a jaded viewer reviews the world of horror, splatter, gore, cult, grindhouse, trash, b-movie, indie, asian, exploitation films and haunted houses
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Be part of The Experiment! Nightmare: The Experiment (Dec 9th to Dec 23rd)
Clearly, Tim Haskell wasn't done psycho analyzing us to death a month ago. If you went to Nightmare: Fairy Tales (see full review here), you also attended The Experiment, the 2nd half of the haunt. I liked this portion better than the Fairy Tales walkthrough. And it seems because of the popularity, they've evolved it into a Nightmare (before Christmas) haunt of its own.
Psycho Clan, producers of NIGHTMARE, New York’s most horrifying haunted house and AOL CityGuide’s No. 1 rated haunted attraction in NYC have announced that they will expand the sensory assaulting theatre experience THE EXPERIMENT into an off–Broadway run on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. A special holiday version of NIGHTMARE (BEFORE CHRISTMAS): THE EXPERIMENT will run December 9 through December 23, 2011 at Los Kabayitos Laboratorio at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center, 107 Suffolk Street between Rivington and Delancey.
Studies have shown that the anxiety of the holiday season, coupled with seasonal depression, heightens the neurotransmitters associated with feelings of fear. The Psycho Clan experimental division plans on exploiting those levels of fear for an adrenaline rushing 50 minutes of twisted holiday pleasure, with NIGHTMARE (BEFORE CHRISTMAS): THE EXPERIMENT. The event was originally part of this year’s haunted house as a second attraction, but due to its popularity, has been expanded and will return for a horrifying Christmas spectacular that’s able to amplify what it did in its previous installment and experiment on the whole audience in a terrifying (and entertaining) examination into the limits of fear.
“Christmas is supposed to be a joyful time. For too many, it just isn’t. If you don’t always feel joy during the holidays, a good scare will trigger those senses,” says Co-Director Timothy Haskell. “The same endorphins that are released during moments of joy and pleasure are the same ones coursing through your nervous system during times of great fright. So let fear ignite your holiday spirit!”
Tickets are $20 and showtimes run at 7pm, 8pm and 9pm. The haunt lasts about 50 minutes or so.
Killcam Live: Is this Interactive Horror Experience the Future?
A while back, I posted this article called "5 Social Media Sites that would reinvent the horror movie". I asked why horror movies don't use Twitter, FourSquare, YouTube, Facebook and ARG's more effectively. But now it seems the creators of KillCam Live have done just that. They're telling a horror narrative using YouTube and then for 72 hours give you a chance to interact with a character via a live cam, where YOU decide if the characters lives or dies by performing some sort of task (either creating a YouTube mashup or spreading the word about KillCam). This was totally under my radar until I read Dread Central's posts on the subject (here and here).
I've now watched all 5 episodes that are currently online via their YouTube channel and Monday, will go on their Live Cam where according to the press release:
Every Thursday through December, an episode will play out online, moving the story forward in typical narrative format. The following Monday through Thursday morning of each week will host a LIVE 72-hour period in which one of the students will be trapped in a room, awaiting their horrific fate. During that period, the audience will be able to interact with the character via video, Facebook, Twitter (@killcam_live) and online chat.
Interesting concept and I'm kind of excited to check out the live cam tomorrow. But I'm seeing a few problems so far. The "characters" haven't gotten many Twitter followers or Facebook fans. Clearly, I think this would be difficult in any circumstance when you've created a character profile for an ARG that not people are really aware of as of yet. With so many characters and subplots, there doesn't seem to be a central location for everybody to check out all the hidden pieces of the entire KillCam experience. I think it's a bit disorganized and as a noob it was difficult to find out what users did as they interacted with the characters. But I'll check out the live cam and join in to get the full experience.
I'll definitely report back on how it went.
Here's the press release. (via Dread Central) What do you all think of this?
With almost a million live views and counting, viewers from every continent have become part of a growing "Killmunity", participating in a LIVE interactive horror project. With viewers interacting directly with characters from the ongoing storyline, Killcam: Live is single-handedly changing the way that audiences are interacting with their entertainment.
Like a wildfire sweeping the net, Killcam: Live has set multiple records with streaming powerhouse Stickam , and website killcamlive.com has already called audiences to stand witness to the brutal killings of three of the story's main characters and one surprise death brought about by the cries of the interactive audience. With each new week more and more "super fans" are being born, transitioning from curious bystanders to actual characters in the story itself. Audience members have created entire blogs devoted to play-by-play breakdowns of the episodes and the characters in them.
Each week viewers participate in a "Cill Contest", ripping footage from the episodic narrative and live footage and cutting together their own recap videos to bring new viewers up-to-date. With four weeks left in the story, there's no telling what will come next. No one is safe! Not even the audience.
