And now, we return you to our continuing series, “Xmen: I Have Questions,” already in progress.

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What sort of nuclear war was Charles Xavier’s stepfather preparing for exactly with that bunker full of department store mannequins?

Okay. Fine. Technically this series only existed in my head until now, but it was already in progress, as far as I’m concerned, whether you knew it or not.

Happy Halloween!

Hang on. I’m being told today isn’t actually the first day of Halloween, it’s the first day of October.

Husband is silly before he has coffee!

To kick off Halloween and/or October, director David Schmidt (Sword and Cloak Productions) has released a new short horror film.

The Underpass (2015)

Poster courtesy of Sword and Cloak Productions.

The sound mix is swell, so watch it with good headphones or speakers if you can!


The Underpass (2015)

Sword and Cloak have other shorts, clips, and trailers on their youtube page, so check them out!

I’m particularly fond of the faux trailer they produced for a contest last year.



House on Nightmare Lane (2014)

I suppose I should disclose that I’ve known David online for dog’s years and think he’s a peach. That doesn’t mean he’s not actually a talented filmmaker!

We saw a lot of movies in the theater this summer. An unusually high number (for us).

I quickly reached the point where I could only endure the trailer for Interstellar by imagining all of the characters who go into space (for no apparent reason) eventually crash land on a planet of apes.

If I see the trailer too many more times I may have a psychotic break, because there’s something about it that irritates me. A lot. I don’t know what the movie is about. I don’t care.

Husband’s plot summary is good enough for me. Granted, it’s also based on seeing the same trailer too many times. Everyone’s a critic these days.

According to Husband, the plot of Interstellar is this: “Matthew McConaughey loves his children but he hates wheat. He probably loved baseball, but not as much as he loves his old truck and his children. People play too much baseball which results in all of the old trucks in the world being covered with dust. This endangers humanity, and possibly the wheat, so Alfred must send Catwoman and Matthew McConaughey into space. McConaughey is sad to leave his children. How sad? Really fucking sad. But he’s got to go, because we need a new planet to play baseball on. But he’s really really sad anyway.”

Here – in case you’ve managed to miss it:

Escape from the Planet of the Apes


image: Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)

We spent Christmas quality family time with the 5 original Planet of the Apes movies. (Seven months later, I found this post in my drafts folder).

You’d think we’d have these movies memorized by now, but when you’re dealing with such a sprawling franchise things get a bit hazy, even for Highly Trained Professionals such as ourselves.

After all, we’re not dealing with a mere trilogy. The first film, Planet of the Apes (1968), was adapted from a French novel, Pierre Boulle’s La Planete des Singes (1963) and was followed by 4 sequels in 4 years: Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970), Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971), Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972), and Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973).

Plus, there were 2 TV series (1 live-action and 1 animated), 1 execrable reboot (2001), 2 prequels – (Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) – and a whole bunch of comic books.

Plus, there’s time travel. Time travel that contradicts the time line established in the narrative – a narrative that’s already a bit nonsensical to begin with, to boot.

The 3rd film, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, may be a terrible movie, but it’s also terribly entertaining. And it’s got Ricardo Montalban and Eric Braeden giving the scenery a pretty thorough chew, so there’s that.

There’s a delightfully nutty scene in which Presidential Science Advisor Dr. Otto Hasslein (Braeden) goes on the nightly news and explains time travel. I couldn’t find the full scene on youtube, but I did find a remix called “A Lesson in Regression” that does it justice:

You really should watch Escape from the Planet of the Apes, if only to be thankful that the new prequels forego time travel in favor of something slightly more science-y and slightly less what-the-fuck-y.

Still the old films have something the new ones never will: 70s fashion. And, of course, Ricardo Montalban.


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Orlando Weekly: “They deleted the subplot where Dennis Quaid searches for an antiperspirant that works.”

I hate myself for wanting to drag the the Jungle Pete family to Sea World next week because Blackfish was deeply disturbing. Plus,The tickets to the park are shockingly expensive. At the same time, we just watched Jaws 3 as part of a 4th of July marathon and now I feel like we HAVE to go.

Still…Jaws 3D. The movie where Orlando is RIGHT ON the ocean. The movie that sucked so bad that entirely different actors were cast as the Brody sons in the next movie. And their professions were changed so we could 3 never happened. That movie that makes Jaws 3 seem like ART because it really ups the ante on its badness but acknowledges that we’re all in this together so we might as well bring Michael Caine along for the ride.

Don’t worry, in a few days I’ll have lost all interest in going to Sea World.

I hope.

kingkongvgodzilla

I recently finished a draft of an article about Pacific Rim (2013) that required re-watching both Gojira (1954) and Godzilla: King of the Monsters! (1956).

