THE MADNESS: CIRCUS Week 4!

THE MADNESS: CIRCUS Week 4!

Clown photo by me. These guys were so damn creepy peeking through the curtains

Movies/TV

Last Week: I forgot to include my binge of Scream Queens last week but was approved to include it this week by the Head Hauntress.

Scream Queens
4 points
No bonuses
Episodes 1-4 binge catch up. Chanel is as bad as ever, Niecy is a show stealer again and Jamie Lee is always awesome. I don’t want to give spoilers away, but by the 4th episode, this show finally gets serious about killing off some main characters. And the Ivanka Trump killer costume is genius.
4:00
4 out of 5 creepy clowns

Week 4

Death: A Love Story
6 points
ATB for homicidal clown
Anthology that was surprisingly good. I didn’t see that coming on the Hooker story.
1:`17
4 out of 5 creepy clowns

Thinner
3 points
Bonus: Traveling Gypsy Carnival (Wildcard Tom Holland)
Stephen King classic, and I’m alwyas a sucker for a gypsy fortuneteller. (King of the Gypsies is one of my favorite movies, although I think a young Eric Roberts might have some part in that)
2:00 (tv)
4 out of 5 creepy clowns

Dreamcatcher
2 points
No bonuses
I love me some Oly (Timothy Olyphant) even if he doesn’t make itall the way through. King really has a thing for weirdo kids fighting the supernatural even after they grow up.
2:00 (tv)
4 out of 5 creepy clowns

Blade
2 points
No bonuses
review
2:00 (tv)
4 out of 5 creepy clowns

Holidays
6 points
ATB for homicidal clown
Seriously creepy kid alert in the St. Patty’s day story. WTF? That was a weird segment. I was pleasantly surpised with this anthology as well, taking other holidays to make some really creepy stories.
1:45
4 out of 5 creepy clowns

The Secrets of Emily Blair
2 points
No bonuses
I didn’t know demonic possession turns blondes brunette. And they say blondes have more fun. This actress is horrible playing some possessed Barbie type.
1:35
1 out of 5 creepy clowns

The Collector
2 points
No bonuses
Opening credits are oh-so-Se7en. This is a pretty good movie, actually. Derivative, sure, but creepy.
1;29
3.5 out of 5 creeepy clowns

Clown
ATB Killer Clown
6 points
Who double books a clown? Suburban fear and loathing when some poor schmuck tries to be a good dad by filling in when the clown doesn’t show for his son’s birthday party (Anyone else think of Steve Martin in Parenthood?) with disastrous results when he can’t take off the cursed clown costume. Reminded me of another movie I watched but damn if I can remember the name. They are all running together at this point
1:39
3 out of 5 creepy clowns

Killer Legends
6 points
ATB for real life killer clown John Wayne Gacy
I love this documentary on the real origins of urban legends. Real life can be a lot scarier than fiction.
1:24
4.5 out of 5 creepy clowns

Killer Klowns from Outer Space
6 points
Is that ice cream driver The Captain from Captain and Tennille? A blow up raft in the back of a pickup. how romantic
1:26
3.5 out of 5 creepy clowns

Slaughter High
6 pts
ATB for homicidal jester
No, that’s not fair… these assholes had it coming. Why should they get revenge on him for getting revenge? I call bullshit. There should be a Caroline Munro wildcard just because she rocks.
3 out of 5 creepy clowns

13 Ghosts
2 points
No bonuses
I hate that lispy kid, but love Matthew Lillard. If this family is so poor, how can they afford that nanny? HUGE logic flaw.
2 hours (TV)
3 out of 5 cerepy clowns, all of which go to Lillard

Killjoy
6 points
ATB for Killer clown
Do I really want to sit through three of these on this dvd set? What is it with ice cream truck clowns and dolls in creepy clown movies?
1:12
1 out of 5 creepy clowns

Killjoy 2: Deliverance from Evil
6 points
ATB for killer clown
Ugh. still another one after this. With characters named Ray-Ray and Ce-Ce, what can you really expect?
1:17
1 out of 5 creepy clowns

Killjoy 3
6 points
ATB for killer clown
I can’t believe I bought this fucking triple play dvd.
1:16
2 out of 5 creepy clowns

Walking Dead
1 point
No bonuses
A much tamer episode this week. The best part is watching Carol being kind of a jackass making fun of the Kingdom, then getting called on her shit.
1:00
4 out of 5 creepy clowns

Paranormal Lockdown Halloween Special
2 points
No bonuses
This Halloween special they sort of amped up the drama, and I would prefer they not do that. I feel Nick and Katrina are genuine, but they need to be careful about overdoing it when filming. Good episode though. I did an interview with the two when they were filming at Waverly Hills, and this is just a small part of it.Most will be saved for the second season preview”

‘Paranormal Lockdown: Black Monk House’ Halloween Special: Interview With Nick Groff And Katrina Weidman On Scariest Episode Yet


2:00
4 out of 5 creepy clowns

Kindred Spirits
1 point
No bonuses
This isn’t the non stop action of many paranromal shows, but that’s what makes it so credible. I did a 3-part interview with these two here:

‘Kindred Spirits’: Exclusive Interview With Former ‘Ghost Hunters’ Amy Bruni And Adam Berry On Their New Paranormal Series [Part 1]

‘Kindred Spirits’: Exclusive Interview With Adam Berry And Amy Bruni [Part 2]

‘Kindred Spirits’: Amy Bruni And Adam Berry On The One Paranormal Investigation They Never Want To Do


1:00
4.5 out of 5 creepy clowns

Halloween Favorites: They just have to be done, points be damned

Halloween
6 points
ATB for kid in clown costume kills
I dig Rob Zombie’s aesthetic, but there is only one Halloween.
1:31

Trick r’ Treat
2 points
no bonuses
This is now my favorite Halloween theme movie, sorry John Carpenter. Absp;ute perfection, weaving together different stories and Halloween lore.
1:22
5 out of 5 creepy clowns

Suspiria
2 points
No bonuses
My favorite Argento film of all time. Deliciously beautiful AND gory. And scary as hell.
1:32
5 out of 5 creepy clowns

Hellraiser
2 points
no bonuses
I love, love, LOVE Clive Barker, and even though the acting is terrible here by the lead and the budget is low, meaning some cheesy effects, Pinhead was a whole new beast in the horror villain worked, and he stands up well to the test of time. But an even  more chilling one is Clare Higgins as Julia, working that high gothic femme fatale thing.
1:34
5 out of 5 creepy clowns

Nightmare on Elm Street
2 points
No bonuses
This is a must every Halloween. Sure, some of the acting is pretty bad, but this still stands as probably the movie that scared me the most the first time I saw it. I was afriad to go to sleep. Well done Wes Craven.
1:31
4.5 out of 5 creepy clowns for bad acting

Return of the Living Dead
2 points
No bonuses
Best. Zombie.Movie. Ever.
1:31
5 out of 5 creepy clowns

87 points if I counted correctly, finishing this while half asleep. Alas, I doubt his is enough to take second place, but it’s good to get some new blood in the top two, right?

