REVIEW: 100 Bloody Acres [2013]

“…We’ll Fertilize Ya!” There is a fine line between horror spoof and horror comedy. The former tries to make fun of the genre while the latter looks to appeal to audiences of both halves. Since most horror generally has a comedic streak anyway, accomplishing this duality above the juvenile humor of a Scary Movie shouldn’t be too hard. But while comedies with horror elements—Beetlejuice, Bubba Ho-Tep, and Ghostbusters—have been a staple through the years, it was 2004’s Shaun of the Dead that gave mainstream audiences a chance to embrace the…

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REVIEW: Dark Shadows [2012]

“You’ll have to imagine us on a better day” At present, the Tim Burton discussion can be answered in two ways. One: I’ve become too old and jaded to ‘get’ the farcical nature of the auteur’s darkly comic worlds anymore. The satiric tongue-in-cheek tonality he so brilliantly cultivated in grotesque-lite universes either doesn’t have the same effect on me that it did in my youth or just isn’t as good. In that vein comes number Two: Burton has lost a step and now languishes in a perpetual self-parody desperately trying…

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REVIEW: The Nightmare Before Christmas [1993]

“Curiosity killed the cat, you know” Born from a poem written in the early 80s while Tim Burton was still working as a Disney animator, The Nightmare Before Christmas was a project the auteur wasn’t going to let lay dormant anymore. After finding success with his signature style in the likes of Beetlejuice and Batman, Burton and Disney were able to agree to a deal that would let another Mouse House alum—Henry Selick—direct it as his first feature film. Bringing in Danny Elfman to write the music and eventually sing…

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FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #8: Yankee Doodle Dandy [1942]

“The first thing I ever had in my hand was an American flag” Shortly after the events at Pearl Harbor thrust America into World War II, a film was released that both paid respect to one of the true patriots of our country and gave the new contingent of men sailing off to fight a bit of the ol’ red, white, and blue. Michael Curtiz’s Yankee Doodle Dandy utilizes George M. Cohan’s final performance on the stage as a bookend to the story of his long and fruitful career. Played…

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REVIEW: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street [2007]

“May I have your attention, puh-lease!” Stephen Sondheim’s musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is not your run-of-the-mill Broadway spectacle. This thing is dark, gory, and bleak to the end with little in the way of joy and hope seeping through. I had seen the staged production featuring George Hearn and Angela Lansbury a couple years back, so I was familiar with the story before sitting down to experience Tim Burton’s vision. I guess by knowing Sondheim’s other musical Into the Woods, he is accustomed to darker,…

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