31 Horrifying Days-Day 7:All Cheerleaders Die

The movie begins mockumentary style following Blackfoot High Cheerleader Lexi. The uber-popular self proclaimed “diplomat” dies horrifically in a cheer acident that snaps her neck. Childhood friend Maddy (Caitlin Stasey, I, Frankenstein) wants revenge after Lexi’s boyfriend Terry (Tom Williamson) rebounds quickly with Lexi’s cheermate Tracy (Sianoa Smit-McPhee, Zombieland). So Maddy joins the squad and sets a plan in motion to break up Tracy and Terry. Maddy and Lexi hadn’t been friends since junior high, Lexi went the school spirit, socialite route while Maddy got rebellious. But she blames the cheerleaders for Lexi’s death and sets out for revenge.
Her plan is successful but as the first day of school approaches: tensions mount. Maddy ends up seducing Tracy, much to the aggravation of Maddy’s wiccan ex girlfriend Leena. A keg party brings out drama between the other cheerleaders: sisters Hannah and the prissy chaste  Martha bicker, Tracy and Maddy hookup in the woods… then Terry gets violent with Tracy.
After 33 minutes of teen drama,  finally something horror related happens. 33 LONG minutes.
Terry (and fellow football jerks) run Tracy, Maddy, Hannah and Martha off the road.


Leena drags them out of the lake and resurrects them with the magical stones se totes around. It all seems okay, momentarily Except.. Hannah and Martha are in each other’s bodies… and Tracy is ravenously.
Unimpressed with Leena’s menu, Tracy breaks into her neighbor Larry’s house. She chugs a gallon of milk, horks in his sink, seduces him and then sticks her finger through his jugular. The rest of the undead posse busts in. And they drink his blood. And then they feel strong. Blood thirsty she-beasts who can throw people 200 feet? Badass.

Tracy is anxious to get to school. Homicide, blood thirst and murderous exes be damned.
They discover that if anyone feels something strongly that they all feel it. Hannah has sex with Martha’s boyfriend (while Hannah is in Martha’s body) and the rest of the girls drop to their knees and have orgasms in the hall. Way to lay low, huh?
In between snacking on classmates, teen drama returns. Crushes and rivalries are revisited as teenage life- even as a ghoul proves traumatic.


Maddy is not taking the fact that she needs blood to continue on well. Other girls quibble over cell phones and late night plans and Maddy hits the shower, the other girls find Maddy’s video diary and see that she joined the cheerleading squad to break up Tracy and Terry. She whines, “But that was last week! I didn’t even know you then!” and Tracy storms off.
…with everything glaring wrong with it… I still gave it credit. A female revenge flick with out rape? YES
Until it wasn’t 74 (out of 89) minutes into the movie, they toss that in there.  WTF WHY??
Wack shit.
It gets to be funny and a little gory,  girl power mixed in with cliches for days.
Towards the end Terry finds the source of their revitalization and starts hunting them down for their …magic rocks.

Was it scary? Nooope. But it was awesome.. about 28% of the time. Far too much time spent on establishing snotty teen angst before the got down to the gore. The plot doesn’t make enough sense to require that much set up. Magic rocks resurrect cheerleaders. Bang. Done. The title actually makes little sense, seeing as how the gossiping girls come back to life. The actresses are all stunning, but too much of the film focussed on pandering and playing that up. Although, bonus that the lesbian relationships were surprisingly sensual. Leena’s love for Maddy allows her to do magical and unbelievable things: like raise the dead. They fight hard for each other. That type of devotion in LGBT couples is really shown on screen, especially in cheesy genre flicks.

Written and directed by Lucky McKee (May) and Chris Sivertson (I Know Who Killed Me) -it’s technically a remake of their 2001 film by the same name.

It had it’s moments, I don’t know if this film was worth doing twice, though.



31 Horrifying Days: Day 2: House at the End of the Street (2012)

Funfact: The film was shot in the 2-perf Techniscope format to provide a grainy image reminiscent of older horror films and to save money on film stock and processing. 


Jennifer Lawrence (Hunger Games, X-Men Days of Future Past) Stars as Elissa who moves with her mom, played by Elizabeth Shue (CSI) to a new house, the house next door was the scene of a brutal double homicide. In the opening scenes we see a stumbling teenage girl come home in a lightning storm. She knocks over a lamp and her mother goes to see what the trouble is. The mother is bludgeoned and shortly after, so is the father. Elissa and her mother reflect on the fact that the house is empty, but late at night she sees a light turned on. 

