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Once again I do a dual review, one of a classic horror film and then one newer one that was overlooked although in this case maybe I overlooked it since a sequel is coming for it.
This being  remake of the 1973 George Romero flick, The Crazies.

The Crazies (2010)

..I am someone who should hate remakes because they usually mean that Hollywood does not have a new idea. However with Horror its a little different. There were many remakes within just the few couple of decades of cinema starting. Talkie remakes of silent classics, and even remakes in the 1980's that were effective like Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Thing.

I caught a cut version of George Romero's The Crazies on television when I was a kid and am loathe to admit that I did not get to seeing it during the DVD revolution in the 90's/2000's which 
put the work of many horror directors (some already passed on) in a new critical light. In fact I had no desire to see this remake when it came out in 2010 and caught this on television of all places.

This remake is nothing too astounding but I really liked the major concept of the horror not even being the virus that turns people into psychopathic killers but rather the dual totalitarian and incompetence of the government in dealing with the outbreak.

Basically an army plane crashes with an experimental virus that turns people into murderous psychopaths, like a hyper rabies in a small town in the midwest. While the sheriff and his girlfriend try to figure out what is going on, the military comes in and goes all heavy handed on the populace, herding them into camps. Then all hell breaks loose and the military bails leaving the people to fend for themselves while killing and incinerating those they think are infected (whether they are or not) and even those that just resist.

One chilling scene is when a camp gets overrun and the military pigs leave a whole tent of infected people helplessly strapped to gurneys. Most are infected and ignored by a 'crazie' who comes in with a pitchfork but three women who were mistakenly tagged as infected are left to their fate (one of them being the hero's girlfriend). Two are saved but one is impaled with a pitchfork after begging for help. This scene is tough to watch because the the womans real killers were the failed men who left her behind.

As the situation spirals out of control, the government decides on a 'cleansing' option with a nuke..can the heroes (whats left of them) escape in time?

I am surprisingly not as anti military as I am antipolice (of course I am even more anti criminal so its all moot anyhow), and their is a scene where a sympathetic (and horrified) soldier does the right thing but overall that aspect of the film is what made it work as horror. The infected are actually not that impressive when compared to 28 Days later or other infected/zombie films.
Once again the real enemy is man himself.


The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
starring Lon Chaney

I have heard this described as the greatest silent horror film ever made and I am not inclined to disagree. In many ways this is not a true horror film and it is as big budget as Nosferatu was low budget. I have both movies on a split DVD I got for cheap a few years back.

The version I have is all black and white with some bad transfers on some of the reel but I have seen a remastered version with different color tints as well as the infamous early technicolor
scene at the Masquerade.

I have never read the book, so I am only going with this film.

An Opera house in 19th century Paris is haunted by a mysterious Phantom who takes a liking to an up and coming singer but who gets pissed if anyone else gets in the spotlight. One of the most infamous and shocking scenes is a giant chandelier being released on a full opera house full of people! The phantom is obviously a psychopathic killer but he is also a talented musical genius.

Basically this is like a mystery story with a disfigured villain who is like a prototype for Batmans Arkham rogues gallery(in the film he has escaped from an island asylum). And here is what has made this film immortal, the performance of the famous man of a thousand faces, Lon Chaney.

The unmasking scene is truly a shock and once again I can picture people back then gasping in terror at the reveal. Lon Chaney really put his face through torture to achieve a makeup job without any appliances or latex. He used devices to contort his face and the visage of the Phantom is still effective almost a century later. His pantomime is also effective, this evil genius 
is also quite tragic and you can feel his pain and rage at the world for forsaking him.

I can relate!

There are also many well shot scenes, like Chaney dressed as the Red Death (ala Poe) at a masquerade. Him lurking among a statue with his cape waving in the night (again the Batman creators had to be influenced!) with his face conveying despair at his 'beloved' forsaking him (beloved in his own twisted mind, the beautiful singer is terrified of him although she likes his
compositions).

