aunt_zelda: (Default)
Look I like Christmas. But I like it when confined to its month, December. If it starts too soon, I don’t feel as much joy about it. I get tired. The songs wear thin. I get stressed. All the things I don’t like about Christmas pile up. I gotta be careful with that joy and make sure it lasts the whole month long. Stretching it out endangers that.

November is not Christmas.

November is post-Halloween recovery month. November is a time when the colors fade, the seasons shift, people get extremely busy at work and school, and the looming sense of winter (and ~The Holidays~ ominously approaching) hovers over our heads like the Sword of Damocles. Stuff is still spooky, but now with an eerie and mournful tone. Halloween is bright and cheerful, and has the energy of a harvest festival, a celebration. November is when you realize you have to ration your emotions and food for the winter months.

November pretty much ends, in America, with Thanksgiving. A coming together of family and friends for food and comfort, for symbols of togetherness and bonding. A holiday of circling together in a group for warmth, food, and reassurance that yes, we are together, and yes, we are grateful for each other, and yes, we can make it through this winter together. This is, I think, no accident, that it has endured as such for so many years.

November is not Christmas.

At least, it’s not for me. If October and Halloween are a bright neon orange tree to me, November is a tree with withering leaves falling one by one. October and Halloween are the dancing skeleton, November is the half-buried skeleton you find in a field.

November is not Christmas.
aunt_zelda: (Default)
Halloween night! : DDDDDDD

I dressed up a little, ate candy, drank half a beer, and did a double feature with my roommate: Fright Night, the original and the remake, back to back. Neither of us had seen either film before, and this was long overdue.

I don't know how to talk about either of these movies without talking about the other one. I can't help but compare and contrast them, since we did a double feature tonight. I'll start with some basic impressions of each film and then talk about them compared to each other:


Fright Night (1985)

For the original, I was super impressed with the visuals, genuinely frightened, in love with the music, and pleasantly surprised by the queercoding and queer text. I was a little annoyed with some of the characters at times, and found the handling of Amy and her sexuality a little troubling. I know it's the 80s, but still. Peter Vincent was my favorite of the lot, and I was genuinely moved by his arc. 


Fright Night (2011)

I consider this a pretty good remake, especially as horror remakes go. I was pleased with the casting, loved the setting change, enjoyed how Amy and Charlie's attitudes towards sex were flipped, and was very moved by the friendship falling out between Charlie and Ed. However I found the story's pacing to somewhat fall apart around the halfway mark, wasn't scared during the second half at all, and was disappointed with some of the effects. While there were some very strong individual scenes in this film (the opening in particular is very chilling, as is the scene where Charlie gets beer for Jerry, and the sequence where Charlie and Doris try to escape Jerry's house) the overall film didn't feel as strong. 


Film vs. Film

My roommate and I talked this out a lot after the movies. We ended up sorta comparing individual bits and pieces to each other.

I gotta say, for a movie that's only 5 years old, most of the effects in the Fright Night remake don't hold up. I do appreciate that they tried to mimic the look of the vampire mouths from the original, but considering the original is 31 years old and the effects STILL had me and my roommate yelping and covering our eyes or cheering and looking closer in awe, that says a lot. 

I'm very torn on how each film handled women and women's sexuality. The original was ... odd. The biting scene between Jerry and Amy plays with sexy saxophone music and seems framed as a sexy scene, but Amy is being mind-controlled (or is she?) and it's a horrifying thing that seems like it's supposed to be a rape. Later she seems to think because of what happened in that room, Charlie won't "want her" anymore, implying some nasty victim-blaming attitudes. While I like how in the 2011 remake Amy is the sexually experienced one who is pushing for sex, the biting scene is clearly unwanted and plays very creepily, and then the next time we see Amy she's writhing around on top of Charlie enthusiastic about her vampirehood and she seems to exist in the script to drape herself over Jerry and metaphorically blow him in front of Charlie to upset Charlie. Imogen Poots is a great actress but she was not given great moments to work with in the latter half of this script. 

