Review: The Butterfly Garden – Dot Hutchison

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The Collector #1

SYNOPSIS: Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.

In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.

As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviors, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding…  – via Goodreads

I picked this up on special on Amazon recently, and the synopsis looked interesting enough and it had a pretty good rating, so I figured why not? I must say, I think this was definitely money well spent, grabbing something out of the blue. There are issues with the book, for sure, but the minute you figure out how to deal with them, it changes the reading experience altogether. I suppose I should explain that.

The Butterfly Garden asks you to suspend reality. I mean suspend a hell of a lot of it. Sometimes you can imagine some of the things happening and seeing how that would interact in a real-world situation, but there are too many things going down that are just a little too fantastical (including a plotsie near the end). However, if you stop trying to compare this to the real world setting, you will be fine. Just read it as fiction. In fact, rather look at it like… an alternate world/reality. Don’t think about how this would be in real life. Also, realise that the characters are ridiculously unaware (the Garden being built, no questions asked about how his time is spent and why there is a giant greenhouse withing a greenhouse, etc.). Like totally blind – super implausible. Again.  As soon as I had made that mind-shift, I was drawn into this.

The story is rather icky. Seriously, kidnapped girls held as a captive harem to a really sick, twisted man – interesting stuff by far. The book also deal with a lot of characters, all really interesting. I was quite the fan of Bliss – snappy, blunt, honest, I understood her. She had a point when she said the Gardener never asked them to love him. Maya was a character I went back and forth between liking and disliking, and that is not a bad thing. She was quite well written. Then there was Avery, a sick tyrant, and Desmond, a spineless fool. The book sort of tried to manipulate you into liking Desmond, and to pity him, but I couldn’t. Twisted individual that he is, weak and useless. At least the book also highlights that and runs that point home, and isn’t too sympathetic of Desmond, although it still wants you to sort of feel for him. Nope. I know that sounds confusing, but that is how he was put forth. Like him, but don’t like him.

The atrocities the girls suffer at the hands of the Gardener and his sons is awful. Truly, there are such sick things going on all the time. Eventually (and I hate to say this), you become desensitised to it, though it is still quite nasty to even consider the events unfolding for these young girls. I appreciated the bond that formed between them, and how real names were given as sad parting gifts.

I enjoyed the pacing. There were times that I thought it meandered (especially around the middle – lots of drag), and could have been tightened up, but for the most part the story just zipped along. The writing draws you in from the off, and even the style in which the story is told is something I highly appreciated. It wasn’t overly complex or anything like that, so don’t expect a super detailed, in depth book here. The jumping back and forth between the present and what happened in the Garden was seamless, effortless, and it didn’t get on my last nerve, as this style can usually grate on me. The Butterfly Garden also flies along, and is really quick to get through, though it is dark and very messed up. The ending, too, wraps things up (there is a sequel, though I see it is not necessarily delving too much into this story). I felt it was a little rushed, so I hope the sequel spends some time just tying up those last ends neatly.

This was quite an interesting read for me, one that had me hooked, one that I stumbled on totally by accident.If you are willing to forget about reality, and are okay with suspending it to the extent of an alternate reality, then I would recommend this one. Even if you can’t, and you don’t mind things not being too realistic, you might like this. I have pre-ordered the sequel, I would like to see how that goes.

JB & The Chop Do: The Amityville Exorcism (2017)

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Folks, the Chop and I must be masochists. Our OCD will totally not let us just desert these things, and it seems it has become a never-ending series, one we will unfortunately return to time and time again. Anyway, I was informed that there was yet another one of these to check out, and I hopped on over to give it a squizz. Well, how was this one, yet another one to beat Amityville: The Awakening to release?

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SYNOPSIS: A family must put faith in a mysterious priest when an demonic force, connected to a decades-old murders in their home, possesses their daughter. – via IMDB

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Well, when it opened with the fakest looking hammer smack I’d ever seen in my life, I just knew things couldn’t improve. Just look at this!!!

