Tuesday, March 31, 2009
"Drag Me To Hell". Please
Not that you might care, but I'm a big film buff. Love the movies. All types of movies. My favorite though, is horror. When I was five years old, me and my older cousins were left alone, unsupervised by adults, on a cold wintry Saturday night. As my oldest cousin went to sleep, I stayed awake, twisting the old school knob dial changer until I hit the station featuring the "Creature Feature" movie of the week "Night Of The Living Dead". Once the movie started, I was too shook to change to a kindler gentler show. My shit was frightened to the effin core at what took place on the screen. That George Romero black and white zombie masterpiece fucked my head up permanently. What I realized though, was that no matter how horrified I was, there was a certain high, a rush that came with the scares. It was the beginning of my true, never dying love affair with horror films, and I've been trying to recapture my first high ever since. It wasn't cool that the Black dude that played hero died though, still, at least he survived and made it to the end of the movie.
I stay fiending for the perfect horror flick, not the blood fest type ones that focus more on the mad gore and chocolate syrup splattering. Not the stupid ones either, like the ones with the dumb white chicks running, stumbling TOWARDS their attackers or the recent joints of late with a cast of "beautiful" Blonde kids camping out on some deserted, haunted hotel, beach, resort, camp house by the pool with the lake and the hitchhikers and killers with the Scream type masks. Them joints are an insult. Plus, the one Black kid always gets it first.
I'm talking about the joint that, once you watch, once you let the horror that unfolds seep into your psyche, you know for a fact that you'll carry a bit of that horror with you for a long effin time, maybe to the grave even. You know what I'm talking about, "The Exorcist", the first "Halloween", that old school HBO joint "The Hitcher", shit even the original "Psycho". There have been a few classics. Eff'd up thing for horror fiends like myself is that the GREAT horror flicks are mad rare, and sometimes it takes years to catch one worthy of ending up in the DVD blu-ray collection. Last joint I saw that was even semi collector worthy was "The Ring" released back in 2002. No doubt the Asian J or K horror ones stayed mad hot for a while, up until they starting running the same formula into the ground, every one of them having the mandatory dead, cursed, eff'd up looking Japanese girl with the long wet hair hunting that ass down. That shit got played out quick.
Sam Raimi remains one of my favorite movie directors to date. Dude started out back in 1981 with the low budget flick "The Evil Dead". In a nutshell, The Evil Dead was about five college students who came across a haunted book in the woods and inadvertently unleashed all types of fuckery upon themselves. Although low budget, Raimi was able to combine the perfect elements of horror and comedy resulting in the movie becoming a cult horror classic. Raimi followed with two sequels to complete the trilogy, "The Evil Dead II" (1987) which went head to head with it's predecessor in becoming another classic, especially since it wasn't as much a sequel as it was a revamping of the first one with a bigger budget and "Army Of Darkness" (1993) which was wackier than the first two and played out more like a slapstick, horror adventure piece. By the time Raimi completed his "Evil" trilogy however, he was deemed by many to be a master of the genre.
Having locked down the horror game, Raimi decided he would try his hand at full blown action adventure. The result was the 1990 classic "Darkman". "Darkman" jumped out of nowhere and became that instant suburban mall and ghetto banger with Liam Neesom playing the disfigured hero type maniac who wrecked shop in his quest for revenge against the gangsters that made his life a living hell. "Darkman" was so on point in that it played like the perfect comic book movie, even though it wasn't based on any actual comic book characters. With one shot, Raimi proved that he was also on top of his game with the action/adventure genre.
Not one to rest on his laurels with horror and action in his pocket, Raimi's next joint was a flick that further stretched the master storyteller's horizons with the western "The Quick And The Dead" starring Sharon Stone, Gene Hackman, Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio. In it, Stone played a female gunslinger focused on revenge against Gene Hackman who played the nasty bad man who had wronged her. Although the movie played out like a typical spaghetti western, Raimi won in that he infused the flick with his own quirky, fast paced style. "The Quick And The Dead" satisfied many movie goers who wanted a little western flavor added to their movie going experience.
Raimi churned out two more notable movies, "A Simple Plan" (1998) which was a crime, drama thriller that had a Coen brothers feel and "The Gift" (2000) which was a quiet but well crafted return to his horror roots. After proving, time after time, that he was that go to guy to the Hollywood shot callers, Raimi beat out a host of block buster film makers in landing the holy grail of comic book movies "Spider-Man"(2002). "Spider-Man" was the movie Marvel comics had been trying to make for over 20 years. After the success of "X-Men" (2000) and with Hollywood turning it's eye to comic books as the next cash cow, Raimi was tapped to step to the plate and once on board, he delivered a home run. "Spider-Man 2" (2004) proved to be better than the first and became arguably, one of the best in the comic book movie genre. "Spider-Man 3" wasn't the critically acclaimed piece that the first two were, mainly because now that Raimi proved he was that blockbuster director, the studio allegedly applied mad pressure in having him throw everything and the kitchen sink into the movie in order to guarantee another successful hit. Fans complained about S3 having too many villains, plus that whole cornball black suited emo Spider-Man thingie, nonetheless S3 went on to become a major commercial success.
I go into Sam Raimi's filmography because, as I mentioned above, I am a true fan of this man's craft. I also go in because during the past few years, fans have been begging Raimi to return to his true original love, the horror movie. In addition, Sam has been complaining of late about how he has been aching to return to his roots in order to bless horror fans the world over with a much needed classic, the type shit that might could make one soil their draws. On May 29th, Sam Raimi will be bringing us "Drag Me To Hell". "Drag Me To Hell" is about a young female bank loan officer ambitious in moving up in her career. Feeling she has to prove her gully to her superiors, she shits on an old gypsy woman who practically begs her to be more lenient in extending a grace period in order for the gypsy to avoid foreclosure on her home. Once shitted on, the gypsy woman brings it, in spades. "Drag Me To Hell" was screened at this years South By South West film festival and was met with critical acclaim across the board. I've even been warned to bring an extra pair of clean draws upon my first viewing. The trailer looks like mad shits and giggles. No question, I am psyched. I'm hoping that my fellow horror fans are equally as psyched. May 29th is now looking so effin far way.
So I'm asking, what's yer favorite horror flick?