Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone and thanks for continuing to read my blog! The day has finally come, and I still really have no plans. If I can just scare some trick or treaters, watch a couple horror flicks, and drink a few pumpkin beers, i'll be pretty well satisfied. My original plan was to actually dress up for once this year and do something relatively exciting, but there's not much to do around these parts. I wanted to pick up a spiffy Michael Myers costume and prowl around the town, but I really couldn't afford it. Any decent Myers mask out there (I wasn't about to walk out of the house wearing this on my head) goes for at least $60 bucks then ya gotta pick up the whole jumpsuit deal, so I just kinda gave up on it. Although a Myers costume would definetly come in handy several other times throughout the year, so it wouldn't just be a one shot type deal, but o well. And ya ya, I know being Mikey for Halloween is nothing original, but i've always wanted to dress up as him. It's been a kind of lifelong dream of mine. Maybe next year.... No fuck that! Definetly next year! Mark my words!

Whatever I do end up doing today/tonight, i'll of course post all about it sometime this weekend, for anyone who cares.

For any fans of Fright Rags t-shirts (if you're not one, you should be!), they've got an awesome 31% off deal on any shirt today only. No catch. Just pick a shirt ya want, enter the code HALLOW31 in the coupon box by midnight, and get your 31% off. It's that simple. They got a brand new design from the Creepshow installment The Crate which is totally fuckin awesome as usual. I may have to pick this one up myself.

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Hm, what else did I wanna say. Oh ya. Just saw over on YouTube that Wes Craven was asked to pull a couple of his favorite Halloween themed videos from the site and present them on his channel. There's a few interesting things on there, so be sure to check that out. Last year, they had Rob Zombie do the same thing and in case ya missed that, check that out too.

Also, I didn't even realize this but Wrong Turn 2 director Joe Lynch has his own blog on blogger and he just posted all of the horror movies he's gonna be watching with his lady for the big day. He's got some good shit on there (fellow Halloween 3 fan!) and if ya need any suggestions for what to watch today, he may be able to help ya out. So head on over to Lynch's blog for that.

I guess that's really all. I gotta get to bed so I can get up relatively early and make the most of the day. So again, Happy Halloween and do everything you can to celebrate tommorow because when it's gone, it's gone for a whole long year! And don't forget to get out to all of the Halloween stores in your area bright and early on November 1st and stock up on all the clearance shit ya can before they head outta town for the next year! Hm, why doesn't someone just go and open up a year round Halloween store...

UPDATE! I just noticed that my post on The Many Masks Of Michael Myers is featured on the Imdb homepage hit list (2nd time!) for the day and all weekend! What an awesome fuckin Halloween gift. Three full days of worldwide exposure on the greatest weekend of the year. What more could I ask for? Hopefully this brings a lot of new viewership. Ok, now i'm really going to bed. If I can even sleep amongst all this excitement.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Trick 'r Treat - The Greatest Horror Film You've Never Seen?

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Now I haven't seen this movie yet, as most haven't considering it's not out, but I don't think i'd be able to sleep another night if I didn't at least briefly get in on the buzz for Trick 'r Treat, perhaps the most anticipated horror film ever. So here's a little backstory...

Trick 'r Treat is an anthology film, written and directed by X-Men 2 and Superman Returns scribe Michael Dougherty, that tells four different stories that take place within hours of each other one Halloween night and they're all tied together by Sam, a burlap sack wearing little boy/demon who appears in all of them. Here are the four stories, thanks to Wikipedia....

A terrifying principal (Dylan Baker) with a serial killer attitude teaches one neighbor the true meaning of Halloween, Laurie (True Blood's Anna Paquin), a young woman dressed as little red riding hood, is stalked by a mysterious hooded figure at a local Halloween Festival; a group of pranksters goes too far and discovers the horrifying truth buried in a local urban legend of a school bus massacre; and a cantankerous old hermit (Brian Cox), is visited by a strange trick-or-treater (Sam) with a few bones to pick.

Now, check out the trailer...



Now all the positive buzz for this movie isn't coming solely from the trailers or the plot description. Most horror insiders have in fact seen the film. Ya see, it was made several years ago and was slated for release LAST Halloween. As in 2007. The studio ended up pushing it back and then pushing it back some more and now there's not even an official release date, but it looks like it will be out sometime in 2009 and may even go straight to dvd. Thousands upon thousands of terrible films are released every year in theatres, and this movie that most are hailing as one of the greatest horror movies of all time can't even get a spot?! Something's seriously wrong here. What's even more bizarre is that the studio, Warner Bros, was so keen on the movie that last year they put out t-shirts, masks, action figures, and all kinds of other goods which you can buy...but you cannot see the movie! So what's going on here?

Doughtery himself has stated two possibilites that are perhaps contributing to the movie not being released. 1, because WB doesn't know how to market an anthology film. And 2, because 14 children die by the time the credits roll. But the movie was already given the ok to shoot and WB was obviously heavily backing it at one point, so neither of those really explains anything.

As for the reviews from those who have layed eyes on it? Harry Knowles from Aint It Cool News called Trick 'r Treat the "best horror film i've seen since I was a kid." Alex Billington from firstshowing.net hailed it as "the only extraordinary horror movie i've truly ever loved." Mark Harris from about.com referred to it as "one of the best horror releases of the 21st century." Dread Central stated that they "cant imagine a single horror fan that won't fall head over heels in love with it." And Hatchet director Adam Green happily stated to Bloody Disgusting that it's "the best fucking movie i've probably ever seen." I've yet to hear a single review for this movie that hasn't been amazingly positive.

Write Warner Bros an e-mail, send them a letter, do whatever you gotta do. Let them know that you demand Trick 'r Treat and you demand it RIGHT NOW! On the BIG SCREEN! But don't be too demanding, state your thoughts in as eloquent and passionate a way as possible or else it'll fall on deaf ears. I don't know how much longer I can wait for this bad boy, so i'm busting my pen out as we speak.

Also, add director Mike Dougherty on MySpace and help spread the word. And while you're there, check out all the images and reviews and other exciting Trick 'r Treat related info he's got on there. I'll be keeping regular updates on the status of the film on here as they come in.

Happy (almost) Halloween!

From The Vault - Debut Film Roles Of Today's Horror Icons - Episode 1

Everyone always seems to be into those "Before They Were Stars" type shows, so I thought it would be cool to start a new little series on here where i'd find the earliest film or television roles, be it as a mere extra or an actual supporting role, of popular genre actors and upload the clips, pictures, and info here for all to see. I already did a piece about the early horror film roles of todays established mainstream stars here, but now let's take a look at the first on screen appearances of todays favorite horror actors!

In this premiere episode were gonna head into our time machines and travel all the way back to 1986 for Tony "Candyman" Todd's feature film debut!

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While Todd's debut was actually alongside a young Steve Buscemi in a little known 1986 film called Sleepwalk, which is not even available on DVD, we're gonna take a look at his second role as Sgt. Warren in Oliver Stone's war epic Platoon, six years before his breakout performance as the hook handed bee spewing title character in Candyman!

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While morphine addicted Sgt. Warren is mostly a background character, Todd does get a few lines to speak and he even gets to play with a little of the red stuff of which he would become so accustomed to in future roles. About an hour into the film, Warren is shot in the stomach by enemy fire and is later seen being helicoptered out of the war zone. Yes, folks, Tony Todd is one of the few to survive Vietnam! It should also be noted that an important scene of character development where Warren shoots up morphine was intended on being in the film, but didn't make the cut. Had this scene been in, he probably would have been a more stand out character. Instead, his morphine addiction is only really alluded to.

Check out Tony Todd in action in Platoon! Other than this scene, his only spoken words in the movie are "roger that."



Some of Todd's other early acting roles were in a 1987 episode of the television series 21 Jump Street, again alongside Platoon co-star Johnny Depp, and perhaps his second most memorable performance in the lead role of Tom Savini's 1990 Night of the Living Dead remake.

Leave comments and let me know what horror genre actors early works you'd like to see profiled in future From The Vaults!

