Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A True Horror Film....

Let me preface this whole post by saying this is not a sales pitch. I am not making this post because I am affiliated with Troma and because I am trying to promote the upcoming Troma re-release of this film and help line their pockets. If I watched the movie and didn't like it, I simply would never talk about it on here. I'm making this post because i'm proud to be affiliated with the company that put this movie out and quite honestly, i've just witnessed the greatest thing i've ever seen with the Troma name attached to it. I'm writing this because, ya, I do want to promote and get the word out there on this flick, not because it's my job to but rather because my goal with this blog is to spread the good word on good horror and quite frankly, I feel it's a complete shame that a movie like this is so underground that it took me working at the company that put it out to even find out about it (and it was put out over 20 years ago, mind you!). I'm talking about .....

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Combat Shock (you must at least see this trailer) tells the story of Frankie Dunlan, a Vietnam vet who can't seem to escape what he's seen and done overseas. He's broke, he owes money to the drug boss in town, his 1 year old child is a hideously deformed product of Agent Orange who makes the most frightening sounds i've ever heard (nightmare inducing!), and he suffers from severe 'Nam flashbacks every day of his life. He roams the streets like a zombie, looking for a means to support his family. Until one day, without giving too much away, Frankie gives up hope and takes control of his situation, in seemingly the only way he can. Think Taxi Driver or Falling Down, except a lot more dark, a lot more depressing, and hell of a lot more nasty.

Talk about a totally depressing and shocking piece of cinema. It's ugly as can be and I say that in the best way possible. It's not supposed to be pleasant, it's supposed to be gritty, raw, and hard to watch, and that's precisely what it is. Its depictions of war, poverty, addiction, violence, and what all those things can do to an otherwise good man are some of the most effective i've ever seen on film. It's not the kind of movie that is pleasant to watch or the kind you'd want to watch over and over, but it's the kind of movie that I think everyone should see at least once in their life. Even if you are not a fan of Troma, you owe it to yourself to check it out as it's as pertinent and meaningful today as it was back in 1986 when it was released, if not more so. Again, without giving anything away, the utterly shocking climax of the film brings to mind dozens of real life horror stories we've all heard on the news in the past year (and helped me personally understand in some sick way why those acts are so rampant lately...if you've seen the movie, you'll know what I speak of), thanks in large part to the economic conditions of current times. This is not the usual Troma fare (no disrespect meant), so don't be fooled by the logo stamped on the cover. If you're looking for mindless gory entertainment, look elsewhere in the Troma library. This one is not for those looking for a good time....

Combat Shock is number four in the Tromasterpiece Collection, set to be released July 28th of this year in the form of a two disc packed with special features set that includes both the 90 minute previously released cut of the film as well as the 100 minute previously unreleased and unrated directors cut, titled American Nightmares. If you've seen the movie and loved it and want to check that one out, you can pre-order it over on Amazon. Otherwise, you can rent the 90 minute version or watch it instantly on Netflix right now. I don't care how you see it or what form you see it in, just make sure to see it.

Both this one and The Last Horror Film have made me really excited about The Tromasterpiece Collection and that's why i've been working so hard to get the word out there on it. It's something I totally support and i'm proud to be able to help out in increasing the exposure of such an awesome product. Thank you, Troma, for restoring these lost gems of the genre that so few have had the opportunity to see. With so many great gems in the Troma vault, this is gonna be a line to keep an eye on. And if you want to keep an eye on this line, befriend the official Tromasterpiece MySpace, which yours truly started and runs! Okay, so that part was a cheap plug. Okay, so maybe this whole post was. But I meant and 100% believed every word that I said and thus, you may not call me a whore.

Now it's off to bed while visions of Agent Orange deformed babies dance in my head....

Oooooooh, Canadaaaaaa

As i'm sure most of you know by now, I took a trip up to Canada with my girlfriend and a few of my friends this past weekend. I don't really know if anyone coming to a horror blog wants to read about my personal exploits, but i'd kinda like to write about and document those exploits, so deal with it! No one's making you read it!

Instead of cluttering this post with a dozen pictures, i'm just gonna link to specific pictures when I discuss what is being shown in the picture so if you see a link, click it and you'll be taken to a picture! Just to set the stage and give you a mental picture of me and my group, here we are! Starting on the left that's Stefan, myself, Monkey (Pump King), and Jon and this is of course my lovely girlfriend Jen. Now that we're all acquainted, lets head to Canada, eh!

Thursday

Thursday night around 7pm we began our 9 hour journey up to the great white north, crammed in the back of a Prius, which surprisingly was never really uncomfortable. We planned on driving (or Stefan planned on driving, rather) a good 6 or 7 hours on Thursday night and then crashing at a seedy motel for a couple hours so that we could get up bright and early Friday morning and coast right into Canada in a couple short hours and that's exactly what we did. Now i've always had a kind of fascination with seedy motels and to my recollection, I don't think I had ever actually stayed in one for the night. Well let me tell ya, we got the full seedy motel experience on Thursday night. We found a small dirty building in Syracuse, NY run by a barefoot Indian dude and it was just about as seedy as they come. Holes punched in the walls, makeup and spoons left behind from past tenants (I guess they don't clean the place!), obscenities written on the walls, the whole nine. We're talking the kinda place where you pretty much contract crabs just by walking into it. But we wanted the seedy motel experience so that's exactly what we got. It's really not worth staying at a nicer place and paying a higher cost just to sleep for 3 or 4 hours. Everyone slept in full hoodie, pants, and socks and a disgusted Jen even went so far as to wrap her hood around her head, leaving only her eyes visible. Wish I had snapped a picture of that. Think Kenny from South Park. At one point during the night, we heard loud gutteral screams coming from somewhere in the motel which suggested that a young woman was being raped and dismembered, but we never found out her fate. I ended up getting about a half hour of sleep and as soon as I began to slip into a deep slumber, the alarm rang and it was time to head out there and head up to our (hopefully) far nicer hotel.

Friday

Woke up around 7am and headed off to breakfast. We were initially going to eat breakfast at the little diner right next to the motel we stayed at, but we thought better of it and decided to high tail it out of that location at once. Thanks to the trusty GPS, we found out there was a Denny's right down the road, so Denny's is where we went. This was the first time I had ever actually been at a Denny's and my life feels a little bit more complete now. It's long been a dream of mine to eat there (how sad is that?) but there aren't any in my immediate area. Turns out, it was quite delicious. Jen and I split some breakfast burrito mcgriddle style thing and a country fried steak, smothered in that tasty white gravy sauce, which I so appreciated and enjoyed given I tried to make country fried steak and that white gravy sauce a few weeks back and it did not turn out well at all. Ate our breakfast, won Jen a little stuffed mouse from the Denny's claw machine, and hit the road up to our destination.

A few short hours later, we were there. I had visions all week about what it would be like at the border getting into and out of Canada. I'm talking horrible visions. Here's four bearded and (for the most part) long haired men trying to get into Canada, presumably (to the cops) with anything but good intentions. I envisioned cavity searches, serious grilling, and just about everything else bad one can envision about ones rights and ones anus being violated. I speak from experience here. Last year, Jen and I went to Georgia and on the flight home we were pulled aside and searched for a good hour, as part of a "random" search. Now I can't confirm that this search was not totally random but the only people pulled aside were an arab dude with a turban on his head and the long bearded messy haired me and Jen. How random could that be? So I envisioned pretty much the same thing about getting into Canada and thankfully, I built it all up in my head for no reason. The guy asked us a few questions, such as where are you staying and where are you from, and within 60 seconds we were into Canada. We didn't even get ID'ed!

We were staying at a hotel in Niagra Falls, right next to Niagra Falls, and we had no idea how built up and touristy it was gonna be and I say that in the best way possible. All within walking distance of our hotel was a whole plethora of stuff to do that would surely keep us busy for the two days we were staying there. I'm talking haunted houses, casinos, food of every kind you can imagine, and even a Frankenstein approved Burger King! I was shocked at how much horror related stuff was going on over there in Ontario. Dracula's Haunted Castle, House of Frankenstein, and about four other haunted houses not to mention a criminal wax museum! I was in heaven! But first things first....

Before we explored the sights and sounds, we had to check into our hotel (which was thankfully thousands of times nicer than the motel we stayed at the night before) and stock up on beer. The beer situation in Canada is kind of a pain in the ass. The alcohol over there is controlled by the government and you can't just go to any old 7 Eleven and get the stuff whenever you please. There's basically one beer store in the whole Niagra Falls area, it's called The Beer Store, and it closes at 9pm. If you don't get your beer by then, too bad, you're shit outta luck! So naturally we had to snatch up as much as we could so we'd be covered for the weekend. The other shitty thing about the beer over there is that The Beer Store is fucking ridiculously expensive. It's a glorious looking place with the finest selection of beer I think i've ever seen but my god, we ended up paying $40 for a 28 pack of Coors Light. Yes, I said 28. But ya gotta do what ya gotta do, right? So we picked up a shitload of beer and headed back to the hotel to stock it to the gills. We got two seperate rooms at the hotel, one for Jon and Stefan and one for me, Jen, and Monkey. Their room became the shower room whereas our room became the party/beer room. We filled up the tub with our goodies, covered it in a nice sheet of ice cubes, and started drinking and planning our day.

