high school

All posts tagged high school

Pixie’s Cabin Fever!

Published March 2, 2015 by rmpixie

So once again I find myself unemployed and isolated.  This horribly cold winter and my job search has kept me indoors, inactive and a little insane, truth be told.  Case in point:  a knock on my apartment door last week prompted me to tip-toe barefoot, Mission Impossible style, to the peep-hole of my front door.  Who was this intruder, this interloper who dared to knock at my door, bypassing our lame security buzz code system?!! I saw a small being, hobbit-like, hover by my door, and I heard what sounded like a photo being taken.  That was beyond weird.  Was it a serial killer taking a trophy photo of their victim’s front door? Was it the Tall Man’s minion, come to take me to another dimension? I wasn’t about to find out and crept slowly away from the door.  When my sister came home, she announced that there was a jumbo box of cat litter left at our door.  My interloper was the delivery hobbit from Walmart, and the photo was probably them scanning their delivery.

Lack of human contact and a schedule, believing your cats can read your mind, plus the ridiculous amounts of snow and cold weather alerts have contributed to this pixie’s descent into Cuckoo Land.  After that delivery incident, I started to think about all the isolation horror films where characters-mostly employed-start to lose it out in space or the elements; battling aliens, themselves and unseen threats.  I thought I would do a Cabin Fever post about my brothers and sisters in arms sacrificing themselves, mostly at work, as they fight various terrors or their own mental states (I will however, make a note of  putting these jobs in my “circular file” as I look for gainful employment, for obvious reasons).

My top film for this sort of mayhem is of course, John Carpenter’s The Thing.  A research team minding their own business out in the Antarctic, is infiltrated by a voracious alien life form that hitches a ride in a cute dog on the run.  Imagine being out there in the cold, maybe more than a touch bored,  only to have your solitude disrupted by an alien threat.  That kind of excitement I can do without!

 

 

Alien is the next film on this list.  A crew on their way back to Earth after their space mission makes a stop due to a potential distress signal where they find a heap of alien trouble awaiting them.  So basically, this lot was on their way home from work only to have another assignment thrown at them and end up being violated by an alien.  Talk about your contractual obligations.  Sheesh!

 

 

Black Mountain Side, inspired by The Thing, is about another set of researchers on the brink of discovering a ground breaking archeological find on an isolated snowy mountain range.  When they start to have psychological problems, things become deadly.  Once again, researchers doing boring researchy things in the middle of nowhere are at the mercy of an unknown threat.

 

 

Mr. Jones is my next pick.  A filmmaker and his girlfriend move to the woods so he can work on a nature documentary and they end up becoming obsessed with a reclusive artist who creates disturbing sculptures. This film got mixed reviews, but I liked it.  A case of recluse vs. recluse, it’s basically a story of one artist seeking the solace of nature interrupting another artist’s solitude and paying the supernatural consequences.  Note to self:  artists who live in the backwoods do so for a reason.

 

 

The Corridor deals with a boy’s weekend deep in a winter wonderland.  Some high school friends try to reconnect years after one of them has had a mental breakdown.  They enjoy a laddish night of drinking and re-establish their footing with one another until an anomaly in the forest sends them into a spiral of violent psychosis.  This time no one is working, merely trying to relax with their friends and they end up getting scalped, among other nasty things.

 

 

To round it all up, I’ll give Mother Nature the final word, because she going to have it whether we like it or not.  The Day After Tomorrow, which sounds like my West Indian uncle’s promise to return a drill, kicks our butts with some hard-core, extreme and devastating weather.  When a paleoclimatologist warns against a catastrophic event caused by global warming, he is at first ignored, but when the snow hits the fan, he races to save his son and other survivors as North America hightails it to Mexico.  While we are not near this type of disaster (yet), it sure as heck feels like Spring has tapped out this year.

 

The moral of this post?  Well, I’m still not answering my door if you haven’t been invited over, but I will take heed when heading out to an isolated cabin in the winter or deep space, maybe just get some fresh air to clear my head and go for a walk in a highly populated area with a decent coffee shop instead, and perhaps apply for a more, um, “people person” job…

 

 

 

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Face Off Season 7 Episode 10: Creature High

Published October 1, 2014 by rmpixie

For the Spotlight Challenge this week, the artists headed back to high school!  Yuck!  My high school years were pretty crappy, but I did make some friends that I still keep in touch with to this day.  The artists shuddered at the though as well, but this challenge was also pretty unique.  Movies like Teen Wolf, Twilight and Harry Potter involved supernatural characters who still found it hard to be a high school student.  The challenge called for the artists to create a fantasy creature high school student that came from a certain high school clique.

Dina picked a Goblin Nerd.  She based her character off of her sister’s bad perm.  Mr. Westmore cautioned her to watch her details because they could end up looking witchy.  She sculpted large nerd glasses with clay and vaccuformed them to make a great prop.  Her makeup was so cute!  The character’s name was Meg Oblin, and she was a band nerd.  She had a band uniform, braces, and the bad perm as promised.  The judges loved the oversized sculpt and great details.  She was safe this week.