This is an amazing film and put Universal on the map with its future horror/thrillers to come.
Unfortunately Lon Chaney was not to join their 1930's glory as he died of throat cancer in
1930. He was slated to play Dracula, which of course is the role that made Bela Lugosi a 
star. Lon's son, the hulking Lon Chaney Jr (a favorite of mine, a vulnerable and brawny actor)
went on to stardom in the 40's as the tragic Wolfman, maybe my favorite monster character.

On TCM I saw a segment with some hipster types lauding silent movies, and my gut reaction was of disdain but then I understood what they were doing. Silent movies are so removed and almost surreal from this modern time that any younger fans who can get into Silent films should be encouraged. This cinema is our history and from a time when the West still had some vitality although about to be smashed by world wars and cultural inversion. 

And in the end the silent film format as well as black and white (or sepia) is especially suited to the dreamlike and surreal qualities of horror films. I would like to see a Neo Silent revival in horror and that is suited to the no budget digital arena. 
The Yellow Sign by single-leg
The Yellow Sign
Some more white charcoal on black paper stuff. Here based off of 'The Yellow Sign' short story in the 
'King in Yellow' by Robert W. Chambers. Figures I will keep the obscure horror vibe going as this medium lends itself to this somewhat.

The weird looking guy is the  mysterious Church watchman who stalks the hero (and whose finger comes off in a struggle with a servant of his). He drives a black plumed hearse and is linked to The King in Yellow and a strange Onyx pendant with a mysterious letter on it..

Written in 1895, The King in Yellow was a collection of horror/thriller short stories and poetry.
H. P Lovecraft was a fan of this work and the first four stories are part of the same universe.

A mysterious book called 'The King in Yellow' which drives whoever reads it insane is the lynchpin
of these stories which are truly bizarre and surreal. Set in the 'future' of 1920, when America has solved many of the social problems that has bedeviled it, it follows the fates of different people who get caught up in surreal horrific situations involving this book.

Mysterious and a sense of dread seems to be what appealed to Lovecraft as these stories are very atmospheric and build up slowly to a nearly hopeless conclusion. Many terms and names that appear like
'the Pallid mask' and 'The Hyades' and 'Hastur' are never explained and add to the mystery of otherworldliness.

Chambers was a famous writer (and painter) in his time and wrote mostly romances and adventures but his early horror work is truly unique and is now experiencing a resurgence due to some show called 'True Detective' (which I know nothing about) which uses themes from this book. 

These are not outright horror stories like Stephen King's crap, but almost like experiencing a strange dream of another world. An America that went in a totally different direction, with a 19th century New York City the epicenter of a mysterious and otherworldly force that mere mortals were never made to understand
and to ultimately be consumed by it.
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The Defiance of Nafilee part 12

Nina's Story part One

The Past

Fire. Fire everywhere. The heat and the overwhelming smell of smoke filled her nostrils. Then the distant roars of the Dragons. Why did they do this to them? What could they have done? Father said they were sworn to help the Eagle empire by a treaty centuries ago. A piece of paper? This is why they were all dying?

She looked up and saw them, the many dragons flying in formations. All around her the smell of burning flesh and the sound of screaming. How she wanted to strike back at them, somehow. A few catapult arrows were launched at them but none hit their mark. Then they were set on fire like all the rest. Soon they would come. The ground soldiers wearing special masks.

Then the true horror would begin.

NIna's mother would not let that happen, she brought her to her and hugged her deeply. The blade was in her hand, she knew what it was for.

"My..my daughter.." Her mother was in tears. The woman had already freed her son and her younger sister. Better the blade then to be the conquest and playthings of the Dragon troops.

"Mother..I..I am ready.." Nina was brave, she would embrace death and deny these bastards their satisfaction.

An arrow soon denied this to her. Nina's mother fell and was unable to commence with the act, in her eyes Nina could see the horrified look. He daughter would be used up by these barbarians and there was nothing she could do!

Nina grabbed the blade, she would do the act herself. She looked her mother in the eyes to reassure her, but those eyes no longer could see.  Nothing. There was no living person who was her blood or friend or even related by culture or nationality. She was alone.. Alone!!  A strange feeling rose in Nina, a headstrong one. Anything was worth revenge, any indignity, as long as she could slide the blade into those who had wronged her people.

