Wednesday, November 30, 2011

10 Iconic Horror Movie Roles That Other Actors Were Originally Considered For!

It's hard to imagine our favorite horror movies with different actors in the lead roles but the fact of the matter is that in many cases, the actors who ended up bringing those roles to life were not the same actors who were originally considered for the parts. How different (for better or worse) a film like The Shining would've been had somebody other than Jack Nicholson taken on the role of Jack Torrance is something we will never know, but it's fun to ponder nonetheless. So here are ten iconic roles in horror history that were nearly portrayed by different actors than the ones who delivered the interpretations that we've come to know and love!

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Robin Williams as Jack Torrance - The Shining

Though he was only really known for his comedic television roles at the time, Stanley Kubrick foresaw the potential for Williams to get his dark side on and he was believe it or not one of the actors Kubrick first considered for the role of the maniacal Torrance (which would've given us a pretty damn twisted take on the Popeye/Olive Oyl romance). The book's writer, Stephen King, did not agree with the choice and the role was eventually offered to Nicholson. It wasn't until several years after Kubrick's death that Williams finally got to cross over to the dark side, with 2002's One Hour Photo. It's interesting to note that the iconic "Here's Johnny!" line was improvised by Nicholson, so we can be pretty sure that the line would've never been uttered had anyone but him taken on the role. Also considered by Kubrick? Robert DeNiro and Harrison Ford.

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Jean-Claude Van Damme as the Predator - Predator

Van Damme wasn't just considered to be the guy to bring the Predator to life, but he was actually hired for the role, before the studio decided they needed someone more physically imposing in order to pose a realistic threat to beefed up stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura & Carl Weathers. There are differing reports that suggest that Van Damme just wasn't happy with the role, complaining about the heat of the heavy suit and the fact that he was essentially going to be an uncredited special effect, which offer alternate reasons for his being replaced by 7 foot 2 Harry and the Hendersons star Kevin Peter Hall. Either way, Van Damme was only on set for a couple days before getting ousted. The above photo is one of the only shots of Van Damme on the set, in the original Predator costume.

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Dan Aykroyd & John Belushi as David & Jack - An American Werewolf In London

Having just directed Aykroyd & Belushi in the 1980 hit The Blues Brothers, John Landis was approached by Universal about re-teaming with the two for his next directorial effort, American Werewolf. Given that Landis wanted younger unknown actors to play the parts, he refused and went through a lot of trouble to bring non-movie stars David Naughton & Griffin Dunne on board instead.

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Marlon Brando as Father Merrin - The Exorcist

Fresh off the heels of The Godfather, the studio wanted to bring some serious starpower to The Exorcist by casting Marlon Brando as Father Lankester Merrin. The reason the studio wanted him for the role was ironically the very same reason director William Friedkin turned down the suggestion; Brando was too big a star and Friedkin didn't want his demonic horror movie turning into a "Brando movie".

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Leonardo DiCaprio as Patrick Bateman - American Psycho

Though many actors were considered for the role before Christian Bale took it on, including Johnny Depp (with Cronenberg at one point attached as director), Edward Norton & Brad Pitt, it was DiCaprio who was closest to swinging the axe, with Lionsgate even releasing a press release stating he would be doing so. Though he was offered an estimated 20 million dollars to play Bateman, in the film that was at the time to be directed by Oliver Stone, DiCaprio backed out and so too did Stone, leaving the film in the hands of Bale and director Mary Harron. Reportedly DiCaprio was talked out of accepting the part by Gloria Steinem, a well known activist who convinced him that the movie would turn off the majority of his audience. Oddly enough, Steinem shortly thereafter married the late David Bale ... Christian Bale's father. Innnnnteresting.

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Gene Hackman as Hannibal Lecter, Silence of the Lambs

At one point in time, Hackman actually bought the rights to the book Silence of the Lambs, which he planned to turn into a movie. Furthermore, he intended on directing it as well as starring as Dr. Lecter. His hopes and dreams came crashing down when he watched a clip of himself from Mississippi Burning at the 61st Annual Academy Awards, wherein he realized he was uneasy about portraying violent characters. Hannibal ended up passing over Sean Connery too before he landed in Hopkins' lap.

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Linda Blair as Carrie White - Carrie

Though Blair originally auditioned for the role of Carrie White, she eventually changed her mind and turned it down, over fears of being typecast. Ironically, Blair would forever be seen in the business as one thing and one thing only; Regan MacNeil. Carrie Fisher & Melanie Griffith also auditioned for the part of Carrie.

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Sterling Hayden as Quint - Jaws

Spielberg's original vision saw Hayden in the role of Quint, but legal troubles prevented that from coming to fruition. Story goes that Hayden was in trouble with the IRS, with all of his money made from acting subject to seizure by them. A plan was concocted to pay Hayden, also a writer, very little for his role as an actor, and instead give him the majority of his pay by purchasing one of his written works for a large sum of money (the IRS couldn't touch the money he made outside of acting). For fears that the IRS would find out what they were up to, the plan was abandoned and Robert Shaw was offered the part. Lee Marvin was also offered the role, but told Spielberg he'd "rather go fishing".

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Dolph Lundgren as Leatherface - The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

In what would have perhaps been the coolest thing ever, He-Man himself was approached to don the dead skin mask in the 2003 remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but turned it down to spend more time with his family. Interesting to note that the name of Lundgren's character in last year's Expendables was Gunner Jensen, an apparent reference to Gunnar Hansen, the actor who played Leatherface in the original Chainsaw. Strange ...

