The Frida Cinema Film Event Post #23

Night Train to Terror

Night Train to Terror

Get ready to go off the rails with the cult 1980’s horror anthology Night Train to Terror.

A group of teenagers pass the time on a train by partying and dancing, unaware that the vehicle is destined to crash at dawn. At the same time, God and Satan contemplate three stories of human nature and bicker amongst themselves as to who will take the teens’ souls. Who will prevail when dawn comes around and the music stops?

Bloody and outlandish, Night Train to Terror is a low-budget film that only could have been made in the 80’s. Possessing a certain arresting absurdity, it’s little wonder that some have compared it to Plan 9 from Outer Space.

“In a decade where anything and everything went, Night Train of Terror had it all.  The best part is, it’s not just a single movie, but three films crammed into one.” –

“This colorful B-movie oddity is a uniquely ‘80s production, the lunacy of which is refreshing.” – Anthony Pernicka,

“Night Train to Terror (1985) makes for a good Wednesday night at the bro’s.” – Melissa Antoinette Garza, Scared Stiff Reviews




Article #27:

John Oliver Sheds Light on a Dangerous Reality Many Patients Face

On the August 18 episode of “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” satirist John Oliver discussed the impact bias in medicine can have on people seeking medical care. He went into detail about how gender and/or race can impact a person’s access to appropriate health care and treatment. John emphasized how, for many, these biases can be the difference between life and death.

According to the April 24, 2012 article from The Wall Street Journal featured on the show, “women [were] seven times more likely to be misdiagnosed… and sent home from the hospital…” for a heart attack. Women are perceived by many as being chronic complainers, thus their situation is not taken seriously.

A textbook for nurses, which was only pulled out of circulation just two years ago, was also featured on the show due to its bluntly inaccurate racial/ethnic misconceptions of how non-White patients identify pain. This “information” could reinforce inaccurate perceptions of ethnic patients, making it difficult for them to get a proper diagnosis.

At the end of the episode, with the help from comedic legends Wanda Sykes and Larry David,
John included a list of steps the medical industry could take to combat bias in medicine, including:

  1. Standardized care
  2. Having doctors and medical students taking non-bias training
  3. Having more diversity in the medical field

And, most importantly, emphasized patients to advocate for themselves.

As a female Mexican-American, I’ve experienced this bias first hand, especially in regards to my fibromyalgia. During an initial consultation by a top pain specialist in our area, he told me I didn’t appear to have fibromyalgia, despite several confirmed diagnoses, because I was not on heavy pain killers (I’m severely allergic to prescription and over the counter pain killers). Also, my back pain was a combined result of puberty “growing pains” and my heavy menstrual cycles. I was just exaggerating the pain to get out of school. His only recommendation was counseling for my “hypochondria.”

On another occasion, a middle school nurse implied bias against my Mexican immigrant mother, asking Mom if my medications in the health office were “from Mexico.” My family were patients of a local and prominent integrative doctor, an MD who is educated and licensed to practice a combination of mainstream and holistic medicine. While the “medications from Mexico” were holistic pain and acid reflux medications from France (with “Made in France” on the bottles), without consulting my doctor to verify the medications, she called Social Services claiming that my parents were poisoning my brothers and I with unregulated and possibly illegal medicines from Mexico. Thankfully, with the help of our attorney, the credibility of our doctor and extensive medical records, we verified our situation and Social Services closed the case, finding no abuse. As for the nurse, she was not at the school the following school year.

Today, I have a small team of doctors/medical professionals who I trust. However, I still see bias affect my health care, especially if I have to go to new doctors/medical professionals. Consequently, if I have to go to a new doctor, I take my medical documentation, verifying my health issues. On the rare occasion I must go to ER, I go with some else to help advocate for me if I’m too ill to help myself so I don’t suffer from a negative consequence due to a doctor’s potential bias. Better safe than sorry.

Mr. Oliver, thank you for discussing and bringing to light this constantly overlooked, very uncomfortable and heartbreaking reality many patients, including myself, face in the medical system.

