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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

31 Days of Horror: 2012's Halloween Night Main Feature Is...

"Do yourself a favor and never do a Google image search for GG Allin" -Me, to my father

Every Halloween, I like to pick a scary movie, turn off all the lights, and have myself a spooky good time.  I make sure I have a pillow or a blankie to hide behind if the proceedings get a wittle too terrifying, and I usually spend the remaining, post-movie hours of Halloween unable to sleep (You know, cuz of all the nightmares and whatever.).  It's a Halloween tradition I intend to pass down to my daughter one day.  Why roam the neighborhood dressed as a Disney princess or a, I don't know, ladybug or some shit, when you can have a perfectly good time sitting in the dark staring at a television screen full of images that will inevitably haunt you for years and years to come?  My wife and I both have jobs.  We can buy Quinn candy whenever she wants it.  No need to beg the neighbors.

This Halloween, I went in a different direction.  Sure, there are plenty of zombie, ghost and sparkly vampire movies out there, but I wanted something scarier.  Something real.  Something visceral.  Something involving an uncooked hot dog and a hooker's anus.  This Halloween, I watched Todd Phillips' 1994 documentary Hated: GG Allin & The Murder Junkies.

For those of you who've never heard of GG Allin (i.e. squares), let me bring you up to speed.  GG Allin, born Jesus Christ Allin on August 29, 1956, was a punk rock "singer" who was fond of fist fighting his fans during performances; smashing himself in the face with microphones/bottles/anything within arms reach until his head and face were literally drenched in blood; performing in tiny thong underpants; removing said underpants and performing totally nude; attempting to ram random knick-knacks up his butthole while performing; and pooping on the floor of the venue at which he was performing, covering his face and chest with the aforementioned poop, and tossing the excess poop into whatever crowd was left after he had taken the poop initially.  He was, in essence, a true Renaissance man.  And probably mentally ill.

This man is NOT GG Allin.

GG Allin was a rare breed of "rock star."  He didn't tout his philosophy of poop-based rebellion in public and then retreat to his mansion in the Hollywood Hills at the end of the tour.  He practiced what he preached, whatever that was exactly.  There wasn't a clear endgame to GG's plan, unless you count his promise to commit suicide onstage as a worthy ultimate goal.  GG punched, pooped, bled, growled, puked, and strutted proudly, his tiny penis a beacon of punk rock hope for his rabid disciples.  

And, boy, did he have some disciples.  One in particular, a bespectacled gentleman who describes GG as "God, Jesus and the Devil all rolled into one," recounts a touching story about a backyard barbecue he threw for GG's birthday.  GG refused to attend unless this fan could promise to have a woman urinate and/or defecate into his mouth.  The fan promised to make it so and promptly invited some prostitutes from a nearby corner to come down to the house and use GG's face as a toilet.  One lucky lady agreed, and we get to see it!  I don't want to give away what happens, but it is really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really gross.

I know what you're asking: "What about the music?"  Well, the music', you really got to be in the mood for it.  I can't say I have a favorite GG Allin song, but "I Kill Everything I Fuck" is pretty catchy:

Oh, that was in no way safe for work.  Sorry.  I always forget to warn people about that.  Look, if "I Kill Everything I Fuck" isn't your cup of tea, there are plenty of other GG songs for you to check out.  Songs like: 

--"I'm Gonna Rape You"
--"Ten Year Old Fuck"
--"Suck My Ass It Smells"
--"Scars On My Body - Scabs On My Dick"
--"Castration Crucifixion"
--"Expose Yourself to Kids"
--"Kill Thy Father, Rape They Mother"
--"Fucking The Dog"
and many, many more!!!

GG Allin seemed like a pretty sad guy.  He was filled with a lot of rage and a lot of hate and a lot of heroin at the end.  I don't know if he ever accomplished his goal of bringing the danger back to rock-n-roll - the continued popularity of Train seems to prove otherwise -- but I guess he touched some people.  Usually with his fists.  Or his poop.

