Monday, March 14, 2016

Come Check Out The New Site!

As of now, The Horror Revolution hosted at Blogspot is closed. Come check out the new site at . I've transferred everything you know and love from this site over, and it looks awesome! Send me your thoughts, and better yet, visit all the time!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Dread: The Study Of Terror

Synopsis: College researchers decide to study the feeling of dread, tracing its roots and causes. Eventually, they decide to delve deeper, forcing their subjects to face their fears head on.

I recently watched the movie Dread, one of the 8 Films To Die For. I'm a huge fan of the film series, and I love their support of indie filmmakers of the horror variety. Most of these films we wouldn't have seen otherwise, so After Dark's production and distribution is a huge benefit to the genre as a whole and indie filmmakers specifically. This film was also based on a short story by Clive Barker, one of the original masters of horror, and was part of his immensely popular Books of Blood. I'm a huge fan of his as well, and, incidentally, this was one of my favorites from his works. Needless to say, between the branding from After Dark and the Barker connections, I was super excited to see this story committed to celluloid.

Dread is essentially the story of a man whose family was murdered by a madman with an ax, leading him to a lifelong fascination with the feeling of dread. He teams up with a pair of research videographers to study people's worst fears, and documents everything for a final school project. It becomes clear before too long that the man has some serious issues, and he lets it get in the way of their research in some pretty serious ways. In making his "patients" face their fears, he realizes that "to know the death of others intimately is a clue to death's nature, and might prepare a man for his own death." We realize that our antihero's sense of dread comes from death itself, and that that's what he fears the most.

The movie, as well as the story itself, manage to concisely display the biggest component of the horror genre as a whole. It's not always a matter of what we're afraid of so much as why. If we can answer this question, we can know exactly where to hit our audiences, and what tactics evoke that visceral, gut reaction that horror aficionados hold most dear. Fortunately, while the topics that conjure these feelings are different for everyone, the atmosphere in which they're most effective often doesn't change. This films plays well on those, and brings to life a truly interesting concept.

The film itself wasn't a huge hit, and it's not one that will fit nicely with every fan of the genre, but I thought it worked well. It managed to stay relatively true to the book while carrying some of the more impactful scenes well (the bleach/brillo pad bath scene in particular, as well as the newly discovered cure for vegetarianism). The best part was the actual project itself, which opened a window into the soul of fear in these characters. It would be an interesting real life study as well, but I don't believe I'd take part after seeing this film: I'd prefer not to be chased down by chainsaw wielding clowns while also being chased by bees to test the theory.

The actors did well, and Shaun Evans' Quaid was particularly faithful to the book. He was genuinely creepy, and very much did the character justice. I generally don't enjoy movie adaptations of books, but this one was surprisingly effective. Anthony DiBlasi's direction managed to make this an adequate adaptation of Barker's idea, and it's definitely one of my favorites of the 8 Films To Die For series that I've seen. It's an interesting concept, one that I'd love to see explored further.

Bottom Line: Decent flick, definitely give it a go, especially if you're a fan of the other 8 Films To Die For or indie horror in general. Read Barker's Books of Blood as well; they're great as a whole, and this story is excellent in particular. 3 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Aussie Horror: The Loved Ones

Synopsis: After turning down an invitation to a dance, a teen with a death wish finds out that some people don't take no for an answer. Will his unrequited suitor grant his wish?

The Loved Ones is a movie I've wanted to watch for a long time, but is almost impossible to find in my neck of the woods. I literally have never seen it in stores, not once. So, like all hard to find objects du jour, I took to eBay and found it immediately. I'm incredibly glad that I did, because this became an instant classic in disturbing cinema to me.

Director Sean Byrne manages to put together an incredibly creepy and disturbing film about a shy girl who invites an attached boy to prom. When he turns her down because he already has a date, she enlists the help of her maybe creepier father to kidnap the boy and throw a prom of her own, complete with power tools and bleach, and maybe a little incest to top it all off. The film was decently gruesome, and the acting, especially Robin McLeavy's character (Lola, pictured above), was top-notch. She's pretty attractive, but I don't know that she'll ever be able to get a (willing) date again after this film. Xavier Samuel (Brent), the arguable star of the show otherwise known for parts in Fury (the Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf tank movie) and Twilight: Eclipse, is fantastic, though his actual dialogue is limited due to... well, you'll have to watch for that part.

The creepiest character, to me, is John Brumpton's "Daddy", an incestuous father who just can't say no to his little girl. As we delve deeper into the film and learn this isn't the first time these things have happened (not giving away much there, really), we see a dark and troubled relationship where this behavior has been passed down. In fact, "Bright Eyes," the mother in this scenario, very well might've experienced the same treatment Brent is undergoing through most of the film. Like father, like daughter I suppose. Brumpton really does kill this role, no pun intended, and his brilliant portrayal is terrifyingly believable. This is a family you most decidedly don't want to cross, and they make no attempts to hide it.

Daddy, get the hammer.
After viewing several nearly unwatchable movies as of late, this was a welcome return to form. I was delightfully disturbed, and left wondering if I'd do the same things for my daughter. I quickly decided that I would absolutely not, but it was nice to wonder for a while. The relationship between the father and his spoiled daddy's girl (ugh, the implications) is contrasted with the despair and ruination of the relationship between Brent and his mother, and the scene where Brent's torture is paired with his friend's bizarre first date with the girl of his dreams leaves us with a feeling that no one in this film is going to have a truly "happy" ending. The camerawork and editing was fantastic, with just enough gore to please, cutting away from the worst moments while still giving us a ticket to see something no one should have to. The score and sound editing lend to this nicely, building dramatic tension and a general sense of unease that never really ebbs away.

Ultimately, we are viewers of a man with a death wish learning that he doesn't actually want to die, and we are witnesses to the lengths that he will go to to remain alive. Contrast that with Lola's unrelenting story of desire and insanity, and we're left with a twisted treatise on the embodiments of life and death. The scenes are weaved beautifully together, and The Loved Ones comes together as a masterwork of terror. Could not be more pleased, it was everything I was looking for and more.

Tell me I'm pretty.
Bottom Line: The Loved Ones is awesome. I highly recommend checking it out if you can find it, and if you can't find it locally, buy it online like me. Excellent, haunting film, haven't stopped thinking about it for days. 4.5 stars out of 5.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Horror Revolution 2016 Oscar Forecast!

Tonight's the night everyone in Hollywood looks forward to year-round, where we gather up the whitest folks and give the some hardware. This year looks to be a thriller, with most of the top awards not viewed  as a lock for any nominee. Well, here at The Horror Revolution, we've got our own predictions. And here they are! In no particular order:

Category: Sound Editing
Nominees: Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant, Sicario, Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Winner: Mad Max

Too much sound in Mad Max not to win, though The Revenant could just win everything this year.

Category: Song
Nominees: Earned It from Fifty Shades of Grey (The Weeknd, Ahmad Balshe, Jason Daheala Quenneville and Stephan Moccio), Manta Ray from Racing Extinction (J. Ralph & Antony Hegarty), Simple Song #3 from Youth (David Lang), Til It Happens To You from The Hunting Ground (Diane Warren and Lady Gaga), Writing's On The Wall from Spectre (Sam Smith and Jimmy Napes)
Winner: Til It Happens To You from The Hunting Ground

Lady Gaga wins an Oscar here, which is awesome for her. Closest thing to a win for horror at these Oscars. I'm going with Til It Happens To You.

Category: Score
Nominees: Bridge of Spies (Thomas Newman), Carol (Carter Burwell), The Hateful Eight (Ennio Morricone), Sicario (Johan Johannsson), Star Wars: The Force Awakens (John Williams, of course)
Winner: Ennio Morricone for The Hateful Eight

I hope Morricone wins. I'm a big fan, and he definitely deserves it, but John Williams could absolutely take it from him as well.