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THE MADNESS: CIRCUS Week 3!

THE MADNESS: CIRCUS Week 3!

Another creepy clowns photo by me.

Yes, I sucked this week. Life has been getting in the way of just sitting around all day watching movies, but I promise I will go out Halloween week with a bang. (So keep plugging away team for the team championship) I got some favorites in this week, but stillholding off for some of the biggies till next week and Halloween.

Special Bonuses

Nada

Movies

Rob Zombie’s 31
6 points
ATB for homicidal clowns
Rob Zombie always divides people into two extreme camps. I love his style even when I see flaws in his films, but I thought this was a step forward for him from a critical perspective. I don’t really get the 31 thing, other than Rob being obsessed with Halloween.
1:45
4 out of 5 creepy clowns

Walking Dead (S6E12, S6E13, S7E1)
3 points
No bonuses
I watched the last two episodes of Season 6 leading into the Season 7 premiere last night (almsot forgot to count those two old ones.) No clowns or carnivals, but that was some fucked up shit. I’d still do Negan though. Sue me.
3:00
4.5 out of 5 creepy clowns

Near Dark
2 points
No bonuses
One of my favorite vamp flicks of all time. Love the dark moodiness of it and the sicck humor of that bar scene. Bigelow is so much better at directing than her ex-husband.
1:45
5 out of 5 creepy clowns

The Lost Boys
3 points
1 for boardwalk
I have never stopped obsessing over Jami Gertz’s gypsy skirt. The two Coreys. Jason Patric. Kiefer Sutherland. And I adore Dianne Wiest. Pure awesome.
1:45
5 out of 5 creepy clowns

30 Days of NIght
2 points
No bonuses
Yeah, I’m on a vampire kick here. This is what vampires should be – scary and ugly as fuck. Even Ethan Hawke is bearable in this,and Ben Foster… oh, how wonderful he is in his small role, as usual.
1:45
4.5 out of 5 creepy clowns

Halloween Wars
1 points
Bonus for Sid Haig as guest judge
I was just watching this for fun when I saw Sid was judging. Pretty sure this is his first time on the show? Anyway, those Sugar Psychos seem unstoppable for the final crown.
1:00
4 out of 5 creepy clowns

976-EVIL
2 points
No bonuses
One of my favorite horror films directed by Freddy Krueger and oh-so-80s. Dig that show phone in the beginning sequence. Plus remembering when 900 numbers first came out and were the big thing. Campy and creepy.
1:00
4 out of 5 creepy clowns

American Werewolf in London
2 points
No bonuses
Still also feeling that full moon and into werewolves. How can anyone not love this classic, plus I hold a specil place in my heart for “Nurse Price.” I guess I shoudl consider myself warned to never take stray paitents home with me, LOL.
1:00
5 out of 5 creepy clowns

The Howling
2 points
No bonuses
I know many would argue AWINL as the best wereowlf movie, but The Howling is my personal favorite. Love the sly humor and the creepy irony of those samn smiley face sticker. Kills me every time.
1:00
5 out of 5 creepy clowns

Full Eclipse
2 points
No bonus points
I know, I know.. Mario van Peebles doesn’t exactly scream “quality cinema,” especially for a werewolf movie, but I think this is a nice little sleeper with a great twist on the werewolf legend.
2:00
3.5 out of 5 creepey clowns

The Serpent and the Rainbow
2 points
No bonuses
Now I’m on a voodoo kick. EXCELLENT movie on a very real practive, although the supernatural side embellished. One of my favortie horror movies of all time and soem seriously creepy shit.
2:00
5 out of 5 creepy clowns

The Believers
2 points
No bonusesMore voodoo, with Martin Sheen and his son coming under attack after his wife is killed in a freak accident. Jimmy Smits has a small role and suffers an especially bad voodoo curse. And let’s not even go into what happens to Sheens new girlfriend. Ick.
2:00
4.5 out of 5 creepy clowns

American Horror Story: Roanoke
1 point
Sarah Paulson, but it’s already in genreNot sure how I feel about this season compared to previous ones. Kathhy Bates is outstanding as always, but the problem with the format is we know the main characters survive, so it takes a lot of suspense out of it. Her name escapes me at the moment, but the actress from 6 Feet Under was stellar this episode, with her backwater, hillbilly human beef jerky. She has a sort of quirky, dtizy quality like Dianne Wiest, but much darker.
1:00
3.5 creepy clowns

Total points: 30

 

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Dracula retold, and refreshingly sparkle-free

Dracula retold, and refreshingly sparkle-free

I’m really wish people would stop ruining vampires for me. You know what movies I’m talking about, without me even uttering the dreaded “T” word. And some of the lame, wimpy, effeminate vampires that have paraded around screen and in books in recent years. So I admit, I almost didn’t even bother to watch Dracula Untold. I figured it would be yet another disappointment.

Fortunately, I figured wrong, at least to a certain extent.

I could nitpick some flaws in this movie, but I’m going to give it a pass on a few things. Maybe my standards have dropped a little too low with some of the poor vampire movies out there, but I actually thought this was pretty damn good.

Dracula Untold tells the story of the origin of the great vampire legend, with an ancient vampire who has been cursed and dwells in a cave. And much like a Marvel superhero, he and his protégé he passes his curse along to can command bats. And let me tell you, they can make these bats do some bitchin’ things, as Ve Neill would say.

