Friday, February 26, 2010

The End Of The World & An Immortal Nazi

Two quick reviews of two movies I watched over the last couple weeks that i've been meaning to get around to. Coincidentally, both movies are about brothers and both movies are awesome.

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I am happy to say that I thoroughly underestimated Carriers. I got it from Netflix weeks ago and it had been sitting on my shelf for almost two weeks before I decided to pick it up and pop it in. Despite some positive reviews I had read, I expected it to be a generic 'few remaining survivors walk around a plague land' flick the likes of which I had seen a million times before and that's why I never bothered to watch it. Though it was in some ways a generic apocalyptic film, it turned out to be much more than that. I love when a movie blows away my expecations and Carriers did just that. What could've easily been a totally generic movie that went the zombie route went a totally different route and instead examined the relationship between brothers and friends, and i'd say the fact that it was written and directed by two brothers is what made the story so effective and so emotional. Must also say I underestimated Chris Pine, considering him up to this point as just another pretty face (haven't seen Star Trek), as he turned in one hell of a performance. Chalk one up for PG-13 horror!

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The basic premise of Blood Creek is this - a Nazi has found the key to immortality and he cannot be stopped. An immortal nazi, is that not the greatest plot ever for a horror film? I'm all about Nazi horror and Schumacher's latest horror effort is one of the best in that sub-genre. It's totally original, gory as all hell, completely off the wall, and features one of the scariest and most memorable villains in recent years - played by the continually impressive Michael Fassbender. I don't know about you, but those are all the ingredients I look for in horror flicks. There were several moments throughout this movie where I literally out loud said "wow" and that doesn't happen often for a jaded horror buff like myself. Yes there is some bad acting and some bad CGI, but one of those faulty CGI scenes is such a cool scene that could've only been pulled off with CGI, so I forgive it. In fact, I forgive any and all flaws Blood Creek may have because it is so fucking awesome and different. Joel, I think I finally forgive you for the nipple suits.

Monster Mania 14 - 2 Weeks Away!

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In just two short weeks, Monster Mania invades Cherry Hill, New Jersey for the first time of 2010. With a guest list including Malcolm McDowell, Dario Argento, Thom Mathews, and even Gary Busey (!), it's looking like it's gonna be a great one. You can take my word for it, if you live even remotely close to the New Jersey area, you will not regret making the trip out to Monster Mania - consistently the best horror convention i've ever attended. Check the website for full guest list and all the details.

Who's coming?!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Shutter Island - It's Great, But You Know This Already


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Is it just me or are Scorsese films above reviewing? The main reason I write reviews of movies on here is so that other like minded individuals can read those opinions and determine whether or not they too should spend their time seeing that movie. The way I see it, to even wonder if Shutter Island is a good movie or to even question whether or not you should see it is quite frankly an insult to a man who has proven to us time and time again, decade after decade, that he is incapable of making anything short of a good movie. Not surprisingly, just like nearly every one of Scorsese's films, Shutter Island is not just merely good, it's a brilliant and superbly crafted piece of filmmaking on all levels - from the writing to the acting to the directing to everything in between. But you probably already knew that even if you didn't see it this weekend, am I right?

So rather than droning on about how good Shutter Island is and thereby wasting your time by stating the incredibly obvious, how bout ya just get off your ass and go see the flick tonight? I guarantee you'll be thinking about it, talking about it, and trying to wrap your head around the fact that that wasn't DeNiro all day tommorow.

Not that I ever doubted the man, but Scorsese has hit it way out of the park yet again and has once more proven that he is perhaps the greatest filmmaker alive today.

Despite the brevity of this post, I have so much to say and talk about in regards to Shutter Island (which I cannot do without serious spoilage), so if anyone who has seen it wants to talk more in depth about it, leave a comment and we can discuss it in there.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Movies I Watched In January

I've gotten a few requests over the last couple months to bring this monthly post back to the blog in 2010 and although we're already almost halfway through February, i've decided to oblige those few folks. First i'm gonna tell you my favorite movie I watched last month and then i'll give ya my brief thoughts on all the rest. At the risk of being redundant, i've left out the movies that I already talked about/reviewed at length this past month. Click on any of the links below to find out more information on each movie or to buy a copy for yourself.

THE BEST

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Thirst

Is Park Chan-wook capable of making anything less than a masterpiece? The way I see it, Chan-wook is the foreign equivalent of Quentin Tarantino - you can ALWAYS count on him to deliver the goods. I think we're all sick of vampire movies at the present time, but Chan-wook is such a unique and smart filmmaker that it barely even feels like a vampire movie - certaintly nothing like any vampire movie we've ever seen before. It took me two viewings, within 12 hours of each other, to fully absorb everything on screen (not even sure i'm totally there yet) and it just goes to show that those overseas are oftentimes light years ahead of Americans when it comes to filmmaking. Oldboy will probably forever remain Chan-wook's ultimate masterpiece, but Thirst definetly gives it a run for its money. It's a complete masterwork, as both a horror film and a love story, and I cannot recommend enough that you experience it.

THE REST

The Boy In The Striped Pajamas - Incredibly bleak and depressing flick, just as a movie about the holocaust should be. As far as holocaust movies go, this half factual half fictional account is one of the best i've seen. If you don't lose a couple buckets of tears throughout this incredibly powerful film, i'd say you pretty much have no soul.

The Dead Girl - After hearing about the death of Brittany Murphy, I decided to go back and watch my favorite film of hers - I guess it's ironic that that film is titled The Dead Girl. What was always a highly powerful and emotional film is even moreso now, making it almost hard to watch at times. In my opinion, this will forever remain Murphy's best performance and best film.

The Gate - Childhood favorite and after watching it on DVD last month for the first time in a while, i'm glad to say it still holds up. Love the effects and love how it pushes the boundaries of a children's horror film.

The Girlfriend Experience - After hearing so much hooplah over this movie over the past year or so, I was left incredibly dissapointed and ultimately bored by it. What's all the fuss about?

