Saturday, September 29, 2007

Odexipus Rex

FOREWARD: Odex owns Haruhi in Singapore, but it's been sublicensed to a new label of theirs or something. As such it isn't on the Odex site, and I don't for sure know what "company" to call them. This is a shame, since I'm very much interested in some of their titles. gives the following as a possible definition for the word "Irony":

e. an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected.

Irony can be delicious. Case in point, allow me to present to you Odex Private Limited. For those who have never heard the name before, they appear to be the anime licensor in Singapore. They release everything from Fullmetal Alchemist to The Melancholy Life of Suzumiya Haruhi, Monster to Mai-HiME, Samurai Champloo to Ai Yori Aoshi and about a hundred other shows that are harder to find, if you take the time to wiki their asses. (What am I, your database slut?) They became relevant to my exploits back when I started buying Fullmetal Alchemist, a title that - despite my empty wallet only having bought a few odd volumes of - is quite possibly one of the most fascinating TV shows Japan produced in 2005. And I'm not just saying that because the movie has the Thule Society using a dragon to complete a working Uroboros to travel to the fabled Aryan birth world. But yeah, that's part of it.

As everyone here likely knows the US release was handled by FUNimation. A decade ago that was akin to saying "this title was licensed by 4Kids". If you don't watch anime, this is kinda' like saying "this property I love is about to be adapted by Uwe Boll" or "this movie is going to star John Travolta in drag". It just wasn't something you wanted a part of. After years of grinding Dragonball Z out into an easily digestible kiddie flavored pulp for the good of syndication, the company switched gears completely and started focusing on not only releasing more adult natured titles, from the smart and violent world of Blue Gender and retarded psuedo porno via Speed Grapher to down and out harbingers of frantic pedo masturbation in Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase and even the East Meets West combo plate that managed to magically not suck balls that is Afro Samurai. FUNimation consistently offers Japanese credits as alternate angles, faithful and - at times bizarrely so - accurate subtitle translations, beefy sounding 5.1 English surround for those of you into that sorta' thing, and where applicable image packed 16 page booklets and reversible covers and sturdy artboxes that remind you why you spent an extra $10 on a cardboard box, you re-re you. Logically, FUNimation should be the best licensor ever.

Unfortunately, every one of their DVDs - Afro Samurai aside, for some strange reason - has an average bitrate that's lower than most cable broadcasts, uses a profile that blows out color saturation and increases edge enhancement to nasty levels, and as such, pretty much every title looks like a pixelating XviD download ripped from someone elses' DVD. Some titles escape looking like macroblock hell, but... not usually. Nope. Afro Samurai has a bitrate of 6000+kbps, but whoever it is that encodes their titles just doesn't know how to change that average setting. I swear to god my wife loved Moon Phase and would have gladly bought it if it didn't pixelate and look like shit on her at random. FUNimation can't be blamed for Tsubasa Chronicle TV turning her off though... that's the show's fault. Goddamn, how did they manage to fuck that up?

*Ahem* So, denizens, and over at the AoD forums (that's, if you're wondering) discovered that Odex was releasing Fullmetal Alchemist, and that their encode quality was far superior to FUNimations. Groovy! It had English subtitles and Japanese 2.0 dialog, along with a Mandarin dub and Chinese subtitles none of us English speaking Western types cared about. You also got 12-13 episodes in a bootleg-like gatefold package* for under $40. They were also selling Monster, which so far hasn't been available (legally, I mean) in English from anywhere else. Could life get any better?

*Tsubasa Chronicle got keepcases and an artbox instead of the usual cheap-ass digipack gatefold thing. Why? Beats the crap out of me.

Yap. "Yap" is literally a subtitle that appears on their English translations, and there is awkward Singlish grammar and the like to boot. Still, with these 13 episode sets selling for roughly $30 USD, and the country's official languages being Mandarin, Malay, Tamil, and English it's to be expected that sometimes their subtitles are a little... "off", compared to what a Yank or a Aussie or whatever would probably expect. Eventually, Odex got tired of it's subtitle translations being awkward, and they started just ripping off the scripts from English fansub versions floating around the internet.

Back in 2003, Odex created the Anti Video Piracy Association of Singapore (AVPAS). No, this isn't irrelevant trivia... you'll see where this is going. Oh yes.