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

31 Days of Horror: Holy Shit, These Babies Are Adorable!!!

Halloween isn't all candy-gorging, sexy Muppets and chainsaw-swinging clown demons.  It's also cute as shit babies dressed in cuter than hell Halloween costumes.  Look at how effing cute these little bastards all!  Don't you just want to pinch their cheeks clean off their faces???  DAMMIT, they're precious!

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

31 Days of Horror: Halloween Tricks Ranked!

The line is "trick or treat."  Kids all over the country will be running around their respective neighborhoods next Wednesday, costumes donned, plastic jack-o-lantern buckets white-knuckle gripped in their pudgy American fists, dashing from door to door shouting it, but will they know what it means?  Do they understand the very real, very dangerous threat they are making?  

"Trick or treat" is a question, really.  "Trick or treat, man?  It's your choice.  You choose treat, then, good for you.  But if you choose to not be home or to give out toothbrushes or Bit-O-Honeys, well, we're going to trick the shit out of you."  And believe me, they will.  Kids are assholes.  Kids who have been denied the Halloween treats they've been good all year to earn are even worse.

But candy-scorned toddlers aren't the only ones playing tricks on Halloween.  Teenagers have been known to get in on the act as well, especially church youth group members.  Youth groupers love Halloween pranks, and I know from firsthand experience.  Nothing says "God bless you" like a little midnight toilet paper tossing over at the parsonage.  

And let's not forgot those (severely stunted) adults who take Halloween way too seriously and spend all night crouched in the bushes with a plastic machete or dressed as Count Dracula hiding in an inflatable coffin just waiting for a gaggle of unsuspecting kids to shuffle by and scaring the partially digested Hershey's Miniatures out of 'em.

GEP has gathered all of these trick varieties together and ranked them for you, the viewer, in a little segment we're calling...well, it's up there at the top, so, you know, just read that.  Here we go!!!

15. Trampling the grass: Look, the old guy told you not to.  And then, when you didn't, when you specifically used the cement walkway to his front door as he repeatedly requested, he gave you a box of raisins.  So, yeah, trample through his grass.  It's simple, kind of lame, but it gets your point across.  Raisins for Halloween.  What's that shit?

14. Jumping out from behind a bush: Though a tad dated, this is a classic scare.

13. Flaming poo bag: Gross for everyone involved.  If you've got the stomach for it - and you're old enough to play with matches - you got a classic trick on your hands.  And a little poop.

12. Pumpkin smashing: A dick move, but gets your point across, especially if that point is "I'm a huge dick."

11. Toilet papering (TPing): A youth group prank staple!  Nobody gets hurt (except Mother Earth, but she isn't real!) and you get to litter!

10. Jigsaw-style life lesson torture trap: I debated whether or not I should count this one as a trick, because it's technically more of a favor.  By surviving one of Jigsaw's intricate torture traps, you might learn a little something about yourself; maybe you'll start living your life with a new sense of purpose.  Or maybe you'll just die in a horribly, gory way.  Either way, you win.  Except the one way.  (I only saw the first Saw movie.  Do people usually survive those life lesson torture traps?  They do, right?)

9. Drunk, axe-wielding uncle: Start feeding him booze around sunset and by the time the kiddies are toddling up to the front porch, he'll be good and incoherent.  Hand him an axe, tell him Charlie is on the move, and let him go.  Fun for the whole neighborhood.  And a helluva trick.

8. Living scarecrow: I think I mentioned this trick in a previous 31 Days of Horror entry.  This is a pretty scary trick, especially if you enjoy making kids cry and/or explaining yourself to angry dads.

7. Flamingo-ing: This is a great Halloween trick to play on a neighbor.  All you got to do is find a place that sells pink flamingo lawn ornaments, buy roughly a metric shit-ton of them, put them all over said neighbor's lawn, and scurry away into the night, giggling maniacally into your palms.  A great prank for someone with a lot of extra money and time and low amounts of intelligence.

6. Hire a little person; dress him up as a devil; have him stand on a bale of hay and shout at passersby: 'Nuff said.

5. Masked murderer: That's all Michael Myers was, right?  A Halloween prankster?  Sure, he may have taken things too far, but he was just having a little Halloween night fun.