It’s important to note there has been critiques and/or criticisms about this episode after he pointed to medical issues that are more common in some groups. For example, Native Americans and African Americans are more likely to have diabetes than Non-Hispanic White Americans and Asian Americans. However, I believe these critics are missing the overall message. If there is bias on the end of the medical provider, it increases the chance of misdiagnosis, mistreatment and lethal consequences for a significant portion of the population. And that is both the point of the segment and the call to action to fix it.

You can watch the episode below:




The Frida Cinema Film Event Post #22

Snoopy, Come Home

Snoopy, Come Home poster

Highlighting Hispanic directors, The Frida Cinema presents a second film from Mexican-American animation ground-breaker Bill Melendez. Melendez animated for Disney and Warner Brothers, but is best known for directing the original Peanuts movies, including the beloved Snoopy Come Home.

Snoopy receives a surprise letter from Lila, his former owner. She asks Snoopy to keep her company while she is hospitalized. The manic, fiercely loyal beagle and his bird pal Woodstock (making his Peanutsfeature film debut), go to be with Lila, but encounter multiple obstacles—“No Dogs Allowed” signs are an all-too-frequent motif—they are briefly incarcerated at the home of Clara, an animal-crazy little girl. They finally make it to the hospital, where Snoopy is able to comfort Lila until her discharge. Feeling bad about leaving Lila alone, Snoopy decides to leave his home with Charlie Brown to be with her. Charlie and his friends throw a tearful farewell party for Snoopy. As he leaves to live with Lila, Snoopy wonders—despite Lila being his original owner—has his real home been with Charlie all along?

A heartwarming story for Snoopy fans of all ages, Snoopy Come Home is among the best cinematic renderings of the sacred bond between canine and human.

“Most of the reasons we all loved the TV specials are well-served by the second film in the series.” — Paul Chambers, Movie Chambers

“Adventure-filled Peanuts journey has some sad moments.” — Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media

“After seeing Snoopy, Come Home, the second animated movie feature derived from the Charles M. Schulz comic strip, Peanuts, all we can say is, Snoopy for President and Woodstock for Veep!” — Howard Thompson, New York Times (context of this quote)

Top 10 A Nightmare on Elm Street Death Scenes

With this year marks the 35th anniversary, of the first time Freddy came into our nightmares, with the release of A Nightmare on Elm Street.  In honor of this anniversary, we’ll look back at the top 10 kills, throughout the series, excluding Jason vs Freddy and the 2010 reboot.


10. Glen: Bloody Bed Geyser

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Making his acting debut, Johnny Depp, unlike other victims on this list, you don’t see him die.  You see Freddy’s claws come up from underneath Glen and drag into a hole in his bed.  Suddenly, a gigantic blood geyser sprouts from the hole, overtaking the room.  Though it was a very dangerous scene to shot, due to people getting electrocuted as a result of the liquid hitting lights (no major injuries), it’s by far one of the most surreal deaths in a Nightmare film.


9. Taryn: Overdose

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1985)

Taryn, a recovering drug addict, gets into a knife fight with Freddy, showing no fear as she stabs him.  However, when Freddy reveals his fingers have turned into drug filled syringes, she slips into her fear, immediately giving him the power to transform her arm’s track marks, into little mouths hungry for the drugs.  He injecting her with the drugs, slowly killing her, leaving those of us with a fear of needles, cringing at the edge of our seats.


8. Carlos: Hearing Aid

Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)

While many of the deaths on this list, do contain an element of comedy, like a funny line from Freddy, this is a funny kill overall.  The hearing-impaired Carlos, is able to get his hearing-aid back from Freddy, but it turns into a spider like creature clinging to his ear, amplifying every noise to an unbearable level.  Acting like a Loony Toons cartoon character, Freddy taunts Carlos, by dropping pins with cartoonish sound effects.  Then, he gleefully scratches his claws on a chalkboard, leading to Carlos’ head exploding.  As irritating as that noise is, the goofy way Freddy acts during this kill is hilarious.  Its hard not to laugh during this kill scene.


7. Jennifer: Television

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)

This kill bough us the most quoted Freddy line, “Welcome to prime-time, bitch”.  However, this kill could also count as two kills in one.  As Jennifer starts to drift to sleep, while watching a television interview between famed talk show host Dick Cavett and actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, Dick turns into Freddy, about to kill Zsa Zsa, but the screen goes static.  Then, Freddy slams Jennifer’s head into the television, shocking her to death.  A kill that worked perfectly with the bulky and potentially dangerous electronics of the era.