Giamatti Speaks On Bubba Nosferatu

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Aint It Cool News just scored some very interesting news and information about Bubba Nosferatu : Curse of the She Vampires, the upcoming Bubba Ho-Tep prequel that was mentioned after the end credits of that masterpiece. I say interesting because it's not exactly good news. The info comes from an interview done with Paul Giamatti, who has already been cast as Coloner Parker, Elvis' real life manager.

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First off, in perhaps the most depressing news of the year, Bruce Campbell is not returning to play Elvis. "Every effort was made by us, he just didn’t want to do it and he was cool about it. He just didn’t want to do it, which is a bummer, because part of the reason I love that movie is him… a big part of it. He’s fantastic and I’ve always loved him. I’m a big fan of his, but he didn’t want to do it, which is totally cool." Well then just don't make the movie, I say. A sequel to Ho-Tep without Campbell in the lead role is just a pointless thing to do. Like Giamatti said, he's a huge part of what made that movie so awesome, in fact he's the main thing that made that movie so awesome. How can you even think of making a sequel without him?! It's almost like making a new Batman and having someone new play The Joker. O wait, they're probably doing that too. So who could possibly be filling his shoes? Giamatti says, "....now we have got Ron Perlman (Hellboy) interested in playing Elvis." Now I love Ron Perlman, don't get me wrong. But Ron Perlman playing Elvis? Is this an April Fool's joke?!? Perlman is pretty much the furthest thing from Elvis I could possibly imagine.

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He also went on to talk a little bit about the plot of the movie, which we only knew up till now was about Elvis shooting a film in Louisiana and running into a coven of she-vampires....

"I don’t want to give too much of it away! So yeah I’ll be playing Col. Parker, who… You know part of the great thing about this is not only are these wonderful genre movies, but he’s actually taking a weird, interesting take on the whole Elvis myth and kind of investigating the whole Elvis myth in a really interesting way, so it’s got a lot of stuff about Col. Parker being responsible for a lot of what happened to Elvis and kind of literally making him a vampire in some ways, you know? A kind of a blood sucker… It plays on a lot of things, this movie, in a great way and it’s got Sitting Bull in it and there’s a peyote trip in it that is amazing and it’s just a big leap beyond the other movie. It’s ten times more insane and bizarre and it’s great and hilarious, too. It’s funnier than the other one is even. It still ends up being this great character study of this Elvis guy."

You can check out the full interview right here.

Giamatti seems geniunely (very) interested about the film and he's got pretty high hopes for it so I think it's still got a lot of potential, but please, Mr. Campbell, COME BACK! I'm of the mind that Bubba Ho-Tep is one of the greatest films of all time and i'd almost love to see Brucey back for another one more than i'd like to see a new Evil Dead movie. Well, maybe not. But still.

Leave some comments and let me know who you think would be the best choice to play Elvis now that Campbell's officially out of the picture. And take a trip over to the official Bubba Ho-Tep website to stay posted on the latest news and to play the hit game Stab The Scarab, where you...stab scarabs!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Living Behind The Undead

Have you ever been watching a zombie movie and just couldn't shake the thought of what a particular zombie would look like without the makeup? Have you asked yourself 'who is this actor', 'haven't I seen him/her before', and/or 'what the hell is he/she up to these days'? No? It's just me? You were too caught up in enjoying the movie to even think such a useless thought? Well that's why i'm here to think it for you!

Now we're not talking about the zombies who start out as normal human beings here. What fun is that? We're talking about the mysterious ones who are already zombies when the cameras start to roll. So how about we peel back all that pesky zombie makeup, clean these mofos up, and take a look at who the real men and women are behind five of my personal favorite zombies!

Bub - Day of the Dead - Howard Sherman (aka Sherman Howard)

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If you ask the majority of genre fans who their favorite zombie is, they'll inevitably tell you it's Bub, the smartest and kindest of all the undead. In fact, even Romero says Sherman is one of the best zombie actors he's ever worked with. While he has been in almost 100 films and television shows, including Lethal Weapon 2, Star Trek, Seinfeld, Law & Order, and even Superboy (where he played Lex Luthor), Sherman will forever be known as lovable and cuddly zombie Bub. Funny story about Sherman ; I met him at a convention a couple years back and walked off with his autograph, accidently forgetting to pay! Well my guilt got the better of me so I returned a few minutes later and threw in an extra dollar with my payment for some reason. It ended up being pretty awkward and I felt like he was a homeless dude who I was giving pity money to. I tried to avoid his table for the remainder of the weekend due to my humiliation.

Big Daddy - Land of the Dead - Eugene Clark

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Big Daddy is certaintly one of the more memorable and likable zombies to ever grace the screen. Before he began his acting career way back in the 70's, Clark was a college football player who was actually selected in the 9th round of the NFL draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. While he never appeared in an NFL game, he did play 20 games in the Canadian Football League. Clark had been a working actor for over 3 decades before he landed the role of Big Daddy, appearing in The Twilight Zone, Kung Fu, and a host of other television shows and films in both Canada and the U.S. He was last seen alongside Sam Jackson in Resurrecting The Champ and in the Stir Of Echoes sequel. I also got the opportunity to meet him at a convention and he was a real awesome dude and the signed Land of the Dead shirt proudly hangs on my wall to this day.

Number 9 - Land of the Dead - Jennifer Baxter

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Baseball loving 'Number 9' was probably the most memorable female zombie to me....that is, before I saw Zombie Strippers. She was also the hottest zombie around, but I think that trophy has also been taken away. But there's no denying that both in and out of the makeup, Baxter is a true undead babe. Prior to Land, Baxter was in a multitude of Canadian television shows and commercials and a few American films like Frequency, Knockaround Guys, and Donald Trump biopic Trump Unauthorized, where she played Marla Maples. Post Land she appeared in the '05 remake of Dark Water, television show The New Adventures of Old Christine, and can now be seen in a leading role in the popular Canadian tv show Billable Hours. Number 9 is one zombie I wouldn't mind getting bitten by.

Tarman - Return of the Living Dead 1 & 2 - Allan Trautman

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Who doesn't love the Tarman! He's certaintly one of the more unique and interesting of all zombie lore. I bet ya didn't expect him to look like that without all the black goo on him! I bet you also didn't expect that Trautman went on to work as a puppeteer for Jim Henson and The Muppets in 1990 and then for Dinosaurs in '91! He also did puppet work for Dr. Doolittle and both Men In Black flicks and has been the voice of many Muppets as well as the 'BBQ Pig' in Monkeybone. Who knew!?

Victor Pascow - Pet Sematary - Brad Greenquist

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While not a zombie film in the traditional sense, one cannot argue the fact that Pet Sematary is most definetly a zombie movie. There's not wild lumbering packs of the recently deceased chewing on the flesh and brains of their human counterparts, but it's dead people being brought back to life nonetheless and zombie ghost Victor Pascow has always been one of the most terrifying members of the undead to me. The thing with Pascow is that he's a very human zombie. What I mean is, we see his final moments of life after being struck by an automobile, and we feel empathy for him. He's not just some wild zombie on the loose that needs to be stopped. He's a talking human who's just died and is now haunting the characters of the film and I think that makes him so much creepier than the rest. Sematary was one of Greenquist's first film roles and since the movie he's appeared on Law & Order, Star Trek, Nash Bridges, Six Feet Under(i'm gonna have to go back and check that episode out!), and most recently the smash hits Heroes and Medium.

So what have we learned here? There seems to be two common links between all of these actors. 1, their roles as zombies are seemingly their only forays into the horror genre and 2, they will probably be best known for those zombie roles. But that's not the worst thing that can happen as it's a pretty cool honor to be immortalized as a cinema zombie icon, is it not?!

Now invite some friends over and pop in Return of the Living Dead and dazzle them with the knowledge that the guy who played Tarman did the puppet work for Dinosaurs! If that little bit of trivia doesn't get ya laid, you just might be a hopeless soul.

I Talked To A Horror Icon Tonight! And Learned About Vampire Bats! And Watched A Shitty Movie!

Had a pretty interesting and eventful night tonight. First up, I had a little chat with the guy behind the upcoming horror site Benevolent Street, which is a site i'm gonna be writing for once it's all up. There's nothing on there yet, but he said it's beginning to take shape and should be all set fairly soon. So keep that bookmarked and i'll keep you posted when that gets up and running and I begin to write for it. Looking forward to that but i'm never gonna stop writing on here!