Circa 2006, Odex found their profits were literally half of that circa 2005, and - naturally - they blamed it on rampant piracy of "their" titles, mostly from digital fansubs downloaded via bittorrent and similar services. It can't ever be that you're just releasing shit and your customers have other things to spend money on, right? Ugh... moving on. This year, being the AVPAS in a licensor's clothing, Odex decided to send cease and desist letters to everyone with a Singapore IP address caught downloading a title they were distributor for. 300 people were brought to court, and despite Odex claiming that "no damages have been paid" so far 1/3 of them have settled (with the average settlement being about $5,000 Singapore dollars - like $3,800 US?) while the other 200 are currently hashing the case out with their lawyers. One of those individuals was a 9 year old.

I'm not shitting you. A fucking nine year old child kid.

But y'know what the best part of all this is? Odex, after literally suing people for downloading fansubs of titles including Haruhi, released the title on DVD in the past couple days. Odex , supposedly, is outsourcing translators for their projects, and the finished Haruhi DVD has lines that appear to be copied word-for-word from an earlier US fansub release. You can check out the accusation-with-pictures here! CLICK ME DAMN YOU!! at Odex' own forums.

I've given much thought about how immensely giddy the hilarious karmic bitch-slap of this situation is, and as such, I offer you the following animated gif:


Have I mentioned that the guy who runs Odex ratted out a business partner of his in the late 1990's for selling bootleg merchandise, and that he posted on Singapore anime forums stating "he was too busy suing people"? Not as awesome as a tale by buddy Caterpillar told me of some epic alcohol infused astroturfing at the DTM forums shortly after their god-awful release of Eat the Schoolgirl came out, but it sounds like this Peter Go is s crazy asshole the likes of which the mostly lovable complete avoidance of reality that Media Blaster's own CEO, John Sirabella, throws out all over the place just can't beat with a stick. I may have misread parts of that article, but I think he beats baby seals to death with his penis and has sex with cows. But, seriously. Wiki that shit. It's beyond epic.

Anyway, there's a lot of possibilities here. For one thing, two translations of the same dialog SHOULD be similar... but often the wording is a little different in complex prose, which is the real problem with Haruhi. Secondly, this isn't the first time. Some of their releases from a couple years back, like Monster, were similarly fansub rips. Fans (who were already getting a heaping shovel full of guilt from Odex on a regular basis) called them on it, and no other title since had has the problem.

Fascinatingly, while a fansubber does NOT have any legal right to distribute or show off any project they do in public, they DO own the rights to their own hard work (and guts). Legally speaking, for Odex and whatever translators they enlisted to create their subtitles to have used the fansub script, the group that created it (a.f.k., I think it was?) would have to give them permission. It's not unheard of for fansub scripts to be bought by English licensors, to be cleaned up a little bit, since fans hardcore enough to subtitle this kind of stuff for free often have a more intimate knowledge of the material than someone who's never seen it before anyway. Of course, this comes at the cost of not having recording scripts and, often, being at a professional level in terms of perfectly understanding either English or Japanese perfectly.

Anyway, Odex bootlegged a bootlegger (accidentally, maybe?) after spending the last year suing everybody who did bootleged "their" title to begin with. Isn't life just grand? Whatever happens here I need to figure out what sub-label they're releasing Moon Phase on.

Also, the internet has a big enough pinecone up it's ass about Geneon Entertainment upping and leaving the R1 market as a licensing studio without me dedicating 8 pages of angry highschool level ranting or angst ridden emo bitchery. I firmly believe that Dentsu just wants to correct their generally top quality American financial black hole (30+ people working on 15 volumes of Fighting Spirit that never had a hope of breaking even just isn't good business) and turn Geneon into something akin to Kadokawa and Synch Point, where they do all the dirty work and then let another studio release it for them since it's just easier and cheaper that way: think Fullmetal Panic: The Second Raid or Haruhi to Kadokawa - every step of the way is monitored by Kadokawa, even if it has a FUNimation or Bandai Entertainment logo on the box.

All I will say is that I'm going to pick up Higurashi no Naku Koro ni/When They Cry volumes 2 and 3, and cry myself to sleep every night until the second half of the first season gets a US release. The fansubs are all the censored TV edit, and a friend of mine may get me rips of the R2's, and yet...

...every day I can't have this translated and tucked away on my shelf of DVDs is a day that I cry myself to sleep. Not because life sucks, but because dead loli's are a commodity more rare than gold.

'Nite, folks.

