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."

Thursday, September 23, 2010

100 Days of Horror Day Sixty-Two - "Thinner!"

Hey hey! How is everyone tonight? Sorry it's a late entry again, but I had a busy day today and also had a wonderful dinner with my lovely wife at a local establishment called the Mendenhall Inn. It's kinda swank, which just makes us a big fucking deal.

No, no, I kid, I kid ... we DID go there as guests of an organization here in Chester County called "Good Neighbors Home Repair Ministry." I met them through covering their summer youth camp, and since then I've covered several of their events, including this fund raiser. And while I am not a man of faith myself, these people move me with their efforts to help homeowners down on their luck to keep their homes safer, dryer and warmer - for no charge.

I know this has nothing to do with horror movies, but I just wanted to pass their name along, and this is my place to blab, so ... there it is.


Today's feature - while reasonably enjoyable - is the opposite of yesterday's finely crafted tale of suspense. This is Stephen King at his lowest. And the movie is as mixed a bag of tricks as the novella is. Watch and try to enjoy ... "THINNER!"

Thinner (1996): Directed by Tom Holland. Starring Robert John Burke, Joe Mantenga, Lucida Jenney, Michael Constantine and Kari Wuher.

The Skinny: Based on a Stephen King book published under his pseudonym Richard Bachman, "Thinner" find s selfish, overweight lawyer who uses his influence to get out of killing an old gypsy woman in a hit-and-run now at the mercy of a vengeful gypsy curse.

What's Good: Frankly, this is one of the most faithful King adaptations, but at the same time, it's definitely no "The Shinning" or "The Dead Zone." It's not even the mildly unscary "Pet Semetary." It's a bad misstep by director Tom Holland, who gave us the incredible "Fright Night." That said ... there is a certain enjoyable charm to the film, if only because it wallows in it crapulence. King used Bachman to tell the stories too silly or too provocative for him to tell directly. The book isn't meant to change lives or inspire - it's meant to be pulpy and jerky and commit literary homicide. And the movie pretty much does the same. It's offensive to fat people, gypsies, lawyers, Italian Americans and the entire white race in general. It's also very funny and quite disturbing in places, so I am definitely torn.

What's Bad: The above litany of offenses stands. I mean, it's so goddamn Old World racist - the filthy gypsy clan who comes to town and spreads chaos and handing out curses like they're bible tracts. It's something I'm sure the Roma people loathe. But that said, I love that gypsy curse shit. Without the gypsy curse, there'd be no "Angel," no "The Wolfman." So this is a movie you can take or leave, but should maybe see once. Maybe. Also, Kari Wuhur? As a gypsy girl? With a slingshot? No. Please god, no.

WHy We LIke It: It's trashy and I like trashy. There are no redeemable performances, the script is so-so, and the direction is almost absent. But it's King, so ... I guess it's okay?

Memorable Stuff: Like the best King stories, the end is always a killer. So the final five minutes of the movie are actually the best, but in case you haven't seen it, I will spare you that spoiler. It is quite memorable, however, and classic King. Or Bachman. Whichever.