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Anyway. Let’s pretend that is not an issue. The opening credits were super embarrassing and awkies. Man, I actually just wanted to hide behind my hands. I do not like to just hate on something, especially when someone has really tried with it, but oh my goodness, I can’t help it. This was unforgivably terrible.

The music in this is beyond stupid, and just made something already bad that much worse. Ugh, I mean come on peeps, at least you could have tried to get that right, at the very least! I know I complain in movies that there is dialogue that makes me cringe (especially in this franchise), but this was probably the worst I have ever seen, both dialogue and delivery wise. There was no conviction, no pride, nothing. It was hollow and just bad all round.

The story is so weak. So fucking weak. Ultimately it all boils down to #SatanicLumber. I shit you not folks, the whole issue, the possession, the “evil” spirit, all of that was due to stolen lumber being used for renovations. Without a doubt even weaker than the #SatanicMacrame or #SatanicLamp of Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes.

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I would just like to take a moment to examine all the incredibly stupid things that we had to endure throughout this. The decisions. The piss poor acting, the stupid dialogue, the ridiculous phone calls (like seriously guys, you didn’t think the screens through or anything like that). The girl that looked WAY too old to be this dude’s teenage daughter. While we are at it,  I think this is by far the sketchiest looking Jägermeister I have ever laid eyes on. White?! Really?!

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Forgetting the fact that this bloke is whacking back water like it is going to get him beyond fucked up (tamest alcoholic I have ever seen), we were also subjected to a break in where the criminal was killed by that #SatanicLumber. No jokes folks! But overlooking that little tidbit, let’s not forget the break in where he enters the basement and promptly declares it “business time”.

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Okay, okay, I will look at other things that happened. I absolutely could not buy into Marie DeLorenzo being like… sixteen or seventeen. I thought she was like, her dad’s wife or something. Super awkward. And she was seeing some little dweeb who served no purpose in the movie other than to add an extra layer of… weird.

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There was the stupidest crap going on all the time. I cannot even stress this enough. It’s like words fail me when it comes to describing this piss poor movie. It was horrendous. I cannot believe people actually signed on for this. I just can’t! Here’s a look at our big bad for the movie, and just… this was how it was with it whenever it was around. Oh yeah, and there was that big, fat TV fight that the priest totally put to bed when he stuck the crucifix on the screen and it exploded because of this thing’s suffering. Oh, oh, let’s not forget the showdown with the #SatanicDolls – because possessed lumber extends to playthings. Yes, that is exactly the kind of movie we sat through.

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This was one of the worst things that I have ever watched, and I have watched some bad things. In fairness, the Chop did warn me, but heck, my OCD would not allow something to hang around without being done. Nope.

#Completists

Ending this movie was me being just like the crazy dad – get out, get away. Now. Run. Flee.

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Thanks again for reading with us guys, we appreciate it!

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Synopsis: Some stupid fucker is a carpenter who uses a stupid piece of fucking wood from the original Amityville house to  board up some stupid hole in his own house and it possesses him and he kills his family. SQUISH SQUISH SQUISH goes the stupid fucking hammer in one of the worst opening scenes I’ve ever seen. Later, some unattractive people somehow have another piece of the wood in their basement so this stupid lady who looks about 40 and lives with her dad who looks about 35 starts killing stupid people and then there’s this stupid fucking priest going around squirting holy water on walls and dirt and then there’s these fucking CGI flies that look like I just dotted a photo with a black magic marker and this is all because of FUCKING POSSESSED WOOD.

