Tuesday, 4 February 2020

Movie Review: Apparition (2019)

Sometimes, an awful movie can be saved by an excellent ending. Conversely, an excellent movie can be ruined by an awful ending. Apparition (2019) is neither awful or excellent, but it does fit into the latter category.

I wasn't sure we were watching the right movie when Apparition started. I'd read the synopsis (a group of friends use an app to connect with ghosts and are led to an abandoned castle) and was expecting something totally different than we got for the first, oh, third of the movie. Eventually, it got into the story I was expecting and became more engaging. I'm normally the first one to complain if there isn't enough backstory but, in this case, they lingered a little too long over it, for what we got from it.

Okay, backstory is important. So important. But the right backstory is more important. There's a lot of focus on Simon Lathrop's Jeremy and his kid brother (I don't think he's ever named) so you're expecting the story to circle back to Jeremy's brother but it never does. You also learn that Mena Suvari's Anna is essentially being held prisoner by her baby daddy but never learn why she allows herself to stay in that situation or what the nature of their relationship is. Then, there's Officer King (Jake Jacobson), who only mentions his baby daughter right before he's murdered.


I applaud any movie that takes the time to create backstory but half-assed backstory isn't good enough. Do the work. I'd rather watch a longer movie that uses backstory well, then one that makes it nothing more than a blunt plot tool.

Yeah, pet peeve. I know.

Anyway, the acting is good in Apparition. Kevin Pollak is hateful as Warden White, which is exactly what you want in a good villain. (And something Pollak does exceptionally well.) My favourite performance was delivered by Grayson Russell, who played Warden White's son, Sam. I love Sam. He's this adorable, awkward nerd who steals every scene he's in. You get the feeling Sam's on the spectrum but the movie never clarifies.

Sam is also the reason Apparition left a bad taste in my mouth. The ending was absolutely perfect--right up to the point where they went for the cheap jump and ruined it all. What a waste.

I will give Apparition this, though: it almost never did what I expected.

Between us, Jay and I have seen just about every horror movie there is to see (Unless you've sat through Attack of the Killer Refrigerator, don't come at me.) so we usually have a pretty good idea of what's going to happen, and where. Apparition shied away from the obvious, for which I give it major credit.

Apparition also stayed away from the riskier special effects that sometimes make a good ghost story cringe-worthy. There were a few good jumps (Jay rates a horror movie by how many times I jumped. Apparently, Apparition earned two Wondra Shit Herselves.) and the child ghosts were suitably creepy. It was atmospheric where it needed to be and grungy where it needed to be.

If we're looking for a horror movie to watch, we're fairly predictable. Jay will usually go for the zombie/infection movie while I lean toward religious (ironic, I know) movies and ghost stories. Part of what made me pick Apparition was the whole Millennial thing in the synopsis. (Yes, I'm a Millennial and I'm not ashamed of that.) Also, the fact that there's an app at the centre of the story. I'm a sucker for techno-haunting fusions.

What kept my attention was that Apparition isn't just another app-gone-wrong-boo-technology story. The app works just fine. It does what it's supposed to do. I love that technology fits so smoothly into a timeless ghost story, rather than technology being the bad guy. More of this, please!

While we're talking about the synopsis, though, let's not use the word "castle" when we don't mean "castle." Some of us live near them. 🙄 The movie is based on The Preston School of Industry, which was called Preston Castle. Not the same, yo. Still, it's filmed at the actual place where it all went down, so props to the film crew and actors for that one.

Okay. So... verdict? I enjoyed this one.

Until I didn't.

All I can say is don't go for the cheap-ass jump (which was disappointing, rather than surprising) and ruin a good movie. Hit me up if you disagree.

Thursday, 2 January 2020

13 Fucking New Year's Resolutions for 2020

I don't normally make resolutions because I think you're just setting yourself up for disappointment and failure. But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized there are some things I am absolutely determined to do this year. What are they? Well...

1. I WILL reclaim my space. 
I'm tired of constantly trying to dodge other people or make myself smaller. Where does this idea come from that fat people should be ashamed of taking up space. Fuck that. This is my space and I'm taking it back.

