I have no dog and I must squeak

Posted: July 12th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | No Comments »

My wife and I have a couple of cats who we’ve been lucky enough to have with us for 18 years. (Hello, Pancho and Rizzo! If you’re reading this it means you’re sitting on my keyboard!) Since they’re elderly cats they have special needs, we make regular trips to the big pet store that carries their medicated food. Which is the long way of saying we discovered this pet store is now carrying comic character-themed stuff and ohmigod you guys I WANTS IT SO BAD.

A lot of it are teeny-tiny shirts and sweaters for dogs (and I guess cats, if you’re feeling suicidal), with Captain America’s shield or Batman’s logo emblazoned on the back. But for once DC seems to have gotten the jump on the Marvel marketing maching and has also licensed fuzzy chew toys, in different sizes, of Superman, Supergirl, Batman, and Robin. They are frankly awesome and I’m dying to go back and get the Supergirl.

Because of course I already bought a Superman.

And of course he squeaks.

It’s Kalimánday! Kalimán goes to the movies

Posted: January 23rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 1 Comment »

It’s hard to overestimate how popular Kalimán is in Latin America, especially Mexico. The best and easiest parallel I can come up is the phenomenon that was The Shadow in the 1930s and ’40s, when the pistol-packing vigilante burst onto the scene and into every form of media. Kalimán moved just as easily across pop culture, capturing imaginations in radio, comics and movies, cementing his spot in the cultural psyche.

But while there have reportedly been thousands of hours of radio shows produced and almost 30 years worth of weekly comics published, so far there have only been a measly two movies made. This, my friends, is what we call bullshit. Still, the movies we do have are pretty great in that special 1970s way, and there have been announcements that a new, updated Kalimán movie is in the works. In the meantime, what we’ve got is well worth revisiting.

Premiering in 1972, “Kalimán, El Hombre Increíble” is a retelling of the first comic book story, ““Los Profanadores de Tumbas” (“The Defilers of the Tombs”) — I promise I’ll stop talking about that first story soon. “Profanadores” was shot on location in Egypt with an international cast, and was reportedly the most expensive Mexican movie ever made for 20 years after its release. Filmmakers followed up on “Profanadores” with 1976’s “Kalimán En El Siniestro Mundo de Humanón” (“Kalimán in The Sinister World of Humanón”), which was also based on an original comic and radio story but didn’t prove as popular the third time around.

“Kalimán, El Hombre Increíble” was a different story, and put asses in the seats of movie theaters for a full year. Starring American (I think) actor Jeff Cooper as Kalimán and Nino del Arco as an appropriately precocious Solín, the movie is everything you could hope for; casual dubbing, unfortunate face-painting, a waka-chow soundtrack and more pure awesome than you can handle. For your viewing pleasure, here is Exhibit K, in which Kalimán chokes a man out by wrapping his own arms around his head, and then scares everyone else away with what I can only describe as his Black Panther Stare. There’s also some dungeon-torture, a little veil dancing and Kalimán without his turban (hint: He’s blond).

I should also mention that all this happens in just eight minutes of a 107-minute long movie.

Later he karate chops the head off a robot-mummy and blows up a pyramid. Ka! Li! Mán!

Countdown to Halloween: Did you have any weird dreams last night?

Posted: October 30th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 1 Comment »

I know I have a tendency to throw the word “favorite” around a lot, but in the case of 1963’s The Haunting there is no other word that fits. The Haunting — and the book it was based on, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House — is a movie I’ll watch whenever I happen to get the chance, and one I want to watch whenever I happen to think about it. It is simply one of the best, if not the best, haunted house story put to film or paper and if you haven’t already, I’d recommend you give both a try.

The Haunting does an excellent job of capturing the mood and growing terror that gives the book so much of its atmosphere, and its dreadful sense of inevitability is perfectly relayed by the film’s small cast of characters. It’s an example of an old idea that’s been lost in a lot of modern horror movies; sometimes, what’s scariest is what you can’t see.

Speaking of legendary horror movies, it’d be hard to argue with calling A Nightmare on Elm Street a modern classic of the genre.

And if you do want to argue, I will fight you.

Countdown to Halloween: You gotta be f*#!in’ kidding

Posted: October 29th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | No Comments »

So you might’ve seen a new movie earlier this month called The Thing, but you didn’t really see The Thing.

Because this is The Thing.

Countdown to Halloween: What an excellent day for an exorcism

Posted: October 28th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 2 Comments »

The Exorcist is an undisputed heavyweight in the world of horror, and it sure as hell earns its rank with terrifying and tension-filled scenes that make even hardcore atheists wonder if they should start crossing themselves.

One aspect that gets overlooked in the middle of all the head-twisting and pea soup-spewing, though, is the truly great performance of Linda Blair as Regan. It’s true that possessed-Regan’s voice was dubbed by Mercedes McCambridge, but this clip of Blair giving her undubbed performance shows the 13-year-old was pretty good in her own right.

None of this explains what the deal was with everything she made after The Exorcist, but that’s Pazuzu for you.

