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The SportsAlcohol.com Podcast: What Makes Us Scared at Movies

Jesse

Jesse is a cofounder of SportsAlcohol.com even though he doesn't care for sports or alcohol. His favorite movie is Ron Howard's The Paper. I think. This is what happens when you don't write your own bio. I know for sure likes pie.

Last time we talked about visceral reactions we have to movies, it involved the movies (and TV shows) that have made us cry. In the spirit of Halloween, Nathaniel, Rob, Marisa, Jesse, Sara, and Rayme got together to discuss movies that make us cry… WITH FRIGHT! We discuss what movies scared us as kids, what scares us as adults, what horror classics never did it for us, and more! Some of these movies are traditional horror; some of them are just dramatic thrillers or children’s TV shows. If you want to find out who started to cry from fear at Signs or who hid under the bed during Fraggle Rock, this is your chance!

How To Listen

We are now up to SIX (6) different ways to listen to a SportsAlcohol podcast:

Queen of the Damned: The Middle Child of Vampire Movies

Gloria Beth

Gloria Beth Amodeo, or GBA as she may or may not be called, has a few hidden talents, including balancing pencils and pens with her face. Her less-hidden talents include fiction, reviews and interviews that have appeared in various publications. Her karaoke go-to is "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" by Celine Dion. Photo credit: Bethany Michaela Photo.
Gloria Beth

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It was my experience that movies helped a lot during puberty. I don’t know about other people, but all my friends and I wanted to do was watch a bunch of R-rated films and talk until the sex scenes — when we’d stop talking.

Chris usually got up to rewind once the scenes were over.

“You’re a pervert!” we’d say. But no one stopped him. We were too guilty for soft-core porn and Monster’s Ball was teaching us stuff.

We rented everything from the oldest rental shop in town, Video Dimensions. Blockbuster was running them out of business but they still had the most bizarre VHS selection we could ever hope to encounter. I’m talking Teeth, front row center, flanked by numerous bins of narrative gold. We’d scour them for NC-17 ratings, scoring obscure titles like Bliss and The Pillow Book.

It was in one of these bins that Itoro and I first found Queen of the Damned.

Aaliyah on the cover as a badass-looking vampire was enough to pique our interest. And then we noticed a guy lurking behind her, sans shirt, with a hint of chiseled abs. The rental deal was sealed.

What I remember most about watching that movie for the first time was thinking that Lestat (played by Stuart Townsend) was a vampire-version of Frodo Baggins in resemblance and demeanor, with a tad more angst. I also thought the rock music soundtrack was super cool, and Aaliyah was a goddess.

“She was life-giving,” Itoro says now, remembering Aaliyah’s ancient Egyptian-style boob plates and ability to make other vampires incinerate from the inside-out. “We felt like outcasts in high school, and she helped us dream.”

It was true. We were not very popular, and Queen of the Damned became an outlet for our torment. A weekly tradition was born from that viewing, which involved us fighting with Itoro’s little brother for control of the television and never, ever returning the rental property to Video Dimensions.

Before watching Queen of the Damned again, this time in my late twenties, I eased myself into the experience by viewing the trailer and was struck by this summation of the film, as told by ominous voiceover:

“All she wants is hell on earth.”

She refers to the Queen of the Damned (as portrayed by Aaliyah) who, in one scene, torches a building with the enflamed corpses of 20 to 30 other vampires. “Was she really that evil?” I thought to myself now. “And why?”

Why did she do this?!
Why did she do this?!

The trailer also introduced Stuart Townsend as Lestat (previously played by the superstar likes of Tom Cruise) and I thought about how interesting Queen of the Damned is timeline-wise. In terms of high-profile vampire movies from 1994 to 2008, QOD falls right in between Interview with a Vampire, Blade, Underworld and Twilight, making it the middle child of vampire movies of its era.

And after watching it again, I can safely say that, in other ways, it truly is the middle child of all vampire movies.

Continue reading Queen of the Damned: The Middle Child of Vampire Movies

Throwback Thursday: Halloween Edition

Jesse

Jesse is a cofounder of SportsAlcohol.com even though he doesn't care for sports or alcohol. His favorite movie is Ron Howard's The Paper. I think. This is what happens when you don't write your own bio. I know for sure likes pie.

It’s the Thursday before Halloween, so it seems like a perfect time for the good people of SportsAlcohol.com to indulge in some Throwback Thursday nonsense. This may sound strange, but sometimes you don’t get the full picture of our writers just from their bio pictures. Herewith, pictures and stories of Halloween costumes past.
Continue reading Throwback Thursday: Halloween Edition

TRACK MARKS: “Psycho Killer” by Talking Heads

Sara

Sara is big into reading and writing fiction like it's her job, because it is. That doesn't mean she isn't real as it gets. She loves real stuff like polka dots, indie rock, and underground fight clubs. I may have made some of that up. I don't know her that well. You can tell she didn't just write this in the third person because if she had written it there would have been less suspect sentence construction.
Sara

A smattering of applause that builds then subsides for a lone voice to say, “Hi. I’ve got a tape I want to play.” This is the beginning of the Talking Heads’ legendary live album Stop Making Sense which was released in the US thirty years ago this week. The theatrical version, culled from three shows in support of their album Speaking in Tongues and filmed by Jonathan Demme, is one of the greatest concert films ever made, capturing a band at the height of their creative powers, playing with an inviting energy that few films like it have been able to match. Repertory screenings still end with people dancing in the aisles and you don’t hear about that happening with The Last Waltz (all apologies to Rick Danko enthusiasts). One of the most delightfully subversive bands of the new wave movement, Talking Heads’ greatest trick might have been opening with a version of one of their biggest hits that withholds many of the elements that made it a radio staple, and a classic scary song.