Why die by her own hand, when she could maybe even the odds? No, that blade would find its way into Dragon soldiers with their guards down. Oh yes, why stop there. Maybe
even into the Dragon bitch herself!

Nina smiled and her green eyes shone with an intensity. She had died along with her family. What was left was not a person or human but the spirit, the desire for vengeance.

A young girl on the cusp of womanhood laughed in the center of a burning inferno. What had been taken in moments would be regained in years.

No matter how long it took..


The Present

Nina's wandering and questioning had payed off. There were clues to a mysterious green haired woman wandering the woods and the towns and taverns on the outskirt of the Whispering valley, where the rivers began tracing their long travel to the open sea.
The official search for the three escaped asylum inmates was going on during the day, while freelance and amateurs prowled the night. The Reward was clear that they were not to be harmed but rather contained or restrained. These were not criminals or bandits but women of unwell mind, both human and Elf. Nina wanted Tirarna's head but only after some suffering, the suffering she thought setting up a premature burial would accomplish.

It was so unfair! It was a perfect and horrific death and should have succeeded. How by the gods had some low life grave diggers saved her by accident?!!

Nina unsheathed her blade, the same blade from her childhood. So it would do the deed after all. She would skin Tirarna alive. She swore this on her family and all the people in her village. She had no quarrel with the Elves, either light or dark. But if they got in the way for even a second they would die.

Tirarna was dangerous and no one to take lightly. Nina had been so disciplined, training for years in combat and assassin skills.  When Tirarna had been committed to the care of VielsDen Keep she saw a golden opportunity. She worked her way into the Asylum, it took half a year and many menial and mundane duties. Being around so many madwomen made Nina wonder and even doubt her own sanity at times.
It was not healthy or normal to live just for vengeance…

But then she remembered. Nina had already died back in her village years ago. She was not really Nina, she was merely Will. The Will to destroy Tirarna, the Dragon Empress, in the most ruthless and cruel way possible. Many people in the asylum wanted a piece of Tirarna, some of them former victims who had lost their minds due to the cruelty Tirarna had inflicted on them. Nina felt for them, but the revenge would be hers and hers alone. They may not have known it but the low level worker who fed them soup while they were restrained was on their side. She would succeed where they were incapable. In a way she was doing it for them as well. Afterwards they would all know..after the deed was done, Nina did not care what happened to her.

She could spend the rest of her life in an isolation cell deep within the bowels of VielsDen Keep and that would be fine. It would be worth it.


Hurrying down a back road she looked for a landmark, an old stone wall. The green haired woman had been seen near there. Maybe she was hiding in the nearby woods?  Wherever the fugitives were hiding, Nina would find them. Excitement filled her but she soon stamped it down, she had to be cool about this. Clinical and cold blooded. Tirarna had to be made helpless and this meant capturing her unaware. It could not be a 'fight', not that Nina did not think she could take the older woman. It had to be with Tirarna totally helpless and  unable to resist. She wanted the Dragon Empress to beg for her life. Tirarna had to be destroyed in every way before being dispatched.

Nina was so deep in thought that she failed to notice another figure heading in her direction from the opposite end of the backroad.

She stopped and tried to see who this stranger was. It was not easy, the figure was female but in a dark robe with the hood up. It looked similar to what the Sisters at VielsDen Keep wore..


Nina began to sweat and a shock hit her stomach. Was it a Sister? Had they figured it out, the plot? Oh by the Mountain Gods!!!

She watched the Robed figure like a hawk, but she just kept walking at an even but deliberate pace. The stranger walked past her and Nina watched her walked down the road.

Paranoid thoughts went through Nina's mind, maybe the Sister was pretending to not notice her and then was on her way to inform Nafilee and the other Sisters?

Nina drew her blade. It had been a while since she had taken a life, maybe she was out of practice? Hardly, but keeping the energy of killing was useful.

Yes, just in case. Her blade was thirsty.

Nina silently ran up as she had been trained and drew her blade.

VielsDen Sister or not, this woman was going to serve a purpose in Nina's quest.

"Sorry, stranger.."