6. Phil: The Puppet

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)

Taking advantage of Phil’s love of marinate puppets and his sleepwalking habits, Freddy rips veins out of Phil’s limbs, and controls him like a puppet.  Seeing the veins close up, makes your skin crawl.  Phil tries to resist, but is overpowered and taken to a high window, making it look like he’s going to commit suicide.  What makes this scene far more gut-wrenching, is seeing how helpless the Dream Warriors are in stopping Phil’s death.  Freddy cuts the veins like strings, and Phil falls to his death, with the Dream Warriors forced to watch their friend die.


5. Ron: Door Stabbing

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985)

While sleeping in Ron’s room, Jesse suddenly wakes in unbearable pain.  As Ron is unsure of how to react to Jesse, Freddy slowly rips out of Jesse’s chest and kills Ron, by stabbing him through his bedroom door.  It’s a stomach-turning Freddy entrance, with the lead up to Ron’s kill being far more terrifying than the kill itself.  The terror is increased when its revealed that Freddy possessed Jesse to kill Ron and his covered in his blood.  Freddy’s reflection can be seen in the wall mirror taunting and laughing at Jesse, making the kill that much more disturbing.


4. Freddy: Escaping Souls

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)

Without a doubt the most visually complex and dramatic Freddy death.  It’s a well-done kill, combining the use of different effects, including live actors and radio-controlled limbs.  With Alice’s help, the souls of Freddy’s victim destroy him from the inside out, breaking his jaw wide open, allowing their souls to escape.  As gory as it can seem, its also a scene of triumph for the victims, as they are no longer under Freddy’s control.  And hearing the voices of the child victims, some laughing, while others cry for their mom, as they float away, also makes the defeat a that much more rewarding, and eye watering.


3. Dan: Need for Speed

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989)

Despite Freddy initially tormenting Dan in his truck, the real focus of this kill, is during the motorcycle ride.  As Dan tires to escape Freddy on a motorcycle, the motorcycle is really Freddy in disguise.  The motorcycle takes over Dan, painfully stabbing itself into his limbs, face, and hands, absorbing his blood, and making him a part of the motorcycle.  A kill so gruesome, it was heavily edited by the MPAA (Motion Picture of America Association) in the original film debut.  However, this controversial kill can be seen in its entirety, unedited, in all of its horrific glory.


2. Debbie: Roach Motel

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)

Considered by many as the grossest kill of the Nightmare series, there are visual similarities between this scene and other iconic horror scenes.  For instance, Debbie’s slow and painful transformation into a cockroach, resembles David’s first transformation into a werewolf, in An American Werewolf in London.  You can’t help but to feel her pain and cringe, as her arms fall off, unveiling cockroach legs.  Also, like The Fly, you see and hear an insects-human hybrid’s spine-chilling call for help, knowing they cannot be saved.  After seeing Freddy squish Debbie to death, in a roach motel, you won’t be able to look at the traps the same away again.


1. Tina: Ceiling Death

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Both the first kill for the Nightmare series and the most infamous.  Tina is stabbed by Freddy in her nightmare.  An invisible Freddy, is able to cross into the real world, as he drags Tina on her bedroom’s ceiling, before dropping her lifeless body on her bed.  This iconic kill scene was filmed in a rotating set, without CGI, mystifying viewers.  Fun fact, this scene was inspired by the classic Hollywood musical star Fred Astaire’s ceiling dance, from Royal Wedding.  It is also listed by New York Magazine’s entertainment site Vulture, as one of, “The 100 Scares That Shaped Horror”, for the 1980’s.

The Frida Cinema Film Event Post #21

Rob Zombie Double-Feature — Presented by HorrorBuzz

Rob Zombie Double Feature poster

The family that slays together stays together! In morbid anticipation of Rob Zombie’s 3 From Hell—resuming the adventures of everyone’s favorite murderous family, the Fireflys—HorrorBuzz presents the Rob Zombie Double-Feature!

On Friday, September 20th, the special ticket-price of $13 gets you in for the first two Firefly films: 2003’s House of 1,000 Corpses and its 2005 sequel The Devil’s Rejects.