The cast was exquisite in the remake. David Tennant saves the Peter Vincent role in the remake, in another actor's hands it would have been pretty bad, his sudden and random backstory was too sudden and not needed. Jerry was super hot and super scary, but I think original jerry was scarier because he managed to be terrifying even in a dorky sweater and I don't think Colin Farrell could have managed that. I liked how the mother was more of a character in the remake. And I really loved the plotline with Charlie's friend Ed in the remake ... though only at the start of the film. I didn't like how Ed then wasn't used for most of the rest of the film, and popped up for a brief moment that lacked the emotional poignancy of the original. Peter Vincent fighting and then killing Evil Ed in the original was a tearful and tragic moment, where you saw the moral conflict within Peter Vincent about murdering a mostly-human-being. That poignancy was wanted in the remake but didn't quite happen. 

What the remake did really well was the setting update. They made great use of the "suburb outside of Las Vegas" location, with the abandoned houses, transient people, proximity of Vegas' glitz, and the abundance of people who worked nights.

I'm a bit split on the queer content in both films. Obviously the original is chock full of that, in subtle and not so subtle ways. I'm unclear on how much was snuck in, how much was meant to telegraph "danger/bad people" to the audiences, and how much was meant as cutting social commentary. I could list things off - the villain literally emerges from a closet and then hurls the male protagonist into the closet early on, not to mention hugs his Renfield from behind at one point - but I'm sure plenty of people have gone in-depth into this before. It'd be easy to say the film is about an evil bisexual swooping in to disrupt the quiet heteronormative neighborhood before being defeated by a hetero couple and their older male mentor, but I could write an entire scene about Jerry and Evil Ed in that alleyway alone so I don't think the analysis is unwarranted. Not to mention the implications in 1985 of showing someone some distinctive marks on your body and saying "he got me." While I'd say it's a lot more subtle and nuanced in the original, the remake is ... not. The few indications of queer content are offhand comments or joke-moments, mostly to do with Peter Vincent. What we have are: a bunch of ladies writhing around on each other, Peter Vincent telling puppy-eyed Charlie "I'm gonna pop your cherry," Evil Ed straddling Charlie and asking "is this getting weird for you? Because I'm feeling a little homo right now!", and Peter kissing Charlie in relief after the climactic battle. I was looking forward to Colin Farrell macking on Anton Yelchin, and I didn't get any of that. It's like they took all the queerness from Jerry and gave it to Peter Vincent in the remake, but only as joke-moments. I'm kinda disappointed? IDK, I have to think about this more. 

Like if I make a chart of bits comparing them, it breaks down like this:

Charlie: Remake
Jerry: Original
Amy (first half): Remake
Amy (second half): Original
Evil Ed (first half): Remake
Evil Ed (second half): Original
Charlie's Mom: Remake
Effects: Original
Music: Original
Opening scene: Remake
Scares: Original
Pacing: Original
Setting: Remake

I think that overall the remake did a good job of doing their own thing while homaging and honoring the old. They succeeded for the most part, but not as much as they could have. It's ok. It's not great, it's not better, but it's ok. 

While there are elements and moments I liked more in the remake than in the original, I think overall the original is a more consistently good movie. I'm glad we have both. I liked doing this double feature and I highly recommend it. I just think in the future I'll be rewatching the original more than I will the remake.

aunt_zelda: (Default)
 So tonight my roommate and I watched three things. 

Completely by accident, all three ended up being narratives that took place primarily in a single location, and could easily be rewritten as a play.

