Sunday, July 31, 2011

Oh Nuts!

Oh nuts is right. I forgot my own blog's birthday! Some mother I am. Yes, July 23rd marks the 2nd year of The Horror Digest's existence and I would be crying right now if it wasn't for the fact that 2 year old blog's mean TROUBLE. They don't call them the terrible twos for nothing. Usually right around this time bloggers get lazy, post less frequently and take to drinking. I'm happy to announce that I have achieved all of those feats already!

My blogging is much less frequent now that I have a full time job that requires me to actually do work throughout the day. I am also lazy, thanks to said full time job for making me really tired and useless when I come home. And finally, I have been drinking instead of writing because that seems like more fun.

But don't fret friends and readers, I sense a resurgence in The Horror Digest and possibly some lazy erasing behavior. For instance today I finally opened that new iron I bought and ironed two skirts. Yes, good things are on the way I think, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, let's all join together and have a good old fashioned dance party.

or if you prefer....

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Red White and Blue: Does NOT Fuck Around

I admit, I purposely avoided Red White and Blue because of all the sex in the beginning. SO MUCH SEX. And so much whoring and blah blah I'm a whore blah sex, orgies. You know something? You are right person reading this right now and judging me---why am I being such a prude? Perhaps I wasn't in the right mind set when I started watching Red White and Blue for the first time. Perhaps I was in more of a "Let's shoot guns at aliens" mood then I was a "Let's watch a girl be a whore" mood. And also, I'm probably just really judgmental against whores.

The fact is--do not let the rampant sex in the beginning of Red White and Blue throw you off. Because unliked Erica, Red White and Blue does NOT fuck around. In fact, the sex is even vastly important to the film in the long run. But don't get all excited, super random horny person reading this (I'm guessing you are the same person who searched, "naked nuns" and "saggy Grandma monster tits"to find my blog) because there is nothing good, hot, or exciting about the sex in Red White and Blue. In fact, in some ways, the sex is one of three villains in the film......and villains are bad. Very bad.

Shown to us in three different "views", Red, White and Blue follows three people whose lives intertwine in the strangest and most unlikeliest of ways. We have Erica, a woman who seems to find a new person or people to sleep with every night. We have her strange and mysterious neighbor Nate, who has apparently returned from war with an honorable discharge. And finally we have Franki, a budding rock star who has his mother's cancer weighing him down and plenty of girl trouble and emotions to go along with it.

What is most surprising about the film is the extreme turn it takes halfway through. I often make light of the fact that most American films never seem to have enough courage to actually push things as far as say, a French extremist horror film. Somehow, Red White and Blue pushes things to the extreme while still being oddly modest. It seems like a contradiction I know---but it's true. There's a lot to be said here about what is implied. I think a filmmakers true talent shines when they create feelings of horror and fear without actually shoving our face into it. Think of the absent shark in Jaws, or even the skinning scene in The Black Cat. These films teach us that you don't need absurd amounts of blood and gore to create some heavy impact--and Red White and Blue firmly follows that same school of thought.

There is of course, one very extreme gory bit of something at the end there. Although people for whatever reason do not seem to talk about this much. I however, felt like I was going to barf when watching it (Although to be fair I always have the urge to barf when watching....skinning). This is I think the one giant display of gore but the thing is--it's entirely necessary at the moment. If you have seen the film then you know what I mean. Shit goes from normal to bat shit crazy holy shit holy shit in a matter of minutes. Seconds even.

Another thing to note in Red White and Blue is how well the three different views are handled. One thing I noticed and quite loved was how normal the other characters seemed in other people's "views", despite the fact that we know they are not normal. We feel sympathy for every character that is NOT the central character of that segment. If you do your math correctly, that means we somehow end up feeling sympathy for a character that we completely hated and loathed only minutes before. Pretty neat right? Characterization. Angles. Storytelling. Three strong and expertly handled ways that Red White and Blue shines.