Happiness - The most twisted movie ever made? Perhaps. A good twisted movie? Without question. By the way, what's with Dylan Baker and tormenting small children? First he rapes them in Happiness and then he kills them in Trick 'r Treat!

Hardware - Gotta apologize to Severin for taking so long to watch and review this movie. That being said, i'm so glad that I finally watched it because I really dug it and it looked great on Blu-ray to boot. Thank you Severin for digging this film up because if it wasn't for this new re-release, I would still have probably never heard of this sci-fi gem - and that's downright criminal.

Harry and the Hendersons - I'm a sucker for Bigfoot movies and for movies about big scary monsters that turn out to be loving and friendly, so I naturally love this movie. It's the finest Sasquatch film ever made, bar none.

The Hurt Locker - Incredible movie with an incredible performance by Jeremy Renner. If this doesn't win Best Picture this year, I hope that Kathryn Bigelow (Near Dark) at least wins Best Director. It was her amazing direction that made me feel like I was actually at war with the cast of characters on screen, which was both an awesome, emotional, and INCREDIBLY tense experience.

Inside - This was only the second time I had seen Inside the whole way through and although I felt it was an awesome and fucked up movie the first go around, a go around that involved lots of alcohol and some friends, I now see it as not only those things, but also a really good horror movie. So while I did like Inside after that first drunken viewing, I definetly have more of an appreciation for it as a film after my second viewing - though I still hate that scene at the end where the dude turns all zombie.

Intruder - One of my favorite 80's slashers. Awesome kills and the fun the cast and crew had making it really shows through, which always makes it such an enjoyable watch for me.

L.I.E - Strange and uncomfortable film, but a pretty decent one. Gotta give Brian Cox serious kudos for taking on such a role and for uttering some of the lines he utters in this film.

Moon - It seems every year there's one movie that gets shafted at The Oscars. In my opinion, Moon is that movie this year. How Sam Rockwell did not get nominated for Best Actor is totally beyond me, as his was one of the best performances i've seen in years. On top of that, it's a damn fine movie. By the way, it was directed by David Bowie's son!

Red - Huge fan of this movie, although it always gets me incredibly pissed off about my generation. Brian Cox once again proves that he's one of the finest actors in the business today.

World's Greatest Dad - I gotta say, i'm not the biggest Robin Williams fan, but I completely loved this movie. There's aspects I didn't like and I wish it had at times played things dramatically as opposed to comedically, but in the end it ended up being a really good movie that completely took me by surprise. Nicely done, Bobcat.

Join The Horror Blogger Alliance!

There are a few tools us horror bloggers have at our disposal to help bring hits and attention to our blogs. Sites like Horror Blips have proven very beneficial to those of us struggling to bring readers over to our necks of the wood, but truthfully, there are not enough tools like that to help us out. Enter Carl Manes, fellow blogger and the dude behind I Like Horror Movies. Carl had a bright idea a few weeks back and just recently took that idea to the interwebs, launching The Horror Blogger Alliance - a one stop shop for all the horror blogs around the web.

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How it works is that any horror blogger looking to be a part of the alliance contacts Carl and they're added to the link list on the sidebar, no auditioning or reviewing process necessary. Anyone who wants to join can join, as long as you run a blog that mostly focuses on the world of horror. Although in its infant stages, The Horror Blogger Alliance is proving to be more than just a large link list, as Carl is making it a fun place to hang out by having blogger to blogger debates, random questions of the day, and things of that nature. The skys the limit with this thing and it's looking like it's going to become a great place for not only horror bloggers to help spread the word about their blogs and for readers to discover new blogs, but also a fun place for both bloggers and readers alike to hang out and shoot the shit. So whether you're a horror blogger or not, head on over to the site, check it out, and become a follower. And if you do have a horror blog, join the alliance!

Big props to Carl for doing this. I'm pretty tuned into the whole horror blogging world and yet i've already discovered a bunch of new blogs through the alliance that I had never heard of. Gotta also thank him for giving me an account attached to the site, which means you'll be seeing posts from me pop up from time to time over there!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I May Have a New Favorite Search Engine

Just saw this kickass new commercial during American Idol (yes, I watch) for the search engine Bing. Gotta love when companies show their appreciation for horror!

Quick Thoughts on The Wolfman

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- First off, I must mention that I have perhaps the best girlfriend of all time. Jen and I went on a little romantic hotel getaway this past weekend and what movie did she want to go see Saturday night? Valentine's Day? No, no. She insisted on The Wolfman. To any man who spent their weekend with Ashton Kutcher and Jessica Alba as opposed to a hairy dude ripping people's heads off, i'm sorry.

- Second, you can throw me in the category of those who liked The Wolfman. Despite a few bouts with silliness (Hopkins rips shirt off/Wolfman flys around a little too much) and a slight overabundance of CGI, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's a fun grandiose monster movie the likes of which we haven't seen in a while and while it's not the perfect flick, the great time I had with it is good enough for me. I'll throw this one in the 'good and effective remake' category.

- If my generation's Wolfman has got anything working against it, it's the predictability of the story, being that it's such a well known one. Although we all pretty much know what lurks around every corner, and although we know where the story is headed, a few curve balls are thrown along the way that keep things fresh and different. Besides, it's such a good story that I think i'd enjoy seeing it play out even if nothing were changed.

- The story of the Wolfman should be both tragic and horrifying and should inspire both sadness and terror in the audience - this remake did both and was both. I not only fear Talbot, but I also feel for him - how often can you say that about a character? Obviously that's always been the charm of the character and the movie as a whole, but I was glad to see that the remake kept all of those elements and pulled them off well.

- Yes, i'm feeling really lazy right about now and yes, that's why this review is bullet pointed, rather than well formed and beautifully flowing.