First stop was Niagra Falls. It's a beautiful thing and all, but after looking at it for a few minutes, I kinda got over it and wanted to explore other areas. Before I go on, here's a picture of Jen with the falls behind her. (I don't want to risk getting yelled at for leaving her out of pictures!). Jon and Stefan decided to take the boat tour around the falls (which turns out Brad Pitt also took with his kids the next day) and Monkey, Jen, and I opted to instead leave the falls and walk around exploring. We ended up finding a Duty Free shop, which is basically a place that sells alcohol and perfumes tax free and for a really low low price. Only catch is, you have to purchase the stuff and then pick it up as you leave Canada. As in, you can't buy the cheap alcohol and drink it in Canada. Talk about a bummer! We knew we'd have to head back there on our way out on Sunday and stock up....

Met back up with Jon and Stefan and decided to head over to find the liquor store. Hey, we're alcoholics, what can I say! We ended up driving around for about 20 minutes trying to find a liquor store to no avail. Turns out the liquor is also controlled by the government and there's only one liquor store called LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario). Thankfully, the prices there were about the same as the prices everywhere else. We got a few small bottles and stopped for lunch at Tacos & Tequila, a mexican bar/restaurant right next door. Jen and I got a heaping plate of nachos which weren't that good, but they filled us up just the same.

From here, i'm a little fuzzy as I can't really seem to recall what came next and it's not because of strong drink it's because of bad memory! I think we went back to the room, drank a bunch and chatted for a while, and then went out for the night. I know there's some stuff that went on between our mexican dining and going out for the night, but I can't seem to place it. Stefan, Jon, or Monkey, if you're reading this, can you fill me in?!

At nighttime, Jen and I split up and did our own thing while Stefan, Jon, and Monkey did their own thing. I believe they went to a bar and we went touring around checking out the haunted houses in the area. We ended up at Nightmares Fear Factory, which was billed as being the best in the area and they also proudly stated that 90,000 people were too scared and opted to end their journey through the house early. If you scream NIGHTMARE they let you walk out of there, but not before they sound the "Chicken" alarm and make a fool out of you. Sounded like my kinda haunted house! Turns out the thing was actually very fuckin scary. It was pitch black in there the entire time and you had to follow little red lights on the wall around to even navigate around the place. I ended up running face first into the wall a few times and asking the costumed staff members where the fuck to go. I'd be met with a "TO YOUR LEFT!!!!" in a creepy still in character voice, to which i'd reply "thank you, sir". You'd think that'd make the place less scary but oh no! This place was fucking terrifying and awesome. At one point Jen was on the floor in a corner screaming, while a man swiped at her with a chainsaw! If you ever head over to Niagra Falls, you must check this place out. They also do that thing that many amusement park rides do where they snap a picture of you at a certain point and you can buy it once you get out. I normally don't go for that sort of thing but the picture they snapped of us was so badass that we had to buy it. I really wish my scanner was working right now so I could show you guys.

After that we met up with the crew again and watched some drunk fools make asses of themselves in the form of karaoke and then the two of us split off again and grabbed some Burger King. Fries covered with gravy seem to be a big thing over in Canada and I wanted to try some in BK but they were all sold out. I guess they're a REAL big thing! Grabbed some mini burgers and fries and headed back to the room to drink some more before going out to gamble at the casino, conveniently located directly across the street from our hotel.

Jen had never gambled in a casino before and I go to Mohegan Sun a couple times a year for wrestling events so it was nice to be able to show her the ropes and let her gamble some of my (newly converted to Canadian) money away. This turned out to be one of the highlights of the weekend for both of us. She quickly turned $10 into $30 and our excitement must have looked to outsiders like we just hit a serious jackpot. We gambled for a few hours and then were going to meet up with the guys, returning from the bar, but they never made it. Turns out Stefan went missing and everyone was on the hunt for him. We all got a bit worried but then found out that he was safe in some random guys house having a grand old time. We were all a little bit pissed off that he got blackout drunk and wandered off and worried us all but after that blew over we realized that that's what a vacation is about. Getting drunk and having a good time! Speaking of which, Canada gets fucking ROWDY after about 2 in the morning. I thought it was a really peaceful place but once those bars close and all the drunks are unleashed on the public, all hell breaks loose. Cops everywhere, people screaming obscenities at us, calling Jon a "gay Jesus" and threatening to violate Jen. If this were our town we probably would've done something about it but we were in a foreign land and we were not about to get arrested in Canada so we decided to call it a night and head back up to the hotel in one piece and without the police on our tail and pass out for the night.

Saturday

Found Monkey asleep on the toilet in the morning. The night for him did not end when it ended for everyone else (as usual). He went out and partied some more and I guess poured himself a nice rum and coke and then passed right out on our toilet, thankfully with pants on! Jen woke him up, went back to sleep, and then he came back up to our room an hour or so later bearing free continental breakfasts in bed. Now that's a good friend! We ate some gray sausages and egg patties, decorated Jon and Stefan's doorknob with a "nanna" and some bear claws, and then headed back to bed to sleep for a couple more hours.

Jon and Stefan decided that they wanted to head into Toronto, about an hour away, to check out the sights and sounds there so they went off and did that. Monkey wanted to go to the indoor water park (not joining is the one regret I have from the trip), so he went off and did that. And Jen and I wanted to check out the Flying Saucer restaurant, so we went off and did that. We shopped around and checked out all the little shops on the 45 minute walk up to the Flying Saucer and finally arrived at our destination : the UFO themed Flying Saucer Restaurant! We saw this place the day before when we went out to get beer and immediately knew we were gonna have to make a pit stop here. Not to mention Monkey had walked up alone earlier in the morning and vouched for the wings at the place. The menu was designed to look like an old newspaper reporting on a UFO landing in Niagra Falls, which was really fuckin cool. I got a massive three pattied burger topped with pretty much every side on the menu, Jen got a heaping plate of those famous Canadian gravy covered fries, and we split a plate of wings as an appetizer. And Monkey was right, the wings were fuckin amazing. And fries covered in gravy? Delicious! I ended up eating so much that I had to head downstairs to the Flying Saucer's bathroom to clear a pathway for more food and I ended up being full for most of the day from the meal, which is rare for me. I'm usually hungry an hour after eating a big meal, but not so with this food! Hung out there for a little bit and then made the long trek back to the hotel, but not before stopping off at the liquor store to procure some more treats! The walk wouldn't have been so bad if it weren't for Saturday being the windiest day I have ever experienced in my entire life. We were literally getting blown into the street the whole way back but i'm just glad we went all the way out there to check out the Flying Saucer.

Came back to the hotel to find Monkey passed out on the bed and we followed suit, taking a nap for a good couple hours to recharge our batteries. Woke up, met back up with everyone, and headed out to explore some more. We checked out The Criminal Hall of Fame, which was not as cool as it sounded. It was a walk through a building full of a bunch of shitty looking wax figures of famous criminals, along with misspelled info about them. This was supposed to be Charles Manson and this was supposed to be Leatherface and Michael Myers. I did get to meet Hitler and strap my girlfriend into an electric chair though, so I can't complain.

Details fuzzy. Drank a bunch more at the room and headed back out the falls to see how they look at night. They light them all kinds of cool colors, so it was pretty badass and made looking at the falls fun again for a couple minutes. It started getting shitty out so we went back up to the room and drank for several hours till it cleared up. The fellas then went off to bar hop again and Jen and I headed back over to the casino to gamble some more. Got up about $30 again but ended up losing most of it and spending the rest on shots of Jager for Jen and I at the casino bar. Met up with everyone again at the casino and then Jon and Stefan decided they were gonna go back to a bar, get another drink, and then pass out. It was only 12:30 or so so Jen and I decided to go out and explore some more.