She leapt above the hooded figure and drove the blade deep into the large artery running up along side the spine.





…………….


To Be Continued
The Defiance of Nafilee part Twelve
A little backstory on the mysterious woman who seeks revenge on Tirarna.
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The Peacock

HallowMass Destruction Part two


"BAM!" "POW!!!" BONK!!!!!"


Matt Donahue had just knocked out the second henchmen of the 'Sinister Squash' himself, Jack O Lantern. Scanning for the third goon, he saw two more rushing him.
All dressed in awkward pumpkin costumes that was making it easier for the Peacock to beat them. They were blocking him from his goal, a helicopter containing the Jack O lantern
and the first kidnap victim slated for his horror film, city treasurer  Marvin Henson.

Matt slipped another haymaker from a henchmen whose forward motion had carried him into a counter jab. The blow shook the large but tough man who then ducked low for a tackle.
The Peacock drove his head down and literally spring boarded off his large back to hit his other attacker coming from behind with a flying kick.

"POW!!" Matt laughed inwardly, he was able to make the flashy stuff work because of his long limbs and wrestling ability. Wrestling ability he was training to counter Black Ram
next time they met. But for now..

"You rainbow monstrosity! Take this!" Jack O Lantern was wielding some kind of weapon that looked like a flame thrower.

"VROOOSHH!!"

Matt had barely avoided the stream of liquid that issued forth with a cartwheel, unfortunately one of the henchmen was not so lucky.
A strange and pleasing fragrance filled the air. Was that chocolate?

"AIEEEEEEEE!!!" The unfortunate two bit leg breaker was hit with scalding hot chocolate and collapsed in painful convulsions.

The other henchmen getting up, bloodied by The Peacock, ignored the screams of their compatriot and ran for the helicopter. Matt pursued but the screams of the
injured henchman divided his attention. Damn it!

No! Not this time! He knew the risks working for this psychopath, Matt needed to save the Treasurer, even if he was the only republican in city government.
Too many times these guys got away because of wounded or dying henchmen.

The copter was rising and Matt was dashing all out. He was going to grab one of the pontoons and then take the fight into the cockpit. The bound and gagged treasurer was
frozen in terror. Matt was not going to fail, this was ending tonight!

"NO!! Stop him! Stop him!" Jack O Lantern was screaming at the top of his lungs to his henchmen. As Matt was about to leap up, they grabbed large bags and then
positioned them over the edge of the cockpit.

The one henchmen looked at the other with a look of uncertainty.

"Bro, this is crazy.."

The other one said nothing. "Throw it!"

They unloaded the contents of the bags and they fell onto Matt while in mid air.

"What the?!"

Hundreds of apples. Enough to stop Matt's momentum and knock him down to the roof.

The Peacock fell to the roof and was already cursing. He drew his tracer gun when he noticed the apples were not un enhanced.

Matt's armor had shred marks on it, there were large razorblades embedded in them.

His shot missed. The copter was flying away into the night. He had failed.

"…………………….."


His numb and nearly blank thought was interrupted by hundreds of beeping sounds.

"Damn.."

The roof of the old movie house blew apart ten seconds after the Peacock had leapt to safety. Not just razor bladed apples but razor bladed 'explosive' apples.

"This guy is ruining the holiday for me in every way."


The Donahue Estate

OCT 3

Matt was watching the local Nefcon news. The first kidnap victim had been abducted as Jack O Lantern had promised and the Old Nefcon Palladium movie house had been
destroyed and incinerated. Police Chief Wagner was blustering and looked both embarrassed and angry.

"Jack O Lantern will be captured, I promise but lets be honest, the REAL culprit is the Peacock! He is a menace and just as crazy as all these villains! In fact he seems to be their catalyst, its because of him that this crazy scheme is being done. If you reporters were responsible and not looking for headlines, you would stop painting him as some sort of superhero! He is not!"

The press conference exploded into angry outbursts and reporters responding with all kinds of unflattering and insulting questions.

Matt actually started to get offended. "You fat jack ass…how stupid can you be? To think I supported you because you were a liberal Dem!
Im trying to help this damn city my ancestors help found with no help and you're blaming me!!"