- The transformations, done with both practical effects and CGI, were really good, as was Rick Baker's throwback makeup on Del Toro. While i'm obviously not the biggest supporter of CGI, I felt it was used as an aid and not as a crutch (except for that bear) and that's when it works the best. As for the makeup job, I loved it and i'm so glad they kept him up on two legs.

- The flick is very gory, surprisingly so, and I loved that about it. The combination of a classy large scope horror movie and a slasher style gore fest was awesome. Kudos to the filmmakers for bringing us a rated R Wolfman that goes for the jugular, the way it should.

- Bottom line is, the story of Lawrence Talbot was a great one 60 years ago and it's still a great one today. Del Toro & co. have, in my opinion, created a commendable upgrade to that story, more fitting for our time and yet still holding on to aspects of the past - one that should please Lon Chaney fans and today's crop of horror watchers all the same. In so many words, the past and the present have met up in the next gen Wolfman, and they get along quite well. Lets face it, as good as Chaney's Wolfman was (and still is) for its time, it's dated and a bit silly these days and was well due for a faithful redux that made wolfmen round the world scary again - that's what I wanted from 2010's Wolfman and that's exactly what I got. Color me satisfied.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Discussion of the Week - Couples

I almost got away with making my way through a major holiday without making a holiday themed blog post but alas, the temptation was too strong. But rather than telling all of you guys to go watch My Bloody Valentine or that movie with Denise Richards, I instead want to know....

What is your favorite horror movie couple?

As tempted as I am to say black JFK and Elvis from Bubba Ho-Tep, i've gotta go with the only vampire couple in film history to successfully convert back to everyday humans and live a happy life together, sun and all...

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Caleb & Mae - Near Dark

Ya gotta love a woman who will kill for you and let you feed off of her because you don't have the balls to do it yourself!

The complex relationship and dynamic between Caleb and Mae is what seperates Near Dark from the rest of the vampire pack and makes it one of my favorite vampire flicks of all time and one of my favorite horror films to boot. I love them as a couple and while I would've loved to see them live forever together, I think the flick proved that they're better off living and dying together like the rest of us. Caleb and Mae, if you're still out there, Jen and I would love to double date with ya. Lets go listen to the night together - far away from Bill Paxton.

Coincidentally, the only vampire movie that gives Near Dark a run for its money in my eyes is Let The Right One In, and Oskar and Eli would probably be my second choice for favorite horror couple.

There just aint nothin' like vampire love and I fully expect there to be many vampire couples rattled off in the comments section of this post. Get to it!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Full Moon's 50% off Valentine's Weekend Sale!

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***UPDATE : The sale has been extended through this Thursday, the 18th!***

I just got done watching Hellraiser on Blu-ray (seemed fitting being that it's been a pretty Hellraiser filled day for me), i'm fairly drunk, and I didn't intend on posting anything tonight, but Carl over at I Like Horror Movies just tipped me off to a crazy sale currently going on at Full Moon and I just had to make a post about it being that i'm gonna be gone for the rest of the weekend. I wouldn't want anybody to miss out on this.

For this weekend only, almost everything over at Full Moon's website is 50% off! That includes all DVD's, toys, shirts, posters, costumes, and even monster bras! The only things not included are the replicas. EVERYTHING else is not only half off, but there's FREE SHIPPING to the US and Canada! The sale ends Sunday night at midnight so act fast!

I just drunk bought Gingerdead Man 1 & 2, The Creeps, Castle Freak, and Evil Bong 1 & 2 for a mere $34.95. That'd normally be at least 70 bucks shipped, according to my calculations. I admit i've made some pretty regrettable drunk online purchases in the past, but something tells me i'm gonna wake up happy about this one tommorow morning!

Valentine's Day is normally a holiday only the women get excited about, but thanks to Full Moon, us guys can have a pretty damn happy one this year too!

Partying With George Romero & The Cenobites

With the next Monster Mania convention right around the corner and with Hellraiser fresh on the mind after the package I just received, I think it's time I tell a story that I have never before told on this blog. It's the greatest horror convention memory i've had to date and it's likely it will never be topped. Quite frankly, given how awesome it was, I think i'm okay with that.

First, a little backstory...

My dad and I started going to horror conventions together many years ago and though I don't remember the exact year we first went, I know it was Horrorfind Weekend in Maryland that gave us our first taste. We went to that one a couple times and then my mom decided to get in on the fun and join us, which she has done for nearly every convention we've gone to since - same goes for my girlfriend Jen. I never would've expected horror conventions to become a family bonding experience, but they really have. My brother, though he is a big time horror fan, has only been to one convention with us and that's the one i'm here to talk about today - Monster Mania 5 in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. That convention was already all the more special given the fact that he came along and given that it was my first Monster Mania, but what I stumbled into that Saturday night in May 2006 will forever remain one of the greatest memories of my adult life.

One of the best things about horror conventions is that the genre stars appearing there often hang out in the hotel bar Friday and Saturday night, mingling with the fans - this often provides for the most memorable convention moments. Paying twenty bucks to walk up to a table and meet/take a picture with Derek Mears is cool and all, but nothing beats doing a couple round of shots with him at a hotel bar - I would know, i've had that awesome opportunity. Convention lesson #1 - Hang out in the bar. So on this particular Friday night, I was hanging out at the bar, unfortunately by myself because my brother wasn't feeling too hot and had gone to bed by this time. There was a couple guys that I ended up talking with and eventually Greg Nicotero, the N in KNB FX, came over and sat down at the table in the bar we were sitting at.

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After experiencing a few horror conventions, you kinda condition yourself to not be so star struck by people you're a huge fan of and you end up treating them like they're just old friends of yours, especially in the bar situation. When these guys come into the bar, they just want to have a few drinks, relax, and chat with some fellow horror nerds. They don't want you drooling all over them and asking for autographs and pictures, they just want to hang. Picture and autograph time is when they're sitting at their tables with pen in hand, not when they're sitting at the bar with Jack Daniels in hand. Convention lesson #2 - Play cool. So Greg Nicotero came and sat down and a couple of the people that I was sitting with started telling him they were huge fans and all that jazz. I just treated him like he was a dude who liked horror movies and chatted with him as such, and I think he appreciated that. Hung out at that table with him for an hour or so and then I went up to bed, thinking that he would have no recollection of me come the next day and not really caring - that one night was enough for me.

