In the pantheon of 80s horror movies, Poltergeist is oft-overlooked.
At a time when gore-filled slashers were in vogue—thanks in part to the success of the Friday the 13thand Halloween film series—Poltergeist relied on a simple, Grimms’ Fairy Tales-esque plot to deliver its frights. Exploring universal themes of love, death, and greed, Poltergeist is the rare family-horror film that doesn’t pander explicitly to children. Read more…
If you’re one of those people who claim they don’t like horror movies, then I’ve got three things to say to you:
You’re full of bullstuff.
You’re not foolin’ nobody.
You’re a liar.
Now, I don’t think you’re trying to be a liar, per se, but you’ve decided that it’s “not cool” to tell other people that you like horror movies.
Before I lose you completely, let me ask you this: do you like the television series Game of Thrones? Because last time I checked, that story is full of witches, ice zombies, violence, incest, bouncin’ bosoms, erection-free ding-dongs, and cold-blooded murder. In other words: it’s a goddamn horror show. Read more…
In a technically impressive, utterly insane, and harrowing opening sequence, Overlord starts in the skies over Normandy on June 5, 1944—it’s the eve of D-Day. Where Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan showed us the horrific reality experienced by the soldiers who fought on the beaches, Overlord shows us the seldom-explored nightmare in the clouds. Read more…
I wrote about the weird, wild, and wonderful world of Red Letter Media back in August 2016 and I’ve recently been on a big Best of the Worst kick. If you haven’t checked them out yet, I can’t recommend their videos enough. Red Letter Media is an intelligent Mystery Science Theatre 3000 featuring a menagerie of misfits, inside jokes, and pointed commentary for the internet age.
They may seem like strange bedfellows, but comedy and horror go hand-in-hand.
Some of the most revered horror movies of all time contain moments of extreme humor: Jack Torrance’s famous “Here’s Johnny!” line from The Shining, cannibalistic Hannibal Lector “having an old friend for dinner” in Silence of the Lambs, and the near entirety of Get Out.
“Comedy and horror are opposite sides of the same coin,” said Robert Bloch, the writer of Psycho. “Both deal in the grotesque and the unexpected, but in such a fashion as to provoke two entirely different physical reactions.” This couldn’t be truer, but it’s missing an important point. Comedy and horror may be opposite sides of the same coin, but it’s an easy coin to flip. You can transition from comedy to horror and back again to great success. Read more…
Let me cut to the chase: my musical taste is 100% weird.
I like everything from St. Vincent to Ted Nugent; from Courtney Barnett to Bronski Beat; from Au Revoir Simone to Nicki Minaj. I like music that grooves, peels your face off, and leaves you drowning in a puddle of sweat on the dance floor. I like music that gives you the feels, makes you question your place in the universe, and creates an atmosphere of ubiquitous sentimentality. I like music that’s devoid of all meaning—just shut up and dance already.
If you tried to chart my musical taste on a map, you’d start somewhere in Siberia and wind up finding me sleeping in the spare bedroom at your mom’s house eating a stale bag of Doritos. Yes, it’s that bizarre. Read more…
Somewhere deep within the fiery heart of Mordor, John Carpenter mated with Giorgio Moroder and the composers behind Netflix’s Stranger Things, Michael Stein and Kyle Dixon, to create my latest musical obsession: Magic Sword.
Back in September 2016, my band played at the Badlander during the Plus One Fest in downtown Missoula, MT. We were on at 8:30 and Magic Sword was on at 11:30. I’ll be honest: we didn’t watch their entire set. We were tired. We’d driven all day to get there, played our show, and we were ready to head back to the hotel, drink some PBR, shoot the shit, and unwind.
It’s a decision I’ve regretted ever since. Read more…
If you’re looking for a book recommendation, I recently finished Ken Greenhall’s Hell Hound. It’s stunning. Think Shirley Jackson meets Ernest Hemingway by way of Stephen King. It’s horror, but it’s that slow, seething, and spine-chilling kind of horror that gets under your skin and burns your heart.
