Author Archives: Ryan Bridger

5 Kick-Ass Scenes in Horror Movies: 2000s Edition

Hey, let’s look at five cool horror movie scenes! (Beware of spoilers.) Let’s goooooooo!

5. Shaun of the Dead

Shaun of the Dead is awesome. That’s not my opinion. It’s a fact. It starts as a parody and slowly transforms into an honest-to-God kick-ass zombie movie in its own right. The most kick-ass scene? Shaun being forced to kill his own mom. The way this scene plays out is so hardcore and emotional that you forget you were laughing your guts out only minutes before. This was one of the most surprising sucker punches in recent horror memory, and earns a spot on this list.

KICK-ASS LEVEL: YOUR MOM

4. The Mist

The Mist is my dad’s favorite movie ever, and he says it’s all because of the ending. He calls it “wish fulfillment,” which I guess means he REALLY wants to see some giant monsters while out on a drive with me on a foggy day. For once, I agree with my old man, as the ending of this movie is KICK-ASS! But what happens at the end of the drive is what makes it so nuts. Out of gas and hope, our hero decides to play Russian roulette with his son and fellow survivors. Except he’s the only one who gets to pull the trigger. And he forgot to take any of the bullets out of the gun. And pretty much everyone else was sleeping. Then, immediately after he kills everyone, he’s saved! Yay! Life finds a way!

KICK-ASS LEVEL: DAD’S WISH FULFILLMENT

3. 28 Days Later

28 Days Later is probably one of the best “zombies that aren’t really zombies” movies ever, and it’s hard to pick just one scene that stands out. After days of solitary meditation (when that didn’t work I just asked my mom) I realized it was the empty London segment that sticks in my head. The pure loneliness of the sequence instills the entire movie with a sense of terrible hopelessness and illustrates a world where Jim has already missed the conflict…all he has to do is survive the apocalypse that already happened while he was out cold. I couldn’t find a clip of this scene anywhere, so enjoy this song about Thanksgiving. The number 28 features prominently at the eight-second mark.

KICK-ASS LEVEL: 28 (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?)

2. Troll Hunter

Troll Hunter is a “found footage” movie. I get why so many people hate them. Once my mom “found” some “footage” of mine when she put in what she thought was Police Academy II on VHS player. She would later refer to that Mother’s Day as “unfortunate.” You know what isn’t unfortunate? Troll Hunter, that’s what. This movie is paced ridiculously well, with a constantly escalating sense of danger and epicocity. The climax comes when our heroes confront a troll literally the size of a mountain, and the scale is truly frightening. I haven’t seen anything so big since the last time I had to pee. Wait. I apologize for that metaphor, but since Honey, I Shrunk the Kids didn’t make this list, I had to improvise.

KICK-ASS LEVEL: MOUNTAIN

1. Cabin in the Woods

The Cabin In the Woods. Lots of people loved this movie. Then lots of people decided it’s way cooler to not love stuff, and they began calling it overrated. I fall in the first camp, because it KICKS ASS. Even detractors will admit the last twenty minutes are awesome in the purest sense of the word. I mean, come on. Pretty much ALL the monsters EVER appear and proceed to throw the murder party of the millennium. Unicorn murder? It’s there. Clown fetish? You’re covered. KICK. ASS.

KICK-ASS LEVEL: KITCHEN SINK

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The Bloop

I’m just gonna come out and say it. When I first heard of the Bloop—which is a sound so bass-y and loud that some sciencey people claim it can only come from a creature many times larger than a blue whale—I instantly knew its source: my girlfriend.


You know you would!

Fooled you! I’ve never had one of those before. What, your sister? The one working at the movie theater? Pffft! Fooled you again! I was only using her for free movie tickets. BWA HA HA HA HA HA! But seriously, she handed those out like candy. How else could I have seen Agent Cody Banks 2 so many times? I’VE ALREADY TOLD YOU, I’M NOT MADE OF MONEY!


Not like me.


More like me.

