Friday, October 20, 2006

Freak Out

Freak Out

Freak Out

So chilling… you'll laugh yourself to death.

Anchor Bay Entertainment, an IDT Entertainment company, gives cult film fans yet another treat with the November 7th DVD premiere of Freak Out, director Christian James's first excursion into stomach-clutching, bloodcurdling and drop-dead hilarious horror. Winner of numerous accolades including the “Commendation Award” for Feature Films at Manchester's Festival of Fantastic Films, “Best Genre Cross-Over” Award at the Rhode Island International Horror Film Festival, and an official selection at the Montreal Fantasia Festival, Freak Out is set up to please both “serious” and “spoof” horror fans alike. SRP for the 2-disc Special Edition DVD is $19.98 and pre-book is September 27th 2006.

Turning the great horror movie clichés on their severed ears, Freak Out opens like all great slasher films -- with a flashback of an incidental character. Young Cliff is being dropped off at school by his alcoholic mother, only to be tormented by his teacher and peers. Thirteen years later, Cliff escapes from a mental institution to find that the school that he vowed revenge on is no longer standing. Disappointed and with nowhere to go, Cliff wanders onto the doorstep of horror film addicts Merv and his best friend Onkey. With visions of slashers and maniacs and box-office grosses (oh my!) dancing in their heads, wannabe schlock kings Merv and Onkey fit Cliff with a potato sack on his head and cover his face with a hockey mask, transforming him into the ultimate homicidal filmaniac. Things soon take a turn for the worst after the killer “finds his groove,” dispatching shoppers and employees alike in a supermarket. With their Frankenstein officially out of control – killing everyone in sight -- Marv and Onkey start to have second thoughts. Can they stop their own creation or are they – and the town -- doomed?

Freak Out has already created a buzz among comedy and horror aficionados. The film has been critically acclaimed by Rue Morgue, calling Freak Out “one of the finest indie horror-comedies of the year,” All Things Zombie who raved “a winner, destined to be a fan favorite,” and Arrow-in-the-Head who dubbed the film “A high-rolling, non-stop laugh fest.”

Freak Out is stuffed with an asylum-full of bonus features including:
Two audio commentaries with Director/Writer/Producer Christian James, Actor/Writer Dan Palmer and Actor/Producer Yazz Fetto (#1); Christian James, Dan Palmer and Actors James Heathcote, Nicola Connell and Chilli Gold, moderated by BBC Radio 1 movie critic James King (#2)

“Making Out” Behind The Scenes Featurette
“Geek Out” Featurette – Internet movie critics expressing their views on the movie
“Bum-Feeling 101” Sketch featuring the characters of Freak Out
“5 Minute Film School” Humorous and informative film school-type tips
“Honey, I Blew Up The Looney” Featurette
“The Video Store” Spoof films
17 Deleted Scenes
Zaniac Music Video

# # #

Freak Out
Street Date: November 7
Pre-Book: September 27
Catalog #: DV13320
UPC: 0 131313320-9 4
Run Time: 103 Minutes
Rating: Not Rated
SRP: $19.98

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


I think we all follow psychic migrations at times. I'm thinking about Vaux's Swifts, how they hover into dark clouds and swoop down into Chapman Elementary here in Portland. The hawks come and pick them off, diving into their midst, hovering at the chimney's edges, devouring them and coming back for more (in their own cyclical patterns). I am in awe of these swifts, as they come like clockwork every September to the city before they continue on their journey to Central America. They know, in their hearts, they are meant to be here, to collect together and rest and perch against the bricks inside the chimney. I consider my family like this: we gather and rest together at holidays, feeding each other spiritual nutrients. And I keep getting these images (romanticized, grant you) of the Chapman children, willing to be chilled back in the '80s, to keep the heat off and rub their hands together so the birds knew they could call a place Home.

Friday night Jennifer, Karin, and I went to the Sauvie Island Corn Maze, the first one, the "non-haunted" but almost more eerie one, where we bumped into strangers and got lost over three miles of vegetation. Children of the Corn, yes. The Shining, yes. I loved being there in that smell of farm, of hay and lashing crisp air. That caramel cider tasted incredibly delicious as we sat on hay bales under the cloudy sky and stars and warmed our hands. This whole past weekend was a slice of warming one's hands....Mom and I explored Sellwood, found the closed-for-the-season carnival, and walked through it, witness to peeling clown signs and rusty machinery and silent game booths. Very Lost Boys -- it's like the vampire teens were sleeping, preparing for spring harvest, and we got to walk through their winter cocoons.