They can create storms and huge whirlwinds like tornadoes that the newly crowned Dracula uses as a cover to plow through entire armies by himself, trying to save his kingdom from being taken in a bloody war.

You see, this spin on the Dracula legend has him willingly taking the blood of the cursed vampire in the cave to take on superpowers, which will all go away and he’ll return to human if he can resist feeding for 72 hours. As you can imagine, this can sort of complicate date night with the wife, among other things.

All kidding aside, this movie has beautiful cinematography, fairly nice special effects — and yes, of course they use CGI for the bats (boo, hiss) — but overall this is a very solid entry into the annals of vampire movies.

It’s sort of like 300 with vampires and without the abs. Check out the trailer…

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The Madness Final Descent Into Darkness! Week 4

The Madness Final Descent Into Darkness! Week 4

So, I started this last week of The Madness as the “dark horse” so to speak, no pun intended, in third place with 515 points + 20 early bird = 535. Ravyn was in second with 546 + 40 early bird + 25 handicap = 611, and Newt in first with 579 +40 early bird = 619. So that was 76 points to make up for 2nd place and 84 points to make up for 1st. Seems impossible, doesn’t it? Don’t be too sure…

TV

Walking Dead – 60 minutes (no bonus) 1 point: Is he or isn’t he dead? I say no, since he wasn’t on Talking Dead and it’s ambiguous. But it’s cheap. Not cool, Kirkman, not cool. 2 stars

Talking Dead – 60 minutes (no bonus) 1 point: Whatever. Still pissed about them toying with us including Gimple’s “statement” but how much it hurts them too. There is a limit to how much you can manipulate something without pissing fans off. You found and surpassed it, because there is no way Glenn could have survived. After they ate through Nicholas they would have gone through him too. 2 stars

Face Off Season Finale Part 2- 60 minutes (no bonus) 1 point: I totally knew Nora would win. Her shit was together before and on set, so much more than everyone. 3.5 stars

Inkmaster Halloween Tattoo special – 60 minutes (no bonus) 1 point: God, dealing with watching St Marq again should be worth extra points. What a douche. The guy with the mohawk never had a chance, it was Clean (?) all the way. The Cheech and Chong costumes were funny but Dave Navarro should have worked a little harder. 3 stars

American Horror Story: Hotel “Mommy”  – 69 minutes making it technically a feature. I totally missed that the rest of the Madness (vampires) 3 points: Love the idea of bringing in the Richard Ramirez thing in homage to the real hotel that inspired this, but that’s about the only thing good I can say. And the makeup job on Lily Rabe was so good I didn’t recognize her at first. Oh how you torment me Ryan Murphy with your flashes of brilliance, then your misguided need to go campy  and overkill everything. STOP that please, except when it is appropriate, like that one dance number in Asylum. 2 stars

Supernatural “The Bad Seed” – 60 minutes (nemesis is The Darkness) 2 points: I love Rowena… “It’s the MEGA  coven!” They just aren’t feeling it, sister. 3 stars

Supernatural  “Baby” –  60 minutes  (nemesis is The Darkness., werewolf/vampire hybrid) 3 points: Kind of dialogue heavy this episode. At first I was afraid they were going to “kill” off Baby in this episode, which would have pissed me off royally. Dean’s car is as much a character as anyone in this series. I’m referring to my big laptop as Baby now. 3 stars

It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown – 30 minutes 0.5 points: Caught this flipping through the channels. A classic. 5 stars

Halloween Wars finale with Elvira – 60 minutes (Elvira bonus) 2 points: Oh man, that zombie party could have won if they had laid it out better without so much dead space, no pun intended. One of the masquerading zombies was sort of hidden behind another. They should have had the table going straight back and two zombie masqueraders on each side. So close… 3.5 stars

Ash vs. Evil Dead premiere  6 points: Now Bruce Campbell knows how to do campy, and this is awesome! Love his realness (and his humor about it) and not some buffed guy, and his two average sidekicks. Thank goodness I have Starz. 4.5 stars

Ghost Adventures “Deadwood” – 120 minutes feature (ATB willingly going into basement counts right? night vision) – 6 points: I got suckered into this 2 hour Halloween special from Deadwood. Sometimes Zak is such a douche, but sometimes I’m not entirely sure. Or at least he has moments when he isn’t a douche. I actually thought it was a fairly good episode, but would have been improved if they brought in Tim Olyphant to reprise his role as Seth Bullock. Anything is better with Oly. I intend to binge Justified once The Madness is over. 4 stars

Ghost Adventures “Island of the Dolls” – 60 minutes (Night vision) 2 points I was trying to find episodes that went into caves or basements for more bonuses but watching Zak whimper like a little girl over creepy dolls was worth it. What an idiot. Rating based on entertainment value rather than quality of investigation. 4 stars

Ghost Adventures “Bell Witch Cave” – 60 minutes (night vision, cave) 3 points – This was pretty creepy actually, at the beginning talking about the old legend, but descended into melodrama. I do not trust some of their so-called technology. 3 stars

31.5 points

Dark Father, Moses Rising challenge

Last week I watched the prequels (VOMIT) and the original IV, plus the special edition of IV, V and VI, the holiday special and Attack the Block.

Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back original (ATB Star Wars) 6 points: There’s a little difference in the special effects between the original and the special editions, but not much. All of the original trilogy are awesome. 5 stars

Star Wars The Return of the Jedi original (ATB Star Wars) 6 points: I really already talked about this last week. 4.5 stars

Uncut Fan film 1 (ATB Star Wars) 6 points: A New Hope… hands down the best sequence were the ones not trying to impress George Lucas and trying to be all professional and shit. 3 stars

Uncut fan film 2 (ATB Star Wars) 6 points: Empire Strikes Back  I actually made notes about some of the segments somewhere, but can’t find them. I am so sick of Star Wars, I MAY be ready for the new one this Xmas. Maybe. 3 stars

And at the last minute, literally, did my sing along theme right before sunrise, as I almost forgot about it. It’s posted on the Facebook page where it will eventually fade into oblivion, rather than posted here for eternity. Fortunately, my favorite part of the theme is that melancholy “call to the hero’s adventure” thing where Luke is being all emo, because it’s very short. What’s really scary is the video posted was about my fifth try and the best of the lot. Note to self: don’t try to sing the quiet parts quietly unless you can actually sing. -5 stars, 10 points

34 points, plus whatever bonus points we get for doing the whole thingy…

Movies

LOTR trilogy: Quite frankly, I’m surprised these films didn’t come up more on peoples’ lists because the major points for these came up in a discussion before the Madness started. I had been meaning to watch them but simply didn’t get around to it until week 4. I was going to watch them before starting the Star Wars challenge when I realized most seemed to have forgotten them and it was good game to wait till the last week and not remind everyone.

