Our Recommendations (December 16th 2011)

Every week the people of Super Website (Super Blog) will give you a recommendation of a Film, DVD, Bluray, Book, Soundtrack or any other item for you the readers to check out.
Super Marcey Recommends:

Silent Night, Deadly Night

It is Christmas time, and in what should surprise no one Miss Marcey is a bit of a scrooge. So to help get myself in the spirit of the Holidays and hopefully you readers, here is my new favourite holiday flick Silent Night, Deadly Night. Here is a sample from my original review.
“Colour me surprised, I really enjoyed this film! I actually wasn’t expecting much, but this turned out to be one of those ‘more then meets the eye’ films. I had heard a lot about this film, some liked it while others didn’t, hard to form any real expectations. Then I saw a documentary called ‘Going To Pieces’ which chronicles the rise and fall of the slasher films. Silent Night, Deadly Night was featured in the film, more so for the controversy it stirred up with family groups over it showing a Santa killing people. After I saw that I added this to my list of films to see and finally I watched it, and damn why did I wait so long? This films tells the story of Billy, who at a young age witnesses the brutal murder of both his parents at the hands of a criminal dressed up in a Santa suit. Fast forward several years later and Billy (Danny Wagner) is living with his younger brother at a Catholic run orphanage. Things are not going too well as Billy is still traumatised by the murders, and this isn’t helped by the abuse of Mother Superior (Lilyan Chauvin) who claims she is trying to help him. The only kind person appears to be Sister Margaret (Gilmer McCormick), who tries to help him. Billy gets confused by things, thinking Santa means evil things and those who do naughty things should have bad things happen to them. We again fast forward, now 10 years later and Billy (now played by Robert Brian Wilson) is 18 years old and Sister Margaret helps him land a job at a toy store. It isn’t long before it is Christmas time, and Billy is about to get set off and begin a murderous spree.”
| IMDB | Purchase DVD |
Logan J. Fowler Recommends:

The Nightmare Before Christmas

It’s amazing how timeless this movie has become, fitting in with classic holiday tales. Well, at least that’s how I perceive this film, which, at being 18 years since released, still looks amazing for all that it has accomplished in the technical department.
TNBC tells the story of Jack Skellington (voiced by Chris Sarandon, with vocal voice provided by infamous music composer Danny Elfman), the pumpkin king of Halloween town. He has become quite bored with the yearly tradition he has become accustomed to celebrating, and on a nightly walk he comes across a set of trees that are in a circular formation. He notices a Christmas tree shaped door on one of these trees, and is sucked in by the wind that the town of Christmas provides. Jack is severely taken aback by the locale he has found himself in, and he returns to his Halloween town to make Christmas his-and his followers-own.
The film contains some great music, amazing voices, one of the best romances to come out of Hollywood in recent memory (even if they are portrayed by stop motion figures), and it was kind of like a horror film, but for the little ones. It even provided some genuine scares to a 10-year-old Logan when the film was released, but I look back on The Nightmare Before Christmas as something uniquely original, a nice holiday fable, and a fun little movie to watch around this time of year.
| IMDB | Purchase DVD | Purchase Blu-ray |
Pat Torfe Recommends:

