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Thursday, December 23, 2010


    I don’t know why other than it is the holiday season, but I was in the mood to watch Gremlins. This was one of my favorite movies when I was growing up. I don’t know how long it has been since I last saw it. After watching it, I was happy to see that I still enjoyed it after all these years. Instead of reviewing it and boring you with all the reasons I love it, I decided to pay tribute to the movie. So with a few comments and fun facts sprinkled in, here are pictures, and videos of some of the unforgettable moments in Gremlins.

How could you not love this little guy?

I told you all selling the Mogwai would be a mistake!

I forgot he was in this movie. 

The days before PSP and Nintendo DS!

Fun fact 1: The gremlin was actually coined by the British Royal Air Force in the early 1900s. The word gremlin first appeared in print in a poem published in 1929 in the journal Aeroplane. Gremlin was used during WWII to explain the inexplicable mechanical problems that would happen while an aircraft was in flight.  

A Gizmo Clone…this can’t be good!

Feed us! Feed us! It’s only 11:30pm. 

This seems like a good time to review the 3 rules for keeping your Mogwai happy and safe:
1-keep him out of the light, especially sunlight
2-keep him away from water
3-never feed him after midnight  
I always wondered if you can’t feed him after midnight, then at what time in the morning can you feed him?  

Tell me you are not eating my gingerbread man cookies!

This isn’t a chestnut roasting on an open fire. 

Fun fact 2: Mogwai can be translated from Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese as meaning monster or demon. In Gremlins, the mogwai is a cute little animal who likes to sing.

It is awesome how they sing the Gremlins theme song.

How I love the bar scene: 

Smoke if you got em! 

One of the things about the gremlins that always amuses me is how they laugh after they do something bad. 

Who needs a bartender? 

Fun fact 3: In the original draft of the script, instead of Stripe being a Mogwai who becomes a Gremlin, there was no Stripe the Mogwai and Gizmo was supposed to turn into Stripe the Gremlin. Steven Spielberg overruled this plot element because he felt Gizmo was cute and audiences would want him to be present at all stages of the film. 

Hey beautiful! 

I think it is best if you let Stripe win. 

He is a cool cat. 

Fun fact 4: Little to no actual dialogue for the Gremlins and Mogwai exists in the script in itself. In addition to several instances of on stage rewrites changing or adding to much of the script, the voiceovers were all mostly ad libs, repeating snippets of just performed dialogue or in reaction to other sound effects or environment. To this end, Howie Mandel recorded Gizmo's lines phonetically for foreign dubs of the movie, where localized dialogue and in jokes helped make the picture successful with audiences worldwide. 

Hey, weren’t you the same Gremlin that held up the bank? 

Gremlins like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, go figure!

Gizmo to the rescue! 

Fun fact 5: The theater that blows up was subsequently involved in another accident when Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) in Back to the Future (1985), smashes into the front entrance at the end of the film. The theater then burned down with the rest of the buildings in the fire that happened right after the filming of Back to the Future Part II (1989).

Gizmo’s revenge! 

The final narration of the movie by Billy’s father: 

“Well, that's the story. So if your air conditioner goes on the fritz or your washing machine blows up or your video recorder conks out; before you call the repairman turn on all the lights, check all the closets and cupboards, look under all the beds, 'cause you never can tell there just might be a gremlin in your house.”

  Hopefully we get a fun and well done part 3 one day! 


(fun facts taken from IMDB)

Friday, December 17, 2010


  2010 started off well with some descent movies such as, Daybreakers, Legion, and The Wolfman. A few months in came probably the most anticipated, and talked about movie of the year: the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street. Some of the talk was positive, but more of it seemed negative. Speaking of greatly talked about movies, I can’t forget to mention the DVD release of The Human Centipede. The summer kicked off with Splice, and ended with The Last Exorcism. October should have been a time to celebrate with horror movies, but the box office was pretty weak for movies such as, My Soul to Take 3D, Let Me In, and Hatchet 2. On the other hand, it ended well with Saw 3D, and Paranormal Activity 2.
  What does all of this mean? It is about that time of year to wrap up the 2010 horror movie season, and move on to 2011. With that said, here is my list of favorite, and least favorite horror movies of 2010. As with my list from last year, this list includes only the movies I saw, so if I left out your favorite movie, “sorry.” Trust me, I wish I could have seen them all. Also, I decided to give out a few awards so without further delay:

My Top 5 Favorite Horror Movies of 2010:

 #5 Devil: I vowed not to see M. Night’s movies in theaters anymore but seeing that he didn’t direct this movie, I gave it a chance. I was expecting them to screw up the twist, but to my surprise they didn’t. It isn’t earth shattering, but seems to fit well with the direction of the movie. Devil Review 

#4 Paranormal Activity 2: What a difference a year makes! As you may know, I am not a big fan of part 1. I was waiting for this movie to disappoint me much like first one, but it didn’t. It actually got me to jump once or twice, and the storyline didn’t bother me this time. Paranormal Activity 2 Review 

 #3 A Nightmare on Elm Street: I know this will make it on a lot of people’s worst movies list, but I am just too bias towards Freddy. Yes, this is not the Freddy we are use to, but I just couldn’t help but be excited to see a new movie. It took sometime, but by the end of the movie, I got over the fact that this is a different Freddy. However, it isn’t without its flaws, which many people have pointed out. While I gave this one of the highest ratings of the year, I did have to come back down to reality and resist making it number 1. The top two movies were better movies, even though I greatly enjoyed Freddy. A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) Review 

#2: Shutter Island: This isn’t exactly a horror movie, and I almost excluded it. Then I thought more about it, and just couldn’t over look this movie. It has a great story, the scenes are shot so well, and it really reminds me of a Hitchcock type film. This is also another movie with a good twist at the end. Shutter Island Review 

#1 Let Me In: Yes, I just did it. I made a remake my number 1 movie. At the time I saw this, I hadn’t seen the original so this was a totally new movie for me. I found myself absolutely loving the storyline. The interaction between Owen and Abby is so intriguing, and it is interesting to see a different perspective on vampires. I finally saw the original, and was glad to see they didn’t screw up the story in the remake. It has a little more to the story, and the biggest difference is that it didn’t have the poor CGI effects the remake has. Let Me In Review 

  I am sure you think I am nuts about now. I made a remake my number 1 movie, and dared to include A Nightmare on Elm Street in my top 5. I know I left out some names that will be at the top of other lists such as, The Last Exorcism, Frozen, and Splice. I was expecting The Last Exorcism to be scary, and it simply wasn’t. I can’t complain too much about Frozen, but it didn’t overwhelm me. And Splice, while it was somewhat original, was a bit disturbing.

My Top 5 Least Favorite Horror Movies of 2010:

#5 Skyline- Another movie that isn’t exactly horror, but I just couldn’t pass on the chance to mention how bad it is. If it was a horror movie, I would have made it number 1 and is worse than any movie on this list, but that would have been too easy. It is all too familiar with many alien movies already made, the acting is terrible, and the ending is weak. They obviously spent all their money on the CGI, which is actually not bad. I can’t believe I wasted theater money on this movie.

#4 Saw 3D- It really hurts me to include this with my least favorites because I am a fan of the Saw series. The 3D adds nothing to this movie, and actually makes the kills look really fake. There is a serious lack of Jigsaw, which isn’t good considering this is his game. The only hope with this movie is that is seemed to leave the door open for a reboot of the series, after some time off of course. Saw 3D Review 

#3 Cabin Fever 2- This movie gets off to a good start as it picks up right where the original left off. However, it slowly becomes a movie that is more concerned with how much the blood it can spill than anything else. I am all for bloody scenes, but it just becomes a ridiculous blood fest with bad acting, and weak storylines. Cabin Fever 2 Review 

#2 Case 39- I learned a lesson from this movie: when a studio delays the release of a movie that long, it is probably not a good thing. The idea of the movie is not bad, but it needed more. There is just something missing from it. On top of that, it is not one of Renee’s best performances either. Case 39 Review 

#1 Survival of the Dead: This movie is a complete wash for me. The whole story of the two feuding families never catches my interest. On top of that, I couldn’t even understand what Patrick O’Flynn is saying half the time. As usual, I was looking for zombies, but didn’t feel I saw enough of them. The only interesting thing about the movie is that it shows zombies in the water, and that they will eat something besides humans.

I know some people will include Piranha 3D in their worst movies list, but I actually enjoyed it. You just can’t take the movie seriously. Like I did last year with New Moon, I left out Eclipse. It is too easy to include the Twilight movies. I heard bad things about movies such as, Mirrors 2, and The Lost Boys 3, but I haven’t seen them so they are spared from making the list.

And now for a few awards:

Best 3D Horror Movie- Resident Evil: Afterlife
Worst 3D Horror Movie- Saw 3D
Best Horror Remake- Let Me In
Worst Horror Remake- Buried Starring HorrO See what I'm talking about! 
Most Disturbing Horror Movie-Splice/The Human Centipede
Biggest Horror Disappointment- The Last Exorcism
Most Blood-Piranha 3D/Cabin Fever 2

Horror movies I wanted to see but haven’t yet: Hatchet 2, Mirrors 2, and My Soul to Take amongst others.