Drew created an Emo Faun.  His inspiration was the students he taught at the Tom Savini Makeup School.  He wanted to design a sad goth kid that hung out with emo kids with a touch of Glenn too!  He felt he needed to “bring it” because he was in the bottom last time, so he really focused on being precise.  I really like the hooves he made for the model’s hands out of L200.  His character’s name was Laurence “Devin” Faunda, and he looked great!  The judges loved the clean application and the faun nose.  Glenn loved that the character’s expression reminded him of a painting of Pan.  They all thought it was well done and loved the colour palette and forms.  This makeup put him in the top looks!

Rachael picked a Faun who was in the cheerleader clique.  Her intention was to go the mean but popular girl route.  Mr. Westmore didn’t like the mean look she was sculpting even thought that was what she was going for.  She sculpted horns and did a life cast of her model’s ears to sculpt faun ears, and also created a mold for the faun’s double joint in the calf.  During her application, she had to take a lot of time gluing her pieces down and thought the were too subtle.  She wondered if it was going to be enough.  In last looks, the horns proved to be too heavy so she had to scrap them.  This was hugely disappointing for her.  Courtney Faunda the mean cheerleader didn’t work.  I thought the details were way too subtle.  The judges didn’t like the rough texture and thought it was rough in general.  They thought the frown sculpt was demonic looking, and the faun ears that Glenn actually liked were hidden by hair.  The overly simplistic concept put her in the bottom looks.

Stella created an Emo Minotaur.  She chose to go with a female character and make an overweight goth cow.  Mr. Westmore told her to balance the weight in the overall look of the sculpt if she was going for the fat look.  I don’t know if I am too sensitive, but I felt the overweight cow character was a tad mean with shades of bully, but if she was embracing the horrors of high school, I guess it could fly?  Anyway, she worked on a fuller sculpt and had to scramble to get her mold done.  She let it cure outside in the sun, and hoped for the best.  It came out great, but she had to patch up a lot of air bubbles caused by steam from the heat as it cured.  This character was called Elizabeth Mino, and the judges liked the nose and elegant profile and shapes.  Stella was safe with this makeup.

Cig went for a Minotaur Nerd.  He wanted to go for a red-headed, “gingertaur” with acne.  Mr. Westmore told him to use a mix of colours to create freckled skin, and he used brown, yellow and red to get a natural look.  He also sculpted smaller adolescent horns out of foam and wire.  This was my favourite makeup.  Manny Minotaur was the ultimate nerd.  He had an “atomic wedgie” with his tightie whities hooked onto his horns, a runny nose and a milquetoast look on his face.  They judges thought this was the funniest makeup they had seen!  They loved the character, solid detailing and the consistent colour on the face and arms.  Glenn loved the character’s expression, and they also loved the forms of the nose, mouth and neck.  He was in the top.

Sasha got a Cyclops Cheerleader.  She wanted this girl to be mean, with lots of eyes (?!) and blue skin.  Sasha, Sasha, Sasha!  The Cyclops has one eye.  Mr. Westmore warned her about the multiple eyes because people wouldn’t understand the character.  She panicked a bit and did some sort of re-sculpt, but the character called Olivia Lids still had a row of eyes on the reveal stage.  I really hated this character.  Sasha was afraid the design wouldn’t reflect the challenge and she was right.  It looked more like an alien and that’s what the judges thought.  They said without the pom-poms, they wouldn’t know what it was.  Strange enough, she was safe.  I was not impressed.  I have seen other artists go home for a good design but not getting the challenge, so I am surprised that she is staying.  Sasha really does have four-leaf clovers up the wazoo.

George tackled a Goblin Jock.  He wanted his character to have a thick neck and a flat top hair cut.  Mr. Westmore told him to sculpt out the hair and not create a pointed head.  After he revamped the sculpt, he got more of a vision for the goblin.  He also created a mullet from an existing wig, and despite fixing the jaw, felt the final look was too blocky.  He also had to fix a blotch of red paint he smeared on the goblin’s face.  George was not happy with the makeup, and rightfully so.  It was too plain.  Even though Doug Oblin was Meg Oblin’s sibling, he was the polar opposite.  He lacked any pizzazz, and the judges didn’t understand the shapes.  They thought it needed secondary forms and it was too blocky.  It didn’t read as a goblin but more muppet as Lois observed, and she thought he needed more practice on eyebrows because these were terrible (as well as the ears).  He was in the bottom looks.

This week’s winner was Drew!!  They loved how the colour was blended on the face to guide the eye.  They also felt it was a professional makeup with a near perfect sculpt and told him it was a great time to step up his game.  I am torn with the person going home.  Rachael came to the end of the line because of her missing horns, bad paint and edges, and generally sub par makeup.  They emphasized how important a flawless application was for a subtle makeup which did not happen here.  I’m not sure this was wise, because I think she is a stronger artist than George, but if they are going solely on this particular challenge, it was the right choice.  George does have unique concepts, so hopefully he brushes up his skill to convey his ideas.

