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WARRENISWEIRD’s Top 05 SCARIEST “Are You Afraid Of The Dark?” Episodes

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If you follow warrenisweird on Facebook, [which if you don’t, you definitely should] you probably saw this post referencing a TV show from my [very scarred] childhood: Are You Afraid Of The Dark? Along with shows like Tales From The Cryptkeeper and Goosebumps, this was a show that I used to watch almost religiously, even though it would give me indefinite nightmares after every episode. By sharing that one video clip on Facebook, I started to remember just how terrifying Are You Afraid Of The Dark? really was, especially for something that was marketed towards kids who were just getting into horror such as myself. I decided [against my better judgement] to delve back into the show and dig up past nightmares and make a list of my top 05 episodes [in no particular order] that I would argue are the scariest from my childhood, and to some degree, still are! As you can expect, spoilers will be involved with every submission below, so tread lightly if you are worried about finding out the “twist!”


Submitted For The Approval Of The Midnight Society, I call this story: WARRENISWEIRD’s TOP 05 SCARIEST “Are You Afraid Of The Dark?” EPISODES


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“The Tale Of The Captured Souls” [Season 01]

Starting off with the “not so scary,” we have an episode from early in the series that follows Danielle and her family’s lakeside vacation that [almost] goes dead wrong! When Danielle and her family arrive for their holidays, they meet a strange man by the name of Peter: the abnormal [and young] inn keeper. The inn itself is also strange, covered with mirrors that shock whoever touches them because of, as Peter says, “old wiring.” [Because everyone knows that mirrors are usually wired, right?] During their stay, Danielle and her family begin to feel drained, and notice more than a couple new grey hairs growing on their heads. Eventually, we learn that the [wired] mirrors from before are actually part of a more elaborate plan to drain the inn’s guests of their souls, which will effectively keep Peter forever young. What doesn’t help is when Danielle stumbles upon Peter’s “graveyard” – a place where he keeps a collection of all the souls he’s stolen over the years. After Danielle discovers that Peter is behind everything after discovering his “soul-sucking lab.” Peter offers a truce: he will give Danielle the chance to join him in his quest for eternal youth. As expected, she instead destroys his bizarre science project; which ends with him becoming an old and ancient man, saving her parents from having their souls taken.


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“The Tale Of The Super Specs” [Season 01]

If you were a big enough fan of the series, you probably remember Sardo’s Magic Shop. It was a plot point of many of the “Tales” that revolved a “magic/mystical item.” While a lot of the items were unique – and sometimes terrifying – none of Sardo’s “tools” were as traumatizing as his “Super Specs.” That’s where this episode comes in. While wearing the Super Specs, Mary Beth is given the ability to see things that aren’t really there. These “things” can range from a tea kettle whistling on the stove to figures cloaked in black. Soon enough, she learns that these specs have been cursed with a “second sight,” which opens a window into an alternate dimension. After explaining the situation to Sardo, he agrees to help Mary Beth clear her home of these dark visions, but his lack of experience in magic [irony?] ends up causing a “cosmic imbalance” which grants the [dark] creatures full access to our world. What makes this episode so scary is that it ends with our hero’s demise, which if I’m honest, is a lot to take in for a kid.


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“The Tale Of The Ghastly Grinner” [Season 04]

If you have been a follower of warrenisweird for a while now – or you know me in real life – you are probably aware that I have an irrational fear of clowns. This particular Tale did not help that cause.. In the picture above, you are looking into the eyes of this entry’s villain, The Ghastly Grinner: an evil comic book character bent on making life for a young boy [Ethan] a living hell. Like most days in the early 1990s, it all started when our “hero” went to the opening of a new comic book store in town. [back when the days were easier] The store’s owners offered him a “one-of-a-kind” comic which featured the monstrosity above, who causes people to laugh uncontrollably and spit up blue goo.. [Gross! Why Nickelodeon?!] Before putting his new [and rare] collector’s item with the rest of his comic book memorabilia, Ethan accidentally spills a glass of water on it. Instead of cleaning the mess up like a normal human would, he decides to microwave the comic book.. because, of course he does. Bad news for Ethan though, because the radiation [somehow] brings the comic book villain to life! After The Ghastly Grinner starts freaking people out all over town – including a young Warren who cannot look away from the TV – Ethan decides [responsibly] to take matters into his own hands by creating a new comic book; in order to defeat The Grinner. Somehow though, he manages to get trapped inside the comic, thus bringing him face to face with the gut-busting villain.. Although this episode is more silly than anything, The Grinner himself scarred me like any – and every – clown before him. That reason alone earns it a spot on this list.


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“The Tale Of The Dead Man’s Float” [Season 05]

Oh yes, that episode. The one from what I shared on Facebook. [see beginning of post] This Tale centers around Zeke, a geeky teenager who yearns to get close to a girl by the name of Clorice, [wait! Is that a chlorine pun?!] the super-cute captain of the swim team. In exchange for helping with her chemistry homework, she decides to give him swimming lessons. [definitely a fair trade as far as I am concerned!] Naturally, Zeke is eager to impress her, he takes her to their school’s abandoned swimming pool [which, for plot reasons, is mysteriously still filled with water] to begin his “lessons.” But this specific pool has been hidden for a good reason: It was built on top of an old graveyard, and now the spirits are angrier than ever! That’s when we meet the zombie/skeleton hybrid above. Don’t worry though, because in the end, Zeke uses his super-chemistry skills/nerdiness to defeat the evil skel-zombie, he gets the girl, and even learns how to doggie paddle!


