Thursday, April 21, 2005
Sometimes you just have to hang a clown...
Or an illustration of a clown puppet. I've become very lenient in my old age.
Actually, what I wanted to discuss was my growing obsession with Japanese horror films.
It began innocently with flirtation with animae: "Princess Mononoke", for example.
In reality though, there is nothing like a night of quality American film viewing ("Fight Club", "Hannibal") topped off with animae ("Akira"). Akira is awesome. You don't get that kind of excellent balance between science fiction and horror unless you're a fan of "Alien" or "Scanners" (God bless Michael Ironsides, huh?).
Anyway, I was first drawn to Japanese horror movies with the advent of "Ringu".
THE EVIL CREEPY CRAWLY COMES OUT OF THE TV!!!!!!!!!
As a child, a good chunk of my nightmares involved monsters coming out of the tv to take me away. Ok, they were, um, muppets... Still... It messed with my typical Sunday evening "Muppet Show" viewing when I was 8.
I had a large stuffed panda that was my saviour when the muppets where too realistic to deal with. The panda, which I seem to have owned from birth based on pictures, had no name. Until about age 3, it was approximately my size. I do know it saved me from the Jabberwock and, possibly, Sweetums. There was also a meanacing carnivorous Ivy plant at some point. I blame that on Dr. Who.
"Ringu" appeals to me on a variety of levels. There is an atmospheric level where we worry that the mother and child have been influenced by supernatural forces. There is a crime busting level where the mom tries to solve the problem through dint of her journalistic skills (she works for a newspaper). There is a familial level where the son's absent dad tries to help out and be the protective force that's clearly been missing from his kid's life (my parents are divorced...whatever...). Then there is Sadako. She's just a force of supernature. Her mind burns the image of whatever she is focusing on into any medium she chooses. And, because of this, after her spirit is burned onto VHS, she can then climb out of the tv and visit havoc on the hapless viewer.
Hey, I don't write it. I just watch it.
Mr. Scoop, knowing my affinity for things Japanese horror, tracked down "Ringu" for me. We watched it before the American version, "The Ring", hit the screen.
I'm used to watching alternate versions of movies before I actually see them.
In 5th grade I had a novelization of "Return of the Jedi" (with movie pictures!!! Thanks, Scholastic Books!) well before I actally saw the movie. I felt extrordinarily cheated by the time I saw the actual movie, but, that was mostly because of the Ewoks.
But, I really enoyed the original version of "The Ring".
The American version was also really good. But, it was just -different. If you read comic books, the American version is an "Elseworlds". It's good; it's just not the normal continuity.
There are many sites on this topic. Google them, for Chrissakes.
I'm just saying they're both good, but I prefer "Ringu".
I'll get into that more later, hopefully.
"There are no bad houses. Just bad people."
So says George Lutz in the craptacular "Amityville Horror" remake.
I liked him better when he was calling his nemesis a "cock juggling thunder cunt" .
Look. Ultimately we have to accept that complete and utter assholes can live, with their whole immediate families, in houses.
This evil can saturate the houses. Such is the premise of "Ju-on".
A woman becomes obesessed with a professor. Professors are, after all, a clear threat to your women. You should do something to lock that down. Saltpeter, mayber.
Anyway, her husband flips out and kills everything in the house. Which is unfortunate - insofar as he also manages to kill the famly cat. This unlocks (near as I can tell) a cat demon. It attaches itself to the house. The bad things happen.
Now, I did watch "Ju-on" ("The Grudge") in the original verision and prefer the American remake. And it's not because I'm a Buffy fanatic. Although, Sarah Michelle Geller did star in the remake.
Of course, I'd been driniking heavily when I saw "Ju-on". I'm willing to give it a second chance.
Things I Can't Have .
I can't have "Audition'.
It costs more than I wish to spend.
And this tale of things that appear to be that which they are not not must be special ordered. For bunches of money.
The mere fact that I know that there is a twist already interferes with my viewing pleasure. And yet I must see this.
In the real world, I teach English. Specifically, writing. I try to impress upon my kids that it's important to follow the five steps of the writing process (apparently you have to revise after drafting). So, tonight, I tried to at least follow an outline with my blathering:
Do what I say and not what I do.