Triskaidekafiles is a love letter to cheesy cinema from the 80s and 90s, with the occasional dip into other eras.  if you're a fan of MST3K, Elvira, Joe Bob Briggs, or just bad horror movies in general, Trisk is the place for you.

Filtering by Category: Thoughts

Why We Love Horror

Taking a break from the Watch-athon to share an interesting link from Syfy's (sic) news aggregation site, Blastr.

They posted this story about someone's thesis about just why we love horror, how it's encoded in our DNA to face our fears and confront them.

I like the idea, but I think a bigger part of it is that little adrenaline rush to our brain, which is more to blame for it.  Once you get past the fear, like I did, that lovely little jolt of energy, oooh.

What do you guys think?  Why do YOU love horror?


Silent But Deadly

Yay, we survived December's month long look at five bad movies!  Barely...

That said, I really REALLY enjoyed doing Silent Month! Deadly Month!  It was a blast having a single theme, and the movies were SO bad and SO enjoyable.  If it had been a different batch of five movies, or if the quality had been different, I might not have enjoyed it as much.

THAT said, don't expect the site to go to weekly reviews!  It took a lot out of me in both time and energy, and I bow to the reviewers who DO do them weekly.  And even more so to those who do videos weekly.  That is above and beyond anything I do here.  I would love to do the occasional month here and there where I do something special with more movies, but for the most part, Trisk will be sticking to the reviews on the 13th and the 26th.

Since watching all five, I've thought that I should give a rundown of them as how I'd rank each one.  You get a sense of that with my numerical ratings, although those are hardly the whole story.  So, without further adieu...

It is hard to say that the best is anything other than the original.  For the sheer fact that it is the original.  It sets the standard.  And while there's a healthy dollop of cheese, it has a pretty solid plot, and they actually work out the characterisation and psychology of Billy.  It is the closest to a serious movie, all things considered.  It's not as jawdroppingly WTF as the rest, but is a perfectly solid film.  Something the others have trouble saying.

After that, I'd go all the way to the other end and say #5, The Toy Maker is my #2.  Again, it has a decent enough, although wholly fucked up, story.  The characters were well written, mostly.  They were legitamite characters, well acted, and generally fun.  Adding on top of that the sheer bizareness of those last 20 minutes  That was amazing.  So you get a decent story, and you are picking your jaw up off the floor as things go horribly wrong at the end of the movie.  You can't ask for much more of Trisk.

Next in my hall of shame is the infamous #2.  Once they get past the flashbacks, it's a decent enough...something.  This one is mostly so high because it is so damned entertaining in just how messed up it is.  And how much of a mess.  The overuse of old footage, the characters that have zero personality, motivation, or anything to make them actual characters...this is just a movie you sit back and watch the horror of What?! unfold.  And for those reasons, it is a thing of beauty to watch.

The fourth movie in my personal rankings would be #4, Initiation.  It would be higher on this list, because it is genuinely the second best story in this entire series, but it has NOTHING TO DO WITH CHRISTMAS.  Or the series.  Or ANYthing else.  At all.  But it's a good story!  And sadly, because it is played so straight, it also gets beaten out by the previous two rankings.  This SHOULD be the #2 pick, just based on the coherency of the story.  But that takes away from the fun, doesn't it?  I mean, how little do you have to have with Christmas, that in some markets they release you as "Bugs" and no one notices?  This is a well done movie (By Trisk standards) with the slight stink of direct to video, that would be fine as a standalone, that got bizarrely shoe horned into this series for no reason.

Which leaves the absolute rock bottom of the Silent Night Deadly Night series as the dead center of the franchise, #3, Better Watch Out!  The story is okay.  It at least has one, unlike #2.  It at least ties in with the previous movies, even if that connection makes no sense. And involves a see-through skull.  But it is just so bland and lifeless.  The second movie may have been a joke, but you at least sat up and noticed it.  This movie is really just...there.  Which is a criminal offense at Triskaidekafiles.  It is beaten out in every respect by movies with better scripts, better characters, or just sheer memorable insanity.  They reached for the insanity ring with Ricky's brain bowl, but they never quite grasped the ring and ran with it.  It also takes the series out of the realm of reality (Although heightened insane reality from #2), and adds in psychics and silliness with that head.  But without owning it, it just ends up making you scratch your head.

So, that's my thoughts on how the five movies stack up against each other.  I hope everyone enjoyed this month long look at this infamous series.  As much as I enjoyed sharing the craziness with y'all.  Let me know if you enjoyed them, by leaving a comment here, or on any of our social media sites.  Want to see me do more things like this?  Let me know!

Now, I need to fix the front page...


Wax Cylinder

Hey gang!  Hope you're having some happy, holidays, and I am making a rare out of cycle posting here thanks to our friend Stuart from the Waxwork fansite.

He dropped me a line on the Waxwork review to let me know, and I pass the word on to everyone here, that after over two decades, a soundtrack for the original movie has been released!

The tracks are in a weird order, and it is only available digitally, but neither of those are deal breakers to me.

You can pick the entire soundtrack up over at the Amazon page for it.  I rarely shill products, but I thought this was worth bringing up as a happy little Boxing Day present. =)


Bloody Birthday Part 2

Wow.  I'm still surprised this site is still going two years in.  We didn't quite have the growth I would have hoped for over year two, but there was some slight growth.  And hey, staying steady is nothing to sneeze at, either.  The last few months have been terribly slow, but no great dips either, so...

