Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

As has become the tradition, I turned all solo movie and TV watching over to all things horror starting on October 1st. By the end of the month and Halloween's finish - this is what I got watched:

The Severed Arm

Tales from the Crypt: "The Sacrifice"


The Veil: "Genesis"

The Crawling Eye

Holliston: "The Rented Camera"


Tales from the Crypt: "For Cryin' Out Loud"

Cat People  (1982)  *

Thriller: "Worse Than Murder"

Twice-Told Tales

Holliston: "Skunked"


Tales from the Crypt: "Four Sided Triangle"

The Munsters' Revenge

Thriller: "The Mark of the Hand"

Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Myers  *

Evilspeak  *

The Fog  (1980)  *


Day of the Dead  (1985)  *

Waxwork II: Lost in Time  *

The Collector

Last House on the Left  (1972)  *

Wishmaster  *

The Burning  *

Hatchet III


Elvira-Mistress of the Dark  *

Feast II: Sloppy Seconds


Holliston: "Candyman"

The Evil of Frankenstein  *

Tales from the Crypt: "The Ventriloquist's Dummy"

Chain Letter

Holliston: "Laura's Little Twitter"

The Chamber of Horrors  (1940)

Holliston: "Weekend of Horrors"

Dead Silence

The Terror  (1963)  *

American Psycho II: All American Girl


Man Made Monster  *

X-Ray  *

Diary of the Dead

House of the Long Shadows  *

* = seen before - watched again

So, 34 movies - meaning I averaged 1.09 movies a day for all 31 days! Add in another 12 TV episodes - and you get a decent amount of horror watched!

Spent my Halloween watching those last five movies - having lunch with a pal at my favorite restaurant - where the waitresses wear sexy costumes for Halloween -

Wrapped up the day having some pizza for dinner - and giving out far less candy than I bought to the 15-20 kids who came by.

It was a blast - as was this 31 days-straight horror post-a-thon! Thanks for coming by! I'll probably be taking a few days off (other than the regular departments) - see you soon!

Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Foto Frenzy: Halloween III: Season of the Witch!

When John Carpenter and Debra Hill decided to turn the Halloween franchise into an anthology - telling a completely new story each year with no returning characters (but probably returning cast members) - I was intrigued. At the time they certainly seemed to have put Michael Myers down for the count in Halloween II - and the idea of all new stories where anyone could die at any time seemed to be a pretty refreshing idea.

This one starts off with the Silver Shamrock company and their three cool new masks - Skull, Jack o' Lantern, and Witch.
Then a mask store owner turns up dead under suspicious circumstances - and he had one of these masks clutched
in a death grip.

It has something to do with these guys - and looking at them - can't you just tell?

The mask store owner's daughter and the doctor treating him when he was killed team up to investigate...

...but more people die. And, pretty horribly.

The culprit - demented mask maker Conal Cochran. His plan? Bigger than anyone could ever imagine.

No child is safe...


I love this movie - it's very different from what came before - and certainly from what came after.

Until our final post for this Halloween Postathon - you Can Poke Me With A Mask, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tales from the Script: Halloween 9!

Oooo, kiddies! It's time for another scary script excerpt from a screenplay written by yours truly!

The perfect title for this would have been Halloween: Resurrection, because it was written to send the series off in a new direction for about three more movies. Then part 8 stole that title, and it didn't even mean anything there. *sigh*

I wrote this in 2002 and 2003, trying to finish it for the 25th anniversary of the first movie's release. I got it written by then, but not produced and on theater screens.

I think an aspect of the first few pages of this script have actually worked against me - the opening sequence is supposed to be a schlocky movie version of the opening minutes of John Carpenter's classic - in other words, what if the story of Michael Myers was real, but when filmed it was by filmmakers much less talented than the people who made the real Halloween in 1978?

So, the dialogue in these scenes is supposed to be a poorly written reflection of the real movie's lines. I fear that some may have started reading this and thought this was my real dialogue - then closed the script as it was obvious I couldn't write for crap?

So - I think if I send this out again it will have a post-it on the first page explaining this.



A sinister jack-o-lantern grins from the porch of this modest midwestern home. Whoever has been staring at it would seem to be fairly short as he turns away and walks over to a side window.

Inside, a teenage girl dressed in rather theatrical 1960’s era clothes sits on a couch and giggles as a teenage boy dressed in the same theatrical style nuzzles her neck. JUDITH playfully pushes JOHN away.

Stop! Michael’s around here somewhere. He is only six years old. He might see us and be upset.

John grabs up a clown mask lying nearby and puts it over his face as renews his assault on Judith. She can’t help but giggle as she pushes him away again.

