Posted in Freedom Friday


I am convinced that 1999 was one of the best years in film. I didn’t notice this until one night when I was looking through my DVD collection and came upon The Matrix, a movie about a reality within a reality. Flipping the box, I came upon the date and remembered Fight Club came out that same year. This led me also to note American Beauty and Magnolia released that year, too.

Brad Pitt in Fight Club
Brad Pitt in Fight Club

I have a few minutes, grab a chair, and let’s talk movies for Freedom Friday.

Did you know The Mummy and Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace came out in 1999? Both mega-blockbusters took in just under $1.5 Billion. That’s a lot of money, especially for back then.

What thrills me, though, is not the blockbusters, but the movies that have become annual events here at my home. Movies like Drop Dead Gorgeous, Analyze This, and Payback get a yearly viewing from me. Why? They’re fun movies! Whenever I’m bored, which happens more often than you think, I grab one of these movies, ease into my couch and let the story carry me away. I’m like a little kid wanting to watch the same movie again, even after having watched it twice already in a row. I never tire of these.

The Matrix
The Matrix

Anyway, about 1999—the world held its breath wondering if the lights would go out because of that supposed nasty Y2K bug that would have otherwise crippled North America’s very capable power grid. Of course, Y2K came and went with not even so much as a whimper. But the movies remained and the stories tempted their audience to be different. The majority of films imposed the message on us that we humans are unique, different, and filled with hope, and that we should go ahead and fulfill our dreams.

Here is a list of movies that hit theaters that year and why I feel they merit more than an once-in-a-lifetime viewing:

JanuaryThe Thin Red Line: A military movie gone crazy. So many cameos hit the film that I can hardly keep up including George Clooney, John Travolta and John Cusack.
FebruaryPayback: Mel Gibson as the bad guy out to settle a score. Notable mentions go to October Sky, Office Space and 8mm.
MarchAnalyze This: Robert De Niro spoofing his mob boss roles from the past. Hilarious. Notable mentions go to Cruel Intentions, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and The Matrix, of course.
AprilGo: One drug deal, three different points of view. Incredible.
MayThe Mummy: A mummy comes back to life and eats people’s body parts. Sounds like a modern zombie movie. Notable mentions go to Election, and Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.
JuneTarzan: Disney’s animated version. Great song by Phil Collins.
JulyDrop Dead Gorgeous: A mockumentary about teen beauty pageants. Notable mentions go to American Pie and The Blair Witch Project.
AugustThe Sixth Sense: The kid sees dead people. Scary as heckfire. Notable mentions go to Dick and The Iron Giant.
SeptemberAmerican Beauty: Kevin Spacey has a midlife meltdown. Awesome! Notable mention goes to Double Jeopardy.
OctoberFight Club: Don’t talk about Fight Club. Notable mentions go to Mystery, Alaska, Three Kings, and Bringing Out the Dead.
NovemberDogma: A loophole in Catholic dogma may undo creation. Hey, anything with George Carlin is funny. Notable mentions go to The Bone Collector, The Insider, Sleepy Hollow and Toy Story 2. You didn’t really think I was going to forget this one, did you?
DecemberMagnolia: Multiple plotlines that all intertwine somehow. Notable mentions go to The Green Mile and Man on the Moon.

Quite a list, isn’t it? Can you believe these great movies came out all in one year? I suppose the fear of the Y2K bug consuming civilization made for a situation where creative juices flowed freely.

Speaking of which, I have to head off. I think later tonight I’ll pop in Fight Club and have Jack’s complete lack of surprise engulf me.


What 1999 movie do you remember as the one you cannot forget?

Posted in Women Who Wow Wednesday


The Mummy is one of my all-time favorite movies. From the opening scene where the camera pans a sunset-filled Egyptian landscape to the daunting live action sequences dominated by thrilling stunts and unbelievable special effects, the film was a massive box office success in its day. To add to the praise, it has aged well over time, too.

Evelyn Carnahan
Evelyn Carnahan

The Mummy centers on the Egyptian high priest Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo) who rises from the dead in search of body parts in order to fulfill his desire of reuniting with Anck-Su-Namun (Patricia Velasquez), Pharaoh’s mistress, who took her life after soldiers had discovered of her dalliance with the high priest. Cursed forever, Imhotep was to remain undead in his sarcophagus. When he escaped, he became a walking disease among humans, a flesh-eater with unbound strength and power over the sands all the while possessing invincibility.