Killcam: Live is the transmedia brainchild of producer April Wade (@actoraprilwade) and filmmaker Canyon Prince (@canyonprince). Part digiseries, part interactive real time experience, and part feature film, Killcam: Live is the next stage in the evolution of storytelling. The project follows a group of students as they willingly agree to participate in a social experiment put on by their charming psychology professor Michael Grayson (played by J. Michael Briggs). The experiment is meant to explore the effects of current human dependence on technology and social media as the majority form of communication. During the ongoing experiment, the students will be isolated from each other and their only way to communicate with the outside world will be through social media. However, someone has a different agenda in mind as things start to take a turn for the worse.
Every Thursday through December, an episode will play out online, moving the story forward in typical narrative format. The following Monday through Thursday morning of each week will host a LIVE 72-hour period in which one of the students will be trapped in a room, awaiting their horrific fate. During that period, the audience will be able to interact with the character via video, Facebook, Twitter (@killcam_live) and online chat. The audience will be able to inform the characters (in real time) what is happening and possibly even aid them in their escape...or demise.
"We are looking to bring a heightened level of interactivity to the audience" says Wade, "and we feel that this projects is on the cutting edge of a new age of storytelling. As filmmakers today, we have an international platform for our stories that never existed before and I am thrilled to be experimenting with creative ways to use social media to shape the film."
Prince adds, "We're moving farther and farther away from a traditional storytelling model. As people continue to consume more and more content via mobile devices, it's detrimental and entirely counter-productive for us not to take advantage of the enormous opportunities that interactive multiple screen storytelling opens up." Wade and Prince, along with Spence Griffeth, who penned the screenplay, developed the concept and story. Shot on the Red MX One, the narrative episodic of the show, as well as the feature film wraparound, was helmed by John Darko, lensed by David M. Brewer and executive produced by Ahmed al Baker and Mohammad Il Abrahim. Recently Darko and Brewer worked closely together on James Wan and Leigh Whannell's feature film Insidious from Lionsgate.
It's Thanksgiving so I'll leave this right here: Turbaconepicentipede
Happy Thanksgiving from the Jaded Viewer!
Thanks to all the new followers on Blogger, Facebook and Twitter! Special thanks to all the loyal followers who keep coming back as well. There's more horror goodness coming from the jaded viewer on the way so keep checking back.
With the hype that Jean Claude Van Damme has received with being cast as a villain in The Expendables 2, one wondered why it took so long for JCVD to make the decision to join the all star cast. Was it because he didn't want to do action porn? Was he so adamant that the movie be "character action" as he always points out? Did he NOT want to play the villain?
Well I don't think the villain is the problem. Because after watching Assassination Games (formerly Weapon) there is a bit of grey in his character of Vincent. Van Damme plays an elite assassin who seems to be a cold blooded, ruthless uncaring SOB. But with any other JCVD flick, his character evolves and picks the good guy side. This side is includes ultimate good guy played by Scott Adkins as Flint and without a doubt adds the SUPER POW! to JCVD's POW. Now starring in his 3rd Van Damme flick, he kicks ass and is rightly in The Expendables 2 as well.
Assassination Games is a solid Van Damme flick that blends in a bit of The Professional with that Stallone/Banderas clunker Assassins. Think of Van Damme as Leon teamed up with Adkins playing the stereotypical Statham character. It's an awesome team up, one where the world's best assassins face off then in typical movie form team up to kill the Big Bad.
Van Damme is respectively solid and the action scenes are executed with precision. Without carrying the entire movie on his shoulders, Van Damme seems to play well with others adding a buddy cop like feel to the flick. Sure the bad guy, subplots and shoot em ups could have been better but Assassination Games plays out like a stealthy Max Payne FPS that makes me proud to be a Van Damme fan. Boring Plot-O-Matic
Brazil (Jean-Claude Van Damme) is a contract killer, willing to take any job if the price is right. Flint (Scott Adkins) left the assassin game when a ruthless drug dealer’s brutal attack left his wife in a coma. When a contract is put out on the same coldblooded drug dealer, both Brazil and Flint want him dead – one for the money, the other for revenge. With crooked Interpol agents and vicious members of the criminal underworld hot on their trail, these two assassins reluctantly join forces to quickly take out their target before they themselves are terminated. Awesome Review-O-Matic
After watching a bit of Van Damme's reality show, I saw a few scenes of this film being shot. What you'll notice first is that with every Van Damme flick, he still strives to make the best quality action movie in the business. Bulgaria is the setting of choice and Van Damme's kids get juicy parts. Kris Van Varenberg shows up playing a corrupt Interpol agent while Bianca Van Varenberg plays a comatose wife of Flint.
