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Meet Yuki Uchida. She a Japanese actress, and a popular 1990s Japanese idol, model and singer. She starred in the 1997 film Cat’s Eye, a silly but fun romp about three cat burglars. The film is a live-action adaptation of a popular manga (1981-85) by Tsukasa Hojo. The manga was also adapted into two anime series [I (1983-84), II (1984-85)] and a live-action TV movie (1988). The story follows the three Kisugi sisters (Hitomi, Rui and Ai) who are art thieves trying to collect all the works belonging to their missing father. In the 1997 movie, Izumi Inamori plays Hitomi, Norika Fujiwara as Rui, and the very lovely Yuki Uchida plays Ai. These amazing photos of Uchida as Ai are from a promotional photo shoot for the movie.

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Meow! Yuki Uchida looks like the Japanese version of DC’s Catwoman! Actually, Cat’s Eye (1997) is kind of like a movie with Catwoman times three! I stumbled upon these photos before I saw the movie, and started crushing on Uchida instantly. Eventually, I found a “bootleg” copy of the movie (since it hasn’t been officially released in North America), and was not disappointed despite it’s silly tongue-in-cheek vibe. So, stay tuned for my upcoming post on a cinematic battle between silly Japanese female superheroines: Cat’s Eye (1997) vs. Cutey Honey (2004)!

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Claudia Donovan (Allison Scagliotti) on SyFy’s Warehouse 13

Allison Scagliotti is best known for her role as tech-wiz Claudia Donovan on SyFy’s sci-fi series Warehouse 13 (2009-14). Claudia was a recurring character in season 1, but, became a main character for seasons 2-5. Scagliotti also played Mindy Crenshaw, Josh’s (Josh Peck) rival and later girlfriend, on Nickelodeon’s sitcom Drake & Josh (2004-08). She appeared in 7 episodes of the series, and reprised her role in the spin-off movie, Merry Christmas, Drake and Josh (2008). Mindy is an intelligent girl who always defeats Josh in the annual science fair, and almost always wears mini-skirts. I loved Drake & Josh (which I watched with my daughter) and I loved Warehouse 13 (which I didn’t watch nearly as much as I wanted to). She also appeared in smaller roles on TV shows such as The CW’s One Tree Hill (2006-07) and Smallville (2009), ABC Family’s Switched at Birth (2013), and others. However, her first lead role was in the award-winning short film Redemption Maddie (2007).

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Maddie Clifford (Allison Scagliotti) in Redemption Maddie

In the wake of tragedy, fourteen-year old Maddie Clifford employs sex, insulin syringes, and an ill-fated rabbit in a startling quest for redemption.

Redemption Maddie, directed by Aaron King, is about a young girl who just wants to make things right so that her life can get back to the way it used to be. It’s a brilliant, heart-breaking film. Watch the trailer here …

Watching the trailer above, you might guess that this film is about teen pregnancy. It is, but, it’s also not that simple at all. You’ll have to watch the entire film. However, because of its privacy settings, I can’t embed the full video on my blog, so watch Redemption Maddie on Vimeo by clicking here.

I sat up all night and spent all day thinking about this movie. It’s a very powerful short film.

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Z1 by kittyspit [model: RockFairy]

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Z1,2 by kittyspit [model: RockFairy]

I found these photos on deviantART while randomly searching for “zombie girls.” I love deviantART and, every now and then, I’ll do a random search like that. These two were taken by kittyspit. I was immediately drawn to the top photo. The model (RockFairy) is gorgeous, even all bloodied up like that. But, I thought she was a battle-worn zombie hunter on the lookout, and I imagined a whole lot of scenarios with this bad-ass character. Then, I saw the second photo and realized that she’s not a zombie hunter, but, a zombie. So I imagined more scenarios with that horrifying character. Either way they’re very cool photos.

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Emily (Sydney Sweeney) and her hot mom Rachel (Christa Campbell) in Spiders 3D

OK, “Don’t Laugh.” worked better in my previous post about the SyFy movie Hyenas because, you know, hyenas laugh. Spiders don’t do anything for me to make a similar pun. This is, in case you haven’t figured it out, a post about another dumb movie that I really like starring the amazingly beautiful Christa Campbell. This time, it’s a giant spider movie called Spiders 3D (2013).

