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David Poland

By David Poland


You ever have one of those weeks where everything is happening… and nothing seems to be happening?

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144 Responses to “BYOB”

  1. DeafBrownTrashPunk says:

    Well, I’m thrilled that Obama has signed an executive order to shut down Guantanamo, but they say it would take a year. I just want it over and done with NOW.

  2. Well, I’m thrilled that Obama has signed an executive order to shut down Guantanamo, but they say it would take a year. I just want it over and done with NOW.

  3. mysteryperfecta says:


  4. adorian says:

    Vicky Cristina Barcelona came out on DVD yesterday. It is very good. I’m sorry Woody didn’t get a writing nomination for it. Penelope Cruz certainly deserves hers, and I hope she wins.

  5. Aris P says:

    And were exactly are all those detainees supposed to be shipped off to? Egypt? Some other country? Probably not gonna happen since people like DeafBrown will cry out INJUSTICE! if they do end up there. So where? Rikers? Some other Federal jail? Would that mean they fall under federal laws? If so, will they all want access to lawyers? Will we be subject to years of Al-Qaeda suspects making a mockery of those killed on 9-11 by demanding their rights in courts?
    On an equally absurd note, some douchebag named Chris Jericho was on Larry King last night for a segment, while Mickey Rourke was on, and was smack-talking the Mick for 5 minutes, telling him he was disrespected by Mickey for some comment he made to Jericho on some red carpet… I thought it was a joke until it went on and on and on. Mick kept his cool. There was talk of a bare-knuckle fight.
    Maybe those Gitmo detainees and Jericho can go at it.

  6. LYT says:

    …or even read where I mentioned it on the thread below?
    If Aris believed Jericho was genuinely being a douchebag, it show Jericho is very good at his job. It’s a work. And a much harder thing to pull off than when Andy Kaufman and Jerry Lawler did it.

  7. matro says:

    I would say that Al Qaedists demanding their rights in court would be a testament to everything that’s right about America and the idea of international law.
    And, looking on the bright side, some of the people who were wrongfully detained for up to six years in there might actually get to go back to their families.

  8. Joe Leydon says:

    LYT: Well, remember how many people — here and elsewhere — thought Mark Wahlberg really was pissed off about Saturday Night Live.

  9. Aris P says:

    JOE, I actually had not heard of it. Mickey, however, was saying last night that he was not interested in wrestling this guy… Maybe he was just acting it up as well, but it sounded like he had changed his mind.
    As far as Al-Qaedists and the testament to all thats right about America, well, I agree except where it concerns terrorists who are not even American citizens, getting the same rights that you and I get.
    And, really, if you slam planes into buildings, and kill US troops (not to mention slaughtering your own people), and massacre 3000 people in 90 minutes, and exist solely to serve your God by pledging to murder ME, then NO you don’t deserve a lawyer or even a trial. Fuck you, you rot.
    As far as those who are innocent, you get Obama to order internal intelligence investigations on all the detainees and release those who are innocent. I dont know if this is being done, or has been done, but I dont trust Bush for one second, so now you do it again. Maybe it’s pie in the sky, but its out of my area of expertise.

  10. Jeremy King says:

    Mark Wahlberg did HITMAN and THE HAPPENING in the same year…there should be a rule where you get banned from movies forever for some shit like that.

  11. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    THE HAPPENING was one of my favourite cinema experiences of the past few years. I’m totally serious.
    Banned???!! He should get a fucking medal for doing it.

  12. jeffmcm says:

    Timothy Olyphant was in Hitman, Wahlberg was in Max Payne.
    The problem with Guantanamo closing early is that Bush screwed up the detainments to royally and made it virtually impossible to find a smooth and easy answer.
    I think of it like this: Imagine if the Manson family had gotten arrested, then the LAPD had bungled the chain of evidence, not read anyone their Miranda rights, not gotten any witness statements, and ignored every preexisting legal statute about how to handle prisoners. Any lawyer in the country would be able to get them freed – but it’s the f*&#ing Manson family.
    I am also amused at the stupid idea that the Guantanamo inmates can’t be put in Leavenworth or other prisons in the U.S. because they’re actually all mutant supervillains who’ll smash through the walls with the force of their superpowers.

  13. IOIOIOI says:

    They are not mutant supervillians? I could have sworn the Bush administration told us they were mutant supervillians.

  14. jeffmcm says:

    That was part of the problem. Bush very obligingly agreed to fight the war on Al Qaeda’s terms, in which they were a group of all-powerful supermen battling a stupid and corrupt imperialist power.

  15. Blackcloud says:

    How did “Waltz with Bashir” not get tagged with an NC-17 for the porno scene? Not complaining, just curious. Very impressive movie. Certainly stronger, to my mind at least, than the three BP nominees I’ve seen: BB, Frost/Nixon, and Slumdog.
    Bush could have gotten away with a lot of what he did regarding detention and trial of enemy combatants if he had asked Congress to approve it. Which he did, eventually, but only after the courts had blown various holes into those policies which would eventually sink them.

  16. Triple Option says:

    I think the one of biggest things that prevented Bush from “getting away with it,” would’ve been that it was the mid 00’s and not early 90’s or before. Human rights orgs had b*tched about Gitmo before but until the pictures from Abu Ghraib came out, no one really listened to stuff happening closer to home. It was kinda even funny the way Rumsfield sounded at a press conf about “someone takes a picture w/one of those, with their camera phones and 30 seconds later it’s all the way across the globe and on the internet.” Seriously, it was like the end of a Scooby Doo cartoon. I kept waiting for him to go, “And we woulda gotten away with the prisoner tourture if it hadn’t been for the meddling MySpace kids.!”

  17. mysteryperfecta says:

    “I am also amused at the stupid idea that the Guantanamo inmates can’t be put in Leavenworth or other prisons in the U.S. because they’re actually all mutant supervillains who’ll smash through the walls with the force of their superpowers.”
    It’s a little more complicated than that. Neither the Democrat nor GOP leadership in Kansas will allow GITMO detainees to be tranferred to to Leavenworth. Can you stop amusing yourself for a moment and think about why that is?
    Can anyone give me a reason (other than symbolism and political appeasement) to close GITMO?

  18. jeffmcm says:

    “Can you stop amusing yourself for a moment and think about why that is?”
    Because people are stupid and cowardly. Also, I think you mean “Democratic”, not the other word.
    “Can anyone give me a reason (other than symbolism and political appeasement) to close GITMO?”
    You make it sound like symbolism – in this case, symbolism that would have a significant worldwide impact – doesn’t matter.

  19. Eric says:

    Because it leaves detainees in an ambiguous legal status that is contrary to hundreds of years of legal norms?
    Because it provides the actual bad guys with a propaganda victory, which they can use to recruit more bad guys?
    Because the abuses there make trials and convictions of the detainees an impossibility, even if they are guilty as sin?
    Because we already have a justice system that could handle the detainees and creating a parallel system is counterproductive and a horrible precedent?

  20. mysteryperfecta says:

    Convince me that symbolism matters. Define its “significant”, tangible impact. Give me a specific example of a way the GITMO closure might manifest itself in behavior or deed. Will the jihadists embrace more humane tactics? Will nations work with us in a way that they wouldn’t have otherwise?
    Obama has said that we’re not going to torture, that we’re going to follow the Army Field Manual in our treatment of prisonors. Let’s assume that every prisoner will also receive a trial and legal representation. Would it still matter if they were still at GITMO?
    It’s going to take a year to close GITMO because, astoundingly, in the two years that Obama has been promising to close GITMO, he hasn’t come up with a plan to deal with all of the logistical problems that will come from the facility’s closure.

  21. Aris P says:

    Abuses where? At Gitmo? Really? 3 meals a day, and the permission to pray towards Mecca 6 times a day? They eat better than I do, and are treated better than anyone in Supermax or any other max security prison for that matter.
    As far as ambiguous status that goes against hundreds of years of legal norms? Not sure about “hundreds” but yes, it goes against the norm. So does killing 3000 citizens in an hour. Sometimes the rules and laws that govern a people need to be updated/altered/adjusted in order to deal with extraordinary circumstances. 99.9% of the population should be treated under all laws. This 0.1% doesn’t need to be. IMO.
    I admit that it gives the bad guys propaganda, but then again, they recruit 7 years old to blow themselves up, so I’m not sure they’re not “indoctrinated” before they even understand a thing.

  22. mysteryperfecta says:

    The terrorist propaganda argument is BS.
    “I’m still not sure I want to fight the Great Satan, brother.”
    “Haven’t you heard? The infidels have a prison where they deny habeas corpus!”
    “What?!? Jihad!”

