Missing Reels: “The Frighteners” (1996)

Missing Reels examines overlooked, unappreciated or unfairly maligned movies. Sometimes these films haven’t been seen by anyone, and sometimes they’ve been seen by everyone… who loathed them. Sometimes they’ve simply been forgotten. But in any case, Missing Reels argues that they deserve to be seen and admired by more people.

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When most moviegoers hear the name Peter Jackson, they think of a sprawling fantasy adventure like he delivered with “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” trilogies. However, Jackson got his start with low budget works, first with the independently made horror comedy “Bad Taste” (1987) and then with the deeply profane Muppets send-up “Meet the Feebles” (1989). While popular in New Zealand, these were mainly cult films for international audiences who had to purposefully seek out these quirky and raunchy examples of genre by the then-little known Kiwi auteur. His first real brush with international acclaim came with “Dead Alive” in 1992 (also known as “Braindead”), which was a gory zombie flick that included some of the most gruesome, outlandish and hilarious effects seen on film since Sam Raimi’s “Evil Dead 2.” Gorehounds and horror fiends had found a new sensation with Jackson and reveled in the madness he was bringing to their screens and VHS rental stores.

The filmmaker really broke out internationally with “Heavenly Creatures,” his poetic tale of magical realism that centered on the dangerous romance between two (ultimately) murderous teen girls played by a young Kate Winslet and a young Melanie Lynskey. The film garnered acclaim outside of the genre crowd and proved that Jackson was a versatile filmmaker capable not just of incredible sequences (usually involving gore) but also of truly understanding the emotional depths of his characters.

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Ha-Ha-Horror: Why Horror and Comedy Go Together So Well

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Laughing and screaming are not so different, when you think about it. Both are involuntary reactions to outside stimulus that betray the true emotion of a person. Yet when people talk about horror films, they rarely talk about the crucial element that comedy plays in crafting a successful scary movie. And while not every horror movie uses (or needs) comedy in its storytelling, especially those films that are more interested in cultivating an atmosphere of dread and doom, those that do tend to be crowd pleasers that deliver a more complete experience for the audience.

There’s always been a certain wicked sense of humor in horror, whether it’s the clever wordplay of Edgar Allen Poe or H.P. Lovecraft, the ironic morality tales of comics like “Tales from the Crypt,” or even Stephen King’s moments of levity in his gruesome tales of the macabre. And while many point to “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” as the watershed moment where comedy and horror collided, there are earlier examples in films like “Bride of Frankenstein” that have truly funny moments embedded within them. With the rise of a more cultivated viewership, filmmakers have gone on to inject more comedy into their horror fare. Part of this is a recognition of tired tropes and clichés, but part of it serves a real purpose in telling a scary story.

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Drink of the Week: The Corpse Reviver #3

the Corpse Reviver #3.Halloween is just about here and I can’t think of a better time to do yet another in the long series of drinks known as Corpse Reviver. This is my fifth entry in what amounts to a veritable cocktail subgenre — you can see the others here, here, here, and here — and also the third in a recent series of drinks stolen straight from Robert Hess, video star and author of “The Essential Bartender’s Guide.” (See the other two here, and here!)

The Corpse Reviver #3 is perhaps the least well known drink bearing the name, which originally meant that these were originally considered to be appropriate morning hangover “cures.” Indeed, Hess on his Drinkboy website admits that he isn’t even sure where he first saw this recipe. It’s not in “The Savoy Cocktail Book,” which features three other corpse reviving recipes. You will also find radically differing drinks,also claiming to be Corpse Reviver #3 around the Interwebs.

I might eventually get around to looking at those, but this recipe is the one that got my attention, and I think it’s pretty dandy. It’s  reddish, on the sweet side, but balanced out with bitter and tart flavors, so I think it’s a pretty appropriate Halloween treat while your watching scary movies, trying not to be embarrassed about your “Sexy Donald Trump” costume, or what have you.

The Corpse Reviver #3

1 ounce brandy
1 ounce Campari
1 ounce triple sec, Cointreau or Grand Marnier
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice

Combine the ingredient in a cocktail shaker, shake very vigorously, and strain into a well-chilled cocktail glass. If it turns out well, savor the drink. After all, corpse revivers that actually work are not in abundance.

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This is a drink that can work really well, but watch your choice of ingredients. I really enjoyed my Corpse Reviver #3 when it was made with Reynal brandy, my not-quite-Cognac default brew. I experimented twice with an Armenian brand that’s easy to find in my North Hollywood neighborhood, Ararat. It seemed fine the first time, but a second experiment found that the more complex, harsher and sweeter brew threw off the balance of the drink.

I had more luck making high end substitutions for the triple sec called for in Hess’s recipe. Both Cointreau and Grand Marnier added a bit of additional bitterness to the drink that I think a lot of people would prefer and I certainly didn’t mind.

In any case, every version of the drink  I made came out nice and reddish and, when shaken enough, really cold which I think is kind of essential for this one. As for being a hangover cure, I wouldn’t know, though let’s say I have my doubts. Now, excuse me while I try to revive the corpse of classical Hollywood horror.

  

Picture of the Day: Victoria in a schoolgirl outfit

Here’s another sexy Halloween costume with Victoria looking hot in her schoolgirl outfit.

Victoria in a schoolgirl outfit

  

Picture of the Day: Holly Weber dressed as a nurse

It’s funny how some people complain about women wearing sexy Halloween costumes. If you don’t like them – don’t wear them! Many women love dressing up on Halloween and many of the love sexy/slutty outfits cause it let’s them basically be someone else for the night. And of course they can be the life of the party!

With that in mind, here’s the beautiful Holly Weber in a sexy nurse outfit from her Bullz-Eye shoot, which would also be perfect for a sexy Halloween costume!

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