Erin’s Favorite Films of 2012

Taking into consideration that I haven’t seen Zero Dark Thirty yet, here are my ten favorite films of 2012.

1. Argo

2. Bernie

3. Silver Linings Playbook

4.  Brave

5. Lincoln

6. For Greater Glory

7. Looper

8. Moonrise Kingdom

9. The Avengers

10. October Baby

The First Six Trailers of 2013

Finally!  It’s 2013 and it’s time for another edition of Lisa Marie’s Favorite Grindhouse and Exploitation Film Trailers!

1) The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-up Zombies (1966)

With a title that long, how couldn’t this be a good movie?

2) Frankenstein Meets The Space Monster (1965)

3) Frankenstein Conquers The World (1965)

1965 was obviously a busy year for Frankenstein.

4) Charlie and the Hooker (1977)

With a name like Charlie and the Hooker, you know it’s going to be a fun film for the whole family.  And no, this is not a Charlie Sheen biopic.

5) A Taste of Blood (1967)

From the director Herschell Gordon Lewis…

6) Lisa and the Devil 

And finally, in honor of the new year, here is the trailer for one of my favorite films of all time — Mario Bava’s Lisa and the Devil.

What do you think, trailer kitties?

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Arleigh’s Favorite Five (…Songs) of 2012

I must admit that in 2012 I didn’t get to listen in full many new albums outside of soundtracks. My Fave five of 2012 Songs will reflect this fact, but still with the lack of variety in my past year’s listening habit I thought the songs I came up with for the list I still would’ve put on a much bigger favorite 2012 list if I had need to come up with one. Without further ado he are the Fave Five (though it’s more Fave Six but I decided to combine the first entry’s two as a tie).

  • The Fave Five starts off with a tie that comes from the same film. Both songs come from the soundtrack to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. While the film may not have been up to some audiences’ high expectations the soundtrack itself by Howard Shore (and for “Song of the Lonely Mountain” as sung by Neill Finn) continued the high-quality of the Tolkien soundtracks which began with the original Lord of the Rings trilogy. “Song of the Lonely Mountain” is a much more folk rock addition to the soundtrack while the “Misty Mountains” was actually part of the film itself when the character of Thorin Oakenshield sings it with his band of dwarfs while at Bilbo Baggin’s hobbit hole in the beginning. Both songs so a great job of telling the story of the quest that begins with this first film in the new trilogy.
  • The theme song 2012’s Skyfall was a throwback to the classic James Bond theme song’s of the Sean Connery and Roger Moore Bond eras. In fact, I thought it’s one of the best theme songs the long-running spy thriller franchise has had these past 25 years. It helps that you have Adele singing the theme who seems to be able to hit the right proper emotional notes during the song. It’s really hard to think of Skyfall the film being as good as it is without making sure one mentions Adele’s theme for it. I’d take the leap and say that the song itself may even be better than the film itself.
  • Mass Effect 3 was the epic conclusion to what was this gaming generation’s version of the original Star Wars space opera. It was a story that spanned the galaxy with memorable characters, thrilling action and some very good writing. There will always be the vocal minority who seem to think the ending to the trilogy was bungled by the writers over ta BioWare. That’s a whole different debate altogether. One thing that doesn’t seem to bring out the pitchforks was Clint Mansell’s score work for the game and it all culminates with the song simply titled “An End, Once and For All” which in it’s extended version more than makes up for whatever deficiencies the ending it orchestrally-scored may have had.
  • Another game’s music makes itself to my Fave Five list and this time it’s my second favorite song for the year of 2012. It’s from Halo 4 and it’s a song that brought new life to the venerable franchise. It didn’t just make the end credits more than just memorable, but also surprised many fans of the franchise’s music since the song wasn’t composed by the franchise’s original music composer, Martin O’Donnell, but by Kazuma Jinnouchi. It’s the one song in 2012 that I must’ve listened to on repeat for hours on end and probably in the high hundreds by now. It’s a song that brings back memories of the scifi soundtracks of the 80’s. It’s a work that I easily can compare to the best that’s ever been composed by luminaries in the genre like John Williams, Alan Silvestri, Michael Giacchino and others.
  • What can I say. The song speaks for itself. How can one not say this was the best song for 2012.

The Daily Grindhouse: Mother’s Day (dir. by Darren Lynn Bousman)

One of the great things about writing about films is that occasionally you both get to watch a film that, despite all of your expectations, turns out to be pretty good and then you get to tell other people about it!  Case in point: 2012’s Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day opens with two memorable scenes.  In the first scene, we watch as a mysterious woman sneaks into a hospital and kidnaps a baby out of the maternity ward.  When a guard attempts to stop her, he ends up with a knife driven into his throat.  While we’ve seen similar scenes in other horror movies, it’s rare that we’ve ever seen this scene handled as well as it is in Mother’s Day.

The second scene opens with an almost intrusive close-up of a woman (played by Jaime King) sobbing as she stares at herself in a mirror.  Again, it’s not that we haven’t seen this scene in other horror films.  Instead, it’s the fact that Jaime King so totally throw herself into those sobs.  We believe her tears and immediately, we want to know why she’s crying and we want to know how she’s connected to that baby being kidnapped from the hospital.  In just two scenes, Mother’s Day captures our attention and, once it grabs a hold of us, it doesn’t let go for the next two hours.

It turns out that King and her husband have just bought a new house and, on one stormy night, they’re throwing a party with a few of their closest friends.  It quickly becomes obvious that, regardless of how happy everyone’s pretending to be, there’s a lot of tension between King and her husband.  Something has happened in the past that no one wants to talk about…

Suddenly, three heavily armed men barge into the house and take everyone hostage.  The three of them are brothers and they’ve just robbed the bank.  The youngest has been shot and is bleeding to death on the couch.  The oldest brother explains that they’re looking for their mother.  She used to live in the house before King and her husband bought it.  The brothers didn’t know that their mother had been kicked out of the house and they’ve been mailing money to the address for the past few months.  When King and her husband claim that none of the money ever showed up at the house, the brothers call their mother and soon, mom shows up to take control of the situation.

Mom is named Natalie and she’s played by Rebecca De Mornay.  From the minute she shows up, it’s obvious that Natalie is both obsessed with her children and that she’s totally and completely insane.  Continually switching between being sweet and psychotic, Natalie is a thoroughly frightening and disturbingly believable monster.  De Mornay wisely underplays Natalie’s more showy moments and prevents the character from becoming just another stereotypical movie psycho.  Instead, she’s the type of villain that we can easily imagine meeting in the real world.  Needless to say, that makes her a hundred time more frightening than any faceless killer with a machete.

Mother’s Day, which was made in 2010 but not released in the U.S. until earlier this year, is a remake of low-budget, 1980 horror film.  This is a rare case where the remake is about a thousand times better than the original.  Director Darren Lynn Bousman keeps the action moving at a perfect pace and the film’s cast (which includes True Blood‘s Deborah Ann Woll in a showy role) creates a disturbingly credible gallery of rogues and victims.

Mother’s Day is a rarity — a horror remake that not only deserves to be seen but which is so good that the original might as well just be an afterthought.

( An earlier version of this review appeared on