Filmed in Paterson, NJ in 1976, the independent horror film Alice, Sweet Alice starring a young Brooke Shields inspired me this year. The creepy movie has a cult following amongst horror fans, but isn’t super well known otherwise. If you can get your hands on a copy, it’s definitely worth adding to your Halloween viewing agenda this season.
The film was a pioneer not because it was Brooke Shields first film, but mostly because of the killer’s creepy as hell mask and raincoat look. Jeff from Dinner with Max Jenke supports this claim: “Slasher icons like Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers, and Leatherface are celebrated for their iconic looks, but to my mind, none of them can hold a candle to the creepy countenance of Alice’s diminutive killer.”
What I loved about Dave Stewart’s review at Bloody Terror was that he pointed out the New Jersey aspect of the film. “In fact, the atmosphere is key to the flick’s effectiveness. Shot in the ’70s and set in the ’60s, Alice Sweet Alice has a terrific feel for its working class New Jersey backdrop.”
Aside from offending devout Catholics, Alice Sweet Alice didn’t leave a huge impression upon it’s release. It’s impact has been felt more in the decades that followed. Captain Cadaver points out at his Happy Horror Blog that Alice was shot in the summer of ’75, way before slasher movies really took off with Halloween in ’78, and goes on to praise the film: “As many shocks as Psycho, as much religious commentary as The Exorcist, with as much atmosphere as The Haunting, there’s no reason why this well written, acted and directed genre masterpiece shouldn’t be listed as a classic right beside all of the aforementioned.”
One aspect of the film that I only found a few bloggers mention is the feeling of being short changed by the resolution. I was let down by the film, but that’s not to say it’s without merit. The majority of horror films feature a swerve, and I was expecting it, even from an early slasher like this one. But I felt unfulfilled. Andre from Horror Digest also had a minor gripe with it as well, and I completely agree with her statement that “…I still think Alice still stabbed the aunt.” You should watch it and decide for yourself! Andre sums it up by saying that the film “…was suspenseful, surprising, and really kept you on edge.”
Being let down by horror movies seemed to be a trend, at least for me as I was growing up. I’d go to the video store and pick horror movies based on whether the VHS cover scared me or not. That turned out not to be such a successful system. Horror Movie a Day brings up a good point about this: “The only thing that really bummed me out was that nothing in the film was as creepy as the film’s poster which used to scare me at the video store as a kid.”
Considering that Psycho is the grandfather of all slasher films, Alice Sweet Alice has got to be looked at as the original niece of the slashers. The issue for many viewers is that we’ve seen so many incarnations of essentially the slasher same film since the ’70s that Alice doesn’t feel as original as it actually is. Perhaps if I saw it back in ’76 it might have been more disturbing. It’s still awesome to see Paterson, NJ in the mid ’70s, especially the scene at Great Falls waterfall. I’ll end with another quote from Jeff at Dinner with Max Jenke – in fact, the same quote he ended his review with – “If you want to know what scary is all about, go ask Alice.” I’ll let you determine that yourself, or you can wait for the remake!
The Sexy Armpit is celebrating The New York Giants huge win over the Green Bay Packers tonight. Next week The G-Men will be facing off against the San Francisco 49ers for the NFC Championship. Before that we’d like to pay tribute to one of the G-Men who has been so instrumental to the team this year and that is Victor Cruz.
If you think you hear boos when he makes a huge catch or scores of TD, that’s actually a CRUUUUZ chant. It’s just like the BRUUUUCE chants at a Springsteen concert, maybe that’s because Cruz is also a Jersey boy. Cruz hails from Paterson, NJ, amid gangs, drug busts, and shootouts. That strife clearly could not distract him from becoming the NFL superstar that he has become.
There have been a slew of kickass Cruz moments this year. Cruz made a 99 yard touchdown on Christmas Eve 2011 against the Jets and he also now holds a Giants record for most receiving yards in a single season, but perhaps his biggest accomplishment was becoming a dad just last week. He’s already turned down the chance to be on Dancing With The Stars because he’s onto bigger and better things such as possibly taking a vacation to Disney World! Be sure to check him out next Sunday when he salsa dances all the way to the SUPER BOWL after the Giants beat the 49ers!!!
As I sit at my computer I can barely concentrate due to the violent winds firing a barrage of liquid bullets at my windows. Weather reports have supposedly downgraded the storm but it seems like we are experiencing a full fledged hurricane. The President and Governor have declared a state of emergency in New Jersey and the surrounding areas. About a million people have evacuated our shore towns. Casinos have been shut down for only the 3rd time in over 30 years. So, while I still have power and Internet service, I’d like to recommend some appropriate viewing in case you are looking for something to watch since you’re probably stuck indoors for the next day or so.
Despite accusations of it not being absolutely historically accurate, I still recommend you check out 1999’s “The Hurricane,” which features another first rate performance by Denzel Washington. Washington was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor and also took home a Golden Globe award for his work in the film and his turn was also lauded by Roger Ebert as being “on a par with his work in Malcom X.”
The biographical film of middleweight boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter’s life works best if you aren’t too familiar with his unfortunate story. Carter was wrongly convicted for a murder in Paterson, New Jersey in 1966 and spent 20 years in prison for it. It’s a compelling and tense drama filled with emotional performances and engrossing boxing sequences. The film also stars Deborah Unger, Liev Schreiber, Rod Steiger, Dan Hedaya, David Paymer, Debbi Morgan, and Vincent Pastore.
– Bob Dylan’s 1975 protest song “Hurricane” is featured on the soundtrack and according to Wikipedia, Dylan visited Carter in prison and later wrote the song.
– Thanks to the film’s IMDB profile, the filming locations included East Jersey State Prison (Rahway Prison), Paterson NJ, and Trenton NJ.
– The picture of Malcolm X used in the film is actually a picture of Denzel Washington from the film Malcolm X.
“Wrestlemahnia” as Santino Marella pronounces it, is upon us! Whether you’re a wrestling fan or not, it’s the Super Bowl of sports entertainment. That isn’t some cliched pop culture analogy either, it’s true. No matter how many cringe worthy moments there usually are at Wrestlemania, I still get excited for the event after all these years. And I’m sure you’ve heard by now that Snooki from Jersey Shore will attempt to channel her fiery cat fighting skills as well as her horrific fake tan to help John Morrison and Trish Stratus subdue Dolph Ziggler and Lay-Cool at Wrestlemania 27.
In honor of the funniest man in WWE, Santino Marella, I’ve dubbed tonight Santino Saturday Night. I’m sure you can guess what tomorrow morning is! Why would I dedicate an entire post to The Tortellini of Temptation? Aside from constantly making me laugh, when Santino was first introduced in WWE he hailed from Paterson New Jersey, which is spelled with one T contrary to it’s spelling in the picture above. Nowadays, he’s announced as being from Calabria, Italy, but he was actually born in Canada. No matter what, I still fondly recall the days that the WWE writers got a kick out of claiming he was from New Jersey. Tomorrow, Santino will team up with his partner Vladimir Kozlov, The Big Show, and Kane to take on I-C Champ Wade Barrett, Ezekiel Jackson, Heath Slater, and Justin Gabriel.