Monday, March 30, 2009

The Last House on the Left

Last House on the Left Pictures, Images and Photos
March 13th, 2009 (Friday the 13th, also, but not THE Friday the 13th). That's the day that the remake of the remake of original The Last House on the Left hit theaters.

I'll be the first to admit, I almost didn't get to see this one. There were several factors. First, I've seen the 1972 version and it was honestly one of the most brutal and difficult movies I've ever sat through.
The Last House On The Left Pictures, Images and Photos
I was near-vomit when I watched it. It's extraordinarily gruesome and grim. I feared that I wouldn't have the gall and iron stomach to sit through the newer one. I mean, even the trailer is kind of gory:

Also, would the newer one capture that horror and discomfort and nausea, or would it be complete trash? I got a little nervous. But, if I didn't suck it up and go, what would I have to use to replace my 8th blog of March?!

As always here at MB Blog, horror always prevails, the movie got pretty good reviews...and here I am with my vilified thoughts! (Spoilers ahead, fyi)

First of all, the official movie website is fantastic. Really well done. If you haven't gone there yet, what are you waiting for?!

So, this remake of a remake is, in my opinion, extremely well done. While there are some differences between the 1972 version and this one, I felt that the recreation of that feeling of "oh my God did that just really happen?" is still 100% there. Surprisingly, as gruesome as I felt the remake was, it was, from what I remember, a bit tamer in terms of what happens to the girls than the 1972 version. For me, that was a positive about the movie. It was uncomfortable, yet, more watchable than the older version. In both films, the "bad" characters are similar...

Last House On the Left 01 Pictures, Images and Photos
old vs new
Last House on the Left 1 Pictures, Images and Photos
But they were modernized, obviously. I think that the original Krug, played by David Hess (top picture, on the left), was for some reason more scary and heartless to me, in my opinion. Garrett Dillahunt (seen above back center with the dark facial hair) did a really good job as well, I just didn't find him as repulsive and evil as Hess was. Don't' get me wrong, new Krug is just as much of an animal and you hate him just as much, I guess Dillahunt was just too much of a pretty villain (for lack of a better word) for me to be as disgusted by him. He struck me as "less filthy". David Hess looked like an escaped convict and had this look that he had already done some serious time, and really had nothing to lose. Dillahunt for some reason didn't give off that feeling for me.

Other than that though, I had no complaints. These guys and girl were as vicious as they come, and you loved to hate them. I feel like I always see that guy who played Francis, Aaron Paul, but I don't recognize any of his other work. He did ALOT of tv shows...and he was in a Korn music video? Nope. Can't remember. But he was great too. You're going to really hate this guy.

The entire first sequence of the movie with the cops taking Krug in is fantastic, and unexpected. From that moment on, I tried to blink as little as possible because I was so engrossed in this movie. The scenes are uncomfortable, to a degree nauseating, and horrifying. It is every parent's...and child's....worst nightmare, what happens to these girls.

Mari (played by Sara Paxton) is your average "good girl"..ok fine..she smokes a little pot...but other than that, she's purest of the pure. We also find that she is an excellent swimmer, which sure explains a lot later. Unfortunately for Mari, she falls victim to being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and she and her friend Paige end up in a horrible situation after meeting a mysterious boy named Justin.

The first half of the movie, I had my hand over my mouth, sitting at the edge of my seat, feeling near the point of sickness. Dennis Iliadis did a great job creating a mood of uneasiness and shock. I felt like I was there, watching helplessly, disgusted, wanting to help these girls or scream for help. There are also a couple of scenes where they almost seem like they're going to make it. Paige ends up escaping and running toward a construction she yells and screams for help while being dragged away, we see some workers with hard hats not even noticing her. They also are driving in Mari's car, held hostage, and a cop car goes past them...noticing nothing. It leaves you with that feeling of "no way out", much like in the way The Texas Chainsaw Massacre does.

Krug and his crew: Francis, Sadie, and his son (who hates him) Justin, realize that by the girls being with Justin, they are compromising their hiding from the law, and decide to take the girls deep into the woods...

