Archive for September, 2014

Our First Video!

Posted: September 30, 2014 in News
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Hello fellow horror fiends, some of you may have noticed that our poor Video Dungeon has been empty and neglected for some time now, but no longer! We have just posted our first video, a How-to on making a simple Splatterwork for the upcoming Fourth of October celebration.

So go ahead and head over to our Video Dungeon or simply look it up on You Tube under the splatterjunkie channel.

Happy Fourth of October! And if any one out there is inspired to celebrate our new holiday, please send pictures of your October Fourth Festivities to splatterjunkie@gmail.com and we will post them on the site.

For those of you who missed our post on October Fourth, here’s the link:

https://splatterjunkie.com/2014/09/15/october-4th-celebrating-horror-independence/

One of our greatest goals here at splatterjunkie.com is to quantify gore in order to make comparisons between movies. One way we have done this is with our Gore Quotient, which is a measure of the proportion of screen-area that is occupied by blood throughout a given movie. With the Gore Quotient, we are able to quantitatively tell if one movie is bloodier than another movie and by how much.

What we can’t tell at the moment is if a given movie is bloodier than average or not. We don’t know what the average amount of bloodiness is for a horror movie and we can’t calculate this average without calculating many more Gore Quotients. How many more Gore Quotients? Well, using IMDB’s advanced search feature, we looked up the total amount of feature film and direct-to-video horror releases between the years 1890 and 2014. The number we came up with was 18,480. That’s 18,480 total horror movies made worldwide since 1890.

Normally, to calculate an average, you would add up all your numbers and then divide by the amount of numbers, but 18,480 is way too much to sort through. So instead of dealing with all those movies, we simply take a representative sample from which we can determine what is true of the larger population of horror movies. Our total population is 18,480 and using the wonderful sample-size calculator at http://www.macorr.com, we were able to determine that a representative sample with a 95% confidence level and a 5% confidence interval would consist of 376 movies.

That means that we would need to calculate Gore Quotients for 376 movies in order to calculate the overall average amount of bloodiness amongst all horror movies. With a sample size of 376, we could be 95% sure that the average we get from the sample is true of the whole population of 18,480. Once we have this representative sample, calculating the average bloodiness would only be the beginning; we could perform all manner of statistical tests with our data and we could be 95% sure that our findings would be true of all horror movies.

For example, if we wanted to see how many horror movies feature most of their kills in the last 30 minutes, we could look at our Kill Graph data, determine how many movies meet that criteria, and then calculate the percentage. Let’s say that we find that 40% of our 376-movie sample (with confidence level 95% and confidence interval 5%) features movies where most of the kills occur in the last 30 minutes, then that means we can be 95% sure that between 35% and 45% of all horror movies have most of their kills in the last 30 minutes. Granted, there’s a lot of room for error between 35% and 45%, but our accuracy will steadily improve as our sample of movies grows. Long-term, we’re aiming for a confidence interval of 2%, which would decrease our error substantially. For that level of accuracy, we would need a sample size of 2,125 movies.

We’re not there yet, but one day we’ll reach our first goal of 376 movies reviewed and then we can get really get our statistics on. We are working toward a total understanding of gore, both to satisfy the curiosity of the average horror-junkie and to advance the study and knowledge of horror movies as a legitimate research area. That’s something you won’t find at any other horror review site. We are splatterjunkie.com, spread the word–Horror Through Math!

Hello one and all, we would like to introduce to you our new movie reviewer, Jenicide, who has just written and published her review of the 1978 classic, Halloween. So go ahead and check it out!

We would also like to announce the first successful test-run of our Fourth of October celebration splatterworks. For those of you who don’t know, October 4th is the day we celebrate independent horror filmmaking, and we celebrate by popping our own version of fireworks, which we call splatterworks. Very soon we will be posting a How-to video where we will teach you how to make a simple splatterwork and then show you the actual explosion. So watch out for that!

For more info on Fourth of October, check out this previous post:

October 4th: Celebrating Horror Independence!