Category: Production Design
Nominees: Bridge Of Spies, The Danish Girls, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant
Winner: Mad Max

Mad Max continues the annual tradition of giving a great film all of the smaller, less important Oscars to pave the way to give another film Best Actor and Best Director.

Category: Makeup And Hairstyling
Nominees: Mad Max: Fury Road, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared, The Revenant
Winner: Mad Max

Max again, for the same reason as the previous category.

Category: Film Editing
Nominees: The Big Short, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant, Spotlight, Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Winner: The Big Short

I'm picking the upset here, lots are saying Mad Max is going to take this one too. I say this is one of the few The Big Short takes home.

Category: Costumer Design
Nominees: Carol, Cinderella, The Danish Girl, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant
Winner: Mad Max

I think Mad Max takes this one, though Cinderella could win too. I continue to say Max will win a handful of trophies, but won't take home any of the biggest awards.

Category: Cinematography
Nominees: The Hateful Eight, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant, Sicario, Carol
Winner: The Revenant

The only thing more impressive in this movie than Leo and Inarritu is the cinematography. Revenant takes this one.

Category: Documentary
Nominees: Amy, Cartel Land, The Look Of Silence, What Happened, Miss Simone?, Winter On Fire: Ukraine's Fight For Freedom
Winner: Amy

Amy Winehouse was fascinating, and she'll win Asif Kapadia an Oscar.

Category: Foreign Language Feature
Nominees: Embrace Of The Serpent, Mustang, Son Of Saul, Theeb, A War
Winner: Son of Saul

It's about the Holocaust, an Academy favorite topic. 

Category: Animated Feature
Nominees: Anomalisa, Boy And The World, Inside Out, Shaun The Sheep Movie, When Marnie Was There
Winner: Inside Out

Academy tends to give all these to Disney/Pixar, and this won't be any different, though Sheep could upset.

Category: Original Screenplay
Nominees: Bridge Of Spies, Ex Machina, Inside Out, Spotlight, Straight Outta Compton
Winner: Spotlight

Spotlight has to win here, just because it's a highly lauded movie that more than likely won't win anything else, but Straight Outta Compton could win the year's White Guilt Award. Unfortunately the only nomination for that fantastic film.

Category: Adapted Screenplay
Nominees: The Big Short, Brooklyn, Carol, The Martian, Room
Winner: The Big Short

The Big Short wins, although I could see Brooklyn pulling off the upset.

Category: Supporting Actress
Nominees: Jennifer Jason Leigh for The Hateful Eight, Rooney Mara for Carol, Rachel McAdams for Spotlight, Alicia Vikander for The Danish Girl, Kate Winslett for Steve Jobs
Winner: Alicia Vikander for The Danish Girl

This one is a tight race between Vikander and Winslett, but I don't see any way Vikander doesn't win.

Category: Supporting Actor
Nominees: Christian Bale for The Big Short, Tom Hardy for The Revenant, Mark Ruffalo for Spotlight, Mark Rylance for Bridge Of Spies, Sylvester Stallone for Creed
Winner: Sylvester Stallone for Creed

Stallone should win this one, but this one's tight as well. Don't be surprised to see Rylance or Ruffalo taking home the hardware instead.

Category: Lead Actress
Nominees: Cate Blanchett for Carol, Brie Larson for Room, Jennifer Lawrence for Joy, Charlotte Rampling for 45 Years, Saoirse Ronan for Brooklyn
Winner: Brie Larson for Room

Larson and Ronan are in a photo finish here, but Larson takes home the gold.

Category: Lead Actor
Nominees: Bryan Cranston for Trumbo, Matt Damon for The Martian, Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant, Michael Fassbender for Steve Jobs, Eddie Redmayne for The Danish Girl
Winner: Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant

Hah, wouldn't it be funny if Bryan Cranston took this instead? Forever the bridesmaid, DiCaprio will finally become the bride for The Revenant.

Category: Best Director
Nominees: Lenny Abrahamson for Room, Alejandro G Inarritu for The Revenant, Tom McCarthy for Spotlight, Adam McKay for The Big Short, George Miller for Mad Max: Fury Road
Winner: Alejandro G Inarritu for The Revenant

I think Inarritu will become the first director to repeat in 60-odd years, but it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if McKay was honored for The Big Short.

Category: Best Picture
Nominees: The Big Short, Bridge Of Spies, Brooklyn, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant, Room, Spotlight
Winner: The Revenant

I truly believe The Revenant will take home the trifecta, but if The Big Short wins, I wouldn't be surprised. Actually, Spotlight could take it too. This one's tight, but The Revenant wins.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

A Truly Horrific Film: Murder Set Pieces

Synopsis: A photographer meets, and then kills, a variety of people. And by variety, I of course mean women. 
Warning: This review will be almost completely negative. Anyone who likes this movie and doesn't want to read a very harsh critique of this "film" should turn back now. It only gets worse from here.

I picked this movie up recently from eBay as part of my search for rare, out of print, and disturbing films. I've read many things positive about this film (more on that later), so I decided to give it a go. I picked it up for $3, not bad for a OOP horror movie. Well, for any other movie. $3 was entirely too much for this movie. I want my money back.

The tagline for the movie on IMDB is "Prepare yourself for the first American NC-17 horror film." However, according to the movie's trivia section on IMDB, the film never received that rating. The only mentions that I could find about the film's previous rating was from director Nick Palumbo himself (or people that sounded like Palumbo representatives). Another fun fact: Apparently, in the lead up to the film's release, he and his promoters were banned from pretty much every major horror message board for bashing other films, trolling and insulting users, and writing fake reviews for their own blurbs. In fact, from what I've seen in my own research, most of the positive "reviews" of the film come directly from the director or someone who is obviously a shill. Some reports I read actually stated that Palumbo threatened people on various boards, and actually called the police to get one of them shut down due to unsatisfactory reviews. Now, I can't vouch for the veracity of all of these claims, but there are too many to be completely untrue, and from what I've read from the director's actual correspondence, I tend to believe most, if not all, of these reports.

Now, this has nothing to do with the film itself, it just strikes me that if you have to lie about your film to sell it, that should tell you something. The film itself was awful on its own merits. The actors did not have much to work with: this film had one of the worst scripts I've ever seen in a film. The Photographer (the only name we're given for the main character) would randomly scream things in German, because apparently he was the descendant of a Nazi. This is hardly explained, of course, as is most of the plot. One of the actresses in the film, Cerina Vincent, actually asked to have her part cut from the movie upon learning all of the details, which was of course denied. To her credit, she at least tried to get out from under the wheels of this struggle bus.

Kane Hodder (F13) and Tony Todd (Candyman) were also in this movie (which gives me great hope that I can get them to come to my birthday party). Hodder is a Nazi, because reasons, and is really more of a cameo than a character. Todd runs an adult bookstore, which the main character visits to look for "a real snuff film." Which snuff film, in particular? Wonder upon wonders, its director Nick Palumbo's previous effort, Nutbag! Which, of course, is so "disturbingly real" that its a real snuff film. Seriously, what a lazy piece of writing and filmmaking. You plug your other film inside this film? And sell it as a snuff film? Seriously, dude, get a grip. Tony Todd then yells at The Photographer because he's asking for a snuff film in an adult bookstore, because, obviously, that's not something that someone would actually do. The killer then says "In my mind's eye, I light fires in your cities." This is a loose paraphrase of one of Charles Manson's quotes, "In my mind's eye my thoughts light fires in your cities," which is much, much creepier. Of course, with writing this lazy, there's no reason to expect that we'd get accurate quotes. Obviously Hodder and Todd are fantastic actors, and have had many classic characters in the horror movie pantheon. It's clearly the writing that is at fault here, which again lays the blame at Palumbo's feet.

