Archive for 2009

Goregirl’s 25 Favourite Horror Films of the Decade

Posted in horror, movies with tags , , , , , , , on December 31, 2009 by goregirl

The films on this list were in theatres or went straight to DVD during 2000-2009. The shortlist was 37 films, so I had to eliminate a few great selections in the process. There were some amazing foreign entries from the last ten years. I was particularly impressed with the films coming out of France and the UK. Japanese horror was rocking my world in the 90’s and continued to pump new blood into the genre. Lot’s and lot’s of blood! If I was giving out a Director of the decade award, it would definitely go to Japanese director Takashi Miike. He directed more quality films in the last ten years than most directors manage their entire career. His twisted, violent and unique vision provided me hours of entertainment! Needless to say, the U.S. has there share of entries on the list. The sheer volume of horror films released each year would make it almost impossible not to have a few good ones. A few of the excellent films that didn’t make the list are ‘Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon’ (2006), ‘Midnight Meat Train’ (2008), ‘Pontypool’ (2008/9), ‘Murder Party’ (2007), ‘Eden Lake’ (2008) and ‘The Signal’ (2007).

#25. George A. Romero’s Land of The Dead (2005)
I was so excited to see Romero’s new entry I actually got tickets ahead of time for opening night! The cheeky girl at the theatre told me I wouldn’t need to get tickets ahead of time for this one. If I had a glove I would have slapped her in the face and challenged her to a dual! ‘Land of The Dead’ is an intelligent, action-packed, funny and gory masterpiece. Epic zombie makeup, ripping and gourging of entrails, all the good stuff you hope for in a zombie flick. Dennis Hopper as Kaufman was an inspired choice. It’s like Romero called me up and asked me personally what I would like to see in his new zombie film. (Just like he does in my dreams). He is still the undisputed zombie king! We forgive him for ‘Diary of the Dead’. Can’t wait for ‘Survival of The Dead’!

#24. Slither (2006)
I had to rewatch this one to make sure it belonged on this list. I only watched ‘Slither’ once and that was during its theatrical release. ‘Slither’ is freaking great! Amazing energy, an excellent cast, superb effects, and hilarious. It’s all about the funny, but there are definitely a few moments of intensity. And what a slime-tacular ending!! A slimy nod to b-movies of the 50’s and the horror films of the 80’s that filled me with mucho horror glee!

#23. Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)
The horror here is never actually horrifying and the film has no intention of attempting to frighten you. The mummy is pretty nifty looking though, and amusingly dons an over-sized cowboy hat and boots. Normally I would shout out for more horror but I don’t think it was appropriate here. Coscarelli keeps things pretty simple. His senior heroes are not super; they fall down, use walkers and wheelchairs and wear pajamas when they go to bed. There isn’t a thing I would change about this film. Bruce Campbell’s performance of an aging Elvis Presley is excellent and Ossie Davis is perfectly cast as his friend Jack. A bizarre, endearing, funny and completely original film that entertained the hell out of me! To read the full review click here.

#22. The Host (2006)
I am a sucker for a monster movie. I’m sure I seen every one that existed when I was a kid. Godzilla is practically family to me. I’m sad I didn’t get a chance to check out ‘The Host’ in theatres. This would have been a kick ass big screen film! The film is beautiful to look at and the effects are top notch. Loved the monster…absolutely loved it! I thought the story was great and the casting was perfect, and particularly enjoyed Kang-ho Song. If you are a fan of Asian films you might recognize him from Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance or The Good, the Bad, the Weird, or this year’s ‘Thirst’. A fantastic, South Korean monster flick that will appeal to more than just horror fans.

#21. Trick R Treat (2008/9)
One of two films that found their way from my favorites of 2009 to the best of the decade. I don’t know why there aren’t more horror anthology type films. There’s not many out there really and there are a few bad ones, but I really like ‘Creepshow’, and ‘Trilogy of Terror’ and I think ‘Trick R Treat’ is an outstanding addition to this group. The props and sets are absolutely outstanding. I am a Halloween junkie and strictly based on visuals…I almost needed a moment alone I was so excited! The stories are great fun and I love how they are all sewn together. Great performances all around particularly by Dylan Baker and Brian Cox. L-O-V-E-D it! To read the full review click here.

#20. Dead and Breakfast (2004)
I almost didn’t rent this film when I spied the word ‘musical’ on the back cover. Not a fan of musicals. I would not exactly call this a musical though. There is some music in it, and there are two musical numbers…sort of, but otherwise it is a horror-comedy. Much to my surprise I actually liked the music. It adds something unique to the film. The “Comin to kill ya” song was rattling around in my head for days after! It’s low-budget, campy fun with some decent gore and most importantly zombies! This film really tickles me. My husband and I have watched ‘Dead and Breakfast’ at least a half a dozen times since our first viewing and it still completely and thoroughly entertains us.