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself … and [giant] spiders,” FDR

I am severly arachnophobic. I hate spiders, even though it is my job, as a man, to kill them for frightened women. It’s a basic law of nature or something that allows men to feel like heroes every now and then. I do my job to the best of my abilities, but, I hate spiders [he reiterates] or any invertebrate with more than six legs (like those monstrous Cthulhu-esque centipedes creeping around my utility room that probably even frighten the spiders). However, I do, in fact, love spider movies, especially those featuring arachnids of the gigantic variety.

Giant spiders, for the record, cannot exist. It is physically and mathematically impossible. The square-cube law states that when an object [in this case, a spider] increases in size, its surface area increases by the square of the factor while its volume increases by the cube of that factor. Thus, giant spiders (or insects) would collapse under their own weight because their skinny little legs wouldn’t be able to hold up their massive bodies. I learned all this in a 1979 short sci-fi story called “giANTS” by Edward Bryant. So, fear not.

Jack Arnold‘s classic Tarantula (1955) [whose poster hangs in my basement] and Bert I. Gordon‘s Earth vs the Spider [aka The Spider] (1958) were two of my favorite movies that, as a child, I used to watch on local Cleveland late night horror shows. Both movies featured footage of real tarantulas superimposed over the actual filmed footage or real tarantulas crawling over miniature sets; while, later, in The Giant Spider Invasion (1975), a Volkswagon Beetle was disguised as a giant spider! In the 1980s and 1990s, mega cinematic arachnids were mostly exterminated, but, in the 2000s, they returned with a bad CGI-ified B-movie vengeance. I have since endured Spiders (2000), Arachnid (2001), Spiders II: Breeding Ground (2001), Eight Legged Freaks (2002) [with very lovely Kari Wuhrer], Ice Spiders (2007), Camel Spiders (2011), Arachnoquake (2012), Big Ass Spider! (2013), and, of course, Spiders 3D (2013)!

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Hot mom Rachel (Christa Campbell) protecting her daughter Emily (Sydney Sweeney) in Spiders 3D

Spiders 3D, like Hyenas, is another bad movie that is made much better by the appearance of Christa Campbell. However, instead of playing a sexy she-hyena, she plays an adorably hot mom or, as the kids say, a MILF. She was 40 years old in 2013. That’s definitely mom age, and, she’s definitely a mom I’d love to … well, never mind. Spiders 3D is yet another bad movie directed by Tibor Takács and featuring his apparent muse Christa Campbell. The film also stars Patrick Muldoon who starred in Ice Spiders, another giant spider movie directed Takács [but, without Campbell]. Oh, what a tangled web [giant spiders] weave!

Spiders3D-04A chunk of debris fom a derelict Soviet space station crashes into a New York subway tunnel bringing with it a breed of intelligent spiders that were artificially fertilized with alien DNA. The military, led by ruthless Colonel Jenkins (William Hope) working with Russian scientist Dr. Darnoff (Pete Lee-Wilson), evacuates and quarantines the area under the guise of a deadly viral threat. They want the spider queen’s lightweight, bulletproof and stealth web for military and industrial advantages. However, the queen’s egg was found by a medical examiner in the corpse of a transit worker who was the first to arrive at the scene of the crash, and bitten by a spider. She gives the egg to the worker’s supervisor Jason Cole (Patrick Muldoon) who, in turn, gives it to his soon-to-be ex-wife and city health official Rachel (Christa Campbell) for analysis. Jenkins sends his soldiers out to retrieve the egg and kill anyone who knows about it. They succeed in retrieving the egg, but, not in eliminating Jason and Rachel who evade the assassins. Meanwhile, the spiders are growing rapidly in size and escaping into the streets which sucks for Jason and Rachel since their young daughter Emily (Sydney Sweeney) and her adorable sitter Phoebe (Shelly Varod) were locked down in hot mom Rachel’s apartment. Now, Jason and Rachel must find a way to rescue them. “What now?” Rachel wonders. “Get past the giant spiders and the heavily-armed men that are trying to kill us, get to the apartment, grab Emily, get her past the giant spiders and the heavily-armed men, and we’re home free,” he tells her. Obviously, he doesn’t care about saving Phoebe. The spiders assault the military, killing Jenkins. Then, the gigantic spider queen bursts up through the pavement, kills remorseful Darnoff, and, goes on a rampage as reinforcements arrive. Emily finds herself trapped in the subway tunnel after that eight-legged bitch kills Phoebe; but, luckily, Jason and Rachel, eventually, find Emily. They are elated, of course, but, couldn’t care any less about poor adorable Phoebe’s demise. In the end, Jason sends a subway train barreling into the spider queen which sets off an explosion that kills the whole damn horde! That’s what you get when you fuck with the babysitter!

