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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

True Blood Season 4

I don't quite understand why I have come to like True Blood so darn much. Admittedly, the show has quite a few issues when it comes to the whole writing and character development department. The show does in fact seem to be getting better with each passing season and the more the show separates itself from the books the better off it will be. I'm terribly excited for this next upcoming season because the show seems to be putting more and more focus on how vampires are treated like some kind of race/minority in the human world. I'm also excited to see to see that Godric and Alcide are returning to the show. Season 4 will start on June 26th.

Due to the fact that there was in fact an interview with Charlaine Harris in Boulder Weekly, which is a newspaper that I'm able to pick up at my college. Pretty interesting even though I'm not really fan of the book, but it's interesting to here what opinion the author has on the show itself. I'll post some of the highlights on here, but those who are interested in the books themselves can check the rest of the article out here.

BW: Do you watch True Blood?

CH: I do. They are nice enough to send me — almost always — an early screener, so I get to see it before it’s on TV.

BW: Lucky you! Do you find it strange to see characters that came from your head on the television screen being developed in ways that didn’t come from you?

CH: At first it was, but I think I’m used to it now. It seems like every season — we did just finish the third season — it seems like with every season the two paths diverge a little more, so it’s really not like watching my story so much.
And that’s OK. I knew that was going to happen. Alan [Ball, who created True Blood based on Harris’ books] discussed that with me before he even started filming, and actually I’m content with that, because if they were just filming the books, that would be boring for me. This way, I don’t really know what’s going to happen, and I find it quite exciting.

BW: I asked for questions from Sookie Stackhouse fans on Facebook and Twitter, and this question comes from LisaRenee1234: “Has the HBO series made it harder for you to write these books?”

CH: Not really. At first I was scared there was going to be a conflict, but I’m so far ahead in the story that it really hasn’t turned out to be a problem. They’re filming book four, and I’m writing book 12.

BW: There are some significant differences between the series and the books. For one, Lafayette dies early in the series, but HBO and fans loved Nelsan Ellis’ performance, and so he’s alive in True Blood. I’m really happy about that, because I adore his character.

CH: Me too. Nelsan is just great.
He is really fabulous, and he owes his survival to his talent.

BW: Do you think it’s easier for people to read the books and then watch the series or watch the series and then read the books? Either way, they develop expectations.

CH: I don’t know, because I’ve never been in the position of just watching the series and then trying to read the books. I did get a lot of readers from the series, and I like to think the series got a lot of watchers from the book. So I think from that point of view it’s been a very successful cross pollination. And there are people who would never read the books anyway, and likewise some of my readers just don’t watch television, so I think it’s been as good a cross-pollination as we could get.

BW: The message of the books seems to be, “Be yourself, and be tolerant of others,” with the vampire community’s struggle for acceptance seeming to parallel the civil rights and gay rights movements. In fact, both the books and the HBO series have a strong gay theme. Was that intentional?

CH: Sure. I mean, I’d have to pretty dumb not to realize what I was writing. That was a conscious decision.


-Horrorwood Doll

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (A review of two films)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) is regarded as one of the most horrific films to hit theaters and is without a doubt one of the defining films of the slasher horror genre. Like many films of the era a handful of teenagers/college students are involved. In this version the group of young adults are on their way to visit an old house that belonged to two of the youths grandfather. On there way to the old abandoned home they pick up a hitch-hiker who is crazy and ends up slicing up the hand of one of the young travelers. This of course ends with the crazy hitch-hiker getting his ass thrown on the road (and the reason why no one picks up hitch-hikers anymore.) The kids stop by a small gas station that has no gas, but has some delicious barbecue. The kids decide to keep moving along with their journey to grandpa's old abandoned house. Once they make it to the house the characters begin to venture towards a nearby and stupidly walk in uninvited where they get picked off one by one.