 

 

Daddy’s little princess

Published October 29, 2012 by rmpixie

lovedones

The Loved Ones-2009  1 hour 24 minutes (Australia)

At my horror gal-pal’s prompting, I watched The Loved Ones.  She had originally seen it during Midnight Madness at the 2009 TIFF, noticed it was On Demand, and told me it was a must-see.  When she also told me that people were walking out the the theatre during the screening, that sealed the deal for me.

To put it lightly, this is not your regular prom slasher flick.

Six months after Brent (Xavier Samuel) loses his father in a car accident, he becomes self-destructive, brooding and moody.  This loss has also left his mother in a paranoid, drunk-numb state.  As he struggles with normal, day-to-day life,  Brent is asked to attend the year-end dance by Lola (Robin McLeavy), an odd and intense school mate.  When she is rejected due to the fact that Brent is going with his girlfriend Holly, Lola gets Daddy to fix it.  Brent is kidnapped, muted by some sort of injected blue fluid, ruthlessly tortured, and forced to be Lola’s date.

This is a twisted father-daughter tag team.  There is a disturbing love between them and  Lola’s mother, “Bright Eyes”, goes along for the ride.  You see, she has not choice since she has been subdued.  We learn how a bit further into the movie with the maniacal use of a drill and boiling kettle.  Talk about creative neurosurgery!

As Brent torture continues, we see his best friend Jamie’s night unfold.  He provides a weird comic relief as he prepares for his boozy, drug-filled date with the intense, black-clad Mia.  My favourite Jamie scene shows his use of air freshener as cologne before he picks Mia up for the dance.  The two opposite experiences provide an interesting parallel between Jamie’ best night ever and Brent’s worst nightmare.

Lola and her father have had other victims (one of them being Mia’s brother), and their fate is an unexpected and morbidly cruel twist.  On first glance, this film is gory and graphic with pointless violence.  To me, I can see there is an underlying theme of loss and what forces us to carry on.  Brent and his mother  seem ready to give up on life, but this madness forces them out of their funk to literally do or die.

I have two pet peeves with this film.  One is the dog.  Brent’s happy-go-lucky pooch is harmed during his kidnapping.  Not cool!! Someone has to pay for the poor dog and I’m glad they eventually do.  Number two is the local cop.  When he gets a lead to check out Lola’s house, he peeks into her kitchen window and sees a scene of blood and madness.  Why not call for back up?  Like, immediately!  This always drives me crazy.  Don’t be a hero, man.  Call for back up.  Of course, it doesn’t end well for him…because he doesn’t call for back up!!!  This is a great segue for an upcoming piece:  Pixie’s Horror Movie Survival Guide. One of the tips will be, you got it, call for back up!

Anyway, The Loved Ones was definitely different and, aside from the creepy father/daughter relationship,  right up my alley.  Weird, gross, and twisted, but with a moral:  When you think your life has hit rock bottom, well, you only fell on the rubble, ’cause here comes the Acme sized boulder!

Most Memorable Line:  “You’re my first drilling.”

Favorite Scene:  This time there are two winners.  The first one is when Brent wakes up to his captors grinning and staring at him intently…and then the camera stops on Bright Eyes.  WTF?!!  The second is the King and Queen’s dance.  Lola’s father sprinkles sparkles over her and Brent as they sway to and fro.  Although I don’t know how well one dances with their feet impaled and stuck to the floor.

Telepathic Twins from Hell!!!

Published October 22, 2012 by rmpixie

secondsapart

Seconds Apart (2011) 1 hr 29 mins

This film had such potential! As part of the After Dark Originals, I was excited to see what this contribution had to offer. Unfortunately, the over use of flashbacks drew the movie out to the point where I stopped caring.

Twins Jonah and Seth Trimble lock horns with the persistent Detective Lampkin as he searches for answers to several suicides that occur at the boys’ school.  The look-a-like lads (played by real-life twins Edmund and Gary Entin) ride around on dorky looking bikes, sleep in the same bed, and have a creepy quadruple stink-eye.  They seem unassuming and dorky, but you soon learn that they are not the nerds you want to mess with.  When they hold hands, an evil force is unleashed that makes their victims do their bidding.  Top that with weirdo parents, a new girlfriend, and a bizarre but never explained search for a “feeling”, and you have the recipe for an interesting horror.

Alas, it was not to be so!  These twins were born 93 seconds apart.  I would say that each scene needed to cut the same amount of time.  Despite the creepy and convincing performance by the twins and a cool, modern gothic look to the production, I gave this movie a “meh” and one shoulder shrug.  Orlando Jones plays the detective.  His performance was fine, but the flashbacks that piece his past together were distracting and didn’t really add to the story.  I would have loved to see more on the twins as they grew up and all the twisted things that shaped their abilities, as well as the source behind their quest for the “feeling”.

Of course, this is just my humble opinion.  At least this movie made it to distribution.  And someone is making a living off of these movies, cuz I, for one, am watching them.  So kudos to the director Antonio Negret and writer George Richards for trying something original. It’s a premise that definitely caught my eye.

Most Memorable Line:  couldn’t really find one.

Weirdest Scene: toss-up between the priest and the guinea worm (weird and mildly gross), and the detective’s visit to the doctor that helped the twins’ mother conceive.  His office was in a basement of some medical building and it was just, for lack of a better word, weird.

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