Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!!!

Have a happy Halloween from Laughing Vixen Lounge ~ Now go forth and do a little Monster Mashin'.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop ~ $32 Prize

Welcome to the Laughing Vixen Lounge blog. Halloween is almost here and as part of the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop, hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer, we have a new giveaway for you. One lucky winner will receive a $32 Gift Certificate from Laughing Vixen Lounge. Giveaway is open worldwide and ends October 31st.

Book Lovers Charmed Necklace
Vintage Books Photo Charm - Style C

Laughing Vixen Lounge ~ Bangles, Baubles and Other Needful Things for the modern Vixen. Pop Culture, Retro, Horror and Custom Designed Jewelry and Accessories. 480+ designs to choose from.

Toil And Trouble Bracelet Or Necklace
Vintage Books Compact - Style A

Laughing Vixen Lounge offers Charm Bracelets, Necklaces, Compacts and Photo Pendants. Pop Culture designs with a flair for Retro, Horror and Custom Designs. This year we'll be adding lots more Pendants styles, Bracelets styles and new Ring and Locket styles. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or the Blog to keep up on the many giveaways we'll be having! Shop Laughing Vixen Lounge.

Frankenstein Charm Bracelet

Toe Of Frog Compact

Laughing Vixen Lounge will be donating $1 from all sales and $3 from each item from the Hep Cat Collection to sponsor Kujo the Bobcat from Wildcat Haven. It takes $500 to sponsor one animal for a year. From Since November 2013 Laughing Vixen Lounge has sponsored DJ the Cougar, Cha~Cha the Serval and Carrie the Caracal. Now it is Kujo's turn. Click here to read Kujo's story and more about the fundraising project.

Hep Cat Compact - Style A

After you enter our giveaway make sure to visit the other blogs, via the Linky List below, and enter to win lots of other fabulous giveaways.

Vintage Books Photo Pendant - Style F

Love Cheat Photo Pendant

How to enter the giveaway ~ It's easy!

1. Login in to the Rafflecopter widget below with either your email or Facebook.
2. You must do the first entry to qualify for this giveaway.
3. You can do as many of the extra entries as you like.
4. Please read each entry's directions carefully. If you do not do what is asked of you for each entry the entry will not count.
5. If you have any questions feel free to ask for help. You can leave your question as a comment below and I will answer as soon as I can.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The Fine Print...
Giveaway will run from 12:00am (EDT) October 15th, 2014 through 12:00am (EDT) November 1st. Winner(s) will be picked randomly from all eligible entries. The winner(s) name and choices will be posted on this blog as soon as the winner(s) has been contacted. If selected winner(s) does not respond back within 48 hours a new winner(s) will be chosen. All decisions made final by Laughing Vixen Lounge.

Alice In Wonderland Charm Bracelet

Friday, October 10, 2014

Fear Friday ~ Never Eat BBQ From A Gas Station!

It's time for another Fear Friday here at the Laughing Vixen Lounge blog. All October is Classic Scares. This week's selection is a gritty, creepy and disturbing film from the early 70's that taught us so many lessons. Do not pick up hitchhikers. Do not run out of gas. Do not enter a stranger's house. And, to be on the safe side, just stay out of Texas!!! Grab some BBQ and enjoy!

Every Friday at the Laughing Vixen Lounge Blog is Fear Friday. Fear Fridays are a celebration of all films spooky. Horror is a very broad genre and the Lounge loves it all. Each Friday you will find a review of a different film. These can range from Classic Horror (black and white and cheesy),  Thrillers (suspense, jumps and a good mystery), outright Horror (chop chop, slash slash, die die) and anything else in between.

So pop some popcorn, kill the lights and enjoy tonight's selection. And please, share your comments on the film. Bad or good let me now what you thought of it. And now, my little ghouls and dolls, the Laughing Vixen Lounge Blog is proud to present this week's film.