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“The Tale Of Laughing In The Dark” [Season 1]

ANOTHER CLOWN! And worst of all, this is the episode I remember the most! [it’s also only the second in the show’s history] This final Tale takes us back the Great Depression, when a scheming Zeebo The Clown decides to steal some cash from the carnival’s payroll. While on the run, he hides in the fun-house, which proved to be a mistake as he then accidentally burns it [and himself] to the ground with his cigar ash. Years later, the carnival rebuilds the fun-house, placing a dummy of Zeebo inside as a memorial to the clown who died inside [reminder, the guy robbed them! ..I don’t get that logic either] Flash forward to the 1990s,when a little punk of a kid named Josh decides to swipe the Zeebo dummy’s nose as a way to prove he isn’t afraid of his town’s local legend: the fun-house is haunted. But he should be. Because soon he is visited by the ghost of Zeebo, who begins terrorizing Josh at home, at school, and even making threatening phone calls. On a happier[?] note, The clown got his nose back at the end of the episode. However, a clown who laughs in the dark is no friend of mine!


Of course there are so many other episodes I could have covered in this list – 91 episodes total – that I probably forgot some of the more important ones! Which episode of Are You Afraid Of The Dark? scared You the most? If you liked this post, let me know in the comments below! [In the future, I may just do a Goosebumps version of this list!] As always, if you find yourself to enjoy what I do on here, then please take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [we’re at over 180+ likes – let’s get to 200!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been “gone live” online; and I also share links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog.

Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! I’ve also been writing way more reviews on my Letterboxd account, this is because I’m trying to review every single movie I watch  – with each review [usually] coming the very next day after viewing! Are you interested yet? Check me out over there and click that “follow” button! I’m just bound to follow you back because I like reading other people’s thoughts on film, as well as writing reviews myself!

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THANKS FOR READING.

warrenisweird’s top 05 movies SEEN in 2015

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After a long week, I’ve finally complied a list of my top 05 favorite films of 2015. It was a long year, wasn’t it? Tons of movies got released, and I saw..surprisingly, not a lot of them. For this reason, this list is going to be a little different: although I’m calling it my favorite of the year, I’m going to be posting movies I’ve seen this year. By this, I mean if a movie came out in 2014, which most of the films on this list are, but I saw it this year for the first time – it counts for this list. I mean, it’s my list..I can do what I want. So here we go, my top 05 movies that I saw in 2015, in no particular order. Be prepared though: not all of them are horror! [gasp!]

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#01: Birdman [The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance]

What makes this movie so great is that it’s clearly a satirical look at Hollywood and the constant need to remain relevant in the entertainment industry. I will admit that the film does feel “artsy” in places, but if you want to get technical, some Hollywood actors love being unnecessarily artsy – they think it gives them depth. That was the entire point of this film, for Hollywood to turn the camera on itself and expose all of it’s own problems. [also, as proven in the film, Emma Stone is still a babe]

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#02: WolfCop

I remember first getting an email about this movie before it was released and being both excited but skeptical, and for good reason. While it’s not a terrible film per-se, it’s not exactly “good” either. Still, it seems to use practical effects – which is nice – and it feels like an older B-Movie and the humor is good – at least at times – It just feels like ..weird. I will admit however, it being an original concept earns it points in my book! I’m eagerly awaiting WolfCop II [did I mention that these films are Canadian?!]

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#03: It Follows

I ranted about It Follows a lot when it first came out, calling it the most unsettling film in a long time. It’s absolutely nuts and deserves the praise it got when it was first released. It’s not so much horror – as it’s not scary – more suspenseful-ly unsettling: every camera shot, every view from Jay, watching the film makes you feel involved – like no matter what you do: you’re trapped in this world of evil. **Be sure to check this one out if you like suspense.

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#04: Tusk

I actually saw this one in theaters! After putting it off for the longest time — I finally got the chance to see Kevin Smith‘s newest horror film.. the film that wasn’t at all what I expected; which can be considered a good [and a bad] thing. Please be aware, this film isn’t for everyone, but..I enjoyed it. It’s weird, it’s uncomfortable, and it’s just plain strange.

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#05: The Babadook

I waited a long time for this to hit Netflix, but when it did, I finally took advantage of seeing it – and it was worth every second. It’s an Australian film that doesn’t skip out on the scares. It has hauntingly beautiful cinematography, it’s really well acted, and even a little bit sad in it’s own right. After hearing so much positivity about it, I was begging for it to be as good as I was living it up to be – and it was! It’s not just cheap jump scares, it’s pure brilliance!


Obviously, there was a ton of movies I could have included in this list, including Mad Max: Fury Road, Gone Girl, and The Grand Budapest Hotel; but the fact is simple.. the list would go on forever. Thankfully, these are just 05 of the films I enjoyed most this year. I know I’ve been a bit MIA lately, but I swear there’s a reason for this. A lot is happening lately, and things are only going to get busier come 2016 [which I’ll explain more as the year continues] I hope you’ll all have an awesome holiday with family and friends! What were your favorite films of 2015? Did they make the list? Let me know in a comment or two!

If you find yourself to enjoy what I do on here, then please take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 128+ likes – only a few more and we’ll have reached over 130!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; and I also share links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends!

THANKS FOR READING.

warrenisweird’s 05 SCARIEST scenes in the STAR WARS franchise

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Although my first love is horror, sometimes I’ll watch something involving superheroes, or science fiction. One series in particular [which is one of, if not my, favorite] has been there for me for as long as I can remember: Star Wars. I remember it being something that left me in awe and inspiration as one of my strongest influences in watching the ultimate ‘good VS evil’ trope on screen. Although I absolutely love the series of films now, I actually wasn’t a fan at first: when I first watched The Phantom Menace, I was bored and wanted it to end, though this might be because it’s part of the prequels.. Now, more versed in the world of Star Wars, I can healthily say that it’s my favorite series outside of horror, and even though this IS a horror blog – we’re switching it up for today..kind of.

