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Posts Tagged ‘retrocrush’

more halloween fun stuff

Best. Costume. Ever.

More awesome costumes at Retrocrush.

This Is Halloween, from one of the best movies ever, Nightmare Before Christmas:

Ministry – Every Day is Halloween (from the album they refuse to recognize but which I consider new wave gold)

Watch Night of the Living Dead online.

Jack Chick tracts and Halloween

Ghost stories

If you’ve got any cool Halloween links, stories, whatever, share them.

Genni has some Halloween pics up. She makes an awesome Glinda.

The Barker’s Blog has some great Halloween content. Just click and scroll, scroll, scroll.

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places to go, people to see

Me, I’m seeing nothing but the couch today.

Bizarre Records: Just like the title says. I know the guy who runs this from Fark. It’s a cool site, he’s a cool guy and sometimes I’ll get weird blogging ideas from the album covers I see there.

The Barker’s Blog: Part of a project from Kevin Parrot and Rick Eller. It’s got weirdness and creepiness and all kinds of oddities. Like a sideshow freak show for the internet.

Retrocrush: I’m not the only one getting a jump start on Halloween. Rob has vintage Halloween cards, plus the 30 greatest ghosts.

100 Word Stories: Monday through Friday, new themes are posted and the authors at the site (of which I am one) try to come up with a 100 word story for the theme. Readers are invited to try their hand and post their story in the comments; reader stories are sometimes promoted to the front page.

Cultpunk: A good punk rock blog in its own, but go there for the clip of the punk rock episode of Quincy before you read the rest of the blog.

Hüsker Düdatabase: Simply because I’ve been obsessed with listening to Hüsker Dü the past few days.

Hockey, hockey, hockey: YES, it is hockey season! HockeyBuzz , A View From The Cheap Seats and my favorite hockey blog, Off Wing Opinion.

If you got a site you want to link, feel free to leave a comment doing so.

I have a date with some cold medicine and the remote.

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lists! music! movies!

Usually I use Retrocrush to rip off their list ideas to make my own. But The Exalted Listmaker Rob Berry is looking for your help making a new list. So, let’s help him!

THE GREATEST MOVIE MUSIC MOMENTS

We’re putting a list of the greatest movie music moments of all time, and would love to get your input. The catch is that they can’t be performance scenes in which the actors are actually singing, dancing, or lip syncing to the films. We want those classic scenes that were made immortal thanks to the song that accompanied it. We’re talking “Layla” during Goodfellas, or “Flight of the Valkyries” from Apocalypse Now (not Tom Cruise dancing to “Old Time Rock and Roll, or Judy Garland singing “Over The Rainbow”). Got some favorites? Email them to rberry@retrocrush.com soon, and they just might make the cut. Please take a bit of time to explain why the scene is so great with that music, too.

Layla was the first thing that came to mind, but here’s a few more I came up with during my pre-6am, pre-caffeine overdose brainstorm. And I know he wants explanations as to why I picked these songs, but it’s too early for that. I will add those on later. Honestly, the only explanation you need is this: If a song is used to perfection in a movie scene, it will remind you of that scene every single time you hear it; you won’t be able to listen to that song again without connecting it with the movie. These all fit that mark for me:

Pixies – Where is My Mind (Fight Club)
Harold Faltermeyer- Axel F (Beverly Hills Cop)
The Doors – The End (Apocalypse Now)
Stealer’s Wheel – Stuck in the Middle With You (Reservoir Dogs)
Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now (Shaun of the Dead)
Richard Cheese – Down With the Sickness (Dawn of the Dead)

And my two favorites, both of which use the juxtaposition of music and action to perfection:

Geto Boys – Still (Office Space)

Huey Lewis and the News – Hip to Be Square (American Psycho)

If you got any to add to the list (which one of you will be the first to say “In Your Eyes”?), use the comments, but mail them to retrocrush too.

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Hey, it’s Friday the 13th! Which makes me think about frightening things. Well, not really, as I’m not scared of a day/number combination. I have a lot of weird fears, but this ain’t one of them. But it does make me think of horror movies. Or maybe it just gives me a reason to post my favorite scene from a scary movie.


Trilogy of Terror

I grew up on horror. chiller.jpg I was in maybe first grade when my Mom got me hooked on Dark Shadows and Vincent Price movies. Other kids gathered around the tv with their family on Sunday evenings to watch Wonderful World of Disney. We stayed up late together on Friday nights to watch Chiller Theater. I think watching so much horror from such an early age sort of desensitized me. As I got older I realized that, while I enjoyed scary movies as much as always, I just didn’t get that frightened. I didn’t jump when everyone else did or scream when everyone else did. What I mean is, the movies just didn’t scare me while I was in the theater. It wasn’t until I got home and was by myself in the dark that I turned into a pussy. But I bet a lot of you are the same way. I’m just admitting it.

