I finally watched a movie that had been pimped by so many of you on my flist and I have to say, Meh and a bit of a harsh frowny face, too. [i am not judging people who like it/got something out of it. I just have issues with it.]
Now, a) I love cannibal stories. Not in the \o/ yay! way, just... it's one of the last taboos that I really think is taboo. Who isn't morbidly fascinated by the evils that man can get up to? And b) I love gory horror movies. I love to laugh and squirm at the awfulness. Like the scene in Hostel (here's my 15mm of Hostel) when the guy's Achiles heel gets sliced. GAH. Awesomely awful. I'm over the whole torture porn genre, I will say. No Saws, no sequels to Hostel, thanks.
So first off, the movie is Spaghetti Horror. Horrid film stock (yeah it was the early 80s. See: Blade Runner and notice the beauty) absolutely BIZARRE music choices (it took days to get that "love song" out of my head. Um, more on that in a minute) and a whole lotta rape. Girls, guys, but mostly girls. Ah, the nostalgic days of film where women are objects of men's lust. Yeah, yeah, "horror" film, but still. It's GRAPHIC.
Also, I had NO IDEA that ACTUAL animals were killed for the movie. REAL animals. And they filmed it. And it serves no purpose whatsoever for the story. And when I say killed, I mean brutalized. That would have been good to know going in. I'm not the kind that covers her face during scary scenes, but you can sure as shooting bet that I covered my face during a sea turtle's evisceration. Sad face times a MILLION. Or the monkey being decapitated. What the HELL, guys? And then it turns out there's an "Animal Cruelty-Free" way to watch it, which also would have been nice to know before hand.
Plot: 4 douchebags that want to get filthy rich making a documentary about Amazonian cannibals (hahahahahha. Um, Not even Michael Moore is filthy rich. That's the least profitable genre of film, dummies) drop in and find one tribe, terrorize them, watch them rape an "adulterer" and that was seriously disturbing, they decide to rape some wandering woman, burn down the villagers huts to show their White Power (no, really) and finally stumble on the Tree People, the elusive hard core cannibals. And watch them rape someone (one of the douchebag film makers gets raped, gets his dong cut off, then is dismembered) and one by one, each of the film makers is systematically raped and dismembered and eaten while the cameras keep rolling.
This is all interspersed with scenes back in the Real World of an anthropologist that goes looking for them and finds their remains and film canisters. Uh huh. And of course, Big Hollywood wants to make a movie out of this, because it's awesome! Until they see the white people being raped and beaten, then they are horrified. The movie was "so realistic" that the film maker (the real one, not the movie film maker/anthropologist) had to go to COURT and prove that the cast was still alive. Really? I have to say, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre which came out almost a decade prior did a far better job of seeming like a real event. And that movie is actually NOT BLOODY AT ALL. Just terrifying. That's how you make a horror movie and save the cost of fake blood.
Any way, the movie had this random love song that would play when people were being killed or raped. There were two songs. TWO. Just a lot of silence, then BAM someone thumped the Real to Reel (wow, did I date myself with that reference) and the music kicked on. One scene was pretty cool, from a horror standpoint. The "documentarians" come across an elderly woman that has taken herself out of the tribe to die. She's lying on the beach waiting for death, meanwhile, her body is being ravaged by parasites, etc. Totally grody and looks completely believable. That's pretty much the only thing worth seeing in the whole movie (again, from a horror movie standpoint.)
The most offensive parts (and anyone that knows me in real life knows that I just don't get offended. No, really. No, really.)
- Gratuitous rape for male titillation. Grow up, boys. Debasing women to be your horror kink is done, move on. (Notice how female filmmakers haven't even turned the tables on you? Seriously: MOVE. ON. It's so 12 years old trying to act bad ass.) Not to mention that as an actress, I'm horrified by the thought of PERFORMING a scene like that. And btw, I wouldn't. No matter how much money, there is NO WAY I'd do it. Period.
- Gratuitous animal abuse. I read about one of the actors involved in the turtle scene crying afterward, and another one throwing up. Sometimes it's okay to back out of a job, guys.
- Gratuitous Big White Hope/Poor Dark Peoples themes. The "natives" are such caricatures of "early" humanity, it's almost despicable. They only think/act in base manners (food, fire, fuck.) They wave their hands, they shriek, they act in total chaos, nicely juxtaposed by the erudite and civilized White People. Oh, the anthropologist scenes are all shot in NYC, as if to say, "Which is the uncivilized jungle??" but that's so thin it doesn't hold water.
This movie spawned an entire cannibal genre, and the director of this movie made a few more that were THE EXACT SAME THING, just different actors. I like how he said in an interview that he truly regretted even making this movie (because of the trouble it caused him, no doubt, not because he debased women and killed animals) and yet he made more movies that were the EXACT SAME THING. Uh huh.
The best part of the whole thing was the Grindhouse intro. It made me want to go watch Planet Terror. Damn, I love you Robert Rodriguez.
Final verdict: skip it. It doesn't hold up to the test of time AT ALL. Go see Texas Chainsaw Massacre for a proper fright fest and to see something that looks like it's really happening.
