Eazy E – Merry Muthaphuckkin’ Xmas (from the EP 5150: Home 4 Tha Sick, 1992 Ruthless/Priority Records – Not exactly your typical Christmas carol, but perhaps the greatest Holiday story ever told? The late, great Eazy E (N.W.A.) and a cast of friends let us know what they want from Santa, and what he’s gonna get in return. This is not for the kids, as it features some pretty nasty lyrics, but how else can Eazy tell us about Christmas in Compton? It was a silent night, it was a Holy night…
The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl – Fairytale of New York (from the album If I Should Fall From Grace With God, 1988 Pogue Mahone) This folk-style ballad is a real Christmas gem, and one of my favorites. Although it took two years from it`s inception until it`s release, Fairytale of New York is one of the most played Christmas songs in the UK, and has reached the top twenty singles charts every year over the past decade. What could be better than Christmas through the eyes of a drunken Irish immigrant? Not too much.
Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse (2015)
Directed by: Christopher Landon
Starring: Tye Sheridan, Logan Miller, Joey Morgan, Sarah Dumont
Broken Road Productions, Paramount Pictures
Three friends, and fellow Scouts, get set to go on their last camping trip. Plans are also in effect to ditch the camp out after dark and go to the biggest secret location party of the year. Much to the surprise of the friends, they walk right into the middle of a full-blown zombie outbreak upon their return to town. After enlisting the help of a stripper, the group races to find the secret location of the party to save their high school friends. Scouts are always prepared, but are they prepared for this?
Horror-comedy can be really good if done right. I went into this film with no expectations. I had not heard much about it besides seeing a couple teaser trailers. I must admit. I enjoyed Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. The film knows it is a comedy and never tries to be serious. They follow the formula very well, and throw in some blood and guts for good measure. I found this movie very reminiscent of another good horror-comedy; Idle Hands (1999). Week after week, T.V.’s The Walking Dead slams us with an intense, end of the world zombie drama. Once in a while it’s nice to relax and laugh at hordes of undead. You won’t need your brain for this one, and that’s not a bad thing now and then.
3.5 /5 Bloody Moons
May I proudly bring to you, a collection of my favorite non-traditional Christmas carols. Each day I will share a song, just to fill your Holiday season with cheer. Behold…12 Riffs of Christmas!
Spinal Tap – Christmas with the Devil (from the album This is Spinal Tap [re-release], 2000 Polydor). I could not think of a better way to begin the 12 Riffs of Christmas than the worlds greatest fiction band; Spinal Tap. This is Christmas through the eyes of Nigel Tufnel (Christoper Guest), David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean), and Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer). This is what happens to X-Mas when you turn the amps up to eleven. If you have not seen the mock documentary This Is Spinal Tap, you probably won’t appreciate this as much of those of us who have seen it. None the less, even the Devil gets lonely during the holidays. Spend some time with him.
Directed by: Michael Dougherty
Starring: Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner, Allison Tolman
Legendary Pictures, Universal Pictures.
Max, a young boy who is tired of his family not taking Christmas seriously, swears of the holiday, and in the process, he accidentally summons an evil spirit. Krampus and his army of demonic elves are coming to town, and they are not in a festive mood. Max and his family must try and survive the Christmas Eve from hell, and hopefully their X-Mas spirit can overcome Santa’s shadow; Krampus.
Being a fan of Michael Dougherty’s brilliant Halloween film Trick r Treat, I was really looking forward Krampus. Both films share a common theme; people disrespecting holidays, in this case Halloween and Christmas, and they are paid a visit by not-so-nice entities representing their respective night. They also share bad ass villains. Just like pumpkin goblin Sam (Trick r Treat), Krampus is a half beast half man Christmas creep. The effects design for the creature, as well as his army of elves, toys, and gingerbread men are great. The acting is decent, and the majority of the story is adequate. Those are things I liked. What I did not like was the lack of blood and violence. I image that Christmas demons would not be as relenting as these ones are. They could have been much more brutal. In spots, the film seemed lost to the fact that it is a horror movie. Unfortunately the ending of the film seemed pretty wishy-washy until the very last scene, which made the attempt to straighten out which was an unsatisfying payoff. If you go in expecting the brilliance of Trick r Treat, you will be disappointed. If you go in with low expectations, you might have a good time. Merry Krampus!
3 / 5 Bloody Moons
In 50 (or so) Words…
Sinister 2 (2015)
Directed by: Ciarán Foy
Starring: James Ransone, Shannyn Sossamon
Automatik Entertainment, Blumhouse Productions
A mother and her two sons move into secluded rural house to escape a domestic situation. There is only one problem; the house has been marked by the demon Bhughul. Using a series of “snuff” films and a gang of ghostly children, Bhughul continues his evil work, and wants this family to join him in hell. Ex-deputy So & So, who is investigating the events from the first film (Sinister, 2012) must uncover the truth and race to save the Collins family from certain death.
The first Sinister film was a good surprise for me, as I thought it was pretty creepy and had some original ideas. I enjoyed how the old home movies were incorporated into the film, and the method in which the families were chosen for death. It was obvious that a sequel would be made, as the first film was good, and turned a decent profit. For the most part, this is just a rehash of the first film with a different target family. James Ransone does return to reprise his character, Deputy So & So. Unfortunately, the character lacks the hero quality and just blends in. Where the first film had great eerie atmosphere, Sinister 2 goes for the jump scares more so than suspense. I felt as if the story showed its hand too early and too often for this sequel to be as effective as the predecessor. The “snuff” movies within the film were good, but the film itself was just not sinister enough for this guy. Hopefully the third installment can reinvent Bhughul. He seems to have lost his demon game.
2/5 Bloody Moons