I had something (emotionally) yucky happen today. I'm going to keep it in my heart, a dripping heart sacrifice for the Ice Queen (read: the lovely card Tara gave me that looks like it's straight from Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass, where the witch-queen walks alongside the polar bear in some Arctic freezeland, searching for heat.) This yucky tidbit, I already know, is a strengthening of my spirit. I know its reason for happening and I'm okay with it.

Witches. This brings me to witches, the way they burn sacrifices and sometimes themselves. I gain strength from THEIR strength, from their abilities to pull cloaked hoods over their heads and cast spells that can bring love or pain or desire. I've always felt one with the witches, their misunderstood natures. I somehow am able to tap into their creative migrations, their movements toward understanding why they desire to cast spells that could inflict destinies. Who knows.

This brings me to my final note: I bought the movie poster yesterday for A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. Freddy is holding out his razors, and the Teen Heroes (the teen witches/superheroes/misfits) are poised on them, ready to combine their unique talents & efforts together to fight Evil. They are their own migration, aren't they?....[Just now got a call. One of the participants from MSC is in Active Dying phase. He's my library buddy. I suppose he's migrating in his own way, too.]

Monday, October 16, 2006


I'm actually in a pretty darn great mood while I write this. Maybe it's better that way, to capture something while outside of it. (There's that one great quote for writers....Something to the effect of, "We write about what we miss." Maybe that's why I've spent so much time writing about my father, and now about Madison, and many other things.) Then again, maybe it's better to write about something while our heart is torn up with razor blades. In either case, I didn't have a chance until now for the day, but I wanted to say this:

Depression comes to us in the weirdest, most minute ways. I think that the micro captures the macro. In an interview, Alanis Morissette once said that she writes about love/relationships all the time could she comprehend/work on/get better at the Larger Issues in Life (i.e. WAR) if she can't work on the one-on-one relationships first. This is a very wise comment. (And Alanis DOES write about war a lot. She might best capture this in her song "Still" from the Dogma soundtrack.)

My micro depression moment today: I was just about to get on my computer to write. The sun/rain hadn't come up yet, and I'd just finished my first cup of coffee. I looked outside on the back patio, and there was one of Ollie's plush squeezie toys, the baby porcupine one. It was sitting out in the rain, getting drenched. Now this isn't unusual; many of Ollie's toys get left out there. He likes to wrestle with them and toss them around like he's some kind of bad-ass. But what struck me so completely in that moment was this wave of sadness -- Mom had just washed them yesterday, made them fresh and dry and fluffy and pure, and now one had already ended up back outside to get dirtied and mucked-up again. How silly, one part of my brain told me. How trite. How not important. But really, sometimes I think we need the little things--the literally little things, like a porcupine toy--so that we can hold them in our hands and say, Yes, you aren't clean anymore, yes, you fit in my palm and I thus understand you. My depression was "small" but I could taste its edges and understand their reasons for existing. And maybe if I can "get" or comprehend the tiny things then the bigger ones will end up a touch more manageable.

These tiny moments cripple me at times. I mean, I'm just fucking floored by them. I get swallowed. But I always pull myself back out, that's the thing. And I really don't mind them. Depression can be a helpful, instructive thing if we let it be. When I meet people who say, "I never get depressed," I'm always thinking, "Are you for real?" I don't think we need to wallow in it or let it be an excuse to not live our lives, but it certainly is a part of everyone's soul, and it plays its part, and it's unhealthy not to acknowledge it. So, yeah, I get crippled (plastered by the Mac Trucks of Micro Moments) but then I heal, and I'm stronger than before.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Must Lists

I thought it might be fun to type up lists of my "Must" albums, movies, books, and TV shows if I were to be stranded on a desert island (with my discman, DVD carrying case, television, and mini-bookshelf, natch). I'd love to hear from you all in regards to your own lists. Greatest Hits compilations and soundtracks ARE allowed for the Music Musts;)

It's hard for me to stick to ten per list, but I think that's part of the challenge. MANY of my loves will be hovering, screaming at me, right at that #11 shoreline. And it will be interesting to look back later in time and see how these lists have changed and/or stayed the same. Oh, and these aren't necessarily in a specific order:


1) Tori Amos -- Little Earthquakes (Extended Version)
2) Paula Cole -- This Fire
3) Sarah McLachlan -- Fumbling Towards Ecstasy
4) Patty Griffin -- Flaming Red
5) Charlotte Martin -- On Your Shore
6) Alanis Morissette -- Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie
7) Stevie Nicks -- Timespace (Greatest Hits collection)
8) Madonna -- Like a Prayer
9) Julee Cruise -- Floating into the Night
10) Rosie Thomas -- When We Were Small

(Sarah Harmer and Sarah Fimm -- will you ever forgive me? And Heart and Annie Lennox, don't even get me started....And my Plague Monkeys I a bitch or what?)