Finally got to hit up a Tim Horton's which i'd been dying to try out since arriving in Canada. Timmy Ho's is basically a Dunkin Donuts style place that's far better than Dunkin Donuts and far better than Krispy Kreme too. I've heard Kevin Smith rave about it for years so I had to see what all the fuss was about and i'll tell ya, the donuts over there are some of the best i've ever had. Filled up on a few (there actually is a picture of me "filling up on a few", but its too unflattering to post) and then ended up playing some blacklight mini golf until the place closed and then got a text from Stefan asking if we wanted to head into the pool/hot tub area of the hotel after hours. It was closed, and we'd have to climb the fence, but that was the fun of it! So we jetted out of there and went back to the hotel to grab some beers and slap on some bathing suits or things that would substitute for bathing suits (underwear). Within minutes of making our way into the pool, we were kicked out by hotel staff and were threatened that we were "this close" to getting kicked out of the hotel. Fun while it lasted!

Jen then convinced Jon and Stefan that we were on vacation and we should be living it up instead of going to bed in preparation for the drive home tommorow. It worked, we got dressed, and went back out to meet up with Monkey and his new "girlfriend" he just met. When we finally found him, the girl was gone and the bars were all closing so we hung out on the streets a bit chatting with the locals while Stefan "cut his teeth" in an effort to meet some women. He ended up getting a kiss (for the mere cost of one Canadian coin dollar) and with that success, we went back to the room to sleep...or at least most of us did. Monkey attempted to walk back up to the Flying Saucer (which was closing in about 15 minutes...its a 45 minute walk....) and he ended up at some motel where a guy was chasing people around with a hatchet. What'd I tell ya! Canada gets fuckin nuts at night!

Sunday

Woke up around ten and checked out. Hit up the Duty Free shop, where we all got a bunch of cheap liquor to take back home. Jen and I picked up two big bottles of Absolut vodka (peach and ruby red) and one bottle of Beefeater gin all for only $30. These bottles cost $30 a piece around here. They even have Absinthe over in Canada and i'm talking the real Absinthe, not the watered down fake stuff we get in New York. Monkey snagged up a bottle of that and we were off to the border, where'd we surely be hassled hardcore. Again, not the case. We all had to show our ID's and birth certificates, got asked a couple questions, and we were set free back to America. The ride home was long and full of traffic and delays at times but it went by pretty quickly. Stopped several times on the way for pee/food breaks and to pick up some fireworks in PA and before we knew it, we were back home and not happy about being back home.

It was an awesome trip and one of the best times i've had in a long while. I've been filled with a need to get out more and explore the world more. I've been in my tiny Hampton Bays, NY bubble for way too long and i've seen so little of my own state not to mention the entire world out there and I think it's time I get on some of that. I feel like this trip really changed me for the better and bonded all parties involved and like I said yesterday, I desperately need to get a (paying) job so I can continue to do shit like this! Money may not buy happiness, but it sure as shit pays for the things that provide happiness!

If you made it all the way down here, congratulations and thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed my virtual debuachery filled trip through the great white north!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Laid To Rest - Don't Believe The Hype

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Why is everyone sucking this movie off? It's totally pointless garbage. Yes, the gore effects are pretty kickass, but that's all the movie has going for it and if all a movie has got going for it is a grand total of about 60 seconds of awesome gore interspersed between an hour and 29 minutes of utterly boring drivel, then that movie is an epic fail in my book. Laid To Rest proves (once again) that having quality gore and creative kill scenes do not a good horror movie make. Give me a more well crafted horror flick with far shittier effects any day of the week. But over the top gore flicks are so much fun, aren't they?! Yes, they in fact are. That is, when they're actually entertaining and not just in the moments where blood and guts are flying about (see : Hatchet)! I just wish the awesome effects (from writer/director Robert Hall's company Almost Human) were put to use in a film that was better acted, better directed, better written, better edited, and just about better everything-ed.....

I'm not even totally sure what the flick is about other than it's completely pointless and a guy named Chrome Skull runs around killing people. Chrome Skull is one of the cheesiest and least effective killers i've seen in a horror movie in a long time. He has a shitty uninspired silver skull mask that looks like it came from Wal-Mart around Halloween time, he drives a car with a license plate that says "ChromeSkull", he has his own likeness tattooed on his chest, he carries a mini dv camera on his shoulder, and he even fucking sends text messages not to mention his name is fucking CHROME SKULL!! It doesn't get much worse than that and yet Hall seems to think he's crafted an iconic horror villain that harks back to the days of Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers. Talk about delusional! Everyone involved in the making of this film seems to be delusional (just watch the special features) and the majority of the audience does too. Throwback to old school 80's horror my ass!

This movie sounds and looks like it was written and directed by a fucking 10 year old who watched way too many bad horror movies. Aside from the afformentioned couple of cool kill scenes, Laid To Rest is no better than any of the thousands of other low budget indy horror flicks that get dumped on us every month of every year. So why all the hype and positive words? Are we that desperate for good original horror that we'll suck off any shitty movie that provides us some cool gore? I demand better than that and you should too! At least Laid To Rest is an appropriate title though. That's exactly what it did for me....

And yes, that is Roach from People Under The Stairs!! I take back what I said about the gore being the only good thing about this crap....

Troma Updates!

A week ago, in the ongoing effort to promote the shit out of the Tromasterpiece Collection, I pitched the idea to Evan, my essential boss, of creating an official Tromasterpiece MySpace page that would help keep everyone up to date on all of the current and future releases in the line. For those not in the know, The Tromasterpiece Collection is basically a DVD line of some of Troma's finest titles, given the special edition facelift and the whole nine yards. Titles like Cannibal! The Musical, Redneck Zombies, and the upcoming Last Horror Film and Combat Shock have been given the treatment thus far. Well anyway, I told Evan that i'd be more than willing to run the MySpace page myself, meaning I would create it, update it, send out friend requests, answer messages, you know the drill. He liked the idea and I got to work on it yesterday and here's what i've come up with thus far .....

The Tromasterpiece Collection MySpace

Pretty spiffy, eh? So if you want to keep up to date on all the Tromasterpiece titles, send a friend request! I'm gonna try to get some contests on there in the future where you can win some of the DVD's so it would behoove you to become a friend!

And that brings me to the next thing I wanted to talk about .....

If you've been keeping up on my Troma recap posts, you will surely have noticed that I spend most of my time in the Troma offices plopped on the computer chair doing promotional stuff of the afformentioned sort, which is totally fine save for the fact that it's a three hour long and $40 trek to and from each day. I have a computer at my house. Are you catching my drift? I've had a great time interning at Troma and i'm so glad that I actually went for it and experienced it for a month, but I haven't been able to help thinking more and more lately that I can just do what i've been doing for them from the comfort of my home. Why make that whole journey out there and spend that money each week when I can just be as useful and as much of an asset from this computer chair im sitting in right now, ya know? So I pitched the idea to Evan and he said that'd be fine and we kinda worked out a deal where i'm essentially an on call intern, should a real busy day where i'm needed pop up. If he contacts me in advance and tells me to come in and help out on a certain day, i'll try and make it out there and help out. But aside from that, I should be able to do most of my work for them from home. So that's gonna work out pretty well for both of us. In addition to that he's got another marketing project coming up that he might need my help on, one that I will get credit for, so that'd be an awesome resume opportunity not to mention an awesome opportunity period. Evan's been such a cool guy to me and so understanding of my situation and I really thank and appreciate him for that. So while I will not be heading into Tromaville any longer, at least not on a weekly basis, I will continue to contribute and help out any which way I can. I really couldn't ask for this to work out any better than it has ....

Now I just have to go on the hunt for a real paying job around here. If my trip up to the great white north has taught me anything, it's that I want to start making some money so that I can continue to do fun shit like that in the future and get the most out of life which, go figure, ya need money for! Full Canada trip details coming soon, eh!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Eden Lake Contest Winner!

Out of the 17 entrants in this contest, the lucky winner of a brand spankin new copy of Eden Lake on DVD is .......

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Tracy Carter of Gibralter, Michigan!

Congratulations, Tracy! Expect a copy of Eden Lake in your mailbox within the week! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

It's way too nice out for me to be sitting here on the computer any longer, so i'm off to enjoy the day while it's still here. The Canada trip this past weekend has really filled me with a desire to get the most out of life and not spend so much time sitting on the computer or on the couch watching the tube. I was disconnected from both vices for several days and I gotta say, I didn't miss either of them. In fact, I really liked being seperated from the things i've relied so much on for so many years. In any event, if anyones interested in hearing about my trip, i'll post about it later tonight. For now, it's off to pour myself a gin & tonic and recover from my Canadian bender in the wet hot American sun!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Troma - Day 4

Another relatively slow day in Tromaville, but this one started off pretty good. Evan gave me a copy of The Last Horror Film on DVD (as in the real deal, not a burnt copy), which I think i've earned thanks to the endless amounts of promotion and spreading of word i've done with that flick over the past couple weeks. Speaking of, go check out the trailer and pre-order it on Amazon!! That's the last of it on this blog, I swear. Free DVD of a movie that's not available to the public yet, can't complain about that! I'm gonna have to try and get some Troma swag that I can give away in contests on here in the future. Wouldn't that be fun?!

