100 Days of Horror welcomes you to ... SATANFEST 2013

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"Y'all know me, know how I earn a livin'. I'll catch this bird for you, but it ain't gonna be easy. Bad fish! Not like going down to the pond and chasing bluegills and tommycods. This shark, swallow ya whole. Little shakin', little tenderizin', and down you go. And we gotta do it quick, that'll bring back the tourists, that'll put all your businesses on a payin' basis. But it's not gonna be pleasant! I value my neck a lot more than three thousand bucks, chief. I'll find him for three, but I'll catch him, and kill him, for ten. But you've gotta make up your minds. If you want to stay alive, then ante up. If you want to play it cheap, be on welfare the whole winter. I don't want no volunteers, I don't want no mates, there's too many captains on this island. Ten thousand dollars for me by myself. For that you get the head, the tail, the whole damn thing."

Monday, July 26, 2010

100 Days of Horror - "Carrie!"


What's quakin', shakers?

Well, this is already shaping up to be an ass day. I am behind, there is much to do and so much is up in the air at work that I am just sitting here protecting my head, waiting for it to fall.

BUT ... I am still blundering ahead with this mission - more determined than ever, in fact, especially in the face of adversity. I welcome a challenge. I really do.

So, anyway - there is no set time for today's film. I will have to squeeze it in at some point, though it's hard to say when. Monday is kind of deadline day for me at work and I also have nighttime meetings of the municipal variety. And boy do they suck.

I'll post the Last Wordz once I've completed the viewing, but here's the rest of the Low Down on "Carrie," now with an exciting new format! SQUEAL!

Thanks again for reading and playing along!

Carrie (1976): Directed by Brian DePalma, starring Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving, Nancy Allen, William Katt and John Travolta.

The Skinny: In case you’ve been under a rock for the last 30-plus years, “Carrie” is based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name about a girl with telekinetic powers who unleashes vengeance on the kids that used and abused her. It even spawned a sequel/reboot and a semi-successful off-Broadway musical. Yes, you heard me – a musical. Rumor even has it that King himself approved, but what do I know?

What’s good: “Carrie” is one of those rarities in Hollywood – a horror film that garnered Oscar attention. Both Piper Laurie and Sissy Spacek were nominated for Best Supporting and Best Lead Actress awards, respectively, and it essentially launched Spacek’s career. It was also an early springboard for Travolta’s film career, leading up to “Grease,” and of course, “Saturday Night Fever.” But the main thing about “Carrie” is the way director Brian DePalma creates an atmosphere of true suspense and horror that most modern horror films don’t come close to. We know what’s coming, we see the bucket of blood, we know it ain’t gonna come down in a good way … but getting there is one white-knuckled ride.

What’s bad: It suffers from poor lighting at times, and like most films from the 70s, there is a na├»vete to the entire production, like everyone is learning about the process as they go. This can be frustrating if you better enjoy the glossed and high-dollar productions of the 80s and 90s but if you succumb to its charms, “Carrie” can transport you to when feathered hair, disco and bullying and hazing were all acceptable. Also, it is classic DePalma (who would go one to bigger fame with a string of erotic thrillers in the 80s also starring Nancy Allen by then, DePalma’s wife), and DePalma ain’t for everyone. He is dedicated to putting his stamp on his work, and “Carrie” is no exception, so split screens, jump cuts and a dramatic score are firmly in place.

Why we love it: Two words: Piper-fucking-Laurie. A movie maven from the 60s, Laurie struck gold with this role as Carrie’s overly religious and delusional mother. She gnashes her teeth, slaps her face and pulls her hair in her frustration and rapture, all semblance of self-preservation as an actor gone – a sign of a master. And her memorable line, “They’re all gonna laugh at you!” in that rising, desperate pitch, is the wail of every mother struggling to maintain control of a child they feel is slowly slipping from their grasp.

Memorable stuff: Again, there is a lot to walk away with. The prom scene, the shower scene, the final showdown between mother and daughter – it’s packed with moments that have you biting your lip in antici … pation! And in between all that, you have Piper Laurie, vacillating between preening and wailing, and the monologue about Carrie’s conception just before the final showdown (“Then he took me. He took me, with the stink of filthy roadhouse whiskey on his breath, and I liked it. I liked it!”) never fails to bring me to both laughter and tears at the same time.