1) Lawn Dogs
2) Contact
3) American Beauty
4) A Nightmare on Elm Street
5) Halloween
6) The Lost Boys
7) Poltergeist
8) The Village
9) Donnie Darko
10) The Rapture


1) Dangerous Angels -- Francesca Lia Block
2) Sati -- Christopher Pike
3) The Perks of Being a Wallflower -- Stephen Chbosky
4) Girlfriend in a Coma -- Douglas Coupland
5) Sunglasses After Dark -- Nancy A. Collins
6) She's Come Undone -- Wally Lamb
7) The Hours -- Michael Cunningham
8) A Wrinkle in Time -- Madeleine L'Engle
9) Sacrament -- Clive Barker
10) Twilight Eyes -- Dean Koontz


1) Twin Peaks
2) Picket Fences
3) Six Feet Under
4) Felicity
5) Buffy & Angel
(*come on, we all know it's one giant mythology, thus it counts as one show!)
6) Veronica Mars
7) Queer as Folk
8) Friday the 13th: The TV Series
9) Freddy's Nightmares: A Nightmare on Elm Street, the series
10) Dark Shadows

Phew! This was extremely difficult. I'm cringing at what I had to leave off!

Okay, I look forward to hearing from you. The heat is on.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Everlost & St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves

(Un)Lucky Numbers, October (Projects), & Columns

I've always felt really bad for the numbers that get picked on, discarded, and left out because people consider them unlucky. Next Friday is Friday the 13th, and shucks, I just feel bad for him! People think he's all about black cats crossing your path, ladders with those fearful spaces underneath, salt tossed over shoulders. Really, though, 13 -- he's one of my lucky numbers! I mean, I always root for the underdogs. Make that undernumbers. Stand up for yourself, 666! [Side note: I feel bad for black cats, too. I make sure to always let them cross my path. You are cuties and deserve to not be judged by the color of your fur!]

And what a month this is. I just love October. (If there's anything better than the smell of burning leaves, please let me know.) The air is crisp, and there's this crackling energy everywhere. Autumn is my favorite season, and the weather is that nice in-between right now, some sun and rain, some chilly spots and warm spots mixed. Just perfect.

Aaron, Stephenie, and B visited a couple weeks ago. Aaron's life is a touch more complete because we went to Astoria, and did the Goonies tour. How fun that was! To take pictures in front of the Goonies house. And, next door, I re-enacted "I want my bike! I want my bike!" for the camera. A part of me TOTALLY identifies with that little girl in that pink coat stomping her feet. We all climbed up the Astoria column, too, and gazed out over the lush city. I think Astoria is officially my favorite coastal village....Oh, and we went to Lunar Boy Gallery (, where I spent too much money on Christmas presents. What fantastic, strange stuff they have there! And what nice people working there!

Mom, Karin, and I had one of the best nights of my life last Friday. We went and saw Rosie Thomas in concert. (I surprised Karin with a ticket and had the honor of covering her eyes and then uncovering them with Rosie standing right there.)The concert was held in the Doug Fir here in Portland (a very, very cool venue with a Twin Peaks-y vibe).....And Rosie and her brother Brian remembered Mom and Karin from Madison, and we all ended up hanging out! Rosie bought us a round of drinks, and we chatted about writing, Tori Amos, basement apartments, stitched handbags, and Rosie's song "Farewell" (which she played for me....and she also thanked the three of us onstage for coming to the show). Rosie and Brian are just lovely individuals who exude kindness, talent, raw beauty, and magnetism. I was honored to share such a lovely evening with them, and I hope to hang out with them again soon.

All in all, life is good. I am reading two books right now, which I recommend highly to you. One is a collection of short stories -- Karen Russell's St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, and you MUST make sure to read the first story especially: Ava Wrestles the Alligator. It gave me shivery goose bumps, in all the right ways. The other book is Neal Shusterman's Everlost, which is like Hansel & Gretel on YA acid. I won't do it any justice by even trying to describe it further; let's just say it involves car wrecks, ghost children in the woods, and the possibility of sinking through the ground, anywhere you stand, all the way down to the center of the earth.

Happy Autumn, everybody (and tonight or tomorrow night is the Harvest Moon--here's to reaping). Dive into a few leaf piles for me and play hide-and-seek. And while you're there, tucked under a blanket of crisp orange and red and brown, put your headphones on and listen to Tori's box set, A Piano: The Collection, particularly Little Earthquakes-Extended. "Flying Dutchman" is my life song of the moment. I've loved this song for years, but I've entered a new wave where it's taking me by the throat and exposing me to its undercurrents.