Monday, November 26, 2012

I know...I know...You've missed me.

I have some awesome things planned for HorROAR! coming pretty soon. Starting with Night of the Demons (1988) vs Night of the Demons (2009) and some 70s throwback. My friend and fellow horror enthusiast Jason Phillips will be writing a review on the classic Cemetary Man, so there is plenty to look forward to and another reason to subscribe and/or like my blog. Stay tuned little kiddies we're just getting started.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Films with pizzazz.

   I am always searching for the most depraved and unsettling films. Checking and seeing if I thought the sfx were believable, seeing if i could detect any relevant allegory or social commentary. Even sometimes going so far as to demand some sort of plot and character progression.As much as I love the gory 'nasties' out there I don't always want a mindless exploitation film. Which brings me too:

                    August Underground Mordum


   August Underground Mordum (AUM) has developed quite the emotional response both negative and positive.Conveying my location on the spectrum is a difficult task for me.The film is gory, an evil gory that depicts a severe lack of moral inclination from the protagonists.A brutally accurate depiction of three sociopaths minds and impulses. Filmed in the form of a horribly degraded home video/found footage style. AUM delves into the day to day happenings of three serial killers: Peter, his girlfriend Crusty and her horridly inept (and incestuous) brother Maggot. What I find the most depraved is how I can vividly imagine AUM being a VHS that some poor fellow has stumbled upon. I can put myself in the proverbial shoes of the victim and I find this to be a rare quality in films now. It's brutally unsettling to watch the systematic torture, rape, humiliation and gruesome murders of the victims.The film shows no mercy with the perfected special effects; the dismemberment,laceration and subsequent deaths play out so violently you are convinced its real. 
   The film wastes no time throwing you into an incestuous encounter between Crusty and Maggot.Immediately Peter catches the two in the act which causes him to bang on the door while demanding entry (all the while holding a hammer). I almost empathize with that particular reaction...but not really. While there are slow, miserable sections of inane hobbies and arguments they remain only a fraction of the reality.I don't want to remove the shock factor from the rest of the film, should you decide to experience the adventure on your own.Adding to the validity of AUM is the film quality, it is believably degraded enough to strip you of detecting any flaws in the SFX. It bodes very well for the director to have the duality of an intentionally low quality picture, where having a tight budget but no lack of gore positively affect the story. In a 2005 interview with Atrocities, Director and Writer Fred Vogel (which can be viewed here) spoke on the inspiration of the film saying: 

"I wanted to make a big-budget zombie film, and i knew if i made a good enough first film, I could get money to make my zombie film, I was tired of all the serial killer movies that didn't show you what's really going on. The serial killer genre was a perfect way to go. We had no money, but we had the gore, I was teaching at the time, and was at the top of my game with FX, and knew I could make something that people would notice. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer's "home invasion" scene always freaked me out. So, just imagining a feature of that went through my mind, but, five times more real. Really show the viewer what these people are like, not like how Hollywood shows, clean, pretty. August Underground had to be immature, dirty, ugly and of course real."

Mission accomplished, I say. A well done film with a brutally honest story and and true to it's director's vision. That's the exact reason I recommend August Underground Mordum for any true horror film buff. Well done Toe Tag. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Welcome and information.


Being that I sort of just dove right in to this and failed to put any real information regarding my site...I suppose better late than never, right? My blog is essentially a horror blog (I'm sure you're aware) covering movies, books, new releases and my thoughts and reviews on both. I hope to give you a unique perspective on the world of horror, as well as entertaining and/or informing you in the process. 

I believe the world of horror as a whole is entirely misunderstood as an art form and a genre. Not may individuals see past the gore and blood. They tend to (as the majority of society does) take it for just the 'Shock' value. I hope my entries can entice you to open your mind to the wonderful world of alternative arts.

That being said I would like to touch on a few topics. Firstly my  consistency with subjects will be... Nonexistent. What can I say? I see a pretty bird and then I decide to make a sandwich but damn is that window shiny...Expect this, embrace it. Now, on to my tiny tidbits of random albeit important information.

First off my 'ROARERS' section, this will just be a section of supporters and collaborations. I am pretty new to this but I hope to eventually have guest writers, contests and other things of this sort. As we all know this isn't always possible without sponsors or good friends. This is really just a thought for now, hopefully manifesting itself in reality in the future.

Some necessary mentions for now are my friend and fellow blogger: Shawn D. While his site covers absolutely nothing horror I feel he has a wonderful insight to government corruption and esoteric agendas. Definitely worth a look. Which I can confidently say will turn into an obsession.

I would also like to mention the Horror Blogger Alliance a wonderful site dedicated to people like me (and hopefully you) which helps direct and promote us horror lovers of all types. Which I am proudly a member of. Do take a look.

Now, I am sure you are tired of reading this as I am officially tired of writing it. THANK YOU for visiting my site and I hope you intend to make a habit of it. I will try and keep it updated fairly often.

Friday, November 9, 2012

In keeping with the theme.

        As a child your life tends to revolve around one basic idea: "fun". Everyone spent their childhood with no other thought than how and when "fun" would be had. Nothing was a better catalyst for fun than toys, everyone had at least one, you shared them, you bragged about which toy you had, how many toys you had, how rare that toy was...You loved them...Of course you did,It's a TOY. Its main purpose is to instill joy into your life, but what happens when that toy doesn't love you?