They find that the son, Ryan Jacobson, is still living in the house. Everyone thinks this is the appalling. There are rumors that teenaged girl is still living in the woods. Elissa asks her mother, “do you think someone could still be living there?” (ironically at a time when she’s playing Katniss, and… living in the woods) …creepy camera angles reveal that someone may be watching from the brush. 

She quickly befriends rich dude Tyler (Nolan Gerard Funk, Riddick) and gets invited to a party. He gets fresh with her and she bails. She starts the 10 mile trek home in the rain, when Ryan (Max Thieriot, Bates Motel) spots her and offers to drive her back. She awkwardly blurts out that his “parents got killed” and “why do you still live in that house?” Which he minds less than everyone saying behind his back. He reveals that he’s just fixing up the house and he’ll sell it, but he doesn’t have much to remember his parents by.

In all practicality: where would he live? He’s a teenager. How many places would he have to go?

But there’s a bigger reason. Carrie Ann, Ryan’s sister, played by up-and-comer Eva Link (Best Laid Plans) isn’t in the woods. She’s in the house. And subject to violent fits. Ryan drugs her and asks her to leave Elissa alone.

Elissa and Jillian make friends over hating on Tyler. Yeahhh, unite don’t fight. J Lawr flawlessly delivers, “He’s worse than a dick, he’s a dick hole.” Jillian: “Dick hole is the new asshole.” and Elissa also goes to visit Ryan, who tells her that his sister had brain damage and we see in the flashback that his parents were crackheads. Carrie Ann fell off swings and hit her head, Ryan should have been watching her (he was, like, 6). Elissa’s mom is not amused. Ryan gets caught up thinking about Elissa and forgets to lock up Carrie Ann, who makes a break for Elissa’s house.

The camera angles and effects from Carrie Ann’s POV are blurry and hazy, adds texture and atmosphere. There are some jump out of your seat moments. There’s also a lot of angst, teenage drama and questionable parenting (your teenage daughter is literally always going to do what you told her not to do) and even more questionable romantic choices (you bring someone to hook up at your house with your murderous sister? How is this your life?) 

Good acting. Good directing. It captured the essence of teenage angst, hook ups gone wrong and strange behavior. Elizabeth Shue does a great job as a mom in over her head, Jennifer Lawrence is snappy and capable as per usual. Townie teenage mob mentality kicks up the drama. Nail biter “J Lawr, don’t be so damn curious” moments. Moments where you want to scream “Why would you ever go in there?!” But I cannot stand for this disabled/mentally ill people as mindless murderous villains. But it gets even weirder than that.

Bizarre plot twists. Upon bizarre plot twists show that there’s more going on than an inexplicably murderous brain damaged girl. 

Other things I liked: no neglect of technology. Everybody has cell phones, wi-fi and common sense. The characters attire, resources and behavior were reasonable. And J Lawr kills it. Perfect bra-less final girl swagger.


But was it scary? Yes. Unpredictable nail biting thriller. Psycho-esque but creative enough and ballsy enough to make up for some tropes. Kind of scares that make me glad that I have roommates and more than one damn neighbor. 

4.25 out of 5

Comic-book Catch up #4

Featuring Ms Marvel #3, Tomb Raider #3, Lazarus #8

Ms Marvel #3

Kamala Khan is experiencing the backlash from sneaking out. Her parents are upset, she’s still upset with Bruno. Bruno has his own mayhem happening, his brother asks him to steal from his register at the convenience store. Zoe is getting all the attention for getting saved while Kamala tries to get a grip on her powers and ends up in hiding even though she’s the hero in this story. She’s worrying she’s outgrowing her life “like a pair of pants that no longer fit” and in the next moment she’s confronting both teenage drama and an armed robber head on. G Willow Wilson writes teenage well, and she provides insight to the way that Kamala’s culture separates her from others in Jersey City, but also how it bonds her with her friends. She questions authority but is realistically insecure and charming. 

Tomb Raider #3

We’re treated to a bit more backstory on the hard hitting Reyes. In Dublin, her daughter is in imminent danger from the Solarii cult. They want the artifact Lara stole. Only, she still doesn’t remember it. She tries to lie, but the cult members don’t buy it. Suddenly, someone takes aim and shoots the gangsters and Lara breaks a glass over someone’s head. Meanwhile, Sam is in trouble. Lara and Reyes make a break for it, with the men in hot pursuit, Reyes and her daughter split from Lara (I love when characters don’t all orbit the main protagonist, btw. So Reyes calling Lara out on being the cause of this, on being bad luck. Worthwhile). Lara clubs a goon with the a busker’s guitar and grabs his gun. Reyes’ daughter says she was too mean to Lara. Lara finds out that Sam has been taken and throws down, but one goon sneaks up on her- she averts disaster but causing a soccer riot. But the goons just keep coming. Luckily, Reyes shows her daughter what it means to be loyal and double backs for Lara, with a “Don’t thank me, it was Miss Manners here.” And Lara declares they’ll go back to Yamatai to stop this and save Sam.

