My 3rd Quick Review of John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978)

Screened at Cinépolis; 5th Viewing

Watching seven Friday the 13th movies in a row and then watching Halloween is like being mercilessly beaten to death only to then be reincarnated into Brad Pitt. Watching seven Friday the 13th movies in a row and then watching Halloween is like burning all crop supplies available to the human race and then somehow discovering a solution to world hunger. Watching seven Friday the 13th movies in a row and then watching Halloween is like committing mass genocide and then planting a trillion-populated garden of wholesome creatures from around the universe.

F**k, Friday the 13th. Team Michael all the way. All my homies, we like Michael. Michael is “fate.” Michael… is love.

Verdict: A-

The Best Horror Movies, Halloween Franchise Ranked, Horror Directors Ranked

“Halloween” is now playing in select theaters.

Happy Halloween! Here’s My Review of Friday the 13th Parts II – VIII (1981 – 1989)

I am currently with a COVID-safe group on Halloween, dappered up as the mysterious, mirrored figure from Maya Deren’s Meshes of the Afternoon, embracing my cinephile nerdiness to the biggest T a T could ever T. We got Doc from Inherent Vice in the room, a 2017 Joji at large, and some dude in Marvel PJs to join us here as well. F**k, I haven’t dressed up since middle school, and I don’t know what’s really going on right now, so brace yourself for my wacky series of Friday the 13th reviews!

Part II (1981)

2nd Viewing 

Part II confirms that continuity doesn’t exist in the world of Friday the 13th. By logic, Jason Voorhees has to be invisible in order for at least half the kills in this movie to operate at even a marginal volume of plausibility. Man, I thought Part I was s**t, but Part II doesn’t even have as gnarly of slashes as the original. They even copy the Kevin Bacon murderer in this but make it way less gruesome. Every time an epic kill appears like it’s going to happen the scene cuts or the camera decides to not show us exactly how it appeared. Jason in this entry is also hilariously clumsy throughout — the dude actually can’t see what he’s doing with that bagged mask on; it’s embarrassingly slapstick!

Should’ve made this one about the killer bears the camp counselors kept on mentioning. Smh. DiCaprio moment.

Verdict: D-

Part III: 3D (1982)

Challenge: try to make anything into 3D no matter how irrelevant or ridiculous it is. 

Watching Jason Voorhees casually shoot a spear into a camper’s eye was low-key kind of badass. Aside from a couple other solid kills and the noticeably better continuity, Part III essentially boils down to the quality of its predecessor. It even pays tribute to its grandfather movie with its copy and pasted ending, so, yeah, another “who cares” entry in this franchise I’m debating giving up on… but I’ll stay strong for now.

Verdict: D

Part IV: The Final Chapter (1984)

New game I tried with my watch group for this franchise: try to guess which side or corner of the screen the next name will show up on during the opening credits. 

The pacing in Part IV is truly mistreated by all the tedious romantic drama that forces the picture to feel like a slow-burn that doesn’t need to be a slow-burn for any particularly warranted reason. Luckily however, the kills in Part IV are pretty aggressive! Other than that, it copied the ending of Part II, the dialogue is meme-worthy, etc., etc.; there’s not enough to warrant that much enjoyment out of this entry — my apologies to the hardcore fans of Part IV

I will admit though, it is slightly better than Part II and Part III. Slightly!

Verdict: D

Part V: A New Beginning (1985)

The Psychiatric Hospital really thought nothing bad would happen if they let one of their patients use an axe. Yeah.

Umm… Part V: A New Beginning… sucks hard. There are a few decent kills here and Deborah Voorhees’ “role” kept it from being completely unredeemable, but yeah… this movie: it’s ain’t it. For a follow-up that attempts to switch up the formula a little by changing its location, continuing an arc on one of its victimized characters from a previous movie and adding a Last Jedi-leveled twist, it somehow feels just as run-of-the-mill and even more garbled in plot than its predecessors.

Greatest potty scene I think I’ve ever seen though. LOL. 

Verdict: D-

Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)

The best kills in the franchise so far are featured in Jason Lives EASILY, and they never stop coming and coming. This is twice the fun as everything that’s come before Part VI, and that’s exactly what happens when a film embraces its absurdity to a decent peak. Sometimes it’s meta commentary isn’t as interesting as it thinks it is, and yeah, everything else about the movie is quite flat including the conflict occurring among the many characters. But, yeah, this is the first Friday the 13th movie that is actually, at least, mediocre? 