Hellraiser


This week, I’m going with what some people call a “Black Sheep” of horror. It’s also been called boring, slow and “a little on the pretentious side”. I’m talking about Clive Barker’s little 1987 ditty Hellraiser. Before I go any further, when I’m referring to “some people”, I’m referring to one of my buddies from Arrow In The Head. Said individual is of the opinion that Clive Barker’s directorial debut was the above description. Truth be told, said individual just never clicked with Clive Barker. That’s cool. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, and sh*tstorms are bound to happen from time to time. For me, Hellraiser is one of those films (and subsequent franchises) that you either dig or you don’t. With that out of the way, let’s move on.
Based on one of Clive’s short stories, Hellraiser introduced us to the likes of the Cenobites and their warped idea of pleasure and pain (think S&M to the max), and their “leader”, Pinhead. Of course, he’s just credited as the Lead Cenobite in the first film, but he gets his name in the follow-up. Anyways, the story goes that there’s this dude name Frank Cotton who’s obsessed with finding the ultimate pleasure. His quest leads him to Morocco where he purchases a puzzle box, which would lead him to the ultimate pleasure. Problem is, when he solves it, he opens up the gates of hell, gets torn apart by the Cenobites and disappears once Pinhead resets the box. Flash forward to Frank’s brother Larry and his wife Julia (who was also Frank’s lover) and their daughter Kirsty. The trio are moving into Frank’s now-abandoned house. After an accident in which Larry cuts his hand, the blood that drips onto the floorboards brings Frank back, albeit in skeletal form and confined to the attic unbeknownst to everyone but Julia. Frank asks Julia to help him by getting more blood, which leads to Julia being a cocktease and bringing home men for Frank to feast on. Eventually, the Cenobites find out and want Frank back.
So yeah, the film does have a bit of exposition involved. It’s the 80s, so it wasn’t uncommon for films to have a slow start. Really, I’m the type that digs the slow burning preamble if it leads to character development and advancement of the plot, which in Hellraiser it does its job. We learn that Julia is a cheating bitch who wants to be with Frank and is willing to commit murder to get him back. Frank is a borderline psycho and sexual sadist who does deserve to be in hell, with Kristy caught in the middle of it all while her father remains oblivious to everything until it’s too late. As for the Cenobites, Clive rightfully keeps them in the background as secondary antagonists, since it’s not about them. Unfortunately, the later sequels decide to turn the focus on them with mixed results, but that’s for another story.
Another great thing about the film is the gore and makeup factor. Really, it’s taking the uncomfortable idea of S&M and cranking things up a notch. It’s all about the idea of pain for pleasure, and the Cenobites take it to the next level. Hooks tearing into flesh, pins in one’s head (naturally), flesh pulled into twisted grins, muscle left exposed from skin being peeled away, it’s all otherworldly and unsettling. The MPAA surprisingly let the film get away with much of this, though a few seconds of hammer hits were given the axe (go figure). For those in the market for DVDs and Blu-Ray, you have a bit of a decision: There’s the older boxset of the first 3 Hellraiser films that was released in Europe in the puzzlebox (go on eBay) or the new Blu-Ray, which takes pieces from the feature-length doc that was found on the European DVD set as well as a few other extras. I guess the bottom line is what’s your pleasure.
| IMDB | Purchase on DVD | Purchase on Blu-ray |
Garrett Collins Recommends:

Die Hard

Ahhh, Christmas. A time to spend with loved ones, decorate a tree, open presents. And, oh yeah: watch Detective John McClane save the holidays and wife Holly (Bonnie Bedelia) again! When thinking about what to recommend for this week, a bunch of ideas crept into my head. Gremlins? Silent Night, Deadly Night? Hell, even Jack Frost, where a killer snowman was thought of. However, I went with a staple. An action ‘classic’ (yes, that word gets thrown around a bit too much. But, in this case, the use of that word cannot be denied.
John McClane (Bruce Willis) has come to Los Angeles from his hometown of New York on Christmas Eve to reconcile with his wife, Holly Generro McClane (Bonnie Bedelia) and attend a company Christmas party. However, the party is disrupted by twelve terrorists, led by Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman). McClane manages to slip away, and realizes that if he and his wife are to get out alive, he must take on the whole group by himself. The thing that is so ironic about Die Hard is that while it is now thought of to be Willis’ franchise, the producers wanted anyone BUT him to play this role. Willis only got the role after Robert DeNiro, Mel Gibson, Sylvester Stallone, Harrison Ford, Burt Reynolds, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Nick Nolte turned it down. Obviously, Willis was not thought of as a bankable star, but within this series (and this film especially) Willis is vulnerable. I remember reading the back of this video cassette box for the first time, and one phrase
that described McClane’s situation always stuck out to me: “…..armed with his revolver and wit…” And that is exactly what this film is about. Willis doesn’t have muscles like Arnold, but his sense of police skills and cunning make him at almost an advantage. However, how is he going to outwit twelve terrorists? That is a question that this film does an excellent job of uncovering the answer to.
While there is the human game of chess going on, let’s not forget what this film is known for: action! And, my friends, it has a lot of it! What’s cool though is almost 20 minutes goes by before a single gunshot is fired. And, that is because it does something that most of today’s action films do none of or do so poorly: it develops the characters. The verbal sparring between John and Holly in the beginning of the film makes you want them to get back together. And, what Gruber & his gang are doing makes that even harder. With action served up on a platter, characters we care for, and a great lead villain, Die Hard is really almost the perfect action film. Sure, there are also characters who are not even a factor in the end and should have been cut (I was never a fan of Ellis and found him to be useless). But…you want great holiday viewing? You sure could do a hell of a lot worse than Die Hard. Now, yippee kai…uhh, I mean, Merry Christmas
| IMDB | Purchase on DVD | Purchase on Blu-ray |

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