365 Days of Horror, Day 43: Arrêt Pipi (short) (2015)


arrêt pipi short horror As if I needed another reason to avoid public toilets.

This Belgian short is predictable but grimy, gritty and realistic enough to sustain some pretty decent dread. It’s smoothly shot; nice colour contrasts, and capable acting. The plot is simple: a young couple stop to use a public loo but are out of loo roll in each cubicle (seriously, unless you’re drunk, who doesn’t fucking check before going in?). The janitor/bathroom attendant/old lady asks if they want red or blue toilet paper. The couple laugh, but, well, then it gets weird.

Predictably weird, but gory and scary enough. The atmosphere’s been effortlessly built for us: said public toilet (gross and nerve-wracking enough for any germophobe); lack of toilet roll (even scarier); being trapped in said toilet by aforementioned lack of toilet roll and weird goings-on. Not like you can escape, right? That’s already uncomfortable and tense enough without what follows.

I don’t care if I get backed-up kidneys. If I can avoid using a public loo, I will hold it until I get back to the comfort of my own home/hotel. Especially after this.

[And fuck you if you hover; you actually ruin it for the rest of us]


365 Days of Horror, Day 27: The Babysitter and The Boogeyman (short) (2015)


the babysitter and the boogeyman short 2015

Meh. Anything uploaded under the umbrella of ‘Scary Endings’ has a lot to  live up to, and this one almost did. Despite the static direction and ropey acting from everyone, the editing and creature design were wonderfully effective (seriously, props to the make-up department).

I’m not sure why the protagonist needed to be a babysitter, as she spends the majority of the 4 minutes in her own apartment building, but she’s potentially being haunted by a boogeyman. There’s a cute moment when she checks her closet (a call to the old legend that says that’s where he’ll be), but it’s ruined by some terrible CGI in an unnecessary wide shot. It could have ended with the hands wrapping around her mouth and the creepy-ass Shinigami/Herman Munster lovechild face coming into view. But hey, judge for yourself:

365 Days of Horror, Day 18: Chain Saw Confidential


source: moviepilot.com

Today, I finished reading Chain Saw Confidential, a wildly entertaining, funny and sometimes shocking memoir of filming The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. I’d been dipping into it on and off for a few months; when I made the time to read anything other than comics and Reddit, it was the only other thing I was picking up.

Written by the sadly recently late Gunnar Hansen (the original Leatherface), it’s a heavily detailed, insanely true account of ‘how [they] made the world’s most notorious horror movie”, right from set design, casting and filming, through to financing and distribution. Hansen’s book was needed not just because it was the ultimate insider piece, but because, as he states in the book, much of the cast and crew were too dead to refute the number of false stories and and myths surrounding the film’s production.

Hansen was a giant 6ft 5in, Icelandic-born recent college graduate whose creative output lay mainly in poetry. This gentle guy was a total n00b to acting – and to operating a chainsaw. Add to the fact that the budget was zero and the filming days were long and hot (gotta love that Texas summer), and you get the idea that the shoot was a nightmare in itself.

The book is full of some disturbingly funny truths: real skeletons were used because they were cheaper to source from overseas medical schools; animal carcasses were used as set decoration, even when the midsummer Southern heat openly fried them; amateur actors in stage combat looked amateur, so everybody consented to being actually beaten; marijuana found growing on the ranch where they were filming was hastily cut away (to avoid felony charges) and made its way into pot brownies, which were the cast and crew’s only food source at times. Also: that chainsaw was real, even when everybody was high. There’s more, including some rare on-set photos and pictures of some unique Chain Saw merch – including  a video game!

It helps the narrative that Hansen was a writer – and later a professor of creative writing – although he does get repetitive at times. His memory is incredible, and the sheer amount of research and interviews he must have done to set the record straight proves his love of the film far beyond his consistent horror-con appearances. Such a compelling, fascinating, insightful read, and such a loss to the horror world.