  23. jeffmcm says:

    Obviously you guys already have your minds made up, so further conversation is pointless.

  24. mysteryperfecta says:

    I reject the symbolism argument, unless you can give me a compelling reason to reconsider. Until then, I don’t understand why the tangible changes Obama is making aren’t sufficient enough to avoid the closure of a tactically advantageous facility.

  25. jeffmcm says:

    Then we’re at an impasse.
    Can you explain what you mean by ‘tactically advantageous’? The entire point of putting the facility at Guantanamo was to create a legal limbo zone. Now that Obama’s closing that loophole, the “advantageousness” is gone.

  26. christian says:

    “Convince me that symbolism matters.”
    Wow. So what about the “symbolism” of pulling down a Saddam Hussein statue (orchestrated) or Jessica Lynch (lies) or “Mission Accomplished”…Team Bush made “symbolism” part of their post 9/11 administration. And to further the idea, what about the “symbolism” of towers of light replacing the WTC? That doesn’t matter?
    What Aris and mystery just don’t get is that it doesn’t matter what WE think of Abu Grahib – if the Iraqi people see photos of uncharged suspects naked bleeding and sexually abused…well, what part of the War On Terror do you think that wins?
    Jesus, when Bush says we’re liberating Iraq and soldiers rape and kill a 14 year-old girl, murder and torch her family…or stray bombs destroy families, well, do you think that “symbolism” achieves our goals to fight terrorism?
    Or could it be used to ATTRACT future insurgents?

  27. mysteryperfecta says:

    jeff- You said that this act of symbolism would have “significant worldwide impact”, but won’t give an example of how. There’s your impasse.
    I actually think the symbolism is most important to American liberals, who have made it a symbol of Bush policy. Closing it is akin to closing another chapter of the Bush administration. Worldwide impact? Notsomuch.
    “Can you explain what you mean by ‘tactically advantageous’?”
    Its physically located outside the US. It’s an established, secure detainment center.

  28. jeffmcm says:

    No, Mystery, the impasse is that I’m not interesting in telling you something that (a) plenty of others on this blog are doing, (b) plenty of smart, good writers across the world are more capable of, (c) seems pretty goddamn self-evident to me. It’s a waste of my time trying to convince the unconvinceable.
    As for your second point, the symbolic value far outweighs ‘established and secure’ and there is no value to ‘physically located outside the US’ aside from the legal-twilight-zone aspect.

  29. mysteryperfecta says:

    The symbolic value hasn’t been established, exept on the national level, by me. The “significant worldwide impact” remains nothing more than ‘because-I-say-so’ hyperbole.
    And your “convince the unconvinceable” argument is extremely hypocritical.

  30. Eric says:

    Re: Abuses.
    Yes, by “abuses at Gitmo,” I was referring to things like, say, the top three Google results for “abuses at Guantanamo Bay:” PBS, Washington Post, CNN.
    Re: Heabeas Corpus.
    If you want to quibble about whether or not such a custom dates back “hundreds” of years, you’re going to have to show your math. Because it dates back to England circa 1305.
    My math: 2009 – 1305 = 704
    Re: The .1% That Don’t Deserve Due Process.
    The whole point of due process is that you don’t actually know who the bad guys are until after the trial.
    Re: Kids Who Are Indoctrinated to Blow Themselves Up.
    Well, I’m with you there. There are people in the world who are just fucking crazy.
    I like to think that the society in which we live is superior to the one that produces them. But such a belief is rendered moot when we discard the things that make set our society apart, things like the rule of law, checks and balances, and basic human decency toward even those who don’t deserve it. And, more than all the specific reasons I listed above, that’s why Guantanamo should be closed.

  31. I feel like talking about movies, slasher movies to be preise,
    With the remakes of My Bloody Valentine, Friday the 13th, and Last House on the Left (not to mention Special Edition DVDs for the originals), I was wondering if anyone has any fond memories they care to share about Slashers, favorite series, and the almost innocnet quality the original F13 has.
    Seeing the Blu-ray of Friday the 13th the other day, I was startled to realize how little gore there actually is in the movie.
    The movie still works. I also have a fondness for The Final Chapter and Jason Lives.
    My favorite slasher might be the depraved Maniac with Joe Spinell.
    I’ve always thought there was a Film Studies paper waiting to be written comparing Crusing, Dressed to Kill, and Maniac. They all seem cut from the same cloth.

  32. LYT says:

    I thought the most consistently strong slasher series was Nightmare on Elm Street. For me the only misfire in all the Freddy movies is part six, and that’s a pretty good track record. Even the somewhat-out-of-continuity part two is fun if you read a repressed gay subtext into it. And the fact that there’s a narrative through-line that directly connects 1, 3, 4, 5, and 7 is pretty impressive when most other franchises focused on totally new characters every time out.
    I also love Saw 1-3, but parts 4 and 5 eroded my goodwill for the franchise as a whole.

  33. scooterzz says:

    ‘repressed gay subtext’…..nightmare 2 is like that ‘straight’ friend everybody knows is gay but him….

  34. Aris P says:

    Christian – no one is talking about Abu Ghraib. We’re talking about Gitmo.
    Also, it sucks that innocent people die during a war, and that some people get raped. Its disgusting. But when I hear people keep harping on rapes and dead civilians (the few instances are anomalies in this war) — tell me who doesn’t see the big picture?? There’s more to any war than what the front page of the Times and the Post print. shit happens. Much like every other war in history.
    Same with Eric – yeah ok abuses happened at Gitmo too. But it’s been opened how many days total?? I have no clue but it must be what 2000 days? And how many times has abuse happened? Number of Detainees X days in prison = a lot.
    Yeah, Gitmo is worse than Saddam’s prisons. It’s where good terrorists go and get tortured, day in and day out. My bad.
    These radical fucking Muslims need to figure their own shit out first. Also, in general, the entire Arab world needs to as well, as they appear to be as civilized as two cats in a plastic bag. I really dont give a fuck what they think about Gitmo.

  35. christian says:

    “Seeing the Blu-ray of Friday the 13th the other day,I was startled to realize how little gore there actually is in the movie.”
    Because the MPAA laid the X smackdown! It’s still sad that Paramount hasn’t released all the other F13TH films uncut, particularly 2 and 3, which were shredded. And in 3-D.
    But the “director’s cut” of MY BLOODY VALENTINE has been released to raves. This was one of my favorites of the period. APRIL FOOL’S DAY is surprisingly sharp and witty with a very unique script. And I find MANIAC one of the most unpleasant films in the annals of cinema. Or is that anals?
    I wouldn’t consider NOES a slasher film since it’s so unusual and supernatural, and I think all of the sequels are unworthy and uninteresting.

  36. christian says:

    Why? Because they turned Freddy into a wise-ass anti-hero. He was undeniably scary and creepy in the first one. Only the first one.

  37. christian says:

    Aris and mystery: I hope you’re never accidently picked up and sent to one of our lawless foreign prisons by our government:
    “Kuwaiti-born Mr Masri was seized close to the Macedonian border as he headed towards Albania following what he has described as a row with his wife in Germany. After being held for three weeks in the Macedonian capital, Skopje, Mr Masri says he was beaten, handcuffed, blindfolded, drugged, and flown to a CIA prison in Afghanistan.
    Mr Masri alleges he was held in Afghanistan for five months, often in solitary confinement, while US agents interrogated him. He says he was beaten frequently, and told he was being held in “a country without laws”.
    Eventually, the Washington Post has reported, the CIA concluded they had simply made a mistake, and Mr Masri was returned to the Balkans, dumped close to where he was found, and eventually made his way back to Germany.”

  38. Triple Option says:

    I thought the premise of Friday the 13th was great. A killer who attacks you in his sleep. It’s so opposite of the experience you normally have after seeing a scary movie, you feel you’ll be alright once you get to sleep. Now, instead of not being able to sleep there’s a fear of what happen if you do. Not to mention still carrying that fear of things going bump in the night.
    Overall I’m not really a fan of horror movies. Friday 13th I thought was good, maybe 2 as well. I remember seeing Dream Warriors, cuz they always played that Dokken song on the radio. There was also one that I think came out in 92 or 93 where the movie w/in a movie w/the lead Helen Vandekamp, I believe, being asked to sign on to do another installment. You had Englund playing himself as well. I rented that and was pleasantly surprised.
    Some of the early ones I was too young to see in a theater. I remember reading the book to Halloween 2 before seeing the film. I thought that was really pretty good.

