help ease the pain of me being a horrible blogger I've decided to give you a little extra review that contradicts this blog. Book reviews! I know it's The Bleeding Dead - Film Reviews, but who cares? I put press releases on here, at least this is an actual review, even if it is of a book.
For the first one ever I've decided to review a recent read by one of my really good friends on Twitter, Carrie Green. She helped me out a lot with this blog in the beginning and has always been supportive. If you haven't heard anything of her she's been hailed as a female Stephen King and 'is a real sick puppy'. How can you not want to read a horror novel with claims like that? Her first collection of short stories Roses are Red, is the book of focus. As of yet these have no style or certain flow, as I'm mostly just improving as I go along but if they stick I'm sure after time they'll develop some sort of legitamate style and not resemble the sloppy writing of an seventh grader.
WARNING: These don't spoil the ending to the stories but discuss key plot points and characters that may give away bits of the story. Read with caution.
'A Long Distance Relationship'
At surface value the three stories in Roses are Red don't have any connection, but once read you find that Carrie Green braided them together by the common theme of a real life monster. These aren't your monsters you find under the bed or the ones that stalk you and are unstoppable, these are the ones you encounter in everyday life, in real people. As so is the case with 'A Long Distance Relationship' and it's character Alan, a man who's blood alcohol level mixed with anger and fear provokes him to murder his girlfriend. From there you follow Alan as he tries to get away with murder but a telephone call refuses to let him forget. Of the three this is the most gory and I claim as the most supernatural of the stories. The first couple of pages grab you and what keep you reading the rest of the book. Carrie doesn't hesitate when putting you in the story, she does it quick and sharp so you don't feel the pain till later.
'A Lucky Human'
In 'A Lucky Human' a man captain of a Universal Cruise Ship (as in space) uses a new crew member to escape a computer who's in love with him. This was my favorite story in Roses are Red as I absolutely loved it. The feel resembled so much of 2001: A Space Odyssey but instead of the computer our monster is The Captain who trades another man's life to escape an unrequited love. It's so unique in premise and engaging in scope that I read it twice. The Captain acts out of pure desperation to be free of the computer's want and need for him, which is already a scary complex in itself; an inanimate object being able to 'feel' for a human, who is a little short on the emotional scale as it is.
There is a certain power in an author who can turn a story you disliked and found relatively boring to interesting and, excuse the common phrase, spine-chilling in the matter of two final sentences. As she did with 'Cash Only'. A pure description of a man not driven by fear or desperation but the cold and seven deadly sin of greed. Up until the last page of 'Cash Only' I thought that the story was weak and overall dull in comparison to the other two but as I said Green's last sentence cuts so harshly in the study of the dark side of human nature that it may be the story to define the book itself. It question actions to feelings, as your presented with two very different characters. Marie the on the run criminal who's over wheliming guilt is leading her to a dark end, and Gene the bounty hunter who's emotional limitation extends as far as his money will take him. Marie pours herself to Gene one night in an attempt to redeem her past shame, though she is the criminal and possibly guilty of murder Gene proves to be the real monster showing an absolute lack of emotion towards another human being in need.
I don't believe! Sorry my grandma is watching the Skeleton Key and I'm reliving the revelation of how horrid it is. I did it. I wrote another Retro Review, try not to be too impressed as I managed to get it in five days before the end of the month. But I did post my Midnight Son review earlier in the month so that can count as half of the the second film I'm suppose to be writing about every month but never do. But if I can say anything I felt that I did I put a lot more effort into this review than my last few reviews that are really just bad. Not quite like my old Retro Reviews but maybe, MAYBE, as in don't jinx me, I might be getting settled?
"The first twenty minutes of the film are a kept pace to a bloody shock that I love in Larry Cohen's script. The rest is a watered down suspense film that pays more as a B-film than anything. As the baby squirms about the city, killing those who frighten him, we're paralleled and generally bored with watching the father and the police in search of it. This is not all bad though as this is where the performances are at their strongest. It shows the emotional trauma that blooms out of such a horrid happening."
As it goes you may read the rest here. Also I did not do a post for Midnight Son as the review is available on this blog but if you wanna read it over at TD you may do so here.
Now for updates. August didn't reboot as much as I wanted but you did get two reviews in the month, a TD review, and two more surprise posts next week so it wasn't all bad. September will likely not be as full as normal either as I sat down yesterday to compose my Top Five List and Reviews for October and realized the magnitude of films I need to watch in the next month. I promised myself I would not do this but it really would be out of character if I got it done early. Also I'm hoping to do four Retro Reviews for Truly Disturbing for the month of October but I don't know how I'll do that. By the time November comes I'll probably be worn out of writing. But we'll see.
