Movie: Last House on The Left (1972)

Last House on the Left.

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I was nine years old when A Nightmare on Elm Street came to theaters and I had no idea who Wes Craven was. I was just beginning to pay attention to the names on the posters and the boxes for the movies I loved, and Wes Craven was one of the first names to really catch my attention.

I didn’t get to see Nightmare in the theaters when it came out, I was only nine after all. When I finally saw it on VHS I already knew every beat of the movie. If I found someone who had seen the film I’d grill them to get every piece of information I could on the movie. I annoyed my sister over it for days and days after she saw it.

I was going to an amusement park with a friend and his brother who was one or two years older than us and had seen the movie. He was bit of a tough guy, on the wrestling team and kind of liked to push the younger kids around a bit, but not too bad. On the car trip to the park I annoyed him asking everything I could think of about the movie, trying to get every last detail.

On the way home, he wouldn’t let me ask him any more questions. Once it was dark, he no longer wanted to talk about A Nightmare on Elm Street. Even at nine, I knew it was because he was scared. Even though he was older and tougher than the rest of us, he was so scared that he couldn’t talk about the movie in the dark.

Freddy Krueger and A Nightmare on Elm Street had that much of an effect on him

It was a long ride home and he kept falling asleep. Whenever he started to go out, me or his brother would whisper “Whatever you do, don’t fall asleep”. Each time he sat up yelling and his mom would scold us. Being that kid, I had to do it one more time. I leaned in, and in the lowest voice so that his mother wouldn’t hear, I whispered it into his ear.

He whimpered. I pulled back a little surprised, and he continued to make these whimpering noises. At that moment I realized I made him cry. He was so scared that he was actually sitting in the car crying because I had whispered something in his ear.

That was one of the moments in my life that made me realize I wanted to scare people for a living. I’m still working towards that dream, but maybe someday.

Needless to say, when I finally saw A Nightmare on Elm Street it did not disappoint.

I looked at that name on the box, Wes Craven. I started flipping over box after box and renting anything with his name on it. The Hills Have Eyes, Swamp Thing, eventually Shocker, People Under the Stairs, Serpent and the Rainbow….  One thing that all of his films seemed to have in common, the phrase “From the Director of Last House on the Left”.

It’s funny though, you know what I didn’t find on any of those shelfs? Last House on the Left. None of the local mom and pops carried it. I became obsessed with finding it. I couldn’t find the movie anywhere. People would talk about it in hushed town like it was this dark reel of perversion that would corrupt me beyond belief.

The movie was almost mythical when I finally laid my grubby little horror loving fans on it. Worry not though fair reader, I was in my earlier twenties at the time, so not the nine year old that first started the quest.

Just like Nightmare so many years earlier, Last House on the Left did not disappoint.

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Now, I do want to warn anyone reading this, that from this point forward I am going to get into some heavy spoilers for the film. If you’ve never seen Last House it is a Rape Revenge of sorts and some of the specific things I wish to talk about are very spoiler heavy. So if you don’t want spoilers, you should stop reading.

The film is shot with a documentary aesthetic that draws the viewer in and makes them feel as if they are watching something real, and not a movie at all. Even though it’s a lie, the movie opens with a warning that the events we are about to see have been changed. It’s a quick and effective way to help us look at our female leads Mari and Phyllis as real people.

The film opens with the mailman pulling up to the house and kibitzing with himself over all the cards young Mari has received for her birthday, he smiles as he playfully remarks that “It’s not like she’s the only girl to ever turn 17”. His voice then turns as he looks up towards the house calls her “About the Prettiest Piece I’ve ever seen”. His comments tear down this young girl we haven’t even met yet and turns her into a piece of meat, foreshadowing the darkness that is to come.

The theme continues as we cut inside and see Mari preparing to leave, talking to her parents. Her dad, who is a doctor, Remarks “No Bra?” And a short conversation is spurred about freedom of the 60’s and 70’s against the uptight generation that came before.  I think it’s important to note that while he pointed out she wasn’t wearing a bra, it wasn’t done in an accusing manner. At no point in the conversation does he tell her to go change. He just points out the potential for trouble and sits back and lets her make her own decision.

In the woods before leaving for the city we have a small scene with Phyllis and Mari talking back and forth. Mari mentions that her breasts are filling out and that she finally feels like a women. They play Mari as an innocent, new to the world and unprepared for the darkness it holds. She has always had the support of her parents hasn’t been in any situation like the one that is to come.

Phyllis, her best friend, come from a less open family and it’s obvious she has an edge to her character that Mari does not. She tells Mari’s parents that her parents are in Iron and steel, meaning her mom Irons for a living and her Dad steals.  Phyllis admires Mari’s innocence and early on sets out to protect, even putting herself in danger to try and save her later in the film.

Our antagonists are introduced as the girls drive into the city, the radio is playing and it describes each character one by one. The establishing shots of our bad guys is cut between shots of the Girls in the city showing us again how innocent and undeserving of the violence the two girls are.

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Our lead is Krug Stillo, an amoral monster who carries himself as if he were a high school bully that just never stopped. His Side Kick Weasel, comes off as sexual deviant who worships Krug. Krugs girlfriend is named Sadie and they establish that she is really just hanging around with Krug for the fun.

The last member of the quartet is Junior, Krugs son. Junior is obviously mentally abused and doesn’t want his father around. In one scene he and Sadie have a conversation about who they would be if they could be anyone in the world, and he comments that he wishes he was a frog so he could just sit on his lily pad and not be bothered. He is not the monster his father is, Junior is just a junkie caught in a bad situation.

It’s Junior though who lures the girls into the house with a promise of weed. When things turn violent it’s also junior that steps in trying to stop his father to no avail. The scene is interesting, Mari is cast to the side almost forgotten as Krug deals with Phyllis first. When things finally break down and Krug, Sadie and Weasel take turns with Phyllis, we don’t see the violence. Instead we focus on Mari’s face as she stands in the corner watching at these horrible things happen to her friend.

In this instance it’s so much more powerful to show Mari’s reaction and mounting horror towards what is about to happen. In scenes that follow this, Phyllis is still shown as a fighter, she bites Weasel two scenes later showing that the act didn’t break her. She’s still strong, and she still wants nothing more than to protect Mari.

This is shown so well a few scenes later, again back in the woods.

After the initial rape sequence Krug and co load Mari and Phyllis into the trunk of their car and ride out into the woods. The driving scene, which includes a sequence with Krug and Sadie having sex as they drive down the street, is played mostly for laughs. This scene doesn’t show us how the group really is. It shows us how they think of themselves. They see themselves as a group of old west outlaw antiheroes. The weird almost bluegrass upbeat music that plays during these sequences help support that illusion.

This is an illusion that will be shattered to great effect later on in the movie.

The group’s car breaks down on a tree covered road seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Instead of going for help, our antagonists decide to take the girls out into the woods to have some more “fun” with them. As they leave the car Mari looks up at sees the Mailbox to the house they broke down in front of. In the movies most improbably moment, we recognize the Mailbox from the establishing shot at the beginning of the movie as belonging to Mari and her family.

She is then taken out to the woods knowing the whole time she is mere feet from the imagined safety of her own home.

Now in the woods, bored with their two hostages they begin humiliating them. They start by forcing Phyllis urinate in her pants while they watch. This leads to an interesting moment where Junior shows that he is not on board with the violence around him when he breaks it up by yelling “stop, you’re going to kill someone”. For just a moment Junior shows his strength as he stands up to his father, but it quickly fades away as he turns and instead suggests that they make the girls make out with each other. The shame of his weakness shows on his face.

The scene is shocking it’s in realism. We watch as the girls are forced to strip. There is nothing sexy about the showing, there is nothing done for titillation. It is a dark act. As this moment, still trying to save her friend, Phyllis looks into Mari’s eyes tells her it’s okay, it’s only the two of them. Even at that moment, even after all that has happened to her Phyllis is still trying to protect her friend. This scene is made even more poignant after listening to the commentary and hearing Wes Craven remark that the line was an adlib. The actress said it to the other girl because she was having such a hard time doing the scene. It was a genuine moment of one person reaching out to another in a dark situation. It’s a moment of beauty in a sea of darkness.

As all this is happening, it’s intercut with scenes alternating between the local police force and the parents. After the car breaks down we get a moment where the local Sherriff and his deputy are in the house trying to calm the concerned parents telling them that every things all right. I think it’s important to note that while he is talking to them the Sherriff is actually eating a piece of the Birthday cake the mother had earlier made for Mari. In my mind this shows a lack of concern from the Sherriff, maybe even a lack of empthy for the girl. He hears their story and much like the rape culture this movie helps to expose through the casual comments of the Mail man earlier in the movie, he just sees another girl run off doing god knows what.

Later though, concern does begin to show on the Sherriff’s face and he does eventually spur to action when a report comes over the radio that the city police are looking for a car that matches the description of the car he saw broke down in front of Mari’s house. Finally our police force is moved to action, but we quickly realize that they will be no help. They are shown to be impotent and buffoons. One moment running out of gas in their police car and another riding attempting to get a ride from a women hauling chickens.

They even play a comedic song over the police to show that they are pointless and will not make it in time. The Sheriff and his Deputy, played by Kobra Kai leader Martin Cove, exist only to show us that help will not come. The destiny of Mari and Phyllis was written in stone as soon as they entered that apartment and the movie makes sure we know it.

