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The Christmas Tale

This little gem came on a DVD I bought quite a few years ago (2009) and unfortunately can’t find now dagnabbit!  However, we are only talking about a couple of years ago, not like, 20 so relax.  Nonetheless, I felt the need to share it with you all since A) it takes place in the 80’s and B) is pretty freakin’ awesome and more importantly C) most people have never even heard of it, which saddens me greatly.  In fact, I had a hard time finding info on it when Googled.  Now that’s a first.

Now I don’t like reading reviews before viewing a flick nor do I generally put much stock in others reviews mainly because I’ve got my own ideas, but I’ve already seen it and this Amazon reviewer nails it (emphasis mine):

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the money!, October 10, 2008
This review is from: 6 Films to Keep You Awake (DVD)

Any horror fan will be plenty satisfied by this set. Of all the films 3 are good, 1 is a must own, 1 is okay and 1 is a dud. Of all the films, A Christmas Tale stands out as the most original and well made. The film is like the offspring of Silent Night Deadly Night and The Goonies. If that doesn’t perk your ears up then forget this set. The packaging is a disappointment and the extras are a bit light. However there is a making of for each film. Overall if you are a fan of horror and want to see what the Spanish directors of the genre are up to, this collection is for you.

A Christmas Tale3

Now, you probably noticed that this is a Spanish film with English subtitles, so if that’s not for you — cool.  Just know that if you have any connection with the 80’s and horror movies you are only doing yourself a disservice by not watching this flick big time.  This film will survive without you.

Anyway, once again without giving too much away, there are lots of 80’s references in this film.  Toss in some awesome creepy child actors and one deranged-assed Santa you get a perfect recipe of horror goodness.  I love Halloween.  I love Christmas.  To combine them both and do it well, is movie making at its best and is movie watching gold.

If this pic doesn’t do it for ya, well I don’t know what will!

A Christmas Tale4

PS — Enjoy the holiday season the right way and watch this flick!!

The World’s End (2013)

The Worlds End 1If you are like me and fell in love with the buddy duo of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in Shaun of the Dead, when you heard about this flick you wanted to see it.  The question was — just what kind of movie was this?  The previews pretty much only showed Simon, Nick and a few other guys going on a bar crawl and then encountering something very odd and creepy.  Well, if you took that from the previews you got it right.

Without giving too much away, Pegg plays Gary, a childhood friend of a gang of guys, one of which is Andy (Frost), who get together after being childhood BFF’s and find out how very different they have become since becoming adults and growing apart.  Their goal is to finish a pub crawl at “The World’s End” — the final pub of a “one pint a bar” visit in a total of 12 in the crawl.  And where they are all standing tall in an effort to redeem themselves after their first attempt as youngsters ended like most bar/pub crawls do — with lots of alcoholic happiness and lots of vomit.  Personally, I think twelve pints in one night is for amateurs but to be fair, there were a few shots imbibed — albeit begrudgingly.   Anyway, don’t watch this film without at least a beer in your hand because you are sure to want one at about 10 seconds in.

Now on to the creepy factor, during our friends drunken foray, bad and odd things start to happen. To be honest, it’s sort of a “Stepford Wives” only with blue blood and drunks kicking their ass kind of thing.  But really there is more to this film than that:  it’s a buddy film at its core.  The point of this film tell us that yes, you are my friend and I love you, and you are a total shithead, but when the End of the World comes about, I want your shit ass beside me to face it.  Now that’s what I call friendship.

The Worlds End 2

 The Conjuring – 2013


Let’s face it:  going to the movie theater is no easy feat these days.  For one, ticket and concession prices are re-joke-ulous, second the previews last forever  (I used to love previews but a half hour of previews??? Really???) and third, there is always the possibility of people talking on their phone or just being asshats in general.  That being said, I made the trek to see The Conjuring mainly based on a preview I had seen a few weeks back (I immediately knew it had to be seen) and the hype surrounding the film.  It didn’t hurt that James Wan directed it either.