Viven and Ben Harmon are looking for a new start, well Ben more than anything. After being caught having an affair with one of his college students Ben believes that moving to a new home across the country and reopening his practice is what will save his broken family. Viven however is not as willing to move on as the pain she feels from her husband's indiscretion doesn't match that of the pain she feels from her miscarriage. Willing to fix her family though Viven moves with her husband and their only child Violet to California in an old house that has a very colorful history. The most recent being the previous owners, a gay couple, who died in the house by a murder suicide. Not only that but several other murders have occurred in the house dubbing it 'The Murder House'. But the limitations don't hold to the house either as their neighbor, Constance Langdon, is a strange and somewhat unnerving individual. And Ben's new teenage patient, Tate, whose mental stability is that of teeter totter has taken a liking to Violet. As the Harmon's attempt to settle into their new lives their past horrors will come back to haunt them, as will the ghosts of the house's past.
I have a very destructive and defining love hate relationship with American Horror Story. At moments the brilliance of the show is so sheer in sight that it's almost difficult to handle. Then there are times, equally as frequent, where the show convinces me that it's alright to stick in my head in the oven. Most of the time AHS lost focus with it's main story arc of the real horrors of the Harmon family in contrast with the house. I'm also let down that the house has a good eighty so years of history to its name and they only took focus to Tate's story. I loved the school shootings, it was so tragic and the true definiton of horror that it again rung brilliance in script writing, not to mention being pulled off so well by actor Evan Peters. But then the revalation that Tate was also the Rubber Sex Suit Guy (will not get tied of that) who raped Vivian took a really hard turn into bad writing. I'm pretty confident, from what actors have said and other clues, that the script for each episode was written on a weekly basis, not giving the writers time to reflect and even less time to edit. Not to mention the occasional plot hole that tends to slip in when your rushed in writing that way. Next season I do hope for more refinement.
American Horror Story served a lot of pre-season buzz from its grabbing previews and its campaign for owning a clue (I got one, via email that is, a jar of some body part that never made itself present in the show). If you went to Yourgoingtodieinthere and explore around the house as I did you'll remember the dead bride, bloody champagne bottle, Heather from Dead Central's Demon Bunny, and a thousand of other bits that never made them self on the show. Of course they still have room on season two but its not the same house so why do that? Why not update the website with the new location? A lot of pre speculatioin suggested this to be a Psycho-sexual-thriller with that post of Mrs. Harmon and the Rubber Suit Sex God, pulling towards each other. It wasn't. Another disappointment. I think AHS suffered from too much marketing, as did True Blood season 3, in that it built up expectations that either were never reached or never intended to be reached. Of all the things I loved in American Horror Story, the horror references are the most fun for a horror addict like myself. Within an episode you could see the influence of a film or films that was to inspire the episode, that varied between old school horror like Rosemary's Baby to new iconic images like the masks in The Strangers.
Of the Harmons the only one I liked was Viven played by Connie Britton. She has the ability to just say how it is, and not in that blunt Violet way. She also had an asshole husband, a moody daughter, and is living in The Murder House. Plus I'm fucking jealous of her hair, it curls so nicely. Dylan McDermot was alright as Ben Harmon, I believe more of the problem lay less in the acting and more in the character itself. Ben was an asshole, and there's no way around that. Crysterbating to the maid doesn't help your case much either. Violet was on my 'Characters I hate list' at the beginning of the show. I wasn't all sympathetic to her moody demands, pregnancy statistics, and her relationship with Tate. It was, again, never so much Taissa Farminga's acting, as she was good, it was the character. But the episode 'Piggy Piggy' not only showed the full potential of the actress (she was excellent in that episode) but the full potential of the character. As the season went on she improved and I liked her much more towards its end.
Not to gush too much but Jessica Lange is the reason I watch this show. Like I do like this show but the reason I watch is for her captivating take as Constance Langdon. The character itself is complex and layered beyond anything a twelve episode show could cover, but Lange is able to let way to all the hidden past and repressed emotions of her character. It's as if she's stuck in the house's decaying age with her old school comeliness. The acting is nothing I've seen before. Absolutely fabulous and I recommend watching an episode for this reason alone. My second love of this show is Evan Peters as Tate Langdon. Tate was not my favorite, to put it lightly, at the start of the show. His 'I'm crazy rampages' paired with Violet's weird girl suicides made for a unlikable teen angst couple, that I did not care for. I use to call him Taint, just to be spiteful. The Halloween episodes though Tate made amends for his bad behavior and started getting interesting. Then of course I fell in love with the dysfunctional relationship him and Violet spawned in 'Piggy Piggy'. I also grew to love Evan Peters acting, not necessarily the touching side to Tate (though that's well played too), but the darker bits. When he pretended to shoot himself with his finger gun it was really chilling. Like a lot of actors it seems it just took a few episodes for him to settle into the character, and the character to settle into the show.
Again, even Murphy and Faulker's angle for next season, a new haunting, new characters, but same actors creates a battled cloud of emotions. I'm disheartened by the loss of Tate and Constance characters, as well as the maybe inconclusive anti-christ story but at the same time I'm intrigued because it hasn't been done before, which is to be quite honest brilliant. Then again this all may be premature, I don't know how season two will play out or if that's even the direction they will go in. Maybe it'll all tie up in the end and I can just back away and be in awe. But aside that the Harmons still had a rocky storyline. At the end I'm conflicted, I don't know how to feel about American Horror Story. It has bad plot structure but its beyond addicting. At the basis you'll either love it or hate it.