  39. Early last year (or maybe later 2007) I sat down and watched (or rewatched) all the Friday the 13th movies (but not Jason Goes to Hell). My favourite is still the third and I would LOVE to see it in 3D at some stage. That movie is hilaaarious. And I’m actually looking forward to the “remake”, even if it looks to be shot-for-shot with Nispel’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake.
    Blah, it’s so hot here. 112 in your numbers. I saw Eric Bana’s new documentary to get out of the heat and it’s pretty good, even though I don’t know a thing about cars (I don’t even have a license).

  40. LYT says:

    christian, if we’re talking about slasher movies, scary and creepy isn’t necessarily the be-all and end-all to me. If you’re talking very specifically of slashers (rather than just general horror), awesome kills are often the main point, and Freddy’s were consistently the most creative and surreal. The human pizza in part 4 actually grossed me out, which was hard for a horror flick to do back then.
    Yes, he became a wise-cracker, but I never felt they robbed of him of the sense of danger.
    Plus, look at the directors that came out of that franchise: Chuck Russell, Renny Harlin, Stephen Hopkins, Rachel Talalay…none of them necessarily Oscar-bait, but all have made films with substantial cult followings since.

  41. christian says:

    I would say that NOES transcended genre conventions with one of the most original villains in film history. I think NOES is quite brilliant psychologically, and because we like the leads and they’re not just engaged in camp sex, it’s a different bird. And I never liked the “love” for Freddy as he was a child molester killer, so that was creepy. Craven knows how to get under your skin.

  42. IOIOIOI says:

    I forget what film I was seeing the night Elm Street opened, but I remember knowing this freaky film was in the same theatre. It sort of freaked me out.
    So I had to get and use the bathroom, and I saw a rather scared looking man come out of the Elm Street theatre. I asked; “Is that movie pretty scary?” His reply; “That’s some freaky shit right there.”
    While I have very few memories. This is one I hold onto because it rules. I can still see his face. The whites of his eyes were so big. It some trippy shit.

  43. LexG says:

    Friday the 13th Part 3 With Laugh Track (awesome YouTube video):

  44. Triple Option says:

    Correction to previous post: I meant Nightmare on Elm St not F 13th. There was actually a really cool show called Freddy’s Nightmares back in the late 80’s, anyone remember that? It was kinda Twilight Zone/Tales of the Crypt-ish. I think there was another similar show that played on a Fox affiliate back then too. Can’t think of the name, maybe Friday the 13th, the series??? Could that be right??
    The nasty kills were great about slasher films. I remember seeing one F-13 where Jason picks up some dude in a sleeping bag and swings like a baseball bat at a tree and just exploded feathers. It was a midnight movie so of course everyone there’s totally blitzed. That was like the biggest audience reaction I’ve ever heard.

  45. LexG says:

    Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (part 4) always seems to be held in the highest esteem by the real fans of the series, mostly due to the gore level (and Savini effects), but even I find that one kind of mean-spirited and ugly. Plus it’s shot through some dreadful vaseline-filter soft focus that makes it look like they shot in a fucking jungle.
    It’s the one with by far the most nudity, but also the cruelest and queasiest in its employment of it, as opposed to the usual innocuous T&A. Seems that’s the one where there’s this virginal female character who finally loses it to some dude in the shower, and has this post-act reflective moment of joy (while brushing her hair or something), letting out this giddy giggle, and it’s right then that Jason offs her in some ridiculous manner. Plus it begins with some sleazy morgue attendent talking about banging corpses, then goes on to feature an overweight woman getting eviscerated while stuffing her face with a banana. After the relatively tame and suspenseful first three, four just goes into some ugly, misogynistic and cold direction.
    I think they kind of went the other way into self-parody and comedy from there out.
    Also, gotta love the original: The Halloween SERIES rarely gets much ink, because Carpenter’s original is still held in such high esteem, and the recent reboots were successful enough, to kind of overshadow the REALLY WEIRD mid-series entries, which had zero consistency of look or tone or locale or craft or anything… fuck, at least Freddy and Jason had some QC from entry to entry. Michael’s fucking mask never was the same twice.
    And I’m not talking about 3, which is its own thing. But 2 was a well-crafted, kind of awesome legit sequel by most of the same crew– same locales, same actors, same DP. But when they went back to the Myers well with 4, they just threw everything out the window. Starting with just saying fuck it and bringing back a killer and a protagonist who got BLOWN TO SMITHEREENS at the end of the last film.
    And I always like to throw out this not-so-obscure bit of trivia, but it’s amusing that every Halloween sequel and remake has been ENTIRELY built around the idea of Michael killing his family members and pursuining his SISTER… when Laurie was decidedly NOT Michael’s sister in the original film, and just sort of a random target he became fixated on.

  46. jeffmcm says:

    The only Friday movie that I really like is #2, which is the first one that actually has Jason in it – although his appearance at the end of #1 is one of my all-time favorite ‘WTF!’ experiences in horror-movie history.
    As for the Nightmare movies, the first one is obviously a classic, but I also have a warm spot for Dream Warriors and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare.
    And Halloween 2 is pretty darn good, for a sequel – it gives you a feeling of being immersed in the middle of a nightmare that you thought you had already escaped from.
    Triple, I’m pretty sure that Freddy’s Nightmares and Friday the 13th: The Series were part of some kind of syndication package; the ’80s version of War of the Worlds was in there too at that same time.
    On the truly horrific subject….
    Dear Mysteryperfecta: I’m sorry, but I just refuse to go along with your myopia. Considering that every sane political observer and pundit out there agrees that Guantanamo should be closed, _You_ should be proving to _us_ why it should stay open, not the other way around. Your arguments are narrow and short-sighted. Are re ‘hypocritical’? I’m sorry, but bullshit. Come up with a better argument than ‘I know you are but what am I’ if you want to have a discussion.

  47. LYT says:

    Freddy’s Nightmares creeped me out as a young teen — I’ve got a feeling they’d seem campier to me now.
    And I’ve never actually seen Friday part 4 or part 7. I think it’s a damn shame they did the remake now, though, because if you count Freddy versus Jason as part 11, they only needed one more sequel before getting to the magic number 13.

  48. LexG says:

    Couple more things:
    Anyone who’s a fan of the “Nightmare” series and hasn’t done so should check out “Bad Dreams” from 1988, with Jennifer Rubin, Richard Lynch, and professional Elias Koteas-lookalike Bruce Abbot. It’s kind of like the “Elm St.” entry that time forgot — kind of a ripoff but has aged pretty well, and still packs a decent punch. Plus it used SWEET CHILD O’ MINE over the end credits before it was a radio hit.
    On that tip, this would seem odd coming from me, since then as now I liked hard rock and heavy metal, but back in the day I used to always gripe about how the “Elm St.” movies weren’t scary enough because they were always playing some shitty whammy-bar hair metal music throughout every scene. Like in Jason you get that classic “chi-chi-chi ha ha ha” and Halloween has Carpenter’s inimitable them…
    In Elm St. you get like fucking Dokken and Dramarama, and Freddy’s steppin’ out of the shadows while some wannabe Satriani in Vixxen hair is shredding and doing artificial harmonics.
    Same problem kinda plagues Craven’s “Shocker.” I love Megadeth, but not exactly the soundtrack to “The Shining” or “The Exorcist” to have Peter Berg running from HORACE PINKER while Mustaine is busting out some 1988 licks with some Alice Cooper cover.
    To bring it all full circle, who did that miserable and melancholy “Sweet Child o’ Mine” cover they use in the LAST HOUSE remake trailer? It’s really just dreary and makes the whole trailer unpleasant.
    Too bad they’ll inevitably 86 the RAGTIME KAZOO MUSIC from the FREEWHEELIN’, wacky segments with the killers from the original LHOTL.

  49. mysteryperfecta says:

    “Are re ‘hypocritical’? I’m sorry, but bullshit. Come up with a better argument than ‘I know you are but what am I’ if you want to have a discussion.”
    You alleged a “signifcant worldwide impact” coming from symbolism. I asked to you substantiate the claim. At that point, you put the kibosh the debate, saying that MY mind was made up, that I’M unconvinceable, that the answer is self-evident. I suspect YOU would reject a response from me that amounted to “because I and other people say so, that’s why!” but you expect me to accept it. Hypocrite.

  50. Josh Massey says:

    One of my favorite trivia questions that people tend to get wrong: What is the only “Friday the 13th” movie that does not feature Jason Voorhees?

