Friday, December 29, 2017

My Top 10 Horror Films of 2017

Here it is, my awesome list of the top 10 horror films of the year. Where I rank all the horror movies I've watched over the year and attempt to rank them in a list for you to enjoy.

That being said, here is my list...

10. Jigsaw (AKA Saw VIII)

I am a huge fan of the Saw franchise, and ever since the ending of Saw VII (The Final Chapter) I’ve been chomping at the bit for another movie in the series. Well, after seven long years we finally have a sequel with Jigsaw. This entry didn’t really wow me like the others in the series did the first time I viewed them, but it was still fun to watch and to be in that universe again. The ending was a little lacking compared to the previews entries. Here’s hoping to another sequel with perhaps some returning faces.

9. Life

Life may be like the movie Alien in the sense that they are both sci-fi horror that take place in space where people discover some type of new life form, then all hell breaks loose. However, the execution of those plot elements and how everything all plays out is what makes them so different from one another. I really enjoyed Life, and found it to be a creepy, messed up movie. Although I kind of saw the ending coming, I give the filmmakers credit for doing an ending that isn’t typical. (Trying to be as vague as possible here to avoid spoiler territory.)

8. Annabelle: Creation

The thing I find funny about Annabelle: Creation is that it’s a similar situation to the Ouija movies. The first Ouija movie and the first Annabelle I did not like whatsoever. However, the second film, Ouija: Origin of Evil and Annabelle: Creation are awesome horror movies. What’s even more funny is that Origin of Evil and Creation are both prequels. Oh, and they both star Lulu Wilson. I don’t know, I just find that interesting. Annabelle: Creation, as you could guess, explorers the creation of the Annabelle doll and how things came to be. Creation has a much spookier vibe that I felt the first Annabelle was lacking.

7. Get Out

This movie had a lot of hype surrounding it by the time I got to sit down and watch it. However, I ended up just enjoying the movie, instead of loving it like everyone else seemed to be. I must say that I praise it for it’s originality. It does have some clever twists and turns in it that will keep you guessing. I am usually pretty good at guessing what is going to happen in movies, but this is one of those movies you could never guess how things will ultimately play out.

6. The Babysitter

Some might not consider The Babysitter a horror movie because it features comedy, but so did Shaun of the Dead and I consider that a horror movie. Horror isn’t defined by one thing, but a movie where a boy discovers that his babysitter is part of a cult, wants to perform a satanic ritual with human sacrifice in his home, and wants to kill him as well, sounds like a horror movie to me. The Babysitter is completely bat-shit crazy, and hilarious. You will never guess what is going to happen next. The only negative thing that I can say about The Babysitter is that it’s a Netflix original movie and I can’t buy it on blu-ray.

5. Gerald's Game

Gerald’s Game is a weird movie, but I like weird, so that’s a compliment coming from me. Based on a novel by Stephen King, and directed by Mike Flannagan. (who has made some great horror movies like Hush, which made my 2016 list.) With such a simple premise of a woman stuck tied to a bed, Gerald’s Game does a great job at keeping things fresh and thrilling. As with The Babysitter, Gerald’s Game is a Netflix original movie therefore I cannot buy it on blu-ray. Keep up the great work Netflix, but could you please start releasing things on blu-ray. (I’m still waiting on Hush.)

4. The Blackcoat’s Daughter

I’m not usually a fan of slow-burn horror movies, but I guess some surprise me from time to time. The Blackcoat’s Daughter is one of those movies. The premise of the movie is simple, but the films story unravels with such tension and mystery that it keeps you firmly engaged, even if it is moving along slowly. The definition that a great story is key. I found myself drawn into it, wanting to know what the hell was going on, and just how the story was going to wrap up. To me, it didn’t disappoint, a slow-burn done right.

3. The Poughkeepsie Tapes

I know The Poughkeepsie Tapes was technically released in 2007. However, it was only released at a film festival, which meant not everyone could go and see it. The movie was supposed to have a theatrical release in February of 2008, but it was pulled for unknown reasons. Now in 2017, the film has finally been released to the masses, thanks to the heroes over at Scream Factory. I got to see this movie awhile back and absolutely loved it, but since it was never officially released I never added it to any of my top 10 lists. I always told myself that the year it was finally released would be the year it would make the top 10. Since this year is that year, I now consider The Poughkeepsie Tapes a 2017 film for the sake of this list. Anyway, this movie is completely messed up and downright disgusting. The documentary style really adds to the unsettling nature as it feels like what you are watching actually happened. To me, this is possibly one the best found footage movies ever made.

