Guess what, horror folk? Halloween is over. Yep, our month has ended and now we go head long into those horrid winter months polluted with family, cold weather, and shitty movies clogging the multiplex dam. It can be a miserable time of year (particularly for us Midwestern and East Coast folks) and it can draw out all kinds of bad stuff festering on the inside. So, I was trying to come up a way to keep us from getting buried too deep into those doldrums. Here’s what I came up with: Honesty. I want to just come clean on things. You know, like a Steve Earle song…just give you my unbridled honest opinion. It’s not to say that I haven’t done this before. I always try to be totally open in anything I write. But, I’m talking about something different this time. I’m talking about things that as a horror lover could be perceived as ridiculous and/or embarrassing for me to make public. Fuck it: It’s theraputic and potentially, kind of hilarious. Here we go…
Ghost Adventures: I really tried hard, believe me. I tried to not love this show, and for that matter, these 3 dudes. I failed. My wife, son, and I watch the show weekly. We always make sure to DVR it and watch it together, analyzing all the silly (and circumstancial) “evidence of the paranormal” they collect. Some of it is unbearably stupid, but every so often they capture something that gives me the creeps. For real. Like, goosebumps all the way down my spine, hard nipples, etc. I get the willies from this goddamn show on occasion.
I’ve never had any sort of personal paranormal experience and it’s probably largely due to the fact that I’ve never been a believer. I’m starting to kind of straddle that line now. I got to a point where things show up on that show I can’t explain. That kind of pisses me off. And begrudgingly, I have to hand it to them: They REALLY believe in what they’re doing! 3 grown men talking to invisible things in the dark, yelping at every weird bump in the night. It’s ridiculous, foolish, and I can’t get enough of it. Zak, Nick, and Aaron; you win. I’m entertained.
Last House On The Left Remake: While on its theater run, my wife and I saw this film in an inexplicably packed house. Obviously, we knew what was coming…apparently, the rest of the patrons did not. As the film carried on, folks just walked off in pairs. By the time the film had finished, there was probably a third less people in the theater than when it had started. Those that did stay had looks of repulsion and guilt strewn all about their faces. It was quite possibly one of the oddest experiences I’ve ever had with a movie. I also feel like it has a lot to do with why I liked the film. We both caught ourselves giggling at the gasps. It was like a room full of Southern bells and their gentleman suitors had just heard the family matriarch fart in the middle of a toast. As I’m sure a lot of you did, we expected to see the things we saw. It’s fucking Last House, for chrissakes! Taking into consideration the fact that there weren’t a lot of good options in the theater at that point in time and most of them used the name “Wes Craven” as good faith measurement, still wasn’t proper enough warning. This hilarious experience is my sentimental attachment to this flick. Ah, the fucking suburbs…
Nightmare On Elm Street: Not a fan…there, I said it! I’ve always preferred Jason when it comes to the heavy hitters of slashing. Freddy comes off as hokey to me. I don’t like his one-liners and I think that in comparison to the rest of those major franchises, this one derailed worse than any. That’s not to say all of the other big names weren’t without fault, but NOES never did anything for me (with the exception of NOES 3…that one I love!). I’ve seen them all several times, I understand the importance to the genre, I respect it’s successful longevity, but I don’t give a shit about it. If NOES is on one station and Sophie’s Choice is on another…I’m going for the tear jerker.
Gore Metal/Psychobilly/Horror Punk: That could’ve been immediately followed by “suck wet bags of asshole”. I am a huge music fan. It’s the other half of my brain. I’ve been playing in bands since I was 14 and I can’t get myself to stop doing it. It’s wonderful. But the stuff that too often makes the rounds in the horror community gives me brain tumors. Look, I love The Misfits. I love Entombed and Death. I think Jerry Lee Lewis was fantastic. That doesn’t mean that I need 6000 bands in all black singing songs about The Evil Dead. In fact, I’d rather have anything but that. So, the Misfits posturing can stop at ANY moment. Seriously. Please. Stop. The same rule applies to gore metal. Cookie monster vocals, and bad lyrics aren’t enough to get by on. I’m not entirely certain why these sub-genres have been such a widely used thing considering the immense saturation, but it’s been quite enough. None of it is scary and none of it is good.
