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In The Mean Time...

Crime Screen Review: High Lane (2009)

March 7, 2011 at 5:58 pm by  

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, current European horror makes contemporary American horror look shameful. The films coming out of European countries — Spain, Italy, and, especially, France — are keeping the genre alive. I’m not saying all American horror is bad; that’s not the case at all, but the work coming out of the states, more often than not, pales in comparison. Where we seem to have embraced the audience aspect of horror (jump scares, gross out factor), the Europeans are crafting films that are terrifying in their intimacy. HIGH LANE, produced by French company Gaumont, is one of the more recent examples of this, and the results are exceptional. You can check out the spoiler-filled trailer if you want, but be warned, it really ruins a lot of the tension.

HIGH LANE begins with four friends going on a nature-filled adventure in the Balkan mountains. But this isn’t a “nature’s revenge” film like THE LAST WEEKEND; it’s more an “off the beaten path” flick like WRONG TURN.…

Statesville, NC -- An 83-year-old man has been arrested and charged with armed robbery after police say he robbed the Walmart store he worked at.

Police say that shortly before 7 p.m on Sunday, George Plane Jr., 83, was working his job as a Walmart greeter when he exited the store and went to his car. Their he retrieved a handgun and donned a mask before re-entering the store through the garden department (the only way to enter or exit a Walmart if you ask me.)

Once back inside, he put the gun up to a fellow employee’s head and demanded cash from the register. Before leaving with the cash, he allegedly fired a shot into the air. Witnesses followed Plane after he left in his vehicle and directed police to his location. After a brief standoff, Plane surrendered without incident.

Plane, who looks pretty damn good for his age, was subsequently charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon and discharging a firearm inside the city limits.…

New Orleans, LA – New Orleans police arrested a 10-year-old boy on Saturday, accusing him of stabbing his 15-year-old brother in the back twice with a kitchen knife.

Reports are that the brothers had gotten into an argument after the victim told his brother to quit wrestling with his cousin in fear of one of them getting hurt.

The 10-year-old got pissed and retrieved a knife from the kitchen. When he approached his brother, a struggle over the knife ensued, ending with the 10-year-old stabbing his older brother twice in the back.

No word on the condition of the victim, but his younger brother was arrested and placed in a juvenile facility.

Kid’s got some anger management issues, right? God knows me and my brother got into it from time to time, but the worst I ever did was shoot him in the head with a pellet gun. But that was just a well-aimed shot accident.…

UPPER MERION, Pa. – A man with a history of mental illness has been charged with the stabbing deaths of his mother, father and twin brother on Saturday.

Police were responding to a domestic disturbance call at the home of 70-year-old Joseph McAndrew, 64-year-old Susan McAndrew. The couple lived there with their two sons Joseph  and James McAndrew, both 23.

When they arrived, they found Joseph outside in the driveway covered in blood. Inside the home, reportedly in the kitchen, they found the dead bodies of his family. All three had been stabbed to death. Police described the bloody scene as ‘violent’ and ‘gruesome’ adding that it was apparent the three had fought for their lives.

Joseph, who has a history of mental illness, was taken into custody and charged with three counts of first-degree murder. Detectives removed several knives from the home, including a samurai sword.

A friend of James told reporters that he had just recently mentioned dealing with his twin brother’s mental instability. “[He said], ‘I have to go back home and deal with his paranoia.’ I said, ‘what do you mean?’ He said, ‘my brother thinks everybody is after him,'” the friend recounted.…

Atlanta, GA – Normally I would only post stories like this when had the choking guy fell to the floor and died while everyone else around him kept eating. But I want to help make sure that Verde Taqueria employee, Matthew McConnell, gets all the credit he deserves after saving a man’s life after performing the Heimlich maneuver — and gets on Oprah.

Paul Hargette got into a dire situation after taking a big bite out of his steak and cheese quesadilla. The food became lodged in his throat and Hargette could not get it dislodged. His friends become aware that Hargette is choking to death and try to get help for him.