Carl came in with a look of concern. Matt was on his feet and angrily yelling at the television.

"Okay, then..how is your one way rant with the police chief going?"

"Sorry, it just gets so frustrating sometimes."

Carl had a look on his face like he had had enough of something.

"Are you looking for approval for this? When the hell do people like you and I look for approval from anyone or anything?" Carl folded his arms.

"Its not all just what the individual wants, Carl, in the end I'm doing this for the greater good of this city. But the majority of polls say the average Nefcon resident resents my actions! I'm starting to wonder…"

"let me guess, ......to say to hell with them and just let the city survive without you?

Carl then had a sad look on his face which stopped Matt in his tracks.


"I would love for you to do that, honestly."

"But you know how long this city would last don't you? That Miru woman has saved this place many times but only in relation to her protecting the Hanover Asylum. We need more people, more heroes."

Carl looked askew at his boss. "Super Friends or something? What do you want me to be your sidekick and wear a mask?"

"Well it was just an idea. Maybe hire some people." Matt pondered.

"Oh yeah, the first one turns sides for more money and then your name is all over the paper! Then into Ridgefield you go and I will be out of a job. Maybe I should wear a mask and get thrown in there with you. Three meals a day, nice soft rooms, free clothes with extra long sleeves..hmm?"

"Spare me your sarcasm!" Matt raised his voice and then instantly regretted it. He composed himself.


"I'm going to visit Ridgefield tomorrow and see if I can find any clues."

Carl smiled to show he was not upset.

"Visiting that place is always fun." Carl said with a shudder. "That place is a 365 day a year Halloween party. Speaking of which
it will be useful for planning the Ridgefield themed Lavender Mob party next year!"

Somehow Carl could turn any situation, no matter how grave or grim into something fun or inspiring. Matt smiled, he needed
that balance. Now more than ever.

The two men were then interrupted by another alarm.

"Damn it!" Matt had that look on his face. He ran down to his console room with Carl running behind him.

Carl finally caught up  two minutes later to see Matt listening to his special alarm band hooked into the city police band as well as the two Asylums just outside town.

"Well?"

"Hanover…the Candy Corn Twins  busted out..damn. This is going to get harder."

"Obviously Jack O Lantern must have helped them, but look at the bright side..you are going to get help!"

Matt looked at Carl with a look of revulsion.

"I don't need her help..Carl."

"YES you do, Matt! You don't have your league of super masked do gooders yet and she can only be helpful. I think she likes you. If she only knew!"

Matt looked back at Carl. He could be so annoying, but he could be so right.

"Well I'm not going to worry about it tonight..I need to take a bath. Tomorrow, bright and early for Ridgefield and then sundown on the hunt for that vegetable villain!"

"I'll meet you there, master!" Carl winked and walked down to the bath.

"uh, I said I need to take a bath..I don't have time for..Carl, I'm serious!!!" Matt called after him.."I need to get to bed early, I…"


Nefcon City
The East Side
Grave Hollow Rd


"Hey what the hell, you gotta pay first! You know the deal, no money no solvent! You want the them to track you down and drag you back there?"

Two very tall and pale women were facing a shorter and heavyset one in an alley in the east side of Nefcon City. One had  long spiky orange hair, the other  long spiky bright yellow hair. Both were wearing Hanover straitjacket bodysuits that had the end of their sleeves torn off.

"We have no money.." The Orange haired one said in a monotone.

"..yet, put it on our account." The Yellow haired one finished.

"Oh no, we don't do that anymore. Beside the new policy is you need to sign a waiver promising not to destroy the city..I mean we low level criminals live and work here..we have to draw the line somewhere." Aria Mendoza
said plainly. These Masks were getting to be a real nuisance and there was talk of perhaps unionizing the non masks to put up resistance to them.

"But..we need the solvent to.." Yellow started.

"...get this off." Orange finished, putting up her black enameled fingernails. Even now the nanites within the polish were activating and sending a signal to Hanover central control.

