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November 06, 2006 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2006-11-06

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8A - Monday, November 6, 2006

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.corr

Kid's
classic
should
By PAUL TASSI
Daily Arts Writer
Before revisiting "The Night-
mare Before Christmas" in 3D
form, you
must put out *
of your mind
everything The
negative the Nightmare
original has Before
spawned Christmas:
since its 3
release in
1993. Unfor- At the Showcase
tunately, the Disney
goth-emo
culture found
itself the most able to relate to the
twisted freaks ofHalloween Town,
and they quickly became the film's
cult following. Since its release,
every one of them has bought at
least one black hooded sweatshirt
from Hot Topic embroidered with
Jack Skellington's face. It's, like,
totally the non-conformist thing
to do.
Despite the fact that "Night-
mare" is now associated with kids
who really need to cheer up, the
film itself stands the test of time
as a true wonder of animation
and storytelling. Inspired by the
scrawled poems and scribbles of
the quirky Tim Burton ("Edward
Scissorhands") and directed by
stop-motion pioneer Henry Selick
("James and the Giant Peach"),
"Nightmare" tells the story of Jack
Skellington, the Pumpkin King of
Halloween Town.
After yet another terrifyingly
successful Halloween, Jack finds
himself wanting more than the
tired screams he hears year after
year. On a long walk of reflection,
Jack stumbles upon the gateway
to another holiday city, Christmas
Town. He is transported into a
world where he is shocked to see
children (actually, elves) laughing
and playing instead of screaming
and crying. He scoops up a sack of
shiny Christmas things and trucks
them back to Halloween Town.
After studying the strings of

Blood and guts arrive in
clever form on 'Slither' DVD

4

By BLAKE GOBLE
Daily Arrs Writer
After being struck by a clawed
tendril, a man develops a cut down
the center of- MOVIE:
his forehead.
He seems
fine enough SPECIAL
until the mark FEATURES:
inexplicably ***t
grows, graph-
ically splitting Slither
him in two. Universal
The scene is
vulgar, crass
and unremittingly explicit - and
exactly the kind of film moment
that needs to come around more
often.
"Slither," as a whole, deserves
a second chance. Brimming with
grossness, guffaws and good old-
fashioned thrills, this movie is a
fine rarity: a grade-A B-movie.
A meteor has crash-landed in
the small town of Wheelsy, and
it's no ordinary rock - it contains
a dangerous creature within that
could very well bring about the
destruction of mankind.
Too bad the town doesn't even
notice its landing. Wheelsy is the
definition of backwards, where
police only use their speedome-
ters for birds and the beginning of
hunting season is the town's big-
gest day.
That pasttime actually proves
appropriate, since the film is built
upon the killing and eating of oth-
ers. Dogs, cats, deer and eventually
humans are mouthwatering treats
for the film's central monster, a
local fellow named Grant Grant
(Michael Rooker, "The 6th Day")
turned flesh-eating fiend. After a
tiff with his wife, Grant goes out
prowling for women only to find
the meteor's slug-like creature in
the woods. Here's a lesson from
the horror movie industry regard-
ing unusual looking creatures:
don't agitate them.
The town discovers Grant
altered and deformed, necessi-
tating a manhunt that eventually
leads to his secret nest of orifice-
infatuated leeches. "Don't let 'em
in yer mouth!" the police chief
screams, an unusual line delivered
with perfect camp by lead actor
Nathan Fillion ("Serenity").
Eventually the film enters auto-
pilot as the leeches terrorize the

0

Dude, that farting game has been lame since the third grade

lights and pine trees he's brought sculpted out of clay, rather than
back, Jack decides that he and his pixels, with a perfect balance of
fellow undead citizens will assume creepiness and humor. The film's
the responsibilities of Christ- best moments are undoubtably its
mas this year. He kidnaps "Sandy musical numbers, where the danc-
Claws" and begins toy production ingskeletons, ghouls and vampires
with a Halloween twist - deliver- will have you tapping your feet:
ing toys that bite, sting or chase the "Hal-lo-ween! Hal-lo-ween!"
The 3D effects that supposedly
warranted the re-release of "Night-
First Goth kids mare," however, are slightly less
entertaining, and nowhere near
and no IM AX. worth the $2 "convenience" (trans-
lated: bullshit) charge tacked on toj
What next? your already overpriced ticket. You
W t e . forget that you're even viewing a
3D movie after about 10 minutes.
The jury is still out, but 3D films
children who have been looking are hovering somewhere between
forward to Christmas morning all cheesy and innovative, and the
year. Jack soon realizes he's made only people who will actually pay
a terrible mistake. A climactic extra to see "Nightmare" pop out
battle unfolds involving Jack, his of the screen will undoubtedly be
zombie love interest, Santa Claus wearing black fishnet, studded
and the evil Boogie Man. leather jewelry and pants with too
"The Nightmare Before Christ- many zippers. The movie itself, of
mas" is artistically brilliant in course, is an undisputed classic, so
every way. Before the time of "Toy be sure to rent the DVD as we all
Story" or "Finding Nemo," the make the transition from Hallow-
title characters are masterfully een to Christmas.