Sam Nishimura has the best answering machine message of all time. “I’m either off shooting an award winning documentary or passed out drunk. You know what to do.”

Lazarus #8

The first 5 were amazing, a new series with so much promise. One with a female lead (and still more females with their own agendas) that creates a world that is bleak, violent and corporate. One of all out class warfare. How could I not be in love? But the momentum has slowed, flashbacks to Forever’s childhood bog down the series instead of advance it. Currently, Forever is looking for and IED while the Barretts are looking to go get jobs with the Carlyles, they’re headed for Denver. Them and everyone else. Like pioneers travelling to a new frontier, to their last ditch effort: the road is hard. Worse when Forever finds that Denver is the target of this attack. But her father refuses to cancel the lift. Forever is in a race to stop the plot in the final pages. but it won’t be resolved til next month. 

Anime Review #1- Rosario + Vampire

I’ve actually been meaning to write about this one for a while. The premise is perfect. A boy who fails to get into any prestigious private schools is accidentally enrolled in a school for monsters, Yokai Academy. The only human, surrounded by snow ghosts, succubi, werewolves, vampires, witches, cat people and blob monsters quickly attracts a posse of magical females… who all want him. The age and premise make this akin to a gender-swapped City of Bones. Powerful females constantly protecting the puny human from a world that he was unwillingly cast into? Multiple suitors vying for affection? One of them is an outright stalker?


Tsukune Aono flirts with Moka Akashiya (who is a sweet girl wearing a rosary that keeps her violent vampire form underwraps), Tsukune likes her but doesn’t like sharing his blood and isn’t 100% about dating a vampire. He is also pursued by a busty succubus, Kurumu…


…and the super stalker Mizore.



Mizore begins as a villain, willing to hurt Kurumu, Moka and even Tsukune himself while in pursuit of his affections. During the altercation Tsukune blames himself. Says that this is all happening because of him. Kurumu wisely speaks up, telling him that he is not to blame, “It is never the victims fault! People are responsible for their own actions!”

This is something that is few and far between in media aimed for the tween and teen set (although I wouldn’t rate this anime in that category) we often see victim blaming in YA. Examples include, audiences not liking Clary’s “friendzoning” of Simon, the “romantic” stalker Edward’s over protectiveness of Bella, Buffy’s mother blaming her for the creeper behavior by Angelus after they sleep together. So I had a fist pump moment when she blurted that out.

Tsukune is also kind of a special snowflake himself: he’s the only one that can remove the cross from Moka’s neck. He solves his problem using traditionally female tactics like talking out problems with the monster.

Although I’m touting the feminist power of Rosario + Vampire… Moka’s transformation scene leaves much to be desired in that category.

At Anime Boston there was a panel called “Fight Like a Girl: How Magical Girls Weaponize Femininity” the presenter was named Nina (if anyone has additional info, throw me a comment, I’d love to add it) and she brought up this excellent point about magical girl transformation scenes from Sailor Moon and Ballerina Tutu. The Females put on jewelry, get a hair makeover and/or change into a fancier outfit. This can have both negative and positive interpretations. From “you have to be beautiful and girly to have power” to “you can be pretty and girly and have ability as well” to “pride in your appearance can be empowering” and it is really individual preference that will dictate one’s interpretation.


But with Moka: We get and upskirt, her breasts enlarge and her shirt busts open. Brief flashes of (albeit not graphic) nudity ensue before her hair lightens. Her inner-vampire is a true immortal in the body of a girl and I see why this happens but I have trouble concocting a positive twist on cleavage and panty shots being a sign of power. The anime itself is rated MA 18+ (there’s a BDSM teacher/monster, a perverted senior and a million upskirts) so the case can be made that this is for adults… but the characters are still Freshman and Sophomores and one member of their group is only 11, Yukari Sendou.

