Monday, November 29, 2010

In Memoriam Top 10: Leslie Nielsen

In Memoriam: Leslie Nielsen (February 26, 1926-November 28, 2010)
   Yesterday we lost one of our funniest actors ever: Leslie Nielsen, famous for such roles as Airplane! and The Naked Gun series Chernobog's Blog remembers Leslie Nielsen with our list of his Top 10 Best Movies:

#10 Creepshow (1982) Nielsen plays a revenge-killer in the segment "Something To Tide You Over" along with Ted Danson.
#9 Mr. Magoo (1997) Nielsen in Disney's adaptation of the classic cartoon character Mr. Quincy Magoo.
#8 Scary Movie 3 (2003) and 4 (2006) Nielsen plays President Baxter Harris in two of the Scary Movie series.
#7 Superhero Movie (2008) Nielsen plays Uncle Albert in this Spider-Man/Superhero parody.
#6 Repossessed (1990) Nielsen plays Father Jebedaiah Mayii with Linda Blair in this parody of The Exorcist!
#5 Spy Hard (1996) In this James Bond parody Nielsen plays Dick Steele, Agent WD-40, the theme song by Weird Al Yankovic is awesome!
#4 Forbidden Planet (1956) A young Leslie Nielsen plays Commander J. J. Adams in this Sci-Fi classic!
#3 Dracula: Dead and Loving It! (1995) Nielsen is Count Dracula! "Children of the night...what a mess they make."
#2 Airplane! (1980) Nielsen plays Dr. Rumack in this comedy classic "...and don't call me Shirley."
#1 The Naked Gun (1988) based on the 1982 TV series Police Squad in which Nielsen plays Detective Frank Drebin which began a trilogy of titllation! (Yes, I said Titillation!) 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Boris Karloff (November 23, 1887- February 2, 1969)

   Born William Henry Pratt, Boris Karloff is one of the major icons of the classic horror film, best known for playing two of Universal Studios most famous Monsters including Frankenstein's Monster and The Mummy are among his Top 10 Best Movies!
#10 How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966) Karloff is the narrator and the voice of the Grinch in the original animated Dr. Seuss holiday classic.
#9 Tower of London (1939) Boris plays Mord, the bald executioner to Duke Richard (Basil Rathbone).
#8 The Invisible Ray (1936) Boris plays Dr. Janos Rukh who searches the African Congo for a meteorite along with Dr. Felix Benet (Béla Lugosi).
#7 The Walking Dead (1936) Boris plays John Ellman, a dead, ex-con who is "resurrected" by Dr. Evan Beaumont played by Edmund Gwenn (who also played Santa Claus in the Original Miracle of 34th St. (1947)!
#6 The Body Snatcher (1945) Boris steals corpses with Béla Lugosi in this Robert Louis Stevenson classic adaptation.
#5 Son of Frankenstein (1939) Boris returns for the third and final time as the inarticulate monster with the help of Ygor (Béla Lugosi).
#4 The Black Cat (1934) Boris Karloff plays Hjalmar Poelzig opposite Béla Lugosi in this macabre story of murder and satanic ritual. The scene at the end when Béla is skinning Boris alive in shadow is particularly disturbing for it's time!
#3 Bride of Frankenstein (1935) The monster (Karloff) demands a mate in this surprisingly brilliant yet campy classic directed by James Whale!
#2 The Mummy (1932) Boris plays Imhotep, the immortal Egyptian priest searching for the reincarnation of his lost love played by Zita Johann.
#1 Frankenstein (1931) The Original Classic Masterpiece! Karloff plays the Monster although his name in the opening credits is left only as a "question mark?"!