AG establishes itself with a stealthy opening as Van Damme performs a hit. Juxtaposed is Flint, a now retired assassin who cares for his wife who brutally attacked by what I believe is an evil weapons dealer Polo. Soon Polo has a price on his head and both JCVD and Adkins get in each other's way. There's a subplot involving Flint's former partner and Van Damme meets a hooker who tries to break the stone cold Vincent. None of this is oddly necessary, but it wasn't boring either.
Vincent is a prototypical assassin as we find out. An apartment that's not as it seems, he plays the violin, gets paid only in diamonds and has a pet turtle. We don't get a clear idea why Vincent is like this but I liked the mystery. Director Ernie Barbarash could have put in flashbacks, thank the action gods he didn't. Flint does get a flashback. Seems Polo gangraped his wife and put her in a coma?!? (hmm I have no idea how that could have happeped). Now he wants bloody revenge and Polo's bollocks.
The action scenes are actually super gory. Lots of sliced throats and ears. Gun shots galore are littered throughout AG. Sliced up bodies, gun shot riddled corpses and Adkins provides the spinkicks and out of nowhere punches. Also littered are lots of conversations with double talk, schemes and backstabbing. As we headed to the final confrontation, I was expecting a level of shit just hit the fan but what I got was more straightforward, budget constrained vengeance.
Sure it's another lone hitman movie, the generic action flicks that Jason Statham and his Transporter/Crank/The Mechanic/Killer Elite fold of movies we all love. But this one has Van Damme and it has Adkins and somehow it held my interest for the entire duration. Sure the bad guy and his goons were just assassination fodder, the killing of innocents for motivation and the quick witted banter between the 2 stars was a bit funny. But I like to think of this as a webisode of The Expendables 2. It's just a taste of what TWO FUCKIN HUGE ACTION STARS together can get done.
Like I said, some sliced throats, ear decaps and gunshots galore
WTF moment High tech wizardry helps kick ass
The Jaded Viewer's Final Prognosis
Assassination Games is now out on DVD, on Video in Demand and is also on iTunes. The DVD includes Deleted Scenes and commentary with Van Damme and Adkins. Scott Adkins fans are like early JCVD fans. Sometimes you HAVE to watch everything he's in because it's just fuckin mandatory. Van Damme fans, you won't be disappointed. Assassination Games is better than his previous action efforts.
As a horror blogger, you'll get a range of indie horror films sent to you hoping that you'll see a breakout movie that is a diamond in the rough. Canada is ripe with horror talent from the Soska Sisters to Jason Eisener. When I read the synopsis for Kenneyville, I have to say I was intrigued: "a local scientist and businessman, has been collecting innocent women for experiments in creating brainwashed assassins."
Trailer looked promising enough and then I watched the whole movie. Well sometimes all you get are rocks. Kenneyville has a damn creative premise, promising characters and set in Canada, it seems unexpected. But the execution is clearly off, the acting pretty cardboard and stiff and the payoff downright disappointing.
What's left is a indie movie that's ambitiously slick for it's own good. I can buy that there are redneck sections of Canada, but government conspiracies and a town hiding one of helluva secret is a bit much. Director Brooks Hunter via the press release says the movie reflects his bipolar disorder and there are metaphors throughout. Clearly if I knew this I'd have probably seen a broken glass of milk as something other than a broken glass of milk. Sorry, I'm not that clever.
There is something seriously wrong with Kenneyville. When, a young woman, KIM, from Toronto goes missing and police mysteriously drop the case earlier than expected, two private detectives are hired to find her. With undercover aliases, CHARLIE and KELLY head to the small town of Kenneyville for answers after discovering significant clues. Upon meeting seemingly innocent locals, Charlie is brutally beaten and Kelly is ruthlessly kidnapped. Charlie awakens in shock with a new mission: to find and save his partner. We soon realize the horrific truth behind both women's disappearances. ADRIAN BLACK, a local scientist and businessman, has been collecting innocent women for experiments in creating brainwashed assassins. Charlie soon discovers just how deep the rabbit hole goes and ultimately learns which shocking 'mega-organization' has hired Adrian to produce these ruthless killing machines. Awesome Review-O-Matic
Intrepid reporters/private investigators Patrick and Megan investigate a disappearance of a girl and head to Kenneyville, Canada. As they meet the locals who are fuckin waaay peculiar, Megan is kidnapped and soon joins other women who are systematically brainwashed by the evil Adrian Black. It's up to Patrick and his new found buddy Donovan to come to the rescue.
I'll start off with the little bit of good. The movie isn't just rednecks run amok but actually has a Charles Manson like plot device that makes the opening and the investigation somewhat interesting. Megan (Vanessa Broze) is a bit easy on the eyes looking all Elisha Cuthbert-ish. I began imagining a bunch of La Femme Nikitas all running around this town as Fox and Scully try to uncover this X-File. But somehow all I got instead was some atrocious acting and lots of dialogue filled with exclamation points.
