My Top Ten…I Mean, 13 Favorite Horror Movies

You're sooooo good lookin

I first have to post a disclaimer: After numerous debates with fellow Bums Logic blogger Jr. Worthy and Ms. FJB, I want to make it very clear that what I define as a “horror” movie is not always in line with what others do. For instance, is Jaws a horror movie? Is Silence of the Lambs? Some say they are “thrillers” and that true horror movies need to contain an element of the supernatural like The Exorcist does. I will argue that mother fuckin Michael Myers has some supernatural powers, okay?

#13 – Hellraiser
Bondage-clad evildoers, skinless-men, some sort of evil box that unleashes demons, and one of the most iconic bad guys in modern horror movie history: Hellraiser. Not the most popular film on the list, but one that made me never want to have my skin ripped off via hooks and chains. Not that I needed a movie to make me realize that.

#12 – The Exorcist
Most critics and fans think this is amongst–if not the–best horror movie ever made. While it’s extremely hard for me to argue against that point, this is, after all, a list of my favorite horror movies. I do love The Exorcist (not loving it is like not loving pizza). Who doesn’t want to watch a child’s head spin 360 degrees while puking on a priest as she tries to seduce him? I won’t even insert a joke here.

#11 – The Blair Witch Project
Let’s get one thing straight: if you are camping out in the woods in the middle of nowhere and you suddenly hear little children playing outside your tent…in the dark of the night…run! That is, unless you want to find yourself staring at images of bloody hand prints on a wall while some witch clobbers your friends and steals your camera.

#10 – Alien
The first time I watched Alien was the first time I almost puked during a movie. When that freakin little fucker came tearing out of John Hurt’s stomach and started galloping around the room like Mick Jagger on acid I had to turn the movie off. Nightmares for months…still have them today! Which also led to me having to constantly ask my mom if there was ever a chance that a baby alien could pop out of my stomach, because every time I got a stomach ache I convinced myself that was the case.

#9 – Hostel
After I watched this movie I had two thoughts: 1. I am never going to eastern Europe and 2. Please tell me these kind of places don’t actually exist.

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An Interview With Filmmaker Josh Bolton

Sometime around 1992 or ’93 I met and befriended a guy from Baltimore named Josh. Josh had a band. I had a band. Our bands sometimes played together. Our bands were friendly with each other.  Our bands sounded absolutely nothing alike.  Josh and I had a short-lived band together called Firewheel. Firewheel was the biggest band around that never played a gig or wrote an actual song. Firewheel is the best band you never heard. A few years later, around 2004, Josh got in touch with me and asked me to contribute some scoring for an East Coast surfing documentary he was filming called Drawing Lines. Since then, there have been other collaborations with music and film. I find Josh to be interesting, funny, and friendly, which means if you’ve gotten this far into this paragraph, you might think so too.

josh-boltonYou have a background in both art and music–and you’re pretty damn good at both–so what got you interested in film?
The philosophical answer is that film is the combination of art and music. But the reality of it was that is was 1992 and my band, Juice, needed a video. Technology wasn’t at a point where everyone had a video camera and Final Cut, actually computers didn’t even have CD burners. So I drove eight hours to a friends college on winter break and put together a VHS compilation video using a 2 channel switcher.

Ok, so not to ask the most obvious question, but who would you say are your biggest influences in filmmaking?
Good question. My answer is probably as obvious as the question. Steve Spielberg, Geo. Lucas, Rob Reiner. Anything I saw on the big screen or the boob tube while I was growing up has been indelibly etched on my memory card.

If you had a choice to work with one male actor and one female actor–dead or alive–who would it be?
I don’t often work with actors, most of my work is done with reality stars and regular people, but if I had to choose…

Male Actor: Zach Galifinikas… because his name starts with a “Gal” and ends with a “kiss.” But seriously, Zach’s not that gifted, but he works harder than anybody else. That resonates with me a lot. It’s not how talented you are, but how hard you are willing to work.

Female Actor: Rashida Jones – she’s hot, she’s funny, she’s Quincy’s daughter. Done deal.

If you were an actor, what filmmaker would you most want to work with?
If I were an actor, I would want to work with Todd Phillips. His movies, The Hangover, Old School, look like a blast to work on and he’s got wicked street cred from his first film The Hated (his GG Allin documentary ). He actually dropped out of NYU Film School to promote it.

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Not So Much a Review – Bad Teacher

So last night I went to see Bad Teacher and overall I have to say I give it a “thumbs up.”  The story, while certainly not the strongest point of the film, certainly doesn’t cause any harm.  Walking out of the theater I thought about what I just watched and while nothing about the plot really stood out as amazing story telling I still liked it and I think any reasonable person that isn’t too high brow would enjoy it as well.

Bad Teacher Movie Poster

Face it, she's hot.

