8 Things That I Am Looking Forward To In February


Ah, February!

February is usually one of my favorite months of the year.  Not only do we usually have a lot of Oscar scenarios to which to look forward but it’s also the month of Valentine’s Day!  This is the month of love, people!  Admittedly, pre-COVID, this was also the month when I would usually take my vacation and get out of town for a while.  My vacation’s going to be a little bit later this year, though.

What am I looking forward to this month?  Well, there’s always a chance of snow!  Of course, last year, it snowed in February and we ended up going without power for a week.  That was a difficult time for a lot of people down here in Texas.  It really wasn’t that difficult for me, though.  I kind of enjoyed the snow.  Even without the lights, I could still read a book late at night because of the light reflecting off of all the snow.  That was kind of fun.  But I should probably be careful about admitting that too loudly.

Anyway, here are eight things to which I am looking forward in February!  What are you looking forward to?  Let me know in the comments and maybe I’ll send some snow your way.  (And by snow, you mean cocaine, right?  No, I mean metaphorical snow.  Wait a minute, who am I talking to?)

  1. The Oscar Nominations

The Oscar nominations will finally be announced on February 8th!  With any luck, I will be posting my personal nominations on the 7th.  I have a lot of movies left to watch and I know I’m probably going to miss out on a few because there’s only so many hours during the day.  That sucks but I’m going to do my best, I promise.

2. The Winter Olympics

Am I looking forward to the Olympics?  On the one hand, I am because I’m love ice skating and curling and all of that good stuff.  On the other hand, I’m like, “This is the most problematic Olympics of my lifetime.”  I know that some people believe that we should have totally boycotted the Olympics this year.  I don’t agree with that because that wouldn’t accomplish much beyond punishing our athletes.  Instead, as a proud Irish-Italian-Spanish-American, I will be cheering on all of our athletes, even the really obnoxious ones and I will also be hoping that the coverage of the games will be honest when discussing why they are so controversial this year.

3. Death on the Nile

Speaking of controversy ….. Death on the Nile is finally getting released!  First, it was delayed by COVID.  Then it was delayed by Armie Hammer.  I’m just curious to see how it does at the box office.  Personally, I like the idea of Kenneth Branagh playing Poirot and solving murders.  To me, it’s interesting that he directed this film before Belfast but it’ll be opening at a time when it’s success or failure could effect Belfast’s Oscar campaign.

4. Cyrano

Cyrano is apparently going to finally get a wide release on February 25th.  I guess the hope is that it’ll pick up some Oscar nominations and, when it opens, everyone will be like, “Finally!  We can see what the Academy is so excited about!”  I hate platform releases but I’m still looking forward to finally seeing Cyrano.

5. Marry Me

This looks like the best romantic comedy of 2004!  Seriously, sometimes you see a trailer for a movie that is so destined to be bad that you just have to watch it.

6. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

My Marry Me comments apply here as well, except for the romantic comedy part.  Don’t worry. If this latest reboot/sequel doesn’t work, they’ll just try again in 2024.  Many years ago, someone got mad at me because I pointed out that no one would care about a Vermont Chainsaw Massacre.  I stand by that opinion.

7. Super Bowl Sunday

Yes, I watched a bit of football in January.  It was an experiment to see if I could get into the sport.  It turns out that I can’t.  But I’m still looking forward to the Super Bowl commercials and the trailers and the tweets!  Always, the tweets….

8. Valentine’s Day

I love Valentine’s Day and I never quite get the bitterness that it seems to inspire in some people.  Of course, I don’t think I’ve ever been single on Valentine’s Day, either.

As for what I’m not looking forward to in February …. the return of Celebrity Big Brother.  Ugh.  I’ll watch it but that doesn’t mean I’m looking forward to it.

4 Shots From 4 Tobe Hooper Films


4 (or more) Shots From 4 (or more) Films is just what it says it is, 4 (or more) shots from 4 (or more) of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 (or more) Shots From 4 (or more) Films lets the visuals do the talking.

Today, I am proud to pay homage to a director from my home state, a man who changed the face of horror and the movies but who was treated terribly by a jealous film industry.  I am talking, of course, about Texas’s own Tobe Hooper.  Hooper redefined horror with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  Though his later films were never quite as critically or financially successful as that classic, many of them have since been rediscovered by audiences who now better appreciate Hooper’s quirky sensibility.  Hollywood may not have known how to handle Tobe Hooper but horror fans like me will always appreciate him.

It’s time for….

4 Shots From 4 Tobe Hooper Films

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974, dir by Tobe Hooper, DP: Daniel Pearl)

Eaten Alive (1976, dir by Tobe Hooper. DP: Robert Caramico)

Salem’s Lot (1978, dir by Tobe Hooper, DP: Jules Bremmer)

The Funhouse (1981, dir by Tobe Hooper. DP: Andrew Laszlo)

 

4 Shots From 4 Tobe Hooper Films: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Salem’s Lot, The Funhouse, Lifeforce


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!

This October, we’ve been using 4 Shots From 4 Films to pay tribute to some of our favorite horror directors!  Today, we recognize Texas’s own Tobe Hooper!