2. I WILL challenge manspalining. 
If I don't ASK for your advice, don't fucking give it. Don't assume - and I'm talking to fuckboys who think I can't know enough about things like Star Wars and comic books to be a "real" fan - that I don't know what I'm talking about. I DO, and I won't hesitate to teach YOU a thing or two.

3. I WILL NOT pretend to laugh at cruel, insensitive, sexist, racist, ageist jokes. 
How many times, as a woman, have you laughed at a terrible joke, just to "be polite?" WHY? Why should we laugh at impolite jokes that THEY shouldn't be making? Let's stop.

4. I WILL lift other women up. 
Gurl, you are fucking amazing. Don't let TV, magazines, society, men or anything else tell you otherwise. In the past, I think too many of us have allowed ourselves to believe that if we're better than other women, the men will think more of us. Well, guess what. They won't. We have to stop arguing amongst ourselves. When we lift another woman up, we lift all women up.

5. I WILL keep fighting.
Trump, Boris, Brexit, Republicans, bigotry, double-standards, pay gaps, etc. etc. etc. It's fucking exhausting. While it's tempting to give up, stay quiet, and ride it out, we CAN'T. We have to keep fighting because it you stop, you lose. And we can't afford to lose.

6. I WILL stand up for ME. 
When I'm being put down or attacked by the people who are supposed to care for me, I often just shut down. The nail that sticks out gets hammered, right? Fuck that. I'm gonna be that nail protruding on the stair that brings bastards to their knees in horror movies. I am worth fighting for. Watch me prove it.

7. I WILL take care of me.
Mental illness keeps you from performing the most basic of self-care. You know what else does? Being a woman. We're taught from a young age that we have to put everyone and everything before ourselves. Gods forbid WE make time for US. The house will collapse. The family will fall apart. The world will stop spinning!

No, it won't.

Everyone and everything else will be fine while you take care of yourself. And if they can't? It's about fucking time they learned.

8. I WILL NOT say "sorry" if I don't mean it.
I don't know about you, but my first instinct is to apologize for things I'm not responsible for. You're tired because you stayed up too late? I'm sorry! Dinner's cold because you didn't say you'd be late? Sorry! Know what? I'm NOT sorry. If I'm not directly responsible for something, I will NOT apologize for it. I WILL take responsibility for my actions - and ONLY my actions.

9. I WILL be magickal. 
You gotta work, witch. I never seem to make enough time to be as witchy as I want to be. It leads to my being out of touch with the energies around me and feeling... wrong, which doesn't help my mental health. If other things have to slide for me to grow my inner witch, so be it.

10. I WILL chase my dreams. 
Back to mental illness, right? I want to be a successful author but I might go weeks without picking up a (proverbial) pen because it's just too exhausting. I'll go weeks without submitting because the fear of rejection cripples me. Time for change.

Will I absolutely write every day? No. Will I absolutely make every submission deadline? No. That mental illness isn't going away. But I will try my damnedest.

11. I WILL NOT be manipulated.
Fuck off with your mind games, manipulation, and gaslighting. I can see them for what they are - so why have I let you use them against me for so long? Because I was afraid. Because it was easier. Well, okay. It's going to be hard to call you on it. It's going to be scary to stand up for myself. But I won't let that stop me.

We - men and women alike - have to stop letting this happen, whether it's your parents, partner, or president doing it. It's abuse and it stops now.

12. I WILL NOT let other people control MY mind.
When you suffer from mental illness, you have to put up with people telling you that you don't know what you think or feel. Fuck. That. I know what I think. I know what I feel. My reactions might not be appropriate. Hell, my feelings might not be appropriate - but they're MINE. I'm the one who has to live with the consequences so I'm the one who gets to own feelings, thoughts, and emotions that drive them.

13. I WILL NOT compensate for fragile male egos.
Tell me WHY we do it. Why do we make ourselves seem weaker to suit men? Why do we make ourselves appear dumber? Helpless? Fragile? Because THEY need to be needed. Because they're so weak they have to put us down to lift themselves up. Fuck them. If they want to be smarter, stronger, more powerful, fine. Fucking work for it. I'm not giving it to you.

