Friday, November 30, 2018

'Deep Blue Sea' Moments: Happy Hell Night (1992)

Yes, many of these happened BEFORE the Film.  DBS is just *that* influential!

In Happy Hell Night, a killer Demon Priest is loose on Campus.  The man who released it- Kolchak!

It's actually just Darren McGavin as the Dad, but which is more interesting.

Anyhow, he returns to the Campus to save his Sons and tells them all what happened.
He explains what they need to do to put the Demon back in Hell.  Now to just back up towards this door...
...and get stabbed!
Yep, the Demon Priest could apparently sense his movements, ran up the stairs super-fast (shown in POV) and stabbed him through the door.
On the plus side, he told them everything before his death.
One the negative side, I'm pretty sure that's why he died.  He had nothing left to share.

The lesson- don't tell people *everything* they need to know.  Just be safe, people.

Also stop backing up towards doors!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Creepy Rigatoni: Channel Zero: The Dream Door- 'Love Hurts'

Holidays, man.  I didn't get to the next Episode until now between that and the job that actually pays me, so here we are...
The Husband narrowly escapes certain death and the killer is now documented.  How do you explain to the Police who or what he/it is?
The strange creature continues to lurk, just waiting to be 'called.'  I won't SPOIL what 'calls' him/it here though.
He's a sneaky little bugger- he can get in anywhere!
Our Heroes find out their Neighbor's secret- which I also won't SPOIL.  Just gauge what it might be from their shocked expressions.
Will some more Therapy help capture the creature or doom them all?

To find out, Stream the Show already!
A dark and interesting Episode.  This one sheds a lot of light on stuff hinted at in the previous 2.  That's another advantage of this short Format- no need to pad things out.  I'd probably be 8 Episode into, for instance, American Gods before I found out stuff like I did here.  The revelations are interesting and definitely add some depth to the Series.  It's neat to see them play with expectations.  The killer is obviously the biggest draw here.  Before watching the Show, I saw a thing about how people couldn't believe that it was really just a guy doing all that movement.  It is.  It is freaky as hell- aided by the sound effects- and he's a joy to watch.  The Plot is definitely strange...but when is it not?  Just a reminder- the first Season dealt with kids being mind-controlled by a TV Show created by magic!  This is all weird.  We get a strong Opening, tense middle and a climax that leaves you wanting to know what will happen next.  If that's not 'Must-See,' then I don't know what is.  Speaking of must-see, this girl must see a Therapist after this...
Next time, more revelations and possibly more killing.  Therapy must be the cure...right?  See you then...

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Impossibly-Cool Cover Art: The Sea Serpent

Monster Films are an easy sell- at least in theory.

Show me the Monster.  Tease the mayhem.  Sell tickets.

That leads to stuff like this raising your expectations past a realistic standard...
Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but the Film CANNOT live up to this Poster.

I feel like I would have seen it a dozen times by now if it did.

Speaking of corrections...
Yeah, so I did a lot of Color Correction with this one.  I just wanted to make the Colors bolder and brighter.  Too much?

Since I won't be able to in good conscience double-dip, here's the Spanish/Mexican Poster which is almost entirely the same.
I actually like the Font *way better* here and did try a different tint for the creature.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Almost Heroes: David Owens (Urban Legends: Bloody Mary)

After a long delay, this segment returned.  Let's keep it warm...

In UL: Bloody Mary, a Teen is sucked into a mystery involving a killing spree, a missing person from the '60s and possibly a Ghost.

Her Brother sticks with her, as all little Brothers do!
As the end of the investigation nears, he returns home to call his Sister about what he found out...
...and gets killed by the man behind the original killing!
He almost made it, but didn't make it through to the last 20 minutes of the Film.

I believed in you, man!

Thursday, November 22, 2018

*Alternate* Holiday Cover Art: Blood Rage (1987)

Holidays are synonymous with Horror.

Hell, there's literally a Horror Anthology Film called Holidays!

