Posts Tagged ‘serial killers’

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From the mists of time: “I, the Jury”

July 5, 2015

 

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It’s tempting to call 1982’s I, the Jury a sleazy, pulpy , mercenary adaptation of Mickey Spillane’s 1947 novel, but that would ignore just how sleazy and pulpy Spillane’s novel is in the first place. Sure, the movie basically jettisons big chunks of Spillane’s plot and fills it in with crap about mind-control and the CIA, but Spillane probably would have done that if he’d thought of it at the time (and who knows, he might have used it in later novels—he wrote, like, a million of them). No, this I, the Jury is just as trashy and lurid as its source material (which courted controversy upon its release for its violence and sex), adjusted, of course, for for 1982 sensibilities, and that amounts to very lurid and trashy. I mean, there’s a reason that during my childhood, this movie was the Holy Grail of HBO’s early offerings, and it’s not the snazzy soundtrack.
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In Hollywood, even the ghosts are famous: “The Black Dahlia Haunting”

October 17, 2014

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The case of the Black Dahlia is one of the most famous unsolved murder cases in history, and it’s not difficult to understand why. The killing of Elizabeth Short, aka The Black Dahlia, was so savage, so sadistic,, so monstrous that it’s nearly impossible to understand what kind of a mind could inflict such horrors on another human being. Even such prolific serial killers as John Wayne Gacy, Jefferey Dahmer, and Ted Bundy didn’t do to their victims what was done to Elizabeth Short (well, not pre-mortem anyway). Surely, a crime this horrific must have some larger implications or hold some larger meaning. James Ellroy expertly crafted the former idea into a great novel about the birth of modern Los Angeles. The low-budget horror flick The Black Dahlia Haunting…uh, well, it has a girl/girl shower scene. Without nudity. (Sigh) okay, let’s just get on with this.
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Gunmonkey Presents: HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR 2014!

October 3, 2014

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Hey there! Welp, it’s that time of year again. Time for ghosts and ghouls and jack-o-lanterns, and candy being sold by the metric ton. It’s also time for my Halloween Spooktactular! in which I try to shove as many reviews of horror movies into your face-holes as is humanly possible for a slacker like me. Now, I’m afraid that this year I’ll be travelling a bit this month, so my output will be a bit down, but what I miss out on in volume I will try and make for in quality. We good? All right then, let’s kick this thing off.

First up: The Demon’s Rook.

Then we revisit the James Wan horror machine with Annabelle

After that we fly not (not so) friendly skies with 7500.

Then we make the wrong choice of spa getaway with The Sacrament.

Afterwards, we get a good scare with The Babadook.

Following that we take a long, hard look in the mirror with Oculus.

Hey, are you feeling a little horny? because we”re gonna check out Horns.

Then we take a (not so) leisurely walk in the woods with Willow Creek.

And we spend a little more time in the woods with The Hunted (2013).

After that we feel the fury of Elizabeth Short with The Black Dahlia Haunting.

Before we move on to the wreckage that is Dracula Untold.

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Caught in its web: “Earth vs. the Spider”

October 20, 2013

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Well, this is a surprise. No, don’t get all excited—Earth vs. the Spider is not a good movie. It’s actually a pretty ridiculous one in most ways. Still, it’s always refreshing when you stumble across what should be a grade-Z schlockfest, which has, inexplicably, a good deal more on its mind than the titular monster. Such is the case with this film, which takes the title-says-it-all premise of a giant mutated spider attack and turns it into a ruminative neo-noir about modern urban alienation and the pathos of comic book culture. I kid you not.
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The terror of Gerri the…oh, we did that already: “Fright Night 2: The New Blood”

October 18, 2013

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Going into Fright Night 2: The New Blood, I wasn’t exactly optimistic. After all, it’s a non-theatrical release sequel which has none of the same actors as the major theatrical release original. Nothing good can come from this situation. Except that this movie stars Jaime Murray, and she’s not only hot, but also tends to get naked a lot. Like in everything she does. So, I figured what the hell, and watched it anyway. Look, I don’t always make very good decisions, and this one was no exception.
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Ho! Ho! Ho! (and MURDER!) “Black X-Mas”

October 15, 2013

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As I watched (and then half-watched, and then just sorta used for background noise) Black X-Mas, I kept thinking of William Hurt’s line in A History of Violence, “How do you screw that up?” It’s a question I wanted to ask writer-director Glen Morgan. A psychotic killer. A sorority house as Christmas filled with nubile, young women. How do you screw that up?

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Tune it out: “Static”

October 15, 2013

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Static is one of those movies where you can tell what the filmmakers like by what they’ve ripped off and reconstituted into their movie. I don’t mean this in a Quentin Tarantino way, in which his love for ‘70s genre and exploitation cinema makes its way into (or directly inspires) his films. No, no, no, no…dear reader, that type of inspiration is far above and beyond that of Static. Like the space-Frank-Lloyd-Wright-house-in-Oblivion high above the creative drive that resulted in this movie. No, Static is more like a couple guys in their parents’ basement, getting wasted on cough medicine and then frantically pointing at the TV and exclaiming, “Dude, we totally gotta put that in our movie!” I’m not saying that’s how this movie was thought up. I’m just saying that particular creative process would not have resulted in a worse movie than Static.
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