Sunday, March 31, 2013

Bad Bunnies

Bunnies in film tend to always be bad. Is that because they are so cute, furry and cuddly in real life? As you polish of the rest of the Cadbury Creme Eggs and marshmallow Peeps, take a moment to consider some bad bunnies that left an indelible mark.

Twilight Zone: The Movie is known mainly for a terrible set tragedy, but also features the scariest bunny on film. Watch the scene below.

Donnie Darko's time traveling emo-film features a dead man in a suit dressed like one messed up rabbit. Once you've seen Frank, it's hard not to unsee him... ever again.

In Alice in Wonderland, a children's fable, you expect that tea service would be a pleasant affair, but then you end up sitting across from a deranged rabbit. You know it's got teeth, claws, and can hop faster than you can run, so you hope it's last marble won't be lost today.

And if this is not enough bad bunnies, check out the awesome 30-Second Bunnies Theatre that Angry Alien Productions and FearNet put together last year.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Room 237: Review

Room 237 is for conspiracy theorists who happen to like The Shining or Stanley Kubrick. Through a series of off-camera interviews (an odd-choice that only deepens the mystery), we hear the many unique and sometimes nutty messages supposedly embedded into the film by Kubrick. Some range from the plausible (an allegory for Indian genocide) to the downright confusing (minotaurs in mazes!), and then there's one that you have to witness to believe, and yes, it involves the moon. The documentary is often hilarious, bizarre and intriguing all at once yet never fails to be entertaining (even though its sort of like a fancy Powerpoint presentation with movie clips). However, this is definitely for the avid cinephiles and not your every day documentary or horror movie lover. To enjoy it, you must be willing to embrace the obsessive love that people have for movies, and our need as human being to search for answers to questions that were never asked.

Best taglines ever:

Some movies stay with you forever... and ever... and ever.

Some movies are a mystery... others are an enigma.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Inside Disneyland's Haunted Mansion with Club 33

The Disney Food Blog posted an extensive gallery of pictures from inside the Haunted Mansion for Club 33's Ghostly Retreat dinner earlier this month. Club 33 is a private club in the heart of the New Orleans Square in Disneyland. The club is not open to the public and the wait list for joining is said to be upwards of 14 years! Once invited initiation fees are said to be $25,000 with annual dues of $10,000. Membership includes private services, valet parking, free admission to the parks for the member and guests, special events, access to the 1901 lounge, and of course, a special dining room, according to the Orange County Register.

Click here to read more.

Thanks to Britta, Webmistress of the Dark, for the lead!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

No Cell Phones in Theaters

Brad Miska (a.k.a. Mr. Disgusting), editor of the horror site posted an impassioned editorial about standing up as a whole against theaters who allow disruptive patrons who use their cell phones during a movie. Scary movies are particularly vulnerable to distractions which take the viewer out of the moment since so many scary movies already struggle to be particularly interesting.

I agree that as ticket buyers, we are paying for a service and the provider must make every effort to deliver good service. Yet theater chains don't have or won't enforce a zero tolerance policy against disruptive patrons. So far I've seen some soft incentives (turn off your phone and get a free popcorn refill), but how could a theater possibly police an audience? Regardless of the situation, removing patrons will be disruptive. And what do they do with repeat offenders? How do you track those jerks? Tag their ears?

The current strategy for the serious movie buff is to go during off times (middle of work day, Thursday nights, first showing on Sunday) or wait until 2 or 3 weeks into the run. If you live in Austin (or one of the other 13 lucky cities), you could attend a showing at the Alamo Drafthouse. They are notorious for policing the audience and has no qualms with kicking out bad patrons. (YEAH!) Obviously these kinds of policies can work as Alamo Drafthouse continues to expanded across the country.