One spot where the movie really shines, Cameron Diaz.  For the life of me I can’t think of why so many people hate on her so much.  If you ask me about Ms. Diaz all I can say is “Yes Please and Thank You!”  Addressing the haters out there, what is there to not like about her?  First of all she is funny as shit.  Can you name another comedic actress working in film that is as consistently funny as her?  Sure maybe, but are they as hot as Cameron Diaz?  Oh, so you don’t think she is that attractive huh?  Well, can you think of another actress that has ever uttered a phrase even remotely as hot and naughty as ‘Honey I am going to suck your dick like I’m mad at it’?  Well?

The entire cast gives good performances and that includes that kid from N’Sync.  Although I hate to admit it, JT is a pretty talented performer.  Those days at Disney in his early years are really paying off.  Another strong performance that can only be discounted due to limited screen time is that of Jason Segal.  That dude is a freakin comedic acting wizard.  I am glad to say that I will enjoy watching his career path over the years to come.  The guy has a shit ton of talent and I would rate his career as a strong buy (not exactly a weak limb I’m stepping out on here.)  If you don’t watch How I Met Your Mother or have never seen Forgetting Sarah Marshall do yourself a favor quit your job and get that shit from Netflix.  While you will still be unemployed after watching all of those disc at least you will have laughed a hell of a lot before you have to start your job search.

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Why Toy Story Matters

In the first Toy Story movie, we meet Woody, the Tom Hanks-voiced cowboy who’s concerned about being replaced by a shiny new space toy. Then we are introduced to said shiny new space toy Buzz Lightyear, and he slowly realizes that he’s not a real space ranger, but just a toy.

Self-esteem issues and jealousy? Coming to grips with the limitations of reality? Is this any way to launch a kids-movie franchise? I guess so, judging by its success.

Toy Story (and its subsequent sequels) did what most movies aspire to do: inspire children, keep the attention of adults, and somehow really entertain both groups simultaneously (and make loads of money at the box office and with product tie-ins). While bringing toys to life (in often creative and hilarious fashion), it also did something else: it examined not just what we play with, but how we play.

By focusing on how we play, we learn about how we think and the limitless possibilities of imagination. Pretty lofty stuff for a cartoon.

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About the Grading Scale

As I previously mentioned in Making the Grade, over the years I have come up with a grading system when it comes to rating a ‘Teen Comedy.’  Essentially the system is a simple method of providing review in such a manner that no words could be lifted and taken out of context in any manner.

I Love You, Beth Cooper Movie Poster

Without the side boob this movie is an F for failure.

For example, When I say the movie ‘Clueless’ is an A+ any reasonable person, familiar with traditional grading scales used throughout the vast majority of US education systems, could easily deduce that I do in fact think it is a quality movie.  On the other hand, saying something like “Hayden Panettiere delivers an unbelievable, less than riveting, poor porformance,” in reference to the less than average film I Love You,  Beth Cooper could lead to someone simply carefully lifting certain words to say  ‘Hayden Panettiere delivers”…JrWorthy, Bums Logic.

My point is there is no way anyone could spin my grade of ‘D’ for I Love You,  Beth Cooper.  The only reason it doesn’t totally fail is the split second shot of Hayden’s side boob.  Sure she is small and looks like a little kid but she is legal.

Making the Grade

Clueless Movie Poster

Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash and Brittany Murphy. Who wouldn't?

Everyone has their personal favorite film genre.  Bums Logic’s own Jaded Bitterman will be the first to tell you about his love of all things horror.  If it involves some young teens finding themselves in a secluded area with nothing to do but drink and fuck whilst unbeknownst to them a homicidal maniac lurks in the shadows waiting to disembowel them, the you can be rest assured JB loves it.

I, on the other hand, prefer a different genre that involves teens and that is a category I refer to simply as the Teen Comedy.  There is something about the genre that just gets my insides all wrapped up and excited.  I guess it is the 14-year-old girl who lives inside of me that can’t get enough of the angst and hi-jinks of life in simpler times when all I had to worry about was how are we going to get alcohol and where can we drink it without getting caught.  At the very least we threw caution to the wind in regard to the impending bludgeoning at the hands of the aforementioned homicidal maniac lurking in the bushes the moment we decided to reach up her shirt and touch a boob.  Thought bubble, “Now that I am up her shirt do I try to unhook her bra or just try to slide my hand under the cup but over the wire?” Ah, good times.

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“Our Time” at Fast Times at Ridgemont High

In 1982 I was 9 years old. Way too young to truly understand the meanderings of stoned high school kids. It would be many years before I understood lines such as “when a guy has an orgasm how much comes out?” and “all I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I’m fine.” I mean, I knew what waves were.

I don’t need to go into the history or backstory of this movie because if you haven’t seen it already, well, then you must hate America and probably don’t support the troops! Let me go out on a limb here and say, at least in my humble opinion, this is the single best high school comedy of all time. I said it: all time. There are plenty of other worthy comedies about teenage escapades but none is as close to my heart as Fast Times is. I have seen the movie a thousand times if I have seen it once. I think Sean Penn should get a retroactive Oscar for his portrayal of stoner/surfer Jeff Spicoli (“doesn’t this stuff give you brain damage?”).

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