The Lord of the Rings – 177 minutes (ATB Dark Lord Saruman) 9 points: Amazing opening film of the trilogy. A little slow in places while building characters, but really impeccable. And I was so excited to see Christopher Lee again. 5 stars

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers – 179 minutes (ATB Dark Lord Saruman) 9 points: In some ways I love the second installment of trilogies best because of that whole “dark night of the soul” thing and that certainly applies here, with epic fucking battle scenes to boot. 5 stars

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King 201 freakin’ minutes (ATB Dark Lord Saruman)  10.5 points: I have to say this was my least favorite film of the trilogy and I always hate the sappy celebration ceremonial scenes in theses epic adventures. Too Hollywood. 4.5 stars

John Carpenter’s Vampires – 108 minutes (ATB: death by sunlight) 6 points: This reminded me very much of From Dusk till Dawn 2 for the camp factor, but James Woods trumps the Terminator guy for the win.  And it’s John Carpenter, yo. 3.5 stars

night breed

Night Breed  director’s cut- 120 minutes (ATB death by sunlight) 6 points: Clive Barker always embraces the outsiders on the fringe and this dark underworld he created in Midian is populated with all kinds of fantastic creatures, and David Cronenberg puts in a chilling performance. 4.5 stars

The Beyond – 87 minutes (ATB hellmouth) 6 points: If you ever inherit and old hotel in Louisiana — or anywhere — make sure it isn’t built on the gateway to hell, ‘kay? Very gory, and is it me or does Fulci really like to mutilate eyes? 3.5 stars

Frankensteins Castle of Freaks with Elvira – 102 minutes (ATB for finale in cave and Elvira clause) 9 points: If Elvira is hosting it, you know it isn’t exactly Oscar worthy. 2 stars

Dog Soldiers – 105 minutes (werewolves) 3 points: This little sleeper is a great werewolf movie, which is so hard to do, especially low budget. They wisely kept the bodies human and put really scary wolf heads on them, giving them a new look but also simplifying the special effects. Very well done. 4 stars

Silver Bullet – 95 minutes (werewolf) 3 points: Stephen King. Gary Busey. Corey Haim. What can possibly go wrong? At least with Busey and Corey before they went to shit. 5 stars

Wolfman – 103 minutes (werewolves)  3 points: Lots of hardcore horror fans complained about this “remake” which really isn’t a remake but a film in its own right. I personally really love this film, although Anthony Hopkins is a little over the top. Benecio is perfect though. 4.5 stars

Full Eclipse – 93 minutes (werewolf, eclipse) 4 points: Pretty good TV movie with Patsy Kensit, Mario Van Peebles and Bruce Payne who plays the leader of a pack of vigilante cops turned werewolf-like humans. They inject themselves with a serum so they don’t have to wait for the full moon but little do they know its brain fluid from their leader, who is the real thing during the eclipse. “This is your brain, this is you on my brain.” Yeah.  4 stars

3 Tunnels 2 Hell – 85 minutes (ATB finale in underground tunnel system) 6 points: An island they have to turn into a horse camp so the owner can keep the property, but there are underground tunnels with a maniac. you want to hurry up and die. Loathsome characters you wish would hurry up and die already. Bad acting, bad script, bad directing… they actually showed a horse taking a dump for a joke. 0 stars

Beth(Alex Reid), Holly (Nora Jane Noon) and Sarah (Shauna Macdonald)

The Descent – 99 minutes (ATB finale in cave) 6 points: Very scary cave film, even if you aren’t claustrophobic or afraid of the dark. 4 stars

The Descent 2 – 93 minutes (ATB finale in cave) 6 points: Wait, this chick is really going back in the mine, even though she claims she remembers nothing? And they are taking an elevator down rather than going to the entrance used by the women? That ending was so cruel. 3.5 stars

The Cave – 97 minutes (ATB finale in cave) 6 points: In the description they mention these guys from Pitch Black, Coyote Ugly and The Brothers and no mention of Cersei? C’mon. The Descent meets Alien. 3.5 stars

Interview with a Vampire – 123 minutes (ATB death by sunlight) 6 points: I loathe Tom Cruise and even though this wasn’t as bad as expected, I still wish they had cast someone else. Brad Pitt is perfect as Louis, and it’s a pretty good film. But did I mention I HATE Tom Cruise? 3.5 stars

Fright Night 2 2013 – 100 minutes (ATB death by sunlight) 6 points: Pfft. I didn’t even like the original sequel so much so the remake of a sequel… nah. 2 stars

evil dead ash

Evil Dead – 85 minutes (Bruce Campbell but no bonus) 2 points: One of those low point movies but how can you not watch, especially when they play these right before the Ash vs Evil Dead premiere. I may be in the minority, but this is my favorite. 5 stars

Evil Dead 2 – 84 minutes 2 points: Sam and Bruce cranked up the intentional humor in this one, and it’s a lot of fun, but I still like the first better. But hey, it’s GROOVY. . 4 stars

Army of Darkness – 81 minutes (dropped in pit, darkness in title) 4 points I missed the viewing party but caught this on Starz before the Ash vs Evil Dead premiere. This seems to be everyone’s favorite, but I would rate this last of the trilogy. I’m in the minority.4.5 stars

Graveyard Shift – 80 minutes (ATB, willingly goes into basement) 6 points: If you are cruel to animals — even rats — you’ll get what you deserve in this movie inspired by a Stephen King tale. Some poor drifter gets like, the worst job in the world andgets trapped with a monster and the co-workers from hell  3 stars