Saturday morning we went down to the traditional buffet breakfast in the hotel restaurant, another place where you often find the stars hanging out, and who comes walking from the back of the restaurant, right past us on his way out, but Greg Nicotero - and he waved to me! The fact that he had seemingly remembered me from the night before and cared enough to wave to me meant a lot to me. I could've went up to his table later in the day and been all "hey you remembered me lets hang out tonight!" or something stupid like that, but I left it alone - again, the bar encounter and wave were enough for me and again, even when you're geekin out on the inside, ya gotta play cool.

Saturday night rolls around and I was again walking around the lobby/bar area by myself - my brother unfortunately still wasn't feeling too great and went to bed early (although I must say he drank and hung out all day, despite feeling crappy). It's awkward sometimes walking around alone, especially when you're fairly sober, and i've often been in situations where I don't strike up any conversations with anyone and just end up getting bored and going up to bed. This was one of those nights and I don't remember the time, but it was just about getting to the moment where I decided to go back up to the room and call it a night. That is, until some drunk guy came up to me and told me about a big party happening in one of the rooms. But it wasn't just any old room, it was George Romero's room. I'm not sure what gave me the balls to do so, but I immediately knew that I was going up to that room, sober and alone. Thinking back on it, I never even questioned whether I would be allowed in or not, I just went for it. Convention lesson #3 - Make the most of the fact that you're in the same building as your heroes. So I went up to the room, the door was open, and there was a security guard of some kind guarding the door - presumably to prevent people like me from coming in. Before he got the chance to stop me, I got called over to the bar area inside the room. "Hey man, nice shirt! Come here!" It was Greg Nicotero and if it weren't for him calling me into the room, this night would have never happened - I will forever be grateful to him for for this. For the record, it was a Hostel shirt I was wearing, a flick that KNB did the effects for.

I went over to the (open) bar acting like I belonged there, ordered myself a Screwdriver, admittedly referring to it as 'an orange juice and vodka' - hey, I wasn't 21 yet I didn't know bar lingo too well - and chatted with Nicotero a bit. At some point he wandered off and I noticed that sitting in the corner of the room, at a table like a king, was George Romero - this really was his room, that drunk dude wasn't lying! He sat there smoking cigarettes and chatting with a couple people, never getting up from his seat. Respecting his privacy, and realizing i'd have nothing to say if I were to approach him, I never did go near that table. But I did end up spending most of the night hanging out with various Cenobites, drinking free 'orange juice and vodkas', and trying to pick up chicks with Friday Part 3's Jason, Richard Brooker. I don't know how well he did, but all I remember is nearly getting into a fight with a black chick. But anyway, back to the Cenobites.

Due to strong drink and the fact that this was almost four years ago now, the details of the night from this point on are a little fuzzy. I admittedly don't remember exactly which Cenobites were in the room, but I do know that most of them were there as was the writer of Hellraisers 2-4/Barbie Cenobite in Hellraiser 3, Peter Atkins. Looking back at the guest list from that convention, the Cenobites that were there were Chatterer, Butterball, Bound Cenobite, Female Cenobite, Channard, and of course Pinhead, and i'm pretty sure most if not all of them were at that party, but it was Atkins who I spent most of my time with.

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Again, details are fuzzy but I remember asking him and Doug Bradley (Pinhead) to teach me their British accents, having him make sure no one went into the bathroom while I was in there (lock was broken - he ended up telling a girl at the party that no one was in there and sending her in), inquiring about writing screenplays, and telling him how I wanted to be an actor (a desire which has since changed). Though I don't remember the whole experience, I do remember that he was one of the nicest and sweetest guys i'd ever met, as was Doug Bradley and all of the Cenobites. At some point the party came to its inevitable end and I was left with no choice but to go back up to the hotel room, sleep off the many drinks I consumed, and brag about it all in the morning.

While I don't have much memory/documentation of this night, I will truly never forget the night that I partied with George Romero, Greg Nicotero, and The Cenobites - there's not enough alcohol in this world to make you forget that. As I said, it's likely that no convention memory will ever top this one but I will continue to seek such memories out. Next month is Monster Mania 14 and with a lineup including Thom Mathews, Gary Busey, and Dario Argento as well as some bar time scheduled with the Fright Rags crew, it's looking to be yet another memorable convention experience to add to the resume!

Completely Speechless....

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A week or so ago I got an e-mail from a fellow horror blogger who told me she had a bunch of stuff she needed to get rid of that she thought I might be interested in. She said she could sell the stuff on eBay, but she'd rather just give it to someone who would really appreciate it and for whatever reason, she chose me to be that person. I guess she felt like she owed me after I sent her my copy of Fright Night on VHS several months back, but i'd say I got a lot more in return than what I gave. The fact that she gave up some quick cash on eBay and even forked over 20 of her own dollars just to ship this package to me really shows what kind of person the woman known to the horror blogging community as The Froq Queen is. Chris, I am forever grateful to you for this and I most definetly owe ya one. Thank you so so much. Needless to say, you have single handedly restored my faith in humanity with this incredible gesture.

Before I crack open the package, be sure to check out The Frog Queen's blog, Frog on the Pumpkin, and also head over to Davis Graveyard, the website for the haunted yard attraction that she and her husband run in Oregon every year. I cannot urge you enough to show your support for one of the nicest and most genuine people in the horror blogging community, so please go check her out and follow her blog.

Lets open this bad boy up....

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First up we have a promotional shirt for Clive Barker's Lord of Illusions. I admittedly have yet to see Lord of Illusions, but i'm pretty sure The Frog Queen knows of my obsession with promotional goodies and that's why she sent this one my way.