town, turning those unfortunate
enough to ingest them into zom-
bie-fled minions for Grant's ulti-
mate super-squid. Like any other
creature feature, the uninfected
heroes must stop the evil from
spreading.
At first glance, this seems like a
generic monster mash, but "Slith-
er" stands out. For one, it has
laughs. Mocking the conventional
idealism of the American people
(as well as our insatiable appetites)
the film has an absurd sense of
humor. After a horrific ordeal, the
town's mayor maintains calm until
he finds his Mr. Pibb missing.
The film balances its thrills and
spills unusually well. With PG-
13 ratings quietly ruining horror
movies, "Slither" takes pleasure
in showing some guts (literally).
There's something comforting
about seeing people spit green
acidic slime and develop into amor-
phous monsters. It's a throwback
to the gory glory days of George
Romero, David Cronenberg and
even director James Gunn's (writ-
er of 2004's "Dawn of the Dead"
remake) Troma film roots.
As an added bonus, the DVD
features have some teeth, too.
SADDLES
From page 5A
in the midst of a fight, the western
town's locale shifts to a back lot in
Hollywood and the scene incor-
porates not only the townspeople
but some bandits, a full set of flam-
boyant musical actors, about S0
extras and one faux-Adolph Hitler.
Somehow, Brooks can get away

There's a documentary about the
process of gettingthe movie made
that is, for once, actually engaging,
Leeches and
hicks add up to a
grade-A B-movie.
recording the hunt for a distribu-
tor and the actors' gory makeup
- and making moviemaking look
noble again.
A mockumentary on the acting
abilities of lead Fillion (cast and
crew sarcastically testify that he
sucks), a light commentary with
director Gunn and a diary from
schlock-father Lloyd Kaufman
("The Toxic Avenger") round out
the surprisingly decent DVD fea-
tures.
Could the film be an allegory
for America's insatiable appetite
and weight problems? Maybe. Is
it commentary on the adulterous
nature of man? A little. Is "Slither"
pure entertainment? Definitely.
with such obvious gags without
seeming trite.
As a master of parody, slap-
stick and satire, Brooks should be
praised for his comedic talentsout-
side of more recent work. If you're
not familiar with his older work,
check out "Young Frankenstein"
(1974), "High Anxiety" (1977) or, if
you must, "Spaceballs" (1987). or
simply roll to The Michigan The-
ater tonight at 7 p.m.

I

So. You want
one good reason
to earn a pharmacy
degree from the
University of
Michigan?

Here are 12 good reasons, for starters:
1. Unparalleled career choices
2. Continuous growth potential
3. Job security in economically uncertain times
4. Unlimited opportunities to improve people's lives
5. Outstanding pay
6. Life and career mobility
7. The power to apply medical knowledge at
the forefront of technological innovation
8. Financial support unequalled by any
other U.S. pharmacy school
9. Membership in an influential alumni
network spanning the globe
10. The prestige of owning a degree from one
of US News & World Report's top-ranked
pharmacy schools
11. One-to-one learning with world-renowned
faculty
12. Respect
If you've had health-care patient experience,
and if you've taken Chemistry 130, 210, 215, or 260;
Biology 162, 305, 310, or 311; Physics 125, 126, 140,
or 240; or Calculus 115 or 116, you're already on
your way to a pharmacy degree at U-M. To learn
more about the PharmD Program at the University
of Michigan, visit the University of Michigan College
of Pharmacy Web site at www.umich.edu/-pharmacy.
Or contact Assistant Dean Valener Perry at
734-764-5550 or by e-mail at vlperry@umich.edu.
Your future never looked brighter.

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