The alternative solution will bankrupt the theater chains: if new releases were available at home via Video On Demand (VOD), many would never step foot in a theater again. I would miss the moviegoing experience, just as much as I miss perusing the aisles of Tower Records, browsing books at Borders, or going to drive-ins. But things change and we adapt. Movie theaters seem like relics from a by-gone era, where considerate people were excited to attend an event. Now, going to movies is more of a social event where some moving pictures play in the background. The experience is ultimately defined by the theater, and when they crumble, they'll have no one to blame but themselves.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Beetlejuice Sequel

Last week Seth Grahame-Smith tweeted this picture along with the message, "It's showtime..." Clearly this is about the long-rumored Beetlejuice sequel and there's no better person than the writer of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, the hilariously underrated Dark Shadows. It's been 25 years since the original Tim Burton film so I'd imagine the studios would want a reboot rather than a direct sequel. But in an interview with, Grahame-Smith said, “I have a rough idea of what it’s gonna be. However—I should stress this—it’s not a remake, it’s not a reboot, it is a true sequel with Michael Keaton as the title character Beetlejuice."

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Really Big Monsters

After the glut of lame fairy tale films it looks like the next wave of movies will feature really big monsters. The new Godzilla movie {groan} started filming this week (in 3D of course) but it's co-written by Frank Darabont (The Mist, Walking Dead), features a kick-ass cast, and is being directed by the guy who made 2010's excellent Monsters. We'll have to wait until May 2014 to find out if the Godzilla curse continues. This summer, the other master of monsters, Guillermo del Toro, unleashes city-leveling monsters in Pacific Rim. As the early pictures will attest, this one features several really big monsters and big robots. And at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin this week, everyone seemed to love the cheesy B-movie Big Ass Spider. It looks like something SyFy would air on Saturday night, but apparently, it's better than that.

Watch the trailer.

Watch the trailer.

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Bates Motel

The Bates Motel is oddly amusing, disquietingly unsettling, utterly absorbing – and the most promising genre show of the season. It's supposed to be a prequel to the events of Psycho, yet it is set in present day as the numerous iPhone cameos will attest. Yet there is something in the air, and in the styling of the hair and costumes that evokes a more nostalgic feeling of a bygone era. Freddie Highmore as a 17-year-old Norman Bates is an naive oddball who thinks he's going to study at the library with the hot girl but is actually going to a pot party. Vera Farmiga plays Norma Bates, the suffocating mother, as disconnected one moment, passive aggressive the next, all while possessing an edge of incalculable malevolence. The rest of the cast – although I'm not sure yet who the regulars will be – is also shaping up to be just as peculiar. It's definitely quirky (but not Twin Peaks quirky), yet tinged with a creepy, vile underbelly. The Bates Motel premieres on Monday, March 18th on A&E, but if you are a Comcast customer you have access to an early premiere OnDemand.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My Amityville Horror

One the movies that has haunted me since childhood is The Amityville Horror: the invisible talking pig with red eyes, the bleeding walls, those iconic spooky windows (all of which served as inspiration for the homepage). After reading the Jay Anson novel I didn't sleep soundly for a year because this was a true story – it's difficult imagine that some of the events depicted in the book (none from the movie) really happened to an innocent family. Then came the interviews with the Lutz family, the many claims of hoaxes, The Warrens (demonologists who investigated the house) spoke out, and on and on. No one really knows what happened at 112 Ocean Avenue except the Lutz family, and this Friday, we get another version of events from the eldest son. Daniel Lutz has broken his 35 year silence with the new documentary, My Amityville Horror, in limited release and VOD this Friday, March 15.

Gruesome Factoids:

  • The house was last sold in September 2010 for $950,000. The Lutz Family bought the house in 1975 for $80,000 and lived there for 28 days.

  • Ronald "Butch" DeFeo shot and killed his father, mother, two brothers and two sisters in that house in November 13, 1974 around 3AM and claimed that voices made him do it. The victims were found face down in their beds with no signs of a struggle. Neighbors did not hear a single gun shot. In 2012, a gun found in a nearby canal suggested that a second shooter might have been involved.

  • Two legends surround the area. The first involves the Montaukett Indians who used the land to imprison enemies and those possessed by evil spirits. The inflicted where left to die on the island then buried face down. Indian bones were believed to have been unearthed near the location.

  • Another legend involves John Ketcham, a 17th-centurey devil worshipper who fled Massachusetts during the infamous Salem Witch Trials and took residence on that land. 

The house in 1974 complete with the "High Hopes" sign.

The house today with the quarter moon windows replaced.

George and Kathy Lutz
23-year-old Ronald DeFeo

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Bay: Review

Cymothoa exigua is a parasite that swims in through a fish's gills, grows to maturity inside the host, then eats the host's tongue and becoming the fish's new tongue (see the horrible picture below). So far all of this is a true story.