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The coolest pieces of memorabilia are always the ones you never knew existed and I don't know about you guys, but I never knew a Candyman : Farewell To The Flesh promotional board game was ever made until this very moment!

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The object of the game seems to be avoiding getting five Candyman cards, which in board game terms equals you saying Candyman five times in the mirror and evoking the power of Tony Todd. Can't wait to play!

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Next up we've got a bunch of old horror magazines and newsletters from Clive Barker's fan club, Lost Souls. In case you couldn't tell, Frog Queen's a pretty big Clive Barker fan and wouldn't ya know it, I am too! I've never read any of these newsletters before and I look forward to delving into them.

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I send Froq Queen Fright Night on VHS, she sends me Fright Night on Laserdisc - works for me! I've long been fascinated with Laserdisc, as I am with VHS, and this is now the first one in my collection. Someday I will buy myself a player, but for now this makes an awesome display piece.

And finally, speaking of Laserdisc, one of the coolest pieces of memorabilia I have ever laid my eyes on, and once again one I never knew existed, The Hellraiser Deluxe Collector's Edition Laserdisc Box Set....

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Holy shit is this thing badass. Limited to only 2,500 pieces in the world, this set features Hellraiser on 2 disc Laserdisc as well as the screenplay for the flick, personally signed by Clive Barker!

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Something tells me that The Froq Queen could've gotten a pretty penny for this set on eBay and again, the fact that she instead chose to send it to me free of charge shows that she's one of the kindest people out there in this fairly unkind world.

Chris, while I don't know that I can ever adequately repay you for all of this, i'm sure as hell gonna try.

Thank you.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Is It Just Me....



...or would the premise of this new Sprint commercial make for an awesome horror flick?

Win Your Very Own Lucky Sasquatch Foot!

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Several months back, when I was browsing through Etsy in search of cool and unique stuff to fill Jen's Christmas stocking with, I came across a shop called Tenderfoot Creations, which specialized in curious little plush toys, and I found one of the coolest things I had ever seen - a lucky Sasquatch foot. Think lucky rabbit's foot, except bigger, hairier, and resembling that of Bigfoot's....foot. I immediately ordered one and so fell in love with it upon seeing it in person that I couldn't even wait until Christmas to give it to Jen. Is it just me, or is this thing the epitome of cool and unique?

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This is the kinda thing Etsy is all about and if it were up to me, the lady behind Tenderfoot Creations, Sara Patalano, would be bathing in buckets of money right now because of these things. While I obviously can't make that happen, I sure as hell can try to get the word out there as much as possible and so I messaged Sara a couple weeks back and asked if she'd be willing to supply one of her Sasquatch feet for a giveaway on here - she said yes and quickly made one just for one of you guys. Huge thanks and props to her for that. So if you want your very own Lucky Sasquatch Foot, here's all ya gotta do....

- Head over to Tenderfoot Creations and browse around the shop.
- Come on back here and leave a comment on this post telling me the name of another product available from Tenderfoot.
- Be sure to include your e-mail address so that I can contact you in the event that you win.


Contest is open to everyone and will run through next Wednesday, the 17th, with the winner being chosen on the 18th.

As always, good luck to all!

For more information on Tenderfoot Creations and to keep up to date on Sara's latest creations, head over to the Tenderfoot Creations Blog. You can also catch up with the company on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Get FROZEN - No Matter Where You Live!

***UPDATE : It's just been reported that a couple theatres in Cleveland, Ohio are now playing Frozen. Why? Because a couple fans over there asked their theatre managers for it. Proof positive that this is really working!***

I know you've all probably heard enough about Frozen from me by now - I hyped it, I reviewed it, I hyped it some more - but Bloody Disgusting posted something very important and very exciting about the future of the movie yesterday and I need to mention it.

I've gotten a lot of messages, comments, and e-mail's from people expressing their unhappiness about not getting to see Frozen last weekend, due to the fact that it never came to a theatre near them. This sucks, but just because it didn't come near you doesn't mean it's not going to come near you - it's all in your hands at this point. You may think that going to your theatre and telling the manager to get and run prints of the flick is a futile quest, but some recent exciting news from Anchor Bay is showing otherwise. Allow Adam Green to explain....

"Thanks to everyone who supported FROZEN this past weekend. The reviews and reactions are beyond anything we could have hoped for and despite the blizzards and the Super Bowl - you guys still made it out to the theater to support something original. However, many of you did NOT get FROZEN in your favorite theater on it's opening weekend due to it's small and limited release.

Now you can change that!

In response to how amazing the early reactions and glowing reviews have been for FROZEN, Anchor Bay has now agreed to send a print of the film to any theater that requests it. The power is in YOUR hands to get FROZEN playing at a theater near you! All you have to do is speak to your theater's manager and make sure that he/she knows how much you want FROZEN playing in your favorite theater. All they need to do is request a print from Anchor Bay - and you'll be on your way to getting FROZEN. Have your theater contact "frozen@starz.com" to make the request.

Remember, the theater manager needs to make the request from Anchor Bay. If you want to write in to that email address and tell Anchor Bay that you want FROZEN, tell them what you think of their limited release strategy, or tell them why the world needs more original genre films supported in theaters - by all means - be my guest. But that won't get a print shipped to your theater. It is the theater manager that can get the print for you. Don't take NO for an answer from your theater! Did they tell you there is no room on their screens because this week's remake is taking up all of them? Don't stand for that! Tell them how you feel and make sure that they contact Anchor Bay Films for their own print of FROZEN. Don't be passive and give up. We're onto something here and it is WORKING! You complain that these original genre films always get damned to unsupported limited releases and all you get is remakes each week... well here's our chance to change the tide. Let your theaters hear your voices! Let Anchor Bay know you want this and appreciate original genre films!

The time is now. Get FROZEN in your theater! Your voices have already has made a huge difference. Keep it up and let's get this film everywhere."


