Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Monday, December 1, 2014


Mercy (2014) 

Okay, Stephen King is just about everybody's favorite horror author, right? Even when he scams H.P. Lovecraft stuff? Even when it's a short story that's from a book in the '80's (Skeleton Crew) and already appearing (with Harlan Ellison's help) in an episode of The Twilight Zone? Do we really want to see a repeat of a story they told within 20 minutes?

The answer is... dammit I thought I knew that one but I forgot. Here's the original (Twilight Zone version) story in a nutshell: Little George is left alone with his ancient and infirm Grandmother. George hears a monstrous growl from the bedroom. It is his Grandmother asking George for her tea. George recalls conversations in which his mother and her siblings discussed how dangerous Gramma is now that she's senile (a hilarious memory is when he hears them talk about all the graves in the cemetery exploding - I would have loved to see that). 

George returns to his grandmother's room and tries without success to rouse her. But Gramma opens one glowing red eye and glares at him. She draws him to her and embraces him, and tells him that he is her favorite, and they seem to merge into one being. George's mother returns and finds George sitting at the kitchen table with his grandmother's books. He explains that Gramma died and he didn't know what to do. She tries to comfort him, but does not see that he now has glowing red eyes like Gramma.

So. We get a quote to start: "Love Made Me" (Inscription Over Gates Of Hell, Dante's Inferno)

Then we're in W. Virginia in 1967. A woman coos over her newborn triplets. The father chops his own head with an ax. Uh huh, it's going to be that kind of movie.

George (Chandler Riggs) starts us off by telling us that he and his Grandmother were always best friends. Umm, what? Okay, we're off on a whole 'nother story now...

On one outing his Grandmother has him 'charm' a snake with violin music. It's pretty stupid - not the music charming part, the part where they obviously used three different snakes for one scene. Duh. And I don't even know anything about snakes.

So during a family dinner Grandma has a seizure and is now out of her head - except she knows George (the others she attacks). The doctors are coming but she knows her time is short. She warns him that "He's coming." but doesn't say who "he" is. She's taken away.

It's one year later. Grandma is so bad that the nursing home won't have her anymore. George talks to a girl who tells him she's watching over him - but no one else can see her (great, he sees dead people too although she is just billed as 'the girl next door' for whatever reason).

He, his brother and mother move back into Grandma's house and George tells his brother to be careful, he's getting the 'haints' angry (that's a Southern word for ghosts by the way). George is looking forward to being with his grandmother again.

Their neighbor Jim (Dylan McDermott) gives George a book and his brother a gift card for the grocery store so he can 'Bobby Flay himself to death'. Had to look that up - guess the older brother wants to be a chef and Flay is known for his Southwestern cuisine. 'Kay.

They pick up 'Grandma' who's looking just one step from a vegetable. George's dead blonde friend sits with him as they take her home. They find she's like an infant, rarely lucid, and needs regular thorazine shots to 'keep her friendly'. They quickly find that giving her the shots is NOT easy. And that drug will lay the most manic person out flat, so something is up.

The other two kids, Jinny and Len are worthless. Jinny tried to leave town with her boyfriend - he was found torn to pieces and Jinny has lived her life in an asylum. Len turned to drinking. So George's mom is the only kid that has it together enough to take care of Grandmother. 

One day they get a scrawled note that Jinny somehow, although in isolation, managed to mail to George warning him to get out, Hastur is now there (one of Cthulu's many monikers). Jinny supposedly was most like her Grandmother and saw... things. So Grandma was desperate for kids, did something bad, got three of them, and only one is normal. With one Grandson to love her. Nice. Totally worth the death of her husband and the ones to come...

George finds that Grandma now only responds to him if he uses the name Hastur. She also speaks (perfectly without slurring) a strange dialect (since this is an H.P. Lovecraft rip-off... umm, I mean adaptation I'm assuming it's something supposedly in the Necronomicon). 

He tells his brother, but his brother is mainly waiting for Grandma to die so he can get back to his life and doesn't really care - he tells George not to meddle with anything. But does our 'Carl' ever listen to anybody? Hell no! After hearing pleads from Grandma, he takes the thorazine out and replaces it with saline.

They leave Len with Grandma and go shopping. George finds out from the town priest how his Grandmother, after finding herself barren, used 'other things' to get what she wanted. His Grandfather figured things out and that's why he killed himself. She threw her Bible at the priest and swore she'd never come back. She always prospered, even when the whole town had bad luck. The family goes back to find Len and Grandma locked together. Len is dead, his blood all over her.

Grandma isn't blamed though - they say Len died of an aneurysm - too much drinking. And George talks more with his dead friend.

The two brothers find a 'book of weeping' - apparently the book that let Grandma get pregnant. Before George can learn what to do to cure his Grandmother, his brother throws the book in the woodchipper. A piece whips out and impales him. George is now alone with his Grandma while his mother takes his brother to the hospital.

A plant is delivered, at night, by regular mail (wrong wrong wrong). It is Verbena, also known as 'Devil's Bane'. Uh huh. He then looks up (finally) Hastur. Grandma goes nuts but George left one bottle of Thorazine just in case and drugs her. 

He then gets a call from Jinny - she's 'hurt people to escape' the hospital and wants to meet with him because he's 'the one' whatever the hell that means. She tells him to meet her on Dead Tree Hill. Hanging up he hears a thump - Grandma has died. He must have been a bit heavy handed when he closed her eyes like everybody does in movies - she definitely and very visibly flinches when he does. Whoops.

He calls 911 and the power (and phone) goes out. The doors won't open and the windows won't break. THAT'S what they needed in TWD!!! He HAS to stay in the house now!!!

Just kidding. His dead friend (who can't come in) tells him to use the ax in the cellar but somebody's already got it. Running back upstairs he finds himself in a drawn circle with lots of candles. Wow, somebody was quick!

A door is now open - he runs to it and the weeping book is on the floor. Since he wished for a cure for his Grandmother, it appears - a picture of her eating his heart (which is why his brother destroyed it). He runs outside, she grabs him, throwing him back into the circle. She starts to chant in another voice. Luckily (Miss Murder says, rolling her eyes) he reaches the mysteriously delivered plant, grabbing some of the flowers and burning his Grandmother's face with it before bolting.

He gets to the neighbors and Jim promises to take him to his mother. But Jim made a pact with Grandma - she was going to make sure he could be with George's mother (What is it with Dylan playing douchebags these days? He used to play the nicest characters...). George figures out though that Jim needs him alive and so dives out of the truck. Jim follows and is run down by one of those cars that likes to run people down, beep their horn but never stop.

He finds Ginny dead and knows his mom is back home and about to die. His dead girl friend tells him it would be suicide to go back but he does. Sure enough, whatever's in Grandma's body is gonna eat him up. And because the rest of this movie is total nonsense, why not have the dead Grandpa show up with the ax, let George's chains loose, and also let him go pick up the ax? Meh, let's having dancing ponies and pooping unicorns too while we're at it.

Aaaaand to bring this overblown story to an end, the boy cries, the Grandma dies, and the dead girl turns out to be the 'good parts' that his Grandma had been giving up to get what she wanted... awww, isn't that sweet?

Here's the kicker: George's summary of the whole mess? If Grandma hadn't been evil, he wouldn't have been born so wasn't it worth it? I mean geez, people died, but he gets to be on a top-rated TV show so hey, let's all get one of those freaking books... Oh and don't think we didn't notice all those different hair styles of yours Mr. Riggs - having to fit the filming of this movie with the TWD filming and all... just sayin'...