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I know I’m a dumbass – this goes without saying – but I have tried to live a good life and make good decisions and respect people’s feelings and just try not to bother anyone in general. I don’t feel like I’ve really done anything that I’m ashamed of except for maybe that time I took a shit in Todd’s front yard. Maybe. If anyone deserved a shit in his front yard that would be Todd. Anyway, the point to this is that I am actually ASHAMED of this movie. I am physically hurt and saddened that these poor people put this together. I can only imagine:

Horrible dead-wife actress: “Remember that time we took Bill Cosby’s Quaaludes and made that possession movie?”
Horrible drunk-husband actor: “Worst three days of my fucking life.”
Horrible possessed-daughter actress: “I got syphilis!!” “For life!!”
Horrible sound effect guy: “I tore my own balls off to self-punish myself for the crimes I committed.”
Horrible boyfriend actor: “I had a couple of old men wearing no pants saw me in half so I would never have to remember that.”

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I’ve told this story before but its been a long time so let’s revisit. I used to manage a restaurant back in the day and one night my co-manager and I got a report that something was amiss in the men’s bathroom up front. So we went to check it out and sure enough there was shit everywhere. On the floor, on the walls, all over the toilet. It looked like someone had hung from the ceiling and shit all over the place. I immediately started throwing up everywhere making things worse and I was retching so hard I shit my own pants. That was one of the worst experiences of my life. If we wanted to make an analogy out here at JB’s place, this would be cinematic equivalent of that event. I guess no one had sex with their brother…

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JB and I have been through a lot in this series and – in fairness – I told her I would take this one for the team but she pressed on. I mean, I was trapped in an airplane and couldn’t do anything else. And I had beer and whiskey on my side. I don’t think JB drinks but I did warn her she would need some sort of stimulant to get through this if she so chose. Maybe she took some of those Quaaludes we were talking about earlier.

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When she told me she was going into this I called her a poor soul and told her not to do it but she sent me this picture as proof of her torture and, since we live on different continents, we filed the necessary paperwork to have these filmmakers arrested and tried for War Crimes in the International Criminal Court. That suit is still pending.

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I know no one else will ever watch this, even on accident, but if you try it, you’ve been warned. I mean, no one ever wakes up and thinks, “I’d like to get stung by a wasp today!” *sing sing*. Just don’t do it.

Rapid Review: Lovely Molly (2011)

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“What ever happens, it wasn’t me.”
– Molly

SYNOPSIS: Newlywed Molly moves into her deceased father’s house in the countryside, where painful memories soon begin to haunt her. – via IMDB

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GRADE 1.5So I couldn’t even remember where I had seen a review of this and decided to check it out. I found out after the fact that it was something that dear Eric liked a lot (this after I told him I was sure I had stumbled upon my next Shitfest entry – when is that happening again???). Well. Pretty much from the off I knew that there were going to be problems with this. And I mean a lot of problems. All good and well we get Half Sack back for something, but it does not mean something good will come for it. For one, I was no fan of the dancing between found footage and regular shot movie. Well, I don’t like found footage usually ever, at all, but really, it was pointless here. The movie was slow, and it never actually divulged anything. It set up for jump scares that never happened, but this wasn’t done successfully where it keeps you on the edge of the seat. Oh  no, this is done in the way where, finally, for half a minute, your interest is piqued for a moment, and then there is no payoff. Meh. Also, nothing was explained. Now, I am not one that likes too much revealed usually. Seriously, less is more at the best of times. I was all good for that, but then you look at certain incidents (a real rapey looking scene against a work wall, a priest dropping to his knees to eat out a naked girl on a porch) and all I can do is wonder why and how we got to this place. It doesn’t even make sense! Not to mention that the performances leave a lot to be desired, and the logic encountered in this film? Next level crazy I tell you! Now, something else that really got under my skin? The character inconsistencies. There is the dear husband, Tim, who seemingly adores his wife. They have no problems, they are happy, not once has there been alluded to that something might be wrong, so when we get to a random scene where he is, uhm, overly cuddly with the neighbour, it just doesn’t make sense at all. I could totally have gotten on board with the concept of her potentially being crazy or the house was crazy or there was some haunting, really, it could have been interesting but it was handled terribly here. I didn’t like any of the characters, so I couldn’t care for them. The movie also felt like it was only about a half century long. Ugh. So much wasted potential. I really thought it would be more (sorry Chop). I was peeved but oh my goodness, my husband was livid and hopping, ready to go out and decree that all filmmakers producing crap like this should be shot, and was ready to start with the guilty parties of this. Luckily, I talked him down. Luckily. He was more pissed about this than It Follows. I didn’t even see the whole “From The Makers of The Blair Witch Project and The Lord of the Rings” until later, but that second name dropping part just pisses me off – this is totally not in the same league. Don’t put it up there. Thank goodness I didn’t see that before I watched it. I am sure that it would have, if possible, just have made this worse than it already was. Somehow, I am sure of this.