Let’s go upstairs to your bedroom and have


All right. Yes. That sounds good.

She grabs him by the hand and they run for the stairs.

The watcher waits a moment at the window, then steps back and looks up. The light in the upstairs window winks out, and there is a MUSICAL STING underscoring it.

The watcher turns and walks toward a back door. He steps inside, and looks quickly around the semi-dark kitchen. He makes his way over to a drawer and opens it. His hand reaches inside and pulls out an almost ridiculously large butcher knife.

The watcher walks with it through a connecting door to the living room.

After crossing the living room, the watcher finds the clown mask lying in the doorway to the hallway where the stairs are. As he bends down to pick it up, he pulls back around the corner of the door and peers carefully around it.

John bounds down the stairs, pulling his shirt on. He pauses and looks back up the stairs.

I’m sorry, I’ll try to last longer next time.

Okay. That sounds good.

I’ll call you on the telephone.


John pounds down the last couple of stairs and out the front door. As soon as it is closed, the watcher starts for the stairs.

He slips the mask on, and the POV is now through the mask’s eyeholes as he climbs the stairs.

At the top of the stairs, the watcher unerringly walks into one of the bedrooms.

Inside the room, Judith sits at a dressing table, brushing her hair and humming to herself. She finally notices that someone has come into her room and turns to see who it is.

Michael? Is that you, you little scamp?

Suddenly, the watcher raises the knife high over his head and whips it down. Judith’s head fairly well leaps from her shoulders, gouts of blood spraying the room.


Suddenly we cut out of the film as an audience comprised mostly of teenagers screams at the decapitation they just witnessed. Behind the crowd stand two men, both middle aged, in suits, and smarmed to perfection. They are the film’s producers, LEE CUSHING and PRICE CARRADINE. They smile knowingly at each other. Cushing leans in close to Carradine.

He didn’t really cut off her head, you know.

You know it, and I know it, but they don’t
know it, and it sure does make the rugrats
scream, so what the hell?

True enough.

The crowd screams again.

With reactions like that, I’m almost not
nervous about opening night.

Let’s see what the reaction cards say. We’ve
still got a week to play around with the
picture in the editing room is we need to.

The crowd screams yet again.

I don’t think we’re going to have to
worry about that.


Starting out in the leaves of a treem the camera CRANES down, bringing into view a marquee which reads “Starts Tonight - Trick or Treat: The Michael Myers Story”

A subtitle informs us that this is “October 22nd.”

The line waiting to get into the movie is around the block. Lee Cushing and Price Carradine are near enough to the entrance to be spotted as they grin and grin at the crowd buying tickets.


The auditorium is packed. Onscreen, a young woman sits in a doorway, spent and tired. The onscreen character is LAURIE STRODE (MOVIE).

The shot is wide, and allows the audience to see what she doesn’t. A tall, imposing figure in coveralls and a white mask sits up on the other side of the room. The crowd in the theater reacts to this audibly.

Thank God it’s over.

The crowd’s tension mounts as behind Laurie the figure stands and begins to shuffle toward her. She stands, taking the tension level to an all time high. The masked figure reaches out for her..

We cut away from the scream and to the audience as they walk the knife edge of terror, finally releasing it in another shattering scream in unison.


Cushing and Carradine stand outside the theater doors and react visibly each time there’s a scream from inside.

I told you we had nothing to
worry about!

I guess so. I like how you stacked
the deck anyway.

What are you talking about?

Cushing nods at the auditorium door.

Michael Myers.

I’m totally lost now.

The Michael Myers you hired. He walked
right in like he owned the place. Sat right
down and managed to clear a couple of
seats all around!

Are you telling me someone dressed as
Michael Myers is in there right now?

Yeah. Didn’t you hire him?

No. We talked about it
but decided there’d be too much
potential for trouble?

I thought you’d changed your mind.

Cushing starts to walk away.

Stay put. I’m getting the manager.



Cushing and Carradine enter, followed closely by a nervous THEATER MANAGER. They walk down the aisle, Cushing in the lead.

I don’t see him now, he was sitting
right up there.

He gestures to a seat a few rows away. No one sits there, but there is a figure slumped in the seat in front of the empty one.

The tension builds as the trio comes to a stop by the seat in question. Cushing starts to reach for the slumped figure, but Carradine stops him.

Hang on, it’s almost over.

Onscreen, the young woman playing Laurie turns to an older actor - a very miscast George Hamilton type - playing DR. LOOMIS.

Was that the boogeyman, or something?

Yes. That’s exactly who he seemed
to be. Most definitely just like
a boogeyman.

Laurie screams a bone shattering shriek as the screen fades to black and the credits start.