October - Classic Scares

Fear Friday - The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Tagline - Who will survive and what will be left of them?
              Can you survive happened

Directed by Tobe Hooper (Salem's Lot, Venom and Invaders from Mars) and released on October 1, 1974 by Bryanston Distributing. A group of teens are traveling the back roads of Texas wanting to visit the old home two of them grew up in. Running low on gas they try the local gas station but they are out. When they reach the house they decide to visit the neighbors to see if they have any gas they can borrow. Bad idea!

The movie opens with a narrator telling of happenings in a small Texas town in the summer of 1973. Graves at the local cemetery have been opened, bodies removed and missing and one disturbing display left. Many people are making their way to the graveyard to check on their family members. It is made to play as if this is an actual incident and the film is an account of the horrific events that followed.

A group of teens are driving to visit the cemetery to check on two of the teens grandfather's grave. They also plan to stop by and check out the old family home. On the way to the house they pick up a hitchhiker. Then very quickly get rid of the hitchhiker!!! They then stop for gas at the local gas station. The station is out of gas. Tanks won't be filled 'til later. Why don't they come on in for some BBQ?!! They decide to go to the house since it is not far away. When they arrive at the house they notice the neighbors have a generator running which means they should have some gasoline. Let's go see if they will share. *I have a very bad feeling about this idea*

The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre still holds up as one of the truly great horror films. One of the main reasons is that it is simple yet very effective. The look of the film is gritty and very low key. There is no glitz and glamor of today's slick looking horror films. While there is blood and violence it is actually pretty tame compared to today's R rated films. It is all there, it is all implied but you do not really see anyone being gutted or chopped to pieces. It is not needed. What you do see if plenty creepy.

While the chasing and killing is tense and creepy the part of the movie that really stands out, and makes this a chilling experience that will not soon leave you, is the mentality of "the family". These people are just so wrong. The big dinner scene at the end is disturbing, horrifying and wrong. Wrong, wrong and wrong! It is the effectiveness of these characters that make the movie more than the average slasher film. It may make you wonder why one would watch this but it does what most horror films fall short of... leaving you with a lasting impression that will creep you out every time it crosses your mind. Hmmm... maybe that is not such a great thing. Oh well, to late for this Vixen. 

It was possibly the first real slasher film. It certainly started a long string of movies in the 1970's which featured a very distinctive style of brutality and realism. This movie is in no way a true story but it did borrow from real life serial killer Ed Gein. Mr. Gein, like Leather Face, did make furniture out of human skin and sold what the locals considered the best sausage around. Knowing things like this only add to the creepiness of the film.

The film spawned 3 sequels and 3 remakes/re-imaginings. While none of them are very good number 2 has Denis Hopper, number 3 has Viggo Mortensen and number 4 has Matthew McConaughey and Renee Zellweger. The first remake is fun enough and follows the original fairly well.

Fun facts -
The narrators voice at the beginning is actor John Larroquette who is well known for his role in the TV show Night Court.

The house that was used in the movie is a functioning restaurant. As of this review it is open as the Grand Central Cafe and is part of The Antlers historic hotel in Kingsland, Texas. Eating dinner in the actual room the dinner scene took place? Yep, no sound stage here. It was all filmed right in the house. It is so wrong and yet I have to go!!! This is now on my bucket list. Find the cafe here and the hotel here.

I have also included a short video below that is a fun look at the actual shooting locations.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is currently available to stream from Amazon, Vudu and Blockbuster and should be available from most DVD services.

Take a look at the original trailer.

An interesting video showing the filming locations.

