2022 Scarecrow Psychotronic Challenge Day 3: The House Next Door (2006)

DAY 3. DEAD IN THE SUBURBS: Neither is living in the ‘burbs.

Walker Kennedy — the kind of name someone has in a Lifetime movie or a country star, played by Colin Ferguson — and his wife Col — also a Lifetime name, but hey, Lara Flynn Boyle should be a giallo queen and I’ll take this — don’t want kids and are happy to just live in the suburbs. Well, they were.

That’s because their quiet home is soon in the shade of architect Kim’s (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) obsession, a house that seems like a cathedral to Col. Also, if you don’t think that Zack Morris isn’t going to put it to Donna Hayward, you must not watch many Lifetime movies.

Every couple that moves into that house goes absolutely insane and kill one another, which would seem to stop people from moving in but you know, as someone who bought a house next to a Native American ground and the last owner killed himself — at least not in the house as far as they told us — I know how hard it is to get a home.

Based on the book The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons, this was directed by Jeff Woolnough, who also made Universal Soldier II: Brothers in Arms and Universal Soldier III: Unfinished Business. It was shot in Toronto, which makes a lot of sense when you watch it, because this neighborhood seems a bit too polite, even when the ladies are all discussing affairs. Man, this movie makes me glad I don’t talk to any of my neighbors other than the biker dude next door.

MILL CREEK BLU RAY RELEASE: Black Dahlia (2006)

Based on The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy, which is in turn based on the unsolved 1947 murder of Elizabeth Short — one in which her black hair had been bleached and then dyed red before she was surgically sliced in half with a technique called a hemicorporectomy, her skin washed and her body was posed with her hands above her head, elbows bent at right angles and legs spread apart — this 2006 Brian DePalma movie was in development hell until L.A. Confidential was a success and Ellroy’s books got hot.

The director’s cut of the film ran over three hours but was cut down to a little over two hour for the producers. Ellroy was highly critical of the released film and claims that the original cut is a superior version of the film and more faithful to his book.

After a boxing match between them, LAPD detectives Dwight “Bucky” Bleichert (Josh Hartnett) and Lee Blanchard (Aaron Eckhart) become partners and friends, bonding as a trio with Lee’s girlfriend Katherine “Kay” Lake (Scarlett Johansson). Beyond her trying to sleep with Dwight outside of her relationship, she’s also branded with the initials of the mobster whose arrest made Dwight’s career.

On January 15, 1947, their lives change when the Black Dahlia’s body is found.

Dwight soon learns from Madeleine Linscott (Hilary Swank) that Elizabeth was a lesbian and appeared in smoker films, a fact she doesn’t want to be connected with, so she sleeps with him in exchange for his silence and then introduces him to her rich parents. Meanwhile, the man whose initials are on Kay, Bobby DeWitt (Richard Brake) is out of jail, so Lee attempts to kill him and dies in the process. That grief causes Dwight and Kay to finally make love, but when she follows him later, she sees him with Madeleine, the woman who looks like the Black Dahlia who so obsessed her now dead husband.

The end of this goes beyond noir and pulp to madness, as incestual pornographic films, ruined rich families and femme fatales nearly wipe out most of the main players, which also includes Fiona Shaw as Madeleine’s mother, John Kavanagh as her father and Mia Kirschner as the ghostly Dahlia, seen only in flashbacks and death. Kirschner was originally on set simply to feed lines to other actors in their screen tests. potential actors in screen tests. De Palma and writer Josh Friedman cast her and expanded her role from the novel. As Kirschner resembled the real Dahlia, she knew a good deal about the case and had always been told if there was a movie about the murder, she should be in it.

Plus, the cast also has Rose McGowan, Rachel Miner, Angus MacInnes (Rosey from Strange Brew), Mike Starr (the hired killer from Dumb and Dumber) and DePalma regular — and Phantom of the Paradise — William Finley in his final film.

DePalma kept up his string of being seen as a woman hater by winning the Alliance of Women Film Journalists Hall of Shame for this. Other films inducted in 2006 were A Good Year, Basic Instinct 2, Beerfest, Little ManMy Super-Ex Girlfriend and You, Me and Dupree as well as Mel Gibson inducted for his languge about women when he was arrested for drunk driving.