Camp Crystal Lake has had a rather bad string of luck when a little boy drowned in the lake in 1957, since then having bad water issues, fires, and murders. Despite locals preaching a curse Steve Christy has full intent of reopening the camp 13 years later, with horny adolescents as his counselors. Having the counselors come a week before the opening of the camp to do setup proves the curse true as bubbly and child loving counselor Annie never shows up. Unaware that she's been brutally murderer not to far away in the woods the counselors continue their work and their activate teenage interest in each other. When others start disappearing throughout the night the remaining counselors begin to figure that they are not alone at the camp in this true to form slasher classic.
I'm sure it hasn't gone unnoticed but I've more or less said some bad things about Friday the 13th in the past. My dislike of it streamed from my first viewing experience when I was a lot younger and I didn't have the tolerance for the extensive slasher plot. Admittedly I gave it a really bad one out of five starts but as I've gotten old I've grown to appreciate it more for its simple slasher mind. I enjoyed how half the deaths were shown and the other half were discovered, a unique way in keeping the audience scared and surprised. As other reviews have pointed out the fact that the victims don't know until seconds before they die is also rather brilliant in that it leaves no room for suspense, just cold hard fear. Few issues as I had with it back then still hold to me now, such as the randomness of killer. The motive makes sense and all but she shows up out of nowhere and admits to killing everyone. But then again I suppose that's part of the appeal to Friday the 13th. Also I felt that the battle between our killer and Alice was rather lengthy and jolty at best, there was action and then pauses that never made it flow as smoothly as I'd hope.
Aidrianne King is our final girl Alice and she's alright as last woman standing but her acting is less than good at times. Her peers are more effective at getting a a pulse from their characters, whether that being the writers fault for making the supporting cast more charismatic than the leads or just how King decided to play her character. We get to watch Kevin Bacon have sex and then die, which is always a good day in my book, seeing how I put him in that level of untouchable awesomeness, only shared by such prestigious figures as John Lithgow and Alan Rickman. Betsy Palmer became an essential over night cult star with her role as Mrs. Voorhees, and I must say I loved her reverse Psycho bit as the heartbroken mother. I must give credit to director Sean S. Cunningham and DP Barry Abrams for creating a stylistic film with unique camera shots from the killers POV. Also they seemed to highlight the full use of their pretty scenery which really felt realistic in regards to the camp.
I think I liked Bill's death the most as it was almost a combination of all the previous kills done on to him, and since they don't show it really lets the imagination fill in the blanks. The ending is of course the most prominent part of the film and my personal favorite moment, where they use makeup artist Tom Savini's talent to the full advantage. The subtext or message of premarital sex is still clear, though casual teen sex in 1958 seemed a bit of a stretch to me. This is a cult horror film, none of which to anyone who's reading this I'm sure hasn't seen, so as I'm doubting of a recommendation as its likely unnecessary. All I must say is that while its not my favorite horror film nor my favorite slasher flick, its an important one and a fun scare.
I believe that title has potential of being the worst title post I've ever come up with. I do apologize.
If you don't remember back in October I wrote a review for the film Midnight Son. If you have never read the review and don't care too I was able to view the independent horror film at The Mile High Horror Film Festival and I loved it. I found it to be a unique and beautiful film, unlike anything spewed of the vampire genre. It also made my TDHorror list last year as the best film of 2011. If my opinion however doesn't convince you this should. Anyways Matt Compton, the producer for the film, asked me to post something so that people know the film is available for purchase in several different forms and of course I'm more than happy to support. But first...
MIDNIGHT SON is the story of Jacob, a young man confined to a life of isolation, due to a rare skin disorder that prevents him from being exposed to sunlight. His world opens up when he meets Mary, a local bartender, and falls in love. Tragically, Jacob’s actions become increasingly bizarre as he struggles to cope with the effects of his worsening condition. Forced by the disease to drink human blood for sustenance, he must control his increasingly violent tendencies as local law enforcement narrow their focus on him as a suspect in a series of grisly murders.
The film is available for purchase at Amazon for DVD and Digital Download. You may also get it at Walmart, if out and about for the shopping purposes. You may also get it on VOD, if that sort of thing appeals to you. As you know me I'm a hardcore old school DVD/VHS kind of girl. VOD platforms that carry the movie include DirecTV, Time Warner, and Charter. Digital platforms that carry the film include iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Vudu, CinemaNow, Playstation Store, Xbox Marketplace, and YouTube.
But really Midnight Son NEEDS to be seen. It's such a beautiful film in presence and that last shot. I wish I had a still of it for my still collection at the bottom of the blog. Please help support this independent film and let it be known. The film deserves a cult following at the least, if not an apology by all distributors who turned down the offer to give the film support. Really.