As in the original, there is a very graphic rape scene that absolutely horrified me. There is also a stabbing scene that was filmed in the most realistic way I've seen in a long time. I'm still not totally convinced that the girl playing Paige wasn't really stabbed.

Mari, who after being "deflowered" in a brutal and sadistic way by Krug, seems disoriented and runs to a lake where she decides to swim away. Krug takes a few shots and hits her square in the upper back, where we see Mari turn on her back and lay there, lifeless. At this point, the storm moves in, and Krug and co. decide to look for shelter.
Last House on the Left Pictures, Images and Photos
Back at the Collingwood summer home (which is the last house on the left, btw), we find the Dr. and Mrs. enjoying a nice night alone. There's a knock at the door and....what are the chances? Krug's group is at the door. John, who is a doctor, helps fix Frances' nose, and due to the storm and the phones being dead, they offer to allow Krug's group to stay in the guest house.

I'd like to pause here and mention that I had read online that reviewers did not like Monica Potter and Tony Goldwyn's acting in this movie. I couldn't disagree more. I felt that all of the acting in this movie was totally believable. I honestly felt their pain as parents for their daughter, and their anger and fear. In the scene where the father realizes that his daughter has been raped, I actually shed a tear, that is how real it felt.
Last House on the Left Pictures, Images and Photos
Anyway, Mari somehow makes it home (thank you swimming lessons!) and her parents make the connection (through a necklace she was wearing...dead brother Ben, long story, go see the movie) that it was team Krug that did this to her and they decide to take matters into their own hands.

Well, the rest of the movie is awesome. Revenge is so sweet. All I have to say is "microwave". Trust me, it's worth the $10.

If I had to rate this movie, I'd give it an 8...or even a 9 out of 10. I felt that this was one of the best horror movies I've seen recently. I actually can even say I liked it more than the 1972 version. The acting was great, the death scenes are great, the ending is great. I especially loved that the characters were down and dirty. The movie has a real gritty feel (granted, not as gritty as Devil's Rejects or House of 1000 Corpses, but still) and I loved the way it was shot. I was relieved that no matter how bleak and awful the movie felt, the ending totally redeemed it and you left feeling awesome. My only issue was the character Sadie's toplessness...I know..."toplessness" isn't really a word, but I can't describe her any other way...Seriously girl, put a bra on at least...there's no need for me to see "the girls" for an hour, ok?

But, other than that, I loved this movie. I got up after it ended and exclaimed, "That was awesome!"
My Monster Bash advice to you? GO SEE IT!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

2009 Halloween Costume Preview

I realized that last March, I did a 2008 costume preview, so I figured that March seems like a perfect month to start planning your amazingly spooOoOoOoOoktacular costume for this year!

Extreme Halloween blog, whom I referred to last year for the latest up-and-coming for 2008, already has their top picks for 2009. In fact, they posted the beginnings of them in January. I love them. This year, they even have a poll where you pick the most anticipated costume of the year. Brilliant! It seems that they are predicting that the groOoOoOoovy spoOoOoky retro costumes, as usual, will be popular. I'm personally tired of them, but hey, that's just me. As for movies, Extreme Halloween blog predicts:

Harry Potter
G.I. Joe
Hannah Montana

Star Trek
Star Wars

Wizards of Waverly Place

As top movie costume ideas for this year.

Since I'm never satisfied with one opinion, I went to my pals at to see their ideas.
For men, they suggest the "usuals" (nerds, super heroes, Ryu from Street Fighter)...but then they threw in an outlier...

Golden Buddha. This thing is the creepiest costume I've ever seen in my life.

As for women, suggests the usual..."vixen pirate" and "50's girl" and "flapper"...boOoOOooOoring. also has a category called "Top Colleges Halloween Costumes"...and my oh my...hide your college students, because these costumes are HORRENDOUS.

This one is called "Longuini and Meatballs". Ugh.

This one is..."The Shocker". Is this what college means to

And this one, the least awful...the only one I would the Taco. If they didn't have this one, I'd have condemned the entire site.

As usual, has the standards...

