8213: Gacy House

Before I write the synopsis of this film, I just want you to guess how it goes.

If you guessed something interesting or worth watching, you’re wrong.

If you guessed “found footage of ghost hunters killed by generic ghost that is a famous serial killer,” you win! Your prize is vague disappointment.

8213: Gacy House is a film by The Asylum because of course it is and it’s about a team of paranormal investigators who go to John Wayne Gacy’s house to hunt down his ghost because of course they do. And then they all act all shitty and boring for two hours until they’re killed one by one because of course they are. And the only thing that even remotely ties this utterly bland found footage ghost hunter movie to John Wayne Gacy is to show the shadow of a fat ghost at the end because WHY DID THEY THINK THAT WOULD BE THE SCARIEST THING ABOUT JOHN WAYNE GACY.

This is a guy who killed 33 young boys and dumped them all in his crawlspace until THE CRAWLSPACE WAS TOO PACKED WITH CORPSES TO SHOVE ANOTHER CORPSE IN IT. This is a guy who dressed up as a clown and painted self-portraits of himself dressed as a clown while he was in prison FOR THE MURDER OF 33 KIDS. AS A CLOWN. A MURDER CLOWN.

But instead of showing bizarrely charming clown corpsepocalypse Gacy, they show you the shadow of a ghost who would probably give up chasing you if you walked away from him because he’d be too encumbered by ghost moobs to follow you. If I’d encountered a ghost who looks like he died of complications from friedchickenitis, I’d probably just flick butter at him until he started to associate me with delicious treats. And then I’d have a pet ghost. And I’d name him Tiny, which would be funny because he’d actually be quite large in reality. And I could feed him KFC double downs and butter-flavored popcorn topping because he would be too dead to worry about a diet. And we would go on adventures, me and my wacky obese ghost. It would be GREAT.

I’m just saying 8213: Gacy House could have been a great kids movie.

I give this…..ONE HORROR.

Pictured: me and the ghost of John Wayne Gacy
Pictured: me and the ghost of John Wayne Gacy
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8213: Gacy House

23:59

Just kidding, the NEXT one is Gacy House. Promise.

THIS one is yet another foreign horror film from a country using the wrong damn clock and the title refers to 11:59 pm Murrica time. Set in 1980s Singapore, a group of soldiers are in the jungle on a mysterious island in the middle of some kind of Singapwar, but it’s not the enemy soldiers they have to worry about, it’s GHOOOOOOOOSTS!!!!

BOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Or one ghost. A creepy lady who died at 23:59, which you may recognise as right before midnight, the most supernatural of hours. One of the soldiers goes missing and another is having visions that convince him that he is next. How did the creepy lady die??? What does she want??? Why is this Asian guy named Chester????

All these questions can be answered by remembering the experience of watching this movie, which….eh. I remember dark creepy jungles, and I remember the mean scary ghost lady, I think she was murdered by the general or her kid was killed or she’s a shaman or…..eh….I can’t remember. Maybe it’s all three.

I’m gonna level with you, I didn’t really research this one and the movie wasn’t terribly memorable and all I’ve been doing is playing Torchlight 2 for the past week, which is an awesome game and everyone should play it and my berserker class warrior has a pet ferret that I’ve named Snuggles and he loves to run people off cliffs for me and make squeaky ferret noises and I really have to get back to it.

I give this film…..ONE TORCHLIGHT 2!!!!

Snuggles waits for no blog.
Snuggles waits for no blog.
23:59

13B

This is where this project gets real fun.

13B is our first FOREIGN horror film, and by foreign I mean INDIAN and by Indian I mean BOLLYWOOD and by Bollywood I mean THERE ARE SONGS IN THIS ONE AND IT IS GREAT.

Now it’s not reeeeally Bollywood and there are only two songs, but this is by far the most entertaining one so far. 13B refers to the swanky new apartment where Manohar, who has just been promoted at his job, is moving himself and his extended family to live. But because he moved to the 13th floor, like an IDIOT, it’s full of supernatural happenings that only he seems to think are a big deal because his wife, sister, mother, and aunt are too glued to their favorite soap opera to give a shit. Women. AMIRITE.

