Horror Movies…

My local newspaper’s website published a Halloween list of the 13 top scariest scenes in (supposedly) “horror” movies.  A few are okay, but I have some issues with the list, because some of what they put on there just isn’t horror, and some stuff is clearly just there to give a nod to the last few years, but caused some GLARING omissions.  So here’s their list, and my relevant disputes.


·     ‘Alien’ (1979) – NOT HORROR – I’m sorry…but it’s sci-fi.  I know some people don’t see a difference, but there is a HUGE difference.  Horror should not involve aliens.  (Ya’ hear that M. Night Shamalamadingdong?)  I’ll give you that “Alien” could be classified “scary,” but it is NOT horror (I might even let it slide as “suspense,” but I’m more inclined to just leave it at “sci-fi”).  A scary movie is not synonymous with a movie that is supposed to be horrific.

·     ‘Carrie’ (1976) – This was a good one.  Involves the concepts of payback, revenge, fear, rising from the dead, and loads of blood.  All the classic horror elements, and I’m fine with this one.

·     ‘When a Stranger Calls’ (1979) – NOT HORROR – Technically suspense.  Sorry folks, but home-invasion is terrifying, but it isn’t horror.  It’s just suspense.  Shoot, Indiana Jones had to run away from the Nazis, but it certainly wasn’t horror…it was just trying to get away from someone who wants to kill you.  If we’re going to accept “When a Stranger Calls” as horror, we may as well also accept Dennis Leary’s “The Ref.”  (And, yes, even though I am totally freaked out by the concept of “The Strangers” which just hit DVD — this is in the same boat.  Suspense, not horror.)

·     ‘Deep Sea Blue’ (1999) – NOT HORROR, and also not the correct title, as it’s supposed to be “Deep Blue Sea,” but they messed it up.  Well done, there.  It’s Samuel L. Jackson running around with a bunch of genetically engineered sharks.  Where’s the horror?  Where’s the dead guy out to avenge his own murder?  Where’s the fake-out where the killer jumps out of the closet wearing a pelt made of Grandma?  I’ll admit that the thing where the shark jumps through the glass was awesome…but it’s not horror.  Better classified action/semi-sci-fi.  May as well put “Jurassic Park” and “Orca” on the list if this is horror.

·     ‘Saw’ (2004) – Not that scary…but passable.  Qualifies as horror, though the sub-genre of torture-flicks, which I don’t really approve of, but I can let slide.

·     ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ (1974) – Definitely deserves to be on there.  Ed Gein himself would be proud.

·     ‘Dressed to Kill’ (1980) – Haven’t seen it…can’t judge.  Don’t even really know what it’s about. 

·     ‘The Descent’ (2005) – Not list-worthy, but passable.  It’s mostly a monster-flick, and that always works as horror.  This one, though, I think is just trying to bow to the present movies and acknowledge that something’s been made since the 80s.  I can let that go, though.

·     ‘The Exorcist’ (1973) – Actually a good one.  Based on a true story that happened not too far from where I live, in fact.  This is the one that made my dad want to sleep in the car after he saw it, years ago.  I never quite understood that, since sleeping outside is always scarier than sleeping inside with the lights on…but whatever.

·     ‘Final Destination’ (2000) – Just supernatural enough to qualify.  No problems here.

·     ‘Friday the 13th’ (1980) – Good one.

·     ‘Happy Birthday to Me’ (1981) – I haven’t seen it, so I’m not really sure what it’s supposed to be…but the site described a scene of a kid getting a shish-ka-bob rammed down his throat, upon which he chokes to death…and I want to see that…so I’ll let this one stay.

·     ‘The Ring’ (2002) – Good God that was creepy…good call on this one.


So…we’re missing a few.