For a sci-fi series, you have to admit: a lot of people lost their lives in the Star Wars films. Others lived, but with serious injuries. So, With The Force Awakens coming to us faster than The Millennium Falcon doing the Kessel Run sequence in A New Hope, let’s delve into The Dark Side of the series and look at my five scariest/goriest moments in the Star Wars film-universe. Because, let’s face it: Star Wars can be downright terrifying at times – both on screen, and in context. Even in space, no one can hear you scream..wait, wrong movie.


cuhwjxk     Attack Of The Clones – Slaughter Of The Tuskin Raiders:

Remember when Anakin tries to rescue his mother from a troop of Tuskin Raiders, but ends up being a little too late[with his mother consequently dying in his arms] If you do, you probably also remember that out of his frustration and anger, [which Jedi aren’t supposed to feel] angst-ridden Ani goes on a rampage; killing the whole group of Tuskin nomads – including their children who were with them! This, along with other situations he finds himself part of, help his inevitable journey towards The Dark Side.


gowhyreReturn Of The JediThe Rancor Beast:

Let’s be honest: Luke‘s face-to-face showdown with Jabba The Hutt‘s precious little demon pet is both inspiring and completely exciting to watch! I mean, who doesn’t like watching an insignificant Gamorrean Guard get eaten alive? It’s violent, gruesome, and just all around good family fun – right?


plur2wcRevenge Of The Sith – The fall of the Jedi Temple:

Do you know who I consider a terrible person? Anakin Skywalker. Seriously. When Palpatine requests of Anakin [though by this point, he may as well be Vader] to execute a plan known as Order-66. This plan involves going to the Jedi Temple and killing all the kids who are training to become Jedi themselves. It gets more depressing when you consider that one of the young Jedi boys asks Anakin for help, as Lord Vader takes out his lightsaber.. for murder.


 

dvph079A New HopeThe deaths of Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru:

Need something to motivate you to go on an adventure? Why not coming home to the scorched bodies of the people who raised you? At least, this is what happened to Luke. The sight of Luke‘s aunt and uncle’s remains at the front door of the place he calls home across the sun burned plains of Tatooine is a scene that will forever stick with you when you first watch helplessly..


oxydb0yRevenge Of The Sith -The “birth” of Darth Vader:

In order to save the newly titled Darth Vader, we get one of my favorite scenes from the prequels [blasphemy!] showing little Ani‘s “birth” into Vader. It’s definitely chilling watching the burned, living husk of [what’s left of] Anakin Skywalker being encased in that iconic black armor, and his mask descending toward the camera reminding us of the new face of evil! Even if Lucas does blow it at the very end with that “Nooooooo!” [it’s just so good, for a movie that was so ‘meh.’ Check it out here!]


Needless to say, Star Wars is pretty great. It’s a series that I always return to with it’s iconic music, it’s atmosphere, and it’s views on violence: only use it when necessary. Something like The Force can be a strong tool in the hands of a mad man, just ask Vader! With The Force Awakens coming sooner than ever, I’m planning on revisiting the series [and possibly write reviews of all six on here?] because let’s be real: In a galaxy far, far away; Evil looms around every corner.

Also, if find yourself to enjoy what I do on here, then please take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 125+ likes – only a few more and we’ll have reached over 130!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; and I also share links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends!

cze37ujyou and me both, Solo.

THANKS FOR READING.

WEIRDO’WEEN #31: Trick ‘r Treat [2007]

weirdoween2015Well, it’s official: this review marks the finale weirdo’ween post for 2015! We’ve reviewed all sorts of movies over this past month, and even though I tried to look at films I haven’t talked about before; some obviously overlapped. Today though, our review is special, being one that I had in mind since I did the first review for weirdo’ween. It’s a movie that I consider the definitive Halloween movie, and I try and make a point of watching it every year. [although I can’t tonight because I have plans, plus I work] It’s an anthology film, with four stories interwoven into one big “super-story”. It has demon children, werewolves, and even the little spirit of Halloween himself. So let us move on to the one, the only: Trick ‘r Treat.

weirdo'ween-#31As I said, Trick ‘r Treat is a horror anthology which interweaves stories that all take place on Halloween night, kind of like genre classics as Creepshow and Tales From The Darkside. Our stories involve: a costumed couple who learn to respect tradition.. the hard way, a group of girls who head out into the woods for a “howling” good party, the school principal has a [literal] taste for blood, four kids attempt to play a “trick” on someone they know – only to end up becoming “treats”, and a grumpy old man gets a visit from a holiday visitor who has been looking to settle a decades-old grudge.

Like most anthology films, these stories are best watched when viewed on an empty mind. Without any context. The twists are less predictable than most horror films are these days; and half the fun is wondering just where – and how – the hell these characters are going to end up. Keep an eye open though, the one constant throughout the stories is a costumed, little guy named Sam, who appears to come off as the Spirit of Halloween, in order to remind people why they should take care in following the traditions set forth hundreds of years ago for All Hallows Eve. Trick ‘r Treat is filled with tradition, reminding the audience of just why we celebrate the Halloween in the first place. It manages to be effectively creepy and blood-soaked, yet it never goes over-the-top with gratuitous gore. It’s always “just enough”, which I love about it! There is also a very obvious helping of black comedy laced throughout the film, so if it feels like too much – which it really isn’t – there’s enough jokes to keep you laughing.

