Horror Movies of 1999

I normally like to talk about 30 year old horror movies every October. This year is going to be different for two very good reasons. First: I’ve been doing the yearly old-nerd podcasts with Dave for several years now, and anything truly outstanding (or abysmal) can be discussed there. Second: there just aren’t any horror movies from 1989 that are worth talking about to me. There’s a lot of crap for sure, but I don’t want to spend 1000 words talking about terrible things. Most of them don’t even fall into the “so bad they’re good” category. The best thing about Pet Sematary was song The Ramones did for it. Well Fred Gwynne was great, but that’s about it. Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Halloween had some pretty bad sequels that year too, but I don’t really have anything besides that to say about them.

So this year I’ll be looking at the much more fun horror year of 1999. And while there are no Oscar winners in here, there are certainly several that are fun even if they aren’t great films. There aren’t even any that came out that year I hated. Maybe some that I’m indifferent to or never got around to seeing, but nothing that I just want to trash. It’s always tough for me to judge if horror movies are well known or not because I have so many friends that are into scary stuff too. To me most of these should be fairly well known, but if you haven’t seen any of these then please do so. Everything here has my spooky seal of approval.
Continue reading “Horror Movies of 1999”

Movie Review – The Dead Don’t Die

hero_dead-dont-die-image.jpgThe town of Centerville used to be “A Real Nice Place” according to the sign that welcomes you to this sleepy farmland. The kind of town where a white farmer wears a hat that says “Keep America White Again” while talking to a black farmer in the local diner. The gas station doubles as a horror themed comic shop, but it’s not so out of the way that it can’t get regular deliveries from WU-PS (because RZA is the delivery man. Get it?). The three local cops are going about their quiet lives on the day that the dead decide to rise from the grave. Nobody seems very surprised though since Adam Driver’s junior cop immediately pegs this disturbance as zombies. What follows is the dead-est of deadpan comedies as the characters all try to survive this outbreak. It isn’t quite a “zomedy”, but it also isn’t too gory for you to watch with the squeamish types. I don’t know a ton of people who have seen this yet so I’ll go easy on spoiling anything. I want everyone to see this movie, and there’s a better chance of that if I don’t tell you how it ends. But, as Adam Driver’s character repeatedly tells us, “this is going to end badly”. Continue reading “Movie Review – The Dead Don’t Die”

Dragon Con 2019 – There’s an App for That

As of this writing the app came out yesterday afternoon. I haven’t even gone through it all with a fine tooth comb yet, but I’ve already got myself scheduled for more things than I can do. I’m actually on seven panels this year, and there are many others that I want to see. I haven’t even included time for things like Gnoll and I breaking out our Team Rocket costumes or just generally hanging around “the spot” with friends in a non-panel setting. For the first time ever I’ve given in and gotten a hotel room. It’s going to be pricey, but when I take a nap or get to sleep late it’ll all be worth it. Just remembering the trials and tribulations of taking MARTA last year makes it cheap at (almost) any price. Since this is my last post until after Dragon Con I’m going to fill it up with everything I’m going to do, would like to do, and just think sounds cool even if I know I probably won’t make it to. Please remember to update your app frequently for any important time or location changes. And just to make it extra easy for you to find me – the panels I’m on are highlighted in a fancy color. I mean, if you think blue is fancy I guess. Continue reading “Dragon Con 2019 – There’s an App for That”

Movie Review – 10 Thoughts About Pet Sematary (2019)

SPOILER WARNING – THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR PARAMOUNT PICTURES’ NEW FILM PET SEMATARY

Stephen King is pretty hot stuff right now.

Or at least, adaptations of his work are hot stuff.

Heck, even re-adaptations of his work generate a lot of buzz, as was the case with this new Pet Sematary.

I think that it’s generally agreed upon by Stephen King fans that Pet Sematary is his darkest, most unsettling novel. I read it when I was too young to read it and no matter how effective any on-screen portrayal of Zelda is, it will never equal the horror of King’s written words. Nor will any actor ever be able to sufficiently capture the torture that Louis Creed feels, if only because we’ll never experience the character’s thoughts the same way in a film.