After the forced Lesbian scene we see that Krug has grown bored. He tells Weasel to watch the girls while he goes to get something to chop some wood so they can start a fire. A knowing glance is exchanged between the two of them and we see that Phyllis understands the true meaning.

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Knowing what is to come, and knowing their only chance of escape hinges on Krugs absence, she commits her last act of self-sacrifice. She whispers to Mari that she is going to run off so the others chase her, thus opening the door for Mari to escape in the other direction. At this point Mari is frantic and shaky, she is barely hanging on but she accepts.

Phyllis runs off to the woods and continues to taunt the pursuing Weasel and Sadie. This ultimately leads to her death. She almost makes it to the road when Krug steps out with a machete, stopping her. We have a little cat and mouse before Weasel first stabs her in the back. As soon as he does it he looks towards Krug, his eyes asking for approval.

At this moment, Sadie looks down at the girl and as Krug finally kills her a horrifying look crosses her face. She takes part in the violence, but for the first time we get the feeling that Sadie may have a line, and that murder may be on the other side. It’s hinted that maybe if she wasn’t with Krug she would be a different person. A better person. This scene shows Krug as more of a Manson or Koresh figure. Holding these people together and turning them to monsters through full force of will.

Soon after this sequence we enter the most shocking and important sequence of the films. The destruction of Mari’s Innocence and her eventual Murder.

When the group returns to Junior and Mari, they’ve changed. The murder they just committed hands silently between them, even though it’s not the first time Weasel and Krug have killed someone, some thing about this one is different, it has shaken them.

Spurred by his violence Krug rapes Mari. We do not cut away, we do not focus on something else. We aren’t shown the details of the rape, but again, we focus on Mari’s face. She looks directly into the camera asking us for help, knowing it isn’t coming. It’s an ugly act made all the more ugly by Krugs facing pressing into the side of her and his saliva dripping from his mouth and sticking to her face. He is finally the unfettered monster that has been hinted at the entire movie. He is nothing more than an animal. It’s a horrifying sequence and it feels like a true sequence.

The direct aftermath of that movie is the reason I love Last House on the Left.

Krug stands up and looks at the people around him. The films three monsters exchange glances among them. As Mari gets up and begins to pull herself together, Krug looks at her, and possibly for the first time in his entire life Krug realizes who he is. All pretense of the old west outlaw falls away as the illusion he has lived his life by shatters. He realizes he is not the good guy in his story. He is the villain and nothing will ever change that.

For the first time in his life Krug is lost.

He is not the only one who shares in this moment. Weasel looks at him, the veneer finally stripped away and he realizes that maybe the person standing in front of him was not worth the hero worship he had putting on his shoulders all these years. He wonders if this is what Krug is, and in a moment of retrospect he wonders what that makes him.

The biggest damage done though is in the eyes of Sadie. They all look at the blood on themselves as they realize who they really are, but Sadie actually tries to wipe the blood off. She starts rubbing the palm of her hands into her pants to try and make herself clean again. She finally realizes once and for all that it’s a monster standing in front of her and he’s turned her into the same thing. The look on her face says that everything has just changed and will never be the same.

The only one of the group to not take part in this scene is Junior. He is separated from the scene because he did not take part in the violence, and because he already knew what Krug was.

The three exchange a glance between each other as Mari walks away in the background. They are at a turning point in their lives, even if they don’t realize it. Realizing who they are for the briefest of moments they have the ability to change, but they don’t. The moment passes and in a moment of self-awareness Krug decides to accept the person he has become and He walks away a now and forever a monster.

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When he kills Mari it’s cold and impersonal. We don’t even see the killing blow. Instead of the stabbing her he pulls out a gun and shoots her as she stands in the pond trying to make herself clean again. He shoots her once and she goes down. He lines up to shoots her again, we cut to Mari’s home and her dog. We hear the gunshot in the distance signaling her end.

From this point on, they are the same people, but something is different. There is a tension between them that didn’t exist before. We no longer get the weird comedic banter between them. For what it is, it’s an oddly beautiful sequence that shows humanity in such a stark and real manner.

After this we enter into the final act of the movie.

The group goes to the nearby house, which was Mari’s parents’ house, and seeks refuge for the night since their car is broken down. The parents have shown themselves to be good people throughout the movie and this trend continues. Even though under the circumstances no one could blame them from turning the strangers away, they allow them into the house. Offering them shelter for the night until they can get the car towed in the morning.

They even go as far as giving Krug and Sadie their missing daughter Mari’s bedroom. As the night progresses the parents begin to put two and two together and realize that these people are not what they seem. They go out into the woods and find their daughter dead in the pond. From this point on we watch as the parents civility gets stripped away and they take out vengeance on the group.

It’s fun to point out that we get shades of Elm Street to come as we watch the father foreshadow Nancy preparing the house for Freddy by setting up traps for Krug while the mother seduces Weasel and takes him out into the night.

Weasel is the first to die. The mother literally bites his manhood off. He dies screaming bleeding to death as the mother washes her mouth out in a river. We then cut to Krug and Sadie coming away after hearing the screams from outside. They find the father standing over them, shot gun in hand. Krug kills the lights and the father fires into the darkness. A fight ensues. It is insinuated that Sadie may have been hurt because we don’t see her for several beats.

The fight comes to crescendo with the father chasing down krug with a chainsaw. Krug still thinking he is on top, momentarily regains the upper hand but before he could do anything Junior shows back up, armed with Krugs handgun. The same gun he killed Mari with. Now Junior points the gun at Krug.

Krug shows no fear though. He knows his son won’t shoot him. Instead Krug stands face to face with Junior and begins bullies him into taking his own life. As Junior lays dead a look of disappointment crossed Krugs face. He is losing control and he knows it. It all slips out of his hands as Sadie shows up, alive with a knife in her hand. He turns to her for help against the man coming at him with a Chainsaw, but instead she finally sees her chance for freedom. She cuts at him with the night hoping to run off into the better life she talked about with Junior at the beginning of the film.

Krug faced with emanate death, does what all bullies do. He turns coward and tries to run, but he can’t get away. One of the traps the father set for hum is sprung and Krug goes down. As this happens we see the mother on the outside of the house run up to the Sadie who has fallen into the swimming pool in the dark and ruthlessly slit her throat.

As the father moves in for the kill the police, impotent to stop the violence up to this point, arrive. They try to stop the father, but their attempts are halfhearted at best. Again we don’t see the violence, we see the faces react to the violence as the father proceeds to cut Krug to pieces with the chainsaw.

The movie ends in a scene that mirrors the earlier scene when Krug and Crew look at each other, realizing who they are. The Parents sit in the middle of the room holding each other. Their heads are hung and their hearts are sad over what they have just done. The Deputy steps up and attempts to remove the chainsaw the father is still holding.

He lets it go.

He lets it go because unlike Krug, they are not monsters. They are just two people who found themselves in a horrible situation and didn’t know how to react in anything but violence. They are not violent people, but at the end they found it to be the only solution. The film freeze frames on them showing that they are going to live the rest of their lives haunted by the ghosts of their daughter and the deeds they committed that day.

It also hints at hope. Because while they will never get over it, they are holding each other showing that they will always be there for each other.

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And thus ends Last House on the Left. It is not Wes Craven’s most remembered work, but to me I think it’s his most powerful and most meaningful. Its an important work that deserves to be seen.

I met David Hess, the actor who played Krug, once at a convention. I walked up to him and was struck instantly about how nice he was and how different he was from his character. We chatted about Last House and a Christmas horror movie he had done for about twenty minutes. He was very much that guy who pleasant voice who sang the songs in the movie and not the monster he was on the screen. We joked back and forth and afterwards he shook my hand as he handed me the autographed picture I had purchased.

As his hand closed around mine and my hand took the picture, his face changed and he gave me that Krug Stillo smirk and said “Now Blow your Brains Out”. We both laughed, him genuine and friendly, me uncomfortable and shaken. I had to sit down for a moment afterwards it had affected me so strongly. That moment scared me ALMOST as badly as years earlier when I made that boy cry whispering “what ever you do, don’t fall asleep” in his ear.

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Movie: Transformers: The Movie (1986)

Transformers: The Movie

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On the 17th of September in the year 1984, the first episode of The Transformers aired. The title of the episode was More Than meets the eyes. It was a three part episode that introduced us to a rag tag group of freedom fighters called the Autobots who were locked in an eternal struggle with a vile group of tyrants called the Decepticons who wanted to rule the world. The crux of the show was that the Robots could transform from robots into other forms.  The good guys mostly transformed into cars and the bag guys mostly into types of jets and guns, with some exceptions. They spent their time fighting over cubes of energy called Energon so that they could return home. The Autobots to free their home world, the Decepticons to further enslave.

I was Nine when transformers first appeared. Needless to say, I ate it up.

One day shy of a year later on the 16th of September in the year 1985, the cartoon GIJOE: A real American Hero appeared. This show followed a diverse multicultural group of soldiers as they defended the freedom of the entire world against an evil terrorist organization called Cobra.

I was ten. Again, Needless to say, I ate this up as well.

These shows existed for one reason and one reason only. Hasbro wanted to sell toys and they figured what better way to do it then through brightly colored cartoons flooding into our living rooms every day after school. I’ll tell you right now, it worked. I have my Optimus Prime and Unicron on my shelf watching me as I type this, and I had hundreds of GIJOE’s in my youth.

In 1986, in order to sell more toys, and bring in new characters into the mix, Hasbro decided to do bring the Transformers onto the big screen. A year later, they followed suit by bringing GIJOE to the big screen, but in my opinion it didn’t work nearly as well as the Transformers movie.