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Christopher Lee as Dr. Loomis - Halloween (1978)

When a then unknown John Carpenter approached horror vet Christopher Lee to play Dr. Sam Loomis in his little independent film, Lee immediately declined the offer, as did Peter Cushing. After the mega success of the film, Lee admitted that it was the biggest mistake he ever made in his acting career.

New Release Review : Sint (Saint Nick)

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OUT NOW ON DEMAND! COMING TO DVD ON DECEMBER 20TH!

First thing's first. If you plan on watching this one On Demand, as I did tonight, I implore you to proceed down that road with caution. Reason being the On Demand version, at least the one I had available to me through Cablevision, is dubbed rather than subtitled, with no option to change that, despite the fact that the description clearly states "In Dutch with English subtitles". Not cool. Not cool at all. I absolutely hate watching dubbed movies, especially ones I plan on reviewing, and i'm quite frankly pissed off that I shelled out $6.99 only to realize afterwards that I just paid for the goofy ass dubbed version of the film. Goddamn I hate that shit.

So ya, i'm kinda bummed right now that I have to review this one based on the frustratingly silly dubbed version of it I was forced to watch, but what can ya do ... other than call Cablevision and demand your money back, on the grounds of false advertising. Hm, I like the sound of that. Now that I think about it, they also advertised that the killer Santa in this one has "claws". He totally doesn't. What the F?!

Anywho, let's get this show on the road. Or should I say, this sleigh in the air. Har har.

If there's any single statement i've uttered more times than any other in the past several years of running this blog, it's that I absolutely love when the worlds of horror and Christmas collide, so much so that I tend to pretty much dig every Christmasy horror film that I see, provided they're at least halfway decent (hell, I even managed to find merit in Santa Claws ... it wasn't easy). So I guess you could say my opinions when it comes to these types of movies are biased. Bottom line being, i'm an easy man to please whenever Santa's roaming around offing folks (case in point; I pray to the altar of Santa's Slay an average of three times every December). Take that for what it's worth.

The latest holiday genre offering is this here film Saint Nick, a Dutch affair wherein the two worlds of Christmas and horror certainly do mash together in gloriously gory fashion. Over the years we've unwrapped a whole slew of Christmas horror flicks, which have seen killers in the form of everything from a guy dressed up as Santa to a guy killing anyone dressed as Santa, a jacked up pro-wrestler who truly is Santa to a well meaning dude who truly believes that he is Santa. In Saint Nick, we're given something a little bit different; a killer zombie Santa with a totally melted face, flanked by an armada of zombified 'elves', together seeking revenge on the townspeople who burnt them alive many years prior. If that premise sounds fun to you then you're likely gonna find Saint Nick to be a pretty fun hour and a half sleigh ride, a beautifully shot film that is at times quite epically awesome though at other times more reminiscent of a Syfy affair, especially in the latter half. The opening 10 minutes, which feature flashbacks to two different past time periods, are arguably better than anything that comes after it, which makes me wish the whole film kept with the tone of that strong opening rather than jumping ahead to a modern day annoying teenager setting, but even when it does approach that less than stellar Syfy territory, it's still enjoyable to watch. Saint Nick is a peculiar little film all around, but one that is almost guaranteed to entertain anyone who finds little to not love about a film that shows them a zombie Santa being shot out of the sky while riding his beastly zombified horse. I mean come on, what more can ya really ask for?! All shortcomings will be excused the minute you see that, believe you me.

One of the most impressive things about Saint Nick is the use of practical gore effects every step of the way. Heads are cut off, bodies are split in two, faces are carved up like Thanksgiving turkeys and it's all done practically and highly effectively. I'm one of the biggest proponents of practical over CGI that you'll meet here in the horror blogging community and I get as giddy as a schoolgirl when I see dyed karo syrup and old school gore effects. There's plenty of both of those in Saint Nick, as every kill is executed right in front of the audience's eyes, and it's as glorious when it looks real as it is when the severed heads are clearly props. I love that shit and I love that some people still give a damn enough to take the time to cast actor's heads, rig up blood tubes and figure out creative ways to rack up the body count without the aid of computers. So bravo to Saint Nick for that.

Now the film isn't perfect by any means, as there's a bit too much downtime between the epic scenes of Zombie Claus wreaking havoc around Amsterdam and a serious underuse of him all around, but those scenes of him brutally murdering children(!) and jumping from rooftop to rooftop on his zombie horse were plenty enough to satisfy this particular blogger. Couple those few highly memorable sequences with a gaggle of kickass practical gore effects, a slick visual style that reeks of big budget Hollywood production and a healthy dose of John Carpenter inspiration and I gotta go ahead and recommend this one as a fun little Christmas horror flick that you should give a watch this holiday season. With a bit more zombie Santa action the film could've been a whole lot more fun, and it by all means should have been, but I had a good time with it nonetheless. Sometimes, a good time is all ya really need from a film. If that's what you're looking for, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with what this undead Santa's got stuffed in his sack. If, on the other hand, you're looking for something more of substance, I once again HIGHLY recommend you seek out Rare Exports. Immediately. It's quite frankly the antithesis of the Santa slasher flick that this one is. Which one you prefer all depends on your personal taste, though Exports is unquestionably the better film, if we're gonna go ahead and compare this year's dark European Christmas offerings. Hard not to.

Again I warn you; learn from my mistake and don't order Saint Nick On Demand unless you're sure you're gonna have the option to watch it with subtitles!!

