Decent Mess Just look at all this stuff



By Alex Jacobs

HORRARTHON2k14This is the fourth time I’ve programmed a 24-hour HORRARTHON & I’ve gotten pretty good at it, though I took some harsh lessons from the back half - well, you'll see. The viewing times here are an approximation, as this was meant to be a noon-to-noon deal, but we started 20 minutes late & got so off-track running around between movies that I had to cut a whole movie to get us out by noon. Alas, my 4:20 screening became a 4:45... anyway, you’ll see. Next year I think I gotta just rip everything onto a hard drive & make a video playlist & refuse to pause if I want this shit to run like clockwork (and I sooooo do) but it is fun to have a little anarchy in your moviethon. In any case, here's fifteen horror movies & episodes I totally recommend, except for one that I totally don't. You'll see. Away we go!

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Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

By Alex Jacobs

terrorheaderHoly shit. So I definitely spoke too soon in proclaiming Monster Zero as the best of the older-era Godzilla movies, because Terror of Mechagodzilla is fucking radical, man. I watched whatever English-dub-American-edit version is on DVD & Netflix.

Terror of Mechagodzilla gets brownie points right off the bat for being the first Godzilla movie I've watched that treats the series like a long-running TV show. The first ten minutes and opening credits are a seriously badass "Previously, on Godzilla…" montage that covers all key information from the 14 preceding films via narration & stock footage, including a lengthy chunk from Monster Zero and, thankfully, much of 1974's Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, which I remember being awesome but haven't been able to revisit due to its out-of-print status (if anybody has $100 to blow on a gift for me tho, please, be my guest). The recap serves to build up Godzilla's most explosive smashin' yet, amidst dinosaurs, robots, funky suit-coats & forbidden undead cyborg love.

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Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965) aka Monster Zero (1970)

By Alex Jacobs

astroheader(This is one of those Godzilla movies with like fifty different titles, but I understand its "official" title is Invasion of Astro-Monster, though it's also out there as Monster Zero or Godzilla vs. Monster Zero. I watched the English dub because I'm lazy and it seemed like more fun.)

A chummy pair of exploratory astronauts discover PLANET X, which is full of people in silver jumpsuits that are sick of being attacked by “Monster Zero” (Ghidorah) all the time. The Xians ask if they can borrow "Monsters Zero-One and Zero-Two," known in our Earth tongue as Godzilla and Rodan (“everything has a number here,” their leader stubbornly insists), to have a two-on-one CAGE MATCH that’ll fix their monster problem once and for all and totally not make it worse. Earth says okay and lets Planet X kidnap the monsters (who were just chilling in the ocean not attacking anybody) via space-bubbles dragged behind their flying saucers. I should note that the Xians are real dicks to the Earthlings throughout this whole negotiation process, taking every opportunity to correct any implication that Earth technology is even comparable to their own. At one point they even insist that their duplicate build of an earth spaceship is better. Their duplicate. Whole lotta red flags with these fuckers, basically, but we're still just like "okay, come take our stuff."

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By Alex Jacobs

Happy November! But let's talk about a month ago. Every October I make a point of watching only horror movies, because I fucking love horror movies & there's no better feeling than discovering another great one. I make occasional exceptions for theatrical releases, because Hollywood has its head straight up its ass when it comes to what to put in theaters that month, but in general I'm pretty vigilant about it. Last year I added this unhealthy hobby of indexing every October thing I watch on my tumblr page with a couple screenshots or gifs. This year I tried to step things up further by writing at least a blurb about everything I watched, and it only took me... well, another month to finish up doing all that, but I did it.

At last, you can see me gush about Suspiria, get real into the mumblegore scene, subject myself to another HORRARTHON, give up on Season 1 of American Horror Story halfway through & bail on The Walking Dead Season 4 even faster. Here, for your skimming pleasure, is my October index - just click a title & read all about it. Have fun!