Jeepers Creepers – 90 minutes (ATB finale underground) 6 points: Eh, okay movie. Honestly, I watched it because I saw the Hauntress label it as ATB somewhere, for finale. The sniffing thing is pretty creepy and that noise it makes when it finds something it likes. 2.5 stars

Blair Witch Project – 81 minutes (ATB willingly go into basement) 6 points: This is a great slow burn film that gets under your skin, and I can forgive it for the onslaught of bad found footage movies since. Still very unnerving, and it was a long time before I could go hiking by myself after this one. 5 stars

House of 1000 Corpses  –  89 minutes (ATB finale in underground tunnels) 6 points: This used to be my go to movie when I wanted something fun and mindless to watch, but hadn’t seen it in quite some time. Love Chris Hardwick and Walt Goggins’ small role. I love a lot of things about this movie, but Zombie tried to throw in too many things in the second half. Is it homage or rip off? I say homage, and fall on the love it side of this one, which seems to be love it or hate it. 4 stars

976-Evil – 92 minutes (ATB Englund character is “Master of the Dark”) 6 points:  I LOVE this movie, and its one of my go to movies now for the nostalgia and old school horror. I love how Robert Englund scattered so many devil references throughout as director and the voice on the phone. Heavy handed but fun. Sandy Dennis was brilliant as the holier than thou mother, and of course “Evil” was perfect for this one. 5 stars

Halloween – 91 minutes (no bonuses) 2 points: I hated doing a 2 point movie, but I had to do Halloween on Halloween. If I can’t win with this one, I don’t want to win. And none of that Rob Zombie shit. 5 stars

Suspiria – 92 minutes (witches attack at night, blind character) 4 points: My favorite Argento film of all time. Deliciously beautiful AND gory. And scary as hell. 5 points

My Bloody Valentine 2009 – 101 minutes (ATB finale in mine) 6 points: I saw this film posted on the Madness page and totally forgot about the mine factor.  Normally I would prefer the original, but hello Dean Winchester! definitely tongue in cheek remake but without going overboard on humor. 3.5 stars

154.5 points

Special Bonuses

mammoth cave

Seasonal walk throughs – 3 total: Quarantine, Hospital and Haunted House/Carnival themes at Wicked World Scaregrounds 6 points 3 stars, 3 stars and 4 stars 

C’mon, y’all didn’t really think I’d pass up that Mammoth Cave bonus when its like, 2 hours from me, right? Plus it was my only way to have a shot at winning because I knew I could never catch up with Ravyn and Newt on watching points alone, especially once the secret bonuses were gone. So it comes down to special bonuses — if they have some, I’m screwed most likely, and if they don’t, I can take this. I really had told myself after last week winning one week was good enough and was thinking of blowing it off, but Emily convinced me to go, so if this gives me the win, it’s a collaborative effort in that sense.

Having said that, it was well worth it, The Madness aside, and I’m happy to say I had no claustrophobia freakouts, even on the tour that was lantern light only. So, yes, I did TWO tours. I wanted to go for three, but two of the tours I felt I could handle weren’t offered that day because of work being done on one and the other only being offered weekends, or I would have broken the overall points record. I guess it just wasn’t mean to be. But anyway…200 effin’ points + 2 for mileage (mileage is only one way? If not, then 4 points for 2 hours each way)

208 Points

31.5 (TV) + 34 (Dark Father/Star Wars)  + 154.5 (movies) + 208 (Special bonuses) = 428 + 515 (previous total) + 20 (early bird) = 963 + special bonus for doing ALL Star Wars (including video)

Read it and weep, or if you other two did any special bonuses, read it and laugh at my feeble attempt to take it all. Time will tell.

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The Madness – Darkness: Week 3

The Madness – Darkness: Week 3

If I had a weak week last week for The Madness, I sure made up for it this week, being off work and all. I went for the bigger point items, going for those 4-6 pointers and some super bonus Elvira. I focused a lot on vampires, hoping to hit lots of ATB “death by sunlight” points, but damn if I could remember how vampires died in a lot of older films… stake or sunlight? So it was hit and miss.

I really never want to see another vampire movie as long as I live. But this was my big play to try to win one week before I get back to work next week.

Secret Bonuses

Altitude – 90 minutes (Secret bonus 2010 fog/mist?,  Jessica Lowndes) 20 points or 3 points: A bunch of annoying young people run into The Mist in an airplane. Sure, they added a twist at the end, but not the best I’ve seen by a long shot. 2 stars

Nightfall – 83 minutes (Secret bonus 1988 descent into darkness? Sarah Douglas) 20 points or ATB 6 points for extended night at the end: I swear this must be the prequel for Pitch Black, telling the story of what happened to the people who had lived on that planet before Vin and Radha crashed there. The very BAD prequel. Apparently going from endless day to into an extended night of unknown duration takes you from kites and hippie free love to homicidal madness. 1 star

40 points if I got the bonuses

TV Shows

Walking Dead – 60 minutes 1 point: Whoa, just when you think this is going to be one of those slow episodes again, BAM! someone’s smoking a cigarette and one of the Wolves bashes their brains in. Is Carol the badass to end all badasses or what? 4.5 stars

Talking Dead – 60 minutes 1 point: It occurred to me this should count as it talks about the Walking Dead plus they had Kevin Smith this week with his infamous comparison of the episode to “oral that doesn’t stop after you’re done.” 4 stars

Face Off – 60 minutes 1 point: the finale has started and this was the first of two parts. I’m thinking Nora is going to come out on top, but the fact it looks like that could be deceptive editing. 3.5 stars

AHS: Hotel – 60 minutes (Vampires, secret rooms) 3 points: I don’t know, I wasn’t feeling it so much this week. This is how past seasons have gone — start with a really strong premiere then just go down the toilet. More Sarah Paulson please. And Denis O’Hare. 3 stars

Halloween Wars – 60 minutes  1 point: I always love these competitions, creating Halloween scenes with pumpkin carvers, candy makers and bakers. Amazing creations. 3.5 stars

Scream Queens – 60 minutes (there was another secret room/passage reveal this week) 2 points: Sweet homages this week to The Shining and if you were quick to catch it, an ode to the scariest moment in Exorcist III. 3.5 stars