So, I’ve seen a lot of horror movies in my time. Hundreds. Movies you have seen a thousand times. Movies you never heard of. Big budget crapfests. Indie crapfests. Foreign crapfests. Yea, most horror movies end up being crapfests. Just the way it is. The really great ones are far and few between. And lately, even the mediocre ones aren’t that many. The art of making a good horror movie seems to be lost (that’s another rant for another day). But, gore, blood, murder, ghosts, vampires, mindfucks, slashers, freaks, voodoo….you name it, I’ve seen it. And out of all of those movies, all of the genres of horror, all of the screams within, the one movie that left such an impression on me that I still freak out when I look at a picture from it was a made for tv movie.

Trilogy of Terror. Written by Richard Matheson. 1975. trilogy14.jpgThree different horror stories, all starring Karen Black. I can’t remember what the other two were about. I just remember the one. The tribal doll. That creepy, evil little doll with the knife and the leer.

For those that never saw this, short premise: Black buys a Zuni fetish doll for her boyfriend. Not for nothing, but if a date ever brought me something that looked like this, I’d think twice about where things were headed. But anyhow, she brings it home and gets ready for her date. She also has a fight with her overbearing mother on the phone. Setting the stage, there.

Somehow,the doll’s necklace falls off and it’s revealed that’s a big mistake. No necklace = live doll.

Let me tell you. What happens in the next ten minutes or so after Black realizes the doll is alive still gives me the chills, just thinking about.amelia2.jpg When she hears the pitter patter of little feet in the kitchen, you know. You want to say to her, get the hell out of the apartment, woman, that doll is gonna spear you! But the doll says, fuck this spear, I need me a knife. He finds a butcher knife. As he torments Black, he repeatedly stabs the knife into the floor. With that look on his face. Mind you, this thing is only like a foot tall, if that. And he moves real quick. And he has this ugly, snarling face of pure evil.

The light goes out in the living room. You hear a sound. He’s slashing at her. In the dark! He backs her into a closet and she traps him in a suitcase. And then you see the knife cutting a circle in the suitcase and the doll is out and back in action. Finally, Black traps the bastard in the oven, which has been on this whole time. He goes up in flames and stupid, stupid Karen Black, that dumb son of a bitch, she opens the oven door. Why? Did she want to stick a toothpick in him to see if he was done yet?

Well, no amount of my screaming at the tv for her not to do that would help. She opened the gates of hell when she opened the oven and the Zuni Spirit of Random Murder flew out of the oven and into Karen Black’s soul. I thought that was the end. That would have been cool. I could have gone to bed satisfied with that and not had too many bad dream moments because of it.

But, no. You hear a phone call. She’s calling her mom.

Yea mom, come on over. Sorry I think you’re a controlling whack job, mom. Come on over and we’ll do the hug thing, ok? Ok.

And then the camera moves to her. She’s crouched on the living room floor. She’s got….teeth. Fangs. She’s got a knife. And she’s repeatedly stabbing it into the floor.

foto-trilogia-2.jpg

Mom’s in for a big surprise when she gets there.

Hey, you can buy one of these dolls. I’ll be damned if I’m gonna put one of those hideous things in my house. Hell, I still can’t say Candyman five times into a mirror.

There are a lot of movie scenes that were, in retrospect, a lot scarier than that. There were some that played with my head, some that made me nearly pee my pants and some that gave me chills. The ending to The Thing. That scene in Salem’s Lot with the kid in the window. So many, I should probably make a list. But this is the one that stayed with me, that still shows up in my dreams once in a while.

(Retrocrush has my favorite list of scary movie moments)

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I said I would do my Best Cover Songs list, so here we go.

This is another list where I went and checked what RetroCrush had. I agree with a lot of their choices, but there are a few on there that would definitely be on my WORST list.

While reading that list, I realized that this has been done a million times before. I’m sure I’ve done it at least twice in various incarnations of my blogs. So this time around, I’m going to pick some covers that don’t often appear on other people’s lists. There are a few familiar ones in here, but most of them are ones that I might not have talked about before.

QOTSA – Never Say Never (Romeo Void)
Well, we all know my obsession with QOTSA. They do a lot of fine covers (The Kinks Next in Line, Turbonegro’s Dungaree High) but this one is sublime. They take the 80’s cheese right out of the song and add a layer of decadence to it.

Hellacopters – Working For MCA (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
I do love the original, but the Hellacopters give this more of a raw edge.

