Scream Saturdays: Scream 3 (2000)

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Wes Craven’s Scream, so each Saturday in October, myself and a cadre of like-minded individuals will be re-watching the franchise one movie at a time. Is the series influential -- and if so, positively or negatively? How does each installment reflect the time in which it appeared? What does the series’ reboot as an MTV television program indicate about the state of horror today? We’ll answer all of these questions and explore whether or not the franchise holds up as we go along. scream-3-poster SCREAM 3 Dimension Films, 2000 Nick Spacek is a writer and podcaster based in Lawrence, Kansas. He runs this website (obvs), as well as the From & Inspired By soundtrack podcast, in addition to writing for Cinepunx, Modern Vinyl, the Pitch, and the UK's Starburst Magazine. He can be found spewing nonsense on Twitter @nuthousepunks. It seems like the opening gave Scream 3 an opportunity to really be something different. Cotton Weary being a douchebag on a cell phone notwithstanding -- which is evidently a way to set this in Hollywood even more than the sight of the iconic sign would have otherwise -- using the Ghostface voice-changer in a new way, as well as killing off a franchise character is definitely new. Unfortunately, from the moment they kick in with a Creed song, Scream 3 shows itself to be the tertiary film in every way: far too many character actors? Check. Unnecessary pop culture references? Check. Character actors making cameos and thus becoming living, breathing pop culture references? Check and fucking check. Thanks, Jay and Silent Bob. I mean, fuck: they even manage to bring back a popular dead character with a video. scream-3-jay-and-silent-bob Still, we do get the likes of Emily Mortimer in an early role, and Parker Posey being weird and funny is always a delight, to say nothing of a deadpan Patrick Warburton. All that can’t possibly make up for a plot which is even more self-referential than absolutely necessary. Not only do we have Stab 3, the film within a film, but we have the set of the movie being the set from the original Scream, thus making all the discussions of film and pop culture and cinematic violence ever so much more meta. Downside to Scream 3 is that, unlike so many other sequels this point in a series, doesn’t ramp up the violence. I think that’s my big problem with Scream: for a slasher series, the kills peaked early. By this point, it’s all jump cuts and aftershots. This movie sleepwalks through its plot, which is so much a rip-off of Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, it’s basically a fucking remake. God. This makes Jason Takes Manhattan look like Shakespeare in the Park. scream-3-carrie-fisher That Carrie Fisher cameo is fucking amazing, though. God, she’s amazing. It’s so wonderful to see a strong, take-no-shit woman who doesn’t get killed or beat the fuck up or punished in some way. The treatment of women in these films at the hands of abusive guys is pretty horrid overall, but Roman’s opinions and the story of Maureen Prescott is absolutely gross. So, yeah -- thanks for being dope as hell, Carrie Fisher. Liam O’Donnell is co-host and co-creator of the Cinepunx podcast as well as Editor in Chief of He also co-hosts Horror Business and Eric Roberts is The Fucking Man. When not hosting, editing, or promoting so many damn podcasts, Liam works in higher education in diversity and equity programming and education, and lends his promotion and event planning skills to This Is Hardcore Fest and the Bruce Campbell Horror Film Fest. Find him talking all kinds of crazy shit on twitter at @liamrulz. I cannot muster much to say about this movie that Nick did not already cover. It really is a painful exercise to watch it. The first film rubs me raw with the constant barrage of meta commentary and jokes, but shit at least it takes wit and insight to write that stuff. This film is lazy, boring, and offensively cliche. The worst part for me may be the arch to somehow “deepen” or “complexify” the story with some sort of pre-origin scenario for this mess. scream-3-jennifer-and-gale First, I have watched a LOT of trilogies and I cannot even name how many third installments rely on this trope, but let's take it as a given. The idea of adding some layer of narrative to this series is actually exciting. I would love for hidden layers to be revealed. Of course, the narrative would have to have the sort of ambiguity to support that, and Scream doesn't. I guess that is why the final reveal is such a frustrating shit show. No, having some secret brother, and a rape narrative that somehow explains someone's sexual identity, is not what I was looking for. Shit, this feels like some kind of grimey sex anxiety Giallo plot but without the charm, style, or sexiness for that matter. If anything, this is somehow the LEAST sexy of these films, which is saying a lot. scream-3-ghostface I could similarly rail about how uninspired the kills are, how the cameos other than Carrie Fisher are awful. Scream 3 is every sequel stereotype you can imagine, a warehouse of bad ideas that only greed and drugs can justify. Is it the worst sequel I have ever seen? No, of course not. Come on: this horror. It is though a reminder that, though they are better than this, the entire series seems a little ill-conceived at this point.

