Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Freddy the half-wit stands up for her.
Choose your battles Halfwit. Standing up for a liar and a thief doesn’t make you gallant. Lisa turns the screws.
Halfwit and Angel went to the diary room last night lament their nominations. Sophie ear wigged at the door and heard the Freddy summation; there are sheep, shepherds and individuals in the house. He and Angel got nominated because they are (intelligent) individuals.
Thanks to the privacy of the diary room guaranteed by Big Brother the whole house knows what he said. They’re taking it as an insult as well they should. Freddy the spineless halfwit tries to make out it’s a harmless metaphor. What he should be doing is raising hell with Big Brother for breaking the sanctity of their conversation.
Lisa: “I wouldn’t stick up for her too much Freddy. You’ll get yourself into trouble.”
That’s a warning. Or a terrorist threat.
Freddy clarifies his analogy to Siavash; the house started with two kinds of people – sheep and individuals. The individuals can be wolves, shepherds or loners. There are three wolves in this house: Sree – blatant wolf, Kris – a wolf in sheep’s clothing and Lisa – a wolf as a shepherd.
The sheep are Karly, Charlie and Sophie. Rodrigo was a sheep but is branching out as a loner. Noirin started off as a sheep but is now a full fledged loner. Of course Siavash is a loner as is Freddy himself. Marcus is a shepherd and Angel is a Billy goat.
Okay that last part’s mine.
Pretty interesting observation. Freddy is well educated and very articulate. That doesn’t make him intelligent.
Despite the fact that he lives with those people and I only see a few minutes of them per day on TV my observation differs. I have the advantage of seeing what he doesn’t.
Charlie is a wolf. Kris is a sheep but earns the wolf slur because he has the filly of Freddy’s dreams. With all his money and privilege Freddy will never be Kris and envy is to be trusted like the fox. Noirin is a sheep without a shepherd. Marcus is a shepherd without sheep and Karly is a loner.
Freddy thinks Lisa is part shepherd part wolf.
Clearly he fears her.
He says Marcus is sure she has a coding system to instruct her flock how to vote. I agree. It’s subtle. Like the conversation she had yesterday with Sree. Siavash and Marcus discuss Lisa. Marcus confirms the code.
That retard Davina attributes the Lisa coding system theory to Siavash.
Her racism is not so subtle.
Back in the house and Charlie literally douses Angel with cold water ‘as a joke’. Like I said. A wolf. And a bully. He made her cry. The girl is barely keeping it together after being nominated and Charlie goes and does that. Why not douse Noirin, Karly, Sophie or even Lisa?
They would bite back.
Charlie’s gay. So like George Michael his behaviour is okay.
Freddy is incensed but despite his best efforts he’s impotent because once more Lisa comes down on him like Class War Special Forces. He has every right to fear her.
I don’t buy Charlie’s apology. It’s for effect - it makes him look, well, apologetic. Later on he tells Rodrigo and Freddy that if Angel doesn’t accept his ‘sorry’ he’ll sod her off. That’s the Charlie I know is hiding behind the TV façade.
Interesting downtime; the hot girls are dressed saucy in bin liners and Lisa leads them in a rendition of Robert Palmer’s ‘Addicted to Love’.
The booze is in so a fuelled Sophie asks Freddy what his sheep analogy means.
Freddy talks himself into next week’s nominations.
Darkness descends at night time and Noirin turns into a raving bitch: a group are in the kitchen. Marcus is washing up as is his want. He chose this chore on entering the house ‘cos he can’t cook. Noirin decides Angel should wash up tonight ‘cos she never washes up. What’s the point? She did it once and made a pig’s ear of it.
Unheeded Noirin storms into the living room and asks Angel if she’ll wash up.
Rodrigo wants to know why. Its gone midnight and it could be Angel’s last night. The plates can wait while a morning. Cue shouting match with Noirin coming off as a brain empty shrew and Rodrigo as a considerate sensible lad who won’t be intimidated.
He hasn’t had a single nomination vote to date by the way. If Noirin votes for him next (this) week then spite is part of her make up too.
