Leibster Award? For Me?! [AWARDS]

jenna-flash

I have been nominated by fellow blogger of the macabre Grotesque Ground for a Leibster Award! I was unaware of this award until getting nominated but I am super honoured that they picked me as one of the blogs to honour. I am going to follow up this post with a list of some blogs I would like to nominate but in the mean time I wanted to take a moment to fufill the first half of the award duties which are to list 11 Facts and answer 11 Questions.

The Facts:

  1.  When I was just a little boy of 3, I wanted nothing more to be The Wicked Witch of the West for Halloween. So my mother got me a children’s witch costume and painted me up in green face and drag. It was glorious but no one took any pictures.
  2.  I almost went to art school for photography but ended up going to University to study cinema and ended up studying queer theory.
  3.  I’ve worked as a cashier at a bathhouse, sold sex toys and porn and spent a brief period as a door to door fundraiser before landing my current job.
  4.  I have two black cats. One is little and delicate and the other is obese and loud.
  5.  Outside of horror, two of my biggest loves are Muppets and comic book movies.
  6.  I own over a thousand movies on DVD.
  7.  I love to bake, especially cookies and cupcakes.
  8.  In highschool I played the part of Leroy in our production of Fame, complete with corn-rows.
  9.  I never ever drink coffee or energy drinks just tea.
  10. I always get compliments on furniture in my home but a lot of it is stuff I found on the street from people who didn’t want it anymore.
  11.  I don’t own a single Blu-Ray movie or a blu-ray player.

And now for 11 Answers:

  1. What made you become a blogger? I started making websites when I was a teenager and got into writing later in highschool. In university I wrote an article for one of the school papers and wrote some blog entries to facebook. I ended up getting asked to write a few articles for FAB Magazine and briefly spent time writing a blog for GayGuideToronto. And now I write a blog in hopes that I can help share my love of horror movies with other fans online.
  2. What is the movie that you would recommend anyone to watch? Alfred Hitchcock’s Pyscho is pretty much the Citizen Kane of horror movies and I recommend everyone watch it several times. Especially if you are a horror fan.
  3. What is the movie that you hate but everyone else seems to love? Sharknado. I have such a strong respect for classic terrible movies. Now a days, it is en vogue to purposefully create these beyond stupid monster movies that are just CGI schlock and lack any of the warmth and nostalgia of old school B-movies.
  4. Who are your three favorite directors? John Waters, David Cronenberg and Pedro Almodovar.
  5. What is the fear of yours that would make a great horror movie? I am terrified of home invasions, which make fantastic horror films.
  6. What is your favorite book? The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, American Psycho and Invisible Monsters. So many more that I love: Was, A Wolf At The Table, The Hours and Night.
  7. Do you have a personal favorite post on your blog? I am really proud of my American Horror Story recommendations. Lists of movies to watch that helped inspire the first two seasons. Hopefully I will have one for Coven done soon.
  8. What have you learned recently thanks to blogging? I’ve learned gratitude, and the importance of key word searches and tagging.
  9. If you could live the next two years in any country where would you choose? I currently live in Toronto and have to say I love it in the city but given the choice I would likely move to Germany, Spain or France.
  10. Is there anything else that you would blog about, other than movies? I’d probably write a blog about sex advice. I’ve done some sex ed teaching, including workshops and aftering working at a sex store for years got to be quite knowledgeable about stuff. Like less irritating and self righteous Dan Savage.
  11. What is your dream job? I would love to just own a small revue theatre where I could show my favourite movies, or I would own my own video store (even though they are a dying breed).

liebster-award-1

American Horror Story Season 4 Subtitle Announced [TELEVISION]

maxresdefault

Ryan Murphy has announced the title for the 4th installment of FX’s hit horror anthology series and it is Freakshow. The show will be set in the 1950s and takes place in Jupiter, Florida. Jessica Lange returns for her final installment as a German ex-patriot. Angela Bassett and Kathy Bates are both set to come back, along with Denis O’Hare, Evan Peters, Frances Conroy, Sarah Paulson and Emma Roberts. No mention of Lily Rabe who has been reported as having a pilot in the works which could hinder her ability to star. But it’s likely she will make an appearance at some point as this would be the first season she didn’t have a role. Stay tuned for more news as well as a list of movies to tide you over until the Freakshow returns.