#19. Save the Green Planet! (2003)
This South Korean entry is a genre stew. As much a comedy as it is a horror, sci-fi or drama. A wonderfully unique, and strangely powerful film. It was beautifully filmed, with a very dark and surreal vibe. Performances by the entire cast were perfect. A completely imaginative, brilliant piece of celluloid that left me feeling saddened, entertained and extremely sated. Amazing! To read the full review click here.

#18. High Tension (2003)
This intense French horror film is beautifully filmed and is jammed-packed with suspenseful moments. Some of the most impressive intensity I have come upon. It is an unrelenting attack on the senses carried by an outstanding and very believable performance from its lead actress. The French have been kicking my ass all over town with their awesome horror entries during this decade. Viva La France!

#17. 3 Extremes (2004)
Hey! Hey! Another anthology! I didn’t want to mention it above and spoil all the fun! 3 films by 3 Asian directors. Fruit Chan (Dumpling), Takashi Miike (Box) and Chan-wook Park (Cut). Quite the trio of directors there! You would have to tie me down and bleed me to keep me away from this one! It was as magnificent as I hoped it would be. In trilogies there is usually a weak link but I didn’t think that was the case here. I loved all 3 films, but if I had to rank, it would fall somewhere in between ‘Cut’ and ‘Dumplings’. The ‘Dumplings’ segment will be beyond disturbing for some and you may not want to go out for Dim Sum anytime soon after seeing it. All three are excellent original stories complimented by great performances and amazing visuals.

#16. Antichrist (2009)
‘Antichrist’ is one of the two films that made it from my TOP 10 list for 2009. I’m a fan of director Lars Von Trier. If I were to make a non-horror top 25 films of the decade, without a doubt his film ‘Dogville’ would make that list. ‘Antichrist’ is a beautifully filmed masterpiece that is bleak and violent and full of pain and misery. Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg are perfectly cast here but it is Gainsbourg’s performance that will stay with you long after the credits roll by. Well, that and some rather unfriendly genital violence! To read the full review click here.

#15. Audition (2000)
Takashi Miike had three outstanding films during the decade with ‘Visitor Q’, ‘Ichi The Killer’ and ‘Audition’. Ichi is all about the action, and Visitor Q is nasty and disturbing but leans towards the drama more than the horror. Audition is pure horror gold. An outstanding build up of tension and a positively epic ending. Eihi Shiina is stunning as Asami and you will not soon forget her delightfully nasty secret.

#14. The Devil’s Rejects (2005)
‘Devil’s Rejects’ takes the best from ‘House of 1000 Corpses’ and uses it far more effectively. The “best” being a delightful trio of sociopaths; Baby, Otis and Captain Spaulding. This time they are taking their show on the road and they’ve got the law trying to bring them down. A grittier, more interesting film than the original with better characterizations and more violence. I actually quite enjoyed ‘House of 1000 Corpses’ but ‘Devil’s Reject’s’, in my opinion, was the far superior film.

#13. Final Destination (2000)
This one is my guilty pleasure. It’s asks nothing of me but to sit back and enjoy the ride. Another series plagued by bad sequels, although there has been at least one death sequence in each that I have enjoyed. When the film first came out in 2000 it felt considerably fresher. They really need to check the expiry date and dump this shit down the sink already! The original idea was neat but it has officially been stretch thin. But that said, the original was packed full of creative death scenes, impressive effects and a lot of high-energy fun.

#12. Planet Terror (2007)

I’m a big Quentin Tarantino fan, so I went to see ‘Grindhouse’ on opening night. The mock trailers were fantastic! I was particularly fond of Edgar Wright’s ‘Don’t’. I went for the Tarantino, and indeed enjoyed ‘Death Proof’ but it was Robert Rodriguez’s entry ‘Planet Terror’ that really knocked my socks off. Cherry was a great character. I really really love that gun for a leg thing! The entire cast of characters was spectacular. There is a ton of action, great effects and freaking zombies! It’s the film that has it all! A thoroughly entertaining film I will watch again and again.

#11. Severance (2006)

“Another Bloody Office outing” indeed! I hate team-building crap at work, but that’s not the only reason I love this movie. I love everything about it. It is funny, crafty, gory, suspenseful and well directed. The ending was perfect and most rewarding. It’s no coincidence that I have back-to-back UK horror-comedies on this list. I am a sucker for British humour and the Brits know their horror! It’s the home of Hammer Films after all! To read the full review click here.