       What happened was: “Child’s Play”. If for no other reason than the fact that the sanctity of a child’s toy was, in 88 terror drenched minutes, systematically pried and erased from you memory. Child’s Play scarred me for life  there is not just one all encompassing reason for that scar which still resides deep within my psyche, burning white hot every time I’m alone or within the vicinity of an inanimate doll toy. Brad Dourif’s voice for Chucky was just about enough to induce a nice portion of urine in my undies. Maybe it’s the fact that he sounded like how I imagine the guy from all the Truth ads did, right before he acquired that hole in his throat. Or maybe it was even the fact that despite the fact his soul was transferred into the vessel that was a child’s toy he still, with gusto and apathy, managed to keep a fucked-up, distorted joy in his voice. Whatever the case, it was the perfect way to kick start my fear.
 As if Brad Dourif’s voice acting wasn't more than enough for my adolescent mind to take, next was the rest of the movie. Eerie music, jump scares, and “run-for-your-life-even-though-it-doesn't-matter-because-that-doll-used-to-be-an-accomplished-killer” suspense. Chucky's implied “innocent child doll look” was, in fact, not freaking innocent at all. The stubby little fingers, overly colorful attire, OH AND THE FACT THAT CHUCKY WAS A GINGER. In my defense I am in no way an advocate for ginger fear mongering but nothing you can say will convince me that it’s not creepy. Something about the look of someone with ginger qualities just doesn't sit well with me. Something in me says: “That just isn't right. He doesn't like it and neither do we.”

*As a side note I’m aware that stubby little fingers don’t tend to instill fear. That may be an isolated incident.
       The end all be all of this breaks down to the corruption of innocence, something even my childhood mind was able to grasp. To this very day I refuse to sleep in a room with inanimate dolls. Even before Child’s Play they were frightening enough; every second around one was another second for the doll to come to life. Then it did. In my living room at age 8 and I have never been the same since.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Things we didn't expect.

I have always enjoyed being scared. I don't say scared in a jump scare, you-know-this-is-about-to-happen kind of way. I'm referring to the fundamental emotion of fear. The fear that results in your heart rate spiking, the beads of sweat slowly pulling themselves from your skin, the fantastic, guttural feeling of something inherently and ultimately evil is right there, right there in your soul and you didn't give it permission.

With that being said I think child hood is the obvious choice for a beginning, specifically:

                     The Brave Little Toaster

The TOTAL opposite of what you thought I was going to say, right?

The Brave Little Toaster is by all rights a wonderful, heart-warming, adventure filled family film on the surface (and with respect, throughout). It has a very healthy and likable conglomeration of characters ranging from a timid blanket to a grumpy vacuum.Nothing out of the ordinary. 

Now, as young laddie filled with a wonderful imagination the premise of the is film is perfect. 5 household appliances are abandoned in a cabin home. Spending their time with chores and waiting for their former owner (master) to return and reclaim them. When they suddenly decide to stop waiting and find their master adventures ensue. Tell me how a kid couldn't love this idea? It's clever, it appeals to innocence,love,loyalty,friendship it appeals to all positive life guidelines possible. In no way does it ever suggest a darker and scarier skin.

From the absolute beginning of the credits there are clues. A heavy sense of loneliness and depression accompany the visuals to the opening sequence. With a slow, foreboding theme the opening is not what you would expect. It's short-lived enough and opens up to the Radio cutting on and playing what sounds like a morning radio broadcast. Good so far...Someone yells for him to be quite and we quickly realize that the radio is cognitive as are 4 other appliances.

Everyone precedes to wake up and say "Hello", as you do. Cue opening number. Now I should mention how FANTASTIC I feel the soundtrack to this movie is. The perfectly timed musical numbers and the immense tone they help set is awesome. I LOVE IT. Back to what I was saying. As the end of the first amazing song is coming to an end the blanket appears to freeze and begin intently listening. The toaster hushes everyone in curiosity. As the toaster looks expectantly up at the blanket, the blanket whispers the words "A caaar."

Now folks this is the beginning of the end for me. The beginning of the insanely creepy vibe this movie gives off. Just in the simple whisper of "A caar" you can feel the hope backed by a deep sense of loneliness and longing. In response to his comment everyone springs into action and starts stacking themselves to get into the attic, presumably to check for a vehicle. A car approaches and then passes by. The sense of happiness and flamboyance previously instilled with song is now shattered with hopelessness.After all of this an argument beings concerning how pointless it is for them to wait for the master..blah blah blah.
Ultimately deciding to venture out into the world to find him.

I have spent this unnecessary amount of time building the beginning of this film (which honestly is innocent enough) to try and help convey my emotion as a child unable to really process how obsessed the appliances are or how fearlessly devoted they turn out to be.From here on this movie is nothing to me but instance after instance of insanely frightening imagery. 
Such as this:

and this:

maybe this:

I would argue that this is not just a fun family filled adventure and instead a fun family filled terror. These are only a small bit of the animation. Of the imagery and emotion used throughout the movie. It also gets a little depressing:

Don't get me wrong I ABSOLUTELY ADORE this film. It was well received by critics in 1987 and remains well received by me. I'm not attempting to label this as a horror film but my reaction to it as a child was similar to that of an average slasher. I jumped and cried out, closed my eyes and held my breath at certain parts.At the end of it all though it is a wonderfully delightful film. I highly recommend it to anyone. It instilled in me the fear I described in the beginning. For that I label The Brave Little Toaster an unknown terror.

Don't worry. It works out: 

but not until after this:

and thiiiiiiiiiiis:

I think I made my point.

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HorRoar! by Mitch Kelley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.