I was glad I didn’t see “Psycho” on the list, because it’s more suspense than horror.  So, well done there…but come on…  No “Elm Street” movies?  None of the classic Draculas, Frankensteins, Mummies, etc?  No “Scream?”  No “Shining?”  No “Night of the Living Dead?”  Shoot, I’d even let the first one or two “Child’s Play” movies sneak in if they wanted to…  Or…hello?  “Evil Dead???”  A tree rapes someone in that movie!  How can THAT not be on a list of scary movies???  Yet, they go with “The Descent” and “Final Destination” which are decent movies, but not really classics and not really unexpectedly thrilling (I could have let them pass with “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” or the aforementioned “Scream,” though).  …and come on, “Deep Blue Sea?”  The “Boy Meets World” Halloween episode was scarier (and truer horror) than “Deep Blue Sea!”



…ehh…at least it’s better than most and didn’t list things like “Terminator,” “Jaws,” or “Fargo” — all of which I’ve actually SEEN on other lists!  (And all of which aren’t horror, btw.)


Also, if you’re looking for some advice on some lesser-known scary movies, check out my brother’s blog for a list he posted.



EDIT: I have no idea why the shade of black changes throughout this post.  Can’t seem to find a way to fix it, and it bugs me…  DOUBLE EDIT:  …and why the hell is this green?!?


My friend Angela inspired me to write this, via Facebook.


Some of you know this, and some don’t.  I don’t like kids.  None of them.  Not a one.


It’s nothing personal.  They’re just very small and have absolutely no control over their behaviour.  Sooner or later, they’ll produce a sound or smell that I personally find offensive, and they’ll make me look like the bad-guy for having pointed it out.  I can do without all of that.  But, what’s worse is the ones who’re old enough that they SHOULD be able to control themselves…yet they don’t.  Some of them just have crappy parents…but some of them are already crappy people at the age of six.


Now…there’s a cut-off.  I can deal with a kid once it’s somewhere in the area of 8-10.  Then you can kind of reason with them, and they at least know when to back down…then they hit like 12 or 13 and there’s all these hormones involved…and they should be shot into space.  (You thought I was just going to leave that at “shot,” didn’t you?)


Then they hit about 16-18 and I’m fine with them from there on out…


…but any kid from 0-8, then 13-15, I can do without…


So, dear friends of mine (if any)…  Do me a favor.  Stop breeding.  Especially those of you who’ve been married for less than a year–which is another blog post altogether.




Current Listening:

  • The Misfits…duh.  It’s Halloween.  Spooooooooky!!!

I’ve Been Showing My Boss Around

Fair warning: My spell checker isn’t working…


Next year, I hand the steering-wheel of the Library over to Tom Scott, who will be my new boss.  I’ll be kind of glad to be rid of the extra pressure at that point…but there are aspects I’ll miss.  (Mostly the private office.)  Over the past couple of days, he’s been on campus doing consultant work and house-hunting for the move in May.  He’s a nice guy.  I think I’ll like working for/with him.


One of the interesting things I’ve been noticing about Mr. Scott, is that he’s been very interested in finding out what our typical procedures are like.  He seems to want to adapt to SLCC rather than have us adapt to him.  That’s a good thing.  One of the things that was said to me early on in the hiring process when we were going over his resume was, “We know he can do the job, but can he do it HERE?”  From the attention he’s paying to our operations, I think he wants to.  I think he wants to integrate into the campus, rather than just move into the office.


As I said, I’m looking forward to that in a lot of ways.  I’m also looking forward to being the only one in the office that knows the filing system next year, ha ha.


Sorry that was a boring post…but it’s what’s going on.  Sometimes you have to deal with my life being dull just like I do.  🙂


Current Listening:

  • Tree By Leaf – “Postcards from Rome”

Current Watching:

  • Father Ted – Which I’ve loved for years.
  • Black Books – Which I just got.  Found the entire series online for like $40!  I’ve seen a few episodes on BBC America and liked it.  I figured I’d take a chance on the rest.  It arrives today, so I’ve technically not started watching it yet…more like “future” watching.  🙂

So this is Pretty Big…

The “this” I’m referring to in the post-title is my gut…


At the train-wreck of a gig at the Penalty Box the other night, I happened to catch my reflection in a mirror while we were unloading.  My exact words to Mike and Kenny were, “Good Lord, I’ve gotten fat!  This is ridiculous!”  Up until the last couple of years, I thought of myself as a thin guy.  Then I noticed I put on a little bit of weight when I was somewhere between 23-25.  Then about a year ago (or two?) I got depressed for a bit and got REALLY heavy (I peaked at roughly 212 lbs).  I took off a lot of that weight, getting down to a comfortable, though not TRIM 175. 


