August 2, 2017

Horror in the Woods: The Burning

Another round of Tape Freaks guest writing by Izzi Xiques:


This 80s slasher takes place at a summer camp where a former camp groundskeeper (Cropsy) was the victim of a prank gone seriously awry many years before. What was the said prank? The campers thought it would be HILARIOUS to wake Cropsy up by tossing a flaming skull into his cabin. For some reason they weren't expecting Cropsy (or anything else) to catch on fire, but that's exactly what happened! Five years later, horribly disfigured and garden shears in hand, Cropsy's begins his quest for revenge against a backdrop of POVs shots, continuity errors, and adults portraying teenagers.


One of the fantastically gory highlights of this film is a massacre scene that takes place in broad daylight, in a canoe, with a bunch of teenagers. We're treated to fingers getting chopped off (fully in frame), someone getting garden shears through the neck, and blood basically exploding out of campers. It's glorious. And, that particular scene was what got the film on the UK's “video nasties” banned list!

But as much as the special effects bring to this film (thanks to a young Tom Savini's reluctance to do the Friday the 13th sequel) the score brings that much more. Personally, I consider the main theme of this film to be nothing other than classic. The score was composed by Rick Wakeman, who's name you might recognize for a number of reasons, but the most notable reason would be he was the keyboardist for the band Yes. (Which should give you an idea as to how fantastic this score is, I mean, classic prog rock meets 80’s slasher score? What more could you want!?)

This film is also notable for it’s pre-stardom cast, writers, and producer. We get treated to baby Jason Alexander, Fisher Stevens, and Holly Hunter (for a brief second). But this film was also what launched the Weinstein Corporation! Bob and Harvey both had a hand in writing this slasher (and Harvey produced) and it was the very first film project they collaborated on.

This film also has often been brushed off as a Friday the 13th rip off, but it was apparently written before Friday was released, and was based off of a classic campfire tale that circulated around the east coast about “Cropsey” a maniac who was reported to have murdered children in a wooded Staten Island. That makes this movie all the more creepy and that much more worthy of it's cult classic status!



Horror in the Woods: Grizzly

This movie started with so much promise, but ultimately it fell short of delivering on it's VERY promising set up. However, it wasn't a complete let down, even though it was pretty much Jaws with a bear...

The opening: Two women are breaking camp in the woods when an animal (presumably a bear) mauls each of them POV slasher style. The first woman gets it at the camp site, and the second woman takes cover inside a shack that the (presumably) bear literally tears apart before also killing her.

The next time we see that shack: It's all in one piece again and the bear has seemingly hung the woman's body from the rafters (before or after putting the shack back together, who can be sure) because she falls from the ceiling and freaks the hell of the rangers searching for the two women.

The actual plot: I couldn't really tell you, this one is aaaaaall over the place. But basically, it's Jaws in the woods with a bear.


The love interest that vanishes into thin air: A good chunk of the first half of the film is spent setting up a romance between our "hero" (pictured left) and a reporter. They finally kiss at one point, and then we literally never see her again. Very strange.

The bear's MO: At the start of the film it seems like the bear is strictly targeting women, so much so that the rangers discuss it at one point. And then, very suddenly, the bear decides to kill dudes, kids and other bears, and no one mentions the initial pattern again. Over all the bear seems to be killing indiscriminately, though the rangers are pretty sure the bear is hunting for food, never mind that the bear has already killed enough people to sustain him for a good three years...

Kinda surprisingly gory: Parts of this film are VERY gory in contrast to rest of the film. This is especially well illustrated in a scene where a little boy, innocently playing with a bunny in his yard, is mauled by the bear. The final shot of that scene: a substantial  hold on the kid's newly ripped off leg. It's SUPER graphic and absolutely doesn't fit with the humdrum tone of the rest of the flick.

And then, there was a rocket launcher: There's not much happening between bear kills (aside from ASININE dialogue), but in the last few mins of the film, the movie tries really hard to make up for that by EXPLODING A BEAR WITH A ROCKET LAUNCHER. That part is pretty undeniably fun.



via GIPHY

August 1, 2017

Third Clue: August's Mystery Movie

Clue #3: This month's film features an early leading role for one of the key actors in Guardians of the Galaxy 1&2!

