Comforting Skin

This one’s not on Netflix anymore and for that you should be grateful.

Comforting Skin is a melodramatic, whiny indie movie about a depressed woman who gets a mysterious tattoo that comes to life and starts a controlling, abusive relationship with the human being it is tattooed on. With that description, you would hope that Comforting Skin would at least be the kind of ONE HORROR rating terrible masterpiece that I love, but boy howdy it is not. Remember all the boring scenes in Blair Witch of angsty teens shouting at each other? It’s like that but for two hours straight with a few tits sprinkled in and absolutely zero of the spooky Blair Witch elements that made that movie actually scary.

Your first clue that this is a hipster-ass indie movie is that the protagonist is a white, white, white girl named Koffie, a name that I had to google to make sure I wasn’t being culturally insensitive, but nope, it’s an African name on a manic pixie bland girl who was probably born a Sharon and decided that wasn’t interesting enough. Koffie feels lonely and unappreciated, probably because everyone around her is an overwrought narcissist, so after a rough breakup with an abusive older man (picture a middle manager for a napkin company named Harold, he’s basically that) Koffie decides to get a tattoo. She gets some sort of abstract spiky thing on her shoulder and shows it off to everyone she knows because it is instantly the most interesting thing about her. Soon, though, the tattoo begins to whisper sweet nothings and swirl around her body, convincing her to abandon all her relationships with human beings and focus only on the tattoo.

And yes, she has sex with the goddamn tattoo, in a weird bed-humping scene which I believe happens twice, once when Koffie has consensual…sex? with the tattoo, and once where the tattoo RAPES HER. Great, good, thank you movie, this was necessary. Her mental breakdown devolves into fist fights with friends, taking a gun to her FOOT, bathing in pop rocks (like a full bathtub of pop rocks, which HAS to be where the majority of the budget went), and I’m tired I give up I’m done. It’s so bad, gang. It wants so desperately to be a deep dive into isolation and vulnerability and mental illness, but it’s just a bunch of weird sex and SO MUCH YELLING. And as much fun as that sounds, it’s boring as shit.

I would happily spoil this movie for you, because no one should watch it, but I can’t remember how it ends because I didn’t care, and everyone else who reviewed it online turned it off halfway through because THEY’RE NOT AS STRONG AS ME so let’s just say that the tattoo splits off her body and turns into a giant tattoo monster that eats her and all her friends and also the director, writer, and producer so they can’t make a sequel. There. Doesn’t THAT movie sound great? I need to get into Hollywood.

Comforting Skin gets……TWO HORRORS. It’s tedious in every way that a thing can be tedious and, while the concept could have made for a decent short film if you replaced the entire creative team, it is in no way worth the hundreds of dollars of pop rocks that died in vain for this exhausting slog of a movie.

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May they rest in peace, they’re with the angels now.
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Comforting Skin

The Club

I’ll be honest, it’s been a long time since I’ve actually seen most of the movies on this list because of how, uh, relaxed I am about updating my blog, so I thought maybe if I rewatched this movie before writing about it I might better remember what the hell happens in it, but nope. I watched 1994’s The Club last night, completely sober, and hoo boy get ready for a bunch of incomprehensible bullshit with some above-average special effects. (For 1994, so I mean, you know. They’re okay.)

Welcome to THE CLUB, by which I mean hell I think, or maybe straight up demonhood, I’m not entirely sure, but it’s definitely one of those? It’s prom night for our cast of Breakfast Club-diverse teens and apparently they go to a rich-ass school because prom is held at an actual fucking castle and yes it is haunted, kind of, maybe? We have Generic White Boy and Generic White Girl who are in a serious high school relationship, we have Depressed Nerd with Long Hair and a Beret, and of course we have Black Best Friend and her Abusive Red-headed Boyfriend. (Bonus points, guess right now who doesn’t survive this movie. You’ll be right.) And skulking around being weird and flamboyant is Kid Who Doesn’t Go To This School, who we discover GASP has been DEAD FOR TEN YEEEEAAAAARS.