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I leave you with a little fun fact; the Dutch version of the jolly gift giver, named Sinterklaas, is who our modern day Santa Claus was derived from. Unfortunately, as cool as it would've been, he was never an evil dude who returned from the dead after being burnt alive to kill evil children. That was a bit of an embellishment on the part of writer/director Dick Maas. Most other aspects are accurate to the folklore though, including Sinterklaas riding a white horse and carrying a large golden staff. Bad. Ass.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ever Wonder What Santa's Insides Look Like?

If you answered yes to the above question and you also happen to be looking for unique Christmas cards to freak the fuck out of your loved ones this holiday season, then I think i've got just the thing for ya!

Artist Bradwick J. McGinty has just created perhaps the strangest and most awesome Christmas cards ever, which are now up for sale on his website Paper Pusher. The faux backstory behind the cards, which is just as creative as the cards themselves, is that during World War 2, McGinty's grandfather attempted to start his own greeting card company, with art drawn by "a young Japanese soldier he had shot in the face", which never quite got off the ground and eventually led to his alcohol filled demise. The cards that were produced were thought to be lost, until McGinty's mother recently discovered a batch of them in the attic, which McGinty the third is now selling, in honor of his grandfather. Whether you choose to believe that story or not is entirely up to your ability to suspend disbelief and have a little fun with life. Geez, lighten up, soldier!

Without further adieu, here are the cards that McGinty's grandfather and his wounded Japanese friend whipped up, transported all the way from 1955 to the present day!

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You can get 1 card for $2, 5 for $5, 10 for $10, 20 for $22 or as many as you want for whatever price McGinty decides to charge ya. You can read the heartwarming backstory behind the cards as well as purchase your own over at Paper Pusher!

I'm not one for sending out Christmas cards, but I think I may make an exception this year!

Cool Shit : Abby Travis' 'Lighting Squared' Music Video

Got an e-mail last night from Hitler ... Ursula Hitler that is, an artist and reader of this here blog. Here's what she had to say ...

Hi. I love the bloody guts out of your blog, and I wanted to send along my own creepy little creation. I recently directed the official music video for LA rocker Abby Travis' single "Lightning Squared," and it's a spooky/silly cartoon horror romance featuring my own retelling of the Frankenstein story. Think of it as half Rocky Horror, half Terry Gilliam cut-out cartoon, and half Groovy Goolies! (Like Frankenstein's monster himself, this thing is kinda stitched together from a lot of spare parts that all add up to a funky, lumpy mess.) Anyhow, I hoped you might be interested to see it... If nothing else, you have gotta hear Abby's absolutely gorgeous song.

Indeed you do need to hear the song and you also need to watch the video, a beautiful little tribute to the monster and his bride. So sit back, relax and enjoy!



Love it. In fact, right back at ya with the whole loving the bloody guts out of it thing, Ursula.

If you too like what you just heard and saw, you can check out more of Abby's musical stylings over on her website and dig deeper into the brain of the artist by stepping Inside Ursula Hitler's Head. Not a bad place to kill some time, if you're asking me!

Monday, November 28, 2011

What's The Only Thing Scarier Than A Scary Clown?

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Two scary clowns ... fighting each other to the death!

This 8.5 x 11" card stock print from artist Stephen Vincent pits real life clown John Wayne Gacy (aka Pogo) against cinematic clown Captain Spaulding, in a bloody battle to the death. It's the first in a series of the artist's "VS" art prints, which will see characters from the worlds of fiction and reality colliding head on and engaging in some seriously brutal battles, as Vincent brings to life the epic encounters we've all sat around drunkenly pondering with our friends and spews the colorful results onto our walls. Cujo vs Lassie, Incredible Hulk vs Hulk Hogan, the shark from Jaws vs Jaws from The Spy Who Loved Me, Herman Munster vs Herman Cain ... the possibilities truly are endless!!

You can pick up the print for $10 over at Vincent's online shop, Monster King Productions. You'll find various other kickass items over there, such as a 3D zombie shirt that comes with a pair of those nausea inducing red and blue spectacles we all love so much!

Cool Shit : The It's Alive Project!

Can you believe it's been 80 years since Frankenstein first hit the screen? It truly feels like it was just yesterday.

Ok so it doesn't at all feel like it was just yesterday but goddamn, that was a long time ago.

In celebration of his 80th birthday, Florida's CityArts Factory recently put together a tribute art show to the kind hearted monster, calling together 80 different artists from around the globe, each tasked with creating their own unique vision of Frankenstein. Their canvas? A life size Karloff/Frankenstein bust, which they were free to paint and tweak in any way they saw fit. The results? Some of the coolest and most unique pieces of Frankenstein art ever created.

Check out some of my favorite pieces from the exhibit, which ran from October 20th through November 11th!

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As you can see, many of these have sold while others are still up for grabs, with all proceeds from all sales going directly to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Frankie wouldn't have it any other way. You can see more of the amazing busts by heading over to The It's Alive Project.

Trailer Of The Week : Hardhat

As a child of the 80's, I have a seriously large soft spot in my heart for big dumb slasher flicks, movies that provide little more than hardcore gore and high levels of female nudity. And so, despite the fact that last week saw the release of new trailers for the classy horror flicks Prometheus & The Woman In Black, as well as a pretty awesome first look at Smiley, here I find myself fiending for the one about a jacked up dude in a hard hat slicing and dicing teens with power tools. I truly just can't help it.