If you have not seen this, I recommend it to you with full confidence. It goes places you do not expect and it becomes insanely original and surprising at just about every single turn. There's a very different kind of horror coming out of Red White and Blue. It's a horror that relies on the severity of our actions and the actions of others. That idea that some people out there feel there are no consequences to their actions. That they feel that all that matters in this world is how something will affect them. That brutal unrelentlessness and that very raw and emotionless core is what puts Red White and Blue far away from other films in the genre. This is a villain that we seldom see out there in the world of zombies and vampires---and it may in fact be much more terrifying.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Boogens: NOT a Movie About Swamps

I've been on a secret quest to see The Boogens since I first saw that wonderful poster a few years ago.

Since I've always been one to judge a book by its cover, I immediately thought, "YES I need to see that movie about those green ghouls killing people in a house by the swamp". Laugh all you want, but the poster of The Boogens screams swamp. It's all green and ghouly tinted, and that house could totally reside in the Bayou. Well don't worry because The Boogens takes place in some snowy abyss and a mine. Talk about misleading posters.

At any rate, The Boogens is one of those insanely rare movies that you catch people talking about now and again. Usually all conversations end with, "Why isn't it on DVD?" which usually creates sadness because the people that have never seen it believe that they probably never will. Such was the case with me, until I found a rare copy of the film on the extraordinary Cinema De Bizarre. So began my trip to The Boogens, that I've been waiting for all my life (Or really, for like 2 years).

Plotwise, The Boogens is simple. Creatures are awakened from a mine after 100 years of being shut in. Finally released, the monsters venture off in search of fresh humans and luckily a lone cabin in the snow with 4 people and their dog is only minutes away.

Here's the thing about The Boogens; I should probably not like it as much as I did. It's insanely slow and dragging, we do not see the creatures until the very end AND a dog dies. Somehow though, I came away appreciating this little known gem. Funny how things work like that.

As best as I can tell, The Boogens is successful for a few reasons. For one, the characters are all likable. Secondly, the writing and the banter is vastly entertaining and well done. Thirdly, we will not give up on The Boogens until we see what the Boogens actually look like, which prompts us to watch the entire film and reserve judgment until we reach that point. Of course, once we find out that Boogens look like something from a Pokemon card, our judgment may sour.

Then again, the Boogens have tentacles AND claws. What's not to love again?

What The Boogens does do well is basement terror. Basement terror really needs to have its own sub-genre in the horror world. Basements are fucking scary most of the time. There's always some kind of noise happening somewhere and if you're really unlucky (Like Kevin McCallister) then your furnace comes to life and tries to eat you.

The Boogens on the other hand, serves tension in the basement quite beautifully. There's always this certain dread when they show a character looking down the basement stairs and I totally dig that man.

There's also a lot of dragging which I find to be neat in certain low budget situations. In fact, for a low budget film, The Boogens does pretty well. Oh and by dragging I mean like physically dragging (although in truth the film does drag a bit).

It's a bit of the Jaws syndrome, not showing the creature until the end and getting creative with ways to show it beforehand. Unfortunately, I think The Boogens could have probably benefited from showing a bit more of the creature before the ending. Just hints mind you or at least something other than the same tentacle over and over again.

The real MVP of The Boogens however is the dog, Tiger. As soon as Tiger was introduced, I was filled with the kind of dread and sadness that only happens when a pet is introduced in a horror film. This is because it is with certainty that the pet will die. This is true for The Boogens although not in the way that we think. What would you think if I told you that the most anxiety ridden part of the film is when the dog is trapped in the house with the Boogens? I'm serious. That scene was filled with tension! And the best part is, Tiger somehow makes it out alive! (Only to be killed later on). But if you're like me, then you make up alternate endings in your head where Tiger left behind bits of his fur to make people think that he had died. Then he ran off and lived the life and ate all the shoes he wanted to.

So while The Boogens did not live up to my secret expectations, I will say that the film is a fine way to spend a 100 degree summer day with. It's not great, it shouldn't be as good as it is and somehow, it warms my heart all the same.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Google Doodles: Gregor Mendel and Horror

I'm starting a new feature here at the 'Gest. It involves Google, my 2nd favorite website in the world(This is number one). Sometimes I think back to what I did before Google. Look things up in a book? Remove the dusty encyclopedia from the shelf and pray that the exact information I needed was in there? Or maybe I consulted my instincts? Maybe I trusted myself to be able to recognize the maximum length of time that chicken tenders could be kept in the fridge? Ha. Doubtful. Let's not think of a time before's too hard to imagine!