There have been a good bunch of movies over year two, and I liked introducing the 'Sci-files' subset of reviews where I take a look at bad scifi movies.  I won't mix those in too often, but they do break things up, and it's a thin line sometimes.  Brain Machine was probably not the best example of a bad scifi movie to start with, but I stumbled into that as a last minute choice, and I stand by what I post.  Some things will stick, others won't.

It was unintentional, but I did notice that the review I just posted for the 1950s version of The Thing, is also Trisk' 50th review.  So many milestones!  It is also the first B&W film, which I am sure will pop up more and more, since those 50s B-movies are great for badness.

Why did I pick The Thing?  Well, the obvious reason is a remake/prequel hitting theatres tomorrow.  If I notice a good excuse to show off a classic beside the new, I am going to take it.  I am cautiously optimistic for Thing 2011, although I see ways it could go badly.  Here's hoping!  But also with our 50th, anniversary review, it gave me a good excuse to review a classic of the genre, and introduce B&W movies, so things all came together well for a fun review.  I was actually surprised at how solid the original was.

I have some big plans for year three, and some really fun stuff for the next birthday.  I've planned out some crazy stuff, and have year three almost completely mapped out.  I'm still trying to decide what to do in December, but here's a tease; I may be crazy, and I may review five movies for the month.  I'm still debating that, but it would be wild to do so.

There's also a What I'm Watching post waiting in the wings, which I've been sitting on as the fall season premiers wrap up.  I was going to post it last week, but was under the weather, and it made sense to save it for a little longer until I was clear headed, and it made sense to wait for the last few premiers to hit.  Give me another week!

And of course, Halloween is right around the corner, and the movie I've got planned for the 26th is both a trick and a treat.

So yeah, year two was awesome, the site grew in style and views, we got seen by a director of some of our reviews, which was insanely crazy cool.  We introduced new styles of movies to review, but didn't lose sight of our bread and butter.  I've drifted a little from the classic bad 80s horror, but don't worry, I have not forgotten those, and will be focusing there for awhile.  I spent maybe too much time in the 21st century during year two, and I'm aware of that.  Trisk will always have a few more recent movies for review, but the 80s are our home, and it is long past time to get back there.  But how could I not review those two Ripper movies when I saw them?  Holy crap.

Thanks everyone for viewing the site over not just this past year, but since the beginning.  You are still so special to this site, and without you guys, I'd just be shouting into the internet.  I hope to hear more from the fans.  Let me know what bad movies you want me to see, comment on the reviews and tell me what you like.  Make yourselves heard.  We're a community, and I want to know what is on your minds as much as you're seeing what's on mine.  I still know you're out there, so say hi!

Trisk goes into the future, while looking to the past!

So with that, it is official.  Year three is GO! Whoosh!


Brain Damaged

Hello, horrorheads!

What was I thinking?  Seriously, what WAS going through the addled mind of the master of Trisk?  Why the heck did I review Brain Machine?  It's not horror!

I said in a few places that I did it to do something special, something different (And boy was it different!), for Friday the 13th of May, and while that's true, it isn't the whole truth.

First of all, horror and scifi are like the bastard cousins of genres.  They almost always go hand in hand, or at WORST are walking on opposite sides of the street, glaring at each other unhappily.  But you know they secretly love each other.

Sometimes, the lines between the two are very clear, and other times they are very blurry.  You can't have your Scifi Channel without your bad horror movies.  Most of the movies I think of for this site, I first saw on Scifi in the 90s.  Even to this day, they do love their monster movies.  Hello, Mansquito.

How often did you go into the video rental place, or store, and see scifi and horror lumped into the same rack?  Hello, Alien.  Hello, Species.  Name your own examples.  The line is often very blurry.

I'm also always looking for something that isn't a slasher movie.  There's only so many Friday the 13th clones you can watch.

So that's plenty of justification for something more sciency and fictiony appearing here, but the deepest, truest truth?  I stumbled.

I was looking for a movie to fill that slot in the schedule, I knew I wanted to do something from one of my 50 packs since it had been an age and a half, and especially wanted to do something from the Scifi set, which has that mix of pure scifi and pure horror stuff.  It took me quite awhile pouring over synopses to try and find just the right movie, and a few leapt out at me.  Brain Machine was one of them, and it had a few factors I liked; it sounded cheesy, it had a number of recognisable names, and the plot SOUNDED like it had a nice body count in a murder mystery type deal, which is very much in the wheelhouse for Trisk.

And then I watched Brain Machine.

We all know how well that went over.

I took a week debating whether or not to let it go up on the site, or look for something else, and as is obvious, I decided screw it.  Review it.  The work was done, I might as well post it and see what happens.  And that's why we're here.  I want to know, 'what happened'.

I've long felt that scifi had a home here, albeit a smaller home.  I've already reviewed Species and a few other more science based movies.  I have plans of doing more, and ones even more sciency than Brain Machine turned out to be.  I've nicknamed these side-trips into science fiction as "Xenofiles" reviews, even if there aren't explicitly aliens.  I just didn't know when I'd do something more in that vein, and I didn't expect it to sneak up on me so suddenly.  But once it wsa done, well, might as well drop the hammer and see what happens.

So what did you guys think?  Did you like visiting the science side?  Saying hello to horror's kissing cousin?  I definitely plan to revisit the genre, but it is ultimately up to you guys, the audience.  Do you want to see more?  Do you want me to stop now?  Let me know!  Make your voice heard!  I do this for you guys.  I'll even take suggestions if you have a bad bit of scifi you want me to look at.

I won't do them often, like the next 'Xenofile' won't be until sometime in 2012, but I will definitely do them if there's demand.  Or I'll scrap those future plans if the screams are loud enough.  Horror will always be our bread and butter.

But we do so love our cheese.  Of all kinds.

