Sunday, October 3, 2010

It's October, and That Means It's Time For...

Awwwwwwwww yeah, that time of year has come again. Today is that special day when I take the wall-unit air conditioners down to the basement, and I make sure not to show my face on the second floor unless I'm carrying an orange Rubbermaid container with a black lid that has all manner of crazy crap inside.

More importantly, today is the official grand opening of Nightmares on Cardboard III, the no-holds-barred contest in which you can turn your artistic skills into REAL CARD PRIZES.

Last year's gig saw the emergence of a surprise winner in Condition: Poor, whose 1951 Topps Red Backs White Zombie card made my heart skip a beat. If you'll recall, last year's parameters of the contest required contestants to create a card referencing a pre-1985 horror film. This rule will be done away with this year, but in its place I've added another. The card (or cards) you create this year must reference any baseball card set produced between 1970 and 1990. I'm anticipating a bunch of 1975 Topps here, but God bless you if you try to tackle 1990 Topps. There is also no longer any need to refer to a horror film this year. That was last year's theme, and this year we are moving on to something different.

I'm guessing that you might be thinking that this year's parameters might preclude the inclusion of any "relic" cards. This need not be the case. You merely need to emulate a 1970-1990 design, not remain true to it outright.

There will be three contestants that will place in the medal rounds this year. Third place will receive something from a team or player of his/her choice, second place will receive a little more of that something, and the grand prize winner will get a secret movie memorabilia card along with some aforementioned team "something."

The deadline for getting your entry to me is October 24, one week before Halloween. As always, a hard copy is preferred, but a digital rendition is acceptable. Go nuts on the scary packaging, but no actual body parts, please. If you need to get ahold of me, you can contact me here, but if we've had dealings in the past, my address is the same as before.

As new addition to my October blogging, I'll be including movie reviews for any and all horror-related films I watch this month. I have a short list of movies I'd like to view this Halloween season, and hopefully I can get to all of them, and perhaps even a few more. And guess what? You don't even have to wait for the first one. Enjoy!

Film: Rest Stop: Dead Ahead (2006)

Number of Times Viewed, Lifetime: 1
Format: DVD
Freakish Mutants: Yes, 1
Synopsis: Have you seen the 2001 film, Joy Ride? If you have, then you can easily get a feel for what Rest Stop is all about. Close your eyes, and picture Joy Ride minus competent direction and sensible plot lines. Then add to that lengthy scenes that focus on the backstories of just-introduced minor characters, and you've got Rest Stop. Oh, and throw a Lawrence brother in there, too. Ummmmm, Joey, I think.

Rest Stop was a messy, direct-to-DVD movie about a very naive 20-something couple who are driving from hometown Texas on their way to California. They get lost, the girl has to evacuate her bladder, and this leads them to the worst-maintained rest area in America. Seriously, though, I think as a movie-going public we need to stop falling for plot devices calling for off-the-beaten-path gas stations, restaurants, rest stops, and motels. These things rarely exist anymore, as America gets increasingly Disney-fied, then paved over with a thin sheen of Wal-Mart. Public rest stops are generally operated by the state DOT, and while I may not know what they're like in your neck of the woods, in Wisconsin, they're pretty fucking nice. I would actually prefer to eat an on-the-road meal at an interstate rest area than within most fast food establishments. But I digress.

At this rest area, the couple has naturally trod upon the territory of a psycho killer, who abducts the guy and then pursues the girl in his yellow pickup truck. Not only is the public facilities budget in this town cut down to the bone, but local law enforcement is also completely ineffectual. While being chased, there a scene where the girl checks out a public bulletin board forum, which is covered by what looks to be about four hundred fliers advertising missing people from around the area. Somehow the police can't seem to stop a lone individual on a thirty-year murder rampage.

The story proceeds without any real surprises, and we're treated to some completely nonsensical events that we're supposed to interpret as hallucinations, but we're never given any reason for their occurrence. We also get to meet a strange Christian family in an RV with deranged parents, creepy twin teenage brothers, and a deformed mutant freak who amuses himself in the rear of the Winnebago 24 hours a day with a camera flashbulb. Nothing gets tied together and nothing makes even a lick of sense. Do yourself and check out the alternate endings on the DVD if you watch this, which you shouldn't. One of them would have actually provided some closure for this mess.

Final Grade: and 1/2 out of ☠☠☠☠☠
Stay away, rent Joy Ride instead. Or check it out, get your eyeful of boobs in the first twenty minutes or so, eject the DVD and pop in something awesome like Phantasm.

Final Jab: I need to point out the misleading cover on the DVD packaging. At no point in this movie is there a woman in a skirt and bare feet with blood running down her leg. The lead actress does, however, spend the final ten minutes of the movie in just her jeans and bra. My wife, who missed the first half of this dreck, once commented, "Who's she supposed to be, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen?" Zing!


SpastikMooss said...

Man, I love Rest Stop. A lot of its for Joey and he ends up in. So ridiculous.

--David said...

Wahoo! Okay, I need to make a comeback after sitting out last year!

Corky said...

I have been working on some ideas for the contest for the past few months, time to get things going.