4. Forking: Like flamingo-ing, only much cheaper.  And much harder to clean up.  

3. Scary clown mask: A great trick for year-round door answering fun!

2. Spooky sounds mix tape: Don't know if this is a trick really, but I know scary sound effects always made my blood run cold as a kid.  And, if you think about it, playing a spooky sounds mix tape is kind of a trick, especially if your house isn't truly haunted.  You are essentially tricking trick-or-treaters into believing you live in the Poltergeist house or something.  It fits.

1. Chainless chainsaw: A haunted house/haunted hayride/haunted outdoor maze staple.  There's nothing scarier than being chased around a parking lot by a weird teenager wielding a chainsaw.  I know from firsthand experience.  (Halloween Pro Tip: Combine tricks #1 and #3 for the most horrifying Halloween experience imaginable!)

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Saturday, October 20, 2012

31 Days of Horror: Night of the Living Inflatables

I think we can all agree that the blogosphere has done an exemplary job mocking this:

So, I'm going to skip it, though, I will say that no grown man should ever want to have sex with either Bert or Ernie and now I do.  I can't stop thinking about it.  It's like living in a nightmare.  Damn you, sexy inappropriate costumes!

Instead of joining the snarky masses - something I'm not at all opposed to usually - and further discussing the above costumes (I pretty much summed up my feelings with the whole "wanting to have sex with Muppets" comment.), I thought I'd turn my attention to inflatables, those pesky lawn ornaments that sprout up in your neighbors' yards around major holidays.  Or just Christmas.  I'm totally used to seeing Christmas inflatables when December rolls into town, but apparently Halloween is trying to get in on the act.  For shame, Halloween.  Haven't you done enough already (see: sexy Bert and Ernie)?

Halloween decorations should be scary.  I used to love walking up to a house on Halloween night and being confronted with a slouching scarecrow who came to life and screamed in my face right before the front door opened and a nice, motherly type dropped a couple Starbursts into my jack-o-lantern bucket and the scarecrow assured me that everything was going to be all right because he wasn't actually a demonic scarecrow, but somebody's dad who knew kids liked to have the poop scared out of them on Halloween.  I also liked those scary sound effects CD's people would play.  They were probably cassette tapes when I was trick-or-treating.  Ugh, I'm old.

Inflatables can't help but look fluffy and huggable.  Be honest: is this scary?

Or this?

Freddy Krueger and Jason Vorhees aren't supposed to be sweet and cuddly, and, yet, all I want to do with these two inflatable cuties is put on my footy pa-jam-jams and cuddle up with them in bed.  One on each side preferably.  A warm, snuggly three-way cuddle.  Bliss!  And don't worry, that isn't blood on Jason's knife, it's just strawberry jam.  We're also eating PB&J sandwiches in my cuddle-time fantasy.

Some of my least favorite Christmas inflatables are the overly complicated ones.  I don't enjoy complicated things.  Complicated crossword puzzles, complicated video games, complicated women: I don't have time for it.  Give me a reindeer.  It's simple.  I get it.  I saw an inflatable depiction of Santa Claus relaxing in a hot tub while Rudolph and a snowman serve him hot chocolate and cookies at my local Wal-Mart last week andI almost suffered a stroke.  I say "almost" because I don't think merely viewing a supremely stupid Christmas inflatable can cause things like that, but you understand what I'm trying to say.

What the hell is going on here?  Way too much, that's what.  You've got the Grim Reaper, but he's also driving a horse and carriage, a carriage that is a pumpkin, inside of which is a waving skeleton.  I've got so many questions:

-Why is the Grim Reaper driving a horse and carriage around?  Has the daily death toll dropped so significantly that he has time to cart people around?

-Who is that skeleton?  Is he a skeleton celebrity or a member of the skeleton royal family?  He's waving like he's some big-shot.

-Is this like a Cinderella thing?  Is the pumpkin going to turn back into a regular carriage at midnight?  Are the horse and Grim Reaper going to turn back into dress-sewing mice?

-Why does the pumpkin carriage have hexagonal wheels?

See?  Way too complicated!

Finally, this:

This big tub of goo is supposed to be a zombie.  Have you ever seen a zombie that pudgy?  What, did he eat Kevin James?  Also, I'm pretty sure this zombie's got an inflatable sex doll mouth.  This might not be for your yard, now that I think about it.