Sporadic Scene: The Conjuring (2013) – The Wardrobe

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Now we all know The Conjuring was exceptionally good when it came out and has numerous fans because Wan did a phenomenal job on focusing on the atmosphere and not just jump scares. Didn’t mean there weren’t jump scares thrown in between the atmosphere to really freak us out though! One of the most memorable is, without a doubt, the wardrobe scene. The whole thing came together perfectly… the acting, the setting, the score, the camera work, everything just worked for that crazy payoff.

If you have a scene that you would like featured, drop me a mail at sporadiczoe@hotmail.com with a link to the scene and an explanation as to why.

Life of This City Girl Sporadic Scene: Gilmore Girls (Season 2×19) – A Film By Kirk

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Today I am absolutely delighted to have my bestie, Natasha of Life of This City Girl, present to you a Sporadic Scene that will forever remain a goodie for me. Thank you so much Kidney!

If you have a scene that you would like featured, drop me a mail at sporadiczoe@hotmail.com with a picture/gif/video of the scene and an explanation as to why (should you want to include it).


Alrighty! I’ve been looking at this feature from Zoë for quite some time and it is always fun to catch. I’ve had a few in my mind, but being me I never get to write them up and actually send them to her (sorry bestie).  Then I watched this episode of Gilmore Girls Season Two, and knew this scene was something that needed to be shared with the world.

Sean Gunn makes a fantastic Kirk. He is so damn weird and I find the character hilarious through all the seasons. This movie by him is yet another venture by Kirk to find his life’s calling, and he convinces Lorelai to screen it at the “Movie in the Square Night”, an annual event in Stars Hollow. It is, just like Kirk, something truly unique and vaguely disturbing. Take a look, enjoy, and let me know what you think!

JB & The Chop Do: Amityville II – The Possession (1982)

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You know, when Eric picked these movies, I thought there were a few, and I knew they wouldn’t be great, but I went with it because hey, let’s see what else there is to watch! Well… then we got these. Really we did. It is pain, it is torture! BUT it is our duty to keep everybody informed and safe from such evils (if you have been fortunate enough to miss the bulk of these), and we take our job seriously! Now, the Chop and I checked out Amityville II: The Possession, and while the fact that I flipped out about it is widely known, let’s look at this one last time, see what Eric has to say!

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SYNOPSIS: An Italian-American family move into a house built on an ancient Indian burial ground. The oldest son is possessed by an evil spirit, and is forced to murder his family. The family’s priest feels responsible, and tries to save the possessed boy’s soul. – via IMDB

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As you all know, I absolutely hated this. I hated this enough to submit it as my Shitfest entry in the latest running. I mean I didn’t expect great things from this series, but I don’t know when last I watched something that I wanted to scream and rage about. This one was certainly that. Fucking ridiculous I tell you.

I reiterate: Fuck. This. Movie. Fuck it. Don’t go near it. Don’t touch it. Don’t even blink in the direction of it. Do not even, for a minute, consider entertaining that thought that, for a joke, encourages you to check this out. Just don’t even go there. For your own health. For your own safety.