Saturday, November 20, 2010


      It seems most American audiences are unwilling (or either uninterested) in the occasional foreign horror film. Take for example the recent Japanese horror franchises such as Ringu (1998) or Ju-On (2002) which were remade in the U.S. as The Ring (2002) and The Grudge (2004). The newest Hollywood attempt to remake a foreign horror film however doesn't come from Japan but from Sweden! Let Me In (2010), at first, seems no different from all those other foreign horror remakes however this doesn't seem to be the case as this film marks the return of legendary British based Hammer Films, with it's first theatrical feature of the millennium. Cloverfield (2008) director Matt Reeves returns with his remake of Swedish horror film Let The Right One In (2008) aka "Låt den rätte komma in", although the American remake gives credit to the original novel and screenplay by John Ajvide Lindqvist, it fails to mention the original film directed by Tomas Alfredson.
     Let Me In is a disturbingly unique coming-of-age story of love, adolescent pain and of course VAMPIRES! In a time where the vampire genre has become over-saturated with the overly-hyped, teenage Twilight-like vampires, it is a relief that there are a few original vampire stories such as the recent movie Daybreakers. Let Me In stars two young rising stars: Kodi Smit-McPhee
(The Road) as Owen, a frail, 12-year old boy who comes from a broken home and is constantly bullied befriends Abby played by Chloe Moretz
(Kick-Ass) a mysterious young girl who turns out to be a vampire. Aided by her guardian/father (Richard Jenkins), who goes out at night to kill for her and bring her blood so she can live. Surprisingly, as Owen gradually realizes this it doesn't seem to bother him as the two children soon develop a strong (but somewhat awkward) connection.
     I will not go into the original as much or even try to compare or contrast the two films as this is more of a review of the remake but there are a few things I would like to point out. Although the remake brings some originality to the story there is very little difference from the original film except for the fact that it was filmed in English and not Swedish, but also the setting time frame is the same being the early 1980's although instead of being set near Stockholm, Sweden to Los Alamos, New Mexico (of all places?) which creates somewhat of culture-clash element to the story. There is also the inclusion of another main character, a policeman played by Elias Koteas. Although the names of the main characters are also changed: Owen/Oskar and Abby/Eli. The characters are very similar however Owen seems much less submissive and innocent to his Swedish counterpart Oskar, who has more of a boyish shyness. As with Abby to her Swedish doppelganger Eli who seems much more forward and self-confident. Again this may be partially because of cultural and/or acting difference but it is noticeable. Much of the same elements in both films are the same with the same dark and cold atmosphere (mostly due to to the Winter landscape which seemed an odd similarity as you expect Sweden to be in a very Scandinavian-Arctic climate whereas I had no idea it snowed like that in New Mexico? (I am from Texas after all!)
     The most interesting concept about this story actually comes from the title (or titles) in dealing with the old vampire myth of how vampires can't come into your home unless you actually invite them in! Most modern vampire movies rarely (if ever) deal with this age old (and very European) element vampire of vampire lore. The last time I can even remember a vampire movie even mentioning this is surprisingly from the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) movie with Kristy Swanson!? The biggest complaint I have with Let Me In comes from the special effects. Although this movie relies more on the traditional horror of mood and atmosphere but also a lot of blood! In the few sequences where Abby attacks a victim they use noticeably CGI to turn Abby into a more vicious animal-like creature but this makes her appear very jerky and unnatural, which may have been the intent of the director. However, in the original Swedish version the same scenes with the vampire Eli is much more realistic, although mostly in shadow, the original film takes a more subtle approach to the special effects. For horror/vampire movie patrons who expect a little more action or gore, think again. This film is much more focused on characters and their interaction, most of this could be seen as merely a boy-meets-girl story, only with a vampire!
     Overall, I found Let Me In to be a fascinating and intense experience, just the notion of dealing with adolescent vampires creates a disturbing feeling, as we are used to the more older teenage vampires of the Twilight saga, with the character of Abby I am reminded of Claudia from Anne Rice's Interview with a Vampire with her childlike mentality inside a vicious blood-sucking killer! The appeal of the film comes mostly from our reluctant juvenile protagonist Owen, for any child who was ever bullied or tormented is a very sympathetic character and the inclusion of his unlikely savior in Abby, who also becomes very likeable and sympathetic, brings new meaning to the phrase "a friend in need", although this "friend" needs blood! If you have not had the opportunity to see the original Let The Right One In, it is definitely worth it and most devoted fans prefer it to the remake, however Let Me In is a worthy homage to the original and both are definitely worth watching!
 (Sorry for the lateness of this review, but I wanted to be sure I saw the original foreign film before I saw the remake to better review it.)   