That’s right, Kid Who Doesn’t Go To This School is in THE CLUB and he works for Satan, or with Satan, or just fucks around being a demon and messes with people for fun, that’s also unclear. This Demon Kid stops time at midnight for….reasons? and starts torturing our select group of high schoolers based on whatever fateful happenings were in motion when he stopped time. For example, one girl was about to be physically and sexually assaulted and her boyfriend was trying to save her. For another example, another girl was about to be…physically and sexually assaulted and uh…her boyfriend was about to physically and sexually assault her. Neat. I mean, it was 1994, we didn’t know women were people yet, but get ready for all two of our female characters to get threatened with beatings and rape repeatedly while we focus on the internal struggles of our two leading men for like EVER, GOD.

I’ve got to give some points to Joel Wyner, the actor playing Demon Boy, for his crazed-Billy-Zane-in-Titanic looks and his Jim-Carrey-in-The-Mask acting, because he is working very VERY hard and I think even he probably doesn’t know exactly why. You join The Club by committing either suicide or murder, and Demon Boy is clearly trying to rack up some new members, but he’s also just kind of prancing around harassing people who aren’t suicidal or murderous in the least, but I mean….I don’t know, he’s just doing his best I think. I want to buy Joel Wyner a muffin and let him know he’s a good boy, because he tried.

I guess I won’t spoil this movie if anyone wants to watch it, because it’s certainly trippy as shit and it’s got some decent practical effects for the time, but I can’t actually say it’s necessarily…good. It’s definitely trying to do a lot of things, so B- for effort I guess. It’s free on Amazon Prime though, so if you have an hour and a half you could go there and do that but also Netflix just added the original Candyman and, gang, I had NO IDEA how good that movie is, so go watch that instead. It’s brilliant and I feel like no one told me. IT’S FUCKING GREAT. Did you know they wanted Eddie Murphy to be the lead and the only reason he wasn’t cast was because they couldn’t afford him??? What the hell would that have been???? Did you also know that Tony Todd negotiated an extra grand for every time he was stung by a bee during filming, which ended up being 23 times??? Damn, Candyman was great. I should have just watched Candyman instead of The Club.

I give The Club…..THREE HORRORS, WHICH IS SOMEWHAT GENEROUS. It’s definitely more interesting than the basic bitch 2 horrors, but ughhhhhhhhhhh I don’t need to see it again.

Candyman gets a solid five horrors, I’m gonna watch that shit every day until Jordan Peele blesses us with his take in 2020, because damn.

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Candyman, Candyman, Candyman, Candyman, CANDYMAN
The Club

*SPECIAL EDITION* Chopping Mall

SPOOKY. SEASON. IS. BACK.

And so is the spookiest blog to ever sometimes be on the internet! By which I mean this one. And the sometime IS NOW. We’re calling this one a Special Edition because it’s not quite next in alphabetical order, and also it’s not on Netflix, but it starts with C and I saw it on a streaming service and I just watched it for the first time and GANG. I HAVE TO SHARE.

First of all, I am incredibly embarrassed to admit that I had never heard of Chopping Mall until seeing it pop up in my recommended watching on Amazon Prime, and that is a shameful cross that I will bear for as long as I live. But I’m also gonna go ahead and blame it on everyone who was alive in 1986 for not screaming from the FUCKING ROOFTOPS that this movie exists and that it is, holy shit, the best, stupidest movie to ever be made, because it absolutely is life-changingly stupid and best.

Now I’m going to manage your expectations right here before we get into it, there will be no chopping in Chopping Mall. I assumed from the title that this would be a movie about a Jason-style slasher killing a bunch of teens in the mall after hours. But oh no, it would be so, so much sweeter than that. Because the original title of Chopping Mall was….Killbots.

THAT’S RIGHT. IT’S MOTHERFUCKING KILLER ROBOTS.

Chopping Mall is about a group of the most 80s teens to ever teen sneaking into a furniture store in the mall after hours, but it’s not just any mall. It’s the Park Plaza Mall, which has just installed a brand new security system consisting of three GODDAMN ROBOTS that are designed to stop shoplifters and trespassers with GODDAMN TASERS and GODDAMN LASERS. We are assured by the robot salesman that it is impossible for absolutely anything to go wrong with these perfect killing machines and that they will definitely never kill. Please prepare your finest shocked pikachu memes for the next paragraph.

So a bolt of lightning hits the main computer and sends all the robots on a killing spree. (Lightning hitting a computer and turning it into a murderer was a very 80s concern, for any younger readers who did not grow up with the fear that we were all one bad storm away from the technocalypse.) The team of killbots splits up and starts taking out technicians and janitors before noticing that there are unauthorized teens in the furniture store and that they are DOING TEEN CRIMES.