 >>>THIS MONTH'S SHOW WILL BE AT DIFFERENT LOCATION!! Read on to find out more!<<<

>>>>THE TRYLON IS IN THE MIDST OF A REMODEL SO OUR SHOW IS TEMPORARILY ON THE ROAD!!! Come check us out this month at the community room in the Carleton Artist Lofts! <<<<

Tape Freaks Presents: August's Mystery Movie at the Carleton Artist Lofts community room, Wednesday August 2nd @ 7:00pm. Suggested donation $5

July 30, 2017

Horror in the Woods: The Long Weekend

We screened this flick at the MOA to mixed reviews, but I love this movie. You want to know why? I'll tell ya:

Never in the history of film has there been a more satisfying death on screen. There's a bit in the documentary Not Quite Hollywood where Quentin Tarantino expresses exactly how I feel about the couple in this film (it's basically the first sentence but with the emphatics of Tarantino) and it's true: this movie's two goals are to introduce you to this couple, and to make you cheer their inevitable death. And boy do you cheer!

The horror elements actually come from all of nature. Many horror movies that utilize nature in their horror elements do so in the form of a single scene (like Evil Dead), or focus on one element of nature (like Frogs, or the Birds). This movie actually makes all of nature the stalker-killer, eliminating overly complicated setups for, or just plain redundant, kills. The viewer is never sure what's going to happen giving the film an extra layer of creepiness that can only come from your own imagination.

One flaw [slight SPOILER]; there's a hint of abortion shaming. The topic of abortion is somewhat ambiguously introduced, but over all the characters were horrible enough to justify their ends, without adding an element of "but she also had an abortion". (Honestly the couple terminating a pregnancy is about the only thing they do that you could find redeeming because they absolutely should not have been bringing children into the world together.) There is room to interpret this element as just another layer of how absolutely divided they are on every front but, other devices could have been used to illustrate that without leaving room for viewers to pin their demise on her having an abortion.


July 28, 2017

Second Clue: August's Mystery Movie

Clue #2: The director of this month's movie also directed a film that ended up a classic MST3K episode later in the series!

 >>>THIS MONTH'S SHOW WILL BE AT DIFFERENT LOCATION!! Read on to find out more!<<<<




>>>>THE TRYLON IS IN THE MIDST OF A REMODEL SO OUR SHOW IS TEMPORARILY ON THE ROAD!!! Come check us out this month at the community room in the Carleton Artist Lofts! <<<<

Tape Freaks Presents: August's Mystery Movie at the Carleton Artist Lofts community room, Wednesday, August 2nd @ 7:00pm. Suggested donation $5

July 26, 2017

Horror in the Woods: Friday the 13th

It's a controversial opinion, but the first Friday will always be my favorite. You want to know why? I'll tell ya:


Everyone is playing true to age. There are no 40 year olds playing teenagers in this movie, just a bunch of people in their early 20s playing characters roughly the same age.

It's basically a who-done-it murder mystery with gory kills. A couple times this film utilizes the classic murder mystery setup of POV killer murdering people who know the killer personally, but also someone who the audience is never introduced to, so not only do you get the spear through the fucking neck style never-saw-that-coming kills, you also get the "oh, it's you, what are you doing here" kills! Best of both worlds.

It's a slow burn with a substantial on screen body count. There's lots of atmospheric stalking and misdirect-style character building, interspersed with people getting axed to the head.




[Spoilers, skip the rest of this write-up if you've not seen the movie.]

It's kind of the horror movie version of an old joke. There's an old joke that goes something like this: A father and son are in a car crash. The father is killed instantly but the son is rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery. As the boy is wheeled into the operating room, the surgeon exclaims, “I can’t operate—that boy is my son!” The punch line? The surgeon is the boy's mother. Lots of people break themselves in half trying to figure that simple joke out, and it says a lot about people's gender bias. The revel of the killer's identity at the end of this film doesn't necessarily speak to the audience's bias (see the who-done-it point above) but it does make you think back and wonder if you missed clues because you'd never considered the killer could be female.

There's no supernatural element. In the later installments of this franchise there's consistent supernatural elements bringing Jason back to life, but in this one it's just a lady who wants the camp to stay empty. You don't have to suspend much disbelief to get on board!









July 25, 2017

First Clue: August's Mystery Movie

Clue #1: The theme for this month's screening is Horror in the Woods!

 >>>THIS MONTH'S SHOW WILL BE AT THE CARLETON AGAIN!! Read on to find out more!<<<<



>>>>THE TRYLON IS IN THE MIDST OF A REMODEL SO OUR SHOW IS TEMPORARILY ON THE ROAD!!! Come check us out this month at the community room in the Carleton Artist Lofts! <<<<

Tape Freaks Presents: August's Mystery Movie at the Carleton Artist Lofts community room, Wednesday August 2nd @ 7:00pm. Suggested donation $5