So the Bloop. It all began back in 1997 when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (who I can only assume are the scientists that astronomers stuff into lockers at some zany Science High School) stuck some microphones into the Pacific Ocean. Why would they do this? Hoping to listen in on some sweet, sweet whale lovin’, you say? Probably! That was my first guess, too. Unfortunately for the oceanic peeping toms, they only managed to capture a powerful sound blasting from the depths. What made the sound so special was the fact it was picked up by two different microphones—3,000 miles apart.

Think about that for a second. A sound so loud it traveled 3,000 miles. That’s like having to wear earplugs in Los Angeles because those Coldplay assholes won’t turn down the volume at their concert in New York.

Some of the more boring, cynical scientists who’ve lost their sense of wonder say that it might have been ice cracking and falling into the sea, but since the Bloop sounds nothing like overzealous cries of “Icebergs: 1, Titanic: 0!” I don’t think that’s the case.

So what is it?

Apparently, it’s Cthulhu. IRL. I don’t know about you, but filling my hear-sound organs with the cries of an ancient alien/god from the blackest depths of the Pacific Ocean is not my idea of LOLZ. You go ahead and try. Tell me how it works out.

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Review with a Shotgun

“Wait, bro, didn’t this movie come out forever ago?” Well, YES.  And congratulations, cause YOUR PARENTS LOVE YOU. My dad hasn’t taken me to the movies since the Mac & Me incident back in 1988.  Because of that (and agoraphobia), I waited until Hobo with a Shotgun came out on Blu Ray to see it.

I shouldn’t have waited. Cause this movie is the greatest film of all time. Remember Citizen Kane? Neither do I—I’m American.

I keep picking up movies with titles that sound AWESOME, like it’s awesome or something. I rented Dances with Wolves. I liked it until I realized NOT ONE DUDE DANCES WITH A WOLF. What the hell’s the point? Then I saw Avatar, which I thought was about joining a web forum. Ends up, it’s just Dances with Wolves again, except with a hotter chick! WTF?

You decide.

Struggling as best I could to cope inside my cloud of cinematic confusion (yeah, that was alliteration—I’m literary), I stumbled upon a movie called Hobo with a Shotgun.  Within seconds, I says to myself, I says: “Cool. That’s TOTALLY a hobo I’m watching, you know, cause he’s Rutger Hauer and sad! I’m halfway to happiness!” Soon the hobo purchases a shot gun! Holy crap! This makes the most sense since Mom told me Santa Claus wasn’t real and the reason I kept getting dresses for Christmas was ’cause Dad wanted a girl all along…

They’re all disappointed in you, Ryan…

No one will ever care, Ryan…they’re not even reading…they saw your name and left…

Okay, so Hobo with a Shotgun. I guess I should talk plot for a second. Well, it’s about a homeless man (sometimes known as a hobo). He wants to make the world a better place, and figures the best way to do that is with a lawnmower he’s saving up to buy. (Grow up, Rutger. The neighbors stop thinking it’s cute showing up at their door with a weed whacker when you’re 26. I would know.) Seeing how crime has taken over his city, the Hobo realizes he’d be better off buying a shotgun and killing bad people instead. Violence, gore, and hilarity ensue.

That’s all great, but there’s one snag: the head crime boss of the city doesn’t like the sudden power struggle, and war erupts between the titular Hobo and the crime lord’s family.

But none of that is what makes Hobo with a Shotgun the most significant piece of film making in all Einstein’s relativity.

It’s these two:

Ends up, crime lord man knows these guys, who call themselves “The Plague.” Wearing cool armor and hanging out with your best bud in a kick-ass hideout is one thing, but when you spend your free time THANKLESSLY FIGHTING AN UNNAMED TENTACLE-CREATURE IN AN ATTEMPT TO KEEP IT AT BAY FROM THE MORTAL WORLD, you are straight up the coolest guys on the planet.

A hobo with a shotgun, a crime lord, The Plague, the most wince-inducing nut shot of all time and a school bus full of children getting flame-throwed in the same movie? I CRIED WHEN IT WAS OVER. CLASSIC STATUS ACHIEVED.

