Friday, November 1, 2019

FoodnFlix 2019 RoundUp

Spudguns!, it's time to see what my ghoulfiends dug up for our kooky spooky October FoodnFlix selection. This month we watched The Addams Family and Addams Family Values.

First up is a deadly delicious looking offering from Camilla, of Culinary Adventures with Camilla.  She brought to the table "Creepy Crawlers and other Ghoulish Gobbles."  The main of which was a plate of Squid and Peanut Dipping Sauce. Inspired by a few scenes of Grandma Addams's cooking.
Next up was actually myself, with my offerings of Wednesday's Lemon and Poppy Seed Ghoul Guides, and Uncle Fester's Poisoned Pineapple Punch. I was inspire by the lemonade scene in the first movie, and more than a few scenes from the second movie.
From there we went to Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm, for her Monster Brains and Witches Brew.Who was inspired by her love of her family's own spooky Hallowe'en dishes.


Then we have Amy from Amy's Cooking Adventures, with her Addams Family Pancakes. Her inspiration came from not just Wednesday Addams in Addams Family Values, but also the fact the new animated movie is trending on breakfast menus everywhere.

Then from Heather at All Roads Lead to the Kitchen, we have her Fester's 3 Week Anniversary Meatloaf   She took her inspiration from a scene in Addams Family Values, where Uncle Fester is cooking dinner for his new bride.

And then to Debra from Eliot Eats with her Frog Eye Salad.   She was inspired by the vintage feeling of  the 1990's, and a scene in Addams Family, where Grandma tells Fester to "start with the eyes" when serving him a meal.

This was a fun table this month. Don't forget to join Heather from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen for November. Her selection is the movie What's Cooking? (2000)

Thursday, October 31, 2019

13 Days of Hallowe'en 2019 Day 13

Day 13

SPOILER ALERT

movie: Zombieland 2 Double Tap
starring: Woody Harrelson, Roseario Dawson,
genre: Comedy,
year; 2019
format: Cinema

plot: Its been ten years since the zombie outbreak and they have evolved to smarter, faster and harder to destroy. Little Rock has decided that she wants to find other survivors closer to her own age and runs away from the rest of the group. This sends Wichita into a panic, and forces Columbus and Tallahassee to follow. Along the way, Little Rock meets Berkeley, who talks her into joining him at a love in commune where the only rule is no weapons. Too bad for them, the new zombie terminators follow them.

Well, I liked it. It was half the gore of the first one, and twice the relationship issues. The comedy came more in the form of how the characters seemed to be smarter than everyone else. The idea that the family dynamic gets disrupted by simply growing up and not by any outside forces, lends it to a family drama more than anything else. I think it could have explored that a lot deeper, but instead, once again the characters end up isolated by choice.  Where as the first film was about learning to trust the outside world; this was more about accepting things change.

What I found interesting from both movies, is that both films deal with the illusion of hope. In the first film, we see Little Rock still young with a hopeful innocence about a fair ground being a safe place, where as in part two we see Tallahassee in the same light as he finds out Graceland has been zombied. There is just this great sense of full circle and sort of this message that no matter how old you are or how tough you think you are, everyone has a bit of innocence they are holding on to. Even in the worst of times, there is always that glimmer of hope.

One thing I wasnt super crazy about was the whole idea of each character having a double. I know, that was a big chunk of the gimmick for the movie, but it just feel flat for me in the end. It happens midway in the film, and is over too soon. I would have expected that gag to have followed through to the end.

I am going to bury this one here in the graveyard. Happy Hallowe'en.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

13 Days of Hallowe'en 2019 Day 12

Day 12

movie: Friend Request
starring: Alycia Debnam-Carey, Brooke Markham
genre: Horror,
year: 2016
format: Netflix Canada

plot: After accepting a friends request on facebook, Laura, the most popular girl on campus becomes the latest obsession of the school's outcast Mia. Things quickly become stressed as Laura finds herself stalked by Mia and unfriends her profile, who then commits suicide live on camera. Before long, Laura's friends begin to die one by one in horrific ways.

I thought I was getting just another creepy stalker film, but it ended up becoming a ghost story. So bonus. I have to admit too, that this one made me jump a few times. Yes, there are a lot of old fashioned jump scares in it, and they work.

You've got a few things going on here. The obvious, which is the whole cyber stalking/bullying issue, and the psychological effects/side effects of how jacked-in society has become. When you strip away the paranormal elements of the story, you are left with just as scary a one. The fact that from a day to day stand point, social media allows people to get personal without getting too close, is scary all on it's own. Add to that the growing number of people with anxiety issues who find it easier to live "online" than it is in reality; and you've got the perfect cocktail to build upon.  And build upon it does.

If you remove the reality based story and simply go with the paranormal elements; then you've got a really great ghost story that has some cliched ideas that come across as fresh and new. The orphan who's family died in a mysterious fire, the occult, and a haunting.

Jealousy is used as a weapon in this. From Laura's boyfriend who feels insecure towards her best male friend, to the actual idea that one media profile is something to covet.

I am going to bury this one here in the graveyard. I'll be back tomorrow with one last treat for your Hallowe'en displeasure.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

13 Days of Hallowe'en 2019 Day 11

Day 11

movie: Wishmaster 2 Evil Never Dies
starring: Andrew Divoff, Holly Fields
genre: Horror, Comedy
year: 1999
format: TV Edit

plot: When an art thief accidentally releases a centuries old djinn, she finds herself in the middle of a prophecy trying to return him to his prison.

This is a made for tv/straight to video sequel.