And great.  Now I want a grilled cheese.

So that's my half-apology, half-explanation for Brain Machine, depending on if you liked it or not.  If you want more, leave a comment, an email, or post on the Facebook group.

And see you in a week.  With something that is definitely bloody.


What I'm Watching: Early May, 2011

Before diving into the few things I've watched lately, I came across a serious bit of WTF news that made my jaw clang off my desk.  Which is especially impressive, since the desk is wooden.

Remember that movie I *just* reviewed?  The Killer Eye?  Full Moon has lost their nut and decided it would be a brilliant idea, 12 years later, to make a sequel.  Yes, a sequel.  Killer Eye 2.  Whafuh?  Seriously??  I still can't believe it.  And the timing of it is what really blows my mind.  JUST as I've reviewed it, they announce the sequel.

Here's the rough plotline from Charles Band himself: "Our killer horny eyeball is back as a replica size hypnotic monster that terrorizes 5 hot chicks as they set up a Halloween haunt in an old mansion!"

Oh, Charles.  What is it with you and killer puppets/replicas?  It was cute with the first half dozen Puppet Masters, and Dolls, and Dollman, and Demonic Toys, and Blood Dolls, and...   You get the point.

This idea hurts my soul.

And speaking of Rolfe...holy crap!  The man himself replied to my reviews of Killer Eye and TNOT!  I nearly spat out my morning coffee when I saw those replies.  I've long looked forward to and dreaded someone I poke fun at coming across my reviews of their work, since this is the internet and it was inevitable.  But much like how he hoped people would get his intentions with TNOT, I hoped whoever it was that finds Trisk would understand my intentions of mocking with love, and it's clear to me that Rolfe does get that.  Of course he would.

Less soul-hurtingly, I've been watching the 1996 NBC scifi conspiracy series, Dark Skies.  I passed on this in its initial run, for whatever reason.  I can't remember now.  But man, this was some good stuff.  It's rough, it's mid 90s, it's mid 90s CGI.  But the writing is pretty solid.  I love weaving in and out of real history and UFO lore.  It's a fascinating build up of fact, and real mystery to weave together a truly interesting alternate take on what's really gone on.  It is truly a shame the show never made it any further.  If only the Scifi Channel was airing it instead, it might have lasted a few more years.  The storytelling can get a bit goofy 'monster of the week' in their attempts to give the protagonists something to do, but when it's dealing with history and such, it's pretty darned good.  If this show was made today, in a post-Lost world, it surely would have been written differently, and would have been all the stronger for it, I think.  A true shame.

And finally, Scream 4.  It has been AGES since I've watched any of the original trilogy, but the latest installment *felt* like it sat well in the Scream universe.  I especially liked one character calling Sydney the angel of death.  That's a terribly accurate description of her, with everything that's happened, and one of those knowing nods that works for the movie.  Honestly though, I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about the movie.  I loved the opening, there were some good moments, the writing wasn't bad, and the acting was pretty solid almost across the board, especially for a horror movie.  But where the movie fails was in part it's reason for being; the metatextual commentary.  Several reviewers commented that the movie gets a little up its own metatextual butt, and that's not too far off.  In some ways it's too meta, and not meta enough, somehow at the same time.  It had a few good comments on the recent state of horror, which has changed a LOT in the last ten years, but it didn't do much more than say, "I don't like torture porn" without adding anything to that discussion, or doing anything with that.  But then it goes all out to subvert the various rules and tropes of the genre from the last 30 years, but the problem there is, EVERYTHING is a cliche.  You do this, that's a cliche, you do the opposite, well...THAT has become a cliche too!  They kept saying everything was the rules of the genre to the point where such statements become meaningless to the point of annoyance.  It's a joke that would've worked a few times, but they hammered it home a few too many times.

Overall, it wasn't a bad story, but they got a bit too in love with themselves and trying to be clever, that they missed the mark more than hit it.  But a strong cast with a fun story make up for a lot of that.  It's enjoyable, but becomes frustrating at times.  I'm also not sure how I feel about the ending, and that's the most important part of this movie.  I think the twist works, and is actually pretty clever to go the route they did, I just think the motivation is a bit over the top.  That said, it's a meta moment that almost works, and is a good turn on the previous movies being inspired by horror movies of the time, and this time having the killer being inspired by the original Scream.  That makes a lot of sense, and is a good way for this to have gone.  But I never liked the whole, "We kill people because horror movies are kewl" motivation from the first movie, and this pays more than a fair share of homage to that.

If you're a fan of the originals, you might just enjoy this if you go in with an open mind and don't take it too seriously.  Lord knows I've seen worse movies than this.

That's it for now, keep an eye out for the next review, something with a little less Rolfe, thankfully!


Things To Come

Hello, Philes!

No What I'm Watching post this week, saving up stuff for later in the month.  But I thought I'd post a quick state of the website post.

Don't worry, nothing major or bad, things are going along as planned, and we're still doing bad movies here.

Normally at Trisk, we look at movies before 2000.  There are a number of reasons for this, some of which can be guessed at, but mainly something shifted in the 21st century.  Part of it is the ease of CGI, part of it is the slow demise of home video.  There's still a direct to dvd market, but it isn't really the same as the 80s, is it?

That being said, the "Before 2000" rule is really more of a guideline.  I never want to touch on something TOO new, but sometimes, bad movies from recent years leap up, grab my face, and demand being reviewed.  And in such cases, if I feel they're worthy, I shall do so.

Which brings us to the March movies.  When I was researching the Ted Savini movie, "The Ripper" I came across a number of other Jack the Ripper movies, as I'm sure the readers can imagine.  I aquired two of them, part of a series even, and man are they bad.