  51. Stella's Boy says:

    A cool independent theater in Milwaukee called Times Cinema used to show Friday the 13th Part 3 in 3D. They’d show it at midnight about once a year. I saw it three or four times. They rank among the best times I’ve ever had at the movies. Just pure fun. HDNet just showed parts 3-5 and it was fun to watch those entries again. Friday the 13th has always been my favorite slasher series; I have a soft spot for Jason.
    Halloween and A Nightmare on Elm Street (the originals) are great flicks though. I prefer scary Freddy to stand-up comedian Freddy. The Nightmare sequels are increasingly worse, with 4 being the last one that is halfway decent. The Halloween sequels are OK but Lex is right about their randomness. H20 and especially Resurrection are pretty terrible. I have no interest in seeing Zombie’s remake. I read part of the script and it’s just dreadful.
    I saw the My Bloody Valentine 3D remake and had a blast. I have seen the original but only the version that was severely cut. I can’t wait to see the uncut version.
    I wish I was more excited about the Friday the 13th remake/reimagining. But it’s from Platinum Dunes and they have yet to make even a mediocre movie. Those guys are producing some truly shit horror remakes.

  52. Stella's Boy says:

    Part 5.

  53. Stella's Boy says:

    On the other subject here:
    In today

  54. According to a lot of experts, the original Friday the 13th wasn’t cut by the MPAA. (In fact, Mr. Savini told me as much.) Part 4 was the first entry to get hammered by the MPAA. It actaully helped the film, By cutting the gore early on, it allowed the filmmakers to go nuts with Jason-slides-down-the-knife finale.
    No love for the original Prom Night, Terror Train, or Silent Night, Deadly Night? Hell, Stallone’s Cobra employs a lot of slasher-movie tropes.

  55. Stella's Boy says:

    Terror Train is a decent slasher. I saw it a year or two ago on cable. The Fox Movie Channel aired it I think.
    I love the original Black Christmas. It’s my favorite slasher. Incredibly creepy and pretty damn scary. It doesn’t get enough love.
    IFC showed Madman last year. That’s a good slasher. The killer is memorable. The Burning (also shown on IFC) is a great slasher. Savini did some awesome effects on that one. It’s also amusing to see Jason Alexander and Holly Hunter.

  56. mysteryperfecta says:

    “Using closed courts to try suspected terrorists plays the propaganda game in exactly the way our enemies want, and cheapens American justice on the world stage.”
    If Obama is opposed to closed courts, then he can end closed courts. If he thinks enemy combatants are owed legal representation and jury trials, then he can make it so. If an unacceptable level of mistreatment is found to be taking place at GITMO, then increase oversight and punish those who violate a stricter policy.
    But understand that closing GITMO over propaganda pressure is itself an empowering propaganda victory for the jihadists. They’ll always have the fact that we’re in their countries TRYING TO KILL THEM as a compelling recruitment tool, along their religious fanaticism, and whatever else they make up (that a portion of the population here will embrace without hesitation).

  57. mysteryperfecta says:

    “In the interview he said that he is completely certain that American troops have been killed because of Guantanamo (and Abu Ghraib).”
    Its interesting how you phrased this, with Abu Ghraib in parenthesis. I can fathom how the incidents at Abu Ghraib might incite the enemy, but what happened there and at GITMO are night-and-day. You realize that these are the same people who behead journalists, force women to be suicide bombers, drag bodies through the streets, and use women and children as human shields. You believe that what’s happened at GITMO led to a loss of life that would have otherwise been avoided? If four men accuse a woman of infidelity over there, she’s stoned to death. These people are outraged by a lack of habeas corpus?

  58. IOIOIOI says:

    Yes; everyone in captivity at Gitmo are as you described Mystery. Sure they are. Sure they are. Oh yeah; how does it feel knowing that you lost?

  59. CaptainZahn says:

    Have you seen this, mystery?

  60. Stella's Boy says:

    I did not defend people who “behead journalists.” I am telling you what an experienced interrogator who wrote a book called How to Break a Terrorist said. How does stating support for closing Gitmo suddenly become defending people who stone women to death?

  61. christian says:

    Stella, thank you providing the evidence that mystery refuses to acknowledge — of course, in 2003, I bet mystery was certain that Iraq had WMD’s despite all the obvious bogus “evidence.” And I bet that the symbolism of taking out a powerless middle-eastern tyrant was too powerful for him to resist.
    And he voted for Bush twice. So, he has no game.
    As to F13TH, the MPAA most certainly did de-frag part 2 and 3 along with Paramount. This came partially due to dear Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel, who went on a public tear against slasher films, even devoting a whole episode of their show to the attack.
    Sad it before, say it again F13 3-D: saw it opening nite on friday the 13th. greatest horror screening ever.
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME is pretty decent and I was at Tarantino’s fest in Austin when he showed HELL NIGHT, which is a lot of 80’s Linda Blair fun.
    “It’s really just dreary and makes the whole trailer unpleasant.”
    Because LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT is known for its pleasantries!

  62. The last FT13 movie I saw was the toss off sequel that was like, 75 mins long. I remember being suuuuper pissed about it and even noting that Jason ran in extra slo mo while making his kills so they could stretch the run time out. I hate blatant cash cow money grabs of any genre.

  63. Chucky in Jersey says:

    As long as we’re bringing up Guantanamo let’s not forget the many examples of terror, torture and empire that have played your local megaplex.

  64. christian says:

    I’m still dying to see the original final shot in F13TH PART 2 where Mrs. Voorhees decapitated head opens her eyes and smiles — you’re waiting for it to happen but it doesn’t! They cut it!

  65. leahnz says:

    ‘I love the original Black Christmas. It’s my favorite slasher. Incredibly creepy and pretty damn scary. It doesn’t get enough love.’
    holy shit, stella’s boy!!!!!!!!! also my all-time fave slasher, and i’ve never even heard anyone else MENTION it before. i saw ‘black christmas’ at a slumber party when i was 11 (a year or so before carpenters’s ‘halloween’); i remember it so clearly, it was just a few days before i turned 12 and that night lives on in my memory as a pivotal moment in my film-watching life. we’d all sneaked into my friend’s living room after lights out to watch the late, late night fright on tv and it was ‘black christmas’, possibly the most creepy, frightening movie experience of my life (i was only 11 after all). it scared us so badly that after watching it none of us could sleep that night, and i had bad dreams about it for ages afterwards, the ringing phone, that big creepy house, the glass menagerie, the body in the attic with the plastic bag over the head…to this day i still dream about the unicorn in the glass menagerie from time to time, and i’ve only seen the movie once since. olivia hussy, margot kidder, john saxon as the detective…if i had to pick between ‘black christmas’ and carpenter’s ‘halloween’ for best slasher flick ever, i’d have to give the edge to ‘christmas’ base purely on its impact on my young psyche, but only just. ‘black x-mas’ and ‘halloween’ are my ultimate slasher double feature

  66. movieman says:

    Until reading Kim Voynar’s new Oscar piece, I’d completely forgotten that Jan Troell’s “Everlasting Moments” was on the Academy’s original “short lis” for Best Foreign Language Film.
    As disappointing as it was that something as internationally acclaimed (if “difficult”) as “Gomorrah” missed the cut, Troell’s snub is even more surprising. After all, didn’t he used to be something of an Oscar darling back when “The Emigrants” got a Best Film nomination in the year of “The Godfather” and “Cabaret”? (Even Troell’s relatively minor “Flight of the Eagle” was Oscar-nominated in 1982.)
    While hardly an authority on Troell’s ouevre–most of his post-“Zandy’s Bride” movies haven’t played in the US–“Everlasting Moments” is as close to a Troell masterpiece as I’ve seen. And considering his Oscar history–and the sort of film “EM” is: an old-fashioned, meticulously crafted literary adaptation with a period setting–it really is kind of extraordinary that it didn’t at least get nominated…especially when you consider that many of the same folks who voted for “The Emigrants” are probably still active voting members today (isn’t the average age of Oscar voters something like 81?)

