Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Flesheater Review

Halloween always means an extra influx to my horror collection. Let's face it; August through October is an absolute tidal wave of releases both new and old. Originally I was planing to write about the 650th addition to my treasure trove but not only is the Mangler not here yet, I've found something so much more important with number 647. Join me wont you?
Flesheater is the brain child of Bill Hinzman. Bill's biggest claim to fame is being the first onscreen zombie in the original night of the living dead. Most of his career past that point consisted of more bit parts in Romero flicks or just riding the fame of being such a noteworthy minion of the damned. Eventually the old boy got the idea to start making movies of his own. First up was the Majorettes, which I have yet to see though you'd better believe it's on the “to-watch” list, then he decided to revive the undead act and...my god.. it's beautiful. Not in the way of sunsets or your favorite memories. No, it's beautiful like early nineties USA network. If you've ever seen Up All Night I expect you to be hopping with anticipation by now.
The credits set the scene perfectly with the animated Hinzman snarling at us along with the only musical arrangement in the whole damn movie. Hope you like it, cause it plays on an endless loop. After that we open on Halloween afternoon as four couples take a hayride out to spend the night in the woods drinking and screwing. It's a mostly forgettable lot of zombie fodder which is fine since only a couple of them live past the half-hour mark. Don't think of that as spoilers. The whole movie is just a gravy train of new people for the zombies to chew on.
Anywho. While the kids get settled for their night of debauchery, old man farmer works on removing a tree stomp from his property, under which he finds a warning sign about the evil buried below. He complains to no one that this better not be some joke. A completely understandable statement when you think of how many prankster excel at burying things under old tress in the hopes of pulling a fast one on aging farmers. Ignoring the warning, he continues to dig and opens a coffin to reveal Hinzman who's quite hungry. Farmer goes down only to wake a few minutes later as a zombie.
Not far away we are treated to one of the least captivating love scenes I've ever witnessed. The girl (if she is indeed a girl) has the voice of a Tennessee trucker and the hands to match. Lucky for us, Hinzy breaks up their fun right quick. After that we get a few scenes of the kids figuring out what's going on and being attacked which leads to them hiding in an old shack and calling the cops. Their last stand for survival is mercifully short as they get devoured in short order except for the two that were forced to hide in the cellar.

Next we move on to a nice house where a girl showers for us in order to break up the scenes introducing some family. None of them last more than ten minutes. Of course Hinzman gets to attack the shower girl, and rip her towel off in the process. Ahh, the perks of being a director. While this is going on we get a few scenes featuring the local police force and their shining star Harv. Harv is the straight up shit. Most of his dialogue was recorded after the fact allowing him to talk like some smooth radio DJ from an easy listening station. Sadly, as with everyone else, his time in the sun is short lived before he bites the dust, though not before taking a few deadheads with him.
Next we met a new couple (what'd I tell ya?) who take in the two survivors from the initial group of kids. Can you guess what happens next? Maybe a zombie attack? Ten points! Good for you! The two survivors, whom I suppose you could call the main characters by this point run off to another local, and man did they ever save a good one for so late in the game.
There's this lame duck college party being held in an old barn. The attendees are some of the most delightfully sad creatures ever to walk the earth. The king of them being the kid dressed as a vampire who is struggling to pretend he's drunk. Meanwhile girls complain about the guys checking out other girls and some other dingbats hook up. Possibly the best line of dialogue is uttered here which goes along the line of, “my friend told me not to come here. Said you boys would just get drunk and rape us girls.” Imagine this being said playfully before a make-out session. Wonderful, isn't it? So the two main kids show up looking for help, followed closely by the ghouls and yet another blood bath ensues! Some of the biggest effects were saved for this one. Of particular note is when Hinzman shoves his hand through a girls chest.
After that we switch focus to the local mob that's formed to kill the zombies. We spend about a good ten minutes watching people walk around an old farm, shooting the creatures which really just means we get to watch the whole cast get murdered again! I won't spoil the ending for you. That's something reserved for those with the pain tolerance to watch the whole flick.
I bet you're wondering why I'd speak so glowingly of something that's obviously crap. Indeed it is crap of the highest order. This lil gem is going to sit alongside the titans of garbage cinema like The Room, Troll 2, Birdemic, and Ninja 3: The Domination. It's a testament to the power of shit. All the more it serves as something of a dictionary entry for describing what a zombie movie is. There is nothing pretentious, meaningful, or unique about it. It's just straight up simple filth that brought a bigger smile to my face than I've had for a while.
A huge part of it's success is the atmosphere. There's an undeniable charm to the cheap honesty of the production. From plastic pumpkin pails to home made costumes. Nothing is ever too outlandish or high brow. Combined with obviously improvised dialogue and a storyline that never goes beyond zombies eating people, it always feels like watching a Halloween flick you could have made with your friends and god help me I love it.
If you've got ten bucks handy, really just want to get trashed with some friends and watch some dumb seasonal fun, I can't recommend this enough. I'll even throw in a drink tip. Mix Pinnacle Caramel Apple Vodka with Coke, and maybe garnish with caramel apple Twizzlers if you're feeling extra destructive. Both the movie and the drink greatly resemble the party within said film. We've all been to that bash. It's gross and unhealthy but we'll never forget it.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Legend of Cornboy