So, March has been declared Ripper month.  And unlike previous theme months, I'm actually pulling this one off!  On the 13th, look for my review of Ripper: Letter from Hell, and on the 26th, keep your eyes peeled for Ripper 2: Letter from Within.  The first came out in 2000, and the latter in 2004, which I struggled with whether or not it should be given the full treatment.

But oh, do they deserve it.

Now, I just need to decide if Birdemic should be torn to pieces or not...

Seeya in the torture chamber,


What I'm Watching: Early Novemner, 2010

Hello, horrorheads!

It is November, and I am neck deep in words while working on NaNoWriMo.  Things are going great word wise.  The story...well, not so much.  I'm sure it's fine for an alpha draft, probably even better than that, but I've hit a rough patch that's making me grumpy.  And for a horror story, I need more horror.

But I digress!  We know I hate everything, and I hate my own stuff the most.  Y'all are here to see what I think about other stuff, not stroke my own ego.  Or punch it in the kidneys in my case.

So, what AM I watching?

Since I'm so busy writing, not a whole lot.  The DVD stacks are getting oppresive in their size.  But I do still sneak in a few things here and there.

A most eagerly awaited movie I was waiting for was Red: Werewolf Hunter, a Scifi Channel movie.  Yes, something I *wanted* to see on Scifi Channel.  This was, surprisingly good!  Felicia Day was as awesome as I expected to be, the acting for most of the main cast was solid enough.  Stephen McHattie was a little scenery chewer as the werewolf leader, but hey, I expect that from my villains.  The effects were cheesey, there wasn't much to the plot that was that special, but when Scifi has such a history of delivering crap, well...this is a cubic zirconia in the crap wishing it was a diamond.

Also on Scifi recently was Sharktopus.  Holy shit this was awesome.  I was keeping a running death toll and by the end of the movie hit a whopping 30+ deaths.  That's over one death every three minutes!  This was a terrible movie in all the right ways.  I mean, it had a shark/octopus hybrid being chased by a very over the top Eric Roberts.  How could this NOT be awesome?

I want DVDs of those two, like right now.

Also of note to the horrory sort of things, is AMC's new series based on the zombie-filled comic book, Walking Dead.  I am completely unfamiliar with the comic so I can't compare the two, but the series?  The series is marvellous.  It is awesome in exactly the opposite ways that Sharktopus wasn't.  Pretty good acting, very tense writing, the makeup effects are good, and it has some great emotion.  I've often said the best horror is the stuff that makes you feel for the characters, and Walking Dead is very much a character drama.  With zombies.

The best part of Walking Dead is that it is entirely unique on television.  Name me one other zombie series on right now.  Or ever.  Supernatural comes close, but that's far more adventury and supernatural horror in general.  It fills a niche I didn't even know I had.  And I am loving it.  Some people have criticized it for saying it's like the first ten minutes of 28 Days Later, which is fine by me since the last half of that movie seriously lost the plot and was pretty terrible.

As a little treat, I got the new MST3K DVD set, which came in a HUGE box to accomodate the newest figurine, Gypsy.  So my bad movie warriors grows, and Servo and Crow are joined by their comrade.  Her base is a giant coil of tubing, so she takes up a ton of space.  I did find a great spot to stick her and watch over me and my sanity though.

And yes, that's this very post I'm working on.  How meta is that?

Coming up on the 15th is this year's Triskaidekafiles Thanksgiving turkey, so keep your eyes peeled.  And after that, I will see you back here in December for bad Christmas movies.


A Bloody Good Year

Hello horrorheads!


Holee crap.  I can not believe I am actually writing this.  A year ago today, our first review went up, Popcorn.

Wow, just wow.  To celebrate, I posted our epic 26th review today, Demons of Ludlow!  Total coincidence that we did #26 today, but isn't that awesome?  Gotta love synchronicity.  What makes this movie so special that it got the honour of being the one year in review?

Well, not much.  The biggest thing is that I hale from a town called Ludlow.  Or near enough.  I went to high school there, and those years are largely responsible for my love of horror movies, so why not do a movie set in the town?  Well, it isn't the SAME Ludlow, but close enough for horseshoes.

I discovered the movie completely at random.  I was going through a site that lists and briefly comments on a lot of our sort of movies, and almost breezed right past the title.  I paused, scrolled back, and stared.  How could I *not* review this movie?  I researched it, had the damnedest time trying to find it, and finally tracked down some printed on demand versions.  Before that though, I did a little more research, found someone talking about it, and I realised I had the pack of movies they got it from.  I ALREADY OWNED THE MOVIE.

Let me just say that I am not the sort of person to ignore Fate when she punches me in the face that hard.

So here we are a year later, and I am surprised.  I'm not the best at sticking with things, but somehow, this site...I've stuck with it this long, which is one of my personal bests.  I've got a few other things I've kept at as long or longer, but this is definitely in my top five.  I hope to keep doing it for years to come.  What is it about this site that keeps me around?  I don't know, and I don't care, but I am loving doing this.

Well, some days I look at the next movie to review, whimper, and go watch Supernatural instead, but I always get around to it when I need to do it.  Can you blame me for shivering at the thought of some of these movies?

What have been the high points and low points for me?  My favourite review is either Blood Freak or Corpse Grinders, the sequel.  These movies were SO bad, SO entertaining, and I just sat and stared bewildered at the screen for the entirety of them.  They are the worst movies I've ever seen, and the most entertaining.  They burn, but in the good way.  I never thought I would ever see a movie worse than Blood Freak, but the two CG movies came along.  May the day never come that tops them!

