MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

scary santa

Merry Christmas!
Happy Hanukkah!
Festive Kwanza!

May your drinks be filled up to the rim, and your knives be pushed in to the hilt.

Enjoy this time of year.  Snuggle up by the fireplace… and watch a horror movie.

See you in January, friends.

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2011 HORROR ADVENT CALENDAR – DAY #24: Year End Lists About Horrifying Things.

2011

Here it is.  The final day of the Horror Advent Calendar.  The Climax.  The twist.  The ultimate reveal.

And guess what, not everything is as it seems.  I knew what I was doing here.  You’ve all played into my plan perfectly.  Don’t you see?  You were all my victims the entire time!  Bwahahaha!

I write horror films.  I study horror films.  I live and breathe everything horror.  So I know what’s horrifying.  And you know what’s truly horrifying?  Reliving horrifying things.  Of COURSE I basically used you for the last 24 days as part of my long strategy of making you trudge through horrifying scenarios, long best forgotten.  I made you experience horror during a month where horror normally takes a back seat.  Forget goodwill towards men, let’s make you think about how man is awful and evil!  BWAHAHA!  It’s my job to bring horror, and the most horrifying process of doing that is a horrifying list of horrors to make you absorb said horror!  Don’t you see!?  It’s so horrifically meta!

But it’s not just me.  All these year-end countdowns and lists are to blame.  They make you relive things you really wished and hoped you’d forgotten.  So while you read all these numerous year end lists, watch countless year end specials, remember they’re doing exactly what I set out to do — make you fully realize how horror can show its face throughout the year.

Thank you for being part of my experiment.  Thank you for being my victims.

And I hope you join me again next year… for the sequel.

2011 HORROR ADVENT CALENDAR – DAY #23: Angry Birds.

Angry Bird

Yep, you heard me.  Angry Birds.

But, wait!  How can you actually call our beloved Angry Birds something horrifying?  How on Earth can you besmirch the beloved finger-pleaser that is Angry Birds?  But… Wait… This… Stop… You just… YOU CAN’T DO THAT!!!

Oh, but I can.  I’ve had enough of these little bastards.  They’re turning us into 5-second attention spanned zombies, and they may bring upon the end of the world as we know it.  You’ll see why in a moment.

Look, I’ve played Angry Birds.  A lot.  Everyone has.  It’s everywhere.  You can’t escape these little assholes even if you tried.  There are multiple apps, even dealing with different seasons.  Hell, there was even a tie in with the movie, Rio, complete with it’s own app.  They’re on every phone.  They’re on computers, TV’s, game systems, even the new Roku has them built into it.  They have stuffed animals, TV shirts, posters, they even have their own Google commercial.  There’s even a series of games now where you can recreate the angry birds levels in reality.  They. Are. EVERYWHERE.  But here’s the deal.  And this is something that you may not even realize, but they are zombifying our race.

Have you ever tried to have a conversation with someone lately?  Watch TV for longer than 15 minutes?  Or even cook a meal?  I’m betting that in the middle of that conversation, during a “slow” part of the show, or maybe that 2 minutes while something is boiling, you’ve fired up your Angry Birds.  “I’ll just do one level.”  You tell yourself this.  But that level turns into two…  three…  Damn, two stars? That’s bullshit.  I need those three stars.  I need to do it over and over!  I need more!  Cave level?!  Sweet!  The food can boil over!  I don’t care about the ending of that show!  Who the hell needs to have human interaction when I have my beloved ANGRY BIRDS!

They’re destroying us from the inside out.  First they seem so sweet and innocent, but then the addiction grabs hold.  It’s like a python.  Maybe it first it may seem like a sweet massage, but just wait until your bones start to crack, one by one, tighter in its grasp.  This is what the Angry Birds are doing to our attention span.  They are snapping its bones one by one.

It’s almost impossible for us to do anything for more than a few minutes now because we need constant action.  We need to fill every small gap with something more and more and more!  This is a horrifying trend.  They say that Jazz is best defined by the gaps in the music.  By what you don’t hear.  This is true for our lives as well.  We need those little gaps between things to reflect and really think about what’s going on, what’s happening around us, and what our next move should be.  But now we’re filling those gaps with Angry Birds.  And our world is going to shit.  Coincidence?  I think not.

So the next time you think, “I have a few minutes, I can fire through a few levels of Angry Birds.” Remember, you could be aiding in ending the world as we know it.  We need those gaps.  Savor those gaps.  Take a breath and just let a moment sit.

