Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Cookiemas, Diamond Dogs

I make a lot of cookies. Like, a lot of cookies. It's one of the few things about the "Christmas season" that I accept scowl-free and with open arms. Cookies every day. Cookies for you. Cookies for me. Especially cookies for me.

my beeeeeeeest everrrrrrrr vegan chocolate cookies, and now you can make them too

I decided to do something nice and relinquish my amazing vegan chewy chocolate cookie recipe. If you've known me in person for longer than a few months, you've probably had them: dark, rich, chewy, banana-y. I've been making these since 2006, when I discovered them one afternoon with my then-boyfriend's sister. They are crazy-good and actually quite easy to make. Click here for the recipe and instructional photos! I hope you love them!

Christmas snowball cookies with chocolate chips

I tried a new recipe last week, slightly modified from here (warning: that site is somewhat...saccharin). I used Earth Balance instead of butter, of course, and omitted the nuts. I hate nuts in cookies, but to be honest, I think these cookies might benefit from them (and/or maybe a drop of almond extract?) They are quite good, though. The cookie itself is not sweet, so the balance of the powdered sugar dusting on the tongue is very nice.

Album of the evening: I recommend playing David Bowie's Diamond Dogs while you bake the cookies from this entry. Did you know that the original back cover art was censored because it depicted David Bowie's lower dog half as having realistic genitalia? Only a few copies with the original art were released. I have the album on vinyl, but with the censored cover. :3

Sunday, December 18, 2011

On Boundaries, Respecting Them, and Generally Not Being an Asshole at Parties

A few years ago, I was at a party where many of the guests decided to play with spray cans of whipped cream—that is, spraying it on each other, licking it off, etc. Since I'm allergic to dairy products, I figured it would be best if my skin did not come into contact with said whipped cream, and very clearly said so. Apparently when I said, "Hey, I'm allergic to milk, so please don't spray any of that on me," one of the guests thought that it would be highly amusing if he did exactly the opposite of what I had just said. In what seemed like slow motion, I watched him reach over to my exposed leg, poised with a can of what is essentially a toxic substance to me. Naturally, I flipped out. When he recoiled, he sneered that he was "just joking", implying that I was overly sensitive and, now, "mean" for yelling at him.

More recently, I was at a party where someone (who annoyed me for multiple reasons, but I'm just going to focus on this incident) was carrying around a craniometer. (Because...that's cute?) I was sitting on a bar stool talking with some friends when this person decided to show off the device and talk about how much ze enjoyed poking people with it. I started very clearly that I did not wish to be poked. Hir immediately reaction was to point the device directly towards my knee. Again, I flipped out, and reiterated that I did not respond well to being poked (especially by strangers, and especially with an old, rusty piece of metal that is probably filthy.)

Most of you know that I spend the majority of my time, energy, and money managing my disease. Weeks (or months) of things going well can be instantly negated by one small thing going wrong—notably, exposure to an allergen or unanticipated injury or stress to my skin. I'd never get mad at someone for accidentally injuring me, and I am certainly not adverse to receiving a variety of physical sensations (with someone I trust, who knows what they're doing) or even occasionally eating something that might give me a slight reaction. The main difference here is that in these cases the damage is done at my own decision, on my own terms, when I have carefully weighed the risks and benefits.

The fact that in both of these examples the offending people irritated me for many, many other reasons is probably not pure coincidence, but their behavior is indicative of a mindset that I fear is too common: "someone told me specifically not to do something, but they can't be serious, so I'm going to do it anyway." In other words, "no doesn't really mean no, and I should do whatever I want all the time." This (along with the usual reaction of "well, I was just joking, you're being mean") is utterly baffling to me. The fact that I have a disease that hangs in careful balance is actually inconsequential to the greater issue here: you need to respect other people's boundaries at all times, no matter how insignificant they may seem to you.

Make it your policy to always ask permission to touch anyone, for any reason, and if you make a mistake (we all do sometimes), do not act like the other person is mean or "no fun" for reinforcing their boundaries. It doesn't matter if I'm splayed out on a rack being prodded by 17 people. If you walk up, you ask before initiating contact, and when you have received your answer—positive or negative—respond in an appropriate fashion. Someone else's boundaries are their own, and notifying you of them is in no way an attack on your character. I firmly believe that this is one of the most basic levels of maturity one must display before interacting with other humans (especially me.)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

5 Magical Unicorn Products

Unicorns. Everyone loves them, right? It seems like everywhere I turn there's a unicorn plastered onto something, usually expelling rainbows from one or more of its orifices. There's nothing at all wrong with that, but like anything popular, one must wade through a sea of crap before one finds quality products featuring said popular thing. Tonight, I braved that sea to bring you these 5 hand-picked unicorn product recommendations, presented in no particular order.

Tezuka Moderno Labo Unico Figurine

The Tezuka Moderno Labo line features extra-cute, slightly chibi-fied versions of Osamu Tezuka's timeless characters. I have the Phoenix from this set, and they're really great quality figures. Who could resist the adorable Unico?

Unicorn Scarf by devoutdolls

Everything about this scarf is adorable. The cute chibi pink unicorn, the rainbow lining, and the unique way its worn. It looks really warm, too!

Unicorn Earmuffs by Zygomatics

As I implied earlier, there's a lot of unicorn junk on Etsy. Most of it is either a rip-off of Tokidoki's unicorn character or something that looks like it was cobbled together by stoned elves, so I was pretty excited/relieved to find this design that is both original and well-made. Kudos to you, Zygomatics!

6%DOKIDOKI Unicorn Earring

I am sorry for showing this to you, I really am. Because, you want it, don't you? Don't try to deny it; I heard your "HNNNNGGGH" from across the internet. Well, you will probably never have it. It's sold out everywhere, and 6%DOKIDOKI doesn't ship outside of Japan anyway. I've never even seen any attempt at a replica (please correct me if I'm wrong?) In the meantime, may I suggest these adorable pink and mint glitter unicorn earrings by StarlightDecoDream to tide you over?

ThinkGeek Unicorn Chopsticks

ThinkGeek carries a lot of interesting unicorn products, but these are by far my favorite. The fact that they stand up straight is really cool. As a side note, why must every Western product photo of chopsticks show them next to a plate of sushi, something you really ought to be eating with your fingers?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

How you were *supposed* to use LUSH's Brimstone

, we hardly knew ye.

LUSH came out with a new line of exfoliating scrubs earlier this year, including an odd little lump of sulfur-laden gunk called Brimstone. I've always been an Ocean Salt junkie, but I decided to give Brimstone a shot. The fact that Brimstone is WAY cheaper than Ocean Salt may have had something to do with my decision, but I was also curious to see if the sulfur would be beneficial for my psoriasis.

Ugh, it was amazing. From the first time I used it, I noticed a drastic improvement in the scaly parts of my skin. Even the texture of the normal areas of my skin looked smoother and healthier. I gave Brimstone my official seal of approval and vowed to always keep a block on hand.

As it turns out, not everyone shared my enthusiastic joy. Brimstone is a divisive product, one that was loved or hated with extreme passion on either side (also know as the I Heart Huckabees phenomenon.) It seems the hateful side won out, because LUSH recently announced they would be discontinuing the product. I know that LUSH must discontinue products from time to time, not unlike Ben & Jerry's or Kool-Aid, but dammit, I'm going to miss it.

I can't help but think that this product may have inspired less vitriol if they had provided better instructions on how to use it. LUSH doesn't offer any kind of instructions with their packaging-free products (instruction cards are, presumably, responsible for depleting 99% of the world's rainforests), and all the website states is, essentially, "rub it on your skin" (there's even an instructional video which is exactly as unhelpful.) So I guess I can't really blame people for letting a product that was meant to break up and dissolve in water sit in a puddle in their shower and then getting upset when it was destroyed. Not that it'll do much good now, but here's how you should have been using it:

  • Break the block up before your first use. Depending on the humidity in your home you may be able to crumble it with your fingers, but if not, use a butter knife. Don't worry about keeping it in blocks. Smash it into crumbs if you like.
  • When you're ready to use it, put about a 1 inch block (or a couple tablespoons of crumbs) into a bowl and bring only that piece to your bath. Keep the rest in a dry place (so, not the bathroom.)
  • Draw a bath. Yes, a bath.
  • Do whatever it is you normally do in the bath. That is, shampoo and wash normally. After that, give yourself at least 10-15 minutes to use Brimstone.
  • Pick up a chunk (or pinch of crumbs) and start applying to your skin. It's going to be weird and clay-like. Roll it, smash it, smear it. It's not going to "scrub" like salt or sugar scrubs do. Deal with it. Don't worry about dropping bits into the water.
  • Leave the smeary bits on your skin for a few minutes. Then submerge yourself in the bath completely. Gently slough off the product with a washcloth (or use your fingertips, but it's faster with a cloth.)
  • This is the best part: remember all those bits that fell in the tub? Swirl the water around a bit to dissolve them with the product you just rubbed off your skin. Then just soak for awhile.
  • Drain the tub and rinse off briefly with cool water from the shower.

This takes a bit more time and effort than most people are willing to devote to their skin, but it was really worth it. My only hope now (other than trolling eBay for old stock) is to pray LUSH develops another, easier-to-use product with the same ingredients (like a bath bomb??)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Spine Health, Skin Health, Soap Shopping

First thing's first: LUSH is having a giveaway! Enter to win a set of 15 new winter products! They are giving away 5 sets a day for 15 days (!) and it's open to anyone with a Twitter account in the US and Canada (you just have to authorize LUSH to send a tweet on your behalf.) Oh, and it asks you to input the name of one of the Winter Warmers gifts. The page that shows them is a little hard to find, so here it is.

In my constant pursuit of natural, holistic treatment options for psoriasis, I've started seeing a chiropractor. I am super privileged to happen to be living with one (the same roommate who does the creature art many of you have admired in our living room) and she's going to be working on me twice a week.

Chiropractic work is recommended in Healing Psoriasis: The Natural Alternative, the book that features the diet I started almost 6 years ago. Because the diet alone healed me so well and so quickly, I never bothered to seek any other treatment. Nowadays, I tend to slack a bit on the diet (and have really, really been enjoying drinking and partying lately), and combined with increased stress, I felt some additional treatment would be beneficial.

I asked her to take a look at my back about a week ago because I was having some lower back pain (most likely brought on by spending 18 hours a day hunched over a computer desk.) Turns out my pelvis was out of alignment, so she snapped me back into place. That seemed to work really well. Within a day or two, the pain was gone, I felt more comfortable walking, and the exhaustion that had been plaguing me for about a month disappeared.

On Monday she began network spinal analysis, which is...basically poking me in the back. I had never heard of this treatment before (it is entirely possible it was mentioned in Dr. Pagano's book, but I'll admit that by the time I got to the chiropractic chapter I was ridiculously high on raw food and had trouble sitting still long enough to read), but I'm certainly open to trying it. It's only been two treatments so far, but I have been feeling immediate effects. I'm taller (!) and I feel more centered. Most of the back and leg pain I had is gone. It's too early to tell if my skin is responding, but it does feel good today. There's no swelling or flaking, and many spots are showing signs of healing.

There are, of course, many factors that affect my skin, but I'm very optimistic. I'm also taking a bunch of herbs and moving towards a healthier diet (I'm eating far less meat than I had been for the past year.) I'm really excited to see how my skin will react to all this! In the meantime, there are still plenty of LUSH products that are great for psoriasis care!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Halloween Nail Art - Bloody Eyeballs and More

I'm really into nail art and oftentimes find myself drooling over ridiculously detailed and highly impractical nails on various blogs. Due to my lack of desire to purchase and hoard even more art supplies, as well as my need to dress myself and tie my own shoes everyday, my own nails are usually clipped short and decorated with little more than stickers and/or designs that can be achieved using the brushes that are already in the bottles. And here are some of my Halloween themed nails created using exactly those things!

This set of Halloween nail stickers was $1.99 at Walgreens. It's kind of an odd mix of characters, and I'm fairly certain I have a sheet of Japanese stickers with highly similar skull characters on them. I'm really really not sure why there is a giant, non-nail sized sticker included. Am I supposed to stick it to my skin? Cut it up? The package does not answer this question.

I started with white nails. Since there really isn't much of a theme among the stickers (other than general Halloween-ness), I decided I was just going to stick them on randomly.

And stick them on randomly I did. Overall, I like the look. The spiders are especially cool. I wouldn't recommend starting with white after all, though, especially for the skulls. They just looked like little black eyes and disembodied hats!

The Halloween stickers lasted on my nails a total of one day, which was coincidentally similar to the amount of time it took to remove them. While I did like them, I have a feeling the rest of these stickers will be better suited to decorating a notebook or personal electronic device.

I painted my nails black after that. When I got home from the club on Sunday night, I decided to paint some bloody eyeballs on them. They actually looked way better than the photo, but I applied topcoat when the eyeballs were still a bit too wet (you can see the brush marks from applying it.) I looooved having eyeballs on my nails, and I'm totally going to revisit this look (possibly when I'm less drunk and more patient.)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Haunted Movie Marathon - Finale

I have to say, October 2011 was a great month. I just barely missed getting in a full film each day, but this was the closest I've come to finishing an entire month. I watched some really great stuff, and gained new appreciation for old favorites! I hope you'll take my advice and watch some of these! Again, first viewings are in orange, rewatches are in black. (May contain light spoilers.)

October 22nd

The Innocents (1961)
This is a seriously good movie (with a creepy-as-crap leitmotif.) It's the story of two strange orphans living alone in a huge country house. Their uncle wants nothing to do with them or the house, so he hires a governess to take care of them. She soon learns of a bunch of freaky stuff that happened there just before she arrived, and realizes the children are possessed with the ghosts of two lovers who died there. The actor who played the little boy Miles was intense.

October 23rd

Jim Henson's The Storyteller - Fearnot (1988)
The Storyteller is an amazing series featuring John Hurt with his faithful dog (voiced by Brian Henson) hosting tales from folklore. Fearnot is from The Brother's Grimm - The Story of the Youth Who Went Forth to Learn What Fear Was (albeit with a highly romanticized ending.)

October 24th

My Name is Bruce (2007)
I needed my Bruce Campbell fix, and this was pure cinematic gold. Bruce Campbell is kidnapped by a teenage fan who thinks he can save his town from an ancient Chinese demon he accidentally unleashed. The "plot" is a flimsy excuse for a bunch of Bruce Campbell one-liners, and it is great. Great.

October 25th

Cry Baby Lane (2000)
This Nickelodeon original movie gained a lot of notoriety lately because it was only ever aired once. It was supposedly banned from ever airing again due to parental complaints over the film's content. Naturally, that piqued my interest, and I have to say, it wasn't bad. It was reminiscent of Are You Afraid of the Dark? and Goosebumps episodes, which I used to love. Of course, it turns out that the film was never banned; it was simply forgotten due to not being all that popular. Still, it's never too late to cash in on an urban legend.

October 26th

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Some people debate that this is not a Halloween film, and is better watched around Christmas. To that I say, um, the main character is a skeleton. There are also those who say that this film is incredibly played out and overmerchandised, and only relevant to 14 year old mallgoths (who weren't even born when it first came out.) To them I say, screw you, because this is a truly excellent film.

October 27th

A Disney Halloween (1983)
This is often confused with Disney's Halloween Treat (which is understandable since they use the same theme song and some of the same footage), but it's a bit longer and is absent one rubber pumpkin puppet (though they do show him for a split second near the beginning.) Still lots of fun to watch, and a total must for the Halloween season!

October 28th & 29th

I went out both of these nights, so I didn't actually catch a film at home. The first club I went to was playing Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988) interspersed with some awkward 70s porn, so that was fairly terrifying. Saturday I went to the Cat Club, and they were playing Frankenstein (1931) in the front room and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) in the back, which I love, so I spent most of the time in the back. Better music there, too.

October 30th

Trollhunter (2010)
This movie rocked. It's a Norwegian fake student documentary in the vein of The Blair Witch Project (but way better, in my opinion.) It's amusing, scary, and really entertaining! Definitely recommended for anyone with an interest in Scandinavian folklore!

October 31st

Trick 'r Treat (2007)
This is easily the best Halloween film in at least the past 10 years (and one of the best modern American horror films); it was absolutely made for Halloween geeks. It got completely screwed by the company that was supposed to release it: apparently it was slated for a Halloween 2007 release, but that was cancelled and rescheduled for 2008. That was also cancelled, and it went straight to DVD in 2009. If you're wondering why you haven't seen it, that's probably why. Go watch it now (it's on Netflix.)

I hope everyone had a great October and Halloween! I'll post the rest of my photos from the season as soon as possible.

Check out the rest of the marathon!
Haunted Movie Marathon Week 1
Haunted Movie Marathon Week 2
Haunted Movie Marathon Week 3

Monday, October 31, 2011

Vintage Halloween Specials - Disney's Halloween Treat

Disney's Halloween Treat first aired in 1982, and was one of my favorite parts of The Halloween Video. It features a series of clips from various Disney films and cartoons, vaguely centered around the theme of Halloween parties.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

5 Spooky Songs You May Not Have Heard Yet

There are plenty of good Halloween songs out there, and plenty of songs people think are cute to play at Halloween parties and club nights. However, if you're like me, you are sick to death of hearing the same rehashed playlists: Thriller. Ghostbusters. Monster Mash. That Ministry song. Here are some lesser-known spooky, creepy, or just plain weird songs that will make the night's entertainment a bit more interesting. You can thank me later.

Sonata Arctica - FullMoon (1999)

To be fair, if you are even remotely into power metal, you probably have heard this song. Um...I'm pretty sure it's about werewolves, but I could be wrong. Anyway, this is an amazing and very catchy track. I've seen Sonata Arctica live 3 times, and it's so electrifying to hear the audience chanting "Run Away! Run Away! Run Away!" along with them.

Janne Da Arc - child vision ~ Ehon no Naka Kirei na Majou (Pretty Witch in a Picture Book) (2000)

Janne Da Arc was one of the first Japanese bands I got into, and I still think they're pretty damn good. This was always one of my favorite songs by them. It has heavy guitars, a catchy melody, and a spooky story: a child pleading with his parents, referring to a pretty (but scary) witch that seems to be tormenting him. Here's a fairly accurate (as far as I can tell, anyway) English translation of the lyrics.

Alice Cooper - Wind-Up Toy (1991)

The entire album (Hey Stoopid) is incredible, but this song really stands out. Joe Satriani guests on guitar (!), and the lyrics are sad and strange, reviving the character Steven, who is now locked in a mental hospital, being subjected to tests, pills, and ECT, among other things.

Bôa - Duvet (1997)

Most people (if know, everyone) familiar with this song recall it as the opening theme to the weird 90s anime Serial Experiments Lain. Melancholic and haunting, this was the first single from the British band Bôa. It always seemed odd to me that it was paired with a sci-fi/horror anime about how the internet was scary, but every time I watched it, I became entranced by the melody. In fact, it's entirely possible I remember Serial Experiments Lain so fondly because of how good this song is.

Gary Numan - Down in the Park (1979)

I will admit (from behind this panel of bullet-proof glass) that the first version of this song I heard was Marilyn Manson's cover (which, I maintain, is still quite good! /shot) It's not really my fault I didn't hear the original first. Gary Numan is largely represented in media as being a one-hit wonder, and it didn't occur to me until recently to seek out the rest of his (amazing) body of work. This song is crazy-good, and a fan-favorite that was also covered by Foo Fighters. The lyrics are chilling: they tell the tale of a dystopian society where machines are gradually taking over. "The Park" is an arena where spectators watch machines kill (and do other atrocious things to) lower class humans.

Pick up these tunes:
Sonata Arctica - Ecliptica (album) (Amazon)
Janne Da Arc - D.N.A (album) (cdjapan)
Alice Cooper - Hey Stoopid (album) (Amazon)
Bôa - Twilight (album) (Amazon)
Gary Numan - Replicas (album) (Amazon)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Surprise Pumpkin Patch Visit & Baby Ghostie Halloween Craft!

I had to get dental x-rays done this afternoon, and while I'm pretty familiar with the area the office was in, I managed to completely overshoot on the train and ended up a couple miles away. There was no inbound train in sight, so I walked all the way back. Thankfully the office was cool with me showing up 45 minutes late, and when I got out, I realized I was just a few steps away from The Great Pumpkin Patch across from Stern Grove!

I used to live nearby, and visited this same pumpkin patch in October 2007 (it also doubles as a Christmas tree lot in December.) They really go all-out: giant inflatable slide, bouncy castle, mini (free!) haunted house, plus lots of random things scattered throughout the patch. They were even selling Krispy Kreme donuts for some reason.

The haunted house was only two rooms, and I'm pretty sure it was exactly the same as it was 4 years ago. That said, it's pretty darn cool. It's hard to see, but the first room features an eerie fireplace with spooky portraits and a skeleton dangling from a rattling chandelier. The next room contains a corpse in a coffin and this mummy guy.

This was the pumpkin I picked out. I've always favored long-stemmed pumpkins, and I needed one small enough to fit in my lunch bag for the bus ride home. It was somewhat in-between the $4 and $5 sizes, but the girl at the checkout table let me have it for $4. :D

It was cool and foggy out, and I still had a smidgen of energy left from my earlier trek, so I took a walk through Stern Grove with my new pumpkin! It's a pretty spooky park at night, with huge, dense trees and lots of dark paths. Since I only like pretend fear of monsters and not real fear of being mugged, I stuck to the shallow, somewhat lit paths until I got to my bus stop.

I mentioned on Twitter a few days ago that I made a tiny ghostie plush, so here is a picture of him, finally. His right hand was in a horrible accident shortly before he died...of mutilation.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Haunted Movie Marathon - Week 3

I think week 3 is my favorite so far. It was mostly new viewings, and while it was tough to find films that were both new to me and readily available (that is, on Netflix instant watch), I think I found some gems. Again, first viewings are in orange, rewatches are in black. (May contain light spoilers.)

October 15th

Videodrome (1983)
Videodrome is one of those movies that gets better every time you watch it. It's also one of the few (okay, probably the only) movie where you get to see James Woods whipping a television.

October 16th

Black Death (2010)
I'm really interested in the bubonic plague, and adding Sean Bean just sweetened the deal. I kinda wish it had delved into more historical stuff, but I think that's a bit too much to ask from a film like this. That said, it was pretty enjoyable, and a nice change of pace from the splatter and demon crap I'm usually into.

October 17th

In the Mouth of Madness (1994)
I have to admit, I really enjoyed this movie. It reminded me of Saturday afternoons watching Tales from the Darkside and other "twist"-laden fare. It was really fun to watch the plot unfold, and there was enough spooky stuff to keep me happy. I'll definitely revisit this one again.

October 18th

The Call of Cthulhu (2005)
I was really surprised at how good this was! Most adaptions of Lovecraft stories lean towards the (at best) bizarre, but this was serious, slow, quiet (it was silent, after all), and I feel like it really captured the atmosphere of the original story. I highly recommend this!

October 19th
Cinnamon Toast Crunch!
Intruder (1989)
Rather than say that I was misled into watching this by the promise of Bruce Campbell action, I'll just say, this IMDB forum post sums up my feelings pretty well. Overall not a bad film, but I was expecting something I could fap to later, so I was a tad disappointed.

October 20th

Disney's Halloween Treat (1982)
The third offering from The Halloween Video! This really deserves its own write-up, so I'll leave commentary on this for later.

October 21st

Creepshow (1982)
I'm pretty sure I have seen some of this weird film at some point in my childhood, but I think this counts as a first full watch. I enjoyed it, and it was what I was expecting: Tales from the Crypt short stories with some spooky moments and cheesy effects. I think my favorite segment was Something to Tide You Over. It had everything I like in cheesy horror stories: unnecessarily elaborate murders and gory creatures rising from the dead.

I'm going to try to focus on some more Halloween-themed films for the rest of the month (I still have Trick R Treat tucked away). Suggestions are still welcome!

Check out the rest of the marathon!
Haunted Movie Marathon Week 1
Haunted Movie Marathon Week 2
Haunted Movie Marathon Finale

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Haunted Movie Marathon - Week 2

This past week was mostly rewatches (I was determined to consume the Evil Dead trilogy before any more time passed), with the one first viewing being the scary-as-fuck The Orphanage. Again, first viewings are in orange, rewatches are in black. (May contain light spoilers.)

October 8th

The Evil Dead (1981)
The Evil Dead trilogy is one of the few examples of a film series that gets better as it goes on. Not that the first isn't great, but there is somewhat less of Bruce Campbell being a badass in this one.

October 9th

The Evil Dead II (1987)
Evil Dead II is fucking brilliant. I will never, ever, ever get tired of blood-soaked, chainsaw-armed Bruce Campbell.

October 10th

Army of Darkness (1992)
I don't really have to say anything more about this, do I? This movie is perfection.

October 11th

Hellraiser (1987)
Hellraiser...really gross and a lot of fun. Great effects, and the cenobites are some of my favorite horror characters. I never watched any of the sequels (I just assumed they were horrible), and I was traumatized after watching the trailer for the 2011 "remake", but this is a film I will always come back to.

October 12th

The Orphanage (2007)
This movie almost killed me. It was recommended by many people, and I've been meaning to watch it for a long time. I was warned that it was "really scary", but of course I was like, pfft, whatever, scary things don't scare me. Yeah, I was wrong. This was the first film in ages that actually made me scream out loud (several times), and by the last 20 minutes I had to turn all the lights on and stand 10 feet away from the screen in order to finish it. And then it made me cry.

October 13th

The Lost Boys (1987)
Such a great film, and probably one of the best "teen" horror movies ever made. I wish I had seen it when I was younger, though (I was born in 1984, so I missed out on being in the target audience when it first came out, and it somehow stayed off my radar until just a few years ago); I feel like I missed out on a lot of time I could have been fantasizing about Kiefer Sutherland's character.

October 14th

Garfield's Halloween Adventure (1985)
I was going out that night, so I needed something short to watch while I got ready. This is one of my all-time favorite cartoons, and the second offering from The Halloween Video. It's clever, funny, and actually a bit scary. When I was a kid, I used to hide behind the couch when the ghost pirates showed up.

What do I have in store for the rest of the month? Eh, not sure yet. I have some DVDs I plan to watch, but most likely I'll be scouring Netflix for random horror/gore porn before the week is out.

Check out the rest of the marathon!
Haunted Movie Marathon Week 1
Haunted Movie Marathon Week 3
Haunted Movie Marathon Finale

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Haunted Movie Marathon - Week 1

Happy October! We're a full week into my favorite month, and I've been continuing my yearly tradition of watching at least one spooky, scary, or Halloween-themed film every night. I try to mix in old favorites (there are several Halloween specials I *have* to watch at least once a year) with new films, as well as classics I haven't seen yet. Here's the first week of October 2011's films! First viewings are in orange, rewatches are in black. (May contain light spoilers.)

October 1st

House on Haunted Hill (1959)
I love this movie. I used to watch it all the time as a kid, and I'm happy to know that it's still a great watch today. Vincent Price is a god.

October 2nd

Let the Right One In (2008)
All my tears. I heard a lot of acclaim for this film, but I didn't really know what it was about (other than a vampire tale.) I was not expecting that sweet, beautiful love story at all. I really, really enjoyed it. I plan to watch the remake as well, so I'll report back on that eventually.

October 3rd
this was the least offensive screencap I could find.
The Last House on the Left (1972)
I really wish I could unwatch this. It had been on my list for awhile, mostly because my interest is piqued whenever a movie is called out as being sick and disturbing. And it was, and while I can appreciate its cinematic importance (I guess), I was mostly distracted by the terrible, terrible attempts at slapstick humor, horribly awkward music, and the overall reminder of how ridiculous the 70s must have been.

October 4th

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (1988)
Another childhood favorite, I needed to watch this to remove the remnants of the previous night's viewing from my brain. I've adored Elvira since I was a kid, and I used to watch this movie often (though the version I had was taped off of TV, and had the "picnic scene" edited mostly out.) I'm really glad I had her as a role model growing up! She's hilarious, smart, sexy, and confident (and I am so envious of her wardrobe!)

October 5th

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
A classic, and the start of what is hopefully an eventual complete (well, as complete as my internet scouring will allow) viewing of The Halloween Video. Even though I must have seen this at least 1,000 times, I doubt I'll ever get tired of it.

October 6th

The Book of the Dead (2005)
This was a random Netflix find while I was looking for something short and spooky (it was midnight already and I needed to be at work early today.) The Book of the Dead is a Japanese stop-motion animated film set in the Nara period (AD 710-784) when Buddhism was first being introduced. If you are at all interested in Japanese history or (gorgeous, impressive) stop-motion animation, I definitely recommend it. It's a little subdued (that is, slowly paced), but I found it really engaging!

October 7th

The Machinist (2004)
Oh man, I loved this. Another film that's been rotting in my queue, I'll admit it wasn't my first choice tonight. I wanted to watch Black Death (a bubonic plague demon horror film with Sean Bean??) but I couldn't get it to stream properly on Netflix (I can't seem to watch about 75% of the streaming content on that site. I'd certainly complain if I was the one paying for it.) So when that proved unwatchable, I decided on this. I'm really glad I did! Normally I can take or leave Christian Bale (except for his roles in Velvet Goldmine or American Psycho, in which case I would take him forwards, backwards, and sideways), but man, he really killed this time around. I love films that mess with the perception of reality, and I think this did a really good job. It was a tad predictable (and there were plenty of "clues"), but it was still engaging, and complex enough to be suspenseful. The carnival ride scene in particular was fantastic.

I have some of the rest of the month's viewings planned (including the Evil Dead trilogy and Hellraiser), but I'd love some suggestions! I'm open to just about anything (with the possibly exception of most remakes and/or anything American from the last 15 years.)

Check out the rest of the marathon!
Haunted Movie Marathon Week 2
Haunted Movie Marathon Week 3
Haunted Movie Marathon Finale