And then... actual, legitimate footage of 9/11. For no reason at all, Palumbo uses actual footage from the worst mass killing in US history to make his shitty film more controversial? Hey Nick, that doesn't make you edgy, that just makes you an asshole. 

Let me also say, I can't completely categorize the gore as bad or unimpressive. The special FX were done by August Underground veteran Fred Vogel, and from what I was able to see from the R-rated version, they weren't bad. I'm sure they would've been better on the unrated version. So I'll give him a pass. His films were much more realistic, though. Vogel's talents, as well as everyone else's, are wasted on this film. It's a shame, really.

Bottom Line: I'm a huge fan of disgusting, shocking, and disturbing horror (read my other reviews), but this wasn't even that disturbing or disgusting. How so many people find it so disturbing, I'll never know. Absolute garbage film, waste of time. I have to give it 1/2 a star, but solely because of Todd, Hodder, and Vogel. The rest of the movie was trash. 1/2 star out of 5.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A Little Bit Of A Letdown: The Innkeepers

Synopsis: Two desk clerks at a haunted hotel are determined to document its paranormal history. With the doors permanently closing in a week, can they prove that the Yankee Pedlar Inn is home to supernatural forces?

It takes a lot to tell a good ghost story.There have been very few over the decades of horror filmmaking that have had what it takes to be a good, lasting ghost tale, but when they hit, they hit in a big way. From Poltergeist to The Shining, ghost stories can be the scariest of all horror movies if handled in the right way. Ti West, the "new blood" director responsible for The House Of The Devil and The Sacrament, took his stab at the genre with The Innkeepers, a story of a haunted hotel that was closing its doors but had just enough in the tank for one last scare. In my opinion, he doesn't pull it off very well. His slow-burn style should've fit perfectly with a good ghost story, but it focused on bringing more hardly funny humor to the script instead of a more coherent plot.

Claire and Luke, the two desk clerks played competently by Sara Paxton and Pat Healy, are determined to authenticate the supernatural presence residing at their inn, and prove it they ultimately do, of course. And I think that that's where this film falls flat for me. The dialogue is good, the relationship between the two main characters is charming,  but the scares just aren't there. There's a few jump scares (one in particular in the beginning that's used to humorous effect), very little actual creepiness, and a climax that really is lackluster compared to the batshit crazy ending to HotD (although, to be fair, most film endings don't carry the insanity that ended House of the Devil). The Innkeepers just wasn't scary. 40 minutes passed before anything remotely paranormal happened, and the ending was just completely blah. It's not that it's slow, that in and of itself is not a bad thing. Hell, HotD was slow. It's just that it was slow with no payoff, no moment where it went from creepy to horrifyingly scary. It went from a well-lit Holiday Inn to the basement of that Holiday Inn with a ghost in a wedding dress.

I can't tell if she's dead or just has wedding cake smeared all over her.
West is a highly talented filmmaker. I absolutely loved House of the Devil, and The Sacrament was a fantastic reenactment of the Jonestown Massacre with a guy that I could've sworn for half the movie was John Goodman. This one just fell short for me. It's well-acted and well-directed, and the score fits well, it's just not scary in the slightest. It's got a fairly big fanbase, and to each their own, but this movie was more Scooby Doo than The Shining. And that's ok, I guess... just not scary.

Bottom Line: Disappointing outing by Mr. West, but it's worth a look if you're really into ghost stories, you don't mind slow plot, and you're really terrified by brides I guess? 2 1/2 stars out of 5.

Gotta change it to 5 stars because my stuff will now be posted at! Come check out the site for some great horror news, fantastic reviews, and more scary than you can shake a stick at!

Monday, February 22, 2016

The Slowest Of Burns: The Witch

Synopsis: A New England family, banished from their settlement for their views on religion, are forced to live in the wilderness. After their newborn child is taken by what the family believes to be a wolf, and their family dynamic begins to wither and die along with their crops, the family must fight to survive this New England Folk Tale.

Full Disclosure: I don't find witches scary. Like, at all, usually. Well, outside of one.

This one. But only cuz of the creepy bastard to the left.
This film didn't add to that list. The Witch was advertised as the scariest horror film in a long time, and even Stephen King said it "scared the hell out of" him. Naturally, after reading a lot of the reviews and seeing the commercials and television spots, I was expecting a much scarier movie than I received. In fact, The Witch can hardly be classified as a horror movie at all. It's a historical drama, a period piece defined by its dialogue, scenery, and cinematography. On these false expectations, the movie fails tremendously, and anyone buying a ticket to see the next indie super-film like The Blair Witch Project or Paranormal Activity were not very happy with their purchase. And those people need to fucking relax, adjust their expectations, and give it another go.

The Witch was a masterpiece, but not in the way I or a lot of others expected it to be. Robert Eggers' direction was outstanding, and in my opinion will gain him an Oscar nomination. The writing was excellent, and the score was used so sparingly that it became a million times more effective than it would've in other films. Most of the film is completely silent (I could hear the people three rows behind me eating their popcorn, it was so quiet.) The cinematography was stellar, and while I wasn't afraid of the titular Witch, I damn sure won't be going into the woods anytime soon. I kept expecting the father of the family to look around at his destitution and exclaim "God it sucks out here." Because, realistically, it did, and the filmmakers took advantage of the deprivation and loneliness of the surroundings to craft a stellar atmosphere for a slow-burn horror movie.

The acting in this film was absolutely top-notch, led by Anya Taylor-Joy, who captured completely the despair her character felt as everything around her came tumbling down. From her reluctance to leave the settlement to her horror as the worst events unfolded, we shared those experiences with her character. We felt the utter destitution of life in the 1600's, we felt the solitude of being ostracized from your community and, eventually, your family. And finally, we felt her desire for more, to "see the world". We understand her. Ralph Ineson and Katie Dickie, two Game of Thrones alums, are spectacular as Taylor-Joy's parents. Even the actors that played Caleb, Mercy, and Jonas, the other three children in the family, knock it out of the park, reminding us that it is indeed a horror movie after all, and kids are creepy as hell. And while the character development was absolutely first-rate, the scariest actor in the movie wasn't one of the human characters at all.

Everybody do the Black Phillip Dance!
Eggers' hits a home run with The Witch, and the praise for this film is justified. Just don't go in expecting abject horror and a fast-paced thrill ride, because it's not. It's so much more than that. It's a remarkable indie film by a first-time director who puts his past experience as a set and costume designer to work making his film the highlight of the year so far. I felt while watching this movie very much like when I saw Foxcatcher. I wasn't entirely sure that it was that great of a movie, but the acting and directing was so good, it had to be a great movie. In Eggers, we have a new hit director, and someone that will be the go-to for beautiful movies in the future. Taylor-Joy shouldn't have a hard time finding work in the future either. And that's a good thing. Movies like this should pave the way for the future.

Bottom Line: You need to fix your expectations before walking in the door, because The Witch is truly outstanding. The best acted and directed movies I've seen in a long time, and for a horror movie? You've got to be kidding me. Could use a bit more action, maybe a little bit louder dialog (to sound out over the popcorn), but a truly stellar movie. 8 out of 10 stars.

P.S. I'm going to be writing for! This post should be going up on their site as well, so go check it out!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Eli Roth's Near Miss: The Green Inferno

Synopsis: A group of college activists travel to an remote jungle to save a local indigenous tribe from slaughter at the hands of evil land developers. When their plane goes down on the way home, they immediately regret their decision upon meeting the locals.