First up was Let Us Prey, a film I've been meaning to see for ages and never gotten around to. My roommate hadn't seen it either. All I knew going in was Liam Cunningham played the Devil, basically, and a vague memory of a trailer I saw like, last year, and that it had good reviews. It was an odd little movie, very cheap to make obviously, but they used their money well and managed to make a good solid film. Some very artistic shots. It did not go in the directions I thought it was going at all, right up until the very end even. Some great gore. Some vile characters, but they were assholes in realistic ways, not horror movie assholes who were too over the top. The film built up well too, something happens towards the end that would be ridiculous if they just started with it, but because of the tension and gory moments ratcheting up throughout the story, it worked. At least, it worked for me. Liam Cunningham was a fabulous Devil. Every movement he made was measured and deliberate, and his dialogue was precise. Some good spooks in this one that even freaked out my normally calm roommate. 
And, mostly for personal reasons, I've been waiting for YEARS for a movie to end like this one did. I don't dare spoil that though. 
I'm not sure this one will stick with me as much as another movie would, there's nothing especially epic or special about it, but it's a solid little film I wouldn't mind rewatching with friends somewhere down the line. 


Next up was the Twilight Zone episode "The Obsolete Man," which my roommate suggested. FANTASTIC. My gods. Just ... wow. What can be said about this that hasn't already been said for decades? I could see how famous filmmakers have studied this episode for aesthetics and concepts and homaged it in their works ever since. A truly great little episode. Never seen someone passive-aggressively read the Bible to someone, but that was a great moment. Plus, who doesn't love seeing Burgess Meredith do literally anything? Nice creepy little story, with a very important message that, unfortunately, is very relevant in today's world. Totalitarianism, devaluing and distrust of education and literature, and politicians questioning the need for libraries, these are issues that sadly we haven't moved past now, more than 50 years after this episode aired.
This one is gonna stick with me for a long time, I have no doubt. 


Last of the evening was Murder Party. I've been meaning to see this for ages. I know the later work of the writer/director, Jeremy Saulnier, his latest work Green Room remains the best film I've seen all year, and Blue Ruin won a ton of acclaim from people whose opinions I tend to trust (but I haven't seen it yet.) Though this film showed obvious signs of low budget, which my roommate and I were quick to spot being former film students ourselves, it's a really great movie. Horrible, gory, all over the place, twists and turns, commentaries on commentaries on modern art, but what surprised me the most was how FUNNY it was. There's a gag about 20 minutes in that had me laughing so hard I think I woke up the entire apartment complex. I knew Jeremy Saulnier was talented as fuck, but I didn't know he was FUNNY. Green Room had a few jokes but it was not a funny movie at all, and from what I hear Blue Ruin is a brutal movie too. So this took me completely by surprise in all the right ways. Plus, where else can you find a movie with two bisexual characters where that's not a big deal or the point of their characters at all.
This movie was obviously cheap and it isn't the best thing ever, but I enjoyed it a lot. I think it's gonna become one of my Halloween go-to movies, especially when hanging out with fellow former film-students. 
aunt_zelda: (Default)
So the other night, after a long work week and feeling super tired, my roommate drove me over to our friend's place and we had a Halloween marathon. Pizza, beer I actually liked, snacks, and a great selection of movies. It was a fantastic, low-key, great evening with friends. 


We started off with The Monster Squad, which I'd never seen before. Was kinda shocking seeing little kids swear like that in an older movie. I did love the effects and the actors. Some of the jokes were good, some haven't aged well. "Scary German Guy" was probably my favorite. I cried when poor Franky got sucked into the portal, because that's the kind of person I am. Dracula was just too cool, with his car and his swagger and his long take of beating up all those cops without any effort. It does bug me again though that here's yet another big bad monster man who goes for unwilling ladies instead of the hordes of willing women (or men) who'd be up for fooling around with a hot sophisticated vampire. Just once I want a vampire or a monster who like, goes to a Goth club or a comic con and picks up some enthusiastic partners. (Hang on ... I should take some notes ...)


Next we watched The Guest, one of my all time favorites. My friend hadn't seen it before and said she wanted to watch something "fucked up and super scary" so we put on The Guest. She was super freaked out and loved it. I loved watching her watch it for the first time. At the end, she was like "oh god, that just sunk in. Fuck that ending! Fuck that ending!" while grinning. I told her she should tweet that to Adam Wingard. Fantastic Halloween movie.