He also made the mistake of living in a country that uses the 24 hour clock, because shit gets real weird at 13:00 every day, which is why every country should be America and do things the goddamn right way. At 13:00 every day (that’s 1pm for those of you who value FREEDOM) the tv mysteriously stops playing every other scheduled show and all channels start playing a dramatization of events that are eerily similar to what Manohar is experiencing in real life.  And, predictably, the ladies are too dumb to see this and they fucking LOVE this new soap opera because tiny lady brains are so cute and adorable it’s a wonder they can handle all the cooking and cleaning Manohar leaves them to do while he is off at his important Man Job where he does Man Things. (I think he’s an architect. Or an engineer. Or a business man. He wears a suit, that’s what counts.)

Eventually the new 13:00 show starts predicting shitty things that start happening shortly after the program airs and a variety of bad and weird things happen and then the whole plot goes fascinatingly off the rails from supernatural to axe murderer and it’s GREAT. AND THERE’S A SONG DURING THE CREDITS. I don’t even want to really spoil this one for you because it’s actually worth watching, particularly with drinks and friends, which is why I can get away with being vague and lazy towards the end of this post. But truly, while it’s not a stellar film, it’s genuinely fun and the sheer novelty of a Bollywood horror thriller is hugely worthwhile.

I give this film…..THREE AND A HALF HORRORS.

Maybe even 3.75. I’m not entirely clear on what denominations Horrors come in. But definitely savor this one, because the next one is 8213: Gacy House and you’re going to need the sweet sweet memory of a nearly 4 Horror movie to make it. Maybe someday we’ll even get to a legitimate 4 Horror movie….or…..A FOURROR.

😀

You have to pronounce that carefully, though.
You have to pronounce that carefully, though.
13B

13/13/13

I’m beginning to suspect that The Asylum has some sort of incredibly shady deal with Netflix in which Asylum gets to have their films viewed by an audience of people who assume it can’t be that bad, and Netflix gets some number of blow jobs based on the number of one-star ratings these movies receive.

Yes, 13/13/13 is another Asylum film. The beginning of this project has not been kind to me.

The premise is actually somewhat promising, which makes it all the more disappointing when Asylum has to go and Asylum all over it. After so many leap years, we have accrued a few extra days, or not enough days, or some wrong thing to do with days that I could have paid attention to had the script been any good, and thus we come to some random day in an actual calendar month that SHOULD have technically been the thirteenth day of the thirteenth month of the thirteenth year. And because 13 is an evil number, this is obviously the day when all hell breaks lose and everyone goes completely batshit.

Except those who were born on leap days, who are fine, because mental health is based both on the Roman calendar and on the many ways in which it doesn’t work. But who gives a shit about why everyone has lost their minds, you can’t ask a doctor about your sudden paranoid schizophrenia because OH NO ALL OF THE DOCTORS WERE BORN ON NON-LEAP DAYS. The only normal people we have are one sexy lady and one sexy dude who may or may not want to bang each other! You’ll have to watch the movie to find out! #suspense

Every so often there is a moment of interest in 13/13/13, such as the neighbor’s 12 year old who we once saw playing with chalk on the sidewalk now emotionlessly bashing in the head of a grown man into the concrete, or the leading man’s two friends who are so out of their minds they think they’re in the middle of a war zone. The many creepy and outlandish ways in which the writers decide to make normal civilians go completely and murderously bonkers is somewhat intriguing, but most of the script is up to our two non-homicidal leads.

And the leads are, predictably, hot and boring. Again, it’s ALMOST interesting because Leading Man is trying to find his daughter, who was not born on a leap day, and save her, even though he knows this is likely not possible. But, after all that, most of this movie is spent watching a small handful of good-looking people suck at acting.