Premiere of Hipshot Killer’s Too Much Rock single at the Pitch

For the fifth entry in Too Much Rock's singles series, label head Sid Sowder chose Kansas City's Hipshot Killer to follow the format of original A-side, cover-song B-side. The KC trio has answered with a brilliantly vibrant new song, "All the Hell in the World," which sums up the band's ability to create emotionally powerful music.
Listen to the track and read interviews with TMR's Sid Sowder and HSK's Mike Alexander at the Pitch. Published 10/10/16

Films From the Void on ‘Mosquito’ at Cinepunx

Mosquito is one of those films which I missed as a kid, and finding this in a video store closeout sale was me taking a bit of a chance, and man, did it ever pay off. This flick is fun as hell — definitely in the same vein as 1989’s The Dead Next Door, in that it’s gross, dumb, and acted with more enthusiasm than skill. However, much like that Midwestern diamond in the rough, Mosquito is just such a gem that it’s a damn shame more people aren’t aware of it.
Read the full review at Cinepunx. Published 10/7/16

KKFI Beatles tribute feature at the Pitch

  [caption id="attachment_19035" align="aligncenter" width="540"]thumbnail_philistines-57f696e6657c4 photo by Todd Zimmer[/caption]
In the world of community radio, funding is a must. So KKFI 90.1 does on-air pledge drives, echoing the calls put forth by nationally subsidized media PBS and NPR. Instead of mugs and tote bags and umbrellas, though, KKFI has been using live music as its fundraising premium. Which this weekend yields the station's fifth Beatles tribute show, organized by station manager Barry Lee.
Read the full feature at the Pitch. Published 10/6/16

September Cine Local at the Pitch

Somehow, the vast majority of this roundup all came in immediately after we posted last month's installment. Happily, there are some gorgeous visuals from rock acts such as Chris Crabtree, Chris Meck & the Guilty Birds, and Berwanger, the Uncouth's street punk, and a funky newscast from the Band That Saved the World.
Watch all the videos at the Pitch. Published 10/4/16

Review of Glass Animals’ ‘How to Be A Human Being’ at Modern Vinyl

While I’ve listened to Glass Animals’ How To Be A Human Being nearly a dozen times — I’m literally listening to it as I write this review — I can’t remember a single thing about it. It’s made absolutely no impression on me in any of those spins, despite trying headphones, sitting in front of the turntable, throwing a digital copy on my iPod and listening to it at work; it’s just mental vapor.
Read the full review at Modern Vinyl. Published 10/3/16

Review of the Studio One ‘Money Maker’ compilation at Modern Vinyl

For a compilation, Studio One’s Money Maker feels a lot like an album. The atmosphere is certainly helped by many of the 10 tracks featuring either I’m & David on horns, Ernest Ranglin on guitar, or both at the same time, as on the gloriously relaxed and funky “Soul Brother.” The production from one Clement “Coxsone” Dodd is what really ties everything together, because while it does sound like classic Studio One recordings such as Clancy Eccles’ “Fattie Fattie,” it looks ahead to the harder-driving, but looser sounds of Toots & the Maytals’ “Funky Kingston.”
Read the full review at Modern Vinyl. Published 10/3/16

The Well-Read Ghoul: 10 Essential Books for the Horror Fan at Cinepunx

Horror movies are so much more than splatter and jump scares, if you want them to be. While repeated viewings can sometimes yield surprises, there’s nothing quite like an informed opinion from a different perspective to offer further insight into longtime favorites. While the pendulum horror film criticism seems to frequently swing from fannish enthusiasm to academic dryness with little in between, there’s a slew of interesting reading to be had. What follows is a list of the most-readable and interesting books any self-respecting horror fan should have on their shelf.
Read the full list at Cinepunx. Published 10/3/16

Photo gallery of the Mountain Goat & Oh Pep! at the Madrid

mtn-goats-05 For soaring harmonies and gorgeous music, there may be no finer venue in the metro than the Madrid Theater. In its intimate confines, Melbourne, Australia's Oh Pep provided charmingly wonderful music. The quartet won over hundreds of new fans as they opened for the emotionally charged, yet no less beautiful music of the Mountain Goats. It was an evening of sing-alongs and almost bursting into tears (at least for your photographer). The Mountain Goats [gallery link="file" ids="19012,19010,19011,19013,19014,19015,19016,19017"] Oh Pep! [gallery link="file" ids="19022,19021,19020,19019,19018"]

Review of the Conquerors’ ‘Wyld Time’ at Modern Vinyl

Every single song The Conquerors have turned out on their debut LP, Wyld Time, is a catchy, toe-tapping, hip-shaking bit of wonderful. After a year and a half of singles, we finally get a full-length from the rock ‘n’ roll sextet and it’s worth the wait, too — on Wyld Time, the band’s turned out a 10-song romp through the garage, but also through the decades.
Read the full review at Modern Vinyl. Published 9/30/16