Dracula 3D: A Journey to the Brink of Sanity

Note: This was originally published in 2014.

On numerous occasions, Shawn has proclaimed this movie “the worst movie ever made”.  I believe Chassity has backed him up on these claims.

I took these bold proclamations as a personal challenge.  I sat through Blood Gnome – a movie about knock-off Ghoulies in the world of S&M – in its entirety.  I refused to believe that Dracula 3D could be worse.  It was directed by Dario Argento, for God’s sake.  I’ve never been a huge fan of the man, but at least his films have a visually interesting aspect to them.
And so, with half a bottle of Scotch at my disposal, I hit play and prepared myself for the onslaught of Dracula 3D in 2D.

May my non-existent children forgive me.

My confusion started early, and set the stage for what was to come.  I swore the music playing over the credits was the same music used in Mars Attacks.  Was I to infer that Dracula was actually an alien?  I assumed the answer was an emphatic “yes”.  Dracula – THE Dracula – had given up pork.  I was left to wonder when (not if) Tom Jones would be showing up.  Dracula turning into a mantis.  It’s not unusual, indeed.

Within the first five minutes, I witnessed a busty young lass take off her clothes and get railed in a barn by a local (married) farmer.  In my experience, there’s nothing a woman likes more from her married lover than hurried, dirty sex in a barn.  At least throw on some Marvin Gaye, man.  They had a tiff afterwards (something about him being married, the cross she was wearing, and their differing opinions of the style in which As I Lay Dying was written, I believe), which led to her running through the woods from an owl and becoming Dracula’s newest plaything, while a man with a shotgun smiled and nodded his approval.

At this point, I had come to believe that I had contracted the flu.  Nothing else would explain these images currently being burrowed into my brain.

Not long after that, Jonathan Harker – who looked absolutely nothing like Neo – arrived at Dracula’s castle and noticed the lack of Dracula’s reflection in a mirror.  “Must be a trick of the light,” he said.  “Or proof that your parents haven’t conceived you yet,” I replied, cackling into my glass.  At this point, I went to the nearest mirror and was shocked to find that I also lacked a reflection.  I chalked it up to the Scotch, and not the madness this film was inflicting on me.  While it was still too soon to know for sure, I felt as though I were already past the point of no return.  Soon, I would be pulling off the legs of those closest to me and hearing terrible, disjointed music blared out from the heavens.
Or was that Yellow Brick Road?  At this point, it was impossible to tell.  I ditched the glass and decided to drink straight from the bottle.  The night was getting away from me.  Dracula had already claimed another victim, though I was not ready to admit it to myself just yet.

Naked ladies were everywhere now.  There was one, desperately trying to suck the life of out Jonathan’s bloody hand, stealing pictures of his wife, and engaging in some passionate necking.  There was another, being bathed as part of a sexy bathtime routine by her best friend.  There was another, descending the walls of Dracula’s castle on Rapunzel’s hair.  And still another, being thrown to the ground by Dracula and hissing at him while he bit into Jonathan’s (obviously) delicious neck.
Naked ladies and bad CGI dogmen are the only things that make sense to me anymore.  They are my currency, and I am their master.
At this point, I began to question the decisions of any director who thought it would be completely appropriate to film his daughter getting a sexy naked spongebath.  I may be in no position to judge, but that’s pretty weird.

I watched Renfield running bloody through the streets and wondered if it were him or me.  Had I somehow joined the characters onscreen, like some sort of Brea Grant-less Midnight Movie?  I checked myself, and found no blood.  It couldn’t be me, then.  So why was I howling at the moon?  And how did my clothes end up in tatters?  I looked to my bottle and found it was almost full.  Nothing makes sense anymore.

I watched a sick Lucy Kisslinger in bed and found one way we are similar: we both wear sheer nightgowns in front of our fathers.  Her father seemed more open to it than mine.  Was the Buffalo Bill voice just a bit too much?

