Movies for Mother’s Day [LIST]

Happy Mother’s Day! Let’s celebrate how awesome Moms are with some freaky movies about moms.

The-Others-

The Others I remember seeing the film for the first time and being so completely blown away. The trailers under sold what ended up being one of the best horror movies of the early 2000s. For those unfamiliar with the film, Nicole Kidman plays widow and mother to two children who are allergic to sunlight. What follows is a ghost story for the ages.

big_1450535899_image

Serial Mom is more of a black comedy than a horror comedy. But watching as Beverly causes mayhem and blood shed in suburban Baltimore is hysterical. John Waters completely subverts the archetype of the perfect mother in a way only the Pope of Filth could manage with such style.

alinterieur1

Inside isn’t a feel good movie for Moms. It is however a completely terrifying movie for mothers. French Extremism and home invasion collide in a sparse minimal story of a woman, pregnant and recently widowed as she defends herself from a woman who is willing to do anything to get her hands on the unborn child.

carrie_piper-laurie01

Carrie wouldn’t be Carrie without Piper Laurie’s completely bat shit take on shut in religious fanatic Margaret White. Whether she is screaming about dirty pillows, throwing Sissy Spacek in closets or misquoting the Bible, she is the mom we are all glad we didn’t have. I mean imagine if Carrie had a cool mom?

babadook-4

The Babadook is equal parts modern fairy tale and character study as horror. A mother unravels as she is overwhelmed by the stresses of motherhood and her own darkness. Original as it is scary, there is a reason it topped so many best of lists when it dropped 2 years ago.

goodnight-mommy-1-credit-courtesy-of-radius

Goodnight Mommy got into my bones the first time I saw it. The cold aloof Mommy. The mischievous twins. The bugs. The way it plays with audience perception. It is a film that uses a slow and ever building sense of dread that bursts into horror while completely changing your view of the events depicted.

RosemarysBaby

Rosemary’s Baby is any list complete without you? I think not. Mia Farrow is iconic as Rosemary as she slowly becomes convinced something isn’t right. With her apartment, her husband, neighbours and even her unborn child. Mother hood can be terrifying, let alone when you are mother to the Antichrist.

maxresdefault (2)

Friday The 13th Pamela will always be scarier than Jason. That hair. The sweater. The turtle neck. And most importantly the completely unhinged look in her eyes. A mother driven by grief and out for blood, even if it’s symbolic revenge. I mean come on, she brings her mentally handicapped son to camp, and he drowns cause horny teenagers weren’t paying attention. She has a pretty compelling reason for going crazy and massacring teens.

Ripley_finds_Queen

Aliens: The Director’s Cut, yes the director’s cut! Why? Well the original cut had WAY MORE MOM STUFF. One of the most important parts being a scene in the first act where Ripley finds out her daughter died two years ago at the age of 66. Ripley promised to be home for her 11th birthday. It makes Newt that much more important. Her parents are killed by Aliens. Aliens prevented Ripley from being a mom to her daughter. Not to mention Aliens has the Queen Xenomorph. It’s a theme you guys.

pyscho4752

Psycho is the mother of all modern horror films. See what I did there? Norman and his Mommy Dearest are part of the greatest misdirect in film history. Hitchcock starts Psycho off as the story of a woman who stole some money from her boss, cause apparently she was dickmatized. But then suddenly the movie is peepholes, shower murders, cross dressing and mummified mothers. The perfect combination of classy and terrifying for Mother’s Day.

Advertisements

More Romantic Horror Movies For Valentine’s Day

I was checking in on my previous list of horror movies to watch for Valentine’s Day, for inspiration this V-Day since it’s minus 25 Celsius here in Toronto aka a the perfect weather to be anti-social and avoid others. To my shock I seem to had left off some of the most romantical horror films! So I figured now was a good time to list some more great romantic horror films for everyone to watch while eating cheesecake alone.