1989 saw the release of the first film adaptation of Pet Sematary. It was a blockbuster. Back then I loved it and so did pretty much everybody else. I think we all sort of knew that the acting wasn’t great, but something about it seemed very mature and cool – it was a kind of darkness that we weren’t seeing too often. I also seem to remember it being everywhere. Paramount might have put a little extra push into the marketing, possibly because we were entering into the Summer of the Bat, a phenomenon that would conquer movie theaters and public consciousness for basically the rest of the year.

I was disappointed a few years ago when I realized that the 1989 Pet Sematary isn’t very good. It’s fine by 80s-era mid-grade horror standards and is even a standout among King adaptations, but the acting is bad almost across the board and the direction is clunky.

This made me excited for a new adaptation made to today’s standards.

People often parrot the terms “Is this necessary?” and “Who asked for this?” as an empty-headed way of dismissing remakes, prequels, sequels, and basically anything that they think they can get internet credibility out of criticizing. These are simple-minded, myopic queries that require more thought to answer than to pose (as is the intent), but in the case of 2019’s Pet Sematary the easy answers are “Yes” and “People who love that book and recognize the failure of the 1989 movie”.

Did directors Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer and their cast and crew succeed in delivering a worthy horror experience or will we be waiting thirty more years for a satisfying adaptation of the Creed family tragedy? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Movie Review – 10 Thoughts About Pet Sematary (2019)”

Movie Review – 11 Thoughts About Us

SPOILER WARNING – THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR UNIVERSAL PICTURES’ NEW FILM US

This is much later than I like to post written movie reviews. My original intent was to record a conversation with our friend Chad J. Shonk because this movie deserves not only a deep conversation but the insight of a professional. It made me think and feel a lot of things and I knew Chad would be the perfect guy to hash it out with.

Unfortunately I just found out that I have to work on the day that I had scheduled to talk to Chad. So now I’m writing my thoughts and hoping to record at a later date. Unfortunately the further I get from the movie, the less clarity I’ll have regarding it and the more other things will crowd in to take my attention, so that conversation may never happen.

Thanks, day job. You ruin my dreams but pay for my Ser Davos costume.

Jordan Peele is a badass. He’s brilliant, he’s funny, he’s a pop culture/genre sponge; but most importantly, he can focus those qualities into creating things that are unique, yet wear their influences proudly on their sleeves. His sleeves. Whatever.

I’m a huge fan of Key & Peele, less so a fan of Get Out. I thought the movie was extremely well done and had a fantastic cast, but had some story and pacing issues that kept me from becoming as engaged as I wanted. Jordan Peele’s work still impressed and excited me, though, and I couldn’t wait to see what he would do next. All signs seemed to be pointing to the fact that he was becoming a powerful force in Hollywood and one of the few that  might have the potential to enact sweeping changes in not only the processes but the entire mentality of the movie industry.

Does Us continue Peele’s upward trajectory or does it represent a stalling point in the creator’s career? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Movie Review – 11 Thoughts About Us”

Beth’s Best of 2018

I’m back baby! That was an extended hiatus, but the end of 2018/start of 2019 was horrible for me. Sickness and death, and all manner of garbage. Seems like a good time to finally post my 2018 recap and put the year behind me. We’ve done the podcast, but given the number of people that were on (and the way that Dave looked at me for talking about Star Wars as I did) now is my chance to elaborate. There are also some things that came out in 2018 that I hadn’t seen when we recorded so I can talk about those now too. Plus, with everything that’s happened since, that podcast seems like it was recorded a lifetime ago. So here’s my good, meh, and ugly from 2018 in no particular order. Sorry if I repeat from the podcast, but I promise it’ll be worth reading even if you’ve already listened. Well, I promise it’ll have enough differences or new content. I never promise that I’ll write something worth reading. Continue reading “Beth’s Best of 2018”

Halloween 2018 – Eli Roth’s History of Horror

tvreview-rothhistory-rothzombieYou probably know who Eli Roth is even if you don’t think you do. He directed Cabin Fever (the good one), Hostel, and (the not good homage to Cannibal Holocaust) The Green Inferno. He’s also had acting roles in several movies, but aside from Inglourious Basterds they’re mostly cameos. A quick look at his IMDB page shows that he is not only a fan of horror, but knows a thing or two about it. You’ll also notice that while he only has 16 credits as a director he has 101 credits as himself (or at least it stuck out to me). It also gives me the idea that he’s a guy who likes to hear himself talk. Continue reading “Halloween 2018 – Eli Roth’s History of Horror”