Maniac: Revisted

Even though it wasn’t actually out that long ago, (fine…its only recently become available on Netflix). I feel that this month’s revisited should go to Elijah Wood for acting like a crazy fool.

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Or Frodo goes Loco as Total film put it.

He’s actually so mind-blowing crazy in this film its beyond words.The worst part is that we don’t ever really find out the specifics into why he enjoys murdering so many women, but we do know he LOVES hair. Later there’s some flashbacks of his mum snorting coke and having threesomes, while he’s like 5 and watching from a wardrobe (I’ll assume this lead to some of his angst), but no definite ‘I’ve decided to murder chicks’ epiphany. We know he likes to stalk. That we can be sure of.

In the opening scene he full on stalks this poor girl from outside the club right to her door (ladies, get a ride with your friend yo), and then he scalds her…and then staples her scalps onto an awkwardly standing mannequins back of house, (thankfully he’s intelligent enough not to put that shit in the window). He likes to chat to the mannequins (full on Conversations), and scrubs his hands profusely with bleach a lot. It’s all so damn Freudian.

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To be fair who the hell would trust a guy who works in a mannequin shop? I know who…Anna does. Anna is a French Chick who’s equally as obsessed with mannequins and wants to use them for an art installation thing (like really though, who you expecting to meet in that field girlfriend?) So Anna and our Maniac strike up an unusual friendship, which seems to tip him over his killing threshold. In fact I’m pretty convinced as a way of NOT killing Anna, he just goes on a mad killing spree so he can expel those angry feelings.

The scary one was the online date he goes on, with the girl who takes him back to hers. That annoyed me a bit I must say. If you look at the guys hands, they SCREAM serial Killer, I was literally shouting  ‘please dont fuck him’ really loudly at the TV hoping it would shift the plot. Nope.

Its been labelled by many as trashy gore, with lots of unnecessary explicit scenes, so yes it got a lot of bad reviews, but i actually loved it. The POV thing totally works, except for a few times when they forget its POV and randomly zoom out and you’re like ‘woah…its POV, what are u doing to my mind’, (like the scene in the garage with the girl who runs off the train), so I guess if they kept it a touch more consistent it would be miles better.

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I also love that its Elijah wood, and he’s just creepy as fuck, all the time. Even when he was Frodo I was like if this guy didn’t have a ring, he’d be out murdering elves for no reason. So that helps.

Also the fact that its set in a very unglam downtown LA, and LA looks scary. Forget all those images of Beverly Hills and Laguna Beach. This is a grim LA and you don’t wanna be there on your own at 3am.

So all in its worth the watch. Theres a few weird bits where the mannequins come to life and it gets a bit surreal, but try to gloss over that.

And don’t eat. It’s really gory.

 

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Funny Games Revisted.

Everyone pretty much jizzes their pants whenever you talk about Michael Haneke. I’ve sat through endless conversations with film grads, excitedly discussing how profound Haneke’s work is; how his subtle social commentary and take on violence is “unbelievably thought provoking”, how his meticulous and flawless filmmaking practices will haunt you for months, and so forth and so forth.

In particular I have heard time and time again that Funny Games would be the most ‘disturbing’  and ‘intelligent’ thing I was ever going to see in my adult life, that it was literally so mind-blowing that he was forced to make it twice, in two different langues, ten years apart, shot by shot.

 

So I watched it. In both languages.

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Big cat

What’s Big Cat?  We don’t get it in the UK, so I just assumed it was a Lion bar-esque type of chocolate treat. I googled it and much to my dismay, nothing came of my search. So apparently you can’t get it anywhere in the world, unless the manufacturers specifically specialise in snacks of the apocalypse, which is fine by me as long as its tasty, and I’m around long enough to find out why Michonne looked so disappointed when it was snatched away by greedy little douche. He not only took the Big Cat, but let her keep something called ‘Cruncho’ (potentially a bootleg brand of chocolate, like that shit you buy in the market for 10p, or the overseas stuff they import from Lithuania with 2% chocolate in it). The funniest part of the exchange was that Rick got NOTHING not even a ‘want some?’ He then kinda just stood there, fake smiling. That was really awkward. I used to kind of fancy Rick. Growing up in the UK I got to see Andrew Lincoln play some really edgy characters in his career, including a coked up young lawyer in 90s drama ‘This Life‘ (to my American friends, it was like ‘party of five’ but with more sex and lots of drugs).

