Author Archive

Final Girl Photo Tuesday

Posted: April 10, 2012 by StayFrosty in Uncategorized

Hi everyone!¬† Yes, I know we normally do a Photo Friday, but I decided to change it this week.¬† Because I can.¬† Maybe I’ll have a Photo Wednesday too!¬† AND a Photo Friday!¬† You can’t stop me!¬† Okay, okay, anyway – I don’t know what you all do on weekends, but FGSG does awesome things, like finding our way back to the ghost house.¬† You know, like you do.¬† And of course, there just happened to be some photos taken…

This is what we do on weekends. We are awesome.
© Final Girl Support Group

More to come.¬† Hope everyone’s week is full of good surprises…

~SF

Final Girl Photo Friday – Ghost House 2

Posted: March 16, 2012 by StayFrosty in Uncategorized

¬†¬† We’re sticking with the ghost theme today.¬† Because I like it.¬† Also because I didn’t have some sort of terrifying leprechaun photo to use.

© Final Girl Support Group

Enjoy your St. Patty’s Day my horror loving friends.¬† ~SF.

Monster Mania 21 Part 1 – Con Overview

Posted: March 15, 2012 by StayFrosty in About Us, Events

This past weekend, FGSG went to Monster Mania Con 21 in Cherry Hill, NJ.¬† Created by Dave Hagan, Monster Mania has grown to become the biggest convention of its kind on the East Coast.¬† Thanks to the hard work of Dave and his team, it continues to grow and bring in excellent vendors and guests twice a year.¬† We spent so much time there, and have so much to say, that we’re dividing our review into four parts.¬† Starting with the basics:¬† what fun was had, what people were met, and THE LOOT!

StayFrosty, Crowbait and Jenny at Monster Mania

Okay, let’s start with the basics – this place was PACKED! ¬†Robert Englund was the VIP guest and lines to meet him stretched around the building the entire weekend (word on the convention floor was a four-hour wait). And it wasn’t warm out there – those people were devoted.¬† On Friday, the dealers room was crowded, but Saturday was near claustrophobic. ¬†Even Sunday, usually pretty calm, was well-attended.¬† I’m thrilled for Mr. Hagan and hope MM continues to be a success.

This shows only a fraction of the crowds at MM. Trust me, there were so many more people.

Among many others, the guest list also featured Tuesday Knight (Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master), Gunnar Hansen (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Kane Hodder (The Friday the 13th series), Kim Darby (Don’t be Afraid of the Dark), Michael Rooker (Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer), and the Dark Lord of the Sith himself, David Prowse (Darth Vader)!¬† Crowbait took a minute to sit down with Prowse and get some advice on the power of the Dark Side:

Getting tips on the Dark Side from the Sith Lord.

The most surprising guests of this con was the original cast of The Blair Witch Project РHeather Donahue, Joshua Leonard and Michael C. Williams Рin their first ever convention appearance together.  More on them when we discuss panels.

Now, our general thoughts and THE LOOT!

StayFrosty

Like every other time I’ve attended Monster Mania (which is numerous), I had an awesome time, made even better by getting to spend it with my FGSG cohorts.¬† I found that this year there was more variety in the dealers room – more independent films, books and games were represented, and much more handmade items, especially jewelry.¬† I guess the message that ladies like horror is starting to sink in.¬† That message still hasn’t reached most of the clothing dealers though (looking at you, Fright Rags!), with one excellent exception this year (more on that shortly)!¬† While I purchased a good amount of movies, I found the selection of films a little limited this year.¬† Not that there wasn’t anything there; I think I’ve just gotten used to a huge variety of foreign, indie and just plain strange films at MM.¬† It’s one of my favorite moments to find that wacky gem I’ve been looking for (or one I’ve never heard of), but I still put down plenty of money.¬† So let’s get to the loot:

Movies – Most of my movies came from the boys at Diabolik DVD, and they certainly did not disappoint.¬† Some favs were the blu-ray of Suspiria, Kill List (both Region B, because the US hates awesome things), Absentia (hooray!!!), and a four movie Argento set from Arrow Releasing.¬† We also all learned that Arrow Releasing can put a naked ass on any DVD cover, even City of the Living Dead.¬† Seriously, it’s kind of like a gift…sort of…¬† Other fun finds included Four Flies on Grey Velvet blu-ray (apparently this was an Argento year), Martyrs blu-ray, The Hole, REC 1&2 blu-ray and The Dead blu-ray.¬† So really, upon reflection, I bought tons of movies, just from one place.¬† From various other movie vendors I got Whisperer in the Darkness (from the same people who brought you the silent¬†Call of Cthulu) and the Corman/Price Lovecraft collaboration The Haunted Palace.

