Freaky Fridays: Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park

Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park (1978)

Tomorrow, the entire Mildly Pleased staff is seeing Kiss on what has been sold as their final tour ever. I couldn’t be more excited. Yet if you asked me how I felt about Kiss I would also be the first person to tell you they suck. Call it a guilty pleasure but despite all of the shitty things about Kiss—the egos, the greed, the Kiss Casket—I love their theatricality and more importantly their music. Few acts in the annals of rock have so successfully merged pop songwriting with heavy metal. Fewer have done it while wearing capes and breathing fire.

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Freaky Fridays: Halloween

Halloween (1978)

If you weren’t aware a new Halloween movie is coming out on October 19th. The film is a sequel, or is it a soft reboot? Either way it’s the first Halloween film in nine years. Or as the makers want you to believe, the first in 40 years. What this means is that writer/director David Gordon Green along with his fart-ner (funny?) in crime Danny McBride have penned a direct sequel to the original Halloween. One that erases Halloween’s entire legacy after John Carpenter’s 1978 original.

What I aim to do every Friday from here until the release of this new film is answer the question “Is this a legacy worth remembering?” Which means I will review every installment in the Halloween series (even the Rob Zombie ones). I’ve seen all the films before but I thought it might be fun to revisit the franchise in this format. After all, everyone is entitled to one good scare. That’s a tagline for the original Halloween. Doesn’t really make any sense how I used it.

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Freaky Fridays: Flatliners

Flatliners (1990)

The other day I watched a short video by IMDB on the film Flatliners. The theme of the video was “So ’90s It Hurts”. The video proceeded by showing all the ways Flatliners fell into ‘90s tropes. Now that I’ve seen the film, I call bullshit. Though the film was released in the summer of 1990, more than anything Flatliners feels like the last great movie of the ‘80s.

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Freaky Fridays: The Fan

The Fan (1996)

For those who may not have noticed (or cared) baseball season has reared its ugly 178-year-old face once again and will now haunt us for the next five or six months. I’m in a weird place with baseball these days. My love of football has far eclipsed my love for America’s pastime. If we still had a basketball team in Seattle, there’s no doubt in my mind, I’d be more invested in that as well.

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Freaky Fridays: Friday the 13th (2009)

Friday the 13th (2009)

If I have learned anything from the 2009 remake of Friday the 13th it’s that the slasher movie is dead. What was once a thriving genre in the 1980s has in the past few decades been reduced to a parody of itself. Was it all worth it? The need for this derivative, explicitly violent, overly sexualized bastard stepson of cinema? Let’s find out.

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Freaky Fridays: Freddy vs. Jason

Freddy vs. Jason (2003)

Earlier this week, new footage was discovered from the Freddy vs. Jason weigh-in. That’s right, this match up was so hotly anticipated that to promote the film, Jason and Freddy were brought to a pre-fight weigh-in at Bally’s Las Vegas followed by a press conference. I still get a kick out of the idea, but there’s one lingering problem I’ve always had with this movie.

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Freaky Fridays: Jason X

Jason X (2001)

I remember seeing a cardboard display for Jason X in the lobby of a Regal Cinema when I was eleven-years-old. I hadn’t seen any of the films but I was familiar with the character. My immediate reaction was “Wow, that’s dumb” followed by laughter. Even as a child Jason X seemed like a bad idea and it is a bad idea. I actually ended up renting it with my dad on home video—that’s what we called it—however many months later. I remember thinking it was just so terrible and then falling asleep.

Looking back, I think I was a little hard on Jason X. Too much preteen angst, perhaps. Then again, preteen John hadn’t sat through nine other Friday the 13th movies beforehand. Because in the grand scheme of things, Jason X is one of the most entertaining installments in the series. Yes, it’s a terrible idea with cliche characters, cheesy effects, and flat story, but it’s fun. The action is solid and there are a few genuine laughs. Jason X, like Piranha 3DD, is a movie that knows exactly what it’s supposed to be. It never tries to be more than dumb fun and on that note, it succeeds. On other notes? Oh god is it bad.

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