 

So to see him now, with his fake southern drawl (he’s English btw), grey beard, slightly baggy-eyed, getting snubbed by his dickhead child, you cant help but feel sorry for him. He just stood there and took their shit, and acted like he didn’t care that they were bonding, and leaving him out. He lost all his charm. You’ve been stripped of your badge in more ways than one Rick.

Was It Shane that kept his spark alive? Or that nagging wife that would make me slash my wrists way before the zombies got me? Who knows…

All I know is that one critic refered to this new ‘family’ unit, as the ‘glimmer of hope’ during such a bleak time in human history. I think the glimmer of hope comes in the form of Daryl’s crossbow, but call me a realist. I’m not suggesting I don’t dig their playful banter, and their bad jokes, I’m just saying eventually they’ll grow to despise each other and potentially eat each other in terminus.

Speaking of which…

Some other shit happened recently. Carol confessed to Tyrese that she killed everyone and surprisingly her brain wasnt blown out, Lizzie murdered her sister during an escalating spiral of crazy, and looking at flowers will never have the same meaning ever again. We find out the key elements to a ‘white-trash brunch’ thanks to Daryl, Beth gets kidnapped and we havent heard her sing for 2 episodes, and most importantly Maggie and Glen (yawn) are reunited, and true love conquers all.

Oh and some of them get to Terminus

And find a man-sized barbecue

And a fuller figured woman with rosy cheeks and an apron

and a menu??

Ok no menu. Even though I’m sure BBQ Beth is the starter.

Luckily Lizzie gets reincarnated as Martin’s daughter in true detective, so there is still hope for her career.

 

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Jagged little Beth- episode recap

Poor Beth, all she ever wanted from Daryl was a shoulder to cry on, in fact all she wants to do is cry, and talk about her feelings and then maybe cry some more, but as was made mind-blowingly obvious from the last episode, Daryl is a redneck, and rednecks aren’t really into tears, or emotions, and the combo of both, and this makes him storm off uncomfortably on several occasions. So poor Beth is in a really shitty situation, she’s now lost Maggie, had to watch her dad be publicly beheaded, and now she’s stuck with emo Daryl for the rest of eternity. ‘everyone’s dead’ he constantly reminds her, which leads her to cry some more. In fact crying and talking about crying pretty much dominated this last episode.daryl and beth

So lets recap: After spending the night in the boot of a car, and then being forced to eat a BBQ rattlesnake, Beth decides she wants a drink. Thats right folks a DRANNNNKKK, ‘as in alcohol’, she reaffirms, just in case we didn’t really catch what she meant the first time round. Hershel wouldn’t let her drink, but ‘hes dead now’ she also reaffirms…not gonna argue with that Beth, and I’m not questioning your grief either.

Beth gets really mad at Daryl and accuses him of being all types of negative, ‘screw this’ she says, ‘screw this camp’ she says again. It’s worth mentioning that Beth uses the word ‘screw’ like three times in one sentence indicating her evolution from a bible basher to a badass. She then flips the bird at Daryl, and tells him she is getting a drink TO-DAY.

Onto the search for alcohol, Beth and now a very un-chatty Daryl begin making their way to the nearest location they think may contain liquor. They find a nearby golf club house/department store (the clothes and stuff threw me), and make their way inside. It must be noted that this episode in many ways is possibly the bleakest of them all. It doesn’t really hit you just how grim shit has gotten until you see all the 10 thousand dead bodies piled on top of each other, with maybe 10 zombies hung from the ceiling, swinging about, trying to get down. This is the point where I personally would’ve been like ‘yea im done’, and shot myself in the head. But a rather resilient Beth keeps on going, whilst Daryl thinks now is a good opportunity to rob loads of money.

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Small afterthough. I’m gonna make the assumption that Daryl is obviously having some kind of nervous breakdown and has totally forgotten that in a world where everyone is dead, there is no law and no government, perhaps robbing money isn’t the most useful thing he would’ve gained from this recreational visit to the golf club. Either he’s had a momentary lapse (see Rick season 3 when dead Lori keeps popping up everywhere), or we’re being gently reminded (thanks AMC) that this guy was broke crook pre-apocalypse.