Again, the purpose of these movies were to sell toys. Lots and lots of toys, and they did. Action figure sales aside, Transformers The Movie did something very unique that had a profound effect on me and the people my age that watched it. I’ll get to that in a minute though. I want to talk about the movie a little bit first.

So if you haven’t seen it, and I don’t blame you if you haven’t, Transformers the movie begins with 20 years into the future. The war between the Autobots and Decepticons has escalated and seems to finally be coming to a head. The movie begins with the Autobots pulling together supplies for what will be their final attack. Before they launch the attack though, the Decepticons hijack their supply ship and use it to slip by the defenses of the Autobots and attack their base on earth directly.

The battle is quick, brutal and both sides suffer major casualties with no clear winner. The Decepticons flee back into space, jettison their wounded before returning to Cybertron to set up their next attack and crown a new ruler. All does not go as planned though, as a new force in the universe steps up and makes his presence known. The Mighty Unicron, a world eater who fears only one thing, the Matrix of Leadership that marks the leadership of the Autobots.

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Unicron rebuilds the fallen Decepticons and tasks them with finding and destroying the Matrix before it can be used against him.  Galvatron, the upgraded leader of the Decepticons starts out on a mission to destroy that Autobots and scatters them across the galaxy before they can regroup to fight the Decepticons and the evil Unicron.

I was eleven. Oh my GOD did I eat it up. It was bright, it was pretty, and it has a soundtrack that still gets my heart racing to this day. I defy anyone to not get pumped when Stan Bush comes on the radio.

Now, as I said, the point of these shows and the point of these movies were to do one thing. Make money selling toys to little kids like me. You have a couple of ways you can do it. You can just start making countless different versions of the existing characters, or you could introduce new characters for us to buy. In order to introduce characters though…….

And that brings us to why I want to talk about Transformers the Movie.

GIJOE was a paramilitary group with an unlimited budget, but even as an Eleven year old, I found it hilarious that they seemingly couldn’t hit the broad side of the barn. In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Leonardo carried a sword and unless he was fighting a Foot soldier robot, he would punch someone with the sword in his hand.

Yes, these shows were violent, yes we would see people shoot at each other and hit each other and fight countless battles, but ultimately no one got hurt. In the end there was no real consequences to the violence. These cartoons were safe and fantasy. When thought you that yes, bad people are out there, but as long as you were a good person and as long as you fought on the side of goodness, nothing bad was going to happen to you.

No one was going to get hurt. We were protected, no one was going to die.

That all changed 7 minutes and 30 seconds into Transformers the movie.

7 minutes and 30 seconds into Transformers the movie Megatron stepped into an Autobots supply shuttle and brutally executed many of the Autobots we grew to love in the first two seasons of the series.

He started by shooting Brawn in the shoulder. Brawns body flips to the side and falls to the ground. Maybe not dead. Maybe just injured. Any thoughts that maybe Brawn was alive, were torn away when Megatron stepped forward and shot Jazz in the chest. Jazz’s body fell back and we literally watched as the lights went out in his eyes and he died in front of us. Then, absentmindedly, the battle is over, a wounded Ironside lays at Megatrons feet begging for mercy. With a sneer on his face, Megatron executes him in front of our eyes.

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At this point in my life, I has already seen countless horror movies and in real life lost love ones. Violence and death were nothing new to me. That being said, up to that point this was one of the most brutal and violent things I had ever seen.

And they didn’t stop there.

We watched as Megatron and Optimus Prime fought to the death. We watched the light color drain away from Optimus Prime as the spark of life left him. Prime, the hero of all heroes. It was like watching one of your parents die.

And still, they didn’t stop there. That wasn’t the end. They didn’t even just take the heroes from us. We watched as they showed that both sides can die, or worse. At one point, the Decepticons toss the wounded Megatron until space with the other wounded warriors so that they will die alone in space. When he comes back as Galvatron we watch as he takes fan favorite villain Starscream and brutally murder him to take his place back as leader of the Decepticons.

Suddenly, that warm safe place that these cartoons provided us was torn away. Suddenly, without any thought or warning, we watched as our Heroes died brutal violent deaths. Executed before our eyes. That safety was gone, and when the show started back up those scars hasn’t healed and those characters were still ripped away from us.

And if it wasn’t enough, were reminded of that lose when they brought back Starscreams ghost and reanimated the corpse of Optimus Prime. It wasn’t the same show, and a lot of us weren’t the same person after that. We were a little darker, we were a little more jaded.

I know this may seem like a strong reaction, but imagine what your reaction would be if at the beginning of the Spongebob Square Pants movie Patrick was murdered. Or if at the beginning of Rugrats the movie, Lil fell down the steps and died and leaving Phil an only child. Or if the Teen Titans cartoon followed the comic books and actually had the Joker beat Robin to death with a crowbar in front of our eyes.

It wouldn’t happen. You wouldn’t see that because it would be out of place in those cartoons, and it was out of place here. Yes, this was a violent cartoon filled with violent acts, but there was no death, there was no pain, there was only action and adventure and excitement.

But we sold that safety to Hasbro so they could make more money introducing new action figures for us to buy.

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Now, I don’t want to make it sound like I’m bitter, because I’m not. I’m grateful to Hasbro, they taught me an important lesion at an age I probably needed to learn it.

I loved the movie, and still do. I think it still holds up and looks great. By far the Animated Transformers movie is the best Transformer movie ever made and my eyes still get wet whenever Optimus Prime says “One Shall Stand, One Shall Fall”. It’s a fun movie and it really gets your blood moving.

But I think it’s an odd choice to make killing them off. Look at GIJOE that came out only a year later. It existed for the same reason, to sell action figures. Instead of killing everyone, they just introduced new groups. No need to kill anyone.

No, for Transformers the Movie they made the choice to brutally murder our heroes before our eyes. To force a generation of children to grow up a little bit and open their eyes to a darker world. I wonder if anything came afterwards that served this function for generations after mine. Anything that forced them to look at the world a different way and accept that heroes can die.

In Memory of Brawn, first Casualty of the great Transformer war of 2005.

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Script: Friday the 13th Part X

So, a little something different this time. I’m sharing the opening of a script I wrote over three months 17 years ago. I had been reading a lot of books on screen writing and wanted to try my hand at it. I didn’t want to ruin an original story so instead i decided to essentially write a fan script to what would have been the 10th Friday the 13th film. The story picks up at the end of Jason Goes to Hell and follows the story of a psychiatrist who brings a group of survivors and family members back to Crystal Lake to confront the ghost of their past, to help them move on from what happened to them.

I’d like to say it was good, but i way over reached. I tossed in everything and the kitchen sink. I worked in references to every movie and tried to build it all into a concise and believable time line. I had returning survivors, i had Vera’s parents from part 3 in it dealing with the guilt over not stopping her from going, Jason’s Dad, At one point after Jason X came out, i even went back into it and tried to include the future home of the Crystal Lake Scientific research center. At one point one of the drafts even took place in the winter. I don’t remember if that was the final draft or  not.

All in total it was a 123 page script that i had a lot of fun with, and have the ability to look back and laugh at where appropriate.

So With out any further adieu, The opening to Friday the 13th Part X.

Enjoy…..  And feel free to laugh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FRIDAY THE 13TH   PART X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FRIDAY THE 13TH Part X 6th Draft

A SCRIPT WRITTEN BY JOSEPH L ZBIEGIEN

10 DECEMBER 1999 TO 22 FEBRUARY, 2000

 

 

FRIDAY THE 13TH Part X  6TH DRAFT

A SCRIPT WRITTEN BY JOSEPH L ZBIEGIEN

10 DECEMBER 1999 TO 22 FEBRUARY, 2000

 

INT: VOORHEES HOUSE

 

WE ARE PEERING OVER THE SHOULDER OF A MAN AS HE WATCHES TWO FIGURES HURRY AWAY ACROSS THE DILAPIDATED YARD AND DOWN THE DRIVEWAY, THEY ARE CARRYING SOMETHING. WE CAN HEAR LABORED BREATHING AS THE WATCHER TRIES TO STEADY HIMSELF. OUR FIRST IMPRESSION IS THAT MAYBE THIS IS JASON. BUT THEN THE CAMERA FLASHES A QUICK STILL OF HIM BEING DRAGGED INTO THE EARTH AT THE END OF JASON GOES TO HELL AND, WE REMEMBER THAT HE IS DEAD.

 

WE SEE A SHOT OF A BABY IN THE MANS HANDS. IT IS  STEVEN AND JESSICA FROM JASON GOES TO HELL. THE FIGURE WATCHES THEM AND THEIR BABY WALK DOWN THE DRIVEWAY AND OUT OF THE MOVIE.

 

VOICE: GOOD, GO THEN. I NEVER NEEDED YOUR HELP ANYWAY. I’LL FINISH THIS BY MYSELF.

 

WE CAN HEAR THE BITTER EDGE IN HIS VOICE AS HE STARTS TO TURN AWAY. BUT THEN HE STOPS AND LOOKS BACK.

 

VOICE: GOOD LUCK…

 

HIS VOICE IS NOW SOFTER AND MORE THEN A LITTLE HOPEFUL.

 

INT: VOORHEES LIVING ROOM.