David Fincher had originally planned to direct this movie as a multi-hour mini-series in black and white. He left the project when he saw that he wouldn’t be able to make it to his standards. While I like this movie, I would absolutely go wild seeing what Fincher would have done.

You can get this from Deep Discount.

Snakes On a Plane (2006)

Back when people thought the internet was a positive thing, this movie had such an online buzz that New Line Cinema used web feedback for five days of reshooting, most of which was spent feeding lines with the f word in them to Samuel Jackson.

It was also the first movie where Hollywood learned that memes and online chatter do not equal box office and then like people getting that Men In Black light to the eyes, they forgot and did it again. And then again. And then some more.

After seeing a gang slaying, there’s no way Sean Jones (Nathan Phillips) is making it to Los Angeles alive. I mean, the guy he’s narcin on, Eddie Kim (Byron Lawson), just set a whole bunch of pheromone-sprayed venomous snakes loose on a plane and then marked everyone with a Hawaii lei to be killed.

FBI agents Neville Flynn and John Sanders (Jackson and Mark Houghton) are going to try and protected everyone on the plane, from flight attendant Claire Miller (Julianna Margulies)  and rapper Clarence “Three Gs” Dewey to Mercedes Harbont (Rachel Blanchard), her dog Mary-Kate, senior light attendant Grace (Lin Shaye) and, well, everybody on this plane once those snakes come on our and start biting faces.

David Dalessandro is a University of Pittsburgh associate vice chancellor of university development who found the time to write this script back in 1992 based on an article he read about Indonesian brown tree snakes climbing into planes during World War II.

Originally, this was going to be directed by Ronny Yu before David R. Ellis (Final Destination 2Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco) took over.

Even though the movie has 450 snakes coming from 30 different species of snakes in the cast, the majority of the ones in principal moments are either animatronic or CGI. That’s because real snakes don’t move around that much and aren’t that fast.

The best part? If you watch this on basic cable, Samuel Jackson yells, “I have had it with these monkey-fighting snakes on this Monday-to-Friday plane!” And here you thought it would be the on-the-nose use of Cobra Starship for this movie’s theme.

You can watch this on Tubi.

Lycan Colony (2006)

Director and writer Rob Roy has had a strong connection to wolves his entire life. It started after he first saw Balto, which inspired him to create his own wolf film. The film you’re about to reach about. The film during which he attempted to contact Balto star Kevin Bacon for a cameo before being somewhat ironically chased off the actor’s property by dogs.

He told the Nashua Telegraph, “Let me say first of all that I am an animal lover. No werewolves were hurt during the making of Lycan ColonyI’ve always loved werewolf movies, but I’m tired of seeing the same storyline over and over again. The werewolf is always a sick tormented beast. He’s always the bad guy. In Lycan Colony, we filled a whole town with them. Some are good, some are bad. None of them are these simple monsters that show up for five minutes at the end of the movie. They’re the life and blood of a modern town, and much closer to us than we’re used to seeing in these movies.”

Roy is self-taught and learned every aspect of filmmaking – from make-up effects to building his own camera dollies, animatronic heads and blood sprayers as well as building his own blue-screen shooting area in his garage – while making this movie. 

Dr. Daniel Solomon (Bill Sykes), a disgraced alcoholic surgeon, and his family move to a small town in the wake of one of his surgeries under the influence costing a patient their life. He has an AA sponsor so bad that he takes him to a bar afterward, a bar where he meets a brother and sister who are ex-military and looking for their adventurer father. Seconds after they explain the inscription on their father’s watch, the bartender ends up dropping it on their table, which is like Chekov’s gun going off before you even see it. This leads to a werewolf attack within the bar, the military brother getting killed and Daniel falling through what can only be a warp zone to escape.

Meanwhile, Daniel’s son Stewart (Ryan O Roy) has fallen for Sarah (Libby Collins), who comes ot his room late at night and brings him to a graveyard where she bites his chest and makes him one of the cursed under the full moon.

Who can save the day? Maybe it’s Athena, the witch played by Kristi Lynn, who loaned all of her exotic animals to this movie which still doesn’t explain why a spider monkey randomly shows up at the end. She licks everything with sight and then explains the history of werewolves in animation that I am not even remotely sure can be referred to as animation. Speaking of animation, the military guy has a neck tattoo that was added in post and it flickers. It’s the most disconcerting take-you-out-of-the-movie thing I’ve ever seen and yes, it is awesome.