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Friday, October 19, 2012

STFU, Maria Salas!

I know that we're in the thick of the 31 Days of Horror, but I heard something on the radio this morning that was so grievous, so slanderous, so vomitously sickifying, that I had to interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to share it with all of you.

You've heard of this movie Alex Cross, right?  Tyler Perry (Yes, that Tyler Perry!) plays the titular character, an African-American detective/psychologist made famous by Morgan Freeman in a series of mediocre crime thrillers in the late 90's/early 2000's, and Matthew Fox plays the sinewy psychopath he has to put down.  I've already made fun of it on the pages of this very blog.  Remember now?

Anyway, Alex Cross came out (and will probably close, because, you know, no Madea) today, and so, naturally, there are ads for it on the radio, because people love the radio, especially the commercials part.  I was lucky enough to hear one of these Alex Cross spots on my way to work this morning.  You know the kind of spots I'm talking about: clips from the film (I swear at one point in the commercial Tyler Perry growled "Time to take care of business" or "It's business time" or something dumb like that.) mixed in with an assortment of positive critical blurbs ("Alex Cross is a movie all right.")  It was one of these critical blurbs, blurbed by hard-to-find-anything-about-on-the-internet film critic Maria Salas, that nearly made me throw up my bacon, egg and hashbrown breakfast burrito:

"Matthew Fox is the best villain of the year!"

Wait a minute.  What?  Matthew Fox's character - who is named Picasso, by the way - is the best movie villain of 2012?  That's what you're telling me, Maria Salas?  Of all the baddies that have growled, stomped and murdered their way across America's movie screens this year, Picasso the Serial-Killing Vein Factory is the best?  A bad guy who I think we can all assume is brought to justice by TYLER PERRY in a film that has a 13% ON ROTTEN TOMATOES, is the best villain of the entire year???

Hang on, hang on, hang on...JUST STOP!  Let me get this straight.  Picasso is a better villain than Bane, a nearly-indestructible super-terrorist who successfully enslaved an entire city and snapped Batman's spine in two?  He's better than Talia al Ghul, a cunning woman obsessed with revenge, who harnessed the power of Bane to enslave an entire city, and was well on her way to accomplishing her father's dream of destroying Gotham?  Picasso's better than Loki, the bitter Norse god who ripped open a portal in the sky, allowing a warlike alien race to reduce large portions of New York City to rubble?  He's better than the wolves in The Grey or that kid in Chronicle who used his newfound superpowers to wreck havoc on everyone who ever wronged him?  He's better than President Snow from The Hunger Games or the aliens from Battleship?  OK.  He might be better than the aliens from Battleship.

Look: Matthew Fox is not the best villain of the year.  STFU, Maria Salas.

[UPDATE: By the time I finished writing this article, Alex Cross had dropped to 12% on Rotten Tomatoes.  To see where it is RIGHT THIS SECOND, click the link!]

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

31 Days of Horror: 7 Things You Should Know Before Watching AND SOON THE DARKNESS

1. The opening theme song is not indicative of the film's score as a whole.  Nor is it an accurate indicator of the type of film you are about to watch.  Judged by its theme song, one could easily be led to believe that And Soon The Darkness is a cheeky British farce, with fat, bespectacled men in bathing costumes falling off of various items and scantily clad women scurrying about, batting their eyes and frowning like disappointed toddlers who've just dropped an ice cream cone on the hot planks of a seaside boardwalk.  You'll be tempted to shut the movie off, but don't.  Stick with it.  Tough it out.  Hell, fast forward if you have to.  You're not going to miss anything.  They're just riding bikes around or whatever.

2. The film's two leading ladies are, in fact, cute, just, you know, in that late-60's/early-70's British way.  But trust me, they're supposed to be attractive.

3. The absence of subtitles is kind of the point.  It plunks the viewer down in the grimy outskirts of the Paris countryside with our heroines, leaving us feeling stranded and scared.  Unless you're French.  If you're French, I guess you can understand exactly what everybody is saying.  Probably not as offputting, unless what they're saying is really scary or perverted.  I bet it is perverted.  This is France after all.

