Thursday, October 22, 2015


Three weeks in, one more to go! Just to recap, the goal is to watch 40 horror movies this month and I'm accepting pledges per movie watched, raising money for both Planned Parenthood and Reach Counseling Services in Neenah, WI. If you'd like to pledge or know more about the Scare-A-Thon, shoot me an email at john.marcus.pata (at)

Check out week one's viewings and what I put my eyes on for week two.

21. LOVE IN THE TIME OF MONSTERS (2014) - First Time Viewing
Seems fitting to pop in Love after Sleepwalkers, as this one is quite bizarre, as well. Deep in the woods lays a good ole fashioned tourist trap - a cabin resort run by a Croatian dude named Uncle Slavko that's focused around Bigfoot. It's a real family friendly place, that is, until a group of Sasquatch-clad employees (including genre mainstay Kane Hodder) fall into a toxic virus-ridden swamp, turning them into zombie Sasquatch-clad employees. As one would expect, all hell breaks loose around the resort.

I am completely smitten with the movie Love wants to be. It's absurd, over-the-top, filled with quirky characters and one-liners, and completely ridiculous - all the makings to produce a very solid and fun-filled horror comedy. Sadly, the script - primarily the dialogue - just isn't as smart as it wants to be, making the film inferior to what it's strives for. As a whole, the script felt like a first draft, never getting polished, fleshed out, or reworked. If someone told me this was written in 2005, I would totally buy it. A good portion of the humor/jokes feel dated, never getting beefed up like they should have. Once shit gets chaotic, our characters are jumping all over the place, speaking and behaving in a way that would make you believe they've been in survival mode for months, but in reality, it's only been minutes. I know we're talking about a very outlandish idea here, but the script lacked a lot of common sense and rational. There's also some unforgivably bad CGI that really killed certain moments for me.

However, even though there was a lot I found lacking, there is still plenty to enjoy. A lot of humor missed the mark for me, but there were still laugh-worthy moments. Doug Jones has a bit part as an Abe Lincoln performer who also happens to be a doctor, and his time on screen were hilarious. Hugo Armstrong's character of Chester, the obligatory backwoods hunter determined to track and kill Bigfoot even if it's one of the staff dressed up as the monster, was so successful, it almost felt like he was written by someone else (in comparison to all the other characters). And, one should mention the bloodshed is rather fantastic. When used, the practical effects were very satisfying for gorehounds.

A group viewing would be ideal, but on your own, it's not a waste by any stretch of the imagination. I just wish the script would have been workshopped more.

Thursday, October 15, 2015


Two weeks in and I'm still on track to hit 40 movies this month. Just to recap, I'm accepting pledges per movie watched, raising money for both Planned Parenthood and Reach Counseling Services in Neenah, WI. If you'd like to pledge or know more about the Scare-A-Thon, shoot me an email at john.marcus.pata (at)

If you missed it, check out the recap of week one's viewings.

Now, onto this week's movies! 

Full disclosure:  I'm pretty much a big fan of the 1950s, especially the music. When a film sets itself in that world - let alone a horror film - it makes me happy. Sure, Hello Mary Lou only starts in 1957 and flashes back time to time, but the charm of '57 is present throughout. 

When a recently crowned prom queen (Mary Lou) gets set ablaze out of jealousy in 1957, her angry spirit gets stowed away in a trunk (obviously) in the basement of Hamilton High, waiting to reclaim her title. Skip ahead to 1987, the students of Hamilton are prepping for the prom. Enter prom queen prospect Vicky Carpenter and her over-bearing mother who insists Vicky reuses an old dress for the dance. "But mom, I don't want to wear my green dress!" Well, Vicky, you're in luck. Open up that mysterious trunk you just found and rock a new dress. Oh, and enjoy being possessed by the Mary Lou Maloney. 

Hello doesn't try to be anything but dumb fun. It's chock full of good one-liners, over-the-top demises of annoying high schoolers, some bitchin' tunes, and Michael Ironside. I mean, who doesn't enjoy seeing Ironside pop up in random titles. While Hello is entertaining and silly at times, it never fully becomes the party movie it wants to be. None of the characters aside from Mary Lou are memorable, the deaths occur periodically, and there isn't one effect that left me amazed. Even the film's climax isn't deserving of prom queen status, maybe more like freshman representative. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


I'm hoping to post a weekly recap of my views and thoughts. So far, I'd say we're off to a pretty good start!

1. WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS (2014) - First Time View
To kick off the month, I headed to New Zealand. Well, okay, I didn't actually travel there, rather checked out this flick from some of the Flight of the Concords gang. A "documentary" crew follows around a group of vampires, all of which are hundreds of years old, living together in Wellington.

Without a doubt, Shadows puts an entertaining and charming spin on the vampire mythos. Everything we know about creatures of the night is here, but presented in a unique manner.  They fight about doing the dishes, meeting women, run into the opposing gang (who are werewolves not swear-wolves), and try to get accustomed to life in the 21st century. Clocking in at a sleek 86 runtime, it did loose some steam as it went on. I think there's an outstanding 30 minute episode located underneath all the fat. Don't get me wrong, it's quite successful, but the gimmick got old and exhausted by the time the end credits rolled. The humor worked, however, I only truly laughed out loud a few times.

When I think back on the film, I think fondly of it, which makes me think I enjoyed it more than I did. I could see myself benefitting from an eventual second viewing, especially to laugh at my favorite line again. When talking about why vampires prefer virgin blood, Vladislav states, "I think of it like this. If you are going to eat a sandwich, you would just enjoy it more if you knew no one had fucked it."