Then we watched the Twilight Zone episode, "The Masks." A little interlude between The Guest and our final film of the evening. It went where I was suspecting it would go, but still, can't beat classic Twilight Zone. My roommate suggested it because of the masks theme, and because it's the only Twilight Zone directed by a woman. He made a good choice.


We finished the evening with The Crow, which my friend and I hadn't seen and my roommate had. I'd been meaning to see it for years and I finally finally saw it. I actually really liked it and I'm glad I saw it at last. Yes, some of it hasn't aged well, and some of it wasn't the best, but considering the tragic death of the lead, I'm willing to forgive them for some of the pacing and editing issues, because it's likely they were working with what footage they had and not being able to do reshoots. It's always awkward when I see a classic movie and it doesn't resonate with me, and thankfully that wasn't the case here at all.

Mostly what I felt, besides surprise and relief that here's this classic movie I actually enjoyed quite a bit, was sadness about the tragic death of Brandon Lee. This guy was talented as hell and brought a lot of complexity to the role that I was expecting to be this like, dour angsty mess. I cried at this movie. There were real genuine moments of pathos in here. I felt for this guy a lot. Yes he goes around being a violent vengeance machine, and he's scary when he does that, but then he cries about lost love and treasuring what you have in life, and it works. He's also got this like ... impish quality to him in some of the scenes, like that bit where he skips to the side with his hands up or dangles from the ceiling. He's ... playful. I was expecting the angsty 90s Goth stereotype, and while I did get some of that, I also got the playfulness of a real life crow bird. I wasn't expecting that. I'm so happy that was there. And I'm so sad that he died. He would have had a great career ahead of him. Honestly, I couldn't help but look at his performance and think "... he could have played the Joker." And then I started thinking "... he could have played Deadpool!" because he had that playfulness to him as well as the hardcore badassery, he had that balance. If they'd made a Deadpool movie in the late 90s, if he'd been alive for it, you know he'd have been among those they auditioned. Really, this just makes me very sad.

Eric's scenes with little Sarah were very poignant. They humanized him in the perfect way. I think a lot of modern writers and directors need to look at this film and how they did this, because a lot of modern angsty heroic men miss out on that human element. It's necessary. You gotta do it right, it's tough, but you gotta do it. 

Ernie Hudson's character was great. I really enjoyed his scenes with Eric. You wanna compare them to Batman and Gordon but that's not entirely accurate. They're something different, but something just as good. 

The villains were, well, they were bad guys. We knew they were bad because they started off doing the most atrocious thing and spend the rest of the movie laughing about it. Sometimes that's all you need for a movie, and seeing as we had to be behind the leading man killing them off one by one in poetic ways, I suppose that's all we needed. It's not my favorite plot device, but I do love me a good revenge story. 

The big bad, it was bugging me so much that I knew his voice but not his face. Turns out he voiced an iconic villain from my childhood, Scroop, from Treasure Planet. I find that hilarious. He basically spent this movie prancing around doing everything for aesthetic reasons, including having a cabinet of swords. I think half the Vampire: The Masquerade cliches are a result of him alone, and that's just beautiful. 
I wanted to know more about the evil lady. Villainous couples who love each other very much and love being evil to other people are one of my favorite tropes. So it was nice to see her like, lounging around and doing weird stuff with eyeballs and him never being cruel to her. They were awful to other people, but not each other. 

I'm also happy the cat didn't die. 

There's something about the way the flashbacks were edited that ended up implying something I don't think they intended to imply. Since the flashbacks to what happened to Shelly are shown so much, and from Eric's POV, it seems to imply that the bad guys raped him too. I know they probably didn't intend that, but that's what it looked like in the film. There's probably an essay to be written about traditional and non-traditional masculinity in this movie. 

