October 10, 2017

Madman (1981)

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Who among you 80s kids remembers seeing this cover in the video store?


I remember seeing the cover to this film displayed on the massive wall of VHS horror rentals in the 80s and, for some reason, I never rented it. So, when I saw it pop up in my Shudder feed last night, I thought I'd make up for having missed it in my childhood. Like, what if all of the bad things that have ever happened to me were just cosmic side effects of having not seen this movie as a kid? Couldn't hurt, right?

Wrong.

This movie is fucking terrible. But I enjoyed it. Not because it's good, it's terrible. But it's SO bad, and the dialogue is SO cheesy, and the direction is SO fathomless, and the prosthetic madman makeup is SO awful, and one of the girls has a lisp, and... 
...and I therefore couldn't help but to enjoy it. 

This movie has it all. First, we're at a camp. Wait, a camp? Is it a camp?? They never really say, but I think it's a camp. There are cabins and a campfire, but an upcoming Thanksgiving celebration is mentioned as well. And everyone is wearing a jacket. Who goes to camp in November?? Also, there are only like five kids there, and they're all different ages. Is this some sort of mutant training facility deep in the Pine Barrens? That would actually make a lot more sense than a random sleepaway camp in November.

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My favorite thing of all time is the love scene between camp counselors T.P. (yep, like toilet paper) and googly-eyed blond Betsy. It is the most bizarre and drawn-out love scene I've ever witnessed. The two participants aren't even touching each other, and maybe Betsy is looking at T.P., but it's hard to tell because of the aforementioned googly-eyes. She always gives off the appearance of looking past or through everyone she stares at. I'm not gonna lie, it's hilarious. The camera goes in for a close-up on each and every piece of clothing they remove. Betsy takes off her shirt, then T.P. takes off his; then Betsy removes her necklace, then T.P. takes off his belt; and so on and so on until they're finally as naked as little jay birds. Then they step into a bubbling hot tub and inexplicably just sort of randomly whirl and spin around in it. It makes absolutely not a goddamn lick of sense, and I laughed so hard I had to go and get my husband to show it to him. I whispered in his ear, "I want to show you something that's going to make you SO horny." When the scene was over, I asked, "Well?" He looked down at his crotch and said dryly, "Nothin'." Isn't the purpose of a love scene in an 80s horror film to make teenagers horny? If anything, I think my vagina might have crawled up into my ribcage, especially when they finally kiss and it's the driest, most boring, lamest, non-chemistry-having kiss you will ever see on celluloid. All of this wondrous lovemaking is accompanied by a somber and "sexy" ballad that - fun fact - is sung by the actor playing T.P. 

Fortunately, our good friend YouTube has provided the scene for us to enjoy. So... enjoy. 

Well? Did that make you horny? Or did your genitals retreat up into your torso? 

Other than Betsy and T.P., the other characters' names were lost to me. I'm sure they were mentioned several times, but I just didn't care enough to remember them, so my mind came up with alternatives as I was watching the film. What happened to Fro-Girl? Where's White Guy. Run, Lisp, run!!!

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From L to R: Fro-Girl, Freddy Mercury, Lisp, and White Guy


And, lastly, let's talk about the laughably awful prosthetic mask and fake, rubbery feet on the madman. Check out this hot mess...

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Guys, this movie is beyond horrible, but it's definitely worth watching with friends, right along with some drinking and riffing. If you're watching it because you fear it's absence in your childhood caused all the calamity that later befell you and it left a hole in your psyche, I'm afraid you're out of luck. No holes will be filled because of this movie. None. Not a single one. You get what I'm saying?

August 19, 2017

I'm a Podcaster Now!


Hey friends, I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while, but I have a really good excuse!
My husband and I started a horror and sci-fi podcast called
Popcorn and Pod People!!!

The podcast is available on iTunes and Soundcloud.
Please go have a listen, and visit our website at

Shoot me an email at popcornandpodpeople@gmail.com
and I'll read your letter on a future episode!
You can also email your mailing address to me and
I'll send you one of these fancy bumper stickers for free.


If you like what you hear, please leave a five-star review on iTunes to help others find us.
Thanks!

March 6, 2017

Good-Bye, Bill...

Guys and gals, I feel I must shed a tear for the passing of my blog-moniker's hero, Bill Paxton. His line from my all-time favorite movie, Aliens, is the reason for the title of this blog. "Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen." Not only is Paxton the only actor to be killed by the ultimate sci-fi trifecta - a Xenomorph, a Predator, and a Terminator, but he also hails from my great city of Fort Worth, TX. I once stood in the same room as him, less than ten feet away, and I was too much of a dork to say anything to him. Now I'll never get the chance again. Along with horror and sci-fi fans all over the world, I raise a glass of blue milk to you, Bill Paxton. You are one of the greats, and you will be greatly missed. "Now, for God's sake, will you cover yourself?!" 

February 20, 2017

'After Hours' Short Film (2016)

Before I get started, please allow me to issue an apology for my extended absence. Until yesterday my life was completely commandeered by the video game Skyrim. Yes, I'm a 44-year-old woman who plays Skyrim. Heard of it? If not, count yourself among the lucky. I devoted far too many hours of my daily life to it, and a monstrosity we referred to around here simply as "laundry mountain" was the result. Laundry mountain has been whittled down, though isn't completely gone, and I have actually started cooking for my family again. Did I finish the game? No. For, you see, the game is never finished. Therein lies the problem. I just had no other choice but to step away and reclaim my sanity. So here I am. It's good to see you again!


I'm starting my comeback with a spunky little short film called After Hours, written by Adam Weber, directed by Michael Aguiar, and starring Bill Oberst Jr. whom you may remember from the last short film I reviewed, Heir. The film clocks in at just a hint over 12 minutes. The story is simple, but well-defined. There isn't time to get mired down in backstory, though quite a bit can be implied in the characters' respective demeanors. Actor Bill Oberst Jr. is a strong talent, and carries the film well. In fact, all of the actors did a good job with their parts, but Oberst Jr. was the standout for me. I don't really want to get into the meat of the story since it's a short film and anything I tell you could be a potential spoiler. It's a quick who-dunnit with a surpise twist ending, an easygoing combination of slasher film and mystery-drama. My only criticism is that it dragged just a touch in the middle, but it was definitely enjoyable. After Hours is currently touring the film festival circuit and will soon be available to a wider audience. In the meantime, check out the trailer (embedded below) and keep an eye on their Facebook page for news!



Man, it feels good to be back.