I come across new movies almost weekly while I'm wandering the internet.  I started out thinking I knew so much about bad horror movies, and have discovered how little I truly knew.  My education has only begun.  The discovery of these new and wonderful, and painful, gems.  And I have loved sharing these discoveries with everyone reading, as well as sharing the classics I already know.  Just wait until you see what the rest of 2010 has coming!

There have been days though, where I feel discouraged about the site though.  We have some slow growth.  It sometimes feels like I'm shouting into the darkness, and not a voice is out there hearing me.  I get the occasional response, but I want more.  I crave more.  I NEED MORE.  Speak up, folks!  I want to hear from you!  I want to know what you like and what you want.  Tell me what movies you loved to hate, and would like to see featured.  I did that for 976-Evil, for a friend.  Species as well, although I had them in the back of my mind.

Let's make our second year the year where we start interacting.  And don't just talk to me, talk to your friends!  Spread the word!

One thing kept me going, aside from too much free time and coffee, and I want to share that.

This is the graph I check frequently, detailing the channel's stats.  The dark green line is unique, monthly page hits, and the light grey line above is the total page views, counting every time a page is viewed, so if one person visits the site and looks at every review, that's one unique and a ton of views.  Or something.

Our first month had 73 visitors, and November ducked down to 50ish.  That's understandable as the first month got a lot of eyeballs as I jumped up and down screaming, "Looka me!"  Since then, the site has actually had some pretty steady growth, with two exceptions.  There was a *very* tiny dip in March.  No idea why.  July had a big drop, as far as things go, and I figure that was because I was sick for almost two weeks and neglected the site until the very last day.  But the next month things leapt back up and it was like there was no dip.  It's almost a straight line, without that drop, for whatever reason.

The first year ended with JUST short of 400 visitors, and I figure we'll break that this month, and continue to grow.  From 50 to 400, and that's not bad.  And should keep going up.  Fingers crossed.

Whenever I was down about the site, I'd look at that graph and know that people ARE coming here.  People ARE looking at the site.  And every month, more and more are coming.  The site isn't an instant hit, but we are growing, slowly but surely.  Seeing that kept me going.  I wasn't just raging against the night.

AND I THANK EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU.  This site is here for you.  Without my readers, I am nothing.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  Keep reading, keep talking.  Trisk owes you for a decent, if quiet, first year.

Our first year is done, and there's been a lot of bodies left in our wake.  I am so happy to have made it this far, am still going, and I have no regrets starting this.  It was a good first year.

Let's make some noise in year two, people!


What I'm Watching: Early September, 2010

Hey, gang!

I've been busy the last few days, and wanted to pop in with what's been going on.

But first, I wanted to speak about a movie.

I finally got around to watching Pontypool.  I've been wanting to see this movie for ages, and it finally popped up on the DVR and I had the time to sit back and just enjoy in a nice, dark room.

This movie is so totally up my alley.  Lurking creatures, that trapped feeling, and a great use of language, both in the script and the device of the movie.  That first hour or so was simply amazing.  One of the best hours on film I have seen in a long time.  The character building, the tension, the slowly creeping dread, and all of it happening off screen, as we're stuck inside a small radio studio.  So well done, and I cannot praise it enough.  It even sounded amazing on my sound system.  I seriously just wanted to lean back, close my eyes and just listen.  It almost works as an audio drama, which makes sense for the setting, doesn't it?

But the last 15, 20 minutes or so left me a little baffled.  Things were moving too fast, the language of the movie was getting a bit too confusing, which was deliberate to a point.  Something about that final act just didn't quite click for me.  I don't hate it, I just don't quite GET it, you know?  They lost their focus somewhere along the way.  Which is a shame, since that first hour was SOO good, and have it just fall apart like that.

I would love it if my faithful readers would get a discussion going here about the movie, maybe we can hash it out.  Either here, or I think I'll make a post on the Triskaidekaforum.  This movie could so grow on me, and I definitely want to watch it again, just for that build up, and to pick it apart.  I really want to totally grok this movie, and just love it.  Pontypool is SO close to being a fave.

Aside from movies, I've also been busy with the site.  If you're reading this, then it would be very difficult to miss the changes.  I yanked the login link, since I'm the only one who needs that, and I don't need the link to login.  And since that was gone, it made sense to move the links up to the navigation banner.  I'm also toying with ditching the contact form since no one uses it, and maybe just move it to its own page linked in the banner.

Speaking of the banner, I moved that below the logo.  I've actually moved that back and forth, or up and down as it were.  I like the seperation of it being above the logo, but it also makes sense to have it below as well.  Any preferences?

The biggest change though, is the main page.  I was never comfortable with the Triska- definitions.  It was a cute idea that never quite worked for me, and felt too cold of a welcome to the site.  Now it's more personal, and describes the site better, I think.  I'm sure that page will change frequently as I think of things to say there.  For now, I am much happier with how it looks, and how it reads.

And finally, I finally got off my ass and got the Cover Gallery up to date and fixed, something I was putting off for far too long.

Whew, like I said, I have been rather busy.  On top of all that, there's bad movies to watch, so I better get back to it!


Good News?

I've been poking the site a bit over the past week or so, and it looks, tentatively, like whatever wasn't meshing between SquareSpace and my browser has been fixed.  We'll see what happens when I do my next full review over the weekend.  Some testing posted ok, and wasn't eaten by the WYSIWYG gremlins, so here's hoping!