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I also had a little chat with David Hess, the guy who played Krug in the original Last House on the Left. That's always been a favorite movie of mine and i've always loved him and everything he's done, so that was really cool. It started off by me just messaging him because I was curious about where Last House was filmed. I had always heard parts were filmed on Long Island, where I live, but apparently that's not the case. He cleared that up and then was nice enough to answer a couple questions I had for him regarding the remake of Last House. He said he hasn't seen the film nor was he asked to be a part of it in any way, but he might have played the role of the father if he had been asked. How cool would that have been! Pay at least a little homage to the original film you're profiting off of! Why even remake a movie like this anyway though? The whole appeal of it was its gritty and realistic nature. And having a pretty boy actor playing Krug just dont cut it for me.

Anyway, i've always wanted to meet Hess but never see him at any conventions so I told him he should go to one to which he again said he would, but was never invited to any he had interest in. So I told him about the always awesome Monster Mania convention that's held twice a year in New Jersey and, with his go ahead, played a little matchmaker and dropped the promoter a line telling him David was interested if he'd only be asked. So hopefully i'll be seeing him there come March! Will keep you posted on how that all goes. Really cool dude and it was a pleasure to talk to him and i'm hoping to someday get a full length interview. Check out his official website.

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Later in the night I went to the last little Library seminar of the Halloween season. I was under the notion that it was gonna be a guy reading from a fictional vampire novel he wrote, but it turned out to be this pretty cool dude Bill Schutt reading from his new book Dark Banquet, which is a nonfiction book about vampire bats, leeches, ticks, and all kinds of other blood feeding creatures. It ended up being a lot cooler than what I had originally thought I was attending. Lots of interesting little facts about all those blood suckers out there. It was a pretty intimate setting as not many people attended and most of the people that were there were family and friends of the author, so I kinda felt like the odd man out. Despite this turn out, he's apparently a pretty legit author and has been interviewed by many reputable places and I think he even said he's speaking for 200 people at the Museum of Natural History or something tommorow. He was a really interesting and charismatic dude and I think I may have to pick up a copy of the book. O wait, I have no money. Maybe i'll borrow it from the library.

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And finally, just got back from my friends house where we intended on watching a few horror flicks to prepare us for Halloween, but we only ended up getting to one. And what a piece of shit it was. Lucio Fulci's movies are usually, at the very least, highly entertaining. But good god, did this one suck. Sodoma's Ghost is one of his later films about evil nazi ghosts (sounds awesome, I know) and the only way I can really sum it up is to say this ; imagine a Fulci movie.....WITH ZERO GORE. Well now that's not really a Fulci movie, is it? There was pretty much no gore and without that, all due respect Mr. Fulci, but there's not much goin for ya. The Beyond or Zombie, this one was not.

Recommendation Of The Week

Every week, I like to recommend a more obscure lesser known horror film that a good portion of the population probably hasn't seen. But this week, i'm going in a different direction by suggesting you watch, or re-watch, a film from one of the biggest horror movie franchises around.

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Halloween 3 : Season Of The Witch

I want you to remove all negative feelings you have towards this film. I know, it's a Halloween movie and it's got nothing to do with Michael Myers. Get over it. Remove the "Halloween 3" from the title and pretend it's just "Season of the Witch", a totally stand alone horror film that's got nothing to do with the Halloween series. My belief is that it's actually a pretty damn good movie, people are just too blinded by the Myers-less hatred to see that. With Halloween literally just right around the corner, this movie is perfect viewing for right now and would probably be one of the classic movies genre fans pop in every year around this time if they weren't so biased against it. So what's so good about it?

Just take a look at this plot. Silver Shamrock Novelties is a Halloween mask company, the most popular of the year in the fact. But it's run by an evil dude with some pretty sinister Halloween night plans. He's created three special masks ; a witch, a pumpkin, and a skeleton. Now each of these three masks has a computer chip implanted in it that, when the Silver Shamrock commercial is played on Halloween night, will activate and make the children who are wearing the masks heads dissolve and spew insects and snakes. How cool is that!? The lives at stake in this movie are pretty much solely children and with three very generic masks that kids would surely eat up, you can bet your ass a lot of 'em are gonna die.

The film stars frequent Carpenter collaborator Tom Atkins. You may remember that sexy face from The Fog and Escape From New York. I've always been a big Atkins fan and seeing him in a movie just makes it feel special to me. He's also a hell of a nice guy, as i've met him at a couple conventions. Jamie Lee Curtis has a small uncredited voice only role as both a telephone operator and a curfew announcer and there's even an appearance from Nancy Kyes, who played Annie Brackett in the original Halloween. And Season of the Witch isn't totally absent of Michael Myers either. Dick Warlock, the actor who played him in Halloween 2, plays one of Silver Shamrocks henchmen (who's a bit Myers-like) and in one scene where Tom Atkins is at the local pub, the tv quickly flips past an advertisement for an airing of Carpenter's Halloween. Not that you'll get your Myers fill from that, but he's in there and there's at least a few nods to the Halloween franchise as we know and love it.

There's one particularly brutal and memorable scene where a family is locked in a "testing room" by the Silver Shamrock robot employees, under the guise that they want the father's opinion of their commercial. They give the son one of the Halloween masks and play the commercial which activates the chip in his mask as a way to make sure it's all gonna work properly on the mass public. Sure enough, the boys head totally disintegrates and hundreds of snakes and bugs pour out of his mask, which then kill his mother and father. The gore all around in the movie, while not too excessive, is pretty fun and cool and way more over the top then is usually seen from the Halloween films. Skulls are ripped apart, heads are torn off, and it's just a wild and fun time.

The ending to this movie is fuckin awesomely cynical. You probably expect Atkins to save the day and prevent the commercial from airing, thus saving the lives of all the towns children, right? WRONG! While he manages to get most of the channels showing the commercial to take it off the air, one does not and while it's not shown, it's implied that all the kids wearing the masks and watching their tv's at that moment meet horrific ends. The movie ends with Atkins frantically screaming into the telephone to stop the commercial while a couple kids sit back and watch, the implication being that thousands upon thousands of children are dying in that moment.

So you may be wondering, why the decision to have no Michael Myers in this? John Carpenter himself decided that after Myers was killed in part 2, they should turn the franchise into a Twilight Zone like yearly anthology based around Halloween time. When the film flopped, the decision was made to bring Myers back from the dead. Whether you like this one or not, you've gotta applaud Carpenter for wanting to take a chance with his hugely successful franchise and for not merely wanting to capitalize on his money making villain. Dare I say, Halloween 3 is one of my favorites in the entire series. Like I said, get over the fact that Mikeys not in it, and you'll probably enjoy it. After all, there's more than enough Myers material in other installments to satisfy your appetites.

So go ahead. Give it another shot.

I also recommend :
2LDK
Story Of Ricky
Intruder
Near Dark
Castle Freak
The Gate
Three Extremes - Cut
May

Review - Zombie Strippers!

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When a secret government chemo-virus that re-animates the dead is unleashed, the military comes in to solve the problem and put an end to all the pesky zombies. The mission looks like a success, but one of the soldiers gets bitten and doesn't tell anyone. He knows doing so would get his brain shot right out of his head so instead, he hides out in a local strip club and eventually bites one of the dancers (Jenna Jameson). Zombie Jenna then re-animates and does an incredibly hot zombie pole dance and soon starts biting others in the club and the entire place becomes overrun with stripping zombies. While at first they're a huge hit (the club patrons want nothing to do with the living strippers anymore) and money maker for the club and it's owner (Robert Englund), things start to get a little out of hand and the non zombified club workers must fight for their lives to kill all the ZOMBIE STRIPPERS!

Should you see it? YES! YES! YES! But only if it's been a lifelong dream of yours to see zombie Jenna Jameson shoot billiard balls out of her undead vagina. So yes, if you're reading this blog, you should see it.