Back to Beth. Unfazed by the plethora of dead people downstairs, she finds a clothes shop to raid and decides the have an outfit change. Yellow and white are perhaps the two most unlikely colours I would wear during a zombie outbreak, but Beth doesn’t care, she looks pretty and preppy and wants to ram her positive energy down your throat whether you like it or not. Dammit she wants to teach the world to sing, even though there’s no world left and no-one to sing to. Still the canary yellow polo top really brings out her eyes. I gave it less than ten minutes before someones brains ruined it. And lo and behold Daryl clubs a zombies head all over the pearl white cardi. Take it off Beth, take it off.

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After being denied a Peach Schnapps, and forced to watch the most awkward game of darts in the world. Daryl decides to take Beth to an undisclosed location he previously found with Michonne so she can get drunk on moonshine. At this point the episode got a bit weird, borderline creepy. Suddenly I was like ‘ok ANYTHING is possible here’, there’s a weird vibe between them, they kind of hate each other, is he gonna kill her? are they hooking up? Are they both gonna die? Is he gonna kill himself? It was all a bit ambiguous. The house in question was either Daryl’s actual house, or a house that really really resembled it. I couldn’t quite figure it out cuz the conversation progressively just got weirder and weirder.

A drinking game in this redneck shithole (‘my dad used to do target practice in here’…..right), turns extremely nasty when Beth kinda directly but indirectly accuses Daryl of being a criminal. ‘Is that what you really think of me’ he barks, to be fair Daryl, she did ask you like 10 times what you did before the outbreak and you remained silent….we all thought the worst. Things then get SUPER AWKWARD, and Daryl decides he’s gonna kick things about and piss in the middle of the kitchen. Great.

Then he starts cussing Beth out like you would not even believe.

I mean, full on, no holds barred, telling it like it is type shit. ‘You lost two boyfriends’ he reminds her (really two? who the hell was the first one?) ‘your whole family is dead’ he screams ‘and all you care about is getting drunk like some dumb college bitch’. Damn Daryl. Damn.

Beth then does a little monologue about how Daryl is afraid to feel, or get too close to anyone, then he starts crying, then she hugs him and then she cries. and then it basically turns into Dawson’s Creek.

The last ten minutes are the wackest of them all. Literally a 10 minute chat about life, and feelings (enough already), with Daryl opening up about his past and Beth not giving a shit and mainly just wanting to talk about herself. Then they have a super emosh moment whereby they decide to burn down this house to say goodbye to Daryl’s past (this btw might not even be his actual house, but we’ll go with it). Some really bad country music about the ghosts in your closet starts playing while they unnecessarily start a forest fire. then they walk away and flip the bird and the burning house.

Glad you both got that off your chests.

Posession for beginners. How to avoid moving into a demonic house, and other real estate issues

You’re a perfectly nice person, with a perfectly lovely family. No-one in your household has a history of mental illness, throws any kind of temper tantrums, or even really argues. Generally the overall tone of your residency is mellow, and you’re kind of awesome.

And then you move into a big old house with a chandelier in the hallway, and a huge living room, maybe a fireplace, some space to post a few photos, and you’re feeling pretty confident that this place is your home for life. Your happy and excited, and kind of tired from the move, but the overall tone is content.

And then crazy shit starts to happen.

And you hear noises

And you see footsteps

And the photos fall off the walls

The chandelier starts swinging like crazy.

so in your panick you call in the paranormal guy who just wants to get the hell out of your bullshit house. And that’s usually a bad sign

And now your feeling shitty because you’ve got a mortgage and a potential demon, and on the whole the two don’t mix very well.

And now you hate the house, and the stupid chandelier, and your partner thinks your nuts, and the kids (if you have them) are making imaginary friends and the dog keeps barking.

And your pissed off and REALLY tired

So based on my expert knowledge of demons and films…and stuff i’ve seen in films about demons, I am here to help you not make that mistake. Once you’re in the house your basically dead (sorry), but if you are a potential buyer, here are some pointers.