The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a semi-intelligent film that seems to play around with certain concepts that are never fully explored. At the beginning of there is talk of animal killings in slaughterhouses and ones destiny of sorts. Is ones life/day planned out by fate? What happens when one loses purpose? Are human-beings more animalistic in nature then what we want to believe? Again, these concepts are not ever really explored in the film and I really am probably looking far into things that aren't really. It really is the conversations that are had by the characters at the beginning of the film that really make the events that happen later on in the film that much more interesting.

The series of characters are slightly more developed than the type of characters you would see in the majority of slasher films, but they still aren't developed enough for one to really care about once they meet their demise. The conversations at the beginning of the film is what gives the characters more depth, however their actions don't follow through to what a normal human being would do.

This film has been regarded as one of the most violent and brutal films of all time and was even banned in certain countries. In reality very little blood is seen in the film, but the film gains its horrific tone from its atmosphere and onscreen deaths. The films most memorable deaths actually don't stem from the chainsaw that the film is so known for. The film is most remembered for the slaughterhouse setup with a guy being knocked against the head like that of cattle and a girl being hung onto a meat-hook. During these scenes is when we really see just how brutal the killer really is and the horrific imagery of a human slaughterhouse.
"In Kim Newman's view, Hooper's presentation of the Sawyer family during the dinner scene parodies a typical American sitcom family: the gas station owner is the bread-winning father figure; the killer Leatherface is depicted as a bourgeois housewife; the hitchhiker acts as the rebellious teenager."-http://www.filmreference.com/Films-Str-Th/The-Texas-Chainsaw-Massacre.html

When the young adults stumble onto the cannibalistic family's house on the outside we see nothing that would indicate just how terrorfying things are on the inside. On the outside we see a beautiful white house surronded by sunflowers that looks like the type of thing Mr. and Mrs. Kent would proudly call home. When the characters we see decaying animals, furniture built from human remains, and a slaughterhouse set up. By 1975 the American dream was perceived dead by most and the cold war and social upheaval had lead American soceity to become cannibalistic.

As a slasher film it is certainly a classic and does do quite a few interesting things that keep the audience interested. The film still remains to be an affective horror film even to this day, but the film is not without its problems. The ending of the film seems to be rushed and a bit of a let down. The film would of been more affective if it had ended a few minutes earlier or a more ambigious ending.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is not based on a real event like many beleive, but is in fact based on the infamous serial killer Ed Gein. Psycho is another film that takes inspiration from Ed Geins and it's surprising to see that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was only released less than ten years after Psycho and already had the horror genre changed to a dizzingly degree. When Psycho came out we still have a film that has elegance and class that was in the golden age of Universal Monster film. In ten years time the horror genre had completley changed, we now had brutal,gritty films and films that oozed with violence and sex.

Today's slasher audience might find the film to be a bit slow in the beginning, but the film provides enough interesting on scene kills that keeps the audience intrigued. This film is also a cult classic and has defined the slasher genre and lead us to having great slasher films like Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm St. and of course Halloween.

Random Facts:

The farmhouse that was used in the film is now a restaurant in Kingsland, TX, with delicious food  that is of the non-human variety. Check them out here:http://www.junction-house.com/

The actress whose character was hung up on a meat hook was actually held up by a nylon cord that went between her legs, causing a great deal of pain.

The human skeleton in the house at the end of the movie was a real human skeleton. They used a real one because a human skeleton from India is far cheaper then a fake plastic skeleton.



Film:
Rated: R
Time: 83 min.

Film Type: Midnight Slasher,




During this day and age the majority of films released are remakes or sequals.This is nothing new for the horror genre, but the 2000s seems to be big on remaking the horror classics for later decades so it was no big surprise that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre got a remake in 2003. This time the group of youths are traveling towards some kind of music festival that encounter when they encountered a traumatized woman on the side of the road that they decide to pick up and help. The woman while in the car shoots herself in the head and cause the young adults to flock to a town known as Travis County in order to find help. One by one the group is picked off untill there is only one left.

Less time is focused on  th group of characters themselves and more focus is put upon the plot itself. The actions of the characters in the film seem to be a bit more understandable, but still seem to fall into same flaw most slasher films have with characters never really questioning their surroundings.