By this time, McConnell sees what is happening and rushes over to help Hargette. McConnell begins performing the Heimlich maneuver on Hargette with much gusto, Heimliching the shit out of that quesadilla. After lifting Hargette off the floor a couple times the stuck food flies out of Hargette’s mouth and lands on a nearby chair, which McConnell — ever the dutiful employee — cleans up.…

Clayton, MO – Daniel Hughes, 42, was arrested Sunday after police say he drunkenly entered the wrong room at the Ritz Carlton Hotel and molested a 9-year-old girl.

Hughes, who was said to be highly intoxicated, showed up at the hotel at about 4:00 that morning and claimed he was staying with a registered guest but had lost his key. Police say he inadvertently gave the hotel clerk the number of the room he had stayed in at another hotel the night before. The clerk provided a duplicate without even checking to make sure it was to the right room. It wasn’t.

Though the security chain was in place, Hughes forced his way into the room – a room occupied by the 9-year-old girl and two 14-year-old girls. Police say he crawled into bed with the 9-year-old and molested her as the other two girls slept. The child eventually alerted her parents in the next room, and they chased Hughes out of the room.

Clayton Police Chief Tom Byrne said, “The guy was intoxicated and he thought it was a female friend of his roommate and that everything would be ok. …

Naples, FL – The bright-eyed and bushy-haired goddess to the left is 46-year-old Tina Belinda Masta. Ms. Masta was arrested Saturday after she reportedly got drunk, got nekkid and got violent.

Witnesses told police an intoxicated Masta started cursing at three men and called them names before tossing a few rocks at ‘em. She then got butt-nekkid and threatened to kick some ass. ‘Cause that’s how we crazies do it…

When police arrived on scene, the woman was sitting on a dock near her home, wrapped in a blanket. As officers approached, Masta reportedly dropped the blanket and exposed herself to them, too.

As Masta was being taken into custody, she told deputies she had removed some of her teeth and threw them into the water. One officer reported that Masta “kept picking at her teeth and asked to use some pliers.”

A neighbor was kind enough to retrieve some clothing from Masta’s home, and attempts were made to dress the woman. She was then booked on charges of disorderly intoxication.…

Minneapolis, MN – Ashley Couch, 21, was arrested on child neglect charges Saturday morning after witnesses reported seeing her throw her newborn infant into a snowbank before turning her back on the child and walking away.

A couple of bystanders, identified only as Keith and Eddie, were watching from a nearby bridge as an argument between Couch and her boyfriend, Deontae Thurmond, played out. Thurmond had taken off down the street with Couch and her barely clothed 18-day-old daughter right at his heels.

Keith turned to Eddie and told him to “keep an eye out and make sure the mother didn’t toss the baby over the rail and into on-coming traffic below.” Keith must be an occasional visitor to the Dreamin’ Demon, no? Who else would automatically assume a pissed off woman might throw her baby off a bridge?

Couch refrained from throwing the baby off the bridge, but she did toss the child into a snowbank. “Like a major league baseball player in a windup – that’s how hard she threw the child,” Eddie said. …

Hamilton, VA – Late Friday night/early Saturday morning, a Loudoun County Sheriff’s Deputy was heading westbound on Route 704 when he met up with a fire truck, which was–as these vehicles are wont to do–traveling at a high rate of speed.

Uncharacteristically, the officer was forced to veer off into a ditch to avoid a collision with the weaving pumper truck. He then checked for fire calls (there weren’t any), turned his cruiser around, and pulled the truck over. Inside were five volunteer firefighters for the Loudoun County Fire-Rescue system–all of whom had been drinking.

Only the driver–27-year-old Sean Swanson–was arrested. Having failed a field sobriety test, he was taken to the Loudoun Adult Detention Center, where he was charged with DUI and Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle. Swanson ultimately was released on his own recognizance and later resigned from his position, and two of the other firefighters that were in the truck have done so as well.

I wanted to post this partly because (considering there were no collisions, no one was hurt, and this was NOT a truck that was “on duty” at the time) it appeals a bit to that hidden rebel/former adolescent in me: “HELL, YEAH, IT’S NOT GETTING USED!…

Boy Was Alive When Mother Put Him In Oven

March 5, 2011 at 12:23 am by  

JACKSON, Miss – Preliminary autopsy results show 3-year-old Tristan Robinson was alive when he was placed in a hot oven by his mother and died from “thermal injuries.”