Verdict: C-

Part VII: The New Blood (1988)

Starring Indigo White. If you know, you know.

This franchise has gotten so desperate for new ideas, that telekinesis has actually become implemented into this franchise, and no surprises here, it adds merely nothing of value to the redundant Friday the 13th formula that’s, once again, used to map out Part VII. It’s, furthermore, the most illogical on a technical level, an overall embarrassing attempt at adding sentimental relevance to its main character and there are literally NO good kills in this entire movie! NOT ONE! This is EFFORTLESSLY the most “censored in violence” entry yet, if you know what I mean. *Sad face.*

Best Jason Voorhees costume though, I can’t lie.

Verdict: F

Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)

The lighting in this is straight out of Batman Forever

Jason’s teleporting powers hit a new peak in Jason Takes Manhattan, and if you’re thinking that that’s not the only thing this eighth entry has to offer, you’re not completely wrong. The movie takes place mostly on a boat and there are a few distasteful surrealist sequences, but, other than that, despite new locations and new characters, Part VIII remains to be just as pathetic as a majority of its fellow relatives. Thank, Mother, this marathon has finally ended. After 8 of these, I can confidently say that even as a gratuitous horror movie obsessor, this franchise has disappointed me more than any other one in my entire life. Fin.

However, I LOVED the Julius vs. Jason sequence! I was dying of laughter during that comically elongated affair! 

Verdict: D-

The Shittiest Franchise Ranked

The 1980s “Friday the 13th” franchise is now available to purchase on Blu-Ray.

Quick-Thoughts: Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)

I saw for the first time and puzzlingly appreciated Clive Barker’s original cock-and-balls Hellraiser exactly one year ago from today, so it’s safe to say that I’m not someone who’ll shy away from a movie franchise that appears keen on having its terror to be rather found in the cucking and BDSM-ing department, while the gore, slashers and killing just sits as background noise to the cranium. Horror comes in all shapes and sizes, and the legend of Pinhead just so happens to revolve its fear around some horny dungeon doers kinky fantasy — scary! 

The blood fetish has doubled, the simping continues victoriously, and my opinion on the following feels muddled once more: Hellraiser 2 everybody! — starring a discount Winona Ryder and Michael Keaton. Sure, the snail-paced plot here doesn’t start randomly galloping on caffeine until the halfway mark, but once you get to the labyrinth portion of this sequel, it becomes one SERIOUSLY GNARLY acid trip. Props to the crew; I genuinely couldn’t tell if I was fever-dreaming or watching a movie a good chunk of the time. I guarantee that if I had viewed this baby stoned, it would’ve received a perfect score. But, I won’t give into pleasure — no sir-y! A bafflingly scattershot narrative and a sinfully unorganized structure equates this phenomena to a mid-score! I’ve never seen so much effort be put into an 80s horror movie with this incoherent of a story!

The biggest praise though in which I can hand over to Hellraiser 2: Hellbound is that it’s genuinely weirder than its predecessor and if you’ve read my review of that film before, well, then you know how much that’s saying.

Verdict: C+

“Hellbound: Hellraiser 2” is now available to stream on Amazon Prime.

Quick-Thoughts: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

Okay movie, do you really think that you can throw Jessica Biel in our faces for 98 minutes straight and expect us to see past the bulls***? 

Well, you somehow fooled a lot of us. Ask this movie’s interesting fanbase…

Aside from a FEW creatively executed shots and set-pieces, this is one of the most wooden, abominably written jump-scare + gore-athon product pieces of the 2000s’ unethical trend of producing pointless slasher remakes where they make the central killer “BIGGER AND STRONGER; YAY” but don’t passionately consider anything of the latter. The pitch meeting for this monstrosity must’ve been like: “hey, how bout we remake Tobe Hooper’s fantabulous The Texas Chain Saw Massacre to near accuracy, but every scene/shot we copy from the original is going to be recreated significantly s******r. Oh, and let’s also make every character—especially the dreadful F-tier of an individual, Morgan—the lowest of possible lows a generic horror victim can be.” 

AND MICHAEL BAY’S GRAYSCALE FILTERING MUST CEASE TO EXIST. 

Verdict: D-

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Franchise Ranked [Coming Soon]

“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” is now available to stream on Vudu, iTunes, Amazon Prime, YouTube, Google Play, and Starz.