On another note, we're pulling into September soon, and right around the corner is October, which means the site will be celebrating its birthday.  I'm scratching my head trying to think of what would be a good movie to do for our anniversary, and just can't think of a single thing that would have any kind of one-year significance.  Maybe I'll do a Friday the 13th?  Maybe just another Puppet Master?  Or maybe just something that looks truly awful in the awfullest of ways?

So I ask my readers, also in hopes of getting more feedback, if there's a movie I'm just not thinking of that would be perfect, or just something YOU would like to see?  I've got plenty of movies I hate to love, but if no one has heard of them, that doesn't do much good.  My only requirement, and even this is negotiable, is that I'm trying to stick to movies pre-2001.

Hit me!


Bad News

I just tried posting and working on the latest review, and fortunately I was pretty early in the process, because when I clicked save, almost the entire post was blanked out.  I've tried several more times, and each time once I paste in the text for the analysis, it just blanks the entire post with the first attempt to save.

Until this is fixed, I literally cannot work on the site.


Puppet Remastered

Hey, horror heads!

As I've mentioned before, somewhere, Full Moon has just released a newly remastered DVD (And Blu-Ray) of the 20 year old, original Puppet Master film.  Actually, you can currently only get it with the limited edition Puppet Master trunk that has the NEW PM movie, Axis of Evil.  The single release isn't until the end of July, so the limited editions get them a month earlier.  You can check out my pictures of the trunk at my Flickr Page.

I knew when this announcement came out, it would be my eventual goal to redo the screencaps in the Puppet Master 1 review, with newer, better, wider screened images.  That took me all of a day to get around to doing.  In fact, those images have been uploaded to the review for a whole day now, as I write this.  I'm going to do a supplemental review of the movie in a little bit, to give my thoughts on the remastered edition, but I thought it would be fun to look at the original screencaps I made with the new versions, and pick over them with way too much detail than they probably deserve.

So, follow me into the rest of the entry and let's see what there is to see...

Read More

Murder at 200 Visits

Well, Trisk hit a bit of a milestone, and I thought I should make a post and wave around the party favours.

I follow the users and visits to the site pretty closely.  Some might say too closely, but I have free time to kill.

Ever since we opened the doors in October, 2009, the site has had steady growth each month, with one exception.  I've been wanting to see the site crawl over the 200 unique visits mark for a month, and we finally did that the other day.  Sure, it's only 200 people, but the first month after the introduction got a teeny 50 people.

The best thing is, this month isn't quite over yet, and I've only posted one review.  There's another one coming up before we wrap up June, so we are doing pretty good.  200 is a paltry number in the grand scheme of thing, but the steady growth and ever increasing interest in this site bring me joy.  I'm clearly doing something right here.

Although I speak out to each and every person out there, please post comments!  I crave feedback.  What works?  What doesn't?  What movies do you want me to see?  I know you're looking at this site.  I can hear you breathing.  Let's communicate!

Also, just a few notes on Murder Mansion.

What is up with the movie image? you may be asking.  Well, Murder Mansion is the first movie from the three 50 movie packs of awesome badness I got, and naturally there's no DVD covers for each movie to scan.  I decided a fair compromise would be to use the image from the set the movie is in so people can see where it's from if they're interested.  And adding a nice, bloody title to it for a quick eyeball of just what I'm reviewing.  I decided not to do a 'full size' version, since everything is visible in the small image, and making the larger one would take up unnecessary space and be a little silly.

Does that work for you guys?  Would you rather I try and track down some poster art, or some other usable picture?  I'm good either way, although I do like the images I made.  And I probably won't always be able to find usable art.

 There's also been a number of changes to the review style, as people may have noticed.  "The Guts" was a lot more concise header for the whole synopsis and breakdown than what I had been using, and I like changing the Rundown to the Autopsy Report.  Feels more in line with the style of the site.  And of course, these aren't final and could change at any moment, if anyone has better suggestions or I come up with one.

I want to add more things to the Autopsy too, like maybe a full body count, best scene...  I also did character breakdowns in Sideshow and really want to do more stuff like that as well.  I would have done it for Murder Mansion, but damned if I knew who anyone was.  I'm not even 100% sure I paired up the right actors with the right characters, since there's no ending credits to my copy of the film.

Also of note is that this movie definitely doesn't fit the usual mold.  It does have a body count, and is a little slasher like, and at least has the possibility of a witch, but it's also a little off to the side of our usual fare.  But I like that.  I want to start opening our scope, since there's a number of more science fictiony fare I'd love to do as well.  If there's blood, we'll probably do it.  Or even if there isn't.  If MST3K can do "The Girl in Gold Boots" I can do a cheeseball scifi movie.

Ok, that's way more than enough rambling from me!

Back to the dungeon!


What I WILL Be Watching!

Yeah, that's right.  A glimpse into...THE FUTURE!  Ahem.

Hey horrorheads!  Took me awhile to get out of the manacles that I was locked up in down in the dungeon.  I really want to have some good regular journal posts for you fine folks, and I'm slacking on that.  My bad.

The biggest bit of news for the site is, well, let me show you.

When bad movies strike back!

So yeah, I got my hands on three packs of 50 movies each.  These things look to be almost routinely bad from A-Z.  I recognise a number of titles from actual MST3K episodes, and I'll be avoiding those.  I can't hold a candle to anything Joel, Mike, and the Bots have done, and wouldn't dream of touching that territory.

So that's 150 bad movies now sitting next to me, and they will keep me busy for a long, long time to come.  Constantly buying new movies, some out of print, chews through funds, and these will be good emergency go to flicks when my wallet is hiding from me.

I would've touched these awhile ago, but I just couldn't decide how the heck to start to tackle such a wide array of choice.  I have picked one though, and it is coming up as the next review!  It's a fun movie with lots of stuff that's baffling, so I hope everyone enjoys it.

