Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories
Holy fuck! Who’s that creepy motherfucker and what is he doing here?? Something tells me he wants to strangle me with my own intestines…which is VERY unhygienic, so EW. Or he could just be that guy from VOLUMES OF BLOOD: HORROR STORIES, the sequel to the kickawesome VOLUMES OF BLOOD. Remember that one? An anthology, but a super fun one with lots of gory good times? (Just click the link if you need a refresher!) But we all know that the killer always comes back, no matter what, and we also know how it tends to go with the art of the sequel. So does VOLUMES OF BLOOD II hold up to the first? Hmmm…let’s take a look….
Our story starts with a heist. One that’s set in the middle of nowhere (maybe a farm?), which is the perfect place to die. It starts out well enough with three amigos heisting, shooting the shit, and telling spooky stories about the old place they’re stealing from (because one ALWAYS does that during a heist, duh). At least half of our opening story was filmed in apparent complete dark, however, so you’re going to have to rely on your ears big time here. BUT the kill scenes are nicely lit and so long as you get to see people die, I guess it’s all cool, right? (Huh. That last sentence doesn’t make me sound unbalanced at all. ;))
But WAIT, no, omg, guess what?? That whole time we were watching a movie!! I mean, obviously I was watching a movie but then I was watching people watching a movie! Ah, the old movie within a movie trick. (Thank you, CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI) Boy, did you get me. Then we’re off to…watch another movie? But first we need to time jump to the past? And then 20 minutes past the past? Then come back to here to watch the movie? (I think I got that order correct.) There were lots of random images being flashed about, so I wasn’t sure if we were going back to the library and following the immediate aftermath of the first film or if we were jumping into a, um, jumping into movies anthology. It turned out to be neither.
What happened next was an anthology wrapped around a house and the holidays – different holidays and a single house as the centerpiece. We get to experience Father’s Day, Christmas, birthdays, Halloween, and so on and so forth. (We also get to experience the joys of house browsing!) As with most anthologies, certain pieces were better than others. My favorite story featured the girl above, a salesman, and Thanksgiving. It was incredibly atmospheric which helped lift it from the “oh yeah, I have a pretty good idea of how this ends” doldrums. The Christmas piece ended up being fairly good as well with its fun ending and an actress who was able to carry ~10 minutes of screentime alone (and mostly in silence). The downside was that this piece was much too long. I understand the time needed to build tension, to make the audience realize that something isn’t quite right, but it can be done in less time than this. (Also, my god, the freaking carols and Christmas music!!! BLEHCK. I hate this holiday so much.)
Overall though? First and foremost, VOLUMES OF BLOOD: HORROR STORIES reminded me WAY too much of THE PERFECT HOUSE, which is also an anthology tied around a house in which a real estate agent is showing a young couple around. Secondly, it was much less cohesive than the first. This story didn’t flow as smoothly as the first did; didn’t tie together as well; didn’t make as much sense. Especially the ending. I still don’t know who the killer is or where he’s from or why he suddenly popped up and decided to kill every citizen of Owensboro. I also am unsure why there are now unseen forces (or people) seemingly commanding him to kill (not like voices in his head but legit “hey that’s an order!” commanding way). Maybe it’s all just meant to entice in case there’s a third film? I dunno, but I was not impressed. Thirdly, this sequel just wasn’t as much FUN as the first was. This film was really lacking the joy of the first (I know that sounds weird – joy in a horror flick? – but hear me out). The first film was clearly such a product of love and devotion and people were so obviously having a blast that it made the energy of the film into that too (despite the blood and gore ;)).
VOLUMES OF BLOOD II was definitely better LOOKING than the first – it looks like they had a larger budget this time around – but it was lacking. It was missing that joie de vivre and indie spirit, for whatever reason. It also didn’t stick together as well as the original – this one very much showed us that it had been stirred with several hands in the mixing bowl and it made for some lumpy spots.
Is it ultimately worth a watch? Yes. There are the couple of stories that are really enjoyable; there’s a nod to TRICK’R’TREAT (my favoritest anthology series EVER); and there are lots of gooey messes and intestinal effects that are all practical and not CGI. (Big props for the makeup team and fx guys! You guys are wicked awesome!) And, of course, if you’re a fan of the slasher genre, you may totally dig on this. Check out the trailer on the Facebook page and let me know what you think!
Movie Jail Relay Race
Thanks so much to Mike over at Mike’s Film Talk for passing me the baton in the Movie Jail Relay Race! Been at least a month since I’ve participated in a blog-a-thon so away we go!! 🙂
The Movie Jail Relay Race was started by Nostra from My Filmviews and Terrence from The Focused Filmographer. Now the official rules are as follows:
”It’s time to put some movie people in jail. The object is to give a prosecutor’s argument as to why these movie people belong in “Movie Jail” whether it be for violating the integrity of the content source of one their films, or being a sell-out, just making bad movies overall, getting worse as time goes on or not being in a good movie for many years. The baton will be passed to another blogger who will have to do the following:
In order to free someone from Movie Jail they have to do 2 things
1 – Give a defense attorney argument defending the plaintiff
2 – Pay bail: the cost of which is another case for the court and a prosecutor’s argument against the actor/director of their choice that will replace the one set free.
There must always be 10 people in Movie Jail.”