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Halloween Kill Graph Corrected

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Bare Hands, Kitchen Knife, Knitting Needle, Wire Hanger, Revolver

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Reviewed by: Jenicide

October is near. Yes! Our favorite month of the year is approaching. So what better time to get to a favorite upon many horror fans than a review on the 1978 classic, “Halloween”?

When it comes to horror films, John Carpenter’s Halloween is considered by many as a holy grail of a horror movie; one that introduced the iconic masked killer, Michael Myers. More than likely, if you are reading this, you know how the movie goes, but to be consistent in our reviews, here’s a quick synopsis for you: A young Myers is left in the care of his older sister, Judith, whom he murders in cold blood on Halloween night, 1963. Fast forward fifteen years later, Myers, having been under the care of his psychiatrist Dr. Loomis, (played by the late, great Donald Pleasance) makes his move and escapes. Loomis realizes the evil nature of his patient and is hell-bent on recapturing Michael, whether he gets support or not. Now back in his hometown of Haddonfield, Myers stalks three high school girls who are unaware they are now his targets. Particularly the level-headed, reserved Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis’ film debut). Their Halloween turns from a carefree evening of babysitting and teenage hi-jinks to death and terror.

Halloween Girls Michael Myers Young

So what made “Halloween” such a beloved masterpiece? It relies on basic ingredients and excellent execution; the suspense factor, a creepy score (composed by Carpenter), and great acting. The suspense is played out beautifully throughout and reaches a crescendo during the final game of cat and mouse between Michael and Laurie. Adding to the suspense is the spine-chilling music featuring those edgy, stinging notes that are now so iconic. The acting is subtle and effective with extra points going to Nick Castle for his nuanced performance of Michael Myers; he is able to convey mysteriousness and an animal-like quality all under a blank, emotionless mask. He is not a man, he is an evil presence in the shape of a man; the fact that he is even credited as The Shape shows that he is not to be understood as a human character, but as a malevolent force of nature. All these elements combine to create a dark atmosphere that makes this film scary without the need to rely on buckets of blood.

Ghost Michael Myers Tombstone

“Halloween” was made cheap but with a lot of love. It only had a $300K budget, with the director maintaining full creative control of the film and with hardly any special effects at all. It simply utilizes pure fear under circumstances that could happen to the average person in an average town. You could relate with some characters; they could be your friends, the kids you babysit, or so forth. Many members of the crew were friends of Carpenter and the late producer Debra Hill, so they all pitched in when needed. And today, it still ranks as one of the most successful independent motion pictures ever.

Of course, there are the sequels and the remakes that stemmed from this film. Some entries, building on Myers’ inhuman character, present him as being literally supernatural (is he? Or isn’t he? Was this really implied in the original film? Oh, so much to think about!), and delving deeper into the roots of his madness while upping the gore factor. This leads to great discussions/debates on the character and the quality of the series…but we can get into that in another review.

Loomis Gun Myers Face Emerge

Overall, “Halloween” is an excellent film and a must-see on your horror movie bucket-list, if you have one, or if you’ve been living under a rock. This film proved it could terrify you without bloody guts or massive gore. Michael Myers became a household name in the horror realm, alongside other characters under the new slasher sub-genre, where the movie monsters were redefined by putting them in human form. Not to mention catapulting Jamie Lee Curtis into her classic “scream queen” status that led to a steady career in the mainstream world. Donald Pleasance’s career was also affected as he went from playing villain-type characters to avenging Loomis-type roles which continued until his passing in 1995. Plus, John Carpenter, who achieved notoriety after this, went on to make more classics throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s that we will be sure to review in due time. As one of the early films that helped define the elements of the slasher genre, Halloween is well respected and highly recommended for your viewing pleasure.

Updated Splat-Stats Info

Posted: September 19, 2014 in News
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Very soon we will be updating our Splat-Stats info page in order to make it a little more readable and a little less technical. The original info posts will still be available under the “Info” category, for those of you who wish to see them.

Also, in light of the recent arrival of two new contributors to our offices, we will be adding author names to every article and review from now on.

