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 Tag: 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...


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: March, 2011

Hello, horrorheads!

I've noticed a weird jump in activity the last few days, and I'll be darned if I can figure out why!  But any of you out there reading these words, speak up!  Leave a comment!  Let us know how you found this site!  Let's chat.

Been pretty quiet for movies lately, but there's a few scattered things I've been piling up and watching in my spare time.

Finally grabbed and watched the complete set of the NBC series, Surface.  I tried watching it when it was first on, but it never really grabbed me.  Watching the whole thing now, I think I can see why.  It's a decent show, but a little too family friendly for me.  Many people compared it to classic Spielberg, and I can definitely see that comparrison now.  Which isn't a bad thing!  I love Spielberg!  It's just this show was pretty cutesy half the time.  But mostly worth watching if you get the chance.  The acting is good, and the story is a bit wandering though.  Shame there's no real conclusion, but the ride was ok.

Also took in the recently released MST3K volume 20 DVDs.  Shout! Factory once again puts out another solid set.  I've got nothing more to add to what I've already said about MST3K, just giving them another *ahem* shout-out.

I finally saw My Soul to Take, one of many movies I avoided in the theatres because it was in 3-D.  This movie was pretty much stomped all over by reviewers, that I saw.  Even the horror-friendly ones.  But you know what?  I liked it.  I thought the story was solid, with just enough twists and red herrings, and a lot of people slam it for no real setup, but I've watched the movie a few times, and they do mostly play fair with the mystery.  It has it's cheese, and while Wes Craven used to be quite adept at tapping into that high school voice, I think it's clear he's grown out of touch and doesn't quite know how kids today act and sound.  Even so, that's not terrible.  Watching this so close to Ripper, the styles of storytelling are so similar in their ideas, but vastly different in execution.  Soul succeeds on every level Ripper fails at.  Craven has done better, but it was an entertaining 90 minutes or so.

And last, and definitely least, is Birdemic. *shudder*  Birdemic.  A pox upon my soul.  I can't say enough bad things about this movie.  I can usually find something good to say, but this one, wow.  I am at a loss.  This is a brand new movie, and it makes me want to break my own rule about no movies after 2000.  It is THAT bad.  It needs to have the full Trisking, I think.  The movie is astoundingly awful.  Let me know what you guys think in the comments.  If I get enough response, I will rewatch and dissect the hell out of this turdemic.  For you, the readers.

That's all that's been keeping me busy lately.  Now, to get back to the next Rippertastic movie.  And you thought the first one was bad?


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: Late October, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Before I dive into the movies and such I've been watching lately, just some quick notes on what's coming to Trisk in the near future.

For those that have been here for awhile, you will remember the very quiet November from last year, as I partook in the yearly NaNoWriMo writing competition, and this year will be the same.  But with one main difference, there WILL be a review, come hell or high water.  I also plan to still do a Watching post at the very least, so it won't be a total ghost town around here.  Look for our Thanksgiving review on the 15th, to split the month up nicely in half to bide time between now and December.  And there's still one more review going up before then.

After that, Trisk will be diving right into more Christmas movies, and that will take us through 2010.  I've got only a little inkling of 2011 movies to kick off January.  There is a number of films jumping up and down to be reviewed, so they definitely have my attention.

Over the past few weeks, I've watched a number of horror movies; one rather strange, and one pretty straightforward but really good.

The stranger of the two was the rather infamous Human Centipede.  It's the rather simple story of a mad scientist who captures some hapless people stranded on the road, and then does crazy experiments on them, but taken to the Nth degree.  There's nothing that special in the plot, and what really makes the movie stand out is the nature of the experiments.  The crazy Dr. Heiter sews three people together with their mouths connected to the preceeding person's ass and connects their digestive tracts.

Ew, right?

Personaly, I found the Hostel movies far more disturbing, but I can see why this would squick people out.  I still found it to be an interesting study of the few characters in it, and was intrigued to see just how it would turn out.  While I find it hard to recommend something so bizarre and disgusting to many, if you can stomach it and aren't downright turned off by the description alone, I do think it is at least worth seeing, just for the experience of having done so.  I'm not going to get into the medical accuracy, or the movie's claims thereof.  Why start now?  NONE of the movies here are accurate to any sort of reality.  Isn't that half the fun?

From the weird to the almost normal, comes Frozen.  I really, really liked this movie!  I am sold on Adam Green's work, and am definitely moving Hatchet up my list of movies I need to see right the hell now.  Some people will sit down and nitpick apart every last second of the movie, trying to come up with things the trio of characters could have done differently once they get stuck on an abandoned skilift one weekend, or plot holes, or the usual.  However, in my opinion, I feel the movie addressed most of the major potential stupid moments very well.  Most ideas people come up with actually wouldn't work as well as you would think upon first thought.