 

THE VOICE SLUMPS BACK AND BEGINS TO LIMP ACROSS THE VOORHEES LIVING ROOM. AS HE SLUMPS TOWARDS THE CAMERA HE LOOKS UP INTO IT. HIS FACE IS COVERED IN BLOOD, BUT WE STILL RECOGNIZE CREIGHTON DUKE FROM THE LAST MOVEMENT. HE IS LIMPING AND MOVING VERY SLOWLY, HE IS IN A GREAT DEAL OF PAIN AND LOOKS AS IF HE WILL BE DEAD SOON.

 

CREIGHTON: STUPID BASTARD… WHERE DOES HE GET OFF TRYING TO KILL ME… I’M HARDER TO GET RID OF THEN THAT…

 

FLASH BACK: WE SEE CREIGHTON GETTING KILLED IN A SLICK GREASY SLOW MOTION FLASHBACK.  WITH EACH FLASHBACK WE GET A SMALL PORTION OF THE PRE-TITLE SEQUENCE CREDITS.

 

EXT: FRONT YARD VOORHEES HOUSE.

 

CREIGHTON GRUNTS TO HIMSELF AS HE FALLS FOREWORD ONTO HIS KNEES AND THEN ALMOST FACE FIRST INTO THE DUST. HIS HANDS START TO PUSH THROUGH THE DUST, HE’S LOOKING FOR SOMETHING.

 

DUKE: COME ON DAMNIT, I KNOW YOU’RE THERE.

 

DUKE SMILES AND STOPS AS THE CAMERA FIRST SHOWS US HIM, THEN WHAT HE HAS FOUND. IT IS A BRUISED, BATTERED, AND BROKEN VERSION OF JASON’S MASK. ITS BRUTAL HISTORY IS DISPLAYED IN ITS MANY BATTLE SCARS.

 

DUKES FINGERS SLIP INTO THE EYE HOLES AS HE STUMBLES TO HIS FEET, THE MASK HANGING AT HIS SIDE. WE NOTICE FOR THE FIRST TIME THAT HIS ABDOMEN IS SOAKED WITH BLOOD. HIS OTHER HAND SEEMS TO HANG PROTECTIVELY OVER THE SOFT WOUNDED FLESH.

 

DUKE: NOW WE CAN FINISH THIS THING RIGHT…..

 

HE BEGINS TO COUGH, A BLOOD BUBBLE BREAKS UPON HIS LIPS AS HE MOVES FOREWORD. THE PAIN IS EVIDENT IN EVERY MOVE HE MAKES.

 

FLASHBACK: A MONTAGE OF JASON DYING. FIRST FROM JASON GOES TO HELL, THEN FROM JASON GOES TO MANHATTAN, THEN FINALLY FROM THE NEW BLOOD.

 

NOTE: THESE THREE DEATHS ARE VERY IMPORTANT, THEY SET THE STAGE TO BRING JASON BACK TO LIFE, AND ALSO TO EXPLAIN THE CONTINUITY ERRORS IN THE LAST THREE FILMS.

 

INT:  TRUCK CAB

 

CREIGHTON CHUCKLES TO HIMSELF AS HE CLIMBS INTO THE CAB OF A LIGHT BLUE PICKUP TRUCK. BLOOD DRIBBLES DOWN HIS FACE. HE TOSSES THE MASK ONTO THE SEAT NEXT TO HIM, IT LANDS FACE UP AND ALMOST SEEMS TO LEER AT US. A SHIVER RUNS UP CREIGHTON SPINE AS HE LOOKS DOWN ON IT.  HE TAKES HIS SIGNATURE COWBOY HAT OFF AND SETS IT OVER THE MASK.

 

FLASHBACK: PART SIX, A NEW BLOOD. WE SEE TINA FREEING JASON. IMPORTANT FLASHBACK. AGAIN, A SLOW MOTION BLACK AND WHITE FLASHBACK.

 

EXT: BEACH AT CRYSTAL LAKE

 

CREIGHTON STUMBLES FROM THE CAB OF THE TRUCK LEAVING THE ENGINE RUNNING AND THE HEAD LIGHTS GLOWING ACROSS THE CALM SURFACE OF CRYSTAL LAKE. AS HE LIMPS TOWARD THE BEACH, THUNDER CRACKLES OUT IN THE CLEAR SKY AND LIGHTNING CAN BE SEEN IN THE DISTANCE. THE STARS DANCE JUST BEYOND THEM.

 

DUKE: WHAT THE FUCK…

 

HE HOLDS OUT HIS HAND, BLACK RAIN HITS IT. RAIN FALLING FROM NO WHERE.

 

DUKE: OKAY, I MADE IT THIS FAR, NO BACKING DOWN DUKE….

 

HE SLOWLY WALKS TO THE VERY EDGE OF THE LAKE, SO CLOSE THAT THE WAVES CRASH AROUND HIS BOOTS. HE WINDS HIS ARM BACK, LIGHTNING FLASHES MOMENTARILY AS WE SEE JASON’S MASK FROZEN IN THE CENTER OF THE SCREEN, THE MOON VISIBLE THROUGH ONE OF THE EYE SOCKETS.

 

CREIGHTON SCREAMS AS HE HURLS IT INTO THE LAKE. THE MASK BREAKS THE SURFACE OF THE LAKE SENDING RIPPLES SPREADING ACROSS AT A DIZZYING PACE. THE SKY BEGINS TO RUMBLE AS STEAM SUDDENLY JET OUT OF THE WATER AND FINALLY CONCEAL THE STARS AND THE MOON.

 

DUKE: OKAY BOY, NOW IT’S TIME TO PLAY.

 

HE STANDS THERE TENSED. READY. HE RESEMBLES A WOUNDED AND DESPERATE ANIMAL PREPARING TO STRIKE. AS THE CLOUDS SETTLE AND THE THUNDER STRIKES WE THINK WE CAN HEAR THE SOUND OF CHAINS FAILING TO THE GROUND. CHAINS LIKE THE ONES COVERING JASON THE LAST TIME HE WENT INTO THE LAKE.

 

DUKE: I KNOW YOUR’E STILL OUT THERE. (YELLING) COME ON OUT AND PLAY YOU BASTARD!!

 

WE HERE BUBBLING WATER AS HIS HAND REACHES INTO AN INSIDE POCKET OF HIS JACKET. WE SEE THAT HE IS NOW HOLDING THE SOUL DAGGER FROM THE LAST MOVIE. A SMALL SMIRK CROSSES HIS LIPS AS HE WATCHES THE WATER.

 

FLASHBACK: AGAIN WE SEE TINA STANDING BY THE LAKE CONCENTRATING AS THE WATER BUBBLES.

 

THE WATER IS BUBBLING AND CHURNING RAPIDLY. IT SHOULD TAKE THE VIEWER A SECOND TO REALIZE WE HAVE FALLEN OUT OF FLASHBACK. DUKE CLOSES HIS EYES AND UTTERS A SILENT PRAYER.

 

A GUN SHOT RINGS OUT ACROSS THE LAKE, DUKES EYES BULGE OUTWARDS AS HE SLUMPS FOREWORD TO ONE KNEE. BLOOD SEEPS DOWN HIS SHOULDER AS HE TURNS TOWARDS HIS TRUCKS, SLOWLY RAISING THE DAGGER IN A DEFENSIVE POSTURE.

 

WE SEE SOMETHING STANDING IN FRONT OF THE TRUCK. THE HEADLIGHTS KEEP US FROM SEEING EXACTLY WHO, OR WHAT IT IS. IT IS SAFE TO ASSUME THAT IT IS NOT JASON, SINCE JASON CANNOT OPERATE A GUN. FOR NOW WE SHALL CALL THIS PERSON THE FIGURE. WE CAN SEE THE GUN IN HIS HAND TRAINED ON CREIGHTON.

 

ANOTHER GUNSHOT RINGS OUT AS THE DAGGER FLIES FROM HIS HAND AND SKITTERS ACROSS THE BEACH. A SCREAM ESCAPES HIS LIPS AS HE FALLS BACK ONTO THE BEACH, HIS EYES FOLLOW THE ARC OF THE DAGGER, NOW LYING JUST OUT OF REACH.

 

HE STARTS TOO CRAWLY FOR IT. ANOTHER GUNSHOT HITS THE DIRT NEXT TO HIM, AS HIS FINGERS BRUSH THE HILT, THE BEACH SEEMS TO OPEN UP LIKE SAND DRAINING FROM AN HOUR GLASS. THE DAGGER FOLLOWS THE SAND DOWNWARD, DISAPPEARING FROM SIGHT. ONCE GONE THE BEACH CLOSES BACK UP AS IF NOTHING HAPPENED.

 

DUKE: (COUGHING) FINE WITH ME, I DON’T NEED IT, THAT WAS A LIE TOO, JUST LIKE THE REST OF THAT SHIT.

 

SUDDENLY A HAND GRABS HIS HAIR FROM BEHIND AND FORCES HIS HEAD BACK. SHOCK REGISTERS ON DUKES FACE, BOTH FOR THE SPEED AT WITCH HE WAS CAUGHT OF GUARD, AND FOR WHAT HE SEES BY THE LAKE. THE FIGURE SEEMS TO BE HOLDING HIM THEIR MAKING HIM WATCH.

 

DUKE: NO!!  (SCREAMS) NOT LIKE THIS…  I HAVE TO STOP HIM…

 

BEFORE WE CAN TURN TO SEE WHAT HE’S LOOKING, THE FIGURES OTHER HAND COMES DOWN, AND A LARGE HUNTING KNIFE SITS NESTLED IN THE CROOK OF THE BLACK GLOVED HAND. THE KNIFE GLINTS IN THE MOON BRIEFLY BEFORE SLASHING OUT ACROSS DUKES NECK. BLOOD BEGINS TO POUR DOWN ONLY TO MIX WITH THE RAIN. DUKES EYES ROLL BACK IN HIS HEAD AS THE FIGURE LETS HIM FALL TO THE GROUND, DEAD.

