Maybe it’s the whiskey talking. Maybe it’s the new Devilment CD that I’m jamming to but either way the ideas for this list are flowing. I think that I have made my choices rather evident throughout the year so this will most likely not be a shock to anyone.
Please send any complaints to renfield@stickitupyour@$$.com
Best Horror Movies of 2014
10. The Quiet Ones – Meh. I’ve seen worse.
9. Possession of Michael King – Careful what you wish for, you may end up possessed.
8. See No Evil 2 – Fine, I’ll say it. This made my list because I have a thing for twins. Goth twins. Goth twins that direct horror movies…an
d Danielle Harris. Look, this movie just has hot ass all over it so it is making my list solely on the purpose of sucking up and buying points with these chicks.
7. Daniel – It is an independent flick that is less than three minutes long and still whips some ass.
6. Devil’s Due – Not all babies are a gift from God. After seeing this, I remembered that I have to make that appointment for a vasectomy.
5. Deliver Us From Evil – I loved it, the wife hated it. I didn’t get dinner that night and I slept on the couch.
4. Sacrament – NOT “The Sacrament” that was put out by “Ti Not-the-best in the West (or anywhere else)”, but rather the independent film
Shawn Ewert. This is the second to last film that Marilyn Burns made before her passing. Old school horror with a modern day moral – Extremism is a bad thing!
3. Annabelle – Well this movie just split horror lovers right down the middle didn’t it?
2. Jessabelle – Because I like Louisiana and actually a cup of gumbo sounds rather good right about now.
1. Babadook – I think this one scored so high with me because I really like saying the title. Babadook. Babadook. Dook, dook, dook!
Worst Horror Movies of 2014
10. The Sacrament – I think we all know my hate/hate affair that I have with Ti West.
9. Dracula Untold – And better off left that way.
8. I, Frankenstein – Me, pissed off about losing $6.50 on this turd.
7. Red Snow: Red vs. Dead – The only thing worse than Red Snow 2 is yellow snow. The only thing worse than yellow snow is Red Snow 1.
6. Leprechaun: Origins – What’s two feet tall, sucks and is green all over? This movie.
5. Ouija – S-U-C-K-S- Goodbye.
4. The ABC’s of Death – I know this was from last year, but it sucked so bad that it landed itself a place again on this year’s lists.
3. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones – “Hey, why don’t we market a horror movie to people who live in the barrio?”
2. The Purge: Anarchy – I have more use for a case of herpes than I do this movie.
1. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones – Stay further away from this movie than you would a meth dependent, paraplegic hooker with two different STDs…on her period.
Renfield Rasputin has a hard time finishing anything that he sta…
Mercy (Blumhouse Productions 2014) just might have the set up of the perfect storm to be the next big horror film. If it is not enough for you that Mercy is based on the short story “Gramma” from Stephen King’s Skeleton Crew, the cast of Chandler Riggs (The Walking Dead), and Dylan McDermott (American Horror Story) plus the timeless Shirley Knight, might be just enough alone to convince you to watch the movie. However, remember that even the strongest of storms can fizzle out at the last minute.
The story follows two brothers who, with their mother, move in to their grandmother’s house to care for her as she enters her final days. The youngest brother, who has always had a special bond with her, starts to pick up clues that his loving grandma has woven a relationship with the dark arts. The problem is…grandma is not the only one dark spirits have an interest in.
The viewer’s mood immediately gets put into isolation and despair. Set in a small country town (rather than the usual location of King’s Maine) the director, Peter Cornwell, alternates between silhouettes of dead oak trees (think the cabin in Evil Dead) to and wide angle shots of the remote country side. Furthermore, I have to give kudos to Cornwell for using close up shots of the extras in the nursing home scene as a form of backdrop. Nothing says disturbing as watching an catatonic elderly person drool on themselves.
There are a few pop up scares that the movie relies on. Being that they placed in the right moment, they become memorable and work for their scene. (Anyone have a fear of something under their bed?)