Edit: Currently the Odex forums are down while the page "gets a new look". A look free of fansub thievery talk? We'll see.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Being thurough sucks, until you ditch Levels(-15,1.5,255,0,255)


Cursed be the days I talk to the guy who taught me how to use AVISynth. Every time I learn something new, and decide to have another look at that damnable attempt I've put in to fixing the R2 DVD of the Vampire Hunter D OVA. Not because it wasn't perfect and all... just to be sure I've optimized everything I can for easy compression and dazzling colors.

And then A/Bing the original to my version I realize that the super-awesome color correction I managed to perform was causing black noise to wreak havoc on all dark scenes. Yes, I blame the new clarity and not-crushed black level of my brand spankin' new ViewSonic LCD monitor for making this shortcoming all the more recognizable, but I'll admit I was trying like a proud macho sports father to ignore his tap-and-ballet dancing son as best I could. But it was there. Blacks - such as the pitch black opening scene in which Doris fights that dinosaur-thing - had a nasty chekerboard pattern across them that, while visible on the R2, were even easier to spot due to the increased overall brightness on the Kentai Films restoration.

I refuse to trade one problem for another.

<- [Click me!] So, playing with the same filters, I found a compromise: without going into the gory details, I'm using a different order of the same filters to create a transfer that raises the gamma first, and then crushes the blacks, instead of doing it all in one fell swoop. The downside is the image isn't quite as bright as it used to be, since the crush affects the gamma levels too. The upside is I almost can't see the nasty noise patterns in the dark scenes, while the colors and valid details are still boosted to some degree. Unfortunately, the Sony R2 transfer is such a poor starting point that I'm literally trying to polish a turd. As you can see, the new color scheme at least fixes those washed out charcoal gray black levels, which inadvertantly make the colors struggling to get out of them easier to see. I tried boosting the contrast for kicks, but found it just made the lighting effects bleed and the skin tones washed out. No thanks. Also, the saturation is boosted, again, to combat that god-awful "I'm dark yet still manage to look like I'm too bright" vendetta the Sony transfer achieved. I still don't know how the hell they managed it.

Anyway, as promised previously GENOCYBER is still next on the chopping block. Legit work is keeping me away from finishing the menus, but I'll finish everything for the boss man (a situation my initial laziness/disillusionment with the industry got me into), and get to encoding all those songs for the menus soon enough using a better AC3 encoder than I've ever touched prior. All this crap was done whilst ripping and burning DVDs, where encoding stuff isn't much of an option anyhow. All the same - playing with familiar transfers means that I'll be able to apply the knowledge I learn here to less familiar pieces, which will inevitably benefit each and every one of you someday. I also have a couple upcoming projects involving Pinku Eiga (aka: vintage softcore crazy J-porn), though it's an alliance that will lead to no profit for me in the process. Disappointing, yes... but I haven't made a dime in a year now, so who am I to complain? I get to watch 18 Dolls of the Shogun's Harem with subtitles soon! Whoo-hoo!

And that's all I got.

Monday, September 10, 2007

No Trick, All Treat: Rob Zombie's HALLOWEEN

Hey, yeah, been a while. Sorry, went to Arkansas for a week to celebrate my grandparent-in-laws family reunion. Got a hell of a sunburn digging for crystals (and found some real beauties), found I prefer my inlaws to my own flesh and blood without fail, and it was so goddamn hot that coming back to New England in 90+ degree weather didn't seem so bad in comparison. Ugh.

Also went to a hibachi place for the first time in my life, with mixed results: the young Chinese chef cut himself performing on the table, and we were twice forgotten as far as food was concerned. At least my aunt picked up the tab, as the bastardly place charged the price of 6 orders for 4 that were actually bought. I also literally drank soup that tasted like water with scallions floating in it. Weak...

Also been busy as all hell: read STARSHIP TROOPERS and I can't for the life of me figure out how in the hell Amino's OVA or Vorhoeven's Hollywood feature were 'based on the Robert Heinlein novel'. Also watched a bunch of crap that doesn't quite belong to me, including THE ABANDONED, 3 episodes of MASTERS OF HORROR, the first 5 episodes of HIGURASHI NO NAKU KORO NI (aka When They Cry), and the banned-in-Japan horror classic KYOFU KIKEI NINGEN (aka Horrors of Malformed Men). The Abandoned, directed by Nadcho Cerda of "Aftermath" infamy, is every bit a masterpiece and makes me wonder why the fuck it took the man 15 years to direct a feature after his last short film, Genesis. Malformed Men, sort of a twisted detective/sexy version The Island of Doctor Moreau, may well be the greatest masterpiece ISHII Teruo directed. Considering his long, varied, and flashy career that's saying something. As far as the MoH episodes went, The Black Cat appears to be Season 2's masterpiece, literally adapting Poe's tale of madness with Jeffery Combs giving the performance of his life. No cats were harmed in the making of this episode, though my wife doesn't believe it. And finally, Higurashi... well, if you like more and guro, this is the show for you. Period. I'm glad I waited for the uncensored R1, since seeing a show with adorable little girls stabbing themselves in the head edited would just make me go insane. I should skip the fansubs on awesome guro themed titles more often...