4. Of course its slow, dummy.  They're building something!!!

5. Yes, the British expatriate lady is a red herring of the most dubious kind, but only after the credits roll and we are revisited by a reprise of the opening theme (Now you may shut it off).  It is then that we realize this character is complete bullshit.  But while we're in the thick of things, the dread this creepy lady creates is some of the dreadiest dread ever committed to film.  Seriously, I wonder what's going on at that house of hers.  She's up to something.

6. Every 70's horror/thriller is gonna have a little rape in it.  I'm not saying that it's a good or bad thing, I'm just stating a fact.

7. And Soon The Darkness is only predictable because you've seen so many movies, nerd!  I had the ending figured out a couple different ways, and while I don't disagree that the film is a titch on the predictable side, I would argue that it is predictable in the least offensive way possible.

Now that I've totally ruined it for you, enjoy And Soon The Darkness.

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Friday, October 12, 2012

31 Days of Horror: Halloween Treats Ranked!

There's nothing better in this world then donning a spooky costume, picking out your finest pillowcase, and traipsing from door to door, begging your neighbors for free candy.  And if it's Halloween, well, all the better!  But not all treats are created equal, which is why GEP is publishing this handy list for your Halloweentime perusal.  We've ranked 21 Halloween treats from worst to best, and peppered the list with pictures of doggies in costumes because awwwwwww.  Enjoy!

21. Bit-O-Honey:  What is Bit-O-Honey anyway?  You never see it near the check-out counter at your local grocery or drug store.  There aren't commercials for it on prime time television.  None of your friends have ever sighed and said aloud, "I could really go for a Bit-O-Honey right now."  But there they are at the bottom of your trick-or-treat bag every Halloween, chewy, gross and unpleasant.  (Fun Fact: My paternal grandfather apparently loved Bit-O-Honey and made it a point to always have some in the house.  My poor, poor mother.)

20. A Bible tract

19. Individually-wrapped Twizzlers: I eat Twizzlers how they were meant to be eaten: by the handful.  Individually-wrapped, single-serving Twizzlers are an affront to nature, dammit!

18. Leftover 2011 Christmas candy (i.e., candy canes; red, white & green M&Ms; Baby Jesus shaped gummi snacks)

17. Tootsie Roll (non-chocolate flavored)

16. Warheads: Why did we ever think unbearably sour candy was fun?  It isn't, but for some reason, at some time in all of our childhoods, we all thought disgusting, sour candy was the greatest invention since delicious, non-sour candy.  We were such idiots.  I kind of hate us.

15. Pack of gum: Because it was always Juicy Fruit and there were only four sticks.  Two thumbs down.

14. Promotional tube of toothpaste: As a father, I think there are worse things someone can drop into my daughter's treat bag (Circus Peanuts, a can of Jolt cola, a live scorpion, tooth decay, etc), but the promotional tube of toothpaste was always a bummer to get as a kid.

13. Starlight mints

12. Butterscotch Rounds

11.  Off-brand chocolate/hard candy: Like Brach's.  That's a brand, I guess, but their candy is usually pretty "off," right?

10. Lemonheads

9. Tootsie Roll (traditional chocolate)

8. Candy corn: A holiday classic to be enjoyed in moderation.  (Fun Fact: It is impossible for me to enjoy candy corn in moderation.  I close out each and every October loathing candy corn, until the following October when I, once again, forgetting my intense hatred for it, consume entirely too much once again.)

7. Fun-sized Snickers

6. Blow Pop

5. Fast food coupons:  Again, as a kid, fast food vouchers were bullshit.  "I don't want a piece of paper with a picture of McDonald's fries on it -- I want you dump a large order of McDonald's fries into my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pillowcase."  As a father, I predict my daughter will be quick to toss the scraps of useless, sugar-free paper from her treat bag, and that's when Daddy'll step in.  You'll be safe with me, Arby's coupons.  I'll get you back to your home.

4. Individual bag of chips: This usually meant the house you were visiting was out of candy.

3. Regular-sized Butterfinger

2. Kit-Kat (sizes "fun-" through "full-")

1. Dollar bill: Growing up in Michigan, the doctors across the street from us always gave out dollar bills on Halloween.  They were just dollars, sure, but to a kid, free money, in any amount, is, like, the most amazing thing ever.