#10. Shaun of the Dead (2004)

I loved ‘Shaun of The Dead’ so much I went to see it at the theatre twice! It is a horror-comedy but it serves up more intensity and suspense than most. This one got a lot of hype but I thought this one actually deserved it. Shaun has a dead end job and likes to hang out at his favourite pub…just like me! I thought Simon Pegg was great and I must admit to developing just a wee crush on the lad. Nick Frost is great as his goofy friend. The entire cast is great actually. Dialog felt easy and casual and it didn’t seem like anyone was “acting”. There are even a few sentimental moments. I actually felt choked up during the scene with Shaun and his mum. (If you’ve seen the film, you’ll know which scene I mean.) They stick to traditional zombie lore and the makeup and effects look great. A perfect horror-comedy and an ass-kicking zombie film from the UK!

#9. Inside (2007)
Full of brooding and intensely suspenseful moments and the gore factor is through the roof. A perfect mix of tension, suspense and graphic gory death. Watching a very pregnant woman being terrorized is nasty enough but there are actually moments in the film where they have the audacity to show the action from the fetus point of view. I think that is wonderfully evil! Another Hooray for the French horror! To read the full review click here.

#8. Let The Right One In (2008)
One of the best vampire films to come out in years. It’s a beautiful snowy evening when Oskar meets Eli and the two become friends. The relationship between the two is sweet and endearing but is also complicated and tragic. It is an amazing, well-written story with great performances from the two child actors and is absolutely stunning to look at! Violence is minimal but what is there was effective. This one really isn’t about the gore though. This Swedish entry is an original refreshing twist on the vampire tale that is hauntingly beautiful.

#7. American Psycho (2000)
Patrick Bateman is a brooding, arrogant, self-obsessed, perfectly chiseled psychopath with the worst taste in music EVER! I have seen this film WAY too many times. I can actually quote lines! Bale is freaking amazing as Bateman and he ain’t hard on the eyes either! I loved his deep analysis that accompanied every horrific piece of 80’s music he puts on throughout the film. Whitney Houston? Huey Lewis and The News? Phil Collins? Yike! A cornucopia of crap, but it made me laugh so hard I had a stomachache! Although this one is a star-studded affair it doesn’t wimp out. There’s nudity, sex, language and of course violence! A black humour runs through the film even in its violent scenes that made me cringe and laugh. Mary Harron’s direction is spot on. It is a shame there aren’t more female directors making horror films. The excess of the 80’s has never been so damn entertaining!

#6. Saw (2004)
It’s hard to look back at this first film objectively after five miserable sequels. On the other hand, I keep watching the sequels, which is a testament to how much I adored this first film. The original ‘Saw’ had an impressive intensity an inventive premise and some gloriously original death sequences. Not only was ‘Saw’ a standout the year it was released, but has become an enduring horror classic despite its less than stellar sequels.

#5. Martyrs (2008)
The performance by both women in ‘Martyrs’ is outstanding. The film twists and turns, but the hard right it takes mid-way completely blindsided me. It starts out as a revenge picture and transforms into something very different. There were more than a few shocks and surprises. The ending is complete and utter insanity! The violence is extreme and graphic. The gore and effects are outstanding. I could not recommend more highly this unflinching, bloody brilliant and completely original horror film. Yet another French entry…and not the last one either! To read the full review click here.

#4. In My Skin (2002)
Are you obsessed with the bodies healing process? Are you fascinated by watching a cut become a scab? Can you barely control yourself from picking at said scab? Well, maybe I’m alone on this one. It’s a lot more than a scab that gets picked at in ‘In My Skin’. Self-mutilation is the name of the game here and it is a fascination to watch. Disturbing, gross and mesmerizing. Marina de Van wrote, directed and starred in this brilliant and completely original French film. Proving once again that the French know their horror.

#3. Ginger Snaps (2000)
The most original take on a werewolf film…EVER. Drawing a parallel between the curse of turning into a werewolf with the curse of becoming a woman is pretty freaking brilliant. The film centers around two close sisters that are misfits and outcasts. One of the few films featuring teenagers that I didn’t find the least bit obnoxious. Performances by both girls are great. An excellent story, strong performances, great werewolf effects and it’s Canadian…just like me!