Books: I loved Pump Six by Paolo Bacugalupi so much that I'm RE-READING it. Like, I finished it and turned back to page 1. I don't know when I've ever done that with a book that wasn't Anne of Green Gables. If you are fascinated by eco-terrorism, by corporate farming, by any environmental issues plus you love post-apocalypse stories with some future tech thrown in, I just can't recommend this enough. Hell, even if you're not into that stuff, you need to read this. Awesome food for thought on where we're headed as a species, but it doesn't beat you over the head with morality at all. Even better.
For those of you with tweens to teens (or if you love fun YA books) you have to pick up j user="oatmellow">'s book Bite Me! Fun vampire in high school story with a mystery thrown in. It starts off with the protagonist having to break up with her boyfriend because he's becoming her step-brother. I mean, what's not to love here? I read it and passed it off to my daughter, and she's telling her friends to go buy it (because let's face it: we all need to support book buying since so many of us are either writers or wanna be writers, right?) Cute, fun story and it's getting great reviews. Plus, it's going to be a short series!
Next up: Brooklyn and The Wilderness, the last on rec from swmbo. Thoughts? Comments?
Birthday! Mine is coming up, but my Emily's is the day before mine. <3 She's my early birthday present. We're going to have a combo birthday party this year and she and decided to make a Charlie the Unicorn cake, banana coconut flavor. There will be pictures. CANNOT WAIT. It's even going to have the "oh my god, they stole my freakin' kidney!" stitches. LOL. And on my actual birthday, I will be jumping out of a perfectly good plane on a tandem sky dive jump. DUDE. They're giving me champagne afterwards, and also a video during the jump, and loads of pictures, too. Those will be forthcoming. \o/
And lastly, storage! I've moved in to Ikea, apparently.
OH, APOCALYPSE, when you come I will be ready with my awesome GORM storage filled with dry goods. If only I could swap out my washer and dryer for a stackable one, I could more than double my food storage. Look, guys: you can take the girl out of the Mormon church, but you can't take (all) of the Mormon church out of the girl. 2 year supply of food and water is and has always been my goal. I figure I've got a good 8-9 months right now. Well, maybe less on flour, because I always buy that fresh. I need to get an additional paint bucket for flour. (Best airtight giant storage you can buy, AND they're 5 bucks at Home Depot. Nice.) If I had my druthers, the entire pantry would be filled with these beauties so I could properly stack all of the food. (I currently have pasta, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and baking soda in them.)
So for those of you not in the know, Mormons believe in food storage because ultimately they are an End of Days religion and we need to be able to whip up a blueberry crumble and tater-tot casserole while the earth dies all around us in a ball of fire. Idle hands, tools of the devil, or summat. Literally we were taught to have 2 years of savings, food, water, generator power to support the WHOLE FAMILY In Case of Badness. Now, that's actually a good practice in some respects. Say you lost your job (not unlikely these days, unfortunately) and you have food to eat while no money comes in, and then you have all of that savings in the bank to live off of. Smart. Hard to do, but smart.
Growing up, my favorite things EVER were to go to my grandma's house and my aunt's house. They had mini groceries in their basements. My grandma's basement, stone walls built in 1917 was the entire floor under the house's footprint. All storage and laundry room. Along one whole wall were the freezers, mostly filled with Uncle Ernie's homemade apple cider. Oh good lord, that is the best tasting stuff on earth. She'd keep her milk jugs, wash them out and send them to her son, who would fill them with cider. Grandma would freeze them and on a summer day, set one frozen jug out on the back porch, let it get slushy, and then I'd drink the whole thing. :D Glah, so grood.
My aunt, however... She had 6 kids, so she had a MASSIVE storage room. It's the size of my living room, floor to ceiling shelves four rows deep, completely filled with canned vegetables and fruits from her garden, huge bins of flour, sugar, salt, rice, 5 gallon paint buckets of milk chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate chips (you never know, zombies might be swayed with Tollhouse, it could happen) box after box of cereal, 50 gallon drums of water, on and on. you could bake/cook anything at any time. Every ingredient needed was down stairs in the food cellar. Now, I say anything, but anything that can be baked into an overly sweet dessert or a casserole, because that's how Mormons eat. :) Weren't no foie gras or turducken in that freezer. Lol.
I DREAM of having that. Plus a 1,000 bottle wine room. Ha ha.
Later today I'm heading out to find a spice rack that is the expandable stair-stepped shelf. Can you believe that those are nigh-on impossible to find? They're either all sold out, or not carried. WTH? Oh, and I need to get a little solar powered night light for the litter box because my Siamese is scared of the dark and won't poop in the litter pan without light. And now the litter pan is stored under the GORM which pleases me greatly (a place for everything and everything in its place!!) but scares her because she's a dork.
I will totally take pictures and post them for anyone that wants to geek out over storage space with me. SURELY there's one of you out there. Just me? (I might have a heart attack and fall into a coma if I'm ever allowed to re-do my kitchen with those handy-dandy drawers that have all of the fabulous dividers so everything has a place AND the drawers have those anti-slam features!! GAH, WANT. ME GUSTA MUCHO!)
Oh, crap, one last thing. Who watched The Colbert Report last night? And how many of you thought of that internet wank when he mentioned the man who... loved a horse? ME, TOO. Aw, that makes me want to go back and finish Stallioncrest, lol. Whatever, haters, that's some of the funniest stuff I've ever written. :D)