Michael Scratch as Black performs with a twitchy eye and plays his Dr. Frankenstein as best he can. The locals also seem to be over the top and his #1 Victoria (Irena Angeloutsa) is clearly a bit wacky.
Now that I think of it, if the movie is suppose to metaphorically indicate a fragmented mind, I'm sure the characters might all be designed to represent the struggle of person with such a disorder. But clearly, I had no prior knowledge of this and all I came out of the flick was watching stereotypical characters: the heroic dude, the girl in distress, the wacko lady, the subordinate henchmen, the buddy, the evil scientist. There are some scenes that reflect a light vs dark feeling but I could just be reading way to much into that.
Kenneyville is a bit of a drag with scenes of prolonged filler, appetizers to a nonexistent meal. It nibbles on something interesting but never takes that one satisfying bite. The director mentioned: "It is a fictional, fantasy world in which many of the characters, events, sets, and production design represent various stages and elements of transitioning from feeling “normal" to having the world become emotionally paralyzing"
A movie like Identity (starring John Cusack) is similar to this but goes Hollywood generic. But somehow it's straightforwardness of a murder mystery with a twist is more effective and the typical viewer "gets it". With Kenneyville, I can only take it as subtle and I "didn't get it". All I saw were the alluring white slavery angle, redneck Canadian town and an X-File that never got solved. Not many movies deal with a subject matter like this. Kenneyville is ambitious in that way but when you're making a horror movie, one can only be as simple minded to a simpleton like me. I'm not as you say totally normal, but I pretend to be one.
A Jaded Viewer Giveaway: Savage County and Ferocious Planet DVDs!
It's my final jaded viewer horror giveaway for 2011! As it's my last giveaway of the year, we're going out with both barrels loaded. If you win, you'll get not one, but TWO DVDs! I'll be honest, I had no interest in reviewing these flicks. Looking at some reviews, they're not what you'd consider "kick ass awesome" or even "mediocrely average". Sure I could have watched them and probably created awesome mockery reviews but I'm going to hope you can do that for me.
If you win, feel free to write up a review (be it a paragraph or more) after you watch the flick. Send it to me and I'll post it up!
So what do you need to do to enter?
Enter by leaving your name and e-mail address in the comments. On or around December 18th or so I'll randomly pick a winner. That's it.
Yeah I said it. The Walking Dead is Lost but with Zombies. Hmm, looks like you haven't been thinking the way I've been thinking. As a huge Lost fan, one can only think about the similarities between the two shows. It's pretty fuckin amazing how a zombie apocalypse and a crash landing on a mysterious island can be similar. Are you shaking your head? Well let's examine the characters of The Walking Dead and who they closely resemble on Lost. THE OBVIOUS
1.) Rick is Jack
the jaded viewer says: Our cowboy messiah is our de facto leader of a rag tag group of survivors. He's thrust into this position and now has to make the tough decisions with a friend questioning his authority. He "woke up" into this hell on Earth and he has made already a few questionable decisions. Remind you of anyone?
2.) Shane is Locke
the jaded viewer says: Pretty obvious similarity here. Shane is now our chief antagonist who is willing to bend his morals in order to survive. He has fully understood the world he now lives in and has adapted. Locke started recruiting a group of his own and Shane has Andrea on his side. Locke never slept with Kate but you get my point.
3.) Lori is Kate
the jaded viewer says: The Walking Whore as she is now known is totally your Kate. She's hot, she's behind the scenes, she's kinda messed around and she has a BIG FUCKIN SECRET. Actually 2 in fact. She's trying to play both sides (making nice with Shane because of what he did for Carl...well sorta) but remains loyal to Rick. Kinda Close 4.) Daryl is Sawyer
the jaded viewer says: Rednecks unite! Daryl, our resident bad ass hick has shown us uber toughness and a shielded tender side. He's hated by everybody but somehow has slowly become endeared by Carol. Sawyer too started off as the most hated man on the island but eventually became the lovable awesome guy with a sense of humor.
5.) Andrea is Sayid
the jaded viewer says: We're slowly seeing Andrea evolve into a sharpshooter and her tag team with Shane closely draws parallels with Locke and Sayid. They both have a similar agenda and clearly are on the outside of the group looking in.
6.) Glenn is Hurley
the jaded viewer says: This is an easy one. Your comic relief character is a bit socially awkward, scores with the hot girl but somehow is the most reliable survivor. Glenn is the guy who can get things and Hurley is the guy who can eat things. See?
Kind of a stretch...but!