Some trivia about the movie.
1. The movie wasn't released in Australia until the early 1980s.
2. When it was first released, the film was so horrifying that people actually walked out on sneak previews for it.
3. The film was rejected by the British film censors in 1975, but it did get a limited cinema release in the London area thanks to the GLC (Greater London Council). It was banned again in 1977, when the censors' attempts to cut it were unsuccessful, (for the purposes of a wider release), then it was banned again in 1984, due to the growing controversy involving 'video nasties'. In 1999, after the censors finally changed their policy, they took the plunge, and passed it uncut, for the cinema and video, after 25 years, since they first banned it.
4. The film was originally entitled "Headcheese", but was filmed as "Leatherface", then changed again at the last minute to "Texas Chain Saw Massacre".
5. Due to the low budget, Gunnar Hansen had only one shirt to wear as Leatherface. The shirt had been dyed, so it could not be washed; Hansen had to wear it for four straight weeks of filming in the Texas summer. By the end of the shoot no one wanted to eat lunch with Hansen because his clothing smelled so bad.
6. Tobe Hooper intended to make the movie for a "PG" rating, by keeping violence moderate and language mild, but despite cutting and repeated submissions, the Ratings Board insisted on the "R" rating for the effectiveness of what is onscreen and what is implied offscreen. Hooper had a similar ratings problem with the sequel.
7. According to John Larroquette, his payment for doing the opening narration was a marijuana joint.
8. Some urban legends say that the the "real" Texas Chainsaw Massacre took place near Poth, (a small town about 50 miles south of San Antonio). This is false. The film is fictional and based loosely on the life of Wisconsin serial killer Ed Gein (as is the classic Psycho (1960).

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Fear Friday ~ 3:15am Will Never Be The Same Again!

Welcome to another Fear Friday here at the Laughing Vixen Lounge blog. All of the films in October will be some of the best Classic Scares in movie history. This week's selection is a 70's favorite based on a bestselling book that claimed to be true. True or not, 35 years later it's still a great example of a classic horror tale. Enjoy!

Every Friday at the Laughing Vixen Lounge Blog is Fear Friday. Fear Fridays are a celebration of all films spooky. Horror is a very broad genre and the Lounge loves it all. Each Friday you will find a review of a different film. These can range from Classic Horror (black and white and cheesy),  Thrillers (suspense, jumps and a good mystery), outright Horror (chop chop, slash slash, die die) and anything else in between.

So pop some popcorn, kill the lights and enjoy tonight's selection. And please, share your comments on the film. Bad or good let me now what you thought of it. And now, my little ghouls and dolls, the Laughing Vixen Lounge Blog is proud to present this week's film.

October - Classic Scares

Fear Friday - The Amityville Horror

Tagline - "For God's Sake, Get Out!"

Directed by Stuart Rosenberg (Cool Hand Luke and Brubaker) and released on July 27, 1979 by American International Pictures (rated R). When the Lutz family (James Brolin and Margot Kidder) moves in to their dream house they have no idea the Hell that awaits them. As strange events start to happen the family is desperate to save their house and their sanity.

When something seems too good to be true it probably is. So when George and Kathy Lutz are offered their dream house at a huge discount something is probably wrong. And there is! The family before them was brutally murdered in the house. The Lutzes decided they can live with the history and purchase the house. It does not take long before they regret their decision. The Lutz family lived in the house, also known as "High Hopes", for only 28 days. Their experiences there will become the stuff of horror legend.

Much has been debated about the accounts of what happened at the house at 112 Ocean Ave in Amityville, NY as told by the Lutz family. What is true? Unfortunately the brutal murders were real. 13 months before, Ronald DeFeo Jr. shot and killed six members of his family in the house. His defense was an insanity plea saying he heard voices. Yes, the Lutz family was a real family who purchased the house in 1975 after the DeFeo's. In 1977 the book The Amityville Horror, written by Jay Anson and based on the recorded accounts told by George and Kathy Lutz, was published and become a huge bestseller. George and Kathy maintained their story, changed on some accounts for the book and movie, was true and did happen to them. They both took a lie detector test and both passed. Their son, Daniel, was interview for the documentary "My Amityville Horror" and insist that it all happened.

The Real Amityville House -1974

Now days the consensus is that the story was fictional. One of the most damning accusations came from William Weber, the defense attorney for Ronald DeFeo Jr., who claimed in a People Magazine article in 1979 to have had a meeting with the Lutzes where they "created" the story over many bottles of wine. According to the Lutzes they met with Weber hoping to find out more about the events that had happened in their house. They agreed to tell him their story thinking that their experiences in the house may help his client receive the medical help he needed if, in fact, he had been under the influence of the presence in the house. But when Weber wanted to enter into a book deal with them that included part of the profits going the Ronald DeFeo Jr., the Lutzes declined. Could it just be hard feelings and greed that led to the claims that it was all a hoax?

