Monday, December 28, 2015

Black Forest, 2012, Staring Tinsel Korey, Dhaffer L'Abidine, and Oliver James. Directed by Patrick Dinhut

Monday, December 28, 2015

I came across this "gem" on Netflix earlier today. The cover art looked promising, the story sounded like it might be good, I love fairytales, and I am always interested in paranormal happening in forests. The premise was promising, so, I popped this one on and I was pretty excited! 

It started off awesomely enough, comic book like illustrations of forest creatures, spooky trees and other creatures... and that sadly was the best part of the film for the most part. Yes, you read that right, the opening credits were sadly the best part, at least in my opinion. I was hoping that this would be something in the ilk of "Troll Hunter"( it is no secret how much I love mockumentaries), my hope was very misplaced.

Right away, it starts with people running from something and trying to get into a VW beetle, and it has that feel, like when you are watching a movie or a television program and you are astounded that the acting is just a bit too over the top and then suddenly someone yells "CUT!" The shot pans out, and the aforementioned actors are actors ACTING like actors in a production in a production... except, in this, it never happens, instead something gigantic slams into the top of their car and then something "spooky" happens.

Fast forward (or maybe not, who knows) and we meet one of several unremarkable stereotypical people in a group of people who sign up to go to a fairy mound on the eve of the summer solstice. In this group, there is a "Handsome" Doctor, a well todo banker, his young wife and their infant daughter (yes, it is the smartest idea to take your infant daughter to see the awesome fairies in a foreign country in the middle of a field with several other strangers who may or maynot be part of a human trafficking ring), the even younger nanny (who of course has that, "I'm so hot" vibe), and bringing up the rear so to speak is two "nerds" who are studying pagan something or another. They all are given feathers as tickets to get in (because you need tickets to get into this magical field gathering) and then fast forward again, to night time.

This is where all the crap hits the fan and we get our first look at some ok computer graphics that are about what you would expect from SYFY. I can't really say much more without spoiling everything, but the one thing that did amuse me greatly is the "witch" is a very close facsimile of Mama Midnite, the cabin is also pretty spot on, other than that I was mostly just annoyed. The things that should have been scary weren't, the 7 dwarves went a different direction than I thought they would, but it still wasn't that scary. The werewolf (?, or wolf or... I am not sure) was very twilight trailer-esque, and the troll I didn't even get to see except for his hands. Also the sets just weren't as menacing as I thought they easily could have been, they were like less colorful, less moody, cast off sets from Tim Burton's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory". Mostly what clued you in that it was "fairyland" was random fake flowers and fake red and white toadstools, occasional there are trees that move, but not as often as I would have liked. 

Also to my annoyance, most of the "stories" were just jumbled pieces from here and there. I feel like if you were going to go that direction, you easily could have found some much more horrendous fairy tales to take pieces from because if nothing else people would have been even more confused and would have had to do research to see where they came from and found some new fairytales to read. The could have easily used some of the less known Grimm's tales, or how about a couple from Basile or Asbjornsen and Moe?

I will stop my rant for now, I wish I could suggest this one, and I guess I can, but know, that much like being stuck inside a fairyland or a UFO, these will be 2 hours of your lives that will disappear and you never will get back. Proceed with caution!

Til next time!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Where did Marlena go and a Vampire triple feature review.

Monday, December 14, 2015
I feel terrible that I have not Blogged since the beginning of October. I apologize for that. I am sure you have guessed October is a busy month around the mausoleum and expected blog posts to be fewer, but I did not foresee being amiss all of November and half of December too.

I am very sorry, November lead to some unforeseen changes in my work situation and my health and although it is for the better (at least the work situation change), it was unexpected and I needed to wrap my head around it.

I suppose I could have blogged about it, but I don't really take any comfort from letting people know my personal problems, or their sympathies. I prefer to work through it and move on, which is exactly what I have done and now here I am!

I have prepared a vampire triple feature review for you all, of 3 avant-garde (or at least uncommon) vampire movies! I hope you enjoy them, and I will be eager to read your comments! I missed you all!


