Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Being Human UK: Season 4

I realize this show has been off the air for years, but I just started watching it on Hulu this year. Everything about this show is so well done that it's addicting. Even with three fourths of the cast changed, I'm still addicted to the show. It's like a great book where you can't wait to finish it to find out how it ends, but at the same time, you want to read it slowly to make it last as long as possible. I consciously avoid reading anything online that might spoil the ending for me.

Even though I really like Tom and Hal, I'm still missing George, Nina and Mitchell. They were such great characters and all were so attached to Annie and she to them, which was a characteristic of the show that I was really drawn to. It's kind of sad waiting and hoping that Tom and Hal can develop the same relationship with Annie that George and Mitchell had with her. 

I was disappointed that Nina ended Season 3 pregnant, but Season 4 began with the baby in the crib and Nina dead and gone. Although I'm glad I was spared witnessing Nina's death by vampires, it was a sudden loss to the show. There were great opportunities for stories surrounding the birth of the baby; is it human or is it wolf? 

As in real life, there's nothing to do but move on.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Poltergeist (2015)

I was expecting this movie to suck, since remakes usually do, but this movie wasn't bad. I liked how they brought the family into the 21st century by using drones and cell phones to access the spirits and their plane of existence.  The parapsychologist was able to use GPS technology to track the family members throughout the house while updated imaging devices caught the various sights and sounds of the poltergeists.

The early paranormal experiences of the kids was really creepy before all hell broke loose and the poltergeists busted right into the house from all directions. Maybe it was because I already knew the story, but this movie didn't seem as intense or suspenseful as the original. The parents in the remake didn't seem quite as desperate or willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to rescue their little daughter from the violent spirits as in the original. Neither did they seem very earnest in their attempt to prevent their little boy from being the one to enter the portal to bring the little daughter home. 

The kids were ignored, not taken seriously and spoiled with material things that they couldn't afford while the parents were immature and self-involved. The movie ended in an attempt at humor as the parents, back to their immature behavior, rudely left a house while a real estate agent was in the process of showing it to them. Obviously, the experience with poltergeists that almost destroyed them and their family didn't humble their self-involvement a bit.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Dracula Double Feature!

TCM Presents: Dracula Double Feature at select locations. I went to one of those select locations this afternoon and enjoyed this double feature. 1931 movies were made so long ago with such limited technology, but so darn good! Movies made before my parents were born seem so old!

The main thing that rang loudly in my head was the lack of sound effects and blasting music to announce or emphasize every tiny action, reaction or emotion already being visually displayed on the screen. On one hand, it was kind of lame not hearing the creaking hinges on Dracula's coffin as he rose in the evening determined to make someone his victim or his step scraping the dusty steps as he climbed the castle stairs. On the other hand, the silence added to the eerie feel and suspense. There wasn't any surround sound assault to tell me what to feel or expect. 

There was some unexpected cheesiness to make me giggle, for example, when Dracula was making someone his slave by using his telekinetic powers to have someone do his bidding, they just used the same clip of Lugosi with his intent stare for every scene. The fake bats bobbing at the end of fishing line (or whatever they used) outside the windows was low budget, but also made me realize that this same effect was used almost 40 years later on Dark Shadows when Barnabus Collins would be stalking Victoria Winters. You'd think they could have made some improvements in 40 years, but then Dark Shadows was working on a shoestring budget and had to keep costs down.

There was a ten minute intermission before the second feature started, which was the Spanish version filmed using the same sets but a different cast and crew. The Spanish version was almost identical with a little more sex appeal thrown in. I liked the end scene of the Spanish version better as John and Mina (Eva in the Spanish version) ascended the stairs on their way out of Dracula's lair. It had more of an atmosphere of closure than the English version somehow. Must have been the camera angle from the top of the stairs rather than the English angle with the camera down in the lair. 