I can't guarantee that your theatre manager is gonna bite but hey, it's worth a shot right? The way I see it, if you're a hardcore fan of horror, specifically original horror, you owe it to the genre to give it your best shot. Like i've said before, it's times like these where us horror fans are given the opportunity to make a difference and show the studios and theatres that we are hungry for original horror and that we will spend our hard earned dollars on it. Anchor Bay's just itchin to bring prints to your town, so seize this opportunity! And if you do have a little chat with your theatre manager, please drop me an e-mail or leave me a comment and let us know how it went.

So one more time, DEMAND FROZEN and click here for current theatre listings.

Monday, February 8, 2010

House of the Devil Gave Me Blue Balls

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It seems like every other horror movie that comes out these days is meant to be a throwback/homage to horror movies of the past - at least the directors fancy them so. While many attempt it, very few movies pull this off and actually look and feel as if they came from a bygone time period. Not only does Ti West's House of the Devil (just released on DVD, Blu-ray, and even VHS) admirably pull this off, but it is without question the best and most convincing throwback ever made, fitting perfectly alongside flicks the likes of Rosemary's Baby and other devil themed genre greats. I shit you not, if you would've handed me the VHS and told me that this was a movie that was made in the late 70's/early 80's, I would've had no reason to doubt you and i'd fully fall for the trickery - it's that damn convincing in every aspect. From the clothing, to the hair, to the music, to the camera work, to the lead female character talking to herself to explain plot points, to the opening/ending credits sequences, and even to the old school style Coca Cola drink cups seen at a pizza joint, House of the Devil truly feels like a lost film from an era of horror cinema that we all love and for that, it gets serious brownie points from me. But all that aside, unclouded by my admiration for writer/director West pulling off such an amazing and respectable feat and unbiased by the fact that he put the film out on VHS(!), is this lost 80's horror flick any good?

Yes. It is very fuckin' good. I was pinned to my couch for the entire hour and a half runtime and could not look away from the screen for one second. There is a review quote on the back cover of the DVD from USA Today that says, (House of the Devil is) "Unbearably suspensful" - I couldn't have said it better myself. House of the Devil pushes the suspense to its absolute limit to the point that you can barely even handle it and I loved every second of it. The dread and impending horror looms around every corner, throughout every frame of the movie, but, save for one moment that I can think of, it's kept at bay until the last 10 or so minutes of the movie, at which point your frayed nerves are at a fever pitch. The entire brilliant first hour and 20 minutes is a build up to these final closing minutes, and that's precisely where my problem with House of the Devil comes in.

Don't get me wrong, I love a slown burn horror flick more than the next guy and I was HEAVILY into that slow burn aspect of this movie, that's not the problem I had with it. The issue I had is that with such a long, slow, and drawn out buildup to the end of the movie, the end of that movie needs a serious payoff - in my opinion, House of the Devil does not deliver that payoff. It builds builds builds and then just kinda fizzles out and ends, never really giving me what I wanted or was waiting for the entire movie. That one moment that West seemed to be holding off for as long as he possibly could never came. Maybe it's my own fault for expecting some big or shocking revelation/conclusion, but I couldn't help but feel slighted and cheated by the movie when it left me high and dry after all the time and energy I put into it, not to mention after how much I was digging it. It's as if I was having really great sex with the hottest chick in the world (aka my girlfriend Jen, of course) for 90 minutes and then right when I was about to finish, she got up and walked out of the room. Once more I say, House of the Devil gave me blue balls of the most painful kind. Again, maybe it's just a case of me expecting too much, but the whole movie goes with a "what the fuck is gonna happen, I can't wait any longer!" premise and thus, I can't help but feel that a "holy shit, I can breathe again but I can't pick my jaw up off the floor!" ending was required. Especially given the fact that we all pretty much knew where the story was headed (it's all but given away on the DVD cover and in the opening title card for the movie), I really expected something totally different than what one would normally expect from such a film. What I got was a lackluster and fairly generic ending, albeit one that remained true to the films it was homaging.

But the thing is, I highly enjoyed that buildup and though the ending didn't deliver, that didn't kill the movie for me. Everything that came before it was so good that I quite frankly would've probably looked past even the worst of endings and still loved the movie (High Tension, anyone?). Don't get the wrong idea, the ending to the flick isn't bad, it's just that I feel like we as an audience deserved a little bit more. Oh well, House of the Devil is still a really awesome movie that i'd highly recommend to anyone, no matter the format you choose to watch it on, and Ti West has firmly planted himself on my radar. Up next from West, Cabin Fever 2 on February 16th. Should be quite the departure from this one and I for one can't wait.

I can't end this post without giving serious props to the whole cast of House of the Devil, who all do incredible jobs. Genre legends Tom Noonan, Mary Woronov, and newcomer Jocelin Donahue, especially. The Jessica Harper-esque Donahue feels like she was plucked right out of the 80's and she's one of the main reasons the whole throwback feel really works. Brilliant bit of casting with that one and a great performance.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

It Has Arrived....


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I think you know what i'll be watching tonight, and it aint the Super Bowl.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Frozen - Green Delivers The Goods

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There are many movies out there that have an awesome premise but never manage to live up to that premise. In the hands of the wrong writer/director, Frozen could have easily become one of those movies. Thankfully, we are in the hands of the more than capable Adam Green and the simple premise of three snowboarders/skiiers being stuck up on a chairlift has turned into one of the most tense, visceral, and emotional rides in recent horror history. Chalk another one up for Green, Frozen more than delivers the goods and I am so incredibly happy to say that because I would've HATED to have to come on here and bash the movie but believe me, if I didn't dig it, I would've had no choice but to be honest and do just that. This is not a biased opinion because of my love for Adam Green, these are my true thoughts, as all of my movie reviews are.