  67. mysteryperfecta says:

    “How does stating support for closing Gitmo suddenly become defending people who stone women to death?”
    It doesn’t. You’ve missed the point. I’m merely illustrating the dichotomy of what you consider to be unjust (open-ended detainment) to what the jihadists consider to be just (stoning women to death, forcing people into suicide bombings, using human shields). I’m merely illustrating the dichotomy of what you consider to be mistreatment of captured enemies (sleep deprivation, loud music, duck tape, etc.) to what the jihadists consider to be acceptable treatment of captured enemies (beheading, dragging corpses through the street, etc). IN THAT CONTEXT, I’m expected to believe that what has happened at GITMO has led to our countrymen being killed, who would have not otherwise been killed– that what these jihadists would consider MILD treatment as perpetrators is suddenly outrageous and incitement when perpetrated on them. If you knew anything about their culture, you’d know that they scoff at the treatment you object to (not that you’re wrong to object to it).
    So while I absolutely believe that these jihadists would SAY that they killed someone for that reason, I’m suspicious that this is actually the case. But I respect that interrogator’s opinion. I have heard other interrogators who have said that waterboarding works, and still others who say it doesn’t. It is a difficult issue.
    I’m not denying that mistreatment has happened, that mistakes have been made. I’ve only asserted that those issues might be addressed without shutting down a perfectly suitable facility (which will undoubtedly create new problems). I’ve yet to see anyone argue that closing the facility is anything more than a symbolic act and that logic I am not a fan of.
    Have you noticed that they’re already burning pictures of Obama in effigy? Do you genuinely believe that this symbolic gesture will have any affect on the Middle Eastern streets?

  68. I’ve been averting my eyes to this Gitmo discussion and finally realized why.
    The right-wing/neocon/conservative stance just….doesn’t….matter anymore. Rush, Savage, Hannity, Nicol D and everyone can say whatever they want, and it doesn’t matter. I don’t need to read it or hear it in order to roll my eyes at it and get mad because Obama won, he’s making the changes people want and if the Republicans don’t want to grow up and act like adults rather than petulant kids, they can lose more seats next election.

  69. Aris P says:

    All this Black Xmas talk made me want to rent it — alas Netflix seems to only have the REMAKE.
    Oh, there’s this too:
    Obviously someone talked some sense into him.

  70. EthanG says:

    Any thoughts on Voyage of the Dawn Treader carrying on at Fox?

  71. Stella's Boy says:

    “If you knew anything about their culture, you’d know that they scoff at the treatment you object to (not that you’re wrong to object to it).”
    Wow, condescending much mystery? I am no expert, but I do my best to read what I can when I can. In fact right now I am almost finished reading the superb The Looming Tower, by Lawrence Wright.
    So because terrorists are worse than us, that makes torture OK? Is that what you are arguing? “Well, they kill, so who cares if we employ a little waterboarding?”
    Why do you want Gitmo to remain open? Is it currently a vital tool in the “war on terror?” Are we getting a plethora of useful intelligence from the inmates presently held there? Is there no where else for them to go? Are they all too dangerous for release?
    You might, mystery, but I do not subscribe to the argument that because jihadists do bad things, it makes whatever we do acceptable and excusable. I believe we should hold ourselves to a higher standard than that.

  72. jeffmcm says:

    Thank you, Don. On the nose.
    Mystery, I’m sorry that I’m not in the mood to provide you with evidence for gravity or evolution either, but those are also wastes of my time.
    If I thought you were legitimately interested in being persuaded, I’d have a conversation with you. But since right now, I don’t (and since so many others are doing such a good job of providing you with the info that you’re asking for) then it just becomes a pointless exercise.
    I will say that your entire argument is predicated on “These maniacs don’t care about this token gesture! They’re animals!” which is totally missing the point – the radical Muslims are beyond our efforts to reform them. Closing Guantanamo is intended to be a gesture to _moderates_ and liberals in the Muslim world – the ones who’ve been suspicious of us and our motives from the beginning and whose support we need. George W. Bush’s strategy has been to unify the Muslims, radical and moderate, and divide the U.S. and our allies; Obama’s strategy is to do the opposite.
    Black Christmas is a really strong movie, and I enjoy the trashiness of Silent Night, Deadly Night as well.
    Chucky, you suck.

  73. jeffmcm says:

    Oh, and this just in, Blagojevich is out.

  74. Joe Leydon says:

    Hey, can I get a plug in here for my John Cassavetes piece over at without being accused of boasting? No? OK, never mind.

  75. Monco says:

    As a fellow conservative, mystery don’t engage them. Let them believe whatever they want, you’re never going to change their opinion. Let’s try to keep the discussion to movies where topics don’t get so heated and mean spirited.

  76. jeffmcm says:

    If you guys could come up with a plausible argument (which hasn’t happened yet on this thread) I’d listen to it.
    Symbolic gestures have meaning. Waterboarding is and always has been torture. And soft power in the form of propaganda and prestige are still power.

  77. David Poland says:

    I can’t really express how much I love the duel conversations about Gitmo and slasher films.
    The way it was meant to be.

  78. jeffmcm says:

    I hope you mean that honestly and not cleverly.

  79. leahnz says:

    awww, i think dp was being true blue, jeff, i could almost hear him tearing up.
    closing gitmo is a gesture of good faith, taking the high road, reaching out with an open hand instead of a fist clenched in anger, in hopes that others will do the same (or whatever it was that obama said so eloquently). in any negotiation, a good faith gesture can be a powerful thing.

  80. jeffmcm says:

    I look forward to David’s review of Friday the 13th, since he liked the director’s last horror foray.
    Leah: Agreed, and the point that I want to reiterate, because it’s been so blurred by lazy thinking, is that it’s a good faith gesture to the billion Muslims around the world who are rational and convinceable – not to the small fraction who are medieval nutbags.

  81. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Not to rub it in, but I really do pity those horror fans that didn’t get to experience the horror mania that was the 78-83 period in cinemas, when it seemed 400 or so unspooled. Experiencing them first hand on cable or a full frame VHS is not the way horror memories should be formed. Sneaking into see DAWN in 78 and feeling so nervous that I had an anxiety attack was how it should be done. Or watching Friday 13th screen for the first time on the opening day without knowing a damn thing about it and seeing 600 people go nutso at jasons leap. It’s sad to say but I went to see every horror film released in that period. I even saw junk that lasted only two days and has never appeared on home video since.
    And talking Friday. They all have their charms. yes even Manhattan. But for me Part 4 is the best of the series after the first. And Part 3 is a terrible film but seeing it with the 3D aspect on first run was a real trip. Being on acid helped too.
    And LexG, I won a Bad Dreams radio contest and hung out with Jennifer when it was released. She was so smokin. I still have the shirt from the premiere. Lynch rules.
    Oh man, I could talk horror films 78-83 all day long.
    Gitmo? Not so much.

  82. CaptainZahn says:

    Looks like President Obama is probably going to do more for gay rights than you thought, huh, Blackcloud?

  83. leahnz says:

    ‘Experiencing them first hand on cable or a full frame VHS is not the way horror memories should be formed’.
    normally i’d agree with that wholeheartedly, jbd, as someone who firmly believes the cinema is the way a film should seen (esp. initially) and anything less is a poor substitute, the viewer is meant to be helpless and in awe before that giant screen, but from my personal experience with ‘black xmas’, there is something to be said for time and place. i saw ‘halloween’ in the cinema when i was 12 and it blew me away, but seeing ‘black christmas’ huddled around the tv late at night in my friend’s living room was every bit as powerful an experience, so i think there are exceptions to the big screen rule.

  84. mysteryperfecta says:

    “Wow, condescending much mystery?”
    No, almost never. 🙂 I apologize for the way I worded that sentence.
    “So because terrorists are worse than us, that makes torture OK?”
    Not at all. I even said that you aren’t wrong to object to even the level of mistreatment that is alleged to have happened at GITMO, much less the mistreatment that has been confirmed. My point was that our “mistreatment” is child’s play in the Muslim world. And I’m including the Muslim main street. In that context, I don’t believe that the symbolic gesture we’re discussing will mean anything to them. Their everyday life is trying not to get killed.
    “Why do you want Gitmo to remain open?”
    Because I think its closure is unnecessary. It is specifically set up to provide (substantial) accommodations for its inmates in a remote setting dedicated to this type of inmate.
    I believe that an equally effective message could be sent by Obama by saying, “Look, let me be clear: from today forward, all inmates at Guantanamo will be granted the right to habeas corpus, and will be treated in accordance to the guidelines established by the Army Field Manual. These measures, along with increased oversight, will guarantee that the United States upholds the high standards we strive for.”
    jeff- “Closing Guantanamo is intended to be a gesture to _moderates_ and liberals in the Muslim world – the ones who’ve been suspicious of us and our motives from the beginning and whose support we need.”
    Now was that so hard? 😉 This is where we will have to agree to disagree. We’ve been bringing the moderate Muslims into the fold for a while now– it was a significant game changer that has helped turn the tide in our favor. But until we’re GONE, suspicion will remain, despite any number of symbolic gestures.