[Hoo-hah! Bandwidth thievery ahoy!]

But to hell with all that. I'm here to give my own verdict on what may be the single most controversial horror title of the year in the form of Rob Zombie's remake of John Carpenter's legendary HALLOWEEN. I have a confession to make: despite having seen 7+ Jason films, every Freddy movie ever made, and my share of slasher shit circa 1980-1990 the likes of which I can barely remember (and I finally gave up on pursuing the genre after Scream proved to me that the joke was old enough that even people who weren't fans got it), I've never been a huge fan of Halloween. I like John Carpenter - The Thing, Escape From New York and Big Trouble in Little China remain favorites of mine so many years later, and I'll admit I've missed a few classics while having generally mixed feelings about stuff like Vampires and Prince of Darkness - but I always felt that Halloween was... lacking. I can't explain why, exactly. It had the style of Argento at his peak, an immensely catchy and unique soundtrack, plenty of tits and blood, and more importantly set the ground rules that Friday the 13th and it's hundred or so knock-off's would abide by carefully and without fail for the next 30 years. I think the real problem is just... Michael Meyers. Known in the script as "The Shape", he was a soulless, personality free bogeyman who killed randomly, without rhyme, reason, or even satisfaction. Average size, wearing a very generic costume, and seemingly immortal Meyers was every part a supernatural monster in the guise of an ordinary man, a concept that horrified audiences
in the late 1970's as reports of serial killers in their midsts became more and more common and imaginations ran wild that their next door neighbor may one day rise up against them and decapitate them with a spatula only to make sweet love to their neck hole.

The trouble is, having read up on serial killers in my teens when the concept of "real" monsters fascinated me as much as the kinds in rubber masks, I just never bought Meyers' tale. For no discernible reason, little Mike Meyers becomes a mute psychopath who stabs his teenage sister to death, and 20 years later escapes back to his hometown to continue the slaughter anew. Meanwhile, a plucky and sexless teenage babysitter (in the form of the tasty Jamie Lee Curtis) has to defend herself and the children in her care from the masked maniac while his long time counselor (played by the always awesome Donald Plesance) tails him the whole way, ready to put a stop to what he believes is evil incarnate. That's really all there is to it. No matter how good the mood and acting for the feature may have been, the simplistic nature is only aided by a subtle and probably subconscious motive of the script which turns Meyers - and his imitators - into bizarre anti-heroes, punishing the wicked teenagers who smoke dope and have premarital sex, yet is somehow outwitted by both the well meaning Dr. Loomis and the virginal Laurie. In the end, good vanquishes evil, but is Meyers gone for good? With 8 movies in the cannon, it's safe to say "no".

[Whoa, Mike Meyers IS scary! ...oh, wait...]

With the original film having failed to impress me (and yeah, a lot of controversial and influential films have had that effect on me) I never bothered with the sequels. I watched a little bit of part 4 on cable, but got bored despite Donald's best efforts and never bothered to finish it. I may, in time, though I'll be damned if I go so far as to watch Meyers get beaten up by Bustah Rhymes in "Resurrection". I refused to watch Jason in Space, and you bet your ass I refuse to watch that bullcrap.

So with the original rotting in the recesses of my mind, I went into Rob's 30 years later remake expecting... well, I wasn't sure. I doubted it would be any less impressive, and with Malcom McDowell and, well, half the cast of The Devil's Rejects, not to mention early reports of a masturbating animal killing shota Michael Meyers who rapes and talks as an adult, it seemed poised to bitchslap every single possible expectation. Evidently, I'm in the minority on thinking that Rob's Halloween - at least the version we saw in theaters - was a damn good horror film. Not perfect. Not serious. Bud damned good. But I'm used to being in the minority on liking/disliking stuff. For chrissakes, I'm already committing sacrelige by saying Carpenter's was "unimpressive", might as well go for the whole enchilada.