Vanilla Fudge – You Keep Me Hanging On (Supremes)
I talked about this one here.

Faith No More – This Guys’s In Love With You (Herb Alpert)
Most people who put a Faith No More song on their cover list pick Easy. While that’s a great cover, this is the one that blows me away. Mike Patton gets to live out his obvious dream of being a lounge singer here.

Goldfinger – Rio (Duran Duran)
Simply for the part at the end where he sings “His name is Dio….Ronnie James Dio….”

Anthrax – Got the Time (Joe Jackson)
Love the original, but Anthrax speeds this up enough so that you feel almost manic trying to sing it.

Richard Cheese – Down With The Sickness (Disturbed)
I’m a big fan of Mr. Cheese. Choosing a song by him for this list is kind of like choosing something by Me First and the Gimme Gimmes (which I have a general rule against); all they do is covers. But I’ve let my rules go for this one. I do that sometimes. Of all the Richard Cheese covers I adore, this song is my favorite for the sincerity in which he lounge-sings the line you fucker get up, come on get down with the sickness. Also, the use of this tune in the remake of Dawn of the Dead was probably the best placement of a song in a movie, EVER.

NSFW

Gypsy Kings – Hotel California (Eagles)
Two words: Big Lebowski

Dead Kennedys – Viva Las Vegas (Elvis)
Jello doing Elvis is delicious.

Lovage – Sex (I’m A…) (Berlin)
If you have never heard the Lovage album Music to Make Love to Your Old Lady By, go buy it/download it NOW. I’m not one for having music on while gettin’ horizontal, but whenever someone asks that ubiquitous question “What’s the best music to fuck to?” I always answer with this album. Their rendition of “Sex” will leave you breathless.

Quicksand – How Soon is Now (The Smiths)
I think there are a million covers of this song. I used to collect them. This one is my favorite version. It’s got a metal feel to it, but they still keep the emo-drama of the original. Don’t even bring up that Snake River Conspiracy cover of this. I hate it.

Filter – One (Three Dog Night)
They manage to take a song that, as a kid, made me feel sad and lonely and make it even more morose and depressing. Good job.

Deftones – The Chauffeur (Duran Duran)
It’s sexy, it’s dark and I like it better than the original.

Rammstein – Stripped (Depeche Mode)
Talk about making a song your own. While they keep the music mostly intact, the German accent and deep voice gives this one a darkness and evilness that was not present in the DM version, yet at the same time, it comes out sounding almost absurd.. I love Rammstein.

Supersuckers – Get It On (Turbonegro)
Two great tastes together at last. If you don’t know either of these bands, try them out.

Slayer – Guilty of Being White/Filler/I Don’t Want to Hear It (Minor Threat)
Most Slayer fans hate the album Undisputed Attitude, in which they cover 80’s hardcore punk songs. I love Slayer and I love hardcore punk, so maybe that’s why I kind of enjoyed this album. And when one of your favorite bands covers another of you favorite bands, that makes it even better. Hearing Slayer do Minor Threat makes me smile.

And there you have it. All I have time for right now. Share your favorite cover songs and maybe I’ll come back later and give a list of more popular cover tunes that I like.

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(17 hours smoke free and counting)

Robert Berry of Retro Crush read my take on his cover songs list yesterday and commented that I have too many rules for list making.

I own up to that. I know I do. It’s the OCD in me.

I’m about to do it again.


I mentioned yesterday the new AFI 100 Greatest Movies of All Time list. Let it be said that I rarely agree with any list the AFI puts out. I think of the American Film Institute people as a bunch of 80 year old men in derby hats and seersucker suits, sitting in smoky room, nursing glasses of warm bourbon and crying about how the film industry just ain’t what it used to be. You know, back in the day when people didn’t have to talk in films! Back in the day when they didn’t have all this fancy schmancy color stuff. Simpler times when there were no gizmos and gadgets to make special effects look real! And then the nurses come in to wheel them back to their rooms, where they watch The Maltese Falcon on an old RCA tv and whisper “Rosebud” in their sleep.

Here’s what irks me most about this list: Calling it the GREATEST films of all time. When you look through the list, you just know why some of these movies are on it. Cinematic achievement. Setting standards. Technical breakthroughs. This is the same problem I have with any music list titled GREATEST songs/albums of all time. “This album changed the direction of rock and roll” does not make it great. It makes it important. Influential. But not necessarily great.

Greatest movies should be ones that you would watch over and over again. Films that bring you joy, make you cry, give you your money’s worth in entertainment. Yes, they should have good acting and good directing and all that, but that is not paramount to making it great. A great movie is one that makes you leave the theater saying “Holy shit. I have to see that again.” Or one, like Apocalypse Now, which makes you sit in the darkened theater for fifteen minutes after the credits have rolled, jaw dropped, still trying to process what happened.