Check out the trailer for Hardhat, my favorite trailer from last week!



Looks like this one was ripped straight out of the 80's, the long lost brother of 1988's Destroyer. If this were a faux trailer you'd totally be demanding it get turned into a real movie. Don't even deny it. So be happy that it is real. And coming soon.

I'll be keeping my eye on you, Hardhat!.

Vintage Video Of The Week : 1982's 'The Dummy'

Six years before the evil soul of Charles Lee Ray made its way into the body of a little ginger doll, a student film called The Dummy was picked up by several big time cable networks, including HBO & Showtime. On those networks, it received extensive play for the next 10 years, where it was often shown in between breaks of the horror movies and genre television shows that aired on those networks. Perhaps most memorably, the 7 minute short was used many times by USA to fill out time on their programs Night Flight & Up All Night, terrifying children of the 80's with the sight of a killer toy come to life. Though it wasn't the first time a creepy ventriloquist doll was seen on TV (a Twilight Zone episode from the 60's had one), it was definitely one of the earliest and the short no doubt paved the way for folks like Chucky & Slappy.

Step into the time machine and watch The Dummy in its entirety below, which is guaranteed to bring back nostalgic memories for anyone who spent many a late night in their childhood hanging out with Gilbert Gottfried and Rhonda Shear. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Keep Tabs On The Horror Themed Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals Over On The Freddy In Space Facebook Page!

Just wanted to quick mention that over on the Freddy In Space Facebook page I have been and will continue to be making wall posts about all the horror themed deals I find throughout the weekend, as part of the Black Friday & Cyber Monday online sales most companies both big and small are taking part in. To take advantage of these price slashings on things like DVD's and t-shirts, you don't even have to leave the house and brave the brutal crowds. All you have to do is head over to the Freddy In Space Facebook page and click the 'like' button and they'll all pop up directly onto your own Facebook wall all weekend long. Ya, I thought you might like that.

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Don't miss a beat of this epic weekend of sales!

The Muppets Meet Horror : 6 Great Mashups!

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The Muppets returned yesterday with their first big screen release in over a decade, a feature length film that sees super fans of the lovable puppets setting out to save The Muppet Theater from being demolished and drilled for oil. I never got into the whole Muppets thing, instead spending my childhood with The Ultimate Warrior & Freddy Krueger, but I know a lot of you guys and girls are mega fans of that whole world and so I wanted to celebrate this release by posting some great Muppets horror mashups that have come out over the years, times where the two totally unrelated worlds joined forces to create pure awesomeness. Consider it my Thanksgiving gift to you Muppets fans!



THE MUPPET SHOW - SEASON 1, EPISODE 19

In this segment from the Muppet Show episode where Vincent Price guest starred, Kermit drops fang and goes for the horror icon's jugular, an unexpected twist of fate for the actor who was generally the one doing the biting. Price appeared in the entire episode, many segments of which can be seen over on YouTube.



MUPPETS GO TO THE MOVIES - NEPHEW OF FRANKENSTEIN

The Muppets Go To The Movies was a 1981 TV special which saw Kermit and the gang spoofing various different films. This segment was a tribute to 1950's horror films, introduced by The Incredible Shrinking Woman herself, Lily Tomlin. In it, Fozzy Bear gets the electric chair. Hey, that rhymed.



HOUSE OF 1000 MUPPETS

This brilliant fan made mashup features dialogue from Rob Zombie's House of 1000 Corpses trailer laid over actual Muppets footage, a combination which proves quite awesome.



THE MUPPETS : SAW TRAILER

Another fan made mashup, this time seeing The Muppets fused together with the Saw films, a trailer for a faux movie that sees Miss Piggy taking on Jigsaw's work (Pigsaw?) and putting The Muppets into deadly (and hilarious) traps. Goddamn I would love to see this as a real movie!



THE MUPPETS 2011 PARODY TRAILER

In addition to the Twilight spoof posters Disney came up with to promote this latest big screen adventure (as seen atop this post), they also cut together a trailer for the film that spoofed several other movies, including Paranormal Activity. Not much of the trailer is devoted to that spoof, titled Abnormal Activity, but it's worth the watch nonetheless.

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And finally, Fright Rags' epic tribute to The Muppets, an upcoming t-shirt mashup between them and Re-Animator. This sneak peek is the only image available so far but i'll be sure to let you know once the full image is revealed and, of course, once the shirt goes up for sale on the site!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Rejected Walmart Black Friday Commercial!

I was kinda drunk last night after a viewing of Horrible Bosses with some friends when the idea hit me for a twisted little Black Friday ad, which seems fitting in this day and age, where the 'holiday' has year after year lived up to its foreboding name. So I got ambitious and wrote it up. Enjoy the commercial Walmart doesn't want you to see!

JASON GOES TO WALMART

EXT. CABIN IN THE WOODS - NIGHT

A cabin sits peacefully in the woods .... peacefully aside from a few teenage bodies strewn about the property. The sound of an oven finished with its job is heard coming from inside the cabin.

INT. CABIN - SAME

A turkey lays atop the oven, ready for carving. A bloody machete SLAMS into frame and starts hacking it up. When the machete makes contact with bird bone, it fails to cut through it. The man wielding the tool tests the sharpness with his finger and, dissapointed, tosses it aside. His gloved hands finish the job. Flesh and bone are ripped apart with brute force and a grisly plate is soon prepared, set down on the table in front of a mummified severed head.