Goosh pants (whatever goosh's gross...I searched "what are goosh pants?" on google, and just got a bunch of links to buy the costume. Nobody has a set definition, I guess.):

P.S. I love the way they have the guy he's proud, and yet, he's still kind of embarassed by the "goosh".

The "Fart-o-meter" (If you did this one home made, you'd be my hero):

In all honesty...why would you dress like this though? My main question would be "does the dial move?" Because if not...then it's totally not worth it.

Then, there's "The Birds" (from Alfred Hitchcock):

The Birds one is actually decent. Just make sure you're at a party where people know what that is. Otherwise they may think you're Jessica Simpson being attacked for having cookie crumbs on you...or something like that.

And of course, because Napoleon Dynamite will never die...they have this one...called "Instant Rapper":

here's the riveting description:
Girls only want boyfriends who have great COSTUME skills!
Made exclusively for this costume kit guarantees you'll get your lady! Includes du-rag, moustache, and eagle necklace. You add a jacket (not included) and the new attitude! Get two of your friends to be Pedro (18695) and Napoleon (18849).
This is an officially licensed Napoleon Dynamite™ product

Really? Well, I guess that's kind of true. I only date hunks with real COSTUME skillz.

Moving along, I then travelled over to my pals, to check out the new masks, wigs, and whatnot for this year's horrorfest. My personal favorite is "Blurp Charlie Skull Mask":

Also, I don't know if you may have noticed, but there were an awful lot of clown props here. Could they have caught wind to my theme last year and be hopping aboard the Murder Circus? Unfortunately, if you're into getting something from Halloween31, you have to wait for these awesome masks until around August, but by the looks of them, they are worth the wait!

After there, I stopped by the Halloween Adventure blog. Halloween Adventure is a chain of stores that come around seasonally. We generally tend to have about 3-5 in the radius that I shop in during the season. What's great about their blog is that they tag the costume categories, so it's much easier to look around.

Well, I think I've done some decent research. As always, hippies, trailer trash, 50's guys and dolls, and movie characters are always top of the pops.

I've been doing some deep thinking about my costume for this year, and I must admit, it's been my toughest year to date, I am not having an easy time picking my spoOoOoOoktacular costume for this year's Monster Bash. But I will say, the overall decor has been chosen and sketches and minor purchases are being made now. I know I say this every year, but Monster Bash 2009 will be the best one yet! So start getting those costumes together, guys and ghouls!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Resurrected from the Vault: Creepshow 2

Creepshow 2:

Creepshow 2 Pictures, Images and Photos
It was one of those horror movies that when I watch it, it brings back so many memories. My friends and I used to watch it religiously. We love love LOVED the 2nd story in it, and I probably memorized everything about it.

So one night on Encore, it was on and I couldn't help but to watch it, for nostalgia's sake.

I had almost completely forgotten it, and yet, I made Jim stay up and watch it with me.

First and foremost, Stephen King, Tom Savini, and George A. Romero all contributed to, and/or were in this film. I never realized that. Wow.

The movie follows this real/cartoon kid as he is enjoying the latest installment of the Creepshow comic. It details 3 separate tales:

1. "Old Chief Wood'n Head"

This one is probably my, and I guess everyone elses' (according to reviewers), least favorite. Basically, these two old people own a general store in the middle of some sort of Indian reservation. They have a good rapport, but one greedy guy, Sam:
Creepshow 2 screenshot Pictures, Images and Photos
thinks he's heading for Hollywood with his "hair" and kills the old couple while robbing their store. The creepy looking wooden Indian chief that they pan to every now and then, comes to life, and kills off Sam and his cronies, and in the end, is holding Sam's precious hair in his wooden grip. Boring. I still kind of think the guy playing Sam is Duane "The Rock" Johnson.
duane Johnson Pictures, Images and Photos

2. "The Raft"
Creepshow Pictures, Images and Photos
The Raft was actually originally a short story written by Stephen King. While it was changed slightly for the film (George A. Romero wrote the screenplay), the basic idea of the story is the same. 4 college students (2 boys and 2 girls) decide to go out to this lake in the middle of Autumn and swim out to a raft in the middle of it. There's some sort of creature in the water that looks like a pool tarp that eats them, one by one. The best is Deke's death scene:

The characters keep saying it's an "oil slick" but it almost looks like a tar when it eats them:
Creepshow 2 screenshott Pictures, Images and Photos
This was my and my friends' favorite segment of Creepshow 2 when I was younger. The teens in this could have easily been in a Friday the 13th movie.
Creepshow Pictures, Images and Photos

sorry, this was just too good to not put here.