The first 30 minutes of this movie are kind of off putting and may turn off some viewers but I implore you, don't give up on it. There's bad CGI and it's just plain poorly executed and comes off as a lame attempt at making a Planet Terror type film. But then it gets good. Real good. It's almost as if 1/3 of the way through the shooting of the movie, someone realized the amazing potential of the plot, fired the director, and replaced him with a more competent one. It really feels like it's made by two different filmmakers. The gore effects get better and it starts to get realllllly fuckin awesome. Once the zombie soldier bites and turns Jenna Jameson, all hell breaks loose and it's some of the most fun i've ever had watching a movie.

Sure, Jenna Jameson may not look nearly as good as she used to, at least in the face area, but she makes for one of the sexiest zombies ever to grace a movie screen. The whole movie is chock full of naked living and undead hot chicks and it's by far and away the sexiest zombie film ever committed to celluloid. You'll get blue balls just watching it, unless of course you take care of yourself a few times throughout. There's barely a 2 minute span in the movie where there's not a naked chick gracing the screen.

Robert Englund is absolutely awesome and hilarious in this movie, but isn't he always? I've really loved a lot of his most recent work and he really seems to be on top of his game. He plays the crazy racist germaphobic owner of the zombie strip club and almost every line of dialogue out of his mouth is gold. It's awesome to see such an amazing actor use his talents for such fun and over the top material. He never takes himself too seriously and that's why he's so loved among genre fans. There's some clear parallels between his character and George Bush, as seen by his constant attempts to cover up the zombie outbreak and brush it under the rug for the benefit of his pockets. Dont worry, this is far from a politically driven flick, but the anti-Bush sentiments of the filmmaker are made no secret.

There are some problems in the film, but they're all overshadowed by the awesome aspects. The scenes of mass zombie killing by gunfire were pulled off pretty poorly and there was far too much use of CGI, but sometimes even the CGI looked pretty good. Other than those two minor problems, this may very well be the greatest film ever made.

I can't speak enough praise for Zombie Strippers or effectively convey just how amazing this movie is, you just need to see it. It just came out this past Tuesday on DVD and Blu-ray and if you watch movies to have a good time, go blind buy this movie RIGHT NOW. It's one of the most unique, clever, and sexy horror movies i've seen in a long time and it's surely destined to become a cult classic. Robert Englund, Jenna Jameson, and zombies. What's not to love?! It's movies like this one that make it worth wading through hundreds of crap movies to find. These are the movies I live for.

Someone needs to open a zombie themed strip club asap and I really need to make a Zombie Strippers drinking game. If you've seen this movie, please comment below and make your opinions known!

And now, as a reward for reading all that, I give you topless zombie Jenna Jameson!

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My Favorite Horror Movie Themes

Once upon a time there were not soundtracks for horror films, there were scores. Scores have become a bit of a lost art in the horror movie and yet they contributed so much to making most of the major horror classics what they are today. Gone are the atmospheric and creepy tunes that set the tone for the horrors to come. They've been all but replaced with the most popular rock songs of the moment and it's my personal belief that this has had a huge negative impact on the horror movies of recent. They just don't make 'em like they used to. If you need any proof of this, go pop in The Hitcher remake. The All American Rejects don't exactly inspire fear. Nor does Nazareth's Love Hurts put you in the mood for Michael Myers, does it? Can you even imagine Halloween without John Carpenter's classic tune? Can you imagine The Exorcist without Tubular Bells? I'd personally prefer not to. But everyone already knows and loves scores like these as well as those of films like Psycho, Jaws, Friday the 13th, and Nightmare On Elm Street, so i'm here to talk about some of my personal favorite lesser appreciated horror scores ; some new, most old, and share why I love them so much.

Killer Klowns From Outer Space



While the synth score throughout this whole film is absolutely awesome, it's the main theme song that really captured me. An original song being created just for a movie is a lost art form in it's own right. This theme was done by the 80's punk band The Dickies, while we have composer John Massari to thank for the rest of the score. Whenever I watch the movie it takes a good few days to get this jingle out of my head.

PT Barnum said it so long ago
theres one born every minute don't you know
some make us laugh some make us cry
these klowns honey gonna make you die
everybodys running when the circus comes into their town
everybodys gunning for the likes of the killer klowns
from outer space...

Near Dark



German electronic group Tangerine Dream's beautifully haunting score in Near Dark is one of the main reasons I love the film so much. It really manages to capture exactly what it's about and adds such a layer of atmosphere to the proceedings. In fact, I think this was the first movie i'd ever seen where I really noticed the score and was impacted by it. It almost becomes a character in the film, with very few scenes not having some kind of music in the background.

Candyman



This almost carnival like theme song is a large part of what makes Candyman such a creepy film. Phillip Glass is the mastermind behind it and in fact, this little diddy is the most memorable thing from the entire film for me. It's a jingle that I still to this day often put on in the background as I sit here and type.

Return Of The Living Dead



This fun theme by Francis Haines fits the tone of the horror/comedy to an absolute tee and is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated gems in the annals of horror film scores. Not much else to say about that.

Suspiria



While frequent Argento collaborators Goblin composed the scores for Deep Red and Tenebrae, it was Suspiria that they are perhaps best known for. This score is considered by most to be nothing short of a masterpiece and it has even been re-used for several Hong Kong films of the late 70's-early 80's. The score is as pivotal and important to the film as anything else and the creepy underlying voices throughout the tune add a real sense of dread to the film.

Zombie



Fulci always has awesome music in his movies, and Zombie is certaintly no exception. Fabio Frizzi composed this score as he did with Fulci's The Beyond and City of the Living Dead. Sometimes the music in the movie really doesn't seem to even fit with what's happening on screen, but that off the wall quality is what makes it so cool and memorable. This main theme is fairly simple but manages to tell a story and it's almost impossible to not imagine the scenes in your head as it plays.

Phantasm



Phantasm in it's own right is one of the most unique and underrated horror films of all time. It may not really make much sense when it's all said and done, but it's a hell of a fun ride. This creepy little tune from composer Fred Myrow is a big part of what seperates this one from all the other horror films being poured out at the time, at least to me. I feel like the Tall Man is gonna come turn me into a midget slave just listening to it.

May



I talked a little about this one when I recommended May last week. This score by Jaye Barnes Luckett of the rock band Poperratic is one of the most effective in recent horror history and conveys the sadness and loneliness of the title character beautifully. It's almost as if May herself wrote the music.

Bubba Ho-Tep



There are more than a couple scenes in this movie that, along with the score, give me chills everytime I see it. The scenes of Bruce Campbell as Elvis getting out of his limo and Elvis and 'JFK' respectively walking and wheeling down the rest home corridors in particular are two of such scenes. Brian Tyler managed to create an awesome and even at times quite moving musical accompanient for one of the most misunderstood masterpieces of our time.

While I cannot argue the fact that sometimes rock songs are exactly what a horror movie needs (see : Devil's Rejects), there will never be anything like an awesome score to accompany a horror movie and we must show our appreciation to the filmmaker's who are keeping it alive. Long live the score!

Before I go, credit to YouTube members EineVampyrDesGrauens, PhoohPhah, vedraville, MZapdos, Deliriaframe, Caligula0602, Tarmansbasment, and xxxxasile44xxxxx for uploading all of these babys.

Review : Brotherhood Of Blood

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Should you see it? Absolutely not

Horror vets Sid Haig and Ken Foree star in this tale about a sexy vampire huntress, Carrie, and some dude who are captured by vampires and locked up in a dark cellar. It seems the guy she is locked up with has a brother who the vampires need to find asap and her fellow vamp hunters set out find her before it's too late. Why is it so urgent that they find the brother and will Carrie be saved before she becomes the main course?

Sounds very uninteresting, doesn't it? Well, you can't even imagine how uninteresting it really is. Vampires have never been so dull. This was released two weeks ago straight to dvd from Sam Raimi's Ghost House Underground (a sub-division of Lionsgate) and word is that Raimi himself picked this one to be one of the first dvd's released under the banner. All I can say is, what the fuck was he thinking?! I had actually been looking forward to this for some time given that i'm a huge fan of both Haig and Foree, but my god did it dissapoint.