So who are these teens? They are Mike and Leslie, the football star and blonde bombshell who are definitely fuckin. Mike spends a minimum 30% of his brain power on aggressively chewing gum and Leslie shows us her tiddies a bunch. Rick and Linda who are married I guess? Very little of the movie is spent on the rich backstory of Rick and Linda’s young relationship, but we know that Rick is action movie hero hot and Linda is the brunette, because you have to have one. Greg and Suzie are the dancey, goofy, fun times couple who are both ditsy as shit and only marginally more useful than Mike and Leslie. And lastly we have Ferdy and Allison, who are fucking nerds. They spend the whole make-out party sitting awkwardly next to each other watching Attack of the Crab Monsters while everyone else is drowning in hormones and genitalia. Make your predictions about who survives this movie now, Scream rules apply.

Here is where I will encourage you all to go watch this movie because I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH how amazing it is and I would hate to give too many spoilers, though really, you can read the entire wikipedia entry for this movie and it will only make you want to see it more. There will be lasers, there will be blood, there will be exploding skulls with blood and lasers. Chopping Mall is every 80s sci-fi horror cliche I could ever ask for and then some, and I feel blessed by the Roger Corman family of products to have experienced such a cinematic wonder.

I give Chopping Mall…..THE FULL FIVE HORRORS.

It is perfect.

It is beautiful.

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It is shocking.
*SPECIAL EDITION* Chopping Mall

C.H.U.D.

Oh shit, it’s like halfway through November, huh?

Oops.

We had some Life Things happen that made writing my blog through the end of October inconvenient, and then I had some Not Wanting To Write My Blog and that made writing my blog like SO HARD so anyway I’m sorry I lied and I promise it’ll never* happen again. I’m blaming it on an overdose of corn, proving once again that, when you get right down to it, everything truly is Monsanto’s fault, even if we have to call it Bayer now (which is sort of like changing your name from Shit Co. to Vomit Co. but I digress).

But on the bright side, it is now time for C.H.U.D., THE ACRONYM YOU’VE ALL BEEN WAITING TO READ ABOUT!

C.H.U.D. is a classic that I had not actually seen until doing this project, so I would like to thank Netflix and the unending anxiety that was late-stage graduate school that could only be alleviated by constant escapism through media for exposing me to this beautiful piece of horror history that I kind of don’t even really know how to describe.

If you have somehow missed every pop culture reference to this movie from The Simpsons to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to Tony Hawk’s Underground and you have zero idea of the premise of this movie, let me give you a brief summary. C.H.U.D., which stands for Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller (OR DOES IT??? That’s called foreshadowing.), starts with our hero John Heard and his girlfriend going to photograph the NYC homeless population living in the subway system and sewers only to discover that there are a bunch of gross, flesh-eating sewer monsters down there and also a bunch of missing homeless people. Related? Possibly.

But John Heard isn’t the only one interested in the Case of the Giant Man-Eating Monsters. Police Captain Bosch is also kinda curious about that and the higher-ups at the station are strangely secretive about the topic, so he goes to visit Daniel Stern, who runs a homeless shelter and is convinced that the missing homeless people are the result of a GOVERNMENT CONSPIRACY and he wants to fight The Man to get to the bottom of it (a move which presumably leads to his downfall and his future as a common thief in the Home Alone series. Does investigating murderous slime people in abandoned subway tunnels not make you a Wet AND Sticky Bandit? *gestures wildly at the incontrovertible evidence I have presented*).

Turns out that the C.H.U.D.s used to be just regular ol’ homeless people before being transformed into monsters by TOXIC WASTE (remember when we were very very concerned about toxic waste turning people into monsters? Captain Planet lead me to believe this would be a bigger issue than it has been thus far, but the way the government is operating right now perhaps I should be concerned about that again. Someone get the Captain out of retirement, please.) The C.H.U.D.s used to roam the subway system eating their former homeless brethren until oops, they eated them all! Meaning that now they must COME TO THE SURFACE TO EAT YOOOOOOUUUUUUU and John Heard and Daniel Stern simply will not have that and they do their ding dang best to get the EPA, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and local reporters involved, OR ARE THEY ALREADY???? Or do they just get eaten by C.H.U.D.s? Does EVERYONE get eaten by C.H.U.D.s???