Things are moving along swiftly here at splatterjunkie.com and it’s only going to get better, so keep your eye on us and we’ll do all we can to keep raising the bar.

Hello wanderers of the Internet wasteland! We here at splatterjunkie.com are striving to bring you more and more content just as quickly as we can, but calculating Gore Quotients is hard, tedious work! As such, we will be adding two regular contributors to our staff—which, in fact, currently consists of just me, Pontifex Aureus, referring to ourselves in the first-person plural as always.

We will have one new movie reviewer, who will soon be treating us all to a review of the 1978 classic Halloween. Also joining us will be a video-game and music reviewer who is currently crafting a review of the smash-hit survival horror video game, The Last of Us.

Look for these articles soon and don’t forget about our upcoming, brand-new feature: Movie Executions! More on that later.

Movie Review: Ravenous

Posted: September 16, 2014 in Reviews
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Bare Hands, Knife, Tomahawk, Black Powder Revolver, Musket, Mallet, Cavalry Saber, Log, Pitchfork,

Head-Butts, Meat Cleaver, Bear Trap

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Reviewed by: Pontifex Aureus

Every now and then a weird little oddball movie will pop up and truly surprise me. Ravenous, at first glance, looks like your run-of-the-mill cannibal in the woods movie, but not so; instead the movie takes a slight supernatural turn as the cannibals literally gain strength and heal wounds from eating human flesh, making this feel almost like a vampire movie. And while a dark, gritty tone would have been perfectly acceptable, the movie surprises me again by taking a bit of a humorous bent; not all-out comedy, but certainly tongue-in-cheek.

During the Mexican-American War, Captain Boyd is punished for cowardice by being transferred to the worst post possible, Fort Spencer, an isolated little shack out in the western Sierra Nevada Mountains. Just as Boyd is getting adjusted to his new surroundings, a shaggy-haired man comes stumbling out of the woods with an incredible story of survival and cannibalism that leads Boyd and his fellow soldiers to mount a dangerous rescue mission into the woods.

Bad Ass Boyd  Ives on the Hunt

Like I’ve said, this is no ordinary cannibal movie; these cannibals can get stabbed, shot, and skewered and still come after you just as long as they can get their hands on some fresh meat. In fact, these cannibals are actually Wendigo. As an American Indian recounts in the movie, when a man eats the flesh of another man, he steals his spirit and gains his strength, becoming a Wendigo. However, the effects don’t last and the eating becomes like a drug habit; the Wendigo is forced to keep feeding, becoming hungrier the more he eats.

Yum Yum Crazy Face Deadman

It’s a very fresh premise and I absolutely loved the hero, Captain Boyd, who is so atypically unheroic. He is in fact a coward and proves it more than once in the movie; he also happens to be a cannibal (don’t worry, I’m not giving anything away, as this fact is revealed early on). Yet despite all that, he eventually finds the strength to stand against his enemy (and his own cravings) and ends up being rather likable. The villain is no less remarkable as he transforms from a raving lunatic to an implacably cool and manipulative devil-in-disguise. You’ve got to love a villain so megalomaniacal that he compares his hunger to manifest destiny. The interplay between Boyd and the villain keeps the movie moving along briskly in between massacres.

RUN Knox Stew

Speaking of massacres, there’s a good helping of blood to be had here, but nothing wildly over-the-top. There’s a few spilled guts here and a little flesh-eating there. The best parts are really the implied cannibalism; any movie that can make eating stew seem gruesome is doing something right. And I have to mention the outrageous soundtrack. The music was probably the first cue I had that this was going to be something special. It’s an off-kilter hodgepodge of wheezy concertina, demented banjo picking, and sprightly fiddle—a hillbilly nightmare of a soundtrack that ranges from manically cheerful to rabidly ferocious.

A truly original and entertaining movie all around but the real meat of the film is the battle of wits between Boyd and the villain, since the other characters (aside from the delightful Jeffery Jones as Colonel Hart) are mostly disposable kill fodder. If you’ve got a meat-tooth for cannibal mayhem, Ravenous serves it up extra-rare.