3. "The Hitch-Hiker"
This has become my new favorite of the three. Basically, this story is about a woman who is a real shady character. She is cheating on her lawyer husband with a male...hooker? and she is driving home talking to herself. She hits a guy who is hitch hiking and begins to get multiple visits from him as she constantly is trying to destroy him,and he just wants to thank her...repeatedly...for the ride (sarcasm from the undead corpse, I know)
Creepshow 2 Pictures, Images and Photos
This could have been renamed "Thanks for the ride, lady"
thanks for the ride lady Pictures, Images and Photos
(hahaha thanks to photobucket)
and I would have loved it even more. This one is so over the top and ridiculous, you have to see it. This guy gets mutilated to almost looking like a robot at the end
Thanks for the ride, lady Pictures, Images and Photos
I searched "Thanks for the ride lady" and all of these pictures came up, by the way. Even YTMND.COM made a video for this.

This movie is so great. If you haven't seen it yet, I suggest you run out and get it...get it used if you have to....and skip Old Chief Wood'n Head, because the last two are the greatest.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

SpoOoOoOky Irish

Spring is officially beginning on March 21st...which is the end of this week. I'm also almost on my way to sunny Florida for a few days, so thinking of dark and scary horror is getting mighty difficult over here...March is just too close to warmth and Spring to make me think of scary thoughts...
Fighting Irish Pumpkin Pictures, Images and Photos

Wait! I knew March wouldn't be a total waste!! There's Leprechaun!! Frightening Irish! (Get it? Not "Fighting Irish"...geez I'm clever..wait...let me make sure I didn't steal that....hang on while I google...ha ha! Only sports-related!)

leprauchaun Pictures, Images and Photos

Anyway, Leprechaun was a horror movie from 1993 that spawned 5 awful sequels. It was also one of the first films Jennifer Aniston starred in.

I feel like we've talked about this before....Ah yes! I actually discussed this movie in pretty good detail back in June 2008.

But the real point of this post is to celebrate St. Patty's Day the only way Monster Bash Blog knows how...The SpooOoOoOOoky way!

So dust off your zombie leprechaun t-shirts from

Pop in your VHS of Leprechauns 1-6...stick a few Lucky Charms covered in red dyed corn syrup to your head and say you got attacked by Lucky's ghost....Make some corned beef (charred flesh), cabbage (severed head) , potatoes (eyeballs), and carrots (fingers)...and down a few bewitched brews!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Wow, spelling Mirrors backwards was more difficult than I thought!

Anyways, I recently watched that spOoOOoOOoky movie starring Kiefer Sutherland, Mirrors, on Movies on Demand (my new bff since Monsters HD decided to end its relationship with fun and horror). The movie was adapted from the 2003 movie, Geoul Sokeuro.

Basically, the movie is about a former cop, who I guess shot and killed someone, and is struggling with the aftermath of coping with killing another human being. He tries to re enter to workforce in order to eventually regain good standing with the police force. He gets a job as the new night watchman of the Mayflower department store, which is now a heap of ruin after a devastating fire. Strange things begin happening with the mirrors, of course everything thinks he's crazy because he's saying that the mirrors are "looking back at" him, and horror ultimately ensues.

The beginning of the movie is very awesome and promising. We are initially introduced to the former night watchman, Gary Lewis (seen above here), who is running for his life and is talking to the mirrors. He ends up slitting his throat (well, not him, but his mirror self) and it's gruesome and gory. I remember saying out loud to Jim "That was great." I was immediately into this movie.