The Dracula Double Feature is showing again on Wednesday if you'd like to catch it.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Monster HIgh Dress: Morticia Addams

Here's my latest gothic creation, a dress inspired by Morticia Addams of The Addams Family TV show. As you can see by the photo, Clawdeen Wolf, a student at Monster High models the dress in all of her unholy glory.
Even with help from my two cats, my photography skills aren't great, but I am happy with the dress.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Being Human UK: Season 3, Episode 5

I don't think I can express how much I LOVE this show. It just keeps getting better, which raises it above so many other shows that are only as good as the first season and it's downhill from there. This episode achieved a perfect balance of comedy and chilling horror, as George is terrified at a knock at the door after he and Nina abduct a resurrected and apparently amnesia plagued Herrick from the psych ward at Barry, bring him home and barely prevent Mitchell from staking him.

"It's the Jehovahs!" George fears as though no one worse could be at his door. However, Wendy the hilarious social worker has come to interview Nina about taking in her confused "Uncle Billy" who she's identified as such to the hospital attendant who catches her and George sneaking Herrick out of the hospital. No simply slamming the door in the face of Wendy as though she were only an annoying Jehovah! Comedy ensues as Nina squirms her way through lie after lie to convince Wendy that Herrick is truly her sweet Uncle Billy.

Following traditional gothic treatment of madmen and women, Nina, against Mitchell's stern opposition, stashes Herrick in the attic. When there isn't a tower available to lock up your crazies, an attic will do. Unfortunately, the attic at the former bed and breakfast where the happy foursome attempt to "be normal" as George likes to say, already has an evil secret in residence. Mitchell's documented evidence of terrifying violence and killing sprees, yet also his guilty pleasures become one more of Herrick's toys in the attic as he finds it and reveals it to Nina.

As Mitchell's scarred and broken soul reaches out to Annie's pure and loving heart for comfort he spews out a typical line of many abusive and violent partners professing that his love for her is eternal and he can't live without her. Always a precursor to pain and doom.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Dracula:The Holy Circle

To protect Mina from a possible vampire attack as they travel to Dracula's castle, Van Helsing draws a ring around where Mina sits by the campfire and sprinkles broken communion wafers along the circle. When Dracula's three "wives" or whatever they are visit, they are unable to pass the "Holy circle" to get at Mina. This entire scene is really cool the way Van Helsing thinks he might be imagining the three vampires at first as they seem to materialize out of the the wind and swirling snow. Then they are finally solid and he knows they're real and is relieved and thankful that the holy circle's power is strong enough to keep Mina and himself safe from their evil intentions, whatever they may be.

He holds out a bit of the wafer in front of him to step out of the circle to tend the fire. The vampires stay at bay outside the circle until dawn is near when they disappear into the wind again. He describes them as voluptuous, with bright eyes and white teeth. Isn't it odd that the female vampires become beautiful after death while Dracula was ugly with his long pointy teeth and bony body? However, their looks mean nothing to the poor horses who become so terrified by the vampires' presence that they die.

I've heard of people camping out in the winter, but I don't know how it's done. I kept thinking how cold Mina and Van Helsing must have been. They brought firewood and lots of furs with them for warmth, but there's no amount of furs and campfires that would keep me warm enough to camp out in the wind and snow!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Being Human UK: Season 3, Episode 1

I'm so happy George and Nina are together! When Nina left George and became involved with crazy Kemp, I was afraid she would die in the chamber like the other werewolves. Thank goodness she didn't!

It was so cool the way Mitchell passed through the door to purgatory with the poor old man that died in the hospital. Saving Annie was very brave and selfless. Lea tried to make him out as totally selfish and evil. I like how this show portrays people as complicated individuals with good and bad traits and, as Mitchell explained to Lucy in the finale of the second season, all made in God's image, whether good, bad, human or not.

Annie's narration at the end of the episode was joyful and full of hope as the four friends celebrated being together again. She said they were safe together, sheltered from the monsters of the world. Like The Walking Dead, Being Human UK sometimes shows humans at their worst performing way more evil acts than what would typically be expected of the undead.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Being Human UK: Season 2, What a Finale!

Season 2 started out kind of sad with Annie feeling a little lost and lacing in purpose, George and Nina on the outs and Mitchell's inner struggle and secret identity as vampire king causing him stress, but it sure picked up and got exciting! George tries to tranquilize his wolf, but putting the wolf to sleep makes it seep out at random times affecting his personality and causing random outbursts or profanity and violence. That idea didn't work!

Annie met some other ghosts, even a baby! She finally found her inner strength when she was faced with her fear of being tricked to go through the door, but overcame those forces several times over. Mitchell "went dry" and stayed strong convincing the other vampires to join him after Herrick's death by George. 

