Unless otherwise noted in the post title, these are not
reviews, per se. They are articles for people who have already seen the film or read the book in question--meaning that there will be spoilers. If you're already familiar with the material being covered, or don't mind the plot being spoiled, please read on and leave a comment.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

[Musophobia] eRATicate (2003, Short Film)

"Once upon a time, there was a girl and her rats. The rats were the girl's only friends. They spent every moment together. Until one day, when the girl met a boy. The boy and the rats immediately hated each other. They all yearned for the girl's attention. Soon enough, the girl began to favor the boy. The rats were not pleased. They demanded revenge!"--Official Synopsis
This 2003 short film, clocking in at about 10 minutes, was shot in B&W on 8mm.  It's a silent film, complete with old fashioned intertitles, and the actors over-emote as was the norm in the old days of cinema.  Despite their best efforts, it doesn't look like an old silent film and it doesn't feel like an old silent film. It just feels like a modern film failing in its attempt to appear vintage.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

[Musophobia] Deadly Eyes (1982)

Deadly Eyes - Theatrical Poster
Theatrical Poster
Health inspector Kelly Leonard orders a massive quantity of steroid-infused grain to be destroyed after she discovers that it is infested with rats. Perhaps her investigation should have dug a little deeper, because the rats that have been living in and feeding on this grain have grown substantially, and when it is set aflame, they are forced to find a new home in the city.

Apparently city food doesn't offer all the vitamins and nutrients that they require, because they quickly turn their sights on humans, cutting a bloody swathe through the population...or at least a very distinct subsection of the population. It seems that nearly everybody who is being attacked is, in some way, connected to college professor and basketball coach Paul Harris. (No, there's not any sort of reason behind the rats targeting only the professor, his students, and his associates—it is merely a convenience of plot.)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

[Musophobia] Beasts: During Barty's Party (1976)

Beasts - DVD Cover Image
DVD Cover Image
BEASTS was a six-episode British miniseries of sorts that aired on ITV in 1976. None of the episodes were related except in theme, each of them a horror story revolving around a different beast (mostly animal, but in one case man). All six episodes were written by Nigel Kneale, who was probably best known for the various Quartermass television series: THE QUARTERMASS EXPERIMENT (1953), QUARTERMASS II (1955), and QUARTERMASS AND THE PIT (1958-1959). The year prior to BEASTS, he had also written the highly regarded TV movie THE STONE TAPE.

DURING BARTY'S PARTY was the second episode of the series, and originally aired on October 23, 1976.

Monday, December 22, 2014

[Musophobia] Alfred Hitchcock Hour: Water's Edge (1964)

Alfred Hitchcock Hour: Water's Edge - Title Screen
Title Screen
Rusty Connors has been rotting in a jail cell with his bunkmate Mike Krauss for a good couple of years now. With nothing but chatter to keep them entertained, Rusty has heard a great deal about Mike's life on the outside, such as his drop dead gorgeous wife Helen, who has been patiently waiting for his return. Rusty has also learned about the supposed crime that landed Mike in the clink: a payroll heist, from which the stolen money was never recovered, and the subsequent murder of his best friend and partner-in-crime Pete Taylor, whose body was never found. (It almost makes you wonder how they know that a crime had even been committed.) Mike, though, has always claimed that he was innocent. Not that such a declaration is any surprise. Aren't most men in prison "innocent"?

Friday, December 19, 2014

[Musophobia] Ben (1972)

Ben - Theatrical Poster
Theatrical Poster
This sequel to WILLARD (1971) pretty much picks up exactly where its predecessor left off. In fact, the opening scenes to BEN are the closing scenes from WILLARD, following which we cut to the crowd gathering outside of Willard's house in the aftermath of the rat attack that left him dead.

Among the curious spectators are Danny Garrison, his older sister Eve, and their mother Beth. They gawk and gape for a bit before Danny is ushered home for his own safety, as he was born with a heart defect and too much excitement can kill him.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

[Movie Review] Alien Abduction (2014)

Okay, so it doesn't exactly have an original title, but at least you know precisely what you're in for.
Alien Abduction - Poster Image
The only way that it could be more truthful is if it was called CAMCORDER ALIEN ABDUCTION. Because yes, it's a found footage film.

A family goes camping in the Brown Mountain region of North Carolina, where they experience the (very real) phenomenon of the Brown Mountain Lights...which of course turn out to be alien spacecraft. They run, try to hide, get abducted one-by-one; it's a slasher film without the slashing, basically.

Riley is the young son who does most of the recordings on his camera. He's got autism, and looking at life through the camera lens helps him to cope with everything, no matter how mundane. I'm not sure if this is medically accurate, so to speak, but it sounds legit, and at least the filmmakers bothered to come up with a reason why someone would continue to film while the shit is hitting the fan all around them.

Alien Abduction - The TunnelThere were a few genuinely creepy moments, such as the scene in the tunnel full of mysteriously abandoned cars; and we caught only fleeting glimpses of the aliens, but it was enough to make my hair stand on end. Tack on a couple of jump scares and an amusing backwoods survivalist-type, and it kept me moderately-entertained for the 85 minutes that it graced my TV screen.