So let’s get to it, shall we?  I enjoyed this film for many reasons.  First, the setting in the 70’s took me back to a place I remember with a great deal of nostalgia;  you actually had to get up to turn off your TV (which was likely to be bigger than your couch), the wallpaper was tacky, everyone drove a station wagon and there were no cell phones glued into everybody’s hands.  Ah, good times.  Anyway, the film centers around two families — the family being tormented and the couple who come to investigate and hopefully help.  The first part of the movie is really a slow burn, allowing the viewer time to get to know each family, which in this horror movie fan’s opinion is sorely lacking in too many horror films these days.  Personally, I am sick of movies where a bunch of strangers are thrown at you and then die so fast you could really care less.  Call me heartless.  Whatever.  The second half of the film, however takes off like a roller coaster.  I feel a little bad that on one of the first real scares I yelled out “Holy Shit!”  After that, I said it a couple more times, just a little quieter.

Here’s the thing:  The Conjuring was a really good, scary movie that if you are a horror movie fan (and even if not) you should go see.  Was it scarier than the Exorcist?  Hell’s no.  But that wasn’t what the director set out to do anyway.  He set out to make a truly scary film (which he did) that could be rated PG-13 (which he did not — thanks to the MPAA).  The acting was great from the entire cast and there are lots of faces you will recognize — in a good way.  If you go into this movie without any preconceived notions you will have a blast and be surprised by some of the twists and turns thrown at you.  But if you read a gazillion reviews that make this movie into something it’s not, then there is a good chance you will be disappointed and share that disappointment with others.  That would be doing a disservice not only to yourself, but to a really good movie that doesn’t deserve it as well.


Note:  The concept that this film was “based on a true story” really is not relevant to the enjoyment factor of the film as it works without it.  I dunno, I think I’m just jaded to that kind of hype after so many big time fakers (The Blair Witch Project — I’m looking at YOU).  Also, for the reviews I have read that bash the God versus the Devil concept of the film, maybe you should refrain from writing reviews about DEMONS until you have looked the word “demon” up in the dictionary.  In case you are too lazy (which I suspect you are), here you go:

Just sayin’.  🙂

Releasing Books In Parts Is Shorting Your Fans

If you are like me and switched with the times (or just ran out of room in your house) from hardcover/paperback to E-books (Nook, Kindle, etc.), you may have noticed a relatively new trend — shorts.   At first, I sort of liked the idea.  In fact, my first introduction to “serials” was Stephen Kings’ “The Green Mile“.  I loved it!  But at that point there were no internet devices like iPads (or much of an internet for that matter) and I could sign up to have them mailed to me rather than having to go to the bookstore for the next installment (did I just date myself?  Oh well.)  As much as I loathe Mr. Kings recent short “Guns“, I have to admit the serial idea was genius — as well as him being one of the first to foray into on-line books.   Go ahead with your bad self Mr. King.

The point is, my issue is not with Stephen King or shorts.  It’s with the authors lately that have been putting their books out in parts for the Nook or the Kindle — if you’re an avid reader you know what I mean.  You buy the first book for 99 cents only to find the book doesn’t really have an ending — and guess what — you not only have to wait for however long it takes for them to release the next installment, but then they turn around and sell the whole book for $2.99.  When the actual followers paid closer to $8  based on their dribs and drabs.  To put it bluntly, as the reader, you don’t get an ending unless you pay up.  And pay up.  And so on.

So let me see if we get this:  We (your customers) buy your book.  We think it is good.  Then, we don’t find out until the “end” of the book that we can’t find out what happened to the characters you made us care about (which we appreciate, therefore we bought your work!) so we have to wait — until you are ready to release the next chapter.   Then in order to sell your next installment, you tell us about WHAT YOU ALREADY WROTE, BUT DIDN’T RELEASE.   Then, we have to pay again to find out the next chapter.  This is BS and your readers are noticing.  To use an old phrase:  please put up or shut up.  We love you but are onto you.    For this avid reader, it has been not only a wake-up call when it comes to books, but also a bit of a nightmare.

PS.  Examples of The Offenders

I didn’t want to mention the authors that should know better than to alienate their base by charging ridiculous fees for a short ass book (you can call it a novella all you want — it’s a short ass book).  But,  yeah I will.  I get that authors need to earn a solid income — AS THEY SHOULD.  But asking for $3 for a book that is so short most of us can read it in an hour is NOT okay.  It’s screwing the people that support you, which, well… just sucks.