Other loot – my non-film favorites were a radio KAB Antonio Bay bumper sticker, 2 magnets – one of Silver Shamrock (putting the song immediately into my head) and one simply stating “Do You Read Sutter Cane?”, and a girl’s shirt featuring The Thing!¬† I can’t tell you how long I’ve been waiting for a shirt from that movie to make an appearance.¬† I mean, one that actually fit me.¬† In fact, as far as non-films go, it was almost entirely a Carpenter-filled weekend.¬† And I’ve got no problem with that.

Christine!!! Like I said, it was a Carpenter kind of weekend...

In short, I had a wonderful time.¬† Now, to watch all those movies…

Jenny Dreadful

Pyramid Head and Sam posing together. Because that makes sense. (Awesome)

Before addressing the con itself, I want to talk a little about pre-event preparation. If you’re a lady genuinely into film who wants to attend a horror convention and look hot doing it, we strongly recommend what we call “The $5 DVD Test.” Put on your sassy dress, stockings, shoes, etc… and, with a trusted friend, perform the test. Imagine there is a huge stack of $5 DVDs on the floor under someone’s table. Bend down to rummage through them and find that hidden gem. This important test examines issues with shoes, ass-coverage and more. Please use accordingly and have fun.

At Monster Mania 21, I had a great time enjoying a delightful assortment of costumes. Well… except for the stilt-clowns. Sorry, stilt-clowns. I’m not into it… From silly to disturbing, every horror movie monster was there. And the Freddies. Oh the Freddies! To honor Englund’s presence, there was a Freddy in every size, shape and color. In addition to your standard-issue models, we witnessed a retro female Freddy complete with giant red beehive and sassy walk, cute girls in long striped sweater dresses, a chef Freddy, Freddy children and even an infant Freddy. Complete with tiny hat. Uhhhh… kiddy Freddies. That’s kind of awkward, right? Anyway, the worship wasn’t limited to full Krueger regalia. There were enough striped sweaters at this convention to clothe a nation. Other standout costumes included a Pyramid Head (Silent Hill), Sam ¬†from Trick ‘r Treat,¬†members of S.T.A.R.S. and Umbrella (Resident Evil series), and a Jason complete with both mask and deformed face underneath. Amazing. I also heard rumors of a Jedi Jason, but I can neither confirm nor deny.

My Loot:¬†Even though I’m a visual artist who has done her time vending at cons (including Monster Mania), I have to tell the truth. I’m there to get movies. Although I usually spend some time perusing the… shadier… film dealers, this con’s movie buys were purchased almost exclusively from Diabolik DVD. Always my first stop. After more than one (maybe many) trips to their busy booth, I left with copies of low-budget creepfest ABSENTIA, fascinating documentary RESURRECT DEAD: THE MYSTERY OF THE TOYNBEE TILES, bizarre THE REFLECTING SKIN, Joe Dante’s THE HOLE, and the Arrow edition of SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT. Elsewhere, I also scored SAUNA, an obscure Finnish horror film, for $5!

Otherwise, we found a vendor actually selling female apparel (Girls want horror shirts? Yeah right.) and I got myself a couple great tops picturing the posters from SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT and THE THING. Yeah, Frosty and I are gonna be “twinsies.” We’re ok with that. Anything else? Ah. I also left with HALLOWEEN III magnets and yes, every time I see my fridge, I sing the previously mentioned song.

Crowbait and Jenny with THE HOLE and SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT.