The strength of Frozen is in its characters.  The secret to all good horror movies.  If you care about the people about to die, then you're willing to buy 90% of anything a movie might throw at you.  Since this movie is three people on a chairlift and nothing else for 80 of it's 90 minute runtime, you absolutely need great characters, and Frozen delivers.  Especially with the casting of Emma Bell as Parker.  She is absolutely adorable, and just on sight alone, you want absolutely nothing bad to happen to this girl.

Your desires will be completely denied, as much happens to Parker.

The absolute best scene in the movie is centered around what the movie doesn't show you, as a brutal attack that many movies would go to for the blood and gore, is left completely out of our sight, and we only experience it through the faces and reactions of the other characters.  That was brilliant and sold me on the movie.

Oh, and the writer/director is from my neck of the woods, and includes a lot of references to the New England skiing culture, so I may be grading on a curve just for those things alone.

But seriously, I could go on and on about this movie, and would love to talk more about it with anyone who has seen it.  If you haven't, I definitely recommend that you do.

And the reason I've kept this post on delay for so long, I literally just walked in the door from Paranormal Activity 2.  I talked about the original back in January, and wanted to get around to my thoughts on this as well.

It's not as good as the first movie, I'd say.  Whereas the original knew just when to get to scaring you, I felt the second time around they spent a little too much time with the characters.  It was ok stuff, but just a hair too long, and I started squirming in my seat waiting for things to get going again.

That said, the scares do make up for it, and are pretty good.  Some of them outdo the first movie, some don't.  It was a really good ride though, and a must see for any fan of the original.  A lot of the events were a bit confounding to me with how they lined up with the first, how they could possibly coexist, but that was explained nicely by the end.

I could have easily set fire to the three young women sitting across the aisle from me though.  They would not shut up and kept giggling.  Some of the giggling was warranted, but argh.

My one complaint is barely even a thing.  It has nothing to do with the plot, and it was a joke that got made by the husband.  His wife is in the bath, and he makes a joke about joining her and how he will, "Release the Kraken!"  In a movie set in 2006.  Um...  Gotta love anachronisms.

That's all for now!  Next full review up soon, and I'll see you when the snow flies.


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 October, 2010

Hellooooo, horrorheads!

We are hard at work here in Trisk Labs working on the next review, but as always, there's other stuff to watch.

A few weeks ago, I went to go see Devil, the new movie from the mind, if not the director's chair, of M. Night Shayamalan.  Why would I do such a thing?  Well, that's simple.  I *like* M. Knight.  He's had a few bombs, and I have yet to see The Happening, but I remember his early works very well.  Unbreakable is one of my favourite movies, period.

Also, the trailers for Devil, and the general plot, actually didn't sound that bad.  They took a locked room mystery and squished it down to the smallest possible space we are all intimately familiar with and have anxiety about, an elevator.  And instead of just one body, and trying to figure out how the killer did it, you had a group of people all being picked off.  We all dread being stuck in a jammed elevator somewhere in a high rise, but what do you do if one of your fellow passengers is a murderer?  That's a great idea.

Oh yeah, and the killer?  Is the devil.  How screwed are you?

So, what did I think of the movie?  I gotta say, I kinda loved it.  Now, remember what website you're on.  I also love all those other movies I review.  They are NOT good movies, and this one was pretty average.  But it's nowhere near as bad as other stuff on this site.  If Devil had been released direct to video back in the 80s, with a smaller budget?  I'd be all over it.  It's corny, but has a decent plot, and actually made me feel a lot like I was watching an old Outer Limits episode, and that's not bad company.  Not one of the better OLs, but a fun ride.  Definitely a must see if you remember the better Shayamalan movies.  But don't expect it to be that good.  A pleasant surprise.

I also just watched the new documentary, Nightmares in Red, White and Blue: The Evolution of the American Horror Movie.  With that as a topic, I kinda had to watch it, didn't I?  It's a pretty solid documentary, but nothing that surprising in their thesis.  It's still a good look at the history of horror in America, though.  I would have liked it to be longer even, since some of their points didn't feel fully fleshed out, but overall it was a well thought out and well made view at the genre.  Lance Henriksen as the narrator was great, and with many of the fathers of horror sharing stories, it was a fun watch.  Check it out if you're a fan, which I assume you are if you're reading this.

That's it for now, time to get back to working on our epic one-year anniversary review!


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.


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.


What I'm Watching: February, 2010

Been awhile since I posted up something new over here, and I've got a few movies sitting around.  I also want to post up some thoughts on the last few reviews, so I should get to that in the next few weeks.  I've also got the next Trisk movie sitting here ready to go, so keep your eyes peeled for that!

So anyways, what have I watched of note lately?

Well, I finally got to see Zombieland, yay!  This is a *really* good movie.  I wouldn't call it the best horror movie of recent years, like I have a number of others that I've mentioned here, but it is absolutely rock solid.  I thought of saying that it's the American answer to Shaun of the Dead, but it's not quite that good, but oh it so wants to be.  But just because it does not reach those heights doesn't mean that it isn't worth watching.  It is a very close #2 to Shaun, which is no bad thing, my fiends.  It creates a very believable, well thought out world that I totally buy as a post-zombie apocalypse land.  The characters pop, and the writing is very clever.  It also has a great gimmick; we're all familiar with the rules of zombies, but what about the rules of surviving in a zombieland?  The ongoing runner of rules is a great addition, good advice, and incorporated so well into the movie.  If you've not seen Zombieland yet, you gotta check it out, if you read this site.  For a low budget film, its very well done, and this is the Dawn of the Dead for the 21st Century.

