Eventide Village – strong weather advisory

There were complications over the weekend.
Alice Jay’s pet hamster, in it’s clear plastic ball, was found running down Maine Street Thursday morning.
It was pursued by a black cat that no one remembered seeing before.
Constable Weary was called out to Roy Pepper’s hog farm Thursday evening.
Bud Miller, drunk and hopped up on pain medication, somehow drove his truck off-road through the low-grey hills west of the village and smashed into one of Pepper’s swine, a pregnant sow, killing the animal.
Nadine Forster, a biologist with a terrible limp, is staying at the Rusty Anchor motel.
The Gale Winds warning from the NSW was upgraded to a Storm Warning.
By Friday the 17th, Eventide Village was windswept and soaked.
The rehearsal for the destination wedding was meant to be on the 18th.
After deciding on the picturesque Lighthouse as a backdrop for wedding photos, the bride and groom were disappointed that inclement weather and peculiar tides made this impossible as a location.
The courthouse has been chosen for the actual ceremony, being rather more splendid in appearance than the chapel on Maine Street.
The rehearsal had to be called off.
The betrothed’s trusted officiate missed the parking lot at the courthouse entirely and drove well past it, and off the pier and into the channel.
The volunteer fire department pumped more mud out of his lungs than water, and the unfortunate pastor had to be transferred out of Eventide to the city.
The betrothed took a somber dinner with their attendants at the village diner as the storm raged.
Around dusk they watched, dumbfounded, a baker’s dozen of the older residents of the Village, wrapped in oilskins and clutching umbrellas gathered at the gazebo in the pounding rain.
After assembling, the group of waterlogged elders sloshed north towards That place for their nightly vigil.
The middle-aged counterman, Lulu Rothstein, shrugged and busied himself at the grill when questioned.
“Well they ain’t going to play Bingo,” he muttered.
The groom has been afflicted with insomnia, and stayed up during the storm, staring out the window of the b&b while his self-medicated bride-to-be (herself suffering from chronic nightmares, hence the cognac) snoring heavily beside him.
With the wind battering at the eaves, he felt like the roof was going to blow off.
The whoops of old Maevis Bottin- “Whooo-weeee! She’s blowing strong tonight!” did not help.
Nonetheless, the groom-to-be must have slept some, as the clocktower chiming midnight awoke him suddenly.
Startled, he went to the window and looked outside.
He saw a huge black animal, like a horse, striking it’s hoof on the pavement in front of the movie theater.
He was so discombobulated that he turned on the bedside light before returning to the window.
Now he could only see the wind-shorn rain droplets beading on the window.
That and his own reflection…
And something else.

Halloween Countdown – October 20

Ah, Giallo.

Except this isn’t an Italian horror film from the 60s or 70s, it is a US piece that comes out later this years.

From the black leather glove to the lurid lighting, period clothing and hairstyles- the trailer oozes giallo style. The music is perfect for a piece like this.

But it is just a teaser. And writer/director team Adam Brooks and Matthew Kennedy are part of the ultra-low budget, DIY film boom that includes movies like Manborg and Father’s Day (the Troma distributed one, not the one with Robin Williams) that embrace full-on “Camp for the sake of so-bad-its-good” and ironically shitty special effects and staging…

But from the teaser, at least, The Editor looks a cut above the earlier efforts.

Editor… cut above… oh. Oh yes.

Halloween Countdown – October 19

My buddy Paddy Breathnach made a movie called Shrooms

I feel like there are some terrific creepy visuals- and I wish more of them were in the trailer.

The trailer focuses mostly on the first two-thirds of the movie- which might be wise.

So half-face guy from Boardwalk Empire takes a bunch of ‘Mericans into the Irish wilds for a Shroom pilgrimage, and not-Kristen Bell and her friends have a bad trip…

And a terrifying 16th century hooded creature stalks them? This is why I just drink.

Paddy sort of shrugged and the ludicrous nature of the premise when I teased him about it.

I think the mechanics involved- hallucinations and fear- are solid, if silly. There are some great visuals in Shrooms and a couple of good perfs. I think I’ll re-watch it- it’s been nearly eight years! It is on Netflix streaming…

you wanna watch with me?

Halloween Countdown – Trailer Free Oct 18

Sorry I didn’t post a trailer yesterday, I was busy cleaning the apartment prior to hosting an anniversary party for Annika and I- ten years legal!

If you are an Angeleno, you are familiar with the existence of New Beverly Cinema- a great revival movie theater with a storied past.

I’ve been to the New Bev maybe three times in the last 14 years, because I am fucking terrible at going OUT to movies. Annika and I saw a double-feature of Evil Dead and Dead Alive there once (it was awesome, but the seats killed our asses) and my buddy Bri and I caught The Cabal Cut of Clive Barker’s Nightbreed a few years ago… I think that is it?

A lovely young woman named Julia Marchese has been part of the public face of the New Bev for as long as I can remember. I follow her on Twitter, she’s funny and smart and really loves movies.

The other day I read a great blog-entry that she linked to: Horror Forever. Check it out, I’ll wait.

*sips beer leftover from Anniversary Party*

We back?

Cool.

When she linked to the blog on Twitter, Miss Julia asked (I assumed hypothetically) “What made YOU the horror hound you are today?”

I started to form a 160 character response several times, but couldn’t make it work, couldn’t pull the trigger.

What DID make me a horror hound? Was it The Bride of Frankenstein when I was 8? Was it watching Evil Dead 2 as a fresh-faced kidlet in 8th grade? Was it shuddering through The Haunting when I was 15? (or was it 16?)

No, I think those dabbles made me aware but didn’t really induct me.

Watching the tv series Son of the Incredibly Strange Film Show in ’89 might have contributed.

But what really cemented my love for Horror Films, was a shitty year of my life.

In 2000, Annika and I had separated, broken up, whatever. Thank GOD that didn’t take. But I moved out to LA in the summer of ’00, and tried to make a go of it (we got back together in ’01) on my own.

I had a time-intensive job as 2nd assistant to an A-List movie star/director/writer, so I didn’t have a social life.

I drank too much.

And I watched A lot of scary movies.

I mean, I had a good foundation; I had always loved horror fiction, I loved the above-listed movies, and in college I was introduced to some other strong entries. Every so often, my buddy Cliff and I would go to the movies and watch whatever started next- no matter what it was. We saw a lot of crap that way, including 1995’s Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers- I think we were the only people in the theater.

For years my best pal Shelby and I would spend New Years Eve together with food, drink, and movies- often horror or sci-fi films that we could make fun of (the entire Watchers saga).

But in 2000 I really started delving deep. I found some good critical blogs (The Bad Movie Report, Stomptokyo) and I broadened my horizons, horror-speaking. I gobbled up everything I could get at the video store (remember those)- often renting things that I remembered the box art for from my childhood video rental store visits.

I watched, on average, 3-6 movies a week. I watched screeners of movies that hadn’t gotten into the theater yet- Deathwatch, Sangre Eterna… I dove down the side-channels of J-horror, and Italian and Spanish 1970s fare. I rediscovered George Romero’s Of the Dead series and the Blind Dead series. I drooled over Dog Soldiers and Ginger Snaps (seriously, the early 00s were good for werewolves). My friend Chris Chaffin hooked me up with WEIRD and forgotten horror from the 60s and 70s, vile grindhouse fare and arty productions alike. I watched DTV shitpiles where Adrian Paul was a vampire cop in a world of vampires, or Michael Rooker was a hitman for the vatican who hunts demons and badly written ultra-low budget stuff that was full of genre hat-tips (characters named Carpenter, or Raimi! Not funny!)…

And on Halloween, 2001 (or 2002?) I caught a restored version of Tobe Hooper’s 1974 Texas Chainsaw Massacre. That was a big moment.

Going deep into horror taught me a lot about myself, about the genre, and about storytelling. And yes, frequently it was “what not to do”.

When Annika and I reunited, she accepted my raised interest in horror. She accepted it and even encouraged it (our early blog, Grumpy Critic/Angry Cook was based on her cooking a meal, my writing about it and the horror movie we would watch during digestion).

And in the 14 years since, as my twenties disappeared and my thirties have nearly run out the clock, I’ve remained a horror fan. It is a great, powerful genre.

And I love it.

Halloween Countdown – October 17

For the 17th I asked my reader(s) to pick a movie for me.

They didn’t, because it is Friday night and they have things to do. Me to- I should be cleaning the apartment.

Instead, I give you What We Do In the Shadows

Oh, New Zealand.

Now I do not care for Found Footage. It is often used as a crutch for mediocre direction/lighting.

In a comedy setting, it can be used brilliantly of course. And this- despite the presence of vampires – is most definitely a comedy.

IT STILL COUNTS GODDAMNIT. Vampires.

I really wanna see this.

Halloween Countdown – October 16

I am married to a truly awesome woman. Ten years this day.

My wife (and the kids, and I) have been on a viking kick of late- historical, not a lot of fiction.

So it is with great pleasure that I share this remarkably viking horror trailer

I wish the WHOLE movie was bearded vikings fighting giant monsters- I would watch the shit out of that.

But as it is, it might be worth checking out.

I love-love-love how the trailer is at such pains to avoid letting us know that it is a foreign language film.

So faithful reader, are you ready for Ragnarok?

The road to Eventide is dark

There is a Trailways bus northbound along the state road.
The driver has one passenger who has asked him to stop at the Eventide Village turnoff.
It isn’t a regular destination, but it is on his route.
The bus is mostly empty this early; a few regular commuters are snoozing on their way to the city.
The woman in the 2nd row doesn’t sleep; she sits with her bag in her lap starring forward into the pre-dawn dark.
The driver is keeping it at the speed limit.
A gust of wind shakes the bus as it climbs a hill.
“You been on this route before, I expect.”
The woman is quiet a moment and then nods.
“Yes, once. In the spring.”
“Ah, sure. I never forget a face.”
The miles fly by, the weather worsens.
“You were going there… not family.”
“Research,” the woman says. “I was a biologist.”
The bus slows and waits for oncoming traffic to pass before pulling out and around a fallen tree.
“Here we are miss,” the driver says, gently braking and pulling to the shoulder above the turnoff.
The tree branches are whipping about in the wind.
The road to Eventide is dark.
“It a long walk to the village?”
The woman shrugs.
“Couple miles.”
The driver hesitates- he noticed the woman limping as she climbed into the bus and some people are sensitive about stuff like that.
“I’ll be fine,” the woman says. “I’m going home.”

URGENT – MARINE WEATHER MESSAGE

URGENT – MARINE WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
129 AM EST WEDS OCT 15 2014
…GALE FORCE WIND GUSTS TODAY THROUGH TONIGHT
COASTAL WATERS OFF EVENTIDE TIDAL MARSHES FROM BELOW LIGHTHOUSE POINT, EXTENDING 20 NM TO 60 NM
…GALE WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 1 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 7 AM EST THURS
A STRONG LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM WILL PASS EAST OF THE REGION THIS EVENING. STRONG SOUTHERLY WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO DEVELOP QUICKLY AHEAD OF THE LOW… WITH STRONG EASTERLY WINDS BEHIND THE ASSOCIATED COLD FRONT PASSING DURING THE EVENING HOURS. SUSTAINED WINDS OF 25 TO 30 KNOTS ARE POSSIBLE WITH FREQUENT GUSTS TO NEAR 40 KNOTS. THESE WINDS WILL LEAD TO EXTREMELY DANGEROUS MARINE CONDITIONS AND STRONG WINDS INLAND IN COASTAL REGION.

Halloween Countdown – October 15

“A rabies outbreak plaguing the small town where Virginia lives. Emilio, the father,travel to help his brother Ostrosky whose eldest daughter, Julia, is on the verge of death from a strange disease. Virginia is home alone.”

El día trajo la oscuridad

Well, I don’t know about you, but I know about two things:

1. I want to see this.
2. IT AIN’T RABIES, Y’ALL.

Groundskeepers

There is a groundskeeper who keeps up the Village Green and the courthouse.
His name is Ezra Quint, he is fifty-two years old and he is the only Quint still living in Eventide.
His mother and father died long ago, and his sister Jenny went into the woods when she was eight and never came back.
Ezra is a large man, with broad shoulders, big hands, and a thick neck.
He is exceedingly polite while minding the green or painting the gazebo or oiling the clockwork mechanism of the courthouse tower.
He has a gentle smile, but a famous temper.
Bud Miller found out the time he called Ezra “Pops”, and ended up with his first chipped tooth.
Quint’s slap to Miller’s face is a local legend, as bystanders report it as an exceedingly gentle, open-handed slap that nonetheless sent Miller sprawling into the street; his tooth chipped on the curb.
Quint plead guilty to simple assault, got six weeks community service from Judge Lyndon, cleaning up the green and maintaining the courthouse.
After his community service was done, the Judge offered Quint the position permanently.
The Judge could see that Quint is an exceedingly honest man.
“I lost my temper and I slapped him, and I knew I shouldn’t so I slapped him soft, though I should not have slapped him at all-“ he rumbled that day in court.
When Ezra Quint reports to Judge Lyndon that he can see no physical reason for the clock tower to chime “extra”, as it does, the Judge believes him.
Sometimes when Ezra is out on the ledge in front of the clock-face with his oil can and wrench, he turns and looks over the village.
From up there, he can see the low grey hills to the west, the Atlantic ocean out past the Lighthouse to the southeast, and the salt marshes to the south.
He can also see the old cemetery and beyond it That place, and beyond That the shadows of Stinkwood to the north.
When he looks to the north, he clenches his fists, combatively.
Lately, he has noticed a figure in the old cemetery; burnt McCabe, looking back at him, stock still, pruning shears held low.