Finally Watched It: Lovecraft Country (2020)

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I went back and forth about doing an episode by episode breakdown of this series. If you’d like that let me know (like I did WAAAAY back with Battle Royale) but this is my impression based on the first two episodes. That I’ve watched a few times just to catch as much as I could.

First of all I want to rub it ALL THE WAY in that this series is filled with Black and Brown people while Lovecraft himself was a racist. As a horror fan, enjoying Lovecraft became difficult when, ya know… He wouldn’t see me as an actual human. I get a little thrill out of things that piss off racists. It’s my fetish. Don’t judge me.

I have fuzzy memories of an uncle of mine either talking about or owning a copy of ‘The Negro Motorist Green Book.‘ I know Ma told me about it in a really roundabout way that was indicative of a lot of Black families that wanted to keep certain things unspoken for the young ones. (Boy do I have stories about the AIDS epidemic and Army recruiters at my high school…)

I can just feel the love in this. The writing is perfect. I can literally see stories told to me by my grandmother and her siblings come to life among a horror story that keeps me engaged. It’s really cool and I am so glad this is a thing that’s happening. It’s filling a horror hole in my heart that felt cheated by what’s been coming out of American Horror Story these days (it’s OKAY, just not blowing me away like the first season).

And yes… My literary geek ass has added as many of the books I saw in the series on my TBR list… Because clearly, it’s too short.

“Don’t let them make you question yourself. That’s how they win. They want to make us crazy, terrorize us, make us scared.” Man, if that isn’t the path of the oppressor/abuser. Fantastic.

And I shall leave my assessment of these first two episodes with this… 

Spoilers… 

Fuck that. Justice for Uncle George.

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Finally Watched It: “Harriet” (2019)

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If you know who Harriet Tubman is, then you know the story this movie is telling.

This movie was really hyped up and I totally understand. It was really good. The acting was great, the story was well told and it taught me things I didn’t know before.

Making me wonder WHY I wasn’t taught these things sooner…

But anyway, I think this is a movie worth watching. It’s pretty tasteful and inspiring. Totally check this one out if you’re interested.

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Finally Watched It – Challenge Edition: “The Horseman” (2008)

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So, I found me a source for fucked up movies and I’m basically looking for something that fills that description. This was one of the offerings. 

A divorced dad loses his daughter to what seems like a drug overdose. But he receives a mysterious videotape the mail showing the snuff film that lead to her demise so he embarks on a journey of brutal revenge.

This? This movie was amazing. I had a blast watching this. Our main character Christian, finds out his daughter has been horribly used, assaulted, and left for dead; then enacts his bloody vengeance. And this isn’t something like Taken where the protagonist is some super soldier, Christian is just a guy who is pissed the fuck off and wants the people who hurt his kid to pay. There’s even a touching story with a runaway he befriends!

I have to give props to the fights in this movie. There are times where I legit felt like I was watching two dudes just duking it out with no training and taking actual damage. It was visceral and really cool! 

It wasn’t super graphic, the rape is off screen, everything is as gory as it needs to be to get the point across. I was rooting for Christian the whole time and I actually recommend this if you don’t expect a completely happy ending. This is an Australian movie; where Wolf Creek hails from. In fact, I think the fact the ending didn’t give me the answers I wanted pissed me off a little… But not enough to ruin the overall experience.

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Finally Watched It – Challenge Edition: “August Underground” (2001)

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This movie, filmed in found footage style, shows the daily life and brutal murder spree of two sadistic serial killers.

Either I was way overhyped for this movie or I’m developing a tolerance because while this movie was graphic and pissed me off because our main characters are horrible human beings but… I still didn’t feel so repulsed that I was raging or I wanted to turn it off. In fact, there were several parts where I was thinking “Ok, I get it. You guys are disgusting assholes. Can we move forward?” I wonder if I was just overwhelmed by all the input that my brain just went numb and none of it was impressive or disturbing anymore.

I think what bothered me the most is this movie shows taping brutal torture and murder is the same as taping a mosh pit, farm animals, or going to the store. Goes to show where their morals and priorities are. It absolutely gives you the feeling that you are watching something terrible that you should not be seeing… And that shouldn’t be happening. But it wasn’t an easy watch, to be sure. I winced or had to take a break. But I got through it! It took me a bit to deprogram from it, but I got through. If you like found footage horror and can stomach the gore (and grossness) then this is… A thing you can watch. But if poop and rape, and a general disregard for human life make you squirm? Stay away.

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Finally Watched It – Challenge Edition: “Martyrs” (2008)

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In yet another movie that is touted on many lists for being super disturbing and graphic, Martyrs features two women who were at the mercy of a cult trying to create martyrs by having them survive supreme pain to transcend or transfigure to see God. The movie starts with Lucie, seeking revenge on what was done to her with the help of Anna, who hopes Lucie will move beyond the pain she went through.

Is it wrong of me to say this isn’t that bad? I mean, it’s violent and terrible. It opens with gruesome murders and features beatings and torture but… Ok, for me, a movie has to cross a line even within the narrative to ‘offend’ me or make me want to tap out of it. But this didn’t. Granted, I winced, I was shocked, it was gut-wrenching to watch the ‘chosen’ woman break over time but it wasn’t too much for me. Maybe it was too hyped up in my mind because this is brutal and I made it through.

My bar for tapping out is ‘Serbian Film,’ however. And I’ve seen ‘Salo.’ This movie does not come close to either of those in terms of giving up on it.