Overall: Since attendance was great, I must admit to more than a little crowd-phobia while wandering the con floor. So many sweaty horror fans packed into one space. So many humans. (Must. Escape.) However, fun panels, good friends, and great finds were worth it.

crowbait 
Darth Vader (Prowse) makes his first entrance ...

Don't act so surprised.

I was really pleased to finally get an autograph from David Prowse. I think that man is singlehandedly¬†responsible for my love of science fiction. There was nothing more amazing to me than the imposing, black caped and helmeted figure sweeping through the door into the captured rebel ship.It’s always good to “check in” with the convention regulars and I feel over the past few years we’ve had increasingly friendly crowds and dealers and celebrity guests. Everything points toward a convention that is on the rise and I recommend that if you can attend the next gathering in August, you do it!

My Loot:¬†An opportunity presented itself for me to own a copy of Silent Night, Deadly Night 2. I did not miss this opportunity. I too got myself a copy of the HPLovecraft Society’s The Whisperer in Darkness,¬†because I love supporting these truly independent, labor-of-love projects that they have put together.

______________________________

Coming up next: Vendor spotlights, guests, panels and more!

Final Girl Photo Friday – The Ghost House

Posted: March 9, 2012 by StayFrosty in About Us, Art, Film

¬† Okay, I know we had a slasher theme going on here, but for a change of pace , I’m bringing you something a little more ghostly:

Sometimes, the creepiest places are very close by, just out of sight... Photo by Final Girl Support Group 2012

Photo by Final Girl Support Group 2012

Enjoy your weekend everyone.  I know we will.  ~SF

Final Girl Photo Friday – The Slasher

Posted: March 2, 2012 by StayFrosty in About Us, Art

¬† We’ve met our final girl, we’ve seen the battleground, and now it’s time to meet our slasher.¬† Since we are a feminist blog, we decided to have a female slasher/monster.¬† Hey, girls can slash and kill just as good as boys can!¬† As for slashers, sometimes there’s a reason for all the murder – rejection, youthful trauma, revenge of many different types.¬† But sometimes there’s no reason at all – you just end up at the wrong place at the wrong time.

photo © Final Girl Support Group

© Final Girl Support Group

Awards Season 2011 Part 2: The Ripleys

Posted: February 27, 2012 by StayFrosty in Editorial, Film, Lists

Look, we like the Oscars.¬† Sort of.¬† There’s all that political crap and there’s always some sort of stupid upset that makes us yell at the TV.¬† And rarely does our beloved genre get rewarded by the Academy.¬† So we’ve made our own Oscar categories this year, and are honoring the performances, visuals and villains that made us sit up and take notice.¬† We’re calling them The Ripleys because hey, who better to represent than our #1 Final Girl?

The Ripleys 2011

Jenny adds: Our group, like most, experiences some disagreement and indecision. We could knife fight about it or hit our heads against the wall until we choose, but we’ll settle for a few ties. ¬†We listed the rest of our qualifiers in our last post and they’re no different here.

Best Actor

Rutger Hauer (Hobo with a Shotgun)

Min-sik Choi (I Saw the Devil)

Jenny Dreadful:¬†I’m always a fan of Min-sik Choi, but Rutger Hauer is definitely my choice. I praised him in great detail in my review of Hobo with a Shotgun, but it doesn’t hurt to repeat myself a little. Centered in an irreverent and colorful setting slick with cartoony splatter, we experience this incredibly poignant character that calls to mind the hardships of the homeless and damaged. It’s a testament to the success of his performance that we can feel such sadness and affection for the titular Hobo moments away from laughing at a decapitation.

crowbait: Both our contenders are playing people neck deep in gruesome violence and who are on both the giving and receiving ends of brutal treatment. Both also work overtime to bring a real sense of sympathy to their characters. Though it may seem easy for Hauer at the start, his character being the typical, down-on-his-luck drifter with simple hopes, the violence he brings to those around him and himself mars that simple goodness. Min-sik Choi is working from the opposite end of the equation and must work to make us feel sorry for a monstrous serial killer but the simple bafflement he shows as his own ways of violence are turned on him (and the deplorable tactics used by his tormentor) bring real complexity to the character.