And yes, that is me.  And that is the bad movie theatre machine I'm sitting at.  Triskaidekafiles Central.  You can see my copilots Tom Servo and Crow helping to keep me sane and inspire me, as well as alot of other interesting tidbits scattered around.

It's rare when I put myself on that side of the camera, but I had fun putting this image together, since it gave me something to talk about, and show a bit of a behind the scenes look at Casa De 13.

But these reviews don't write themselves (Oh how I wish!) so it is back to the dungeon with me.  See you in a few days!


The Daily Grind

Welcome back, bloodsuckers!

It's time for a quick look back, and in my ongoing effort to get caught up, anyone keeping track should be able to figure out its time for me to ramble about Corpse Grinders.

Oh gods.  This movie.  This...this thing.

I don't like hyperbole, but this movie is sheer awfulness on a stick.  It's not quite bad enough to be bad in the special way that like, Blood Freak or Manos is bad, but man.  What is here in this movie is just bad!  There is nothing good here, as I said in the full review.

A friend of mine suggested this piece of trash, and I'm glad she did.  This is a real gem of cinematic garbage, and I am so glad I've been introduced to it, and got to see this thing.  Getting suggestions and discovering new awful things is why this site is here.  I like to share my own personal horror stories, but it is even better that I get to find brand new things to torment myself and you with.  I need more suggestions like this.

I also feel I owe a quick explanation about the running gag for this review.  I get into some pretty random stuff and try not to be TOO obscure but I think I wallowed in the obscurity bucket.  Why did I continuously refer to Maltby as Luckman?  That goes back to Marvel Comics' Wolverine series, where he frequently encountered, and occasionally worked for, a mysterious interdimensional lawfirm called Landau, Luckman, & Lake.  And every time I wrote Landau and Maltby, it just kept coming out as the comic reference.  So I ran with it.  And I ran, and I ran.  That's the story behind that little oddity.

This movie really could have done with more psychotic felines.  Random rage kittens would have made the movie far more entertaining, and hidden the rickety plot, the bad lighting, the horrible acting, get the idea.  I can forgive any bad movie if there's some shredded faces and decapitations.

I still remain traumatised and confused by the baby doll.  What the hell was that?

As I ponder that mystery of the universe, I've got to get back to work on the next review!  Should be up in a day or two.  Back to the dungeon!


Master of Puppets

Hey, horrorheads!

I kinda like doing these little post mortems on my reviews, kinda picking my own brain a little in ways that don't seem appropriate for the review, so I'm working through the backlog, and PM1 definitely deserves a few extra comments.

Oh, Puppet Master and Full Moon.  You guys are so responsible for this site existing.  So much of my formative years was spent watching these movies.  Blade is my personal Freddy Krueger.  Or something.

Part of me really wanted to make Puppet Master the 13th review on this site, because of its significance (Although I believe I saw Full Moon's Pit & the Pendulum before it but PM solidified my love), but I had this huge stack of Full Moon movies waiting for review, and I absolutely had to be the first one be Puppet Master.  I just couldn't wait any longer!

This was another movie where I was not wanting for images and captions.  I tossed out a number of images that it was actually painful to leave aside, and I hope I used the cream of the crop.  I also had a number of alternate captions for images that did get used, and it was tough to decide.

The biggest change with this review was titling my in depth look "The Whole Blood Mess".  When I looked at the final reviews, it was always bugging me that it zoomed right from synopsis to my review, and it looked wrong.  I'm still not happy with that title, but it gets the job done and breaks it up.

It was good to have something relatively short after the monster that was Waxwork 2.  I still need to sort out how to cut these down, but I haven't had THAT many complaints yet, so I'm just keeping on.  This actually feels like a good length for this movie, and the images break it up well.

The biggest thing with this review is something yet to come.  I've actually got plans to go back and retweak this review in a few months.  The content will remain the same, I'm just going to make it...better.

I've got the big bad Puppet Master boxed set, so have no fear.  Blade will return shortly.  And the movies just get worse and worse, trust me.  Unlike with Waxwork and Corpse Grinders, I want to space out the Puppet Master movies.  Doing all six or so that I have here in one long run would have gotten boring for me and you guys too, I presume.  It's one thing to do an original and sequel in succession, it's another to do every movie ever.  I'd also hate to be done with them all so soon.

Full Moon alone will keep me in movies for a long, long time.

Speaking of, I need to pick out my next monsterpiece to go through.  See you in April!


Waxing Poetic

Hey, horrorheads!  Since it's taking me longer than expected to get to the next review, I thought I'd post up some thoughts on some previous reviews, namely the ones for the Waxwork films.  Because I apparently didn't say enough already, I guess. ;)

These two films are just so bizarre, so all over the place, they just defy description.  They literally are just a little bit of everything.  I love the wackiness of the second one, but the more straight horror of the first, and a little more cohesion, makes it a much better film.  I lean more towards the second one since I saw it first, so it was my first impression of these characters.  The first Sarah is the one that seems wrong to me.

I loved the excuse this site provided me to sit back and watch them again, and the slow process it takes to watch and pick apart these movies makes the flaws a lot more noticable.  There's stuff that now bugs me that never occurred to me before, I was just along for the ride.  I knew they were silly, and unfocused, but wow the plotholes really jump out at yah.

Those keeping track may have noticed I try to keep the image count low in a review, somewhere around 15, although I fudge that a little if I feel like I can and the caption is just so necessary or funny.  The images are sometimes posted to illustrate a point, or a bit of hilarity, or just something awesome (BAT KILLED BY GUN!).  I had a TON of screencaps for the first Waxwork, and it was so damned hard to get it down to the amount I did.  If that was tough, the second film was damned near impossible.  I finally gave up and said what I had would be good, and that's a shame, since the review got SO bloody long, the extra images would have broken that text up some more.