Amy Cross  — Her shorts are actually very good.  But get used to waiting for a new “short” as opposed to the  whole book.  Like the story?  Wait.  Wait.  Wait.  Wait.  Wait.. Wait.  Wait.  Wait. Wait. And wait some more.  Oh, she will come up with a new “novella” that has nothing to do with the “short” you just read — instead it’s a new short that will make you wait some more!  UGH.  Good writer, but clearly does not care about the people who like her work.  Personally, I am about to tell her to suck it.

Jeff Strand — This one really hurt me.  I loved all of his other books and he seemed like a down to earth guy.  But recently, paying full price on Kindle for books that are insanely short just makes me sad.  I know you know what I mean Mr. Strand.  Not to mention your new book that is listed on Amazon at $17.95 for a PAPERBACK.  Whuhhh?

Point is that we book buyers need to not only appreciate the authors, but kick them in the ass when they try to mug us — as they are trying to do with this short thing.  We are readers.  We are not stupid.  We know what you are trying to do and will not tolerate it.  Well, maybe that’s just me.


The other day I received a letter (in the regular mail) that looked very official from a company called Domain Registry of America indicating that the domain name of this blog needed to be renewed.  Of course, the renewal cost money and would “cover” me for either a year, 2 years or 5 years — and the latter two included a discount!  LOL.  Thank God I took the time to read the whole thing and am slightly savvy when it comes to scams, otherwise I may have just sent these douchebags my hard-earned money and been trapped.

The thing here is that the paperwork does look pretty darn official.  But after about 12 seconds of Google searching I realized that my suspicions were correct — the letter was a scam designed to get me to switch my domain ownership to them, at well, a heck of a lot more money than I am paying now.

If you have received this letter, by all means do your own research, but do not send these people money.  Jeez.  I never thought I would have to write a post letting my fellow blog owners about this ree-joke-ulous scam that is being sent out – and apparently has been for many years now.  Here is a link that explains the scam and even has a screen shot of a letter that is almost exactly what I received.  The only difference is that the costs are now higher.  Talk about chutzpah.

Bottom line of this post is to watch your behind and make sure you are checking out everything and anyone who asks for money.  We bloggers need to have each others backs, and that’s really all this post is about.

— Giz

 What The Hell Has Happened to the Syfy Channel?

tv_stargate_atlantis13First, I am still not clear on exactly why the SciFi Channel suddenly became the Syfy Channel (other than the Marketing Department, those liar, liar pants on fire fucktards).  I am sure there are some black suited men, sitting behind a desk who have never liked, seen or heaven forbid — read — anything related to Science Fiction.  Too bad for them, and apparently, too bad for us also.

I don’t have any answers as to why the SciFi Channel, which seemed so hopeful in terms of great, original new shows like Stargate, Stargate Atlantis, Eureka, Ghost Hunters, etc. had suddenly turned to shows like “Shark Attack Times 1000!”, “The Catfish that ate your Mother”, or “The CROC THAT ATE ATLANTIS!”.  Even worse “Smackdown!”.  Obviously, I was joking with those titles, but they aren’t too far off.  Unfortunately, here are some real ones:  “Sharktopus”, “MegaShark vs. Crocosaurus”, “Dinocroc vs. Supergator” and “Smackdown” (that one was real, and just as bad).  Heaven help all of us science and fiction geeks, but that sad list goes on, on and on in terms of the films SyFy is willing to torture us with.

There are, however, some bright spots in the content downfall of the channel, and as anyone with common sense knows, there are but a few shows holding that channel together.  They are:  Warehouse 13, Ghost Hunters (which I used to love but is getting bor-oor-oring), and FaceOff, which is a great show that I encourage all of my peeps to check out.  That is all I will watch on that channel these days, and that is just damn sad.