No Surprises Here, I Rewatched Halloween I (1978) and II (1981) Back to Back

Halloween (1978), 4th Viewing

I can’t stop rewatching Halloween.

You can’t ever stop me from rewatching Halloween.

John Carpenter’s directing, the score, the suspense, Dean Cundey’s grim cinematography, the pure satanic nature of Michael Myers. 

And ghost roleplay sex? 

Oh but, aww, 70s Jamie Lee Curtis is such a doll. #wifematerial

Simple remarks aside, this viewing may have confirmed my theory that Michael Myers was never inherently evil. In the opening, a young Myers uncomfortably turns his head to look at his arm that’s plunging into his victim as if someone else is controlling it. Therefore, it can be presumed that the Devil itself must’ve possessed him that very night. Spooky.

Verdict Change: A+ —> A-

The Best Horror Movies Ever, Halloween Ranked, Oh, the Horror, THE HORROR! (Ranked List)

“Halloween” is now available to stream on iTunes, Amazon Prime, Vudu, and Sling TV. 

halloween-ii-5ba5357fce944

Halloween II (1981), 2nd Viewing

Okay, I could probably stop watching Halloween II.

But, I’m not gonna, cause Halloween II is quite the sharp delight too.

Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream. Make him the cutest that I’ve ever seen…

Seriously though, this is one of the most under-appreciated slasher sequels ever. Yeah, it admittedly doesn’t really get kickin’ until around the halfway point, but from there on out, it’s g-o-o-d. Some simply can’t take on the fire.

Michael Myers swinging a knife viciously in the air without looking is still the gnarliest s*** I’ve ever seen. This dude is 99.9% possessed by the Devil and you couldn’t convince me otherwise.

And, there’s no way you could hate on the sequence leading up to that immaculate elevator shot, as well. Mwah! Perfecto! 

The twist is legitimately dumb, nevertheless. AND BEN TRAMER’S FATE IS THE FUNNIEST THING EVER; HAHAHAHA.

Michael Myers really does a bass drop with a body in this movie, though. Let’s not forget that this is an actual thing. 

Verdict Change: A- —> B-

Halloween Ranked

“Halloween II” is now available to stream on YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, Amazon Prime, and Cinemax.

Quickie: Friday the 13th (1980)

2nd Viewing

Friday the 13th: The prime example of a movie that does not hold up in the slightest. There are some dandy kills and cute women (and men; #KevinBacon), plus the “mommy stuff” is somewhat iconic. Everything else this movie has to offer, however, is the most amateur that amateur filmmaking can possibly get—and there is rarely no excuse for this when your production crew has a budget of $700,000. 

I was watching this movie on Halloween night with a couple of rowdy pals, however, so who can say whether my judgment is fair or not—especially considering I thought this movie was decent way back when I first saw it in middle school. I wasn’t intoxicated or anything though, so I suppose these criticisms are quite on target.

I kind of wish I just watched Black Christmas again. Or literally anything else that’s at least above bad. 

Verdict: D+

“Friday the 13th” is now available to stream on YouTube, Amazon Prime, Google Play, Vudu, iTunes, and Philo.

Doctor Sleep: The Long-Awaited Sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is Almost Up to Scratch

Mike Flanagan: He’s the man who made pretty mirrors (Oculus) and kinky handcuff sex (Gerald’s Game) petrifying. He’s the man who dared to make a coherent prequel to the wildly s***** and undeserving box-office hit, Ouija. He’s the man who found a solution to direct and release three movies in just the year of 2016—for musical fanatics, he pulled a BROCKHAMPTON before BROCKHAMPTON could even pull a BROCKHAMPTON on their SATURATION trilogy (which was also released in just one year). This is someone who’s patently a successful individual in the modern-day horror scene so, logistically, it’d make sense for a Herculean studio like Warner Bros. to offer him the privilege of directing the long-awaited—39 years to be exact—but not necessarily needed sequel to arguably the greatest horror movie of all-time, Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.