In the theater, the lights come up slightly as the crowd gets up almost in unison to go. Cushing and Carradine hide their fears as they nod and grin at the departing audience members.

After most of the crowd has dispersed, Carradine nods to the slumped figure.

Go ahead.

Cushing reaches out to the slumped figure. He touches the shoulder...

...and the man snaps awake, the last bit of a snore ripping out of his mouth.

Cushing and Carradine sigh hugely, then turn to each other as the man rises to leave.

Can’t please them all, I guess.


The two producers whirl to the man.



He points to the back of the seat directly in front of the seat the alleged Michael Myers sat in. Scratched deeply and savagely into the wood is the word “sister.”

Some people take these horror movies
way too seriously.

As they turn to go, the familiar notes of the “Halloween” theme start their ominous cadence...


After this opening, we meet Jennilee Bennett - the young actress who was playing Laurie Strode in that movie we were seeing bits of. She heads home to rural North Carolina for a visit with her mother and father and some friends. The Bennetts live in a big walled compound - within its walls are the Bennett home; the home of Jennilee's paternal grandmother, recently deceased; the house of Jennilee's Great Aunt Judy, a crabby old jackwagon who lives to cause trouble; and a trailer for the compound maintenance man, Lou.

Across the next week, while we get to know Jennilee and her friends, they begin planning a big Halloween party to be held on the grounds of the compound on Halloween night. Jennilee's parents are going to be away, and they just need to duck Lou and Aunt Judy to have some real fun.

While the party preparations are underway, Jennilee is unnerved when she starts to see images of Michael Myers nearby, watching her. Shaken, she retreats into the compound walls, confident in the security of the twelve foot wall around the place.

She'd be less secure if she saw what happened to Lou as he patrolled the perimeter - he finds a tree cut down and propped against the wall, giving anyone easy access to the compound. As Lou starts to call the sheriff, Michael Myers appears and gives Lou a personal lesson in how he chopped that tree down. Lou is no more.

Later, Jennilee spends some time in her Grandmother's house, reminiscing. She leaves to see her parents off on their trip, and forgets her cell phone and house keys at Grandma's. Later, after dark, at the urging of her boyfriend Mitchell, who has been unable to reach her on her cell and is forced to call the house phone - Jennilee realizes she must have left the phone and keys at Grandma's and walks up alone in the night to retrieve them. Aunt Judy's house is at the other end of the compound, but Lou's trailer is not far away. Still, this is little comfort when the night beckons to her with a chill wind. Finally, she makes it to Grandma's house. It is October 30th.


The house is exactly like it was when we last saw it, only darker. Jennilee turns on a light in the back porch area, then walks over to kitchen. She turns on a light there, but it immediately flashes out in a bulb burnout, scaring her again.


She walks over to the door leading into the living room. The small lamp is still on, throwing a light around the room that can only be called feeble when compared to the darkness surrounding it.

Jennilee walks into the room and over to the table where she left her phone and keys. She scoops up the phone, but the keys are nowhere to be found. She looks all around the table, but cannot find them.


While thinking about the problem, Jennilee notices a picture of Aunt Judy in a frame nearby.

Aunt Judy? Would she have come up here?
But if she did, why would she pick up
my keys and leave my phone here?

Shaking her head at the mystery, Jennilee turns off the lights an

d heads back through the kitchen and onto the back porch. Once there she pauses, lost in thought. Suddenly she perks up at something she sees outside.


Across the back yard, Lou’s trailer is visible in the illumination from the security light in between the two dwellings. A tall, dark figure with a very pale face walks the length of the trailer, headed for the front door.

There’s Lou! Maybe he grabbed my

She whips the back door open as the figure across the way mounts the steps to the trailer.


The figure pauses on the steps for a split second, then steps on into the trailer.

A confused Jennilee walks forward, then makes a decision and strides resolutely towards the trailer. She reaches the door and knocks. She waits a moment, then pulls the front door open.



No answer. She steps cautiously inside. A small touch lamp burns in the corner in front of her on the lowest setting, casting a dim glow over the living room.

Jennilee looks into the bedroom on her right. From the glow of the secruity light outside she can see it is stacked with boxes that fill the room and cover the twin bed and dresser. No room for anyone in there.

Jennilee turns and looks into the small kitchen and dining area. The light from the touch lamp barely reaches the far wall. Jennilee walks past the kitchen area and peers into the small hallway leading to the bathroom and Lou’s bedroom in back.

Lou! For God’s sake, it’s
Jenn! Lou!

Still no answer. Jennilee walks into the hallway, passing the back door, which is closed. Working through the narrow hallway, she casts a quick glance at the darkened bathroom, but sees nothing in the gloom filling the tiny space. That only leaves the bedroom before her.