I only have two problems with Mercy. First is the use of CGI to show the “dark spirit”. I still believe that what you don’t or can’t see is much more frightening than staring an obviously computer generated shadow’s glowing eyes. This totally kills the eerie vibe that the movie had created up until this point. I could think of a handful of alternative things Cornwell could have done with this scene to avoid this.
Secondly I have an issue with the ending. We all know that King likes to send his readers into a tailspin and leave them with an unforeseeable ending. However screenwriter Matt Greenberg (1408, Halloween H20, and the Prophecy II) changed the ending just enough so that it leaves the viewer screaming at the screen “…AND!?!” with an unsettled feeling of incompleteness. All that build up and then I was only to be left with a pair of blue balls.
Like I said before, even the strongest of storms can fizzle out at the last minute.
A horror purist will appreciate the nod to H.P. Lovecraft that King uses for the book of spells. Also, see if you can pick out the reference to Stephen King’s own, The Stand.
Overall this was not a complete waste of my 90 minutes, just the last 5. The atmosphere is cool and the acting is appropriate for the script they had to work with. For a straight to video release, it is worth the watch and possibly even the discount bin buy. Not a total loss, Mercy does rather well when compared to some of the talent that is floating in the Netflix toilet bowl.
Renfield Rasputin writes horror and still thinks putting plastic wrap on toilet seats is funny.
I got the idea to write a few two sentence horror stories a few months ago. After pondering the idea for a couple of days of how I could accomplish the telling of an entire story in just two short sentences, I accepted the challenge to push myself and other horror writers to do the same. I have always said that I want for writers to better themselves and with a little friendly competition, I am upping the ante by knocking back the amount that is written while at the same time delivering a fright.
Try to do this for yourself; it is not as easy as you may think. One wrong word, comma, or quotation here or there will constitute that the sentence must be split and making a third sentence, thus defeating the purpose. Too many words will become a run on and too few will not give the reader the best picture that you are trying to convey.
Feel free to write me and tell me what you think. If you like them, thank you. I had the pleasure of knowing that I entertained you.
If you hate them, blame Shawn, Dusty, and Chassity. They wrote them all on their own and forged my name.
I had never seen my father look so handsome in his suit as the way he did when he walked up the road to our house. I remember the last time I saw him wear that suit was when we buried him in it.
Carol’s new secretary rushed through the door and exclaimed “Your husband Phillip called and said you needs you at home; it has been broken into”. Carol’s spine tingled with fear as she uttered “Phillip died last year.”
Every Mother’s Day I make an attempt to visit my mother’s grave. One day I expect that when I show up she will actually be buried there.
“Mommy, do you still love me?” she asked with childlike innocence in her eyes. “Of course I do honey, now put down the knife and tell your Father you’re sorry.”
You should never be afraid of the dark. At least that is what the old lady under my bed tells me every night.
Jessica lived by herself when one day she heard the phone ring. She turned to her closet door and thought, “That’s not my ring tone.”
I’ve always hated clowns. I think it came from all the years that Daddy would dress as one and try to sing us to sleep.
I like to people watch at the park or at the mall. Other times your bedroom window works just as well.
They tell me that you can never go back home again. Not since Mommy had her accident with the razor at least.
Ralphie was told never to go into the woods alone. Not being one to disobey his mother, he dragged his little sister’s lifeless body with him.
Renfield Rasputin writes horror and gets distracted very ea……
“He was a really cool guy. I’m so glad we got a chance to tour with him.” Mickey Finn says over his beer as we bond over Alice Cooper before Finn’s band takes the stage. That was the first time I met Mickey, a real down to Earth cat, yet very serious about horror movies, live undead chicks, and rock & roll. Finn is the lead singer of horror psychobilly band Cold Blue Rebels, who is entering the studio again this month to record new tracks and to do a few shows in Los Angeles around Halloween.