"Sorry, girls. Cant help you, maybe you could put tinfoil on your hands and feet..now I gotta go. Here's some advice, stash some cash and hit it up when you come up, yahear?" Aria said almost laughing at the end. These two crazy white bitches were on their own, with their skinny ass bodies.

As she turned to go she felt her shoulder grabbed in an iron grip. "Agh!! That shit hurt!! Whatchudoin!?!?

"Give it to.." Orange started.

"..us now." Yellow finished, as she pulled on Aria's shoulder.

Aria turned violently and pulled her very illegal pistol. Luckily it was against the law to have a gun so there was no way she could have one so it must have been an invisible gun with invisible bullets that only liberals were immune to! (....)

"Get your crazy ass hands off me!!! Don't touch me!! I'll smoke both ya'll, yahear?"

Just as fast the gun was pulled from her hands and she was lifted off her feet and thrown to the ground. Before she could get to one knee, she felt like she was being strangled.

She was. By the ripped sleeves of Orange's straitjacket..

"Acckkk…urgk!"

"Regrettable.."

"…but economical." Which one said what? Orange? Yellow? Aria didn't know or care as the life left her body following the precious air..

The Candy Corn twins found what they were looking for and then proceeded to climb an old abandoned fire escape up to the roof.

"Wait for.." Yellow started.

"..Him, yes, the master." Orange finished.

"Praise our dark lord, Samhain.." Orange and Yellow spoke in unison.

A figure emerged from the darkness behind the watertower.

"Ladies, glad to see you have earned a vacation from your own happy home. Let me help you get into something a little more comfortable.."

Jack O Lantern stood with a costume in each hand..orange, yellow, white and black.

The two women smiled, their dark eyes almost glowing in the light of the moon.

"Master.." Two voices whispered with one purpose.

To Be Continued
The Peacock: HallowMass Destruction part two
The old urban myth of the razor blade in the apple, I remember the hysteria over poison candy and candy with pins and glass in it when I was in elementary school, just before Halloween became incredibly violent in the early 80's. 

You know I had to introduce the Candy Corn twins in this. Since they are Hanover escapees, you know who
will be making a guest appearance. And she hates Halloween!

I need to draw these two ladies before Halloween is over. 
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Beautiful gray days and wind, with cooler and wet weather. I love it. As apocalyptic fears of Ebola build( I cant wait till my hospital gets the first plague carrier) and I see halloween decorations of skulls and such, I feel deliciously morbid yet I see the value of humor. The joke that get played on us all...

October has me busier than usual with real world stuff and its already half way through but I was happy
to get a major crowd pic done with the AGC universe characters. It was something I was hoping to do for a while,
also something to get me inspired for an eventual return to comics.

Since its the month of Horror(okay for me its every month and season) I figure I would do journal entries nearly everyday of movie reviews
till Nov 1st. I will try to make a double review, one of a classic horror film and one of a more recent  film that I feel is both worthy AND overlooked. It is too easy to say that they don't make any good horror films anymore and there quite a few gems, flawed or not that deserve a good word.

Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932)
Starring Bela Lugosi
Directed by Robert Florey

This gruesome and apparently severely cut film is just an hour and one minute long. Bela plays Dr Mirakle, a traveling showman and scientist who's main attraction is a large ape. Strange abductions and murders abound in 19th century Paris and a young medical student seeks to solve the mystery. 

This movie is highly influenced by the expressionist horror film The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari and has that lovely atmosphere of shadows although with more conventional period sets. There is some lame humor to try and lighten the mood and the young leads are fluff, but you never watch these films for them. You watch them for the dreamlike and dark atmosphere and for the performance of the actor portraying the villain/monster.

Lugosi, fresh off Dracula, is more maniacal and sadistic here with a crazy mane of hair and an evil smile. He even believes in evolution!
My friend who saw this quite reasonably made the observation that he must have been an inspiration for the Joker visually (along with Caligari actor Conrad Veidt in another Universal picture The Man Who Laughs).