9 points

Movies

Underworld: Evolution – 106 minutes (vampires/werewolves) 4 points: I admit the Underworld movies are played out, but I dig them. I love the aesthetic and Kate Beckinsdale, even if it’s taken directly from the artwork of Monolith Graphics. 3.5 stars

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans – 92 minutes (ATB death by sunlight) 6 points: This one returns to the backstory between Lucien and Sonya, so I knew it would be an ATB. But it’s a slightly different spin on the series with the different time period. 4 stars

Blade II – 117 minutes (ATB death by sunlight) 6 points – Norman Reedus plays a Judas here, just like in that damn Lady Gaga video, but without the Gag Hag, as I call her. Bonus for Norman fans. Blade’s lady vampire friend has mad style., but too bad she had the brother from hell and had to do that whole suicide by sunlight thing. 4 stars

Fright Night – 106 minutes (ATB death by sunlight) 6 points: One of my favorite vampire movies ever and one of my favorite vamps ever. You can bite me any day Chris Sarandon. 5 stars

Dark Places – 91 minutes (Dark in title, Christopher Lee, walled up people) 5 points: Older film where poor Christopher Lee stumbles on a mad man rehabbing an old house where there is hidden money. It doesn’t work out well for him. 2.5 stars

Tomb of the Blind Dead, Spanish version – 101 minutes (tombs, blind, vampiric Knights Templar zombies that attack at night) 5 points: Silly film where some dingbat jumps off a train in the middle of nowhere and goes camping in abandoned ruins by herself, making sure to change into her nightie and turn on her portable radio to give it that homey feel. And no one can escape from blind, slow, Knights Templar, zombie vampires. 1 star

Elvira Mistress of the Dark – 96 minutes (Elvira bonus, personification of dark ATB) 9 points: I get the whole schtick with Elvira, but the humor works best as brief commentary on horror films, not making her own full length film. But I seriously want her car. And that house. I could work that space y’all.  2.5 stars

Elvira: Count Dracula’s Great Love – 97 minutes (Elvira bonus, ATB death by sunlight) 9 points: What is it with the telepathic voice most of the film from Count Dracula? He hardly ever moves his lips, which I suppose makes those foreign language dubs a lot easier.  And he commits hari-kari? I know it’s supposed to be bad, but wtf? 0 stars

Dracula AD 1972 –  95 minutes (Christopher lee, vampires, fog/mist) 5 points: “Dig the music kids!!” while you resurrect Christopher Lee in this shagadelic feature with the fab Caroline Munro. Oh Christopher, really? 2 stars

Horror of Dracula – 82 minutes (Christopher Lee, vampires, ATB death by sunlight) 6 points: Sweet, SWEET move by Peter Cushing to tear down the drapes and destroy poor Dracula with sunlight, and get me my max points. 5 stars

Dracula: Prince of Darkness – 90 minutes (vampires, Christopher Lee, Darkness in name, personification of darkness ATB) 6 points: Christopher Lee is my all time favorite Dracula, and was my primary influence in a life long love and sympathy for the monster. He is why I always root for the vampire to win. 5 stars

Bram Stoker’s Dracula – 128 minutes (vampires, phantom mist) 4 points: I am so disappointed no death by sunlight, but Gary Oldman is definitely my second favorite vamp of all time. Pure gothic romance where even Keanu Reeves manages not to be too annoying. And a cameo by Tom Waits. 5 stars

Raw Meat – 87 minutes (London underground, Christopher Lee, power outage, secret room, ATB finale in transportation tunnel) 6 points: This must have been a film that influenced Creep, with a lunatic in the London Underground. I also noted in the credits a makeup artist named Peter Frampton. Do you suppose it was THAT Peter Frampton? Anyway, Christopher Lee verbally bitch slaps Donald Pleasance. 3 stars

Elvira: The Devil’s Wedding Night – 99 minutes (Elvira bonus, vampires, startled by bat, Shout Factory TV) 8 points? Boobs and blood sums this up. Lots of boobs and blood. Oh yes, there was something of a plot, sort of,  with vampires and a wedding ritual involving virgin sacrifice. Did I mention boobs and blood? 1.5 stars

Daybreakers — 98 minutes (ATB destroyed by sunlight) 6 points: I used to hate Ethan Hawke but warmed to him just a bit in this film, as well as Sinister. I can’t say I love him, but I love the style of this film, which has a very noir feel to it. And some scary vampire mutations. 4 stars

Lost Boys – 97 minutes (vampires, cave, startled by bats) 5 points: How can you not love this 80s classic? A Kiefer Sutherland motorcycle gang, a cool California boardwalk carnival, the two Coreys, Jason Patric and Dianne Wiest doing her ditzy thing she does so well. 5 stars

Fright Night 2011 – 106 minutes (ATB death by sunlight ) 6 points: Another of the useless remakes, but I suppose I must concede it could have been much worse. Colin Farrell is no Chris Sarandon, but I’d still hit it. 3 stars

Fright Night 2 – 104 minutes (ATB death by sunlight) 6 points: Meh. Chris Sarandon’s vampire sister wants revenge. I just couldn’t get into it. The story was over guys. 2.5 stars

From Dusk til Dawn – 105 minutes (ATB death by sunlight) 6 points: Greg Nicotero was pretty fucking hot back in the day, wasn’t he? Rockin’ a whole Gregg Allman thing. Anyway, great vampire flick from Rodriguez with a lot of Tarantino snark and humor. And Tom Savini for the win. Oh yeah, George Clooney, too. 5 stars

From Dusk till Dawn 2 – 87 minutes (Bruce Campbell? I had no idea, startled by bats, vampires… Ah, ATB for death by sunlight) 6 points: Whoa, I wasn’t expecting that Campbell cameo. Obviously I hadn’t seen this campy sequel before, and I mean campy even by the original’s standards. Right at the boundary of too much, but it works. 3 stars

Prince of Darkness (John Carpenter) — 102 minutes (ATB, antagonist embodiment of darkness and willingly enter hellmouth) 6 points: I love this film, from Donald Pleasance to Alice Cooper’s deranged homeless guy and that bike scene. 5 stars