It is worth noting this is a list of romantic horror films, rather than Valentine’s themed ones. There aren’t any slashers like Valentine’s Day, My Bloody Valentine. I also avoided movies like The Voices or Maniac where the protagonist can’t discern the difference between romance and chopping up the girls he likes.

So without further ranting I humbly present the follow up list-sequel (hasn’t the internet come up with a portmanteau for that yet?)

candyman1

Candyman: How could I have left this film off my previous list? Tony Todd’s flawless baritone purr calling out to beautiful grad student Helen Lyle from across a parking garage, his voice some how a whisper in her mind! A movie whose romance is only rivalled by it’s scares.

Hellraiser Frank and Julia

Hellraiser: If you think about it, Hellraiser’s plot is essentially a Lifetime movie on acid. A woman in a loveless marriage reconnects with her brother in law, with whom she had a torrid affair with years previously. Only in order for them to be together she must bring him men to consume. How I managed to leave this off my list is beyond me. I mean seriously, who doesn’t want someone to want them as much as Julia wants Frank? Even after Frank ends up a skinless cannibalistic attic dweller.

The Fly Cover

The Fly: A large percentage of Cronenberg’s Oeuvre would work for V-Day. I mean Crash, Videodrome, A Dangerous Method, M. Butterfly, Map to the Stars or Dead Ringers would be great viewing for the weird on V-Day. But The Fly is Cronenberg at his most gooey and romantic. Brundle-Butt aside, the sheer glamour of Geena Davis and the top notch practical effects should have you sold.

Theatres

Interview with the Vampire: Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt as immortal boyfriends? Yes please. While director Neil Jordan definitely subdued the gayness of the original text, the movie comes out hella gay none the less.A beautiful and sumptuous film with some of the last great practical effects of the 90s.  As romantic as it is bloody.

Byzantium2

Byzantium: A spiritual sequel to Interview with the Vampire, Neil Jordan stuns with a more subtle vampire story. Set in modern times with flashbacks to centuries previous, two vampires on the run hide in a small seaside town. But when the younger attends classes at a local school, she puts not only herself and her companion at risk, but also a haemophiliac boy she has feelings for. Truly stunning both visually and in terms of the way it reinvents the vampire mythos, it makes the perfect double feature with Interview.

tumblr_mtp5pvltCT1rjte08o1_1280

Bride of Frankenstein: “We belong dead.” The movie that brought Tiffany Charles, noted murderess and voodoo dabbler to tears is a V-Day must. Glorious black and white horror that lept over the bar set by James Whale’s first instalment.

what-to-expect-from-hannibal-season-3-episode-10-spoilers-he-has-a-few-self-image-issue-548473

Honourable Mention Hannibal: The Red Dragon: While it isn’t a film, Hannibal is one of the best/goriest/most romantic things to be put on screen in the last decade. A particular stand out in the romance department is the final run of episodes which were essentially a 6 episode miniseries was a highlight of the series run and arguably the epitome of the homoromantic subtext turning text that drew so many to the critically acclaimed series. Episodes 8 to 13 of the third season tell a complete story that while enhanced by the preceding episodes would still make for a great V-Day watch and certainly play better after repeated viewings compared to Manhunter and Red Dragon the two previous attempts at adapting the Thomas Harris novel.

 

 

Happy Birthday HP Lovecraft [RECOMMENDATIONS]

tumblr_lvhyw65gp41qg8i80o1_1280 

Today is HP Lovecraft‘s Birthday. The horror icon was born on August 20th 1890. His legacy has expanded well beyond his work and gone on to influence some of the greatest minds in horror including Clive Barker, Stephen King and John Carpenter. In fact his influence is so pervasive in the horror genre that you will routinely hear the word ‘Lovecraftian’ used to describe works with an obvious bit of the writer in them. To celebrate what would of been his 124 birthday, I bring you a list of some of the best Lovecraftian horror. Please note that only a few of these are adaptations of his work, many are films which draw on the themes pioneered in Lovecraft’s work.