Current Inmates are:
Jason Friedberg & Aaron Seltzer
The Participants (so far):
1. My Filmviews / The Focused Filmographer
9. …let’s be splendid about this
10. Lime Reviews and Strawberry Confessions
11. Aziza’s Picks
13. i luv cinema
14. Public Transportation Snob
15. The Warning Sign
16. 3 Guys 1 Movie
20. Knights of Mars Roundtable
21. Head In A Vice
23. Cinema Schminema
So who am I heisting from the big house? Well, the majority of you are going to hunt me down with torches and pitchforks a la Doctor Frankenstein but I’m totally releasing this girl:
That’s right. Ms. Kristen Stewart gets a pass from me. Why? Well, I’m not entirely sure why she’s in jail here – I’m assuming it’s because the majority of the world thinks she’s a bad actress (emotionless and lip bitey). Or perhaps it’s because people think she never smiles and should be happy for her fame, dammit. Or maybe it’s because she supposedly cheated on R-Patz with that director dude.
My rebuttal? Kristen Stewart is talented. Hella talented actually – girl’s got chops. I think the problem is that most people associate her with Bella from Twilight and Bella is one of the worst written female characters in recent history. The fact that a woman wrote her makes me want to scream. But I’m not here to discuss the underlying messages of abuse and deprecation in Twilight, so moving on…Kristen Stewart’s been acting her whole life – obviously she’s doing something right or when she moved out of the cute child phase, Hollywood would’ve dropped her like a hot potato because that’s what H’wood does. True, a lot of stuff I’ve seen that she’s fantabulous in is older stuff but she’s been working on Twilight for what, 6 years now or something? 4 years? A long time anyway and I’m not even going to count Snow White and the Huntsman because that whole movie was just stupid from marketing to plot (Theron was brilliant, I will give it that much). But what about The Runaways? Loved her in that (and loved the movie). Adventureland? Speak? Panic Room? Fierce People? C’mon, guys, the girl can emote. Problem is, she’s been stuck in “lip-biting, awkward, I need a man to love me or I’ll die” Bella phase for WAY too long. I’m hoping On The Road (which I’m dying to see as I adore Kerouac) will help break her out of the public mindset of awkward.
If it’s the never smiling thing well I feel her there because I am not a fan of the smiling at all. My friends are constantly yelling at me to “smile, dammit!!”. I prefer to be dark and mysterious and yeah, icy. It’s my schtick (well sometimes, I have different ones) so I can’t begrudge the girl for not bouncing around all rainbows&sunshines&lollipops&pixies. If it’s the “she should be happy for her fame” thing I have this to say – sometimes people become actors because they love to act, not because they want to be famous and there are tons of people out there who are actors, working actors, and can walk down the street without having cameras shoved in their face. Yeah, fame can come with the game but it doesn’t mean you have to be completely joyous about it all the time. I am painfully shy 50% of the time (which is WAYYYYY better than I used to be) – I can’t even function at events with lots of people without anxiety medicine – so if I ever get famous, I might be walking around all cranky looking too. That or completely zombified from the meds…
And if it’s the supposed cheating thing? Well, it’s none of my damn business. And also I remember what it’s like to be that age and dear lord, if I told you all stories of me from back in the day…heh, well, I’m not gonna because the amount of stupidity I had happening in my 20s was off the charts.
AND now that I’ve released poor Ms. Stewart from her stint behind bars, I need to find someone to replace her…who, oh who should it be?? I’m thinking this guy:
First, how did you guys get those bars on your pictures?? Mine suck, lol! Second, let’s get one thing straight – I ADORE JOSS WHEDON. Seriously, the day this dude let’s me go pick up his dry cleaning will be the best damn day of my life. However, I fucking LOATHE The Avengers. That was one piece of shit mockery of a film and I am completely heartbroken that my hero was behind this mess. 😦 You sold out, Whedon and you didn’t even do it well. And that, my love, is why you are now in jail. You go make good original kickawesome stuffs again please.
And now it’s my turn to pass on the baton and I’m passing it to our good friend, Eric over at the ipc! Be sure to check out who he decides to spring!! And thanks again, Mike, for letting me in on the fun that was the Movie Jail Relay Race!! 🙂
Nostalgiathon 2012, for reals
If you guys will look up above, you’ll see that I created a new page for Nostalgiathon 2012! I am so tech savvy! 😉 If you click on it, you’ll find all the info on how to participate AND a list of all the current Nostalgiathon posts (which will be updated with each and every incoming one!). So join us for fun and good times and reminiscence of the golden, olden days!
Happy 3 Months, Y’all!
No He Said/She Said today. Instead this:
Yesterday marked three months of Cinema Schminema and for me that is uber exciting. Why? Because back in the day (circa 2005/2006), I was a hardcore blogger. I had three blogs – a personal one, a movie one (Movie Slayer) and the last was for my writing (short stories, poems, you name it). I met a lot of people and forged some great relationships. My best friend, Mich-la, for one. I’ve yet to meet her in person but we talk through every outlet available to us, almost every day and she is one of my biggest supporters. My ex-boyfriend. My friends – KitKat, Mikey and more. People I still talk to and some I’ve gotten the opportunity to meet. So what’s my point here? Blogging changed my life. Not just with friends and boyfriends but because of it I ended up moving across the country a few years back. I do it for the writing yes, because I can’t live and not write (I tried, it was terrible!) but also because it allows me the chance to meet people from all over the world and if it wasn’t for those people (aka YOU!), Cinema Schminema wouldn’t be here because you guys reading and you guys commenting keeps it going.
So to all of you – thank you for reading and commenting the past three months. I deeply appreciate you stopping by and I enjoy reading each and everyone of your blogs. So yay! Here’s to many more posts and many more conversations! 🙂