Thursday, October 31, 2013

Top Ten Horror Movie Franchises for Halloween - #1

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Here we are at our pick for the #1 horror movie franchise for Halloween. 

1.  Frankenstein
If there is one face of horror more enduring and iconic than Dracula it is his longtime pal Frankenstein. The first film was released in 1931 and is credited with launching the entire Universal Monsters brand. If not for the overwhelming success of James Whale’s Frankenstein there may never have been a Dracula, Wolf-Man, Mummy, or any of the other immortal monsters offered by the studio. The first film remains to this day arguably the best horror movie ever made while others will contend that same point for its sequel The Bride of Frankenstein. There have been more than fifty films to feature the character since and an infinite amount of appearances in cartoons, shopping aisles, and on candy wrappers have assured the green faced goblin’s immortal standing in the horror hall of fame.

Halloween is the time for horror. Whether you like scaring yourself silly with the most intense picture you can find or sitting back with an oldie just to get your fill of shadows and cobwebs, make sure to find some time for the ghosts and ghouls this time of year! 

Posted by Terry Pierson, Library Clerk

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Top Ten Horror Movie Franchises for Halloween - #2

Halloween is just a few days away! To celebrate, here is our #2 choice for top movie franchises for Halloween.

2. The Living Dead
George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead in 1968 is without doubt one of the most influential and widely copied films ever made. Before Romero brought us the undead, shambling, hungry-for-brains zombies that are so popular today zombies in films had still always been associated with voodoo or witchcraft; more brain-dead servants than brain-hungry monsters. Romero continued the modern zombie revolution ten years later with 1978’s excellent Dawn of the Dead. This entry ratcheted up the violence and brought the rotting grave walkers in to color for the first time. Romero’s films are characterized by social messages and topical references and while each entry has marked a decline in quality for the series (all the way up to 2009’s abysmal Survival of the Dead) the franchise has at least retained what sets it apart and makes it significant. 

Posted by Terry Pierson, Library Clerk

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Top Ten Horror Movie Franchises for Halloween - #3

In our #3 spot for top Halloween movie franchises, is one of the most legendary horror icons of all time.

3. Dracula
Dracula is one of those rare characters that are so iconic there is little that can be said about them. The first film to bear the name was Universal Studio’s 1932 Dracula starring Bela Lugosi as the Count and this incarnation has remained the most enduring image of the character. However it was the silent film Nosferatu in 1925 that first took inspiration from Bram Stoker’s novel and actor Max Schrek’s appearance as “Count Orlok” has made a bit of a comeback in recent years. Hammer Studios picked up the franchise in 1958 with Christopher Lee making his first appearance as the fanged nightmare. Lee would go on to play Dracula in six more Hammer films – a record number of appearances for an actor in the role. There have been countless other movies starring the character, most notably Francis Ford Coppola’s version in 1992 starring Gary Oldman, Anthony Hopkins, and Keeanu Reeves as well as Wes Craven’s disappointing Dracula 2000.
Posted by Terry Pierson, Library Clerk

Monday, October 28, 2013

Top Ten Horror Movie Franchises for Halloween - #4

We hope you have been enjoying some of these scary movies. Here is our #4 horror movie franchise for Halloween.

4. Halloween
John Carpenter’s original Halloween is the granddaddy of slasher horror. Preceded only by The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Hitchcock’s Psycho, Halloween inspired an entire genre of copycats in the 80s including Friday the 13th. The first film is widely regarded as one of the all time horror greats and the direct sequel is solid but unfortunately from there the series descends into a slew of lackluster sequels. It wasn’t until Rob Zombie’s reboot in 2007 that the franchise got back on its feet but luckily Zombie’s film is one of the best remakes ever made.

Posted by Terry Pierson, Library Clerk 

Cooking Classes at the Library

Join our delicious and fun-filled cooking classes at the library! You will learn cooking basics and quick and tasty recipes. Registration is required and is in person only. The cost of each class is $5.00 and is due at the time of registration. Please visit the Main Desk to register. All classes will be in the Community Room kitchen and will be held one Monday a month from 5:30-7:30pm. Visit our website or call 618-344-1112 for more information.

November 25  “Thanksgiving Side Dishes” – Create scrumptious and simple side dishes to compliment any Thanksgiving feast.

December 16  “Gifts from the Kitchen” – Celebrate the season with recipes that you can turn into gifts for your loved ones. 

Posted by Jessica Lawrence, Librarian

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Top Ten Horror Movie Franchises for Halloween - #5

We have made it to #5 on our list...

5. Evil Dead
Evil Dead is unique even amongst its B-movie peers. The series has run the gauntlet from outright horror to slapstick comedy and back again across only four movies. The wise cracking, chainsaw-for-a-hand Ash played by cult legend Bruce Campbell offers something not common in these types of films: a superhero. The second film perhaps best bridges the franchise’s horror and comedy with the third being nothing short of a parody and this year’s remake reversing all the way back to its grizzly, gruesome roots. The classic setting of a haunted cabin in the woods has never been captured so perfectly in any other film.