House of 1,000 Corpses poster

House of 1,000 Corpses is Zombie’s directorial debut and his bloody love letter to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Hills Have Eyes, and the low budget slasher films of the 1970’s. A group of unsuspecting and naive teens are taking a road trip into the middle of rural America, searching for a local legend, a maniac named, “Doctor Satan.” They pick up an attractive hitchhiker, Baby Firefly (Sherri Moon Zombie), who lures the teens into a trap, where her homicidal family, the Fireflys, are just itching to make them the prey of their blood-lust debauchery.




The Devil's Rejects poster

Considered by many to be Zombie’s best film, The Devil’s Rejects picks up where House of 1,000 Corpses leaves off. The local Sheriff’s department, attempting to arrest the Fireflys for their crimes, are met with a hail of gunfire, leading to an intensely violent and deadly shootout. Baby (Sherri Moon Zombie) and Otis (Bill Moseley) Firefly escape and subsequently rescue their father, Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig). The united Fireflys then go on a murderous rampage, with Sheriff Wydell always one-step behind. An homage to 1967’s Bonnie and Clyde, the film’s final shootout sequence is among the most memorable in the Rob Zombie oeuvre.



The Frida Cinema Film Event Post #20

Strangers on a Train — Film Club Members Screening

Strangers on a Train poster


Handpicked by you, members of The Frida Cinema, we present Alfred Hitchcock’s 1951 film adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s psychological crime thriller, Strangers on a Train.

While on a train, tennis star Guy Haines (Farley Granger), innocently engages in a conversation with fellow passenger Bruno Antony (Robert Walker), half-listening to his wild homicidal theory of getting away with the perfect crime of “exchange murders.” Each man would kill the other’s undesirable person, giving them both the freedom they desperately crave. And with each murder committed by a motiveless stranger to the victim, neither man would be suspected of the crime. However, Guy doesn’t take Bruno or his “bargain” seriously, but acts as though he’s interested, giving Bruno the illusion of an agreement. After Guy’s estranged wife is found murdered, he’s thrown into Bruno’s whirlwind of death, destruction, blackmail, and madness.

Listed by Parade Magazine as #6 in its, “10 Greatest films of Alfred Hitchcock,” Strangers on a Train is “…one of Hitchcock’s most stylish and perfectly paced thrill rides” and an “…edgy and morbid take on human nature.”

Strangers on a Train is an admirable demonstration of Alfred Hitchcock’s virtuosity in the area of suspense dramas.” — THR Staff, The Hollywood Reporter

“Hitchcock was above all the master of great visual set pieces, and there are several famous sequences in Strangers on a Train.” — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

“Classic nail-biter is a must for thriller fans.” — Scott G. Mignola, Common Sense Media


The Frida Cinema Film Event Post #19

Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (Atame!)



The Frida Cinema’s Pedro Almodóvar retrospective continues with the Spanish director’s controversial film Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!

Lonely orphan Ricky (Antonio Banderas) has just discharged from a mental facility, his dreams of stability, love, marriage, and children focused squarely upon Marina (Victoria Abril), an actress with whom he once had a one-night-stand. Learning Marina is on a movie set, Ricky goes to meet her, but she dismisses him, not remembering their encounter. He then follows her home, making Marina his prisoner in the hope that she will eventually fall in love with him. Worried that Marina is not at the film’s after-party, her sister Lola (Loles Leon), begins to search for her. Meanwhile, sparks begin to fly between Marina and Ricky as she develops feelings for him. Will Lola ever find Marina? If she does, will Marina want to leave Ricky?

Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! is notable for its introduction of Antonio Banderas to American audiences. It was also among the first films to receive the MPAA‘s then-new NC-17 rating, which ultimately proved to be as stigmatizing as its predecessor. The film still carries the NC-17, meaning No Children 17 and Under Admitted.