I'm actually quite embarassed for Haig and Foree. They've worked so long in the genre and have been in so many classic films, and this is the material they're rewarded with? This shitty director was given the chance to have not one but two horror legends in his movie and this is how he used them? You'd think with the two of them signed on, the film would gain some credibility and budget, but not so. It's incredibly amateur and just about everything about it is done poorly. The acting is bad. The lighting is bad. The dialogue is terrible (at one point Haig says, "I was there when I burned him", in reference to the head villain. O ya? You were there when you killed him? YA THINK?!) The gore is awful. The twist is bad. I found zero merit in this movie whatsoever. Come on Haig/Foree, you're better than this crap.

I barely knew what was going on throughout most of the movie and to say I barely cared would be a huge understatement. The fangs on the vamps were way too big and all the actors were struggling to talk through them, which ended up sounding silly. It kept jumping back from the past to the present to the further back in time past and each every time they would announce things like "last night", "2 days ago", "now", "10 minutes ago". It was totally ridiculous and unnecessary and this time change happened with pretty much every new scene. It was a struggle to make it through this movie and I nearly gave up after every five minute period.

The only way I could possibly recommend you see this movie is if you really can't fall asleep one night and have got no Ambien on ya. It'll work like a charm. Seriously, they should build that into the tagline, maybe more people would see it.

You dissapointed me big time with this one Sid Haig, but i'm still voting for you for President!

Exclusive Interview - Hatchet Director Adam Green

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Adam Green started out as a diehard fan of the horror genre, making short films like the hilarious Columbus Day Weekend, wherein Jason and Michael Myers are stalking the same campground...and then end up going gay for each other. He made his feature film directing debut with the comedy Coffee & Donuts, which was made on a shoestring budget of only $400. And then, six years later, Green made his prescence known with a little horror film that could, Hatchet, which is considered by many to be one of the best horror movies in the last decade. Green was awesome enough to take a little time out of his very busy schedule to answer a couple of questions for this here blog.

Before we get to the interview, i'd like you to check out this video from the UK's Frightfest 2007, where Adam gives a little backstory on his career and tells one of the coolest success stories ever, one that will make you an instant Twisted Sister fan.



Just wanna say thank you for Hatchet. Thank you for making a horror film that's not, as the tagline says, "a remake, sequel, or based on a Japanese one", and most of all, thank you for making a movie that reminded us all why we fell in love with the genre in the first place. And oh ya, thanks for bringing practical effects back. That being said, there's been a lot of talk about Hatchet 2 and whether or not you'll even be a part of it. Any exclusive news you'd like to break on that for a tiny little horror blog?

HATCHET made too much money and has far too many fans worldwide for the powers that be to not make a sequel. I'm actually all for it as that was always my goal in creating "Victor Crowley" - to introduce a new villain that we would hopefully get to see lots and lots from. I have the story line all set, the cast and crew foaming at the mouth to return, and Anchor Bay is all ready to go... the only issue is timing. I am already contractually committed to two other bigger films who's schedules keep moving around due to all of the shit that Hollywood has gone through this year. The cast also has their own commitments. The bottom line is that Anchor Bay is saying they want this movie out in theaters for next Fall, so some decisions are going to have to be made soon as to how we make that happen. While I hope it works out that I can be the one at the helm for Hatchet 2, it just may be that there's new blood behind that camera this time around. I gotta say how great it is that everyone is willing to stall the project for this long just to try every last way to do it RIGHT rather than just saying 'fuck it, let's shoot now with someone else'... but there's only so much longer we can wait if we're going to hit that deadline. So stay tuned and let's see how the pieces fall together over the next month or so.

Do you see yourself going the Peter Jackson/Sam Raimi route of moving on to massive budget mainstream films or would you prefer to stay right where you are?

I'm just taking it as it comes. The difference with me is that I actually started in comedy and I don't really have a specific genre that I am aiming for. HATCHET was a fun slasher flick while SPIRAL was a much darker and dramatic piece. My upcoming film GOD ONLY KNOWS is a romantic comedy. I have everything in the pipeline from really disturbing to kids TV shows to sweet and funny to scary as hell. Because I am having success at doing whatever I want, I already feel pretty lucky. 9 out of 10 working Hollywood directors will tell you how all they really want to do is [insert something other than what they're known for here]. I've worked very hard to keep myself alive in multiple genres and be a jack of all trades. I'm an entrepreneur with my own production company. So as long as I'm always getting to do what I feel like doing, I'm happy and I'm in the minority. When HATCHET started to take off and people were calling me "the next _____ for horror!" I was scared shitless. I don't want that. I'm more than that. I appreciate it and I'm certainly proud as hell of what HATCHET delivered for horror fans at the genre's lowest point... but I don't want to be anything other than just Adam Green, a guy who makes the movies he wants to make. Save the horror titles and crowns for someone else as there's plenty of horror directors out there who only want that. That being said- with my upcoming projects the budgets are going up and the names I'm working with are on the A-list, so that's all very exciting to see happening. But it could change in a heartbeat and all be over tomorrow because this town can be evil... so you gotta just go day by day.

I love that quote you had ; "we are not curing cancer here, we're just making life a little more entertaining before we get cancer." I think that sums up the genre (and filmmaking as a whole) pretty well. So what horror films in recent years have entertained you?

Well, this year I enjoyed the hell out of Mike Dougherty's TRICK R TREAT (which I know the rest of the world has yet to be able to see thanks to studio politics) and Gregg Bishop's DANCE OF THE DEAD has quickly become a favorite in my house. I'm a huge fan of horror movies like SLITHER, CLOVERFIELD, GRINDHOUSE, PAN'S LABYRINTH, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, LET THE RIGHT ONE IN... I mean, the list goes on and on for recent movies that were simply pure enjoyment. I think when I gave that quote to Variety it was in context to somebody who was starting to take me way too seriously and something about how ridiculous people in the industry can be with their own opinions of themselves. I don't care that you're famous or that you have the # 1 movie/song/TV show in the world right now. There are men and women my age at war fighting for my protection, there's doctor's curing illnesses, people traveling to space... I don't say this as just something modest to say. I just mean, get over yourself and take your appropriate place in line before you throw one of your tantrums and start demanding "do you know who I am?"

I know you're kinda fed up with remakes and unoriginal films out there as we all are, but if you had to, as in Victor Crowley was holding a gas powered belt sander to your face had to, what horror movie would you choose to remake?

That's a tough one because there aren't many movies left to be remade, are there? I suppose if I could pick anything it would be CLASH OF THE TITANS because I feel like there's a way to take the old stop-motion practical FX and enhance them with CGI to really make that movie as epic as it can be- rather than only using CGI. Or maybe I'll remake RAIDERS or STAR WARS just to piss everyone off. Wouldn't that be great? "So, Adam- what is your next project?" Oh, I'm remaking THE GOONIES. Just watch people's hearts stop and then wait a full year to say April Fools? Hmmm... maybe I'll do that.

Thanks so much for your time. Any final thoughts? What can we expect next from you?

I just posted my 10th annual Halloween short film on Ariescope called THE TIVO and (while you're there) I also suggest checking out the ROAD TO FRIGHTFEST videos that I made with Joe Lynch for London's FrightFest this past summer. I'm about to start production on a short series for XBOX Live called FAIRY TALE POLICE starring Rachael Leigh Cook and Hatchet's Parry Shen where two cops shake down fairy tale land. I'm currently writing an animated AQUAMAN movie for D.C. Comics and I just produced Paul Solet's GRACE about a still born baby that comes back to life which is fucked up as all hell and will be out next Fall. On top of all of that there's the inevitable HATCHET 2, my romantic comedy GOD ONLY KNOWS which Chris Columbus is producing, and a brand new horror thing that no one knows anything about yet which I will be announcing within days in the trades. So keep an eye out. Or two.

Be sure to check out the website and YouTube for Green's Ariescope Pictures, where you can check out all of those Halloween short films and Road To Frightfest vids, which I highly recommend.

Thanks again to Adam Green for being such a cool dude and doing this for me. If you have not yet seen Hatchet, GO DO IT NOW! It's gonna be playing on Starz Halloween night, but I suggest you pick up the DVD so you can see it in it's full uncut glory. Better yet, invite some friends over and play the Hatchet Drinking Game!

