Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Name Is John And I Don't Hate The Fact That The Evil Dead Is Being Remade. Gasp.

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It seems like enemy #1 in the horror community of late is the upcoming remake of The Evil Dead, one of the most beloved horror films in the history of splatter cinema. The genre hasn't been the same since Raimi, Campbell & Co. took to the woods with a camera, very little money and a whole lot of Karo syrup at their disposal, and you'd be hard pressed to find a single horror fan on this planet who doesn't have a serious place in their heart for what they came out of those woods with.

Naturally, when it was announced last Summer that the film was next up on the remake chopping block, fans the world over were outraged. Their worst fears had come true. Soon after came two other pieces of news that really got fanboy blood boiling; Ash won't be in the remake (nor will The Chin himself) and the script will be receiving touch ups from Diablo Cody, the writer of the 'hipster' indie comedy Juno. Hate machine overload.

I've been reading the hatred that's been spewed over the last couple months about this one and I've kinda had enough, so I wanted to make a post that will surely put some of that hate on me. A post wherein I proclaim that not only am I not upset about The Evil Dead being remade, but also that I'm kinda excited for what's to come. Would I rather see Bruce slap on the ole chainsaw hand one more time and engage in one last final epic battle with the Deadite Army? Shit ya I would. But seeing as that's never gonna happen, I'll gladly take a reboot that both Sam Raimi and King Bruce are on board for. Sue me.

There seems to be this feeling amongst a large majority of horror fans that in order to truly love and support a film that we love and support, we have to absolutely 100% be against any remake of that film (unless of course it's called The Thing or The Fly), regardless of whether or not we've even seen it. A lot of fans hate on remakes without ever even seeing them and even if they do, they oftentimes go in with so much hatred that there's no possible way they could come out with anything less. Hollywood grabbing hold of our beloved classics and remaking them is seen as a crime worthy of punishment by death, and it seems that many fans feel like once a film is remade, the original they so love will no longer exist. Or will at the very least be tainted in some way. Come on guys, listen to how silly that sounds.

I think one of the big things that horror fans get go sensitive about when it comes to remakes is the idea that our little films are being introduced to the masses, thereby making them a little bit less 'ours'. When a movie like The Evil Dead gets remade, suddenly it's not just us hardcore horror fans that are watching the Book of the Dead being opened, it's anyone and everyone who has 10 bucks and nothing better to do on a Friday night. We kinda see ourselves as being on the fringes of cinema and I feel that we kinda like it that way. We generally don't like when 'our' movies become popular and widespread. We love the movies that we love and we love to embrace them as ours, our special little films that only us diehards really know about, and that sense that those films are suddenly becoming widespread is a bit upsetting, in the same way that the announcement of the weird geeky chick who reads comics with us at recess becoming prom queen is upsetting. I get that, I totally do. But again, listen to how silly that all sounds if ya really think about it.

No amount of remakes or reboots is ever going to in any way taint the films that we love, so I think we need to stop being so hard on them, and definitely stop judging them sight unseen. While I can't say I wouldn't prefer more original horror in theaters, the fact remains that some remakes in the past couple years have been pretty fuckin' awesome, reboots like Dawn of the Dead, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre & The Hills Have Eyes. So all I ask is that we at least reserve judgement on any given remake until we've actually seen it for ourselves. It's not remakes we should be hating, it's horror movies that are crap, plain and simple. To hate on remakes and judge them separately from other horror films is quite frankly the same thing as writing off a whole race of human beings simply because you don't like a few of them. Let's not forget that their are plenty of godawful original horror movies too. All that matters is whether or not a movie is good or enjoyable to us; whether it's based off an original idea or not should really not even be an issue.

And remember, even if your favorite little gem of a horror movie does get remade, it has absolutely no effect on that movie or your memories of it and love for it. Sounds like a stupid thing to even have to type out, but I can't tell you how many times I've seen forum and blog posts where people complain that Hollywood is 'ruining their childhood' by remaking all the movies they loved as a kid. Stop being so dramatic, will ya?

So, my general thoughts on remakes established, let's talk a bit more specifically about this particular one, and the two things about it that have so many fans up in (chainsaw) arms.

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1) NO BRUCE CAMPBELL & NO ASH WILLIAMS


Alright first off, when it comes to Bruce Campbell not being in this remake; if you're upset by that, then you just plain don't understand the concept of a 'remake'. So many people were FURIOUS over the fact that Robert Englund wasn't going to be playing Freddy in the Elm Street remake, an opinion I didn't share despite my hardcore love for both the original franchise and for Robert Englund, who has been and always will be the only Freddy Krueger. But if you're going to reboot the Elm Street franchise, then it's pretty much essential that somebody new play Freddy. We may not like it, and it may not turn out so great (which it most definitely did not), but to remake Elm Street with Englund still under the fedora and Christmas sweater would just be totally idiotic and pointless. While I'd love to see Bruce in a small cameo in the Evil Dead remake, perhaps working at an S-Mart that the new kids pass through before they make their way to the cabin, it's pretty much essential that he not be the star of this one. Sorry remake haters, but it's just the truth.

Now as for the character of Ash not being in this one either, I see that as a godsend and one hell of smart decision on the part of writer/director Fede Alvarez. To have that character in his vision of The Evil Dead would totally put the movie at a major disadvantage right off the bat, as everyone would inevitably compare the new Ash to the old Ash whether they wanted to or not. Given how much we all love Bruce Campbell's portrayal of Ash, I just don't think a new Ash would work for any of us, much the same way a new Freddy didn't either. That said, this one is a lose-lose situation either way, as most fans are going to be pissed if the character of Ash is in this one and if the character is not in it. When the film was first announced and no details were yet given, everyone was outraged over the fact that we'd be introduced to a new Ash, played by someone other than Bruce Campbell. Then once it was announced that Ash wouldn't be in the movie at all, instead replaced by a female, fans were again outraged, baffled as to how an Evil Dead movie could exist without an Ash. Damned if ya do, damned if ya don't on that one.