Where are the "I'm going to exercise more" resolutions? "I'm going to lose weight!" "Stop drinking." "Be healthier." Blah, blah, blah. Those are the resolutions I don't believe in. I won't make a resolution about changing myself in any superficial way, to fit into societal standards. (And you shouldn't either.) I won't change. I'll be the same old bitch, just badder.

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

A Decade in Review

Just a few hours left of 2019 and of the decade. It's time to look back and see what we've accomplished. Where should we start?

Well, like everyone, we've been through some tough times. My mom (cancer,) dad (heart failure,) and brother (cancer) died. Jay's mom (cancer) and grandmother died (after having two strokes.) Jay's mom was the tough one for us because we became her carers until she passed, which brought a whole lot of stress into our lives in the form of rude nurses.

Jay put his hand through the greenhouse and had to have stitches one winter. Another summer, I had a super fun time when I had my period for months on end, which lead to a diagnosis of Hypothyroidism (several years too late.) I was also eventually diagnosed with tinnitus, which is its own kind of super fun. Then, there's the Depression and Anxiety, which were diagnosed after a pretty bad time.

Lloyds Bank decided about then that they could "no longer manage my mental illness" and fired me, which wasn't exactly a bad thing, when I look back at it. It created some pretty tough times for us, financially, but it was a bad place for my health so good riddance!

One year, I ended up in the hospital after a night out when people spiked my drinks - which was the last time I went to the pub with "friends" (and will remain so.) And, no, I didn't get a hangover that time, either.

It's not all doom and gloom, medically. I got the go-ahead to have squint surgery (coming next year.) The mental illness thing is still ongoing. I'm waiting for a referral to see a psychologist (again, hopefully next year) so who knows what will come of that...

During a particularly bad bout of Depression/Anxiety, I shut down all my social media for a month, taking a much-needed break. I still take breaks when I need them, but none have been that long since. I've seen at least four therapists since my diagnosis with varying levels of success (and hope to never see one of them again.)

There was more therapy, in the form of physical therapy for the arthritis in my hands, which continues to get worse. Eventually, I'll have to see someone about that dodgy hip of mine, but we'll see how that goes in the next decade...

I went back to America five times over the last decade. During those trips, I buried a parent; got to be a bridesmaid twice; went to my 10 year school reunion; saw the Lions play; held a Writer's Club reunion; threw a baby shower for a friend, threw a bridal shower and a bachelorette party; rode out a micro tornado (and got to watch Jay ENJOY his first tornado warning;) and rode the Four Horseman many times.

There have been too many losses on the pet front. Several years ago, we got two geckos (Dante and Faust) who have since died. Sooty and Sweep also died, as did Sadie and Boo. Rocky and Gollum (bearded dragons) died too. Our black ragdoll went missing. Later, got two black kittens named Damon & Stefan, who went missing when they were very young.

It was hard, losing so many pets but Dylan and Blodwyn came into our lives (and became our lives) because of it. Then, there was the absolute joy of having puppies in the house. Unfortunately, we had to let four of the puppies go but got to keep Khaaaan, who is a delight. Willow's still with us too, a grand old dame at 14 and too damn cranky to consider dying.

There was a pretty scary period when Blodwyn got sick. It took over a year to nurse her back to health but, now, she's a freaking superstar. (And I hope it stays that way!)

Sadly, Charlie died (horribly) but we got Maggie to keep Eddie company. Maggie and Eddie have had 13 babies since then (they sure do make some twins) - and are still going! The last one was born this week!

Jay and I celebrated our 16 year anniversary this year. We had a couple of big birthdays, too. Jay turned 50 and I turned 30.

I went back to university and earned my BA (Hons) in English Language & Literature while working full-time. Thinking I might still go into education, I spent some time volunteering at a local school in their nursery (preschool) and got a lot of hands-on experience, even helping out on field trips. (And also learned that it's far too exhausting for me to contemplate as a career at this point.)