If I were a betting person, I would lay down lots of money that whoever was put in charge of programming once the change was made is a Godzilla fan and maybe, just maybe a zoophiliac.  I know it’s hard to think about, but why else would someone choose to kill a burgeoning channel with lots of viewers?  Someone cancelled great shows like Stargate Atlantis and Eureka to make way for “My Dingo Ate Your Crocodile”.  Even worse, “Lost Girl” which does nothing but try to capitalize on young mens desires to see two chicks make out.   Really??  She NEEDS to suck face with everyone she meets to survive?  Please God tell me we are not that stupid or that ruled by our loins.

Look, I get the fact that men want to see that kind of thing.  But are you willing to let a TV show eat your brain away so much that the plot no longer matters?  If so, I got nothing for ya.  Come on you other guys, I have more faith in you than that.    Frankly, that’s what porn is for, not prime-time shows showing crap our kids can see.  Eh, whatever.

Now, if you want to watch a channel that is actually Science and Fiction try the Science Channel. They are showing Fringe and they even have a show called “Dark Matters” which is what the SyFy channel promised to be, but never delivered.  It can get a little gross at times, but it’s still great eureka-showand informative.  You know, kind of like life… and science.

Please do me a favor and stop watching the SyFy Channel just because it’s there.  You now know we have the Science Channel, which gives us a lot more than “Smackdown”.   And quite frankly, don’t be a dumbass consumer or teenager with a hard-on, both of whom will believe anything…. including that the Syfy Channel is still worth watching.

Update to the 31 Days of the Best Halloween Movies — Day 20 Apology

I just realized that I sort of hosed you guys on day 20 of the countdown by re-posting Jeeper’s Creeper’s 2001.  Sorry about that.  Day 20 should have been Jeeper’s Creeper’s II, 2003.  So, to make it up to you here it is:

Number 20:  Jeeper’s Creeper’s II, 2003  Okay, so this one wasn’t as new of an idea as the first, but it still did a pretty darn good job.  Our favorite creepy flesh-eater is back only this time, he has a bus full of kids, some pretty savvy adults and a flash scene with one of our original characters (Justin Long) who just happens to be well… dead but sort of helpful nonetheless.  Anyhoo, what I really liked about this film was the father (Ray Wise) who was not going to stop trying to kill the slimy bastard (played by Jonathan Breck) who killed his son no matter what.  Now that’s my kind of man — Ray Wise that is.

Lastly, since I was really unable to add pics of every film I love in my last post, I think you deserve a few of them to whet your appetite.  MAD props to the Special Effects Team.

Jonathan Breck Before Creeperization:

Mr. Breck (I can’t stop giggling over that name but I am goofy that way) AFTER Creeperization:

Gotta tell ya, makes me think back to guys I have dated — in terms of their before and after pics!

But enough about me and Mr. Breck.  How about a photo of all three (well, sort of).  Nice…

31 Days of the Best Halloween Movies — Countdown Days 8 – 31 Finally!

Okay I apologize.  Frankly, I’ve just been busy doing normal people stuff.  So, in an effort to make up for my shirking of duties, here are my movie favs from the 8th through the 31st.  Of course, you don’t have to watch them in order, but you definitely need to watch them even though Halloween has been lost in the turkey induced coma of Thanksgiving.  Just because we should give thanks doesn’t mean we should forget about the horror movies that make us appreciate drawing breath every day.

Remember:  These are in order from the least (but still!) scary to the most scary.  Just a friendly FYI.

Number 8:     The Descent, 2005.  Here’s the thing.  I sort of hated this movie because I had read a book of the same name (The Descent, by Jeff Long — which I found fantastic) before I saw this movie.  They are not related at all,  and so I was a bit disappointed.  However, setting aside my thoughts of the book, the movie was pretty damn good.  And creepy.

Number 9:    Wrong Turn, 2003.  Ahhh, just your run of the mill inbred, redneck cannibals attacking innocent victims.  Yes it was.  But the story line and the main actress (Eliza Dushku) really made this film pop.  Her character was badass!  Too bad the sequels sucked ba**s.

Number 10:  Resident Evil, 2002.  Fantastic film about zombies, friends and lovers.  None of it ends well.  Perfect.

Number 11:   Alien, 1979.  If you don’t know, you better ask somebody.