Relevant note, my roommate is from Detroit. He loves it when films are set in Detroit. I had never heard of Devil's Night before, which he had to explain to me, as it's a big premise of this film. It sounds horrifying. 



Hopefully my roommates and I will watch more movies this weekend. I'm busy with work and so are they, but we're trying to watch more this weekend too. 

Halloween

Oct. 31st, 2015 02:29 pm
aunt_zelda: (GarlicIsTheAnswer)

I was gonna work an 8.5 hour shift dressed as Kevin from Welcome to Night Vale.

Instead I spent the night coughing, stressed, unable to sleep. Finally my roommates convinced me to call in sick. I did. I’m nervous about whether I’ll get in trouble for this, calling out of an 8.5 hour shift on a holiday on a Saturday. But I couldn’t have done it, and I would have gotten little kids sick from coughing on their groceries, so I made the right decision.

Gonna spend the day in bed, resting up, and working on my freelance job (which pays more than my other job anyways.) And thankfully I have three days in a row off of work, so hopefully I’ll get through the worst of this cold/cough thing by then.

aunt_zelda: (GarlicIsTheAnswer)

Long overdue, I know, but I finally took the time to watch it.

WOW.

I love it, a lot. I'd seen bits of it before, particularly the famous bits, but there were still lots of surprises in there. The fountains of blood were great. And the ending was ... wow.

That's ... an ending.

WOW.

I love his reaction, took, just shaking his head and screaming "nooooo!" at being thrust into a new genre.

What was it with the 1980s and decapitated talking heads? Or am I noticing patterns where there are none?

Anyways, excited to see the final one at some point.

X-Posted to my tumblr

aunt_zelda: (GarlicIsTheAnswer)
Moarte! *SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE*

I tried staying up waiting for the update, couldn't, had to sleep.

First thing I did this morning though, was watch the first episode. Moarte has improved lighting! YAAAAAAY! I'm so happy. I'm so happy for new Longbox of the Damned episodes.

I don't know WHY I love Moarte and Longbox of the Damned so much, I just do. Maybe it's because he's so different from the usual At4W fare, he's so fresh and exciting, off doing his own little thing and being over the top and cackling over scary stuff? He's snarky and funny in a very different way from Linkara. Maybe it's because he coincides with my favorite time of year and my favorite holiday?
I dunno. Maybe he just appeared at the right point in my life and I needed him and latched onto this show. Whatever the case, every day of this month will have a surefire way to cheer me up. : D



Comments on the latest At4W episode:

spoilers! )

aunt_zelda: (Default)
For some reason last night I was thinking about Halloween costumes. I hadn't really put much thought into one, but people here go CRAZY for Halloween, and I love Halloween, so I started thinking more than "what I did last year, because more people will get it" and formulated something that would require elbow-length red gloves. 

Unfortunately I was very sleepy, or perhaps I was asleep at that point, because I can't remember what my costume idea was!

Do the elbow-length red gloves tip anyone off to something or someone specific, or was this all just a random dream?
aunt_zelda: (Default)
According to dictionary.com, the word of the day is this:

revenant

 \REV-uh-nuhnt\ , noun;
1.
One who returns after death (as a ghost) or after a long absence.


If that doesn't scream "we're ready for Halloween already!" I don't know what does. It makes me want to write a story instead of watching Justified doing my homework. 

