If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Candy, oh shit, did you get candy? What if all those little tykes come to your door expecting a treat and are met with only silence? Or even worse, with apples?!?! Dammit, man, get yer ass to the store and buy some decent candy, like Reeses or something, and stat. While you're out, might as well head over to the video store and decide what you're gonna submit yourself to as you wait for midget monsters to make their appearances at your doorstop. Cyrus will guide you....
ELVIRA'S HAUNTED HILLS (DVD)
I, like the rest of the sane world, was not a fan of the self-proclaimed "Mistress of the Dark"s first starring foray in 1988 into her own cinematic productions. Ta-ta's aside, Cassandra Peterson's ghoulish alter-ego never really did much for me, as anyone who sprays the puns out there with a scattergun the way she does, and with a "Bazooka Joe" comic level of writing, does a disservice to serious punsters. Ahem. So, with the notion that I'd just start watching her follow-up film, 2001's "Elvira's Haunted Hills" and see how much I could take before I ran screaming, I slowly realized that hey....this really ain't that bad. Sure, I wouldn't go so far to call it 'good', per say, but there's a element of love for the classics here, specifically Hammer Horror's Vincent Price led adaptations of Edgar Allen Poe stories, that is kinda infectious. Drawing largely from "Fall of the House of Usher", a 19th century Elvira and her maidservant, get caught up in a Hellsubus family crisis, when they spend the night in their creepy castle and get caught up in the familial machinations against its cursed patriarch, Lord Vladimere ("Rocky Horror"s Richard O'Brian). Elvira appears to look identical to Vladimere's late wife, there's some family jewels hidden around somewhere, and a studly stable boy she wants to get some grooming time with before they skedaddle away to go can-can dance in Paris, so the two stick it out (so to speak) longer than they know they probably should. The laughs are mainly of the normal, feeble, Elvira variety, but the supporting cast's boundless enthusiasm goes a long way, and fans of Poe's work or Price's adaptations of them (the film is sweetly dedicated to him) will find enough to like here to get past the extreme low-budget crappiness that permeates every frame. Surprisingly, there's a ton of bonus features as well, but I don't know if I liked it enough to sit through all of those. SOMEBODY will undoubtedly be pleased.
--CLICK HERE TO BUY Elvira's Haunted Hills
FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION (DVD)
Sorry, Paramount's new so-called "Ultimate Collection" set of "Friday the 13th" films, Imma gonna let you finish, but the Blu-Ray releases of the first three films in the series were the greatest versions ever. This cheaply put together set, cramming together the first 8 films (New Line Cinema took over the series from 9 on) into a glossy cardboard book, is definitely not 'Ultimate' by any definition of the word. But that's marketing for you. Sure, the "limited edition of 50,000" might tempt you, or perhaps the sturdy and realistic Jason mask that comes with the package, but be aware that A: I'd be surprised if they even sell 50,000 of these at their price point of 70 smackers and B: the mask it too small to fit anyone older than eight or so. Did I mention there aren't any new bonus features either? Look, I may not be the biggest fan of the "Friday the 13th" films, but I don't know why anyone would buy this regardless. Frankly, I've never really gotten the appeal...aside from part 7, which is "Carrie" vs Jason, and "Jason X" (not included) which is practically a parody of the rest of the series, this series never held my interest. But even if it had, this flimsy thing (the box it comes packaged in fell apart almost instantly on me) seems pretty insulting to fans, who even though I'd think they were USED to having their intelligence insulted by now, should still be able to see through the sham.
--CLICK HERE TO BUY Friday the 13th: The Ultimate Collection (Parts I - VIII + Jason Mask)
THE PRESENCE (DVD)
I get it. Sometimes I want to be COMPLETELY alone. I want to go off to an old house, without power, on a deserted island, by myself, and work on my long-awaited novel. Okay, maybe not the old house without power on a deserted island where my father used to repeatedly molest and beat me, sure. Hmm, I better clear this up, as I speak merely hypothetically about putting myself in the shoes of Mira Sorvino's character in the 2009 ghost horror, "The Presence". Right from the get-go, it's clear that a ghost haunts this house, seen not at all by Mira, but clear-as-day, if a bit over-pancaked, by the audience, and played by Shane West. He's a stalky kind of spectre, who likes to watch all dour faced and glowery as Mira goes about her day, walking around the woods, sleeping (which the film spends entirely too much time on), writing, and using the old wooden outhouse. Only when she's on the pot does the disquieted spirt choose to manifest, by throwing dead birds against the rickety shithouse. Yeah, I don't know either. Shaking things up for both her and Casper is her boyfriend (Justin Kirk) who shows up, clearly to her annoyance, uninvited. Despite his intentions of the seclusion bringing them closer, tensions from Mira seeth barely under the surface. Turns out this is due to the whispery influence of ANOTHER ghost who's got more malevolent intent directed towards the living than merely glaring at them dolefully. Looks like it's gonna be a ghost-off. I'm only sad that it didn't involve breakdancing. That's how I like to picture entities settling quibbles in the spiritual realm. Nothing follows as exciting as that (what? I got my thing. You got your thing. Butt out), but "The Presence" does manage to throw in a few effectively frightening moments, and presents a perspective on hauntings largely unexplored by film, unless you count it as a equal-but-opposite "Wings of Desire" scenario. Plus, and this is a big plus...does Mira ever stop being so smoking hot? She might very well be a ghost herself, as she appears to be ageless. I'm waiting, Mira. Call me. Let's do lunch. Or, alternately, I'll bring the cardboard and a boom box and we'll...well, you know.
--CLICK HERE TO BUY The Presence
More Halloween movies on the way....stay tuned...