Don’t fill them with these little Horsebirds of the Apocalypse.  They bring nothing but pain.

2011 HORROR ADVENT CALENDAR – DAY #22: The Film Industry’s Lack of Imagination.

Empty Theater

This, to me personally, might be the single most horrifying trend of 2011.

Lately, everyone is talking about the decline of the movie industry.  There aren’t as many viewers heading to the multiplexes.  There aren’t as many DVD sales.  There just doesn’t seem to be as much interest.  People in my industry are FREAKING out.  There are a million excuses, theories, and blames, but to me it’s simple.  The film industry is losing the largest component of what made it so huge in the first place — its imagination.

The movie business has always been just that — a business.  Let’s not forget that up front.  But… it has changed.  Once all the major studios were bought and taken over by larger conglomerates, it become less about its core foundation of ideas and originality, and more about only one thing and one thing only — the bottom line.  It’s sad really.  I could honestly talk for pages and pages and PAGES about this subject, but I’ll try and be succinct.  This is what’s happening.  Movie studios are now traded publicly.  Stock prices are involved.  Since stock prices are more important than actual product sometimes, it’s more about what shareholders will find “exciting.”  These shareholders usually have no clue about the industry itself.  They know what they know.  This is why you are seeing more sequels, remakes, and reboots than ever.  If at a shareholder meeting they talk about their new slate of product, and no one has heard of any of it, the shareholders get scared.  Fear takes hold, and they run.  Thus, the stock drops.  BUT, if they announce, hey, we’re going to have Scream 4, Transformers 8, and another reboot of Batman!  That’s when the shareholders go, “hey, I’ve heard of those!  The first ones made money, these surely will too!” And thus, the stocks go up.  This is a main reason why the horrifying trend continues.  Fear vs Comfort, and stock prices.  I know this may seem very meager in its explanation, but without setting fire to my fingertips typing a novel, it’ll have to do.

This is one of the main reasons Hollywood is losing it’s imagination, and nothing new is being put out there.  It’s truly horrifying to me.  But guess what, audiences are getting more savvy.  They know when they’re bored of the same old, same old…  THIS is why there is a decline in sales.  THIS is why there’s a decline in attendance.  Stop blaming new media, piracy, and a million other things.  It all bears down to QUALITY.  If Hollywood made more quality, original, and fresh movies with the same budgets that they throw at the remakes and sequels, we’d be in another heyday of moviemaking.  But sadly, it’s not the creative types behind the wheel.  It’s the suits.  I’ll give you an example.  Look at Inception from last year.  Not everyone may have liked it, but it was original, fresh and new.  And it actually had a huge budget behind it and big stars.  Guess what happened?  800 million dollars worldwide and 8 Academy Award noms.  Point, set, match.

Look Hollywood.  Stop bitching about it and fix the problem.  Return to a place where imagination and originality holds sway.  We as fans want it.  We crave it.

And we will pay you heartily for it.

2011 HORROR ADVENT CALENDAR – DAY #21: Carmageddon.

Carmageddon

I couldn’t talk about the horrifying events of 2011 without mentioning–*insert booming voice here*CARMAGEDDON!!!  Or as others called it, CARPOCALYPSE!!!  Or as I ended up calling it, “the single most pleasant weekend in the history of Los Angeles.”

Obviously this one was personal because I live in LA, but I know for a fact that this baby was news all over the nation, hell, it even bled into other nations’ news as well.  Yes, a stretch of the 405 freeway, the busiest freeway in the nation, was going to be closed down for a weekend during the high tourist season month of July.  When they announced this, you may as well have thought that they announced children all over the country were turning feral and eating the livers of all adults in sight.

People went ape shit, to say the least.

It was enormous news for months.  And the predictions were flat out apocalyptic.  The traffic would be stopped for hundreds of miles, even all the way down to the Mexican border, they said.  Every service street would be a parking lot, they said.  No one would move and emergency vehicles wouldn’t be able to get anywhere, so don’t even think about getting injured, they said.  Life will stop as we know it, they said.  People were frenzied.

Then the day came… and it was amazing.

Everyone stayed home.  No one drove.  Everyone actually followed the instructions and made plans.  It was amazing.  Los Angeles, instead of being a commuter palace, became a city with walking neighborhoods.  People hung out together.  People stayed home and actually experienced where they lived.  They left their cars parked.  Thus, the outcome was empty roads, no driving, pleasant people, happiness, and in my opinion, the single most pleasant weekend in the history of Los Angeles.  There was nothing horrifying about it.  It was awesome.

