R.I.P. Betsy Palmer

Actress Betsy Palmer passed away May 29th, 2015 at the age of 88

Betsy Palmer

 

According to imdb, Betsy Palmer had sixty roles. She appeared in a lot of television during the formative fifties. She had roles in The Long Gray Line and Mister Roberts. She managed to score guest spots on Columbo, Murder She Wrote, Newhart, The Love Boat, Chips, and T.J. Hooker. She even had a regular role as Virginia Bullock in 29 episodes of Knot’s Landing.

In spite of this, she is typically only remembered for a role she disdained. Betsy Palmer was Mrs. Voorhees, mother of Jason, and the original killer in Friday the 13th (1980). She only took the role because she was desperate for a new car. It paid $10,000 for a ten day shoot. She turned down a chance to play Mrs. Voorhees again in Freddy vs. Jason because the part was too small. Spoilers for a thirty-five year old movie follow.

Ironically, the most iconic shot of Mrs. Voorhees isn’t Betsy Palmer. When Mrs. Voorhees gets her head chopped off, the hairy hands in shot, reaching up and grasping, are those of make-up and effects artist Tom Savini.

Rest in peace, Betsy Palmer.

JSalvador, LootCrate, Jason, Etc.

Recently, thanks to LootCrate, I was introduced to the work of a pop artist known as JSalvador who does a line called Super Emo. Here is a framed Jason missing his mommy:

Jason

 

And here is my latest T-Shirt that I wore to The Hobbit marathon

T-Shirt

 

And here is The Walking Dead print I gave to my daughter:

Walking Dead

New Netflix Streaming Releases for December

Wow, how did this year fly by so quickly?

Runaway Train

Action/Adventure: Adios Sabata, Apocalypse Now, Apocalypse Now Redux, Black Rain, For Your Eyes Only, A Knight’s Tale, Live and Let Die, The Living Daylights, Mission: Impossible, Never Say Never Again, Runaway Train, Thief, A View to a Kill, You Only Live Twice

Goldfinger

Classic: From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Hondo, The Hustler

Comedy: 2 Days in the Valley, Bewitched, Crossroads, The Grand Seduction, Jewtopia, Necessary Roughness, The Out-of-Towners, Outside Providence, Waking Up in Reno

Documentary: Darius Goes West: The Roll of His Life, McConkey, Medora, Out of the Clear Blue Sky

Drama: About Cherry, Ali, Almost Famous, American Beauty, Brightest Star, The Escape Artist, G.I. Jane, Hammett, An Innocent Man, Last Night, Legends of the Fall, Madison, One From the Heart, Perfect Sisters, Saturday Night Fever, Seven Years in Tibet, Stomp the Yard: Homecoming, Tetro, The Truman Show

Family: Dwegons and Leprechauns, Stuart Little 2, Troop Beverly Hills, Unstable Fables: Tortoise vs. Hare, VeggieTales: Veggies in Space, What She Wants for Christmas

Fantasy & Science Fiction: Batman Forever, The Dark Crystal, Frequencies, Heavenly Sword, Labyrinth, The People That Time Forgot

Foreign: Mosquita y Mari, Reincarnation

Knights of Badassdom

Horror: Damien: Omen II, Darkness, The Deadly Bees, The Dentist, The Dentist II: Brace Yourself, Dracula II: Ascension, Friday the 13th 1-8 (Marathon time!), Knights of Badassdom, Omen III: The Final Conflict, The Omen (1976)

Television: Big and Small, Black Mirror, Chuggington, Doki, Love No Matter What, Velvet

Thriller: Jade, Out of Time, Panic Room

Going to Pieces

Ok here are two documentaries covering the slasher genre – one of which is good and thorough but not excellent and the other one makes so many mistakes and really just comes off as an hour and a half advertisement for the remake of Friday the 13th.

Going to Pieces

WATCH: Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film (2006) – “Join horror icons John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Rob Zombie, special effects makeup artist Tom Savini and many more in a virtual scream fest celebrating the most terrifying — and disgusting — movies ever made. Selections include gore-soaked scenes from cult favorites and cinema classics such as Halloween, Psycho, Friday the 13th, Prom Night, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream and When a Stranger Calls.”

This is a pretty exhaustive documentary (especially for only being about an hour and a half). They cover the slasher genre’s antecedents – sadly only briefly as Peeping Tom barely rates a mention and spends a fair amout of time on the movie that does actually kick off the popularity of the genre, Halloween. The Italian giallo genre is thankfully covered though I do always find it funny when Friday the 13th people get interviewed and never credit giallo (especially Mario Bava’s Twitch of the Death Nerve)¬†even though many of Friday the 13th’s signature kills are stolen shot-for-shot from the Italian films. In addition to directors and actors, they also talk to the special effects artists Tom Savini, Stan Winston, and Greg Nicotero. There are lots of scenes from a broad selection of the genre – extra time is naturally given to Halloween, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream but smaller films such as Prom Night, Terror Train, Happy Birthday to Me, and many more are covered.

AVOID: His Name was Jason – A prime example in how not to film a documentary. They do talk to just about everyone involved in the Friday the 13th movies except Corey Feldman and Kevin Bacon (were they too expensive?) and many people who weren’t which is a baffling design decision. Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp but not Friday the 13th) has the stupidest quote¬†“That shishkebob scene is so original” referencing the double kill of the couple in bed that like many others, is stolen directly from a giallo film. Several of the talking heads come off as extremely self-important and they never have Betsy Palmer repeat her original quote where she called the first film “a piece of s***”. The most egregious offense the documentary commits is that not only do they interview the vast cast & crew individually, they only allow each person 5-10 sound bites before they cut again and again and again. The director or editior was absolutely in desperate need of Ritalin. This documentary is made for people who think the Friday the 13th movies are too slow-paced and watch them on fast forward.