This is suppose to be a horror film, but like so many movies that were released between 1997 and 2012, it plays more like a comedy. The moments it hits the horror is sadly with too much of the gore factor and not really what I consider horror. The story itself is pretty much been done to death and I actually found myself cheering on the djinn played by Divoff.

Honestly, the idea is there, I just felt it was lost under the typical religion vs the world thing that horror films have fallen prey to so often.

Divoff is about the only bright spot in this. He plays the villain as the straight man in what feels like a bad comedy duo. The fact the djinn begins paling around with a Russian mobster begins to make the audience believe he's softened, as the movie begins to dip into buddy comedy territory. Which, plays better than the rest of the plot of bringing on the end of days.

I'm going to bury this here in the graveyard. I'll be back tomorrow with another treat for your Hallowe'en displeasure.

Monday, October 28, 2019

13 Days of Hallowe'en 2019 Day 10

Day 10

movie: Sheep Skin
starring: Michael Schantz, Laurence Mullaney
genre: Crime, Thriller
year: 2013
format: TV Edit

plot: After his sister is killed, a drug addict and his friends kidnap the ex-boyfriend, believing he's a werewolf.

Not really a horror film, not really a thriller either, but a decent drama. Except for the first five minutes, everything happens within one room, and the character's paranoia pits everyone against each other. I think that's what brilliant about this story. It plays on the claustrophobia and mistrust created by the fear and prejudice the main characters already have. You've got a great metaphor happening for 90% of this film, the other 10% is ...well a werewolf movie.

The pay off in the last 2 minutes, you can see coming a mile away, but it works. I found myself smirking and nodding to the last scene as the screen went black. It takes a long time to get to the point, but the rest of the movie is actually good. You don't mind how long it takes to get to it.

And yes, there is a werewolf transformation, even though it ends up more of a man in a gorilla suite which makes you laugh out loud. I don't know if the intention was just to straight up do a werewolf movie, or if the intention was more to explore the metaphor of fear? I felt it did one better than the other. Through most of the movie you are watching the lead character lose his mind more and more as he's trying to prove he's right and coming up empty. The fact that midway the character is caught taking a handful of pills, causing his credibility to be questioned helps to put more doubt in the viewer's mind.

As a movie about fear and paranoia, this is pretty decent.

Okay, I'm going to bury this here in the graveyard. I'll be back tomorrow with another treat for your Hallowe'en displeasure.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

13 Days of Hallowe'en 2019 Day 9

Day 9

movie:  Plan 9
starring: Brian Krause, Mr. Lobo
genre: Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi
year:2014/2015
format: TV Edit

plot: After a meteorite strikes the earth, a small town is overrun by zombies, with only a handful of survivors making it through the night.

This is a remake of the 1959 cult-classic Plan 9 From Outer Space.  I have to say, this was really good given it's an independent remake of one of the most famous movies known to man. This version of the story is 50% Plan 9 From Outer Space, 50% every other zombie movie you've seen in the last 50 years. I kept thinking about Return of the Living Dead while watching this. I found this version of the story to be more complete, smarter and also easier to follow.  Besides the baseline story of Plan 9, you get a few little nods through out, like seeing a model spaceship and graveyard that our lead scientist is for some reason playing with.  They even managed to get Conrad Brooks, who at the time was the last living actor from the original Plan 9 movie.

Where it sort of leaves Plan 9 and becomes it's own movie, is with the science behind the story, as well as the wonder twins of doom...er the aliens. By giving them a more fleshed out...no pun intended...back story you get where this version is able to stand on it's own.  And can I say, I'll forever think of this movie whenever I see baby food or apricot jam again.

Where as, I've always considered the original Plan 9 to be more a vampire movie than zombie mostly because of the way it was shot, you know this is straight up zombie gore. There's no hiding the intention of the film makers here.  I've had to sit through enough zombie genre films in the last few years to know this one is worth checking into. And if you've followed me much at all over the years, you know the zombie genre is still one I'm only lukewarm towards.

I'm going to bury this one here in the graveyard. I'll be back tomorrow with another treat for your Hallowe'en displeasure.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

13 Days of Hallowe'en 2019 Day 8

Day 8

movie: Holiday Hell
starring: Jeffery Combs, Joel Murray
genre: Comedy, Horror
year: 2019
format: TV Edit (Tubi)

plot: 4 short stories about cursed objects/murder weapons told in an occult shop.

This is done in the same vein as Tales From the Crypt, Are You Afraid of The Dark, RL Stine etc. And I have to say, this was the best thing I've seen so far this week for my Hallowe'en week. I mean, you've got a drunk paranoid husband who slaughters everyone at x-mas, a deranged teenaged serial killer, a golem and a coven of angry witches. And Jeffery Combs. Everything is better when Jeffery Combs is in it!

The movie starts off with Combs's character about to close his shop for the long weekend, when a customer comes in, and quickly the set up for the first story is given. It centers around a broken mask that had belonged to the teenager who wanted revenge on her classmates. The second story is about a wooden doll that was brought to life by a little boy. The third centers around a santa suit that had been worn the night a jealous husband killed his rivals. And the final story about a fertility cult who raise the dead. That last one also ties up the ending of the film by interacting with the Combs's character.

I thought this movie was well thought out and the creep factor is there without getting too gory;
although, I felt the first segment is the weakest link. Given the amount of time each piece had, this one takes way too long to set it's pace and actually dive into it's story.   The third segment was the most realistic, therefore I remembered the most. An executive who gets his hands on an experimental drug blacks out and goes on a killing spree. Dude, that's down right nerve racking because it could happen.

I'm going to bury this one here...in the front yard near the pumpkin patch. I'll be back tomorrow with another treat for your Hallowe'en displeasure.