But again, in my personal opinion, remaking the movie without Ash is smart as hell, not to mention absolutely essential to the movie being any good or effective as a remake.

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2) THE CHICK WHO WROTE JUNO IS WRITING THIS ... FUCK THAT HO!!!!!!!!111

The second most instantly hateable thing about this remake, for most fans, is the fact that former blogger/Juno scribe Diablo Cody was brought on board to work on the script. Though many have taken this to mean that Cody is writing the entire movie, she was in fact only brought on to help flesh out and tighten up Alvarez' already written script. Nevertheless, because Cody is mostly known for writing Juno, a movie that most horror fans hate with a passion, the assumption was immediately that this bastardization of The Evil Dead would play out something like this ...

Four pregnant, witty teens head out to a cabin in the woods for a bitchin' weekend getaway, rocking out to indie music and sipping juice boxes along the way. While there they receive a strange voicemail on their hamburger phone, an incantation that unleashes a horde of undead Michael Cera's.

As a fan of Juno, and of Cody's writing, I find this assumption particularly offensive. The style with which she wrote Juno was obviously a chosen style to tell that particular story, and to assume that that's the only way she can write is a bit silly. While it may seem like an odd choice to have the woman who wrote Juno working on the script for The Evil Dead, which it admittedly does, Cody herself is well aware that writing the latter in the same way she wrote the former would be totally fucking ridiculous. This quote from her should soothe some of your worries ...

"I wouldn’t have even gotten involved if Sam [Raimi] and Bruce Campbell hadn’t been involved as well. They’re producing it, and so of course I was like 'Alright I have to do this' because I’m such a fan of the original, and the whole original series in fact. But I was nervous to take the job because I thought 'Ugh, I’m gonna get shit for this.' People are not gonna like this, because all people know of me is like Juno and they think I’m gonna pollute Evil Dead with like wacky dialogue and cute stuff and folk music, and it’s like 'No, look I understand what this is.' I’m interested in storytelling here and making it scary and good and true to the original. I did not do like the standard dialogue people associate with me at all. I did very naturalistic dialogue that I felt would serve the story."

I'm not saying you have to like Cody's writing, but please be aware that this will not be Juno writing inserted into The Evil Dead, with demonic undead characters spouting cutesy Ellen Page dialogue. Cody is obviously a big time horror movie fan, so I don't think we have anything to worry about here. Again, reserve your judgments until you see the movie for yourself.

All that negativity aside, let's talk a bit about some of the things worth getting excited about when it comes to The Evil Dead being remade. For one, as previously mentioned, Sam Raimi & Bruce Campbell are behind this project all the way, producing it alongside original Evil Dead producer Rob Tapert. How much can ya really hate this thing when those three are all involved?

"The remake’s gonna kick ass — you have my word" - Bruce Campbell

'Nuff said.

Secondly, the movie is being directed by an incredibly talented dude by the name of Fede Alvarez, who came to the attention of Raimi after Sam saw a 5 minute short film he did called Panic Attack! (Ataque de Pánico!). If you're worried about whether or not this guy has got any writing/directing chops, check out the short below and curb some of that doubt.



And no, just cause that movie has robots in it doesn't mean his Evil Dead remake will have them too. Sheesh, tough crowd.

Soooo I guess the long winded point I'm trying to make here is that there's really nothing we've heard yet about this remake that should have us worried about it, nor should we be spewing hate its way before the thing even gets in front of the camera. Whether the movie does end up sucking or not is a whole different story and even if it is a complete and utter pile of trash, have no fear, it will not take away the original trilogy we all love so much. In fact, nothing EVER will. So just relax about that.

With Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell behind this thing, I see absolutely no reason why we shouldn't be standing alongside them, excited about returning back to that iconic cabin in the woods on April 12th of 2013. I understand that much of the hate directed towards this one is just misguided passion, passion for what Raimi and the gang did back in the 80's, but I personally can't bring myself to hate on any remake that is fully backed by the people who made the original film. That's a big deal, something that has not been the case for many of the worst horror remakes out there (here's looking at you, Elm Street), and we should all embrace that and direct our hate elsewhere. After all, there's a lot worse shit going on in the world than Evil Dead being remade ...

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Trailer Of The Week : God Bless America

There's a hell of a lot wrong with this country, more specifically the people that inhabit it. This week's Trailer Of The Week points a gun in the faces of those annoying fuckers that drive us all crazy and pulls the trigger. Check out the first trailer for dark comic Bobcat Goldthwait's upcoming film God Bless America!



Goddamn, does that look awesome or what?

One of my favorite things in this world is the HBO show Curb Your Enthusiasm, where Seinfeld creator Larry David tackles the shit about our society that makes this country such an irritating place to spend our time in, like people parking outside of the lines and talking in movie theaters. This trailer reminded me a lot of that show, only replacing David's scathing wit with heavy artillery. I don't know about you, but Larry David with a machine gun sounds like just about the greatest pitch for a movie since sending Nazi's into outer space. Hold that thought, more on that one in a second!

God Bless America looks to be Falling Down filtered through the darkly hilarious mind of Bobcat Goldthwait, a comedian who made a big impression on me with his previous directorial effort/star vehicle for Robin Williams' hairy weiner, World's Greatest Dad. I've always been a fan of Bobcat as a comedian but it wasn't until I saw that one that I really took notice of him as a filmmaker. The screechy voiced madman has got a serious talent for simultaneously disturbing and eliciting laughter and I really can't think of a better person to address the most irritating aspects of our society while gleefully blowing them to pieces in front of our eyes than he. The fact that Bill Murray's brother is the man doing the dirty work that we all wish we could do is just the icing on what looks to be a pretty goddamn delicious cake. Can you say most justified serial killer in the history of cinema?!

God Bless America hits On Demand platforms through Magnet Releasing on April 6th and then comes to theaters May 11th.