And spread the word...Adam Green's remaking The Goonies ;)

Monday, October 27, 2008

True Blood - Episode 8 : "The Fourth Man In The Fire"

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***Pick up True Blood The Complete First Season for only $24.99 on DVDand $44.99 on Blu-ray***

Following the burning to the ground of the house Bill was in at the end of the last episode, Sookie cannot bear the thought that her lover is dead, especially so soon after the death of her Grandmother. But did he manage to escape? Jason continues his love affair with new V-loving partner in crime Amy and the term 'partner in crime' becomes shockingly fitting while Tara is enjoying her mothers new post demon exorcism take on life but begins to wonder if she's got a demon of her own inside her. As for Sam, he comes up with a couple different ways to explain his nude werewolf romp through the woods, but his stories are beginning to rouse suspicions in the town.

While this was a pretty good episode, I don't think it's as good as the show has been lately. It's pretty hard to top the last two episodes and this one certaintly wasn't too far off but it just seemed to be missing the real bite those ones had.

I don't think i'm spoiling anything here when I tell you Bill is not dead. Did anyone really expect him to be? The scene in which he returns comes off as kind of silly but I guess it fits the tone of this off the wall show. One of the most interesting bits is the contrast portayed between Bill and Sam's characters, as shown by post love making pillow talks with Sookie and Tara, respectively. I think Sookie picked the better man. Lead vampire Eric returns and enlists the help of Sookie's powers later in the episode, but I don't wanna give too much away.

The highlight was probably the addition of a new character to the show, Eddie, played by Stephen Root. You probably remember Root from films like Dodgeball and Office Space, where he played stapler loving geek Milton. Root is always fun to watch and I was real happy to see him on the show. He plays a homosexual vampire with a love for the show Heroes and for black dudes, the latter of which provides us an interesting look into where Lafayette gets his V from. This whole exchange makes for one of the better scenes in the episode. You'll hardly believe it's Milton!

The relationship between Jason and Amy is pretty interesting and it's nice to see Jason get some good material, outside of bedding random women. Amy's a pretty cool addition, but she proves to not be as amazing as she appears and could potentially lead Jason into some serious dangers. The levels an addict will stoop to obtain V are explored, and addiction as a whole is a major theme of this episode.

As always, we're left on more than a few cliffhangers with several of the main character's fates in question and I for one can't wait to see it all play out. With only a handful more episodes left this season, i'm expecting some major shit to go down.

Episode 9, Plaisir d'amour, airs next Sunday night on HBO.

Horror History Seminar & Halloween Crafts!

Earlier tonight I went to another Library Halloween themed seminar, this one being about the history of horror films. It's interesting to see how everyone kinda gets in the spirit around this time of the year and even places like the library embrace horror films. It was taught by cinema historian and folklorist "Professor Kinema" Jim Knusch, who was a pretty cool and knowledgable dude. As soon as I walked in there and saw him sporting the same Bela Lugosi Human Monster shirt I own, I knew I was in the right place. As he said, we are men of classy tastes.

Unfortunately, there were only about four or five other people at the seminar, besides my girlfriend and myself. That really shows ya how few horror fans there are around here for me to relate to. Then again, maybe horror fans just don't know about what's going on at the public library. Regardless, it was a very interesting and informative seminar and I learned more than a few things that, thanks to the note taking of my afformentioned girlfriend, I can actually remember. There was so much information coming to me that my brain was struggling to keep up. I think the most interesting thing I found out was that Bela Lugosi was originally cast in the role of Frankenstein, but he felt he was getting a better grasp on the English language and therefore should have spoken roles, so he passed. 12 years later, Lugosi finally played the green monster in Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman. Also, Boris Karloff was discovered and cast by Frankenstein director James Whale after he saw him on the set of the original Scarface, in which Karloff played a man who was gunned down in a bowling alley. Lots of interesting little facts like this.

I do wish that film historians would get into the more recent horror films, as they never really seem to. Granted, this was a seminar about the earliest historys of horror and I didn't expect it to head into the newer stuff, but no classes or things like this seem to acknowledge them. It's as if only horror films before the 60's are considered legit. This guy did get into Night of the Living Dead a bit though, so that was cool. He said that in a particular scene where a zombie is running around on fire, Romero couldn't get anyone to volunteer to be lit aflame, so he opted to do it himself. I'll have to pop that dvd in and look for that.

It was a good time and i'm kinda inspired to now look into those older movies more and even go back and check some of them out. Being such a big horror fan i'm kinda surprised that I haven't seen so many of the true older classics, but those movies have always kinda bored me to be honest. I think I need my gore! This Wednesday, they've got a guy reading from his vampire book at the library, so I think i'll check that out.

I just kinda Tarantino'ed this, so here's what I did earlier in the weekend...

The girlfriend and I decided to bust out the paints and each take a small wooden box and make a Halloween craft for one another. While she made a nice sweet little box adorned with skeleton versions of ourselves holding hands....

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...I opted to use some of the little actions figures and props i've obtained over the years to help turn my box into a gory diorama massacre starring none other then its intended reciever....

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...The idea behind it being that she had a little too much fun on Halloween night and slapped on a Jason mask and went to town on those Pulp Fiction lego motherfuckers. I was pretty proud of it. Then I used her face as a canvas to turn her into that chick from The Strangers...

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Man i'm gonna miss these pre-Halloween days of fun. Halloween's only three days away now and while most holidays are more exciting the nearer they get, Halloween fast approaching only means an impending end to the fun. The month or so leading up to the day is what it's really all about for us older folks, isn't it?

Horror In Your House - Tuesday, October 28th

This is the last Tuesday and the last big load of horrors being unleashed before Halloween and it looks like it's gonna be quite the week for old school exploitation/sexploitation films, which i'm a big lover of. Here's all the big and interesting looking (to me) releases for this week.

Dead Space : Downfall (DVD & Bluray - 2008)

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When a deep space mining operation discovers a mysterious alien Marker they believe they have finally found evidence of our creators. However, the removal of the Marker unleashes a horrific alien species, which had been entombed within a remote planet, and a desperate fight for survival ensues.

This is a feature length prequel to the Dead Space video game that just hit retailers two weeks ago. I don't have any of the next gen systems so I don't really know much about the game but i've heard nothing but praise for it. From what I know, the game is pretty movie-like in it's own right, so it seems only natural that a movie be made of it.

Zombie Strippers Unrated Special Edition (2008)

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Jenna Jameson stars in this thrilling zombie adventure. In the not too distant future a secret government re-animation chemo-virus gets released into conservative Sartre, Nebraska and lands in an underground strip club. As the virus begins to spread, turning the strippers into "Super Zombie Strippers", the girls struggle with whether or not to conform to the new "fad" even if it means there's no turning back. They're not just strippers...They're Zombie Strippers!

Robert Englund, Jenna Jameson, and stripping zombies. It sounds like a horror fan boys dream come true. Sex, zombies, and Freddy Krueger. What more could ya want!

Shiver (2008)

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Santi is a bullied teen who suffers from a rare and violent allergy to sunlight. When his condition worsens, he and his mother are forced to move to a remote village in the mountains. But something is alive deep in this shadowy forest. It is hungry and vicious. It has begun killing the local townspeople. And now it wants Santi. Can a frightened outcast find safety in the darkness or does the ultimate terror wait in the most unexpected place of all?


I've been eagerly anticipating this one as it's from the same producers as Pan's Labyrinth and The Orphanage. If it's anywhere near as good as either of those, it'll be worth checking out.

Poultrygeist : Night Of The Chicken Dead Egg-sclusive 3 Disc Collector's Edition (2006)

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When the American Chicken Bunker, a military themed fast food restaurant, builds its latest chain restaurant on the site of an ancient Native American burial ground, the displaced spirits take revenge on unsuspecting diners and transform them into chicken zombies! Now, it's up to a dimwitted counterboy, his collegiate lesbian ex-girlfriend and a burqa-wearing fry cook to put an end to the foul feathered menace once and for all.

If this doesn't sound like the greatest film ever made, I don't know what does. As if you needed any more incentive to check Poultrygeist out, it's directed by Troma's Lloyd Kaufman, although i'm sure you probably figured that out by now. Kaufman (who has previously directed The Toxic Avenger) always manages to entertain, if nothing more.