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Sunday, October 7, 2012

31 Days of Horror: "Home" (X-Files) (Season 4, Episode 2)

There is a rich tradition in the horror genre of psychotic Mama's Boys growing up to be twisted and sadistic murders (Norman Bates, Jason Vorhees).  There is another tradition, just as rich, of creepy, inbred, moderately to severely deformed killer rednecks hiding out in the woods or the hills, waiting for a group of fun-loving teenagers to cross their paths so they can begin a gory campaign of rape, murder and drooly leering.

In its fourth season, the X-Files television program took both of these beloved horror tropes and mashed them together into one of the singularly most disturbing episodes of television ever committed to film.  And this was on FOX, a network notorious for its nauseating TV spectacles (see: Married By America; Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire; The Littlest Groom; the Glenn Beck television show; etc).

"Home" tells the icky tale of the Peacock boys, a trio of horrifically malformed brothers, who we watch rip a baby out of a screaming woman's uterus and bury alive in a muddy field during the episodes cold opening.  The baby is discovered the next day by a group of boys playing baseball in a field near the Peacock farm.  This is the first five minutes of the episode, people, and we've already witnessed a bloody kitchen table birth, the live burial of a newborn baby, and the subsequent, and squishy, discovery of the child's dead body.  Ugh.

Mulder and Scully are called in to investigate because the baby in question is totes deformed and Mulder and Scully are into investigating deformed things or whatever.  The partners meet with town sheriff, Andy Taylor (yup), who urges them to tread lightly, as he loves his small backwards town and doesn't want to see something like a gruesome baby murder sully its homey reputation.  Whatever, dude.

It doesn't take Mulder and Scully long to realize that, obvs, the Peacocks are involved, because, um, they're gross.  But before the brothers can be rounded up and arrested, they take a drive over to Sheriff Taylor's house and beat him and his wife to death with baseball bats, in what is perhaps the scariest scene in the episode.

Oh, something you should know about the Peacock family: everybody in town thinks that their parents died in a car wreck some years back.  No bodies were recovered from the crash site, but everyone in town just assumed they were dead.  They're not.  Well, Mr. Peacock is, but Mrs. Peacock is alive and well (well...) and living under the bed, emerging periodically to copulate with her sons and give birth to deformed inbred freaks of nature.  Ew.

A lot more scary and disgusting stuff goes down before the episode ends, but once we find out Mrs. Peacock is actively, and proudly, sleeping and having babies with her monstrous sons, that general ick feeling lingers no matter what's happening on screen.

I always enjoyed the self-contained episodes of the X-Files a little more than the whole alien visitors/black oil/"the Smoking Man is up to something sinister again" episodes, and "Home" is a winner in terms of crafting a truly disturbing episode of television that sustains a near constant mood of terror and ickiness.

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Saturday, October 6, 2012

31 Days of Horror: Lou Reads: Pokemon Vore Discussions from the Hungry Pokemon Forums

Have you ever desired a passion-filled night of lovemaking with a Pikachu?  Fantasized about participating in a circle jerk with five or six Mr. Mimes?  Longed to devour a Squirtle with your mouth, butt or penis hole?  If so, The Hungry Pokemon Forums were created especially for you.  As far as I'm concerned (and I'm very much not concerned), there is no better place to discuss butt sex with pocket monsters and/or the never-ending strangeness that defines the vore fetish, then Hungry Pokemon.  And there is no better way to acquaint yourself with what these forums have to offer than through this episode of the Lou Reads the Internet for You! podcast.  Not a horror movie, but scary and disgusting enough to fit into our list.

Lou Reads: Pokemon Vore Discussions from the Hungry Pokemon Forums 

[I am currently/obsessively working my way through the Lou Reads the Internet for You! podcast.  Such a simple, yet brilliant concept.  Fantastically creepy stuff.  Listen to it and realize either a) you are not alone or b) your mundane life ain't so bad. A must listen podcast.]

