Scream

IntroHorrorJudgment

Let’s not pretend for a second that most horror movie characters function past the same depth and motivation as your average porn movie repair man. Everything is a set up to get to the main course, which in this case is terrible bodily harm. All of that said, some characters do tend to be much stupider than others – or at least dip into an insane moment of stupidity from time to time. After all, how are they going to get killed in that abandoned house without at some point thinking it’s a good idea to enter it? Let’s all run up the stairs together:

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Remake Star Wars

If you already have low expectations for Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, you might not be interested in seeing the first film by Norwegian director Tommy Wirkola. It won’t exactly do much for your interest in the new action-infused fairy tale. But if you’re like me and are fascinated by the calling card short films of Hollywood moviemakers, you’ll want to check out Remake. Anyway, it’s under seven minutes, so you’re not wasting too much time. The short was produced in Australia in 2006, and Wirkola shares helming duties on the film with Kit McDee (who has his own action feature with the word “hunters” in it out this year called The Hunters Club Movie). They both also co-star as hotel desk clerks (or owners?) who offer guests homemade Betamax videos featuring cheap remakes of popular movies (Titanic, Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, Scream and Deep Throat are among the titles we see). Basically these movies have been “sweded,” although Remake was made before Be Kind Rewind, which coined that term and popularized the concept.

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As most of us no doubt know, it’s hard enough just to live with yourself after committing a gruesome murder – let alone dealing with logistics of the body and police and all that jazz. Thank god the act itself can be done pretty easily these days – what with all the guns and knives and catapults we have access to. Of course the problem is that your victim is always going to see it coming when you’re wheeling out your homemade trebuchet, which is why the best weapon is the one that’s right under their noses. The moving pictures know this, and have given us some remarkable kills with very unremarkable items in the past… Oh also – be warned now, the following is pretty gross.

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Who doesn’t love watching teenagers fight? These days it’s just nice to see them doing something that gets them outside and moving around – not to mention the wonders it does for team building skills and self esteem issues. Compared to them sitting in a moist den somewhere playing Skyrim and housing six servings of Zesty Salsa Combos, youth violence isn’t the worst fate for our nation’s children. Anyhoo – Here are some of the better films that celebrate the time-honored tradition of kids punching each other to pass the time.

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Boiling Point

I guess I’m feeling pretty violent these days, since last week I talked about how more people on TV needed to die and we’re revisiting the subject of death again this week. Though, with a slightly different slant – whereas previously I wanted more death, now I want that same amount of death, but slower. In television, everyone seems like they’re in a huge hurry to die. Granted, the world of make believe is at least as dangerous as the real one, in fact, it’s infinitely more so. In a regular day, most of us won’t contend with tornadoes, Megasnakes, Sharktopi, advanced alien civilizations, primitive monsters, serial killers, psycho killers, bank robbers or mutated man-beast hybrids. Sure, there are some exceptional days, but for the most part we don’t have as much to worry about. Regardless of what Last Action Hero says, I think we also have it safer, after all, we don’t just instantly drop dead at the slightest provocation.

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Editor’s Note: We’ve spent a while searching for a fitting replacement for Ashe (who we still miss), but we’re elated to welcome David Christopher Bell to our team. He’ll be writing insightful lists for us every Thursday from now until we stop blackmailing him for that thing he did in Florida in 1986. Please give him a warm welcome! It’s funny. After Anthony Perkins first appeared as Norman Bates there was absolutely no going back from it. No matter what role he was put in after Norman, when audiences looked at him all they could see was the shower-interrupting taxidermologist that they feared so deeply. This proved to be a major hindrance in his career, causing him never to land any major role in the industry afterward. Now if only he had worn a mask. After all, if horror films have taught us anything it’s that no matter how effective a performance is, if you have a bunch of rubber on your face, mainstream audiences aren’t going to end up learning your name or recognizing your face. So in the interest of giving credit where credit is due, the following are some of those very names and faces that are responsible for some of the greatest movie nightmares of modern horror. People who you could walk right by on the streets and never know that they are to thank for all those times your childhood-spawned neuroses forced you to double-check under your bed.