“One of those movies that makes you laugh if you sit back and absorb the entire absurd situation at once” — Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid

“A writer-director driven by his passion, Almodóvar allows his movies to moan and sweat and writhe.” — Rita Kempley, Washington Post

Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! comes from a transitional phase in Almodóvar’s career, one in which he was using bigger budgets to home his aesthetic, create characters with greater depth, but still indulge a punkish urge to shock.” — Keith Phipps, The Dissolve





The Frida Cinema Film Event Post #18

Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles

Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles

Spotlighting two gifted Hispanic directors for Hispanic Heritage month is the Spanish animated film Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles—directed by director/visual affects artist Salvador Simo (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales)—about the one of the godfathers of the Surrealist Movement, director Luis Buñuel.

After his first solo film project, L’Age d’Or (Age of Gold), causes a scandal, Luis Buñuel is left with a shattered reputation and penniless. When his friend, Ramón Acin, offers to fund his next film, the short documentary, Las Hurdes: Land Without Bread, Luis jumps at the chance. Though Luis initially envisions the project as a shock documentary, the more involved he gets in the film, the more he has to face himself and the real-life impact of his artistic ambitions.

Based on the true story of Luis Buñuel’s adventure of filming Las Hurdes, the animated Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles beautifully depicts both surrealist imagery and the struggles of reality.

“Based on a graphic novel, this terrific Spanish toon explores the making of Luis Bunuel’s Las Hurdes—and by extension, the director himself.” — Peter Debruge, Variety

Buñuel is above all a good story elegantly told, transcending its obviously niche appeal and showing that Spanish animation, following last year’s multiple award-winning Another Day of Life, is looking healthy.” — Jonathan Holland, Hollywood Reporter

“[A] beautiful reaction of the filming of Las Hurdes.” — Adrea G. Bermejo, Cinemania

The Frida Cinema Film Event Post #17

Hairspray — Volunteer of the Month Pick

Our Volunteer of the Month pick is brought to you by Daniela Anguiano—John Waters’ original 1988 cult musical, Hairspray!

Baltimore, Michigan 1962—Tracy Turnblad (Ricki Lake) and her friend Penny audition for The Corny Collins Show. Despite being a plus-sized teenager, she lands a recurring role on the show and inadvertently sparks a rivalry with reigning dance queen Amber Von Tussle. Tracy then uses her newfound celebrity status to promote racial integration. This leads to an explosive conclusion as the two compete for the title of Miss Auto Show 1963.

Featuring drag queen Divine in his final role, Hairspray‘s blend of quirky fun and rebelliousness is further complemented by performances from music icons Sonny Bono (Sonny and Cher), Deborah Harry (Blondie), and Ruth Brown.

“A deliriously fast and funny satire of the ’60s that marks John Waters’ best shot yet at mainstream audiences.” — Kevin Tomas, Los Angeles Times 

“The movie is a bubble-headed series of teenage crises and crushes, altering with historically accurate choreography of such forgotten dances as the Madison and the Roach.” — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

“John Waters’ appreciation for the tacky side of life is in full flower in Hairspray, a slight but often highly assuming diversion about integration, big girls’ fashions and music-mad teens in 1962 Baltimore.” — Variety

The Frida Cinema Film Event Post #16

A Boy Named Charlie Brown

The Peanuts gang makes its way from the comic strip to the big screen in the 1969 classic, A Boy Named Charlie Brown.

After his little league baseball team lose the first game of the year, Charlie Brown doubts if he could ever win at anything. The next day, Linus suggests that he enter in the class spelling bee. Surprisingly, Charlie wins and goes on to the national spelling bee. To bring him luck, Linus lends Charlie his beloved blue blanket. But Linus soon cannot live without his blanket, so he and Charlie’s dog Snoopy travel to New York to retrieve it. When Charlie misplaces it, the three find themselves on a series of misadventures.

A beloved animated classic, A Boy Named Charlie Brown garnered an Academy Award nomination for jazz musician Vince Guaraldi’s original score.

“Classic Peanuts film is as charming and relevant as ever.” — Renee Schonfeld, Common Scene Media

A Boy Named Charlie Brown, is a fun leaning experience.  It was for me and millions of other kids in the early 1970’s.  it has a great message and an uncompromising way of making its point at the end.  Kids need this movie.” — Paul Chambers, Movie Chambers

“The appeal of Schultz’s pop philosophy hasn’t faded in forty years: this kind of sincerity can’t be faked.” — Peter Canavese, Groucho Reviews