Friday, October 19, 2007

Ride the Snake

I went back to work this week. Though with how much I've had to do, I wonder why I bothered. Just ordering and making sure things are in place so that I might be able to do some science in the near future. I'm planning to try to do actual experiments next week and hope for the best. Maybe eventually, I'll even get a lab aide to help me. This would be great even once I have two working legs because it would allow me to focus on experiments if I don't have to worry about the dishes, tips and reagents. I should know something soon as to whether I can afford a helper. Plus, it would be nice not to be in this basement lab totally alone everyday too, but that argument for a coworker has failed thus far, so I'm trying the gimp routine now. :)

On Wednesday, I saw my doctor and got to see pictures of the hardware in my ankle. Its pretty cool to see a big metal plate and a handful of screws in an x-ray of my leg. Hopefully, my doctor will send me a picture so I can show it off. While there, I learned that it is healing nicely. the stitches were taken out and I am now sporting a new, fiberglass cast for 4 weeks. I guess after 4 weeks, I get more x-rays and changed to and yet another cast for 12 weeks. Sigh. I'm never going to walk again.

But I guess that means that there is plenty of time for movies, although now that I'm working, not quite as much time as there was a week ago. So the Halloween movie challenge is rolling along and I'm still a bit behind.

Tally: 16 horror flicks in 19 days, 12 new.

Near Dark (1987) I blame cable, but this wasn't a bad thing. I had to join lazing around watching this last weekend when he hollered at me that a cowboy vampire movie was starting. Well not exactly, but you don't see too many vampire movies set in Texas, although the setting did allow for the great visual of smoke coming off the vampires as they walk through the desert. In Near Dark a young farm hand falls for a hot babe and she bites him. He then ends up hanging with her gang of vampires learning the ropes of the bloodsucking monster lifestyle. Near Dark was highly entertaining and it was a little different then many movies of the genre. These vampires were less supernatural then the modern movie vampire. Sure, they are hard to kill due to the whole undead thing and sunlight burns them, but they don't fly, no big obnoxious fangs, no obvious super-human strength and powers. But what I most liked about this movie was how much fun they had with it. The vampires were a bit punk rock and killed with some finesse. Plus, Bill Paxton was one of the vampires. He was a little like his character in Aliens, but a vampire.

The Brood (1979) When his daughter returns home covered in bite marks and scratches, Frank begins to ask questions about the controversial methods of therapy used where his wife is institutionalized. While trying to delve into the methods, people close to the family are being attacked by creatures that appear to be mutant children. I found this to be an absolutely terrifying and absorbing movie. This seems to fall into that genre of horror that stems from a fear of parenthood, since the kids in this movie are really creepy, even the non-mutant one. But it also contains plenty of medical anomalies and much of the really scary ideas are about psychological manifestations on the body. Creepy stuff, but very much a Cronenberg film.

Lair of the White Worm (1988) I was tempted by this one while perusing the halloween section at Scarecrow because I've seen this movie at video shops forever and was always curious, but never succumbed. I knew it was going to be terrible, but how bad can a movie be if it stars Hugh Grant? I figure at least, I get to be charmed by Mr. Grant for a bit even if the movie ends up being total shite. Well, it is, but it was giggle inducing shite. I liked the recurring song about the evil worm, the snake woman/femme fatale was over the top silly, there was plenty of gratuitous nudity, and ya gotta love plots that start with a bit of back yard archeology. But sadly, while snake women are amusing, there isn't as much comedy fodder in worms as there is in zombies. Zombies are comedy gold.

Quills (2000) My personal movie collection has so many of these films that are making a statement about the importance of literature and in the case of Quills, the importance of literature on living a moral virtuous life. Or to quote Madeleine (Kate Winslet) when defending the Marquise DeSade's writing, how can one truly understand virtue without first knowing vice. Quills defends the dark, vulgar and evil by saying it is needed in order to keep us from seeking them out in real life which is a great argument for throwing oneself into a Halloween Movie Challenge.

Cabin Fever (2002) I haven't been keeping up on the new wave of horror, but I know that Eli Roth is one of the young noteworthy horror directors. I was totally sucked in to Cabin Fever and I wouldn't have watched it if I weren't trying to see 31 horror movies this month. I had the impression that Eli Roth's movies were nothing more than a gore-fest from start to finish. It was heavy on blood splatter and gore, but was also an entertaining movie about a group of college students at a cabin as a skin eating bacteria/hemorrhagic fever epidemic strikes. Eli Roth definitely has a twisted sense of humor. I'm not going to get into the specifics of all of the things that were oh so wrong about this movie, but I found myself laughing out loud at times, especially the ending. So wrong. So amused.

30 Days of Night (2007) I love Ben Foster. I've had a little Ben Foster crush ever since 6 Feet Under and I am really enjoying his movie career thus far. He was great in Hostage and really brought a creepy, homoerotic element to 6:10 to Yuma. So you knew I would be at 30 Days of Night last night. And Ben was great, but sadly, the about the only good thing about the flick.

Yep, this was horrible. It might not have been so bad if I hadn't lived in Alaska for close to a decade, but even if you can suspend disbelief about the realities of the setting, this movie is still a failure for a horror movie. It wasn't scary or even very entertaining. So I spent the movie ranting in my head over the inaccuracies over the setting.

First of all, Barrow, Alaska does indeed have at least 30 days of night, but it ain't the way it was depicted in the movie. You don't get a last sunset! No you get 6 months of mostly night where the day proceeding this "30 days of night" would have a short period of dusk where the sun doesn't even make it over the horizon. The sunset at the opening of the movie totally pissed me off. Then there is the problem of Josh Hartnett and Melissa George as the law enforcement. In Barrow, Alaska? You have to be kidding me. The locals would so laugh at a trooper that can't grow a beard and Stella in her fashionable parka. And lets not even talk about the people depicted at the locals. Where were all of the Alaska natives that make up probably 60% of the population of Barrow? Well, at least they got the name of the airport right. and let's not even get in to the realities of the weather on the darkest days in Barrow. I don't think anyone would survive more then 20 minutes outside laying in the snow under a truck in a fashionable parka, much less hours, days, how ever long she was supposed to be stuck under the truck in hiding.

As for what was good about the movie, there was one sequence that was entertaining. At one point, Mark Boone Junior takes out a bunch of vampires with a snow moving tractor and some dynamite. That was a good bit, but the rest was just dour. No joy of finesse was put into this movie and it shows.


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