But…  There is still horror out there.  There will be an outcome that is even more awful and horrifying.

People mocked the preparedness of the weekend.  People everywhere went, “they made us worried for nothing, and nothing happened.”  Everyone blamed the local government and mocked them.  They flat out said they’re not listening when they close it any other time in the future (which it’s slated to be again soon, actually, to finish the job they started.)  Don’t you see the horror here?  The only REASON it was a pleasant weekend and wasn’t filled with the horrors everyone thought was BECAUSE people heeded the warnings and stayed home.  If people weren’t scared and didn’t stay home, it would have been just as awful as they said.  But for some reason people don’t think that way.  That’s where the horror resides.  When this happens next time , everyone will just wave their hand and say, “pishaw!”  “Remember Carmageddon?  Nothing happened then, and nothing will happen now.”  And then no one will heed the warnings.  No one will listen.  And then all hell WILL break loose.

Now, next time, we’re all screwed.  Logic will not prevail.  And we will all die in a fiery inferno of death and carnage!  Don’t you realize, Los Angeles?  This is a town where sequels rule.  They’re always bigger and better, with more explosions and more insanity.  You’ve been warned… The true Armageddon isn’t Carmageddon at all.

It’s Carmageddon II.  Coming in 2012.

2011 HORROR ADVENT CALENDAR – DAY #20: New Words Added in 2011.

Dictionary

As a writer who actually loves words, sometimes I get a little ornery when they release the Merriam-Webster and Oxford English Dictionary’s list of added words for the year.  I’m pretty much the furthest thing in the world from pretentious–I write slasher films for God’s sake–but still this just makes me sad.  I solemnly shake my head at the notion that these are now real words.  They’re not slang, or street talk, but actual WORDS.  Sigh…  Instead of ranting, I’ll simply present a list of some of them and let you decide for yourself.

tweet (can’t I just stop here?)
retweet  (I really wish I would have stopped with tweet.)
bromance (seriously.)
cougar (and no, not as in the animal… as in a older lady who preys on young men.  Yep.  Real word now.  Sigh…)
woot (okay, I’m done with the comments now.  I’m just done.)
LOL
OMG
sexting
robocall
fist bump
helicopter parent
boomerang child
cyberbulling 

Okay, I’ll just stop there.  You can look up the rest if you want.  There was more than 150 added this year. Some make sense like “social media”, other just don’t.  I mean LOL and OMG are abbreviations!  They’re not even words!  But yep, these are REAL WORDS NOW.  Real.  Words.  Bromance…  real word.

I’m sure Shakespeare would have absolutely loved to use bromance and woot.  Just flows off the tongue.

2011 HORROR ADVENT CALENDAR – DAY #19: “Self” Santas.

Merry Christmas to Me

 

The continuing effort toward the complete and utter domination of selfishness continues.  Sure, you see it in politics all the time, and the workplace, and definitely wall street, and well, pretty much everywhere.  So why should it shock me that it’s now seeping into what is supposed to be the most selfLESS and giving time of the year?

Yep, I’m talking about another horrifying Christmas trend today which fits nicely into my advent calendar of horrors.  And one just really haunts me because of how blatant it is.  The trend of being a “Self Santa” has slowly been popping up lately.  I’ve seen the idea being advertised and bandied about on numerous different ad campaigns and weekly sale papers.  But I’ve also seen a whole bunch of different “news” stories about it, both on local news and network.  What the hell is going on?  Why are we proudly displaying such selfish attitudes and being happy and trite about it?  Well, I have a theory, and it is a horrific scenario.

You’ve heard me rant about the terrifying trend of popular selfish reality “stars” and shows that pride themselves on “ALL ABOUT ME” attitudes like The Kardashians and Jersey Shore, but think about it.  These types of scenarios are the outcome!  People love TV.  It guides them.  It sadly steers many people’s lives.  And this latest trend of “ME” shows are helping proliferate that being selfish and being all about me are just super cool!  If we celebrate these assholes who pride themselves on being selfish pricks, then we will all eventually become selfish pricks ourselves.  And if a nation of selfish pricks isn’t terrifying to you, then you deserve this trend to get more and more popular.  I hope no one ever does anything for you ever again, you selfish, selfish bastard.  “Self Santa.”  Good lord.

If this trend continues (and I really hope it doesn’t) pretty soon Santa’s notable, “Ho, Ho, Ho!” will be changed to “Me, Me, Me!

And I really hope it doesn’t.  C’mon America.  Nip this stupid trend in the bud.