Hellraiser – 94 minutes (ATB entering hellmouth) 6 points: The puzzle box is a gateway to hell, adn Frank does enter it willingly at the beginning, hence my ATB claim. I love, love, LOVE Clive Barker, and even though the acting is terrible here by the lead and the budget is low, meaning some cheesy effects, Pinhead was a whole new beast in the horror villain worked, and he stands up well to the test of time. But an even  more chilling one is Clare Higgins as Julia, working that high gothic femme fatale thing. 4.5 stars

Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 – 97 minutes (ATB entering hellmouth) 6 points: Julia’s back and bitchier than ever. We get Pinhead’s back story, and why is everyone so anxious to visit hell? Clive’s pal Pete Atkins penned this sequel which worked out pretty well. Then the rest of the franchise pretty much went to hell, no pun intended, and in a bad way. 4 stars

Daughters of Darkness (Director’s Cut) — 99 minutes (ATB antagonist personification of darkness) 6 points: Lady Gaga seduces Ann Coulter and her boyfriend. The Hunger may be an influence on this season of AHS, but so is this. 3 stars

Nosferatu the Vampyre – 107 minutes (ATB death by sunlight) 6 points: Remake of the 1922 classic, which was one of the rare scary vampire approaches, influencing many other films such as Salem’s Lot and 30 Days of Night. 3.5 stars

Lord of Illusions: Directors Cut – 121 minutes (dropped into pit, buried, Shout Factory DVD) 5 points: I love this movie more every time I see it. I love the dark side of the magic world, and wonder if this was based on Criss Angel, who Clive knew before he was famous. Extra bonus for using Diamanda Galas for the score as the disciples sink into the mud and are buried. 5 stars

The Dead Zone – 103 minutes 2 points: Not really part of my plan to focus on big point movies this week, but it was on Syfy while I was multitasking a bunch of internet junk. Plus it’s a great movie. I was trying to remember if Christopher Walken’s multiple references to Sleepy Hollow in this movie were before or after Tim Burton’s film. But it was ironic either way. 4 stars

Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace:  136 minutes (ATB antagonist personification of the dark) 7.5 points: I had hoped that the passage of time might make me say “That wasn’t as bad as I remembered.” I hoped wrong. Still dumbfounded by the awfulness of Jar Jar Binks. I got the worst one over with first. 1 star (only for special effects)

Star Wars II Attack of the Clones – 134 minutes (ATB antagonist personification of the dark) 6 points – Better than that goddawful Phantom Menace, which doesn’t say much except that it doesn’t make me want to beat George Lucas with a stick.  And Christopher Lee always elevates whatever he is in, but I hate that Count Dooku name. It sounds like a baby trying to pronounce Dracula or a nickname for poop. 2 stars

Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith – 140 minutes (ATB antagonist personification of the dark) 7.5 points – Okay, the most bearable of the prequels, this wasn’t too bad. And of course, we finally got to see the creation of the Darth Vader we all know and hate today. 3 stars

Star Wars IV special edition – 125 minutes (ATB antagonist personification of the dark)  6 points: I vaguely remember seeing this in the theater when it came out, but I definitely remember the huge Star Wars mania after it came out. When I watched that trailer for The Force Awakens, I felt a huge surge of nostalgia, but this also reminded me that this really is one of the great spiritual stories of our times. Which is why the prequels piss me off so much. 5 stars

The Empire Strikes Back special edition – 127 minutes (ATB antagonist personification of the dark) 6 points: Some people prefer this sequel over the first and sure, the effects were improved in the originals, but I still like the first the best. or in this case, IV. But of course, the classic “I am your father” revelation is pretty freakin’ awesome. 5 stars

Return of the Jedi special edition – 135 minutes (ATB antagonist personification of the dark) 6 points: I could live without Jabba the Hut, but this did give us an iconic Halloween costume with Princess Leia in bondage. 4.5 points

Star Wars  IV original – 121 minutes (ATB antagonist personification of the dark) 6 points: Yeah, the special effects are kind of primitive in some places, and the special editions that reworked some of them improved the films. Sorry purists, but deal with it. 4.5 stars

Attack the Block – 73 minutes (ATB Star Wars challenge) 6 points: I couldn’t understand half of what they were saying with that thick cockney accent, but campy horror comedy where some south London wayward youth find themselves under attack by werewolf-like aliens. What? Just go with it. 3.5 stars

The Star Wars Holiday Special – 117 minutes (Star Wars ATB) 6 points: That wookie kid is freaking me out. And what is with all the psychadelic music and dance numbers?  Maude and Harvey Korman in the space bar, with Maude singing? I really needed to be in Colorado or Oregon to watch this, as the creators had to be high on something when they wrote it. 0 stars or 5 stars depending on how stoned you are.

224 points for movies

Total with secret bonuses would be 273

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THE MADNESS: Darkness  – Week 2

THE MADNESS: Darkness – Week 2

Well, I got several secret bonuses last week for The Madness by being totally OCD and posting right at noon Friday, but lost Saturday and reaping the consequences this week of the lost day and lost momentum. Fortunately I had a lot of time to try to make things up this week or this would have been a lot worse. Plus I didn’t realize how much horror I watch without trying, particularly TV.

Secret Bonuses?

The Shrine – 84 minutes (Secret bonus, mist/fog) – What is with people who insist on doing stupid things that put themselves and others in danger? Some pesky reporter gets her friends to go to Poland looking for a missing person and they stumble upon some unfriendly locals who chase them away. Then they go back and find a dense and very defined fog. That’s where I would say, “Bye!” But no, they enter and right off the bat it’s demon statues that turn and face you when you aren’t looking. BYE, already! Started good but degenerated into shameless Linda Blair ripoff. 2 stars

Pitch Black – 109 minutes (possible secret bonus? Radha Mitchell, Vin Diesel, monsters that attack at night, holed up in cave?) – Great action movie with a new twist on monsters that attack at night, with the unpredictability of a different planet’s solar schedule. So disappointing that Vin and Radha never got to hook up. 4 stars

Dracula: 2000 – 99 minutes (other possible secret bonus from 2000? Wes Craven producer, vampires, destroyed by sunlight) I know it’s kind a cheesy, but I’m a sucker for New Orleans and I love the Judas twist. 3.5 stars

Willow – 125 minutes (Billy Barty, descent into darkness?) I was convinced this was going to be the 20 point bonus, but the descent into darkness element isn’t clear to me. Willow and Meegosh fall through the ground when they encounter the Brownies, so maybe that counts? They all enter Queen Bavmorda’s castle, which is a place of darkness, literally and metaphorically, yet I’m not sure that qualifies? I’m not sure this is the one. There really should have been a Val Kilmer wild card though. This kind of fantasy is not really my thing, but I’ll give it 3.5 stars for having such an unconventional hero.