Which brings me to the moral of the story, ye olde adage that I heard today on a podcast* about serial killers: if you mix five pounds of ice cream with five pounds of shit, you get ten pounds of shit.

I give this film….TWO HORRORS.

We know it's not chocolate, Asylum.
We know it’s not chocolate, Asylum.

* that podcast is The Last Podcast on the Left, in which a group of three comedians chat about murderers, conspiracy theories, aliens, Satanism, anything dark and weird and creepy. Find them on itunes, if you’re not offended by racism, sexism, gore, disrespecting the dead……okay, find them on itunes if you’re not offendable. I personally give it four horrors.

13/13/13

12/12/12

So if you watched 11/11/11 and are for some reason in love with the idea of shitty low-budget knock-offs of classic horror films, GET EXCITED.

Because where 11/11/11 was the poor man’s The Omen, 12/12/12 is the It’s Alive for people who thought It’s Alive was a bit too high-brow and arthouse.

For the uninitiated, this is a screenshot from It's Alive.
For the uninitiated, this is a screenshot from It’s Alive.

And no, 12/12/12 is in no way related to 11/11/11. Nor is it related to 13/13/13, the next film in the Netflixabet named after a sequential date in the past five years. (I’m just going to pretend that 13/13/13 is a real date and move on.) But without being a sequel to 11/11/11, 12/12/12 is pretty thematically similar, in that it also reminds me that I need to pick up my birth control and then probably snarf them all at once in a desperate attempt to kill my uterus before it kills me.

A baby is born on SPOILER ALERT December 12, 2012, but instead of being a normal baby and ruining its parents’ lives in normal baby ways, it just straight up murders everyone in the room the second it claws its way out of the bloodied and traumatised slip n’ slide that is now its mother’s vagina. Mom lives, somehow, and once all the doctors and nurses are dead, Dad runs in to snuggle up with Mom and Murder Baby, because parenthood is complicated.

Then the cops come in and have a quick chat about all the bodies in the room (my single favorite moment in the entire movie is the silent background stage business of a cop nonchalantly interviewing a nurse IN the bloodsoaked room next to the mangled corpses of her coworkers that are still lying on the floor WHILE the family of the beastspawn cuddles on the hospital bed. Any readers involved in law enforcement can feel free to leave a comment explaining that this is a totally normal and reasonable procedure for a homicide investigation) and then…….more people die? But who really cares? Mom and Dad are young and sexy and boring and Murder Baby’s murders seem to have little to no effect on its hormone-addled mother or even really on the generic homicide detective who wanders around sucking on lollipops because the director of 12/12/12 choses personality traits by random word generator.

I have a vague recollection of all the people Murder Baby kills, but it’s not important. While the stupidity and ridiculousness of the first few minutes is entertaining, the next hour and a half of it just starts to wear on you. It’s not over-the-top bad enough to watch while drunk with your friends, and it’s not good enough….in…..any way. At all. It’s just bad. Bad and lame and dumb and bad. (This is why I am not a real film critic.)

I give this movie…..ONE HORRORS.

I swear Netflix has some good horror movies.

Please don’t leave me.

Also, is this just what babies look like?
Also, is this just what babies look like?
12/12/12

11/11/11

You’re going to hear a lot about a production company called The Asylum.

For the record, this is the same production company that came up with 100 Ghost Street: The Return of Richard Speck, which, according to Wikipedia (yes, I am RESEARCHING THIS SHIT FOR YOU because Wikipedia absolutely constitutes research) “Scott Foy of Dread Central rated it 3/5 stars and called it the best found footage film made by The Asylum.” So, just to provide you guys some context, the film that I described yesterday as being worthy of a single Horror at best, is among the highest quality films The Asylum can provide.

Because this is THE ASYLUM’S 11/11/11. Not the Darren Lynn Bousman film 11/11/11 which was a real movie that came out in real theaters and was distributed by real production companies. This is the 11/11/11 that I get to watch third in my intensive horror-viewing project because the universe desperately wants me to turn off the tv and do something with my life.