But, I think the most impressive aspect of this film is the filmmaker’s incredible attention that has been paid to detail. Every single shot of the film is beautifully framed and composed, coming off as looking more like a cryptic painting we’re meant to decipher, rather than a frame of film. The dark and broody look of Mr. Kreeg‘s dark house, the ghostly palette of the rock quarry, the incredible werewolf shape-shifting sequence around a roaring fire in the woods.. everything in this movie feels, and is gorgeous. The cinematography is so well put together, that it manages to make you feel like you’re a part of the celebration; and not just someone watching on. As someone who is as big a fan of the Halloween holiday, this was especially important, and it was done right! It’s been far too often when a film actually does take place on the holiday but ends up lacking the depth that is given to us here. and then there’s the cast of the movie..

For such a large ensemble cast, there isn’t any one performance that stands out above the rest – everyone here is perfect. From characters such as Anna Paquin‘s “virgin wolf” of her female group, to perhaps my favorite role of Mr. Kreeg, played really well by veteran character actor Brian Cox. His look was even inspired directly from another person known for horror, John Carpenter, and there are a couple of well-placed nods to his work that were fun, so long as you caught them. Also providing great support throughout the film is newcomer Quinn Lord who plays Sam, our little sack-headed fiend who “stiches” the film’s stories together.

But let’s face the real problem with this movie. It isn’t that it has too many jump scares, or that it’s a terrible film but something more meta: there was NO set distribution deal lined up when it was first released. Initially, it was set to be released in October 2007, then it was pushed to February 2008, then October 2008 and, then finally, placed on the shelf indefinitely. Eventually, in Canada anyway, it ended up being a direct-to-DVD release in October 2009, which I can only say that is disappointing for something this genuine to it’s genre. I mean, that’s two years after the movie was made.. But, I suppose that’s what the problem is; because this is a movie that goes to uncharted territory, the studios were probably clueless about how they were going to try and market it to the public. I mean, I guess I can understand some of their hesitation, [since a good majority of the film features children either killing or being killed] but knowing they waited two years after the movie was made to release it, makes me upset..especially because for the fans: that feels like it took itself an eternity.The bottom line is, I still don’t completely understand why Trick ‘r Treat didn’t get a theatrical release, and I probably never will, but even if it was a direct-to-DVD title, it deserves some much-deserved exposure. The only disappointment here is in the bonus features, where they’re almost none, but the film itself is good enough to make up for it. If only I wasn’t working tonight, I’d take advantage of today to watch it again on this Halloween night, with a Jack-o-lantern lit and bowl of candy at the ready – just in case.

So now I turn to you, what are your thoughts on Trick ‘r Treat? Have you seen the movie? If so, what were your thoughts; mindless Halloween film, or one of the greats? Let me know in a comment or two! As noted by the big “#31” at the top title, this is the last weirdo’ween post so be sure to check out the other reviews I wrote during this month! Also – for those in the know, the universe of Trick ‘r Treat recently expanded with the publication of the graphic novel Trick ‘r Treat: Days Of The Dead, and it was while discussing the book with the series creator that we learned some key details about the upcoming sequel: Trick ‘r Treat 2. Director Michael Dougherty was hesitant to offer too much information, but he did explain that a big part of his goal with the sequel is to dive further into the history of Halloween.

But, If you found yourself to enjoy this particular review – and want to see more in the future – then take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 125+ likes almost at 130!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; as well as links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends!

always check your candy!

So have an awesome Halloween everyone, be safe, be smart, and keep an eye out for Sam; he could be anywhere. I hope you enjoyed Weirdo’ween as much as I enjoyed writing it. As expected with this being the last review of this month, posts won’t be as frequent now, coming out every other day or so. Especially with work, I’m going to be caught up feeling slightly more busy, but that doesn’t mean I’m gone for good; just that I won’t be writing something every day. I’m not entirely sure when my next post will be, but hopefully it’ll be sooner than later; and it won’t be a review either – I’ve done enough of those for now 😉

STAY WEIRD, and as always:

THANKS FOR READING.

WEIRDO’WEEN #19: A Nightmare On Elm Street [1984]

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NOTE: As he passed away at the end of August 2015, this review is dedicated to you, Mr. [Wes] Craven. Thanks for all the Nightmares, and for creating what I consider my all time favorite horror franchise.


Something I used to hate when I was younger, that I really enjoy now is getting the chance to go to sleep. After a hard day’s work or even a day filled with nothing but movies and video games, nothing feels better then lying down and catching some down time.. That is, unless you’re being plagued by a sleep-demon who is trying to kill you in your dreams! Worse yet – if he succeeds; you die for real!

So here we go, ladies and gentlemen, assuming you haven’t caught on yet; [which if you haven’t, we need to have a discussion about your lack of horror knowledge] today’s movie is the first in a franchise that went on for seven films: [and that’s not including a mashup film and a [[terrible]] remake!] we’re talking about A Nightmare On Elm Street!