Only Lovers Left Alive, 2013, Starting Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, and Mia Wasikowska. Directed by Jim Jarmusch.

First up in my, "Vampire Triple Feature" is "Only lovers left Alive", written and directed by Jim Jarmusch. 

When I decided I was going to write this triple feature, because lets face it, I owe you guys big time in the post department, I thought that rather than doing the "classic" type vampire movies I would lead more toward the avant-garde side of things, because lets face it, even though vampires have been watered down and more mainstream for the past few years, there are still some original ideas out there, even if it is more original based on story than the actual vampires themselves. I also didn't want to swim too far out into the deep end, because I am sure some of you would love to hear all about the wonder the is Robovampire, but I am going to keep it just slightly off the beaten path. Of course if you would like me to go more in depth, I happily can later. Now back to the movie at hand.

O.L.L.A. has a big name cast, which really was the icing on an already slightly misshapen cake, but aside from this, I found it kind of like the vampire version of "How Wanda got her Groove Back" or at least what I imagine it to be, because I have not actually ever watched it. 

In Jim Jarmusch's world, vampires are pale, thin, and don't wash their hair as much as one would expect. Tom Hiddleston's character, Adam, is a shut in, who lives in a boarded up house in Detroit. Tilda Swinton's, Eve,  character is outgoing and hanging out in Tangiers with her friend/ role model/ maker, it is never really addressed. They have been separated obviously for awhile, but when Eve notices that Adam seems to be depressed, she goes to call on him. There is something that I think is suppose to allude to the fact they all sort of have a mind link of some sort, but it is just that, an allusion.  They seem to appreciate being together, and even though they are quite different they aren't upset that they are and just do what they do.

Basically this is just following the day to day workings of vampire life. It isn't super eventful, but there is something to be said about a movie that isn't trying to reinvent everything. I did like the allusion to needing to be invited in to a house, symbolized by removing ones gloves instead. It makes it seem more... cozy? Also interesting is that they refer to humans as "zombies" for whatever reason.

At one point Eve's little sister Ava shows up and causes some trouble, but it really isn't that big of a catastrophe.

All and all I didn't mind this movie, it is quiet, has a decent sound track, and the sets are very realistic, there isn't much whimsy in them, just the personalities of the people in them. It is a good movie to have in the background, but I don't imagine inviting my friends over to watch it (who am I kidding, like I have friends other than the puppets and my pets.) 

If  you like your vampires broody, musically inclined, and well read and you have a voyeuristic side for people watching. Give this one a look.

A Girl walks home alone at night, 2014, starring Sheila Vand and Arash Marandi. Directed by Ana Lily Amirpour.

Next up in my "Vampire triple feature" is "A girl walks home alone at night" written and directed by Ana Lily Amirpour.

I am going to say right away, this movie is in a foreign language (possibly Persian, but I am no scholar in middle eastern languages by any means) so if you are not wanting to read subtitles this is not a movie to even tangle with unless of course you speak the language it is in! Also, this movie is in black and white, which many of you know I am quite a fan of (call me nostalgic) however if you are not a fan, again, just an FYI.

I had heard a lot of hype around this movie, so I figured I should finally get around to watching it. It had a cat in it so that earned it points right off the bat (oh ho, bat, as in vampire, but not really, there are not bats that I know of in the movie.) It is set in from what I have read is a ghost town called "Bad City" which is basically mostly where horrible people live, but there are a couple good ones mixed in.

I had also read some where this movie was "feminist." I suppose it could be called that, but, really the vampire girl saves a prostitute twice. I am not sure, if that makes this movie feminist however, because maybe she just doesn't have a taste of eating women, or maybe she just felt sorry for her, because she wasn't a terrible person and she was having a rough couple of days.

The sets in the movie are inserting to me, just because the closest I have ever been to Iran was Turkey, and it was much more lush looking than these scenery in this movie was. I tend to avoid deserts, because they make me depressed, not enough greenery.

This movie is low on the gore scale, there are a couple feeding scenes, however they are not really that bad, and since they are in black and white it makes them look more artistic than horrific. I was glad the cat was ok, I was worried for a little bit that he might end up not making it to the end.