Lugosi stalks around like an evil puritan with his ape (a mature male chimp in closeup, which is terrifying as these animals are vicious when they attack people in the real world. A woman maybe less than twenty miles from where I am typing this had her face ripped off by one a few years ago!) to abduct women for his nefarious experiments. The initial laboratory scene with one of his victims and then a scene with a chimney later are quite chilling. 

In a few decades or so I have no idea who will even watch these old films or if they will even survive as they culture they represented fades away. 

Exit Humanity (2011)
Written and Directed by John Geddes

 I caught part of this movie on SyFy and got the DVD cheap (they are all getting cheaper). This is truly an epic zombie film and has the many elements I love about horror wrapped into one package.

  The movie is told as a flashback from a diary (narrated by the great Brian Cox) about the zombie apocalypse. But in this movie, this happens not in the later half of the twentieth century or the 21st but just as the American Civil War is ending in 1865! A former Confederate soldier turned farmer loses his family to the plague and becomes a Jeremiah Johnson like figure roaming post apocalyptic Tennessee with a death wish (and his repeating six gun, the early ones where you had to pour the powder and load the ball in each chamber). He meets another ex soldier who's sister has been kidnapped by a ruthless and crazy general( A Confederate, I would have made him a damn Yankee but its implied that the North is having all it can handle with its greater population which means more zombies). Along the way he must get both revenge and inner peace.

The narrative is not too different from the typical zombie narrative (evil military gets theirs from the ragtag survivors with the zombies being used to get revenge on the villains..Day of the Dead, 28 Days Later, etc.).But the bleak and grey atmosphere of the rural Tennessee woods and the sense of tragedy and weariness make this unique. The bearded heroes look like those grim and serious faced men you see in the old civil war photos and do not look like hipsters trying to pull off that look for irony's sake. Lots of action and gun fights, in the end all Zombie films are partly action films. 

Although a pre electricity era(and religious) people would probably adapt better to a zombie menace than us weaklings today, the dual effect of the war and then the living dead seems literally etched on the faces of the weary survivors. You can feel the cold and the wetness and the smell of gunpowder, damp earth and rotting flesh. The cinematographer did an excellent job with the digital camera(you can only tell its video with the sunsets) and the cabins and underground bunker were built by the crew (who also were the two villanious henchmen in the film). The acting is quite good as well. Also their is a use of animation which is both cool and a device to show things it would have been impossible to film (The budget was quite low and sometimes it is noticeable to be fair). 

Also the ending has a very poignant scene that is one of hope but not in a modern shallow way but very much in the old way. Of finding inner peace when  outer peace will always be elusive to humanity. The characters suffer and feel despair but find hope and they fight till the end.

And the title rules..Exit Humanity..

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Current Residence: the declining Northeast USA
Favourite genre of music: Black metal, classic metal, Italian horror music prog rock, classic disco and rap.
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Interests
Once again I do a dual review, one of a classic horror film and then one newer one that was overlooked although in this case maybe I overlooked it since a sequel is coming for it.
This being  remake of the 1973 George Romero flick, The Crazies.

The Crazies (2010)

..I am someone who should hate remakes because they usually mean that Hollywood does not have a new idea. However with Horror its a little different. There were many remakes within just the few couple of decades of cinema starting. Talkie remakes of silent classics, and even remakes in the 1980's that were effective like Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Thing.

I caught a cut version of George Romero's The Crazies on television when I was a kid and am loathe to admit that I did not get to seeing it during the DVD revolution in the 90's/2000's which 
put the work of many horror directors (some already passed on) in a new critical light. In fact I had no desire to see this remake when it came out in 2010 and caught this on television of all places.

This remake is nothing too astounding but I really liked the major concept of the horror not even being the virus that turns people into psychopathic killers but rather the dual totalitarian and incompetence of the government in dealing with the outbreak.

Basically an army plane crashes with an experimental virus that turns people into murderous psychopaths, like a hyper rabies in a small town in the midwest. While the sheriff and his girlfriend try to figure out what is going on, the military comes in and goes all heavy handed on the populace, herding them into camps. Then all hell breaks loose and the military bails leaving the people to fend for themselves while killing and incinerating those they think are infected (whether they are or not) and even those that just resist.