That said, far FAR less people do Thanksgiving.  Since I *still* refuse to do Thankskilling, here's a look at some randomly-retitled Cover Art for Blood Rage on DVD...
Shadow Woods?  Really?

This sounds like more like a bad PC Game or Choose Your Own Adventure Book.

Did I just severely-date myself?

Happy Holidays- I'm old!

Since I don't want to save it until next Year, he's a bonus piece of Cover Art, complete with silly tagline!
Who wasn't saying "It's not cranberry sauce" in 1987?!?  It was the hippest thing to do!


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

DCE-Hulu: Titans- 'Origins'

Before the Holidays mess up the timing, I might as well get my weekly dose of 'Please don't suck' in...
Raven is taken by The Nuclear Family, who's origins are still shrouded in mystery.  Who will save her?
While trying to find Raven, Robin has lots of random flashbacks to being adopted by Bruce Wayne, who is never quite in shot (see the last Pic).

I like seeing these, but the Pacing is often affected by stuff like this.  You shouldn't stop the Story cold so much, guys!
After things go awry for the Family, we see their Boss and learn that he's clearly working for Trigon.  Is it also Brother Blood we're seeing here?  Maybe.
Raven goes back to the Monastery where she lived as a child, while Robin investigates her background some more.

Right as they found out some bad omens about her, something really bad happens.  Yes, I did say 'they' and that wasn't a mistake.

To find out what happens, watch the Show.
Sparks of hope for the Series, intermixed with some issues that still linger.  On the positive, Starfire is a lot of fun in this one.  While it is still strange to have her place the Amnesiac Badass Cliché, they let her really shine here.  The Director of this Episode is a guy who now does mostly-TV (like this kind of is), but made his name with How Stella Got Her Groove Back and Barbershop 2.  I guess that's the guy to make her look like a bad-ass warrior chick- at least until Melvin Van Peebles un-retires to do Titans.  The interaction between her and the other Characters is neat too, as the dynamic is different each time.  Speaking of dynamic, Raven continues to be interesting, whether she is being acerbic or concerned.  If this is the start of a stronger Arc for her, I'll be happy.  Now for the negatives- fun.  So they just killed Robin's Partner off after the one Scene between the two- joy.  Starfire looks justifiably bad-ass, but also beats up some Cops that were probably just nice guys- hurray?  As mentioned before, the Pacing is a bit affected by the Flashbacks, as interesting as they are sometimes.  You don't have to be Arrow, guys!  The integration of Characters is also still a bit odd here.  Hawk and Dove have a Cameo after being important last time, while Starfire is super-important after being absent last time.  Oh and Beast Boy's Cameo sure is pointless- for now.  So the Tone is a big issue still, but I'm hoping that things improve.  Titans could be a really good Show and I want it to be.  As for right now, there's hope, but things are still just out of sight for the time being...
Next time, will Raven be able to control herself as evil tries to find her.  Can a new Team form to save us (and the World)?  See you then...

'90s Trash?: Happy Hell Night

Nobody wanted Hell Fest- I guess it just wasn't happy enough!  This is 1992's Happy Hell Night, a Film that kind of exists in a super-awkward time.  Slasher Films are on the down swing.  Given that we've gone from Prom Night to Prom Night 4, is that really a surprise?  This is about 3 Years before Scream (the Wes Craven one that is).  Put yourself back in this Grunge-discovering, flannel-wearing time, won't you?  You are one year removed from Freddy's Dead and one year away from Jason Goes to Hell.  Aside from Candyman, the pickings for quality stuff is pretty slim.  Children of the Corn II, anyone?  Even then, look at what was happening.  Candyman is pure supernatural in his powers, Freddy is given Demons and Jason is about to become an evil worm that mutates *some people* into his own body.  Crazed killers with knifes, hands or knife hands are out; Magic is in!  That brings me back around to this Film (finally, right?) with a Villain who is...a Priest possessed by evil during a College Hazing Prank?  That was a sentence I just wrote.  The Plot is all kinds of silly and sleazy, but kudos for taking it seriously...I guess.  The Film has some notable Casting, but should definitely be remembered for its insanity.  Just as an example- a Priest prays for the power to stop the evil and his Statue of Jesus on the Cross turns into a guy wearing somewhat-convincing make-up who writhes and then the Statue (or part of it) smashes on the ground.  I didn't have room to even cover that insanity in the main Review, so you know that this is going to be something.  To see what happy hell I bring, read on...
In 1991 (yes, this is a 1992 Film), we see people in a Sanitarium checking on a Patient that has been comatose for the last 25 Years.
We then get a Flashback to that, which involves a scared Priest, a sad Teen (more on him later) and this obvious Killer.
Now back in 1991, it is just before Hell Night.  The Houses have to pull the best pranks to get points to