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Friday, October 5, 2012

31 Days of Horror: The Last Exorcism

The Last Exorcism is a documentary, well, actually it's more like a found footage movie, only, who could have possibly found this footage and, once found, edited it together into a feature length film?  And why would they?  The footage shows the murder of, at least, two people, and the implied murder of many, many more.  So, it's just supposed to be a regular old exorcism movie then?  Anybody?  Hello?

Think about it too much, at least on a style level, as I did in the above skit (That's right - copy, paste into a Word document, and print out the above paragraph and you've got the raw materials for a hilarious "who's on first"-style skit, suitable for school or church!) and The Last Exorcism falls apart like a crucifix made of pudding.  But lose yourself in the story and fine acting performances, and you've got a decent little horror flick here.

What makes The Last Exorcism so great is the lead performance of Patrick Fabian as Reverend Cotton Marcus, a Louisiana preacher who's lost his faith, faith it seems he never really had much of in the first place.  He runs a fairly profitable side business as a Protestant exorcist, though he doesn't believe in demon possession, let alone demons themselves, but after reading an article about the death of a child during an exorcism in another state, Cotton decides to stop and use his reputation as an upstanding Man of God to help children.  He decides to perform one last exorcism (get it!!!) and invites a documentary crew along to film it.

Cotton chooses an envelope at random from his "please get the demons outta me" letter pile and winds up at the remote and eerie Sweetzer Farm, where all manner of demony shit is going down.  Louis Sweetzer believes that his daughter, Nell, is possessed by a demon that has been forcing her to kill his livestock.  Cotton plays into the man's fears, conducting tests to determine which demon is living inside Nell (turns out it's a fun-loving fellow named Abalam, you know, but not really) and performing the exorcism, exposing the "tricks of the trade" to the documentary crew as he goes along.  Following the exorcism, Cotton collects his demon-busting fee and bids farewell to both the Sweetzers and his life as a fraud.

Then, later that evening, a dazed and confused Nell shows up unannounced in Cotton's hotel room.  Wait, whuuuuuuuuuuut?

This is a horror movie, so obviously there is something more going on here, but I bet it's not what you're expecting.  Look, personally, I think you should give this film a chance.  I liked it a lot.  The whole documentary thing stops working once Nell shows up at the hotel, possibly still possessed by something, but if you can ignore that and stick with The Last Exorcism, I think it's worth it.  If, however, you totally don't give a shit, here's what happens.  SPOILERS AHEAD!

Short version: Nell is not possessed by a demon.  

Phew!  I thought demons were real for a second.  That'd be scary, wouldn't it?  I'm glad they're not.

Nell is, however, pregnant.  Cotton first believes that she is pregnant with her father's offspring, as Louis is all shades of creepy and overbearing, but Cotton is wrong.  Nell confesses that she is pregnant with a diner employee's baby, but when the camera crew confronts this alleged baby daddy, he informs them that he met Nell exactly once and that he's totally into dudes.  So, who got Nell pregnant if it wasn't her dad or a gay guy?

It was the Devil.  Oh, Devil, why are you always knocking up human ladies?  Ain't you never heard of pulling out?

Anyway, yeah, Nell is pregnant with a devil baby and the local church congregation, which is a front for a cult of bonfire-loving Satanists, are using her to bring, I don't know, the Anti-Christ or something into the world, as they are wont to do.

My Favorite Part: Cotton realizes Nell is not truly possessed by a demon when she offers to give him a "blowing job."  "What's a 'blowing job,' Nell?" he asks the writhing teenage girl, who gives him no answer.  "A demon would know that it's called a blow job," Cotton counters.  "I don't think you're possessed at all."

Blowing job.   Heh.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

31 Days of Horror: The Monster That Challenged The World

The Monster That Challenged The World has got everything I love about 1950's Creature Features: creepy monsters that look better than they have any right to; an uptight, by-the-book hero, usually a high-ranking member of the American military, who, as the film progresses, exposes his gooey center; a precocious child who mucks everything up; brassy dames in 50's-style bathing suits; shotgun-toting old coots; and all manner of sciencey mumbo jumbo.  I also enjoy it when characters are continuously smoking cigarettes, but that doesn't happen much in The Monster That Challenged The World.  In fact, the hero's love interest actually turns down a cigarette when it's offered to her.  If that's not the height of late-50's rudeness, I don't know what is.