The score/ sound track was very unnoticeable, but that doesn't mean it wasn't good, it just really didn't stand out to me at all.

The characters were what they should have been, and they seemed to play their parts well. I honestly didn't really feel any compassion for any of the characters, like I think I was suppose to. I chalk that up to personal issues though. The dialogue was usually well composed, but there was a couple times where it seemed awkward or forced.

With all that said this movie left me having flashbacks to 1994's "Nadja" not only because it was filmed in black and white, but it has that grungy independent starkness (probably because they both are independent films) so prevalent in movies like this. It certainly wasn't bad, but I don't think I will be watching this one again soon. Maybe on a day I am feeling more focused it might be better to try again. Check it out for yourselves though and see what you think. I might be completely of the mark.

Cronos, 1993, staring Federico Luppi and Ron Perlman, Directed by Guillermo del Toro

My final movie in my "vampire triple feature" is 1993's Cronos written and directed by Guillermo del Toro.

I have watched this movie several times, I have enjoyed it every time. It is again not your run of the mill vampire movie, it has themes of vampirsm, eternal life, needing blood to survive, but there are no fangs or neck sucking.

It does have subtitles, but certain parts are in english also, so it is interesting to occasionally realize you know what every one is saying.

It follows the story of a shop keeper named Jesus and his family. Something odd happens with a relic in his shop, and rather than freaking out  like any other normal person would, he just embraces it and continues on with his life as best he can, until of course his shop is destroyed. That is when everything is starts getting a bit crazy, thugs, parties, car crashes, crematories, the list goes on. 

I really do love this movie, the story is interesting, the characters are well rounded, the physical effects are creepy yet understated, and the ending is awesome. 

I wish I could say more about this one, but I can't really with out giving a much away.  Do yourself a favor and check this one out. If you are disappointed you are more than welcome to tell me as much!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Tales from the Darkside: The Movie, 1990, Staring Debbie Harry, Christian Slater and William Hickey. Directed By John Harrison

Monday, October 5, 2015
Woah, Hey there every body, sorry about the impromptu hiatus. I appreciate you all being so understanding. So let's jump right back into it!

I was feeling like I wanted to watch something fun but gory thins week, and when the "new for you" popped up on Netflix, right there was the perfect solution, "Tales from the Darkside:The Movie".

It's no great mystery I love movies that are several stories all rolled up to one. And this one has a special place in my heart, since the witches kitchen reminds me of Mama Midnite's kitchen back home, right down to the green cabinets and the dungeon... ok not the dungeon, that's more my thing, but still. Speaking of the witch, this movie has such incredible casting.

Debbie Harry, Christian Slater, Julian Moore, Steve Buscemi, Christian Slater, William Hickey, and that list just keeps going. I really enjoy how they just keep popping up through out the movie.

The first short is based on a Arthur Conan Doyle story called "Lot 249". Lets just say it boils down to college, gore, and mummies with a nice ending.

Of course, between each story it goes back to the wrap around with the kid and the witch, which makes me so happy. I adore how nonchalant she is talking to the kid about how she is gonna roast and eat him, no big deal.

The second story is my favorite, of course it is, it has a cat... and not just any cat, a rather demonic one. This one also have amazing physical effects and a decent amount of gore, including a cringe worthy scene toward the end. One gripe with the effects in this one, which would only be something I would notice or even care about is all the scratches have 3 toes, cats have 4 toes with a due claw they use really well, I have the awesome scars to prove it haha! It wouldn't matter to most people though, so just me being a weirdo. It does of course have a great moral, don't do anything bad to 5000 cats or they will send one to get revenge.

The third story really has the most awesome effects, they did save the best for last. The gargoyle is a work of art! Also the story is really interesting and has a fantastic twist! I sadly can't say what my favorite part is with out ruining the story for some one who hasn't seen it, but it has to do with the kids.

If you love physical effects, 90's movies, and multi-story plot lines, check this one out!