 

LAUGHTER FILLS THE AIR AS THE CAMERA RISES UP LEAVING DUKES BODY LYING IN THE RAIN, WE SEE THE FIGURE TURN AND WALK AWAY. WE ARE GREETED WITH ONE LAST SHOT OF DUKES FACE, BEFORE:

 

THE CAMERA TURNS AND FINALLY SHOWS US WHAT IT WAS THAT DUKE WAS LOOKING AT.  JASON STANDS AT THE EDGE OF THE LAKE, WATER DRIPS DOWN FROM HIS BODY AS HIS CHEST HEAVES, TAKING IN AIR FOR THE FIRST TIME IN YEARS.  THE MUSIC THUNDERS THROUGH THE THEATER, BUILDING TO ALMOST DEFINING TEMPO AS THE CAMERA FLIES IN ON HIM. HE LOOKS UP AT US, STARING DIRECTLY INTO THE CENTER OF THE CAMERA AS IT RUSHES TOWARDS HIM. WHEN THE CAMERA REACHES THE POINT THAT HIS MASK FILLS THE SCREEN EVERYTHING STOPS AND THEN QUICKLY FADES TO TOTAL DARKNESS.

 

A FEW SECOND PAUSE, SILENCE FILLS THE THEATER, THEN, WE HERE THE FAMILIAR FRIDAY THE 13TH THEME. FOR THE FIRST FEW SECONDS WE HEAR ONLY THE MUSIC AND SEE ONLY DARKNESS: THEN,

 

TITTLE SEQUENCE.

 

FRIDAY THE 13 KILLER THEME PLAYS OVER THE OPENING CREDITS. THE OPENING WILL BE THE ONLY TIME OTHER THEN AFTER THE END CREDITS THAT THIS THEME PLAYS.

 

TITTLE CARD READS

 

FRIDAY THE 13TH

 

IN THE DISTANCE WE SEE AN X RUSHING TOWARDS THE SCREEN. WHEN IT REACHES THE TITTLE IT SUDDENLY SEEMS AS IF THE TITLE IS WRITTEN ON A PAIN OF GLASS. THAT PAIN SHATTERS, FILLING THE SCREEN WITH A GIANT MONSTROUS BLACK X, BLOOD SPLATTERS ACROSS IT.

 

BEGIN CREDITS

 

OPENING CREDITS RUN OVER A MONTAGE OF BLACK AND WHITE FEW FRAME SHOTS OF KILLS FROM EARLIER MOVIES.

 

END CREDITS

 

INT: CABIN

 

WE ARE MOVING ACROSS THE FLOOR OF A CABIN AT A RATHER BRISK PACE. THE CABIN IS OLD AND DECREPIT. THERE IS DUST AND COB WEBS COVERING EVERYTHING. AS A RAT STEPS FOREWORD IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA THE SCREEN READS:

 

WEDNESDAY THE 11TH, JUNE 2001

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FRIDAY THE 13TH   PART X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FRIDAY THE 13TH Part X 6th Draft

A SCRIPT WRITTEN BY JOSEPH L ZBIEGIEN

10 DECEMBER 1999 TO 22 FEBRUARY, 2000

 

 

FRIDAY THE 13TH Part X  6TH DRAFT

A SCRIPT WRITTEN BY JOSEPH L ZBIEGIEN

10 DECEMBER 1999 TO 22 FEBRUARY, 2000

 

INT: VOORHEES HOUSE

 

WE ARE PEERING OVER THE SHOULDER OF A MAN AS HE WATCHES TWO FIGURES HURRY AWAY ACROSS THE DILAPIDATED YARD AND DOWN THE DRIVEWAY, THEY ARE CARRYING SOMETHING. WE CAN HEAR LABORED BREATHING AS THE WATCHER TRIES TO STEADY HIMSELF. OUR FIRST IMPRESSION IS THAT MAYBE THIS IS JASON. BUT THEN THE CAMERA FLASHES A QUICK STILL OF HIM BEING DRAGGED INTO THE EARTH AT THE END OF JASON GOES TO HELL AND, WE REMEMBER THAT HE IS DEAD.

 

WE SEE A SHOT OF A BABY IN THE MANS HANDS. IT IS  STEVEN AND JESSICA FROM JASON GOES TO HELL. THE FIGURE WATCHES THEM AND THEIR BABY WALK DOWN THE DRIVEWAY AND OUT OF THE MOVIE.

 

VOICE: GOOD, GO THEN. I NEVER NEEDED YOUR HELP ANYWAY. I’LL FINISH THIS BY MYSELF.

 

WE CAN HEAR THE BITTER EDGE IN HIS VOICE AS HE STARTS TO TURN AWAY. BUT THEN HE STOPS AND LOOKS BACK.

 

VOICE: GOOD LUCK…

 

HIS VOICE IS NOW SOFTER AND MORE THEN A LITTLE HOPEFUL.

 

INT: VOORHEES LIVING ROOM.

 

THE VOICE SLUMPS BACK AND BEGINS TO LIMP ACROSS THE VOORHEES LIVING ROOM. AS HE SLUMPS TOWARDS THE CAMERA HE LOOKS UP INTO IT. HIS FACE IS COVERED IN BLOOD, BUT WE STILL RECOGNIZE CREIGHTON DUKE FROM THE LAST MOVEMENT. HE IS LIMPING AND MOVING VERY SLOWLY, HE IS IN A GREAT DEAL OF PAIN AND LOOKS AS IF HE WILL BE DEAD SOON.

 

CREIGHTON: STUPID BASTARD… WHERE DOES HE GET OFF TRYING TO KILL ME… I’M HARDER TO GET RID OF THEN THAT…

 

FLASH BACK: WE SEE CREIGHTON GETTING KILLED IN A SLICK GREASY SLOW MOTION FLASHBACK.  WITH EACH FLASHBACK WE GET A SMALL PORTION OF THE PRE-TITLE SEQUENCE CREDITS.

 

EXT: FRONT YARD VOORHEES HOUSE.

 

CREIGHTON GRUNTS TO HIMSELF AS HE FALLS FOREWORD ONTO HIS KNEES AND THEN ALMOST FACE FIRST INTO THE DUST. HIS HANDS START TO PUSH THROUGH THE DUST, HE’S LOOKING FOR SOMETHING.

 

DUKE: COME ON DAMNIT, I KNOW YOU’RE THERE.

 

DUKE SMILES AND STOPS AS THE CAMERA FIRST SHOWS US HIM, THEN WHAT HE HAS FOUND. IT IS A BRUISED, BATTERED, AND BROKEN VERSION OF JASON’S MASK. ITS BRUTAL HISTORY IS DISPLAYED IN ITS MANY BATTLE SCARS.

 

DUKES FINGERS SLIP INTO THE EYE HOLES AS HE STUMBLES TO HIS FEET, THE MASK HANGING AT HIS SIDE. WE NOTICE FOR THE FIRST TIME THAT HIS ABDOMEN IS SOAKED WITH BLOOD. HIS OTHER HAND SEEMS TO HANG PROTECTIVELY OVER THE SOFT WOUNDED FLESH.

 

DUKE: NOW WE CAN FINISH THIS THING RIGHT…..

 

HE BEGINS TO COUGH, A BLOOD BUBBLE BREAKS UPON HIS LIPS AS HE MOVES FOREWORD. THE PAIN IS EVIDENT IN EVERY MOVE HE MAKES.

 

FLASHBACK: A MONTAGE OF JASON DYING. FIRST FROM JASON GOES TO HELL, THEN FROM JASON GOES TO MANHATTAN, THEN FINALLY FROM THE NEW BLOOD.

 

NOTE: THESE THREE DEATHS ARE VERY IMPORTANT, THEY SET THE STAGE TO BRING JASON BACK TO LIFE, AND ALSO TO EXPLAIN THE CONTINUITY ERRORS IN THE LAST THREE FILMS.

 

INT:  TRUCK CAB

 

CREIGHTON CHUCKLES TO HIMSELF AS HE CLIMBS INTO THE CAB OF A LIGHT BLUE PICKUP TRUCK. BLOOD DRIBBLES DOWN HIS FACE. HE TOSSES THE MASK ONTO THE SEAT NEXT TO HIM, IT LANDS FACE UP AND ALMOST SEEMS TO LEER AT US. A SHIVER RUNS UP CREIGHTON SPINE AS HE LOOKS DOWN ON IT.  HE TAKES HIS SIGNATURE COWBOY HAT OFF AND SETS IT OVER THE MASK.

 

FLASHBACK: PART SIX, A NEW BLOOD. WE SEE TINA FREEING JASON. IMPORTANT FLASHBACK. AGAIN, A SLOW MOTION BLACK AND WHITE FLASHBACK.

 

EXT: BEACH AT CRYSTAL LAKE

 

CREIGHTON STUMBLES FROM THE CAB OF THE TRUCK LEAVING THE ENGINE RUNNING AND THE HEAD LIGHTS GLOWING ACROSS THE CALM SURFACE OF CRYSTAL LAKE. AS HE LIMPS TOWARD THE BEACH, THUNDER CRACKLES OUT IN THE CLEAR SKY AND LIGHTNING CAN BE SEEN IN THE DISTANCE. THE STARS DANCE JUST BEYOND THEM.