I got to visit places I'd never been, like Glasgow and Edinburgh in Scotland when Jay went to film The Weakest Link, which aired in 2011. The BBC put us up last year when we went to London to film Pointless, which aired this year. During that trip, I visited Paddington Station and posed with Paddington Bear. During one trip to America, I visited New York and New Jersey for the first time and saw the Brooklyn Bridge.

We've had some great days out, including countless comic cons. We saw Wales play Argentina; went to The Doctor Who Experience; went to two Adam Ant concerts, two Gary Numan concerts, The Monkees, and Twenty One Pilots (and Periscoped many, many more,) and The Rolling Stones concerts too; enjoyed shows like Mrs. Brown Rides Again, Frankenstein, Little Shop of Horrors, Ian McKellen at 80, Hair, Vampires Rock; and saw comedians like Jim Davidson and Jasper Carrot.

Britain has been an incredible place to be over the last decade. I got to be part of the Olympics when the torch came to our city. I enjoyed two royal weddings (from my sofa,) not to mention the Queen's Golden Jubilee. There's also the Scottish referendum and the Brexit vote, which has been... interesting. Oh, and how many Prime Ministers? At least three.

Aside from volunteering at the Olympic torch ceremony for my (then) work, I also did the 5 Bridge Walk in Newport. I signed up and tried to do a sponsored walk that ended terribly when they forced me to stop because I was too slow. Won't do that again! I did, however, volunteer at the Cardiff Half Marathon one year, which was crazy (and back when I handled crowds a LOT better than I do now.) I also MLed for Wales one year (but couldn't get on with a co-ML and gave it up the next) and was a giver for World Book Night, which was just a lot of fun. (So was volunteering at Santa's Grotto.)

Jay and I finally got to start making some headway on this old house of ours. It was rewired four years ago (giving us working lights for the first time in years) and had new doors installed two years ago. The garden was revamped last year and we did up the patio a bit to enjoy lots of barbecues with friends. We even got a new stove, a new fridge, and (recently) an enormous cage for the chinchies while we were at it.

I sold my first story in 2015, which launched my career as an author. I tried freelancing for a year, but that wasn't good for my mental health. After my first publication came another 40+, with several more to come in the new year. I signed a publishing contract with a house that, sadly, ripped me off and disappeared - but have worked with some terrific publishers since. At least I did release two short story collections with my first publisher. Oh, Jay and I were published together, too, which was fun!

There were a couple of fun firsts along the way. I rode a Ferris wheel for the first time this year, for instance, and went to my first street food festival. I also played BINGO in an actual BINGO hall like an old biddy (but still have never won.) It wasn't a first, exactly, because I had been to Pride before, but I joined the parade last year, which was a new experience for me.

Speaking of firsts... I made my first public appearance as an author, which was TERRIFYING, but went well. I did my first signing, and gave my first speech. I also took up writing fanfiction and developed a bit of an obsession!

Jay had a couple of interesting firsts too. Sure, I took him to his first pumpkin patch this year but the real big first was his first time cosplaying Beast from the X-Men (who is his go-to now.) He even appeared in two magazines as Beast!

Some firsts were not-so-fun. I tried zip-lining, which ended with a THUD. Wales had an earthquake - which wasn't a first, exactly, but it was only my second earthquake (the first was in Michigan.)

There were lasts, too, of course. I lost a best friend during that time, for reasons that are still a mystery to me. It took a long time to get over that one, but I'm okay with it now. I also had to ease up on a lot of the handcrafts that I love because it's just too much for my hands to handle. I did manage to check another thing off my bucket list, though, when I folded 1,000 paper cranes.

And we can't forget all the celebrities we've lost along the way: Prince; Robin Williams; David Bowie; Paul Walker; Leonard Nimoy; Luke Perry; Carrie Fisher; Bill Paxton; Aton Yelchin; Joan Rivers; Burt Reynolds; George Michael; Chester Bennington; Corey Haim; Gene Wilder; Alan Rickman; Roger Moore; Tony Curtis and I don't know how many more. Heartbreaking.