StayFrosty:  Both of these characters could so easily fall into the one-dimensional trap.  But thanks to Hauer and Choi, they become nuanced men who are at turns brutal, cruel, sympathetic and almost heroic.  Sometimes all in the same scene.

Best Actress

Kirsten Dunst  (Melancholia)

StayFrosty: In the best possible way, this performance hurts.¬† Dunst’s portrayal of the cycle of depression (itself a reflection of the emotional state of director Lars von Trier) hits all the right notes, and all the raw spots.¬† She takes this character from apparent happiness to crippling indecision to calm acceptance in the face of destruction brilliantly.¬† That she wasn’t up for an Oscar last night is a damn shame, but I’m sure Meryl Streep isn’t crying about it.

Jenny Dreadful:¬†It’s surprising that the most realistic portrayal of paralyzing depression I’ve ever seen is found within this beautiful and surreal art film. From facial expressions that speak a thousand words to channeling the worst of von Trier’s demons on screen, Dunst was incredible. I don’t enjoy judging other viewers, but I suspect audience members who question her performance and character’s behavior have never experienced or witnessed the extremes of chronic depression firsthand. If you have, her execution of the role and the overall film are emotionally overwhelming. I… was cutting onions before the screening. Or I had something in my eye. Allergies?

Runner-up:  Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)

Best Supporting Actor

David Tennant  (Fright Night)

StayFrosty: Okay, it’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I love David Tennant.¬† LOVE him.¬† But even putting that adoration aside, Tennant’s Peter Vincent is the perfect supporting actor in a film:¬† he comes in, he steals every scene he’s in, he leaves.¬† And he fights vampires.¬† And he’s shirtless often.¬† What’s not to love?

Jenny Dreadful:¬†Although the film itself won’t be getting any praise here on FGSG (see my review on Cinedelphia here), David Tennant’s Peter Vincent is worth the price of admission. A surprisingly fun spin on a beloved character.

Best Supporting Actress

Lin Shaye  (Insidious)

StayFrosty: From the moment she first sets foot on the screen, Lin Shaye takes over this movie.¬† She can change from a kind, friendly medium to terrifyingly describing a demon behind a fan to wearing a gas mask during a seance.¬† This lady knows how to work a movie, and she manages to be amazing without taking away from the other performances or sticking out in a bad way.¬† It’s a balancing act, one she does wonderfully.

Jenny Dreadful: Agreed. From grandmotherly warmth to intensity that chills you to the bone, the always delightful Shaye excels in Insidious.

crowbait: This is a great role for Lin Shaye to play because it is so wide ranging. It shows her commitment to the genre and her willingness to do some really odd things to make a movie powerfully creepy.

Runner-up: Charlotte Gainsbourg (Melancholia)

Best Director

Lars von Trier  (Melancholia)

James Wan  (Insidious)

StayFrosty: We couldn’t decide between these two gentlemen because the films are so different, and the effect they have on us are so opposite.¬† Without a doubt, Lars von Trier has made one of the best movies of the year – beautiful and devastating and unforgettable.¬† But Wan has made the movie we invite people over to watch again and again, the thrill ride that uses mood and atmosphere instead of CGI and cheap scares.¬† And both of those things are worth rewarding.¬† Congrats, gents, for making movies beautiful and fun and scary and amazing.¬† We can’t wait to see what you both do next.

Jenny Dreadful:¬†Von Trier’s heart-breaking use of the screen as personal exorcism results in difficult, beautiful and groundbreaking film.¬†Wan is fun, innovative and in love with the genre; a treasure within the horror community. We’re not the Oscars. You can’t make us choose.

Best Cinematography

Melancholia  (Manuel Alberto Claro)

Jenny Dreadful: Although this film is gorgeous throughout its significant running time, the piece opens with a series of astounding images; both representational and abstract interpretations of the events to come slowed to an aching crawl. Kirsten Dunst in wedding gown as Ophelia, the main players ominously lined up on the “stage,” the planets about to collide… The big climax is equally beautiful and affecting. This is a film meant for the big screen.