Horror movies I am most looking forward to seeing next year (if they are released as planned): Priest, Scream 4, The Thing, and Fright Night.


Thursday, December 9, 2010


  Zombies have finally made their way onto our television sets. The Walking Dead gave horror fans something to be excited about after Halloween. Too bad it couldn’t continue more into December. Oh well, now that season one is over it is time for a quick review in case you missed my weekly random thoughts on the episodes.
  I am not too familiar with the comic, so a lot of the show was new to me. Obviously it is about zombies, but I wasn’t sure what to expect. There are two things that stuck out. One is how many really emotional moments the characters go through, and the other is obviously the zombies. One thing that can’t be missed in each episode is the emotional moments. The show really wants the audience to feel sorry for the characters, and they use that sorrow to get the audience to connect with the characters. From the moment Morgan looks through the rifle at his zombie wife deciding whether to kill her or not, to Rick reuniting with his family. From having to watch Amy die, come back a zombie, and then die again, to having to leave Jim on the side of the road. I quickly learned that this show just isn’t about killing zombies, and zombies killing people.
 While it may seem easy to connect to some of the aforementioned characters, there is also a chance to connect with even the more disliked characters. There is no disliked character with a bigger role than Shane. While Shane seems like he is trying to do what is best for everyone, he is too high tempered, a liar, and a cheater. However, the audience eventually finds out that Shane honestly tries to save Rick, so he isn’t as big a liar as he seems. He just falls in love with the wrong woman at the wrong time. Then there are the brothers Merle and Daryl. Both need some anger management classes, and distance themselves from the group with their racism. It is quite surprising that the show went as far as it did with some of the racism, but that is what happens when they can put a show on AMC, and not NBC. As foul-mouthed as Merle is, did he really deserve having to cut off his own hand? And Daryl, even though he is quick to want to put everyone out of their misery, the audience can still pull for him to find his brother (and ride off into the sunset).

  Now to my favorite part of the show: the zombies. In the first episode, there are zombies everywhere. The first zombie that the show displays is a little zombie girl, which is a good choice to kick things off. From there Rick finds zombies roaming the streets, a half bodied zombie crawling in the park, and a massive group of zombies in the city. As the episodes go by, the number of scenes with zombies starts to drop. It seems like the zombies start taking a back seat to the emotional moments. If you read my random thoughts on the episodes, you could probably tell I was somewhat annoyed by this. The emotional stuff is great, especially for TV, but the more zombies the better. Not only that, but it isn’t until the end of episode 4 that a zombie kills a person. Before that, they show zombies eating a horse, deer, and a rat. Disgusting yes, but it is not as fun as watching people and zombies fight it out.
  As far as the zombies themselves, they are really well done. The half bodied zombie is a nice touch. Then there is the woman zombie in the building with its mouth all messed up. That is a freaky looking zombie right there. Besides their looks, there is the interesting possibility of the zombies still having some intelligence, or memories. For example, Morgan’s zombie wife actually walks up to the door, and tries to open it. Another example is when the zombies are trying to break into the department store, and the one zombie is trying to break the glass door with a brick. There are also some good zombie kills. There is a quick but awesome decapitation at the end of the final episode. Another favorite is when Rick takes an ax to a zombie’s head when they are walking the streets disguised as zombies. When the zombies actually are attacking the humans, instead of snacking on animals, it is good to see the zombies get to sink their teeth into them as well.
  The emotional moments, and awesome zombies combine to make a good first season of The Walking Dead. It will be interesting to see what they have in store for next season considering they may be using freelance writers. Will they stick with a heavy does of emotional moments, or lean in the direction of more zombie action? They could go in a completely different direction, which would be surprising after the success the show has already achieved. To finish this off, I leave you with some questions that hopefully will be answered next season:

-Where will the group of survivors go next?

-Will they find Merle, or will he find them? And where is his hand?

-When will Rick find out his wife and Shane slept together?

-What will be added to the zombie menu (reference random thoughts on episode 3)?

-What did the crazy doctor whisper in Rick’s ear?

-Will we see Morgan and his son again?

-Will Rick’s son ever finish his homework?

-What other characteristics will these zombies have?

-Will we get to see zombie Jim?

-Who will be the next member of the group to be bitten by zombies?


Check out my random thoughts on the episodes: Horror on TV 

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