I've been excited to see The Green Inferno since I first heard about it in 2012. I'm a huge fan of the original (Cannibal Holocaust, for those who don't know; TGI is basically a remake of that horror staple), and I enjoy Eli Roth's movies in general, so I was super excited to check this out. Cabin Fever was excellent, and a great addition to the gorehound's library.  I loved Hostel, both in idea and execution. The concept itself was horrifying to me, and I spent many hours thinking about the possible realism of the plot. Roth almost singlehandedly proved to the world that shock horror was not dead, and that the spirits of Lucio Fulci and Herschel Gordon Lewis were alive and well. The Green Inferno promised more of the same, and a return to Roth's disgusting roots. It unfortunately does not fully deliver on this promise.

This film is essentially a biting commentary on the Social Justice Warrior movement, where activists want to feel like they're making a difference because it makes them feel better, not because it actually helps the world around them. Roth's critique? If you want to make a difference, be prepared to get eaten. The message itself resonates well with fans of the genre, I would think, but the movie quickly goes downhill. There were certainly some uncomfortable moments, and there was some decent gore, but it didn't hold the same shock value as his earlier outings. There were no slit Achilles' tendon scenes (Hostel), no slow skin peels (Cabin Fever), only a slow, relatively monotonous movie about college kids getting eaten. I did enjoy his juxtaposition of the kids' mounting fears with the everyday life of the cannibalistic tribe. Roth shows us that while this is the worst moment in these kids' lives, this is a Tuesday for the tribe (or some other day of the week, I don't know that it was Tuesday). Kids wander around, laughing at their prey, stealing food off the table before they're allowed. There is a complete family dynamic amongst the tribespeople, and this is shown as much as anything else. It's these kinds of narratives that a good cannibal movie has to show, because the terrifying thing about cannibals is that they're just like you and me, they just have a different diet. The humanizing of the tribe was by far my favorite part of the movie, not to mention the fact that there are pigs and cows inside the tribal camp, lending to the absolute non-necessity of all of the horror. The kids' deaths are needless; there's no reason the tribe can't subsist on the animals they're already raising for food. It's this pointless sacrifice of human life that makes the plot truly horrific; if the tribespeople are eating people out of a necessity, it's just a part of life, the same way we'd eat anything else. If they do it solely because they choose to... well that's a whole different ball of wax.

One of the only likeable people, of course.
Comedy in a horror movie, when done right, brings a little bit of relief from the horror. It helps to pace the action, and can lead to shocking scenes that the viewer isn't expecting because of the emotional rollercoaster they're on. The Green Inferno did not do this well. There were comedic scenes, or what you feel are supposed to be comedic scenes, such as the leader of the activists masturbating in their cage because it "helps him think clearly." and one of the kids having explosive diarrhea (which the cannibal kids find funny, I found less so). They're really out of place, and sort of forced onto the viewer in an attempt to lighten the mood. I get that Roth was attempting to make us hate this one particular gentleman, and mission accomplished I suppose, but it was handled rather poorly. There's also a scene where the captives attempt to get the tribe guards high so that they can escape, by slipping some marijuana into their friend's dead body and giving the tribe the world's largest pot cookie. As we all know, however, weed tends to give you the munchies. Not a good thing when you're trying to distract someone from eating you. Interesting take, sure, but a sort of an oafish attempt at making a complete unfunny situation humorous.

They're douchey kids, we get that. That's explained in the first twenty minutes of the movie. Within the first hour, we see that this group of activists is more than willing to sacrifice the life of their newcomer to prove a point, to further the cause, which is actually a legitimate critique of the SJW movement; that they care as long as they don't have to personally sacrifice. Once this is established, however, we can leave it be and move on to the gore, of which there is surprisingly little given the subject matter and the director's proclivities. You watch a movie like Inferno to see unrelenting, unapologetic, and unrepentant gore. You don't watch it for the storytelling (which was practically nonexistent), you don't watch it for the scenery (which actually was beautiful, that much is true). You watch it to see people being slowly dismembered, tortured, and ultimately eaten. While we do get a little taste (pun intended) of this, this was simply not what should be expected of an Eli Roth movie. I love that he supports horror, he's a wonderful benefactor for the genre as a whole, and his produced movies are generally very good. But he's fallen away from his forte. He's lost that loving feeling for body parts. Did Eli Roth lose his mojo shortly after Cabin Fever? Did he use up all of his remaining magic on Hostel?

You've got something in your eye, lady.
Bottom Line: I love Eli Roth and what he brings to the genre of horror as whole, but this movie didn't go far enough. Believe it or not, he should've made it more bloody, more intense. I was left feeling just ok about this movie, and there was nothing special. It was no Cannibal Holocaust, and it really, really should've been. 5 out of 10 stars.

Friday, February 19, 2016

On The Origin Of The Genre: VHS:Viral

The genre of horror comes from a long tradition of the anthology series. From stories that were passed down through the generations around campfires to the early advent of television with series like The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents, horror itself descends directly from oral storytelling. With quick bursts of storyline, entire franchises have made the "short story anthology" of horror into their bread and butter. Hell, most of us grew up on Tales From The Crypt, or, if we're older, the EC/Weird comic book lines. I, personally, am a huge Stephen King fan, and while his longer books are absolutely amazing, some of my favorite of his books are the ones with multiple stories contained in a larger work. Of course, there are exceptions: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Bram Stoker's Dracula, and various other novel-length works throughout history have helped to support the genre among those with longer attention spans, and there are more feature-length films than you can shake a stick at. The short horror story, however, has been around since the dawn of time, when cavemen used to tell their cavechildren that they shouldn't leave the fireside, lest they be trampled by terrifying beasts of prey.

Naturally, as with any other subgenre , the anthology film has had its ups and downs. For every Tales From The Darkside, there is... well, there's a VHS:Viral. Which leads us into a very convenient segue into the review portion of tonight's entertainment.

I'm actually a fan of the first two VHS movies. Naturally, they have their highs and lows as the subgenre does, but I think they were original, inventive, and above all highly entertaining. There were some legitimate masterpieces in the first two of the series, and their over-arcing storylines tied everything together nicely into a well-wrapped package of anthological goodness. VHS:Viral takes the creativity of the first two, shits all over it, and then tries to present itself as a feces-laden continuation of the originals. 

The poster is scarier than the movie by far.

As with all movies of its ilk, Viral doesn't suck all the way through. There are some hints of entertainment, such as the short where the two men swap parallel universes and try to coexist with its inhabitants, and the vignette involving a magician with a soul-sucking cloak that grants him his wish to become the world's greatest magician. They were at least somewhat entertaining. The other stories, like the one where a group of teenage skateboarders dudebro their way through a "zombie" outbreak, not only fall short, they fall terribly short, in an incredibly unentertaining way. 