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Emily (Sydney Sweeney) and her adorable 19-year-old sitter Phoebe (Shelly Varod) in Spiders 3D

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“We’re a happy family / We’re a happy family / We’re a happy family / Me, mom and daddy”

Spiders 3D has bad acting, clichés as big as the giant spiders, and a plot as dumb as medical examiner Dr. Stella (Jon Mack) who informs Jason: “Some insects, such as spiders, plant their eggs in a foreign host.” What?! That’s like saying: “Some snakes, such as frogs …”! Spiders are arachnids, not insects. Arachnida and Insecta are two very different classes of Arthropoda, like Amphibia and Reptilia are two very different classes of Chordata! My 11-year-old daughter knows that! However, despite Spiders 3D‘s shortcomings, I love this dumb movie! Sure, I’ll watch anything with Christa Campbell in it [ever since I first noticed her in Hyenas a week ago], but, this movie is not a waste of time if, like me, you’re a fan of giant spider movies. I love the dark subway setting, and, I love the fake Bulgarian-built New York sets. It’s all very retro. In addition, the CGI is not that bad, especially the gigantic spider queen’s rampage through those fake New York streets. It has a 1950s giant monster-on-the-loose kind of vibe; and, the spider queen is kind of scary and very ugly. She does not look like this …

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Not the spider queen in Spiders 3D (2013)

Sydney Sweeney, who plays Emily, is billed as “Introducing Sydney Sweeney.” However, a dozen other pre-Spiders 3D credits are listed for her on IMDb. Anyway, she’s very good in Spiders 3D, especially when she’s, alone, in the toy store facing off against the velociraptor – umm, I mean giant spider. Shelly Varod, who plays adorable Phoebe, has a relativey extensive resume of minor roles including the enticing title Stripper Academy (2007) in which “they bare it all to find out who they really are!” Director Tibor Takács‘s first movie, by the way, was The Gate (1980) with a very young Stephen Dorff. I love that movie!

Watch the trailer for Spiders 3D here …

P.S. Frank Darabont‘s 2007 adaptation of Stephen King‘s 1980 novella The Mist includes a scene with giant spiders as well as many other creepy crawlies from another dimension. I loved the novella when I first read it in 1980, and I love the movie adaptation. A B&W version of the film is included on the DVD and I love it even more.

P.P.S. Someday, I’ll build this …

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Batman: Harley Quinn [photograph by beethy]

I love DC villainess Harley Quinn. The character was created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm for Fox’s Batman: The Animated Series (1992-95), and appeared in the episode “Joker’s Favor” which aired on September 5, 1992. Her origin, as Arkham Asylum psychiatrist Dr. Harleen Quinzel who becomes obsessed with The Joker, was told in the one-shot The Batman Adventures: Mad Love (1994) by Dini and Timm. The comic was later adapted into an episode of The WB’s The New Batman Adventures (1997-99). She has since become one the most beloved villainesses in DC’s Batman universe. But, you all know that.

I fell for Harley Quinn with The New 52 relaunch of Suicide Squad (2011-present). She was completely revamped with a skimpier costume, bleached skin and half-red/half-blue hair. She was sexier and crazier, but, just as charming, too. Currently, Harley Quinn is also appearing in her own ongoing new series (2013-present) written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner. The new series isn’t as dark as Suicide Squad, but, it’s a fun read, regardless, and I look forward to each successive issue.