This is why GREATEST anything lists are too subjective to be touted as definitive. It’s so damn smug of the AFI to present this list to the public with all this fanfare and snobbery as if they were revealing to you the only true movie list that matters. I picture one of those cranky old men sitting in that smoky room, handing an envelope to a courier. “Quick, boy. Deliver this list. The people need to know what movies they should be watching!”

Obviously, I disagree with the list. But my own top 100 list would include zombies and severed hands and cursing cartoon children, so maybe my opinion shouldn’t count for much.

Which is really my point. I don’t need the opinion of a bunch of film snobs to tell me what the greatest movies of all time are. Who cares what they think?

You know what? I HATED Forrest Gump. I left the theater feeling like I’d just been mind-raped. I’ve never seen Gone With the Wind or Titanic or Lawrence of Arabia and I really don’t care if I ever do. I could go down this list and scratch off at least half of their choices. 2001? Boring. Annie Hall? Mind numbing. Star Wars? Yea, I LOVE Star Wars to death but everyone knows that Empire Strikes Back was the better movie of the two. The Sixth Sense? ARE YOU SHITTING ME? How in bloody hell can that movie be included on a list of 100 GREATEST? What made that movie great? Just because it had a surprise ending that I saw coming two hours earlier? That film should be taken off the list for the sole reason that it made us have to endure the career of M. Night Shamalamawhatever. Hell, I’d rather see a Uwe Boll movie up there than that piece of excrement.

I’m a little cranky today.

I’m sure you are saying right now, “Gee, Michele, if you think this list is such crap, then why don’t you tell us what YOU think the 100 greatest movies are?”

Well. I don’t really have time to write out a list of 100. And even if I did, that list would probably change from month to month. But I’ll tell you what. Because I still have a little time left before I have to leave for work, and because I am jonesin for a cigarette right now and need to keep my hands busy before they reach for the pack sitting within five inches of me, I’ll throw down some of my favorite movies for you, just so you can see that the AFI and I differ immensely on what makes a great movie, therefore my opinion of their snobby old men in nursing homes and their lists really doesn’t matter much.

Remember. “Great” means I got a lot of enjoyment out of it and I’d see it again and again and could probably repeat a ton of quotes from the movie, if not recite the whole thing verbatim and I may or may not have little action figures from the movie lined up on my desk. Great, in my mind, does not mean “set the industry standard for achievement in sound effects.” Great means “that’s a damn cool flick.”

No particular order.

Empire Strikes Back
The Big Lebowski
Spirited Away
The Phantom Tollbooth
Army of Darkness
Cemetery Man
Night of the Living Dead
12 Monkeys
Fifth Element
True Romance
Leon
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
The Sting
Star Wars
Nosferatu
The Godfather
The Fly (original)
Aladdin
West Side Story
Airplane!
Slap Shot
Apocalypse Now
Winged Migration
Snoopy, Come Home
Lord of the Rings, Fellowship of the Ring
Bad News Bears
Interstate 60
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
Jaws
Super Troopers
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie
Toy Story
A Christmas Story
Nightmare Before Christmas
Edward Scissorhands
Dog Day Afternoon
And Justice For All
Real Genius
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Dawn of the Dead
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Nothing to Lose
The Last Boy Scout
Ghostbusters
The Longest Yard (original)
Office Space
Blazing Saddles
Young Frankenstein
The Muppet Movie
Dead Alive (Brain Dead)
Session 9
Heathers
My Life as a Dog
Princess Bride
The Sandlot
Evil Dead
Heavenly Creatures
Spartacus
Jesus Christ, Superstar
Titus
Smokey and the Bandit
Revenge of the Sith
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
Lost Boys
This is Spinal Tap
Strange Brew
South Park, Bigger, Longer and Uncut
Dead Again
Goonies
Good Burger
Starship Troopers
Bladerunner
Shaun of the Dead


I need to stop now. I still have no idea what I’m wearing to work today. This list is not complete, but you get the point anyhow.

Now, for those of you who actually read through the list, you can see from my inclusion of cinematic legends such as Good Burger and Power Rangers, that my list is far superior to that of AFI. Plus, it’s more fun. Really, if you had to sit through a marathon viewing of the old fogey’s list or my list, whose would you choose? Maybe you would get more intellectually out of the AFI list, but you’d be missing out on some good zombie action.

This is going to be a long, cigarette-less day. I need to go find a random hobo to stab before I get to work, or I’ll end up with a bloody co-worker on my hands.

Feel free to mock my list or give me your own.

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