“I dreamt a wolf tore a woman to pieces,” a frantic and increasingly helpless Mina Harker proclaimed.  I tipped back the bottle, drank deep and replied, “And I was that wolf.  And I was that woman.  And I was the ground on which it happened.”  I drank again and saw nothing but the wolf.  And he was hungry like he should be.

I recall flashes of activity: of life and death and blood and hope and love and loss.  And all of it washed over me like a waterfall.
I saw Dracula appear in a cloud of flies and lay waste to the establishment.
I saw wolves running around Mina and wondered aloud how Argento got those wolves to ignore the helpless woman on the ground while filming, and whether the first five Minas were torn to shreds.
I saw three cockroaches that I believe were supposed to be Dracula, but I was never quite sure.
I saw Rutger Hauer.
I saw a giant praying mantis climb a staircase and kill a fat man.  I laughed harder than I should have, which frightened my dog.  She looked at me and asked, “What are you doing with your life that you are here, right now, watching this?” but her lips never moved.

When the end finally came, it was swift and unrelenting.  I wasn’t sure if it was actually the end, or just the end of my already fragile mind.  I opened the DVD player and found that there was nothing in there.  Did any of this ever actually happen?

I pinched myself.  I was me.  I am me.  I am one.  I am a rock.  I am a leaf on the wind, watch how I soar.

I looked up.  The TV was blank.  I got out of the chair to find that two days had passed.

I checked the mirror.

I had a reflection.

I had survived, though I have no idea what kind of life I am capable of anymore.

I left the bottle of Scotch next to my chair and walked outside into the great wide open.  I drank all of it in.  Every single inch.  I saw a bug fly by and smiled knowingly.

“I’ll see you again, Count.  I’ll see you real soon.”

House on Haunted Hill: Movie Review

house on haunted hill - poster

Hello boy’s and girl’s, Uncle Kreepy here and today i will be reviewing the horror classic House On Haunted Hill, starring Vincent Price.  This masterpiece is a true delight, with a great story line and superb acting.  How can it get better?  You add the horror icon Vincent Price and TADA!!  Perfection.  What could be more fun than throwing your wife a birthday bash in a haunted mansion while inviting complete strangers as guests?  Nothing.  Did i mention party favors include loaded pistols?

As if that’s not enough, everyone is locked inside until dawn at the stroke of midnight.  On the upside, anyone who makes it through the night wins a handful of sweaty money.  But things are not always what they seem and chaos soon ensues; a mysterious floating woman, a pit filled with acid and a host who is more than suspicious.

If you like ghosts, creepy dungeons, suspense and murder, then this is the movie for you. I highly recommend this flick and give it two Uncle Kreepy thumbs up.

Until next time kids, keep it Kreepy and remember…I am always watching!

The Conjured: Movie Review

conjured - poster

Danelia is a down-on-her-luck artist who inherits her aunt’s house in a small town.  She knows nothing about the aunt but hey, we have a movie here so she goes and lives there.  All seems good for her until she starts having occult nightmares.  She begins seeing a ghost named Adaline.  These events prompt her to do some investigating, aided by her best friend and a local handicapped kid.  Unknown to her is the fact that people start dying that are connected to her.  To go into further details would spoil this movie for you.

This movie just didn’t know what it wanted to do.  It threw a mix of slasher, occult and paranormal themes together.  It was all there but none of them were executed to great effect.  By adding different elements it kept the main theme of the movie hidden.  One saving grace for this movie is that it was driven by the very talented Jill Evyn, who played Danelia.  She was the main focus and I thought she was really good in this movie.  I wanted to enjoy this movie, but it just kept pulling away from one interesting thing to start another without finishing what was making it interesting to begin with.