In the meantime, wisecracking adventurer, Richard O’Connell (Brendan Fraser) has his hands full. Not only does he have to contend with Imhotep’s uncanny ability to destroy everything in his path, but he also has to deal with a nasty desert environment, supposed friends ready to betray him, and weird bugs that could eat him whole. And right at the top of the list is Evelyn Carnahan (Rachel Weisz), the comely brunette who has a knack with getting in trouble.

Evy and Rick
Evy and Rick

Born in London, England, at a young age, Evelyn gained a deep appreciation of ancient Egyptian artifacts. Her father grew in fame as an explorer and married an Egyptian woman who became Evelyn’s mother. Evelyn loved books and because of that love, she applied to Bembridge scholars in England. However, they denied her application citing her lack of experience in spite of her expertise in Egyptology. She soon went to work for the Cairo Museum of Antiquities as a librarian, but this, too, became a disaster when she accidentally destroyed shelving meant to house rare and valuable books.

When Evelyn meets Richard for the first time, she has all she could do to remain calm from his foul mouth. After another insult from him, she stands her ground saying, in no uncertain terms, “I beg your pardon.” She will not take invectives from a barbaric prisoner of war ready for the gallows. Yet, she lets the personal affronts pass and keeps a distance from him, asking him about Hamunaptra, the City of the Dead where Imhotep had taken Anck-Su-Namun’s body the first time he attempted to raise her from the dead.

After several episodes where they experience a brush with death, Evelyn and Richard becomes a winsome pair on a journey to discover the secret to the mummy’s tomb. What Richard lacks, Evelyn compensates. As opposed to going into a fight with guns blazing, Evelyn prefers using craftiness to get to the core of a situation. That craftiness though, works as a double-edge sword getting Evelyn, more times than not, into added trouble.

Regardless of Evelyn’s penchant for stirring a hornet’s nest, she truly belongs in the Women Who Wow Wednesday series for her sheer tenacity and downright nerves. No mummy ought to be messing with this lady.


What do you remember of the movie The Mummy? Have you ever been able to relate to Evelyn Carnahan?

Posted in Monday Mayhem

Zombie Sounds

Whenever I watch a zombie movie, the very first thing I notice is the sounds emanating from those vile beasts. If I hear cricking and cracking, then I know I have a winner on my hands. It’s those movies where the undead lurch but remain silent that I think why hadn’t the director thought of what real corpses sound like and insert those effects into the picture. Monday Mayhem is all about zombies, and today I want to spend some time on zombie sounds. Sounds weird, doesn’t it?

My town's cemetery
My town’s cemetery

In my previous posts Rising from the Dead and Indestructible Zombies I detail the various states of human decomposition. One of the phases that a body goes through once it dies is Rigor Mortis. In this state, the body stiffens to the point of rigidity whereby muscles harden and become difficult to move by an external force. Alfred Hitchcock’s Frenzy depicts a perfect example where someone attempts to compel a body to do what it can no longer do due to stiffening. In Frenzy’s case, the murderer attempts to retrieve a lost object but then has difficulty doing so because of the body’s inability to bend like it did when alive.

That’s why the movie The Mummy has a certain appeal. Throughout the entire film, the mummy, which is nothing more than a glorified zombie, cricks, cracks, spurts, and oozes all sorts of noises toward its transformation to becoming human again. Why don’t all zombie movies sound like that?

My town's cemetery at twilight
My town’s cemetery at twilight

Imagine if you will a horde of the undead giving chase. You hear the dragging. You hear the hauling. You hear the moaning. Wouldn’t it be all the more terrifying to hear their bones snapping back and forth on their way to making their victim their supper?

There’s a saying: Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. What if the saying went: Where there’s cricking and cracking, they’re zombies. Wouldn’t that be something?

I suppose the sound of zombie cartilage readjusting is impossible in a movie where a virus takes over the victim. After all, depending on the virus, the victim hasn’t really died—at least not in the traditional sense of the word. They’ve only changed to become movable corpses. And if an antidote exists for zombies in the form of changing them back to their former selves, then by all accounts, they never really died in the first place.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

If they never died, there’s no opportunity to make the sounds I wish they could make. The only way that could happen is if zombies rise three hours after death just when Rigor Mortis had set.

Then again, zombies could rise during that sweet moment after death with bodies unaffected by the decomposition phase. In that instance, you will not hear them coming. In a sense, they could appear and eat you while you’re still alive.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather hear them coming.


What do you think? Should future zombie movies have the undead sounding like an army of breaking bones as they march for the attack? Or would you fear them more silent?