It's like Doom, if Doom was legitimately the worst thing ever.
\I was most disappointed, however, with the greater storyline that was tasked in bringing the individual stories together. It was incoherant and nonsensical, and was absolutely horrendous storytelling. The main character had no relation to the other stories whatsoever, except that he was supposed to help "make them go viral," which means... well, I have no fucking clue. None of it is ever explained. There's an ending, but there's absolutely no coherence or explanation. We're not lead to believe that the "main character" is even watching these short films that we're watching. His girlfriend is, I guess, kidnapped, which we know because she randomly disappears in the first several moments of the films, and our main character spends the rest of the movie riding his bike after a runaway ice cream truck that may have something to do with his "kidnapped" girlfriend, because the ice cream truck passed the street she was on several minutes before she disappeared right in front of him. The taglines and synopsis of the film talk about how she is the victim of a cybernetic terror, which means fuck all in this movie, because all we are privy to is a short Facetime-esque video of his girlfriend screaming amidst static. Which, again, doesn't lead us to believe she's been kidnapped by computer gremlins, the main character doesn't expound upon at all, and the end of the movie wraps up in no way whatsoever.
I have no idea what I'm doing here, nor does anyone involved in the making of this movie or the viewers at home.
The first two VHS movies were brilliant in concept, because they managed to take our main characters on a journey of discovery, and took us along for the ride. We're part of the viewing of the mysterious found footage world of the abandoned VHS tapes in the original movie, and we're witnesses of the police investigation into a student's disappearance in VHS2. In Viral, we... I guess are supposed to figure out what's going on, even though the main character himself doesn't know? I mean, he doesn't even pretend to know, he just kinda has a breakdown and then presses a button to make all this nonsense go "viral." It just... it's frustrating. It makes no goddamn sense. It would be like if your'e a little kid, and you assume your parents are going to get you a puppy because you find a leash in their bedroom (which to anyone else watching would not lead them to believe there was a pet in the near future), and then they tell him he is getting a dog, and go and buy him a tree, but not one of those fun little bonzai trees, like an actual tree that he has to carry around on a leash and feed and play with. See how that didn't make any sense? Do you understand how everything I just said in the previous sentence doesn't lead to any kind of coherent thought process? The makers of VHS:Viral apparently don't. To them, that was a Newberry-winning children's story. There's a reason why the ending of The Godfather wasn't Vito getting a bowl of ice cream and painting a self-portrait with crocodile dung. It wouldn't have made any goddamn sense. This movie doesn't either.

Bottom Line: Save the trouble, just watch the first two installments again. Not worth watching, even for free. If you're tied to a couch, and the only option for entertainment is this movie, take a nap instead. 3 out of 10 stars (only because of the magician and parallel dimension shorts, because they weren't absolutely godawful.)

Thursday, February 18, 2016

The True Price Of Fame: Starry Eyes

A few weeks ago, I had the chance to sit down and watch Starry Eyes (with my wife no less, who tends to hate and refuse to watch horror movies). I had heard a lot about this movie, and the reviews ranged from outstanding to stellar. For a movie with limited release, I couldn't imagine that it was as good as everyone said it was. But, I'm a fan of movies about movies, and I love when people take advantage of the medium of film itself, so I was down to at least give it a go. Besides, the buzz was too big to ignore.

You can't usually trust reviews used on movie posters, but comparisons to Lynch and Cronenberg? Holy shit...
I am unequivocally glad that I did. Starry Eyes rocks. A story about a girl who is willing to give literally anything for fame, Starry Eyes tells the (slightly) exaggerated tale we've heard thousands of times before; that young actresses are forced to do unimaginable things to get ahead in the male-dominated Hollywood culture. After finding success, she quickly learns that perhaps she should've been a little bit more careful about what she wished for, and she doesn't like what she discovers about the true origin of the Hollywood Elite. The story has been repeated so many times it's practically a trope, but Starry Eyes manages to transcend the usual expectations.

The actress, seen here "acting."

Alex Essoe, who plays Sarah, the "hero" of our film, does a masterful job of being an actress who gets in over her head, while directors Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer somehow manage to take a movie that for all intents and purposes should be boring and take it off the rails to Crazy Train Town, and you can really feel the influences of Lynch and Widmyer protege Chuck Palahniuk. The use of sound in this movie was magnificent; Jonathan Snipes' score is reminiscent of early Carpenter. The film within a film's producer, played by Louis Dezseran, a relatively unknown stage actor, was sufficiently creepy. Even Sarah's friends, whose characters are developed admittedly heavy-handedly at times, were done well enough not to subtract from the feel of the movie.

The film builds into a crescendo of tension and anxiety, culminating into a loud, crashing shotgun blast of crazy, drawing comparisons to Ti West's House of the Devil. It morphs from a bizarrely intense drama/mystery into full-on body horror. We watch as Essoe's character undergoes a dramatic "transformation," and we feel for the genuinely good girl gone very, very bad. Ultimately, we're left to question whether we would do the same thing in her position if there was something we wanted badly enough. And ultimately, we're kinda glad we're never given that option.

Starry Eyes was a tremendous film, executed nearly perfectly by all involved. Sufficiently creepy, delightfully gory, and deliciously anxiety-inducing, it is, as critic Simon Abrams puts it, "a supernatural mood piece that's equally influenced by arthouse horror movies... and the grindhouse-ready Satanic Panic films of the 70's." Hit the nail on the head, Simon.

Bottom Line: Check it out. It's streaming on Netflix, so there's no excuse. One of the best uses of a score I've seen in recent years, wonderfully directed, an absolute must-see. When we talk about weird shit that we can't really explain in movies, we immediately think David Lynch. When we think body horror and the way certain things just look "wrong," we immediately think David Cronenberg. Hopefully, in the future, when we consider an excellent combination of both, we will think of Kolsch and Widmyer. I'm just hoping we get to see more of them in the future. 8 out of 10 stars.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Candidate Profile: Leatherface and Ghostface (R)

Last but not least, this candidate profile brings Leatherface and Ghostface to center stage. They're proof that sometimes the face behind the mask is scarier than the mask itself.

The Mask Ticket: Leatherface and Ghostface

Age: Not exactly known
Hometown: Arguably Kingsland, Texas
Body Count: 30

Bio: An expert with  his Poulan chainsaw, Leatherface has won five Texas State Forest Festival Lumberjack Competitions in a row. In college, he took a turn as a professional chainsaw ice carver as well, but decided that he had had enough of the cold while working in the slaughterhouse and focused his efforts on more indoor work. He's a master taxidermist, and he intends to decorate the Black House with his many "projects." He's not the fastest in this race, and tends to flail around wildly while running, but he has no problem with waiting for his victims to come to him. Leatherface is rarely seen without his mask, and he's quite shy and self-conscious. He believes that this will serve him well in Washington, and that too many politicians are full of themselves. He prefers to let his work speak for itself. His running-mate is as well known for his voice as his resume, so most of the speaking engagements will fall to Ghostface.

Platform: Leatherface is very anti-environment, and is expecting to receive a huge vote of confidence from the Republican establishment because of this. He believes in expanding our slaughterhouse infrastructure, and intends to mandate meat for school meals. He's so dedicated to this cause, he's not even planning on specifying where the meat must come from: any meat will do, really. While he is self-conscious about his own image, he wants to instill confidence in the young people who are the future of America. As such, any students behind on their speech and personal skills will undergo mandatory training as part of his update to Common Core. He toes the party line: he plans to work tirelessly to repeal Obamacare, and wants to nominate Kevin Lomax for the recent Supreme Court vacancy.

Vote for if: you believe that John Milton's son would make a good Justice; you dislike all kinds of trees; you like meat, especially long pig.

Age: Varies, depending on who's wearing the mask
Hometown: Woodsboro, California
Body Count: 49

Bio: Ghostface is a big horror movie fan, and has idolized most of his fellow candidates his entire life. He's much younger than most of the other candidates, and he plans to use his youth to attract younger voters to the polls. He's on Twitter constantly, and updates his Facebook at least three times a day. He's hoping that his grass-roots, social media-focused approach to campaigning can swing the polls in his ticket's direction. A prank phone call fanatic, Ghostface is certainly the least serious of the other candidates. He's also a family man; his motives for his original killing spree was revenge for the mistreatment of his mother. Most of his behavior is a nod to various horror franchises, even going so far as to involve his mother in the act, an homage to Jason Voorhees, one of his primary opponents.

Platform: Ghostface intends to devote most of his time as Vice-President into outlawing caller id. He believes it fosters mistrust among the general populace. He also wants to introduce a "Horror History" segment into high school education, making it a requirement for graduation in all 50 states. He is an ardent supporter of multiple body doubles for political candidates, and wants to work with the Secret Service to accomplish this. He wants to make America great again, and has already received an endorsement from the American Mask Makers Society and the United Stalker Association.