For those of you who have not heard, 24-year-old Terrie A. Robinson was charged with murder after police discovered her son cooking inside an oven while responding to an emergency call at Robinson’s apartment.

No matter how he got in there, or why, I was really, really hoping that it would be shown the little boy was dead already. Looks like Cthulhu was in his usual asshole mood. I just cannot imagine what that little boy went through in his final moments and it makes my head hurt trying to.

A pathologist is still trying to determine if the toddler was conscious when he was put inside the oven. If there is any hope, maybe the head injuries the boy had were severe enough that he didn’t feel anything at all. I wonder if it is ok with Sherrie if we start judging her twin sister now.…

ORLANDO, Fla. — A mother and her boyfriend have been charged with murder after police say they beat her 3-year-old son for an hour after becoming upset at the boy for wetting himself.

Because of the bruising, doctors initially though 3-year-old Noah Fake had died from meningitis. But a medical examiner has determined the boy died from blunt-force trauma to the head.

When brought in for questioning, detectives say his mother, 26-year-old Robin Greinke, confessed. She told them that she and her boyfriend of a year and a half, 33-year-old Steven Neil, had been drinking before they attacked the boy for an hour after he had wet himself.

“They explained how they tossed the little boy around,” said homicide detective Chris Dillion. “They were upset with him and they tossed him and spanked him and punched him.”

After they finished beating the snot out of the kid, they ate pizza and watched a movie while the little boy fought for his life all alone. Detectives said Neil convinced Greinke to wait until the next day, when Noah wasn’t breathing, before finally calling 911.…

Louisville, KY – Police have arrested a 12-year-old after they say she and her mother dragged a school bus driver off her bus and beat her.

Police say that on Tuesday afternoon, children were getting off  the bus when 30-year-old Chesica White and her 12-year-old daughter got on to confront the driver about White’s 7-year-old son being bullied. She says her son has been bullied all school year and the driver, Johnetta Anderson, is not doing enough to stop it.

Anderson attempted to keep White and her daughter from entering the vehicle, leading to some pushing and shoving. White and her daughter allegedly ended up grabbing Anderson by the ankles and dragging her off the bus on to the pavement. She was able to get back on the bus and call police.

Anderson is being treated for bruises and a possible pulled hamstring and will be out of work for a few weeks. A 5 or 6-year-old who was trying to get off the bus when White and her daughter entered, caught up in the scuffle and is sporting a busted lip and cuts to his face.…

ARLINGTON, Texas — Yesterday afternoon, a man reported to be the pastor of NorthPointe Baptist Church was found dead inside the church and his female assistant was severely beaten.

A relative of one of the victims asked someone to stop by the church after repeated phone calls to one of the victims went unanswered. That person called police when they looked through a window and saw someone on the ground.

Police arrived a short time later and discovered the dead body of 28-year-old Clint Dobson, the church’s pastor, and his severely injured assistant, 67-year-old Judy Elliott. She was rushed to the hospital where she is in critical condition.

Investigators reported that Elliot’s vehicle is missing. It’s a four-door, cream-colored 2007 Mitsubishi Galant, said Tiara Richard, a police spokeswoman. The Texas license plate number is DFR-352. If you see it, police ask you to alert authorities and do not approach anyone who may be inside the vehicle.

Jack Davis, a NorthPointe member for 20 years, said Dobson “was a wonderful person.…

SANFORD, Fla. — Here’s our daily day-wrecker. A 76-year-old man killed his wheelchair-bound daughter after accidentally running her over with his truck.

Lawrence Jones had recently brought his disabled daughter, 56-year-old Loretta Tomblin, home after she suffered a stroke so that she would have better care. He told investigators he was trying to back out of the driveway to give his daughter more room in the front yard when he put his truck in drive instead of reverse before tearing through the yard, slamming into his daughter and her caretaker.