Until next time!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Bride of the Gorilla, 1951, Starring Barbara Payton, Lon Chaney Jr., and Raymond Burr. Directed by Curt Siodmak.

Monday, September 21, 2015
Today's movie in review was lent to me by a fan! It is pretty exciting to see movies from the 1950's I haven't watched before. Tonight I am excited to report my findings on "Bride of the Gorilla"!

This movie has a pretty all star cast and a good premise, well ok,the premise is o.k. 

The first thing that made me excited to watch this movie was that in the beginning it was narrated. (You all know how much I love film noir movies.) How ever, after the first scene the narration ended, boo. It was kind of a let down, but then there was a TON of stock footage of animals, so I am guessing they really wanted up to know we were in a jungle. 

Then enter the pretty lady, you know she is going to be trouble, but then surprisingly she isn't really.  She is just the common theme through out the movie, just like the sweet little old lady who just happens to curse the pretty lady's husband. 

I am still yet to figure out if she was just poisoning him or if it was an awesome curse, either way it has some interesting effects. Speaking of effects, this movie is pretty sparing on them, but it was made in 1951, so it is not the end of the world. The hands morphing was basic but still well done for the time period.

I also like that they had the little elements of folk lore, when they thought he was a certain monster, which again I am still unclear of weather we was that monster or if he was just a gorilla. 

I have to say all in all, this movie had great pacing (I was surprised when it was already over), a great cast, and a decent story, even if it was sort of confusing to me.  I would say if you enjoy other movies from this era check it out!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Finally photos!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015
The first mail segment of the season! Robyn and I both got a lot of great gifts. We always love viewer mail!

Often times when I am trying to remember the hilarious things I am suppose to say, I end up staring at the Mossy, which makes me go cross eyed of course.

Here is a sneak peak of some of the fun of this seasons first episode. You'll see ;)

A blast from the past! This is the only episode I actually threw up from, not from the gore in the movie, but because of the spam on the table in front of me. I can not handle canned meat.

One of the first pieces of mail Robyn delivered to the Mausoleum!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Be sure to stop back tomorrow for some fun facts from our pasts! Yay nostalgia!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Roving Reporter Robyn Graves here...

Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Helloooo old friends & future friends!
Welcome to Robyn's ramblings :D
On Friday September 11th I got to attend my first Riot Fest in Chicago! Music Festivals were one of my biggest fears for years (sunshine, walking, mud, huge terrifying crowds, #gothgirlproblems) but now I have found my comfort zone in the one day experience. Lollapalooza 2012 I learned how to battle the sun with spf 100 & big floppy hats and how to drink just enough that the crowds don't seem so bad. Lollapalooza 2013 I embraced the mud & spent most of my day barefoot. Now, this year at Riot Fest I learned Friday might be the best day to attend a festival because the porta potties are not completely destroyed yet.
I will definitely be attending again next year! The tickets are cheaper than Lollapalooza & the stages were such a nice little distance apart I managed to make it to all of them & see NINE different bands. That's right NINE! The Eagles of Death Metal, Coheed, White Mystery, Prayers, Alkaline, Faith No More, NoDoubt, Motorhead, & Ice Cube. Never in my life did I think I would see Gwen, Lemmy, & Ice Cube in the same day. Fittingly we ended the night with "Today was a good day".
I know festival season (&summer) is now coming to an end but while it's still fresh on my mind here's a few more tips if you're scared to let loose & leave the comforts of live streaming from youtube on your couch like I was.
  • Fanny pack. Bags are a pain in the butt & everyone you go with will have something they need you to carry, don't be the pack mule be the cool dude rocking a fanny pack.
  • Sunblock. Sunblock. Sunblock.
  • Drink lots of water. (ok, mom.)
  • Plan a meet up spot. If you bring Wandering Wanda with you make sure to plan a meet up spot. Someone is going to get lost & that someone always seems to have a dead phone. If you don't want to waste your day waiting around or looking for someone plan to meet at the end of the night.
  • Give the small stages a shot too!
  • Leave the camera at home. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but you probably won't be close enough to get a good picture. But who cares?! you spent good money to be there, dance your butt off and with those looooong beer lines  you should probably be double fisting cans of tasy cold beer. So HEY check it out! no hands for taking pictures anyway!
  • But don't drink too much. No one wants to be the person passed out in the grass under a tree alone because their friends came to have a good time & decided they'd just come back for you later.
  • Ladies: if you must carry a bag put some pocket tissues in there, good chance by the end of the night you will end up in a porta potty without toilet paper.
  • Clear your schedule the following day, you might need to recoup.