So, yeah, I love DC villainess Harley Quinn. I also love short films. So, let’s watch a few short films about Mr. J‘s little bag of crazy! We’ll start with my favorite film. It’s called Harley Quinn – The Introduction (2013). It was written, directed and edited by Brian Champ Robinson for Imagination Upgraded, and stars aspiring pop/rap artist BOYS LiKE BRiTA!N as Harley Quinn. Watch it here …

“Sometimes, wearing a mask and makeup brings out the real you!”

I love this film because BOYS LiKE BRiTA!N makes a sexy Harley! I love her outfit! The director is hoping to expand this introduction into a web series. Check out the progress right here. I hope he gets this accomplished because it will be awesome, I’m sure! Next, let’s watch my second favorite Harley Quinn short film. It’s called Red Queen “Harley Quinn” Fan Film Episode One: Awakening (2014). The film was created by Sheridyn Fisher and Mechanical Minds Studios; written by Sheridyn Fisher, Kerryn Williams and Daniel Maher; directed by Salim; and, stars Sheridyn Fisher as Harley Quinn. Watch it here …

I love this film because it presents a stylish, very creepy re-imagining of the well-known character. Oh, and, Sheridyn Fisher makes a sexy Harley, too! I love how she skips down the hall at the end. I think this concept could work as a feature film with the very lovely Fisher not as DC’s Harley Quinn in a comic-inspired film, but, as a new Harley-esque slasher in a horror movie. Maybe she’s a psychopath who’s obsessed with the character, and believes that a serial killer currently terrorizing the city is The Joker; so she escapes the asylum she’s in to join him and begins killing to get his attention. Robinson‘s short film takes the top spot because his Harley is more traditional, but Fisher‘s film is a close second with her darker vision. Watch a making-of video for Fisher‘s very cool film right here.

OK, the next two short films are take ‘em or leave ‘em, but, I love this kind of ameteur stuff, so I take ‘em. First up is Harlequin – A Joker Fan Film (2009). This “live action re-imagining of Harley Quinn‘s origin” was written and directed by Cedric Sequerra for ITFProductions; and, stars Milina Di Bartolo as Harley Quinn and Stephane Malka as The Joker. Watch it here …

If you really want to enjoy this film, don’t compare Stephane Malka‘s Joker to Heath Ledger‘s iconic take on the character in Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight (2008). The alt-rock song that plays at the end is Change (In the House of Flies) by Deftones [from the album White Pony (2000)]. Next up is Madness Comes in Pairs [A Harley Quinn Fan Film] (2014). This “re-imagining of Harley Quinn‘s origin story” was directed by Emilio Chisholm-Palacios and Mark Hertzler for RiverFront Productions; and, stars Ciera Eis as Harley Quinn and Christian Belmonte as The Joker. Watch the film here …

Call me crazy, but, I like Christian Belmonte‘s Joker in this film. He has a perfect creepy smile. And Ciera Eis‘ transition from Harleen to Harley is well played, too. Both of these films are inspired by Harley‘s origin in the Mad Love graphic novel, but, I would love to see Harley‘s origin in Suicide Squad come to life. I want to see The Joker throw Dr. Harleen Quinzel into the chemical vat, liberating her inner Harley Quinn!

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Let’s Play [cosplay by Stephanie van Rijn]

Finally, here’s some links for a few more short films featuring Harley Quinn if you’re interested …

Smile: A Joke of Two Faces (2013). This film was written, directed and edited by Drew Doelp; and, stars Kayt Suppel as Harley Quinn, Peter Kendell as The Joker, and Matt Barbieri as Two-Face.

Harley Quinn: Origins – The Prologue (2014). This film was directed by Peter Georges and stars Lyndsey Fay Macnaught as Dr. Harleen Quinzel and Beau Baker as The Joker. However, Harley Quinn does not make an appearance. It is a prologue for the upcoming Harley Quinn: Origins. Watch that film’s teaser trailer here.

Harlequin (2013). This film was directed by Tara Alexis and stars Leah Vonn, but, it has nothing to do with Harley Quinn. It’s about a girl who paints her face and goes on a crime spree (sort of). Close enough.