Rodrigo offers to wash the dishes. Noirin is adamant Angel should. Marcus finishes the washing up.
Noirin wanted an argument. A screech fest. With Angel. Thanks to Rodrigo she didn’t get one. There’s at least one person in that house who will stand up to a bully.
The experiment: dump a disparate group of people in a house. They won’t choose a leader but they will choose someone to pick on.
Day 23 – Elimination Day
Angel is also the public’s pick. She’s out.
The housemates must talk about past seasons but those conversations are not broadcast. In season one the Brummie was nominated so many times before the public got sick of her and voted her out.
Next (this) week’s nominations will be Sree Vs Freddy.
You’re not super. Freddy.
I want to thank all who have followed Thrill Fiction and apologise for this current situation. I will be back to finish recapping DoL and Megan's new show. In the meantime read Ricky Robot's take on The Hoya. I do.
Monday, 29 June 2009
(Wo)Man of the Match
Because I admire a lunatic who can function in a mad house.
Sree and Rodrigo converse in the bedroom. Last night at the dinner table Sree drank more booze than was due him. Trouble is after Noirin instigated a Peoples Court Angel grassed him up. Cue Sree lying against the facts until Lisa saved him by basically saying it’s not his fault he’s a lying thief.
Sree wants to go home.
Like Michelle Heaton.
Rodrigo is not having it. Rodrigo doesn’t ruffle feathers and he won’t have his ruffled. The Brazilian babyface is a bulls hit detector and he will call it out. Listening to these two foreigners speaky the English is like listening to the dialogue in a Rocco Siffredi film. Only this is Big Brother so don’t expect too much moral decency.
Out in the garden Sree bends Lisa’s ear. It sounds more like conspiracy to vote to me but this is what Sree does and this is what BB lets him get away with: He campaigns to turn people against each other.
Like a virus. Sree is a socially transmitted disease but Lisa doesn’t need infecting. Her game is going to plan. Sree’s targeting Siavash and Marcus. Lisa concurs; “They’re powerful”.
Sree declares there are two camps and he wants to go to war. Lisa declines. Her plan this week is gang up on Angel.
It’s not necessary. Angel is nose diving into non-existence like Soviet Union all of her own loony volition. She and
Wrong move if you fancy someone. Worse move to criticise a pretty girl’s looks. They’re insecure don’t you know.
Noirin’s reply “I think my body is better than yours” is said with her bra exposed. Scorsese couldn’t have directed a better shot only this is reality TV. Did you feel uncomfortable watching Noirin undress? A TV camera in a girl’s bedroom is national voyeurism. Welcome to Peeping Tom Britain. Believe me this country is heading to a stoop far lower than that.
Noirin runs to Lisa for comfort. Interesting. Lisa’s position as den mother makes her unassailable right now. As for Angel –
“You look very beautiful but it looks like three months pregnancy.”
She says to Noirin. Out of nowhere.
Lisa: “She don’t look three months pregnant at all.”
Angel: “Okay two months.”
Like a kid in primary school pushing over the wee girl he likes. Angel is 35 though. However Noirin is possibly the best looking housemate in BB history.
It’s all her fault.
Angel: “I’m a robot. I am not human being… I do not have parents. I am here as experiment…”
Planet Earth she means. Clearly experiment failed. Return to sender.
Noirin thinks she’s acting up for attention.
As soon as I stop laughing she’ll have my attention again.
The shenanigans continue in the evening when Noirin catches Angel stealing her hairbrush. Oh Angel if you want to sniff something steal her knickers. By the night time Siavash catches Angel trying to steal one of his photographs.
Noirin: “What picture was it?”
Later Charlie dyes Sree’s hair. They’re looking for the blond effect. It turns out ginger. Sree you’ll never be blond. Sree you’ll never be white. You can however be the next Derek Lord.
Lisa: “He looks like a gay.”
The nominations were live for some reason. Once again Sree escaped by the dyed hair of his lying teeth. It’s Angel and Half-Wit.
Marcus: “I will stick my dick through that mangle if she stays on Friday.”
Betting is now closed.