This guy on the left tells them about the killing we see hinted at earlier and tells them to take a photo with the killer.  What could go wrong?!?
Oh right- he gets out.

His first victim- a 38-year old-looking College Freshman (who only has this on his Resume).
While he kills people and makes quips based around 'No ____,' let me highlight the Casting.

Jorja Fox (from CSI) is this girl who won't have sex without protection.  She's killed for 'No Parking.'
In the bits of Flashback we get, Sam Rockwell plays the young Version of our Leads' Dad.

On the plus side, he gets credit for doing 'Seagal Lighting' first.  Suck it, Russian Turncoat!
Lastly, Darren McGavin (!!!) plays the present day Dad.  He shows up (after only 1 Scene) to explain what happened...

In 1966, his Frat Bros did a Ritual on Hell Night that got a Priest possessed.  He killed all of them, but him and he says that the killer is after 'him and his blood.'  Why it waited 25 years is anyone's guess.
They have to do some ritual to stop the creature.  Can the evil be returned to Hell?
Well, yes- but someone will have to make a sacrifice.  Good luck explaining this to the Cops.  The End.
It starts out normal and gets really, really weird.  Okay- it also started a little weird.  The whole structure of the Introduction is just odd.  Why not just start with the Flashback and then go to the Sanitarium?  I get it- you want a strong intro.  I think Sam Rockwell walking in with a bloody Cross and the Police finding some bodies is a strong one.  I know that it is WAY too late to Edit the Film, but I would seriously just swap it all around and then run the Credits in the Sanitarium.  Going from the Present (of 1991) to 1966 and then back again is just pointlessly-confusing.  Once they get to the Plot, it feels pretty generic.  Hell, I've seen Killer Priest on Campus- it's Prom Night IV!  They give the Character a much darker, deeper origin that makes it all sorts of different though.  Before Michael Meyers was retconned into the Cult of Thorn, this guy was a vessel of pure evil killing teens.  The whole thing is just plain bizarre when you break it down.  For Hell Night in 1966, the Frat accidentally cast a magic spell that turned a Priest into an Avatar of Evil.  After having one target left alive, it...just waited for someone to open the door for it.  As luck would have it, they would lead him to the Frat AND said target (McGavin) would also show up.  Even if you accept that the cross kept him dormant, was it never moved even once?  Hell, I could have accepted 'Greedy Guard steals cross (since it is Silver) and the guy gets out' more than 'Teens Open Cell Door in Asylum to take 'selfie' with killer on what just happens to be the same Night 25 years later.'  I'm over-analyzing again- I know.  Happy Hell Night is a fun enough Slasher that exists in this weird void between Slasher Peak and Slasher Revival.  For that alone, it is interesting.  The fact that it is about a Demon Priest with an 'axe' is just a bonus.  Speaking of which, you have to love the subtle way they introduce it early on (with the Sheriff asking what it is)...
Next time, an often-overlooked '80s Sci-Fi Film.  Is this the Weird Science-style Film that you don't remember?  Stay tuned...

Monday, November 19, 2018

Netflix and Thrill: Castlevania- Season 2

After taking too long with Season 1, I won't make the same mistake for Season 2.

Here's a SPOILER-free look at what you will get...
Alucard, Sypha and Trevor Belmont are united in their cause: defeat Dracula and stop his planned genocide of all mankind!
Before they can do that, two things have to happen...