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Everyone, and I mean Everyone has at least heard of our villain: Freddy Krueger. The easiest way to describe him is that he’s a psychopath who murdered several children with a custom glove fitted with straight razor blades attached to each one of the fingers. Oh, and he attacks/kills you in your dreams, all while making really amusing puns [at least I appreciate the puns] as he cackles! Here’s a lengthier explanation of just what happens in A Nightmare On Elm Street:

It all started when a judge set him free of his charges, that Krueger is burned alive in the boiler room of a school [where he worked] by the [obviously] angry group of parents whose children he terrorized! However, the actual film takes place years after his death, when the children whose parents were responsible for Krueger‘s death – including Nancy Thompson, who is the daughter of the police officer who arrested Krueger all those years ago- start experiencing terrifying nightmares involving a dirty dressed, and burnt man wearing a glove with razor blades on it’s fingers. [sound familiar yet?] As it turns out, it’s actually the ghost of Freddy Krueger haunting their dreams; and when Nancy‘s best friend Tina dies in her sleep with 4 straight cuts across her chest, Nancy realizes that she [along with the other kids] must find a way to stop the evil psychopath’s dream terrors – or risk never sleeping again…

What makes A Nightmare On Elm Street so clever is how it creates an entirely new way of representing dreams sequences on screen. In the movie, the scenes that take place during a “dream” are filmed within an airy and murky atmosphere, but the catch is; so are many of the waking scenes. This makes it very difficult to tell whether a character is awake or asleep. [which is ideal considering the plot!] While the movie never actually shows any character actually fall asleep, as a result we are constantly questioning whenever characters so much as close their eyes – even for a moment. In some of the more crucial scenes, it is impossible to tell whether what we are seeing is real or happening only in a character’s mind. But the movie ultimately suggests that the difference doesn’t matter. That, one way or another, Freddy will get you.

The actual premise of the movie, which has a child-killer haunting a group of teenagers’ dreams and has the capability of killing them while they’re asleep, ends up turning the whole “It was all just a dream” convention over on its head: according to Nightmare, the real world is safe, and the dream world is extremely dangerous. I mean, think about it: Unlike any other movie – where you can run and hide in the closet – Freddy attacks when you’re most vulnerable; when you’re sleeping.. how can you not sleep?

Director Wes Craven – RIP understood that the anticipation of danger tends to be more frightening than the actual attack; and he shows us some great visual shots using that effect, including one where Freddy‘s arms becomes unnaturally long in an alleyway, and another where the stairs literally turn into a gooey glue-like substance, almost as a nod of the common nightmare where it is hard to get away from someone chasing you. The movie constantly finds ways to tease the audience, never resorting to a red herring, which let’s be honest: is becoming a very tired convention used in almost all other slasher films. Especially in recent horror.

A fun fact about Nightmare is that this was actually Johnny Depp‘s first role, playing the character of GlenHeather Langenkamp‘s [Nancy] boyfriend, and although he does get a few neat lines, his personality is not overly fleshed out, and because it’s the 80s, there is no sense of the great actor Depp would go on to become in today’s age.

also, Johnny Depp dies quite brutally in the film; sorry, ladies.

Ultimately though, A Nightmare on Elm Street is really all about Nancy. As fans know, the film mainly focuses on Nancy‘s troubles, mostly Nancy‘s dreams and Nancy‘s responding actions. The ending of the film becomes a bit confusing, but it’s meant to be – basically asking us to answer the question: did all this happen? Or is this yet another dream? The booby traps that Nancy sets when Freddy finally comes into the “real world” are unfortunately a bit ridiculous, and Freddy does seem kind of helpless [almost to the point of lame] chasing Nancy around her home as he’s trying catch her, and it’s something the film could have done a little better. But that’s just a tiny complaint. I can live with it! Overall, it is a great mixture of horror, thriller and fantasy. A Nightmare On Elm Street taps into two hardly recognized everyday events in human life: sleeping and dreaming, and makes them into something we can learn to fear. Craven‘s ability to realize this unknown fear in a movie is something that hadn’t been done before, and it worked perfectly. A Nightmare On Elm Street still stands as a great movie [even with it’s terrible remake – and another remake on the way] and for horror buffs it is a must-see and for those that aren’t into horror, there is still a fair amount of other things to keep one’s interest on the screen. [and I’m not just talking about Mr. Depp‘s extremely dreamy – see what I did there? – appearance]

So seriously go and watch A Nightmare On Elm Street. It’s my favorite franchise of all time, and even if the sequels did suffer from sequelitis and there was that garbage remake, they’re some of the most entertaining films you can ask for! Also, if you want me to review the second film in this franchise, let me know in a comment! If you have an idea for the next weirdo’ween review[s], please let me know which movie[s] you’d like to see next! If you found yourself to enjoy this particular review – and want to see more – then take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 120+ likes almost at 130!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; as well as links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! Join me tomorrow morning when I talk about weirdo’ween #20! – So STAY TUNED!

THANKS FOR READING.

FRIDAY FUN FACT: Tales From The Crypt [1989-1996]

You know what I miss writing that I almost forgot that I do: Friday Fun Facts. Y’know, when I talk about a certain movie – or franchise – and talk about weird little tidbits that you might not have known about them. It was originally planned to be an every Friday thing but that didn’t pan out exactly as planned because I either was too busy to write anything, or I’d find something I’d consider “more exciting” to write about. So consider this a warning: not every Friday will include a Friday Fun Fact post; I will try and do more, more often – but I can’t promise anything..especially with new things happening both here on the blog, and in my actual real life – where I go out and actually get sunlight once and a while. [shocking! I know!]

What better way to jump back into FFFs by talking about one of my top 3 favorite shows of all time: Tales From The Crypt: don’t act like you don’t know it. Cause you do..I know you do, even if you don’t recognize it by name. Tales is an American horror anthology series that played on HBO for seven seasons, with a running total of 93 episodes! One thing to note is that the title of the series, is based on the 1950s EC Comics series of the same name and most of the content in the show, came from that or the six other EC Comics that were being released at the same time. [The Crypt of Terror, Haunt of Fear, Vault of Horror, Crime SuspenStories, Shock SuspenStories and Two-Fisted Tales] Introduced by a creepy puppet called “The Crypt Keeper“, who seems like he’s only around to have fun, [and make terrible puns!] Tales From The Crypt is a show that definitely feels like a cross between The Twilight Zone and modern horror movies. Basically, I’m trying to tell you that as a whole, it’s not suitable for younger audiences or even the squeamish, really.

but did you know?