Madness Viewing party (30 points):

The Darkness – 102 minutes (darkness in title, attacks in dark, secret room, power outage, Anna Paquin, Lena Olin) – Creepy little thriller in Ana’s pre-Sookie days. 4 stars

The creepy clown in The Hole. BURN THE FUCKING HOUSE DOWN ALREADY.

The Hole – 91 minutes (pit) – How many dirty “hole” double entendres can be packed in one film and how many creepy doll attacks before you burn that fucking house down already! 4 stars for creepy doll, even if it did get silly in the end. 3.5 stars

The Ghost and the Darkness – 109 minutes (Darkness in title) – Is it just me or is Val Kilmer popping up a lot? I couldn’t help but think of Cecil through this and it made me sad. 3.5 stars

More Horror Movies

The Company of Wolves – 95 min (Werewolf) This is one of my favorites, directed by Neil Jordan with a twist on the Little Red Riding Hood theme, and some serious sexual tension from the Big Bad Wolf. Dreamy and surreal… 4.5 stars

Ginger Snaps – 109 minutes (Werewolves, Emily Perkins, Mimi Rogers used to be married to Tom Cruise, can that count?) I obviously love weird sisters with the same interests and the photos are amazing in the opening credits, even inspiring me on a photoshoot to make my own poison tea party. Mimi Rogers is hilarious as the clueless mom. 5 stars

Nastasha tea party

Darkness Falls – 85 minutes (darkness in title, attacks in dark, destroyed by light) A sick twist on the tooth fairy legend, which is sort of predictable but I sort of like this one anyway. 3.5 stars

Silent Hill – 125 minutes (attacks during darkness, Radha Mitchell, going down into underground?) I sort of wrote this off when it first came out, not liking the monster in it, but now love the creepy atmosphere and you have to love the skinning scene. 4 stars

The Mist – 126 minutes (mist,) What a cruel, cruel ending. Half the cast of The Walking Dead and yes, Carol is a badass survivor even before zombies. Didn’t love or hate it particularly. 2.5 stars

30 Days of Night – 113 minutes (vampires, killed by daylight, extended darkness) Finally some scary vampires in the age of twinkle toes Edward. That’s how you make a damn vampire movie, and Ben Foster may have had a small role, but was brilliant as always. Am I the only on who thinks Danny Huston sort of reminds you of a vampiric Anthony Bourdain? 4.5 stars

The House that Dripped Blood – 102 minutes (vampires, Christopher Lee) I love these three stories, featuring Lee and Peter Cushing in separate tales. 5 stars

sir christopher lee Oh how we miss you Sir Christopher

Sleepy Hollow – 105 minutes (attack at night, Christopher Lee, horseman and witch buried in tree) Still my favorite Tim Burton film, paying homage to the days of Hammer with Sir Christopher and throwing in Johnny Depp as bonus. Divine. 5 stars

Underworld – 121 minutes (both vampires AND werewolves, subway/underground tunnels, destroyed by sunlight) Vampires vs werewolves. Like vampires could really win. 4.5 stars

The Thing – 106 minutes (Rob Bottin, arctic, hidden tunnel under floor) The winter/arctic movies we did for the warm up were good, but this is the best. When John Carpenter is on he’s really on. 5 stars

Queen of the Damned – 101 minutes (vampires, Lena Olin) I really like this one because I want to live in London and join the Talamasca, so I live vicariously through Jessie. (Yet another use for a degree in demonology) 4 stars

The Ninth Gate – 133 minutes (Lena Olin). Vintage books on the devil. French apartments with massive libraries of aforementioned books on the devil. Johnny Depp. Castles. How can I not love it? 5 stars

The Howling – 91 minutes (Rob Bottin, werewolves) This is still one of the scariest werewolf movies to me, and those smiley face stickers get under my skin. 4.5 stars

Trick ‘R Treat – 83 minutes (werewolves, quarry qualifies as big pit?, Anna Paquin, victim being buried comes to life) This is a modern classic and now a Halloween tradition. Just the right mix of cheeky and creepy. 5 stars

TV Shows

Walking Dead – 90 minutes Season Premiere I wasn’t too impressed with the season premiere, or maybe my expectations are just too high. 3 stars

Fear the Walking Dead X2 “Cobalt” and “The Good Man” – 60 and 60 minutes (power outages) I just didn’t get into this spinoff, and didn’t watch the last two episodes till this week. Pretty strong ending, but the whole season I kept wondering why that girl never did go back and check on her boyfriend. Huge plot issue for me. 3 stars, 3.5 stars

Face Off – 60 minutes The finalists were chosen but none of the makeups really blew my away this episode. Kinda “meh” 2.5 stars

Scream Queens – 60 minutes “Pumpkin Patch” (night vision) More silly, campy fun and sorority hijinks, but the novelty is starting to wear off a little. Need a little more than Chanel being a bitch and Niecy Nash. 3.5 stars

American Horror Story: Hotel – 60 minutes “Chutes and Ladders” (vampires, forcibly walled up, “buried” alive in mattress?, secret game room for vamp kids) Uh-oh, I’m seeing signs of going campy again this season, with Evan Peters’ flashbacks of a serial killer and a fashion show? Oh please, keep it dark and glamorously creepy. 3.5 stars

Supernatural – 60 minutes S11E2 (darkness spreading thoughout world) I love Sam and Dean, but oh, it’s getting really tired. And they are tormenting us with the impending death of Cass, making it look like he’s about to be a goner, then saving him. You are cruel Robert Singer and company. 2.5 stars

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