1) They have to wander around the Belmont Library to find some spells.
2) The Vampires have to talk about how they're planning the next attack.

There- that should cover the next 4 Episodes.  No, really.
Seriously, we're promised a battle between the Vampires and our Heroes with the fate of mankind on the line & we get 3-4 Episodes in a row of just bickering, backstabbing and backstory.

It's all well-written, but...yawn...are we done yet?
When the final battle *actually happens,* will our Heroes be able to win the day?

To find out, watch the Show.
A mixed-bag that is ultimately worth the wait.  When the Show is good, it's really good.  The Writing, Voice Acting and Production Values are all really good.  You get all sorts of variety with each Character.  Over the course of 8 Episodes, for instance, Dracula is sullen, angry, sad, aggressive, penitent, warmongering and morose.  The problem- the Show doesn't always deliver.  Season 1 ends with a big promise- this trio is going to kick some ass!  When Season 2 starts, they...don't know what to do.  They finally find the Belmont Estate and...kind of hang around for 3 Episodes.  I like the Character Moments, but...come on, guys!  We keep hearing about Dracula's plan to commit genocide against all mankind and we only see his armies attack the one city.  The only time they actually attack a City is when some Generals attack it ON THEIR OWN instead.  The Show does eventually get to the big battle, but it sure is a chore to get there.  I kept with it and it was worth it...eventually.  The little bits of action are great, so at least it can one-up Castle Rock.  Season 2 is good, but should have been way shorter and/or way more focused.  On the plus side, they really captured how I look first thing in the Morning getting juice...
A well-made Show with some strange pacing issues that affect it greatly.  When it delivers though, it delivers!

Animondo Spotlight: New World / Warmonger / Century of Shame (Jormungand: Perfect Order)

Welcome back to Animondo. I wanted to take moment here to wrap up my coverage of Jormungand with some discussion of the ending and why it bothers me so much. This will of course involve major spoilers for the show, so if you want to see it first and form your own opinions, skip this one. I'll put the content after a break to hopefully help out.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Lost in Translation: Twin Peaks

Right off the bat, I don't know if this is for the Film or the Show.  They don't list the 'Fire Walk With Me' bit, but that would be the *least* strange thing here if they omitted it.

In any event, it's for Twin Peaks and it's from Ghana.

Yeah, this is going to be...something else.
I've seen all of the Episodes of the Show.  I've seen the Movie.  I've seen the Revival Series.

This is still insane!

Where do you begin with this one?!?

I mean...guy riding a Horse while holding a machine gun!  The Log is now a demon face!  Those twins!

Here's the original...
I mostly just cleaned it up.  I mean, why mess with this insane mess more than you have to?

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Creepy Rigatoni: Channel Zero, The Dream Door- 'Where Did You Sleep Last Night?'

Another week and another Episode of this strange Show.  What is the mystery of the Door?
After the death of someone close, the Wife is questioned due to her proximity.  Can she tell them what really happened?
Concerned, she goes to her old House and sneaks in while the owner is away.  What is she looking for in there?
Meanwhile, the Contortionist Clown- known as Pretzel- is lurking.  Is he trying to help her or hurt her?
What is going on with the Husband?  He's keeping some secrets and meeting with this strange woman.

Will this lead to his death?  To find out, watch the Show- now available to Stream.
A solid follow-up.  The first Episode got plenty of craziness in it.  The Door, the Clown and that ending- all gold.  What this Episode does is follow up on all of that in good and interesting ways.  We learn some backstory for the Clown.  We learn more about the door's connection to their past.  We learn more about the secrets kept between the Couple.  We learn how to deal with scary clowns (see below).  Like all of these Shows have been, the Pace is deliberate, but not slow.  Something is always happening, feels like it is about to happen or is building up suspense.  You can be deliberate, but not slow- this is how!  It was nice to see Barbara Crampton in this Episode and I hope to see more of her.  All in all, the Episode is good and keeps me wanting to come back for more.  Now about that clown...
Next time, did another person die?  Will we get any answers yet?  See you then...