There is an interesting site that has tried to show an accurate account of what happened to the Lutzes and sort out what did not take place. If you are curious you can find it here. It does provide some interesting information. What sticks in my mind is how even the children, now grown, have never waived from the events being true. And for both George and Kathy to pass the lie detector test if it was a hoax is pretty impressive.

The Real Amityville House - 2005

Whether or not the story is true it made for one heck of a good horror story. The movie may be a bit dated by today's standards and might not be as action packed as people are used to but do not let that fool you. It is a great haunted house story with all the chills needed to give you the creeps. But if you really want to get the full freaked out experience then you have to read the book. It ranks right up there with the Shining as a story to not be read at night!!!

The movie spawned many sequels but none of them are really worth the watch. In 2005 there was a big budget remake with Ryan Reynolds and Mellisa George. At the time the makers of the film were boasting how they were going to be faithful to the book in their adaption. While Reynolds and George were great in the roles, and the movie had a good retro look, it varied greatly from the book. Sometimes so much it just made you shake your head in disbelief. Hollywood needs to remember that simple can be more effective than over the top.

The Amityville Horror is currently available to rent on Amazon and Vudu and should be available on most DVD services.

Take a look at the original trailer.

Some trivia about the movie.
1. Due to all the unwanted fame the book and film had brought upon the real house in Amityville, the current owners have replaced the "evil eyes" windows with normal rectangle-shaped windows.   
2. At the time of its release the film was one of the highest grossing independent films of all time and American International Pictures' biggest hit.   
3. While shooting the scene where Kathy is startled by the red eyes in the window, director Stuart Rosenberg wasn't impressed by Margot Kidder's reaction. According to Kidder, Rosenberg then tried to hold up a "a day-glo orange stuffed velour pig with glass eyes" in an attempt to startle Kidder. She said the result was only hysterical laughter, not fear.   
4. Stars James Brolin and Margot Kidder visited the real Amityville house as part of a publicity junket.   
5. Contrary to popular belief, Lalo Schifrin's score for this film was not the legendary rejected score composed for The Exorcist. The rejected Exorcist score has subsequently been released on CD and is completely different in every respect.
6. The outdoor scenes of the movie were not filmed in Amityville, Long Island, but rather Toms River, New Jersey. Local police and ambulance workers played extras.   
7. This film's theatrical success was followed by two theatrically released sequels - Amityville II: The Possession an official sequel/prequel; Amityville 3-D, not an official sequel; and five direct-to-video low-budget sequels released from 1989 to 1996. Then there's The Amityville Horror, based on the book written by Jay Anson.   
8. Jay Anson who wrote the book "The Amityville Horror" actually wrote out a screenplay for this film only for the producers to turn it down. Eventually they found Sandor Stern and liked his take on it so he was hired for the job.
9.  The Toms River, New Jersey volunteer Fire Company Number One was used to provide the "rain" during one of the exterior scenes. If you look closely, you can see that it is sunny and not "raining" in the background, the next street over.
10. Even though James Brolin became friendly with George Lutz and his children, he was highly doubtful of their story.
11.   James Brolin said he didn't get a job for two years after doing this movie because of the cruelty of his character.
12. Shot in seven weeks.   
13. In hopes of creating more publicity for the film the studio would concoct stories of "weird" occurrences on the set of the film.   
14. Honey was rubbed on Rod Steiger's head to draw the flies to him.   
15. James Brolin's brother was actually used for the image of the bearded man seen appearing from the 'red room' in the cellar. The studio wanted someone who bore a close resemblance to James Brolin and discovered he had a brother who shared a strong resemblance to the star. Brolin's brother was applied with a fake beard for the bit part.   
16. The film was originally planned to be a made-for-TV production for the CBS network, until executive producer Sam Arkoff bought the rights after reading Jay Anson's book in one sitting.   

17. The church in the movie is St. Peter's church in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ, about 20 miles north of the movie house in Toms River. They also used the park across the street from the church, Pleasure Park, for the priest playing basketball scene. They used local kids as players, and had to ask them to take it easy and let the priest get the ball from time to time.