All of those accomplishments went out the window when Nina was tricked by Lucy and Kemp to persuade George to submit to "being cured" at their facility which actually kills werewolves rather than cure them. Lucy seduces and uses Mitchell to get close to George, while Annie wants Kemp, a former priest, to exorcise her from the flat so she can move on through the door. 

Learning of Lucy's betrayal and her involvement in blowing up the vampire meeting, Mitchell falls off the wagon big time, then helps George and Nina escape the werewolf killing facility, losing Annie, as Kemp has her sent through the door against her will. 

The exciting ending has Lucy and then Kemp track the three supernaturals to their new place in the country, where Kemp totally lost what was left of his mind and kills Lucy (thank goodness, she grated on my nerves) and attempts to kill Nina until she escapes by punching him in the balls and breaking free. Annie saves the day (yes, Annie!) by bursting through the door and dragging Kemp back with her. 

Afterward, she speaks to them through an unplugged TV hilariously explaining that she didn't know where she was but she had to fill out forms. The horror!

Vampire Daisy and the vampire Mitchell mercifully saved from execution in an earlier episode, in the final scene, bleed themselves in the snow in a ritual that resurrects Herrick with a howl of energy and victory. It would seem that the new world order is coming after all!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

A Vampire Defense Kit

For my birthday my daughter surprised me with a vampire kit. It contains wooden stakes, holy water, a cross, a couple of garlic bulbs and some vampire literature. I hope I never have the chance to use it, but I thought it was a pretty cool gift and now I have my own doctor's kit - Dr. Van Helsing, that is.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Scream Queens: Mystery of the Hag

Dolls are creeping up all over the place. First, I posted about the movie Parasite Dolls, then I learned that the worry dolls in the movie are widely known and available, which led to my post on worry dolls.Tonight I watched the latest episode of Scream Queens (Episode 3) in which the college students find an empty house off campus to use as a haunted house, already equipped with a room full of dolls, apparently stolen from around the neighborhood by a mysterious hag. 

What does the hag want with all the stolen dolls? Did she really steal the Kappa baby like Grace thinks? Is she connected to all the murders and why were all the bodies in the house with the dolls? Such a mystery!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Worry Dolls: Goodbye Xanax, Hello Dolly

After my post about the Full Moon movie Parasite Dolls (aka Dangerous Worry Dolls) on Hulu, I wondered if there really is such a thing. Apparently, I've been living in some inner realm of my own, out of touch with the rest of the world, because a basic Google search for worry dolls brought me lots and lots of worry dolls. There's even a band called Worry Dolls!

According to several definitions around the web, worry dolls originated in Mayan Guatemala, made from bits of cloth wrapped around tiny sticks and put into a cloth pouch or tiny box for storage. From the many results from my Google search, the dolls are created in a variety of ways, or any way you'd like them. They can be any gender, any color, any type of clothing or hair length. Traditionally, they were the size of matchsticks, but there are even large worry dolls. Large meaning they're 2 inches tall, so you can still stick them under your pillow and not wake up with a neck cramp.

The University of Minnesota even has a page in their Worry Depository explaining the legend of worry dolls, although the legend can be found on many websites. It's cool that the university has a Worry Depository. 

I could use a set of these dolls. As a matter of fact, many of my relatives could use a set of these dolls and toss out those pharmaceuticals. Christmas is coming and so are the dolls.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Parasite Dolls/Dangerous Worry Dolls (2015)

For some weird reason I've been interested in dolls lately, any type of doll. So, when I was scrolling Popular Movies on Hulu, I found Parasite Dolls, also listed as Dangerous Worry Dolls. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it's a Full Moon movie, so I was confident it would be low budget and entertaining like many of Full Moon's vast variety of movies. 

It had its entertaining moments, once the dolls were introduced. Leading up to that deciding moment poor Eva (Jessica Morris) was bullied and exploited by a small gang of cruel drug-dealing inmates, a sleazy perverted guard and the cold hearted warden who had a strong prejudice against "trailer trash." It seemed that everyone is out to victimize Eva, even her aunt who is raising her daughter while she does her six month prison stretch for being the look-out in a gang related convenience store robbery where the clerk was killed. (She only got six months?) That was humorous.