The introduction sequence during the opening theme that played each and every episode through The Cryptkeeper‘s ‘home’ is actually fairly small: roughly the size of a miniature golf course. To achieve the look of a large mansion, small “snorkel” cameras were used to film. However, the descent into the crypt at the end of the intro is computer generated. Be sure to check out the opening theme, here!

John Kassir actually hurt his voice while doing the signature voice of The Cryptkeeper. Because of the raspy-ness of the character, He had to often swallow lemon juice mixed with honey in order to sooth his throat. [after doing his lines] John Kassir even came up with the trademark voice himself, when he auditioned for the part, the producers of the show loved it so much they almost immediately chose him. Well done, John!

One of the weirder and more obscure pieces of trivia about the show, involves the actual puppet of The Cryptkeeper. It seems that while animatronics expert Kevin Yagher was in the last stages of designing The Cryptkeeper, he tried putting on a few noses to see which would look best for and on the character; who already had shed lips, some hair and most of his teeth.. but none looked quite right. It wasn’t until Director and producer Robert Zemeckis simply stated, “You know, you don’t necessarily have to have a nose on him..”


So there you have it Fright Fans, three things that you may or may not have known about the cult classic anthology show: Tales From The Crypt. Which piece of trivia did you like best? Could it be that The Crypt Keeper almost had a nose? Or is it the fact that the voice actor seemed to actually hurt himself, for the sake of the show? Let me know in a comment or two! As I said above, I will try to make Friday Fun Facts more often, but I can’t promise anything – a lot is happening with both the blog and daily life, which if everything pans out the way I hope it will- I’ll talk about it on here; but when the timing is right.

Also, if you found yourself to enjoy this week’s Friday Fun Fact, please take a minute and follow me over on Facebook where you can click thelikebutton on my Facebook page [it’s at over 100+ likes – thanks so much!] By clicking “like”, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted. I also share links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you guys to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share the page with your family and friends!

yeah.. uh. no thank you!

THANKS FOR READING.

film study: why “LET THE RIGHT ONE IN” is vampires done RIGHT

Contrary to popular belief, not all vampires are over 1000 years old. Sometimes, they’re younger, say about 12.. except they’ve been 12 for a long time! Let The Right One In, or Låt Den Rätte Komma In, is one such story involving one of those 12 year old vampires. The story is about Oskar, a bullied 12 year old, who tends to dream of revenge. [I mean, the first thing you see in the movie is Oskar wearing a mask holding a knife!] Then enters Eli, a strange young girl [who’s roughly Oskar‘s age] and newcomer to the town who moves in with her “Father”, Håkan. [we’ll get to that later on] Oddly enough though, Eli can’t stand the sun or even food, and if she wants to come into a room, she needs to be “invited”. Quite literally in fact, she has to be told that she’s “allowed” to enter the room. Through their friendship, Eli gives Oskar the strength – and the determination – to hit the bullies back, but when he realizes that Eli needs to drink other people’s blood to survive; he’s faced with an almost impossible choice: Just how much can love forgive? Another important thing to note is that Oskar actually collects clippings from newspapers [and magazines] detailing gruesome murders with pictures of various hunting knives. He also hides a fairly large hunting knife under his mattress. [which his Mother is obviously unaware of]

as I said above, Oskar‘s classmates tend to regularly bully him, and he spends his evenings imagining revenge. On the night he meets Eli, who appears to be a pale girl of his age, Oskar learns that Eli has recently moved into the apartment next door to him with Håkan: presumably, her Father. It starts off relatively tame, though Eli initially warns Oskar that they can’t be friends! [talk about harsh! but there’s a reason] But over time, they begin to form a fairly close relationship with one another, with Oskar letting Eli borrow his Rubik’s Cube and the two even learning and exchanging Morse code messages through their adjoining wall. eventually, when Håkan learns of this: he ends up requesting Eli stops seeing Oskar. This is because [SPOILER ALERT!] Håkan is not Eli‘s father: he’s actually the grown up version of a young boy who fell in love with Eli in the past, and because Eli can’t grow up, [with being a vampire and all..] She is technically the girl the young Håkan fell in love with. [if that makes sense] Therefore, he has taken upon himself to take care of Eli [through gathering blood, moving from place to place with her, etc] because he loves her. Thus his reason for wanting Eli to stop seeing Oskar is implied to be pure jealousy!

and if you don’t invite her in: she starts to look like this..

It’s further proven that Håkan is willing to do anything for Eli when he actually stops to kill a [random] passerby on a busy footpath near a main road to harvest fresh blood, but he fails to return with anything  since he is interrupted by an oncoming dog walker. Naturally, a hungry Eli subsequently kills a local man who is making his drunken way home from the bar. Thankfully, Håkan manages to hide the body in a small ice-hole in the local lake, when he plans to make another well-prepared [but pretty badly] executed kill. In this sequence to get blood for Eli, Håkan tries to get the ‘food’ by trapping a teenage boy in a change room. As it turns out though, the boy’s friends are waiting for him, and when he takes forever to get changed, they decide to try to go into the change room to see what’s taking so fucking long! As a final escape tactic, Håkan decides to pour a ton of concentrated hydrochloric acid onto his own face so he can disfigure it to prevent any authorities from figuring out his identity and therefore, track down Eli. He even offers his neck to Eli to feed off of when he comes to accept that she is falling for Oskar, and that he has no place in her heart anymore.. that, and he’s pretty gross looking now after his ‘accident’. Talk about dedication to one person!! Check out Håkan‘s “post-hydrochloric acid” face below!

ugh. hope it was worth it, pal!