On the single of “Psycho Killer” the menace is overt — opening with an ominous bass line that sounds like hurried footsteps down a dark alley, joined by a matching drumbeat stalking after it, building to a brain-rattling guitar line threatening to overtake it. By the time David Byrne begins singing about being tense and nervous it’s almost superfluous. Talking Heads has always had an interest in the disconnect between mind and body, a divide embodied in their music which juxtaposes anxious lyrics with deceptively funky compositions. But this is the band’s most clear missive from a deranged psyche. The opening lyrics present a warning to “run away” but the French bridge, which translates roughly to “What I did that evening/What she said that evening,” suggest a man who’s already indulged his monstrous tendencies. And this isn’t even the band’s most disturbing song. (I’d give that distinction to “Memories Can’t Wait” which sounds like the agonizing approach of a leveling storm cloud, or “Born Under Punches” with its squawking instruments and eerie, desperate lyrics [Take a look at these hands!]).

The live version of “Psycho Killer” eschews recreating the bristling intensity of the single, opting instead for a stripped down intimacy that has its own electric charge. Byrne is the only performer onstage, his guitar backed by a pre-recorded Roland TR-808 drum machine played on a boom box. Tina Weymouth, Chris Frantz, and Jerry Harrison will all join later, each one appearing with each successive song. But for the moment it’s just Byrne and the audience, and his solo rendition takes on a confessional tone, an admission of his dominance of the band that would later bring the other members to blows. Many years later, following the band’s acrimonious breakup, Weymouth characterized Byrne as “a man incapable of returning friendship,” and you can hear in his post-chorus yelps a straining to connect. He does, of course; the band would not be one of the most influential of their era if he didn’t. There is something magnetic in a performer willing to delve into the darkest parts of humanity and come out the other side to tell of the nightmare. When it’s a nightmare you can dance to, you have a masterpiece.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4prFmbjZ7M

The Beast Will Out: The Wolfman (2010)

Nathaniel

SportsAlcohol.com cofounder Nathaniel moved to Brooklyn, as you do. His hobbies include cutting up rhubarb and laying down. His favorite things are the band Moon Hooch and custard from Shake Shack. Old ladies love his hair.
Nathaniel

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While the full tale of Dracula Untold‘s fortunes will continue to play out, the movie appears to have done well enough in this first weekend of release to remain a part of Universal’s plans for their famous monsters. With news of recent reshoots meant to keep Universal’s options open in terms of folding Dracula Untold into their proposed Universal Monsterverse (set to begin in earnest with 2016’s The Mummy), the film provides our first glimpse of just what they have in mind for these iconic characters. Continue reading The Beast Will Out: The Wolfman (2010)

Songs About Werewolves That Are Not By Warren Zevon or Duran Duran, Because Screw That

Gripes

Marisa

There are contrarians, there are iconoclasts, and then there is SportsAlcohol.com co-founder Marisa. A contraiclast? Her favorite Springsteen album came out this century, so she is basically a controversy machine.

Also, she is totally not a dude!
Marisa
Gripes

My favorite kind of holiday songs—and this goes for Christmas, too—are songs that I would listen to anyway, but just so happen to be about the holiday in question. I don’t really want to go “ugh” when a song pops up on a playlist out of season.

With that requirement in mind, here are my favorite songs about werewolves that are suitable for year-round listening.

giphywerewolf2

Continue reading Songs About Werewolves That Are Not By Warren Zevon or Duran Duran, Because Screw That

Dracula (Untold) vs. Vlad the Impaler

Nathaniel

SportsAlcohol.com cofounder Nathaniel moved to Brooklyn, as you do. His hobbies include cutting up rhubarb and laying down. His favorite things are the band Moon Hooch and custard from Shake Shack. Old ladies love his hair.
Nathaniel

Latest posts by Nathaniel (see all)

(SPOILERS AHOY FOR DRACULA UNTOLD!)

As I’m sure we’re all well aware, Friday, October 10th saw the release of Dracula Untold, Universal’s latest attempt to jump start their Universal Monsters franchise. Finally, audiences everywhere can learn the true previously untold sorta historical origin story for the famous Count Dracula. Now, if you’re curious to hear just what incredible story the filmmakers have dug up (and haven’t rushed out to see for yourself), let’s start with Vlad the Impaler. Continue reading Dracula (Untold) vs. Vlad the Impaler