  85. LYT says:

    I’m not entirely convinced that the statement from Mickey Rourke’s publicist isn’t also part of the “work.” I guess we’ll have a better idea if WWE mentions it on Monday Night Raw.
    Also, I’m really glad Voyage of the Dawn Treader is a go. It was unfortunate for the Narnia films that the second book (release-wise) was the lamest story. Dawn Treader and Silver Chair are the best, and need to be filmed. They can skip the rest if they have to, but those two must be done.

  86. LYT says:

    K-STEW action figure.
    Too bad it looks nothing like her.

  87. LYT- I think you mean GOOD thing it looks nothing like her.
    And Rourke will do Wrestlemania….trust me. However, it would be very, very wise to shut up about it until AFTER the Oscars since Wrestlemania is like, April 4th. If he can stear clear of lowering himself to the WWE paycheck and can not make out with Evan Rachel Wood in PUBLIC for a month, he should take home the gold.
    Then, back to shitting all over any good will he’s incurred.

  88. christian says:

    BLACK CHRISTMAS is one of the scariest movies ever made and has been beyond ripped off.
    As for VHS, certain films gain their rep through video. Nobody saw BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA in the theater except me and other geeks. But many saw it on tape or dvd.
    EVIL DEAD never played anywhere near me or I might have seen it, but watching it on tape for the first time with my sister is one of my great viewing experiences. We were screaming laughing and cheering all the way up to the perfect end.

  89. jeffmcm says:

    Sorry, Mystery, but the point seemed incrediby obvious to me, so I assumed you had already considered it and rejected it (as indeed you basically have).
    Also, speaking of “The Muslim Main Street”, you said, “Their everyday life is trying not to get killed.”
    I beg to differ. Sure, there’s insane violence right now in Lebanon, Gaza, Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, but North Africa is mostly peaceful, Turkey is working its way towards full democracy, there are stable (if lousy) governments in Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Iran, there are millions of Muslims in democratic India, Indonesia has settled down…
    Kind of a silly generalization to make.

  90. leahnz says:

    oh, i’m positively giddy to find fellow ‘black christmas’ fans! here are some little ‘black’ treats i found if you lovers of fine horror have a few minutes to spare for a walk down memory lane (i’ve gone overboard, i know, i can get a bit obsessive):
    ‘fan trailers’ can be iffy but this one isn’t bad, kind of intense:
    that fucking glass menagerie that haunts my dreams (great scene):
    and the real mccoy trailer from back in the day (takes awhile to get going and the voice-over is rather humorous):

  91. LexG says:

    Did the 2006 remake of “Black Christmas” not make it down to NZ? Don’t get me wrong, was a huge fan of the ’74 Bob Clark film growing up and agree with leah about its awesomeness… just didn’t think it was *that* obscure, esp. since the remake was pretty high profile and the original recently had a pretty decent special edition R1 DVD release, with a Q&A (at the Nuart Theater, I believe) with Saxon and Clark.
    That said, the remake had MICHELLE TRACHTENBERG, so winner = 2006.

  92. LexG says:

    And Lou Y. Caddyshack, I am not entirely surprised, as NO ACTION FIGURE could possibly convey the mind-blowing charisma, charm, intensity, and Female Brando smoldering screen power that is Kristen Stewart, aka The Greatest Person Ever.
    Terror Train is fucking AWESOME and maybe Spottiswoode’s best; Excellent masks and atmosphere, and the John Alcott cinematography and 1980 colors give it just a hint of a “The Shining” vibe. And yeah, David Copperfield is a straight-up douche in any other capacity, but he was taking fucking names in that shit.

  93. leahnz says:

    i didn’t even know there was a ‘black christmas’ remake, lex, though that might be because i had my hands over my ears singing ‘la la la’ so as not to hear about such blasphemy.
    (i don’t think i understand the rest of your comment; i’m sure ‘black christmas’ had a theatrical run back in the olden days of the early 70’s but i was too young to see it then, that’s why i saw it when it came on tv a few years later in ’77. i saw it again on dvd some years back but i don’t own it, i’m working up the courage)

  94. LexG says:

    Totally off topic, but…
    Hey, that new Zellwegger movie looks pretty great, eh? Christ, I think there are cable-access shows in the Valley that have more persuasive ad campaigns. Will that even make a mil opening weekend?
    Given that that’s somehow a Lionsgate movie (WTF????), I guess my only hope is that Jigsaw shows up and puts an end to all the fun and games.

  95. leahnz says:

    is that the one where zellweger’s hair looks like dr. zaius from ‘planet of the apes’? i saw something with her with that ‘do recently, i actually guffawed out loud

  96. jeffmcm says:

    I’m not quite sure what this means myself, but for some reason, possibly sadistic, the idea of watching Zellweger in a snowsuit flopping around on her back in the Minnesota tundra like the brother in A Christmas Story (another Bob Clark movie!) and desperately needing to pee is hilarious to me.

  97. yancyskancy says:

    Joe: The Cassavetes piece is great. So glad you dug that out. And I envy your getting to spend time in his presence.

  98. scooterzz says:

    there’s a great article in the 1/19 issue of the new yorker on lionsgate, tim palin and the marketing of films (specifically the zellwegger movie)…. it’s kind of amazing the thing is being released at all……

  99. frankbooth says:

    Is it time for a Godwin’s-style rule concerning use of the phrase “mistakes were made”?
    Gotta love the good old past exonerative tense.

  100. mysteryperfecta says:

    “Kind of a silly generalization to make.”
    You know what ‘streets’ I was referring to. We’re not talking about winning hearts and minds in north Africa.

  101. christian says:

    I saw the trailer for BLACK CHRISTMAS before the Elliot Gould “comedy” WHIFFS, and it scared the shit out of me. It’s as scary as the movie. Brrr.
    I agree Lex. TERROR TRAIN is cool, more stylized than the other genre films. And Copperfield does own in it. I guess the only 80’s slasher film with an Oscar winning cinematographer?

  102. Joe Leydon says:

    Yancy: Thanks.
    LexG: I have been informed that there actually will be a press screening for the “Friday the 13th” remake. That’s a promising sign… isn’t it?

  103. LexG says:

    That’s awesome but not surprising: Nispel is a great director, the ’03 TCM is a near-masterpiece of tension, ugliness, cinematography, production design, and palpable intensity, and MICHAEL BAY IS GOD and THE MOST BRILLIANT MAN IN HOLLYWOOD.
    And given how well-reviwed My Bloody Valentine was, maybe someone’s finally seeing there’s no sense in hiding a good slasher/horror movie. Sure, a lot of critics are still stuffed shirts and TOTAL PUSSIES ABOUT VIOLENCE BECAUSE THEY’RE GIANT NERDS, but just as many grew up on drive-in stuff and B-movies and recognize a solid entry for what it is.
    Christian made a WHIFFS reference! HA! Never saw it, but seem to always run across it in that Maltin paperback guide. Hope it played on a double-feature with SPYS and HAWMPS.

  104. Stella's Boy says:

    Nispel is a great director? Have you seen Pathfinder? I think the TCM remake is pretty shitty. It’s more Saw and less TCM ’74. Plus, as I said earlier, Platinum Dunes has made nothing but garbage at this point. I really hope the F13 remake is awesome but I am keeping my expectations low.

  105. LexG says:

    TCM ’74 is one of my favorite movies and I’ve seen it dozens of time’s but Nispel’s remake, at least in theaters, had this incredible grainy cinematography and sickly colors (unfortunately the toolbags who did the DVD transfer cleaned up all the intended grain), as well as a great sound design and true sense of just foul unpleasantness. In that regard it was a worthy and intense reworking, if not quite as inspired as Zombie’s “Halloween,” which equals and in some way surpasses its source material.
    And I liked “Pathfinder.” And almost every Platinum Dunes movie has that Bay-informed visual palate and crass sensibility that seems like the real deal, after all the PG-13 J-horror shit aimed at 14-year-old mall girls.
    Plus, despite its “classic” reputation, the 1980 original “Friday” isn’t exactly a work of stunning visual craft, so the idea of revisiting it with modern filmic sensibilities seems less blasphemous than tinkering with a Carpenter or Craven or Hooper classic whose auteurial devices have stood the test of time.