After that, I was sent on a mission to Fed-ex Kinkos to pick up something, which I discovered was two printed out sheets of DVD covers for a couple Troma flicks. I'm a total novice when it comes to navigating around the city so I always get kinda nervous when I have to go on a mission, but I always manage to find my way there and back without too much of a hassle. The out of office mission has become my favorite task at Troma because it keeps me busy for a good portion of the day and allows me to get some fresh air and learn my way around the city. I don't know if i've ever mentioned it, but the city really isn't the place for me. I'm more a laid back move at my own pace kinda guy, which New York City of course is not. But once you're in there and once ya get a feel for it, it's not all that bad. This errand took a good hour and a half out of my day and I was just happy to be kept busy for the first couple hours of the day.

From there I did some more promotion for Combat Shock, mostly on message boards. Again, if you haven't seen the awesome trailer, check it out! While I was working on that, I was given the task of going through 15 pages of Troma/Roan Group (Troma's classic films department) titles and looking each and every one up on Netflix to find the ones that are listed "save" a.k.a the ones that the Flix doesn't have in stock at the moment. Netflix doesn't even carry most of the titles that were on that list and I only found about 20 "saved" titles out of a couple thousand but that again took up a few hours of my day so I wasn't complaining. Anything that keeps me busy for a good portion of time is a good thing in my book! Is there anything worse than sitting around at a job with nothing to do? Time crawls by at a snails pace and you feel like a fuckin retard who should be doing something. In this case, there's really not much for me to do unless i'm told to do something, which makes being given something to do all the more exciting.

Aside from that stuff I packaged up some orders from the website, which is a daily task at Troma. I used to hate doing this because there's a lot of steps involved and I don't want to fuck anything up, but i've gotten the hang of it and it's now just another simple time passer.

Around five I took out the garbage and I was on my (long) way home. And that's about it for day 4 in Tromaville. Just got an e-mail from Evan asking me to create a document with links to all of the websites/blogs on the net that have talked about The Last Horror Film, so i'll get to that Monday when I return from Canada. In the meantime, i've gotta hit the shower and start packing! Wish me and my three bearded long haired friends and out of place girlfriend luck in getting across the border without too much of a hassle. As Jen pointed out, they're probably gonna think we kidnapped her, got her hooked on the horse, and plan on introducing her into the Canadian sex trade market! Well, she pointed out that first part at least....

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ya, What The Fuck, Lionsgate?!

**Thanks to Basement of Ghoulish Decadence for bringing this to my attention and for speaking out about it!**

I've said it before and i'll say it again ; Near Dark is one of my all time favorite horror films and until Let The Right One In came along, it was my favorite vampire movie of all time. A few years back, Anchor Bay released a beautifully packaged 2 disc DVD of the flick chock full of special features that to this day is still one of my favorite DVD's on my shelf. I'm talking about this bad boy, which a mere shiny-less picture of doesn't do justice .....

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Well now it appears that Lionsgate, a once respectable company (before the Meat Train debacle), has picked up the rights to the film and, on July 7th of this year, will be releasing their own DVD, with this shitty cover ....

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Look familiar to anyone?!?

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Tailoring Near Dark to the Twilight crowd in an attempt to cash in on the craze? Shame on you, Lionsgate. Sure they're both vampire movies, but one really has nothing to do with the other and why the hell does a classic film like Near Dark need to be made to look like a movie that came decades after it? It's like Lionsgate is saying "nobody will buy this movie....unless we make it look like it's another Twilight!" If you don't already own the movie, buy the Anchor Bay version and boycott this Lionsgate butchery.

Speaking of Anchor Bay, they're not in the clear either .....

How about this Hellraiser Puzzle Box set that came out today? For years horror fans have been demanding the puzzle box that Region 2 got a while back and now we finally get it and it's not at all what we really wanted! Aside from the awesome packaging, take a look at what's in the set :

Hellraiser 20th Anniversary Edition DVD

Hellbound : Hellraiser 2 20th Anniversary DVD

Hellraiser Blu-ray

Re-releases of the same DVD's we've already seen and the Hellraiser DVD and Blu-ray in the same set! Why!? If you've got a Blu-ray player, why would you want the DVD? And if you don't have one, why would you want the Blu-ray?! What sense does this make? The only reason to pick up the set would be to get the puzzle box case itself, which really kind of makes this a worthless purchase if ya ask me. Thankfully, the Blu-ray was also released today on it's own, so you can just pick that up if ya wanna get a glimpse of Hell in high definition.

Couple other things ....

- Don't forget to enter my Eden Lake contest (below)! All ya gotta do is send me an email at mortis45@aol.com with your name and address and "Eden Lake Contest" in the subject header. Couldn't be any easier than that! Only ten people thus far have entered, so your chances of winning are pretty high!

- Is anybody interested in me bringing back the weekly DVD release roundup, where I talk about all of the horror DVD's hitting shelves each week? I used to do it on here every week but then moved the column over to Benevolent Street, which I no longer have time to write for and i'm thinking of bringing it back on here. If I get a couple comments saying you guys want it, it will be back!

- I just checked out All The Boys Love Mandy Lane today, finally. I didn't really love it as much as some did, but I enjoyed it and it's definetly a solid slasher flick. It was just announced that it will finally hit U.S. theatres July 17th of this year, so definetly check it out if it's playing at a theatre near you. And if you're in the UK or have a region free DVD player, you can already pick it up on either DVD or Blu-ray over at Amazon.

- Back to Troma for day four tommorow. I'll have my recap of the day either late tommorow night or early Thursday. Aside from that post, there won't be much going on here this week being that I leave for Canada Thursday night and come back sometime on Sunday. It'll be my first time leaving the country and i'm pretty excited about it. Going up to Niagra Falls and maybe into Toronto with the girlfriend and my three best friends. Should be a hell of a good time and the looking forwardness of it should make my day in Tromaville tommorow a breeze, eh!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Win Eden Lake On DVD!

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Re-gifting time! So I just won this DVD in a contest and I already own it and i'm sure you've read the below post so you already know that. I could sell this puppy on Amazon or E-bay and get myself an extra ten bucks or so but i'm not looking to turn a profit here, i'm just looking to get an awesome horror flick into the home and life of someone who will appreciate and love it as much as I. And what better home for it to go into than the home of one of the wonderful men or women that visits this here blog?!

So how do you enter? Lets make this as simple as possible. Send me an e-mail at mortis45@aol.com with your name and address and the subject line "Eden Lake Contest". Come April 26th, next Sunday, I will randomly pick a lucky winner. That's all there is to it! My only stipulation is that you only enter if you don't already own the DVD and if you live in the United States.

Good luck!

I Won Free Horror Shit!

Since starting that Win Free Horror Shit blog (the blog designed to help you, yes you, win free horror shit, natch) a couple months back, i've entered a plethora of horror related contests, all of which i've posted on there for you to also enter. Not only does the blog provide you guys with a nice constantly updating stream of contests to easily enter, but it also provides me with the same. Chances are, if I didn't have a blog based around contests, i'd never seek out and enter any! So does Win Free Horror Shit work? I think the two DVD's i've just received in the mail are a pretty ringing endorsement!

First I got an e-mail from Buried.com notifying me that I won a copy of Cycle of Fear on DVD. I know nothing about the flick but I always like to check out new shit so that was pretty cool. And just today, without any notification, I opened up my mailbox and found a copy of Eden Lake on DVD, with a congratulations note from Best-horror-movies.com. I'm a huge Eden Lake fan but I already own the flick so i'm thinking maybe i'll have my own little contest to re-gift it to one of you guys sometime in the near future. Who wants a copy!?

Now you may have noticed that I haven't really been updating Win Free Horror Shit as often as I used to. Between this blog and working at Troma I haven't had much time for it but I think this is the kick in the ass I needed to get it going again. Just as I suspected, I haven't entered a single contest since I stopped updating that blog on a regular basis. Go figure! Bottom line is, I want some more free shit and i'm sure you guys do too, so head on over to the blog, follow it, and I promise to update it as much as I possibly can!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Troma - Day 3

There's not a lot of gas left in my system at the moment but for some reason I feel compelled to get this Troma recap post done and posted before I hit the hay tonight. If I don't, I fear I may not get to it until a few days from now and I know you guys would all die from anticipation by then! No? Anyone?