Read more Thrill Fiction: Big Brother Day 12
Thursday, 25 June 2009
This weeks MVP
Friends Fall Apart
5 boys remain and Chi Chi is still worried about how going after the same girl will affect his friendship with Sinister. Chi Chi is young not dumb. He’s naïve to the fact that give him the wrong woman and best friend will Jason Miller her if she’s pretty.
What’s good for the goose bumps…
There’s a preponderance of cooks hit shows on TV. They enjoy huge ratings and have made stars out of sweaty cretins. This is after all a culture of avarice. The manifestation is of a congregation of couch potatoes salivating over mutton dressed as lamb.
“My signature dish is trailer park pizza. It’s a
piece of bread with ketchup and a piece of
cheese on top. And you basically set it in
the sun long enough for it to melt the
cheese and you eat it.”
Give it a French name and serve it at gourmet restaurants everywhere for a week’s wage.
Commence the cooking challenge.
There’s a fire crew on stand by to make sure the kitchen remains part of the house.
Wait. That’s not a fire crew. It’s a bunch of caterers. Rock caterers. You can tell ‘cos they’re dressed in black.
Turns out the lads can actually follow the instructions on a recipe. Surprise 51 Minds. Even I can cook. Though given the choice I wouldn’t eat any of it.
As far as challenges go and dragging out a segment for TV this one backfired. The food was well prepared, presented and enjoyed.
Somewhere Hottie is laughing her head off.
So Daisy raises the stakes. She wants all 5 guys to pick the rival who they think is most compatible with The Hoya and the one least. Because there hasn’t been a real fight since Cage walked.
Chi Chi thinks Sinister is good, Big Rig is bad. Sinister thinks Big Rig is bad and Flex is good.
Chi Chi leaves the table in tears. Only joking. He doesn’t cry until he’s locked himself in the bogs.
Even 51 Minds is in on the joke.
51 Minds is telling the joke.
The demarcation lines are laid out like the dinner table. It’s the meatheads versus the skinny twins.
Daisy wants to know what Dave thinks.
The Rat: “Who’s Dave?”
There’s a guy on the street corner selling snake oil and doing quite well. An acquaintance of his from the old neighbourhood walks past and spots him. This is the look a con merchant gives someone who knows.
Flex Pack think Chi Chi is all wrong for Daisy. The challenge is over; Flex wins and gets a solo date. Chi Chi and Big Rig are least compatible so they get a group date to plead their cases. Also known as the last rites.
The challenge may be over but the night isn’t. They hang out at the fire where Sinister cliché regales with his guitar.
As talented as Sinister is – and Daisy isn’t; note her feral howling – he’s a one trick pony. If you’re a musician without a record contract you’re not going to get groupie love.
Dave is no musician. He’s a 12 Pack. Ask Romance.
“Did I not bring in the vodka?”
“I’m sorry 12 Pack took that up to
Daisy’s room. My bad.”
If you’re going to knock on a ladies door in the middle of the night have a bag of chips with you.
Turns out Daisy’s a tight arse. Sinister didn’t go up there for the vodka, love but in any case. You didn’t buy it.
What follows is politically correct 21st Century bitch speak. Once upon a time man was masculine woman was feminine. Alas in these TV times man is feminine woman is silicone construct.
“Your sexual attraction is towards
him and. Dude. It hurts.”
“There’s only one of me.”
“Maybe I feel that way because
“I’m insecure too.”
Daisy kicks and spits when she’s angry. Not a Pumpkin aggression spit more a spit-on-the-ground in frustration goss.
If your name is Sinister.
A new day dawns in celebreality. Daisy has a date with Flex.
Daisy’s a one-trick pony too. And I’ve seen better looking ponies pulling gypsy carts.
After the date Sinister goes creeping to her room. There’s elimination tonight and he upset her last night. His idea of damage control is to throw Chi Chi under the bus.
“And if he’s my friend he’ll understand.”
And he'll thank you for it.
For some reason this act of betrayal turns Daisy on. She likes the fact that dude wants his best friend out of the house. This puzzles me. Daisy seems to think his actions are a virtuous proclamation of his interest in her.