One chilling scene is when a camp gets overrun and the military pigs leave a whole tent of infected people helplessly strapped to gurneys. Most are infected and ignored by a 'crazie' who comes in with a pitchfork but three women who were mistakenly tagged as infected are left to their fate (one of them being the hero's girlfriend). Two are saved but one is impaled with a pitchfork after begging for help. This scene is tough to watch because the the womans real killers were the failed men who left her behind.

As the situation spirals out of control, the government decides on a 'cleansing' option with a nuke..can the heroes (whats left of them) escape in time?

I am surprisingly not as anti military as I am antipolice (of course I am even more anti criminal so its all moot anyhow), and their is a scene where a sympathetic (and horrified) soldier does the right thing but overall that aspect of the film is what made it work as horror. The infected are actually not that impressive when compared to 28 Days later or other infected/zombie films.
Once again the real enemy is man himself.


The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
starring Lon Chaney

I have heard this described as the greatest silent horror film ever made and I am not inclined to disagree. In many ways this is not a true horror film and it is as big budget as Nosferatu was low budget. I have both movies on a split DVD I got for cheap a few years back.

The version I have is all black and white with some bad transfers on some of the reel but I have seen a remastered version with different color tints as well as the infamous early technicolor
scene at the Masquerade.

I have never read the book, so I am only going with this film.

An Opera house in 19th century Paris is haunted by a mysterious Phantom who takes a liking to an up and coming singer but who gets pissed if anyone else gets in the spotlight. One of the most infamous and shocking scenes is a giant chandelier being released on a full opera house full of people! The phantom is obviously a psychopathic killer but he is also a talented musical genius.

Basically this is like a mystery story with a disfigured villain who is like a prototype for Batmans Arkham rogues gallery(in the film he has escaped from an island asylum). And here is what has made this film immortal, the performance of the famous man of a thousand faces, Lon Chaney.

The unmasking scene is truly a shock and once again I can picture people back then gasping in terror at the reveal. Lon Chaney really put his face through torture to achieve a makeup job without any appliances or latex. He used devices to contort his face and the visage of the Phantom is still effective almost a century later. His pantomime is also effective, this evil genius 
is also quite tragic and you can feel his pain and rage at the world for forsaking him.

I can relate!

There are also many well shot scenes, like Chaney dressed as the Red Death (ala Poe) at a masquerade. Him lurking among a statue with his cape waving in the night (again the Batman creators had to be influenced!) with his face conveying despair at his 'beloved' forsaking him (beloved in his own twisted mind, the beautiful singer is terrified of him although she likes his
compositions).

This is an amazing film and put Universal on the map with its future horror/thrillers to come.
Unfortunately Lon Chaney was not to join their 1930's glory as he died of throat cancer in
1930. He was slated to play Dracula, which of course is the role that made Bela Lugosi a 
star. Lon's son, the hulking Lon Chaney Jr (a favorite of mine, a vulnerable and brawny actor)
went on to stardom in the 40's as the tragic Wolfman, maybe my favorite monster character.

On TCM I saw a segment with some hipster types lauding silent movies, and my gut reaction was of disdain but then I understood what they were doing. Silent movies are so removed and almost surreal from this modern time that any younger fans who can get into Silent films should be encouraged. This cinema is our history and from a time when the West still had some vitality although about to be smashed by world wars and cultural inversion. 

And in the end the silent film format as well as black and white (or sepia) is especially suited to the dreamlike and surreal qualities of horror films. I would like to see a Neo Silent revival in horror and that is suited to the no budget digital arena. 

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DamianDraco Featured By Owner 1 day ago
Where is Halloween Headache pg 20?
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chestrockwell69 Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Hobbyist General Artist
thanks:)
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Grimjest Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you. :)
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chestrockwell69 Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
thanks:)
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RyckRudd Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
I see you've fav'd some of my things :) If you’re interested in more of my work, please do consider giving a ‘like’ to my :facebook: page to help me reach more people (Sorry if I've already invited you!). Thanks for your time!
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Your welcome! Beautifully disturbing.
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Thanks for the Faves and watch!
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single-leg Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2014
The photos of the old graves are priceless!
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