Well, this is the longest thing I've written since school. Thanks for making it this far.

Do you have a crazy funny festival story?! I love funny stories!
(Not naming names or anything..... buuuut someone I was with peed their pants during NIN in 2013.)

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Omen, 1976, Starring Gregory Peck and Lee Remick. Directed by Richard Donner.

Monday, September 14, 2015
When I am feeling sick like I am today, I tend to reach for comfort movies. Much like comfort food, they are those movies, no matter how much you see them you can always watch them one more time; which brings up to tonights movie review of "The Omen". A true staple of my comfort movie collection.

Some things you should know about this movie if you already don't, it has moderate, but awesome fakey, gore scenes. It is in color, it won an oscar and there apparently was a lot of bad luck for most of the people associated with the making of the movie.

I think one of the many reasons I love this movie so much is it starts out on a creepy/ wrong note, and just keeps getting even more messy. When you start a movie with a still birth and sneaky baby switching, you know you are going to be watching a horror masterpiece! Of course they have to lower your guard, so for awhile it is all just lovey, dovey, family cuteness, with even a promotion, but you know all good things have to come to an end. 

Since I have seen this movie a few times, there weren't really many surprises, but the jump scares still held up pretty well and I still love the beheading accident, very favorite scene in the movie. What gore there is in this gem is there for the right reasons and isn't as over the top as it could be, but it is there. 

The locations they shot at were all very beautiful, but that is the benefit of shooting in Europe and the Middle East. A lot of the indoor locations were pretty fantastic also, especially the priest's apartment, inside the first house they live in and when they are in the abandoned city that is being excavated.  

One of my disappointments with this movie is the graveyard scene. It looks extremely fake, and then when it gets to the big shocker moment, well it is just more of a WTF than a revelation moment. Also, the dogs...

Apparently Italy has a really big issue with stray rottweilers, I know, I get it, they are a tool of Satan, just like the Tricycle, but, I don't know, they weren't scary. Further more, I think 4 would have been plenty to incapacitate 2 men in an abandoned cemetery. That is just my two cents though of course, I am sure there are a few people who are forever terrified of large dogs thanks to that scene.

All and all this movie still can easily hold it's own next to some of todays horror thrillers. It has good pacing, some pretty terrific plot twists, pretty locations, and a healthy dose of gore. If you are a fan of other 70's horror, and you some how have not checked this one out, do your self a favor and check it out!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Brain malfunctioning... please wait!

Friday, September 11, 2015
Evening every one! It's 8:15 pm and I said I would blog every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and I am going to keep that promise, however I am pretty under the weather. In light of that, I am going to make this post about you! (Well sort of.)

I would love to get some feed back on what you all think so far?

I plan on trying to finish the "about" page this Sunday. Are there any specifics you all want on there?

I also am planning to try to figure out the best way to update the "news" page. Calendar of events maybe?

I am trying to get Robyn to drop in every week or two and post something. She said she might write about her weekend, so make sure to message her on Facebook and tell her you all want to read about things she writes about!

When I post photos on Wednesdays, do you guys prefer them just all on the same page, or would it be better if there was a scrolling gallery or a thumbnail gallery? Also, would captions be better? I think when it isn't just 20 pictures of my mug, they might be helpful, that again will have to wait for my new phone, hopefully with in a month or so I'll be able to get one.

Bloglovin seems to be working ok as far as an email subscription right? I am still pretty new to this all, so I am still trying to figure the best options for everything. I have had a lot of people recommend that I use MailChimp, but I am very unfamiliar with it, so it is going to take me a bit to figure it all out. Technology + Marlena= Very slow learning.