Criterion remastered both movies and put them together as a BluRay set (also available on some streaming services). It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Gojira, I was surprised how much I’d forgotten. This is probably because I’ve seen Godzilla so many times it’s pretty much over-written the other movie in my brain.

It’s fascinating to watch them back to back. Both are melodramatic and slightly nonsensical, but Gojira is quite artistic, while Godzilla is generally just silly and over-wrought.

More than 1/3 of the original movie was cut to make room for the insertion of new scenes featuring American actors, and, to be fair, it’s impressive how well Godzilla works. It’s also interesting to see how much of the story was changed, re-arranged, or simply obscured through the omission of the original dialogue.

AFI screened Gojira a few weeks ago, but I was working on my paper and didn’t have time to go. I know, I know…

Here are Criterion’s 3 Reasons to Watch Gojira:

After you watch those two movies, you’ll be ready to move on to Godzilla Raids Again (1955), which is a delightfully insane piece of movie-making. I’m certain the original movie must be insane, but it’s the epic amount of narration added to the American version that truly elevates this movie to instant camp classic status.

Godzilla Raids Again makes a perfect double feature with King Kong versus Godzilla, which was re-edited to make a strange movie even stranger, although I’m not entirely certain that was the intention.

The actor playing the American scientist doesn’t pronounce reptile properly. He keeps saying “reptull,” which is odd since he’s supposed to be a specialist in reptulls, er, I mean, reptiles.

The plot: someone decides it’s a swell idea to go get a giant gorilla and bring him to Tokyo to fight a giant prehistoric dinosaur. Sure, why not? And then there’s the whole pharmaceutical company subplot, the racist depiction of natives in the King Kong acquisition scenes, something involving hallucinogenic red berries, and a giant octopus attack.

Don’t miss the Interpretive Kong Dance Extravaganza!


Husband and I are definitely ready to see the new Godzilla Thursday. I’m going to be very sad if it sucks like the 1998 Godzilla did. It’s okay for a Godzilla movie to be Bad, but it should never be boring and stupid.

That movie was boring and stupid and let us never speak of it again.

Here’s the Official Godzilla (2014) Trailer:

If you want to know more about the evolution of the Godzilla movies, William Tsutsui’s Godzilla on My Mind: Fifty Years of the King of Monsters is an entertaining and informative read.

…and I nearly snorted coffee out my nose because I laughed so hard.


Luckily, if the Pope snorts coffee out his nose, he’s got a guy to clean it up.

Yeah, I know, this was a brilliant publicity stunt to get people like me who think Noah looks terrible to blog about it anyway. Listen up Crowe, I’m counting on that flick being at least half as bad as it appears it’s going to be because BloodRayne can always use a few more late-night channel z lineup partners.

Last night on Project Runway: Under the Gunn, the challenge was to design a collection inspired by the slave/buddy cop adventure-love story disaster epic, Pompeii.

Seriously.

One team chose to design a resort collection, because nothing says “high end resort lifestyle” like a slave fighting a volcano to save the woman he loves.

I guess.

I spent most of the episode laying on the living room floor yelling, “What’s happening????” like the teenager in the 3rd Act of Poltergeist.

Dominque Dunne, Poltergeist(1982)

Dominique Dunne, Poltergeist(1982).

This review does make the movie sound great, in a not-great way: NPR: “Pompeii: In Ancient Rome, A Hot 3-D Mess.”

The whole episode of Project Runway: Under the Gunn is currently available for streaming at lifetime.com – Episode 6: Pompeii Team Challenge.

It was not great, in a not-great way.

I’ve been ignoring the links to the devil baby video on facebook because, up until a few minutes ago, I thought it was a promotional stunt for an energy drink. Apparently, based on how hard Husband is laughing at me, this is not the case. I think babies are demonic and I watch horror movies, so, um, maybe the marketing team was a little too oblique in their approach.

I suppose they’ve succeeded on some level, in that I’m sharing it. So, um, there you go. I guess.

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If you’re looking for some holiday movies to go along with that bottle of bourbon Santa left under the tree, here’s a trio that will guarantee your whole family needs therapy for years to come.

Rare Exports (2010) is a 3 year old Finnish horror/comedy for the whole (Addams) family. It’s a really good movie.

The other two movies on this list? Not so much.

Santa Claus (1959) is the heartwarming tale of the year Santa fought the Devil. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964) features a young Pia Zadora. Enough said. Neither of those films should be viewed in their original form. Trust me, you’ll break your brain. Mystery Science Theatre 3000 (MST3K) versions of both are readily available on Netflix, Amazon, Youtube, etc.


Rare Exports trailer:

Bonus!
The Rare Exports Safety Video (a 10 minute short/sequel to the original movie):

Santa Claus (MST3K edition)

MSTK3K presents Santa Claus Versus the Martians (MST3K edition):


Merry Christmas!

image: The Addams Family Christmas episode (1965)