7.) Dale is Claire
the jaded viewer says: Dale is our reliable old fuddy duddy. The confidante, the keeper of the pulse of the group. He kept Andrea alive and got T-Dog medical attention. He's the mechanic. Hmm not sure how Claire is like Dale. But I get the feeling Dale like Claire has a big secret that may change the group dynamic.
8.) Karl is Walt
the jaded viewer says: They're both kids. I'm hoping they're both "special" and have magical powers.
9.) T-Dog is Michael
the jaded viewer says: You're probably saying "C'mon, why you gotta be racist for?" Is it because they're both black? Well I'm not sure which Lost character T-Dog resembles as of yet. He did mention to Dale they thought they were "weak" part of the group. Michael had always thought that to....kinda. This comparison is more of a prediction. We'll see as we go along.
10.) Carol/Sophia are Jin/Sun
the jaded viewer says: Sometimes you just gotta take the mediocre characters and lump them up together. Did Jin disappear from Sun for a long period of time? You betcha. Where the fuck is Sophia? She must have walked to fuckin Washington DC by now.
11.) Hershel/Maggie/Carol/etc are The Others
the jaded viewer says: Hershel just pulled a Ben Linus didn't he??? Who knows what else is on that farm.
12.) Zombies are The Island
the jaded viewer says: This is also pretty obvious but the zombie wasteland is The Island with all it's dangers, craziness, quirkiness and unknowns. What else will they encounter as they travel along the zombie states of America. We've already gotten flashbacks of the nuclear holocaust of Atlanta. Will we get flash forwards?
It's not definitive yet but I would bet a dollar we may get some parallel storylines and a few more twists and turns that might be Lost like. I've been digging The Walking Dead and I hope they keep it fresh and dig deep into the characters as that is the ultimate driving force of any good show.
As long as we don't see all the characters in a church in the series finale, I think we're good.
Blackout Haunted House 2011 (Walkthrough/Spoilers)
**Hello fellow Redditors, it seems you are all curious of this haunted house that other haunted houses are afraid of. I'll be posting my review of 2012 edition in the next few weeks. In the meantime, be sure to ask your burning questions in this AMA which The Raven and Black Cat has created. TRBC and myself have been to at least 4 Blackout haunts including the infamous invite only Spring event. We're part of the Survivors Club and we know what we're talking about. Also, head over to the Jaded Viewer Facebook page and check me out on Twitter. Also check out TRBC on Twitter as well.**
On November 6th, after an extended run of sold out nights, Blackout Haunted House finally closed its doors. The urban legend of haunted houses became real for a ton of brave New Yorkers, tourists and people from all across the country and the world. But some weren't brave enough to venture into the darkness and others ran out of time. Well, that's where this walkthrough comes in.
Yup, I've been reading your comments, e-mails and tweets and everybody wants to know what the HELL did everybody experience at the Blackout Haunted House that made it the most thrilling, exciting and demented haunted house. Let's now pull back the curtain as I unveil MY EXPERIENCE of this best haunted house in NYC.
You can read my review and the Facebook page or the Twitter feed of others who went through it. Everybody had different experiences as it progressed. Josh and Kris changed a few things throughout the run and probably went extra Guantanamo Bay during the peak Halloween period. I went around the middle of it, during a press night where only a few brave intrepid reporters braved the haunt. I'll admit, I have forgotten the order of the events that I experienced but I'll do my best to give you a step by step walkthrough of each part of the experience. I also have to say my mind is a bit clouded and I've kind of forgotten a few things that happened. It's a mix of time that has passed since mid October and the fact that I'm not good at logging the events and get pretty caught up experiencing it.
As I said in my review: "Blackout Haunted House is the haunted house other haunted houses are afraid of." Now would you have gone to this?
The black partition separates you from the start of this 20 min or so insanity (it feels devilishly longer than it actually is). Josh pops from the screen and guides you inside.
You stand in complete darkness for what seems to be 2-3 minutes waiting and waiting and waiting. It's an agonizing wait until Josh gives you a paper thin surgical mask which you put on. "Do you have asthma?" "Do you have epilepsy?" Josh asks. I shake my head no while saying the words.
You enter a room that has the glow of a flickering TV that splashes Poltergeist light. Seated to the left is a large woman, dressed in one of those medical outfits they give you for a checkup eating a cup of ice cream. A metal folding chair sits in the middle of the room in front of the TV. In silence, I'm pantomimed the universal sign to sit down. I do. I stare at the TV and back to ice cream lady. It must be awesome ice cream. I suddenly feel my hair being touched from behind. It seems another escapee hotty mental patient I didn't see likes my awesome disheveled hair. Ice cream lady moves her chair next to mine and gets really cozy with me. She puts her head on my shoulders and smiles. She grabs my hand tightly and I now see what's in hers. HANDCUFFS. She slowly puts both handcuffs on and I'm pointed into Room #2.