Rating: 2/5

10 Cloverfield Lane: Movie Review

10 cloverfield - poster

Michelle is run off the road and awakens in a bunker with her leg chained to the wall.  She was “saved” by Howard, a large man who is a terrible combination of socially awkward and not-so-vaguely threatening.  He explains that there has been an attack and the air outside is contaminated.  Do we believe him, or is that just something he said so that she wouldn’t try to escape from the bunker?
There is also another man in the bunker by the name of Emmett, who seems like a good guy and believes Howard, although he thinks some of his theories of what exactly is happening are a little nuts.  Aliens?  That’s crazy.  YOU’RE crazy.

I set up quite a bit in the synopsis, so let’s go off of that.
This movie moves in waves.  Michelle is our proxy.  Do we believe Howard?  Is there really something going on outside?  We find out pretty early on that there is, indeed, something contaminating the air.  So now we kind of trust Howard…right?  Maybe?  Just when I started to feel like things were going well, I began to panic because I knew it wasn’t going to be quite that easy.  And I was right.  Man, I’m smart.  Why am I so smart?

10 cloverfield - howard & michelle
I can’t really dig too deep into this movie without giving stuff away, and that would be a real shame.  There are a lot of twists and turns here that really benefit from going in relatively cold.

This is a small movie.  We basically have three characters: Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Howard (John Goodman) and Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.).  With a movie this small, it’s critical that the actors all bring their A game, and they certainly did that.  All the characters were extremely well-developed and the actors knocked it out of the park.  Goodman was the standout – I’ve never seen him in a role quite like this – but Winstead and Gallagher were incredible as well.  Stellar performances from everyone.

10 cloverfield - michelle & emmettWhen Prometheus came out (which I enjoyed…shut-up) I loved how it was a movie that existed in the Alien universe, yet was a completely different story.  I never put much thought into the fact that, while these major events were happening in this movie, there were a bunch of other events happening, either before or after, that may-or-may-not be closely related.  The comic series Gotham Central does a great job with this in terms of the DC Universe.  The events of Cloverfield were not held to Manhattan, and this gives us a chance to see how other areas were affected.  It’s a great concept and terrific execution.

10 cloverfield - howardThis was a good movie.  I liked it.  Please watch it.

Rating: 5/5

Bradley Cooper is listed as being in this, but you never see him.  He’s merely the voice on the other end of the phone.  Which is perfect.  He has a face for radio.  (I kid, I kid.  You’re very handsome.  Please call me.)

The Conjuring 2: Spoilery Thoughts

I already wrote a review of The Conjuring 2, but I have some questions that would spoil the movie, so I opted to put them in a different post.  Because I am a kind soul.

conjuring 2 - valak

1. Lorraine was able to defeat the demon – Valak – by saying his name, screaming other things and condemning him back to hell.  Or something.  She only knew his name because Valak told her his name in a vision.  “I know his name, I know his name, GIVE ME MY BIBLE WHERE I CARVED HIS NAME,” she screamed.
So…why did Valak tell her his name?  They had no leads on the demon.  The only way they could have defeated him was by knowing his name, and he told Lorraine his name.  This wasn’t a case of finding out the name then needing to travel to some distant location to find more information and using it against him.  This was none of that.  This was a case of, “I say his name and he disappears.”  Valak had one weakness: that someone – anyone – speak his name.  And he handed them that weapon for no reason whatsoever.
I don’t understand why and I need someone to explain it to me.

2. Why did Janet float like Jean Grey when she was possessed at the end?

3. Why does Ed Warren have such a lovely singing voice?

conjuring 2 - ed with guitar

4 .Why do the Warrens have a teenage daughter they leave at home when they go on their missions?  Doesn’t leaving a teenager alone in a house with haunted items in the basement for weeks at a time seem like a recipe for disaster?

"There are frozen dinners in the microwave & don't worry about the whispers in the basement."
“There are frozen dinners in the microwave & don’t worry about the whispers in the basement.”

5. The idea of Valak using other creepy things as a way to throw everyone off was pretty crafty.  Who cares about looking for Valak if everyone is concerned about Bill Wilkins and The Crooked Man?  That’s a nice bit of misdirection there, Valak.  Good for you.

conjuring 2 - crooked man