In other news, I got fed up with turning my three ring binder upside down by mistake and stuck a sheet of paper down the sleeve on the front so I could tell which side was which. I drew Elder Signs on it in pen. Because I just know that studying Lovecraft for my monster class (yes, I am taking a monster class) is going to freak me the fuck out. 
aunt_zelda: (Default)
This is my favorite holiday! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT!!! I had to work but that was fine because we were allowed to dress up and I wore my Black Lantern costume - I kept the ring in my pocket so it didn't get damaged - complete with eyeshadow around my eyes and it was AWESOME even though nobody knew who I WAS.
I saw a little boy dressed as the Blue Beetle! 
I nearly squeed. I told him he had an awesome costume and he sort of mumbled "thank you" and if he'd been older and known who I was dressed as I am certain that we would have had an EPIC FIGHT! I wish I'd been able to take a picture, so I could have made a macro or something saying "Girl!Zombie!Spoony and Kid!Linkara Have Epic Confrontation In Supermarket!" 
I kept wanting to sing and dance all day, and had songs (mostly from Rocky Horror) playing in my head all through work.
I'm sure this has nothing to do with the fact that my friend and I had a geek date yesterday and we cuddled and he traced his fingers around my ear. Really! *giggles and floats away in a geeky reverie* 
aunt_zelda: (Default)
 Woot! I painted my Black Lantern Ring today! *SQUEE* It doesn't look quite as good as Timid's, but following her directions helped very much indeed. I am so happy.

This really improves my icky day.

Edit: it also helped that once I got home my cat decided to like me and sat on my back when I was lying on the couch. 
aunt_zelda: (Default)
 So, yeah, it came in the mail today. And it is indeed too large for my teeny girl fingers. It even slips off of my thumb. So now it's sitting on the side of my laptop trying to look innocent. 
I'm still wicked excited. (*SQUEE* Now my Halloween costume components are all assembled!) I guess I'll just wear a band-aid under it or stick yarn under it or something so it doesn't slip off. 

Now for the painting ... would nail polish work, do you guys think? Then I could remove any mistakes ... does nail polish come off of paintbrushes? Should I just stick with the model paint idea?
aunt_zelda: (Default)
 I had no idea how ridiculously difficult (re: FUCKING IMPOSSIBLE) it is to find an affordable corset top for the Ren Faire online. Or a peasant blouse. Or a shirt with drapey sleeves. Really. I just spent an hour combing the internet, amazon, discount sites, and Halloween costume sites looking for something that would fit me and wouldn't make me look like a skank and wasn't expensive. I FAILED.

Is it really so much to ask that I be able to buy a shirt/corset that didn't scream "I am a lady of negotiable affection who paid way too much for this knock-off designer top" when all I want to do is go to the Ren Faire NOT looking like it's Baby's First LARP? Really? I was having a good day, you know, universe, until you decided to screw with me like this. 

Fuck it, I'll just wear that one hippie blouse. The main reason I'm going is so I can BUY some decent bodices, after all. Better to support local venders than stupid online warehouses, right? Hopefully my badass cloak will distract from how lousy the rest of my costume will be.

Oh, right, the tie on my cloak still needs to be fixed ...

*wibbles*
aunt_zelda: (Default)
Guess what arrived in the mail today?
My Black Lantern T-Shirt!!! *does the Thriller dance in celebration* 

Now all I need is the ring and some heavy eyeshadow, and my Halloween costume will be complete! *squees as much as a fluffy little fangirl in a Black Lantern t-shirt can*

Speaking of rings, does anybody know where to find a good looking Black Lantern ring? All I can find are the cheap ones that are just black plastic, or the really nice looking ones that are sterling silver and $70, which is way out of my price range at the moment. Should I just buy one of the cheap ones and paint around the symbol with white-out or something?
aunt_zelda: (Default)
I scored TWO GOALS today in soccer!
*SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE*
One of them was when I was one-on-one with someone in a practice exercise! DOUBLE-AWESOME!

So, working on lots of things, including some fic. I've been concentrating on my Leverage/Firefly drabbles, but there will be TGWTG fic soonish, I promise! (My muse is rather overworked, we must be patient and let her rest ...)

Also, the Halloween Party has been moved to a different location, and my friend and I might not be able to make it. Ah well, if that fails I'll just stay home and watch loads of psuedo-horror movies and hide under the bed with my wooden stake collection.

Oh, yeah, and my Heroes review/recap should be up sometime tomorrow. Joy.
aunt_zelda: (Default)

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