StayFrosty:  That opening sequence.  It took my breath away when I first saw it, and the gorgeous, disturbing images have never strayed too far from my mind.  These are shots that stop you in your tracks, and while the rest of the film is no less beautiful.  I feel lucky that I was able to see this one on the big screen.

Best Art Direction

Hobo with a Shotgun  (Ewen Dickson)

Jenny Dreadful: Getting a little sillier now, but no less sincere. From the color palette to the playful comics-style costuming and sets… to the freaking FONTS…¬†Hobo with a Shotgun has some serious visual style. The look is consistently reminiscent of the material Eisener seeks to emulate without falling into the common trap of sacrificing quality for nostalgia.

Best Costumes

The Last Circus  (Paco Delgado)

crowbait: The costuming of the circus, in all its extravagance, becomes horrifying as the costume of warring clowns in an ending that can only be described as a battle between monsters. In all the grunge of the war and the decrepit world outside the big top the contrast is delightful.

Jenny Dreadful: We’re cheating a wee bit as we named The Last Circus among our Best films of 2010, but these wild designs (part whimsical, part nightmare fuel) warrant recognition.

StayFrosty:¬† From the opening scenes to the gut-wrenching final shots and all moments in between, our characters might be in clown costumes, but those costumes have never been more serious, scary and sad.¬† Special notice to the costuming choices for the main character (the sad clown).¬† His costumes reflect the intense emotional changes he undergoes, and when he spirals down into rage and insanity, he makes for one of the scariest – and striking – looking clowns I’ve ever seen.

Best Score

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo  (Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross)

StayFrosty: I love this score.¬† It’s evocative of the stark, bleak mood of Fincher’s film without ever overpowering the scenes.¬† It works exactly like a score should.¬† And frankly, I listen to it on its own as much as I listen to any “regular” CD.

crowbait:¬†I might not be popular for thinking this but I much preferred this score to this duo’s work on last year’s¬†The Social Network. I like to think that the Oscar was awarded by psychic prediction for this one instead. A great, understated score for a film very much about the internalization of hurt.

Runner-up: Insidious¬†(Joseph Bishara) Because we’re afraid he’ll come get us. See below. Also because he was great.

Best Song

“Immigrant Song” by Karen O, Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross ¬†(The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)

crowbait:¬†Yeah, it’s a cover but as with other Reznor covers it infuses a driving, dangerous energy into the music without overwhelming the source. A great compliment for the opening segment of the film.

StayFrosty: The Oscars may not recognize cover songs, but we do.¬† And this is without doubt, the best song from a genre film this year.¬† Possibly the best song this year that wasn’t by a Muppet.¬† Karen O’s wailing vocals, combined with Reznor’s gritty arrangement, make for a dark, electrifying take on the Zepplin classic.¬† I could listen to this all day.

Best Short Film

The Diary of Anne Frankenstein  (Adam Green)

StayFrosty: Holy shit, this is hilarious.¬† I can’t possibly describe it, you must see it to believe it.¬† It’s all funny, but special props to Joel David Moore for possibly the funniest Hitler (and definitely the funniest use of the German language…sort of) ever committed to celluloid.

crowbait:¬†Whenever there’s a compilation of shorts released as a whole there has to be one standout and the mania on display here easily buries the accompanying stories. Though there is also a funny musical about homosexual werebears.

Best Remake

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo  (David Fincher)

StayFrosty: I love David Fincher.¬† The man makes no compromises in any of his films, and I respect that.¬† And though people complained when he started the remake of TGwtDT, I knew that it would be worthwhile if he had chosen to do it.¬† And boy is it ever.¬† It’s beautiful and rough and painful and rewarding, and at times so very upsetting to watch (and this is from a lady who’s seen a lot of stuff, just check our top 13).¬† It’s a credit to Fincher that he doesn’t flinch from the difficult topics addressed in these books and the original film, and while his take on Lisbeth Salander is different than Sweden’s Noomi Rapace, it’s no less quality.