As for the space Nazi's I alluded to earlier, a new trailer was released last week for Iron Sky, the partially fan funded Nazi's in space epic we've all been eagerly anticipating for a couple years now. I know this segment is called Trailer of the Week and not TrailerS of the Week, but I simply couldn't stop the Nazi's from invading. So while you're here, you must also check out this mind blowing new trailer for Iron Sky, which is capped off with some words from the madman behind it. If you thought Tarantino delivered a wild re-imagining of World War 2 with Inglourious Basterds ... you aint seen nothin' yet!!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

John Carpenter To Fans : Help This Dog, Get A Free Autograph

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Just a quick note here which may interest some of you. Master of horror John Carpenter has taken to his Facebook and Twitter accounts tonight, coming to the aid of an abused dog by the name of Malachi, a pit bull terrier who was recently found in pretty bad shape. Watching the below video will help you understand the gravity of the situation, though I'll warn you that it's not easy to watch.



In an effort to help raise the money to cover Malachi's vet bills and establish a trust fund in his name to raise awareness about animal cruelty, with some of the money also going to future treatment and care of neglected and abused animals, Carpenter has promised that if you donate at least $25 to the fund, he will send you an autographed photo. All you've gotta do is head over to the donation spot over on Facebook, donate the money and then send a copy of your donation receipt to the following address...

Storm King Productions
8033 W. Sunset Blvd., #1044
Hollywood, CA 90046

To this I say, good on you, Mr. Carpenter. This is most definitely the best thing you've done since the late 80's. I kid, I kid.

Let's hope this dog isn't infected with 'the thing', thereby making us regret saving it. Get it? Get it?!

Ok, I'm done. Seriously, this is a great cause and Carpenter rocks for helping out. Do your part!

Vintage Video Of The Week : Phantasm 2 Premiere!

This week we head back to 1988 for the premiere of Phantasm 2 at the Pacific Theatre in Hollywood, California. In attendance for the premiere was Angus Scrimm, decked out in full Tall Man gear, along with his trusty hearse. With Angus behind the wall, a competition was held to see how many 'Phans' could fit inside the back of the hearse. Thanks to Guy Thorpe, hearse coordinator for Phantasm 4 & Bubba Ho-Tep, a few minutes of the hearse stuffing event were forever preserved on video, video which has never seen release anywhere outside of the internet. So enjoy this rarely seen treasure from the Phantasm archives, BOYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cover Art Wars : The Woman

As I've surely hammered into your brain by now, Bloody Disgusting Selects released The Woman onto DVD & Blu-ray here in the states this past Tuesday, the 24th. Over in the UK, Revolver Entertainment released the film way back in October of last year, a good three months before we got it. If that's not reason enough to go Region Free, I just don't know what is!

Anyway, in this installment of the ever popular competition Cover Art Wars, we pit the US & UK home video arts for The Woman against one another in a bloody battle to the death. Check them out below and then leave a comment letting me know which art you prefer!

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UNITED STATES

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UNITED KINGDOM

Though I do dig the toned down US art, which looks like a painting of sorts, I've personally gotta go UK on this one. Even though the UK art does kinda sorta spoil the outcome of the movie, I absolutely love the empowered imagery of a blood soaked Pollyanna McIntosh holding a bloody lawn mower blade, perhaps the ultimate 'male' tool. Sexy, fierce and badass, this image almost demands you pick the movie up and take it to the checkout counter. The only thing I don't really care for is the big quote blurb up top, which cuts Pollyanna's head off. UK releases tend to have art that's a bit crowded with website/magazine quotes, which can kinda get annoying, but I suppose it's a minor complaint. This art was also used for the badass vinyl soundtrack that Moderncine released here in the US.

What say you? Leave a comment with which art you'd rather have in your DVD collection!

Limited Edition Behind The Mask Art Prints Help Bring Leslie Vernon Back To Life!

Remember how last week I told you that the Behind The Mask online shop had added some pretty sweet new items, with all proceeds from the sales of them going directly to funding Before The Mask, the upcoming sequel/prequel to Leslie Vernon's debut outing? Well here I am again today to tell you that even more items are now lining the virtual walls of the shop, in the form of three new limited edition art prints done up by three incredibly talented genre artists, two of whom I've had the pleasure of hanging out with at conventions. The three 8.5"/11" pieces of art are all limited to 150 hand numbered prints and they're only going for 10 bucks a piece. Dig on the art below and then click the corresponding links to check out more work from these talented sumbitches!

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CHRISTOPHER OTT

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JOEL ROBINSON

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NATHAN THOMAS MILLINER

To purchase these and other little goodies that will help resurrect everyone's favorite mass murderer, head over to the Behind The Mask Online Shop! I also again encourage you to go ahead the 'like' the Before The Mask Facebook page, where you can donate money and get even more swag and treats, including walk on roles in the film!

Friday, January 27, 2012

If I Can't Get A Blog Post Out Of Having My Wisdom Teeth Pulled, Then What Can I Get A Blog Post Out Of? Vicodin Fueled Thoughts On The Dentist 1 & 2!

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Just got home from the dentist, wherein I had three of my four wisdom teeth yanked out of my jaw. I'm flying pretty high on Vicodin and while I'm sitting here in suppressed pain and under the influence of some pretty seriously awesome drugs, I thought it'd be pretty cool, and quite fitting, to finally get around to revisiting both The Dentist 1 & 2, and offer up my inebriated thoughts on both. I haven't watched either of these since I saw them back when I was a kid on VHS, so I've been meaning to revisit them for a while now. What better way to do so than while high, bleeding profusely from the mouth and recouping from serious dental surgery?! No better way, says I!

Before I get around to popping in this epic double feature of gruesome dentistry, let me first give ya a brief rundown of how the operation went.