Not all the rumors turned out to be unture: the first third of the film does depict Meyers' home life leading up to the murder of his sister (and in Rob's version some bonus murders as well), and what we see ain't pretty. His mother, played by the always lovely Sheri Moon Zombie, works as a stripper to support her two kids and alcoholic asshole second husband, played by William Forscythe who's just as apt a scumbag here as he was in Rejects. Lots of screaming, implied incestuous urges, dead animal and Sheri dancing to Love Hurts is to be found here, and anyone who isn't having a good time for it is just hung up on the original to take it as a new and lovingly fucked up entity. People don't just wake up one day and become serial killers, they become them through having shitty lives and major mental imbalances. Carpenter's Halloween ignored this fact and tried to ride on people's fear of the unknown, and the mere thought that a "normal" person could - for no reason at all - snap. Zombie takes the opposite route, and chooses to focus on the how and why of why a heartless and thankless monster could exist in the body of a man. Fans of the original are understandably upset that their once faceless and stone-cold antihero has been turned into the fourth member of Hanson with a cardboard mask, but frankly that combination is more effective than it ought to be. Particularly set to remixed pieces of Carpenter's now iconic score. The tone is set best when, after having already been stabbed, the young Michael pads after her slowly not because it looks dramatic, but because he doesn't need to run; from the word go, Michael's already won.

The style to the film is unique in that, despite appearing to open in the late 1970's (why else would little Mikey be wearing a KISS T-shirt?) the footage that takes place 18 years later could have been shot in the same stretch of time. In Rob's mid 1990's teenagers still drive around boss vans and have beards and have sex to Blue Oyster Cult and Alice Cooper. This comes off as less a matter of Rob not knowing what kids do and more not giving a shit. I'll admit that seeing boobies flopping around to Only Women Bleed is a marked improvement to whatever Chumba Wumba song would have actually been playing on the radio, and the clothing style is generic enough that it could well have been shot in any period. But the entire film takes place just a few miles south of reality anyway: Meyers being allowed a paper machie mask, I can believe. That he walks around in tattered mental facility clothing is bullshit. That stuff is stitched canvas. I also love the thought that the facility wouldn't have an alarm, but that the lights would turn red. Realistic? No. But neither was Suspiria, which the film appears to be giving a polite nod to, and nobody bitched there. It's also uncanny how, having returned to the ruins of his childhood home, Meyers puts on the iconic rubber mask anew that hung around his face like a shapeless bag as a child, now hugs his head like a second skin. I know, I know, it was made specifically to fit the massive monster of a man that is Tyler Mane, ex-professional wrestler, but the effect is still one of great importance: Meyers isn't just home, he's complete. And Jason sliding that goofy hockey mask on his bubbling drowned noggin' never felt that way.

As far as Mane's performance - which easily could have made or broken the film itself - he does a fine job being a human wrecking ball. At 6'8, he's not exactly the everyman that Carpenter wanted, but he does make the scenes of throwing cops around like rag dolls and crushing people's faces open entirely believable. Unlike slasher movies, which typically used a single shot of gore and lovingly focused on a complex special effects shot, Rob's more down to earth method if several smashing blows with either a blunt object, or good old fashioned violence against the noggin, is far more uncomfortable and frightening than Meyers accomplished prior with a butcher's knife. Not to say he doesn't stab and slash his way through several victims - and even gets clever with a length of power cord, if I remember properly - but the drawn out sequences of him stabbing a topless girl only to leave her alive and sobbing as he goes off to finish her boyfriend is far more horrific than watching an anti-hero of a monster cut her tits off, as I honestly would have expected from a fan the likes of Rob's career suggests. There is no "gore" to speak of in the way we'd typically speak of it in the genre (even the mostly better-than-the-rest SAW franchise is guilty of "giving the people what they want"), there is only realistic and emotionless violence, protracted and ugly, apart from a single visual gag involving an animal that, if anything, is referencing the grand-daddy of the slasher movie, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and thus is something I can accept at face value. Meyers is, after all, a character with no emotion or feelings, despite us finally knowing the why. IGN missed this part, and thus can fucking eat me.

[Sorry for the OMG SPOILERZ!!!]