The sidewalks of Seattle are a battlefield. A leisurely stroll downtown quickly turns into a high-stakes game of pedestrian Frogger. You bob and weave; you dash and dart; you stop and go. As Seattleites, we champion and support many causes, but, when our feet hit the pavement, our consideration and respect for others flies out the window.
I sliced my middle finger open on the ceramic tile lining our kitchen wall. It was one of those silly, absent-minded accidents. I was leaning against the wall, reading the first novel in The Expanse series when it happened. I was trying to stretch my shoulder, so I put my hand on the wall for torque and a jagged, arrowhead-shaped tile caught my skin and ripped it open.
Binge-worthy television is all the rage. Series like Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, and Breaking Bad are turning viewers into eager and awestruck couch potatoes.
And it’s easy to see why—production, storytelling, and acting are firing on all cylinders; characters are given room to develop; plots twist and turn surprisingly.
In terms of overall quality and entertainment value, television is giving box office juggernauts, like Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a run for their money. I mean they don’t call this the Golden Age of Television for nothing!
But modern television is more than just entertainment escapism; it’s a cultural currency.
We theorize, and we spoil. We “talk it out” with friends. We scour the internet for clues. We troll. We read magazine articles. We watch. We re-watch.
As 2017 comes to a close, I’m taking a look back at two of this year’s overlooked gems. If you’re a movie aficionado, snob, or love stepping outside of your comfort zone, then give one of these a shot. Read more…
With Halloween just around the bend, I’ve been taking a look back at the best, and somewhat overlooked, horror movies from recent years.
While the endearing nostalgia of Stephen King’s IT enthralled late-summer audiences, I felt it lacked a certain oomph in the scares department. It Comes at Night was a unique take on the zombie/plague genre, but it didn’t have an interesting enough, or emotionally satisfying, resolution. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed both, but I didn’t think they had enough pizazz to make the list. Read more…
Let me begin with an apology: this will be a profanity-laced, spoiler-filled review of mother! If that’s not your cup of tea then hit the back button, close your browser window, or light your goddam house on fire—oh, that’s how the movie ends, by the way; Jennifer Lawrence lights the house on fire and then God—played by Javier Bardem—removes her crystalized heart from her charred-to-a-crisp body, places it in a display case, and that resets the movie back to the beginning. See? There’s gonna be fucking spoilers EVERYWHERE! Read more…
It’s a legendary story, but it’s not true: When Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) confesses her love for Han Solo (Harrison Ford) in Empire Strikes Back, the scripted reply was, “Just remember that, because I’ll be back.” Feeling that the line lacked a certain je ne sais quoi, Ford changed it.
“I love you.”
It’s humorous, poignant, and a spot-on character-driven interaction. It’s often cited as the best actor-improvised line in movie history, but, here’s the thing, it wasn’t improvised.Read more…
If you thought Baby Driver was the must-see movie event of the summer then hold onto your butt! With heart-stopping special effects, lavish cinematography, and intimate, matter-of-fact storytelling, Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk is a soon-to-be-classic.
With recent films Inception and Interstellar, Nolan leaned heavily on ham-fisted theatrics, exceedingly complicated plot structures, and booming soundtracks. In Dunkirk, Nolan strips much of the histrionics away to tell a lean and mean, true-to-life story of survival. Far and away, it’s his best work since The Dark Knight.Read more…
Yep. You read that title correctly. Here’s another goddamn article about Star Wars!
Star Wars celebrates its 40th anniversary this year and the ubiquity of George Lucas’s groundbreaking creation is enough to choke a rancor. Every time you get online, there’s a slew of clickbait promising spoilers, beat-by-beat breakdowns of the latest trailer, and advertisements for the newest doodad with Star Wars stamped on the box.
It takes a near-herculean effort to slog through the crap and remember what it is that makes Star Wars SO FUCKING GOOD. Read more…