After the gig, I stepped on a scale, out of curiosity.  I didn’t believe it.  So a couple of days went by, and I stepped on a scale again.  Turns out it was right the first time.  Folks…I’m checking in at an even 200 pounds.


Now…I’m not one of these “body is a temple” douche-bags…but I also don’t want to think of myself as a fat-guy.  So…and I know this is the WORST time of year to start it…I’m going to try to shed a few pounds.  I still plan on enjoying Thanksgiving and Christmas—maybe even a day or two of Hanukkah, if I get invited to the home of one of my Jewish friends.  Also, if I go to a proper restaurant (or buffet) I still plan on getting my money’s worth.  I know to some, it probably sounds like I’m already conceding defeat, or that it sounds like I should at LEAST wait until New Year’s to get going…but stay with me.


I don’t actually eat that much, normally.  It’s true.  I eat one proper meal, and usually one other small one and/or some light snacking.  True, a lot of what I eat is complete crap…but nonetheless, there’s honestly not that much of it on an average day.  I only eat like a pig when I go to a restaurant or a big dinner—which is probably biweekly at best.  So I think over-eating isn’t really the problem.  The problem is that I don’t exercise AT ALL.  So, mostly, I’m going to start doing some basic exercises.


I already do some stretches for my back just about daily, but that’s not really exercising, and it only takes about two minutes—in fact, they’re performed lying down, just before bed.  They’re really just simple leg-lifts.  (I do more when it’s in constant pain, but I do about two minutes or less regularly.)  So, I’m thinking I’m just going to add to that regimen.  I’m going to add a few additional stretches and crunches.  I’m also adding sit-ups.  Hoping to increase my exercise routine to 30-minutes a day.  Tonight, I only did like ten…but for the first night, that’s a LOT—especially for a fat, lazy bastard like me.  🙂


I’ll be posting about any progress I make.  I hope to post my weight weekly, until I reach a point that I’m comfortable.  But if I don’t…well, I’m probably embarrassed, or I’m trying to ignore the commitment…  So please feel free to ask me about it in person, or in the comments here.  But also please be kind.  The easiest way to get me to NOT do something is to nag me about it.  It’s one thing to say, “How’s the exercising going?”  It’s a whole other thing to say, “So, Derek…I can’t help but notice that your ass is still huge.  Get on a treadmill and put down the sandwich, you planet-shaped snack-whore!”  So…do the former…because the latter’s just going to make me think, “Screw it…it’s obviously not working.”  🙂


Honestly, part of this is just not being happy with how I look.  It’s a tough transition to go from thin to fat in about five years.  Also, part of it’s that I think it’ll help my back to take off a few pounds.  It’s a medical fact that thinner, physically active people have fewer back problems (except for cases of injury or chronic stress) and I HAVE noticed then getting worse lately.  …and the last part of it is that I think I actually out-weight my dad now.  For those who don’t know, my dad used to be a big-fat-dynamo.  Then a few years ago, he had a heart attack and now exercises and diets and such.  His weight fluctuates, I’m sure…but he still looks to be in better shape than I am…and I won’t have that!  …uhh…no offense, Dad.


So…October 27, 2008: 200 lbs.  10 minutes of exercise…  Hoping for better.


Current Listening:

  • Hank Williams III – Damn Right Rebel Proud. 
  • Review: Meh…  Musically great…but how much longer can III live off of making songs about how drugs and Satan are “awesome?”  Seriously, dude…switch it up a little.  You’ve got more talent than that.  Also, if I had one critique of the music, it’s that we’ve all got “Nighttime Ramblin’ Man” and “Cecil Brown.”  Please write a different progression.  But, I DO basically enjoy it…it’s just that I’m starting to feel the “I already had this record” syndrome with III.  Of course, it’s not like Hank Sr. didn’t recycle riffs…so maybe I’m nitpicking.