But I don't intend to end on a sad note. During the last ten years, I read over 500 books. My favourite authors have been Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, Ray Bradbury, and Laini Taylor. Laura Thalassa is probably the author who's surprised me the most recently. I won't mention my TBR list because even another decade won't be long enough to make a dent in that!

Aside from books, there are all the games I've been crazy about like Skyrim, CoD, and Plants vs Zombies. Star Wars and Marvel movies too, of course. We won't talk about TV shows because then we'd have to get into Game of Thrones and that's no way to end the decade.

It's been a hard decade but a rewarding one too and I'm looking forward to seeing what the next one brings. Bring on the Roaring Twenties! (Except the prohibition.)

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

31 Days of Halloween: Best Horror Actors: Jeffrey Combs

Me: It's time to talk about Jeffrey Combs. Wanna get us started?

Jay: Jeffrey Combs is one of those actors who got lucky. He landed his big role with Re-Animator. After that, he became one of horror's great character actors. 

Me: Since I still haven't seen it, tell me about Re-Animator.

Jay: It came out in the late Eighties and as very different. The main character made a serum that would reanimate dead flesh. Any dead flesh. You could put a pair of eyeballs on a severed hand, inject it, and it would start moving around.

Me: Ew. Did you like it?

Jay: I didn't really like any of the Re-Animator movies. They're cult and plenty of people love them, but not me.

I've had a few chances to meet Jeffrey Combs and missed him every time. It's so frustrating. 

Me: He's definitely on the list of people I hope we meet one day. I've seen him in so many different things.

Jay: Like Brad Dourif, Jeffrey Combs has been in just about everything. It feels that way, anyway. He was even a regular in Deep Space Nine. Actually, he had three different roles but Weyoun was the main one. What a spiteful character!

I think his most memorable role was as in The Frighteners. That was a great movie. 

Me: I love The Frighteners! It's one of those movies that has a little bit of everything: horror, comedy, even romance. And Dammers totally got what was coming to him at the end!

Jay: It's a great scene, when you see Combs's character in the back of the car, looking all surly. 

Me: I remember Jeffrey Combs in things like Feartdotcom and Return to House on Haunted Hill. What other movies do you remember him from?

Jay: Jeffrey Combs was also in Abominable. I feel like this list is basically just the cast of that movie!

Me: So, what's your favourite Combs movie?

Jay: Good question. Um... well, he's done a lot of voice over work, including some cartoons that I like but I think my role is The Frighteners. He's such an ass in that. It's an overlooked film that's absolutely brilliant. 

Me: Jeffrey Combs is a great actor, but what sets him apart? What makes him one of our Best Horror Actors?

Jay: I guess it's because you don't always notice him but, if you do, it's because he's playing such a villainous part. He can disappear into the background or make you hate his guts. 

Me: Yeah, he is one of those characters you love to hate.

Well, thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to check back tomorrow to see who our next Best Horror Actor will be!

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

31 Days of Halloween: Best Horror Actors: Brad Dourif

Me: Today, we're going to be talking about Brad Dourif. Ready?

Jay: Let's do it.

Me: Okay... Brad Dourif has a freaking huge list of acting credits on IMDb. Like, huge. What was the first thing you noticed Brad Dourif in?

Jay: For me, it was the Eyes of Laura Mars. It's a film I hadn't seen in a long, long time. I didn't realise what a cast it had! It has a myriad of stars. I watched it forty years ago because I was a kid and it had boobs in it. Watching it again now, I was impressed by how good it is. But, yeah, that's the first time I noticed Brad Dourif. 

Me: I only vaguely remember that one.

It wasn't the first movie I saw Brad Dourif in (that was Child's Play) but One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was his first credited role.

Jay: You didn't realise it at the time because they weren't all well-known actors then, but One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest had an insane cast! They were more or less unknown at the time but look at them now!

Me: And Brad Dourif's role was major! I kind of hated him, though. That movie shook me hard.

Jay: Child's Play wasn't exactly fluffy...

Me: True! But even Chucky doesn't scare me as much as Nurse Rached!