I interviewed Adam Green on this very blog last year and he talked about how he didn't want to be pigeonholed as "the horror guy" - the way I interpreted it, he didn't want to be known as the guy who can only make over the top gore fests like Hatchet that harken back to the flicks he loved as a youth. There's a lot more to him than that. In Green's own words from that interview, "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." Adam Green is a filmmaker who is comfortable in admitting that he is more than just 'the Hatchet guy' and if he didn't prove that to you with 2007's Spiral, i'm pretty damn confident that he's going to prove it to you with his third single word titled fright flick - Frozen. This is the movie where Green proves that he's a damn good filmmaker, no matter what genre he's working in.

Yes, Frozen is at its core a horror movie and yes, there is a bit of that brutality and gore that you'd expect from an Adam Green movie, but it's got a lot more going for it than the average horror film and it sure as hell does not rely on that brutality or even on the horror of the situation. It's a thriller, a drama, a comedy (in the earlier parts), and a horror film all wrapped into one - and it works on all of these levels. As a horror flick, it's the best kind of horror flick - one that transcends the genre, one that seamlessly blends terror, edge of your seat (or chairlift) intensity, a little bit of humor, and even a sufficient dose of serious and heartbreaking drama. In fact, my favorite scene of the entire movie was not a kill scene, like it is with most horror movies. My favorite scene, and in my opinion the best scene in the entire movie, was a particularly emotional dialogue driven scene where the female character is talking about her dog. It doesn't happen often during the confines of a horror movie, but I may have even a lost a tear or two during this scene. Yes, the Hatchet dude made me cry. See what I mean? I guess what i'm trying to say is, Frozen isn't just a great horror movie, it's a great movie, period.

Frozen is the kind of movie that you really don't want to read too much about, so I really don't want to say too much more than i've already said. All you should know going into it is that three friends get stuck on a chairlift and shit goes down. Try not to read too many reviews or the boards over at IMDb, just go experience the horror event of the winter for yourself. Go laugh, go cry, go get scared shitless, go get Frozen.

And I must say, if you're holding off seeing it because you didn't like Hatchet, throw that idea right out the window. Hatchet and Frozen are NOTHING alike and i'm fairly certain Green's gonna win you former haters over this time. I'd put money on it if I had any.

In a world full of horror movies that are carbon copies of one another, it is so refreshing to see an original movie like Frozen come down the pipeline. It would truly be a damn shame if this didn't get the wide release that it deserves, so once again I urge you, now more confidently being that i've seen it, to go see Frozen. But don't go see it because i've been telling you to go see it all week, go see it because you want to support original horror. Let's be honest, this film hasn't gotten a wide release because it's not a remake, it doesn't have any big name stars, and all that kinda studio bullshit. If us true horror fans don't show our support for movies like Frozen, we're just furthering that studio belief that we won't pay to see original horror on the big screen. It's times like these that we can come off our soap boxes, stop bitching about all the unoriginal shit stinking up our local theatres, and take the future of the genre into our own hands and really make a difference. By seeing this movie, you're not just supporting Adam Green, you're supporting the horror genre as a whole and that's what it's all about.

Thank you Adam Green, not just for another awesome movie, but for a truly memorable night out with the friends and family who joined me in support. Thank you for being both an awesome filmmaker and a truly awesome guy - the latter being the main reason us horror fans rally behind you so hardcore and will continue to do so in whatever you do, whether it's making horror movies or romantic comedies. I personally felt a lot of pressure for Frozen to be good, being that it was my petitioning for the film that got people to drive 45 minutes to come see it with me, so on a selfish note, thank you for not making me eat my words.

One last thing I want to address in regards to those that didn't like the movie. Nearly every negative review i've read for Frozen asks the question, "Why didn't any of the kids have a cell phone?!". Firstly, i'd like to say stop looking for little shit to nitpick about and just enjoy a movie for once. If they had a cell phone there would be no movie, ya dolt. Secondly, I am a snowboarder and I can tell you that neither my girlfriend or I have EVER taken a cell phone up on the mountain. Especially in this day and age where most of us have cell phones that are delicate and have no front cover, bringing it up on the mountain would pretty much guarantee you ending up with a shattered phone once ya take a spill. So please, shut the fuck up about that. You can clearly tell that when Adam Green was writing this movie he said to himself "Ok, what 'why didn't they' scenarios will people nitpick and bitch about?" and he admirably addressed all of those things in the film, so stop trying to outsmart him. It aint gonna happen.

Friday, February 5, 2010

What Are You Doing This Weekend?

My hope is that your answer to that question is "Supporting original horror, of course!"

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I hate to beat a dead horse and tell you once more to go out and support Frozen this weekend, but it's becoming pretty damn clear by the reviews that there'd be no better way to spend your weekend. I'm not just talking reviews from horror sites like Bloody Disgusting and Dread Central, i'm talking incredibly positive reviews from mainstream media the likes of Rex Reed, Richard Roeper, Gene Shalit, and The New York Times(!). This kind of positivity for a horror movie from mainstream media outlets is very uncommon and it's looking like Adam Green is set to win us all over this weekend - both Hatchet fans and non Hatchet fans alike. Lest you have any doubts about this, here's just a little taste at what some people, people with highly respectable thoughts on movies, are saying about Frozen....

"Frozen delivers as an entertaining, suspense-filled, sometimes wonderfully grotesque little scarefest." - Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun Times

"Calm and jaded as I am, I was left so paralyzed with terror by this movie that I chewed a whole pencil in half watching it." - Rex Reed - The New York Observer

"A minimalist setup delivers maximum fright in “Frozen,” a nifty little chiller that balances its cold terrain with an unexpectedly warm heart." - Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times

If you're in any of the following states listed below, there's a good chance you'll be able to get Frozen this weekend, so head on over to Ariescope and check the full theatrical listings for the theatre closest to you.

California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Illinois
Massachusetts
Minnesota
New Jersey
New York
Pennsylvania
Texas
Utah


If it's not playing near you, call up your theatre and demand it! Although given the incredible reviews and buzz thus far, i'd bet we'll be seeing Frozen get a wide theatrical release real soon.