Then, the dialogue between Kiefer Sutherland and his estranged wife comes. And it is horrendous. I felt almost embarassed for saying "that was great" earlier because I felt the pressure of this movie not being able to continue the awesomeness of the first 5 mins.
But then, the death scene of the sister, Angela, happens. And the movie is almost completely redeemed.
Her mirror self tears her own jaw off and it's a bloody self inflicted massacre. Very gory, and suprisingly very clever. Whoever thought of this idea is disgusting...and brilliant.
mirrors amy smart Pictures, Images and Photos
The rest of the movie, sadly, is kind of a throw-away...he's trying to solve the mirror's mystery and find some woman named Anna Esseker, and she's a nun or something, and he drags her back to the Mayflower at gunpoint where she takes on the evil mirror spirits...but his family is home alone where there is water building up in the house and guess what? Water creates reflections! Oh no! ...and then, whatever...I'm bored typing it already. I think the basis is that the Mayflower was built next to or on top of a former psychiatric ward of a hospital? Was that it? Oh, should've known.
I think what makes this movie so scary, for me at least, is the mirrors themselves. How scary is walking to the bathroom or kitchen in the middle of the night, passing a mirror, and wondering if there's something or someone behind you? I used to be TERRIFIED of Bloody Mary, and would refuse to look at a mirror anywhere near midnight or in the dark, because maybe...
...just maybe...
she'd be looking back at me.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It Begins...Again.

The countdown is on...(p.s. it's actually been on...did you scroll to the bottom of the page and admire my awesome countdown? It' s been there since November 1st, 2008...where have you been?)

I have been locked away in my spoOoOOoOooOoOkified lair for days now thinking about Monster Bash 2009. I seem to have a routine of taking about 4 months off after Monster Bash of the previous year, and beginning my brainstorming / planning / creating the invitations /negotiating with Jim in March; then I "let it rest" officially, but continue my own research and planning beneath the radar until August; and then I do the "final touches" (ordering last minute supplies, sketches, costume fittings, etc), if you will, before the actual preparation and decorating starts in mid-to-late September.

I know this all sounds strange to you mortal souls, however, hear me out. This formula works, especially since I take my Monster Bashes very seriously, and so should you!

First and foremost, planning a massive event like Monster Bash takes time...more than a month or two, especially if you're doing elaborate decor. Last year, we went with a theme (Murder Circus) and I was so glad I started in March 2008 because I was working down to the wire to make Jim's room into a Big Top from Hell:

This year, the decor of Monster Bash 2009 is going to be the biggest yet, so I need to get started ASAP.

Second, the prices for Halloween props right now are incredible. Sure, you have to search just a little bit harder, but saving a significant amount of cold cash is worth the hunt. I get everything I need early, and then I can add to what I already have if necessary as the date approaches.

Third, digging out the props you bought 6 months ago is like a new surprise! I forget about 65% of what I buy from March to August, so when Jim and I break out everything, it's like I've been given special Halloween gifts to hang up in his room. I mean, I bought them, but I forgot about it.
Fourth, you've got alot going on. Not only are you planning and crafting your amazing costume, you're also decorating for the most insanely popular party of all time. Of course it's alot to take on. So starting in March allows you ample time to do little by little.

So, it's March 10th. Jim and I brainstormed on Saturday the 7th and came up with our decor and some of the major details. I'm right on track as far as I'm concerned. Now, I'm doing some online research, ordering small items that can easily be stored, and finding great deals. Soon I'll make sketches of the room, and begin delving into my costume.

This year, I'm at a disadvantage, because I have few ideas on what I want to be this year. Penguin mailman? Maybe.

And so, here's to another successful Monster Bash pre-planning season! Consider it the "spring training" of Halloween!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Monster Bash Blog's 1st Birthday

Wow, can you believe it? We've come so far. It was one year ago today that Monster Bash Blog was born. Thank you all (Jim) for being such (a) loyal readers!

With such a celebratory day, I thought we could go back and relive my "sweetest" Monster Bash moments!!! Just like any master of his/her craft, I'll also attempt to break down my thought processes of making these in case you're planning a monster bash of your own in the near or far future!