  • Avoid Ouji Boards
  • If the dog doesn’t like the house, don’t move in
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Roger wasn’t happy with the new neighbours

  • When the youngest starts talking to Rory, pack your shit and sell up
  • Dont film anything
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  • Try not to taunt it
  • Stairs are usually a hinderance. Try and go for an apartment
  • If your Catholic housekeeper isn’t feeling the vibe, listen to her. She knows what she’s talking about
  • Your partner started sleepwalking? break up with them they’re possessed

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  • Wind chimes, dream-catchers, hanging bits of feathers. No. Your asking for it.
  • You can’t sleep? That’s because someones watching you. Move out

The Conjuring. A film thats not about zombies. Also a true story

It would have probably been a good idea to go and watch World War Z and talk about how much i hated it, because I now have such high expectations from the undead that anything outside of my comfort zone (like zombies that run), are a no-go area for me, an area filled with hate and confusion. Luckily I didn’t watch World War Z, nor is this post a rant about that. So that’s ok and we can move on.

I watched The Conjuring, which was directed by James Wan, and featured the one from The Departed that looks like Heather Mills, and that dude that played the Paedophile in Hard Candy, and then played the really hot rich guy in Girls.(FYI, to anyone who didn’t see that episode of girls, made no fucking sense). Maybe to the untrained eye this movie is your classic haunted house/hang on it’s a demon/hang on it’s a witch/hang on it wants to kill your entire family type scenario, but if you dig deep it a whole lot more. We’ve seen the formula, James Wan is not reinventing the wheel, it’s just a classic creepy film with demons and kids and a possessed doll, (but obviously a billion times better than insidious, because insidious was shit). I’m here more specifically to discuss the demonologists that are at the core of this film-Edward Warren and his wife Lorraine Warren.

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This contains no spoilers, so carry on reading if you so choose.

Edward and Lorraine, self-proclaimed ‘seekers of the supernatural’ are, according to the film, the worlds leading experts in demonology and paranormal research. The main reason why I was so interested in them after i left the theatre rather than the ‘story’ is partly due to the highly refined way Wan chose to portray them in this movie. The Warrens were no con artists, oh no, they were essentially classified as ‘academics’; very rational, highly articulate, highly intelligent, always on some campus doing a slide show presentation, answering questions, being very sincere. It was all so different to what one may associate with a ‘demonologist’.

Edward Warren also states at one point in the film that he didn’t believe in vampires, which was highly reassuring.

Lets take a look at Ed and Lorraine and see who the hell they are.

FUN FACT 1) The Warrens had been in business of tracking down evil for over 40 years, and casting it away with holy water and high-tech sound equipment. I was ASTOUNDED to discover that they had previously been involved in the Amityville case (yes THE Amityville) with the Lutz family, who famously fled the house after an alleged 28 days in the property. The Warrens were called in to do a séance on live TV after the media frenzy that surrounded the house. Nothing actually came out of that particular séance but later they found a picture featuring a little boy who had not been present in the house at all. It is suspected (wait for it) that he was one of the victims that were murdered by Robert Defeo who had gone nuts one night, reached for his rifle and shot his entire family to death. This was prior to the Lutz’s moving in. Hence all the crazy shit that happened to them whilst at the house.

Allegedly Lorraine said that she hoped Amityville was ‘as close to hell’ as she would ever get.

FUN FACT 2) The Snedeker family haunting which lead to movie ‘The Haunting in Connecticut was also an investigation that the Warrens had been actively involved in. This was a particularly grim case that dealt with a mortuary run by necrophiliacs (yea told you), that then became a family home, unknown to the Snedeker family. Luckily the current owner fails to give a shit.

FUN FACT 3) The Warrens have a museum FULL of all the possessed stuff they’ve retrieved, found and worked on over the years. Yes that’s right, a WHOLE room full of satanic objects and voodoo dolls, all full of evil, in one tiny little space. You can visit the museum if you like, but you can’t touch or taunt anything. If you do, you might die. Literally. One guy famously taunted the Annabel Doll in his visit to the museum (featured in the movie), and died three hours later. Alternatively you can visit The Tate

FUN FACT 4) They have Annabel. The weird creepy rag doll, who has the ability to totally kill people. In the movie she sets the scene, creates the context, gives us an idea of the horror of inanimate objects created for children. Below is her story….oh and next time you wanna buy your kid something from the junk shop, expect bad stuff to happen. That’s why video games were invented.

Enjoy sleeping

S