Batman Series: The Asylum (2013-14). This web series was produced by Infinite Films by MC [Michael Pulido, Charles Perez and Lisseth Pulido] and features many of the characters from the Batman universe (mostly villains, including Harley Quinn). Watch the episodes here: Episode 1 (2013), Episode 2 (2013), Episode 3 (2013), Episode 4 (2013), and Episode 5 (2014). Lisseth Pulido is sooooo adorable!!! Watch her in this Q&A here. And, watch her (with husband Michael and Charles) in Life.After (2014), a non-Batman short film with a cruel twist. I love these guys (and girl)! Their films are very cheap and ameteurish, but, their passion and enthusiasm more than make up for a lack of funding!

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Charles, Lisseth, Michael

They’re photographers, too. Where was I? Oh right – Harley Quinn short films. That’s all!

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Harley Quinn [photograph by MrAdamJay]

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Wilda (Christa Campbell)

Saturday afternoon, I awoke from a post-work slumber and turned on the TV to bide my time as I waited for the energy drink I consumed to kick in for my workout. I switched to SyFy and found myself instantly entranced by a black-haired beauty with big boobs named Wilda who was snarling about being the next alpha in a B-movie mess called Hyenas (2011). I don’t like big boobs, but, I do like black hair, as well as tattoos, nose rings, short jean mini-skirts, and bad Southern accents. Wilda had all of that. I had to see this movie from the beginning. However, my DVR would only start recording from when I switched to SyFy. So, against my better judgement I rented the movie on Amazon.com for $2.99.

Hyenas-03-PosterBHyenas is about a wandering clan of were-hyenas [brought from Africa by slave traders] with ridiculous laughs who hunt by driving hapless humans off the road or by pretending to be broken down on the side of the road. The clan is led by an unseen female who is dying, and sexy Wilda (Christa Campbell) thinks she deserves to be the next alpha since she’s the only one, in her clan, smart enough to take all her clothes off before transforming into a hyena. The clan also wants to stop wandering and settle down, maybe even raise a litter of pups. However, they must first take care of two pesky were-hyena hunters. Crazy Briggs (Designing Women‘s Mesach Taylor) is a hunter by ancestry, while Gannon (Costas Mandylor) is mad at the clan because they recently ate his wife and infant child. Briggs and Gannon rescue Valerie (Amanda Aardsma) from an attack by the clan, and she repays Gannon by walking around his kitchen in her underwear and smiling her adorable crooked smile, teasing him. The two share a kiss, of course, and, eventually, take a roll in the hay [meaning they actually have sex on a bed of hay]. The first big twist is that Valerie is actually Wilda’s sister! Dun-dun-duuuun!!! She hooked up with Gannon in hopes that he would kill Wilda so that Valerie, who is also smart enough to take all her clothes off before transforming, wouldn’t have to fight Wilda to become the next alpha. The next big twist is that the town’s sheriff (Rudolph Martin) is also Wilda and Valerie’s brother! Dun-dun-duuuun!!! Wilda and Valerie, now, are forced to settle their dispute by trial (aka death match) at the old copper mines. Valerie prevails, but, Gannon sets off a ton of old dynamite stored in the mines, killing himself, Valerie, their unborn were-pup, and the whole damn clan! Oh, and there’s a secondary plot in which the town’s racist white teenage douchbags are pitted against the Mexicans who also live and work there. White girl Gina (Christina Murphy) and Mexican Marco (Jessica Alba‘s younger brother Joshua Alba) are in love. Hyenas is kind of like West Side Story (1961) [without showtunes] meets The Wild One (1953) [without outlaw bikers] mixed with The Howling (1981) [without werewolves].

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Wilda (Christa Campbell)

Hyenas, directed by Eric Weston, is a bad movie. However, it’s not the kind of bad movie that’s so bad it’s good [like Sharknado (2013)], nor is it the kind of bad movie that’s so bad it’s unwatchable [like most every other movie on Syfy]. Hyenas, for me, is a guilty pleasure. Why? Wilda. I thought I made that clear.