I am rather tempted to make a post of captions from the cutting room floor, since some of them are genuinely funny, in my opinion.  If enough folks asked for something like that, then I'd probably take the time.  But y'all are probably sick of Waxworks by now. ;)

Also these reviews started seeing some format changes creeping in, like the double ratings for the two sides of the films, which I think is rather necessary, since these films are so bad, and yet so fun most of the time.  These reviews are a work in progress, and I'm constantly tweaking each and every new one in tiny ways, trying to make them better than the last, and I'm starting to find out just what works and what doesn't.

Anyone reading these words, feel free to throw suggestions on the site and reviews (Yes yes, I know, shorter!  Hey, Puppet Master 1 was half the length of Waxwork 2, lemme alone!) either in the comments, or shoot me an email.  You're the people reading these things, you're the ones I serve, in the end, so I want these reviews to be easy on you as much as they fit my style.

I still actually feel *bad* about how long Lost in Time got, and there's even some stuff I left out.  I feel I need to include at least most of the details in these things, otherwise the jokes or descriptions stop making sense (As much as these things CAN make sense, I guess) and that movie was just packed to the brim.  It was literally like reviewing four movies at once.  I had zero clue it would get so long until I was well into it.  I hope everyone that read that entire thing enjoyed it, because I spent a lot of time on it, and did enjoy the writing, and the jokes that came out of it.  If the reviews aren't being enjoyed, then what's the point?  I'm slowly getting the hang of what to keep and what to trash, but of course, the longer the movie, the longer the review tends to be.

As for the site itself, February is gonna be a slow month, I think.  Naturally because it's shorter, and also because I got caught up with some other stuff, and have yet to watch the next movie to torment my soul.  Soon, though.   But the month is half over, and I ain't done squat.

So it is back to the grindstone for me!  Please ignore the screams, I'm just working.


Time of the Month

Howdy, horrorheads!

I'm still typing away at my novel, and am at a quarter of the way to the main goal of 50k words.  I always love doing this every year.  I need to write more, I always feel so energized when I do, which is good news for this site.

I am having a bitch of a time finding the movie I want to do next for the site.  I've got plenty of movies to do, that's not the trouble.  I have something very special I want to do when I get back, and it just went out of print, making it difficult or expensive to aquire.  I might just forget it for a later date and plough forward with something else, but for the moment I'm still on plan A.

But my main reason for posting is, the site is just about a month old!  A little bit more, actually, but I was wrapped up in other stuff to get around to this.  For the first month of an unknown site I've only been telling about to my friends and a few others, things have been pretty solid.  Triskaidekafiles has had just over 80 unique visitors, which sounds small.  And yeah, it is.  But just getting started?  That's a good way to start, and I thank everyone who has visited the site, and I hope most of them keep coming back.

There has been a noticable drop off in views the last few days, obviously.  It's been awhile since I posted the Shocker review, and the site has gone dormant while I'm working on my other things.  That's one reason I wanted to post this, to keep some activity bubbling along.  As long as I've got something to say, I'll keep things as active as possible until the reviews are back.

Keep your eyes peeled.  We're not dead yet.

And if we are, we're still ambulatory and developing a taste for brains!


Shock Treatment

As everyone has probably noticed by now, there's a new review up!  This time out, I reviewed an all time fave of mine, the Wes Craven classic, Shocker

I gotta say, I was a little surprised at how long that went.  I ended up typing a nearly 4500 word essay on a horror movie.  I've made some issue with how long people like Spoony and Nostalgia Critic and the rest make their videos, and I almost feel like I owe them an apology, as I'm learning how hard it can be to sum up.  I hope that even though the reviews are lengthy, that the images help break things up a bit, and I keep things light enough that it's not a chore.  That's one thing I want to work on, unless people like the length.  Since the movie was longer than Popcorn, it's no surprise this time out was longer.  Especially since the plot is actually pretty complex and packed.  Like I said in the review, the first third is nearly an entire movie's worth of plot itself.

While I wish it was shorter, I do like what I wrote, and think it turned out quite well.  A few more images than I had planned, and there's still more I could've slipped in, trust me.  However, I think 10 to 15 images is just about the right amount.  Any less and the paragraphs clump together too much, and any more and it gets to be too many images versus text.

With the site now having more than one review, I've added a feature I wanted to do much earlier, but it seemed silly.  There's a new page linked above called Movie Cover Gallery, and there you can browse through the various reviews via the DVD covers I scan in for each review.  It's a nice visual alternative to find a review, while still keeping the reviews page itself intact.

Now, for a little bit of a warning.  This review came out pretty quickly after the first one, and two weeks seems like a good buffer between reviews, both to not wait too long between reviews, and to give me a break after everything I do for a review.

However, November is going to be light.  Every November for the past seven or eight years, I have participated in the National Novel Writing Month, where the challenge is put forth to try and write a 50,000 word story before the month ends.  That's going to be drawing all my focus, so trying to find the word to watch a movie, take notes, make images, and write up a review will be tough.  Especially with the length I seem to be falling into!

Never fear though, I have looked around, and found a movie that's a real turkey, and would be perfect to try and squeeze in for Thanksgiving time.  So there won't be much reviewing for the next month, but I do have something lined up for the end of November.

And besides that, I'll still be posting the occasional journal entry, so the site won't be completely dead.

I hope you enjoy the review, and I'll see you in a month!