Well I think that wraps up my questions for the night! Thanks for hanging in there and I look forward to reading all your suggestions!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Mid-week photo explosion (because some days words are too much)

Wednesday, September 9, 2015
As promised here are some photos from last week. I promise as soon as I get a new phone/ camera they should be better!






Thanks for stoping by!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Witch Hunt, 1994, staring Dennis Hopper & Penelope Ann Miller. Directed by Paul Schrader.

Monday, September 7, 2015
While looking for movies to review today, I stumbled across this piece of history from 1994, "Witch Hunt".

Being as I love movies from the 90's,  I was pretty excited just because of that, but then I thought about it more and I realized I also love film noir, movies about magic/ witch craft, AND Dennis Hopper, the icing on the cake was that at one point in his career Mr. Hopper had said "it was the strangest movie he had been in." It was natural after that, that I grabbed some popcorn and got to watching!

A few things you should know. This movie is in color, it was made for/ by HBO (Yay! Swearing and boobs!), the director (Paul Schrader) also directed "Cat People", and it is 100 Minutes in length.
The first couple minutes of the movie are a little stock footage news report, which I really enjoyed, it's no secret I love vintage advertisements, and it was eye candy for sure. After that I had high hopes, and although the movie didn't let me down, I can't actually figure out why I found it on a list of "40 horror movies I had to see." There was very little horror in it, and what there was, well, it was just awesomely funny.
This movie did make me happy with it's array of corny 1990's physical effects, the raven with the snake being my very favorite.  I am a huge fan of physical effects, I have yet to see a CGI effect that compares with the awesome gross drool of the Deadly Spawn. Don't get me wrong, of course, CGI is a modern staple and can make some awesome things possible in movies, but some times I just need real slime.
There are funny one liners sprinkled through out the story, my favorite being, "This isn't the first time I've been f***ed in a producers office!!" also if you pay attention peoples names, there are a lot of little jokes.
The sets are pretty interesting, very well done, especially the ones that are either in the Ennnis House, or are suppose to be, based on the pattern of the blocks. (For those who don't know, the Ennis House also appears in the 1959 "House on Haunted Hill", "Blade Runner", "The Thirteenth Floor" and a couple David Lynch projects.)

The story is decent but there were times I found myself wondering what was going on or how one part of the movie related to another. I did enjoy their nod the "The Big Combo" when they were at the drive in movie. The story gets a little confusing in the end, but as in all noir movies they sort of explain things in the end,  so all and all not horrible.

Witch hunt was a fun little comedy with hilarious effects and pretty sets. It was light on story and good acting, but it isn't like I could any better, so I think if I had a rating system I would give it a 7 out of 10.

If you like goofy comedies like "Beetlejuice and "Death Becomes Her" but with less gore, Give this a try!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Welcome! Welcome! Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages, to the blog of Marlena Midnite!

Hmm, that didn't sound nearly as epic as I had planned in my head... ah well, the point remains! Welcome to the personal blog of Marlena Midnite AKA me.

This blog will be less about business and more about the day to day around the mausoleum.  I am attempting at adhere to a schedule, 3 days a week (some times more), so please be sure to check back often! I am hoping the weeks will go something like this:

Monday: Movie review and a little extra info on the movie we will be showing on the episode.

Wednesday: Lots of pictures, I am not the best at writing obviously, so I will give you all a break and just post a bunch of pictures from the past week.

Friday: Various posts. I have 46 ideas so far, so hopefully I will be able to come up with more.

There of course might be more during certain weeks, but this is the very least I am hoping for.

Of course I am sure you are asking "why is she telling us all this?" Your answer is because I need you guys (and gals!) of course, I will be needing suggestions for movies to review, things to write about, things you want to read about, books I should be checking out, all that fun stuff! So feel free to drop me a line!

Last but not least, thank you so much for stopping by, if you notice anything weird happening on the blog, please let me know, saying I suck at coding doesn't even start to explain how bad I am, so I will really appreciate any constructive criticism!

Post more soon!