The House with a Clock in Its Walls

 

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Hey, kids! Let’s watch the new Eli Roth film!

Not something most parents would say, eh? But The House with a Clock in Its Walls is a kid movie, so it’s okay…I think. I can see why Roth was drawn to this story – it’s full of every kid’s worst fears: dead parents, a creepy old house, being the new kid at school, peer pressure, ghost moms – it’s like a fucking laundry list of fear! And don’t get me started on baby Jack Black – I’m having flashbacks every time I close my eyes.

My kids are coming around on Jack Black, I think. I mean, my daughter practically begged us to see the new Jumanji (haven’t yet) and she was excited about this one.

Cate Blanchett is an amazing actress and a joy to watch. Please let her be in every movie – all of them!

Kyle MacLachlan has got to be having so much fun playing quirky villains these days. He was absolutely chewing the scenery – it was greatness.

I didn’t even realize it while watching, but Angelica Schuyler herself was in the film. Such a shame that there wasn’t a call for her to sing.

I was expecting to play games on my phone the whole time I watched this, but it sucked me in and was a great bunch of fun.

We had watched this film months and months ago…it would blow their little MINDS if they knew this was the same guy who made Cabin Fever.

Re-Animator

 

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Re-Animator was another film featured in Eli Roth’s History of Horror, so of course, my kids had to see it. On top of that, there’ll be a Re-Animator reunion at Texas Frightmare Weekend this year, with Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott and Barbara Crampton in attendance. Since I already met Jeffrey Combs at one of his appearances years ago, I’ll probably skip his line this year – but I think it gives the kids a thrill to just walk by these actors and recognize them from their works.

Loosely based on a H.P. Lovecraft story that I’ve never read, Re-Animator is the tale of Dr. Herbert West and his quest to reanimate the dead. It’s not hyperbole to say that Herbert West is Jeffrey Combs’ most iconic role and the one he’s most known for. His frantic, erratic energy is contagious. As Lily said, “Ugh, he’s just as weird as he was in The Frighteners.” She did not like him at all. Probably because of Rufus…

I’d forgotten about how creepy and rapey Dr. Hill was – I think he scared the kids more than Herbert West! I also forgot about his, um…lick rape? Is that what you call it? We were all rooting for his comeuppance.

More than 30 years later, Re-Animator is still a suspenseful thrill ride, filled with gallons and gallons of blood. Good thing there are some sequels I can find for the kids!

The Frighteners

 

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I love introducing the kids to my favorite horror films. I love introducing the kids to my favorite directors. The Frighteners is a horror film by one of my favorite directors – Peter Jackson. What’s not to love?

I’m fairly certain that I saw The Frighteners in the theater. Or maybe I didn’t? I’ve seen it so many times since then though, it’s kind of blurry. At the time though, the special effects were cutting edge. Unlike lots of 90s films, the effects still hold up. Bless you, Peter Jackson.

There’s so much to love about The Frighteners. Michael J. Fox in his last major film role. Jeffrey Combs being creepy as fuck. Jake Busey, also being creepy as fuck. John Astin, father of the future Hobbit. R. Lee Ermey as…R. Lee Ermey. My daughter was excited about Dee Wallace Stone, who is apparently starring in some Disney Chanbel Show she watches. Whatever happened to Trini Alvarado, AKA young Andi McDowell?

I also think that this film continued my obsession with ‘Don’t Fear the Reaper.’ For sure, it started with the miniseries of The Stand, but then this film ended with it…and wasn’t it in Scream? And then ‘More Cowbell’ and then Six Feet Under…that song can do no wrong.

I love the contours of Peter Jackson’s career. From his start with Feebles, through the camp horror of Bad Taste and Dead Alive and then the ethereal beauty of Heavenly Creatures, Jackson makes a pit stop here in big budget horror before his forays into the Tolkien universe. I’m really intrigued by his newest project, a 3D documentary of WWI.

Pet Sematary II

 

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Remember the early 90s, when Edward Furlong was in every fucking movie? What a time to be alive.

I can’t remember for sure, but I might even have seen it in the theater? Or maybe we just rented it – I feel like my mind is going…I cannot remember things like that anymore!

This movie has fuck-all to do with the original, except for the Pet Sematary itself. I mean, the bad teens tell the crazy story of the Creed Murders, but that’s it. Oh, and the nutty ass Vet talks about Church.

Oh, and I blew my kids’ minds when I told then that the bad guy Gus was also Mr. Krabs.