The man sits down at the table and starts leafing through a Walmart Black Friday ad. A few pages in he sees a machete on sale, price slashed 50% off. Bingo.

INT. WALMART - LATER

Hordes of customers are running about the store, tossing discounted items in their carts and pushing and trampling each other in the process. One man shoves a pregant woman to the ground and steals the DVD she almost brought back home with her. He then uses her belly as a stepstool and continues on his barbaric quest for a good deal.

Suddenly all the customers stop dead in their tracks at a familiar sound, so penetrating that it sounds like it's coming from the building's announcement speaker system ...

KI KI KI, MA MA MA

... JASON VOORHEES himself begins slashing his way through the crowds, slicing and dicing everyone in sight. Clean up on aisle 8. And aisle 9. And, well, you get the idea.

Jason makes his way to the hardware aisle, where he sees the 'for sale' signs for the machete of his dreams. The shelves are empty. The machetes all sold out. The dissapointment and anger is palpable, seething through the holes of his blood soaked hockey mask.

He looks down at one of his many victims and sees his severed hand holding one of the machetes. Jason picks up the lone hand, pulls the machete from it and holds it in his own hand, looking down at it with pride.

More hordes of manic customers begin to approach. Jason looks up, cocks his head to the side and readies his new machete for more bloodshed ...

CUT TO BLACK

ANNOUNCER (V.O.)
Black Friday ... deals to kill for.

The SCREAMS of customers are heard.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

$5 Off Super 8 On DVD & Blu-ray? Now That's Mint!

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Today marks the home video debut of Super 8, one of my favorite movies released this year. Hearkening back to the days when the name Spielberg was a synonym for God (well, I guess that will always be the case), Super 8 is a totally magical and beautiful adventure that absolutely must be experienced by anyone who smiles for weeks every time they see that little hooded boy and his alien friend bike across the moon. But I already wrote a full review of the movie after I saw it in the theater, so i'll leave it at that.

What i'm here to tell you about tonight is that you can currently get $5 off your purchase of either the DVD or Blu-ray over on Amazon, simply by entering the coupon code 'WOODWARD' at checkout. With both discs already pretty cheap to begin with, this brings the cost of the DVD down to $11.99 and the Blu-ray down to just $14.99. This deal is only good through this coming Saturday. If you're old school and you still like to buy your movies in stores, you can head over to Super8Coupon.com to print out the very same offer, which also expires come Sunday.

At these prices you can afford to buy copies for both yourself and all your loved ones this Christmas. Which you totally should, whether you've seen the movie yet or not. Trust me!

And Now For Something A Little Different : The Musical Stylings Of Reader Billy Polard!

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You may recall that last month I made a little post about a Silver Shamrock mask that was used in a Halloween party episode of Knight Rider, a tip which was sent my way by a reader named Billy Polard. Well I got another e-mail from Mr. Polard last week, which contained links to a couple of his music videos, which he created entirely on the Nintendo DSi. He wanted to share his work with me, though he admitted that his music probably wasn't my style. Long story short, his music is totally my cup of tea (most people assume i'm into death metal and shit like that, which i'm actually not) and his videos are pretty damnn brilliant, to the point that they even made both Jen & I a little misty eyed. Though they don't have much to do with horror, aside from the fact that one has a monster and the other has a bunch of ghosts, I wanted to share his work with you folks. Here on Freddy In Space, it's never off topic to share the talents of my readers!

So check out Billy Polard's two music videos thus far, both painstakingly hand drawn on the DSi and featuring his own original songs. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did!


LOSING LIGHT


WHEN OUR BEDROOMS WERE ONCE HAUNTED

If you dig Polard's style, head over to his YouTube channel for some more little treats, including a pretty touching little musical tribute to Ernest himself, Jim Varney, fittingly titled Ernest Goes To Heaven. You can also download his whole album, The Ghost In You, or just individuals songs from it over on iTunes.

Love it all, Billy. Keep doing what you're doing and don't give up on your dreams. You're not meant to toil away at AC Moore sir, that's for damn sure.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Amazon Deal Of The Week : Exorcist Blu-ray Book!

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It's an excellent day for one hell of a deal!

THE GOODS : The recent two disc Blu-ray book release of The Exorcist, featuring enough bonus features to make your head spin (outlined below), a 40 page booklet, a personal note from director William Friedkin & newly remastered prints of both the original theatrical cut and the unrated director's cut of the film. In Friedkin's own words, this release "represents the very best print ever made of The Exorcist". I own this set and trust me when I say it is in fact the be-all end-all release of the film.

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Disc 1 : Director's Cut

- New 3-part documentary on the movie's production and legacy
- Raising Hell: Filming The Exorcist (*NEVER BEFORE SEEN FOOTAGE*)
- The Exorcist Locations: Georgetown Then and Now
- Faces of Evil: The Different Versions of The Exorcist
- Commentary by director William Friedkin


Disc 2 : Theatrical Cut

- Introduction by William Friedkin
- 2 commentaries: 1) director William Friedkin, 2) producer/screenwriter William Peter Blatty
- Sound effects tests
- Feature-length 1998 documentary The Fear of God: The Making of The Exorcist
- Interview gallery covering the topics: the original cut, the final reckoning and stairway to heaven
- Original ending and more


THE DEAL : Currently only $13.49 on Amazon! Snatch it up before this deal goes back to hell!!