2-in-the-mouth-of-madness

In The Mouth Of Madness Part of master of horror John Carpenter’s loose ‘Apocalypse Trilogy’, it is often hailed as the best Lovecraft movie ever, despite being an original concept. It tells the story of a man tasked with tracking down a Stephen King-esque writer who has disappeared without turning in the latest manuscript for his series of novels. The novels have been driving people to commit violent acts  and have become best selling books, with film rights already sold for the latest volume which no one has even read. Darkly funny, gruesome, bizarre and with way more to say than any movie made in 1994 has any business having.

the-thing_1

The Thing The best of Carpenter’s trilogy. Critically panned upon it’s release, The Thing is now considered one of the greatest horror films ever made. A group of researchers stumble upon something from outerspace. When it begins to replace the men one by one, chaos begins to erupt. Come for the best practical effects ever. Stay for the nihilistic study of identity.

podblu_shot14l

 

Prince of Darkness The weakest of Carpenter’s trilogy, it oozes with the eerie references to ambigous evil that permeate Lovecraft’s work. Rather than trading in standard religious imagery, Carpenter gives us pillars of green ooze, inter-demensional portals and transmissions from 1999 (which in 87 was the future). Definitely worth checking out even if it is the weak middle entry.

re-animator_34

The Re-Animator Pretty much what it says on the box. Adapted from the titular story, it tells the story of a scientist who discovers a process by which to re-animate the dead. A classic flick that started one of the longest spanning horror franchises.

from-beyond-blu-ray-screenshot-0083509-I-1920

From Beyond Stuart Gordon brings us the classic tale of a scientist who ends up creating a way to see beings from other dimensions. It’s got psych wards, some fantasticly gooey practical effects and is an incredibly colorful movie, awash in pinks and neon colors.

maxresdefault

Banshee Chapter From Beyond is retold as a paranoid found footage thriller about government experiments, number channels, LSD and the horrors of the unknown. Going into it, I was unaware it was a Lovecraft adaptation and as a result nearly went full blown Scanners. I often poo-poo found footage but I love this terrifying little gem.

absentia3

Absentia This baby shocked me when I checked it out on Netflix one day. It takes a shoe string budget and crafts a terrifying story of insectoid monsters from another dimension who steal people from our world. It starts off as any good Lovecraftian horror should, low key before building to a wild conclusion.

midnight_meat_train_01

Midnight Meat Train This movie left a lot of fans pissed. SPOILER ALERT the butcher kills people to be fed to giant evil monsters living under New York. That’s right bitches! Full blown Ancient Ones slumbering under the city that never sleeps! While it isn’t the greatest movie, it’s definitely a lot of fun. One of those horror movies that was dumped direct to video, but could have totally done well in theaters. It also is the only movie where Bradley Cooper didn’t get on my nerves other than Guardians of the Galaxy.

the-mist-original

The Mist All good Lovecraftian horror has to be about the human drama. It can’t all just be death cults and tentacles. When a thick fog blankets a town, a group of people are trapped in the local grocery store. In the mist lurk various monsters which mostly go un-glimpsed. Frank Durabont (aka the dude who ran The Walking Dead when it was still good) gives us everything we could want. We have the woman who insists on leaving despite the clear and present danger, the survivors split into two opposing groups, Marcia Gay Harden chewing scenery like her daughter Carrie just asked to go to the prom and Sam Witwer in uniform! But most importantly, that ending! Bonus points if you can get a hold of the DVD that features the movie in Black and White.

enemy-11

Enemy Beards, strippers, spiders and doppelgangers. Jake Gyllenhaal plays an actor and a history professor who happen to be identical. Life swapping ensues. A slow burn thriller that will leave you with so many questions. Come for the Donnie Darko-bearded twin wank bank material and stay for a disturbing and insane movie about identity and spiders.

Horror Movies for Pride [LISTS]

June is LGBTQ Pride Month! And while I often cover horror with a queer bent , I thought I would round up some suggestions for the horror hounds looking for something a little queer. These movies don’t all have explicitly queer content, and this is by no means a comprehensive list of horror movies with LGBT content, or even a list of the best. Just a few great flicks to enjoy with fellow friends of Dorothy.