Number 12:  Dawn of the Dead, 1978.  Yes, this takes place after Night of the Living Dead but is still slightly better than it’s originator AND should be viewed and appreciated by anyone who thinks they know anything about DOTD just because they saw the remake.  Seriously, you don’t.  Get a clue and watch the real deal –then maybe, just maybe we’ll let you into our club.

Number 13:  Day of the Dead, 1985.  Takes place after DOTD — duh.  But still was a great film with one of the BEST evisceration scenes by zombie hands EVER.  Oh, the memories!

Number 14:  The Shining, 1980.  My soft spot here is Stephen King.  Great book, perhaps bad directing, but still visually stunning and a creep fest.  All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy…

Number 15Poltergeist, 1982.  Nice family, bad clown, child eating tree, the National Anthem (for those of us old enough to remember that) and lots of slimy pink goo.  Oh, and a swimming pool full of dead people you can’t get away from…  (Not to mention one of my favorite horror movie guys, James Karen of Return of the Living Dead fame).

Number 16:  Night of the Living Dead, 1968.  Aw come on.  Do I really have to?  Okay, mentally f-ed up chick whose brother was a douche but ended up getting eaten, a REAL douche who was too stupid to realize we need to band together in a crisis and a black guy lead who gets shot just for staying alive.  Yeah, lots of political commentary here, but still doesn’t take away from the enjoyment of the film.  Good job GR.

Number 17:  Saw, 2004.  Lots of  people think the Saw films are just “torture porn”.  These people are wrong.  Sorry dudes, but the Saw films (while they may be gory) do have a message — take for instance the chick who was a drug addict (thereby killing herself slowly) who was forced to do something that made her want to live?  Yup.  That’s called a message, so get over yourself.  And if you don’t like the Saw films — oh, I know — watch something else and leave the rest of us alone.  Peace.

Number 18:  Halloween, 1978.  Creepy and had Jamie Lee Curtis.  Poor thing.

Number 19:  In the Mouth of Madness, 1994.  Aw man, if you haven’t seen this one you haven’t lived!  Feels a lot like a Stephen King novel brought to life.  Flippin’ fantastic.  And the kid on the bike still haunts my dreams.

Number 20:  Jeeper’s Creeper’s, 2001.  We have yet another female heroine in this one — and I think she’s a great actress too.  Her name is Gina Philips and she was a straight up kick-ass chick in this flick!  That demon that feasts on flesh is also a badass but she’s one thing that keeps you watching the film.  The demon also has a scary ass spider head-thing, but I guess you’ll just have to watch the movie to find out what I am talking about!

Number 21:  Aliens, 1986.  No words are needed here.  Flipping awesome.

Number 22:  The Mist, 2007.  Again, a Stephen King child.  Chilling and sleep depriving (especially the spider scene) although after reading the book I felt the ending sucked eggs comparatively.  Still a great movie — with by the way, three characters from The Walking Dead (AMC) in attendance in the film:   Laurie Holder (Andrea), Jeffrey DeMunn (Dale) and Melissa McBride (Carol).  Go ahead, watch The Mist and see them in TWD.  Yeah!!

Number 23:  Hellraiser, 1987.  Yes, he’s evil and has pins in his head.  However, the other guy killed his own brother and stole his skin.  Kind of makes you wonder who the bad guy is here doesn’t it?

Number 24:  Wolf Creek, 2005.  Alright, I admit this one got me on a gut level.  Some douchebag who pretends to help a bunch of nice hikers ends up torturing them in ways that even the devil might have an issue with.  There are lots of “based on a true story” films out there, but this one comes so close to the truth that it still gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Number 25:  Dawn of the Dead, 2004.  Okay, okay.  For those of us who are fans of the original this one didn’t meet the mat, but it did a great job of incorporating the original with modern day concerns.  That combined with the great special effects is what made this one beat out its predecessor… slightly.

Number 26:  The Ring, 2002.  Weird ass video with a weird ass kid coming out of your TV?  Yeah, that’s pretty awesome.  Not to mention the dead niece in the beginning — that was just nasty.  Nasty and fabulous!!!