Thursday night has one special tradition that makes me look forward to it each week, two if TV is in season cause that marks pretty vampire night. Viewing habits aside, Thursday means thrift store night. We go out and check for whatever new/old items grace the aisles of goodwill and hospice. Sometimes we bring back nothing, other times we bring back great piles of forgotten relics. So far the majority of my Halloween shopping for the year has been done at both of these stores with a few pieces that haven't been covered on here (maybe we'll get to them later). Last weeks haul was extra hefty, with some fine finds and a new character to grace our season.
Goodwill has been surprising ample in the Halloween department lately. From mask to life sized frankensteins, there has been some major selection pouring out of that lil hole in the wall. This visit brought some nice new window and toilet clings. Very excited for that last one as I've wanted to try toilet décor before but couldn't reconcile spending 10 bucks on something that'll just get pubic hair on it. I have that same issue with buying underwear actually. Also got a few small metal pumpkin lanterns that'll find various uses through the season. Most of all, I'm proud to have a new water rat. Behold!
For a couple years straight I placed a standing dollar store rubber rat atop our water cooler. The last time he was out we decided to try and make him a year round feature...then he up and disappeared. Thanks to Goodwill, there's a new musclebound replacement to stand frightful watch over our water jugs. God speed lil buddy.
Over at the hospice thrift store there were a variety of ziplock grab bags. Some of them had toys, others had figures, one was a sizable amount of rubber bugs for all of 25 cents. My first pick ended up being an odd jumble of some toys and legit decorations. Nothing life changing, but the witches should make nice additions to the light up village hovering over our kitchen cabinets. Turns out bag two was the real find.
This baggy came fully stocked with a good supply of porcelain figures and pumpkins along with other pumpkins and some kitties of the wooden persuasion. The tall skinny witch is particularly bogus close up while the cloth grim reaper and black cat may have to take a trip to the trash cause they're dirty and more than a little stanky. Amongst all of these strange beings; one stood out above the rest. Let's zoom in one what I like to call cornboy.
Your eyes do not deceive you. That is a corn husk with orange yarn and a drawn on happy face. Several people are of them belief that he's some budding cursed object but I think cornboy is a gentle soul. You know; the kind that only kills when provoked.
One last find for the evening was Treehouse of Horror Monopoly. For the record; I adore the Simpsons up until about season 12. After that it's just been a lame horse to this family, but the Halloween episodes still get some major love from us. Hell! It's pretty much the only episode we still tune in to watch. Now I've always hated Monopoly so this wasn't a slam dunk for me and the eight dollar price tag made me shrug and leave the game on the shelf. After heading out we checked the prices on ebay and amazon and to make a long story short, I decided it was best to go back for it.
This stuff wasn't the only fun I managed to find at the stores. There's also a nice array of food, candy, and drinks procured during an otherwise uneventful supply run. Be back to review those soon. For now though, It's time to rest under the watchful gaze of cornboy.

Just noticed that this is my fiftieth entry. Guess I've earned a cookie.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Let's call the whole thing off

September is here at last friends. Summer is passing into the realm of memory to which I say good fucking riddance! Now it's not like the season was completely worthless. There were a few highlights scattered here and there like 80's themed birthday parties and movies about space racoons. By and large though it was one of the most frustrating summers I've ever had and thankfully a key element of that frustration has finally come to a head and actually left me in a finer state than I have been for some time. Now I'm prepped for Fall. That perfect storm of pumpkins, cold nights, spooky décor, and an onslaught of horror flicks. However; my town has one last hurrah before Autumn can fully settle in. With that in mind I figure we can cover one last Summer grab bag.
Last week's morning shifts left me too scatterbrained to take photos of so many items that most will get clumped together here in a kind of rapid fire review session. First off are those Lay's chose your flavor chips that have been floating around. So far I've only placed my paws on three of them, in this order. Bacon mac & cheese is pretty good, not incredible mind you but a very rich chip for when you're feeling that extra bit of gluttony. Mango salsa is a good idea spoiled by an overabundance of fake mango flavoring. I mean it. These coulda been something special if there'd been even the smallest effort to balance the sweet and spicy elements. Cappuccino was just gross....really, really gross. Not even sheer novelty can make em worthwhile.
Also on the chip front are two wal-mart exclusive pringles varieties. Bacon is a pretty straightforward affair that errs more on the side of smoky than salty or meaty. Enjoyable, if a bit disappointing. Siracha didn't do much for me but my nephew went gangusters on em in an orgy of spicy chip madness. Kid ate a good 96% of the tube so if you consider that a ringing endorsement, go ahead and get some.
If any of these seems scatterbrained, keep in mind that I'm in the midst of some drinking...probably shoulda said that earlier. Tried the bud light apple-ahhh-rita tonght and for the life of me I can't give you a proper review. It's tasty and gross at the same time yet still fits the season really well. Now I'm on to some hard cider with fireball in it. Ohhh sleep is gonna come quick tonight.
Got a nice stash of boardgames in the mail. Betrayal at House on the Hill is my main dish for Halloween. Proving that choosing one horrific theme is for chumps, this lil monster features everything from aliens, cannibals, and good old fashioned demonic possession. I'm sure there must be a few limitations. It's doubtful the game has a scenario where a creepy old man controls mannequins with his mind powers. Anyone who gets that reference is eligible for a cookie through the mail. There's alos a small stack of games I bought on kickstarter way back in winter. God help me if they didn't come in the nicest envelopes I've ever seen. Seriously; I kept those for no other reason than thinking they're neat. 
September and October are always massive months for adding to my horror collection. This season alone there's probably a goof seventeen flicks set to join the pile. That may not sound too bad at first until you remember it's on top of the 644 that already reside six feet from my bed. This last week has brought me the aussie horror collection along with Cat People and Evilspeak. Already watched Strange Behavior from the aussie set. Can't say as I remember anything that happened save for it being incredibly fun to watch while struggling to stay awake. Out of the others I'm most excited for evilspeak for the promise of a possessed Clint Howard flying around with a broad sword.
Oh my god! I had no clue there was a scene in Hard to Kill where Steven Seagle grooves to Chuck Magioni! Life feels a little more complete. Now if you don't mind, I've got to excuse myself to head to the store. Be back soon to start up the spook season in proper style.