In Room #2, its deadly dark. I step as carefully as I can in the pitch black darkness but I figure I'm not leaving this room until something happens. I now get the feeling I'm not alone and quickly somebody pulls up my handcuffed arms and have attached them to some sort of rope. Now a wraith-y misfit is touching me on my arm, neck and head and I can't see where it's coming from. A balloon pops. I'm a bit startled. What sounds like a metallic ladder crashes down and I'm startled a bit more. You know that jumpy feeling you get? Well I got that. I'm then untangled from the rope and I see a flicker of a flashlight and a man dressed like a doctor grabs my arm. I see he has a big fuckin needle and unrolling my sleeve, he plunges the needle down (Vincent Vega style) into my arm. Of course it's not real but has a psychological touch that hits me hard. (I HATE FUCKIN NEEDLES!). I'm now escorted via mild shoving to the next room.
In Room #3, I see a chair and am told to sit down. I'm also handed a flashlight powered by some weak ass batteries. Also, goggles are put over my eyes. I scan the room with my flashlight and see nothing. But slowly, I see a figure. A Nosferatu like shadow creeping across the room, my flashlight making shadows into a silent horror movie. This room seems like a weird dream room, nothing really happens but it felt like the artistic portion of the program. Soon the figure dissipates and I'm grabbed by a somebody and shoved into Room #4.
Well I should have known that was the lull before the storm. Because shit's hitting the fuckin fan. I'm now grabbed and thrown against a wall and told to put my handcuffed hands against it. Now facing the wall, I'm yelled specific instructions to take 10 steps back and I proceed to do that. I start counting in my head. 10....9...8...7... BOOM! I'm grabbed from behind and a hood is thrown over my head. I'm told to kneel down and now I can feel the sticky, wet grimy floor and then suddenly water is being poured over the hood. Yes folks, the rumors are true. I'm getting fuckin WATER BOARDED. Water is coming from every direction and I'm getting soaked. I start to breathe a bit heavy as the surgical mask and the hood have limited my breathing. I'm sure people call safety at this point but a bit of the waterboarding ain't gonna make me say it. My attacker calls out my name (which kind of shocked me but I guess this is Josh's way of personalizing the experience for the jaded viewer) and tells me to scream. I scream as loud as I can. I'm told I scream like "a fuckin pussy". "Scream louder!!!" yells my torturer. I scream louder. I'm called a variety of expletives and am told to scream louder. I do. It finally subsides. Told to stand, the hood is taken off and now I'm mildly mouth raped. Yes folks,MOUTH RAPED. Somebody is inserting their possibly unsanitary fingers into my mouth. After that brief oral gagging, I cough and dry heave a bit and the handcuffs are finally removed. I'm now told to go upstairs (or is it downstairs?). Its a bit foggy with the mouthrape and waterboarding having traumatized me a bit.
A Blackout HH guide asks me: "Do you want a light?" She holds up a glowstick and I say "Yes". She holds it out, then says "Go get it!!" and tosses the glowstick near the opening of a dark tunnel. Wet, still sucking in air and a bit weary, I grab the glowstick and make my way through the tunnel. I start remembering some old Jennifer Jason Leigh TV movie called "Buried Alive" and remember the dark tunnel in that. The glowstick is my only light source and I start crawling through the narrow tunnel. I try to move as fast as I can when my leg is grabbed from behind. I can hear above me some laughter and the loud footsteps of the man above me. I finally see the end of this freakin tunnel and make my way out.
Here is where I got lost. I believe I was told to go downstairs but I think I was a bit disoriented on where to go. I do head down some stairs and enter the TV room again. After getting some better instructions, I'm told to go to the infamous "Care Bear Room".
Ahhh the infamous "Care Bear"/"Rainbow" room. The room has been called that as there was a bit of color and it had the most light from the previous rooms. I'm told to sit in a chair as a woman in a hospital gown creeps closer, whispering somebody is out to get her. She slowly approaches me and then stands to my left. She grabs my head and tells me to "Pull the string" which is dangling from her you know what...fuck it. Her fuckin pussy. I grab and pull it and she makes the most wonderful moaning noises. Now fully out, I can see it's a tampon. Yes you again reader have read that right, a fuckin BLOODY TAMPON. Now she tells me to put in my mouth and suck it. No use with arguing with her and I do, just barely. She suddenly jolts to the door and tells me to get out. At this point, I have the bloody tampon in my hand and figure I have a souvenir.