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Scream 4 couldn’t have been an easy film to make. Rumored production issues aside — and the fact that movies are just hard to make in general – Wes Craven had to reignite a post-modern franchise after an eleven-year absence. What happened during all those years? Homages, rip offs, and more self-loving meta horror films. The Scream films have influenced many horror installments over the past decade, so what genre trope is left to make a snarky comment on? Not many. Besides that, being meta in itself is a gigantic hurdle to overcome. For one, there’s often a certain degree of smugness that’s attached to that type of tone. Watching a film that goes all, “Look how smart and clever we are!” is like listening to an annoying know-it-all. And, more often than not, those type of films become exactly what they were making fun of. Self-referential can easily turn into self-parody, as Wes Craven mentions below. Here’s what he had to say about carefully deconstructing the genre, his young filmmaker sensibility versus his older one, and more:

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Drinking Games

This past spring, Wes Craven brought the Scream franchise back to life with the fourth installment in the trilogy. (That works, doesn’t it?) This time, instead of an homage to horror movies, or an homage to horror movies within a horror movie, Craven serves up a movie within a movie homage to horror movies within a movie. It gets a bit complicated, so you’ll want to relax when you watch it and not try to figure it all out. Cheers! Today, Scream 4 (or SCRE4M, to the cool cats) is available on DVD and Blu-ray, hot off the heels of Craven announcing he’s planning a fifth and sixth movie. Now with four movies available at home, you can enjoy a Scream-a-thon with drinking at this party.

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When faced with impending doom, people fit into two camps: fight or flight. Most basic instincts tell them to run from disaster, while risk takers and crazies instead rush right into the line of fire. In film, it’s a lot more exciting to watch those lacking common sense battle Armageddon, pirates, or hired thugs. We pick our sides and sit back as other people fight against an unreal force. However, movies have led us to believe that we must outlive the baddie in less than two and a half hours, or we’ll just become collateral damage. The world coming to an end has such a sense of urgency that it is almost impossible to avoid getting swept away by films like War of the Worlds, Zombieland, and Deep Impact, regardless of quality. Uncontrollable circumstances make it both exciting and unbelievable, but what about the films trying to be more than just an action piece? Romantic relationships shoved into the subplot of any film can feel contrived more often than not, and it’s most noticeably offensive when the world is coming to an end. Using whatever ingrained war skills or developing a game plan for the impending (and completely likely) zombie apocalypse should be priority number one over hanky panky. Or making it out of the dilemma zone of a volcano should take precedent over locking lips. Sometimes sex furthers the plot, rounds out a genre, or is just straight up gratuitous, but sex has its place in action films. However, […]

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Don’t you dare talk about Fight Club or something really, really, really bad is going to happen.

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Junkfood Cinema

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema, what’s that smell? Abandon all hope kids, you’ve reached the end of the Internet, somehow stumbling upon the column with the highest calorie count on the web. The cinematic selections found here are schlocky, cheesy and just plain bad but we kinda love them anyway, like Code Red Mountain Dew and slap bracelets. If that sounds like your cup of tea, then pull up a chair! Our usual host, Lord Salisbury, is otherwise occupied this week and I swear it doesn’t have anything to do with that boar attack. I’m left to pick through the sugary shards and try to point this lard barge towards the finish line. I’ll brutally savage this week’s carefully selected film with reckless abandon. But in the end, I’ll pick it up, dust it off and help it bandage the wounds. Then to top things off, I’ll choose a delicious snack of dubious healthiness for us all to enjoy, making us fatter as the movie gets dumber. This week’s tasty morsel: Scream 3

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With directors like Guillermo Del Toro, Zack Snyder, and Duncan Jones already part of their amazing Director’s Series of posters, Mondo Tees welcomes Wes Craven to the party. Mondo will debut two prints inspired by the Wes Craven films, Scream and A Nightmare on Elm Street.There are surely more to follow, so expect prints inspired by Swamp Thing, The Hills Have Eyes, and The Last House on the Left. The artist chosen to interpret these two iconic horror flicks is none other than the spectacular Alex Pardee. If you haven’t had a chance to check out Pardee, do yourself a favor. His takes on Star Wars and Watchmen both grace my walls. His art borders on some weird clash of violent and beautiful. Apparently, I am not the only one excited for these two releases. This is what Craven had to say himself: “It’s an honor and great fun to be chosen by Mondo to participate in their Director’s Series. I think the posters brim with wild imagination and sly humor. Thank you so much – I’m pleased my films have earned a place in your gallery!” The two prints release tomorrow April 14th, at a random time. Go over to MondoTees website or make sure to check out their twitter feed if you don’t want to miss these. Blink and these might pass you up, both are runs of 140. Check out both posters below:

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, we talk with a master Japanese filmmaker, a rising non-Japanese directing talent, discuss the legacy of Scream, and ask why there isn’t a modern-day Roger Corman. Takashi Miike is an incredible filmmaker, and as it turns out, a fascinating interview. Hopefully you speak Japanese, but if you don’t, the entire interview is in English. Now a staple of SXSW, Sebastian Gutierrez makes funny, sexy films that (gasp) focus on dialogue, character and cleavage. He joins me to talk about his new movie Girl Walks Into a Bar, and why making it the first film specifically made for internet distribution was the correct, crazy choice. Even though we keep hearing about a filmmaking revolution in the hands of the people, it doesn’t seem to have happened yet. Eric Vespe from Aint It Cool and Aaron Morgan from Austin join me to ask why a new workhorse/creative force hasn’t emerged with all the inexpensive cameras just lying around for the taking. Plus, Eric Vespe  continues our streak of guests named Eric (and our one-show streak of guests named Eric Vespe) by going blade to blade against Movie News Pop Quiz Champion and FSR associate editor Rob Hunter. Who will come out alive? Will it be Wes Craven‘s career? Loosen up your tie and stay a while. Listen Here: Download This Episode

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This Week in Blu-ray

It’s a big week in Blu-ray releases. Perhaps that has something to do with why this week’s column is a day late. For once, it’s an intense amount of writing and not my inherent laziness that has us talking Blu-ray on Wednesday morning rather than Tuesday. Almost 3,000 words died horrific deaths to make this week’s column come to life, and only a handful of them weren’t written by yours truly. The others were written by Rob Hunter, who stops by to give us a look inside a 14-film set of Sherlock Holmes films, none of which include Robert Downey Jr. For my part, I review my favorite film of 2010, a great and fitting pair of Criterion releases, an epic from DeMille, a season of Don Draper, the latest greatest thing from The Wire‘s David Simon, a fun Disney animated adventure and the story of a high school boy who finds out he’s a werewolf. And that’s not even the half of it. This and more in This Week in Blu-ray. Black Swan This week saw some major competition for Pick of the Week. Between the value of Mad Men and Tremé, it could have very easily been a TV season that took it. And Disney unleashed Tangled, which might just have been the best animated film of last year. And Teen Wolf hit Blu — need I say more. But I can’t help but stick with the film I named as number one on my list of the […]

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Boiling Point

This rant is entitled “Hey, Horror Movie Characters” for three reasons. One, 31 Days of Horror is in full effect and we’re talking horror every day. Two, it’s directed at characters in a horror movie. Three, I can’t put “Kill the Mother Fucker” in the subject header. I love horror movies. This much is true and obvious. That doesn’t mean I give them a blank check written out to idiocy. There are plenty of bad things in horror movies, even in good ones. Primarily, people making bad decisions. Granted our victims are almost always young teenagers, unwise in the ways of the world, potentially inebriated, and often thinking with their sex organs rather than their central nervous system. Still, even in my most obliterated of states I know that I’m not going to fit through the doggy door in the garage. So hey, horror movie characters. Quit making dumb decisions and kill the mother fucker.

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We can all calm down. Apparently McG won’t be directing the new Scream 4 featuring Katherine Heigl, written by your cousin Gary.

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PierreMorel

Two of those words in single quotation marks are movie titles. I’ll let you guess which ones. Suspense!

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WesCravenScream4

You know it’s a guaranteed thing when a “very reliable source” says it’s so. Could the master of horror be back at the helm for Scream 4?

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wes-craven02

At least, he’s not closed to the idea. But should they even be making more Scream movies?

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published: 04.16.2014
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published: 04.14.2014
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published: 04.14.2014
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published: 04.14.2014
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