Made in Hudson, Bedford, Goffstown, Merrimack and Manchester, New Hampshire — which is why this had the tagline “Welcome to New Hampshire…Live free or die!” — you’ll perhaps struggle with some of the accents. These towns are the homes of stars like Seth Meyers, Sarah Silverman, Jane Balder from V, Grace Metalious who wrote Peyton Place and Adam Sandler. Perhaps most relevant to this film are the facts that GG Allin was born there as well as The Howling star Christopher Stone.

Keeping it local, the movie premiere at Chunky’s Cinema Pub in Pelham on Sunday, Oct. 23, 2005 with a concert/film screening/Halloween costume contest extravaganza. At Chunky’s you can order a Caesar Romero Salad, Wizard of Ozzarella Sticks, Reservoir Dogs (yes hot dogs), the Parmageddon Chicken Sandwich, a Kevin Bacon Burger, a Carrie Cosmo, the Catalina Wine Mixer Sangria, Jurassic Pork Tacos, Rum Forrest Rum or a Jabba the Hot Fudge Sundae.

If you ask Rob Roy, he says that this movie is about “The sensual underbelly of animalistic human beings and what happens when we surrender to that.” He’s expanded the universe of the film in Rage of the Theriomorphs, a book in which Dr. Dan, Dave, Russ, Stew, and Sarah are back and getting accustomed to their new lives and new rules. A new mysterious death has caused an uproar and a new threat to the entire town has arrived. This needs to be a movie, right?

Lycan Colony is the kind of movie that shuts off my brain and lets someone else drive. I never really recovered.

Ghost of the Pirate Queen (2006)

The Full Moon cut down version of Bikini Pirates, this Fred Olen Ray movie has Evan Stone in its cast and I think he just took his outfit from the adult movie Pirates and no one said anything.

 

Jill (Nicole Sheridan) and Dustin (Voodoo) have found a doubloon necklace and the diary of the pirate queen Morganna (Rebecca Love), so they get their friends Susan (Beverly Lynn) and Joe (Randy Spears!) to undergo a seance and that brings both Morganna and Captain Tygus (Stone) back to the land of the living and everyone races to find the treasure.

Also known as Harlots of the Caribbean, this movie has both a cabin in the woods and Morganna’s book looks like the Necronomicon. Except instead of blood coating the walls, people have sex in the shower.

I feel like my time on Earth is short and yet here I am, watching a softcore movie about pirate ghosts.

You can watch this on Tubi.

Fight Club – Members Only (2006)

You know how some people based their entire personality on Fight Club and it was incredibly annoying and you knew they were eventually going to start getting banking jobs like their rich parents and turn into the bosses they supposedly were against and all of their practiced cynicism and white knighting betrayed the fact that they had no identity beyond a film that really was a pose?

Don’t turn your back on those people.

But also, this is about Fight Club – Members Only, a Bollywood movie that takes the title and logo from that movie and well, that’s about it. These dudes named Vicky, Karan, Somil and Diku have started a Fight Club but it’s just for fun, you see, and when people make it not fun — and gangsters get involved — then they need to make it fun all over again.

There is no soap made from human fat nor any Meatloaf appearances or songs.

You can watch this on Tubi.

APRIL MOVIE THON DAY 16: Chai Lai’s Angels (2006)

Also known as Chai Lai and Dangerous Flowers, this Thai action film reimagines Charlie’s Angels as a Thai-centric adventure made for 35 million baht instead of the $92 million dollar budget for the Hollywood film.

The five Dangerous Flowers are Kulap(Rose) played by Bongkoj Khongmalai, Bua (Lotus) who is Supaksorn Chaimongkol, Chaba (Hibiscus) acted by Jintara Poonlarp, Pouy-sian (Crown of Thorns) who is Kessarin Ektawatkul and Na-wua (Spadix) played by Bunyawan Pongsuwan. Their job is to protect Miki, the daughter of a professor who knows the location of a hidden treasure known as the Andaman Pearl.

The best joke here is that chai-lai is thai for gorgeous, which makes this a perfect title. There’s literally non-stop action and a surprising amount of blood, as well as scenes that come directly out of the American version, as well as the idea that men always screw over the Angels.

