Halloween The Movie At Halloween Horror Nights!!!

That’s right, Boils and Ghouls, your favorite boogeyman is back! Michael Myers will be making an appearance at HHN in Orlando, this year. Myers originally appeared in 2009 at HHN Hollywood, in a house called: The Life and Crimes of Michael Myers, which covered most iconic scenes from the original films, and even a nod or two to Halloween 3.

Fans of the series have been waiting for this appearance of their favorite killer, in their favorite Halloween event on the East Coast, and now they have it!

The original film, which was made on a shoestring budget of $350,000 in 1978, went on to gross over $70 million at the box office. It was one of the first films to employ a Steadicam system, and was known for creating audience “empathy” with the killer by giving a first-person POV to the opening murder. It also defined classic Halloween trappings and customs for a generation, by creating a brooding, atmospheric tone which captured the spirit of the holiday.

The film is beautifully shot by Dean Cundey who would go on to shoot Romancing The Stone, the Back to the Future trilogy, and Jurassic Park, and is directed by Master of Terror, John Carpenter, who gave us Escape From New York and The Thing.

But the most iconic reach of the movie is not the amazing featureless mask that was created out of a Don Post Captain Kirk. It is the music. To kids that grew up in the 80’s, that music is Halloween. It is as iconic as the Star Wars or Jaws theme, and just as influential.


The idea that this pulsing, off-beat theme is going to pump through Universal Studios Florida is enough to make my heart palpate with giddy, galloping skips. This is one of my favorite all-time films, and I am so excited, I might not be able to contain myself. I hadn’t planned on going to Orlando, this fall, but I have been scouring travel websites, all damn day!

Here is a small taste of what the original 2009 Hollywood house was like. If this is any indication, we are in for one heck of a treat.

Did Monster’s University Rip Off Monty Python?

Have you seen Monsters University?

I did.

I thought it was a pretty good flick. I liked the college setting, and I would be lying if I told you it didn’t give me a nostalgic tickle or two, reminding me of glory days and gory days. As I watched the flick in a theater crowded with children and merriment, there was something about it that made me uneasy. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but for some reason I kept picturing a fat man vomiting in a four star restaurant, a man being chased off a cliff by buxom beauties, and Catholics dancing on a cobblestone street.

Then it hit me.

*Warning, this could be very disturbing to the easily impressionable and those with good taste.*

Monsters University ripped their anthem off of Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life.

I am serious . . . and seriously disturbed by this, and I am wondering what kind of monstrous group would insert such subliminal programming into their “kids” flick in order to attempt to manipulating them in order to forgo birth control and overpopulate this great planet of ours?

Oh yes, it is that insidious.

Let me show you what I mean:

Ok. So that was the Monster’s U anthem. Delightful, no? I mean it certainly sounds innocent and legit. The problem is that it completely rips off “Every Sperm Is Sacred” from Monty Python’s Meaning of Life. Check out what I mean at the :56 mark. (seriously, go straight there or this entire post will make no sense)

I know, right? Shocking.

Now listen to them both again. No, your ears are not deceiving you. They truly ripped off Python. What kind of world do we live in, anyway. Graham Chapman would be rolling over in his grave.

Think twice before submitting your child to this torture…


Deigh Visits The Exorcist House

I am an unapologetic movie geek. Ever since I was two, I have loved the movies. One of my earliest memories is seeing  Star Wars in the theater, with my dad, in 1977. Since then, I have found solace, wonder, and magic on the silver screen. I remember the first time I saw Raiders, the first movie I ever went to by myself (Back to the  Future), the first “R” rated movie I ever went to legally (Predator), and the first time I saw Disney’s Peter Pan. Movies have touched my heart, effected my worldview, given me hope that the geek could get the girl, and challenged my thoughts and beliefs. I have strived to be part of the process since I was a kid. I have worked hard, trying to be a part of the biz.

When I was a teenager I would watch at least one movie a day, tearing through everything from Casablanca to The Garbage Pail Kids. Later on, when I worked for a movie theater, I sometimes would go to two or three movies on a lazy Saturday. Some of my best jokes have been directly plagiarized from movies. I have bought movie props, relished movie trivia, and read books on the masters and their craft.

Whenever I get a chance to visit a shootingllocation, I jump at it. There is a strange, almost mystical connection to a film when you stand in the place where it was shot. It changes the attachment to the movie. Plus it is just cool – from a historical perspective.

Recently, I was in Georgetown, at this intersection: Continue reading

What’s Summer Without A Night At The Drive-In?


This weekend we went to the Drive-In.

I love the Drive-In. I can remember going as a kid. My parents would load us up in their lime green station wagon with the wood paneling. We would fill the car up with  junk food, blankets, lawn chairs and drinks, and go see movies like: The Black Hole, Howard the Duck, and The Ice Pirates.

I remember sneaking into the back seat and pretending to go to sleep so I could watch Friday the 13th Part 4 through the hatch-back windows of the wagon, peering over the hoods of hundreds of dark cars, ducking as Jason stalked his victims through the rainy forest.

I never realized what went on in the back seats of the other cars around me, or how many teenage boys were using Mr. Vorhees as the perfect excuse for a little cuddle-action. I wasn’t interested in any kind of  voyeurism other than the kind on the screen – well, that’s not entirely true, but this post isn’t about that kind of stuff, now is it?

There was always something magical about the yellow and green lights of the Drive-In, like something out of the world’s most magnificent putt-putt park. Cars line up in rows, with those little silver speakers hanging on poles.

Continue reading

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Retrospective PART 2

When we last left Henry Jones Jr, he had just landed in India. The scary looking Shaman of the Indian village takes them in and introduces our heroes to the village.  Incidentally, the actor who played him was D.R. Nanayakkara.

D.R. did not speak any English. Steven Spielberg had to say his lines, and Nanayakkara had to mimic him.

The heroes enter into the village and are told about how their children have been stolen, along with a sacred rock that brings life to the village, and taken to Pankot Palace, where a new Maharaja is neck deep . . . in evil . . .

Indiana decides to go after the taken items, much to Willie’s chagrin.

It seems like just about everything in this movie is much to Willie’s chagrin.

I have to admit that although this movie sparks a nostalgic fire in my bosom that is timeless, and I certainly had a few thoughts about Kate Capshaw between this movie and Dreamscape, Willie’s character has not grown on me.

Originally, Sharon Stone was considered for the role. This was obviously well before her leg opening days in Basic Instinct. Willie might have been a very different character if Miss Stone had added her class to the role. . .

Oh, ummm. Nevermind . . .

Anyway, our heroes board elephants, and head off to Pankot.

Along the way Willie complains some more, Shorty bonds with an elephant, and Willie gets dumped into a mud puddle by hers.

Originally, there was a bath scene in the script, where Willie goes and bathes in the river and gets attacked by a snake. Kate Capshaw was not concerned about the nudity as much as she was about the snake.

Here is the excerpt from the script:


Thirty yards upstream, birds and monkeys chatter in a tree. In the shady river beneath, Willie surfaces cooly
and wipes hair from her eyes. She hums contentedly. Indiana wanders up the riverbank in his dripping trousers.
He notices Willie’s wet clothes spread over a tree limb hanging low over the water and then he sees Willie paddling around.

Hey, Willie -- I think you better get out now.
Stark naked? You wish... If you're trying to seduce me, Dr. Jones, this is a very primitive approach.
 Me seduce you? Honey, you're the one who took your clothes off. 
I just came over to remind you that you 
never know what else might be in the water.  
Somehow I feel safer in here.

As Indy turns and starts off, Willie reaches up to the tree branch above her head and grabs her underwear. At this moment we notice something awful: A BOA CONSTRICTOR is moving out along the branch, the enormous snake slithering over Willie’s clothes.

Willie watches Indiana walk away as she reaches up for her dress — her hands feel something strange — not the dress and not the tree limb — Willie looks up and sees that she’s pulling on a snake!

She SCREAMS as the boa constrictor falls off the tree on top of her! Indy hears the scream and hears Willie calling to him. He runs back toward the river. Stopping on the riverbank, he sees Willie backing away in the water — Indiana’s already starting to pull his boots off —

Indy! Help me!
Don't worry, I'm coming in! What is it?
A snake!

Suddenly Indiana freezes and a strange look crosses his face —

 A what...?
A snake!! 

He finally sees the boa constrictor thrashing in the water close to Willie. He leaves his boots on.

 Hurry, help me out of here! What're you waiting for?!
Uh, listen -- Willie -- I got a better idea.
First of all -- don't panic!

Willie suddenly screams as the boa constrictor wraps around her arm —

 It's got me ! Indy, help me!

Indy runs along the riverbank, trying to get closer to her, but not about to jump into the river (due to his aversion to snakes — see Episode One: “Raiders of the Lost Ark”).

Don't let it pull you deeper!
It's pulling me deeper!  
 Don't let it curl around you!
 It's curling around me! Stop talking and do something!

The snake is wrapping around her body and neck — her head is barely above water — On the riverbank, Indy reaches
down and grabs a piece of wood. But as he watches the repulsive reptile, he starts to sweat and his fear and loathing overpower him —

What's wrong?! Indy please help me!

Indy groans and bolsters his courage — he takes two steps into the water — but the complex is to strong and he can’t go any further. He drops the piece of wood…

 Listen, Willie. Do exactly what I tell you now.  
Can you move your arm?
Just one arm!
Okay, I want you to lift your hand -- and pet the snake.
PET IT??!! 
Yes, stroke it right along the maxillary and precaudal vertebrae.  
The what?!
Pet it on the head! Go on, pet it!

In the water, Willie is whimpering as she lifts her hand and starts petting the snake coiling around her pale body.

Oh -- my -- god -- it's going to crush me!  
Keep stroking it!

Willie keeps rubbing her hand along the snakes head and back and it slowly stops thrashing in the water.

 What's happening?
 It's starting to let go!
  That's good -- you're doing fine.

Grimacing as she stares at the ugly serpent’s head, Willie keeps stroking it.

It's letting go. I think it's -- I think it's going to sleep!

Indiana looks relieved. He sees the snake starting to drift away from Willie and she starts paddling back to shore,
collecting her floating clothes along the way. Holding her dripping dress against herself, she walks out of the water
toward Indy who smiles at her weakly.

See -- I got you out...

She slows and hauls off and punches him in the mouth. Indy holds his jaw as she walks away infuriates.

 Thanks for nothing! I hate snakes!  
(looking at the water)
I know the feeling...

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

So you can see what might have been. Alas, instead Willie freaks out at the campsite while Shorty cheats at cards, which is an amusing scene, but I kind of like the bathing scene. And not just for the hubba hubba,

Alright. That’s enough Indy for tonight. Tomorrow we reach Pankot.

Sleep slight and try not to dream about Sharon Stone spitting in a bit clay pot.

Michael Jackson’s Thriller

Things have been insane. So you’ll just have to wait for part two of my Temple of Doom Retrospective. Sorry.

In the meantime, though, enjoy a little taste of Thriller. This was the first album I ever bought, and it was Vinyl. In fact, I still have it. I’ll never forget going over to K-Mart and purchasing it with left-over potholder money.

Anyway, it was cool then, and it is flippin’ sweet, now.

A bit of trivia for you:

The video was released in 1983 at a cost of $500,000, five times what an average video cost at that time.

Jonathan Landis, of American Werewolf in London fame directed.

Special effects guru, Rick Baker, did the f/x.

This was a landmark video and had a brief theatrical run in order to qualify for an Academy Award.


Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Retrospective PART 1

With it being summer and all, I thought I’d take a post or two or three (whatever it takes)  to discuss one of my favorite films of all time:

The summer of 1984 was a fantastic time. I was 9, going on 10, and the world was one of freedom, adventure, and pure unadulterated joy.

I had no idea how short that time span,  that freedom lasts. To a nine-year-old, time is molasses, a thick, never ending wave to be surfed at one’s leisure. There is no concept of such a thing as mortgages, credit card bills, doctor visits, oil changes, political debates, gay marriage, social injustice, or troubling moles that appear randomly on your back and grow black hair . . .

But I digress . . .

There are two movies that perfectly sum up that summer for me; a summer of bicycles and hide-and-go-seek and fireflies and thunderstorms.

One of them is:

which I will certainly get around to doing a feature about one of these days.

The other is Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

Perhaps more than any other film in my past, this movie is a time machine that transports me back to a time when I was carefree, grass-stained, and freckle-faced. (OK, I still have freckles. Whacha gonna do?)

I know that there are some haters out there, some who absolutely loathe this movie almost with the same vehemence as Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. But I say, “Come on! Really? Crystal Skull? That’s the movie that put Marion on Valium, made Indiana a grumpy old curmudgeon who tried to explain the difference between quick sand and lightening sand while sinking in said mire, and turned that dude from Holes and Even Stevens into Tarzan, complete with the worst CGI monkeys I have seen outside of Jumaji (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmoNj59Ozug).”

Surely you jest. Temple of Doom is Indy at his most awesome, an arrogant, tough, awesome archeological pirate that takes no crap from anyone and gets the chicks.

That summer, my dad had purchased me a loom. Not just any loom, mind you, a loom for making potholders. That’s right, something along the lines of this:

My dad figured that it was time that he taught us kids the value of a buck.

That is exactly what we sold these little beauties for.

Night after night, we would sit in our living room and weave pot holders, while watching Silver Spoons and Different Strokes. Then we would take them door to door and sell them. After that, we would use the money for fun activities all summer long. We were poor, and the extra spending money really came in handy.

I hated selling those things, going door to door and convincing little-ol-ladies that they needed our pieces of junk that were really too small to be of much use of anything other than burning your fingers off when trying to remove a chicken pot pie from the oven.

Man, I love chicken pot pies.

Anyway, I was nine, armed with a bike, and twelve dollars. I did what any kid my age would have done: I went and saw Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom 12 times.

And what a movie! Right from the beginning, you know you are in for something special. I mean, this action adventure flick opens with a glorious musical number in the vein of old Hollywood fantastics like Footlight Parade and Singin’ in the Rain.

Broadway-style opening number....

Wait. What?

That’s right. The Lucas-man and the Spielberginator decided to go in a bit of a different direction on this one, tonally. That is for darn sure. The opening musical number is not only visually jarring, but it also makes no geographic sense. Willie and the chicks disappear inside the head of a huge albino dragon and suddenly, the small nightclub is roughly the size of the USS Nimitz:

Then they pull red scarves out of each others dresses. The whole thing is flamboyant and goofy, but hey, Anything Goes.

Anyway, after the girls finish singing, Indiana comes into the scene, dressed in a dapper white tuxedo.

Here he confronts Lao Che, the notorious Chinese gangster who is notorious for . . .  something sinister.

You can tell by the goofy grins that he and his sons have painted on their mugs (that’s faces in Chinese gangster).

The encounter soon turns violent as Lao poisons Indy, who in return decides to skewer Lao’s son and ruin a perfectly cooked Cornish game hen. Mmmmm, poultry flambe.

Lao frowns upon this, and the game is on. Indy is having trouble staying conscious, and Willie Scott – the famous American singer and girlfriend of Lao – finds the antidote and slips it into her dress.

This is a diamond, not the antidote.

Indy grabs her, they smash through the window, and land in a car driven by Indy’s side kick, Short Round. That’s right, a kid is driving the car! How cool that is . . . if you are a kid!

I thought I had seen Short Round before when he helped Mikey find One-Eyed-Willie’s treasure and save the Goondocks, but my mind was playing tricks on me because that movie came out a year after this one.

Shorty drives them to an airfield and there we see the first really cool cameo of the film, Mr. Dan Aykroyd:

You don’t really see Mr. Aykroyd very well, but it is a cool cameo.

Lao comes driving in, but it is too late.

Or is it?

You see, Indiana made the classic blunder of chartering a plane that is owned by the guy who is trying to kill you. I bet you can guess what that led to.

After a typical Indiana Jones style map screen,

The pilots parachute out, the plane crashes and our heroes parachute out using a rubber raft.

Then they end up bumping into THIS guy:

That is when this movie turns weird.

Yeah, I know, doesn’t sound like I like the movie much, right?

Freakin’ wrong.

I love this movie.

Hands down, this is the best acting that Harrison Ford has ever done, in his life. Even more convincing than the time he married Ally McBeal to try to prove to the world that he was straight, after getting his left ear pierced at age 54.

If you haven’t seen this movie, you really should leave your computer right this second and go watch it.


Turn it off and go.

Don’t let me ruin the rest for you.

Anyway, I’m a bit tired today, so I am going to break this review up.

Tomorrow we will learn more about what awaits our heroes in the mystical land of India. Will Short Round kick some butt? (Yes) Will Indy and Willie get in the mood? (you betcha) Will someone’s heart be ripped right out of his chest and mystically set on fire? (you’d better believe it)

And this is a family film?

Anyhow, this is going to be much more than just a synopsis. We’re gonna throw some trivia your way, some stats, maybe even a factoid or two. It’s gonna be great, much better than that time that your mom took you to Aunt Edna’s and she paid you a quarter to rub her corns.

By the time we are done, you are going to agree with me that Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is one of the greatest masterpieces in modern history.

Or at least you won’t hate it.

See ya tomorrow, Indiana Jones.