Today was kind of a slow day in Tromaville. I sweeped the outside of the building, cleaned out the cigarette butts from the outdoor "ash tray", packaged some online orders, checked out some flicks sent in by fans hoping for Troma distribution (step it up, guys!), and spent the better part of the day promoting the shit out of the latest Tromasterpiece entries, The Last Horror Film and Combat Shock (sick of me talking about them yet?), mostly via Facebook of which I was admittedly completely foreign to up until today. I attempted to start a Fb page a while back but it was all too much to handle and I cancelled my account before I even got started. I guess i'm more of a MySpace guy although truthfully i'm really a neither guy. While I do have a MySpace page, I rarely even log into it or do anything with it. Everyones just gotta have one to say they have one, right?

So basically today Evan (public relations dude) and I worked on kick starting the Tromasterpiece Facebook page and by the time the clock struck time to get the hell outta there and go home, the friends had skyrocketed from about 20 to upwards of 400 (currently at over 500). Pat ourselves on the back for that one and here's to 500 more by tommorow! If you have a Facebook account, be sure to head over to the offical Tromasterpiece Facebook page and add them (us?) as a friend! While there, you can even play a little screen grab guessing game to win a copy of Cannibal The Musical on 2 disc DVD signed by Lloyd Kaufman himself! It's looking like nows gonna be the time for me to create a Facebook page, or at least make another account, so that I can be signed up as an admin on the Tromasterpiece account and can manage it from the comfort of my own home. We'll see how that goes. I hope I don't become hooked.

Aside from that, it was a lot of sitting around with not much to do today, which is kind of a bummer. It's not that I like doing shit, but being kept busy doing shit makes the day go by quicker and makes me feel that my three hour trek out to the city is well worth it. When 5 o' clock finally rolled around and I started taking out the trash and getting ready to leave, I was suddenly handed the task of transcribing an interview Lloyd conducted with the director of Combat Shock. If you've never transcribed an audio tape before, consider yourself fucking lucky cause it was just about the most painstaking and boring thing i've ever done, not to mention I was supposed to be out of there by the time I got started on it. I quickly realized that the task of transcribing a 20 or so minute interview would take many hours, so I worked until six, transcribed about 4 minutes of the shit, and then got out of there. I would love to say I stayed as late as possible and finished the whole thing before crapping out but I was way too fucking exhausted at this point and I think everyone leaves around 6ish anyway, so it really wouldn't have been possible. I got a little ticked that I sat around most of the day dying for something to do and then right when I was about to leave, I was handed hours of work, but I got over it. Guess things just work out that way sometimes. Suffice to say, if you're ever torn between the tasks of whiping the shitter down or transcribing an audio file, opt for the shitter! Let's hope I never have to do another one of those again.

Before I go ....

I've saved the best for last! Early in the morning, I was treated to the following music video directed by Lloyd Kaufman and the afformentioned Evan Husney. It's called "The Cleaner", it's for the band FAGGOT, and I think i'll let it speak for itself. Enjoy.



**It appears this video was too disturbing for Vimeo! I will try to get a hold of another link where it can be checked out for those who missed it!!**

Apparently Lloyd and Michael Herz (co-founder of Troma) are hotly debating whether or not to submit this video to HBO, Michael's argument being something along the lines of "nobody wants to see a puppet asshole." Or do they!? Regardless, Lloyd apparently sent the video to some big names in the horror industry including Rob Zombie, John Carpenter, Stephen King, Dario Argento, Clive Barker, and Wes Craven. Gotta love him! Would love to know what those guys think of that video .....

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I'm In Isle Of The Damned! Sort Of ....

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Not sure if anybodys heard of this indy film Isle of the Damned, but it's basically a spoof to and homage of the horror sub genre of cannibal flicks (Cannibal Holocaust, Cannibal Ferox, etc). It's marketed as being made in 1980 by a mysterious dude named Antonello Giallo and being "banned in 492 countries!" when in actuality it was made in 2008 by a dude named Mark. Pretty cool and inventive way to market a Grindhouse style throwback of this type, if ya ask me. After hearing about it for quite some time, I picked myself up a copy from Monster Mania a couple months back (thanks to Antonello/Mark's good sales pitch) and finally got around to watching it tonight. It starts out as a fun and gory little throwback that certaintly is a love note to those afformentioned cannibal films, bad intentional dubbing and all, but it got pretty boring after about the 30 minute mark (maybe I just wasn't in the right mood). Still, it's certaintly not without its merits and laughs and would probably make for a good drinking with friends movie night. But i'm not here to talk about the movie!

I was checking out the special features on the disc, as I usually do after I watch a movie, whether I liked the movie or not, and there's a feature called "The Shameless Art Of Self-Promotion" which is a six minute mini documentary about the marketing of the film at a recent Monster Mania convention, one that I figured I probably attended being that i've been at most of them in recent years. My first thought was "oooh, I wonder if i'll see myself walking around the hotel!" and within the first 45 seconds, there Jen and I were! Check it out!

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Movie stars and we didn't even know it! Ok, so it's not that exciting, but I thought it was pretty cool and like i've said before, i'm pretty easily amused by the small things in life. It's not every day you see yourself on a DVD!

And hey, if you're into old school cannibal movies and you're drunk and want some mindless entertainment, check out Isle of the Damned! You really can't rent it anywhere but you can pick it up on Amazon or maybe you'll even catch the guys at the next horror convention in your area!

Come To Horror's Rescue!

- A few months back, Monsters HD was given the proverbial axe and now the other horror on demand channel, FEARnet, has been given the same treatment. No longer can Time Warner or Bright House Cable subscribers click on their televisions and choose from a host of horror flicks to watch at precisely the time they wanna watch 'em. Not gonna stand for this abuse of the horror genre? Then STAND UP TO IT! You can do this one of two ways. If you are a subscriber to Time Warner or Bright House, call 1-877-FEAR-247, where you will be connected with your cable operator and you can let them know you want FEARnet back. Secondly, whether you get the channel or not and you have a Facebook page, click over to FEARnet's Facebook and sign the petititon to bring them back. I personally do not get the channel but I can feel the pain of those who had it and lost it being that I had and lost Monsters HD, which my nights are a little less exciting without. So whether ya got it or not, stick up for horror and help bring it back into the homes of those who want and need it!

Even though the channel may be gone, the FEARnet website still exists and they've got their own constantly updating stream of on demand horror flicks for you to check out. Right now you can watch Frontier(s), Night of the Creeps, and all four Toxic Avenger movies wherever and whenever you wish! God bless the internet!

- My pals over in Tromaville also need your help. Would you believe it that Poultrygeist : Night of the Chicken Dead has never been shown in theatres in California?! Injustice? I think so! If you live in the San Diego area or are able to travel there and want Poultrygeist to finally play in Cali, SIGN THIS PETITION! The chicken zombies are counting on you!

- A few other random notes .....

- Let The Right One In, the greatest vampire movie ever made and the best horror movie to come out last year (in my opinion), is available to instantly watch on Netflix! If you haven't seen the flick yet, I STRONGLY urge you to check it out on Netflix while you still can. Best of all, this version has the correct non Americanized subtitles! WATCH NOW!

- New video game consists solely of shooting people in the face at point blank range! Check it out!



Would you buy that? I'm pretty certain I would!

- I checked out Troma's upcoming release of The Last Horror Film last night and I gotta say, it's a pretty kickass movie. If you liked Maniac and most importantly Joe Spinell in Maniac (or if you like the super sexy Caroline Munro and tons of other nude women), then you will love this one. It streets May 19th and I definetly recommend you pre-order it or at least give it a rent. I can assure you I am not just saying this because of my current ties with Troma. I would never lie and say I liked something I did not like. If I didn't like it, I just wouldn't talk about it, simple as that!

- Don't miss Quentin Tarantino on American Idol tonight! 8pm eastern time!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Troma - Day 2

Another day at Tromaville is in the can and I really feel like i'm starting to get into the Troma groove, so to speak. It's only been two days but it's starting to feel like i'm a real part of the team as opposed to just a lowely dude who cleans the shitter. Granted, I still am a lowely dude who cleans the shithouse, but I can tell this internship is going to provide a lot more hands on work than merely that. Here's a little bit about how my day went this past Wednesday .....

Another new intern started working earlier this week and he's gonna be there every Wednesday, which is awesome that i'll have a fellow intern to hang with. He's a really cool and nice guy, like all the guys at Troma, and i'm glad to have someone on my same level around. We started off the day with the worst part of the day, cleaning the bathroom and mopping the floors. We shared duties (no pun intended) on that one and whiped it out pretty quickly. Being that i'm not very domesticated, this was actually the first time i've ever mopped any floor but it went pretty well. As for the shitter, thankfully the other dude (i'm not good with names) took care of that situation, god bless him. I suppose i'll be on that duty next week. I didn't get off scott free though as I did head outside to hand pick up all the wet and stinky cigarettes in the flower pot outside, which I volunteered to do. Last week I heard Miohael Herz, co founder of Troma, talking about how he wanted those butts cleaned out, so I asked him if he'd like me to go do that, which surely scored me some points. At the very least it scored me a few black and smelly finger tips ....