BUT THE UNIVERSE ISN’T THE BOSS OF ME.

So 11/11/11 is what happens when a young screenwriter-to-be grows up watching The Omen too many times and also grows up to be a not-so-great screenwriter. Because 11/11/11 is a not-so-great The Omen. And when I say “not-so-great,” I mean Satanic ritual with a guy wearing a polyester cloak and sprinkling corn syrup blood everywhere while a lady with her tits out is giving birth to a shitty kid. The shitty kid is born on November 11 and turns 11 on 11/11/11, at which point he will turn into the Antichrist, which is basically a different type of shitty kid.

To be fair, though, this film isn’t HORRIBLE. The collection of bizarre neighbors and community members who have a vested interest in this child turning 11 (FOR REASONS WHICH SHALL REMAIN MYSTERIOUS #hailsatan) is a mildly interesting twist on the kiddy antichrist genre, and I remember being able to watch this movie without actively wondering how much wine I’d have to drink to make it tolerable. You can totally do this on a bottle or less. (I’m probably drunker writing this than you’d have to be watching it.) And it bodes well that, months later, I still remember this movie as not being among the worst experiences in this project. Keep an eye out for fun Satanic grandmas who try to lure the antichrist into their doily-laden homes with cookies. Fun for the whole family!

I give this film….TWO HORRORS.

"You know, it'd be cheaper if he just grew his own horns." "You're right, honey."
“You know, it’d be cheaper if he just grew his own horns.”
“You’re right, honey.”
11/11/11

100 Ghost Street: The Return of Richard Speck

Everyone should be very impressed with me for continuing this project after 100 Ghost Street: The Return of Richard Speck. Lesser beings would have given up the second this movie began.

First of all, it’s found footage. And let me make this clear: I LOVE found footage. Paranormal Activity is still one of my favorite movies, the V/H/S series is fantastic, LOVE Grave Encounters, and Netflix is secretly full of plenty of other great found footage films. Found footage can bring a subtlety and realism to a horror film, placing the viewer in the same position as the protagonist and encouraging a gritty, unscripted feel.

Or it can convince some asshole with a smartphone that he can shake it around while screaming and he’s just made a movie.

I think the premise was that a group of dumbfucks with cameras wanted to capture ghost activity at the location of Richard Speck’s 1966 massacre. Or at his house or something. It was hard to pay attention or give much of a shit after the first thirty seconds of this movie, when someone setting up a camera is levitated and murdered BY A GHOOOOOOST.

The thing that makes a great horror movie is suspense – understanding what the danger could be and wondering when it’s going to stab you in the face. (Many times, the danger is face-stabbing.) This creates fear. Fear is the goal of a horror movie. Guys. This feels obvious. But not as obvious as Richard Speck’s ghost’s THIRST FOR MURDER. After we watch some guy we don’t know or care about get lifted up and tossed around by an unseen force until he’s killed, THIS SHIT NEVER STOPS HAPPENING. The entire rest of the movie is just Richard Speck’s ghost killing people we were barely introduced to with very little downtime.

On the bright side, we don’t have to watch too much of the acting. On the downside, holy shit boring. If I recall correctly, the deaths were all snapped necks or things falling on people – nothing that can even validate the making of this film as a cheesy gorefest. And if I recall incorrectly, it’s because HOLY SHIT BORING. Watching night vision footage of shitty people dying for an hour and a half couldn’t even be saved by the genuinely fascinating and horrific story of Speck’s torture, rape, and murder of eight nursing students in the mid-sixties because they barely bring it up. They just needed a serial killer’s ghost and they’d already filmed 8213 Gacy House (which….just….ugh).

This movie gets ONE HORROR.

This is a generous number of horrors.

No one who owns a blu-ray player wants this.
No one who owns a blu-ray player wants this.
100 Ghost Street: The Return of Richard Speck