And the lessons learned are very teenage. Yukari, for example, faces bullying for being a witch (a “being of the borderline” AKA a supernatural HUMAN) until Moka and Tsukune stick up for her. She’s also coming to terms with her sexual orientation she falls first for Moka and then for Tsukune she wants them to have a three way relationship. In one episode, after being teased by volumptuous Kurumu she wants to grow up and visits the school nurse who feeds off her body shame and self loathing but transforms her into a beautiful womanly figure who instantly attracts attention. In the end she learns to love herself as she is and not grow up too fast. So the rating and life lessons are very incongruent. I don’t know what the rating is in Japan and I have heard that the 18+ rating is ethnocentric and based on prudish Western connotations.

Still.. there’s nothing empowering about wind blowing your skirt up.

If you can get passed that it is very good and lots of fun. I enjoy seeing how the group of friends gets out of trouble and am impressed with how often opening their circle up to other characters- who are mainly female- solves conflict. I also enjoyed the varied interpretations of monsters, and despite pandering to male audiences there is some genuine girl power.

Underburbs Vol. 2

This collection includes issues 4, 5, 6 and 7. Winifred’s quest to turn the people holed up in Mall-Mart into monsters has not been dampened, for the first time ever the door between worlds has stayed open past Halloween night. Angela enrolls in monster school and infiltrates the Underburbs and tries to recover the scroll that can turn humans into monsters and is responsible for keeping the door between world’s open. Winifred spends her time plotting and scheming …and later digging. The girls also start to form a genuine friendship, Angela goes from being a “frenemy” or a man on the inside to being Winifred’s real friend. She’s torn, knowing that she must thwart the “Duchess” 


Angela also makes friends with Bel a devil girl who hates Winifred but is probably vastly more evil and Shelley… she’s a Frankenstein’s monster who’s always getting chased by angry villagers. Shelley is gawky and awkward and also a good person who keeps an eye out for Angela. The two are supposed to hang out, but Angela gets stuck with Winifred as they face their greatest obstacle yet …BUREAUCRACY. A paper pusher from above ground who ended up with “people fingers” becomes our pale protagonist’s worst foe yet!

The collection has rad extras like early sketches and creature concept development, there’s also “commentary” with characters after each issue. 

Our girls get a little deeper as we get a peek past Winnie’s diva persona and see her homelife is not perfect and see how evil monsters in the Underburbs can be. Angela’s brother (calling himself Death Lantern) and his posse, Demonica and Goth Mummy make mischief but generally being just a clueless goon in the eyes of either Angela or Winifred. Angela has a moment where it’s all too much and she doesn’t know why or how she is trying to stop Winifred. But she makes the best of it while she goes along, trying and succeeding to fit in, leaving us to wonder if she will want to door between worlds closed after all. 

You can purchase Vol. 2 here. And you should. While the concept of a monster high school may not be unique, the human aspect of Underburbs’ main monsters are what really get attention. These issues were awesome and really created depth for our girls. Bonus features add insight into Joe Haley and TJ Dort’s creative process and call themselves out on mistakes along the way. A fun read for sure.

5 out of 5 pumpkins.

Todd and the Book of Pure Evil- Season #2

Picking up right where they left off, the gang gets back together with a +1. (Jenny’s comatose father)

These episodes also had a different Crowley High student getting their hands on The Book, there was also more meta-plot. Jenny’s not sure if she can trust Todd of if he’s going to go all Pure Evil, Hannah becomes part of the book, Jenny works out her daddy issues and Curtis gets an awesome robot hand, Todd starts to doubt himself and thinks he might be too dangerous, the guidance councilor gets weirder, the three stoners in the parking lot get a back story, so does Jason Mewes.


Favorites included: Season 2 Episode 6 “Fisting Fantasy” where the gang becomes trapped in an RPG video game and have to journey/fight/dance their way through the game. Some rad stuff happens and Todd faces the reality that he might not be the hero in this story.

Season 2 Episode 8 “Loser Generated Content” where some AV nerds frame up Todd to make his friends suspect he has indeed gone Pure Evil using cliche horror movie techniques. Jenny calls Todd out for stalking her and he comes to the conclusion that maybe he is a creepy stalker who should back off.

Season 2 Episode 10 “two girls, one tongue” It’s a musical and it’s awesome. Here, just watch this video:

Some episodes were silly and insanely immature (like the invisible pervert episode) but then Jenny keeps it cool. Like when Todd goes out to badger girls who have been peeped and Jenny keeps reminding them that the girls are the victims, not the suspected perv.

Unfortunately, the season ends with a bit of a cliff hanger. The gang is down a member! How could they leave me this way??