Vote for if: you have a weird fascination with voice changing machines and caller id; you believe that the youth are our future and deserve a place in politics; you can quote every line from Halloween.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Unhappy Holiday: My Bloody Valentine

Hello everyone! I'm taking a break from the candidate profiles to bring you a very, very special Valentine's Day review! My daughter is out of town for the extended weekend, so my remaining family (my wife and son) decided to watch a bunch of movies that my daughter wouldn't normally be down for. We went to see Deadpool (which was awesome, more on that later), and we've been watching several horror movies in the past few days. To celebrate the "holiday" today, we decided to watch My Bloody Valentine, the 2009 remake of the 80's slasher movie.

I gotta be honest, I wasn't expecting much. Most slasher movies that don't fall into the more famous franchises tend to suck, at least in my experience, and I really didn't expect this to be any different. I mean, sure, it got a remake, which means it must've been at least relatively popular, but it's not one of the more talked about "classics."

I also have to preface the meat of this review by saying that I've never seen the original. I gave my family the choice of whether we wanted to watch the original or the remake, and my wife immediately said remake. I tend to not hate remakes, especially when I view them independently from the original, so I figured that I'll give it a go.

All that being said, I really enjoyed this movie. It had kind of a dumb twist ending, as horror movies are wont to do, and it had some over-the-top 3D effects, as 3D movies are wont to do, but other than that, it was halfway decent. Some great gore effects, excellent kill scenes, acting that wasn't all that bad... and holy shit, a pickax is a lot more versatile than I ever thought it would be.

Slashers, eat your hearts out.
The killer in this movie kills people with his pickax, tears out their hearts, and puts them in a heart-shaped candy container, like the worst Russell Stover gift ever. That's... kind of retarded actually, but it works really well in this movie. As you can see in the picture above, the gore effects were pretty brutal, which was a nice change from a lot of the movies I've seen recently. My biggest concern going into the movie was that it would be hard to see the action: the movie took place largely in a mine or other dark locations, and those scenes tend to hide the kills. The director handled it well, though, and the blood flowed very visibly despite the dark locations.

This chick dug it too.
All in all, My Bloody Valentine was decent. It's the best Valentine-themed horror movie I've seen, though the competition in this category isn't particularly fierce (looking at you, David Boreanaz). If I gave stars on my ratings (which I might have to at some point; if you can't beat 'em, join 'em), I'd give it about a 6. Hell, why not. From now on, I'm giving stars in my bottom lines.

Bottom Line: Check it out, especially if you haven't seen the original and don't mind gratuitous sex and violence. Then again, if you don't like nudity and gore, you're in the wrong genre. Worth a look, it's less of a waste of time than you might think. 6 out of 10.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Candidate Profile: Xenomorph and Predator (D)

Today's candidate profile is featuring the Xenomorph Queen and Predator, two aliens who are attempting to run for the highest office in our land. They believe they have what it takes to bring real, lasting change to our immigration policy, and they feel they deserve to be heard.

The (Illegal) Alien Ticket: Xenomorph Queen and Predator

Xenomorph Queen
Age: Unknown
Hometown: Xenomorph Prime (Proteus)
Body Count: Hundreds

Bio: The Xenomorph Queen is a hive mother of a race of aliens, and she loves killing as much as anyone else on the ballot. In her teenage years, she trained to be a dentist, but it was her meeting with her Vice-Presidential candidate that changed her mind and flung her headlong into politics. She's technically an illegal alien, but she believes that the amount of humans that she's killed makes her a nationalized citizen of Earth, and therefore she is as qualified to be President as anyone else on this list. She loves kids, and after raising thousands, she knows what it feels like to be a single mother in a man's world. She hopes to become the first woman President, and believes that her focus on immigration and women's workplace and reproductive rights can bring her right to the front of the pack.

Platform: The Queen is already a monarch on her planet, so she has quite a lot of experience running the show. As an alien, she feels for the plight of immigrants, and she plans to implement a sweeping reform that not only allows but encourages the migration of anyone who wants to set up residence on Earth. As what would amount to the first woman President, she wants to fight for women's rights as never before, instituting new reproductive rights that include the extension of the abortion deadline to the 4th trimester. She believes in equal pay and equal benefits, and is going to fight on the Hill to ensure that women are treated fairly in the workplace.

Vote for if: you're tired of women making less than men; you believe in extended abortion rights; you want to see a woman President in your lifetime; you believe that we should plant a welcome mat on our country and our planet to invite anyone who wants to come in.

Age: Unknown
Hometown: Yautja Prime
Body Count: Millions throughout the years

Bio: The Predator, or Yautja, is an avid hunter and gamesman, and he has been for as long as he can remember. He's hunted just about every known species in the universe, and while he's generated some bad blood with his running-mate in the past, bygones are bygones when it comes to representing their respective breeds on Earth. Predator believes in giving everyone a fair shot at life, and also believes very firmly in survival of the fittest. In fact, he does his level best to make sure that this is enforced in every hunt in which he partakes. He actually met his running-mate when he took advantage of the free dental work at the local university: one of his four mandibles had fallen out, and he was forced to get a synthetic replacement. He has an enormous trophy collection, and looks forward to expanding during his time in office.

Platform: Predator is a Socialist, and believes that everyone should start and end up in the same place in life. As such, he will push for a national wage cap, meaning everyone will earn the same amount of money and be subsidized for their living requirements by the State. He plans on instituting a national hunt, wherein those deemed the worst of society are let loose to be hunted down by the law-abiding citizens. Like his running-mate, he also intends to pursue expanded immigration, and he has a lot of kinsmen who desire to follow him onto the planet. He believes in nuclear proliferation, and intends to increase fourfold our country's nuclear arsenal. He also wishes to allow for the expansion of nuclear power services. Surprisingly for a Liberal, he fully supports the Second Amendment, and wants to increase its power by giving everyone in the United States their own firearm, making sure that all firearms granted are of the same caliber and strength.

Vote for if: you believe in complete fairness; you're a trophy or big game hunter; you believe in friendship forged through trial and error; you support nuclear energy and proliferation.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Candidate Profile: Freddy Krueger and Pinhead (R)

Next up in our candidate profile series are two candidates who have contributed quite a bit to the genre. Freddy and Pinhead come straight from the bowels of Hell, and they are here to wreak havoc on the race for the Black House.

The American Dream Ticket: Freddy Krueger and Pinhead

Freddy Krueger
Age: 74 (Born February, 1942)
Hometown: Springwood, Ohio
Body Count: 23 before death, 43 after

Bio: Freddy Krueger was born as the product of rape. His mother was in an insane asylum and was raped hundreds of times by the inmates, earning Freddy the dubious nickname "bastard son of 100 maniacs." He tried hard through his life to live up to his namesake, molesting and killing at least 23 children. He was burned alive by the townsfolk of Springwood, and he later came roaring back to take his revenge on their offspring. He knows what its like to make unpopular decisions, and his rebound shows that he's not one to go quietly. Freddy is a huge Michael Jackson fan, and has imitated his one-glove routine throughout his resurrected life. He also has an affinity for children's nursery rhymes, and has even been a host of a television show. He keeps an extensive dream log, and encourages others to do the same. In fact, one of his key platforms is that he doesn't believe Americans get enough sleep to be productive workers: he recommends at least 10 hours a night.