I need to find the soundtrack in a flea market or something – I forgot how good it was. L7 Shitlist, more famous for appearing in Natural Born Killers just a few years later. The rest is just BAU, heavy 90s stuff.

It was really unclear to me in that nightmare scene – was Anthony Edwards having sex with that dog? I mean, he was dreaming about having sex with his ex-wife and she had the dog’s head. He wakes up, mid-thrust and O-face, and the dog is on top of him. My husband says NO, because he was still wearing his slacks, but I don’t know…

We all agreed that this one wasn’t as good as the first one, but still a fun watch. Now Lily wants to watch Carrie – I cannot WAIT to see if it traumatizes her as much as it did me!

Pet Sematary

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Lily had been begging to see this freaky ass movie for weeks. It’s Sunday afternoon, gross and rainy – so why not?

Pet Sematary was the very first Stephen King book I ever read – the summer between 6th and 7th grade. I remember vomiting the night after finishing it, but as an adult, it was more likely the after-effect of too much sugar at Astroworld…but at the time, I was convinced that the end of the book was so disturbing that it physically impaired me. My son has been trying to read it as well…again, he’s bored.

The movie, however, was a sensation to us as kids. I clearly remember renting it for a slumber party and it had us screaming! My poor friend Karen, I still feel bad about putting her through it. That one scene…the achilles heel scene…still makes my butthole pucker whenever I think about it. (My kids screeched during that scene – it was glorious!) Oh, and that bullshit with Zelda…I had more nightmares about Zelda than that freaky little kid.

The movie stands the test of time – it still shocks and repels, especially the ending. I just heard that they’re remaking Pet Sematary, riding the coattails of It, I guess. Sure, remake all of them – except Tommyknockers – that book was shit.

Beyond Re-Animator

I’ve been waiting a long time for this one…not as long as Freddy Vs. Jason, but at least a year or so.

Wow. Jeffrey Combs is back and this time he’s pissed. Is it me or has he not aged since the last one? Actually, I take that back, not only has he not aged, has he gotten younger? He looks about the same as in the last movie, but he looks so, so much younger than he did in The Frighteners, over seven years ago. Hmmmm…

Speaking of The Frighteners, I swear this movie had the same exact score…except that it is really the music from Re-Animator. Or is it? Maybe they all sound alike? Danny Elfman did the Frighteners score, while Richard Band did the Re-Animator scores. Whatever, they are really, really similar. Maybe it’s an auditory hallucination, since they both star Jeffrey Combs?

For the third film in the series, this really wasn’t a bad effort. I’d even say that it was better than Bride of Re-Animator, maybe by a hair. Prison is a really good setting for a horror movie. It’s a good closed environment where violence is a way of life. The acting (all except Combs) was as bad as you’d expect. The cast is mostly Spanish unknowns…it was filmed in Spain, so why not? The special effects were actually phenomenal, especially the flying torso. I appreciate sinking a little extra money into the effects instead of spending it on the cast, because come on, all you really need is the Re-Animator himself.

I caught this Saturday night on the Sci Fi Channel, where it was being marketed as a “Sci Fi Original.” That is total bullshit. I know this thing has been in Distribution Hell for a while, but it’s already made the Festival Circuit and been in the theaters. Just because Sci Fi ponied up a little cash, doesn’t mean they get to put their name all over it! What it really means is that they get to cut all the language, all the nudity and all the good gore. I also heard that they cut a duel between a errant penis and a rat out of the closing credits. Sooo…guess I’ll be getting the DVD when it comes out at the end of the year…I can’t miss that, now can I?

Frankenhooker

When Jeffrey Franken’s girlfriend, Elizabeth Shelley, is killed by his automated lawn mower, he decides to bring her back to life using the body parts of dead prostitutes. That’s the plot in a nutshell.

Plot is not important in Frankenhooker. Bad special effects are what’s important. Lame jokes are what’s important. This film has what’s important. Like drilling a hole into the correct quadrant of your brain would stimulate the correct nerve to give you a good idea. (Trepaning is gaining popularity these days…) Like a super-concentrated form of crack would cause the user to explode. Like a guinea pig would inhale crack fumes. Like an estrogen-based blood serum would enable female body parts to meld together forming breast monsters and walking heads.Yeah right. Who would believe that crap? Me, that’s who.

Exploding hookers. Deep freezers full of purple goo that keep body parts fresh. Lots of nudity. A weatherman that looks like the Phantom of the Opera. A flip-top head like in the toothbrush commercial. Good movie…good, good movie. Wanna date?