In fact, I think this is as far as I can take you with this movie, if you, like I had, have somehow managed to avoid having the DRAMATIC TWIST spoiled for you (I mean, we all kinda see where this is going, but still) because you really really should watch this movie. Not because it’s good, because it isn’t, but because it is GREAT. Kind of like how absolutely no one should watch Mars Attacks but also EVERYONE SHOULD WATCH MARS ATTACKS? It’s like that. Do you want to watch a bunch of laser-eyed sewer beasts eat everyone they can get their clawed, webbed hands on in 1980s New York? Yes. You do. And you want to watch Daniel Stern and John Heard run around the sewers trying to catch them.

I give this masterpiece…….FOUR AND A HALF HORRORS.

Wait a minute, John Heard and Daniel Stern were in something else together, weren’t they OH MY GOD

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*ps that was definitely a lie

 

 

C.H.U.D.

Children of the Corn: Revelation

WE FINALLY MADE IT, GANG. THE LAST CHILDREN OF THE LAST CORN. JESUS CHRIST IT HAS BEEN A JOURNEY.

Of course this is actually CotC 7, which means this one comes before the last one chronologically, but again, time is a flat circle, reality is an illusion, nothing matters etc. etc.

So THIS TIME, we actually don’t have a broken down car by a corn field, instead we get a young woman named Jamie looking for her grandmother who hasn’t been answering her phone calls and the grandmother lives by a corn field. Don’t worry, there is still a corn field. There is always a corn field. Jamie drives all the fuck out to Nebraska, which is more than I’ve ever done for my grandmother, and upon entering her grandmother’s corn-adjacent apartment building, she discovers an eviction notice, no grandmother, and a whole bunch of weird kids. The building manager has zero advice for her, but he does introduce her to some of the non-weird-kid occupants of the building, who are the exact type of people unlikely to survive a horror movie. Weird.

Jamie wanders down to the basement where she finds a bunch of various crops growing and hears giggling children, which could just be how they do things in Nebraska, but this time it’s accompanied by a guy with a gun who appears out of nowhere telling her to NEVER GO IN THE BASEMENT so she…leaves and stops going to the basement. After having some weird dreams about children and corn, Jamie learns that her grandmother was in a child corn cult and that she was the only survivor of a fire set by the child corn cult leader and that the fire was set right where the apartment building is now!!! LE GASP. 

Then some other shit happens and then more shit happens and then the movie is over the end. Goddamn is this movie forgettable, as evidenced by the fact that I had to google the plot synopsis and it barely registered with me. I do sort of remember a couple of the kills but like……after seven other childrens and corns……ugh. The sounds of creepy children are now meaningless to me, and I’m taking an extended break from eating the haunted vegetable that is corn, not because it is haunted, but because I’M FUCKING OVER CORN. (Unless it is in dog form, I can still fuck with that.)

I can’t review this movie anymore, sorry guys, let’s just get this out of the way so we can move on to ANY OTHER THING.

Children of the Corn: Revelation gets……..TWO HORRORS.

THANK CHRIST.

WE MADE IT.

IT’S OVER.

Or is it……

NO, IT IS.

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I’M DONE HERE.
Children of the Corn: Revelation

Children of the Corn: Genesis

I AM DROWING IN DERIVITIVE CORN MOVIES.

Let’s get this over with – Children of the Corn: Genesis is actually CotC 8, which is where alphabetizing this series gets tricky. I actually reviewed Children of the Corn IV before I was supposed to, since I comes after G, so when I watched these in order, I watched 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 4, 7. You would think that would be a confusing way to watch a franchise, but it turns out NOPE you barely even need to have seen the original to make sense of any of these many many many many MANY FUCKING SEQUELS because none of them connect in any way whatsoever, and if that bothers you, then you’re gonna have some serious issues with basically any horror franchise begun in the 70s and 80s (I’m looking at you, Jason X).

Genesis was released direct to DVD in 2011, so let that inform you as to the importance and quality of this film. We begin with a young couple whose car breaks down by a corn field – jesus, do we really? AGAIN? There’s no better way to start one of these motherfuckers? Anyway, they run into a weird preacher who is clearly trying to be Charles Manson but without enough peyote to really pull it off, and he offers to let them use his phone, where they promptly learn that this is the ass end of nowhere and they can’t get a tow until the next day. Churles Munson and his, seriously, inexplicable mail-order bride from Ukraine allow the couple to stay the night, but with strict orders to not go sneaking around all lookin at shit, which is the clearest possible evidence that there’s definitely shit to be looked at.