There’s also a bad guy named Dragon, Miki’s evil stepmother Mei Ling and a cross-eyed transgender villain named King Kong who gets shot more times than I can count. Also, seeing as how the women in this wear swimsuits and lingerie for their missions, it’s not always correct, but it is fun. They’re definitely more capable than any of the man they come up against, which is good to see.

APRIL MOVIE THON DAY 4: Fool N Final (2006)

The tagline of this movie, “Stealing stones and breaking bones,” should tell you all you need to know, as this is the Indian Hindi-language remake of Snatch and yes, such a thing is possible.

Director Firoz Nadiadwala some very loose remakes of other movies like Phir Hera Pheri being based on another Guy Ritchie movie Lock Stock and Two Smoking BarrelsWelcome Loosely inspired by Mickey Blue Eyes, Awara Paagal Deewana ripping off The Whole Nine Yards and Deewane Huge Paagal remixing There’s Something About Mary.

Career criminal Raja (Shahid Kapoor), his lover Tina (Ayesha Takia) and her uncle Choubey (Paresh Rawal) are jewel thieves when Raja isn’t also living the life of Rahul, who had been killed in an accident. However, a gangster named Moscow Chikna (Arbaaz Khan) wants to chop off Choubey’s arms. So they abduct Rocky (Chunkey Pandey), who has stolen an even bigger diamond, only to earn the wrath of his uncle Choski (Gulshan Grover), who hires Gunmaster G9 (Jackie Shroff) to cut their throats if they don’t give him back his nephew.

At some point, everyone dresses like Superman, Spider-Man, Batman and Wonder Woman, which is where the poster comes from, and then Mike Tyson shows up in the credits like this is one of the Hangover movies. Huh?

This did horribly with critics and audiences. That said, it’s worth a curiosity look on Tubi.

GREGORY DARK WEEK: See No Evil (2006)

When Dan Madigan was a writer for WWE, he pitched a character that would have Jon Heidenreich become a thawed Nazi named Baron Von Bava, revived by the Jewish Paul Heyman, whose mother survived the Holocaust, complete with goosestepping and armband like a 1950s heel.

Somehow, he didn’t make it in wrestling. He did, however, write this movie.

Originally called Eye Scream Man, The Goodnight Man and Goodnight, this stars WWE wrestler — and current mayor of Knox City, TN — Kane as Jacob Goodnight. It also made $45 million on an $8 million dollar budget.

Years ago, Officer Frank Williams barely survived facing off with a killing machine in an abandoned house, losing his arm while his partner is killed and seven victims lose their eyes to a killer that somehow survived being shot in the head.

Now, he’s a social worker that’s part of the team that’s helping twentysomething teenagers work off their community service by cleaning up the abandoned Blackwell Hotel so that it can become a homeless shelter.

It’s all a trap as Jacob Goodnight is there to destroy anyone that intrudes on his turf, usually by using hooks and taking their eyeballs, unless they have religious tattoos. It’s a dark and dirty-looking 2000s slasher, but Dark’s talent as a director makes it better than it should be, which is the story of every movie he made.

Producer Vince McMahon supposedly had one suggestion: give Kane a three-foot cock.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006)

A prequel to 2003’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, this movie reminds me that when a franchise has run out of ideas, they always go backward. Back to the well or, in this instance, back in time for a prequel.

Back in 1939, a woman gave birth in a slaughterhouse and dies, at which point the manager throws her infant into a dumpster where its rescured by Luda Mae Hewitt, who raises the baby as her son Thomas.

Fast forward to 1969 and Thomas works in the same slaughterhouse for the same manager and when the plant gets shut down by the health department, he refuses to leave. So when the manager pushes him, he gets killed by a chainsaw and his adopted brother Charlie  (R. Lee Ermey) kills the arresting officer that comes to their home — Sheriff Hoyt — and takes on his identity.

Thomas eventually becomes Leatherface — are you surprised? — but not before wiping out an entirely different set of teens years before the original movie, including Jordana Brewster from The Fast and the Furious series.

This comes from the days when Platinum Dunes were the Blumhouse of the 2000s, reinventing horror film series like The Amityville HorrorThe Hitcher, Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street to varying degrees of box office success. Director Jonathan Liebesman also was behind their reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

At this point, even a fan of the character like me — I dressed as Leatherface for more Halloweens than I can count on a severed hand — checked out.