2011 Holiday Gift Guide : Presidential Monsters!

I generally have little to no interest in anything dealing with politics. It's just not my thing. But when you take political figures and mash them up with the Universal Monsters, you pique my interest. That's exactly what a company by the name of Heroes In Action Toys recently did, with their line of Presidential Monsters, a series of seven action figures that fuse the most well known Presidents in the history of the country with the most beloved monsters Universal ever brought into our lives. Now that's a group of Presidents i'd actually get off my ass and vote for!

Check out the full line of 8 inch Presidential terrors below, which feature kickass package art by artists J. Anthony Kosar & Jason Edmiston (he did the last four pictured), and then find out how you can pick them up for yourself or for a loved one this holiday season!

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GEORGE W. BUSH IS ... ZOM-BUSH!

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RICHARD NIXON IS ... MONSTER FROM THE WATERGATE LAGOON!

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JOHN F. KENNEDY IS ... PHANTOM OF THE WHITE HOUSE!

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ABE LINCOLN IS ... LINCOLNSTEIN!

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BILL CLINTON IS ... WOLF BILL!

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BARACK OBAMA IS ... BARACULA!

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RONALD REAGAN IS ... THE RONMY!

Nixon, Lincoln and Barack are currently out of stock over at Heroes In Action, with the other four in the series selling for $24.99 a piece. If you want them all, they can also be found at other toy outlets around the web!

Trailers From The Past Week That Are Worth Your Time : 11/14 - 11/20

It's not uncommon for a week to go by without any decent looking trailers being birthed unto the horror community. This past week was not one of those weeks. Check out six trailers from last week that i've approved as being worthy of your precious time, for one reason or another!



THE DARKEST HOUR

Five young people find themselves stranded in Moscow, fighting to survive in the wake of a devastating alien attack.

Yep, another alien invasion flick. But this one has my interest, as it looks like War of the Worlds with a healthy dose of that fun Attack The Block kinda vibe and even a little Ghostbusters thrown in for good measure. Sounds like a potentially #winning mix to me. A lot of this same footage was seen in a trailer released a few months back, but this re-cut definitely gives things a much funner tone that I hope is inherent in the film itself.



DON'T GO IN THE WOODS

The story of a young band who heads to the woods to get away from their everyday lives in order to focus on writing new songs. Hoping to walk away from the trip with new tunes that will score them their big break, they instead find themselves in the middle of a nightmare beyond comprehension.

Actor Vincent D'Onofrio's slasher musical has been on my radar for quite some time now, ever since a strange trailer of sorts was released about a year ago. This latest trailer was put together to promote the upcoming December 26th On Demand release. It looks like oddball awesomeness and I for one will be demanding it.



**TRAILER OF THE WEEK!**

ELFIE HOPKINS

Set in a sleepy hunting village, Elfie Hopkins is the story of a 22-year-old slacker and “wanna-be” detective. Elfie is a stoner and an animal lover in a village populated with hunters. Haunted by the death of her mother and surrounded by her broken father and alcoholic step-mother, Elfie seeks solace and inspiration from the old school detectives in The Maltese Falcon and Chinatown. She entertains herself, along with her geeky best friend, Dylan, by investigating the villagers and upsetting everyone with their imaginative allegations. Elfie’s mundane existence is thrown for a spin with the arrival of a family of trendy city dwellers, the Gammons.

Cannibal films are certainly nothing new but this looks like a totally fresh and original new vision, so this is one human on human chowdown i'll be checking out. Something tells me we're all gonna fall for Elfie Hopkins in the near future. Thus, I proclaim this the Trailer of the Week!



HUNGER GAMES

Set in post-apocalyptic America, the movie will introduce heroine Katniss Everdeen, a self-sufficient 16-year-old who lives in District 12, one of the poorer districts in the nation of Panem, what used to be known as North America before its utter destruction several years earlier. Katniss becomes a participant in the Hunger Games, an annual televised tournament where one boy and one girl from each of the nation's twelve districts must fight to the death until only one competitor, or "tribute," is left standing.

Don't know a lick about the source material and this trailer leads me to believe that the movie's gonna be more mass appeal and toned down than i'd prefer from a film about people being forced to fight for their lives (seems like Battle Royale for the Twilight generation), but it's got my interest nonetheless. And yes, that was Lenny Kravitz.



IN THE HOUSE OF THE FLIES

Set in the 1980's, In the House of Flies focuses around an abducted couple forced to tackle their way to freedom. Alone, isolated, and locked in an undisclosed, suburban basement, Heather and Steve find themselves surrounded by numerous and mysteriously sealed suitcases - each containing valuable clues to their very own survival. Both Heather and Steve must exploit what remains of their bruised intellect and depleting sanity to escape the authority of unidentified and brutal kidnappers. Let the countdown begin.

Not sure what to think about this one yet but it's got a few things going for it that make me think i'm gonna dig it. For one, it's set in the 1980's. I love movies set in the 80's. For two, it stars Henry Rollins ... as a ruthless killer. I love the Rollins. And I especially love any trailer that ends with him talking about dead fetuses floating in human excrement. Color me interested.



RETURN OF THE KILLER SHREWS

A TV reality show hires Captain Thorne Sherman and his boat to cargo supplies to the deserted offshore island they’re using as a filming location. Thorne would have refused the job because he’s been to that island before and still sees it in his nightmares. Unfortunately, as the boat departs, Thorne is too hungover to realize where they’re going, and his first mate Rook needs the money. So they sail — to a place Thorne Sherman never wanted to see again as long as he lived: the island of the Killer Shrews.