Based on Stephen King’s recently published novella under the same title Doctor Sleep, Flanagan’s genre-blended feature follows a much older Danny Torrance, breathing a miserable life ruined by alcoholism and past trauma, just like his father had faced. But the film doesn’t exclusively attend the tale of the already well-known character of Danny. Instead, it, moreover, tours the account of a much younger “shiner” named Abra Stone and a supernatural posy of savage killers who feed on the everlasting vigor of children. These supplementary yet pivotal new stories allow Doctor Sleep to mutate into something independent, but when the film tries to creep back into The Shining’s past terrors, all that becomes of it is a vain maze of tacky callbacks and unintended misfortunes. 

The first two acts of Doctor Sleep are actually quite adequate. Not only does Flanagan prove once again that he is more than capable of offering some solitary stylistic inclusions to the world of horror cinema, but the film relies on a reputable, consistent tone of dread and drama. Ewan McGregor’s portrayal as an adult Danny Torrance was believable and captivating. The standout performance, however, comes from Rebecca Ferguson, who plays the meanest, baddest, and sexiest yet most repulsing fiend you’ll see all year. The dialogue is regularly interesting—which is a compliment to be given to Stephen King’s resourceful, drawn-out writing that was incorporated into this movie. There is some tremendously effective imagery that Flanagan, as usual, masters—with one, in particular, that involved “flying” which honestly floored me. The simple yet productive score, also, appended a lot to the execution of certain sequences. Doctor Sleep honestly had me won over, despite the fact that, at times, it felt as if King’s story was trying to be a darker, freakier reiteration of The Last of Us or a Logan-type narrative.

Where Doctor Sleep achingly declines, for me and most likely for some fans of The Shining film, is within its overamplified and blankly juvenile finale. The climax of the almost up to scratch sequel is one of the most nostalgically reliant and ill-advised conclusions of the year. There are more Shining references in this than Avengers: Endgame’s entire second act—and that’s saying something! To top it all off, the project feels as if it needed to reroute itself and rework its already set-and-stone, slow-paced, and spine-chilling tone into some sort of conventional blockbuster. The whole set-up and execution of the affair were clearly devised as an exploited fan-service fair that was, furthermore, entirely void of any logic in its actions.

Doctor Sleep is so very, very, very close to being a solid continuation and situating itself on its own special merits—no thanks to you, third act. In spite of this, however, the biggest crime this movie committed was letting a total MILF play Wendy Torrance. Now that’s just…wrong.

Verdict: C+

Stephen King Ranked, 2019 Ranked

“Doctor Sleep” will be playing in theaters on November 8, 2019.  

Quickie: Hellraiser (1987)

So Hellraiser was…a lot more unique than I expected it to be. Like, I was in no way, shape or form prepared for this slasher feature. This is a really, really strange f****** horror movie. No, not even that. This is just a really f****** weird movie, form of art, however you want to call it. Whatever you’re expecting this cult classic to be, it’ll probably end up being everything that’s not that. Nonetheless, I think I dug the…hell…out of it? Haha.

The score and editing are surprisingly effective and inventive for a supposedly B-rated slasher movie. The props, prosthetics, BDSM-inspired costumes (???), practical effects, and animatronics are gruesomely prolific. The plot is sporadic as heck, but I guess that sort of feeds into the strangeness of this film’s persona. The lore of the Cenobites is pretty fascinating though; I’m not gonna lie. They could legitimately make a solid Lord of the Rings-type, spin-off trilogy around these Guillermo del Toro-ish characters. 

But I don’t know if I support or don’t support this movie’s random message that good dick will always beat a faithful personality. Kind of a weird thing to be preaching in an 80s horror flick. Either way, I won’t be playing with a Rubik’s Cube for quite some time now thanks to Hellraiser.  

Verdict: B 

“Hellraiser” is now available to stream on Vudu, YouTube, Amazon Prime, Google Play, iTunes, Hulu, and Tubi.

3 From Hell is Rob Zombie at His Lowest Demeanor, Even at “Fan” Standards

Just a heads up for some of the possibly befuddled people who do see this movie, no, you cannot get on probation if you’re a psychopath who murdered dozens of individuals (unless your lawyer is Saul Goodman) and, no, you cannot survive twenty rounds of machine gun ammunition to the body. Stupid movie.

