Rob Zombie’s Take on Halloween and Halloween II

image Since the original Halloween movies left a little something to be desired I decided to check out Rob Zombie’s take on these two original slasher movies. I have to say his first movie added a massive amount of backstory that to me gives a lot more depth to the original movies. However, his second retelling didn’t exactly thrill me and halfway through I found myself giving up and looking for something else to do.

This remakes give us a glimpse of Michael Meyers that’s been abused both emotionally and physically for years and he can only communicate and tolerate the world when he hides behind a mask. All the bullying he’s suffered as a boy comes out as he gets revenge on several boys. Those acts send him to an asylum where Dr. Loomis is brought in to try and help. This is why Loomis has an interest in finding Michael in the original movie.

I found the first movie pretty intriguing and when relating back it the first, both movies make a lot more sense. Michael is the victim and he’s lashing out. At least we understand who Michael is and that he’s a disturbed man who had a terrible childhood and horrible events in his life.

Unfortunately, the follow up doesn’t hold up as well as the first. Like the original it picks up where the first left off, but the movie plods along so poorly that I quickly started to lose interest. Unlike the Zombie’s first effort this doesn’t add any real depth or explanation to Michael and quickly devolves in violence and gore for the sake of showing it on the screen. Before Michael actually makes his epic trek back to Haddonfield I was bored silly. Just like the original I got bored pretty quickly and just didn’t care. I ended calling it quits with the intent I would come back later. I still haven’t finished it.

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Ghost Mine – Mystery Train – S02E06

This episode of Ghost Mine started off with the feeling that very little was going to happen, but things began to ratchet up and multiple pieces of potential evidence began to present themselves.

As Kristen and Patrick review some evidence they hear what they believe is a steam whistle. Fair enough, there is a steam train in town, but after checking it out, it wasn’t in operation or being tested on those nights. As luck would have it, they take Patrick and Kristen over to the next town so the train can have maintenance. Plus, I think they were happy to show it off for the cameras. But nevertheless, when checking out the old train cars that would have been in use in the original mining days they capture what appears to be a figure in one of the trains. Sure, it could be a hobo or just a worker, but he’s pretty nimble and is completely gone by the time Patrick and Kristen get over there. It certainly looked like a figure, sort of like Michael Meyers from Halloween, but then it was gone. You can’t completely rule it wasn’t just a normal person, but it was weird.

While heading back to Sumpter they have a door that keeps opening. They shut it, moments later is opens up again. Now, that would make for an eerie ride on a train in the dark, but let’s keep in mind this is a train, it’s rickety, it’s rocking back and forth, so an old door that won’t stay shut wouldn’t be completely out of the ordinary. It’s hard to agree that would paranormal given the environmental conditions.

Back in the mine, Mikey hears some odd noise while he and Bucket are working on the "raise". The air gets very cold and begins to stir in a place that shouldn’t have any air flow.

Another bit of evidence was actually captured by Ashton, Jay’s son. While having dinner at the Elkhorn saloon, a shadow figure appears to cross from one side of the room to the other. There is definitely a shadow moving, but could that have been from someone walking behind Ashton and just didn’t notice it? To that end, Patrick and Kristen set up an investigation of their own and have a couple of unusual things happen.

When asked if they can deliver a message, two pool cues fall to the ground. An odd coincidence. When asked for another sign they get two loud bangs. As they scan the area with the thermal they get a heat signature from a single chair as though someone has been sitting there. Additionally, the shadow detector goes off and when reviewing the full spectrum footage, there appears to be another shadow walking across the room.

So all totaled they have a couple of shadow figures, a few bangs and perhaps another figure out there on the trains. To ask the question, are they seeing the same figure following them around? It certainly seems odd there would a single shadow figure in all these different places. Or does this mean there is a slew of shadow figures roaming about out there? Is this much talked about trespasser real, a shadow figure or a trick on the eyes? Oddly, the security guard they hired quit.

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The Original Halloween and Halloween II

image Since it’s that time of year, I dug into the archives and pulled out two classics movies just to see what they would be like after all these years. It doesn’t really get in the spirit than Halloween and Halloween II. Alas, one of us hasn’t fared well over the years.

I know that "slasher" movies really aren’t supposed to have a point and won’t win awards for their stellar acting or complex and though provoking story lines, but Halloween seemed completely nonsensical to me, it all just comes across as random acts of violence. It’s a nameless and faceless thug beating the hell out of anyone who comes across his path. But everyone else is just as nameless and faceless so who the hell cares if they end up on the receiving end of an ass kicking? Not to be cliché, but what’s the motivation?

Perhaps the years and so many copycats have tainted this movie. Considering the time period, I’m sure this was quite the departure and quite a shocking bit of filmmaking. But now, it simply doesn’t hold an interest. There’s nothing driving it, nothing holding it together. It doesn’t feel tense, or dramatic, or suspenseful mainly because everything is so random. There’s no vested interest in any of these characters so who cares what happens to them. And without knowing why any of this is happening there’s no reason to feel any sympathy.

It’s not until you watch Halloween II that some of the pieces fall into place and even then it’s all pretty damn thin. Laurie turns out to be Michael’s sister and all he wants to do for Halloween is stab her in the throat. Really? That’s the entire plot? Good heavens. It’s been so long since I’ve seen I completely forgot what the plot of the movie was. Once I hit that moment I rolled my eyes at dumb that actually sounded. We don’t have any background on Laurie or Michael so his need for vengeance is completely lost on me. I found myself very bored and uninterested in this movie and when it was over I was puzzled how it generated such a following. Are we really that easily entertained as to want nearly a dozen of these movies? Oh well. It was an interesting time going back to these, but I doubt I’ll be making a return trip any time soon.

American Horror Story – Coven – Season 3

image Just in time for Halloween, American Horror Story has return and it’s wastes no time in setting the stage for sin, debauchery, excess, witches, voodoo and the supernatural. It only takes a few minutes to realize this season will be darker and more mysterious than the seasons that came before.

For this year we have the Coven, a finishing school for girls. And by girls I mean witches. Angela Lange stars as Fiona, the Supreme who comes back to teach the girls what it really means to be a witch in today’s modern times. She’s not satisfied with suppressing their gifts and wants to hone their skills and get them prepared. The burning of a witch not more than few miles down the road has her concern that a storm is brewing and they could be caught up in it.

Things start off quite grim as we see Kathy Bates as Madame Delphine LaLaurie, a Madame Bathory type who likes to bath in blood to keep her youthful appearance. She treats her guests with great extravagance, but her slaves are taken to the attic where they’re beaten, tortured, skinned and finally drained. A grisly scene that she seems to relish in.

The finishing school is quite like a scene from X-Men. Each girl has special abilities they need to learn to control. Zoe has the ability to kill men during sex, a point proven twice in the first episodes, Nan is a clairvoyant, Madison can move objects including a bus full of frat boys that assaulted her and Queenie is human voodoo wherein she can stab and cut herself causing pain to others. At one point she has a knife to her own throat. She’s pretty damn serious.

This episode started off in fine form with multiple characters from past episodes making their appearance. You should recognize them quite easily and I’m sure there’s more to come. We have events being based in Louisiana where magic is still a powerful thing. I have no doubt there will be many flashbacks to the Salem Witch Trials and more of the acts that LaLaurie was murdered for. It’s going to be an interesting season and while we don’t have the full story yet, there is plenty of information coming in to get you hooked and excited about what the future holds.

Now we enter the world of the strange, the unusual and the bizarre.

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