Slumber Party Slaughterhouse : The DVD Game (2008)

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In Slumber Party Slaughterhouse : The Game, audiences get the chance to put their horror movie trivia skills to the test while also helping a recently deceased geek take revenge on his former friends. The story follows Paul Tard, a geek on the eve of his graduation from air conditioner repair school. Paul's friends are throwing a graduation party complete with hookers but, when Paul's ex-girlfriend steals his hooker, Paul is uninvited to the party. Drowning his sorrows, Paul decides to take a bubble bath and bring along his laptop for some internet porn. Of course, the laptop falls in the bathtub and Paul electrocutes himself to death. None of this would have happened if he'd only been invited to the party, so Paul sells his soul to a demon in exchange for the power to take revenge on his former friends.

Slumber Party Slaughterhouse : The Game is a trivia challenge. Whenever Paul wants to kill one of his friends, the demon asks a slasher movie trivia question and the film dissolves to a multiple choice menu. If the audience chooses the correct answer, Paul gets the power to kill his ex-friend (and the friend's hooker, to tie up those pesky loose ends); but the wrong answer will send Paul to hell unavenged.


This may well be one of the coolest and most interesting ideas i've seen for a film. It looks like they managed to take an otherwise lame movie and turn it into something exciting. Kinda sounds like an extended version of that interactive horror trivia game I came up with a couple weeks back. I swear I didn't steal the idea! I'll definetly be checking this out and posting my thoughts when I do.

Pieces (1983)

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A psychopathic killer stalks a Boston campus, brutally slaughtering nubile young college co-eds, collecting body parts from each victim to create the likeness of his mother who he savagely murdered with an axe when he was ten years old!

I've been dying to see Pieces ever since I heard Eli Roth ranting and raving about it on the Hostel 2 commentary but was never able to because it had never been released on DVD. Thanks to Grindhouse Releasing, we can now all check out the film that Roth called "a masterpiece of early 80's sleaze" and "one of my top horror films of all time! Not only is this the ultimate chainsaw movie, it's the ultimate slasher film. It has everything you could possibly want, by the bucketful. Full on chainsaw violence, absurd amounts of nudity, and the greatest ending in horror history."

The Beyond (1981)

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A remote and cursed hotel, built over one of the seven gateways, becomes a yawning malevolent abyss that begins devouring both the bodies and the souls of all who enter in a graphic frenzy of gory crucifictions, chunkblowing chain-whippings, eyeball impalements, sulphuric acid meltdowns, flesh-eating tarantulas, throat-shredding demon dogs and ravenous bloodthirsty zombies.

This is a re-release of what most call Lucio Fulci's greatest masterpiece. The previous dvd release has become out of print and hard to find, so now's your chance to finally own the film. I can guarantee ya you'll get your moneys worth.

The Watcher In The Attic (1976)

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The film is set in 1923 in a cheap Tokyo boarding house. The landlord, Goda, roams through the attic, observing the weird lives of his tenants through holes in the ceiling. One day he sees a prostitute murder one of her clients and decides that at last he has found his soul mate.

Never even heard of this one until now but it sounds pretty awesome. In the Amazon description, it states "...the film features some of the most bizarre sex scenes ever, including the story of a man who hides inside a special chair, so that a naked woman can sit on him." Count me in.

As always, to take a gander at all 44 horror dvd's hitting shelves tommorow, head over to Amazon. And don't forget to check out their buy one, get one and $4.99-9.99 horror selections. With the economy the way it is, us horror fans need all the deals we can get, so stock up before Halloween comes and goes!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Tommorow Is World Zombie Day!

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Just a quick little note on this before I hit the hay. Wish I had found out about it sooner as it's kinda short notice to get in on the real fun now but tommorow, Sunday, is World Zombie Day!

While this is a day where we should all take some time out to show our appreciation for zombies, there's a lot more heart to this one than you might think. And for once it's not being eaten! World Zombie Day is a charity event to help alleviate world hunger and who better than zombies to do so! In over 50 locations throughout the world, zombie walks will be held this Sunday and all participating zombies are kindly asked to bring a non perishable food item to donate. I know, it's hard for you zombies to give up food, but do it for the sake of humanity!

The event is being held by The It's Alive Show, the current world record holders for the largest zombie walk ever! If you're in the dark as to what exactly a zombie walk is, it's pretty much exactly what it sounds like. You dress up as the best zombie you can be, meet up with fellow flesh eaters, and roam around the city showing off your best undead shuffle!

For all the information as well as to find out all of the locations where walks are being held, head on over to the official World Zombie Day website.

If ya can't make it to any of these events, at the very least watch a couple zombie movies on Sunday and show your support by donating some canned goods to whatever food drives you've got in your area! If there's anything a zombie hates more than a heavily armed man, it's one who isn't willing to provide him nourishment!

And speaking of special days, today marks the 30th anniversary of the original release of John Carpenter's Halloween! 30 years ago to the day, the classic film debuted in theatres! So maybe sit back with a nice pumpkin ale and pop that one in today.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Saw V : My Verdict!

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Let me start this all off by saying i'm a huge Saw fan. I love the movies and they've become just as much a part of my Halloween season each year as anything else. I felt that up until the third installment, they kept on getting better, but the fourth kinda lost me a little. With Jigsaw and Amanda both dead and this dude Hoffman taking over who I really didn't care for, I was losing interest in the series. And now an entire film of just Hoffman carrying on Jigsaw's work? It didn't sound all that enticing to me. But it really doesn't matter what the plot was cause nothing was gonna keep me from seeing the next installment in the franchise.

And that brings us to Saw 5. The premise of the film is actually quite interesting. It's a cat and mouse game between the new Jigsaw, Hoffman, and fellow detective Strahm. We are shown that Hoffman, following the events of Saw 3, tried to kill off Strahm (in that water box trap you've probably all seen by now) and make it look like Jigsaw did it. But Strahm manages to escape from the trap and throughout the movie he pieces together that Hoffman is the one who's carrying on Jigsaw's legacy. Accordingly, he goes on the hunt for him while Hoffman works on tying up all the loose ends.

Now like I said, I figured the whole franchise died along with Jigsaw and Amanda and didn't expect much from this one. But i'm happy to say it blew my expectations out of the water. It's not an amazing movie, but it's pretty damn interesting and there's no questioning that it was a fun time. I kinda felt like this one was made to seperate the true Saw fans from the ones who just come to see a gory horror movie around this time of the year. The usual gore of the series is wayyyy toned down and it's mostly background behind the scenes flashback type of stuff, that only true fans would find any enjoyment in. It's essentially a film made by Saw fans for the Saw fans.

But a Saw film without gore? How can that be made for us? That's one of the main reasons we go to see these movies isn't it? Yes, it is. There's hardly any gore in this movie, the body counts pretty low, and every death that does happen pretty much happens off screen. But surprisingly, it didn't bother me. The movie was so interesting and engaging that I almost didn't need to see any gore. I was more interested in all the other stuff. I will say though that when the gore did come, the effects were pretty bad, which is the complete opposite i'd expect from this series. The effects have always been top notch but there's a couple scenes in this one that look real amateur. The traps are also all kinda lame but there's more to this entry than just mindless gore, so again it didn't bother me all that much.

I didn't care for Hoffman going into this one but I can't say I dont care for him anymore. How he became the next Jigsaw is pretty interesting stuff (don't worry, you find out all the answers) and I kinda like the dude now! Strahm, on the other hand, I did not care for. The actor who portrayed him (Scott Patterson) was pretty awful and the character as a whole was just really annoying. There always seems to be one actor in each of the films that stinks it up. Most of the scenes he was in involved him talking to himself and basically explaining everything to us that we just saw, as if we're all dumbasses. There's also enough Jigsaw flashbacks in this one to satisfy but sadly, the movies lacking on the Amanda front. There's a very brief shot of her from the neck down, but that's all we see.

While you do need to have seen all the previous films in the series to understand it all, it's not hard to follow in the least, which was nice. The Saw films have a tendency to sometimes be a bit confusing and it can take a good while after you leave the theatre before you piece it all together but this one was pretty straightforward. And that's surprising given how all over the place it is. We're taken back to stuff from pretty much all of the previous films and, as usual, stuff from in between that we've never seen. They go back to many of the sets of the traps from prior installments, and that's all pretty cool.