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This movie was heavy handed. It was useless. The characters sucked. The dad was an abusive nitwit that I couldn’t bear to look at, and we had to deal with watching him beat up the kids in the family. That wasn’t even just alluded to. As if my stomach wasn’t churning enough, we have a brother and a sister going all the way with each other, you know, cause that’s how it is supposed to be done. I was horrified.

This movie aimed to shock more than anything, and I really think it wanted to be the next Exorcist movie, but that was just doomed and never meant to be. This was just badly put together in every which way. Ugh. What a waste of my life. I will never get it back. Never, ever, ever. This movie was offensive, and I would not even recommend this to my own worst enemy.

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Watching this, I was ready to pop someone!

I have no idea how they realistically want to tie this in with the original because come on, nothing fits, nothing gels, nothing works, so I just cannot even tie it in with that one. It just fucks out, and someone should be burnt at the stake for creating this godawful life-stealing, hunk of junk crappy film.

I mean, you can head on over here to check out my Shitfest entry, where I discussed the abusive cunt father, the possessed sister-shagger son, the heavy handed directing and useless movie overall in much more detail.

STAY AWAY. FAR AWAY. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

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Well, here we are again with a prequel to the big hit The Amityville Horror. This time around the studio bends over and puts its ass in the air to tell the story of the previous family who lived in the scary, old house before James Brolin and Lois Lane. Remember – that was the big money making opening scene in the first movie where the kid went in and gunned down his own family in the middle of the night? Remember how that scared the shit out of everyone? Well, let’s see how they did in telling their story. Hey look! It’s Paulie from Rocky!! Hi Paulie! Are you going to break the mold and be a real stand up guy in this one?? Spoiler – he’s not and this movie says:

“FUCK YOU CONTINUITY!!!”

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So this happy family moves in and the dad is a cocksucking dickhead but the rest of them seem ok although the brother and sister seem a little off. I’m sure they’re just really close like most siblings are. Maybe they’re even BFFs! Nice sweater, kid. I wonder if it will come off later.

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And, like always when you buy a 100 year old house, soon the faucets are running blood and there are flies everywhere and mirrors are cracking and there’s a giant hole in the ground that leads to hell.

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Undeterred, they continue to lead good Christian lives until the son gets horny and he and his sister start doing some fuckin’ – so – yep – that sweater popped off. At first she’s not into it and even confesses to a priest that she went “all the way with…. a friend” but later in the movie she encourages it so I’m confused with that but… eventually the mom gets wind of their behavior and confronts them then the dad gets home, gets drunk and beats the three of them up and down the house.

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In the biggest piece of SHITFEST continuity ever produced, the kid kills his parents there in the living room around dinner time and then murders his sisterlover on the stairs so basically this movie says FUCK YOU to the opening of the first, even though it’s made by the same people.

#weak
#idiots
#terrible
#fuckinglosers

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Another part of the creepy charm, or what have you, of the first one is that there’s this big money scene where Brolin is getting all batshit and he’s in the library reading some microfiche and he comes across the newspaper article regarding the murder of the family before they move in. Scroll, scroll, scroll he does and finds the accompanying picture of the murderer in the backseat of the cop car and: IT LOOKS JUST LIKE HIM!!!! DUM DUM DUM!!!!

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Let’s see here:

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FAIL!!!!

Then things start to get worse as some priest thinks the kid is just possessed, so this movie gets it’s Exorcist on and it’s really lame all the way to the end.

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Although, I must admit, there was one thing that was absolutely horrifying. Towards the end, the poor, sweaterless girl returns as as a demon and tempts the priest to have sex with her. I don’t know how they pulled it off but it’s absolutely the most terrifying, lip licking seduction of all time. I tried to make a gif of it but this is the first gif I’ve ever made so it’s not the best thing in the world, but hopefully you get the picture.

CONFESS!

Since we’re posting these after SHITFEST, I already know how JB feels about this one. I didn’t hate it as much as she did, but it’s not good.  We have’t talked about it yet, but I lobby that this is a million times better than the third….