Since we're talking about Child's Play, tell me your thoughts on it.

Jay: Brad Dourif isn't really in it much but it's still his most famous role. He does the voice, of course, but you don't see his face often. 

Child's Play was one of those surprise films because the doll is amazing. It's a good, jumpy film with good sequels. It's even better because there wasn't CGI then. 

Me: They just did a remake of Child's Play, sadly without Brad Dourif. Did it work?

Jay: Mark Hamill was good but Brad Dourif was better. It's a case of spending all that money and bringing it up-to-date but not making it any better than the original. It's all been done. 

Me: Okay, so if we go back to the original Franchise, which of the Child's Play sequels was the best?

Jay: I liked Child's Play 3 because it carries on from the original and still has Andy in it. It was of it's time, that Eighties pulp horror. 

Me: Mine was Cult of Chucky, with Fiona Dourif, Brad's daughter. It was so clever. Fiona was also in Curse of Chucky. I think it's great that she got to work with her dad in those movies. She's a good actor and you can really tell Brad Dourif is her father. She looks just like him.

Jay: You're right, she is a good actor. Fiona doesn't have to rely on her father's name; she can make it on her own merit. 

Me: I'm focusing a lot on the Child's Play movies because I just don't know where to start with the rest of Brad Dourif's movies. Damn, he's been in a lot.

Jay: He's been around forever!

Me: What's your favourite Dourif movie?

Jay: It's not a movie but he was good in Deadwood. And in the remake of Halloween. Oh, and he was awesome in Death Machine. He's always good as a mad scientist but Chucky is his best. 

Me: So, aside from the number of films he's made, what makes Brad Dourif a horror icon?

Jay: The roles he's taken. He tends to be either the mad professor or the sleazy, undesirable creep. The character you love to hate. Brad Dourif isn't the heartthrob but he's taken what he does have and made the most of it. He's very recognisable.

Me: Is there anything else you want to add?

Jay: Only that I'm pissed that we met him (and he was nice) but we didn't have our Child's Play poster with us. I hope we can meet him again because I'd love to get his signature on that. 

Me: We do that a lot... Fingers crossed we get to meet Brad Dourif again.

Well, thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to check back tomorrow to see who our next Best Horror Actor will be!

Monday, 21 October 2019

31 Days of Halloween: Best Horror Actors: Linnea Quigley

Me: Model and actress, Linnea Quigley, is an activist and was in a band called The Skirts back in the 90's. All very impressive - but what about that makes her a horror icon?

Jay: Can I say 'sheer volume'? 

Me: Well, I'd rather you said something else but...

Jay: Sheer volume. 

Me: Right. Speaking of horror icons, did you know Linnea Quigley has the same birthday as Vincent Price?

Jay: Huh. I didn't.

Me: Yep.

Linnea Quigley didn't start acting, then find her way into horror. She straight up started in horror with Psycho from Texas in 1975 and has been a horror stalwart since then. When did you first become aware of Linnea Quigley as an actor?

Jay: In Return of the Living Dead, as Trash. You kind of had to notice her... she was naked! I used to have friends like that, getting their kit off for no reason...

Me: *glare*

Jay: I mean... She was absolutely striking. That bright red hair catches your attention. I loved the movie because it was about zombies, the soundtrack was full of bands I loved, and it was about a group of punks. I'd just started to spike my hair as a baby Goth - oh, it wasn't good - but it made me feel like I belonged. 

Me: Meanwhile, I was three...


Jay: I suppose the next film I noticed Linnea Quigley in was Night of the Demons in 1988. 

Me: That was the first horror movie I saw!

Jay: You were six.

Me: Well, it wasn't voluntary. My sister and her friend were watching it and I wouldn't stop bothering them so they held me down and made me watch it.

Jay: That explains a lot. 

Me: I guess it kind of does...

Did you enjoy Night of the Demons?

Jay: I did. It's a good, solid horror film. There was a wave of them in the Eighties, thanks to the introduction of the video. To be fair, most were crap, but there were gems. Night of the Demons was one. 

