Paris is Burning by Jennie Livingston

DVD Publication Date: February 22, 2012

 

On December 31, 2018, Hector Xtravaganza, Grandfather of the House of Xtravaganza (one of the early Latino drag families), died at the age of 60. Hector was featured in Paris is Burning and served as a consultant on the Ryan Murphy show about the New York gay ballroom scene of the 1980s. Pose.

Paris is Burning was filmed in the mid to late 1980s and chronicles the ball culture of New York City’s Black, Latino, Gay and Transgender community.

Paris is Burning follows the largely African-American Ball scene in New York City. Livingston became interested in the scene when she met a group of young gay men doing what they called “voguing” in Washington Square Park. Thinking the ball scene would make an interesting university project, the men suggested she contact the creator of the vogue moves, Will Ninja, who introduced her to the ball scene where contestants would have walk-off competitions in a variety of categories. Contestants would be scored on a number of categories including realness of drag whether it be boy drag (banjee — or passing as straight), girl drag or androgyny. In exploring the ball scene, Livingston connected with many individuals and highlighted their stories.

Continue reading Paris is Burning by Jennie Livingston

American Horror Story: Asylum

Aired: October 17, 2012 – January 23, 2013

 

American Horror Story: Asylum is set mostly in 1964, Kit Walker (Evan Peters) is accused of killing his wife (Britne Oldford) and locked up in Briarcliff Manor, an asylum that houses the criminally insane. Court-appointed psychiatrist, Dr. Oliver Threadson (Zachary Quinto) is assigned to assess Walker’s ability to stand trial. Reporter Lana Winters (Sarah Paulson) requests access to the asylum as she sees exposing the mistreatment of the patients as the making of her career. Sister Jude (Jessica Lange) denies her access so Lana sneaks in and is injured. Jude initially uses the injury and then Lana’s homosexuality to keep her locked away. Dr. Arthur Arden (James Cromwell) is using the patients to make the ultimate human beings. Dark forces are at work. In modern-day in the ruins of Briarcliff will history repeat itself?

Asylum is the second show in the American Horror Story series.

Continue reading American Horror Story: Asylum

Back to the Future (1985)

Release Date: July 3, 1985 | DVD Release Date: March 8, 2016

 

Back in the FutureMuch has been written about this classic 1985 film starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd and Lea Thompson so rather than review the film, I plan to examine why it has remained popular 32 years after its initial release. Enjoy my take on Back to the Future (1985). Continue reading Back to the Future (1985)

Holiday in Handcuffs (2007)

Movie Released: December 9, 2007 | DVD Release Date:October 7, 2008

 

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Trudie (Melissa Joan Hart) is having a rough holiday season. She’s struggling financially and her boyfriend dumps her just before she heads home for the holidays. Feeling the pressure to please her parents (Timothy Bottoms and Markie Post), she kidnaps David (Mario Lopez) and convinces him to play along with her plan and pose as her boyfriend Nick. Can Trudie hold it together long enough to satisfy her parents?

 

 

 

 

Continue reading Holiday in Handcuffs (2007)

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

Movie Released: December 1, 1989 | DVD Released: September 30, 2008

 

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Clark Griswold has a dream of surprising his family with a backyard pool. The only impediment to making the dream a reality is that his bonus has yet to arrive. While they wait, Clark and crew enjoy the most wonderful time of the year with cherished family and surprise visitors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

Elf (2003)

Movie Released: November 7, 2003 | DVD Releasd: October 24, 2006

 

DVD_ElfA child slipped into Santa’s sack one Christmas Eve and was taken to the North Pole where he was adopted by an older elf (Bob Newhart). When he finds out that he is human, the elf decides to go on a quest to New York City to find his biological father, a hard-hearted Children’s publisher. Will everything work out as Buddy expects?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading Elf (2003)

Doctor Who 2014 Christmas Special: The Last Christmas

DVD Release Date: February 17, 2015

 

DVD_Doctor_Who_Last_Christmas The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Clara (Jenny Coleman) must help scientists plagued by crab-like creatures at a North Pole Scientific Station with the help of Santa (Nick Frost) and his elves.

Readers of this blog will know that I am a big fan of Doctor Who as well as the comedic characters normally played by Nick Frost. In [easyazon_link identifier=”B00QHND1BO” locale=”US” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]Doctor Who: Last Christmas[/easyazon_link] the actor takes a darker interpretation of an iconic character.

 

 

Continue reading Doctor Who 2014 Christmas Special: The Last Christmas

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966) – A Love Letter

Movie Released: December 18, 1966 | DVD Released: October 20, 2015

 

DVD_How_The_Grinch_Stole_ChristmasThe 1966 version of [easyazon_link identifier=”B002JUFPUE” locale=”US” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Deluxe Edition)[/easyazon_link], voice-acted by Boris Karloff,  is a holiday necessity in our household. We own the DVD but always make a point of watching when it airs on television. The green character with a heart three sizes too small and his dog Max, represent the true start to the Dewhirst holiday season.

 

Continue reading How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966) – A Love Letter

Spooky Halloween Reads and More for 2015

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Books

Reviewed especially for Halloween:

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Vincent Price: A Daughter’s Biography by Victoria Price

The late Vincent Price was the master of horror and comedy. His movies had an eerie and unsettling quality that made him a horror film icon. Read a review of his biography written by his daughter, Victoria Price.