The Bay is a found footage eco-disaster film takes this premise and runs with it, creating the most squirm-inducing and unsettling horror film I've seen in a while. It's almost unwatchable if you've ever swum in a lake, eaten chicken, or ever plan to drink water again. The parasite spreads from fish to water to a small community over one very long terrible day. While I find most found footage films to really push the boundaries of disbelief, this one almost plays out as a very disturbing and real documentary. The gore is also substantial, which is kind of shocking coming from the director or Good Morning Vietnam, Rain Man, and The Natural. I keep trying to forget this one, but like the boil on one of the victim's arms, it just keeps festering. Be warned.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Warm Bodies: Review

Warm Bodies is a witty, fresh twist on the zombie comedy, and it will likely be considered a cult classic up there with Zombieland, Fido and Shaun of the Dead (though nowhere near as gory or scary). I loved every minute – even the schmalzy, gooey center aimed squarely at the PG-13 crowd. It was refreshing to see the story told from the perspective of a zombie, and Nicholas Hoult's dead-on performance nails the nuance of uttering barely decipherable grunts and groans, while his expressive eyes show a rich inner life. The scene on the balcony where it becomes clear that this is an homage to Romeo & Juliet was also very clever. (Is this the first ever zom-rom-com?) One reviewer called it the "sweetest zombie movie ever made" and I whole-heartedly agree.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Doctor Sleep, The Shining Sequel

The anticipation surrounding Stephen King's Doctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shining, is reaching a fever pitch. September 24, 2013 cannot get soon enough. The pre-order for the various collectible editions sold out almost instantly, and this week the official U.S. cover was revealed. (The lettered edition cover at the bottom is my absolute favorite.) What I can judge from the cover is that it involves old people, dead nurses, drugs (paint fumes), and lots of smoke. 

Official U.S. cover
Gift Edition cover
Limited Edition cover
Lettered Edition cover

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Welcome to

The Wicked October blog is now!

After much grave contemplation, we've decided to make Wicked October a year round blog! Until now it's been a seasonal blog with a focus on Halloween – and this October, we will continue to cover all the Halloween shenanigans we can unearth. But what about the other 11 months of the year? There's plenty of horror movies, genre books, TV shows, weird news and other macabre stuff that makes us Halloween enthusiasts swoon. (So many of us already celebrate Halloween 365 days year!)

So first up, is a necessary name change since Wicked October doesn't quite capture the scope of the new blog. We're calling it, which makes it a good companion to the main site,! Please follow us and Make Every Day a Little Scary (and please update your bookmarks and RSS feeds).

Second, our Facebook page was launched last September and we're moving some of the more interesting posts, expanded movie reviews, and news onto this blog. We like social media, but our best fans – the true Halloween enthusiasts – seem to prefer the blog. I don't blame them. Facebook can be personally intrusive, it's much harder to control content, and it's often blocked at work. We're keeping the Facebook page, but this blog will be our main focus.

One of the main reasons we prefer the blog is that you can comment easily and without signing up for an account – and you can also comment anonymously if you prefer. We are a community that likes to share ideas, sources, experiences, and opinions. And yes, sometimes we geek out. Thankfully, there's no "Facebook pressure" here. We encourage all the readers out there, even the ones that simply read the posts but never comment, to join the conversation. We want to hear from you, whether through comments or through our main email:

Scary Jerry

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Last Exorcism, Part II: Review

The Last Exorcism, Part 2 picks up seconds after the first film and starts off strongly. But then the pacing issues, random episodic moments, and arbitrary new characters that suddenly appear (or disappear) sink the rest of this unfocused film.


I must admit that the central conceit of the film really took me by surprise and definitely felt like an original idea: the demon Abalam falling in love with the person it possessed – like literally, in love. I've always thought of the possessed simply as meat suits (as the Winchester brothers call them) and not something a powerful demon would admire, let alone love. In two very unsettling moments it even gently caresses her. This idea is where the film's premise begun, but unfortunately, the writers couldn't figure out how to flesh it out into a coherent story. I liked the ballsy ending but it was marred by too much needless CGI. Fans of the first film will definitely want to see this for Ashley Bell's earnest and harrowing performance which really elevates this film.