  106. Stella's Boy says:

    It isn’t that the Platinum Dunes remakes don’t look good. They’re just incredibly shitty, soulless movies. They ditch everything that works in the originals and go straight for the teen audience, most of whom don’t give two shits about the originals and haven’t even seen them. They are slick and stupid. I hope the F13 remake is different. I agree that the original isn’t a work of stunning visual craft. I have resigned myself to remakes being a part of the business, so I don’t get all bent out of shape when something I love is remade. I just wish the filmmakers cared a little more about making a halfway decent flick and not merely a quick buck. The Platinum Dunes remakes feel like quick, easy cash-ins to me. I wasn’t all that impressed with the look of TCM 03, or anything else about it for that matter.

  107. christian says:

    WHIFFS was actually scarier than BLACK CHRISTMAS. I still can’t shake those images from my mind.
    But Gould rulez 4eva.

  108. Not David Bordwell says:

    leahnz, LexG, Stella’s Boy, et al:
    Any of you fans of Mario Bava’s giallos, particularly Blood and Black Lace? I haven’t seen Bay of Blood yet, but I understand much of it is ripped off in the original F13. I always thought that the cult status of franchise was largely built on Savini’s gore effects, no?
    leahnz has me totally hot to see this Bob Clark masterpiece, but the participation of John Saxon, the use of garish color, and the gothic setting all suggest that Clark was a Bava afficionado (as does the homage in the title to Black Sabbath and Black Sunday).
    By the way, after seeing the Black Christmas tailer — the “where’s the killer” shot with the dry-cleaning plastic — aren’t we seeing the EXACT SAME GAG in the promos for the F13 remake?

  109. Not David Bordwell says:

    Pardon my crap typing. “Trailer,” not “tailer,” among other things.

  110. christian says:

    I would say Clark is more Bava-esque in CHILDREN SHOULDN’T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS. I think BLOOD AND BLACK LACE is gorgeous but somewhat unpleasant. I found BAY OF BLOOD rather dull though it definitely is a slasher template. Give me DANGER: DIABOLIK or BLACK SUNDAY…
    And I can’t think of another American director who had such a fantastic horror run in the 70’s more than Bob Clark (Romero might be up there). Each film is a genre gem.

  111. LexG says:

    Ever see Clark’s BO SVENSON revenge movie, “Breaking Point”? That seemed to be a local-station fave in the early ’80s, and had some awesome stunt of a car going off a bridge or cliff or something in slow-mo.
    Talk about a weird filmography, from those early horror and B-pics to Porky’s to TRIBUTE to Christmas Story to Rhinestone to From the Hip to… LOOSE CANNONS and Baby Geniuses… yet somehow always seemed like a good guy and even when they were bad, his movies were sffectionately so and didn’t feel like for-hire hackwork, but just the product of a guy who really liked making movies… even if they were often not very good.

  112. jeffmcm says:

    “We’re not talking about winning hearts and minds in north Africa.”
    Well I was. There are 75 million Egyptians right across the border from Israel and Gaza teetering between the Muslim Brotherhood and Mubarak’s government; Libya could potentially become a democracy whenever Qaddafi finally kicks the bucket; Algeria is still recovering from a civil war. Why shouldn’t we be winning these people over?

  113. jeffmcm says:

    I disliked Nispel’s TCM in ’03 (I’m sure people here will remember those discussions) and a big part of that is precisely because it’s so well-shot with high production values and slickness – it’s storebought nihilism. Nispel and Bay aren’t actually trying to make a grim statement on life, they’re trying to make a movie they think is ‘hardcore’ and ‘intense’ and any number of other adjectives and this designer, faux, attitudinal despair is what was for sale that year. It’s phony.
    My favorite Bava film is his Planet of the Vampires, which sounds stupid but has a killer atmosphere of dread.

  114. Stella's Boy says:

    That is exactly how I feel about TCM 03 jeff. Very well-said.
    I hope I don’t lose my horror cred, but I haven’t seen much Bava.

  115. frankbooth says:

    Quick, what’s the link between Black Christmas and Planet of the Vampires? Imagery-wise, I mean.
    Hint: think Twin Peaks.

  116. jeffmcm says:

    Nice connection, Frank.
    Part of me wishes Laura (or Maddie) could do what they do in Planet of the Vampires for revenge.

  117. scooterzz says:

    fwiw — i saw nispel’s friday the 13th this morning…10 kills in the first 45 min, 15 by the end…blood and enhanced boobage….
    lex, i think you’ll like it…..

  118. leahnz says:

    i’ve only seen a few ‘bavas’ (‘black sabbath’ stands out in my mind, the three separate stories with boris karloff as a vampire in one of them), but i think my fave is one i saw quite a few years back now called ‘something dogs’ (drawing a blank on the title but i’m sure it had ‘dogs’ in it, not ‘reservoir dogs’, obviously), a nasty little piece of work about an armoured car heist gone wrong in which the robbers take hostages to go on the run, terrifically dark and sadistic, i really enjoyed it! i’m not a bava aficionado by any stretch but this one seemed quite a departure for bava from his usual horror, more a crime thriller, weirdly.
    (not david b, isn’t ‘planet of the vampires’ the movie you mentioned some time ago as being virtually a shot for shot template for the sequence in ‘alien’ in which they land on lv-426 to investigate the ‘distress’ signal? or am i thinking of something else. i’ve been meaning to see ‘planet of the vampires’ for the decades, there’s a fire under my ass now)
    come on, spill it, frank or jeff, i haven’t seen ‘planet of the vampires’ and i’m dying to know what the link is to ‘black christmas’!

  119. “Experiencing them first hand on cable or a full frame VHS is not the way horror memories should be formed”
    As somebody else said up there I would normally agree that seeing movies in a cinema is the optimal way to view them (at least first time around – but that simply isn’t possible anymore), but much like Leah I have so many fond memories of VHS horror. Getting my mother to rent movies from the horror section of the video store (when they were family owned businesses, too) and watching them throughout the night. Since my mother liked horror movies too – she saw Friday the 13th when she was 7months pregnant with my brother, bless – so that made it easier to convince her. It’s such a vital part of anybody’s growing up (anybody who learns to appreciate horror movies that is). A lot of them aren’t called “video nasties” for nothing. They got their reputation on VHS and so many people’s memories of these films is on VHS (or cable for you guys, but we didn’t have that at the time).
    I hadn’t actually seen the original Texas until soon before the remake. That’s one movie that my mother refused to hire for me because she was terrified of it (i recently sat down to watch it with her and she had to leave, just before the guy gets whacked with the mallet, because she couldn’t hand it).
    I did like the remake though. I thought for a mainstream horror movie that it felt so hopelessly relentless (that’s a good thing) and was quite shocked at finding myself turning to my friend and saying “i’m not sure how much more of this I can watch”. It was so dank and vile and while it may indeed be more gimmicky than the original (more set pieces as opposed to random horror) and the gore is more obvious, I think that’s what it took to actually “remake” it.
    Unlike Rob Zombie’s Halloween which I thought was stupendously boring as a drama in the first half and redundant as a horror flick in the second half. Strangely enough, the best thing about Zombie’s flick was the performance of Sheri Moon Zombie. I really wish she’d venture outside of her husband’s films.
    There was a movie I saw when I was growing up that I can never remember the title of. I searched far and wide but could never get it (maybe it was only an episode of a horror series?) searching every possible description. I remember it was about a man who suspects he is committing a bunch of murders – I think they were in the meatpacking district – and even when he ties himself to something before going to sleep he manages to escape but he can’t remember how. And I think the finale was in a factory or a butcher or something.
    Does that ring any bells?

  120. jeffmcm says:

    Leah, the movie you’re thinking of is Rabid Dogs, which seems to have a bunch of other titles depending.
    I agree that for a lot of us who are more in the video generation, that VHS is a big part of our viewing experience – VHS is where I saw the original Dawn of the Dead, Texas Chainsaw, Halloween, all the real classics. Although it’s also a pleasure to see some movies on the big screen. I never saw Black Christmas until they had it at the New Beverly here in LA a couple of years ago, and it was terrific.
    But watching Friday the 13th on VHS in college, with a bunch of my dorky friends who grew up with well-meaning liberal parents like I had, who had never seen it before, and all of us being AMAZED at the final scare (on the lake) is one of my all-time favorite movie memories.
    Leah – (SPOILERS)
    The way the first girl gets killed in Black Christmas involves a plastic bag. In Planet of the Vampires, a bunch of crewmen get killed (by space vampires, obviously) and then they get buried in plastic space-bags in shallow space-graves – so that, a little later on, they can claw up, out of their graves, and rip themselves free out of the plastic. It’s the movie’s creepiest scene.