Despite all the horror stories I've heard, the triple extraction (I was supposed to get all four pulled, but the doc decided that one could stay) was actually quite pleasant and not at all painful or uncomfortable in the least. I was given the choice of either A) having local anesthesia and nothing more or B) having the local anesthesia on top of inhaling Nitrous Oxide Dennis Hopper in Blue Velvet style, while also simultaneously being hooked up to a Valium IV. Intent on this experience being as pleasurable as possible, being that I'm a total pussy when it comes to dental work, I opted for option B, the Valium and Nitrous cocktail. With the Bane-like mask strapped to my face and the needle full of Valium pumping a steady stream of the good stuff directly into my veins, I gotta say, I felt pretty damn good, to the point that I never once felt even a single pain or unpleasant feeling during the whole operation. In fact, dare I say, I kind of even enjoyed it and honestly wouldn't have minded if the dentist went ahead and just plucked all of my teeth out. Hell, he could've even fondled my man bits and I don't think I would've stopped him. "Hey, John, what do you think about us removing your arms and legs while we're at it?" ... "Sure doc, be my guest!"

After all the fears and worries, the whole thing was over in mere minutes and I soon found myself in the comfort of my bed at home, high on prescription Vicodin that took hold as soon as the Valium wore off. So in summation, I got the day off of work and got to get legally fucked up in public and then encouraged to pop a bunch of painkillers for the next couple days, doctor's orders. Not a bad day, if ya ask me!

Being the sick individual that I am, I of course asked to keep the three wisdom teeth that were pulled from my head, which I will share with you at the end of this post. Before then, you must endure my high on Vicodin thoughts about two of my childhood favorites, the two horror films that forever made me terrified of taking a trip to the dentist. So without further adieu, let's get this double feature started!



THE DENTIST - 1996

On the surface, Dr. Alan Feinstone is a dream dentist, the kind of guy you'd trust with sticking sharp objects in your children's mouths. He's got different rooms in his office decked out to deliver different experiences for his patients, including one themed as a tropical environment, where he even has his assistant rock a Hawaiian shirt. Not a bad place to get some dental work done ... or so it seems. Just beneath that surface lies the true Dr. Feinstone, a fastly progressing psychopath who dreams of forcing his cheating wife to bite the pool boy's dick off, sees his hatreds for humanity manifested as visible black dental decay and molests his female patients while they're under the influence of copious amounts of Nitrous Oxide. Yaaa, so I guess he's not the kinda guy you'd want probing around your kid's mouth after all. Or your own, for that matter.

Based on a real life dentist/serial killer, Corbin Bernsen stars as the titular dentist in this gem from a time which many look back on as an era when horror was dead in the water. Released in 1996, the film was directed by Brian Yuzna and written by Dennis Paoli and Stuart Gordon, who together wrote the Gordon directed Re-Animator 10 years prior. Funny because The Dentist is akin to Re-Animator in many ways, both sharing the common trait of a mad doctor pushed to the brink of his insanity, killing animals and taking his practice to levels most doctors do not. The Dentist can almost even be seen as Re-Animator by way of Taxi Driver, with a deranged doctor going around fixing what he believes to be wrong with the world, fully convinced that he's just doing his job and at times even getting the viewer on his side. Shit, did I really just compare The Dentist to Taxi Driver? Goddamn, this Vicodin is one hell of a drug.

I've always been a fan of Brian Yuzna's films and have always felt he's very underrated as a genre filmmaker, with efforts like Return of the Living Dead 3 & Silent Night, Deadly Night 4 never quite getting the fan appreciation that I feel they deserve. As far as 90's horror goes he's one of my favorites, one of the few filmmakers who was churning out decent material in the pre-Scream horror drought. The late 80's/early 90's were an interesting time for the genre, when the extreme gore and superhuman killers of the majority of the 80's gave way to more reality based killers, which resulted in a whole lot of what I like to call 'profession horror', movies which depicted people with ordinary jobs such as ice cream men, carpenters and cops as mass murderers. Though it's certainly not the best horror movie from the decade, The Dentist has always been one of my favorites of that sub-genre of seemingly ordinary people with ordinary jobs harboring dark murderous secrets.

The highlights here are obviously the scenes where the killer dentist is performing his crude brand of dentistry, with some pretty solid practical effects and several great inside the mouth camera views that bring to life a fair share of highly awesome and brutal sequences of dental torture, carried out by an on top of his game Corbin Bernsen, who turns the role into one of the more memorably underrated villains in 90's horror. Pretty much the entire movie hinges on his performance and boy does he rock the part, creating a totally nutso and yet at times likeable and dare I say relatable bad guy. There's another dude who doesn't ever seem to get the respect he deserves.

It's funny watching the movie nowadays because as a kid, minor appearances from a young Mark Ruffalo as well as Dawn of the Dead's Ken Foree never stuck out to me. Nowadays, being big fans of both, I was quite surprised to see them in there, albeit in very brief appearances. Who knew!

Watching The Dentist today brought back a lot of memories for me and I had as much fun with it as I remember having with it back when I was a kid. Always nice when that can be said about a childhood favorite, which unfortunately often cannot. So hooray for that!



THE DENTIST 2 - 1998

Speaking of bringing back memories, the Dentist 2 box art is one that I vividly remember staring back at me at my local Blockbuster as a youth, so much so that I've always believed that I had seen the movie until I popped it in today. It's possible that I did a long long time ago and just don't remember a lick of it, but I'm pretty certain that this was my first actual viewing of the film, as none of it brought back memories like watching the first one did. So I guess I lied up above when I said that these two movies were childhood favorites. But goddamn, is that razor toothed box art awesome or what?!

Two years after his first foray into dental terror, Corbin Bernsen is back as the killer dentist, with Brian Yuzna once again at the helm. Though he ended up in a mental hospital at the end of the first film, Feinstone breaks out at the beginning of this one (he stitched a scalpel into his leg at some point before getting locked up and uses that to escape...yep), changing his name to Lawrence Caine and relocating to a small town to start anew. Turns out his tongue-less wife is still alive (ole Corbin mutilated her in the first one) and she's hired a private investigator to track down Caine/Feinstone, who is desperately trying to suppress his desires to be the dentist/killer that we as an audience know he is eventually gonna revert back to.