16231

The Craft Need I say more? Catholic school misfit witches use and abuse the mystic arts to get back at mean girls and get boys. Pure 90s realness. A cult classic among any of us who went through that awkward goth phase in highschool.

410

The Hunger David Bowie’s Tilda Swinton Vibe, Susan Sarandon’s super dykey hair cut and high waisted thong, Kathrine Deneuve as a ice queen vampire queen. The ways in which this is perfect for Pride are beyond measure. Come for the nipples, stay for the blood.al pacino cruising 1980

Cruising Al Pacino does poppers in a gay club while wearing a low cut tank top. Laughably out of date and offensive stereotypes abound as Pacino searches for a killer of gay men. Spoiler Alert: You’ll be offended and possibly a little turned on.

Annex - Karloff, Boris (Bride of Frankenstein, The)_03

The Bride of Frankenstein The saddest movie on this list. The monstrous creature seeks a mate only to be faced with rejection and scorn. And why the hell is Dr. Frankenstein so keen on ditching his fiancee to go make science with the fruity Dr. Pretorius?

BiSu4

Dahmer A young Jeremy Renner comes off shy and adorable as infamous gay killer cannibal in this biopic. It’s a testament to the performance that you feel any sympathy for a guy who takes dudes home to make them into sex zombies via power drill and draino.
bride-of-chucky

Bride of Chucky Yeah, yeah, Seed is queerer. But while trans Glen(da) is played for jokes, the gay best friend in Bride is one of the best queer portrayals in a big horror film to date. Bonus points for Tiffany’s transformation from basic to bad bitch to the tune of Blondie’s Call Me.
fhd007HTT_Lauren_German_010

Hostel: Part II Who expected the sequel to Eli Roth’s torture porn ode to obnoxious American backpackers would turn out to be so nonchalantly queer? The fact that the gorgeous female lead is the gay lady, not actual lesbian Heather Matarazzo. That she’d end up one of the most bad ass final girls of the decade. It also managed to dissect the kind of mind that would pay to torture a person.hellraiserbdcap3_original

Hellraiser Damn Julia is the definition of thirsty. She does anything and everything to recreate the perfect fuck. Haven’t we all been Julia at one point? And the Cenobite’s ensembles by Hellbound Leather are the things sadomasochistic fever dreams are made of.noes2_-jessegrady

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge I’ve spoken about this one before. It all boils down to the coach’s love of leather. Grady the 80s wet dream come to life. And the fact that Jesse is for all intents and purposes a big ole homo.Picture-17-e1350617618705

Fright Night Vampires pretending to be gay. Amanda Bearse. Roddy McDowell. Evil Ed ended up making gay porn in real life. Planet_Terror_0258

Planet Terror The Robert Rodriquez half of his double feature team up with Tarantino Grindhouse. The lead character starts the film off with plans to leave her husband for her beautiful lesbian lover. But as it goes, a viral out break causes death and societal breakdown. tumblr_mpyh1cRioz1rx420io8_1280

May May is a social out cast without any friends, so she makes one. A pre-fame Anna Faris plays a sexually aggressive vet tech. Angela Betis at her weird girl finest sewing together body parts and getting moist watching student films about cannibals.We-Are-What-We-Are_11

Somo Lo Que Hay [We Are What We Are] A family which engages in ritual cannibalism deals with the fall out of the patriarch’s death. When oldest son Alfredo brings a guy home from a gay bar for dinner, but his homophobic brother doesn’t want to eat a gay.

So there you have it, a few suggestions for horror flicks this Pride Month. Make sure to check back for more queer horror content.

Jason Voorhees [THE MANY FACES OF]

Friday the 13th is tomorrow! To celebrate I will be attempting to marathon the whole franchise and making smores! (OK not actual smores since fire and apartment buildings don’t go well together, but smores inspired snacks). As a celebration of everyone’s favorite mentally disabled drowning victim turned unstoppable teenage killing machine, here is a look back at the many faces of Jason Voorhees. And yes I am choosing to ignore the fact that technically Jason didn’t really appear in A New Beginning (just an imposter and some hallucinations).