As for me, my tickets are already purchased and i'll return either tonight or tommorow with my thoughts.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Where Are They Now? - Louis Tripp

The name Louis Tripp may not ring too many bells out there, but one need only take a quick glance at the below photo to know who he is and to wonder where the hell he's been all these years...

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That screengrab is of course from the 1987 cult classic The Gate, where Tripp played Terry to Stephen Dorff's Glen. While we know that Dorff has gone on to a fairly successful career in Hollywood, you'd be hard pressed to find just about anyone who knows where the hell his Gate co-star went off to after the 80's. Aside from having his likeness appear on a pretty kickass Fright Rags shirt within the last couple years, our old pal Louis Tripp has seemingly fallen off the face of the earth post Gate/Gate 2 and that makes me sad, given the fact that the death metal obssesed Terry is one of the coolest horror kids of all time and he's one of the key components of my love affair with The Gate. If I could go back in time and be a kid again and I was given the opportunity to pick one kid from the movies to be my best friend, i'm pretty sure it'd be Terry. That being said, I had to know - where the hell is he now?!

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(Picture taken from The Gate 2, where Tripp reprises his role as Terry)

After some serious digging, i've sadly turned up very little info regarding the whereabouts of Louis Tripp but the couple tidbits I did discover, whether true or not, are pretty damn shocking. Back in 2008, the horror website Bloody Good Horror ran an article very similar to this one where they were trying to determine the fate of Tripp and what they found was a man by the name of Patrick who claimed to be a former co-worker of Tripp's, at a Canadian call center - this is apparently where Tripp was last seen working, in 2000, and hasn't been seen or heard from since. Strangest of all, he's allegedly had a bit of a name change....

"His legal name is now Twelve Twenty (L is the 12th letter of the alphabet, T is the 20th)."

I'm not sure what to make of that and again, it could for all we know not even be the truth, but as Bloody Good Horror stated a few years back, it certaintly piques the interest and really makes ya wonder what's going on with this dude. For now, I guess he will continue to remain a Hollywood mystery. And if you're wondering if the recent re-release of The Gate onto DVD helps shed any light on this mystery, it does not. I went through the couple special features on the disc and no mention of Tripp is made.

If you want to see the last known photograph of Louis Tripp, you're gonna have to head out and pick up 1999's Detroit Rock City and scour the film for what IMDb refers to as the uncredited 'nerdy kid' - this was Tripp's last appearance on film. If anyone could get a screengrab of that, it would be much appreciated. And if anyone out there knows anything at all about the current whereabouts of Louis Tripp, or should I say Twelve Twenty, please do share!

Oddly enough, I just realized that according to IMDb, today is Tripp's 36th birthday - how strange that I was compelled to make this post today, eh? Happy Birthday sir and if you somehow end up reading this, please come out of the woodwork and start making some convention appearances!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Interview With Me On Fright Rags!

The lovely Kristy Jett of Fright Rags - the gal who packages up your orders, runs the soon to be expanding street team, answers your e-mails, and serves you at conventions - determined that somebody on this planet would care to read an interview with me and while I don't necessarily agree with her, it went pretty well and you should head over to Fright Rags' blog and check it out! She pimps me hardcore and we talk about everything from the beginning of Freddy In Space to my love for Fright Rags and even my choice of Dream Warriors over Hitchcock.

Go read the full interview!

Be sure to also check out Kristy's personal blog, The Person You Benefit From Knowing, where she also posted the interview, god bless her. And as i've already mentioned several times, be on the lookout for a whopping seven new designs from Fright Rags this week. Oh who am I kidding, i'm sure i'll be posting all about it the day they land on the site.

Join The Frozen Army!

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Does your local theatre only play remakes and mainstream garbage? Are you sick of having to wait until DVD to see original horror? You're not alone, but you can help change this.

If any movie in the history of horror cinema has shown us the power of the fans banding together to make a movie we love a success, it's Hatchet. Well now the director of Hatchet, Adam Green, has a new horror film coming out this weekend and we need to all rally together once more to get this thing the wide release it deserves. While many theatres around the country will be playing Frozen this weekend (mostly in major cities), it's not getting nearly as wide of a release as films like The Unborn and Prom Night were given - and that's something we just cannot stand for. Simply put, if Frozen does well this weekend, it will be given that wider release and it will be seen by a heck of a lot more people around the world - that's what it's all about and that's what we gotta shoot for.

Now I know that most of you guys haven't seen Frozen yet - don't worry, I haven't either - but if you support Adam Green and have been a fan of his previous work, then I think you owe it to him to support anything he does, sight unseen. The way I see it, Green hasn't let me down yet and that's enough for me to rally for him in anything he does. Besides, given the reviews so far for Frozen, i'm pretty damn confident he's not about to start letting me/us down now.

So how do you support the cause? It's pretty simple - head to the theatre this weekend and go see the movie! If you know anyone who might be interested in checking it out, let them know about it. If you have a horror blog, make a post about it. If no theatres near you are playing the movie, go to those theatres and demand it. And if you're really feeling ambitious, do what i'm gonna do and take to the streets and hand out some fliers. Where do you get the fliers to hand out? I'll do all the work for ya.

I'm gonna be making up some fliers advertising Frozen to hand out to anyone who might be interested in my area, consisting of an image of the poster art, the plot, the URL of the site where more info can be found, and the theatres it will be playing at near my area, and if anyone is interested in doing the same in their area, i'd be more than happy to make fliers up for you with the theatre listings near you. I'd send you the file and all you'd have to do is print them out and hand them out. So if you're interested, please don't hesistate to leave a comment or drop me an e-mail and i'll get that out to ya. Sound good?

Head over to Ariescope for full theatrical listings and the film's website to buy your tickets.

Leave me a comment and let me know if your area is getting Frozen this weekend and let me know if you plan on joining in on the fun!