I tend to overlook a lot of things [like bad acting, dumb plots, etc] when I find myself drawn to [or becoming obsessed with] a female character in a movie. For instance, I really liked Tori (Evalena Marie) in Chiller’s 2011 film adaptation of Steve Niles‘ 2004 comic series Remains. She made a so-so zombie film [based on a good comic book] a whole lot better. Wilda, in Hyenas, is that character. Wilda is sexy and menacing in an over-the-top kind of way, and, actress Christa Campbell seems to be having fun with that character. I love Wilda’s fake tattoos, fake nose ring, and fake bad Southern accent; and, I even (kind of) love Campbell‘s fake big boobs. However, I think Wilda would have been better suited to more of a grindhouse-inspired B-movie set in the ’50s or ’60s with werewolves, motorcycles and sexy vixens. An all-female outlaw biker gang of werewolves, led by sexy badass Wilda, rolls into a small town to mate with the men, and feed on the women. But, one of Wilda’s sisters falls for the town’s sheriff, and, is forced to choose sides when he rallies the men against the horny and hungry biker chicks. Oooh, I like that! It could be like West Side Story meets The Wild One mixed with The Howling – for real! Anyway …

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Christa Campbell

Christa Campbell, as an actress, started in erotic softcore films, but, has since appeared in dozens of B-movies like 2001 Maniacs (2005), Mansquito [aka MosquitoMan] (2005), Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep (2006), Revamped (2007), Showdown at Area 51 (2007), 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams (2010), Spiders 3D (2013), and more. Three of those films were directed by Tibor Takács. As a producer, Campbell and her partner Lati Grobman have released Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013) [starring Alexandra Daddario who has amazingly beautiful eyes just like Christa Campbell!], Embrace of the Vampire (2013) [starring Kaniehtiio Horn!], the (possibly) upcoming Texas Chainsaw 4, and others. I’ve never really noticed Christa Campbell before, but, now I’ll be checking her out in some of her other films. Now, back to Hyenas for a minute …

OK, my biggest gripe, really, with Hyenas, as with any of SyFy’s films, are the CGI effects. I’m old-school – I prefer animatronics over CGI in horror films. Bad CGI detracts from well-intentioned scares. Prosthetics and make-up are used when the clan is between human and hyena form. It’s Cats [the musical] quality, but, it’s kind of scary. However, here’s what the clan looks like when they’re fully transformed …

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Hyenas (2011)

See? It isn’t very scary at all, is it? Watch the trailer for Hyenas here …

Oh, by the way, check out this great dialogue from the movie:

Briggs: “You’re wife ain’t the first killing.”

Gannon: “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Briggs: “It means there have been other killings.”

Oh, OK. I get it now.

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Secuestrados (2011)

Last week, someone searched my blog for this: “dead girl belly stabbed”. I was curious, so I searched YouTube and, surprisingly, found a lot of videos of girls getting belly-stabbed either in clips from foreign and/or low-budget films or in ameteur shorts! Apparently, this is some sort of trend or fetish, and, truth be told, I’m fascinated myself. Last year, I watched a 2010 Spanish thriller called Kidnapped [aka Secuestrados] which is a gritty, realistic and, ultimately, brutal film about three nameless thieves [Guillermo Barrientos, Dritan Biba and Martijn Kuiperthieves] who take a family [Jamie (Fernando Cayo), his wife Marta (Ana Wagener) and their teenage daughter Isa (Manuela Vellés)] hostage in their new home. The head thief takes Jamie to a bank machine to withdraw money while the other two stay behind to watch Marta and Isa. However, the plan goes awry and the night doesn’t end well for our hapless family. In the harrowing climax, Isa watches as the head thief shoots Marta in the head, then Isa’s boyfriend César (Xoel Yáñez) as he tries to run. He calmly walks past Isa, as she drops to her knees, gasping, staring in horror at her dead mother. We think the head thief is getting away, sparing Isa; but, he returns, and, suddenly begins to stab her in the belly with a butcher’s knife, repeatedly, as she screams in pain. The movie ended abruptly, mid-stab; and, I stared, mouth agape, at the screen, as the credits rolled.