If Al-Qaeda were to take over the world tomorrow Sinister would swap his guitar for a beard. And name names.
Time for a date with the undesirables.
Chi Chi is accused of being needy.
“If we went out and guys hit on you and buy
you drinks I think it’s awesome. Like
it’s good for yourself esteem.”
Why don’t you give her condoms on her way out? Methinks you over-played your hand love.
“If some guy comes up to me. When I’m
with my girlfriend and offers to buy her a
drink, that sonofabitch better make it two.”
Big Rig gets accused of being a man.
This is LA.
It’s that time again.
It’s down to the incompatibles. Could 51 Minds signpost this any more obvious?
TFi: Screencapping is easy when production gives these losers their marks.
You’ve only known her three weeks meathead.
Daisy tells Chi Chi and Sinister this might be the last time both of them get a chain. So which one’s going home next week dumbass?
Next week on Daisy of Love:
The return of
Read more Thrill Fiction: Daisy of Love 107
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Sunday, 21 June 2009
© 1978, Falcon International Productions
I first saw Halloween on TV in the 80s with my cousins amidst their yelps and shrieks. I wasn’t impressed. Too many cousins. The first time I watched it from title sequence to end credits was on TV in the 90s. Alex Cox presented the moviedrome series in widescreen.
Much has been written on Halloween; there have been documentaries about it – Clive Barker’s A-Z of Horror for example. It is a bona fide classic. It is without argument iconic. Halloween serves as template for the slasher film; Prom Night, My Bloody Valentine, I Know What You Did Last Summer et cetera. In 2007 Rob Zombie directed the remake.
This review-comparison is the second in the TFi Re/Made series. Good stories can be retold however the question is begged: why remake? Does it add to the mythos of the story? Is it updated to the contemporary? Or is the motivation exploitation?
In 1982 the John Carpenter made The Thing which was a remake of The Thing from another World 1951. In 1978 Phillip Kaufman made Invasion of the Body Snatchers a remake of the eponymous 1956 film. In 1998 Gus Van Sant remade Psycho.
We are in the epicentre of a horror revival. For the first time in a 100 year history motion pictures are gold rushing remakes. Most especially horror movies: The Fog 2005, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2003, The Hills Have Eyes 2006 The Left House on the Left 2009, Nightmare on Elm Street 2010.
Halloween 2 2009.
I love horror. Hence this series. Re/Made is a vehicle to contrast the modern with the origin. I will rest my case. The judgement is yours.
Written, directed, produced and scored by John Carpenter. He was 30 years old and a four film veteran. It shows.
Title cards on black screen are an indicator of a low budget. What makes the Halloween titles stand out is the music. Carpenter’s sparse keyboard score is immediate impact and ingenious in its simplicity. 30 years later it hasn’t dated. The coup de grace is the zoom-in on a flickering demonic-carved pumpkin. It transfixes as the music suggests imminent doom. The tone is set.
The most famous curtain raiser in horror is for the most part bereft of dialogue. Why does Michael Myers wear a mask? There’s no explanation but there is a reason - it’s Halloween. It went with the rest of his costume. Why does Michael let his sister’s defiler go? Is he too young to overpower the boyfriend? Or is it because this is mass murderer in chrysalis: Judith is after all his first kill.
The next scene is a prime example of forward motion storytelling. Michael’s escape builds his mystique. A key factor in this is his sparing of Nurse Marion. He could have killed her.
Haddonfield looks wholesome in the fall. Dull but more green than grey. The community is built close knit and house proud. Their walk paths and roads are clean and unthreatening. This is a uniform haven of safe and ordinary. Suburbia is a fool’s beautiful paradise. Jamie Lee Curtis walks us through it.
Jamie Lee was 19 years old when her feature debut was released. Much has been made of the fact that her mother, Janet Leigh, is the Psycho starlet but Tippi Hedren was more Hitchcock’s muse than Leigh was. The Birds was not shot as a horror film (neither was Psycho) though a remake should be. Tippi was more beautiful than Janet and her daughter Melanie Griffith was more beautiful than Jamie Lee. Melanie was 21 when Halloween was released. What if?..