So what about this ending? The whole tagline was "You won't believe how it ends." Well, let's just say you will believe how it ends. There's really no twist and it's not shocking in the least but I must say it is pretty cool. The final moments are quite badass and that's all i'll say about that.

One of the best things about going to see a Saw film is discussing it with friends after, is it not? The movies are so in depth and well thought out that it's a lot of fun to pick apart and discuss it all. As my girlfriend pointed out, it's pretty fitting that the killers name is Jigsaw, given how the series is one giant Jigsaw puzzle. I'm still trying to fit all the pieces together, and that's the fun of it. Granted, all the pieces really don't fully fit together and it's more like the filmmakers are drawing over what was already on each little puzzle piece to make them all fit the way they're supposed to, but oh well. It's all in the name of entertainment.

What more can I say. If you love the series, go see this one. Although i'm sure you have already. If you need any more enticing, the Friday the 13th and My Bloody Valentine 3D trailers play beforehand! It's not a perfect movie but they keep on finding a way to make seemingly uninteresting stuff very interesting and make it all work, and for that I applaud the makers of these movies. This could've been the worst movie ever made and i'd still be excited about seeing Saw 6 next year, so that's saying something. Fortunately, this was another good installment and i'm looking forward to seeing where it goes from here. Some may feel like this was a watered down version of the others, but I like the new direction they're going with it. You can only show so much blood and guts before it becomes old. Yes, the Saw movies have always been a lot deeper than just blood and guts, but it seems like the focus is being shifted to the more intellectual stuff, and it's refreshing to see. They took a chance and it worked. Although i'm sure many fans will disagree with me. I wish I didn't have to wait a whole year to see the next one! Saw is still alive!

If you've seen the movie, leave comments with your thoughts and any questions or opinions you might have. I'd love to discuss it with you guys. Don't be afraid of posting spoilers in there either.

My Bloody Valentine 3D Trailer!

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I can't say as I had too much interest in the remake to My Bloody Valentine when I first heard about it. That is, until I heard it was gonna be in 3D and until I layed my eyes on this trailer. I'm not saying it's gonna be the best remake ever made, but if this doesn't look like a good fun time, I don't know what does! 3D hasn't been used in horror since the days of Friday Part 3, Jaws 3, or basically any third installment of any major horror franchise. It's never been too exciting of a technology to me personally, but it's kinda cool to see it come back. And hopefully with the technological advancements out there nowadays, it'll look better than ever. Enough of my babbling, let's get on to the trailer! O, you already skipped ahead to that after the first sentence, eh?


Credit to IGN for scoring this baby.

The remake, hitting theatres January 16th of next year (almost 30 years after the original landed in our laps), is about Tom, a man returning to his hometown 10 years after a horrific Valentine's Day massacre that took the lives of 22 people. Instead of getting a warm welcoming, Tom finds himself accused of the murders and his old high school flame seems to be the only who believes in his innocence.

Looks pretty awesome if ya ask me. I'm expecting a fun little thrill ride and if that's all I get before leaving that theatre, i'll be wholly satisfied. Besides, any opportunity where I get to bust out my Elm Street 3D spectacles is a pretty damn good one.

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Looks like a winning combo to me. If I get to go home from that experience with a pair of My Bloody Valentine branded glasses, i'll be the happiest man in the world.

Saw V tonight! I'll have my thoughts up when I get home. And don't forget, AMC's Fearfest begins at 8pm tonight with John Carpenter's Halloween!

CG-WHY?! Horrible CGI Moments

I originally started doing these to bring to light horrible CG moments in otherwise good films, but i'm making an exception here as this time i'm gonna take a look at an otherwise pretty bad film.

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I was a big fan of the original Ring (the original American version). I thought it was a suprisingly well done revamp of a terrifying Japanese movie and I was pretty excited to see what was in store for the American-ized sequel. But about 30 minutes in, I was completely ripped from my movie seat and taken right out of the fun. That's the power that one terrible CGI scene can have on a movie. Granted, the rest of the movie was shit too, but the minute I saw this scene I knew I could've walked right out of that theatre and I wouldn't have missed anything worth not missing. I'm talking of course about the deer attack scene.

What could've been a really powerful and badass scene was rendered unintentionally hilarious by the misuse of the computer. Naomi Watts and her weird possessed little son are driving down a long stretch of road when suddenly they happen upon a friendly looking deer. I'll let the scene tell ya the rest...



Did that look totally ridiculous to anyone else or is it just me? Now here's the thing. The CGI is phenonemal. The artists responsible should be applauded as it's about as good as CGI can get. It just DOESN'T LOOK REAL! I'm reminded of Peter Jackson's King Kong. The effects are amazing. Kong is breathtaking. But he just dont look real. He looks like a video game character, and the same goes for these here deer. The only way around this is pretty simple. Don't make 'em CGI! Stop being lazy and using the technology as a crutch. You've got the budget, go the extra mile and make the animatronic deer. Technology is our friend, but it has its limitations. When you can tell what you're watching is computer generated, somethings been done wrong.

Remember that scene in The Omen where the mom and devil child are sitting in their car at the zoo and they're suddenly attacked by a rabid pack of monkeys? That looked fuckin awesome! It was so much more effective because you knew the monkeys were real. The Omen was made in 1976. The Ring Two was made in 2005. What's wrong with that picture? Who would've thought that effects would have worsened with time.

Filmmakers, please, don't use CGI unless it's minute amounts of the stuff to enhance certain effects. It's a beautiful thing, but in the wrong hands it's the #1 killer of movies. Did you know 100 movies lives were taken just this past year from the horrible affliction that is CGI? Let's work together and stamp it out.

Check out my past CG-WHY?! installment where I take a look at Land of the Dead. In a strange coincidence, both of these films starred Simon Baker. Hmmmm...

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Elvira's Top 10 Weirdest, Strangest, Most Bizarre Music Videos!

So i've been sitting here all day listening to the soothing sounds of Music Choice's Sounds of the Seasons, which just began playing Halloween tunes this past Monday. It's one of those music channels (IO channel 801) that plays music all day along with pictures of the artists and random facts going on in the background. Well, for the Halloween season, they've got interesting horror movie/true crime/Halloween facts scrolling on the bottom and Halloween related songs playing all day long. Movie themes, fun little jingles, rock classics, spooky sound effects, you name it. Did you know the electric chair was invented by a dentist? Well anyway, they've been playing an awful lot of Elvira songs and that prompted me to dig out a little gem I got from a horror convention a couple years back, but had not yet watched. I figured now was the perfect time.

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MTV gave Elvira 4 straight hours on Halloween back in 1986 to broadcast her top ten spookiest videos, live from Salem, Massachusetts. This 2 disc dvd set has got all four hours and it's chock full of awesome videos, funny Elvira skits, and even old school commercials! Commercials like this one of the Prince of Darkness whoring himself out for a calculator company!



These are the kinda dvds you can only find at horror conventions. I so enjoyed this dvd that I thought why not upload the top 10 and slap it on here for all of you to enjoy! So here it is! Elvira's top 10 weirdest,strangest, most bizarre music videos! Complete with Elvira intros! I was tempted to just post the videos of these songs others have already put up on YouTube, but what's an Elvira countdown without Elvira?! The qualitys not that great on these, but it aint my fault. I hope you enjoy as much as I did.

10) The Damned - Shadow of Love



9) Ozzy Osbourne - Shot in the Dark



8) Rocky Horror Picture Show - Let's Do The Time Warp



7) Love Theme From Godzilla '85 - I Was Afraid To Love You



6) Alice Cooper - He's Back (from the Jason Lives soundtrack!)



5) Blow Monkeys - Wicked Ways



4) Carter Burwell - Screams of Love (from the Psycho 3 soundtrack!)



3) Fred Schneider - Monster In My Pants



2) Lou Reed - No Money Down



1) Pia Zadora - Rock It Out



That about wraps up the countdown. Here's the Mistress Of The Dark one last time to see ya out!



One more week till Halloween!! I hope i've done my part so far to help get ya in the mood. This next week will be full of Halloween fun around here, so keep on comin back!