 

 

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The Black Witch by Micheal Rivers

In the tradition of his enticing book Verliege, Rivers, once again, takes the reader on a supernatural adventure. This time, he chose the sea as a location for tragedy and suspense on board of The Black Witch—read what happens in this review.

 

 

GW_Oh_Shit_Im_DeadOh Shit, I’m Dead! by G.R. Williams

This debut novel by Williams is a short story into the afterlife. The character, Ray, takes readers along on an emotionally-charged journey to the final destination. Read The Oh Shit, I’m Dead! review.

 

 

 

 

Spooks Reads Recommendations

For this year’s Halloween, we put together some spooky reads that have been reviewed throughout the year on this website. Check out our Spooky Reads for Halloween 2015 list.

 

 

Further Reading

 

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The Mariner’s Shadow by Clive S. Johnson

Once again, Rabid Reader’s Reviews is able to present one of Clive S. Johnson’s popular poems The Mariner’s Shadow. Don’t miss out on his other two poems From a Moorland Walk and Remiss that were published on this blog in 2014. Clive S. Johnson is a science fiction author and poet. Check out a review of the book Cold Angel Days, the fourth book in The Dica Series.

 

Veronica Scott

Romance, science fiction author, Veronica Scott, presents a special post and illustrations dealing with Victorian Veggie People for Halloween.

 

HALLOWEENPALOOZA III: 31 Days of Halloween

There is a Halloween celebration going on on the HALLOWEENPALOOZA Facebook page. You can read short stories entered for this event on the HALLOWEENPALOOZA blog.

 

…and More

Last year’s movie reviews proved to be a success. This year again, we reviewed some movie classics for you:

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House of Wax (2005 | 1958)

A remake of the original House of Wax starring the legendary actor Vincent Price that does not live up to its 1953’s predecessor. The message conveyed in the modern version is that if you’re going to take a detour, take a lot of friends to keep the killers busy while you look for a way out. Read more about House of Wax.

 

 

 

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Two Thousand Maniacs! (1964)

This movie was one of the first that introduced the audience to a formulaic plot line and gory details. It is a parody of southern hospitality, which at times, has a very comical effect. The film was mostly played in drive-in movies and became on instant success. Read more about Two Thousand Maniacs!

 

 

 

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The Screaming Skull (1958)

The Screaming Skull is a cult classic and a fun look at the classic, psychological horror genre. You won’t die of fright watching it, but it contains enough highly dramatic and scary moments to keep you watching. The movie was based on the classic horror story by the author F. Marion Crawford and originally published in 1911. Read more about The Screaming Skull.

 

 

 

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 Shaun of the Dead (2004)

This horror, comedy movie is a British-French-American production dealing with an apocalyptic zombie uprising and has become a cult classic. Because of its satirical approach, it is now considered one of the top horror movies of the decade and the best zombie movie ever made. According to Screenrant, Shaun of the Dead is one of Tarantino’s top 20 movies.

 

 

 

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Ghost Ship (2002)

Originally, the screenplay was written as a relatively bloodless psychological horror movie. The script underwent several revisions and turned Ghost Ship into a gory film with an emphasis on the supernatural element.

 

 

 

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The Uninvited (1944)

This atmospheric and moody film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Black and White Cinematorgraphy in 1945. The movie is based on the novel “Uneasy Freehold” by Dorothy Macardle that was published in 1942. The Uninvited is listed as one of the 11 scariest horror movies of all time by Martin Scorsese.

 

 

DVD_Attack_of_the_Killer_TomatoesAttack of the Killer Tomatoes (1978)

What type of movie do you get when scientists experiment with tomatoes? A musical, black comedy horror B-movie that is so bad, it became part of the pop culture. Although Attack of the Killer Tomatoes will probably go into the annals of the worst vegetable movie ever made, fans are pushing for a remake.

 

 

 

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Killer Klowns From Outer Space (1988)

This movie is a science fiction, a horror comedy that has reached a cult classic status. Aliens, who resemble evil circus clowns, invade a small town. Although the storyline is considered quite simple, the movie, in general, is reminiscent of past B-movies. Killer Klowns From Outer Space received praise for its special effects and visual design.

 

 

 

Around the Internet

On the Metro page you can check out the 5 tips (from scientists) on how to survive a zombie apocalypse.

Bored Panda has a great recipe for a red velvet zombielicious Brain Cake.

Live Science page has a ‘The Walking Dead’: How to Survive a Zombie Invasion article on their site.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Earth Edition is having a Halloween round-up. Articles include the history and traditions of HalloweenThe Perfect Halloween PumpkinHow to Make Green Goo/GloopPumpkin-Potato-Polenta Dumplings and Scary Tales for Halloween.

Zombie Research Society is the leading expert on everything zombie. Their homepage is dedicated to zombie survival, zombie culture and zombie science. Enjoy articles like The Benefit of Cannibalism, Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse, Zombie-Proof your Apartment, 7 Badass Zombie Kills, and the Apocalypse Check List: High-Tech Gadgets.

Business Insider released an article A giant ‘spooky’ space rock is flying close to Earth on Halloween, but that’s not the most disturbing part. We hope this is not any kind of zombie apocalypse.

Fast Company has run an article with photos of Running a Haunted House is Scarier Than You Think.

Missed Spooky Halloween Reads and More last year? check out our post now.

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Ship Illustration:
©Clive Johnson — All Rights Reserved

Skull Photo:
©Rowan Russell — All Rights Reserved