4 Shots From 4 Films

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974, dir by Tobe Hooper)

Salem’s Lot (1979, dir by Tobe Hooper)

The Funhouse (1981, dir by Tobe Hooper)

Lifeforce (1985, dir by Tobe Hooper)

6 Trailers For The Sunday Before Halloween


It’s a holiday and you know what that means!

Or maybe you don’t.  Sometimes, I forget that not everyone can read my mind.  Anyway, I used to do a weekly post of my favorite grindhouse trailers.  Eventually, it went from being a weekly thing to being an occasional thing, largely due to the fact that there’s only so many trailers available on YouTube.  Now, Lisa Marie’s Favorite Grindhouse and Exploitation Film Trailers is something that I usually only bring out on a holiday.

Like today!

So, here are 6 trailers for the last week of October!

  1. Last House On The Left (1972)

“Two girls from the suburbs.  Going to the city to have …. good time….”  Wow, thanks for explaining that, Mr. Creepy Narrator Dude.  That classic tag line about how to avoid fainting would be imitated time and again for …. well, actually, it’s still being imitated.  This was Wes Craven’s 1st film and also one of the most influential horror films of all time.

2. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

Speaking of influential horror movies, the trailer for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is almost scarier than the film itself!

3. Lisa Lisa (1977)

I  have actually never watched this film but I love the trailer.  Can you guess why?

4. Ruby (1977)

Ruby, starring Piper Laurie!  I’m going to assume this was after Piper Laurie played Margaret White in Carrie.  Don’t take your love to town, Ruby.

5. Jennifer (1978)

Jennifer was another film that pretty obviously inspired by Carrie.  In this one, Jennifer has psychic control over snakes.  So, don’t mess with Jennifer.

6. The Visitor (1979)

Finally, this Italian Omen rip-off features Franco Nero as Jesus, so it’s automatically the greatest film ever made.

Happy Weekend Before Halloween!

Horror Scenes That I Love: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Finale


Today’s scene comes from the original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which is one of the greatest horror films ever made.  Needless to say, since this is the final scene, it’s a huge spoiler if you somehow haven’t seen this movie.

Enjoy, dance, or laugh maniacally.  I leave it up to you.

4 Shots From 4 Horrific Family Films: Spider Baby, The Baby, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Amityville II: The Possession


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking.

Today, we have 4 shots from 4 films that all feature horrific families!

4 Shots From 4 Horrific Family Films

Spider Baby (1964, dir by Jack Hill)

The Baby (1973, dir by Ted Post)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974, dir by Tobe Hooper)

Amityville II: The Possession (1982, dir by Damiano Damiani)

4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Tobe Hooper Edition


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films is all about letting the visuals do the talking.

This October, I am going to be using our 4 Shots From 4 Films feature to pay tribute to some of my favorite horror directors, in alphabetical order!  That’s right, we’re going from Argento to Zombie in one month!

Today’s director: the master of Texas horror!

4 Shots From 4 Films

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974, dir by Tobe Hooper)

Eaten Alive (1977, dir by Tobe Hooper)

The Funhouse (1981, dir by Tobe Hooper)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (dir by Tobe Hooper)

Horror Book Review: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Companion by Stefan Jaworzyn


Originally released way back in 1974, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre continues to be one of the most iconic and influential horror films of all time.

Not only did the film terrify generations of filmgoers, it also undoubtedly inspired many people who lived up north to swear that they would never visit Texas.  (Speaking as a Texan, I appreciate it!)  So powerful was the impact of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre that it is regularly cited as being one of the first “gore” films, despite the fact that barely a drop of blood is seen throughout the entire film.  Instead, what is seen is Sally (played by Marilyn Burns) screaming while running and Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen) dancing with that chainsaw.

So, how did a group of hippies in Austin come to make one of the most famous movies of all time?  That is the question that is answered in the 2004 book, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Companion.  Written by Stefan Jaworzyn and featuring a foreword by Gunnar Hansen, this breezy and entertaining book contains almost everything you could possibly want to know about this film.  The book is largely an oral history, featuring lengthy quotes from the film’s cast and crew.  (For the most part, Jaworzyn allows the interviews speak for themselves and only occasionally interjects any editorial commentary.)  Along with detailing the film’s infamously difficult production (with Marilyn Burns nearly being driven to the point of an actual breakdown and Hansen, an otherwise sensitive poet, coming close to being possessed by his murderous character at one point), the companion also deals with crimes of Ed Gein and Tobe Hooper’s career both before and after his best known film.

Most interesting, to me, were the sections that dealt with how the head of the Texas Film Commission helped to secure The Texas Chainsaw Massacre a national distribution deal.  Considering that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre basically portrayed Texas as being a place where you could get killed if you made a wrong turn, the involvement of the Texas Film Commission may seem strange at first.  Some of the interviews in the book seem to suggest that the head of the Commission had a crush on Marilyn Burns.

It’s an entertaining book, even if I don’t agree with everything that Jaworzyn says.  (He calls Psycho overrated at one point.)  With the recent deaths of Marilyn Burns, Gunnar Hansen, and Tobe Hooper, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Companion now serves as something of a tribute to these three artists and the film that, to the surprise of everyone, changed cinema forever.