Jennilee steels her resolve, very nervous now. Why won’t Lou answer her? She walks into the frame of the doorway and reaches for the light switch. She flicks it on, the instantly squints as her eyes try to adjust to the light.

But even with her eyes squinched she can see the room is empty. The bedroom is rather spartan, just a double bed and two dressers. Jennilee is boggled. Where the hell could Lou have gone?

As she stands in the bedroom doorway, behind her, a vague Shape passes silently out of the bathroom and through the back door.

Jennilee turns, trying to figure out the mystery, She gets even with the back door before she realizes it is open! She looks at it in amazement, then steps out onto the back deck.


The back yard to the trailer is shrouded in darkness. As Jennilee looks around for some sign of her father’s friend, another chill wind blows up, making her clutch her jacket tighter.

Finally, she turns and walks back through the door, casting one last look at the back yard as she pulls the door closed.


Jennilee is at the front door, and stands in the doorway, overwhelmed by the darkness and shadows she must pass through to get back to her house.

Finally, she just goes, rushing out of Lou’s trailer. She gives the door a push, not caring if it closes or not. She dashes across the lawn between her trailer and Grandma’s house keeping a sharp eye out on all sides.

She steers around Grandma’s house and carport and all of the hiding places they hold, and trots to the hill leading down to her house.

She nearly stumbles going down the hill, but stays on her feet and now flat out runs for the back porch. Reaching the door, she maneuvers through it in the fastest possible time.


Jennilee slams the back door shut. She takes a deep breath, and leans against the door, trying to cast off the fear that brought her here running. We haven’t seen into the house at all. Jennilee turns, and there is a moment of absolute certainty that Michael Myers will be standing behind her.

But he is not.

Jennilee walks into the kitchen, then remembers something and marches back to the back door, which she pointedly locks. Feeling somewhat safer, she walks on into the house. But that door was unlocked the whole time. Anybody could have come through that door before Jennilee returned. And what did happen to her keys?


A short time later, all of the lights in the house are off except for the one in Jennilee’s bedroom. A shadow passes the window, then this light goes off too. The darkened house settles down as the midnight hour begins. It is now October 31st. Halloween.

That's about 8-10 pages of the script, roughly 10-15% of the whole magilla. If you have something in 8 figures lying around that you're not using, we could try to get Dimension to release the rights to us, or get them to co-produce with us - your name will look good above the title with a "Presents" under it!

Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Maniacal Movie Poster Monday #139!

Theme Week!
Slasher Spoofs from the Early Eighties!

Student Bodies  (Paramount, 1981)

The first of the spoof movies to take on the slasher craze - this one has some great moments. The movie doesn't hold up to the end - but there's some pretty damned funny stuff along the way!

Pandemonium  (aka Thursday the 12th)  (MGM/UA, 1982)

Almost the same result here - funny ideas and people - but the movie itself doesn't hold together through to the end. One of the best jokes - hero Tom Smothers is a Mountie because so many of the slasher and horror movies were shot in Canada!

Wacko  (Jensen Farley Pictures, 1982)

I have not seen this one - which starts off with cop Joe Don Baker trying to find the "Lawnmower Killer" - but I can only imagine that it roams far afield if that poster is any indication - and probably also fails to find an ending. Think I might need to track this one down on VHS and finally check it out thirty years later!

Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Crazy Movie Weekend: Halloween Horrorfest 3!

I counted down the minutes for almost a year until the third installment of my Halloween movie marathon weekend!

I took off work a couple of hours early to get our snack supplies for the weekend - plus our now traditional Friday night meal - a themed "Take-n-Bake" pizza from Papa Murphy's.

Mmmmmm....pepperoni Jack'o'Lantern pizza...

My movie buddy niece Sandra - who flew in all the way from QATAR for this movie fest - was already hanging at the house - and we were joined by my movie buddy Ray and his girlfriend Melinda - and we set off on the sixth Crazy Movie Weekend - the third all horror Halloweenfest!

Ray carved the festival's mascot - Jack - and he gave us a saucy grin as the Blu-Ray menu for the first film came up - Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers.

After the movie - we kicked off this year's Body Count - with Ray and Melinda our models...

After that we popped in Evilspeak from 1982....during this movie my movie buddy nephew James joined us...

Sadly, after Evilspeak Ray and Melinda had to pack it in for work the next morning.

But Sandra, James, and I marshalled on!

Here's something I never noticed before the clarity of Blu-Ray:

This pithy saying was written into Captain Blake's diary on my birthday!

Sandra packed it in - but James and I were going on - so we went with a movie Sandra had already seen in the theater:

This one took us to about 2:30am, so we headed off to our beds.