#2. May (2002)
Man of man do I love this film! May was picked on as a child and spent a lot of time playing alone with the ugly little doll her mom gave her as a gift. She has now become a socially awkward adult. She is sweet and quite adorable but there is definitely a wee bit o’crazy bubbling under the surface. When things go badly for May things go badly for others. Angela Bettis is mesmerizing as May. She brings a quirkiness and sweetness to the character that makes you have empathy for her even when she does terrible things. I don’t get to see near enough Bettis! I think she is fantastic and she was so freaking outstanding in this wonderfully original little film. I loved the look and feel of the film and it’s nice steady pace that builds to a finale that I think is nothing short of spectacular.

#1. The Descent (2005)

I expect to see ‘The Descent’ on many “best of” lists. Once in a while there is a film that is so undeniably outstanding that horror fans across the board actually agree. It has Intensity you can cut with a knife. It is a claustrophobic nightmare you can’t escape. It features a group of women who actually seem like they might know each other. This is something Neil Marshall gets, dialog that feels natural not forced. Performances by all the women are excellent. This film hits all the right horror notes and absolutely oozes atmosphere and creates a mood so perfect it almost brings me to tears. A flawless horror film that
I have seen at least a half a dozen times since its release and will revisit often in the years to come.

2009 Vancouver Zombie Walk

Posted in horror with tags , , , on August 16, 2009 by goregirl

goregirlAnother zombie walk come and gone. There was a huge turnout this year. It seemed like twice as many zombies as last years event. The weather was perfect as predicted. This years route took us down Robson Street to Denman and then ended at Beach Avenue. They actually stopped traffic and blocked off streets, which they didn’t do the previous year. The people in cars and
buses waiting for the huge mass of the undead to slowly amble their way down the street, actually looked pretty entertained. Although, I’m sure the group in the airporter bus, on their way to catch a flight, were probably less than impressed. After the walk was over we spent the afternoon drinking on the Patio at the Speakeasy on Davie Street. The staff there are great and we were treated to a round of shooters. We were the only zombies at the bar and were quite the spectacle. A group of Japanese tourists asked if they could have their picture taken with us. What can I say, I kinda dug the attention! I was personally disappointed in my own costume (that’s me in the black dress and boa). I looked more vampire than zombie, but after an hour and a half of gacking myself up, there was no turning back. I’ll be better prepared next year, and I’ll be doing the liquid latex thing for sure! I must get me a pair of those awesome cloudy white contacts! Below are some of my favorite shots from the day.
zombie crowd 2Look at all those zombies! It almost brings a wee tear to my eye!
zombie eatingThis guy is film worthy! Delightfully gory!!
zombie renassianceLovely!
zombie gouged eyesI am completely digging this gouged out eyes look! Very inventive!
zombie crawlingWe did a few “action shots” and I thought this one looked pretty nifty.
zombie mom and childThe child zombies are just so damn adorable! This little girl with her teddy was one of my favorites.
zombie yellow eyesFantastic! Love the yellow eyes!
zombie in treesYou never know where the undead might be hiding. It’s best to avoid heavy brush.
zombie nursesSexy undead nurses are always a crowd pleaser.
zombie crowdWe were pretty much walking in the centre of the mass. The first crowd shot we took from the front and this is the shot when we turned around. Tons and tons of zombies!
zombie pixieI’m calling her a zombie pixie, but not sure if that is what she was going for. Thought it was a pretty cool looking getup regardless.


Posted in horror, movies with tags , , on April 10, 2009 by goregirl

This summer I will be attending Rue Morgue’s Festival of Fear! This will be the 6th year of the festival. They promise it will have the most diverse collection of horror icons thus far. The official guest list will be announced on May 14th. If you are on facebook you can join the Rue Morgue group. Or just go to their website Some of last years guests were Wes Craven, Tobe Hooper, Linnea Quigley, John Saxon, Shawnee Smith, Bruce Macdonald and Brad Dourif. There is also film premieres, Q & A’s, autograph sessions and a huge freaking marketplace. I will be going with a friend who has been a regular attendee. It will be great to hang out with someone who actually loves horror as much as I do! I am not one to go ga-ga over actors and actresses. I am a bit starstruck by directors though. I really admire the ones that do their job well. I will post the guest list and of course after it is all over there will be loads of pictures, reviews etc.
If you are unfamiliar with Rue Morgue magazine and you love horror, go get a copy right now! Rue is the best damn horror rag around…period. The main focus of the magazine is on film but they also review horror related television, books, music, toys and video games. Rue Morgue is actually what it advertises: “Horror in Culture and Entertainment”. I am not employed by or affiliated with the magazine at all. Just like everything else in this blog I’m just yacking about crap I dig. It’s got to be tough for magazines these days. Don’t give up on print! But keep reading this blog too!