Posted by Terry Pierson, Library Clerk

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Top Ten Horror Movie Franchises for Halloween - #6

As we get closer to Halloween, here is our #6 movie franchise for Halloween season.

6. Nightmare on Elm Street
In both concepts and execution the Nightmare on Elm Street series is among the most creative and unorthodox horror ever made. The series’ dream world setting allows for just about anything to happen and filmmakers have stretched their imaginations to often silly lengths for new shocking ways for their sleepy victims to meet their demise. Lead antagonist Freddy Krueger has endured nearly thirty years as one of the most recognizable characters in horror with his scarred face, striped sweater, brown hat, and blade fingers. None of the films have been anywhere near the quality of the original 1984 masterpiece but the series has at least continued to move in interesting, unpredictable directions (except for the disastrously boring 2010 remake).  

Posted by Terry Pierson, Library Clerk

Monday, October 21, 2013

10 Reasons Why We Will Miss Courtney

Library Clerk Courtney Locandro will say goodbye to the MVLD on October 26th, as she embarks on a new career in the nursing field. In honor of her departure we have compiled a list of the top ten reasons our library will miss Courtney.

#10- The library will now go unrepresented in the Italian Fest 5K.
#9- Southern Accent Thursdays will never be the same.
#8- She always started every shift by saying  "Hahaha... I have destroyed the hopes and dreams of a generation of faux romantics."
#7- Our staff now has zero Christian music experts.
#6- She never got around to doing an Andrew W.K. Sleeveface.
#5- Three words, GAME OF THRONES!
#4- That's $10 less for Theo to win in our annual Oscar pool.
#3- Some people are just born to twerk.
#2- She always ended every shift by saying "C-Lo out!"
#1- Obviously, the ladies.

Posted by Grahm Underwood, Library Clerk

Friday, October 18, 2013

Affordable Care Act Presentations


Trying to understand and navigate the new healthcare law? Then join the Madison County Health Department at the Collinsville Library for two presentations on the Affordable Care Act on November 6th and December 4th at 4:00pm in the Community Room. They will answer questions about the Affordable Care Act and will have in-person counselors to assist people with enrolling in the Health Insurance Marketplace (Get Covered Illinois). This event is FREE and open to the public, but registration is required in order to work with a counselor to enroll. Individuals who are already insured or on Medicare are discouraged from making an appointment to enroll. Contact the library at 618-344-1112 to register. For more information please contact Kara Hughes at 618-296-6098.

Posted by Jessica Lawrence, Librarian

Top Ten Horror Movie Franchises for Halloween - #7

We have arrived at #7 on our list...

7. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre might very well be the most horrifying and scary series on this list. Starting in 1974, well before any of its mask wearing slasher peers, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre has offered nothing but undiluted terror since its inception. The first film is a true masterpiece of horror and is one that even the most seasoned genre fans might still squirm at the thought of watching  in the dark. After a few wacky sequels the series came back in to its own with the 2003 remake starring Jessica Biel, a film nearly as terrifying and horrific as the original. Unfortunately this year’s less than stellar Texas Chainsaw 3D marked a significant step backwards for the series. 

Posted by Terry Pierson, Library Clerk

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Top Ten Horror Movie Franchises for Halloween - #8

On to #8 on our list of the top horror movie franchises for Halloween.

8. The Mummy
The Mummy has proved one of the most enduring faces of horror for more than half a century now. First appearing in Universal Studio’s The Mummy in 1932 with the legendary Boris Karloff in the title role, the character has gone through numerous incarnations, appearances, and studios. Hammer Studios first rebooted the Mummy with their 1959 film starring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee and more recently Universal again rebooted the franchise in 1999 with Brendan Frasier in the lead role. The recent Mummy films have essentially been action movies but have nonetheless managed to keep the series alive and relevant. 

Posted by Terry Pierson, Library Clerk

Library Sleeveface - October 16, 2013

This mystery woman is sweetly showing off her country style as she browses through the Main Floor of our library. This special collector’s edition sleeve includes two discs with various country favorites including “Sunny” by Floyd Cramer, “Me and Bobby McGee” by Dottie West and “I Can’t Stop Loving You” by Don Gibson. Better hurry to gain this 1970’s collector’s item from Tele House Records for yourself at our next Friends of the Library Booksale on November 26 from 9:00am-8:00pm. We also have many other country artists, classic as well as new, in our CD collection on the Ground Floor of the library. In fact, you can check out any music CD with your library card for a whole week. For your browsing convenience, we have recently moved the “New” CDs to our Main Floor. We are always adding new CDs to our collection and there are a multitude of records, CDs, books and more to purchase at the bi-monthly book sale. Can you guess which of our angelic library ladies is this vision in white? 

Posted by Courtney Locandro, Library Clerk

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Top Ten Horror Movie Franchises for Halloween - #9

Here is #9 on our list for the top ten horror movie franchises for Halloween.

9. Scream
While other films had flirted with it before Wes Craven’s Scream was the first to fully embrace a self aware, sometimes self deprecating humor. The franchise’s niche is messing with horror clichés as in each movie the iconic Ghostface plays upon genre tropes and taunts his victims with horror history. The movies are decent but it’s Ghostface himself who is the real draw – for more than fifteen years now his “screaming ghost” face has been a staple in every store’s Halloween section. 