I've been a huge Heavy Metal fan for years and 2010 has been a great year for Heavy Metal music! With great album releases from some of my favorite bands like Iron Maiden, Black Label Society, Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth and also the return of one of my favorite shows VH1 Classics'  "That Metal Show" with it's sixth season now 1-hour long! With the holidays coming up I thought I'd present my list of the Top 10 Heavy Metal albums of all time! (This is my personal opinion and has nothing to do with hype or sales, just pure love of Metal!) Enjoy!
#10 Pantera, "Cowboys from Hell" (1990) - The Texas-born hardcore shredders begins a new age in heavy metal!
#9 Motörhead, "Ace of Spades" (1980) - Motörhead IS Lemmy Kilmister!
#8 Dio, "Holy Diver" (1983) - After Dio left Black Sabbath he started a solo career that
#7 Megadeth, "Peace Sells...But Who's Buying" (1986) - Dave Mustaine at his best!
#6 Slayer, "Reign In Blood" (1986) - "RAINING BLOOD and "Angel of Death"! 'nuff said!
#5 Judas Priest, "British Steel" (1980) - With Rob Halford's vocals, Judas Priest began the New Wave of British Heavy Metal!
#4 Iron Maiden, "Number of the Beast" (1982) - With their third album and new singer Brce Dickinson
#3 Ozzy Osbourne, "Blizzard of Oz" (1981) - After Ozzy was fired from Black Sabbath in 1979, he and his manager and soon to be wife Sharon started Ozzy's solo career which would not have succeeded if not for a virtuoso guitar player named Randy Rhodes! With hits like "I Don't Know", "Crazy Train" and "Mr. Crowley" Ozzy Osbourne rose again as the Godfather of Heavy Metal!
#2 Metallica, "Master of Puppets" (1986) - Kings of thrash, Metallica's third album broke new ground and improved on Metallica's speed and heaviness with songs like "Battery", "Master of Puppets" and "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)"!
#1 Black Sabbath, "Paranoid" (1970) - The originators of the genre! Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Bill Ward and Geezer Butler formed THE greatest Heavy Metal band in the world! Their second album "Paranoid" changed the world forever with songs like "War Pigs", "Paranoid" and "Iron Man"!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


     On Veterans' Day we honor our military veterans and what better way to acknowledge them then with my list of the Top 10 Greatest War Movies!
#10 Platoon (1986) Charlie Sheen and Willem Dafoe in Oliver Stone's Vietnam War drama.
#9 Pearl Harbor (2001) Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale and Josh Hartnett in Michael Bay's special effects explosion!
#8 Glory (1989) Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes and Morgan Freeman star in this Civil War story of the first all-black volunteer company.
#7 Apocalypse Now (1979) Martin Sheen and Marlon Brando in Francis Ford Coppola disturbing masterpiece.
#6 The Green Berets (1968) John Wayne stars and co-directs this intense Vietnam War story.
#5 Midway (1976) Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda and Toshirô Mifune  as Admiral Yamamoto in the story of the Battle of the Pacific during WWII.
#4 The Patriot (2000) Mel Gibson plays Benjamin Martin in this Revolutionary War epic (Also starring Heath Legder).
Patton (1970) George C. Scott IS General George S. Patton!
#2 The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) Sir Alec Guinness stars in this WWII classic about a Japanese POW camp.
#1Saving Private Ryan (1998) Tom Hanks and Matt Damon in the greatest WWII movie ever! The Invasion of Normandy is disturbingly realistic.

Monday, November 1, 2010


The long-awaited AMC zombie-TV series is finally here: THE WALKING DEAD! Based on the continuing comic book series written by Robert Kirkman and art by Charlie Adlard, The Walking Dead is a new original series from AMC. AMC has been known for their groundbreaking, award-winning Cable TV series like Breaking Bad and Mad Men, now they have produced a truly unique TV show under the creative direction of director, writer, executive producer and three-time Oscar nominee Frank Darabont with writer and creator Robert Kirkman.
Season One begins with six-episodes along with a 90-minute pilot: Episode 1, "Days Gone By". The Walking Dead stars Andrew Lincoln as Sheriff's Deputy Rick Grimes, who is wounded in the line of duty wakes up from a coma only to find the world has been taken over by ZOMBIES! As he sets off to find his wife Lori (Sarah Wayne Callis) and son Carl (Chandler Riggs) he is taken in by Morgan (Lennie James) and his son Duane who have taken shelter in a vacant house in Rick's hometown. After Rick recovers and finds plenty of weapons at his police station he travels to Atlanta to search for his wife and son, little does he know that the city is overrun with the walking dead!
The Walking Dead is a truly original TV series like nothing we've ever seen before. While other horror/supernatural TV series like Buffy The Vampire Slayer or Supernatural may have dealt very little with the undead, this is the first true zombie TV series. However, like the award-winning comic book, the focus of the show is not simply zombies, but more about the people in a survival situation. While the TV show is based on the comic, it is wholly apart from the comic as it has noticeable differences with characters and certain plot points, but the original premise is still the same. While long-time comic fans will no doubt love this show, it will most likely attract new fans of the show and new interest in the comic. I admit I had not followed the series from the beginning but read the few first trade paperback volumes a few years ago before I had even heard of the TV show. After seeing the show I am hooked and I hope to catch up to the comic (already up to issue #75/Vol. ) eventually. I'm looking forward to this first season and more to follow as we follow Officer Grimes desperate search for his family among THE WALKING DEAD!