Kidnapped, co-written [with Javier García] and directed by Miguel Ángel Vivas, is an unsettling thriller. However, the brutal ending, especially Isa being stabbed, is what really resonated with me and, because of it, I purchased the DVD and recommended the film to friends. Isa’s stabbing is all the more horrifying because it’s an unexpected end to a bleak night of despair in which Isa’s survival was the only hope that remained. However, I must admit that I would not have been so affected by this movie if Isa had survived. So, as it is, I’m left with a twisted fascination with belly stabbings which, probably, represents some sort of misogynistic sexual fantasy seated deep within my psyche.

Guillermo del Toro‘s 2001 Spanish ghost story El Espinazo del Diablo [aka The Devil's Backbone) also includes an affecting belly stabbing scene. The film, set in Spain during the last days of the Spanish Civil War, is about a haunted orphanage. Jacinto (Eduardo Noriega), the groundskeeper and the film's hateful villain, finds his fiancée Conchita (Irene Visedo), exhausted, on the road to town. He caused a deadly explosion in an attempt to burn down the orphanage he despises, and she accidentally shot him while trying to stop him. He finds her when returning with his comrades to take the orphanage's gold. Watch the clip here ...

I love this clip because Conchita is not a hapless victim. “Say you’re sorry and get in the car,” he demands. “I’m not scared of you,” she replies. “You’re making me look like a fool,” he tells her. “Say you’re sorry. They’re looking at us,” he reiterates. “I’m not afraid of you,” she repeats, defiantly. He flashes his blade [which is where this clip begins]. He takes her by the neck, and demands, once more, “Say you’re sorry.” She glances at the blade. “You’re an animal,” she snarls, ready for his reprisal. She suffers the pain of the first jab, and, stands strong as he thrusts the blade in deeper. Then, she rests her head gently on her ex-lover’s shoulder, fighting back at death, in vain. It’s a poignant scene, with a feminist declaration amidst a film that is overwhelmingly masculine. However, the scene works better in the context of del Toro‘s atmospheric political horror film, and, in higher definition. Here’s a similar scene from the 2013 Luc Besson-produced English-language French romantic thriller Intersections (aka Collision) …

Watch when Frank Grillo first stabs Jaimie Alexander at 1:05 up until he sets her gently on the bench. Is she dying or having an orgasm? You decide. And, do people really die that quickly when they’re stabbed in the belly just once? In Kidnapped, Isa is stabbed a half dozen times and she’s still screaming when the credits roll. In Quentin Tarantino‘s Reservoir Dogs (1992), Mr. Orange (Tim Roth) is shot in the belly during the jewelry heist and spends the entire movie on a warehouse floor spilling enough blood to paint the entire space with two coats until Mr. White (Harvey Keitel) shoots him in the head at the end! In Day of the Dead (1985), Captain Rhodes (Joseph Pilato) is torn in half by zombies and still musters enough strength to shout “Choke on it!” twice before dying! Anyway …

Let’s watch this kind of clever short slasher film (with a single belly stab) called Movie Night (2011) …

We must put a stop to girl-on-girl crime! This film was directed by Michael Adams for The Horror Film Race 2011, an annual horror film festival presented by The Art Institute of Dallas (horrorfilmrace); and, stars Kelsey Higham as Roommate #1, Kristen Breann as Roommate #2 and Ala Quinn as the Killer. My only problem with this cool short is Roommate #2′s last line which is said only to set-up the Killer’s ironic quip, but, it’s delivered all wrong. She says it, with concern, as if they have a problem that can’t be solved: “What are we gonna do?! Oh, no!” She should have said it as if to ask what’s next on the agenda: “So, what are we gonna do now?” However, I like this film regardless, and, Ala Quinn [who, apparently, is a singer/songwriter, too] is adorable …

Finally, let’s watch this bad-ass fight sequence from 300: Rise of an Empire (2014) between Artemisia (Eva Green) and Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton) which culminates in a brutal belly stab …

I have not seen this movie nor have I seen 300 (2007). I do not intend to see 300, but, based on the clip above [which I'm sure will be removed eventually] and a wonderful review of the movie by one of this blog’s followers, I just might have to see 300: Rise of an Empire! Wait – are there bad-ass women in 300 as well?