In the orginal the house and looks to be a plesant farmhouse on the outside and macabre horror on the inside. The reamake however shows no difference between the inside or outside and should have tipped off the travelers first hand that something is not right in Tavis County. Certain aspects of the original are not included in the film such as the big dinner scene or any mention of the family being cannibalistic.

In all honesty this remake is a couple steps above most horror remakes,but fails to live up to the original. If the 1974 Texas Massacre a semi-intelligent gory milestone, the remake is a mindless,but enjoyable popcorn flick. Even though the violence is amped a few notches, the death scenes seem to be a bit less memorable and this might be due to the fact that the film lack the grittiness of the original and had a cast of characters that weren't as likable as the orginal cast.This film is action packed from the very beginning and a bit more violent than the orginal,so today's slasher fans might find this version a bit more enjoyable.

Film:
Rated: R
Time: 83 min.

Film Type: Midnight Slasher,

-Horrorwood Doll

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Zombie Apacalypse: A how to for survival





We here at Dreadful Dreary all know that the zombie apacalypse is upon us and that any day it could happen. Hell, even the Center for Disease and Control know that the apacalypse is upon us and has started to educate the public on how to prepare for the catustraphic event. READ IT HERE !

The article is a good place to start when forming your zombie plan, but it will not tell you everything you need to know about how to survive the survive the zombie apacalypse. And don't think watching your extensive collection of zombie movies will help you with forming a coherent and effective zombie plan, all those movies will teach is what not to do during a zombie outbreak.

When it comes to forming your zombie plan a bit of reading is needed. Now, one can not go wrong by reading the well renowned The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks. The book is filled with loads of info and will teach mot just regular survival basics, but the best and most effective ways one can overcome the zombie apacalypse.

Another piece of great reading material is to visit the The Zombie Apacalypse Preperation facebook page. Every day information is posted on the well that informs you how to survive the impending zombie apacalypse. I highly reccomend this over any other material because not only will you get the genreal survival/zombie survival info, but you'll get the information in a more real world approach. Those who run the site will often discuss zombie plans in general and the weak points of your plan. Sense, this is a facebook page it's much more interactive then a book and you have a chance to interact with other readers and the contributers themselves. The content is also quite humorus and comes from an average Joe/Jane perspective. The facebook team is also working on creating a book, so hopefully in the future everything you will need to know about surviving the zombie apacalypse will be in convenient book form.

Of course if your unable access such reading material then you can't go wrong with general survival books. Amazon has created a list of 10-must-have survival books. Try and see if there's any military/army survival books lying around and load up on any information they have to offer. Some other great choices for reading material is any Girl Scout/Boy Scout manuals. I don't think these books will teach you everything you need to know about survival, but they're a start. If you can't find any of these reading materials on hand maybe try rummaging througuh your younger brother/sister/childrens book case for any of those Daring book for Girls/Dangerous book for Boys book. Those books are filled with tons of practical information and the books are sure to keep one entertained as well during the apacalypse.

For more extensive survival how-tos check out the Survival Cache website. The site provides on extensuve amount of information to survive about any situatuion. If you live near an REI, I highly suggest you check out the classes/programs they have to offer. Classes offered at the REI are more often then not free and even then the classes usually don't cost more than $30.

-Horrorwood Doll

Friday, May 20, 2011

Poll Results "Which supernatural being is the coolest?"

We just finished our first poll on the blog and the question was "Which supernatural being is the coolest?". The results are in and the majority of you chose vampires.

 Art by Victoria Frances

Results out of 18

Vampires: 10

Zombies: 2

Werewolves: 0 *Awww no love for the wolves. :(

Aliens 1

Spirits 3

Witches 2 

Horrorwood Doll: I can't say I blame the majority for picking vampires. If we are going with the modern/ideological idea of vampires then I would certainly pick vampires myself. The fact that I would now have the time to get through my reading/movie/travel list would be a huge plus. :D My second choice would be witches because with enough work they have the power to do anything. -Edit- If you've seen Pirates of the Carribean 4 then you'll know that mermaids are now badass. If I had the choice I would totally be a mermaid of vampiery doom.

