Sean Bridgers

31 Days of Horror - October 2011

They said it couldn’t be done. A fifth year of 31 Days of Horror? 31 more terror, gore and shower scene-filled movies worth highlighting? But Rejects always say die and never back away from a challenge (unless you count that time Kate Erbland was dared to walk like a man while singing “Walk Like a Man” and wearing an inflated latex glove on her head), so we’ve rounded up the horror fans among us and put together another month’s worth of genre fun. Enjoy! Synopsis: Even though it’s a sequel to a 2009 film called The Offspring, Lucky McKee’s The Woman can stand fine on its own as a super weird and super horrific tale of misogyny taken to its furthest extent. That film introduces us to a clan of cannibals who abduct and devour townsfolk somewhere in the Northeast. It details the fate of the last surviving member of this clan (Pollyanna McIntosh) and what happens when a hunter comes upon her one day when he’s out in the woods. Which begs the question, what would you do if you came across a cannibalistic woman bathing in a river? Because this creep (Sean Bridgers) decides to chain her up down in his root cellar and instruct his family through the process of trying to civilize her. And, even worse, this guy being an abusive, creepy misogynist, his idea of civilizing someone probably resembles psychological torture and sexual abuse much more than other people’s. Revenge scenarios follow.

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The Coroner

Director Lucky McKee’s most recent film, The Woman, garnered a lot of critical praise at Sundance in 2011 but gained the most publicity when some old codger decided to have a freak out that was caught on tape where he said the film was degrading to women and demanded it be burned. Luckily for the sake of art and free speech, the negative was not burned and the film has indeed been released on DVD and Blu-ray. The film follows the Cleek family and their zany adventures trying to ‘civilize’ a wild woman the patriarch finds in the woods. I put civilize in quotes back there because that’s how the film is officially described, but in my book giving someone a bath and making them wear clothes doesn’t actually amount to trying to civilize them. No, for that, one must teach them proper dining etiquette. Obviously, as this is branded a horror film, the titular woman chained up in the basement must cause some havoc, though she’s not the true villain in this story.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr gets ready to celebrate Halloween in style with some horror releases… and he’s not just thinking of Footloose. Unhappy with his life, he follows the bucket list path of Steve Martin, Owen Wilson and Jack Black, traveling to the bottom of the world where he finds himself in a small Antarctic town that has outlawed dancing. So Kevin takes it upon himself to help the people get their groove on only to discover they’ve been taken over an alien species that duplicate human form. Later, he takes a trip back to the heartland where he finds a feral woman chained in a cellar… pretty standard for some of the towns he’s been to. Finally, not being able to find a theater that is still playing Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence), he checks it out On Demand and promptly throws up.

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By now, most die-hard movie fans have seen the YouTube video of the man storming out of a screening of Lucky McKee’s film The Woman at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, but not very many people have had a chance to see the film and why this guy left in such a huff. This coming weekend, dead in the middle of October, McKee’s new and controversial film opens in limited release, the first theatrical run the director has had since May released in 2003. May helped propel McKee into horror film stardom, so much so that with just this film under his belt, he was dubbed a “master of horror” by Showtime, who invited him to direct an episode of their series of the same name. The Woman is a sequel to the horror film Offspring, about a group of cannibals who live in the woods. The leader of this group, a feral woman (Pollyanna McIntosh), returns as the victim in The Woman. While on a weekend hunting excursion, the father (Sean Bridgers) of a rural family discovers she’s living in the wild. He then captures her, chains her in his cellar, and tries to make her civilized in the most uncivilized ways. McKee took some time to chat about his new film, why it makes people so uncomfortable, and how he’s not afraid of being labeled a horror director.

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The Woman is a harrowing and often darkly hilarious horror satire about family values, feminism, and the nature of violence from the twisted minds of Lucky McKee and Jack Ketchum. A true find at Sundance for all fans who love gore and the twisting of Americana. From the beginning of the film, it’s clear that the Cleek family of Maine has a lot underneath the surface. That’s made even more prominent when head-of-household Chris (Sean Bridgers of HBO’s Deadwood) bags a feral woman (Pollyanna McIntosh) outside the family farm. Chris’ idea is to have the family train her in the ways of civilization.

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