After that, we headed downstairs to grab a film print of Surf Nazi's Must Die and compile a list of all of the classic westerns that Troma owns. Troma owns a second company (again, not good with names) that releases a ton of old classic films, like those of Bela Lugosi and some John Wayne westerns and what not. After that, we packaged up some orders and typed up shipping labels (via typewriter). The other intern started on this task and I came in and finished it when he was sent into Manhattan on a side job. I've never typed up labels before and I didn't receive any guidance in that department, so I kinda fucked it up. What you're supposed to do is slip the DVD (or whatever was ordered) into the packing envelope along with the order form, type up a shipping label and slap it in the center, fill out a delivery confirmation and stick that on there, and then NOT SEAL THE ENVELOPE. From there, Maris Herz, wife of Michael, needs to check the order form that you slipped in there and bill credit cards and what not. Well of course, never being told about this, I sealed shut the three envelopes that I packaged. Who would think to do it any other way? Thankfully Evan, the guy who hired me, came over and quickly fixed my problem and totally understood that by all means I shouldn't have had any idea how to do it properly, and all was well once again at Tromaville. Regardless, fucking up is never fun! I've learned to not stress about stuff like that too much though because for one, it's no big deal, and for two, fucking up is all a part of the learning process. There will be lots of fuck ups in the future, i'm sure!

Most of my day was spent on the computer, sending out e-mails to horror blogs and websites promoting their upcoming new release of Combat Shock on 2 disc DVD (check out the post below this one for the info and the awesome trailer!). I've never seen Combat Shock but i'm incredibly excited about this release. The trailer looks kickass, the cover art is awesome, and I can't wait to get my hands on it (not just saying that!). I sent out about 40 e-mails to various blogs and websites and a bunch were nice enough to post about the news on their sites. So thanks to whoever did that, it's been a big help. If anyone reading this has a horror blog, talk about it on there and include the trailer! Would be much appreciated. Speaking of new Troma releases, I got my hands on a screener copy of The Last Horror Film, which I spent last week promoting. Once I get around to checking that out, i'll post my (biased) thoughts.

Towards the end of the day, the other intern was given the task of watching an indy flick called Thicker Than Water : The Vampire Diaries Part 1, which i've actually heard a ton of good about and have even talked about on here in the past. His job was basically to watch it and then let the guys know if it was any good and if Troma should get the rights to it and release it. I didn't have much to do, so I rolled my chair over to the t.v and watched a bit of it with him. He wasn't really feeling it so he was fast forwarding through most of it and on top of that it was too loud in the offices to really hear much of what was going on, but what I saw didn't impress me. I'd really have to sit down and watch the whole thing to form a real opinion on it though. Based on dude's review, I don't think we'll be seeing this flick owned by Troma anytime soon.

I think the highlight of my day (besides being followed around by a gay mexican at the train station) was when Evan called up Howard Stern's own Richard Christy to tell him about something. Richard Christy is a former (accomplished) metal drummer and a current (accomplished) Stern prank caller/gay stuntman. Perhaps it's kinda sad that my day was made by a call being placed in my midst to a hilbilly who's about to take a load on his back to meet the guy who created Family Guy, but what can I tell ya. I'm all about the cheap thrills and i'm very easily amused.

Another high point of the day was when Evan was checking out some of the links I sent him of people talking about Combat Shock, thanks to the e-mails I had been sending out during the day. I made a post about it on here (again, see below) while I was at work and I slipped that link to him after I did it. He pulled it up and said "Does anyone read these horror blogs? Like Freddy In Space?" To which I of course defended, "That's my blog! And yes, people read it!" I proceeded to go on a minute long tirade of my blogging accomplishments and ended it with a nice punctual "What the fuck do you know!" which was agreed upon and laughed about for several minutes. This is what i'm talking about when I say I feel like i'm a part of the team. In only two days, i'm already getting along with these guys like they're old pals and the lack of comfort is no longer really there. It's essentially hanging out with like minded individuals for the day and that's exactly what I was hoping it'd be like. There's no denying that us horror fans share a special bond with one another.

All in all, another fine day at Troma. This is definetly the first "job" i've ever had where I really can't complain in any way about it. I get to go in one day a week and help out for a few hours and then I get to contribute the rest of the week from home, at my own leisure. It's the perfect set up for me! I actually feel like i've accomplished a lot for them and i'm proud of what i've contributed thus far. It looks like this will be a very fulfilling and valuable character building experience when all is said and done. Not to mention a good creative outlet, which i've desperately been in need of.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The New Troma Release That Just Might Make You Want To Slit Your Own Wrists!!

Who doesn't want to be driven to do that?!

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I'm writing live from the Troma offices right now to tell ya about an exciting new release from the company. Combat Shock is a balls to the wall horror flick that came out in 1986. Ever seen it? Well, I can guarantee you've never seen it like this before! On July 28th of this year, Troma will be unleashing the never before seen 2 disc Director's Cut of Combat Shock and, as usual with the releases coming out of Tromaville, it will be absolutely chock full of awesome and comprehensive special features. Whether you're new to Combat Shock or have known and loved it for years, check out the brand spankin new uncut trailer to the film that Henry : Portrait of a Serial Killer director John McNaughton hailed will "make you want to slit your wrists"!!!



The jam packed two disc Tromasterpiece release will be loaded with the following special features :

+ American Nightmares (100 min): The Never-Before-Seen Director’s Cut
+ Combat Shock (90 min): The Troma Theatrical Cut
-Audio Commentary with Director Buddy Giovinazzo and Jorg Buttgereit
-Optional Spanish Language Track
+ Post-Traumatic, An American Nightmare (40 min): A look at Combat Shock’s Everlasting
Underground Following and an Examination of ‘Nihilistic Cinema’ featuring all-new interviews
with: Rick Giovinazzo, John McNaughton, William Lustig, Jorg Buttgereit, Jim Van Bebber, Roy
Frumkes, Mitch Davis, Joe Kane, Rick Sullivan, David Gregory and more!
+ All-New Interview with Director Buddy G Conducted by Lloyd Kaufman
+ Never-Before-Seen Short Works by Buddy Giovinazzo:
- Mr. Robbie, starring Joe Spinell (Maniac)
- More to be announced!
+ Hellscapes (10 min): A Look at the Locations from Combat Shock as they appear today
+ Original Press and Photo Gallery
+ Original Theatrical Trailers
+ ‘Solider of Misfortune: Buddy Giovinazzo’s Combat Shock’ - New Liner Notes by Steve
Puchalski (Shock Cinema, Slimetime)

Can't wait to get your hands on it? Pre-order it today on Amazon for only $17.99!!

Spread this sumbitch around!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Leatherface, You Bitch Hog!

Couple Chainsaw related things I wanted to talk about, some good, some real bad. Let's get the bad out of the way .....

- I'd like to send my condolences to the family of Lou Perryman, who died this past week. The 67 year old actor was probably best known to horror fans as L.G., the beloved radio station worker from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. He was even an assistant camera operator on the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Perryman also appeared in Poltergeist, The Blues Brothers, and Boys Don't Cry over his career. This tragedy is all the more sad because Perryman was murdered in his Texas home, apparently the victim of a totally random act. You can send your condolences to his family and pay your respects over at his Facebook page.

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Rest In Peace Lou Perryman
1942 - 2009


- On a lighter Chainsaw note .....

A couple months back, I had planned to do a recurring column on Benevolent Street where I would interview and ask well known genre actors about their favorite horror convention memories, being that B. Street is the official home for the Scare Fest convention's forums. I thought it'd be a fun little tie in and the first "episode" of it was going to be an all Chainsaw edition, with stars of the original flick sharing their favorite memories. I was able to get in contact with Edwin Neal (The Hitchhiker) and Teri McMinn (Pam) who both agreed to share a memory but ultimately became too busy to contribute. I also contacted several other cast members, including Tobe Hooper and Gunnar (Leatherface) Hansen, but was not able to get replies. With that failure I kinda forgot all about the column idea for a while. On top of that, Benevolent Street kinda went under (there are plans to bring it back bigger and stronger than ever but i'm really not gonna have time to contribute) and the whole thing just fell apart. Well, just the other day I ended up checking my Benevolent Street e-mail account, which I hadn't checked in at least a month, and there was a response from Gunnar Hansen to my e-mail from months earlier, apologizing and providing me with his favorite horror convention memory! I figure why not just post it on here, as it doesn't look like that full column is going to come to fruition. So here is Gunnar Hansen's all time favorite horror convention memory, a nice little tale of shared respect between actors.