Platform: Freddy is a staunch supporter of the reformation of mental hospitals, hoping to prevent further incidents like the one his mother experienced. He is also a supporter of early childhood education; he plans to institute a new policy that buys every child in America a book of nursery rhymes and jump ropes. He's an advocate for the middle class: he supports Elm Str... erm, Main Street over Wall Street. He plans to use his experience as television host to run a Ronald Reagan-esque party turnaround. He's received an endorsement from the American Medical Association for his work in sleep studies, and he plans on challenging West and Furter's Science Ticket.

Vote for if: you are sick and tired of being sick and tired; you can double-dutch like a champ; you support middle class values and believe in the American Dream.

Age: As old as time
Hometown: England before finding the Lament Configuration, Hell afterwards
Body Count: 35

Bio: Pinhead was born Elliott Spenser, a Captain for the British Expeditionary Force. That is, until he found the Lament Configuration and became the man he is today. He declared himself godless in life, and carried that to an extreme in death, bringing the pleasure of complete carnal torture to the worthy. He is a member of the local BDSM subculture, and he's a licensed acupuncturist. He formed his own SuperPAC (CENobite) during his establishment as Vice-Presidential candidate, and plans to move some of his fellow CENobites to the Presidential Cabinet if elected. He served as Hell Priest in his hometown before moving to Washington DC., where he believes he'll fit in well. He enjoys taking his pets out for rides in the park, and he's a big fan of puzzles.

Platform: Pinhead vows to bring sexual liberation back into the Republican Party, hearkening to the days of George H.W. Bush. He has discovered his stress relief in acupuncture, and believes that Eastern medicine is suitable to replace the politics of West and Furter as well. His experience as Hell Priest made him a natural fit for the party that "clings to their guns and religion," and he intends to further exert his influence into converting the heathen to his religious ideology. He has received an endorsement from MENSA, and he intends to bring outside-the-box IQ tests to the general public. He supports Common Core, with a focus on spatial reasoning.

Vote for if: you especially good at puzzles; you believe in ancient Eastern healing practices; you're a sexual deviant looking for someone to understand you.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Candidate Profile: Chucky and Billy (D)

Next up on our profile of the candidates for Horror President is Chucky and Billy, the doll from Saw. They're looking to win the hearts of your children, and they believe that they have what it takes to represent the people of this great country in the Black House.

The Good Guy Ticket: Chucky and Billy

Age: Dolls don't really have an age. He's a doll.
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Body Count: 67

Bio: Chucky was born Charles Lee Ray, and he was a prolific killer from the start. Ray was deeply into voodoo, and, when trapped in a warehouse by the police, decided to perform a ritual that transferred his soul into the Good Guy Doll, jump starting his career as Chucky. Like a lot of killers, he was fixated on a single family for most of the early parts of his career. He outgrew those boundaries after a while, and greatly expanded his body count in the process. Chucky is a fan of sharp objects, and has received the endorsements of Cutco and the USCDA (United States Creepy Doll Association), which, unsurprisingly, is managed by his running-mate, Billy. While this left many voters crying foul, Chucky doesn't see it as a conflict of interest, choosing to view Billy as more of a puppet than a viable candidate in his own right. As such, Chucky is all business, and looks forward to running the country his way.

Platform: Chucky is definitely a family man. He's spent time in the military, though he never saw overseas combat. After several tragic deaths in training accidents, he moved on to start a family of his own, bringing a wife and child into the family business of murder. He wants to see this progress when he's President, and has decided to make his primary platform instituting a murder training policy for all children and their toys. He knows what it takes to breathe life into our currently unused objects, and he sees great potential for expansion in the military using this technology.

Vote for if: you're tired of seeing our men and women in uniform die overseas and want an alternative; you believe that your toys move when you're not looking at them; your name is Andy.

Age: See above.
Hometown: Unknown, but believed to be New Jersey
Body Count: None directly, but complicit in 51

Bio: Billy doesn't have much experience in the political or murder arenas, but he's definitely a player behind the scenes. He started his career as the symbol behind the Jigsaw serial killer, and he decided quickly that this is where he was best suited. As such, he has been privy to a lot of insider information, and plans to use this knowledge in his pursuit of higher office. He loves to play games, and he's an avid cyclist. He's got a lot of friends in high places, and has used his position as spokesperson and manager of the USCDA to enact change in the way people view their toys.

Platform: Billy is tremendously involved with Puppet Rights. He plans on making ventriloquism illegal, as he views it as exploitative and demeaning to people of his persuasion. As a cyclist, he plans to use his Vice-Presidential election as a mandate to crack down on steroid use in cycling and the Olympics. He believes wholeheartedly in reforming our prison system, and wants to convert our current system into a diversionary program wherein prisoners have to better themselves and others before attaining release. From his experience, this is an achievable goal, and he wants to put the entire power of the Black House behind it.

Vote for if: you're tired of paying for our prisoners to watch television and reoffend upon release; you believe in cleaning up our sports teams; you hate Jeff Dunham.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Candidate Profile: Captain Spaulding and Pennywise The Dancing Clown (R)

Next up in our candidate profiles, we have Captain Spaulding and Pennywise The Dancing Clown. They are representing the Conservative party, and they have quite a lot to add to the political arena.

The Fun Ticket: Captain Spaulding and Pennywise The Dancing Clown
Credit to sugaimishima.

Captain Spaulding
Age: 98 (Born April 13, 1918)
Hometown: Ruggsville or El Paso, Texas
Body Count: Unknown
Credit to Antonotron.
Bio: Captain Spaulding was born Johnny Lee Johns in Texas in 1918, and has taken a multitude of names in his serial killer career. He's killed countless people over the first 60 years of his life, but it wasn't until he adopted the name Captain Spaulding that he gained notoriety with the American public. He is a small business owner, so he knows what it's like to have to deal with taxes and police harrassment. He loves fried chicken and riding in the car with his friends, and he is definitely a family man. He's run the Captain Spaulding's Museum of Monsters and Madmen for years, and his Murder Ride is a very popular roadside attraction. He loves John Wayne, and models some of his antics after The Duke. He's as all-American as you can get, and he brings nice down-home sentiment to the race. He's also a huge fan of the tv show Firefly.

Platform: Spaulding is definitely a proponent of small business, and he makes sure that he's paying attention to gas prices; he expects to go toe-to-toe with OPEC to lower prices for the American consumer. After years of running his fried chicken restaurant/gas station/ murder museum, he wants to make sure that the economy is strong enough to support American tourism. With one of the longest careers in the industry, he's not a lame-duck President: he's gunning for at LEAST two terms. He's a maverick, and has already gained the endorsements of the American Clown Society and John McCain.

Vote for if: you love fried chicken; you want to see lower gas prices; you find clowns hilarious; you want to see an all-Firefly cabinet.

Pennywise The Dancing Clown
Age: Ageless
Hometown: Derry, Maine
Body Count: Specific body count unknown

Bio: If you don't like clowns, more than likely Pennywise if the reason. Often appearing as a clown, sometimes as a giant spider monster (wtf was that all about?), Pennywise is a being of many faces, and he knows what scares you. That's exactly the kind of go-getter attitude that a Vice-Presidential candidate needs. He loves children, and he's great at mind games, making him a perfect go-between for Spaulding's work on Capitol Hill. He has been instrumental in his hometown's waste management systems, and owns his own personalized balloon store, We All Float, in Derry's historic downtown district. He's also an aspiring writer, and is in talks with the Barnum Brothers for publishing rights to his life story.

Platform: Pennywise has already affected real change, bringing about the end of elephant use in circuses. He's running as a Conservative because he completely identifies with Spaulding's platform, and has also gotten the endorsement of the American Clown Society. He wants to improve America's infrastructure, and he has been working behind the scenes for years to add more sewer systems in every town in America. He's also taken steps to establish clown-run daycares in major metropolitan areas.

