Friday, March 26, 2010

Something On a Stick Day's Eve's Eve

Mark your calendars, one and all, for a holiday rarely celebrated yet full of pointed possibilities. That’s right: March 28th is none other than Something On a Stick Day! Imagine a whole 24 hours randomly assigned to celebrate corndogs, cotton candy, ice cream bars, Salem With Trials, protest signs, and a whole lot of sharp things itching to cause some very painful horror movie deaths.

To name a few:

11. Jeepers Creepers 2

Not a great--or even good-- film by any means, but I’ll extend a tip of my hat to the opening scene, where a young farmboy catches a glimpse of one scarecrow that just doesn’t look the others, and not just because he’s a little too comfortable hanging out on that stick. Sadly the film only goes downhill from here, but it's an excellent early image worthy of at least one toothpick

10. Trick ‘r Treat

Don’t mess with a kid’s candy, particularly if the sweet tooth belongs to a pumpkin-headed, mangled face Halloween enthusiast with no tolerance for cranky candy bar swipers or snotty and insecure neighbors. Naturally, little Sam’s weapon of choice is none other than a juicy lollipop, the perfect something on a stick for autumn or spring. Or summer. Or winter. Or autumn again. 

9. The Hills Have Eyes
Poor Papa Carter spends his silver anniversary blackened like catfish while tied to a stake while his daughter gets raped, wife gets shot, and granddaughter kidnapped for a possible shish-ka-baby served on another family’s dinner table.

8. Children of the Corn

More effectively drawn in Stephen King’s short story, but the 1984 film does retain a few striking images of people staked out in the Nebraska cornfields. No one is safe, not a rotting corpse of a policeman, pre-Sara Connor Linda Hamilton, or man-child preacher Isaac. Bonus points for the implied itchiness of being tied to dried out cornhusks, particularly if have allergies.

7. Silent Hill
Poor Alyssa. Shamed by the community. Raped by a janitor. Burned at the stake at the encouragement of her Borg Queen aunt. All that's really left to look forward to is a future of blackness, annoying hourly alarms, ashy snowflakes, and the opportunity to watch others burned at the stake. The last part ain't so bad when said burnt-at-stake is infused with your blood (or the mother of someone that looks like you's blood, or something that supposedly makes sense to someone) and can therefore extend unending spools of barbed wire from her crispy appendages to gruesomely (by CGI standards) tear apart all the puritan-like townspeople that killed you first.

6. Wolf Creek

True, there’s no shrimp on a stick-headed barbie, but there sure is a head on the stick! Kind of. According to John Jarratt’s bush-wacked wacko in this 2005 shocker, the best way to use a knife--a real knife--is to jam it in a tourist’s back and sever her spine, rendering said backpacker a metaphorical head on a stick. It was definitely cuter in Lord of the RIngs.

5. Scarecrows

The life of a scarecrow probably isn’t all that great. Bird poop. Sunburn. Straw innards. And spending eternity dangling from a splintery stake in the middle of farm country. Luckily for the titular monsters of this 1988 chiller, the occasional crashed plane of bandits can call upon some sort of evil corn-infused mojo that lets them throw their voices and gleefully slaughter trespassers. 

4. Happy Birthday to Me

Not the best slasher, but easily one of the greatest movie posters of the ‘80s (and that’s a more competitive field than your average Iron Chef). Most of this 1981 film’s infamy comes from its cover art that captures the true glory of death-by-shish kabob. Painful, but delicious.

3. Zombi

You know the one contingent that actually observes Something-On-A-Stick-Day? Zombies, at least the Italian ones that hang out with Lucio Fulci. When not battling sharks or chomping through island natives, the retired conquistadors of this 1979 not-sequel-with-a-sometimes-sequel-title find innovative ways to kill alcoholics without taking a single nibble. Hence, the infamous splinter-in-the-eyeball scene. Not in zombie character, but the highlight of this zombie film.

2. Two Evil Eyes

Some guys are just asking to be impaled via log at a pagan festival. It’s only fitting if you’re a grumpy Harvey Keitel who tortures cats, hacks up his girlfriend, and generally acts like giant jerk worse than any bad lieutenant. True, the aforementioned cross-your-legs-and-wince stretch 'n stab is only a dream, but this Dario Argento directed adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's short story stakes itself in your memory long after Keitel wakes up.

1. Cannibal Holocaust

The ultimate woman-on-a-stick film, so great in its woman-on-a-stickiness that director Ruggerio Deodato was actually investigated by the authorities and suspected of murdering the actress famously shot in a state of impalement. Really it’s just a simple parlor trick involving a unicycle and some tasty balsa wood, you know, the kind of thing your uncle does at family reunions. If he's awesome.


  1. You know you say the korean corn dogs are gross, but it just makes me want one. Like really, really bad.

  2. In all honesty, all my friends really enjoyed them. I found them frightening. And the very concept of sugar on a hot dog seems to violate all sorts of natural laws.