"At a convention a few years ago, one of the radio networks was doing a remote broadcast, and I was scheduled to come on at 9:00 PM, so I sat in the audience, listening to Al Lewis tell the host wonderfully funny stories about his experiences as Grandpa on "The Munsters" tv show. I was in awe of him. His hour ended and the host went to commercial. As Al was leaving, he walked past me. He stopped, looked at me, stuck his hand out and said "Love your work." Then he stuck his cigar back in his mouth and he was gone."

- Speaking of Teri McMinn, she did agree recently to do an interview with me and I submitted some questions to her which she promised to respond to pretty soon so hopefully that will be posted within the week! That was that "off the hook" interview that I alluded to a couple weeks ago .....

- Back to Troma tommorow! I'll return on Thursday with a full recap of my day!

Six Random Things

Here in the blogging world there's a thing called a "meme" which is a chain letter sort of thing designed to help fellow bloggers get to know one another a little bit better. Basically, someone comes up with a topic, such as "My 5 Favorite Horror Movies", makes a post on their blog naming their top 5 favorites, and then tags six other bloggers of his/her choosing who then have to make their own post on their own blog listing their own personal top five and then tag six others and so on and so forth. Get it? Well, over a week ago I was tagged by The World of iMike in a meme regarding six random facts about myself and I didn't really want to do it because I kinda don't really care for these meme things but i'm kinda bored right now and don't have much else to post so i'm gonna give it a go. I'm not gonna tag anyone at the end of this cause I really don't wanna make anyone feel forced to do it but if ya wanna do it, be my guest!

So here we go. Six random things about yours truly .....

1. Hunter S. Thompson Is My Role Model

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He did excessive amounts of every drug known to civilized man. He started every morning with a cocktail of alcohol. He rode with the Hell's Angels. He blew his head off with a shotgun. Pretty fucked up person to have as a role model? Perhaps. But I don't idolize the man because of these things per se, I idolize the man because he lived the life that he wanted to and he left that life when he wanted to. You don't have to agree with everything he did and he'd be the first person to tell you not to agree with everything he did, but you can't help but feel envious of a man who had the courage to experience life in its fullest form without any rules or guidelines. For that, I respect and admire the good doctor and i'm proud to call him a fucked up role model of sorts.

2. (I feel that) Six Feet Under Is The Greatest Thing Ever Created By Man

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I am highly confident that there is no piece of entertainment, be it a movie or a tv show, that will ever even come close to being as good as Six Feet Under was/is. I discovered the show only a couple years ago, after it had already ended, and i've already watched the full series almost three times now on DVD, introducing both my dad and girlfriend to it, who both also fell in love with it. It's strange because I feel so much better when I have the show in my life, which is why I continually go back and re-watch the whole thing again. I honestly feel empty and sad without it. This is truly a life changing piece of entertainment and I cannot urge you enough to dive into this beautiful and haunting series for yourself.

3. I Don't Have a Job

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Jesus I don't have a job and I admire a drug addict, what the fuck is wrong with me! Aside from the whole Troma intern gig of late, I haven't had a real job (does selling shit on Ebay count?) for quite some time and i'm not even so sure it's because of laziness like you'd think. I've done some landscaping, i've worked at Blockbuster and King Kullen (all for pretty short periods of time) and i've hated it all every step of the way. I guess everyone hates their job and you just kinda suck it up and do it in order to survive, but I just can't seem to do that, which would probably explain me taking an almost 3 hour journey to do unpaid work at a horror movie company. I honestly don't know what I truly want to do with my life, but I know it's not something that takes place between 9 and 5. I'm fully aware that at some point i'll have to take that plunge and I may end up having to do something I hate for the rest of my life, but i've been trying to avoid it all costs and i've been trying to figure out what it is I really want to do with the rest of my days. I'm only 22 though, that's still young right? No? Can I just be Hunter S. Thompson?

4. Up Until I was 18, I Was Sure I Was Going To Be a Pro Wrestler

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Yep, that was the plan. I've had a love affair with the world of professional wrestling ever since I was a youngin and the plan for me was that once I turned 18 and got out of high school, I was gonna head out to wrestling camp and start training to become a professional wrestler. Now I was always pretty fuckin small and scrawny, so I began to pump iron every day of the week in my basement in preparation for this dream, which is something good that came out of this dream because i'm now not such a scrawny little bitch, although I don't work out anymore. Of course, once I turned 18, I kinda fell out of the whole wrestling thing (I still watch though) and no longer wanted to do that with my life, but I can't say I didn't have a good time dreaming about it in my youth and the thought of someday being the world champion surely got me through many a tough acne faced high school day.

5. I Found Love On MySpace

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Alright let's get sappy for a second. I wasn't gonna go here but how can I really talk about myself without talking about Jen. Can one find true love on the internet? I am living proof! So here's how it happened. One night I was cruising The Space essentially looking for women in my area to add and probably never message and you know the drill. I was lonely, what can I tell ya. I stumbled upon Jen's page and she was not only private but the picture of her barely gave me any hint of what she really even looked like. So why the hell would I choose to add that person? I still to this day have no idea but for whatever reason, call it fate if you wish, I added her. Like I said, I would add people and either just kinda fuck with them or never even message them at all and i'm pretty confident that I never would've messaged her at all. But a couple minutes later, I got a message from her asking if she knew me to which I slyly replied "No, but you're kinda cute". Smooooth! I didn't expect any kind of response to that but again, a couple minutes later, I got one. "You have a cool beard". Score! We never stopped talking after that. A week and a half later, we met in person. A week after that, we were dating. 10 months later, we got our respective initials tattooed on one another. It's now been almost a year and a half since that initial friend request and we're still together with no plans of ever not being together. I guess i'm forever in debt to MySpace and I hope this gives some hope to all you other lonely social networkers out there! It can happen!

And that's enough of that expose!

***Thank you dragonmanes for notifying me that I missed a sixth random fact! Oh well, what can ya do!***

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Movies I Watched In March

Couple days late on this one as all my free online time of late has been devoted to Troma related work (getting the word out there on The Last Horror Film .... if you have a horror blog or website and want a screener to review on there, drop me a line!), but here are all the movies I watched last month with some brief thoughts on each of them .....

Angel of Death - This is actually a web series consisting of 10 episodes, but basically plays out like an hour and a half long movie cut up into 10 parts. If you like Zoe Bell (how can ya not?) and kickass female on male action (how can ya not?!), be sure to check this one out on Crackle.

Assault on Precinct 13 (2005) - Well done remake of an awesome classic.

Babysitter Wanted - One of the better horror flicks i've seen this year.

Beyond The Mat - If you've got any doubts about how real the world of pro wrestling is, watch a double feature of this and The Wrestler!

Bitten - Fun little flick made more fun that it probably should be by Jason Mewes.

Class of Nuke 'Em High - Whether you like Troma or ya don't, ya gotta love Troma!

The Dead Pool - Not my favorite of the Dirty Harry flicks, but Clint Eastwood kickin ass is Clint Eastwood kickin ass and i'll take that in any form.

Death Race 2000 - The first half of this movie is one of the greatest things i've ever witnessed. It loses a bit of steam in its later half, but it's still an awesome cult classic that i'm proud to say i've finally seen. Long live Frankenstein!

Double Dare - Fascinating documentary on stunt women. Again, Zoe Bell kicks ass and I was left craving more insight into her life.

Eden Lake - I've talked enough about this one in months past. BUY IT!

Gran Torino - Liked it even better the second time around. What a way for Eastwood to go out.

Growing Out - Interesting premise on paper, but I was not feeling this one at all.

Hitch Hike - 70's exploitation with David Hess as the bad guy. Need I say more? This one's more well done than most.

Jacob's Ladder - Total mind fuck. It'd been a good five years since I last saw this movie and I fell in love with it all over again.

Last House on the Left (1972) - One of my favorite horror flicks but it's admittedly pretty dated.

Last House on the Left (2009) - A perfect upgrade of the original, making Last House new again for our generation. Best horror movie i've seen this year so far.

Martyrs - Whoa! Forget what it's the briefcase in Pulp Fiction, I wanna know what was whispered at the end of Martyrs! This is the cinematic equivalent of a brutal rape, and I say that in a good way.

Masters of Horror : The Damned Thing - Decent episode until the shiteous CGI end.

Masters of Horror : Family - Another decent episode. Why am I so fascinated by the bloated and red faced George Wendt?

The Mist - Best ending of all time? Perhaps. This movie is a total experience that you really feel like you're a part of from beginning to end. Can't get enough!

The Mutilator - I love shitty corny horror movies, but this one didn't do much for me.

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist - I liked it. Didn't fall in love, but I liked it.