Friday-the-13th-Jason-lake-jump-Adrienne-King-Ari-Lehman Friday-the-13th-Part-2 jason friday-the-13th-part-4-the-final-chapter1 1378876868_2 Jason Lives Friday the 13th Part VI 29 friday71 Jason-Takes-Manhattan-jason-voorhees-26490719-1280-720 7B8rXRsSgn Jason.X freddy-vs-jason-promo-02 friday-the-13th-reboot-2009

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre(s) [RANKED]

Going into writing this article, I hadn’t seen every installment in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise. I saw the first film when I got it for Christmas from my father. Someone had stolen the copy from the video store and no where sold it. They claimed it was banned in Canada. So that Christmas I watched it as most horror fans do, I fell in love. Everyone knows the story: a group of young folk travel through Texas, meet a family of crazy red necks including Leatherface, whose hobbies include chainsaws, cannibalism, making furniture and masks (out of human remains).

Going into this I hadn’t actually seen several of the films. It has also been 10 years give or take since I last endured TCM: The Next Generation. And I have to say, some of them surprised me with how fun they were and others affirmed why I had never bothered to watch them. So let’s get to ranking the films of Leatherface, from worst to best.

texas_chainsaw_next_generation 12Number Seven: Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation It came as no surprise when I sat down to rank these films that this would rank the lowest. Re watching it again 10 years after my first viewing and it is still a complete train wreck. Let’s start with Leatherface. Based on Ed Gein who famously wore the skin of women as a form of murderous cross dressing. So it’s always been strongly implied that Leatherface might have a thing for panties. But in this we have him in full Ms. Doubtfire drag at one point and the films climax seems him dressed in a silky see through lace number completely with some poor victim’s breasts. Add to that the scene chewing by a pre-fame Mathew MacConahey and Bridget Jones herself Renee Zellwegger as the worst final girl EVER. Their names are spelled wrong but I’ve suffered enough watching them act. Throw in a random hydraulic leg for Mathew’s murderous inbred and gratuitous titty shots and you have the the worst film in the franchise.

What I really don’t understand is SPOILER ALERT the weird revelation that the Sawyers are being goaded into murdering the teens on prom night by some sort of rich benefactor/pervert whose body is covered in scarification of weird symbols and who has three giant gold rings pierced through his stomach (not his belly button). I guess it is all supposed to be some sort of ‘Illuminati’ scheme to bring people transcendence through suffering. I mean paging Martyrs! The whole thing makes Halloween’s Order of the Thorn look like a welcome addition to a franchise. The kind of film you will only ever watch in the quest to marathon all of the films from the franchise. If that’s you I salute your celluloid masochism.

1-Texas-Chainsaw-3DNumber Six: Texas Chainsaw 3D I had such low hopes going into this one that I didn’t hate it. Even though it’s full of cliches, takes a big ole crap on the legacy of one of the greatest horror films ever. I expected it to be terrible and as a result it wasn’t as awful as it could have been. I picked it up previously viewed with the sole intent of completing the set of all the films on DVD (don’t judge the OCD nerdness). What I got was a film which was gory, weird, and offered a new twist to the proceedings that while not one for the history books was something new for the franchise. I’m also morally obligated to point out that the film suffers from the threedee in that there are lots of chainsaw pointing directly at the audience moments.

8632814_5Number Five: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning tells the story of how a little baby born in a meat factory grew up to wield a chainsaw and wear skin masks. The first time I tried to watch this I turned it off after the opening scene. It just smacked of everything I disliked about remakes. I rewatched it to do this list and I gotta say it’s not half bad. It has plenty of gore, expands nicely on the influences of the Vietnam war on the original film and the mythos of the franchise. Bonus points for Matt Bomer and his baby blues. And it also has a really bleak and gruesome ending which I always appreciate from a film.