2. The Devil’s Candy

A movie about a crazy serial killer, demonic-esque possession, with heavy metal music as the soundtrack? Where do I sign up? The Devil’s Candy is a great, twisted horror movie. It takes the cliché of a family moving into a new home only to have weird things begin to happen to them and flips it on its head. Without spoiling anything, the way the serial killer was depicted in the film gives the movie some genuinely disturbing scenes. Also, the use of the metal music in the soundtrack adds credence to the film. The songs aren’t just thrown into the movie to be edgy or cool; yeah, it’s cool, but the songs serve a purpose and is almost an extension of the movies characters.

1. IT

I must be honest, when I first heard they were making a movie based on Stephen King’s IT, a remake of the 1990 mini-series, I wasn’t excited in the slightest. Also, when I first saw the official photo of the new Pennywise, it did nothing for me. However, I still went and saw it, because the previews had something about them that I couldn’t explain. They drew me to it and gave me this feeling that it might be good after all. I guess my subconscious was right, because it was. Pennywise looks goofy if you look at him out of the context of the film, which I guess makes sense, because he is a clown after all; but within the movie he is one creepy son of a bitch. He definitely steals every scene he is in, like how the Joker did in The Dark Knight. I really went into this movie with my expectations low and left loving the hell out of it. There were a few great horror movies this year, but none of them really wowed me like IT did when I left the theater.

Honorable Mentions: 47 Meters Down, The Void

So there it is, my Top 10 Horror Films of 2017. If you haven’t seen or even heard of any of these films, then I suggest you really look into them. If you’re into horror, then you should at least give them a rent.

Disclaimer: I would like to add that although I watch a lot of horror films and I try to see everything, I didn’t get to see every single horror film that was released this year. This is not my job; it’s just a hobby of mine. So if you don't see something great on this list, it’s most likely because I did not get to see it... yet. Also, this list is my opinion and my opinion only. If you do not agree with it, then that is okay. Feel free to post your top 10 in the comments, but please, let's not start a war over this. It is just a list.

Check out last years list, Top 10 Horror Films of 2016.

Check out the rest of my lists on my page A List of Lists.

Friday, October 13, 2017

My Top 5 Favorite Jasons in Friday the 13th

I know I haven’t posted in awhile, but how could I not post something on a Friday the 13th?

Jason Voorhees has always been my favorite among the killers and slashers throughout the history of horror cinema. As of this writing, there have been seven actors and countless stunt performers to portray the role of Jason Voorhees. Eight if you count A New Beginning, but that was an imposter.

Ever since I ranked the Friday the 13th movies from worst to best (should have been Best to Best), I wanted to make some kind of list about the Jason character. That being said, I thought I’d make a list of my favorite appearances of Jason.

There are eleven possible candidates for this list. Jason from parts 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, JGTH, X, X-Uber, FvJ, and the Remake. I am not counting Part 5 as it was Roy Burns. (I know you can say that Jason was technically in the movie as an hallucination, but I am not counting that.)

Here are my top 5 favorites...

5. Jason from Friday the 13th Part 3 (in 3D!) played by Richard Brooker.

R.I.P. Richard Brooker

Jason from Part 3 was such a step up from the Jason in Part 2. He became more cold blooded, and menacing, both in nature and visual presence. Jason in Part 3 displays an almost, “I don’t give shit anymore,” attitude; perhaps as a result of being wounded and embarrassed by Ginny at the end of Part 2.

Of course there are sequences in the film where he runs around, genuinely wanting to catch his next victim, but unlike the Jason featured in Part 2, there are scenes where he looks like he just does not care. Like how he walks away after killing Vera with the harpoon gun, as if nothing even happened. To add to that, Jason lurks around unmasked in this movie for quite a while, as if concealing his face isn’t a concern anymore either. Remember, the Jason in Part 2 ran from the police officer. If a scene like that had happened to the Jason portrayed in Part 3, I bet he would have ran toward any cop in front of him and killed them without hesitation, then would have walked away like it was nothing.

And how could I mention Part 3 Jason without saying that this was the first time he put on the hockey mask? Something which would go on to become an iconic aspect of the character. Like a match made in Heaven, er, Hell.