Her daughter, wanting to comfort her stressed out mom, gives her a tiny box with little crudely made worry dolls, the merciful turning point. The legend is that the dolls take away the owner's worries if requested and placed under the pillow at bed time. After Eva is attacked by the inmates, reprimanded and insulted by the warden and sexually assaulted by the pervy guard, apparently all in the same day, she asks the dolls to take away her worries and lays them under her pillow.

The dolls crawl into her head as she sleeps, possessing her with a reckless carelessness coupled with a hunger for violence which she happily uses against all of her oppressors. A bloody, red-eyed doll uses a huge swollen zit in the center of Eva's forehead for a windshield to make sure all of its evil revenge is being carried out. Unfortunately, the dolls eliminated the cause of her worries for that day by creating even bigger ones for the next.

Full Moon has some of the best doll movies on the market. The animation, music and sound are really good. For low budget, direct to DVD movies, Full Moon delivers.

Scream Queens (2015-)

A horror-comedy that stars Jamie Lee Curtis the queen of scream herself. Does anything get better than that? Well, yes, because the show itself is just as good as the trailer promises. Maybe even better. A serial killer stalking a sorority house isn't a new idea, but the cast and the bloody comedy make it unique. In the first episode where we're introduced to "the Chanels," Emma Roberts (Chanel #1) didn't even have to speak as she angrily stomped down the posh hallway of the sorority house followed by her Chanel underlings with a spoiled-rich-girl-been wronged frown on her face. I was cracking up. Something about the way the fur on her shoulders waved back in the breeze of her angry stride. I wonder how many time they had to try that scene before the girls could finish with a straight face. 

When Dean Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) orders Chanel to accept any girl who wants to rush, Chanel is presented with a group of misfits, which reminded me of The House Bunny, especially the girl with the back brace (Hester Ulrich played by Lea Michele), but there's no Hugh Hefner or Playboy bunnies and Kappa Kappa Tu has a reputation for popular rich girls, not misfits. There's no Emma Stone, although most of her characters would fit right in.

The show is packed with comedy led by Jamie Lee Curtis, Emma Roberts and Neicy Nash who plays Denise Hemphill the mostly useless security guard. She may be inept as a security guard, but she's top notch at comedy. 

Rich, useless, frat boys attempt to face off with the serial killer by fighting chain saws with baseball bats. One boy has both arms lopped off with a chain saw and we see his arm holes spurting fountains of blood before he hits the ground adding horror to the comedy.

You can see the show Tuesday nights on Fox, on Fox Now or where I saw it, on Hulu.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Dracula: Blood and Bloom on Doolittle's Wharf

For the most part, Van Helsing is pretty long winded and wordy. I imagine if I were one of the characters in Dracula, I'd be inwardly rolling my eyes wishing he would just spit it out and stop rambling every time he needs to explain something; however, Mina Harker's journal entry that describes Van Helsing's experience at Doolittle's Wharf is pretty straightforward and entertaining. It isn't called sailor mouth for nothing!

The first man Van Helsing, Godalming, Seward and Quincey question as they try to learn which ship Dracula has hired to make his escape back to Transylvania swears loudly and often until Godalming greases his palm in return for some information, which makes the man more polite and accommodating. He leads them to other workers on the wharf who are loud and sailor mouthing all over the place, prompting the inquiring men to give them beer money as well.

This scene is pretty funny as he explains how the men describe Dracula's visit to the dock and to the ship Czarina Catherine to arrange his box of earth to be transported. Apparently, the captain of the ship had a raging sailor mouth as Van Helsing describes his language as full of "blood and bloom." He says the men tell him that the captain tells Dracula "...he doesn't want no Frenchmen, with bloom upon them, and also with blood, in his ship, with blood on her also." 

Stoker, by way of Van Helsing, reveals the use of swear words, bloody and blooming, without actually using the exact words, which readers probably would have found offensive if not worth censoring, and maintains the common expectation of sailors and dock workers using coarse and vulgar language. 

Of course, Dracula wasn't offended in the least by the foul language, as he was probably planning to kill them all anyway to quench his own thirst. I'll have to keep reading to find out!