American Horror Story: Freakshow debuts October 12th 2014.

My VCR is Dead! Long Live The VCR!

Image

My VCR died today. It had been living under the TV ignored like a great grand parent that you have so many fond memories of but somehow always neglect to visit. My mom had sent me home from my last visit with some Jiffy Pop, and today I decided to sit down with some pop corn and watch my old VHS copy of Lost Souls. Yes that is right, I still own a VCR and a VHS copy of Lost Souls.

It is a sad day for everyone in my household… Yes I live alone with two cats so actually just a sad day for me. My VCR leaves behind a milk crate of VHS tapes including copies of Andy Warhol’s Dracula, Gods and Monsters and my VHS copy of Ginger Snaps which I still don’t own on DVD for some reason.

I had this VCR since before I could shave and I’ve had a full beard since the end of the Bush Administration. The good news is, my mom has offered me hers when I come to visit and my friend Suzy has one she has offered to donate to Homodrome’s Home for Wayward Movies.

10 Reasons Hannibal Is The Best Show You Aren’t Watching [TELEVISION]

Hannibal_Title_CardFor those unaware, NBC’s Hannibal is one of if not the best shows on broadcast Television. Bryan Fuller’s Adaptation/Prequel/Re-Imaging/Fever Dream TV show about the titular cannibal Doctor Hannibal Lecter and FBI profiler Will Graham. The show is currently airing it’s second season. It continues to draw critical praise and has a devoted fanbase. However it has continued to struggle with ratings after coming close to being cancelled after it finished it’s first season. So without further adieu I give you 10 reasons why Hannibal is the best show you aren’t watching.

It’s By Bryan Fuller!

tumblr_n045wwhMpb1sbi6f3o1_500

 Fuller is essentially Joss Whedon on a fabulous acid trip. He’s had a long history of creating hilarious, poignant and morbid fair. He also happens to be perpetually cancelled after short runs on critically acclaimed shows that struggle with ratings. Where as Joss has Firefly, Bryan is behind cult classics Wonderfalls, Dead Like Me and Pushing Daisies. He also gave us everyone’s favourite cross-dresser Eddie Izzard and Ellen’s wife Portia in the lush but doomed Munsters re-imagining Mockingbird Lane. He has one of the best eyes presenting lush technicolor with a heavy helping of death. Dead Like Me follows a dead girl who must spend time as a Grimm Reaper after a toilet falls from the sky and kills her. Pushing Daisies tells the story of a pie-maker who can bring the dead back with a touch, and features musical icons Ellen Greene (Little Shop Of Horrors) and Kristen Chenoweth (Wicked). Fuller creates bizarre and beautiful television, the kind that often thrives on cable and dies on the major networks.

The Cinematography Is Mind Blowing

tumblr_mlttxeDhHa1rvs9wso2_500The entire show is so meticulously crafted in every aspect. The clothing each character wears, the set design, effects, and everything within the shot is pretty much flawless. But more then anything it’s the cinematography that truly allows everything to look so lush and detailed. It speaks to the dedication and love the production puts into the show. It looks nothing like TV thriller and more like a lush art film.

The Dream Sequences

tumblr_inline_n2obx0xhVl1rxatc4In addition to it’s flawless waking world, Hannibal utilizes a fair amount of dream sequences, fantasies, and hallucinations. A big part of the plot if Will Graham’s ability to inhabit the mind of serial killers and how his work with the FBI may be affecting his sanity. Throughout the series, we see some truly mind blowing fantasy sequences, such as Will laying in bed and the room flooding with crashing waves (a nod to Julianne Moore’s suicide fantasy in The Hours). And I would be remiss to omit what is often referred to as The Stag/Raven-Stag/Wendigo. Introduced late in the first season, it is a naked humanoid with massive antlers, night black skin and the face of Hannibal Lecter. It is a testament to the quality of the show that such a bizarre vision can be incorporated into the series. In fact it makes The Rubberman on American Horror Story seem absolutely pedestrian.