 Note: You'll be seeing more of these things in the future and they will become more interactive. Stay tuned for the next poll.

 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New Elvira DVDs

This June we'll be seeing more dvds from the Mistress of the Dark. Each dvd will be  a double feature that will contain two episodes from Elvira's most rescent season. The first dvd will be a a zombie double feature with I Eat Your Skin and George Romero's Night of the Living Dead. Elvira follows up here zombie fest with back to back Hammer horror films The Satanic Rites of Dracula and The Werewolf of Washington. Future dvds will feature great horror icons such as Bela Lugosi in Scared to Death paired with Manster and Boris Karloff in The Terror with Jack Nicholson in Eagah! If you've ever wanted a way to spice up your horror dvd collectionor you just wanted someone to add snarky comments with you, while you watch these ghoulishly terrible flicks, then these dvds are for you.

No news yet on where you can get these treasures,but I'm betting you'll be able to find them here.

-Horrorwood Doll

Sunday, May 15, 2011

New Dark Shadows Film


Johnny Depp fangirls can now rejoice becaue there is now going to be a film where Johnny Depp is a vampire. If you haven't heared the new Tim Burton is directing a film adaption to the 1960s supernatural soap opera Dark Shadows. The film is set to debut May 11th, 2012 and is supposed to follow the life of the vampire Barnabus Collins. It has been known that it's been Johnny Depp's lifelong dream to play Barnabus Collins. Beleive it or not the show Dark Shadows was a huge thing for the children of th 60s and 70s. The show also left a huge impact and you'd be pretty surprise by how much it has influenced the horror genre or the world in general. (Probably, should do a post on this.) Anyways in an interview for Entertainment Weekly Johnny, states "I do remember, very vividly, practically sprinting home from school in the afternoon to see Jonathan Frid play Barnabas Collins. Even then, at that age, I knew – this has got to be weird. I loved it. I loved the show,” he says. “This soap opera with gothic vampires. I knew, ‘This is not All My Children.’”



In another article Johnny Depp talks about his approach to the vampire.

"My approach to Barnabas will be on the flaws and insecurities of a vampire,” he revealed. “Having been in a coffin for 200 years, he experiences the absurdity of a world that he’s just entered, where macramé owls hanging on a wall or fake fruits on a dish are widely accepted. From where he comes, in the 18th century, it would have been ludicrous. I want to see a vampire who’s 200 years old or more, experience television for the first time.”


The film has been cast and it's been reported that the filming process is currently happening. Here is the current known cast list. A bit dissapointing to see that a few of my favorite characters will not be included in the film,but what do you expect whenthe film is limited to a 2-hour time restraint.

Cast

Johnny Depp- Barnabus Collins (Great actor, but will probably differ from Johnathin Frid's version.)
Helena Bohman Cater-Dr. Julia Hoffman (Freakin called it.)
Chloe Moretz- Carolyn Stoddard
Eva Green-Angelique Bouchard (Angelique is my fav. character. I'm not sure how I feel about Eva Green in the role because I haven't seen much of her work.)
Michelle Pfeiffer-Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (In my opinion Michelle should have been Angelique. No one plays delightfully crazy like she does. Not to mention she actually resembles the orginal actress a bit more apperance wise.)
Thomas McDonnel-Young Barnabus Collins (Not surprising since he has been described as looking like a young Johnny Depp.)
Jackie Earle Halie-Willie Loomis (Perfect casting here.)
Bella Heathcote-Victoria Winters
Gulliver McGrath-David Collins


-Horrorwood Doll

Friday, May 13, 2011

How to Celebrate Friday the 13th

It's Friday the 13th a day that comes, well it comes anytime the first of the month is on a Sunday. In a way this day has become a holiday of sorts.We here at Dreadful Dreary beleive that one should not spend the day being a shut-in, but a day of celebration. Here, is a list of ways you can celebrate the most unluckiest day of the year. ;)