 

DUKE: WHAT THE FUCK…

 

HE HOLDS OUT HIS HAND, BLACK RAIN HITS IT. RAIN FALLING FROM NO WHERE.

 

DUKE: OKAY, I MADE IT THIS FAR, NO BACKING DOWN DUKE….

 

HE SLOWLY WALKS TO THE VERY EDGE OF THE LAKE, SO CLOSE THAT THE WAVES CRASH AROUND HIS BOOTS. HE WINDS HIS ARM BACK, LIGHTNING FLASHES MOMENTARILY AS WE SEE JASON’S MASK FROZEN IN THE CENTER OF THE SCREEN, THE MOON VISIBLE THROUGH ONE OF THE EYE SOCKETS.

 

CREIGHTON SCREAMS AS HE HURLS IT INTO THE LAKE. THE MASK BREAKS THE SURFACE OF THE LAKE SENDING RIPPLES SPREADING ACROSS AT A DIZZYING PACE. THE SKY BEGINS TO RUMBLE AS STEAM SUDDENLY JET OUT OF THE WATER AND FINALLY CONCEAL THE STARS AND THE MOON.

 

DUKE: OKAY BOY, NOW IT’S TIME TO PLAY.

 

HE STANDS THERE TENSED. READY. HE RESEMBLES A WOUNDED AND DESPERATE ANIMAL PREPARING TO STRIKE. AS THE CLOUDS SETTLE AND THE THUNDER STRIKES WE THINK WE CAN HEAR THE SOUND OF CHAINS FAILING TO THE GROUND. CHAINS LIKE THE ONES COVERING JASON THE LAST TIME HE WENT INTO THE LAKE.

 

DUKE: I KNOW YOUR’E STILL OUT THERE. (YELLING) COME ON OUT AND PLAY YOU BASTARD!!

 

WE HERE BUBBLING WATER AS HIS HAND REACHES INTO AN INSIDE POCKET OF HIS JACKET. WE SEE THAT HE IS NOW HOLDING THE SOUL DAGGER FROM THE LAST MOVIE. A SMALL SMIRK CROSSES HIS LIPS AS HE WATCHES THE WATER.

 

FLASHBACK: AGAIN WE SEE TINA STANDING BY THE LAKE CONCENTRATING AS THE WATER BUBBLES.

 

THE WATER IS BUBBLING AND CHURNING RAPIDLY. IT SHOULD TAKE THE VIEWER A SECOND TO REALIZE WE HAVE FALLEN OUT OF FLASHBACK. DUKE CLOSES HIS EYES AND UTTERS A SILENT PRAYER.

 

A GUN SHOT RINGS OUT ACROSS THE LAKE, DUKES EYES BULGE OUTWARDS AS HE SLUMPS FOREWORD TO ONE KNEE. BLOOD SEEPS DOWN HIS SHOULDER AS HE TURNS TOWARDS HIS TRUCKS, SLOWLY RAISING THE DAGGER IN A DEFENSIVE POSTURE.

 

WE SEE SOMETHING STANDING IN FRONT OF THE TRUCK. THE HEADLIGHTS KEEP US FROM SEEING EXACTLY WHO, OR WHAT IT IS. IT IS SAFE TO ASSUME THAT IT IS NOT JASON, SINCE JASON CANNOT OPERATE A GUN. FOR NOW WE SHALL CALL THIS PERSON THE FIGURE. WE CAN SEE THE GUN IN HIS HAND TRAINED ON CREIGHTON.

 

ANOTHER GUNSHOT RINGS OUT AS THE DAGGER FLIES FROM HIS HAND AND SKITTERS ACROSS THE BEACH. A SCREAM ESCAPES HIS LIPS AS HE FALLS BACK ONTO THE BEACH, HIS EYES FOLLOW THE ARC OF THE DAGGER, NOW LYING JUST OUT OF REACH.

 

HE STARTS TOO CRAWLY FOR IT. ANOTHER GUNSHOT HITS THE DIRT NEXT TO HIM, AS HIS FINGERS BRUSH THE HILT, THE BEACH SEEMS TO OPEN UP LIKE SAND DRAINING FROM AN HOUR GLASS. THE DAGGER FOLLOWS THE SAND DOWNWARD, DISAPPEARING FROM SIGHT. ONCE GONE THE BEACH CLOSES BACK UP AS IF NOTHING HAPPENED.

 

DUKE: (COUGHING) FINE WITH ME, I DON’T NEED IT, THAT WAS A LIE TOO, JUST LIKE THE REST OF THAT SHIT.

 

SUDDENLY A HAND GRABS HIS HAIR FROM BEHIND AND FORCES HIS HEAD BACK. SHOCK REGISTERS ON DUKES FACE, BOTH FOR THE SPEED AT WITCH HE WAS CAUGHT OF GUARD, AND FOR WHAT HE SEES BY THE LAKE. THE FIGURE SEEMS TO BE HOLDING HIM THEIR MAKING HIM WATCH.

 

DUKE: NO!!  (SCREAMS) NOT LIKE THIS…  I HAVE TO STOP HIM…

 

BEFORE WE CAN TURN TO SEE WHAT HE’S LOOKING, THE FIGURES OTHER HAND COMES DOWN, AND A LARGE HUNTING KNIFE SITS NESTLED IN THE CROOK OF THE BLACK GLOVED HAND. THE KNIFE GLINTS IN THE MOON BRIEFLY BEFORE SLASHING OUT ACROSS DUKES NECK. BLOOD BEGINS TO POUR DOWN ONLY TO MIX WITH THE RAIN. DUKES EYES ROLL BACK IN HIS HEAD AS THE FIGURE LETS HIM FALL TO THE GROUND, DEAD.

 

LAUGHTER FILLS THE AIR AS THE CAMERA RISES UP LEAVING DUKES BODY LYING IN THE RAIN, WE SEE THE FIGURE TURN AND WALK AWAY. WE ARE GREETED WITH ONE LAST SHOT OF DUKES FACE, BEFORE:

 

THE CAMERA TURNS AND FINALLY SHOWS US WHAT IT WAS THAT DUKE WAS LOOKING AT.  JASON STANDS AT THE EDGE OF THE LAKE, WATER DRIPS DOWN FROM HIS BODY AS HIS CHEST HEAVES, TAKING IN AIR FOR THE FIRST TIME IN YEARS.  THE MUSIC THUNDERS THROUGH THE THEATER, BUILDING TO ALMOST DEFINING TEMPO AS THE CAMERA FLIES IN ON HIM. HE LOOKS UP AT US, STARING DIRECTLY INTO THE CENTER OF THE CAMERA AS IT RUSHES TOWARDS HIM. WHEN THE CAMERA REACHES THE POINT THAT HIS MASK FILLS THE SCREEN EVERYTHING STOPS AND THEN QUICKLY FADES TO TOTAL DARKNESS.

 

A FEW SECOND PAUSE, SILENCE FILLS THE THEATER, THEN, WE HERE THE FAMILIAR FRIDAY THE 13TH THEME. FOR THE FIRST FEW SECONDS WE HEAR ONLY THE MUSIC AND SEE ONLY DARKNESS: THEN,

 

TITTLE SEQUENCE.

 

FRIDAY THE 13 KILLER THEME PLAYS OVER THE OPENING CREDITS. THE OPENING WILL BE THE ONLY TIME OTHER THEN AFTER THE END CREDITS THAT THIS THEME PLAYS.

 

TITTLE CARD READS

 

FRIDAY THE 13TH

 

IN THE DISTANCE WE SEE AN X RUSHING TOWARDS THE SCREEN. WHEN IT REACHES THE TITTLE IT SUDDENLY SEEMS AS IF THE TITLE IS WRITTEN ON A PAIN OF GLASS. THAT PAIN SHATTERS, FILLING THE SCREEN WITH A GIANT MONSTROUS BLACK X, BLOOD SPLATTERS ACROSS IT.

 

BEGIN CREDITS

 

OPENING CREDITS RUN OVER A MONTAGE OF BLACK AND WHITE FEW FRAME SHOTS OF KILLS FROM EARLIER MOVIES.

 

END CREDITS

 

INT: CABIN

 

WE ARE MOVING ACROSS THE FLOOR OF A CABIN AT A RATHER BRISK PACE. THE CABIN IS OLD AND DECREPIT. THERE IS DUST AND COB WEBS COVERING EVERYTHING. AS A RAT STEPS FOREWORD IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA THE SCREEN READS:

 

WEDNESDAY THE 11TH, JUNE 2001

Story: A Conversation at the End of the World.

This is about half of a short story that will be included in my new collection. It’s a Science Fiction story, that i hope you like. I’m only posting half to help encourage people to buy the new book when it comes out. If you read what is here and you like it, please let me know.

– jlz

 

A conversation at the end of the world

A short story

-by

Joseph L Zbiegien

 

How it was that Lupus Sorrell found himself sitting on a log at the end of the world watching it all burn, is immaterial to the story at hand. As you might imagine, it wasn’t easy to be the last man alive, but in his mind he really did deserve it. Why wouldn’t he deserve it? In his eyes, he was just as good as the guy standing next to him. Sure he had done some shady things and in has past, and yes, he had hurt people to get to where he was, but really… Did any of it matter anyway?

Who was left to judge him, and at the end of the day he was the only one who really mattered anyway.