Both women were trapped underneath the vehicle and it took some time for firefighters to free them. Sadly, Tomblin was already dead, her wheelchair torn to pieces. Her caretaker, 43-year-old Veronica Jackson, was flown to the hospital with critical injuries but is expected to survive.

Friends and family are supporting Jones, saying he is a good man and a good driver. Jones plans to keep driving so he can visit his other children and grandchildren.…

Crime Screen Review: Deadly Weapons (1974)

March 4, 2011 at 10:27 am by  

I am a serious devotee of what is sometimes called Psychotronic Cinema. I am on a constant search for weird, obscure movies the likes of which most people can never conceive existing in the first place, and the weirder and more obscure they are, the more I like them. Mexican masked wresters being superheroes and fighting aliens? You better believe it. Ultra-gory kung fu? Yes please. Nazi sex crime extravaganzas? I’ll take two. Today I’ll be looking at a very special piece of mid-1970s sexploitation flick with a crime-themed plot. Well, there’s a Mob element, but it’s largely obscured by the oversized jiggling fun-bags that are the true stars of the film.

Let’s take a look, shall we?

Meet Crystal (“Chesty” Morgan). Now meet Crystal’s colossal rack (her measurements are 73FF-32-36). Now meet Crystal’s boyfriend, Larry. Crystal would really love for Larry to make her his wife, instead of just his girlfriend, but he keeps delaying. It’s soon a moot point as he’s rubbed out by the Mafia.

Crystal is heartbroken, tears spilling down rosy cheeks on to oversized pleasure-zeppelins.…

FLUSHING, NY – Police have charged a woman with the stabbing death of her son, who was suffering from cerebral palsy, before trying to kill herself.

Rene Vera, 38, was found dead with stab wounds in the family’s apartment after his mother, 57-year-old Migdalia Vera, called 911 saying her son had been hurt. She told police that her son had been depressed and had asked her to help him put a knife in his chest.

But the DA says this was no mercy killing. He says that after an argument, Vera picked up a knife from the kitchen, stabbed her son twice in the chest and then held a pillow over his face for at least two minutes.

Afterwards, Ms. Vera tried to kill herself by cutting her wrists and stabbing herself. She did not succeed and was in stable condition on Thursday night at New York Hospital Queens. She has been charged with second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter.

Personally, I have no problem buying someone with cerebral palsy would welcome death.…

Before directing the 2008 horror film QUARINTINE, the decent, shot-for-shot remake of the Spanish film REC (our review), the Dowdle brothers directed another “found footage” movie titled THE POUGHKEEPSIE TAPES. The film had an interesting premise regarding police finding boxes of VHS tapes left behind by a serial killer. These tapes contained hundreds of hours of footage recorded by a killer who’d been operating undetected for years, filming the abductions, torture and disposal of his victims.

I saw the trailer to this film when I watched THE MIST in the theaters, and even remember the movie poster hanging up in the lobby. It definitely got my hopes up for another film done in the spirit of cinéma vérité, but then, nothing. No more trailers, the movie posters disappeared and the film seemed to have been shelved.

While I am not sure what happened, there is a story about the 2007 Butt-Numb-A-Thon film festival put on by AICN.com. THE POUGHKEEPSIE TAPES was shown there with the Dowdle brothers in attendance and scheduled to take part in a Q&A after the movie.…

LASALLE, Colo. — I’m quickly coming to the conclusion that the majority of students in Colorado are psychotic and want to kill their classmates. A North Valley Middle School student has been arrested on suspicion of menacing and assault after he allegedly handed out gum to fellow students. Gum that police say he had intentionally poisoned.

The eighth-grader was reportedly angry at some classmates and decided to get back at them by soaking gum in household cleaners. After drying out and re-wrapping the gum, he handed it out to other students at the school.

He ended up getting suspended Monday after making comments about “sending some people to the hospital,” but no one realized he had given out the tainted gum. That is until Tuesday, when a male student chewed a stick of gum and became ill. The student was checked out at a local hospital and released.

LaSalle Police Chief Carl Harvey stressed that at this time there is no proof the boy actually poisoned the gum and that “these are accusations only and he’s presumed innocent until proven guilty.” Even so, the boy isn’t at home.…