I'm now guided into a bathroom and see quite a sight. A medium built man is whispering in my ear. What's most disconcerting is the man is entirely naked. His bait and tackle are hanging out for me to see. He starts mumbling things into my ear, I can't remember exactly what it is. He then proceeds into the toilet stall and closes the door. I now can hear heaving and the excruciating sounds of vomit upheaval. It's as disgusting as it sounds. He then opens the door and tells me to grab a key in the toilet. I hesitate and stare at the bowl looking for a key but I can't see one. My left sleeve was rolled up (from the crazy injection) but in the midst of my germaphobic nature I forget and dip my right hand into the toilet and feel for a key which I finally find. It's the first time I felt kinda disgusted but know this all can't be as sanitary as could be. Now guided out of the bathroom, a Blackout attendant asks me which hand I grabbed the key and I say my right arm. I see a bucket of water and she tells me to wash my right arm and my entire sleeve is now drenched. Good job to the jaded viewer. I'm just making it far worse for myself than I think this should be.
I now enter the final room where I see a completely naked woman with her ankle chained to the floor. She starts pleading for me to free her and starts telling me "he will be back soon". I get into panic mode and grab the lock on the chain. I start putting in the key and try to free her but it's not working. My brain is freezelocking and I start believing I don't know how to open a lock anymore. But it seems the key is too big and doesn't fit this lock. A sense of panic hits me as I keep thinking naked black man (from last year's haunt) is about to enter the room filled with vicious rage as I try to free "his victim". She then directs me to a bucket filled with water near a sink. She informs me to check the bucket. I'm a little weary about this bucket and I now fear anything filled with water. I sink my right arm into the bucket and look for a key and find it. I head over to naked lady victim and proceed to open the lock. She grabs my hand and we start making our way to the exit. I'm going to free the damsel in distress! I'm the final guy! I look back and she disappears and I'm shoved violently out of the house as a man yells "Get out of my house!"
The few spectators waiting for their turn look at me and I look at them. I'm soaked, tired and my face is half smirking and half terrified. I've just survived Blackout Haunted House and I silently say in my head "Fuck yeah!"
There you have it. The Blackout Haunted House experience. I'm pretty sure I've forgotten a few things but I'm hoping you other survivors can fill in anything I missed or add a few moments that I didn't experience into the comments. Everybody had a few variations on their experience and I think it's worth sharing for all who went through it and especially people who didn't.
I'm not sure how many people went to Blackout this year. Probably way more than the previous 3 years combined. I'm curious as to how many people SAFETY-ied. Did Blackout keep track? It would totally be cool if they did. Speaking to the crew, they said it was around 20%. I still have so many unanswered questions and one day would love to meet my fellow survivor club members and anybody else who went to Blackout.
Oddly this little torturer's paradise has brought people together in one of the weirdest way possible. After reading the comments and Facebook messages, people are proud to be part of Blackout club. Like in Hostel, you're part of an elite group, survivors of the baddest haunted house in the country.
You probably told your family or friends what happened to you and they didn't believe you. You tell them it's the truth and they probably said: "Haunted houses can't touch you or do that shit you just said!" You reply: "But I signed a waiver!" It all sounds made up but YOU know it really happened....and so do a thousand others.
You're a survivor. And I'm proud to call you a jaded viewer as well.
I'm pretty positive Cory Udler is not a big fan of organized religion. Udler, the mastermind behind the infamous Incest Death Squad 1 and 2, seems to wage his war on it behind the camera by satirizing the sheep and the wolves who prey on said sheep. With Mediatrix, it's front and center and mocks the mockery of all that is Christianity and it's inherit beliefs.
Mediatrix is an exploitation jab at the right wing neo-conservative religious right by inserting boobs, sex and rape to get its point across. Focusing on the devious Mary Ann who is a master manipulator on all things spiritual, she seduces the minds of the ultra stupid while challenging the status quo of a priest hell bent on exposing her.
What you end up with in Mediatrix is an odd black humor exploitation comedy that has screwball characters and a pure relentless wicked streak, similar to seeing a car crash during a funeral procession. Clearly it's messed up but oddly funny in a fucked up sort of way.
But that's not to say my fun-o-meter didn't pop up. I had a few gripes on the story, characters and overall lack of cohesiveness. There seemed to be a bit of dead air scenes and a few jokes fell flat. I wanted to see a standoff between the supposed good vs the supposed evil but you got the feeling it was going to be a one sided affair.
But as atheists would say, you play with fire you're gonna get burned. (Hmmm I'm not sure atheists would actually say that)
It is the story of Mary Ann Van Hook-false spiritualist who parlays her manipulation skills into wealth, power and even her own cult of followers.