So, for Monster Bash 2006, I did a gross kitty litter cake (fully edible) as the Monster Bash dessert:

I know, it looks real. But here's how I did it. You get a brand new kitty litter box and scoop. You can also get a new liner, but nixed that idea. I just lined the bottom with foil. you never see it anyway. Then, I took two cake mixes: German Chocolate cake and white cake mix, made them according to instructions. While they were baking, I smashed up some vanilla oreo-type cookies and made vanilla pudding. I set aside some of the smashed up cookies and used a little green food coloring on those cookies. Once the cakes are done and cooled, crumble them up and add just enough pudding to moisten the cakes. Spread this mix, along with some of the cookies, into the pan. Sprinkle the green food colored cookie on top. I then took some brownies and rolled them to look like the turds, but you can use tootsie rolls too.

For Monster Bash 2007, I took it to a slightly less gross level and made an oozing spider cake:

All this takes is a few ingredients and some creativity/patience. For this recipe I tweaked a few good ones I found. First, I used devil's food cake mix because it's light and easy to work with. I baked two round cakes according to the package. While they baked, I took vanilla pudding mix and made it according to package, and added some green food coloring for the "ooze" (the original recipe calls for green jello, I don't like jello and cake together, it doesn't sound too tasty to me). When the cakes were cooled, I cut one into a small circle (the head) and the other, I kept the original size, but cut the top off as smoothly as possible. I filled the well I made with the green pudding, and then replaced the "lid". I iced the entire cake (head and body) with dark chocolate frosting, and sprinkled some crumbled cake from the leftovers from the head to give the "fuzzy" effect. I stuck chocolate twizzlers as the arms, used marshmallows (minis) for the eyes (with black food coloring for the dot), and two pieces of candy corn to make the hourglass "black widow" effect. When the body of the cake was cut, vanilla pudding oozed out!

Monster Bash 2009 was a lot more subdued in the dessert department, because the theme was "Murder Circus" so the focus was more on carnival/circus type foods (popcorn, corn dogs, pretzels, etc), so I opted for these graveyard cupcakes (see arrow):
For these, I made typical cupcakes. I used funfetti with green food coloring to make them appear "toxic". Then I also baked devil's food cake to create the "dirt". When the cupcakes were cooled, I used a pastry bag and creme filled them (maggots, I guess or something), and frosted them with chocolate frosting. I stuck Milano cookies in each one and wrote "Boo" or "RIP" on each one with icing. I then sprinkled some of the "dirt" over the tops of them. The picture truly doesn't do it much justice, I know.

And of course, who can forget: Jason Cake for Jason's Birthday party this past February:

This wasn't difficult to make, but it definitely requires some good hard work and imagination. I used a picture online that I looked at for a few minutes and then went to work. I baked a devil's food cake (two round ones, just in case), and when they were cooled, I cut one into a "mask" shape. I cut out the eyes (freehand, btw) and tried to make his torso, but it doesn't look that great. Just concentrate on his sweet mask. Then I used white frosting, and black and red icing to decorate his face. I mixed the leftover white with the black to create the gray tombstone and torso. With the leftover cake, I made the "dirt" and the tombstone. I adorned his "grave" with sour worms. I set out to make a Jason cake and I think I did a decent job. Just a little luck and some baking skills, I always say.

So that's all I've got so far. Monster Bash 2009's dessert? You better believe it's going to be the most disgusting, horrifying, and did I mention disgusting? dessert yet. I've already picked it, and I can say with 150% confidence that it might make you vomit.

Happy Birthday Monster Bash Blog!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

March Madness....No, Not That One.

I find that as I reach a new month, I get very nervous. Will I be able to make 8 blogs for this month? Last month was easy, because I dedicated the entire month to my fave subject: Jason Voorhees.

March will be a challenge. Spring is almost here...people are looking forward to warmth and sunshine...there are even cute, fuzzy bunnies messing up my horrorfest...what is in March that can be frightening?

I mean, I'm really having to dig deep here. I even have had to get creative:



Thank God the words "Spring" and "Spooky" both have "Sp" in common, otherwise, that would've been tricky!

Someone else feels my pain: I searched "Halloween in March" and someone back in 2005 had beaten me to it. I wish it had caught on, Scare Shack, you and I are a dying breed.

So, let's get into the Madness that is March! I'm ready to take it on if you are!