Anyways this new feature was sparked about a year ago. One of my most popular posts of all time is when I was inspired by the Google Doodle of the 71st anniversary of The Wizard of OZ. Here I recounted some of the scarier moments in the classic film and enjoyed making light of the fact that midgets who are made to look like children are a very scary thing.

Google Doodles for those that do not know, is Google's secretive way of teaching us things. Every now and then, the Google search bar is transformed into some cool drawing, often interactive--that supplies us with a breadth of knowledge when we click on it. Because I enjoy learning, the Internet, and trash talking Bing (The worst!), I have decided that whenever there is a new Google Doodle up, I will connect it in some way to horror films. Fun right?

Today's Google Doodle celebrates the birth of Gregor Mendel, a man who was very fond of peas.

So fond of them, that he did experiments with them.....questionable experiments. Experiments where he forced two peas to mate even if they didn't really like each other! Who knew he was such a pervert? Aside from that, I guess I can't deny the fact that Gregor Mendel is the father of genetics, and that he paved the way for things like Evolution. If you believe in Evolution that is. Personally I believe in Vigo the Carpathian but I won't make judgements.

So! How can one connect Gregor Mendel to horror films? EASY! Horror movies involving science and more importantly the common theme of man vs. science is one of my favorite things. It takes a very smart person to make a horror movie that revolves around science...because science is.....hard. Here are some of the more memorable moments where science wins and where some form of genetics is involved.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

I think if one had to pair Gregor Mendel with a horror film, Invasion of the Body Snatchers would be the obvious choice. The pods kind of look like peas right? Giant ones. At any rate, these highly advanced life forms were capable of copying a human life form and taking over it's well being and mind--altering the human into nothingness or a screaming idiot. If you want to know what happens at the end of Invasion of the Body Snatchers I'll tell you. Science wins! We all get turned to pod people! Except maybe one person....but who cares?


Splice is one of the most heavily divided horror films of the past few years. People love it and people hate it. I mostly enjoyed it and found it to be pretty intelligent when all was said in done. If you want to talk genetics, Splice is your film. Here the genes of different animals and are spliced to make a new breed. It's kind of....exactly like the pea experiment. Only a little different. Still though, I think Gregor Mendel would probably have enjoyed Splice, don't you?

The Fly

Here again we come to find out what happens when man messes a little too much with science. They turn into ugly disgusting flies and then die somehow. Also in a few rare instances, they lack the proper judgment and decide to use the family cat as a test subject for their highly dangerous and barely working transportation device. But we won't get into that. What we will get into is this. If you're doing a science experiment--start small. I highly doubt Gregor Mendel would have progressed from doing genetic experiments with peas to doing genetic experiments on himself. Just sayin'.


Yet, another horror film that relies heavily on the theme of genetic experiments! Here, after cockroaches spread a deadly disease, an entomologist genetically engineers a new species of bug to kill off the cockroaches. The only problem is, this new all powerful species was not suppose to live more then a few months. But when one turns up wins again!

Deep Blue Sea

If horror movies have taught us anything, it's that we should probably not genetically engineer weird and powerful animals. Whoever decided that sharks needed to be smarter is no friend of mine. In Deep Blue Sea, mako sharks are genetically engineered to have increased brain capacity, in the hope that their tissue could be harvested as a cure for Alzheimer's disease. Guess what happens? The sharks become super smart and fucking kill everyone. Way to go, person who thought of that idea. Note that the same principle should apply to monkeys.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Few Words About Blood

The Horror Digest's motto is something along the lines of "Beautiful blood not gore" but my recent brush with death has taught me to amend that statement to, "Beautiful fake blood not gore" and also, "I hope I never get stabbed because it would fucking hurt."

I used to think, I had the answers to everything. But now I know. Life doesn't always go my way, yeah. Feels like I'm caught in the middle. That's when I realize...I'm not a girl. Not yet a woman....

And yes I just quoted the best song in the history of terrible movies starring pop stars that can't act. Listen, just because you didn't get pushed down the stairs while you were pregnant, is no reason to get testy!