Best Gore

Human Centipede 2  (Tom Six)

Jenny Dreadful: Ah. The timeless classic. A wonder for all ages. Human Centipede 2. Surprised to see it on our Awards list? Although we had a fair number of disturbing and violent films to choose from, HC2′s gratuitous use of sand-paper, staplers, pipes, gas pedals and more ordinary objects pushed the limit and yielded surprisingly realistic results. Tom Six, you take the cake. The… horrible… poop cake. No one should eat poop cake.

StayFrosty: I don’t think I could say it better than JennyD on this one.¬† HC2 made you wait for it, doling out some sandpaper here and some hammer bashing there, but once the gore-splosion hit, man did it hit hard.¬† And unrelenting.¬† And gross.¬† When the two of us are shouting in disbelieving horror at the screen, you know it’s something special.¬† And by special I mean poop cake.

Runner-up: Hobo with a Shotgun by Jason Eisener

Best Creature

Lipstick Face Demon  (Joseph Bishara in Insidious)

crowbait: Exactly what you want from a film monster. Strong, highly graphic visual design and an inherent brutality that marks it as the alien source of evil.

Jenny Dreadful: I picked this icon imagery for two reasons. 1. Unlikely as it may be in our modern world, I thought it would be fantastic if someone could watch Insidious without having the appearance of the threat spoiled for them. And… 2. I don’t want to look at it! A wonderful frightening entity that manages to freak me out every time I watch the film despite knowing when the best scares are coming. (Fun trivia: Joseph Bishara is also the composer of the film’s score.)

StayFrosty:¬† We’ve already established that Wan is a smart filmmaker, and the choice of Lipstick-Faced demon as the main villain of Insidious is another great move. At first, you just get glimpses – shadowy shots of long, claw-like hands reaching out for a sleeping child.¬† And then, out of nowhere, smack in the middle of the day, that face.¬† That fucking terrifying face.¬† I’m not ashamed to agree with JennyD that I didn’t want to have to look at that face behind a face each time I went to write here.¬† By the end, when you finally see the whole creature in all its messed up glory, you aren’t disappointed.

Runner-up: Trolls from Troll Hunter

Best poster art

TIE: Human Centipede 2 & Hobo with a Shotgun

StayFrosty: It’s pretty simple for me.¬† HC2 has the most evocative image of the year on a poster- you can love or hate the movie, but that poster is a hell of a thing.¬† And HwaS is done in such a fabulous exploitation style.¬† They don’t make them like that anymore.

Jenny Dreadful: Even if you hate the film, you have to admit this Human Centipede 2 poster image is wonderfully creepy and well-designed. From afar, I thought it was a spinal column. Next, I figured it was probably the shape of an insect. Then I realized I’d stumbled into the gateway of a Boschian Hell landscape. (Bosch LOVED butts. Connection?)

Ah. Moving on. In a world overrun by floating Photoshopped heads, The Hobo with a Shotgun¬†poster is welcome tribute to the illustrated posters of film’s past. Artwork by Tom Hodge. Mr. Hodge, all of my fellow illustrators working today, and the ghosts of illustration past… we salute you!

Best Credits Sequence

Dragon Tattoo  (David Fincher)

StayFrosty: This is the best opening sequence in many many years.¬† Probably one of the best I’ve ever seen.¬† I can’t think of a better way to open this movie than sending you on a nightmare (but beautiful) trip into Lisbeth’s subconscious – by the time the music fades and the actual film starts, you’re already thrilled, energized and a little unsettled.¬† What a way to begin.

crowbait:¬†The sequence is alternately¬†titillating¬†and horrifying as a picture of the complex and contrary images in the heroine’s head. Nice place to visit. Bad place to live.

Best Post-credits Sequence

“Shark Bite” Music Video ¬†(Shark Night)

StayFrosty: This movie is not so great, but I am SO glad FGSG decided to wait out the credits, because we found the absolutely hilarious Shark Night Rap.¬† My god, if only the movie had been as good as that three minute rap.¬† Do yourself a favor and watch this.¬† You will not be disappointed.¬† I mean, the man manages to rhyme “shark ghosts”.¬† And frankly, just the phrase “shark ghosts” is enough to crack me up.

crowbait:¬†Here’s a taste.