Whereas the first Dentist saw Bernsen's character descend into madness, starting out as a successful and seemingly normal dentist and then morphing into a brutal killer, in this sequel he's already mad to begin with, so the majority of the film is able to focus on his complete insanity rather than his descent into insanity, which made the movie even more of a fun experience for me. Bernsen is once again on top of his game here and it's highly entertaining to watch him try and be a normal dude in the first half, doing everything he can to stop the crazy thoughts in his head and stay away from dentistry all together. Of course, all hell inevitably breaks loose when the small town dentist does some shoddy work on a tooth Caine chipped while eating dinner, which leads him to once again go off the deep end, killing the dentist and taking over his practice. From there, it's back to his old ways, maiming and brutalizing the mouths of his patients.

One of those patients, who identifies Caine as being Dr. Feinstone, thereby driving him even more over the edge, is Clint Howard, the man who played another one of my favorite under appreciated 90's killers; Gregory Tudor in 1995's Ice Cream Man. For me, seeing the Dentist and the Ice Cream Man go at it was worth the price of admission alone, a price that was quite low given that I picked both of these discs up at Hollywood Video when they were going out of business for a dollar a piece. But still, their shared scene is pure gold and put a huge smile on my face.

Just like in the first Dentist, there's plenty of gruesome teeth pulling and grinding in this one, all once again shown up close and in graphic detail. It's almost as if there are cameras affixed to Bernsen's dental tools and I absolutely love the cringe inducing sequences of him pulverizing mouths. Unfortunately, there's not as much of that kinda stuff in here as there was in the first, but that's all made up for in the final half hour of the film.

The events of both films come to a head in these last 30 or so minutes, with a particularly brutal dental torture sequence which leads into Caine/Feinstone battling both the love interest in this one as well as his tongue-less wife from the first. It's a pretty brutal finale, which sees Bernsen going full Jack Torrance for a clearly Shining inspired final act (at one point he smears a victim's blood all over his face), which ends with the absolutely batshit awesome imagery of Bernsen driving off presumably to the next town, maniacally laughing and pulling nails out of his head which were fired into him via his nail gun wielding love interest. It's the kind of totally off the wall material that I wish both films spent a bit more time reveling in, but nevertheless I had a blast with this one just as I did with the first, if not even moreso.
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Ok, now it's time for your reward for making it through my painkiller fueled ramblings about two horror flicks that I enjoy perhaps a bit more than anyone has any business enjoying, enjoyment which was no doubt amplified by said painkillers. You ready? If you think you can handle it, here's an image of my three extracted wisdom teeth, freshly pulled from my skull just a few short hours ago. In the words of The Dentist 2's awesome tagline, BRACE YOURSELF!!

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Somewhere, Corbin Bernsen is smiling. And if I ever meet him at a convention, he's totally signing one of those bad boys.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Different Kind Of Texas Chainsaw Massacre Tattoo ...

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Artist/Freddy In Space friend Krystal Beck is without question the ultimate Chainsaw fan. Why do I say this? Well, in addition to having a house chock full of all kinds of related memorabilia, Krystal made the trek out to Texas last year to see the movie outside of the iconic house where it was filmed, and in fact even ate dinner in the house prior (it's now a BBQ restaurant!). While in Texas, she also managed to scoop up a bunch of dirt from the filming locales, which was included in limited edition t-shirt packages from Fright Rags last year. In addition, she dressed up as The Hitchhiker for Halloween a couple years back (seen above), a character that she has a fairly serious obsession with. Which brings us to her latest and perhaps most ultimate display of affection towards the film, a unique one of a kind tattoo that is unlike any other Chainsaw tattoo you have ever seen.

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Remember in the movie when The Hitchhiker cuts his own hand and then smears blood all over the side of Sally and the gang's van, after they kick him out? He makes a pretty interesting design with his blood, which many fans over the years have speculated on the meaning of. It's this imagery which Krystal decided to recently get tattooed on her side, instead of the usual image of Leatherface or a chainsaw. Check out the fresh ink!

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How cool is that?! If you're still not convinced that she's the ultimate Chainsaw queen, then I guess I should tell you that she eats head cheese every morning for breakfast, cut up and tossed into her cereal.* She's not fucking around with this stuff, believe you me.

Be sure to show your support for Krystal's awesomeness by heading over to her Etsy shop The Zombified, where you can pick up, what else, a limited edition Texas Chainsaw Massacre poster print that she drew. Go figure!!

*Ok so that last bit was made up but still, I challenge you to find a more hardcore fan of the film!*

Everything You Need To Know About : V/H/S

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Perhaps the biggest genre hit of this year's Sundance (Jan. 19th-29th) thus far has been V/H/S, a found footage anthology put together by Bloody Digusting founder Brad Miska that's comprised of five films directed by up and coming names within the genre, including House of the Devil's Ti West. The film has been getting pretty much rave reviews across the board, garnering serious press for pulling off the same impressive feat that The Woman did at Sundance last year; making a dude at a screening pass right the fuck out.

Hot off the heels of that exciting news blip came the news today that V/H/S has been picked up by Magnolia Pictures for distribution, who will be releasing it under their Magnet label, a label that has been attached to some of the better genre films in recent years, titles like Tucker & Dale vs Evil, Hobo With a Shotgun and the aforementioned House of the Devil. The plan is to give the film Magnet's patented pre-theatrical Video on Demand release sometime this year, with a limited theatrical release to follow 30 days later.

So, with all that established, what exactly is V/H/S and what can we expect from it? You could spend a good portion of your night prowling around Google to find out all the details but I'd rather just do that work for you and combine it all in a nice and easy quick read. That's what I'm here for.

So below you'll find everything you need to know about V/H/S, everything except any kind of spoilers that will ruin the experience for you. Cause I'm cool like that. Also peppered throughout the post are all the still photos from the movie that have been released thus far.

Without further yapping, we begin at the beginning, with the official plot synopsis ...

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When a group of misfits is hired by an unknown third party to burglarize a desolate house and acquire a rare VHS tape, they discover more found footage than they bargained for.

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This is the wraparound story that ties all five short stories together. Directed by Horrible Way To Die's Adam Wingard (above), the wraparound (titled Tape 56) sees the group entering the home and discovering a treasure trove of VHS tapes, unsure which one is the one they've been tasked with taking. In order to determine that information, they decide to watch all of the tapes in the house, which is how the five short films are presented to us. What we see is what they see, with the individual segments showing us what's on the various fucked up tapes in this strange house.

Here is some information about each segment, along with pictures of the directors as well as brief plot details.

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Amateur Night - Directed by David Bruckner

The basic idea of this one is that a group of college kids head out for a night on the town, one of them sporting a pair of camera equipped spy glasses, which capture all the action. They pick up a couple of chicks and bring them back to their hotel, intent on filming a homemade porno of sorts with them. Unfortunately for them, the girls aren't exactly what they appear to be. Amateur Night was directed by David Bruckner, who was one of the directors of 2007's The Signal. It was during this segment that a man passed out earlier this week at Sundance.

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Second Honeymoon - Directed by Ti West

The most recognizable name of the bunch, Ti West previously directed House of the Devil & the recently released Innkeepers. With Second Honeymoon he delivers what is being called another slow burn tension filled mini masterpiece, which sees a couple road tripping through the Grand Canyon. While staying at a hotel one night, they receive a knock at their door from a strange woman ...

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Tuesday The 17th - Directed by Glenn McQuaid

I Sell The Dead director Glenn McQuaid helms this found footage slasher tale, the story of a young girl who takes some of her friends out to the woods. As expected, bad things begin to happen. But everything is not what it seems, as McQuaid turns convention on its head.

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The Strange Thing That Happened To Emily When She Was Younger - Directed by Joe Swanberg

A Skype chat goes horribly wrong when paranormal things began to happen on one end of the video conversation in this short directed by Joe Swanberg, whose only real recognizable credits to genre fans include acting gigs in two films made by two of the other directors of V/H/S; A Horrible Way To Die & Cabin Fever 2. This haunted foray into the world of Skype was written by Simon Barrett, who previously wrote one of the better Syfy creature features out there, Frankenfish.

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10/31/98 - Directed by Radio Silence

I know little to nothing about Radio Silence, but apparently they're a group of guys who have become known for their videos over on YouTube. Set on Halloween night in 1998, their debut film is about a group of buddies going out to a Halloween party, where they end up in a fight for their lives.

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And that's about everything you need to know about the film. To tell you any more that I've read would spoil some things and I really wouldn't want to do that.

The guys that comprise Radio Silence describe V/H/S as being "a found footage movie for people that are over found footage", which sounds like music to my ears. According to every single review I've read thus far, the film injects new life into the dying found footage sub-genre, providing several creative new means of pulling such a film off and coming jam packed with copious amounts of horror, humor, gore and monsters. Sounds like this one has a little something for everyone and with such talented indie filmmakers at the helm, I wouldn't expect any less. I love me a good anthology and V/H/S looks to be the next great horror anthology to keep an eye on.

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Once the film is available On Demand, I'll let ya know about it and I'll of course share my thoughts once I check it out!

Cool Shit : Voorhees/Predator Hybrid Mask!

There's a forum called The Replica Prop Forum that I hang around from time to time, a place where super talented geeks get together and show off their handmade recreations of props from their favorite movies, everything from popular items like Freddy's many gloves to more obscure stuff like the magnifier necklace Ash gave to Linda in The Evil Dead.

I was browsing around there the other night and stumbled upon something that really caught my eye, a mask that fused together two horror icons; Jason Voorhees and the oh so loveable Predator. Story goes that the man who made it, Jake Rich, was getting drunk with his brother while watching Jason X one night, wherein they came to the realization that the metallic uber Jason mask looks a bit like the mask the Predator's wear to cover up their gross vaginal mouths. So, naturally, Rich hit the garage and began turning a Predator mask he had sculpted years prior into what he's dubbed "The Hockey Hunter", the love child of Jason and Predator. Needless to say, that's one child you wouldn't want to pick on in the schoolyard!

What does such a child look like? Check out the results of Jake's gene splicing experiment!!

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Made from fiberglass and featuring LED lighting mounted with a 9V battery power supply, the "Hockey Hunter" masks are currently selling for $230 a piece over at Dream Scape Studios, the Rich Brothers' FX studio. The mask can either be worn or displayed.

If you're more of a Freddy kinda guy, have no fear; Freddy has also been mashed up with the Predator in the past ...

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This 'Fredator' shirt was available for one day only over at Tee Fury, but can still be purchased through Red Bubble. Hooray!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

So ... How Evil Are You?

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On the eve of Halloween last year, I caught a highly fascinating show on Discovery Channel called How Evil Are You?, an hour long episode from their series Curiosity. Hosted by Eli Roth, the special aimed to examine the evil that lurks inside the average American citizen. To do so, Roth and a team of psychologists recreated controversial experiments psychologist Stanley Milgram carried out in the 1960's. Remember that scene from Ghostbusters where Venkman delivers an electric shock to a test subject whenever he gets a question wrong? Well that was the basic idea with the Milgram Experiments, only Milgram had participants delivering shocks of increasing intensity to what they were told were test subjects in another room with heart conditions, who were actually actors who were purposely giving wrong answers and who weren't really even getting shocked. Without anyone actually getting hurt, the experiments determined how much pain a given subject would inflict upon their fellow man, simply because an authority figure was instructing them to do so.

Milgram's findings were astounding and can be perhaps best summed up by this bone chilling statement he delivered after conducting the experiments ...

"I would say, on the basis of having observed a thousand people in the experiment, and having my own intuition shaped and informed by these experiments, that if a system of death camps were set up in the United States of the sort we had seen in Nazi Germany, one would be able to find sufficient personnel for those camps in any medium sized American town."


So, is the average American as evil now as he was back in the 60's? Hit the play button below to begin this recreation of Milgram's experiments and find out!



Had been wanting to blog about this for months now but didn't want to do so until I had the video to embed. So big thanks to YouTube user farbus5 for uploading this!

Netflix Instant : Hit Play Or Stay Away? Megan Is Missing

Spewed forth some brief thoughts about this one last night on Facebook but being that I still can't seem to get the movie to leave my head alone, I found myself itching to talk a bit more about it. So let's do just that and find out if this Netflix Instant title deserves your time!

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Employing a mix of storytelling techniques (including webcam footage, video chats and dramatized news reports), this chillingly realistic thriller charts the disappearance of two teens who vanish three weeks apart under mysterious circumstances.

Asking whether or not Megan Is Missing is worth your time is a bit of a loaded question, because it's really not as simple to answer as the same question is for most other movies. When it comes to this one, it's really not even a matter of whether the movie is any good or not, it's more about the massively damaging impact it leaves in its wake and the message that lies underneath its less than impressive attempt at being what I could consider a great film. The fact of the matter is that Megan Is Missing is a pretty sloppy and cheesy film, a found footage flick that teeters on the brink of stupidity almost to the point that it's hard to take it very seriously for very long. The acting is oftentimes pretty poor and the way the whole thing is presented to us is quite messy, but nevertheless by the end of the film I found myself absolutely horrified and disturbed by what I had just seen, to the point that I found it hard to sleep afterwards. Movies don't often have that effect on me so I kinda gotta give serious props to this one for doing so.

What's so scary about the movie is that this kind of stuff happens in the real world all the time, with several of those real life stories in fact serving as the inspiration for the film. This isn't a story about some slasher in the woods or a melted dude invading nightmares, this is about a sick predator targeting vulnerable young girls on the internet, luring them in with promises of love and companionship. In this day and age, where teens are growing up faster than ever, doing drugs, having sex and spending late nights on the internet, online predators are an all too real problem and young girls are an all too easy prey for them. Megan Is Missing uncomfortably taps into that idea, showing us what can and many times has resulted from that combination of kids growing up too fast and having too much freedom on the internet.

Just as being a kid isn't what it used to be, the world isn't what it used to be either, and Megan Is Missing paints a very unnerving picture of the current state of things, bringing horrifying news stories to life and highlighting the dangers of being a modern day American teenager. We hear about these stories all the time on the news but it's only when we see them play out that we truly feel the gravity of the horror, a horror that a pretty newscaster or a catchy newspaper headline could never convey. In that sense, Megan Is Missing is an important film for anyone who can handle it, one that will hopefully serve to scare off teens from messing around with strangers on the internet. This is one of those movies that's truly more than just a movie, which is a pretty damn powerful thing.

All that said, I again must reiterate that as a film, Megan Is Missing is not so great. Though the final 20 minutes (which show us exactly what happened to the two girls) are raw, realistic & utterly disturbing, a lot of the stuff that comes before it is totally poorly acted and goofy, which hurts the overall impact of the experience a great deal. I shudder to think how much more effective and more horrifying the movie would have been if those two girls and their situation felt a bit more real, but then again I'm not sure I could've handled it being much more horrifying. Again though, it's less about the movie and the characters that inhabit it than it is about the horror of such a situation, as your mind pretty much swaps out the victims with your own loved ones and the movie properly gets under your skin regardless of how it's pulled off throughout. That's really the strength of writer/director Michael Goi's effort, when all is said and done.

So, do I recommend you hit the play button on this found footage horror flick by way of Larry Clark? Well, yes and no. We live in a horrific world where some pretty awful shit happens on a daily basis and if you want to be exposed to the most horrific of the horrific, and can look past some flaws on the filmmaking front, then give it a watch. If, on the other hand, you want to shelter yourself from that kind of disturbing material, stay far far away. A reader by the name of Kristi Nommensen Dorson commented on my Facebook post about the movie last night and summed up my feelings pretty well ...

"I simultaneously want to make my children watch it before they are allowed to use the internet, and at the same time never expose them to anything like this ever in their lives."

That about says it all.

Bust Out The PBR & Ghost Hunting Equipment : My Valentine's Weekend Getaway Is Booked!

When I watched Ti West's Innkeepers for the first time last week (read the review), it was pretty much love at first sight with a couple things about the film, most notably the characters and the hotel it's set in, which is pretty much a character in and of itself. The Innkeepers tells the story of a man and a woman working at the Yankee Pedlar Inn over a long weekend, the final weekend before the place shuts down for good. They've always believed the place to be haunted and so they set out to once and for all find out if it truly is. As expected, horrific things ensue.

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Though it was pretty obvious that the movie was filmed in an actual hotel, what I didn't realize until I did some research after watching it is that the Yankee Pedlar Inn is actually a real place in Connecticut, built in 1891. The name wasn't changed for the movie nor was the location dressed up at all; what you see in the movie is the same location that is still an operational hotel that you can stay in. Ever fascinated by horror movie filming locations and totally in love with the old school look and feel of the Pedlar Inn, I immediately knew I had to book a room as soon as possible.

Cut to one week later.

With Valentine's Day coming up in just a couple weeks, I figured what better way to wine and dine Jen than to book a stay at the Pedlar Inn for the weekend and celebrate our love with the spirit of Madeline O'Malley by our side. I don't know about you, but I can't think of anything that's more romantic than ghost hunting while sipping PBR. Thankfully, Jen feels the same way. So last night I booked our mini suite for two nights on the weekend after Valentine's Day, February 17th-19th. If all goes as planned, both horrific and romantic things will ensue. Once they do, you'll of course be the first to hear about them. At least the horrific parts. I'll spare you the romance.

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So, is the Pedlar Inn really haunted by malevolent spirits? Well, that's up for debate. Though the whole Madeline O'Malley thing was made up for the movie, the inspiration for it actually came from Ti West and the House of the Devil crew staying at the Inn while they were filming that movie, wherein West says they experienced some pretty freaky shit; phones ringing, lights turning on and off. In addition, he says the staff regaled him and his crew with ghost stories, alleging the place is in fact haunted. It was because of his experience there that West decided to write the story of The Innkeepers, brilliantly deciding to film the movie on location at the actual hotel that inspired it, making it the first movie ever to film there and in fact the first to be filmed entirely on location in Torrington, Connecticut.