THE GORE!

tumblr_inline_mww32cxiNs1rol0nc

Horror fans are often accused of liking gore to a point of vulgarity. And it’s true that it is not often that gore can exist as both truly disturbing and utterly beautiful. Shows like American Horror, Walking Dead and Game of Thrones have shown us plenty of gore on cable TV but I can’t recall a show on broadcast TV featuring so much gore. Each episode will usually involve at least one dead body at a crime scene. We are treated to women mounted on stag heads, people turned into bee-hives, people are flaying to resemble angels, cut open and turned into cellos, and even a mural made of corpses and a totem pole. But it isn’t the crime scenes that will truly gross you out. It’s Hannibal preparing various cannibalistic entrees to feed his guest that are truly gruesome. Very early on we see Hannibal as he prepares a pair of human lungs, pressing the air out, dissecting meat from ventricles. We see him make brain, tongue. He braises a piece of calf muscle and makes a people sausage scramble. It’s truly a horror fans delight!

 The Cannibal Puns

tumblr_mndqmsTCF91qe4ixoo1_500The only real moments of levity come from Hannibal’s various cannibal puns and double entendres. When everyone finally clues in that he’s been eating people this whole time they are going to feel mighty stupid. Hannibal is portrayed as the ultimate foodie and that provides plenty of moments of dramatic irony. Such as when Freddy Loundes talks about how horrible it is they are all eating meat.  It provides the perfect kind of dark humor required to keep the story from being too bleak while also not ruining the mood of the show.

The Gay SubText of it All!

tumblr_mo2z4v1DCj1qcxymno3_500In the Hannibal books by Thomas Harris, Clarice Starling ends up becoming Hannibal’s lover at the end of the third book (also titled Hannibal). Throughout their interactions, there is an obviously fascination which seems at times sexual in nature. Hannibal sends her perfume, buys her Prada etc. On the show, Hannibal’s obsession with Will Graham is at first presented as purely one of scientific interest. But what becomes clear is that the writers are subtle blurring the line between fascination and lust. Hannibal’s need to control Will is one thing. But he often goes above and beyond when it comes to screwing with Will’s love interest Dr. Alana Bloom. At one point he sends a serial killer to her home and they constantly fight about what is best for Will. It’s the stuff ships are made of! But whatever you do don’t read the fanfiction.

Hugh Dancy! Because!

fcrown1

Hugh Dancy stars as Will Graham and he is pretty much the most adorable of all the various gifted crime solvers on TV. That’s right Sherlockians, he’s cuter then Bumblebatch Cumbersnatch. He’s also a stand out in a top notch cast. He will literally break your heart with his vulnerability and win your mind with his flawless portrayal of a man loosing his mind.

All The Guest Stars!

tumblr_mosi1oEjr81qgqr0ho1_500That is right! That’s Agent Dana Scully! The show features Gillian Anderson as Hannibal’s shrink. Anderson stands out as giving one of the best performances of her career. But that isn’t all. Over the course of a season and change we have gotten guest roles from Gina Torres (Firefly), Molly Shannon(SNL, Superstar), Cynthia Nixon(Sex and the City), Eddie Izzard (The Riches, Mockingbird Lane), Amanda Plummer (Pulp Fiction)  and Ellen Greene(Little Shop of Horrors). Add to that Katherine Isabelle(American Mary, Ginger Snaps), Michael Pitt(Funny Games, Hedwig and the Angry Inch) and a rumor that David Bowie might make a cameo. And I would go to gay Canadian hell if I didn’t mention Scott Thompson (Kids in The Hall) who recurs as one of the three FBI lab techs. In short it is chock full of amazingly talented stars, often turning out deranged performances.

It’s On-Par Better Than Any Horror Show On Cable

hannibal-i-love-your-workHorror shows are all the rage right now. It started with genre shows in the vein of Buffy with shows like True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, Being Human, Teen Wolf etc. Then it got to be about darker fare like The Walking Dead. Then American Horror Story took the world by storm and everyone was clamoring to see it. And most recently HBO’s True Detective (which seems to be strongly influenced by Hannibal) has become a smash hit and much watch TV. But here is the thing, Hannibal is better. It takes the dark violent beauty of American Horror Story, the fascinating crime solving of True Detective and the no one is safe mentality of The Walking Dead, and prepares a 13 course meal of it. It has a quality not present in the various other horror movies turned TV shows that we are getting of late and it often surpasses the source material and other adaptations in terms of it’s brilliance.