No matter how many people he hurt along the way, no matter how many lives he turned his back on, they were all dead. They all had died so Lupus could stand at the end as he stood his entire life. Alone. A middle aged car salesman with a hairline rapidly moving farther away from his eyebrows, a pronounced over bite that braces only seemed to make worse and a belly that, as his grandmother used to say, dunlap over his belt buckle.

For a while their though! For a while he had really been something. Something special. For the just a few minutes before it all fell apart he had caught that tiger by the tail and was going to ride it for all he was worth. People looked up to him and they smiled and felt proud just because they knew him. They looked gave him that same look he always gave himself in the mirror every morning.

Stardust and awe.

Well, that was before all this. The end of the world and all. Really, it started to fall apart before that. It started when the stories started to get out. The ones that told people what kind of a man Lupus Sorrell really was.

Again, that was all ancient history and didn’t matter anyone. Those people, they were dead now.

The TV stations had gone dark months ago, and the last radio signals stopped broadcasting not long after. It had been a week since he had seen anyone else, and that had been from a far way off. It had been in town, his town. It was his town once, and as far as he was concerned he owned it again. It was all his, every brick and every pane of glass.

He had been eating his lunch in the library when he heard someone screaming. Yelling for help, a soft little helpless voice. A sad voice. It was a little girl. No more than. She was walking through town, yelling for anyone. Someone to come out of the darkness and save her, but Lupus Sorrell was not that man. He knew sooner or later, if the packs of wild dogs didn’t get to her, THEY would. They would come down from the skies and kill her just like they did everyone else.

Lupus wasn’t the smartest man in the world….  Or rather, at this point he supposed he was the smartest man in the world. Everyone else was dead, so he was the tallest, the shortest, the ugliest and the most beautiful all at the same time. Just a middle aged man on a log drinking a beer and eating a cheese sandwich. He laughed out loud to himself, he had won. He always knew he would win.

Still, he wondered if it was worth it. Maybe he could have been a better person….

The fires had reached Lupus yesterday around noon time. He was in the church tower shooting out windows when he saw the smoke on the horizon. It would still be at least a day before the fire reached him, so as soon as he saw it, he climbed to the roof so that he could watch the hordes. He had heard all about them on the radio before it died.

Wild crazed hordes of animals of all shapes and sizes running from the fire. Rats by the legion devouring everything in sight. What would that look like…? He didn’t get to see it though. They never came. It was with a great sadness that he realized that the air had been burning for so long, no one could outrun that. No one had the strength.

One by one as they ran, they must have dropped, exhaustion over taken them. If they weren’t crushed by those around them, the fires took them and burnt their flesh away. The thought made his hand shake and chased his appetite away.

That night he dreamt of an ocean of rats and insects burning from the inside out.

When he woke, the smoke was still in the distance, but it looked like the horizon itself had moved closer. No, that’s not right. The smoke was the horizon, it had eaten. The smoke was closer then he realized. A thick red smoke pushing across the sky, setting fire to the very air as it rolled towards him. He knew another morning would never come, instead just smoke and fire.

He had seen some shots on the TV, and oh how beautiful he found them. It didn’t burn like real fire. It rolled in waves and moved like air turned to water. Real fire was red, and hot, and fierce. This fire though, it burnt in so many colors, reds and green and blues. It was so cold they said. They radio waves said it somehow froze you and burnt you all at the same time.

So it was that Lupus Sorrell decided he would climb the hill at the edge of town, to a log he knew from high school that you could see everything from. Even the house of that girl who broke his heart. What was her name? They were so young. He tried to remember as he climbed, but he just couldn’t. He could see bits of her face, and the color of her hair, auburn, but her name… It was gone.

For a moment that struck him as sad. He stopped to wonder where she was… but she was dead. Just like the rest of them. Just as dead as he was going to be soon enough. At least, though, he was going to be able to watch it coming.

It was with a smile on his face that he sat eating his lunch and drinking some beers and watching the smoke inch ever closer brining the end with it. From time to time he could see the tinges of blue and green flam dancing across the now mutable horizon. It was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. It reminded him of a sunset that didn’t know it was supposed to end

Nature in all its destructive nature. Well, probably not nature.

He didn’t know who was at fault, but he suspected. He had watched the news reports just like everyone else. They all saw the pictures on the internet before the government shut it down. The silver ships in the sky and the grey men on the white house lawn.

Before the tv went out the president spewed an insane rant across the airwaves about aliens setting fire to our air and launched an all-out attack against the skies above us.

It was a short war and it was a messy war, and if the rumors were to be believed, the aliens never fired a shot. Instead we fought against ourselves and ran our pushed our own ideology. Who cared that we were all going to die, what mattered was that everyone knew we were right before the lights went out.

What no one really talked about though, even though we all knew it, was that the news had started talking about the fires BEFORE the alien ships had come. It started off as a burning oil rig off the coast of Mexico. A strange smoke on the horizon that didn’t seem to want to stop.

That ship was something to blame, no one wanted to admit we were at fault so we searched for something to blame. Something they could throw a rock at and hold fast against the coming darkness. Shit, Lupus laughed to himself as he downed his beer. Hopefully whatever comes next would do a better job, Lupus knew in his heart that it was his tribe that had fucked this world over, not the guys in the ship.

He was on his third beer when he realized he no longer alone.

Movie: Saturn 3 (1980)

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Saturn 3. 

 

It’s funny, my memory is terrible. I can’t always remember what day of the week is, or what I walked into the room for. I can’t count the amount of times that I’ve picked up something I was looking for and looked under it in an attempt to find it. I can usually remember my kid’s birthday, but I almost always get the year wrong. My dad was a heavy pot smoker, so I blame genetic damage for my memory issues. Or it could just be my forties….  That being said, I can describe for you in detail, the first time I saw Saturn 3. I wasn’t in the living room, it was in the family room off the dining room. I was watching it on the grey 25 inch color TV that sat on the wooden table in front of the window to the side porch. I’d say I watched it from the brown rocking chair, but that would be a lie. I actually watched it from either behind the rocking chair, or standing in the dining room looking back around the corner at the TV.

 

As a kid, only a handful of movies scared me like Saturn 3 did, and I can remember each and every one of them so vividly. I can look at Saturn 3 and slip back thirty plus years to watch it again through those child’s eyes. I can still feel the fear, my heart jumping as the robot Hector walked out onto the screen. Most of the rest of the movie disappears into a haze of time, pieces parts and images that spark recognition. But Hector… Every moment Hector is on the screen is burned into my mind. 

 

Before I get too much further, let’s set that child’s fear on the back burner and talk about the movie itself.

 

The movie stars Farrah Fawcett and Kirk Douglas as two scientists/farmers living on the third moon of Saturn. They live alone and are testing ways to produce food for an earth that has succumbed to pollution. At one point Alex, played by Farrah comments that she would love to breath outside air, and Douglas quips that by now their probably isn’t any air left on earth to breath. Douglas plays Adam, the ageing scientist who is fighting against the coming future, trying to hide away on his little moon with the innocent Alex almost literally half his age. He is the grizzled old man and she is the innocent, inquisitive youth, fascinated by the future ahead.

 

Adam’s struggle against the future becomes real with the arrival of Harvey Keitel, a dubbed Harvey Keitel mind you. This isn’t a spoiler, but the movie literally begins with a murder. Benson, Keitel’s character, starts the movie by murdering the man who was really supposed to go to Saturn, he then replaces him and slips away in his shuttle before anyone is the wiser. With him he brings progress made shape and form in the behemoth Hector. Hector is an eight foot tall unstoppable Frankenstein monster made of chrome and wire. Hector though is mindless, he is a child with no thoughts of his own. That is until Benson begins to teach him and plants his own thoughts, and his own deeds. In a way, Hector begins to become Benson.

 

Hector is the future, come to make Adam obsolete.

 

The movie is pretty heavy handed in its metaphor. We literally have a 63 year old man trying to hold onto the beauty of youth while fighting off the oncoming storm of progressive. We are never given any back story for anyone, we don’t know why Adam has turned his back on earth, and it really isn’t important. They tell us enough, they don’t feel the need to spell it all out ham-fisted.

 

Everyone plays their part well. Whoever cast Farrah and Kirk deserves kudo’s. Farrah is the embodiment of innocent beauty, and Kirk IS that tough old man full of machismo rallying against his coming obsolesces. Keitel… His performance is hard to judge. He comes off wooden, but that’s the character. He is the embodiment of the cold detached future. At one point he even goes as far as to ask to “use” Farrah’s body for his enjoyment. It’s hard to really gage his performance since they literally dubbed his voice with the voice of another.

 

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The effects and the sets are phenomenal. The seventies had their own special plastic version of the future that blended well with the neon highlights of the coming eighties. The Station itself looks like something that could exist in someday. The movie feels like it’s something that is in the realm of possibility.

 

Which brings us back to that child standing in the dining room looking around the wall as Hector takes center stage. The movie looks and feels like it’s something that could possibly happen. Yes, the Terminator is a more serious looking bad guy, but I know I’m not going to run into a robot that travels through time. Hector looks like something someone could create. He feels like something that could someday walk the earth.

 

The moment as a kid, that almost proved too much for me, and is part of the reason this movie haunts me to this day happens about the midpoint of the film. And no, I’m not going to talk about Kirk Douglas nude scene. I’m going to get a slight bit spoilery here, so be warned. At the midpoint of the movie, they realize that Hector is out of control. They realize they need to stop the half crazed robot who is full of lust for our sweet Farrah. So they stop him. They overload him, knock him out, take him into the workshop and takes him apart.