Most Anticipated 2012

Prometheus  (Ridley Scott)

StayFrosty: Words cannot describe how much I’m looking forward to this movie.¬† No seriously, I can’t think of any short way to talk about how I feel about another movie in the Alien universe directed by Ridley Scott with a cast that seems impeccable.¬† The only way to thrill me more is to add a power loader.

crowbait: I already deeply admire the guts that Ridley Scott has shown in breaking from the Alien continuity in order to make this prequel free from the tampering of the trademark holders. We know we will get what he wants and what he wants is a great movie.

This concludes our Ripleys list, readers. Comment with your picks. We’d love to hear them! Now, until next time, let’s enjoy a year of bloody fun.

Final Girl Photo Friday

Posted: February 17, 2012 by StayFrosty in About Us, Art

I know it’s been a few weeks, but I’m trying to keep photo Friday going.¬† So, the evolution of a final girl – or at least, the final showdown.¬† Final girls don’t usually want to run in and fight.¬† In fact, they’re often terrified.¬† They’ve lost their family, their friends, their innocence, and sometimes most of their sanity.¬† But they go into the dark house/asylum/factory anyway, because someone has to face the monster.¬† And there’s no one else.

The calm before the storm. © Final Girl Support Group 2012

Love Bites – Day 3 – Interview with the Vampire

Posted: February 3, 2012 by StayFrosty in Film, Reviews

It may have been written in 1973, but for me, Interview with the Vampire will always be part of the 90s.¬† If you were alive then, and old enough to be aware, you probably remember Neil Jordan’s 1994 film adaptation.¬† It was a big deal when it came out, and not just because Tom Cruise sported some long blonde locks (though that was a big deal).¬† After 80s classics like The Lost Boys and Near Dark, the 90s brought the romantic monster back.¬† Hold on, read that again – romantic MONSTER.¬† This is not Twilight, people.¬† These vampires are beautiful and romantic, but they sure as hell are monsters too.

Here’s what JennyD and I have learned from rewatching this movie as adults:

1. ¬†We’ve got to agree with Lestat. ¬†Louie is an unbearable whiner.¬† While we might have been sympathetic in our youth, we now find him significantly less appealing (although Brad Pitt helps in that department). ¬†He projects all of his evil deeds and guilt onto his maker despite causing most of the problems (He ASKED to be a vampire!).¬† Just goes to show that vampirism is no cure for depression.

2.  Louie sets every place he lives on fire.  Why does he feel the need to torch all of his homes before he leaves them?  Seriously, no less than 2 plantations and one theater are torched because he apparently knows no other way to make an exit.

3.¬† This movie holds up to the test of time, which was actually surprising. ¬†Nostalgia is often no mark of quality and we figured that a film appreciated as pre-teens would now be showing its age. We were pleased to discover that we still enjoyed it.¬† This especially goes for the cast, which was pretty out there back in the day – Brad Pitt was a nobody, Antonio Banderas was mostly new to the States (and a strange choice for Armand given his literary counterpart), and Kirsten Dunst was an unknown child with an adult part to play.¬† And then there’s Tom Cruise, Maverick himself, playing the vampire Lestat.¬† Oh, do I remember the uproar that caused.¬† Even Anne Rice was pissed.¬† But Jordan stuck by his choices and, in the end, Rice changed her tune.¬† Cruise embodies the spirit of the character from the novels, and I found him the most compelling character in the film.

4.  As some us here at FGSG are gaming nerds, we would just like to thank Anne Rice for helping to create the Toreador and Ventrue clan.  Really, for helping make Vampire: The Masquerade overall.

5.¬† This movie is rife with homoeroticism. ¬†It’s not afraid to stay true to the genderless love and sexual magnetism of vampires in the source material. ¬†We have positive thoughts about this. ¬†Not only because it’s super hot (it is) and respectful of Rice’s vision (that too), but because¬†portrayals of ¬†this kind are such a rarity in Hollywood; where playing it safe and straight is the rule.

6.¬† The effects also hold up.¬† While there are a few overt sketchy moments (mostly stuff on fire), the majority of FX are just fine.¬† Hell, they’re way better than many of the CGI-fests made today.