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An Attempt to Make Sense of The Fast and the Furious Franchise’s Titles

By Alex Jacobs

Film franchises can be a tricky thing - while some are as carefully planned as the grid-system streets of New York (though frustratingly difficult to sit through because the first two movies don't have a fucking ending), others are like the sprawling, windy, clearly-improvised streets of some rural European town you barely remember visiting that one spring break. The latter kind can be especially difficult for the poor stiffs in the marketing department to handle, as each unexpected financial success births the next film in what was never intended to be a franchise.

Sometimes retconning is necessary (ie a little movie called Star Wars that was definitely not the fourth chapter of an epic pre-planned nine-chapter saga), or having the forethought/arrogance to just name your standalone film as if there'll be a shit-ton of sequels (usually involving a colon, or the  main character's name followed by "and the..."). And there is, of course, the time-worn tradition of just slapping a 2 on the end of the second film & ascending in number from there, with an optional subtitle.

It's fitting that The Fast and the Furious franchise is far too fast and furious to stop and consider any of these possibilities, perhaps the only SIX-MOVIE franchise to not even give a fuck about any conceivable naming pattern. I feel like a plucky social worker trying to make sense of these troubled youths' shenanigans, with their cars and their bikinis and their house music, but I'll try to lay it all out for you nonetheless.

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By Alex Jacobs

Whoa! Hey. We made a movie! It's all done & actually just got featured on The AVClub as part of the their Parameter short film competition. I was pretty excited about that. So excited I instagrammed it. YUP. Anyway, you can go watch it over here right now if that tickles your fancy. I would encourage you to do so. I would.

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By Alex Jacobs

OHHHHH YEAH KIDS! After extensive test marketing, the Batman Drinking Game is stronger than ever! YOU'VE GOT TO TRY IT. ROLL SIXES I KNOW YOU GOT IT IN YOU


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Batman Drinking Game

By Alex Jacobs

In celebration of that one movie coming out this weekend, I went ahead and made a printable board game just for you - it's the Batman Drinking Game!! Yeah. I thought you might like it. It's kind of a first draft, so let me know how you feel about it before I update the lil guy again.

Click through to its own page to see the whole thing & print it out & show everybody how cool you can be.

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Aliens (Special Edition) (1986)

By Alex Jacobs

The original Alien is a great Sci-Fi Horror movie, almost a slasher movie on a spaceship, with the monster picking off the crew one by one. James Cameron apparently saw that movie and thought it'd be better to pit an army of those monsters against an elite human military squad, that fucking genius, and the result was Aliens seven years later. If Alien is a haunted house at a theme park, Aliens is the big scary roller coaster right next to it. Me, I like the roller coaster.

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By Alex Jacobs

Yeah, kids. For this month's movie playlist, I decided to take a stroll down memory lane to all the Oscar-snubbed films that throw me into a blind fury for not achieving the recognition they so deserve. But, really, I shouldn't care so much - the Oscars are, after all, total bullshit. No, really, check this out- the majority of the academy's voters are rich old white dudes, and it's just getting more and more obvious as they grow older and whiter with each passing year. After hearing enough stories (like how people voted for Crash to win best picture just because they were tired of hearing about Brokeback Mountain - yeah, that win wasn't about you, Crash, sorry) you've got to take these awards with a grain of salt. So join me, if you will, on this tour of Academy folly, to better brace ourselves for this year's batch of disappointment.

I should note that this playlist is primarily about snubs in the Best Picture-y categories (including Documentary and Foreign Film) - so I left off stuff like Jungle Fever, in which I'd love to point out Samuel L. Jackson's fucking amazing not-even-nominated supporting performance, but the film itself is pretty uneven. Jackson did eventually snag a supporting actor nomination for Pulp Fiction, but he lost to... Martin Landau in Ed Wood... Yeah. Old white dudes.

Times are included if you want to marathon this, as always. This marathon's just over twelve hours. ENJOY!

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