He killed his own fuzzy wuzzy pets for fucks sake, why should we expect to let Danny Trejo or his slutty sister live, even if he's done nothing but support Meyers? I'll say that I was impressed that Rob managed to make use of a toilet bowl in the process that was at first funny, but after the third time was just downright uncomfortable. Perhaps a throwback to Miike's City of Lost Souls? Hard to say. The point that so many people seem to not get is that while Rob's film has dissected and explained how Michael Meyers came to be, it does NOT make him human. Loomis' calls of "Anti-Christ" couldn't be more real not because he has unearthly powers, but merely because he doesn't give a damn. His endless love for his baby sister seems to come from the fact that, unlike the animals he could play God with, she was always happy to see him. Same with his mother - the first (human) murder we see is performed not because Michael was insulted, but because his momma' was. And you don't diss Sheri Moon Zombie. Somebody will kick your ass for it later.

I also want to cheer like a monkey on psychedelic drugs (feces throwing and all) that Malcom McDowell is eating again, since the last thing I can remember him being in was doing the voice for some god-awful cartoon on Nickelodeon (poor fucker - though a well read talking caterpillar was at least a better match for him than Ryuuken in Fist of the North Star). He was always a fine actor, and despite having been cast for the likes of A Clockwork Orange and Caligula, he proves here that he's perfectly capable of playing a serious role, even if the film isn't exactly suited for handing out Oscars. His Loomis is a paranoid, disillusioned, and fairly unlikable crazy son of a bitch - a far cry from the heroic and charming presence of Plesance in the original - but who's role of tailing Meyers hasn't changed in the least. The character is despised by the public for having written about his time with Michael, and he despises himself for being incompetent as a husband and a therapist. MOAR SPOILERZ!!! I'm also pleased as all fuck that his role in the film was essentially worthless: not a single life was saved by his doing, and that he met an end that reminded me of Cannibal Apocalypse (which in turn was used to better effect in 28 Days Later) was all good fun. Therapists think they can save the world if they can convince people to better their lives, but as McDowell proves they can't help those who refuse to help themselves.

While I'm spoiling shit left and right, I might as well add that I really like Michael Meyers: Demolition Services, the epic chase in which Laurie - who ends up having no clue that she's Mike's sister by the time the credits roll - is chased through their crumbling childhood home while Meyers, quite literally, brings down the house. Slasher stars have been doing that retarded "slow walking that catches up with the teenage bitch anyway" crap for 3 decades, and watching the lead pick up a 2 by 4 and decide that walls aren't going to stop him from accomplishing that one more time was fucking brilliant as far as I'm concerned.

There are a few logic lapses - why doesn't Loomis call in a SWAT team to recover Meyers without the risk of getting his head shoved up his ass? How does Mike recognize his sister almost 20 years later, and why does he love her so much? Where the fuck did Bill Mosley go? - but not only can most of them be explained with a little fucked-up psychology, there's absolutely nothing here that's any less logical to be expected from what is, fundamentally, a slasher film. And no, Carpenter's didn't make perfect sense either. Sorry John, I love you and all, but if any of your films have been overhyped Halloween is it.

Also... no sequel. Or at least if there is one, it'll be complete and utter bullshit, and Rob will most likely have zero to do with it. Naturally, having made it's $15 million budget back twice over and then some in the first week, it'll only be a matter of time before the Weinsteins find a way to milk the Halloween Cow next year. </SPOILING YOUR DINNER>

[Poison pen reviews can't stop this Superbeast from doing what he does best.]

Anyway, I've looked at a few reviews - with a 23% over at Rotten Tomatoes, critics are not taking kindly to this one - and can't for the life of me figure out where the problem is other than "it's remaking something that perfect to begin with" getting in the way of the bigger picture, which is that this is a finely crafted exploitation goldmine the likes of which I haven't seen come out in years. While I can relate to this concept - I did, after all, hate Zach Snyder's Dawn of the Dead remake like a bear trap to the testes - I think that Romero's Dawn is a classic worthy of adoration 30 years later. I just can't say the same for Carpenter's Halloween, and after once more seeing people defend it like Jesus I may revisit it to see if I was too harsh upon it so long ago, I dunno'. What I do know is that the theatrical version of Halloween is everything I was hoping it would be, and damn the haters out there.

So they're sick of torture porn, good for them. I'm not.

Oh yeah... a workprint (of sorts... it's a finished film, but without credits) leaked out roughly the day that Halloween hit theaters. I've only watched a little bit of it so far, but I have to say that this is the atrocity the likes of which Rob should be ashamed of, sleazy and deplorable as it may be. Depending on how busy I am with subtitles I may write-up a brief comparison of the two later on to show the world why I think Rob is a great man, and hope that my memory of the theatrical release is decent enough to have it mean something.

Anyway, hopefully I'll warn the world of PATHFINDER before that. No promises, though.