You’ll Regret Not Watching It

giphy (1)Every nerd has one. The show that got cancelled too soon. For many it’s Firefly, or Twin Peaks.  These shows obtain cult status and are often trotted out by fellow nerds as a way to establish cred. “What do you mean you’ve never seen Firefly?” is a phrase I’ve heard leaving my lips before and countless other’s mouths as well. Hannibal has been ratings challenged with a rabid fanbase (Fannibals) and it has long been feared that despite it’s widespread acclaim it would be cancelled. Many fans are turned off by the idea of someone other then Anthony Hopkins playing Hannibal. Or they have been put off by the decreasing quality of each film installment. But mark my words, this show will be appearing on top 10 lists and lists of under-rated shows for years to come. So what are you waiting for?

Hannibal airs Fridays at 10PM EST on NBC in the US and CityTV in Canada. 

The Chucky Films [RANKED]

While he may not have the same level of name recognition of slashers like Freddy or Jason, Chucky is considered among the classic slashers from the golden age of horror. For those not in the know, Chucky is a  Good Guy doll possessed by the white guy voodoo killer Charles Lee Ray. His goal aside from general mischief is to perform a ritual to transfer her soul into the body of a human or face being trapped as a doll forever.

The Child’s Play films (1 through 3) and Chucky flicks (Bride, Seed, Curse) are arguably among the most consistent slasher franchises. When viewing Seed of Chucky alongside movies like Halloween: Ressurection, Hellraiser: Revelations, Leprechaun 4: In Space, it actually holds up quite well. So without further adieu I present The Chucky Films ranked worst to best:

Childs play 3

Number Six: Child’s Play 3 is pretty much the weakest link in the franchise. Apparently this is due to it being rushed to bank in on the success of Child’s Play 2. It’s not bad, but the characters are weak. And the little boy Chucky chooses as his vessel is far too gulible. The highlights are the opening of the abandoned doll factory and Chucky’s demise via giant fan. It just has the unfortunate misfortune of being so-so.

Seed-Of-Chucky-seed-of-chucky-29023831-1920-1080

Number Five: Seed of Chucky is considered by most to be a complete pile of crap. I actually have a soft spot for this movie. It features the directorial debut of Don Mancini (creator and writer of each film) after doing second unit on Bride. A good chunk of the humor falls flat. But the delightfully meta take on the franchise of Jennifer Tilly playing herself and Tiffany. It also stars cult movie god John Waters who has his face melted off with acid in an homage to Female Trouble. On top of that are a ton of other great references to movies like Pyscho and Halloween.

2-curse-of-chucky

Number Four: Curse of Chucky manages to take the winks and nods to classic horror flicks in Seed, and combine it with the more understated horror of the first and second film. It also manages to pay homage to the entire franchise in a way which is not only clever but a love letter to fans of each of the entries to the franchise.

Chucky-An-Tiffany-childs-play-25673267-1280-688

Number Three: Bride of Chucky holds a special place in my warped little heart. It came out right as I was discovering my love of horror and I watched my VHS copy of it constantly. It’s gory. Frigging hilarious! Has a gay character AND a super sexy male lead. Add to that my spirit animal Jennifer Tilly as the titular bride Tiffany and you have horror comedy gold. It gets bonus points cause I also cry every time I watch Bride of Frankenstein.

childs-play-05

Number Two: Child’s Play Yeah that’s right, I am not putting this movie at number one. Most people who rank these films agree that while the opening film is great, it’s not the highest point of the franchise. It’s the first one, but much like the Friday the 13th franchise, the first movie only laid the groundwork for the best installment.

tmb_1680_480

Number One: Child’s Play 2 The premise of taking Andy from the first film and putting him in foster care is perfect. The movie takes the premise of the first film and runs with it. Full of bright colors, brutal deaths and a great final act in the Good Guy Factory. Scenes like the one where Chucky meets fellow Good Guy Doll Tommy and the opening credits in which Chucky is resurrected in the factory workshop are some of the best moments in the entire franchise.

How would you rank them? Do you agree with me and enjoy all of them or do you think some installments shit the bed? And don’t forget to check out my review of Curse of Chucky.