The complaints that it didn't bring anything new to the table are accurate. It sticks strictly to the standard tropes and characteristics, never meandering too far from the beaten path. A little additional creativity would have bumped this up a hair beyond "decent", but still, decent ain't terrible, and there are a lot of terrible found footage films. You can put that on your video box.

Alien Abduction - The AbductionIf you're still of an open mind when it comes to found footage films, and you're looking for a little something familiar, you'll likely find a modicum of enjoyment here. If you hate found footage, this certainly isn't going to change your mind—and furthermore, there's a fairly simple solution: JUST STOP WATCHING FOUND FOOTAGE FILMS. Seeing the phrase "This movie sucks, like every other found footage film!" in your assessment doesn't instill much confidence in your objectivity.

Just sayin'. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

[Musophobia] Willard (1971)

Willard - Theatrical Poster
Theatrical Poster
Poor put-upon Willard. He wants nothing more than to find a friend in this unfair life, but he just keeps getting dumped on. His boss is too demanding, his invalid mother is overbearing, and the rest of the world just doesn't get him. He's so lonely that it's understandable he would seek companionship wherever he could find it. Most people would buy a dog, but Willard? He adopts a rat.

Well, multiple rats, really. They start off as a handful that he finds in the unkempt backyard, but they multiply quicker than Disney Dalmatians. Before you know it, there are hundreds of them rifling about in the yard, in the cellar, and even in Willard's bedroom. Out of all these squeaky bastards, only two of them really stand out. A stark white one amongst all the grey furs that Willard names Socrates, and a big black one that he calls Ben.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

[Musophobia] Trilogy Of Terror II: The Graveyard Rats (1996)

Trilogy of Terror II: The Graveyard Rats - Promotional Poster
Promotional Poster
The original TRILOGY OF TERROR was a 1975 ABC Movie of the Week from Dan Curtis, who I like to call the dark Aaron Spelling. It was comprised of three segments that were unrelated to each other aside from the fact that each was based on a short story by Richard Matheson, and each starred Karen Black.

In 1996, Curtis returned with this sequel. Once again, there were three segments, but they stemmed from different sources, and Karen Black had been replaced as the star by Lysette Anthony. For our purposes here, we are concerned only with the quirky but ultimately somehow satisfying first segment, “The Graveyard Rats”.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

[Musophobia] Nightmares: Night Of The Rat (1983)

Nightmares: Night of the Rat - Theatrical Poster
Theatrical Poster
NIGHTMARES is a 1983 anthology film that began life as a made-for-TV movie, but somewhere along the way, plans changed and it was released theatrically instead. It is comprised of four different segments, but for our purposes here, we are only concerned with the final segment, "Night of the Rat".

The Houston family has a problem. Housewife Claire has been hearing the tell-tale scuttling sounds of rats around the abode lately, and when she mentions calling in an exterminator, her curmudgeonly husband Steven vetoes the idea, insisting on going the alpha male route and capturing the critters himself. He returns home that evening with a few traps, which he places in the attic, and when the married couple's bedtime bickering is interrupted by the distinct snap-and-squeal of success, she forces Steven to get dressed and dispose of the dead rodent in the outside trash immediately.

Friday, December 5, 2014

[Musophobia] Of Unknown Origin (1983)

Of Unknown Origin - Theatrical Poster
Theatrical Poster
Bart Hughes is one of many financial big shots that were all the focus of the 1980s, just this side shy of being a yuppie. He and his wife Meg are nearly done remodeling their townhouse, their young son Peter is happy and healthy, and Bart is practically a shoe-in for a big promotion, so all-in-all, life is pretty damn good. Meg and Peter go on vacation with her parents, but Bart has to stay behind for his job. What should have been a fairly relaxing bachelor respite proves to be anything but, beginning practically the moment his family walks out the door.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Headlines: Hobo Stops Begging, Demands Change

This classic headline comes from the 2011 film HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN.  The nameless hobo is tired of the crime that is overrunning his town, so he picks up a shotgun and starts blasting his way into a better future.  Judging from the other headlines on display, he's got his work cut out for him.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Short Film: Devil in the Room (2013)

This short documentary from filmmaker Carla Mackinon explores the phenomenon known as sleep paralysis, where one awakens in bed, unable to move, and sometimes feels (or even sees) an alien presence among them. Although this is a real phenomenon, and the film explains it away using science, much of the brief (8 minute) running time is spent detailing the folkloric explanations--which proves much more interesting, anyway.  Accompanied by a great deal of unsettling stop-motion animation, and offering up some genuinely creepy moments, every genre fan should set aside a few moments to give this amazing short a watch.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Ephebiphobia Is Now Available To Download...FREE!

The EPHEBIPHOBIA 'Zine is now available to download for absolutely free, simply by clicking HERE!

Ephebiphobia: The Fear of Teenagers
Ephebiphobia: The Fear of Teenagers