Gear up, campers! This week, we salute the ominous convergence of the summer holidays and a real live Friday the 13th. If you are striking out into the wild with your pack and lantern, don’t forget to throw in a snakebite kit, a guitar to ward off bad vibes, and a working knowledge of the following films. Knowing the paths to avoid may save your life. You’ll be fine, of course. Just count your tent stakes and pitchforks before going to bed. And if you were planning for a weekend of fooling around in the woods with someone special, you may want to reconsider. Abstinence and meditation might be better ways of keeping your head attached.
More prolific than Halloween or Hellraiser, or even A Nightmare On Elm Street, Friday the 13th originated one of the longest-running film series in popular horror. Much credit is due to the creation of Jason Voorhees, an undisputed icon among movie killers. Another probable reason for its longevity is that among well-known movie franchises, its content is the cheapest and easiest kind to mass produce.
Friday The 13th (1980)
directed by Sean S. Cunningham
by Dan Fields
First published February 26, 2011 by the California Literary Review
Holy Gracious Hell
Taking into account all the casual profanity, copious T&A, comic book violence, awesome cars and impossibly badass gunfights, Drive Angry must surely have been written by the smartest group of fourteen-year-old boys living in America today. This is not meant to sound as snide as it probably does. Assuming that any two of those things just mentioned ever held a prominent place in your adolescent fantasy, you may find yourself thoroughly entertained against your better judgment. Conversely, anyone who has outgrown or never entertained the dream of meeting a gorgeous blonde who drives fast, punches hard and loves to cuss, might find this movie just a touch juvenile. Think of it as a big bucket of Halloween candy for the eye and the lower parts of the brain, and you will be ready to approach it in the proper spirit. Continue reading →
by Dan Fields
First published October 30, 2010 by the California Literary Review
I get it. It’s a clip show.
Saw 3D was one blow to my Halloween spirit I would sooner not have taken.
Let me say off the bat that they sent the wrong guy to this movie. Your enjoyment of it presumably hinges on your appreciation of prior Saw installments, and the series never made a fan of me. However, when the franchise took off I did watch the first two films a couple of times each, searching for hidden dimensions that I had initially missed. Instead, I found that the story actually loses depth with successive viewings. After that, the series got so convoluted and ridiculous that I only glanced at parts three through six with half an eye and ear – no grisly wordplay intended, I assure you. Continue reading →