The Films of Nathan Schiff: If you haven’t heard of him, I certainly wouldn’t be surprised. He is a Long Island based filmmaker who’s notoriety was derived from a handful of Super 8mm films he shot in his teen years. Weasels Rip My Flesh, Long Island Cannibal Massacre, and They Don’t Cut The Grass Anymore were all released in 2004 on DVD by Image Entertainment to very little fanfare (duh!). My curiosity was peaked by a friend who worked on putting the discs together for release. He passed them onto me and that was it-I was hooked.
There’s no getting around it; the movies are shit. They look, feel and sound like they were made by a child because they were. But if you can put some of the quality (or lack thereof) aside, you’ll find this cat was wise beyond his years. Tales of class war, god complexes, environmental collapse: Sure, these theories are presented with shitty wigs but the passion is definitely intact. Schiff is one of those rare birds that would be lumped into a category with Andy Milligan and the Kuchar Bros. No rules, no limits-just weird. I’ve shown his films to friends who look at me like I’m insane for even giving these the time of day. Maybe I am, but if insanity involves Nathan Schiff, I’m glad to be there.
I Spit On Your Grave Remake: It’s another one I am ashamed to admit just how much I thoroughly enjoyed. Certainly we all reacted the same way to the mere idea of this film being remade, but I liked the end result. Shitloads of vengeful gore and chaos made this entire viewing experience a joyride for me. I was almost giddy while watching the movie. In all reality, there was enough there to remake. Did it carry the social weight that it did in its original version? Fuck no! But where it lacked in that area, it DID make up for in being an unabashed, nasty ass gore flick. Call me shallow, but seeing her exact some sick revenge on those vile hilljacks was a blast. Guilty pleasure certified.
Lucifer Valentine’s Vomit Gore Trilogy: Ugh, yeah. I don’t feel good about this one, either. Go big or go home, right? Right?! Eh, nevermind…I deserve your disappointment. (Sidenote: I DID try and write this these flicks up in an article several months ago, and couldn’t find the proper words to defend my stance. I’m sure anyone who calls themselves Lucifer Valentine is a douche nozzle, but damn it if I don’t like those flicks!)
Television A Grown Man Shouldn’t Enjoy: This whole article is all about honesty. Well, then I’m going to be honest. I know that being a horror fan is all about liking “hardcore shit”. I do. There’s nothing I enjoy more than being punched in the gut by a flick. I’ve ingested my fair share of grotesque things over the years. From Pasolini to August Underground, I’ve intentionally sought out those deplorable things that people whisper about (or clamor over via Facebook). That doesn’t mean that’s all I watch. There’s only so many times one can watch I Stand Alone before they decide they need a change of pace. Though the giant beard and this website may point towards the contrary, I am a man of varied tastes. It just so happens that some of those tastes aren’t ones you’d expect…
Okay, so here it is. I really like Glee. I watch it every week. I laugh at it. I enjoy the characters and the songs. Several times, I’ve gotten choked up watching it. While we’re on the topic, Glee isn’t the only one: Suburgatory, The New Girl, etc. are all on my weekly list. I watch them, I smile and I feel good. They evoke all kinds of ridiculous emotions in me and I’ve kept that very secretive for far too long. I LOVE TELEVISION SHOWS THAT MAKE ME LAUGH AND CRY AND I’M NOT ASHAMED TO ADMIT IT!!!
Phew, that feels better. I’m sure it’s kind of scatterbrained and nonsensical, but it was relieving. I did this as a precursor to a batch of articles that are going to be going up on The Blood Sprayer over the next few weeks. They’re lists of favorites, least favorites, and every absurdity in between. It’s a precursor to lots of fun we have in store for you. You’ve noticed different names on the site and their will be a few more. We’re getting the site down to a smaller, stronger core of writers who wants to tackle genre film and culture from a different, more personal angle. We’re going to do all we can to give you the best of the genre world from our heartfelt perspective. An honest, passionate, and in this case, even self-deprecating point of view on how we view the horror culture. We’re all like you…weird and obsessed with many things. Here’s to us continuing in these addictions together!
Tags: Andy Milligan, August Underground, death, entombed, Freddy, ghost adventures, Gore, gore metal, guilty pleasure, Horror, I Spit On Your Grave, kuchar bros., Last House on the Left, long island cannibal massacre, lucifer valentine, nathan schiff, Nightmare on Elm Street, paranormal, Pasolini, The Blood Sprayer, the misfits, they don't cut the grass anymore, vengeful, vomit gore trilogy, weasels rip my flesh, Wes Craven