4. Jason from Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives played by C.J. Graham.

Jason Lives is arguably one of the best sequels in the franchise. This portrayal of Jason Voorhees is the version I remember watching the most of as a child. I have probably watched Jason Lives more than any other movie in the series. Therefore, when I think of Jason, his look in Jason Lives is one of the ones that pops in my head first.

The opening scene of Jason Lives is also one of my favorites. Usually Jason’s face isn’t revealed until near the end of the movie, but in Jason Lives, his bare face is on full display right at the beginning. It’s always a cool treat to see Jason’s face, something the more recent films have seemed to ignore, but I love seeing Jason battling Tommy and Hawes with his rotting, maggot and worm covered mug showing. (Maggothead!)

This opening starts the movie just right. Not only did it bring Jason back from the dead, but it showed the audience that the real Jason was back, and possibly stronger, angrier, and badder than ever before. C.J. Graham captured that intensity perfectly in his performance as Jason. With the addition of a utility belt of sorts on the costume, Jason appeared much more tactical than previous versions.

3. Jason from Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood played by Kane Hodder.

I’m not sure the reasoning why any previous actors in the series didn’t come back to portray Jason more than once, but that all changed when Kane Hodder put on the hockey mask. Kane ended up playing Jason in four films; Parts 7, 8, 9 and X. (He played Jason again in the 2017 Friday the 13th video game, providing the mocap for all the Jason’s in the game.)

Out of all the movies Kane Hodder played Jason, his New Blood Jason is my favorite. Although I really love the look of Jason in all the films in one way or another, the costume and makeup for Jason in The New Blood looks so damn cool. Especially Jason’s face, once it’s revealed. The amount of work, thought, and care that went into the details of that costume is something still mesmerizing to this day. I mean, just look at it. I always smile from ear to ear when Jason stands up out of the water towards the beginning of the film and his spine is showing through the back of his clothes.

Then there is the kills. Jason is a damn killing machine in The New Blood. I mean, he’s a killing machine in every movie, but in this movie he really goes all out. Even using new weaponry in his arsenal. (Like some gas powered tree limb cutter thing?) It’s just a shame that the MPAA forced them to cut back most of the kills to achieve an R rating. I know it’s probably impossible at this point, but I always wished there was a way to restore the cut footage and produce a proper Director’s Cut version of The New Blood. (Maybe one day.)

2. Jason from Friday the 13th (2009) played by Derek Mears.

Say what you want about the 2009 remake/reboot of Friday the 13th, but can we all agree that the portrayal of Jason by Derek Mears is one of the best in the franchise? I know that’s a bold statement, but every Jason fan I’ve talked to has never said one bad thing about Jason in the reboot.

After the Frankenstein-like Jason we saw in Freddy vs. Jason, it was nice to see Jason’s quick ferocious power once again. (Don’t get me wrong, I loved Freddy vs. Jason. I just thought Jason could have been played better.) A lot of people hated the fact that Jason ran in the remake, but as a lifelong fan of the franchise and the character, this did not bother me. (Jason did run, be it brief, in Parts 2 and 3.)

The new hockey mask is beautiful, and the new sackhead version of Jason in the beginning of the movie was pulled off brilliantly. It was actually chilling to see him like that once again. Dare I say, scary? The remake has its flaws, but when it comes to Jason, there are none.

1. Jason from Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter played by Ted White.

Jason Voorhees in The Final Chapter is my favorite Jason of them all, and perhaps the best Jason ever to appear on screen. Ted White, the man behind the mask in the fourth installment of the franchise, took what Richard Brooker started in Part 3 and amped it up tremendously. That, “I don’t give shit anymore,” attitude that I mentioned above seemed to be cranked to eleven.

Jason genuinely seems pissed off throughout the entire movie. Some key scenes that I feel demonstrate this are his kills in the morgue, his chase scene with Trish, and when he grabs Tommy through the window. Then, most of all, the scene where Jason bursts through the door near the end (my favorite shot in the movie). Broken wood pieces fly everywhere as he slams through the door. Then, without missing a beat, he throws a hammer at Trish. Although he misses her, the hammer sticks into the wall just inches from her head.

Jason Voorhees was such a badass in The Final Chapter that even when they attempted to kill the character off for good, hence The Final Chapter subtitle, it didn’t work.


Well there is my list. I hope you enjoyed it. In conclusion, Jason Voorhees is and always will be my favorite horror movie character. I love each movies portrayal of him in some way or another. The ones on this list are just my favorites. Here is hoping we see Jason again real soon up on that big screen.

Feel free to leave a comment with your favorites Jasons.