 

Then it gets scary. Then the part that frightened me so much as a kid. The robot, defeated and in pieces suddenly comes to life. It lights up and begins to send message to the machinery around him and Hector actually puts himself back together. As a kid, that blew my mind. I didn’t know how to take it. I will always remember that moment. I will always remember Hector putting himself together.

 

I don’t want to give anything away, but their some imagery later on that always haunted my dreams as well. When Hector begins his evolution to the next stage. That image has always gotten me.

 

Saturn 3 will hold a very special spot for me. There are very few films that I can say truly scared me. Saturn 3 hit me at just the right spot and introduced thoughts and fears into my head that I had never before imagined. To me, it will always remain a classic.

 

 

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Poetry: Diary of A Madman. The Poetic Prose of Joseph L Zbiegien.

 

Poetry: Diary of A Madman. The Poetic Prose of Joseph L Zbiegien.

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So, I took a small break and it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve written anything here. I have a couple of irons on the fire, but I though in meantime I’d tide my one fan over with something a little different. Instead of talking about a movie, or putting up another story, I’m going to take a small trip down emo memory lane.

I know what you’re thinking, Gee Joe, you were pretty goth and Emo when you were a teenager, I bet like all self-absorbed teens you wrote some pretty epically bad poetry. And you would be right! Thankfully, I’m fortunate enough to still have one of my two poetry notebooks. The first one was lost to the memory of an ex-girlfriend, but I thought I’d share some pieces from the second.

Now, before I begin, I want to point a few things out. For one thing, I worked exclusively free form when it came to poetry. So don’t expect any of this to fit any format. Also, I was a pretentious little twit. When I signed my name I put flourishes in it and I felt every word I wrote was high art. Spoiler Alert, it wasn’t. And remember my comment a paragraph back about being an Emo Goth, Oh boy. Some of this is really awful.

So I’m not sharing this for you to go “Oh my god, that Poetry is so good”, because it isn’t. This is adult me looking at the overly self-absorbed kid I used to be and laughing at myself. So feel free to laugh along. I plan on doing this from time to time, because I have a couple hundred poems in this notebook.

Keep in mind, I decided to keep all grammatical and spelling mistakes as is.

So without further ado, a selection of Poetry from….

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– Living Room Sofa –

Face Down on the living room sofa.

I Tried to eat, I tried to Drink.

They are gnawing on the insides of my eyelids.

Face Down on the Living Room Sofa

I tried to live I tried to sing.

They are gnawing on the insides of my eyelids.

Face Down on the Living room sofa,

I tried to think I tried to scream.

They are gnawing on the insides of my eyelids.

Face Down on the living room sofa,

I tried to run and I tried to play.

They are gnawing on the insides of my eyelids.

Face down on the living room Sofa,

Face down on the living room sofa.

-jlz-

 

-alone-

As I Sleep, I search for you.

My Mind Cannot rest until I find you.

I wish I had you here.

To fill the Hole in my life.

My Soul is empty.

My Heart is Shattered.

My will to live has gone.

I reach out to you in the night.

My Hand returns empty.

I kiss you in the Darkness.

My lips remain Dry.

I grab you in the night.

My arms remain Empty.

My life remains a lone.

-jlz-

 

-two-

I have two feet.

I use them to walk.

I have two eyes.

I use them to see.

I have two lips,

I use them to talk.

I Have two kidneys,

I use them to Pee.

If so much comes in twos,

Why am I only one?

-jlz-

 

-Schrek-

I feed on the living,

I drink there blood.

My Body is alive and vital,

My soul is dray and dead.

I hunt them in the night,

To satisfy my thirst.

Your pain is my sustenance

Your fear is my feast.

I will find you,

I will drink you soul.

Soon, you will be like me,

A mad man in the night

-jlz-

 

-empty spaces-

This empty space is bothering me.

So I guess I’ll put something here.

It has to be short,

For I’m almost out of room.

It should be fraught with meaning,

Even though it’s really just filler.

I’m almost done so what I write here

It will have no meaning.

It will be just like me,

Filler.

-jlz-

 

 

-my poems-

Me poems are bad

And me stanza’s suck

Sometimes they rhyme,

But that’s really only luck.

Normally they’re really stinky,

But occasionally they are okay.

I can hardly write them,

They make me feel up tight.

I never claimed to be a poet,

I just like to write.

I’m sorry if they are bad

That really makes me sad.

It may be the lose writing them,

But at least I’m not the one with nothing better to do then read them.

-jlz-

 

And finally!!! The Ultimate in Emo Goth poetry, a small treatise on the meaning of life and my place in it, exactly as it exists in its paper form.

 

– Meaning in my life-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-the end-

-jlz-

 

 

I hope someone got some enjoyment out of my bad poetry. I didn’t even scratch the surface. I have literally hundreds of them, so I may pop them up again from time to time. Who knows, I may accidentally even post a good one…..  But I wouldn’t get my hopes up.

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Movie: Unhinged (1982)

Unhinged. 1982.

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The 1982 film Unhinged is an example of a film I bought based purely on cover art. The DVD box art features the face of a beautiful girl with cold, empty, lifeless eyes, looking out at us, her face splattered with bright red blood, the kind of blood that couldn’t exist in reality. The back of the box proudly announces that it contains Nudity, Violence, Language, and finally, Disturbing Themes! I must admit, disturbing are my favorite types of themes. The box also proudly boasts that Unhinged outsold Poltergeist before getting banned. If the back of the box is to be believed, the English Parliament actually banned the film and it was removed from shelves worldwide due to its graphic violence and full nudity!

Now I ask you, how could I have passed that up? Spoiler alert, I couldn’t!

Our cinematic experience lives up to some of its promise fairly quickly. Right at the beginning of the movie, just after the opening credits, we have brief shower scene that serves no purpose other than to show the audience how clean our main character can be. She’s so clean in fact later she showers again with her friend during some exposition dialogue. The second shower is hilarious. They were sitting in bed having a conversation, then all of a sudden fully nude and wet for no purpose what so ever. The term gratuitous has rarely been so aptly used. If I were to be honest with myself for a moment, I’d admit that I wish they hadn’t put the nudity in. It serves no real purpose and comes off very clinical and needless.

Unhinged begins with three college friends leaving home for a small road trip. For a movie with a run time of an hour and nineteen minutes we spend an unusual amount of time watching our cast drive through the woods. I want to take a moment to point my out the Shinning esque helicopter shot that follows the girls along the twisty wooden road. I imagine they either blew most of the budget on that scene, or someone who owned a helicopter owed someone a favor.

A car accident forces our trio of collegiate scholars off the road into a ditch. When they wake up they find themselves in a strange mansion in the middle of the woods, a mansion that is home to an old handicapped women her daughter. The storm that caused their accident in the first place, has blocked the roads, and the mansion has no phone. Our cast is now trapped in the house in the middle of the woods, waiting for the change to go home.

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It’s interesting to notate, that the cast is almost entirely female. We have two men, but they are much smaller side roles and play no real part of in the movie. The real focus of the movie is watching the dynamic between spinsterly daughter Marion and her mother. The movie reminds me in some ways of a gender reversed Psycho. While mother is still alive, Marion very much feels like the brow beaten sexually repressed Norman, stuck under the thumb of an overwhelming mother figure. Marion even resembles him physically. She’s long and thin, she seems uncomfortable in her own skin. Unhinged oozes sexual repression from its pores, and Marion is the centerpiece. Janet Penner delivers an excellent performance.

The rest of the cast, beyond Marion, aren’t the best actresses and at times come off a little wooden, but it’s not really an issue. The way the characters are written and performed they actually all come off pretty realistic. The feel like they could be real, normal people.

The movie looks and feels like a spiritual cousin to films like Last House on the Left and I Spit on Your Grave. It’s not a rape revenge movie in anyway, nor is it that exploitative. It just shares a cinematic vibe with those movies, it looks and feels all three could happen in the same universe. There is another movie that this would go along with great, but I’m not going to tell you what that is. It would spoil the ending.

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This isn’t the disturbingly violent gore film that the back of the box promises. It’s something else. Somehow it manages to straddle the line between subtly and exploitation. The cast is small, so there aren’t that many kills, but the ones we get are brutal and filled with a satisfying amount of bright red exploration film blood. The infrequency of the kills help to make the ones we get seem even more powerful because they seem out of place with the film around them. The movie tries to be something beyond what it its exploitative box wants you to think it is. It’s actually a well-paced, psychological film with momentary gasps of brightly colored violence. The movie slowly builds to an ending that seemingly comes out of nowhere, but makes so much sense. It’s very easy to toss in a twist ending that you haven’t earned that just shocks for the sake of shock. Unhinged though, very much earns its ending.

I’m not going to say that this movie is for everyone. If you are looking for the movie on the box, you are going to be sorely disappointed. It moves at a slow pace, but builds a really nice atmosphere while doing. It doesn’t use every minute of its small time, because some of the scenes do seem a little drawn out. But again, it just adds to the mood and helps put you off kilter.

Unhinged could have easily fallen prey to the movies baser sentiments. Had it tried to be that movie from the back of the box, I don’t think it would have worked nearly as well. Its story would have become lost in the blood and sex of that movie. Not that there’s anything wrong with those movies, I have and love tons of those movies. Unhinged though, it’s something else. It’s hard to classify. Whatever it is though, whatever you want to call it, and the end of the day I think it’s just a good movie.