*Watch the Friday the 13th movies. (This is kind of a given.)
*Check to see if any bulding you're in has a 13th floor or room. You'll be pretty surprised how many buildings refrain from having a 13th anything.(This is mostly true in America.)
*Adopt a black kitty or any kitty from the pound. (Just, keep in mind that adoption is for life. Quite, a few shelters waver the adoption fee for cats on Friday the 13th.)
*Bake blood spattered cupcakes or even a cake.
*Wear a hockey mask throughout your day and see what reactions await. (Pass out blood spattered cupcakes to make the experience more interesting. Please, be seinsible if you try and do this.)
*Break the rules of luck. In other words, walk under ladders,step on cracks, break any mirrors, etc.
*Visit somewhere fun like Zombie Manor,The Haunted Mansion, Disney's Tower of Terror, a murder mystery party/dinner show, an abandoned house or even a graveyard.
*Throw a Friday the 13th party and invite enough people over so there is 13 guests total.

-Horrorwood Doll

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Do you like Scooby movies?-Scooby-doo Scream commercials

For those of you who watched Cartoon Network back in the 90s you might remember these commercials that aired for the Scooby movies that used to play. It's pretty interesting to see that Cartoon Network got away with refrencing a horror film like Scream, then again if I remember right back in grade school the most popular costume was in fact ghost face.



I must say that the animation in this trailer is really good, even better than the majority of animation that is used for most cartoons these days.


Random fact: Did you know Mathew Lillird who played Stuart in the first Scream is now the voice of Shaggy in  Scooby-Doo cartoons?

-Horrorwood Doll

P.S. I do in fact like popcorn with my Scooby movies.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Joss Whedon's Cabin in the Woods



Finally, some good news for Joss Whedon, his horror film The Cabin in the Woods is to finally be released and distributed by Lionsgate. The film is set to be released by October 28th and will be in 3-D. (YAY! A Halloween horror release that is not a sequel)

Joss's film was completed back in 2009 under MGM and was directed by Drew Goddard who also directed Cloverfield.  Those who are familiar with Joss Whedon's work will see Amy Acker who starred in Angel as Fred/Illyria and Dollhouse as Dr. Claire Saunders/Whisky and Fran Kranz who starred in Dollhouse as Topher Brink.

Honestly, what is up with the film industry pushing back release dates of any descent horror films. First, we had Trick r' Treat, which got pushed back so much that it hardly had a chance to show in theaters. We have the highly anticipated Don't be Afraid of the Dark and we of course The Cabin in the Woods. You wanna know what all three of these films have in common? They've all received positive test screenings. Hollywood is just hates horror that's all there is to it.

Being that this is a Joss Whedon project there will be no shortage of humor. Here is some terrible device from the man himself on what you should do if you're at a  cabin in the woods.(May I also add that if you find a strange book in a cabin in the woods, that it's probably best not to read it.

Check out the website .http://thecabininthewoodsmovie.com/


-Horrorwood Doll

Monday, May 2, 2011

Scream Queen (Yvette Vickers) Found Mummified


Just happened to stumble upon this and thought I would share.


"Former Playboy pinup and B-movie actress Yvette Vickers died at the age of 82. But it wasn't until a year later—last Wednesday—that her mummified body was found in her Beverly Hills home.
Neighbor Susan Savage found the Attack of the 50 Foot Woman star lying on the floor of an upstairs room, after pushing open a barricaded front gate, "scaling a hillside", climbing through a broken window and pushing through stacks of "clothes, junk mail and letters" to reach her, according to the Los Angeles Times .  
MORE: Five Mysterious Hollywood Deaths
Although Vickers generally kept to herself in the neighborhood, Savage decided to check on her after seeing cobwebs and old letters in her mailbox.
"The letters seemed untouched and were starting to yellow," Savage said. "I just had a bad feeling."
Vickers' body, which was lying on the floor that entire time, was so decomposed that it was unrecognizable.
"We've all been crying about this," Savage said. "Nobody should be left alone like that."
In spite of the circumstances, police suspect no sign of foul play, and the cause of death has yet to be determined by the Los Angeles county coroner's office.
During her career, Vickers starred in horror flicks like Attack of the Leeches and What's the Matter With Helen? and earned a bachelor's degree in theater arts from UCLA. She quickly rose to fame after playing Honey Parker, mistress of Allison Hayes (the titular giantess)' husband in Attack of the 50 Foot Woman."