Let The Right One In is easily one of the best vampire movies I’ve ever seen: it has heart, it has gore, it has a brilliantly crafted story-line. It’s not so much a horror, when it can even technically fall under a romance story in a way or two! [SPOILER ALERT] the fact that Oskar becomes the “new” Håkan to Eli by the end of the film shows his dedication to the first person who ever made him feel special: I mean, sure, Eli will live on as Oskar grows old – but he seems to accept that, and for the first time in what seems like a long time; Eli doesn’t seem to want to use someone.. she actually seems to care for Oskar. By the end of the movie, Oskar and Eli are on a train, moving away to some new getaway – and I love that. It shows us just how special their connection is: innocent. They go through so much together through-out the film, and the ending is the ultimate pay off.. There’s also a somewhat sub-plot involving Oskar‘s Mother and Father, and the fact that they’re separated but, it’s nothing super important.. But the next time you meet someone new, and they live in a boarded up apartment, and you realize they only really come out in the dark: be careful, It could very well be Eli and Oskar living next door! If you want to get technical, it’s never really said where they end up?

THANKS FOR READING.

[fun fact: in the very last scene, Oskar is seen traveling on a train with Eli, who is in a box beside him: safe from the sunlight. From inside this box, Eli taps the word “kiss” to Oskar in Morse code. When Oskar is seen tapping back, he taps the word”puss“: which translates roughly to “small kiss” in Swedish, the movie’s language]

film study: let’s talk about Halloween III: Season Of The Witch

whether you like this movie or not, Halloween III: Season Of The Witch definitely has it’s fan base. It wasn’t your typical Halloween sequel but it was labelled as one. it didn’t even have Michael Myers.. instead, we got a mask-making company as a villain who has the plan to kill millions of American children with something sinister [I prefer the term: “special”] hidden within their Halloween masks. I mean, what the fuck? that doesn’t sound right? So, as I sit here typing this; drinking my pumpkin spice latte, [hey now! it’s Halloween, I’m allowed officially now] I can’t help but be curious why it’s so different than the other Halloween films! Which is what we’re going to find out in this post – starting now.

it’s important to know that [as I’ve already mentioned] there’s no signs of Michael Myers anywhere in the film. [he’s not even mentioned by name] However, there’s a reason for this: [deep breath~] as a whole, Halloween was originally supposed to be an anthology series – meaning that each with each Halloween film, a different horror story would be made. As it turns out though, the first film proved to be a huge success and as a character, Michael Myers became the next big thing in horror! [sitting along side with Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees] The production team decided that due to his popularity, they should do a follow up of his story with Halloween II, in which Michael was supposed to die at the end. [but we all know what happens with popular horror icons. cough~ Jason!] Naturally, when Season Of The Witch rolled around, audiences were offended that the iconic Halloween villain was left out. From that point, Halloween became a series only about Michael, which he came back in time for Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers [just in time to make it seem like he was never gone from the series as a whole.] if you really want to push the envelope though, Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers tried to add a connection to this film, since Curse Of Michael Myers had a pagan cultist in the film named “Mrs Blankinship“. In Season Of The Witch, the main villain at one point refers to having an appointment with a certain Mrs Blankinship. [coincidence? I didn’t think so]

I kinda want the skull one..minus the death that comes with it.

Going back to Season Of The Witch, [which was the point of this post] it’s actually quite a shocking film: with violence, gore, all happening mainly to kids! It’s mind numbing-ly creepy to know that there’s a company [in a film] known as Silver Shamrock who overly advertise these “special” masks: which come in the forms of Jack-o’Lantern, Skull, and Witch. therefore, children really want these masksonly to get killed by them. I mean, I understand it’s a horror film, but fuck that’s dark.. It isn’t your standard movie death either, [it’s not like you just wear the mask, and then fall over dead] sometimes it involves insects/snakes – crawling out of your skull! [curious to see? see it in GIF form here! not for the squeamish] If that GIF wasn’t enough, sometimes; this happens too – so be careful out there! [did I mention that Halloween III is fairly obscure?]

HALLOWEEN III even has itself a cool poster!

Halloween III: Season Of The Witch is a strange sequel, [as far as sequels go] it doesn’t have everyone’s favorite silent killer. It’s titled Season Of The Witch, but features no witch, but instead a mask company. However, this shouldn’t stop you from seeing it – it’s still a great film, but definitely isn’t for everyone. [some may find it strange, especially for a Halloween film] If you aren’t busy tonight [October 31st, 2014] it’s actually going to be playing on AMC at 7:00pm so I’d say hit it up if given the chance! Also, I’ve included the original 1982 trailer for the film below, so click the play button, and prepare for a really tripped out looking Halloween film!

Lastly, be sure to find me on Facebook as well and give that “like” button a hit! I’d really appreciate it! [we’re getting closer to 100 likes everyday!]

THANKS FOR READING.

warrenisweird’s TOP 5 HORROR ANTHOLOGY FILMS!