I do have one kinda spoilery question… Not that I want these heartless bastards to get away with what they’re doing but if you have a cult of murder torture that you don’t want people to find out about, WHY would you set your torture den in the bunker of a house that you plant a family in THAT WOULD HAVE THEIR SPECIAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS END UP IN A NEWSPAPER!? Wouldn’t you want some people that were super low key and average? Someone that would take a while to notice if they were missing and not star students in the local school who would absolutely attract attention if they suddenly didn’t show up ever again? That just really bothered me as something a super fancy evil cult wouldn’t overlook. Especially when it’s revealed that they had a bunch of old rich people who probably could pull off the “quirky old person who lives alone now” type of person.

Ugh, but that irksome plot point aside, this was a super bloody movie that’s shocking but it didn’t get me so bad that it’s the most disturbing thing I’ve ever seen. I’m kinda glad I was able to scratch this off my list. It was well shot and acted. If you can take it and like horror, I’d check it out!

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Finally Watched It – Challenge Edition: The Woman (2011)

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Every so often in my travels on the internet, I’ll find a list of most disturbing movies that people can’t sit through and I take that as a challenge. I remember way back when I watched “The Human Centipede” because “ZOMG, so shocking!!!11!!” and found it to be a lame poop joke that went on too long and I got bored. Even with “Canibal Holocaust” I thought it was gory and all but hardly ‘walk out of the theater’ offensive and gross. In fact, the only movie to outright disgust me and piss me off was “A Serbian Film” so these walk out of the theatre movies are 2:1 at this point. So, where does this movie stack up?

While there are of course unpleasant things that happen in the movie – like the father is horrible and does what a horrible man would do to a woman he has captive – I didn’t find it hard to watch or super offensive. It was effective at being a horror movie and keeping the tone consistent throughout. The effects were done well, the story was interesting… But I never felt like I needed to take a shower or tap out of the movie early.

To sum up, I don’t get why this was on a most disturbing list unless their bar is much lower than mine.

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Finally Watched It: “Hellbound: Hellraiser 2”

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The first Hellraiser was one of my favorite horror movies growing up but I had never really taken notice of the sequels. Either I just assumed they would be terrible or it just passed me by but I finally decided to take a look at the sequel.

To start off I love how this is a DIRECT sequel with a recap in the beginning. It gave just enough backstory to make you excited to see what’s coming next. While I did enjoy this movie overall, there’s something off; like they’re trying so hard to be the first movie but coming off a bit sloppy in the execution. But I gotta give it credit. It’s scary, unique, and Tiffany is a true MVP. We hear about Pinhead all the time but we don’t hear much about how badass Tiffany – as well as Kirsty – is in terms of horror movie female leads.

Eventually, I’ll check out the rest of the series but I hear they get pretty bad after 2. We’ll see.

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Finally Watched it: “Rick and Morty” Season One.

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Yes, I have finally caved into peer-pressure and plunked my ass down to watch this show. It was also a sobering thought that my daughter has already seen this (gosh, thanks Internet), so I wasn’t about to allow myself to remain ignorant of this.

And well… I get why people like it. I had some laughs and felt entertained but I’m still left with the feeling that I didn’t so much ENJOY it if that makes any sense. And if you’ve read my blog over time, you know it’s not because I’m easily offended by raunchy, crass, or bloody media. Hell, there are things I like because they push me outside my comfort zone. I like the dimension-hopping allowing for infinite plot possibilities but after some thought, it was just how casual the death was that got to me. Not much, but it did. It’s a similar reason to why I dropped Game of Thrones; it’s hard to care if anyone can just get killed whenever. It felt senseless and left me wondering why I should keep going if I can’t see a story arc come to fruition.

It’s also hard for me to relate to any of the characters. Maybe the mom a little bit but I will freely admit I am more of a Grunkle Stan than a Rick. I absolutely understand his attitude: when you have literally been everywhere and done everything, regular finite concerns don’t exist. It’s all white noise.

And there is where I keep watching. What does a man who has been everywhere and done everything have to motivate him for four seasons of this show? I guess we’ll see because that’s the question I want to be answered. Time to take a deep breath and dive into Season 2.

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Finally Watched It: “Hail Satan?” (2019)

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In this documentary, The Satanic Church goes toe to toe with various government boards in order to promote Satanism as a counterpoint to religion seeping into politics.

This doesn’t play about with the hypocrisy of religion in politics when a minority religion seeks to be represented. Every time the Satanic Church said “Hey, we’d love to put up our monument too!” in every case, the choice was made to not display anything.

But if you’re expecting something that’s all gung ho against religion, you won’t find it here. This is surprisingly fair-minded; even when the Satanists had to wear fucking bulletproof vests to protect themselves in public due to death threats. It makes me wonder they don’t have the support of other minority religions but that wasn’t the point of the documentary. I’d recommend this if you’re interested in contemporary politics.

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Finally Watched It: “Tower”

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Using a combination of rotoscope animation, real testimony, and historical footage, this documentary goes into harrowing detail about the day a gunman opened fire from a clocktower on the University of Texas campus on August 1st, 1966.

I don’t pretend to be a hard ass so I have no problem admitting I openly wept several times during this film. The parts that are reenactment are so well done, you would hardly know it wasn’t as real as the life video spliced into it. The narrative centers on Claire Wilson, who was 8 months pregnant when she was shot and the continuing barrage made it so nobody could get to her and she lay in the hot Texas sun for hours unable to move. We hear also about a child who was injured, a woman who did only watch from inside, the police officers who finally killed the shooter along with help from a civilian. This even ends with interviews from actual survivors.

Even how the news was relayed around town and summed up afterwards was just brilliant. Even though even to my 80’s baby mind, it was frustrating to see communication break down so quickly as opposed to now when every one has a phone in their pocket. Absolutely amazing. I highly recommend it.

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