  121. leahnz says:

    thanks jeff! ‘rabid dogs’, no wonder i kept thinking of ‘reservoir dogs! i’ll have to scope out that plastic space-bag stuff when i finally see ‘planet’, i’m more determined now than ever.
    watching horror movies on VHS is an institution, man, none of us would be the warped puppies we are without it.
    (i hope someone knows your movie, kam – it sounds vaguely familiar to me but that is probably wishfull thinking and cocktails – i hate it when that happens!)

  122. yancyskancy says:

    Love “Blood and Black Lace,” and this thread reminds me that I need to get back to catching up on Bava. I’ve seen several, including an Egyptian Theatre double feature of the excellent The Girl Who Knew Too Much and his fun Butch Cassidy rip, Roy Colt and Winchester Jack. I’ll also ditto the kudos for Planet of the Vampires. But I’ve got lots to go.
    This is probably a minority opinion, but I think one of the more effective Texas Chainsaw rip-offs is 2003’s Wrong Turn. It was pretty intense in the theatre at least — I though my gf was gonna have a heart attack.
    Lex: Coincidentally enough, Fox Movie Channel is showing Breaking Point on 2/12 at 11:00 p.m. PST. I might have to check that out. Always liked Bo Svenson.

  123. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Everyone has fond memories of watching legendary horror films on home video or TV. If that was the only medium available to you at the time, then sure, it makes sense. I’m jealous of those older dudes who watched the 50s seminal horror films in first run just as they’re jealous of the folks who watched the 30s ones.
    Unfortunately no horror fan is jealous of the generation whose big screen horror experiences started with Nightmare 6 or Friday 8.
    And yancy, I think WRONG TURN is an underrated throwback with outstanding sequences in it. Then again I also think JEEPERS CREEPERS 2 is one of the best horror films in the past decade.
    People claimed that Friday 2’s bed spear death was a nod to Bava’s Twitch of the Death Nerve.
    Speaking of Svenson, Run don’t walk to rent NIGHT WARNING, a hysterical homophobic slasher created by Beach party king Asher with a drunk Svenson and an insane Susu Tyrell fighting over lil Jimmy McNicol’s sexuality. Don’t miss the Jan DeBont directed car crash at beginning either. Unforgettable

  124. CaptainZahn says:

    I’d actually say that Night Warning is fairly gay positive, especially for the time. The homophobic characters in the movie aren’t exactly shown in the most positive light.

  125. LexG says:

    Let me put in a late nod to NEW YEAR’S EVIL, which is complete 1981 CANNON FILMS OWNAGE– Haven’t seen it in a while but has that great connect-the-dots filmmaking you’d expect from a Cannon, and as holiday-themed slashers go, I’d rate it more highly than the way overrated 1981 My Bloody Valentine (the remake handily trumps the strange, boring original, which plays like THE DEER HUNTER in its depiction of factory-worker life, only with an occasional mine-worker slaying.)
    Anyone remember NIGHT SCHOOL? A young Rachel Ward is in it, and I believe it has a surprising-for-its time lesbian sequence between two coeds… and the killer wore… I’m thinking a motorcycle helmet?
    Anyone have any insight into PIECES? That was considered shocking or controversal in its day; I’ve never seen it, but supposedly it’s fucking HILARIOUSLY bad.

  126. christian says:

    PIECES is almost unwatchable where it not so almost intentionally terrible and somewhat funny…

  127. leahnz says:

    just wanted to say i’m a fellow ‘wrong turn’ fan, i thought i was the only one. deliciously icky.
    and since jbd mentioned ‘jeepers creepers II’, i’ll add that i love the first ‘jeepers creepers’, mostly for the entirely believable brother/sister chemistry between gina philips and justin long – one of the few movies ever made where the stars actually look very much alike and could easily be siblings – plus i like its simplicity and pacing, esp. compared to many others of its ilk (i was rooting for them to survive! an unforgettable final shot, too)

  128. LexG says:

    Christian, some genius put Pieces online; I’m 40 minutes in and ROLLING; Can’t believe this movie came out in *1983* (at least in the states.) The first three Halloweens are on cable every 10 minutes and look like 1996, 200, and 2002 movies, respectively, in terms of color timing and cinematography. “Pieces” looks more dated than Birth of a Nation.
    “Wrong Turn” is awesome. Eliza D. + EMMANUELLE CHRIQUI = HOT.

  129. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Night Warning gay positive? It seemed to relish its hateful characters just a wee bit too much. Svenson apparently can’t remember making the film at all.
    Leah. I like the first JC too but the second one is incredibly well directed but has some lingering shots that revealing the directors extra curricular proclivities.
    PIECES is highly entertaining trash, that features an incoherent plot along with abysmal ‘take the money and run’ performances. JP Simon the maniac behind it, also managed to repeat that films sense of delirium with SLUGS. LexG, wait til you heard “bastard… BASTARD… BAAARRRRRRSTAAAADDDDDDDD !

  130. CaptainZahn says:

    I don’t think it relishes its hateful characters so much as Svenson and Tyrrell are just spectacular character actors who can’t help but be fascinating.

  131. leahnz says:

    ‘Leah. I like the first JC too but the second one is incredibly well directed but has some lingering shots that revealing the directors extra curricular proclivities.’
    ah. yes, i remember something about that when ‘powder’ came out (i’m a huge sap for ‘powder’, it makes me bawl like a baby, interesting flick), wasn’t salva convicted of making kiddie porn or something like that? i don’t know how i feel about that; on one hand my little shoulder angel says, ‘everyone deserves a second chance to redeem themselves’ while my shoulder devil pokes me with a pitchfork screaming, ‘fry the pedophile freak!’.

  132. CaptainZahn says:

    I remember Night School. I think it contains the only real nude scene that Ward has done.
    What about Eyes of a Stranger with Jennifer Jason Leigh in Wait Until Dark mode, Lex?

  133. Stella's Boy says:

    I like JC, but I hate JC2. I only saw it once, on opening night, but I remember no scares, hardly any deaths and the numerous shots of the guys pissing on the side of the road, etc. I was bored silly and a little weirded out. And I actually think Wrong Turn 2 is vastly superior to the first one, which is pretty derivative and nothing memorable.

  134. jeffmcm says:

    Jeepers Creepers 2 is a quite good movie – claustrophobic and intense and not even all that gory (in my recollection).
    Yes, both JC movies feature their share of lingering shots of the male anatomy, but so do most of the last several Gus Van Sant movies, and anything from the last fifteen years directed by David DeCoteau (Test Tube Teens from the Year 2000, The Brotherhood, Leeches!). While what Salva did was terrible and unforgivable, in cinematic terms what he’s doing isn’t any different from what any hetero male director has been doing forever – indulging themselves with eye candy. It all balances out.
    Pieces is a garbage film, but the best kind of garbage – unapologetic and ludicrous. Thumbs up, especially for the “BAAAAAASTAAARRDS!” scene.

  135. Stella's Boy says:

    Maybe I’ll have to watch it again. I certainly don’t recall any intensity whatsoever in JC2. Just lots of bad acting and boredom. I think knowing what Salva had done made watching the lingering shots a little different from watching them in a Van Sant or DeCoteau movie.

  136. jeffmcm says:

    Well yeah, there’s a different context.
    Do you watch Repulsion or Rosemary’s Baby differently knowing what Polanski did, though?

  137. Stella's Boy says:

    Sure. When I watch those movies it crosses my mind.

  138. jeffmcm says:

    As well it might, although I tend to think more of the Mansons when watching Rosemary’s than the other thing.
    But do you have a comparable reaction?

  139. Stella's Boy says:

    I have never given this so much thought before. I think one major difference is that I wasn’t born when Polanski committed his crime, nor did I see those movies you mentioned in theaters. I saw JC2 in theaters and Salva was making news for his imprisonment. But when I see Rosemary’s Baby (most recently a few months ago), yes, I do of course recall Polanski’s crime. I’m not sure why this is so interesting.

  140. jeffmcm says:

    I’m all about dropping the heavy subject matter at absurd hours in the a.m. Aren’t you married or something, Stella’s Boy? Shouldn’t you know better than this?

  141. Stella's Boy says:

    Ha. I am and I should jeff. You got to me before I had sufficient amounts of my morning coffee. My brain is working better now.

  142. yancyskancy says:

    Cool, glad I’m not alone on Wrong Turn. Now I guess I have to check out the sequel. Never occurred to me that it might be better.

  143. christian says:

    EYES OF A STRANGER is a particularly sleazy little film.

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon