“I’m Paul Barlow, and this is my daughter Jo.”

“Malone.”

“You got a first name?”

“Yeah.”

Posts Tagged ‘Virginia Madsen’

CANDYMAN and the racial divide

Thursday, November 1st, 2018

FROM THE VERN VAULT: Don’t worry friends, I’m not about to start doing reruns all the time, but there are two pieces that were written for One.Perfect.Shot that disappeared after they were bought out by Film School Rejects. Prompted by Rumsey Taylor I located them on Internet Archive and I’m reposting them for posterity.

Maybe I’m full of it but it seems to me this piece from October 26th, 2015 was a little ahead of the curve. At the time I knew of no one else who considered CANDYMAN the best horror movie of the ’90s and I didn’t think people talked enough about its exploration of the legacy of slavery in America. I’m proud of this as well as my 2005 take on the movie. (It’s not dangerous until I review it five times, is it?)

‘CANDYMAN’ AND THE RACIAL DIVIDE: WHY ONE OF THE BEST HORROR FILMS OF THE 90S IS EVEN MORE RELEVANT TODAY

“These stories are modern oral folklore. They are the un-self-conscious reflection of the fears of urban society.” –urban legends lecture by Professor Lyle (Xander Berkeley)

“What if a person had this thing done to him and what if he had the opportunity to come back and say, ‘Watch out!’ to the world that created this person and the conditions?” –Tony Todd to Fangoria Magazine, March 1995

American horror movies have played off of all manner of primal and societal fears: tensions between social classes, the invasion of the sanctity of the home, the dangers of trespassing in forbidden places. But leave it to a couple of British artists – writer/director Bernard Rose and executive producer/short story author Clive Barker – to explicitly tie those themes to the racial atrocities of our history, creating a truly American horror story. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Better Watch Out

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

BETTER WATCH OUT is a non-supernatural, non-Killer-Santa Christmas horror movie with a fun feel to it, but with deeply uncomfortable undertones. Or maybe it’s overtones. In fact I’m gonna say it’s deeply uncomfortable overtones and undertones with just a thin layer in the middle of that fun feeling I mentioned. It’s not particularly gruesome or anything, it’s just that the psychology of the villainy is fucked up in a way that got under my skin. There is a physical threat, but it’s more about creeping you out that there are people out there who think like this.

It mostly stars the youths. There’s the kid that played Peter Pan in PAN (Levi Miller) and the two kids from THE VISIT (Olivia DeJonge and Ed Oxenbould). There are other characters, like Patrick Warburton (THE WOMAN CHASER) and Virginia Madsen (CANDYMAN) as the parents of Miller’s character, but much of the movie is just between those three kids. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Candyman

Sunday, October 30th, 2005

This movie surprised me. Everything about it is classier than I expected. From his reputation you’d think this Candyman guy is just a B-list Jason or Freddy type. But it turns out he’s more a classic movie monster like Dracula or the Phantom of the Opera. And his movie has more subtext than all of Freddy and Jason’s pictures put together, including JASON X. Hell, throw in a couple Child’s Plays too. And one or two Halloweens. And one Silent Night Deadly Night. No Texas Chainsaws though, that would tip the scale.

You know why we have to deal with Jason? Because of some horny counselors not doing their job. Freddy, because of some overzealous parents who took the law into their own hands. Dr. Phibes because some doctors fucked up a heart operation. But we got Candyman because of a bigger reason: America’s history of racist oppression. This is the only slasher/ghost movie I know of that deals with the legacy of slavery and racism (only BLACULA comes close). (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Sideways

Sunday, December 26th, 2004

So there’s these two middle aged dudes, Miles (Paul Giamatti) and Jack (some dude from a sitcom they used to have). Jack is an ex-soap star who’s about to get married, Miles is a depressed middle school english teacher who can’t get his novel published and is obsessed with wine. Together they have to stop a criminal mastermind who is poisoning the wine supply in the San Fernando valley and turning wine drinkers into an army of zombies.

Actually I made that last part up but what it’s actually about is they go on a trip into wine country the last week before the wedding. The idea is for Miles to show Jack “a good time” which to him means going around tasting wine and showing off that you know how the grapes were grown and what year it is and stupid crap like that. I mean in this movie you got people talking on and on about Pino this and 1961 is peaking and all this shit, they might as well be talking backwards, you got no idea what these idiots are blabbing about. Except when they start talking about how fragile the grapes are or something, and it is obviously a parallel to their own emotional state or their dreams or something. But I’m sorry, metaphors are not a good enough excuse for that kind of talk. Anyway, it works for the movie because they are good characters. You are not supposed to think their wine talk is cool. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.