The next morning we were back at it at about 10am - Sandra, James, and I:

After watching those zombies eat - we were peckish - so we headed out for our other traditional CMW food - a burger from Five Guys!

Then it was back to the homestead for the next movie:

The credits are still rolling up the screen - and my refreshing beverage from lunch jumps in...

After the 80's goodness from the morning and early afternoon we jumped to the 21st century for the next flick:

Sandra is the model - as the Body Count approaches triple digits...

There were invites extended to David and April; Andy and Melissa; and Natalie and Chris. Andy and Melissa begged over days before - with a baby shower keeping them at home the weekend of the movie fest. By this time in the afternoon I expected some of the others. Sadly, none of them made it.

That certainly didn't stop us! At this point I offered Sandra and James a choice: Terror Train or Last House on the Left (1972). James had heard that LHOTL was gut wrenching, so he voted for that one and Sandra went along.

Their guts were NOT wrenched. In fact, this disturbing movie rated as the least liked of the festival.

My Canadian buddy Elaine's Halloween card photobombs this Body Count photo...

We had just gotten about 20 minutes into the next movie when Ray and Melinda came back - huzzah for their return!

This is James's "I'm dead" look - a tradition in the Body Count photos now...

Back to the movies we went:

After that we finished the third movie in a trilogy - we watched one of these movies in each of the first two CMW:HHs - and now we wrapped up the series in the third:

With this movie under our belts, Ray and Melinda had to leave again - and sadly wouldn't be back for any of the Sunday movies.

At this point - with one more movie to go Saturday night James asked for something really scary. But you know, it's difficult to hit that nail on the head with regularity. Sinister was the scariest movie of this third Horrorfest - but it's not that easy to luck in to another movie that scary. I have heard Insidious is really good and creepy - but James has already stated earlier in the fest that he didn't like that one after it had been built up to be so scary. It's a double edged sword - if you hear a movie is super scary then when you watch it usually you're like "That's all it was? THAT wasn't scary." James is particularly prone to this - his reaction to Last House on the Left shows it.

So, the best I can do is try to hit that ball out of the park once sometime in the 13-14 movies we watch. Everything else needs to fall under the categories of cool or disturbing. Those are the only other touchpoints I can try to hit. I don't even succeed at that all that often - as we have started Saturday with a classic Romero zombie movie the last two CMW: HHs - and neither James nor Sandra cared all that much for them. It's a little telling that every movie they rate highly is from this century - and all the other older movies - well regarded classics in some cases - get "it was okay" reviews from them.

So, knowing I couldn't satisfy James's "scary" itch - I decided to let him pick the next movie - which turned out to be one whose trailer was on the Hatchet III Blu-Ray - a British dead clown movie.

And - wouldn't you know it - enticed in by the rude and raunchy trailer - we all found this one to be mediocre.

Still - it goes us six more bodies - and took us to around 2:30 am again - so off to bed for another few hours sleep...

Sunday morning started with the Queen of Halloween -

Bet you didn't think Elvira scored that high of a body count in her first movie, did you?

We wrapped up CMW: HH3 with the sequel to the movie that finished up CMW: HH2 last year - as it had been a definite hit.

Feast II: Sloppy Seconds went over equally well to close us out - and it narrowly beat out Hatchet III for single highest body count!

We had a blast - and I'm already thinking about next year!

Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Saturday Night at the Movies 10/26/13!

Who cares what picture we see?

Shelley Hack most certainly does - so we will pick this one...

I remember the poster for this one at the mall theater in my college town - but I skipped it for whatever reason. I finally caught up with it on video several months later - OMG - what an awesome flick! Terry O'Quinn is positively chilling in the title role - and the rest of the cast - including latter Charlie's Angel Shelley Hack and Scream Teen Jill Schoelen - are all fine. But this is O'Quinn's show - and he is marvelous.

I just added this one to the video vault on Blu-Ray thanks to the fine folks over at Scream Factory - and we could be helping Mr. O'Quinn figure out who he is here at any time - even tonight - if you want to come watch a scary movie with me.

Years later I got to work with Mr. O'Quinn - he was a hell of a guy! There's a couple of good stories related to The Stepfather - but I'll tell them later.

Until next post - you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Video Vault of Mora Tau 10/25/13!

Video clip fun for everyone!

I'm so damned nostalgic for old TV Halloween stuff - so off we go!

Need a costume? Got ya covered!

Hungry? No problem!

This one is short but sweet - what memories of my youth - when staying up late really meant something...

And we'll wrap up with horror host The Count - not sure where he broadcast from - but here's his Halloween showing of Frankenstein: The True Story from sometime in the 70's or 80's.