Number 27:  Insidious, 2010.  I admit that one of the reasons I liked this movie was because of it’s homage to Poltergeist.  However, they went further with this film and had that freaky song which is now stuck in my head forever!

Number 28The Thing, 1982.  Nuff said.

Number 29:  Event Horizon, 1997.  Sam Neill.  Lawrence Fishbourne.  Straight up visions of hell.  Yay!   Mr. Neill’s (Dr. Weir) line pretty much sums up this gruesome flick fest — “You know nothing. Hell is only a word. The reality is much, much worse.”  Love it!!!!!!!

Number 30:  Hellbound:  Hellraiser 2, 1988.  “I recommend… amputation”.  One word about this film — AWESOME!!!

Now to my most scary film of all time…

Number 31:  The Exorcist:  The Directors Cut, 1973.  Primarily because demons scare me, but that crab-walk sticks in my mind like really evil cotton candy.

I put a lot (and really I mean lots and lots) of thought into what movies scared me the most and I sincerely hope they scare the heck out of you too!  Remember, Thanksgiving is one day, but nightmares are forever.  🙂

31 Days of the Best Halloween Movies — Countdown Days 6 & 7

Psycho (1960) and The Grudge (2004)

First, I apologize for being a day late for yesterday’s film.  In an effort to redeem myself I have included yesterday’s and todays films (it is a Sunday — what else do you have to do besides watch football?)  all in one post.

Our first fabulous film is Psycho.  Who can forget one of the most memorable films ever made which included actors Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh and Anthony Perkins!?  This is the film that Hitchcock knew would push our buttons:  a beautiful woman who is a thief and  manages to find the most f-ed up motel possibly on the planet while trying to get away with her ill-gotten fortune.  Her host, who seems so kind, nice and normal when she checks in turns out not only to be a murderous lunatic but well — does this because he thinks he is his mother who hates any woman who her son is attracted to.  Talk about your Oedipus Complex gone off the rails.  Blech.  Nonetheless, as weird and haunting as this film is, I can’t help but feel Ms. Leigh sort of got hers for being a thief.  To be totally cliché, karma is a bee-otch.

Our second film (The Grudge, 2004) takes on a slightly different theme (there is no one in this film that thinks they are their mommy or has desires to  — er, you know what I mean) but it does still have a mother-in-law who is sort of a bitch and maybe insane.  She is, however, totally within her rights to be this way based on how her son and daughter-in-law leave her in a house almost all the time haunted by a creepy ass, evil spirit who is trying to kill her.

Okay, so they care so much they hire a live-in nurse (Sarah Michelle Gellar) who only ends up getting haunted and damn near driven insane as well.  (By the way, said evil spirit crawls on the ceiling and makes a noise that is so freaky, to this day I cannot get it out of my head.)  Just goes to show you that the Japanese really DO know how to scare us:  how we treat mean mother-in-laws, how to deal with nasty evil spirits, murdering your family (and the friggin’ cat for crying out loud — poor kitty) to cover up your own sins, trying to ignore weird ass noises and perhaps how we treat elders and each other in general.  Yup, that would and should scare almost every human being on Earth.  This might make me a really bad person, but the whole reason for the film you will have to watch to find out.  But I will give you a hint:  this bitch is really pissed off.  Enjoy!!


31 Days of the Best Halloween Movies — Countdown Day 5

28 Days Later, 2002

I know — I know — there is a huge argument about whether or not this is a “zombie” film.  Let me settle this fight for you — yes, it IS a zombie film.  I don’t care what the director, actors or anyone else says, we all can recognize a zombie film when we see it — and we did with 28 Days Later.  First thing that comes to mind with this flick is that poor guy waking up and having no clue that the world has literally gone to shit and finding some kind people willing to school his ass on the new world.   Add to that some sort of “rage” virus (I guess that was supposed to be some sort of commentary on the world today), a few crazy ass chimps and voila!  The end of the world!  Well, whatever side you fall on this movie still rocked.  Mostly because of the lead actress Naomie Harris who not only carried Jim’s ass during literally most of the movie, but in my opinion — the entire film.  Go ahead with your bad self Naomie, we want to see more of you!!!

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