But seriously. Here's what happened last night. I was taking a lovely stroll through my bedroom door. When all of a sudden, I stepped on something sharp. It hurt a lot. That's when I picked up my foot and saw a tiny piece of glass shaped like a tooth. I'm guessing it was a mythical cat tooth unearthed by centuries of pent up sins, but I could be wrong.

I hope that mystical cat resembled this one.

I immediately pulled the sharp piece of glass out of my foot and went to go show my sister. I told her to be careful when I dropped the glass in her hands because it had my blood on it. "I don't have AIDS," I warned "But just know that when exposed blood is around, you should always exercise caution."

Then suddenly I glanced down at my food and saw that THE FLOOR WAS COVERED IN BLOOD. My foot had been leaking blood all over the living room floor with a perfect trail leading from my bedroom. I screamed in terror but my sister wouldn't help me because she was eating a delicious bowl of homemade mac and cheese. I slumped into a nearby chair and yelled until she brought me some paper towel. It was then that I looked at the blood and felt dizzy and faint. This wasn't the beautiful piece of artwork that Suspiria was....

this was gross!

Finally I hopped into the bathroom and stuck my foot under the faucet. The blood swirled around the drain but did not resemble the chocolate syrup blood in Psycho.

This real life blood incident was disappointing on so many levels!

And the worst part was, we didn't have any band-aids. I had to tape a panty liner to my foot. A PANTY LINER! Let me tell you, if that isn't a sign that you need to get your priorities straightened out then I don't know what is.

So when all was said and done, I realized that my injury was extremely minor. But because I pulled the glass out so swiftly, it caused the blood to gush out. Luckily I have an amazing blood clotting system and I made it out alive. But let this be a lesson to you all--mythical glass cat teeth are best left alone.

Mostly what this incident taught me however was that blood in real life? Kind of scary. Also, I should never be a doctor, and I should buy some band-aids. It also makes me a little sad because now I know for real that beautiful blood really only exists in movies. It all goes back to that age old argument that old people

and really mean people

have about people that watch horror movies. We must LOVE thinking about and watching real life death because we watch horror movies. No, old people and really mean people, horror movies and real life are completely different. Different!!

In real life, blood does not have the same shiny luster and paint like quality of the blood in a Dario Argento film. Blood does not, magically arrange itself into a beautiful pattern of red against a background that was specifically chosen so that it would highlight the blood. Blood is not the color brown when Dorothy opens the door into OZ.

Movies are art. Real scary. You can quote me if you want.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Happy Birthday to The Donald!

The heat makes you do crazy things. Like, turn gin and tonics into slushies (ha, yeah if by "crazy" you mean amazing...), put ice down your pants and forget the coolest person on the planet's birthday. Yes my friends, I, one of the biggest supporters of The Donald did not know that today was his day of birth. Don't say anything, I already feel horrible enough.

Thanks to one of my more brighter and cooler Twitter friends, I was alerted to this most wonderful day just in the nick of time. Why do I love The Donald? I'm not sure. But since when did we need a reason to love?

So rather instead of trying to explain with words, let us enjoy a few clips of some of the best The Donald had to offer.

I hope you're not still pretending that you don't love Buffy the Vampire Slayer the movie. It's only the cat's pajamas. And by the way, I watched a few episodes of the TV show and I didn't like it because Sarah Michelle Gellar annoys me. There I said it! LONG LIVE MERRICK.

I hope you didn't watch that if you've never seen Don't Look Now before...maybe I should have put the Spoiler alert before I posted the clip. Oh well, The Soup didn't say SPOILER ALERT before completely ruining the end of Season 4 of Dexter, and nobody cared about my well being. Except me.

Whoops, another spoiler!

Oh my god, why have I still not seen this movie? Besides the fact that the title of this YouTube video is incredibly offensive, this clip is amazing. I know what I'm watching tonight!

Donald Sutherland is Homer Simpson.

It's true what they say, Donald Sutherland dies a lot in movies huh?

Canada is AMAZING!

Again, why are you people holding out on me by knowing about cool movies like The Puppet Masters and not telling me?