Takes me back! And you can come back - tomorrow - for another post - until then you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Buddhaween IV: The Return of Buddha Man!

A double feature!

The Sound of Horror (Europix Consolidated Corporation, 1966)

From the looks of this victim, the sound of horror might be a squishy
tearing sound...

Treasure hunters blasting a cave somewhere in the Greek mountains inadvertently release a fast moving dinosaur who proceeds to turn the expedition into his own all-you-can-eat buffet. The really tricky part is - the beastie - though incredibly noisy - is invisible!

This one is now supposedly in the public domain, and turns up in several of those 50 movie pack DVD box sets. I finally saw it from one of those, having never seen it as a kid - and it's not bad. The first 50 minutes or so are a little slow, but not murderously so. Once the creature, er, doesn't appear, the movie is really pretty cool. I like the idea of the invisible monster, which in the end is cheaper, but more effective than whatever special effect these guys might have used to show the thing. Give this one a try - especially in a group where the slow spots can be chatted over!

Unhinged (Anavisio Productions, 1982)

Does your hatchet lose its flavor in her forehead overnight?

Three young women off to a jazz festival have a car accident. They find refuge in the spooky old mansion owned by a nasty old woman and her strange daughter. Eventually, some guy starts offing the women, and all clues seem to point to the gardener - as the deaths are caused by gardening tools, and he appears to be the only guy around for miles. But we've seen too many of these movies to fall for that one, right?

This flick rather inexplicably fell onto Great Britain's Video Nasty list and was hard to see for decades, unless you tracked down a VHS copy released here in the US after the hoopla overseas. That's how I first saw it, by the by, though much later. Its legend grew in the intervening time until people imagined it must be wall to wall gore in nearly every frame of the film. Finally, there was a DVD release a few years ago - with actual special features and everything (although the "comedy commentary" doesn't do much for anyone involved, including you if you listen to it). The movie is incredibly low budget, not particularly well directed, indifferently acted, and features a script padded to the point of ridiculousness. But you know what? The movie still has 'something.' The murder scenes are also not much, in terms of graphic nastiness, at least, despite the movie's long standing reputation, yet they still pack a small punch. And there's an atmosphere about the movie; a sense of dread and of inescapable destiny; and an ending that while maybe not the surprise the filmmakers were hoping for, is sufficiently demented and off putting that it sticks with you. Those factors make me almost recommend it. If you're almost intrigued, then check it out!

And that completes our time together. Until next we meet, always remember...no one likes a tattletale.

Thank you Buddha Man! Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

PSA A Go Go 10/23/13!

As we approach Halloween, artist Rob Kelly and I feel we should again serve the public through an announcement.

And believe me - this mummy's no dummy!

Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

More Murder Than Bun!

Drive Thru (Lionsgate, 2007)

Before the Camera:Leighton Meester (TV's Gossip Girl)
Melora Hardin (TV's The Office)
Nicholas D'Agosto (TV's Heroes)
Lola Glaudini (TV's Persons Unknown)
Larry Joe Campbell (TV's According to Jim)
Van De La Plante (couple of TV guest spots; first movie)
Penn Badgley (TV's Gossip Girl)
John Gilbert (The X-Files computer game)
Sean Whalen (TV's Unfabulous)
Morgan Spurlock (TV's 30 Days)
as Robbie, the Hella-Burger Manager

Behind the Camera:

Directed by Brendan Cowles and Shane Kuhn

Produced by Matt Milich, Martin Wiley, Chris Sievernich, and 9 other assorted Executive, Associate, and Line Producers

Written by Brendan Cowles and Shane Kuhn

    The opening shot of this flick introduces us to four extremely obnoxious teens cruising about town. They next decide they need to stop for some chow, and pull in at the local "Hellaburger" restaurant. Although the building is dark and the parking lot empty, these dimwits notice nothing and pull up to the drive thru. The clown faced speaker perks right up, but as the order conversation goes on, whoever is behind the clown face makes some strange statements, stuff that sounds threatening. Hmmm. When challenged on this, the voice goes back to standard fast food terminology that rhymes with the earlier threats. Eventually, the two lads in the SUV decide their manhood has been challenged, and they head into the restaurant to kick some tushie.

    However, the joint seems empty, and then a figure pops up who looks like a mashup of the restaurant mascot Horny the clown and one of the members of KISS circa 1982 (ending up looking sort of like a mobile version of the clown faced speaker outside - the mask looks just like the head down to the speaker grid across the mouth) and does them both in messily. The young women out in the SUV, in the meantime, have fallen asleep (!) and are ill prepared for the clown to join them, swinging a large cleaver moments later. Cue credits.