Vote for if: you are a supporter of expanded and updated infrastructure; you believe in combining fun in politics; you believe in more secure and safe daycare for children; you float too.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Candidate Profile: Herbert West and Frank N' Furter (D)

Today's candidate profile is on Herbert West and his Vice-Presidential candidate Frank N' Furter. They're running on the science ticket, and they're looking to bring some much-needed progressiveness to this race.

The Science Ticket: Herbert West and Frank N' Furter

Herbert West
Age: Unknown
Hometown: Arkham, Massachusetts
Body Count: 2 (All of the rest were already dead; the cat was dead 3 times)

Bio: Herbert West was a medical student at the University of Zurich Medical School in Switzerland, where he claims to have made an amazing breakthrough in the reanimation of corpses. He brought his studies to Miskatonic University in Arkham, Massachusetts, where he further progressed his theories. He is the first person to successfully duplicate his findings on re-animation, and he plans to inject new life into the political spectrum of this once-great country. He's also believes in giving pets a new lease on life, and is a big supporter of no-kill animal shelters.

Platform: Dr. West is running on a science platform; he wants to fully fund DARPA and work at funding new scientific breakthroughs. He would love to be able to weaponize his findings, enabling the US to be at the forefront of modern undead militarization. A vote for Dr. West is a vote for progress, and while he tends to be a little full of himself, its with very good reason. He's definitely the smartest man in the race, and he's not afraid to show it.

Vote for if: you support the progression of science; you're more of a cat person; you've lost someone you love and would really like to see them again.

Dr. Frank N' Furter
Age: Older than he looks, that's for sure
Hometown: Transylvania
Body Count: 1 person; several sexual identities

Bio: Dr. Frank N' Furter is the leading sexual reassignment surgeon in America, and has done massive amounts of research in cloning as well. He believes in sexual liberation, and is a staunch supporter of LGBTQIA rights. He is a social justice warrior, and has long fought for the interplanetary sexual rights. He's also quite a good dancer and singer, and trained classically at Julliard. Some have questioned his ability to be President because of his rumored birth on another planet, but his birth certificate has been verified to be from Hawaii.

Platform: Dr. Furter wants to work in his position as Vice President for the sexual equality of all, and also plans to fully fund NASA, hoping to develop inter-galaxy travel in the near future. Lately, he's been doing a lot of work developing time travel, and his time warp is said to be very close to operational. As such, he plans on piggybacking onto Dr. West's DARPA research and incorporate his work into developing a new system of troop transport. He has already attained an endorsement by the US Plastic Surgeons Association.

Vote for if: you support the LGBTQIA community; you support the arts; you wish to see exotic places of the past and future; you enjoy shouting out suggestions at the State of the Union speech.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Candidate Profile: Damien Thorn and Regan MacNeil (R)

Our second profile is almost the exact opposite of the first. Michael and Jason are running on their experience, and our next candidates are running on their reputation for being Washington outsiders, newcomers to the political scene.

Youth in Revolt: Damien Thorn and Regan MacNeil

Damien Thorn
Age: Ageless
Hometown: Hell, Michigan
Body Count: 62 (Unofficial)

Bio: Damien Thorn is the adopted son of an American diplomat, though there are some calling for his dismissal as a candidate because "the son of a jackal cannot be considering for the American Presidency." We don't know about all that, but he's definitely a bit of a wild card in this race. He's a big fan of religion; his biological father played a big role in the establishment of the church, and continues to be a part of a lot of its decisions. As such, Thorn is definitely counting on the support of the Religious Right, and has already been endorsed by Swift Boat. He is a dog lover, and raises his own Rottweilers. He is also spoken very highly of by his former babysitter.

Platform: Damien believes in the rule of moral law, and is very interested in reaching out to foreign governments to try to establish a "One World Order", wherein the United States would join with other countries in a universal government. He supports the RFID chips, and wants everyone in the United States to be marked and registered in a database that will allow them to partake of government assistance. He is expected to make his father, a renowned kingmaker in Washington, a part of his cabinet.

Vote for if: you're very religious; you believe in a universal government; you believe that the government should track its citizens.

Regan MacNeil
Age: 55 (12 in The Exorcist, 1973)
Hometown: Georgetown, Washington D.C.
Body Count:1

Bio: Regan MacNeil grew up in Georgetown, so she is a hometown girl in this race. She's no stranger to Washington politics, and spent a lot of time as a girl around the hill. She loves to play with Ouija boards, and she's very well versed in religious literature. She and Damien are kindred spirits, and you might say they're cut from the same cloth. Her low body count isn't indicative of her lack of ability: she just hasn't had the resources to amass more. She's definitely the underdog in this race, but she aligns perfectly with Damien for his VP slot.

Platform: Regan believes in having fun, and she plans on diverting her VP resources into toy production. She also wants to devote funding to subliminal advertising, as she believes it can have an impact on future advertising. With one of the most recognizable theme songs of the group of candidates, she is a big supporter of the arts. She's a little more liberal than Damien, but she jumped at the chance to put a female representative in the Black House.

Vote for if: you're light as a feather, stiff as a board; you want a Washington insider who can get things done; you stand for women's rights.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Candidate Profile: Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees (D)

First up in our profiles of the candidates are the current front-runners of the Liberal Party, Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees. They're certainly the odds-on favorites from their party, but that might not mean as much this year as it would've in past election cycles. Here's a breakdown of their historic run at the Black House.

The Experience Ticket: Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees

Michael Myers
Age: 59 (21 in Halloween, 1978)
Hometown: Haddonfield, Illinois
Body Count: 107

Bio: Michael Myers was born in Illinois in 1957 to a loving family (depending on who you ask). He started his run for office at the tender age of 6 (also depending on who you ask), when he got his career kicked off right by murdering his sister. Throughout the years, he's been racking up a body count that ranks him among the highest in horror history, and he's definitely an experience leader. He can slice and dice with the best of them, and he's definitely a man of the (dead) people. Michael is the strong, silent type, and he's capable of working on both sides of the aisle.

Platform: Myers is definitely the old guard, an experienced slasher with a killer resume. His is not the party of change, his is the party of the classics: he supports national healthcare, especially with all of the people he's put in the hospital morgue. He chose the most experienced of candidates for his Vice-President, and he believes that his kind of leadership can really bring Washington's political machine to its knees. He's modeled his look after Captain James T. Kirk from Star Trek, and he's no stranger to a nice pair of overalls: he loves the working class.

Vote for if you: support healthcare for the dead and dying; support slashing tax rates for the middle class; believe that people can remake themselves; support family businesses.

Jason Voorhees
Age: 70 (Died young, dead for 23 years before Friday the 13th, 1980)
Hometown: Camp Crystal Lake
Body Count: 146

Bio: The son of deranged killer Pamela Voorhees, Jason died as a child by drowning in Camp Crystal Lake, but he didn't let that keep him down. He's got the highest body count of all the candidates, and he's very liberal with his killing methods. He's an avid outdoorsman, and he's even been known to take a cruise or two. Jason's very into sports (especially hockey), and when he takes off his trademark hockey mask, the ladies scream. Like his running mate, you're likely to find him wearing his overalls and hanging out by the lake.

Platform: As stated in his bio, Jason is the most liberal of the bunch: He's used just about every implement of death you can imagine, though he's definitely a big fan of the machete. He's a huge supporter of environmental protection, and he's a champion of US Lakes and Streams Committee. He's a futurist, and even though he's advanced in age, he loves the breakthroughs we're making in virtual reality. The Republicans know him as a fighter, and he's actually been through a highly publicized feud with one of their own (FvJ). Jason may be a heartbeat away from the Presidency, but if the job ever fell to him, you won't find a more experienced career politician.

Vote for if you: are a sports fan; are a supporter of water transportation; enjoy a the scenic route