This is so much better than Dances with Wolves.

What’s that? Sounds dumb? Distasteful? Not your kind of thing? Hey, I get it. In that case, just go watch the movie based on that Jane Austen novel, Pride and Prejudice. You know, the one where DJ Jazzy Jeff screams at an alien, “I’m gonna punch you in the face now ’cause you look different than me and welcome to BBC’s Planet Earth narrated by Richard Attenborough!” And then Ian Malcolm is all like, “Life finds a way. Motherfucker.”

Enjoy your Jane Austen, loser.

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American Horror Story: The Drinking Game

Let’s play a drinking game! Yay!

Now here’s the plan: I’m gonna put in the first episode of American Horror Story. Every time we see a horror movie cliché, take a shot. Here’s some vodka I stole from my dad.

COMMENCE!

Foreboding house like in The Haunting. Take a shot.

Creepy twins like in The Shining. Take a shot.

Handicapped child with mystical connection to the paranormal like in The Stand. Take a shot.

Kids being assholes, like THOSE ASSHOLE KIDS ACROSS THE STREET. Take a shot.

Oh God. We haven’t even gotten to the OPENING CREDITS YET! This might be tough, guys.

Anyone else feel like playing Contra? What was the code for 99 lives again?

Oh yeah, TV show. Uh…family moves into foreboding house like in Amityville Horror. Take a shot.

Previous owners = murder/suicide, also like in Amityville Horror. Take a shot.

Crap. I’m hammered. You hammered? Cause I’m… Hey, your friend doesn’t look so good, are his eyes normally like that…

Dad in show = psychiatrist who wants to see his patients in his own home…where his teenage daughter lives? Take two shots ’cause that’s JUST STUPID.

Take another shot, cause this show is STILL ON and doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon.

Hold on. Hold on. Just keep swallowing and turn down the A/C. Not gonna puke. I’m a CHAMP. Why’s your buddy screaming over in the corner?

You hammered? ‘Cause I am HAMMERED!1

Uhhhh. Reviuwelz?>

TV SHOW! Take a shot, cause it’s a TV SHOW! On TV! Wish I was on TV—I got the looks, mom says so {} :D I AM DAPPER

Nothing cool or scary is happening, just like in The Happening. Take a shot.

Dylan McDermott’s bare ass…

…okay, guys. Here’s the part where we diverge. You stick to the vodka I gave you. I’m moving on to bleach to see if that helps. Wait, is that blood on your shirt? Oh, good. Not your blood? Good.


[ written and recorded after watching American Horror Story ]

All right, back to it. Dylan McDermott sees a hot chick, but she’s really all wrinkly and in disguise, just like in The Shining. Take a shot.

Oh, God. Bleach is different, guys. I don’t know what you’re drawing on my wall right now, but I’m telling you, this bleach? Not a party.

DO NOT DRINK BLEACH. I’m not feeling…

This cannot be. We are now watching Dylan McDermott whacking off. Bare-assed—again. Done, we are done. Take two more shots to retain your sanity and stop the video. Hey, someone has blue pixie sticks in the laundry room…gonna get me some, hold on, I’ll be back in a jiff.

OH BLEACH, YOU MAKE MY STOMACH FEEL NOT THERE. IN THE OLD TIMES OF NYARLATHOTEP, THE OLD ONES WAIT FOR WHAT ONCE WAS THEIRS AMONGST THE COSMIC DUST OF DESPAIR. WE HIDE WITHIN VESSELS TO INITIATE THE END TIMES FOR THE UNFORTUNATE CELESTIAL BYPRODUCTS OF BEINGS UNKNOWN AND FORGOTTEN IN KAATOOOLUUUUU’S NAME. DRINK BLEACH DRINK BLEACH NEVER DRINK BLEACH.