Leatherface Texas Chainsaw Massacre III 5

Number Four: Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III Was another installment I had never seen all the way through. I really liked this one. It’s incredibly gory (and I only could get the cut version which has 4 minutes of gore excised). It builds really well on the darker comedic tone of the second installment. The addition of Ken Foree’s character who is a survivalist nut is the perfect addition to amp up the action. It acts as a nice final act in the original three films.

the_texas_chainsaw_massacre_2003 3 (1)Number Three: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre [2003] I really like this movie. It’s definitely one of the best of the remakes that came out in the 2000s. It takes the bleak tone of the first film, the gore of the second film and presents it through the lens of ‘the modern gritty take’ which has become a dead horse which Hollywood continues to beat. My fondness for it was firmly cemented back in 2003, a full 7 years prior to the atrocity that is the Nightmare On Elm St. remake. It plays close to the beats of the original while updating stuff ever so slightly. The biggest difference being that there is no character who is handicapped. The biggest issue today with the original is Franklin so it’s good that they chose to exclude a character in a wheel chair. Not that disabled characters shouldn’t be in horror films cause they definitely should. But his inclusion in the original always seemed to stand out as a product of the time. A loud obnoxious bother who can’t do anything on his own and is defenceless and unable to run from the killer. Not the best representation. With so many movies been remade poorly, it is the kind of remake that the majority of fans can agree honors the original.

chptp (8)Number Two: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 has a completely different tone then the first film. It is more of a hybrid of black humor and horror comedy. It has oodles of gore, laughs, and some awesome character moments. Tobe Hooper is an incredibly versatile horror director and it shows in this installment (his last in the franchise). Bill Mosley is delightfully gross and unhinged as he provides the perfect counter balance to the grunting Leatherface. Dennis Hopper and Stretch are among the best horror final girl/father figure team ups in horror (Nancy and her dad, Laurie and Dr. Loomis). It’s just a great fun movie. The kind you want to watch with friends.

the-texas-chainsaw-massacre-1974-e1375911352533Number One: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre [1974] Some franchises reach their peak in the second or third films, like Evil Dead II or Friday The 13th Part II/Part III (depending who you ask). Then there are franchises like The Texas Chainsaw where the original film stands not just above the sequels, reboots and prequels but above other horror films as well. The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a master class in horror. There is actually minimal gore (it’s mostly implied or in the form of bones). It is the least gory of the films in the franchise. Yet it remains the most terrifying visceral film ever to feature Leatherface or arguably any Ed Gein inspired killers. Anyone who has seen it will attest to the moment Leatherface first appears being seared into their minds forever.

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.

The Hellraiser(s) [RANKED]

Of the major slasher franchise to come out of the Golden Age of Horror from roughly the mid 70s to the earlu 90s, Hellraiser has suffered arguably the worst. The original Clive Barker classic remains to this day a genre defining film, the sequels are of varying quality. The tale of an evil puzzle box which can be used to summon demon like creatures known as Cenobites which then take you back to hell with them.

While SPOILER some of them stink, some of them are pretty great. They are definitely worth watching if you are willing to put up with the inconsistency. Not to mention some great before they were stars appearances from  actors like Adam Scott of Parks and Recreations and Henry Cavill aka The Man Of Steel. So let’s open the puzzle box and get to ranking the films.

hellraiser_revelations_pinhead

Number Nine: Hellraiser: Revelations is quite possibly the worst sequel to a major horror franchise ever. I mean this with every bone in my body. It’s worse the the remake of A Nightmare On Elm Street. It’s worse then Leprechaun 4: In Space. Yeah that’s right it’s worse then the movie so bad it was the nail in the coffin of  a franchise which revolved around a little person pretending to be a Leprechaun who killed people using pogo sticks and magic. It was only made to keep the rights with Dimension in hopes that they could finally get the long stalled remake underway. It doesn’t have Doug Bradley as Pinhead. And what is worse is they didn’t even find someone who could full off a decent impersonation. In a franchise that’s been direct to video for over a decade, this sequel completely and utterly shits the already blood soaked bed.