    After a fairly annoying song performed by an onscreen girl band we learn the lead singer is our protagonist Mackenzie (Meester). She is a standard issue horror movie final girl, right down to her retained virginity which is on the table for loss with her boyfriend Fisher (D'Agosto) on the clockstroke of her 18th birthday in a few days. We meet her parents, and are happy to see that mom Marcia is played by Trudi Monk aka Melora Hardin. But then Mackenzie's friends start to meet up with that heavy metalized Horny the Clown and die in weird and gory ways - ways that for the record often have little or nothing to do with fast food, fast food restaurants, fast food mascots, or drive thrus... Mackenzie begins to think that the killer is supernatural in nature (he "appears" where and when needed to spring his attacks) and that he's somehow tied to events in her mom's life.

    Eventually, we do go back to Hellaburger for a cameo by Morgan "Sure I'll be in your anti fast food movie" Spurlock and a fairly cool kill scene that takes place in the kid's play area of the restaurant - with Horny's emergence from the ball crawl a high point of the flick. Then we move on to the home of Hellaburger founder Jack Benjamin (Gilbert) where we learn that mom Marcia was involved in the death of Jack's son Archie (De La Plante), the first person to wear the Horny the Clown mascot outfit and the first and only person to burn to death wearing it in a "cruel prank." Now, "prank gone wrong" scenes almost always hit home with me in movies like this, because it's usually a moment when any filmmaker can push an audience's sympathy buttons, if only for a moment or two and no matter how crappy the surrounding movie might be. However, when they flashback to this one it turns out the event was more stupid than cruel and not particularly pranky, which is too bad - another misstep.

But I digress.

Now Archie has returned in ghostly form as Horny to kill off the kids of the now grown-ups who killed him. Before you can cough "Nightmare on Elm Street!" into your fist, Horny knocks out Mackenzie and she wakes up in a Hellaburger restaurant, tied up and surrounded by the corpses of her friends, which causes us to cough "Happy Birthday to Me!" into our fists just in time for the fiery finale of the flick.

A tiny Horny was hiding in their bag of Skittles the whole time.

    I will tell anyone who listens that clowns are creepy, so I had medium high hopes for this one, also anticipating the shtick of a killer in a fast food restaurant. So, as the film wandered far afield from its title and concept after the opening 15 minutes or so, I found the movie heading toward Misfire Lane. It never fully recovered from driving down that road, but there were still some solid moments along the way.

Breaking down the ingredients- on the plus side: 1) the tongue in cheek tone; 2) the silliness of a fast food concept of a devil clown with tiny horns - hence the name Horny - for a fast food joint known for its spicy food; 3) the always welcome Hardin; 4) Spurlock, genuinely amusing in his three minutes onscreen; and 5) a couple of good gory deaths mixing practical makeup effects with not-as-successful CGI.

On the downside: 1) I wasn't much on Horny's mask or spiked boots or other heavy metal trappings; 2) making a lot of the characters obnoxious (especially the quartet in the opening scene) so the viewer wants to see them die - meh. It's okay to let me feel bad for the characters who meet their ends - if the humorous touches are funny, I'll still find them amusing even if I liked the dead character; 3) borrowing a little too liberally and literally from A Nightmare on Elm Street and Happy Birthday to Me; and most of all - 4) after the filmmakers provide a satisfying end to the supernatural killer - which is great because it allows this movie to end well and still leaves the door open for a sequel because it's so easy to bring back a supernatural killer with a minimum of fuss for a sequel - they can't let it go and first go for a tacked on last few minutes with an ill-advised and ill-explained cliffhanger, then a final scene that basically negates the ending and picks up the story again, meaning the movie stops instead of ends. Feh. (And while there was at one time news that the sequel had wrapped production - I don't think it's been released if true...)

So in the end, no recommendations for this one except to Melora Hardin or Morgan Spurlock completists.

Let's Get Out of Here ?

At 51:49 Nicholas D'Agosto decides he has spent enough time in the police station, and at 1:09:33 he goes for it again, this time tied to an F-Bomb for extra impact. Or not.

Eye Candy ?

The filmmakers would probably think I'd choose one of their teen-ish ladies, but no, the clear winner here is Melora Hardin, a hottie every day and twice on Sunday. Welcome to the list, Ms. Hardin!

Buddha Man Sez:

"Drive Thru...bup bup bup bup ba...not lovin' it!"

 As always, BM says in 10 words what I take 1000 to say...sterling work, Buddha Man! And oh yeah, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Maniacal Movie Poster Monday #138!