With two previous albums behind them, “Blood, Guts, and Rock & Roll” and “Love of the Undead” (all on Horror High Records) the Cold Blue Rebels have been on tour with Wednesday 13, played the Sunset Strip Music Festival, and headlined at the Whisky A Go Go in L.A. Blending horror with old school rockabilly and mixing in a little punk attitude, CBR is a band to watch. Bringing everything they have to give and leaving it on the stage when they are done, this band pays their dues and yours too. With an image of rock when it was still cool, dark denim and leather jackets (splashed with blood of course), Gretsch guitars, stand up basses, and horror makeup, CBR understand where rock music was, is, and where it will be in the future from a traditional sense and substance in mind. Be prepared when going to a CBR show, you will witness a real “Shock & Roll” experience like no other. Everything you think you knew up to that point was all filler, and no killer!
Since that first time that I met Finn I’ve made it point to catch up with him everytime CBR plays Houston. Is it his swinging band that croons old fashioned rock music that drives me to the show? Maybe. Or is it because of the horror makeup and macabre atmosphere in the songs? Possibly. Maybe it is just the idea that Mickey Finn is a really cool guy and I’m glad that I got the chance to see a tour with him! Hell yeah, that’s it! Nailed it!
Renfield Rasputin: Tell us how you brought the Cold Blue Rebels together and chose the psychobilly path.
Mickey Finn: In 2006 I reunited with an old Hollywood friend Danny Dangerous. My band, Jetboy, had played shows with the Zeros, Danny’s band, and so we both had similar history in the punk and glam rock scenes. We found we were both big time Oldie Rock & Roll fans as well as Psychobilly fans. So, after talking about it for a short while, and with my wife Angelic egging us on us on, I finally challenged Danny to go out and buy an upright bass and learn how to play it and I would start a Psychobilly band with him! He did and so we did!
R.R.: Well I’m really into what you are doing with the throwback to musical rock roots, and even the art on the disc, booklet, and the cover of your debut looking like an old EC Comic. How has that inspiration worked on some of the younger fans?
M.F.: We decided early on we were definitely going in the direction of a theatrical horror band with zombies the preferred topic of choice! We were lucky to work with David Frizell (dafrizell.com) through our label Horror High Records, who did a great job on our debut CD cover art and booklet. I think the band over all appeals to young and old and everything in between. If you’re a bit weird, have a sense of humor, and love good Rock n Roll we got something for you!
R.R.: The majority of the songs are written by Danny and yourself. Do you find it more difficult when another person enters the writing process or are the two of you on the same mindset?
M.F.: Danny and I came up with some of the best tracks we’ve done to date, but Joe is also a great writer and Al Diablo seals the deal with his ideas, I love writing with all the guys there all great players and great singers, sometimes Danny, Joe, and I will work acoustically and get together rough idea, it usually flows really fast, we can have a batch of songs in a few sessions like this then we get in rehearsal and hash them out. Nothing shocking here when you got good chemistry its easy!
R.R.: Do you find it more difficult, considering your past band, to write songs that speed the music up, write melodies that make the music swing?
M.F.: No there’s no difference really Rock n Roll is all similar in structure, and I think I always had a bit of a twang to my voice as well as little rockabilly. Listen to the track Rock n Roller on Jetboy Damned Nation record, you’ll see what I mean. The roots of music is what it all goes back to. Blues, Country, Hillbilly, Bluegrass, ROCK N ROLL!!
R.R.: Do you have a specific song topic in mind when you start writing?
M.F.: Yes a lot of the time, most of the time, I start with a song title or at least a topic and theme. Sometimes a melody and lyric phrase will just pop into my head from Know where,…From beyond I guess.
R.R.: So CBR has tackled and mastered the topics of zombies, Satan, and serial killers. Is there a horror genre that you feel doesn’t fit the CBR mold such as vampires or witches? Is there a horror realm that CBR remains in or is there more area that they just haven’t gone to yet.
M.F.: Not really, I’m not opposed to a Vampire song there are some amazing Vamp movies I love, I just think they kinda played it out, we’ll see there’s so much creepy content to write about I love it all everything CREEPY! My birthday is on Halloween so everything in that realm will always be with us! Alot of the stories in the songs are inspired by movies of course, I love a good scary story so I try to tell complete tales and paint a gruesome picture!