Ok so I know I created this weekly feature to weed out the crap trailers that hit the news sites every week and give you only the good ones, but some crap is just too craptacularly awesome to not share. If you're wondering, yes, this is in fact a sequel to the gloriously terrible 1959 movie The Killer Shrews, the one where real dogs were put in costumes to depict the titular Shrews. Though the dogs this time around have been replaced by horrible CGI, the makers of this one seem to know exactly what kind of movie they set out to make, that being a bad sequel to a bad 50's B-Movie, which could make this thing fun. As a fan of the Syfy brand of squeeze cheese, especially when it's self aware, I can't help but personally be excited about getting drunk with some friends and enjoying the hell out of this one.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cool Shit : Officially Licensed Toxic Avenger Mask!

Troma founder Lloyd Kaufman wasn't very happy when he caught wind of a Halloween mask company bootlegging and profiting off his beloved son Toxie, by selling a mask that was clearly intended to cash in on the world saving success of the Garden State's favorite chemically mutated superhero. Dubbed 'Adult Squishy Toxic Mask', the company made little effort to hide their intentions, though they did offer up a pretty nifty squeeze ball with the mask that allowed you to pulse and throb the faux Toxie's head puss.

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Kaufman's reaction? Instead of suing the company, he instead decided to partner with an FX shop by the name of Composite Effects and create the be-all end-all Toxie mask, officially licensed and guaranteed to make everyone forget about any other Toxie masks even existing. As you'll soon see, I think their mission was more than accomplished.

Check out the Composite Effects officially licensed Toxic Avenger mask, just released this past week!

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Now the only downside to this bad boy is that the price tag is about as high as the budget was for the film. At a whoppping $649.95, i'd imagine Uncle Lloyd himself probably couldn't even afford it. So while the beauty of this thing does make it the ultimate Toxie mask on the market, i'd personally probably find myself eBay'ing the bootleg pulsating mask if I decided to be Citizen Toxie for Halloween on any given year other than a year where I won millions in the lotto. Nevertheless, it's a pretty awesome display piece for anyone who can afford it.

See more pictures and blow your kid's college fund over at Composite Effects!

Vintage Video Of The Week : Gravedale High Happy Meal Commercial!

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This week's video takes us back to 1991, when McDonald's released Happy Meal toys based on Gravedale High, a short lived animated TV series that featured the voices of Rick Moranis, Ricki Lake & Jackie Earle Haley and centered around the trials and tribulations of Moranis' character, a teacher who was the only human being in a high school full of monsters. Though the show only lasted 13 episodes, it no doubt laid the groundwork for the more cutesy Monster High line of dolls that are on the market today.

Check out the vintage commercial for the Gravedale High Happy Meal toys, which are really the only toys to my knowledge that McDonald's ever threw in their kids meals that had a horror theme to them, aside from their annual Halloween pails. Enjoy!



The intro to the show along with many full episodes can be found over on YouTube, if you'd like to dig further into this gem from the past!

Friday, November 18, 2011

10 Things I Love About You : The Munsters' Scary Little Christmas

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There are two kinds of people in the horror community; the ones who'd rather hang out with The Addams Family and the ones who'd prefer to spend a night at The Munsters'. I've always belonged more in the latter category, as the Eddie Munster-esque widow's peak the big man gifted me with at birth seems to have pre-determined.

Oddly enough, my introduction to Herman and the gang was not through the original TV series but rather via several childhood viewings of the last piece of Munsters material produced (that is, until the upcoming remake TV series comes out); the TV movie The Munsters' Scary Little Christmas, a foray into a holiday never covered on the original show and starring none of the original cast. Executive produced by John Landis, the movie first aired on FOX in December 1996, a few years later falling into relative obscurity before finally being released on DVD in 2007.

It must've been somewhere around the late 90's that I first caught Scary Little Christmas on TV and, not surprisingly, I fell in love with the family that I so related to both at the time and still to this day. I remember getting so excited whenever I saw the movie playing on TV and must've watched it at least a dozen times in my pre-teen years. As sacrilegious as it may seem, being that a whole new cast took on the iconic roles in the movie, it was in fact Scary Little Christmas that gave me my first introduction to the black and white family i'd soon come to know and love. Needless to say, this little TV movie has and always will have a very special place in my heart.

I just recently finally got around to picking up the DVD release of the film and watched it tonight for the first time since before my balls started sprouting fur. While adult viewings of some childhood favorites make you come to the realization that they really aren't so great, others take you right back to the first time you saw them as a kid, making you fall in love with them all over again. As you've probably gathered by the direction this post is headed, i'm happy to report that i've just renewed my vows with Munsters' Scary Little Christmas.

There are many things I love about the film, which centers around Santa Claus being accidently summoned to 1313 Mockingbird Lane by Grandpa, who was attempting to create some holiday magic in an effort to get Eddie back into the Christmas spirit after the family's recent move from their home in Transylvania gets him all bummed out about the holiday not being the same. Hijinks ensue as the family tries to lift Eddie's spirits, while at the same time figure out a way to get Santa up and running for his impending Christmas Eve travels.

Without further delay, here are just 10 of those things that I love about The Munsters' Scary Little Christmas!

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1. ANN MAGNUSON

As every male Munsters fan can probably relate, i've always had a pretty hardcore crush on Lily Munster, who was portayed by Yvonne De Carlo in the original series. Ann Magnuson became the fourth actress to play Lily and she does one hell of a job channeling the spirit of De Carlo, every bit as sexy as she was in the role.