Drama Queens will airily call the final chapter in the Firefly Family trilogy 3 From Hell, Rob Zombie’s The Big Lebowski. The movie, in every fleeting instance of its existence, never seems to be aware that it is a “movie,” as it chronicles a tamer side of the rambunctious human-chopping family’s life that feels as stimulating and consequential as an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Even the prideful, murder-lovin’ Otis Firefly says in this sequel that they “…have no idea what they’re doing,” which exquisitely discloses 3 From Hell’s intentions to be a “meta piece,” further making the affair practically appear like some sort of parody of The Devil’s Rejects. Some fans may praise Zombie for his bold choice to disguise his movie as something that’s more than meets the eye but others, like myself, will find it plainly tedious, plagiarized, and disposable—which it is.

At the heart of it, 3 from Hell is an edgy “road trip” flick—for at least the last hour of it (the first hour being the winner-winner, chicken-dinner for the most boring first half of a 2019 movie thus far). It’s additionally brimmed to the bone with its cheeky, sardonic attempts to make carnage and homicide seem like a hilariously casual and tasteful daybreak activity. Dark comedy has always been referred to as a genre for the intelligent and the nonchalant—according to scientists—but these here experts are going to need to sooner or later make an instruction manual on what exactly qualifies as “clever dark comedy” because 3 from Hell certainly ain’t it. It’s wide off that mark. 

It’s interesting how a talented fella like Rob Zombie who’s been in the film business for 15 years now can make a product that’s so amateurishly constructed. 3 From Hell has some of the rottenest of editing I’ve seen all year; editing that would give even John Ottman (director of Bohemian Rhapsody) a heart attack. The sound design rings in the ears as an incomplete first draft. David Daniel’s insipid eye for muddy visuals also didn’t help the project feel any less than some high school student’s semester project for his/her video production class. Zombie also makes a majorly daring choice involving one of the main characters that I guarantee most fans of the Firefly Family trilogy will be devastated by. Even looking past the technical misfortunes, 3 From Hell is essentially just a recreation of some of the ghastly events that we’ve already seen the Firefly Family perform. It’s a ritualistic follow-up strictly made to worship The Devil’s Rejects and in doing so, causes it to forget that it should also strive to be substantial.

It kills me to say that after 14 years since its predecessor, 3 From Hell is most likely going to be the sequel that fans are NOT looking for. This is unpretentiously one of the most senseless, unjustifiable continuations ever placed onto the big screen. Hey, at least the soundtrack was appetizing. They are selections picked by Zombie himself though, so who could say that they’re shocked?

And somebody give Sheri Moon Zombie her mortality back because she’s clearly not aging.

Verdict: D-

“3 From Hell” is now playing in select theaters.

Quickie: Rob Zombie’s The Devil’s Rejects (2005)

If there’s anything that I can wholly respect about Rob Zombie as a filmmaker, it’s that the man has always been dexterous at making his viewers claustrophobic and constantly on edge. Zombie’s Halloween II—a movie I actually think is fine; don’t @ me—has a rough opening where a young Laurie Strode (2) is chased through a hospital for a full twenty minutes; each minute never dwindling away from its tempting, dire terror. Part II of the Firefly Family trilogy, The Devil’s Rejects, is like that beginning sequence from Halloween II but extended into one, whole stomach-churning movie. “Stomach-churning” in a sickeningly positive demeanor, to clarify.

Before I get into the pros of this cult phenomena, let me explain myself for why I couldn’t completely cherish Zombie’s smash hit. What holds me from genuinely idolizing The Devil’s Rejects is evidently Rob Zombie’s writing. I just can’t fathom the hillbilly-inspired, sex-inflamed humor that he is always inserting into his films. It’s monotonous and gratuitous. And, this is coming from a guy who likes a good “dick joke” every once in a while, but not every five minutes!

With that aside, The Devil’s Rejects has got to be one of the most horrifically in-your-face mania of immoral, gore-fused violence ever captured on camera. It’s ridiculed in treating its malice like porn and depending on the individual, you’re either going to seriously despise Zombie’s choice or gasp in utter “awe” at it.

And, I kind of adore the ending because it shows that anyone can really transform into the devil with enough pressure. In the finale, the character roles are essentially reversed and flipped in a playfully ironic fashion and it surprisingly brings some sinister depth to The Devil’s Rejects?

I think The House of 1000 Corpses unquestionably has all the cooler shit in it, but The Devil’s Rejects is the more focused picture consecutively. It’s disgustingly disgusting to the point of appallment, but, to a degree, of guiltily bittersweet esteem.

Verdict: B-

“The Devil’s Rejects” is now available to rent and buy on Amazon Prime, YouTube, Vudu, iTunes, and Google Play.