Picnic at Hanging Rock - Forget what was whispered at the end of Martyrs, I wanna know what happened to these girls!! Overall a kind of boring and long winded flick, but totally fascinating.

Poultrygeist - One of Troma's best and like I said above, whether ya love 'em or ya don't, ya can't help but appreciate 'em!

Punisher : Warzone (twice) - This one provides everything you'd want it to provide and then some. Gory, action packed, well acted, and touching. This is the Punisher we've been waiting for.

Quarantine - I'm sorry I shit on this one before even watching it. It's as good as if not better than the kickass REC.

Revenge - There's just something about a Tony Scott flick that I love and this is now my second favorite behind True Romance.

Righteous Kill - Not nearly as good as a Deniro / Pacino movie should be, but I enjoyed it!

Smart People - Another one I just could not get into the groove of. I think i've had enough of the quirky dysfunction family dramadeys.

Torso - After years of hearing Eli Roth rant and rave about Torso, I finally watched it and i'm sad to report that it did nothing for me. There's a portion of it towards the end that's pretty tense and awesome, but it really wasn't much better than any of the other Giallo's out there.

Walled In - Crap, crap, crap.

The Wrestler - What more can I say that I haven't already said?

Zack & Miri Make a Porno - Liked it better this time around. The beers and friends I had with me while watching it this time did not hurt.

Favorite movie that I watched this month? That'd have to go to .....

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REVENGE Unrated Director's Cut (1990)

I'm a total sucker for a good revenge flick and this is a damn good revenge flick. It's not a perfect movie as there's a few too many convenient coincidences that kinda hurt its credibility, but they can all be easily looked past. Unusually for a director's cut, this cut is actually shorter than the original release, making it more tense and less drawn out. I've never seen the longer version, but all I can say is that this version kicks some serious ass. Is it Tony Scott's masterpiece, as Quentin Tarantino states on the front cover? I think that honor would have to go to True Romance, which QT probably agrees with but is he really gonna say that a film he wrote is the best one Scott's ever made? That being said, Revenge is a close second for me. Seek this one out!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Troma Brings You ... The Last Horror Film!

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On May 19th of this year, Troma will release the 1982 lost (until now!) slasher gem The Last Horror Film for the first time in America totally unrated and with a host of Troma approved special features! This film has not been seen in its unrated form for over 25 years and has NEVER been released on DVD in that form! Here's all the information about this must see release that Movie Gazette said "cuts deeper than the average slasher film"!



Troma Team Video is proud to present for the time uncut in America, one of Joe Spinell's (Rocky, The Godfather) most riveting, unnerving performances, since his unforgettable starring role in Maniac, in this underrated gem of the 1980s -- The Last Horror Film. Vinny Durand (Spinell), a lonesome New York cab driver who lives at home with his mother, has dreams of becoming a famous film director. Consumed by his depraved obsession with beautiful horror actress Jenna Bates (Bond-Girl Caroline Munro) and determined to have her star in his first film, Vinny trails her to the Cannes Film Festival. While Vinny's disturbing fascination grows, a mysterious killer begins slaughtering all people in Jenna's entourage. Is the obsessed fanatic and the psychotic killer one in the same? Will this be Jenna's Last Horror Film?

Special Features:

-My Best Maniac: Half-hour conversation with Joe Spinell's best friend Luke Walter
-Audio commentary by Walter and Troma's Evan Husney
-Buddy Giovinazzo's short MR. ROBBIE, a.k.a. MANIAC 2, starring Spinell
-Interview with MANIAC director William Lustig
-Original theatrical trailer
-Introduction by Lloyd Kaufman
-Plus even more Tromatic extras!


ATTENTION TO ALL YOU FELLOW HORROR BLOGGERS/WRITERS OUT THERE!!

If you would like to be sent a screener copy of The Last Horror Film to watch and review on your blog or website, e-mail me at mortis45@aol.com with your name and address and I will have Troma send one out to you! Once you review the flick, be sure to e-mail me with a link to said review!

For all others, if you would like to pre-order The Last Horror Film, head over to Troma.com and do so today!

Troma - Day 1 (The Real Deal)

I feel like i'm beating a dead horse by constantly thanking my wonderful girlfriend but a big thanks once again to Jen who woke up with me bright and early at 5 in the morning yesterday and then took the train all the way into Manhattan with me not because she had to, but because she wanted to make sure I knew my way around the city and would be able to make it to place on time or at all, for that matter. She ushered me to the Subway into Queens and then we split apart in dramatic Hollywood fashion ; me to my job at Troma, her back on the hour and a half long train home that she probably shouldn't have been on in the first place. I contemplated Garden State-ing it and bursting out of the subway doors and running all sappy and shit back into her arms, but I had places to go and things to do. So what'd I do my first day at Troma? Here's the rundown!

I got there at about 9:30 and decided why not arrive a little early and impress some people. Well not really, I really had nothing else to do with myself. I buzzed in but no one answered. And then a car pulled up to the building and Michael Herz (co founder of Troma) and his wife got out, we said our hellos, and headed into the building. My first duty was to essentially scour the net and collect a master list of horror sites / blogs out there that review horror DVD's. Troma is working on releasing an uncut (for the first time in the US) version of The Last Horror Film on DVD (much more on that in a seperate post later today) and they're basically looking for reputable sites out there who they can send screener copies and who will review it on their blog / site and help get the word out there. So I spent a few hours of my day on the computer (my second home), researching and checking out all of the many horror websites out there. And of course, I couldn't help but slap Freddy In Space on there! Maybe i'll send myself a screener copy....

After a bit of that, I worked on assembling some paper packets for Lloyd Kaufman. He had a signing in the City last night, so he had a bunch of hand out packets that needed to be folded up and put together. After that, Evan, the intern dude, showed me how to process and package up orders that come in from the website, as well as how to type up and print out packing slips. And then, I was sent on the dreaded out of doors mission. Dreaded because, without a guide dog, i'm totally lost in the city....

I was to head back into Manhattan, via subway, and collect a few short films a former intern (I believe) edited together and hand her a goody bag full of Troma merch. It was a daunting task but it actually proved to be the most fun I had the entire day, probably because it was such a challenge. I somehow managed to navitage my way all the way to Manhattan and all the way back to Queens and return in one piece and for that, I was very proud and rode on quite the high for about 15 minutes. I feel like i've begun to really start getting into the City groove and I hope to get sent out on errands more often. Of course now saying that, i'll get totally fucking lost next time and end up spending the night in Harlem. By the way, say what ya want about New York City folk, but everyone I asked for directional help (of whom there were A LOT) was incredibly helpful and nice to me. Grabbed some lunch on the way back and finally got to eat a nice meal for the first time in the day. The deli right down the block serves breakfast till 4pm daily, cheers to that!

When I got back I did some more computer work and then helped take some heavy boxes of film prints that had been delivered and put them away in the basement area. After that, it was the legendary taking out the trash intern gig, which was cool because I got to take Lloyd Kaufman's trash out! He was very nice and asked what my name was and thanked me for taking out his trash to which I responded, "This is the fun part of the day." He then said, in typical Lloyd fashion, "You're well on your way to becoming a famous filmmaker!" Hey, Eli Roth and James Gunn both started here, how bad can it be?

All in all it was a pretty good day and i'm definetly looking forward to what next week will bring. I'm hoping to get more challenging hands on work in the future, as that's really what i'm making the long haul for. Like with any job, when there's stuff to do, it's a lot more enjoyable and goes by a lot quicker then when you're sitting there holding your dick. If nothing more, this gig is gonna provide me with some serious weekly workout! I haven't felt this sore since the last time I pumped iron (which was admittedly way too long ago).

Suffice to say, i'll be returning to Troma next Wednesday!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Troma - Day 1

Within 15 minutes of my shift today, I had a little incident. My orders were to get Mr. Lloyd Kaufman his favorite coffee from down the block and personally hand deliver it to him. Easy enough, right? What an honor, I thought! So I headed down the block, got the coffee, returned with the coffee, walked into Lloyd's office, and then proceeded to stumble and dump the scalding hot coffee (he likes it reeeeeal hot) all over the President of Tromaville. Needless to say, a highly Tromatic new a-hole ripping was administered to yours truly and I was promptly fired on the spot. Needless to say once more, the Troma blog posts will now be ceasing. My deepest and sincerest apologies and regrets to not only Mr. Kaufman and his family but also to all of you Troma heads out there. For as long as I live, I will never live this day down.....

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APRIL FOOLS!!!

HAR HAR!!!!

Truth be told, i'm way too fucking tired right now to post any kind of recap of my (rather good) day in Tromaville, so it's gonna have to wait till tommorow. That is, if I ever wake up tommorow. And for the record, there is some truth to that above story. I did in fact meet the man behind the Troma and I did in fact service him (not like that....)!