I'll be honest. I did not know The Donald was in An American Haunting. Judgement withheld...

Poltergeist II: When Braces Attack

I'll be straight with you. Poltergeist II stinks. Obviously it pains me to say that as the one of the worlds biggest Poltergeist fanatics but what can one do? Lie? Should I tell you that actually, Poltergeist II contains some of the best writing and acting that I've ever seen in my whole life? That it contains some of the greatest and most convincing special effects known to mankind? That there are no plot holes? That everything makes clear and perfect sense? Of course I can't lie to you! Poltergeist II is horrible. So horrible, that I played Family Feud on my Iphone while watching it.

The Poltergeist II disk I received from Netflix did not play in my laptop (surprise, surprise) so I was forced to watch it on the big electronic box in the living room. I admit, using a DVD player was strange at first but then I remembered how to use it after only a few minutes. It's just like riding a bike! The one major downside of this was that I could not take screenshots, which means that this post will not be as nearly as funny as it should be. And that makes me sad.

Picking up a year from where the first film ended, Poltergeist II again follows the Freeling family as they try to move on with their lives. Apparently, having a near death experience with some spirits, and almost crossing over, yields some very unexpected side effects. For example, people's latent psychic powers suddenly come to be realized. People also age rather quickly over the course of a year. Also in only a years time, every one somehow managed to receive the worst haircut of their life.

Shit is crazy! Anyways, guess what? The spirits are baaack. And so is the human form of the beast himself, Reverend Kane. So yeah, blah blah blah bad spirits, blah blah braces attack, blah tequila worm, blah blah saved by the Grandma?

There's really no way of getting around the fact that the only reason you should be watching Poltergeist II is to experience the obscenely grotesque Reverend Kane.

This guy is terrifying. So terrifying, that he will make you literally pull your face away from the screen. I swear, if you get close enough, you can even smell his denture/old person breath. It also doesn't help things that he talks like some fancy old lady, and looks like a skeleton. He's always creeping around and singing gross Jesus songs and wearing that horribly creepy outfit that reminds me of Colonel Sanders. He peers at you through the screen door and shouts at you when you won't let him in. He is the stuff that nightmares are made of.

Other than Reverend Kane, Poltergeist II is not scary in the slightest. Sure, a few skeletons pop out here and there, and a doll does a creepy thing where she turns her head slowly but that's about it. Everything else? Laughable. Also, none of this movie makes any sense. Things just come flying at you without any warning or logic. Like for example, why are Carol Anne and Robbie still sleeping in the same bedroom? How is it that Robbie manages to himself into the most ridiculous situations ever?

Isn't Carol Anne a little old looking for intimate bathtub time? And P.S., what happened at the end there? No seriously, what WAS that? I think I passed out briefly during it but from what I remember, people were floating and Carol Anne floated slowly away.....then she came back. Is that really all the 'otherside' looks like? If it is, I want my money and my hopes and dreams back.

Anyways, it's really hot outside and the more I think about Poltergeist II the more upset I get. I need an ice bath.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Horror Movie Moments I Do NOT Want To Smell

News broke semi-recently that Samsung was reviving the concept of Smell-0-Vision. You know Smell-O-Vision, that amazing technology from the 1960s that was used once during Scent of Mystery. Used only once because the hissing noise that produced the scents was too distracting and the movie goers could not hear the film. Well, rest assured because Smell-o-Vision may be back!

Out of all my senses, I think I most pride myself on my keen sense of smell. I can smell a bag of Doritos opening up miles away from me. I can even precisely identify what kind of ice cream someone is eating while I have my eyes closed. Yes, I know--I am that amazing. When it comes to Smell-o-Vision however, I can't help but feel a little worried about what that means for horror films. Sure, smelling things like Willy Wonka's vast supply of chocolates would be nice, or even the sweaty musk of Daniel Craig in Casino Royale--

but what about horror films? According to nobody, about 90% of horror movies deal with death in some way. And do you know what death smells like? Me neither, but judging by the way people always react when they find a dead body---it's not good.

Although just about every horror movie will probably smell bad, I have taken the liberty of identifying some horror movie moments that probably smell REALLY bad.