Jamie Lee played Laurie Strode as an ordinary gal. Her clothes, hair, makeup, her awkwardness and lack of glamour encapsulated the town and accentuated the threat. Audience identification is paramount with the final girl and Jamie Lee’s performance is a gem. Would the course of horror/slasher movie history have been different if Melanie Griffith had played the role? Jamie Lee Curtis is one of few scream queens who have escaped the ghetto of horror. Both she and Melanie have had wonderful careers.
In movies horror comes at night while daylight is a reprieve. Not so in Halloween. This film is equal parts stalker as it is slasher. Michael searches Haddonfield to find his target on her way home from school. Laurie is with Anne and Lynda. They become targets too. Carpenter uses this stalker device to keep Act 2 tension saturated. Of course there is also Dr Loomis.
There are no names above the title in horror films. Fear is the star. Ergo these movies can serve as a jump for young actors: Johnny Depp in A Nightmare on Elm Street, Renee Zellweger in Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation and keep an eye on Tanedra Howard of the forthcoming Saw 6. By the same token many films employ an older experienced actor for gravity, quality if not for a familiar face: John Saxon in A Nightmare on Elm Street, Anne Heche in I Know What You Did Last Summer, Tony Goldwyn in The Last House on the Left 2009. The characters they play sometimes serve as seers – warning the unheeding of the evil to come: Tony Todd in Final Destination Donald Pleasance in Halloween.
A veteran of over 50 films prior to 1978 you’d seen him before even if you didn’t remember where. The Great Escape? James Bond? The Pleasance subplot is Dr Loomis as dragon slayer. He hunts the stalker. He is two steps behind but he is coming. The stalker turns into slasher and before it is too late Loomis does what the Final Girl couldn’t. It’s a better film for it.
Halloween was filmed in Panavision and the 2.35 ratio is glorious. Carpenter’s widescreen exteriors are lush foregrounds and detailed backgrounds. They paint a pretty picture of Haddonfield. His interiors are angular and compressing, darkness and shadows where a monster creeps in and out of. I remember my cousins shrieking.
I’m impressed now.
Artwork © 2007 The Weinstein Company. All Rights Reserved.
The 2:35 aspect ratio is retained but that doesn’t mean it will be used. The opening shot is of the Myers house.
Is that the Myers house?
The Myers’ has been transformed into a white trash abode with a wink at step-incest. What happened to the handsome middle class family? Or is it only the unfortunates who become scum? Methinks the filmmaker missed the point.
Written, directed and produced (plus ‘musical supervisor’ – the closest to ‘composer’ he could get) by one Rob Zombie. The studio may have given him a budget to make a movie but those credits do not make him an auteur.
The Myers family war over breakfast with a baby in a pram as witness. Yes that baby is Laurie Strode. Zombie’s version is a look at the origins of the monster Michael Myers. In doing so he dispels the mystique. What is mysterious in ’78 is diluted in ’07 as stock characterization. Cramming swear words into a scene does not give it authenticity.
Mama Myers is a stripper and that’s how she dresses when summoned to Michael’s principal. He introduces Malcolm McDowell – in what looks like drag – as Dr Loomis, a child psychologist. Turns out Michael likes to torture and kill animals.
“Typically the thrill of hurting or causing pain
to small creatures, it’s often an early
warning sign.” – Dr Loomis
Cause and effect. Writing by the illiterate. Michael tortures animals so he’s a serial killer in the making. I don’t care how many serial killers tortured animals and were bullied and had stripper moms – in fiction it’s a cliché. Write me something new.
Mom is looking good for a small town mother-of-three stripper though.
Michael likes to wear masks. He wears one when he ambushes his bully and wields a tree branch to beat him to death. It’s a good scene. The tension is ratcheted because it’s unclear whether he’ll finish bully boy off or spare him as he begs for his life.
Night becomes Halloween in Haddonfield. Mom goes off to work and Michael murders step dad, sister and her beau. He spares the baby.
