My take on the Slasher horror genre

Freddy vs Jason vs Michael

Photo taken from:http://www.moviefancentral.com/walkingdeadlover/top10s/26465

  As a child growing up in the 70’s and 80’s I grew to love the horror movie genre as a whole, especially the slasher films that were at their height of popularity in that time. Friday the thirteenth, Halloween, and a Nightmare on Elm Street film series were the most famous of the franchises. Freddy, Jason, and Michael Myers were so iconic, that they have each since been modernized and remade for a new generation. Unfortunately, it’s just not the same for me. The original cinematography and viewing format was something special, even on VHS (which is making a comeback btw). I don’t feel putting a modern spin can ever recreate the same experience.  

  Each of the new films were okay, but just didn’t have the same feel as the originals. Maybe if I had never seen them as a kid, I may feel differently. I mean Jackie Earle Haley was an excellent Freddy, but he isn’t Robert Englund. Robert had a one of a kind flare that walked a fine line between humor and terror. One minute you were laughing at his one liners and the next you were panicking and wondering when the hell that chick is going to wake up! Let’s not forget the bubble bath scene. How iconic was that? I defy anyone to get into a bathtub without thinking of that. I’ll stick to showers! 😉

   Rob Zombie did a great job in recreating the terror that struck Haddonfield, but nothing can replicate the aura of creepiness that John Carpenter harnessed in his 1978 masterpiece. The musical score alone makes me apprehensive each time I hear it. Not to mention the creepy white-faced Captain Kirk (William Shatner) mask. That was genius. You can’t forget the original scream queen herself, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), was phenomenal. She had the perfect balance of vulnerability, toughness, and beauty that you want in a horror movie heroine. Let’s also not forget Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance). Malcolm Mcdowell was excellent in the remake and I don’t think anyone alive in 2007 could have done a better job. However, Donald Pleasence had such a commanding presence and creepy vibe that if he were to tell me my Lucky Charms were haunted, I would believe him. He had a way of delivering his lines that was almost storytelling as he painted the evil picture that was Michael Myers. In some ways he reminded me a little of the late Vincent Price.

   I liked Supernatural’s Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki) in the Friday the thirteenth 2009 remake, but there was something about the build up in the original movie series that showed the slow progression of the evil known as Jason Voorhees.  Instead, they jammed it into one movie. Not to mention that they made Jason some sort of crossfit douche instead of the slow plodding creeper that seems to always be one step ahead, even though he barely moved. Don’t get me wrong, after part four of the original, the franchise spiralled out of control, but in my opinion the burlap bag with one eyehole, in part two, was the creepiest of all Jason’s looks and needed a bigger share of screen time. Maybe if Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) were to have cameoed in the ‘67 jamming to “Carry on Wayward Son” and beheaded Jason with the “first blade”, I would have felt differently. (Hint: if that happens, I want creative rights.)  😉

  You can replicate the stalking music, masks, and gratuitous boob shots, but you can’t replicate a time period. An era that had vulnerability. There was no internet, no cell phones, and no GPS. It was lot more difficult to stay safe if you were lost in the woods, at home alone trying to stay awake, broken down in the middle of nowhere, or babysitting on Halloween night. All in all, I wish Hollywood would refrain from these type of remakes. They were good in their own right, but each time I see the “big three” in the original formats I am transported back in time.

  The modern horror industry has a variety of sub genres that seem to have quite a following, but they haven’t mastered the slasher movie. Instead of replicating past horror icons, I would like to see a new slasher on the scene that has the sustainability of a Freddy, Jason, or Michael Myers. I may sound like the grumpy old man who doesn’t like anything new, but I actually liked the remakes. However, I think their efforts would have been better creating their own original slasher. I understand that there is a lot of money wrapped up in making movies today and studios are hesitant to take a risk, but don’t forget that the original Halloween movie was made on a budget of $300,000.

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Big Trouble in Little China issue#1 comic review

BTLC#1

Photo taken from: https://shop.boom-studios.com/comics/detail/3097/big-trouble-in-little-china-01-(cover-a)

If you have never seen the 1986 John Carpenter cult classic, Big Trouble in Little China, then you are missing out big time! However this review is about the first Big Trouble in Little China comic book written by Eric Powell for Boom Studios. If you haven’t seen the movie, then go buy it, rent it, or borrow it. The comic is based on what happens directly from the end of the movie. (Spoiler alert)

Eric Powell, the creator of The Goon and many other genius comic creations, struck gold with his take on Jack Burton, Wang Chi, Egg Shen, etc… As I stated previously, issue number one picks up where the movie ends with Jack Burton driving way in the pork chop express and David Lopan’s furry demon beast reveals that he has hitched a ride. Unbeknownst to Jack, the Demon beast that he later refers to as Pete, is now bonded to Jack because he killed Lopan at the end of the movie.Befriended by Pete, Jack reunites with Egg Shen after Wang is kidnapped by a sorcerer disciple of Lopan who has vowed to avenge his master. Adventures ensue as Jack, Pete, and Egg travel to save their friend.

I liked this comic for many reasons, but the first and foremost reason is how well Powell made Jack Burton come to life. Even though it covers many different genres, the comedic value in this comic is right there with the movie. When you read his dialogue, I can hear Kurt Russell. It feels like I’m watching it on the big screen. Powell even borrows some of Jack’s famous one liners. Heck, I can even hear Victor Wong’s voice when Egg Shen speaks.

Secondly, the art work by Brian Churilla is outstanding. It is as visually accurate as it is written. A lot of the scenes are dimly lit with occasional bright colors to signify sorcery just like the movie. There are some flash back panels of Jack’s past that are hilarious and really shine throughout.

Finally, I would just like to say that if you’re a fan of the movie, then you will love this comic. I saw an interview with Powell on Youtube in which he referenced that he may only be doing the first twelve issues or so. I hope to see more, but if not I highly recommend checking out some of Powell’s other work such as The Goon, Big Man Plans, and Chimichanga. All have Powell’s blend of slightly adult oriented humor, horror, scifi, etc.. I’m sure that he has other works, but those are the ones I’ve read so far. Peace out for now!