We meet Mary Ann (Paula Duerksen) who raised by a stereotypical spiritual mom rebels by being the town bicycle. Clearly mom and daughter are scam artists de jour but Mary Ann it seems to ACTUALLY have a phone connection to the Virgin Mary (Shannon Lark). When she meets Carrie (Kaylee Williams from 3 Slices of Life) and her husband Will Brackett, they become an easy mark for our spiritual medium. Soon she's using her "assets" to seduce up Mr. Brackett and his associates all while stealing the pastor's congregation. All this leads to a showdown with said pastor.
Mediatrix feels like an extension of IDS with some usual actors back and some new ones in the mix. It has a sense of wacky and can't really be called a horror movie but more of an exploitation attack on how the gullible become gulled. Udler has always hovered his movies in a weird in between place of realistic wickedness and black humor oddity. This has the same feel. It has an indie quirkiness but also falls victim to not knowing what it should be.
It has elements of a black comedy but also seems to be hell bent on being a mish mash of other genres as well. Mary Ann, a tatted up, foul moth, druggie seems to hard to believe. She's a wolf in wolf's clothing yet the sheep are all convinced her spirituality is from the divine. I really didn't buy it. So many religions, especially evangelical Christianity could have been easily mocked and satirized but somehow it doesn't come out very well in Mediatrix. I was hoping to see a punk rock/death metal version of Book of Mormon.
The actors all seem to play heightened crazies. Duerksen gives a glimpse of her goods as the head crazy and does a good job in the role. It'd be nice to see Lark in a lead role as she has a scream queen persona to carry a movie. Udler regulars Matt Ukena, Scott Rawson and Tom Lodewyck also make appearances. Having remembered Williams from Slices of Life, she plays a very convincing sheep.
Mediatrix has fire of wrath vibes to it and has a feel of raw energy that most movies would be afraid to cover. But it also isn't as polished and straightforwardly wicked as Udler's previous Incest Death Squad 2. It's however fueled with an indie DIY spirit that oozes of Americana fuckedupness. For that I'm giving it 2 Hallelujahs.
Main character boobies WTF moment So the Virgin Mary is a hot coked up punk rock girl?
I rarely cover comedies on the jaded viewer but having rewatched EuroTrip for like the 10th time because of Showtime, I have to make sure you all know of this hilarious flick. In the same vain of Road Trip, American Pie, Harold and Kumar, etc. the "trip" comedies, Eurotrip might have been overlooked when it came out in 2004.
But it still brings tears to my eyes from uncontrollable laughter when I watch it. Plus the Lustra song "Scotty Doesn't Know" is so catchy, I can't get it out of my head. Filled with profanity, nudity, gross out humor and flaccid penises, it deserves a fuckin sequel. Starring some dude, some other David Spade looking dude, the hot Michelle Trachtenberg and some other dude it also features cameos from Lucy Lawless, Kristin Kreuk, Matt Damon, Vinnie Jones and others.
Just pure awesome Rated R raunchiness.
So here is my list of the top 10 scenes from EuroTrip.
Why it's awesomely funny awesome: Stating the obvious: It's so funny because they keep rewinding it. 9.) "Let's make love for one whole month"
Why it's awesomely funny awesome: Hasselhoff. Nuff said. 8.) "You guys are on a completely different level of swearing over here"
Why it's awesomely funny awesome: Vinnie Jones and the Manchester United soccer hooligans are the bloodiest blokes on the planet.
7.) "This is definitely where I parked my car"
Why it's awesomely funny awesome: Club Vandersexxx and it's safe word make the list as Cooper finds himself in trouble. Plus Lucy Lawless as a dominatrix makes this scene all good...(or all wood). 6.) "Gotta love that exchange rate"
Why it's awesomely funny awesome: Oh Bratislava. You've been home to killer hostels and are a decade behind. When the waiter guy gets a nickel as a tip, it's hilariously hysterically funny.
5.) "They really are the worst twins ever"
Why it's awesomely funny awesome: Oh absinthe. This is why you're banned in the USA. The follow up scene is insanely funny too as Cooper recites a Frommer fun fact about the incident.
4.) "....I'm programmed to get.....freaky"
Why it's awesomely funny awesome: Spoofy Matrix style mime-off. When Cooper tells him to "sweep the leg", I almost lost it. Good times. Oh France, you lose yet again.
3.) "Scotty Doesn't Know"
Why it's awesomely funny awesome: First off, Matt Damon appears out nowhere as the punk rock frontman, then Kristin Kreuk goes all sexy slut. Then you actually start to realize what the song is all about and it's fuckin brilliant. Plus it's so damn catchy.
Why it's awesomely funny awesome: Do you realize that's Fred Armisen has creepy Italian guy??? The tunnel scene still makes me cringe.
1.) "I thought this was a nude beach?"
Why it's awesomely funny awesome: Well first you have the scene above with Michelle Trachtenberg, then you have the statue filled with naked hotties, then you have the crazy amounts of man sausage. Now that's fuckin funny.