Back then, there were two big b-movie scream queens, Linnea Quigley and Brinke Stevens, and Linnea Quigley was always the bigger of the two.

Me: If we move forward into the Nineties a little, Linnea Quigley was in Pumpkinhead II. I know Pumpkinhead was one of your favourite movies. What did you think of the sequel?

Jay: It wasn't good. The only Pumpkinhead movie that was worth anything was the first one. Even the monster itself became silly in the sequels. It was all man-in-a-rubber-suit. 

Nothing against Linnea Quigley in it, mind. I was so excited when I heard the second one was coming but was so disappointed when it finally came out. Linnea Quigley's not a tremendous actor but she's good at what she's there for. She's the pretty screamer. 

Me: Oh, I almost forgot... Linnea Quigley made an appearance in the new Night of the Demons, didn't she?

Jay: You mean that porno your mom and I watched after you went to bed? 

Me: ...hey, what you guys did when I wasn't around...

Jay: Ha ha. The 2009 Night of the Demons was supposed to be a remake, I guess, but they sexed it up way more than it needed to be. Not the kind of thing you want to find yourself watching with your mother-in-law in the middle of the night.

Me: When you say b-movie scream queen, you really mean b-movie, don't you? I'm looking at movies like Hooker with a Hacksaw...

Jay: Linnea Quigley's the name you want to get if you're making a low budget movie. Just her name alone is enough to get her small walk-on parts. 

Me: Which can be both a blessing and a curse, I'd bet. Do you have anything else to add?

Jay: Well, as a teenager-

Me: That doesn't have to do with masturbation!

Jay: Oh. No. 

Me: Well, thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to check back tomorrow to see who our next Best Horror Actor will be!

Sunday, 20 October 2019

31 Days of Halloween: Best Horror Actors: Tobin Bell

Me: Okay, let's talk about Tobin Bell. I don't really know a lot about him so a lot of this is going to be on you.

Jay: Well, Saw was his big breakthrough but I remember seeing him in a lot of television. I could have sworn he was in an episode of Highlander but, looking at it again, I guess it was Brion James.

Me: I can see how you'd get them mixed up. They do look a lot alike. Tobin Bell is more... I dunno... gaunt?

Jay: I'd go with that. His look is part of what made Saw work so well. You can believe he's dying from a tumor, right?

Me: Right.

You mentioned that Tobin Bell really made his name in Saw. It's not the kind of movie that I enjoy. I really don't get into torture horror. I mean... it's basically snuff, right? We've had a lot of discussions about how you don't put the Saw movies into the same category as things like Hostel. Tell me again why that is.

Jay: The Saw movies aren't just torture porn. They're very clever. They're not just slasher movies. It's about retribution. Tobin Bell is the perfect Jigsaw. He wasn't a mindless killer. It's about how people fuck you over. How people don't appreciate what they have. They're warnings.

Me: I can understand that. They're too hard for me to watch, though. I don't have the stomach for it. I still haven't gotten over Seven.

Getting back to Tobin Bell, which of the Saw movies is the best and why?

Jay: The first is probably the best but they're all strong movies. It's like with any sequel; you can't compare them to the first because you'll never recapture that complete surprise, that shock, again.

Me: Honestly, I think the first one was the only one I watched. I'll never get rid of those images...

So... Tobin Bell carries an extremely popular horror series - but what else do you know him from?

Jay: He's been in just so many things. I liked him in Decoys. Oh, and Boogeyman 2.

Me: It was nice to see him recently in the new Creepshow series.

What is Tobin Bell's appeal?

Jay: I think a lot of it is his performance in Saw. It's that once in a lifetime role that was just made for him. He's got the looks, the ability, the voice to make it work.

Me: And why is he on this list?

Jay: Just look at the films he's done. Aside from all the television work, he's been the start of a huge franchise. It's not like Friday the 13th or one of those things anyone could do as long as they're behind the mask. You need the emotion, the pathos that Tobin Bell brings.

Me: I'm interested to see where he'll go from here. I guess only time will tell...

Well, thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to check back tomorrow to see who our next Best Horror Actor will be!

Waiting For...