Countdown to Halloween: Hi — I’m going to Camp Crystal Lake

Posted: October 27th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 1 Comment »

Once upon a time, Hollywood was actually able to make good movies out of Stephen King novels, and The Shining is one of the best. Directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring an at-his-peak Jack Nicholson, The Shining scared me like few movies ever have.

I was 10 when this movie came out in 1980, and seeing it at that age on the big screen branded the most shocking scenes into my brain good and deep. But watching it again and again over the years with the benefit of more maturity — and less crying — has let me appreciate some of the “quieter” but no less powerful pieces in The Shining. One of my favorites is just a conversation between Nicholson’s Jack Torrance and the ghost of Delbert Grady, but it’s a scene that is chilling in its restraint and menace.

The same year The Shining came out another, much different movie called Friday the 13th was released. Unsuspecting audiences were introduced to Jason Voorhees and a girl named Annie, who would be one of the first of many, launching a horror icon and an apparently equally undying movie franchise.

And just a quick note: Is it just me, or is there something weirdly satisfying about the idea of Jason driving a Jeep?

Countdown to Halloween: The ship needs blood, Marshall … blood to survive …

Posted: October 26th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 3 Comments »

You might have noticed that thanks to technical difficulties over here at GCP-HQ, the last couple of days have been sadly bereft of Halloween clips. That’s right, I said “bereft.”

Normally I would bundle all the clips that were supposed to run into one post, but including today’s that would be six all together and that seems kind of ridiculous. Instead I’ll just point you in the direction of some great, classic horror movies, including; Fright Night, An American Werewolf in London, Poltergeist and The Fly.

As for today’s entries, I thought I’d share something a little less well-known. First up — Black Christmas, 1974 slasher movie about the terror of the holiday season and the danger of having a second phone line. Also, Margot Kidder and a unicorn. Doesn’t that sound nice?

Next, another favorite of Sandy’s and something I’ll have to track down because it just looks nuts. Death Ship is a 1980 film starring George Kennedy, Richard Crenna and a freighter haunted by undead Nazis and the ghosts of their tortured victims, Which would be bad enough without Kennedy getting possessed at some point and somehow still-rotting bodies showing up at every turn.

Countdown to Halloween: So what are we watching? Home movies or something?

Posted: October 23rd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 2 Comments »

Decades ago, Linda Blair starred in a landmark film that would reset the bar for horror movies, a film that resonated with audiences and showcased the young actor’s well of talent.

That’s right — I’m talking about 1981’s Hell Night.

Speaking of things coming up from deep, dark wells, let’s talk about The Ring. I know some people will want to start with, “Oh, but Ringu is so much better, especially in the original Japanese and blah blah blah,” and y’know, I agree — originals are almost always better and I like to watch foreign movies in the native language, too.

But I liked The Ring — it was creepy and atmospheric, and I actually cared about what happened to the characters. And while this movie launched a thousand copycat ships with pale, dark-haired demons moving in quick-cut edits, this quiet scene was one that really weirded me out.

See you in seven days.

Nose Bleed
The Ring at MOVIECLIPS.com

Countdown to Halloween: Karen? Karen?! Oh … poor baby …

Posted: October 22nd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | No Comments »

The big day is only a little more than a week away and I’ve still got a chunky list of movies that I just can’t bear to abandon. They’re like my babies! So to get these cinematic hellspawn into good homes, we’ll be doubling up on the clips from here on out.

First up, a true classic. I never, never get tired of Night of the Living Dead, a film that invented not just a genre, but an entire modern mythology. Here are some quick observations:

• Oh man, do I hate this bald guy. I can’t think of more fitting end for this prick and I’m glad he gets it. MAN, do I hate this guy!
• On the other hand, Ben (played by Duane Jones) doesn’t get nearly the credit he should for being the first zombie-killin’ bad-ass.
• This is definitely the first (and maybe the only?) instance I can think of where you see a zombie using a tool. I’m kind of glad it didn’t become a regular aspect of zombie-hood, but I think it’s interesting anyway.

And now a modern classic, this one from the mostly abandoned comedic-horror alien invasion catergory. I give you Nathan Fillion in 2006’s Slither.

Countdown to Halloween: And now, a word from our sponsors

Posted: October 21st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 3 Comments »

We’ve already seen one TV commercial on the air right now that’s just … creepy. And it’s not even Halloween-themed! But there is another commercial floating around that’s specifically for the Halloween season, and I actually get a kick out of it.

The commercial for Snickers reappeared this year after debuting in 2010, and it’s easy to see why. Set in a shadowy, seemingly empty grocery store, poor Mrs. Jensen is just trying to get some shopping done when she’s suddenly face-to-belly with a towering, old-lady-masked — person? — sweeping candy bars into her cart.

Is it the slightly sinister setting that’s so weird? The sing-songy voice coming from the disturbingly flexing mask? Or is it the ickily familiar way the Old Lady strokes Mrs. Jensen’s face?

Yes, yes and yes.