P.S. Making these Jason collages for this post was a lot of fun!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Book Update #4 - Thirteen It Is

"The Woods" by ThreeIfByBike is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

In my last update, I toyed with the idea of upping the story count of my book, which is a collection of short stories, from ten stories to thirteen. Well, I decided to go with thirteen. Mainly because it’s my book and I can do whatever I want; but also because, like I said before, thirteen is my favorite number. The Friday the 13th movie series might have played a part in that, but I don’t see anything wrong with it, wink wink.

As of late, my brain has overflowed with ideas. The most I have ever had before in my life. I’ve always had a creative mind, coming up with movie ideas and stories, but lately I feel it has ramped up. Maybe it’s because I have been eating healthier? I don’t know. Whatever it is, knock on wood that my brain keeps it up.

That being said, I would really like to write a few more stories, get them all down on paper (or on my computer), before I head into the editing process of the book.

I know I have been talking and giving updates about this book for what seems like an eternity, but things take time. I could have probably released this book last year, if I had rushed it, but I don’t like to rush things. “It’s done when it’s done,” is a quote that keeps coming to my mind, and is something I keep telling myself.

Since my last update, I’ve completed writing another two stories, which brings my total now to eleven. One of the stories I just completed was actually a story I started writing years ago, but could never really figure it out. An idea hit me recently, (that overflowing I mentioned) and the story seemed to finally have that missing piece I always felt it needed.

This book might be taking time, but this beast will get finished. I created a roadmap of sorts, with key dates as small deadlines that will help me stay on track for that goal.

I have a plan, and my motivation is just a strong as it was when I typed the first word.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Terrortory DVD and Terrortory 2!

If you follow me on Twitter and Facebook (which you should), then you would have seen the news about the DVD release of Terrortory last week.

Isn't she a beauty?

You can purchase Terrortory straight from the source or alternatively through Amazon. If you haven’t had the chance to see Terrortory yet (what are you waiting for?) and are hesitant to pick up the DVD, you can still check it out pretty cheaply on Amazon Video.

Also, Terrortory 2 is happening!

I am set to reprise my role as the crazy pumpkin head killer, Smiling Jack. I held onto the costume after we had wrapped on the first movie, everything minus the head. The director hung on to that. A few months back, I pulled out the costume, which I had kept inside a cardboard box, and hiked back into the woods once more for a photoshoot. This is the result of that shoot...

I am really looking forward to playing this role again. Smiling Jack, although wacky looking with his big pumpkin head, is 100% pure badass. You really shouldn’t go into his area of the Terrortory, but people still do. I have read the script for my part and heard a lot of ideas from director Kevin Kangas about the rest of the movie. I'm not spilling anything, but from what I've heard, it sounds like it's really going to be one hell of a sequel. I can't wait!

I will keep this site posted on future news, obviously.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

2017 is Rolling Along

"Long and Icy Road" by Stark is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Wow, it’s February already?

I am still chugging away on my book. I have only one more story to complete before the book will ready for full blown editing mode. Some of the stories I have I think are pretty much ready to go (except for maybe the random typos). However, I want to go back and revisit them, one at a time, and give them all the attention they deserve.

I slowed down on writing my book a bit for the holidays, plus I took some time away and jumped into writing a short screenplay (about 18 pages) from an idea that popped in my head last October. I wrote it mainly for fun, to get it out of my head and down on paper, but I plan on sending it to my filmmaker buddy to see if he likes it.

Who knows what will happen? I know nothing is guaranteed other than him reading it. He might like it, but he might not. Either way, it was pretty exciting working on a screenplay again. I figured if all else fails and nothing were to happen with it, I could submit it to a short screenplay contest or maybe just rewrite it as short story for another book. We will see, as the saying goes.

Like I said, writing a screenplay again, short or not, got me really excited. I finished my first screenplay way back in July of 2014 (damn time flies!). I’ve been hard focused on completing my book, so I haven't worked on anything screenplay related since then. So now I have this itch to write my second feature length screenplay.

They say the second one is easier than the first. I just need to think of something and flesh it out to fill the 90-ish pages. I’m sure my (odd) brain will think of something, but I am anxious to get started. Once I finish the last story for my book, oh it’s on.

(Oh yes, there will be blood.)

In other News...

I recently updated the Contact page. There is now a simple form that you can fill out to send me a message. However, there is still an address listed on the page for anyone that wants to send me an email the old fashioned way.