Which means that the second the Young Lady of the couple has to go pee in the middle of the night, she IMMEDIATELY starts snooping around the outhouse and finds that they have a culty corn church in their garage AND a culty corn shack that sounds like crying children. Young Lady returns to Young Man and tells him what she saw and heard and Young Man decides the best way to handle this is to go straight to Carl Monson and tell him about how they definitely went snooping and definitely looked at some shit. Luckily Chales Monsoon doesn’t immediately helter skelter them, but instead does some ooky spooky hypnosis that allows said cult child to enter the room unnoticed and PLANT A CORN SEED IN YOUNG LADY. I’m not sure this is how corn works, but it’s probably Demon Corn, so who am I to impose natural laws on such things. You do you, demons.

Shit immediately gets whack and the entire house is taken over by a mysterious supernatural force (hint: it’s definitely He Who Walks Behind The Rows) that won’t allow Young Couple to escape or call for help. At this point, the whole movie basically turns into a haunted house flick that’s generally light on both children and corn as Young Couple attempt to escape the forces of He Who Walks Behind The Rows. And then yadda yadda yadda, ending that leaves it open for another sequel.

Genesis isn’t a terrible movie, it’s more atmospheric and creepy than most of the 90s entries in the franchise and at least it’s not just about more murder children getting adopted, so that’s a plus. Would I still be perfectly happy and fulfilled and have an hour and a half of my life back if I hadn’t watched it? Yes. But would that life really be worth living? Also yes.

Children of the Corn: Genesis gets……THREE HORRORS.

Christ almighty kids, ONE MORE LEFT and then we get to move on to….hoo boy.

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I’ll give you three guesses.
Children of the Corn: Genesis

Children of the Corn 666: Isaac’s Return

Aaaaaaand we’re back with more corn. Always corn. Forever corn. Never-ending, eternal corn.

And speaking of never-ending, this film actually does continue where the original one left off, if not where literally any of the other sequels left off, because they all left off in completely different and mutually exclusive scenarios. Just as any good horror franchise should.

So we return to Gatlin, Nebraska, home of corn and…..it’s all corn. A young woman named Hannah is visiting the town to try to find her birth mother, as she was the last child born in Gatlin before The Cornening. Naturally, the first thing she does when she gets there is immediately crash her car into a corn field and get sent to the hospital. At the hospital she starts wandering around the other patients, as any hospital would of course allow and encourage, and she discovers that Isaac, the first leader of the child cult from the very first film, was actually not quite killed when He Who Walks Behind the Rows took over his body and has in fact been in a coma this entire time! All nineteen years! Isn’t that convenient! Still in Gatlin, which managed to scrape together enough adults to open a hospital somehow, just in time to save a dying murderous middle-schooler inhabited by a corn demon. Isn’t that something!

Now we’ve established that all that makes sense, Hannah leaves the hospital to try to find her mother and instead encounters a bunch of weirdos, and not just because she’s in Nebraska HEYOOOOOO. These weirdos all make references to a prophecy connecting her and Isaac, and the only people who aren’t weirdos are either trying to kill her or telling her to get the hell out of Gatlin, though arguably those are also both weird things to do. Maybe it is just Nebraska.

Turns out, the prophecy was that when she, the last Child of the Corn, returns to Gatlin on the eve of her 19th birthday, He Who Walks Behind the Rows will awaken to reclaim the earth and oops she’s turning 19 and also Isaac just woke up from his NINETEEN YEAR COMA and has some fun thoughts on religion that he would like to share.

Will Hannah renew the Cult of Corn, or will she murder as many small children as it takes to save Gatlin? Who is her mother? Why is she important? How did Isaac survive a two decade-long coma with no apparent neurological damage and immediately return to normal life? Is it the corn? Is it??? Will Isaac live to corn again???

FIND OUT IN….CHILDREN OF THE CORN 666: ISAAC’S RETURN! If you want to. You don’t have to. It’s not a must-see, if I’m being honest. It’s pretty okay, I’ve seen worse.

…..THREE HORRORS.

JUST TWO MORE TO GO WE CAN DO IT GANG

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I CAN SEE IT, IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL

 

Children of the Corn 666: Isaac’s Return