Author’s Note:

The somewhat embarrassing publication of this review stemmed from the unfortunate situation of having nothing else written, on account of a last minute and unexpected hospital stay in which my stomach was pumped, revealing a lethal combination of vodka, bleach, and five teaspoons of powdered laundry detergent. Upon returning to the mansion where I live (NOT my mom’s basement, as rumors would have you believe), I found (in addition to three eviscerated bodies and a green-glowing portal with a woman’s unending, desperate sobs emanating from the other side) this review of American Horror Story. I can only assume it was I myself who wrote it, in the midst of whatever horror had occurred around me.

That being said, I think it safest for all of us if we forget this terrible, cliché-ridden show ever existed and never, NEVER attempt to finish a complete episode, lest we risk our very souls.

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Dear Darth Maul

Dear Darth Maul,

I’ve missed you horribly.

It’s been over a decade now since I last saw you falling into oblivion and out of my life. Who was I kidding? I knew I wouldn’t see you again. The guy from Moulin Rouge! Big Fish cut you in two. There’s no coming back from that.

Life went on, as it does. I bought new toys made new friends. Got and got over the clap girlfriends. Some were even Star Wars fans. But not one of them understood my sense of loss.

Flash forward to the other night. I’d heard a lot of buzz for this movie Insidious. You know, the latest horror offering from James Wan, the guy responsible for giving us films like the original Saw and Dead Silence. Did you see those, Darth Maul? Call me and we can duel with our lightsabers discuss their artistic merit. But really what got me in the theater was—I heard you were in it. Everyone’s been saying so.

They were wrong.

The messy tousles of hair, those teeth, those beady eyes…that’s not you.

So you passed on the role. Hey, I get it. Obviously you saw the flaws in the second act, most notably the part where the story shudders to a complete halt in order to sell the audience on a pretty far-fetched if not completely laughable concept in order to “explain” the paranormal happenings. Maybe you just didn’t like the way it ended, which I hear a lot of people didn’t. I see how it can be divisive, and to be honest, that’s why I LIKED it.

James Wan definitely took risks with the direction the film plays out. He tried some things where other filmmakers would have opted to play it safe, and you have to respect that whether you agree with the results or not.

The biggest risk was the way he handled the role you let go to a muppet.

It felt the whole time that Wan was winking at the audience, deliberately tipping his hand, saturating us with visuals of the terrible denizens from “The Further,” and, in the current world of the whole “less is more” philosophy when it comes to movie monsters, it was refreshing to get a good look at what lays in wait amid the shadows.

There was a lot of stuff to like in this movie, Darth Maul, and I bet you’re kicking yourself right about now. You didn’t count on Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne delivering actual emotion and weight as the distraught parents of a comatose child who seems to have become a ghost magnet. You didn’t count on the scares being genuine. And most of all, you didn’t figure in how the guys from the Paranormal Activity franchise would influence the feel of the film.

That’s the best part.

See, that’s the thing about Insidious. It’s not a gotcha! kind of scary movie. The scary stuff is already in the shot, and you just haven’t noticed yet. Long shots just seem to wander—from the living room, down the hallway—wait, what was that in the corner just standing there, is that AHH IT IS!!!

And that’s scary. These monsters don’t have to find you. They wait like a hellish nightmare version of Where’s Waldo? for you to find them. Terrifying.

Darth Maul, I still miss you, and I hope next time James Wan calls, you’ll at least consider picking up the phone.

And fire your agent. (I’ll be your agent. Call me.)

Love,

Ryan Bridger

XOXO
Beertrucksgirlsfootballdontjudgemeiamamanlydudemanguy

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Robots Have Hearts (and Will Serve Yours for Dinner)

Ryan here…

So I’m getting really sick of this whole “Inevitable Zombie Apocalypse” thing. Sure, it’s gonna happen. We’ve established this by asking your mom through scientific data. But isn’t it time we stop getting drunk at 2 A.M. and ask each other where would be the best place to go once we realized the dead were rising with a taste for brains? Besides, there’s something a little more sexy immediate to worry about, and it’s already on everyone’s mind.

Here’s a hint. Not this guy:

(more…)

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