Besides that, I've also seen another low budget independent film, House of the Devil.  Sadly, this is not as good as Zombieland.  I had high hopes for this one, and in some ways it gets there, but for the most part, it is going to turn a lot of people off.  If I ever need to explain to someone what a slow burn movie is, I'll just show them House.  There's not a lot of dialogue in the movie, and not a lot happens until the last 20 minutes, and that is no joke.  There is a lot of walking around, sitting, staring, and poking around a more or less empty house.  Now, it does take that time to establish the world and characters, as well as being pretty atmospheric and a little creepy in the empty house, but it's a little TOO slow.  If it had been ten minutes shorter, or more things happened, this would have been a great film.  This is very much a throwback to late 70s/early 80s horror films. There's a wonderful simplicity to it which I quite like, and it even uses a lot of that classic style for the credits and direction, in much the same way that Planet Terror was a loving recreation of grindhouse films.  Sadly, it's closer in storytelling to Death Proof, where nothing happens 'til the very end.  The movie is well cast and acted, it just didn't quite reach where it wanted to go, I think.  It's absolutely worth a look though, but it may disappoint many people, if they don't reach for the fast forward button.

And that's it for the moment.  Now it's back to the grindhouse grindstone for me!


What I'm Watching: January, 2010

Happy 2k10, everyone!

We had some nice holidays here, and the viewership numbers were pretty decent for December as well, and so far so good for January.  Growth is slow, but we're getting a steady trickle of visitors.  Spread the word folks, tell everyone!

Anyways, it's been awhile since I've posted a journal entry, so thought I'd take a break from the next review, and toss up some comments on what other stuff I've been entertaining myself with.

Probably the highlight of the entertainment has been District 9.  Such a very well done movie, and amazingly so for the budget.  They did a nice mix of regular movie style, and the resurging trend of documentary style footage.  I love stories where the scifi is mixed with a blend of reality, and District 9's and South Africa's prejudices aren't a very overdone topic in entertainment, so I really enjoyed seeing that.  Definitely worth a rental, and I'd say add it to your shelf.  Or hard drive, if that's the way you roll.

Coming in a close second is the very docustyle Paranormal Activity.  I love this movie.  They really knew how to dole out the tension, and just how much time to spend on characters and exposition.  The behaviour and actions didn't seem overly forced or mindnumbingly stupid like they did in Blair Witch project.  I could nitpick a few things, but these characters seemed very real to me, and reacted in mostly real ways.  Micah was maybe a little thick, but his actions were pretty understandable.  They're more or less what I would do in a similar situation.  If you enjoyed Blair Witch Project, well first of all what's wrong with you?? ;)  Second of all, then you'll probably enjoy this movie quite a bit.

Also, I sat back and waded through the second season of the Showtime anthology series, The Hunger.  It's basically Twilight Zone, but with more adult situations, language, and skin.  Also, they tended more towards the horror than scifi, but that's splitting hairs on these types of shows.  The main problem with anthology shows is that the quality of stories from one episode to the next can be wildly random and uneven, and that's just the case here.  There are some absolute gems though in both seasons.  Terrence Stamp hosts the first season, and David Bowie replaces him in the second, and both bring the show up considerably from where lesser hosts could have left it, and even in a meh episode, then they're fun to watch.  Even if they're only in a few minutes per episode.  And hey, they are FAR less annoying than the Cryptkeeper.  If you can find these seasons cheap, then they might be worth your time for the good episodes scattered in there.

Now, back to the next review!


What I'm Watching: December, 2009

Hey, horrorheads!

(Where did I steal that from?  I know I've heard it somewhere.)

Not much of interest, actually.

A few weeks ago, I watched set 16 of the MST3K DVDs, and it was quite the set.  Probably one of my faves of the Shout! Factory era.

Currently I'm working my way through Lost season 5, since that just came in, and the Dharma Initiation Kit limited packaging is freakin' huge and I want it out of my way.  If not for that, I'd be watching the Hunger.  More on that later.

I've been going through DVDs slower than normal due to my writing that book from November still.  I normally watch two or so hours, but with the writing going on, I've cut it back to one hour, unless it's a movie.  So I'm waaay behind.

I'm also still recovering from Blood Freak.  Hoo boy.  But don't worry about upcoming reviews, I have three I'd LIKE to do.  Sadly, I've developed this amazing ability to pick a movie just as it goes out of print, so that's making it a pain to aquire the others I want to do.  But fingers crossed, there will be at least one more review, but I'm really hoping to do even more, to make up for my vacation from November.

More to come!


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!