It’s been almost three months since this blog started, and with 50 posts, that means it’s been roughly a post every other day. To me, that’s awesome, because that was the goal I set for myself in how often I wanted to write. However it is you have come to visit this site, thank you! If you go back and read my first post, you will see why I started this blog, and I can say I still have the same goal. Pretty much an online journal of my thoughts on certain pieces of film or comic books, mostly because I only have so many friends to actually discuss these things with in person. Whether you know me well, or don’t know me at all, let me give you a little insight into who the “Wolfman” really is.
I lived near one of those red squares. Wolfgang lived in the crappier looking red square.
I was born and raised in Massachusetts, and got a degree in Anthropology. Anytime someone said “Why are you studying anthropology?”, I would make some sort of joke involving Indiana Jones. After graduating, I moved to one of my favorite cities, Chicago, where I currently reside with my girlfriend Rampaige and our dog Banner (he doesn’t have a Twitter…yet). I work at the aquarium here, which offers me the opportunity to talk about animals, mostly sharks, and when the situation doesn’t call for talking about sharks, I try to make people talk about them. I also work at a movie theater as a projectionist, which offers not only extra income to buy comic books, but given the nature of the work, gives me the time to read those books. In case you’re wondering how I formed my opinion on the movies I review, let me take you on a trip through time and point out some of my most memorable horror movie experiences. Granted, not all of these movies incredible, but the experiences of watching them is what really counts.
If you look closely, it almost looks like that one part in the movie I am about to describe. Almost.
It’s January, and I go with my brother to see the movie “Scream“. I believe this is the first time I have seen an R rated movie in theaters, and it scared the shit out of me. It’s still a pretty good movie and all, but that first time seeing it in theaters caused me to run up the stairs at the end of the night, every night, for a month. The image that stuck with me most was when Drew Barrymore is about to get killed and the Ghostface is inside her house, and there’s one shot where you see him run through the house, but it’s really only a glimpse of a black robe. Scared my me shitless. I also remember spending time writing my own sequel starring Jennifer Love Hewitt. Hey lay off, I was 13. Not that I still don’t write fan fiction about Jennifer Love Hewitt, just a slightly different kind…
This isn’t actually from a movie, but I like to give the people what they want.
The first movie theater I worked at had staff screenings of movies on the Thursday night before the film opened. This was primarily to make sure that the film was put together properly, but also was just a perk to working at the movies. This summer was the summer that The Ring came out, and that movie scared the shit out of me. You can check my earlier review, and it still holds up, but that first time I watched it I really had no idea how terrified I would be. Funny story about watching it was that in the lobby of our theater was a TV that normally showed trailers for upcoming movies. It was the end of the night and one staff member had to go upstairs to turn all the breakers off. While this was going on, I turned the TV to static and hid in a closet, while the rest of the employees went and hid somewhere. When the employee returned downstairs, he chuckled and then approached the TV, which is when I jumped out and yelled something along the lines of “boo”, to which his response was taking a karate stance. I’m not trying to say this story is incredible, just, ya know, it happened, and it’s too late to unread it, so shut up.
Jordan Ladd…what a hottie.
My friend Lazer and I (yes, his real name is Lazer…okay no it’s not but all stories are better if they involve someone named Lazer) heard about a movie called Hell House, which is a documentary about a haunted house run by an extremely conservative church, and rather than it being filled with monsters, it was filled with people who had sex before marriage. It’s terrifying. It was hard to track down, so we had to rent it from a place called “DVDen”, which is a video rental place that only had DVD’s. Weird to think about now, but that was the innovative place at the time. So we get there and there was a deal if you rented four movies they were all cheaper, so I proceeded to rent Hell House, Dawn of the Dead, Cabin Fever, and Blood Feast 2, none of which I had ever seen before. After watching Hell House, Lazer and I watched Blood Feast 2, and we had no idea how insane people could be, and we spent the next few weeks making everyone we knew sit down and watch it, and also spent a lot of time quoting the movie to people who had no idea what we were talking about. To be fair, people generally didn’t know what we were talking about. Then we watched Cabin Fever and loved the combination of humor and gore, a movie that was not only gross but also mocked the genre. Next was Dawn of the Dead, which was confusing to me because I had never seen Night of the Living Dead. Can you believe it? I was dumb enough to not know it was part of a trilogy. These three movies continue to be some of my favorite films, and really jump started my quest to see movies where the weirdest things imaginable could happen.
What’s Joan River doing selling tickets?! Ha ha ha! Fuck you Joan Rivers you crotchety old bitch!