Jenny: Conclusion? Sure, all of the stereotypical vampire imagery and themes are right here. Velvet capes and all. When you get past the cliches, this is still a solid vampire flick. Even better, an example of the ultimate balance between predator and lover. Some people like the beast. Some people like the sparkle. Both extremes of that spectrum annoy me. Murderous dandies who make out. Now THAT’S how I like my vampires.

Love Bites – Day 1 – The Vampire Lovers

Posted: February 1, 2012 by StayFrosty in Film, Lists, Reviews

¬† It’s February everyone, so FGSG decided that we would cover one vampire movie a day up until Valentine’s Day.¬† You know, that day when flowers cost $100 and Hallmark makes you feel bad if you’re single.¬† But whether you love V-Day or loathe it, vampires just seemed the right way to go.¬† And if you’re going to write about vampires during the month of love, why not jump in with both feet?¬† So we open our Love Bites series with the Hammer/AIP 1970 classic “The Vampire Lovers”.

Would you be able to resist Ingrid Pitt? I don't think so.

Ah, Hammer, the world of the heaving bosoms, fog-shrouded forests and superstitious villagers. This story is loosely based on Sheridan Le Fanu’s story “Carmilla”.¬† It’s interesting to watch what is basically the same plot as the Christopher Lee Dracula films, but now with a female vampire, called both Marcilla and Carmilla (played by the beautiful and talented Ingrid Pitt).¬† Pitt is absolutely gorgeous and compelling – it’s easy to see why anyone would be drawn to her, naked or not.¬† Like Lee, she hypnotizes her prey, fears religious items, and prefers the taste of the blood of young, nubile ladies.¬† And since it’s now 1970, there’s more than heaving bosoms in play here – there’s bosoms all over the place.¬† This is a racy and erotic film, especially for Hammer, but hey, everyone has to try and keep up with the times.

While the plot sticks close to the Hammer tradition, it’s the deviations in the traditions that make this film interesting.¬† Carmilla stalks and murders many women, but she also falls in love with some of them and expresses a deep emotional regret that everyone around her must die.¬† It’s certainly nothing Christopher Lee ever seemed to worry about.¬† This addition to the vampire character added a new layer to the plot, and allows the viewer some sympathy with Carmilla.¬† Not that there has never been a romantic male vampire who acts out of love (Coppola’s “Dracula” is the perfect example), but that was years after this film.¬† Carmilla is still a predator, but she also craves companionship and love.

Our vampire also uses the gender bias of the time to get closer to her victims – no one suspects the woman, and Carmilla is freely allowed access to all of her victim/lovers.¬† In fact, for most of the film, there’s no men in the story at all, or at least not in any significant role.¬† All of the action is driven entirely by women, until the end, when the men race to save the day and destroy the monster.¬† Way to wait until the last minute, boys.¬† While I would have preferred that such a female-driven story also have a female heroine, it didn’t fit the Hammer mold, and I guess they just weren’t willing to take that last step.

Well, it's not all about love, is it?

“The Vampire Lovers” is worth a watch – it’s Hammer and that alone makes it worth your time, and it’s also a different take on the Hammer traditional style.¬† And while the lesbian vampire movies are often just an excuse for lots of nudity, this one seems to have a little more to it than just that.¬† Along with lots of nudity.

Final Girl Photo Friday – The Return!

Posted: January 20, 2012 by StayFrosty in About Us, Art, Uncategorized

  Hi everyone.

Yeah, I know it’s been a while, and we’re sorry about that.¬† We swear we’re working on our top movies of the year and all sorts of other cool stuff, including the return of Photo Friday!¬† About a month or so ago, we have a photo shoot out by a creepy abandoned factory.¬† Because it was there.

We wanted to tell the story of the Final Girl’s journey in this shoot, and we did, but before we get into that I thought I’d put up a more ghostly image today.¬† If I already put this up on the blog forgive me, it’s still early and before coffee, when I am only half functional or less.¬† Happy weekend everyone, get out there and see a good movie.¬† ~SF

I'm sure it's perfectly safe... Photo © Final Girl Support Group, 2011