Hellraiser Deader 4

Number Eight: Hellraiser: Deader with a title like this (I mean how is one more dead?) the movie doesn’t stand much of a chance. Telling the story of a reporter who goes to Prague to investigate a hostel which is the front for an international murder club a death cult. It’s not offensive to my very being like Revelations but it isn’t really much good either. Like all the direct to video sequels in the franchise, this movie started as a horror spec script and was rewritten to include Pinhead and the puzzle box. And it is very obvious given how little connection this has to the mythos of the Cenobites. A confused hot mess but it still gets points for Doug Bradley as Pinhead.

maxresdefault (1)

Number Seven: Hellraiser: Hellworld has the honor of being one of the few films in a major horror franchise to exist outside previously established continuity. Instead of taking place in a world where Pinhead is summoned with a mysterious box, this one takes place in the ‘real world’ ala Wes Craven’s A New Nightmare. In this world, the Configuration is a computer game. The film has a fun premise and isn’t actually terrible. And of course the addition of horror icon Lance Henrickson to the film ups it’s cred. All in all I like this one even if it isn’t a proper Hellraiser film in the true sense.

maxresdefaultNumber Six: Hellraiser: Bloodline is kind of a disjointed mess. It is great in the sense that we get to find out the history of the Lament Configuration puzzle box. It’s not good because for some reason everyone thought Space was the perfect place to escalate slasher films to. In their attempt to expand the mythos they loose what makes these films so good.

Hellraiser III Hell on Earth 5Number Five: Hellraiser III: Hell On Earth This movie is the definition of mixed bag. It has some really great moments with regards to the back story of Pinhead. It also features some big missteps such as the inclusion of Pinhead in the day light. Much like Drag Queens, Pinhead looks best at night. It does manage to keep continuity with the previous films, but doesn’t deliver on the scares and thrills of the first two films. Hellraiser Hellseeker 2Number Four: Hellraiser: Hellseeker This movie is essentially Hellraiser: Inferno with the addition of Kirsty Cotton’s character. It gets bonus points for meeting back up with the franchise’s first final girl. The movie also delivers a solid horror thriller with a nice twist. It isn’t as strong as Inferno, Hellbound or the original but it is a lovely low budget love letter to the franchise. Haters are gonna hate, but I really enjoy this one. Even if they only paid Ashley Laurence enough to buy a new fridge.

hellraiser-inferno-15Number Three: Hellraiser: Inferno For the first direct to video sequel, this installment is actually pretty amazing. It’s got good effects, a solid storyline and fantastic direction by Scott Derrickson who went on to direct movies like Sinister. It also happens to star Craig Sheffer aka Boone from Clive Barker’s Nightbreed. Man I love me some Sheffer. This is definitely the best over all film from the crop of direct to video sequels. It makes you wonder if each of the sequels had been directed by soon to be star horror directors, would Revelations have sucked so hard?

Hellbound-Hellraiser-II-11Number Two: Hellbound: Hellraiser II I loves me a sequel that starts right at the end of the last film. This film is perfect because it takes the viewer to Hell itself. And Hellraiser’s version of the Underworld remains one of the best depictions of the netherworld in a horror film. Not to mention the twist of having Kirsty in a hospital where she is believed to be insane by everyone except the evil doctor obsessed with unlocking the puzzle box and opening a gateway to Hell itself. Featuring even more gore, violence, and even more exploration into the world Barker created, Hellbound is the perfect companion for a double feature with Number One on this list.hellraiser-3Number One: Hellraiser Nobody beats the original. Seeing this movie for the first time was a defining moment for my love of horror films. It was brutual gory violent and very much adult. It wasn’t about sexy teens at slumber parties or sleepaway camp. It’s about a woman so unhappy in her marriage and so hard up for some lovin that she resurrects her dead lover and feeds him human flesh so that he might one again clear the dust off her criminally under used lady bits. There is a reason this movie is a classic of the genre. That reason? It’s mother fucking Hellraiser you don’t need a reason!