Curucu, Beast of the Amazon  (Universal International, 1956)

This movie was a long time showing up on Channel 30's Creature Feature - and after I saw it I think I know why other movies were on their third showing before this one showed up - SPOILER ALERT - there's no damn monster! It's a native in a costume trying to scare the interlopers off. Listen, if I want to watch Scooby Doo I'll watch it in color and with a Great Dane in it! WTH were you thinking, Curt Siodmak? Great poster, though.

Jennifer  (American International Pictures, 1978)

I haven't seen this Carrie ripoff featuring snakes (which has the cojones to compare itself to the other movie right on the poster) but you know I'd sit right down with it given the chance!

The Black Cat  (Universal Studios, 1934)

This is probably my favorite Karloff/Lugosi pairing. It's the wildest, with crazy Art Deco sets, and Karloff and Lugosi barely managing to restrain themselves from leaping at each other through the entire running time. And to top it off - you get Lugosi's immortal dialogue - in response to a guy talking about "All that supernatural baloney!" Lugosi responds: "Supernatural? Perhaps. Baloney? Perhaps not!"

Until tomorrow's post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Images of Halloween #4!

From my family photo albums...

My cousins Matt and Jamie - this would have been around the late 1970's...

Until next post - tomorrow - you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Saturday Night at the Movies 10/19/13!

Who cares what picture we see?

I do, dammit - and as I am currently actually in the middle of Crazy Movie Weekend: Halloween Horrorfest 3 - I am going minimalist with this post. But here's the pic - something that will be screened this weekend...

Haven't seen it. Picked up a used Blu-Ray cheap. Hope it scares the pee out of us! Feel free to bring your loaded bladder over too!

Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Random Stew 10/18/13!

Here we go again - throwing another pop culture tidbit into the ever simmering Random Stew...

Okay, you've lived your life right along - and you thought you had a pretty good understanding of how the world works.


Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Video Vault of Mora Tau 10/17/13!

This is such a great time of year - let's dig up a few more crazy fun video clips!

I think it's high time we get the Queen of Halloween into this blogfest - so let's take a look at the original opening and a host segment from Movie Macabre....

And here's the opening to her show from a couple of years ago...
And lastly here's a nice edited montage of a little of the pop culture impact Elvira and her alter ego Cassandra Peterson have had over the years...
Love me some Elvira! Every day and twice on Halloween!
Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Mistress Of The Dark, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Buddhaween III: Season of the Witch!

Take it away, you golden thing!

Martin (1978) Writer/director George Romero brings his unique vision and social commentary to the vampire mythos with this horror movie. We meet Martin (John Amplas-Creepshow) as he is being sent from the Midwest to live with his aged cousin in Pittsburgh. On the train he attacks a woman in her sleeping compartment with a drugged needle and razor blade, drinking the woman's blood, though it is not clear if he kills her. When Martin steps off the train in Pittsburgh, his cousin, the formidable Tata Cuda (Lincoln Maazel) immediately pronounces Martin "nosferatu" or undead creature. He tells Martin he is well aware of Martin's curse and that he means to stop it. Cuda's granddaughter Christine also lives with them, and she thinks Cuda is crazy because of his suspicions about Martin. However, Martin tells Christine he is 84 years old but that he has no supernatural powers, which he calls magic. The age thing seems impossible but would explain why he and the elderly Cuda are cousins. Christine doesn't believe Martin, but fears he is unstable from listening to Tata Cuda's rants. From there we watch as Martin continues to live the life of a fangless vampire, stalking people and using razor blades to drink their blood. He also takes to calling a radio talk show where he becomes a minor celebrity of the local airwaves, called the Count by the cynical host who doesn't believe anything Martin says but loves the sensationalism for his ratings. It is never clear if Martin really is or isn't a true vampire, but the distinction is kind of moot since he is definitely attacking people and drinking their blood.

Sometimes vampire bare their fangs; Martin bears his fangs.

This is an absorbing movie, mixing real drama of lower middle class life in the 70's with the usual Romero social commentary and the horror aspects, with the ambiguity of Martin's character the clincher in making this one of the best horror movies of the 70's and possibly Romero's best as well. It is low budget and rather deliberately paced, but keeps your attention throughout. Romero directs well, interspersing old fashioned black and white vampire movie scenes that seem to be Martin's fantasies (or are they memories?) at key points along the way, and letting the rest of the movie play out in quiet, almost documentary like fashion. The cast is unknown but decent, including Romero himself as a local priest not hip to the old ways of Tata Cuda, and makeup man Tom Savini as Christine's not very pleasant boyfriend. This was also the first time Romero and Savini worked together behind the scenes as well, and Savini provides some fine if somewhat low key gore effects. If you've enjoyed any of Romero's other movies like Night of the Living Dead or Dawn of the Dead, or you don't mind slower paced horror fare, definitely give this one a look!

Thank you Buddha Man! Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!