“Loomis has now been appointed by Judge Masterson
to oversee Myers’ care while incarcerated here
at Smith Grove (sanatorium).” – TV bulletin
Loomis’ tape recording equipment looks like it was dug up from a 1950s time capsule. I suppose if that’s what the director wants. Michael still likes his masks but is becoming more withdrawn. One day he stabs a nurse in the neck with a fork. She doesn’t survive (despite this Loomis is kept on the case for the next 15 years). Mom is so distraught she shoots her own head off.
If it aint broke don’t try to fix it – DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
15 years later and Michael still wears his hand made paper masks. Only now he’s grown into a hulk with his long greasy hair over his face. He looks like a WWE creation. Dr Loomis retires to flog his book on the lecture circuit. This is the single innovation Zombies infuses in his script but he doesn’t develop it mores the pity.
In 1978 Michael was already loose when he hijacked Nurse Marion’s vehicle. This worked in terms of story dynamics because how do you escape from a high security nuthouse? Rob Zombie’s ‘reimagining’ of this scene showcases the best part of his writing. Unfortunately it also showcases the worst.
The white trash family, the bullies in the boys room and the redneck janitors at Smith Grove are the best verbal scenes. The dialogue is dynamic and the characters interact with each other. The janitors especially are write constructed characters. The actors have chemistry and their exchanges are crisp and funny.
Inexplicably they assault a giant thereby committing suicide and allowing his escape.
Up until this point the film does have a momentum of its own. The material is original though predictable – it’s straight to video fare. There is neither subtlety nor mythology. Then it goes downhill from there.
There is a continuity logic problem. A janitor arrives in the morning to discover a slew of corpses. Michael kills him and escapes. It’s not until night time when Dr Loomis receives a call with the cops all over Smith Grove like they just arrived.
However there is another good scene. Why does Michael wear a jumpsuit? It’s incidental. In ’78 he killed a Phelps mechanic (off screen) for his clothes. In ’07 he kills Joe Grisly – another blue collar loudmouth - in full view. Clearly Zombie has a talent for working class speech and straight forward action. Horror and the middle classes are not his forte.
The next scene is of Haddonfield on Halloween day. The musical cue is Pat Ballard’s Mr Sandman - a nod to Halloween 2 (and H20). In 2007 the town has lost its sheen. Zombie shoots in brighter lighting and to his credit
This all new Laurie is hip and glam. She and her friends talk like they’re auditioning for The Hills. Perhaps this is how American teens communicate with each other in the same way the mafia learnt how to dress by watching The Godfather. However these kids don’t just speak to each other, their speech is sing-song to each other. Is anyone reading this from
Cue cell phone not working. Though in this case I think it’s a wink. The killing starts at night and there’s another 40 minutes to go in this 110 minute movie.
Zombie changes made are Michael killing Loomis and Laurie killing Michael. Why the changes? Malcolm McDowell is no Donald Pleasance. He is not earnest, he is not anxious, he is not frightened. Brad Dourif plays the sheriff but he should have played Loomis because McDowell plays him as a creep. This is not the kind of man to save the Final Girl. So Michael kills him.
Another notable change is the absence of the supernatural. In ’78 when Jamie Lee Curtis asks “Was that the boogieman?” no one laughed. In 2007 the politically correct Laurie Strode blows his monster head off (off camera).
Don’t expect big things from the Laurie Strode 2007 actress. She’s dull, line-reciting, anonymous. The only lead to carry his weight is Daeg Faerch, the 10 year old Michael Myers. He stands out in this film but he aint Christian Bale in Empire of the Sun.
Halloween 2007 was shot in Super 35 with no depth or width. You could watch it on your ipod and it wouldn’t make a difference. As bad as Rob Zombie’s film is it won’t hurt the original. Halloween 1978 is firmly in the public consciousness, score and all. It will continue to be shown on TV worldwide in glorious Panavision. Zombie’s film did however score at the box office and the bottom line is a green light. It’s such a shame John Carpenter hasn’t made a good film in 23 years.
For fans of the franchise the Halloween 2 remake is released 28th August in