Initially, this post was going to strictly be about a certain film that I absolutely love to watch around this time of year, [I won’t mention it by name, since I’ll be using it anyway] but that changed pretty damn quick when I realized that there’s more than just one horror anthology film that I enjoy. Therefore, I’ve hereby decided that for this post, there won’t be just one film mentioned, but five! I’m going to jump right into it, so hold on to your guts, cause these are my top five horror anthology films! [but obviously, in no specific order]

Let’s start off on a film I knew almost nothing about: V/H/S/2. I had seen the first V/H/S film and I can’t lie, I wasn’t overly impressed by it. I understood what it was, and what it was trying to do: but it didn’t really phase me, as it just felt strange. However, when I saw the second installment, I was blown away with the quality of it, the fucking insanity that the film [as a whole] was, but most of all – the genuine creep-out feeling I had in my stomach during Safe Haven [as depicted above] was just too real, I was amazed at how well the story was executed. Bring on V/H/S/Viral

Creepshow is one of those films that deserves so much more love because it’s so damn unique to anything I’ve really seen up until now: plus being made by George A. Romero and Stephen King ? Sign me up! The best short is easily the one Leslie Nielson, titled Something To Tide You Over. Creepshow 2 was also fairly good, and worth a watch as well!

If you follow me over on Facebook, you should totally have expected this one to come up: Trick ‘r Treat. It’s one of my favorite Halloween films as it takes place on the holiday, and has a bit of everything for everyone. Even the spirit of Halloween shows up [appropriately named “SAM” for “SAMHAIN”] which is a definite plus. Can’t forget the fact that Anna Paquin shows up as a super-hot werewolf. I mean, check her out here!

They just don’t make movies like Tales From The Crypt anymore. Before the classic HBO series [which I wasn’t aware lasted over 7 seasons!], there was this film: It wasn’t like the show at all since it was mainly about a bunch of weirdos sitting around while the Crypt Keeper [but not the one you’re thinking of] makes them explain, and tell their dark secrets to one another. Although not as awesome as the show, this film is worth watching.

I can’t deny the fact that this one is a bit of a cop-out, since I technically haven’t seen it yet: ABCs Of Death 2. However, based on the trailer [and the post I made about it here] it looks about 100 times better than the original film. As I said in the post, I wasn’t really a fan of the first; I felt that the director’s got away with a lot that some shouldn’t have [can you say “P is for PRESSURE”?] however, the trailer for this one makes it look fantastic, at least in the sense of being better than the first!


So here we have not one but five Anthology films that I recommend. While I’m not entirely sure if they’re all available on Netflix, [or Hulu, or what have you] I can say with certainty that they are enjoyable enough to deserve a viewing. I also want to apologize for the delaying of posts occasionally, [especially lately] something happened in my personal life [Stephanie and I are fine, I swear!] and it’s taking some getting used to, hopefully it passes sooner than later.

THANKS FOR READING.

film study: how I came to enjoy “Cabin In The Woods”

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I wish I could say otherwise, but when I first watched the movie Cabin In The Woods, I did not enjoy it at all. I felt that it was filled with annoying characters, that it was clearly a blatant rip off of multiple films, and worst of all — I felt there was too much happening at once. I never realized that all this confusion and strangeness in a film would become one of my favorite modern horror of the past 10 years.

For starters, what exactly is the movie Cabin In The Woods? besides being a horror movie with nearly every monster imaginable, [and then some] it also has a deeper link to it — “older than the world gods” who want to destroy everyone on the planet — as they’ve been laid dormant for thousands of years.. due to human sacrifice. Which is where this almost ‘government’ comes in. It turns out, that they are around to appease these gods, and have tabs on everyone in the cabin; ‘helping’ them undo themselves. Each generation of new sacrifices have to fill five certain roles:

The Jock, The Scholar, The Whore, The Virgin and The Fool.

It’s also worth mentioning that my thought of “blatant rip off” was actually something Cabin did intentionally as almost homages to other films [we’ll return to this in a bit] — making me wonder if they’re going the route of using the idea that all other horror movies are “payment” or “sacrifice” to these gods? Kind of like how Behind The Mask had the idea of Freddy, Jason & Michael Myers all being real serial killers. [at least in the film’s world]

Going back to the homages in the film, people that have seen this movie will know exactly what I’m thinking of — the infamous white board. According to the film, in the basement of the Cabin are a bunch of little trinkets: each representing a different monster. The idea is each of the 5 “sacrifices” is to “choose their demise”. The office group [which I’ve been referring to as “the almost government” this whole time] has a white board where they actually gamble on which mythical beasts are going to be chosen by the teenagers — as seen below.

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Looking at this board, we can see a fuck ton of familiar terms such as: Deadites, Kevin, The Bride and even an “Angry Molesting Tree”! [just to name a few] the best part of this white board is knowing that these aren’t even all the monsters in the film — just enough here to get you all excited. To add to the insanity of all this, we even get to see most, if not all, of the monsters during what can only be describes as “messy”: the elevator scene.

If you were to look this scene up on YouTube – assuming you haven’t already seen the movie – chances are you’d probably do what I did when I first saw it: stare in a amazement. The amount of effort in this film, to get so many different types of monsters in mind-blowing![very little CGI makes me a happy camper! see what I did there? even the merman/werewolf were people in costumes!]

It really did take a bit of warming up to liking Cabin In The Woods but as I said at the start of this post, at first I was not a fan at all. I couldn’t get over how “different” it was than classic horror films — however, after a few more viewings and reading fan-explanations; it’s become a personal favorite film of mine! I could watch it a zillion times and still notice something new every time.

Also, on a somewhat quick side note [completely unrelated] if you read my movie reviews over here, I realize it’s been a long time since I wrote one.. [last movie I reviewed over there was “Amazing Spider-Man 2” I think] it’s the same as before, I’ve been busy working/writing here but new movie reviews are on the way; I promise!!

THANKS FOR READING.