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2. THE MARQUIS DE SADE DUNGEON ACTION PLAYSET

It's fittingly located on page 666 of the Fears & Roebuck Holiday Nightmare Catalog; the Marquis De Sade Dungeon Action Playset. Eguipped with a torture rack with stretch-o-matic action as well as thumb screws that are "so real looking they'll bring tears to your eyes", the playset is to Eddie what Turbo Man was to Jamie Langston the very same year. Herman spends the early parts of the film looking for a job so he can afford the toy for his little wolfman. Unfortunately, the playset only exists within the confines of the movie.

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3. THE PERVERTED ELVES

When Santa magically appears inside Grandpa's basement, he's joined by his two main elves, one of questionable sexuality and the other a testosterone fueled viking with a big ole Gwildor beard. I don't think I ever picked up on this when I was younger but watching the film nowadays I realized that the elves are complete and utter perverts, singing about the joys of silicone breast implants, staring up Marilyn's skirt and hitting the biker bars in search of booze and hot tail. They're the Hank The Angry Drunken Dwarf's of Christmas elves and their sleaziness makes me smile.

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4. THE COOLEST ADVENT CALENDAR OF ALL TIME

Several times throughout the film, this spooky advent calendar is glimpsed, which features things like skeletons with Santa hats behind the doors leading up to the big day. It's totally awesome, but it makes me kinda sad that nobody has ever made such a thing here in the real world. At least that i'm aware of.

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5. HERMAN MUNSTER : NUDE MODEL

Remember when I was saying Herman needed to find a job in order to afford a present for Eddie? Well in a pretty funny montage he's seen tackling a few different jobs, including present wrapper and blood donor. In the funniest bit, he saunters into an art class wearing only a robe and proceeds to take it off in front of the class. Naturally, the students scream in terror and run out of the classroom at the sight of his Franken-wang. If i've learned anything from the mirror in my bathroom, it's that some dudes just aren't meant for that line of work.

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6. THIS GUY

Herman's funeral director boss, Mr. Gateman, is a total whackjob. Though he only appears in one small scene, when Herman comes to him looking for a cash advance, Gateman makes a lasting impression as he rants to Herman about how he's got no money because people aren't dying on the holidays like they used to, thanks to thorns in the side of the funeral business like fire codes and designated drivers. Oh shit, I just looked up this guy on IMDb and it turns out it's Bruce Spence, who played the gyro captain in Road Warrior! I knew he looked familiar, though I thought that was only cause he reminds me of John Waters.

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7. MARY WORONOV VS FRUITCAKE

Genre veteran Mary Woronov plays the main villain of the film, a neighbor of the Munsters' who is none too happy that they're trying to steal her thunder in the annual Christmas decoration contest. Her performance as Edna Dimwitty is as gloriously hammy as they come, which is perhaps best showcased in her battle with a giant fruitcake, which is actually Santa Claus himself. Long story short, the angry bitter elves transform Santa at one point into a big fruitcake, which Lily then gifts to her neighbor, not realizing that the dessert treat isn't really a dessert treat at all. When Edna attempts to fill the stomachs of the contest judges and get them on her side, the Santa fruitcake comes to life and she tries to put a stop to it, resulting in a battle of Warrior vs Hogan proportions. Eggnog, sweat and tears.

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8. THE MUNSTERS' CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS

Speaking of that decoration contest, the Munsters totally capture the spirit of Halloween on Christmas on the outside of their spooky mansion, channeling Clark Griswold by way of the Grand Guignol. Lily and Eddie rig up everything from snowmen being decapitated to an evil animatronic reindeer that spews "real dog foam" to a doll in the likeness of Edna being repeatedly tossed from the roof with a noose around her neck. Naturally, they win the contest, along with oodles of concerned and outraged stares from their neighbors.

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9. THE BIKER REINDEER

Towards the end of the film, Santa is restored back to human form (or whatever the hell he is) and he's ready to set out on his Christmas Eve adventure ... only he's got no reindeer to attach to the sleigh Herman stole for him. What's a Santa to do? Well, the elves sprinkle magical dust onto the bearded biker dudes they met earlier at the bar, which gives them flying capabilities. Naturally. They're tied up to the sleigh, bondage style, and the most epically bearded biker reindeer soon take to the skies, helping Santa deliver sweet toys and reindeer droppings to the good and naughty girls and boys, respectively. When I was a kid this seemed magical. Nowadays it just seems really fuckin' weird. Especially given the fact that the 'reindeer droppings' Santa promises to fill the stockings of Eddie's bullies with are actually gonna be piles of human biker shit. Nevertheless, I still love it all the same.

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10. THE MAD MONSTER PARTY

Throughout the film the Munsters are arranging for an epic Christmas party at their place, which they're inviting their whole family to. The film ends with this party, which is comprised of everyone from the Mummy, the Invisible Man, the Creature From The Black Lagoon, the Devil himself and even Rosemary's Baby. It's a wild dance party and as you might imagine, seeing all those monsters rocking out is pretty damn awesome. I'm not a party kinda guy, but that's one invitation i'd totally accept. Oh and by the way, The Phantom totally dances like a Queen.
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If you want to spend a scary little Christmas with The Munsters this year, the film was added to ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas lineup as of 2009, so you can likely catch it on there come December. If you don't want to wait around for it to pop up over there, the DVD is as of writing this selling for just over $5 on Amazon, with an average price that doesn't get much higher than that. If you've never seen it, give it a shot this year. You might be surprised by how warmly familiar it feels despite the new cast.