Lack of chain-smoking aside, The Monster That Challenged The World, is a fun little monster flick.  An earthquake upsets the natural balance in the Salton Sea, a totally real saltwater lake located in California, opening up previously sealed caves on the lake's floor and releasing a huge, radioactive mollusk that looks more than a little like a giant log of human feces with razor-sharp pincers and bug eyes.  The killer mollusk kills and drains the blood of  some Navy dudes and Spring Break is officially ruined.

The movie is worth watching for this guy's ridiculous "screams" of "terror" alone

Lieutenant Commander John "Twill" Twillinger, Sheriff Josh Peters, and Dr. Jess Rogers, who has the nerve to tell a room full of top military officials without any trace of irony that the creature they are up against is, in fact, the Kraken of ancient mythology, do everything they can to stop the killer mollusks from taking over the world (i.e. Southern California), but not before the creatures kill two lovers sharing a late night swim, a pair of deputies who might be twins but probably aren't, and an ornery old geezer who don't believe in no such thing as monsters or whatnot.  There's also the killer mollusk baby who hatches in Dr. Rogers' lab, eats a cage-walls' worth of laboratory rabbits, and pulls a Jack Torrance on Twill's girlfriend and her snotty little daughter.  Don't worry, they survive, thanks to some quick thinking on Twill's part.  Upon finding them cornered in the lab, Twill finds the closest items at hand and goes to town on the giant, bloodthirsty mollusk.  First, he throws four or five glass beakers at the monster's head.  Then he sprays liberally it with a fire extinguisher, before returning shortly to the beaker throwing that didn't really accomplish anything the first time.  

Oh, yeah: there's an axe on the wall.  It's not hidden behind, like, a coat rack or a photograph of the laboratory staff at last year's base picnic or anything.  It's right there in plain sight.  A big old axe.  Twill sees it too.  Looks right at.  Acknowledges it.  Then  picks up some beakers and starts chucking 'em.  He never once touches that axe.  WHY WOULDN'T HE JUST PICK UP THE AXE?!?

The weirdest part of The Monster That Challenged The World, besides the fact that the titular monsters look like poop logs, is its title.  None of the monsters are given the chance to challenge anybody, let alone the whole world, to anything.  The giant mollusks never make it out of Southern California.  Dr. Rogers mentions at some point that if they were allowed to escape the Salton Sea area, the mollusks could pose a significant threat to the world at large, but no one ever seems too concerned about it, so, you know, whatever.

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Monday, October 1, 2012

31 Days of Horror 2012

Feel that?  There's something scary in the air.  Something scary and gross, and it smells like candy corn. 

That's right, it's Octobor, the most infamous month on the Gregorian calendar.  This month, we not only  celebrate Al Sharpton, Randy Quaid and Amy Jo Johnson's birthdays, but Halloween (i.e., Dan Rather's birthday), the spookiest, most scarifyingly blood-curdliest holiday ever dreamed up by our pagan forefathers. 

We here at Giant Electric Penguin love the Halloween season.  From its fun-sized candy bars to it's slutty nun costumes.  From it's roasted pumpkin seeds to its Walking Dead premieres.  From its horror movie marathons to its toilet-papered front yards.  We love it all (except, you know, all the evil), that's why we're celebrating the 31 DAYS OF HORROR.  It's gonna be a little different this year though.  First of all, it won't be just horror movie reviews.  We'll also highlight the scariest episodes of your favorite TV shows, take a look at some truly horrifying podcasts, sink our teeth into some truly digusting Halloween treats, and even read some really, true ghost stories around the old campfire that is the World Wide Web.  Or should I say, World Wide Spider Web?!?  BWA-HA-HA-HA!

Secondly, we won't be doing it every day because of life and laziness and stuff, OK?  But you'll get your share of horrors this Halloween.  Of that I am quite certain.  So, come inside, enjoy yourself, and please do not interact with the employees.  They will not touch you, so please do not touch them.  Especially not the guy in the mummy costume.  He might be on some registry somewhere.  We should really fire him.

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