Starting my last year of college, I moved back in with my mom to save money, knowing I was moving somewhere once I graduated. One of the perks is I was closer to the movie theater where I worked, which now had a digital projector, so I could go and watch DVDs there when we were closed. I was bored, and having never seen it, I rented Creepshow and watched it all alone in a empty theater. I wasn’t really scared or anything, at first, but I slowly began to realize just how surreal this movie was. It wasn’t that I was scared, I just felt anxious and unsettled the whole time I watched it. This is yet another one of my favorite movies that I can watch over and over. The following year, while living in Chicago, I randomly turned the TV to an episode of Tales From The Darkside, which was a series done by George Romero. In case you haven’t heard of the show, every episode is a different short horror film, similar to Tales From The Crypt or Are You Afraid of the Dark? This episode was about an old man being tormented by some weird demon on Halloween, and it was terrifying. Once again, I wasn’t necessarily scared of what I was seeing, but mostly got a sense of unease and anxiety that really stuck with me.
Helena Bonham Carter’s long lost relative? Okay not long lost, this is her daughter. YOU JUST GOT MINDFREAKED!
I see something being advertised for Halloween and I buy tickets for myself, since no one was available to come with me. It was something called “Music Box Massacre” and consisted of 24 hours of horror movies the weekend before Halloween. I had seen some of the movies before, but there were quite a few new ones. I found a new appreciation for The Exorcist and Dead Alive, as well as discovering some fun movies like Midnight Meat Train, May, Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer, and Pieces. Not to mention the first time I saw one of my new favorites, Phantom of the Paradise, and also was my first time seeing Black Sabbath, whose first short film terrifies me. I went in alone and came out alone, but loved being surrounded by a few hundred people who all shared the love of horror movies that I had.
Look at that stud. Look at that beard.
In addition to some of the films I mentioned, a couple other favorites of mine are The Thing, Rosemary’s Baby, and Suspiria. The Thing is a great paranoia-fueled creature feature starring Kurt Russell, one of the sexiest men alive. It was made in the 80’s and all the effects are over the top but also practical effects, made in the days before CGI. Rosemary’s Baby is a film I grew to appreciate over time, as the first time I saw it I was bored. Once I got a little older and watched it again, I realized how terrifying it was, because the evil entity is other people, rather than the devil or some monster. It reminds you that you should be scared of what the people around you are capable of, rather than some monsters. As mentioned in regards to Creepshow, I get the most unease when I film is surreal and causes anxiety. No film can get you to that point of unease better or more quickly than the first few minutes of Suspiria. The combination of the rain, the sound effects, the airport, the cab ride, the colors, every single thing about the opening of this movie is precisely orchestrated and edited, and lets you know you are about to see something scarier than you are used to seeing.
Believe it or not, there once was a time when people were attracted to skinny girls with short blonde hair. Oh boy, how the times have changed! Wait a second…
As far as comic books go, I never really read them as a kid. I watched the X-Men animated series a lot, but had a hard time understanding the stories in the comics. Plus, I was far more interested in Star Wars. It wasn’t until my brother showed me a comic called “Preacher” that made me realize comics could be more than just kid stuff, and you could literally tell any story in comic book form and have it be just as good, in some cases better, than any movie. That 60 issue series continues to be one of my favorites to this day. That of course led me to classics like Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns, but it wasn’t until Marvel Zombies came out that I started buying single issues. Until then, I really had no idea how often new issues came out or anything like that, but that was only the beginning. I don’t want to go into how much money I spend at the comic book shop every time I go in there, but let’s just say, well, let’s not just say anything so Rampaige doesn’t get mad.
More powerful than helicopters? Two massive post coitus heads.
That should just about do it for me. I think now maybe some of you guys have a better idea of what kind of things I like and dislike, and can keep in mind from now on while reading my reviews. A few thanks before I conclude this post so I can get back to some actual reviews. Thanks to Rampaige for letting me spend as much time on the computer reviewing things as I do, especially considering how many reviews incorporate boobs. Thanks to Wolfgang for having nothing to look forward to in his life other than updates on this site in hopes of seeing his name. Seriously, the man has a wife and kid but he tells me his proudest moments are seeing his name on the internet. Thanks to Lazer for the help on some of the technical things on the internet, as well as sending me funny links to internet videos. Thanks to Netflix and my Xbox for providing most of these movies, as well as to Chicago Comics for letting my pull box stay as full as it is without getting mad at me. Now I’d like to hear from you guys! I appreciate all comments left/spoken so far, but if there is anything you really like or just don’t care for, I want to know about it! If there is a movie you want me to review, feel free to leave a comment or send an email. Hope to see you around again soon, especially for my next post, which may or may not be something magically unexpected.