April 22, 2013

You Want "Lords of Salem" Spoilers? You Got them. My Full Review.

If you're looking for spoilers I can imagine you've already read a few plot synopsis', so let's cut right to the spoilers chase. .If you've read my previous posts, please excuse me for repeating a bit of the information here and please excuse me for leaking information about the movie which was later changed. ANYWAYS...

Firstly, you've probably read that this movie is a departure from Rob Zombie's usual work, but you may not understand how severely different it is. It's hard to even classify this as a horror movie, and we'll have to wait a while before general consensus chooses exactly what genre it is. It is very slow moving and relies more on creeping you out than in-your-face gore. When hearing people compare this movie to other horror directors over the past week I have heard dozens of names. I think it's fair to say Rob was deliberately paying homage to the genre rather than "ripping off" other styles.

When Heidi begins to have her visions after playing the mysterious record, it was really sad to watch her degenerate. One of the witches describes to her the difference between destiny and fate and I think the audience is supposed to ascertain from that that she has no chance of escaping her fate as the chosen one to give birth to the Anti-Christ. ...That I can understand, but watching her relapse and start smoking crack was probably the most depressing part of the movie. (On a side-note, locals were wondering why the film crew was shooting in the ghetto part of Salem known as "The Point", and appropriately enough, this is where she goes to buy said crack!) In one of the most disturbing scenes, Heidi seeks solace in a church only to fall asleep and have a dream sequence where she is orally raped by a priest while he screams Satanic prayers and black ooze spurts from his mouth.

A lot of what was leaked from the plot ended up being cut from the final product during editing. As I've mentioned previously, this included a lot of murder scenes, like the one in Engine House Pizza, and Lobster Joe - who's character was cut completely.

It was also a bit disappointing that one of the clips Rob chose to leak from the movie is a huge spoiler for the only real murder scene in the entire movie, that of author and local historian Francis Mathias (played by Bruce Davison). He is the only one who realizes something strange is going on but, even as he begins to unravel the mystery of the Lords, anyone who anticipated the movie and saw the clip knows he never stands a chance against these nudist hags.

As Heidi's visions get uncontrollable and her friends lose control of her completely, the audience is treated to the final parts of the movie, which are essentially Rob Zombie's take on strange Satanic rituals spliced with short scenes of reality where fellow radio show host Herman 'Whitey' Salvador (played by Jeffrey Daniel Phillips) tries in vain to help even though he has no clue what is going on. The witches get less frightening and more happy as they seem to revel in the ecstasy of the horror around them. Heidi meets a strange midget chicken-winged goblin thing, phantoms dressed as catholic bishops sit on thrones and fondle large purple dildos, Heidi rides a goat, dry-humps a dude dressed like a black metal mall rat, and finally gives birth to the Antichrist, which looks equal parts mandrake root, insect, and starfish. The witches praise Satan, half the audience gets confused as hell as the entire thing collapses in on itself and turns into a White Zombie video with melting cartoon Jesus' on crucifixes.

I assume in the original plot, the record hypnotizes the women descended from the people of Old Salem and each of them commits a murder while possessed, but in the final product we just see them begin to get hypnotized and then appear right at the end alive wearing the strange animal masks, and then to the final shot of Heidi Hawthorne standing on a pile of their dead bodies dressed as the Anti-Virgin-Mary as Velvet Underground's "All Tomorrow's Parties" plays. Definitely the best shot of the movie, I bet it took hours to get it perfect.

I have heard a few people say things like "How can you like that movie? I couldn't even take it seriously it was so bad!" And my response to that is that people who dislike Lords of Salem are the ones taking it too seriously.

The fucking movie was hilarious.


April 21, 2013

Lords of Salem's East Coast Premiere in Salem MA, American Horror Story: Coven, and Wicked Witches!

Usually tourist season doesn't pick up until April, but this year things started early and it was starting to begin in March. It might have something to do with some of the high profile projects involving Salem in the media recently.

There are three major things:

The first is last week's premiere of Rob Zombie's Lords of Salem at Cinema Salem.

We have been anticipating this movie since we first heard about it back in March '11, (edit: Actually, we learned about the idea when Rob started mentioning it during interviews in Fall '10)and it seems like a lot of locals got their hopes up and were expecting something a bit different. I loved the movie but general consensus in Salem is very negative, which disappoints me. I found the whole thing visually stunning, and even if there was a lack of character development and cohesive story line, the plot itself was fantastic. And hilarious. I love cheesy horror films and this one put a huge smile on my face throughout the entire thing.

The only thing that really disappointed me personally about the film was reading so much about it for the past few years only to see the final product and realize how much was cut during editing. A lot of it was important to deepening the plot, but I guess Rob figured in the end that the movie just had too many characters. Christopher Knight (aka Peter Brady)'s character, Lobster Joe, was cut entirely. Also, a lot of locals were waiting for the murder scene we had learned would happen in Engine House Pizza, but that was cut as well.

I'll write a more detailed synopsis and update soon! [edit: And here it is! Spoilers]

The second thing that's had people talking about Salem recently is "American Horror Story: Coven". When Kathy Bates was added to the cast, actor Dylan McDermott was asked how perfect she was for the cast  and slipped saying "She really is. All the witches of Salem... There's plenty of them!"

The thought of Kathy Bates playing a Salem witch had us all so excited we thought we could die, but then director Ryan Murphy smashed our dreams by saying the season would be filmed in New Orleans. Don't give up hope yet, though, Murphy also stated that the show would be about "multiple cities" and they could really film anywhere. He is also on record saying he wants it to include "horror romance" and it will be set in "modern day".

The final exciting thing happening in Salem is the one that a lot of people aren't even aware of. For a while now film crews have been sneaking in and out of town to visit Christian Day, Lorelei, and all their minions and film for the upcoming TLC reality show that I'm hearing might be titled "Wicked Witches". I have a lot of insider information on the show that I'm not going to disclose because it's more fun if things are a surprise, but I can tell you that I really don't think a reality show about witches is going to embarrass witchcraft as much as people are speculating. It's just a TV show, and it's just for fun and the most important thing to remember is that, although they make money off witchcraft, these people are truly authentic witches bringing REAL witchcraft to the masses. It sounds like the stuff they're filming is hilarious and awesome. People are saying the show might come out in May, I have no idea.

Quick loose ends news round-up:

Because of cancellations at Boston Comic Con, Jason David Frank, the original green Power Ranger was at Harrison's Comics in Salem! This is the extremely long line to meet him.

(photo by John Andrews of Social Palates)
Estimates are that approximately 2,500 people turned out to the event on Salem Commons to support the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.

 Behind the scenes at Salem Film Fest. Amy Finkel, director of 'Furever' is interviewed before the screening of her film.
And last but not least, the sixth annual Salem Festival was absolutely huge this year, selling out most shows and playing some amazing documentaries.