R.R.: On you first album you did a Lieber/Stoller cover. Are there any other songs that you would like to cover that you feel fit CBR and maybe still blow fans minds? (I’m thinking of Bobby Bare’s “Marie Laveau” at the moment)
M.F.: Actually we will be back in the studio in a couple weeks to record a new single with a B-side. The B-side is “Kiss Me Deadly” by Generation X, so you can look for these 2 new tracks on a limited edition Vinyl and for download online on itunes.
R.R.: Tell us how a song that is not horror related, like “Whip Me One More Time” (which is one of CBR’s best by the way) ends up on a CBR album?
M.F.: Our influences run deep, and as much as we love the monster side of Horror, there are other strange and evil topics to cover also, SEX should always be an element in Rock & Roll, and of course for us it has to be nasty, and kinky!
R.R.: (Laughs) Okay, yeah, you’re right! No arguement there. (Laughs)
R.R. When you are picking out a horror movie to watch, surely it will inspire a future song for you; so what are the characteristics in the horror that you prefer?
M.F.: I love high quality horror, of course the classic’s, and my wife and I have a huge collection of zombie gore, and B- Movies, I also love the old Godzilla Japanese movies ever since I was a kid. Evil Dead 2 is one of me all time favorites. I really love to be truly sacred and freaked out by a movie and usually it takes Exorcism and supernatural them stuff for that, also the Rob Zombie movies are soo creepy, theres just something about creepy country out back people!
R.R.: (Laughs) I represent that remark!
R.R.: No, I get it and I agree. But you’ve been in the music business since the late 1980’s, while some artists are taking to recording and distributing their own albums via their websites, some still seek out smaller labels. What are your thoughts on how the music business has changed?
M.F.: It’s all different now, I think the need for a record lable at all is becoming lees and less, with digital technology and online networking all the tools most artists need anymore, but honestly I done have a clue where its all headed or where it will be in a few years, we’ll just have to wait and see, I could really care less, we are doing our own thing our own way at our own pace. We have to keep it fun and enjoyable or it’s not worth it.
R.R.: What’s helped this change?
M.F.: The Internet and digital recording technology.
R.R.: It’s made it easier for people to have their own home studios I guess. What about the music itself? What are your thoughts on how the music itself has changed?
M.F.: There’s less live raw vibe music being created, and frankly too many bands just don’t sound good in a live setting, I find that a bit sad and phony.
R.R.: I agree with you and that is what I appreciate about CBR, you guys sound as just as good as your records but yet still have that down and dirty feel that many bands lack live. Not like the old days of Iggy and the Stooges or New York Dolls. But let’s talk about putting out new releases. Crowd funding is becoming popular in the artistic world. Would you ever consider CBR using crowd funded project to release material?
M.F.: Possibly, but probably not, I’m not against it but fuck, we’re grown men, we can raise our own money for music projects and what not.
R.R.: Well said sir. On that topic of doing it yourself, I’ve spoken to you after you’ve dug your bus out of a snowstorm and through other ups and downs on the road. Tell us why it is important for people to buy albums and go out to shows to support their favorite acts?
M.F.: Because we work hard and give up much of our lives to create the art you love and touring for most bands at the club level just barley breaks even most of the time. Leaving a band no choice but to tour relentlessly to try to survive, only to be broke asses when you’re in between records and tours. Life on the road is tiring, dangerous, and brutal physically, and mentally. Missing your loved ones is never easy.
R.R.: So, Halloween is coming up. Any plans?
M.F.: I will be in the studio with CBR, and we are playing a select few shows in Arizona, LA, and Las Vegas, Then I plan to be back home in Hawaii with my wife for my birthday on the 31st.
R.R.: Only Mickey Finn would have a Halloween birthday! So it’s like your song “Pumpkin King” says… “I was born on Halloween, to rock this world like you’ve never seen!” Well happy early, man! So, what is going on with the band right now?
M.F.: We are gearing up for next year, we worked hard for 4 years and needed a break, but 2015 we plan on getting out across the US again on tour and hopefully more new music.
R.R.: Looking forward to it. Anything else that you want to say to the CBR fans? You have the mic!
M.F.: Keep Creepy and rock till the grave and beyond!!