Source:  http://xfinity.comcast.net/articles/entertainment-eonline/20110503/b239774/



That is just so terribly sad. :( A whole year and no one bothered to check on her. I know she was never a huge star or anything, but its sad to see someone to be forgotten like that. In a way this is a case where fact is certainly stranger than fiction.

Films she is known for:
Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (You can watch the whole film here.)
Attack of the Giant Leeches (You can watch the whole film here.)
What's the Matter with Helen?
The Dead Don't Die
Evil Spirits 


-Horrorwood Doll

A new Buffy film without Joss Wheadon

This is old news, but I might as well post it here anyways. In 2012 there will be a new Buffy film (most likely in 3-d.) that will be  and written by Whit Anderson whose a long time fan of the original show.
 The producer will be Charles Roven (Produced Batman Begins) and Steve Alexander will produce the feature film alongside Doug Davison and Roy Lee of Vertigo Entertainment.  The film is supposed to feature an older and possibly darker Buffy, which will have no relation to  the show. The film will not feature anyone from the original show and of course the biggest uproar against this is there will be no Joss Wheadon involved.

If you have not heard of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" do a damn google search and look it up on wikipedia. To give you an idea you an idea how big the show is was voted by TV Guide as one of the top cult shows of all time. Empire magazine voted it No.2 as one of the best shows of all time. There was also a Buffy film back in 1992, but it's pale in comparison to the show. Did I mention it was a show about vampires before there was half a dozen of them like there is now?



When Joss Whedon found out about the news he released this statement to E-news.

"Kristin, I'm glad you asked for my thoughts on the announcement of Buffy the cinema film. This is a sad, sad reflection on our times, when people must feed off the carcasses of beloved stories from their youths -- just because they can't think of an original idea of their own, like I did with my Avengers idea that I made up myself.

Obviously I have strong, mixed emotions about something like this. My first reaction upon hearing who was writing it was, 'Whit Stillman AND Wes Anderson? This is gonna be the most sardonically adorable movie EVER.' Apparently I was misinformed. Then I thought, 'I'll make a mint! This is worth more than all my Toy Story residuals combined!' Apparently I am seldom informed of anything. And possibly a little slow. But seriously, are vampires even popular any more?

I always hoped that Buffy would live on even after my death. But, you know, AFTER. I don't love the idea of my creation in other hands, but I'm also well aware that many more hands than mine went into making that show what it was. And there is no legal grounds for doing anything other than sighing audibly. I can't wish people who are passionate about my little myth ill. I can, however, take this time to announce that I'm making a Batman movie. Because there's a franchise that truly needs updating. So look for The Dark Knight Rises Way Earlier Than That Other One And Also More Cheaply And In Toronto, rebooting into a theater near you.

Leave me to my pain! Sincerely, Joss Whedon."

I am of course a huge Buffy fan and the fact that they are making a film without Joss Whedon who gave the concept any depth annoys me. (Seriously, have you seen the orginal film? It sucks.) I find it odd that those behind this film feel that Buffy needs an update because when you go back and look at the show itself the writing and issues dealt within the show was slightly ahead of its time. The cynic in me beleives that this will be a pointless Twilight cash in or another mindless fail of a girl power flick. I will give the film a chance till I see the first trailer. The good thing this is an actual fan who is behind this and for all I know the film might be darker and take Buffy in a new direction, similar to how the Christopher Nolan films took batman in a new direction. However, those behind the film have failed to respect the actual creators wishes and for me that is the biggest no, no when it comes to this film. 
 
Oh yes and if you want to give yourself a heart attack read this.....It's a joke of course.





What do you all think about this?

-Horrorwood Doll

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