Posted by Terry Pierson, Library Clerk

Friday, October 11, 2013

Top Ten Horror Movie Franchises for Halloween - #10

The air is getting crisper, the leaves are starting to turn and Halloween is right around the corner. It is one of our favorite times of year here at the library as we prepare for our annual Halloween Walk. Countdown to Halloween with us by following our posts on the top ten horror movie franchises. They are perfect for watching this time of year. Stop in the library to check one out today. 

Today we will start with number 10 on the list.

10. Friday the 13th
Friday the 13th is the source for some of the most clichéd horror stereotypes. In nearly every film in the franchise a group of oblivious, lustful teenagers visit Camp Crystal Lake and get picked off in gruesome ways one by one by the hockey mask wearing machete wielding Jason Voorhees. The movies are often intentionally cheesy and sometimes border on outright parody. Through twelve movies Friday the 13th has cemented itself as a B-movie powerhouse with Jason making trips to Manhattan, space, and hell along the way. None of the films are particularly good but in this case that is kind of the point. 

Posted by Terry Pierson, Library Clerk

Friday, October 04, 2013

Film Review - Riddick

Riddick is exactly what you might expect from a Vin Diesel led action packed sci-fi romp: it’s big, crass, and relentlessly macho. Overall it is one of the weakest science fiction offerings of the year but its adult humor and mindless violence do serve to set it apart from the largely family friendly affairs that have begun to dominate the genre. For fans of the first two films, Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick, Riddick delivers but in comparison to relatively highbrow fare like Elysium and Star Trek Into Darkness it’s hollow and brainless.

The things that Riddick gets right it really excels at. The action is fast paced and explosive, the visuals dark and gritty, and some of the concepts and designs are cool and innovative. As far as cheesy, over the top action movies with bodybuilders go, you could do worse than Riddick.
That said there is a lot wrong with Riddick. The nuances of the plot are heavily tied to the previous films and Riddick doesn’t do a great job of explaining them which leaves the uninitiated viewer apathetic to the story right off the bat. It almost doesn’t matter though because the narrative of Riddick is so bare bones that your experience and take-away of the movie will probably be about the same regardless of if you actually pay attention or not. Riddick is marooned on a hostile alien planet with a gang of mercenaries on his trail. The mercenaries are no match for Riddick. Riddick must escape the planet. The end.

The pacing of the film is a mess. After an exciting, attention grabbing introduction the film slows to a crawl when the mercenaries start hunting Riddick. There is far too much camera time granted to this uninteresting, stereotypical, poorly acted rag band of tough guys clichés and it nearly lulls the movie to sleep.  Literally every minute that Riddick wasn’t on screen my impression of the movie dropped. The film eventually begins to build steam again to a satisfying finale but by then it was almost a matter of too little too late.
There are some cool shots in Riddick and the shadowy, grim aesthetic of the visuals help the film tremendously. Vin Diesel is solid (but not exceptional) in the title role and the alien fight scenes are gripping and memorable. However the movie is severely flawed in many ways and in a year crammed full with so much competition Riddick just doesn’t stand up.

Grade: D
Posted by Terry Pierson, Library Clerk

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Book Review - Killing Jesus by Bill O'Reilly

As an ordained clergyman and fan of Bill O’Reilly I was eagerly anticipating his newest work, Killing Jesus. It is an entertaining and informative work of historical fiction, or at least fictionalized history. O’Reilly claims that this is not a religious book, but that is like saying his works on the assassination of President Lincoln and President Kennedy were not political books. One cannot write about the person and work of Jesus, especially about His death, without it being a religious book. Even the attempt to do so is in fact a religious decision. 

One such decision, and the greatest flaw of the book in my opinion, is that O’Reilly often favors secular historical accounts and “known” common practice over the account given in the New Testament. Also, the authors conclude that the motivation for the killing of Jesus was that He interfered with the money flow between the people and the religious and political leaders. While following the money is often a good idea in seeking out motive, it is clear that in an effort to be “non-religious” the authors have overstated their case. They missed the religious fervor behind the Pharisees, Sadducees, Chief Priests, Scribes, and elders who believed that by claiming to be the Son of God Jesus was a blasphemer and so worthy of the death penalty.

The book is filled with historical details and color that likely will add much to the television movie already in the works. It does a good job setting the events of Jesus into the historical context of the first Century and in pulling together the political and religious events that surrounded the life of Jesus. It also graphically describes the gruesome nature of crucifixion. While leaving out any of the appearances of the resurrected Jesus the authors do point to the fact that the tomb was indeed empty on Easter morning and that the body of Jesus has never been found. They also point out how many eyewitnesses gave their lives in defense of their accounts of having seen the risen Jesus and how even now, some 2000 years later more than 2 billion people believe that Jesus died for their sin, rose from the dead, has ascended to heaven and will come again. This story, His story, is history and while O’Reilly and Dugard have written another best seller, if you want to know the truth about Jesus I suggest reading the bestselling book of all time – it’s called The Holy Bible.

Posted by Jim Ritter, Library Clerk