The Drum

Return of the Living Dead

I can't help but be completely repulsed by the fact that when the toxic drum opens up, it spews out a nasty yellow colored gas. Naturally, since I'm a chemistry genius (Not really, I mostly cheated off my smarter best friend) I immediately connect the yellow-ish color with sulfur. Sulfur is also known as the worst smelling fart in the world. So combine that, with the rotting, decaying and melting flesh of a zombie and you get the smell that comes out of this drum. And Poor Frank and Freddy get the full blast of it.


Jason has been festering inside his little shack in the woods for years and years. Sure he may have a toilet, but I did not see any sign of a shower. And we all know that he can't swim, which pretty much rules out the possibility of any dips in the lake. I have a feeling that if Smell-o-Vision were employed during Friday the 13th (Parts II and on) the entire audience would just be gagging the whole time. You wouldn't even need the scary music that signifies when Jason is near, because we could smell him. I imagine he smells like rotted onions, baby diarrhea, and urine.


I believe I talked about this once before, but the way that Jordan Ladd sniffs Grace, and then pulls back like the devil just gave her a wet willy, is really unnerving. Babies are supposed to smell like ice-cream filled clouds and Johnson & Johnson's Baby Shampoo. Babies are not supposed to smell like rotting corpses. And I don't want to smell what a zombie baby who can probably still poop, smells like.

The Basement

Dawn of the Dead

If you watch CSI then you probably think you know a thing or two about decomposing bodies and what they smell like. Despite what Gil Grissom says about there being no smell worse than a a decomposing body---there IS a worse smell.....50 decomposing bodies. Or something like that, I made that number up, but we do know that it is a lot. Not only are these bodies decomposing, but they're also roaming around. Except they're confined to the basement so the smell is also confined and doubly gross. Makes me queasy just thinking about it.


Let the Right One In

I always feel really bad for Eli when Oskar comments on the fact that she kind of smells bad. No one likes being told that they smell bad. It's just embarrassing. And you would need to smell REALLY bad for someone that you don't even know to blatantly tell you that you smell. Poor Eli, she just wanted to sit outside in the snow on the jungle gym with no shoes on. Way to show tact Oskar.

Maggot Party


I've still never quite understood the maggot scene in Suspiria, or why there was rotting food in the attic... (Was it people? Were they just really bad about storing food?) But I do know, that one of the all time most disgusting smells in the world is rotting food. Rotting food crawling with maggots? Probably means that the food was way more smelly than normal rotting food. By the way, maggots are really horrifying should you ever encounter them in real life.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

There are some movies that seem to just exude a foul smell throughout its entire running time. In my mind, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one of those films. It's probably its grittiness, or the fact that there is an entire living room filled with bones, OR you know maybe the fact that people are being slaughtered in a house--I think it's a combination of everything. And it's clearly no coincidence that I feel the burning need to shower every time I finish watching this.

The Public Restroom


Public restrooms are no joke. Public restrooms where bees are crawling out of a toilet presumably filled with blood and a rotting hand (I made that up)--are definitely no joke. I always die a little bit inside when Helen is going through the stalls looking for the place where a young boy was supposedly horribly mutilated. It must smell awful because Helen's face when she kicks down doors proves it. Plus, gangsters take the smelliest shits ever. It's a fact!



Whenever I see all those air fresheners hanging from the ceiling, my stomach falls down into my toes. If there's one important thing to know in life, it's that those little car fresheners shaped like pine trees, always makes things smell worse. It makes a smelly car smell like pine scented feet. So, you can imagine what that room smells like after a year of that guy laying in that bed, with a million little car air fresheners (probably in all different scents because John Doe is a real asshole) hanging overhead.



The Silence of the Lambs

In case you missed my little segment on the horror that is the tub, read about here. Yes, Death Meatloaf is probably the worst smell in the entire world. No need to elaborate.

Other people and things that I do not want to smell....



Backwoods sex in Wrong Turn 2

Rotting Granny in the tub in The Shining

The people under the stairs in The People Under the Stairs

Freddy Krueger's boiler room

The Human Centipede...2 weeks later

Dead body sex in Nekromantik