So again I ask, is the Yankee Pedlar Inn really haunted? I figure that question can only be answered by spending a few nights there for myself, so I'll let ya know when (and if!) we return on the 19th!

In the meantime, I recommend you order The Innkeepers On Demand and, if you can, see it in theaters when it comes out February 3rd. Check the listings to see if it's playing anywhere near you!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Woman : 4 Limited Edition Pieces Of Must Have Swag!

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Today is the long awaited DVD & Blu-ray release of Lucky McKee's The Woman, one of the most must see and must own horror films of 2011. In honor of that release, I wanted to put the spotlight on four kickass pieces of merchandise that all fans of the film absolutely must have in their collection, along with either the DVD or Blu. So if you dig the movie as much as I do, get ready to bust out that credit card and add some serious awesomeness to your home and your life!

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VINYL SOUNDTRACK

If ya ask me, you simply cannot own the movie without also owning Sean Spillane's soundtrack, which adds so much to the overall experience of the film. I've had this on repeat since I saw the movie last year and I'm betting you're with me on that one. Sure you can download MP3 versions of the songs on the cheap, but if you really love the soundtrack you may want to consider investing in this limited edition vinyl release, which features all the songs and comes individually numbered. If you don't have a record player lying around, this release also contains a digital download code so don't worry about not being able to listen to it. It's currently available for pre-order and will begin shipping March 6th!

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FRIGHT RAGS T-SHIRT

Thankfully for all of us, the Fright Rags crew are also big fans of the movie. Today they just released this t-shirt, which is available in men's and women's sizes. Only 200 will be printed before it's gone for good, so hop on this one while ya still can!

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PROP LAWN MOWER BLADE

Don't want to spoil anything for anyone who hasn't seen the movie but if you have, you surely know the importance of this particular weapon to the outcome of the film. In one of the coolest moves in promotional item history, Modercine decided to make a limited number of polyester resin replicas of the bloody lawn mower blade, which are currently selling for $30 over on Amazon. Small price to pay for such a cool display piece, if ya ask me.

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SIGNED LEATHER BOUND LIMITED EDITION BOOK


Though only sharing the titular character and not much else, The Woman is actually a sequel to Offspring, a movie adapted from a book written by Jack Ketchum. McKee & Ketchum not only got together to write the movie version of The Woman but they also wrote a print version of it together, which was released in both an inexpensive paperback form as well as this limited edition leather bound version. Signed and numbered, the book was limited to only 174 pieces, hand sewn and bound, making it perhaps the ultimate collector's item for fans of the story. Unfortunately, due to the limited nature, there's really nowhere to buy this edition these days aside from on sites like eBay, which is why there is no link above to purchase it. Keep your eyes peeled and prepare to shell out a couple hundred bucks if ya can't live without one. In the meantime, drool over more pictures of the most badass book of all time!

Happy Birthday, Beer Can! (I Promise, This Post Is More Relevant Than You Think!)

On this day in 1935 the first canned beer hit the market, revolutionizing the way people got fucked up. Why is this worth noting on a horror blog? Well, you might be amused to learn what company was the first to can their beers ...

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Yep, the Krueger Brewing Company was the first to adopt the can as the chosen receptacle for their booze. The small Newark, New Jersey brewery began selling canned beer on January 24th, 1935, almost a full decade after founder Gottfried Krueger passed away. By the end of that year, nearly 40 US breweries had also begun doing the same. The rest, as they say, is history.

Though Krueger closed their operations in the 60's, canned beer is more popular than ever over 70 years after its birth, making a big time comeback of late, as breweries around the globe are realizing that canned beer is the way to go. Not only are cans a heck of a lot more earth friendly than bottles, but cans actually help keep out beer ruining elements like oxygen and light far better than bottles do, and the costs are lower to produce and ship aluminum than glass. On top of that, they're a whole lot safer. After all, if there's one thing no drunk person should be in possession of, it's glass!

In the 1980's, Gottfried's great grandson Fred put the Krueger name back on the map when he innovated a new dreaming technique that allowed him to literally enter the dreams of others, an achievement so impressive that many forgot his child molesting past and embraced him as a pop culture icon. That's the Krueger's for ya; always one step ahead of the pack!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Cool Promotional Shit : 'The Woman' Stress Heart!

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Though I was pretty sure I'd be getting a DVD screener of The Woman in the mail, I never expected to find this awesome little stress ball heart inside the package with it, which is exactly what I found on my doorstep this past weekend. In fact, I wasn't even aware that Bloody Disgusting had whipped these up, to promote tomorrow's DVD & Blu-ray release. The fact that they did makes me quite happy that they're the ones who picked up the film. It's the little things in life.

Not only is this a cool little promotional item but It's also a very fitting one, given that you should probably have a stress ball in your hand while experiencing the film. So go find one around the house and go experience it!

Trailer Of The Week - FDR : American Badass!

Though this past week saw the debut of a new trailer for a horror film directed by Tobe Hooper and the first look at an upcoming flick that sees Tom Savini busting out the liquid latex and fake blood for the first time in many years, it's the one featuring Barry Bostwick as Franklin Delano Roosevelt that I can't help but select as my favorite horror movie trailer of the week. In the 70's or 80's that would've shocked me. Nowadays, not so much!

Check out the hilarious trailer for FDR : American Badass!, the latest in a recent flurry of 100% historically inaccurate horror cinema, which looks to be even more out there than a black JFK or a vampire hunting Honest Abe!



Right about now I oftentimes tell you folks about why I dig the featured trailer and why I'm excited to check out the movie it was cut from. This week, I'm really not feeling like that's even necessary. I mean come on, don't the machine gun wheelchair and Hitler werewolf justify this pick well enough?!

No idea when this movie is supposed to be released, but I personally would love to see it featured in a sequel to Chillerama, and not just because it shares many of the same actors. FDR : American Badass! is the kind of film that would fit perfectly alongside giant killer sperm & horny zombies and I relish the thought of one day watching it in a theater with a drunken audience. Oh, and did I mention Kevin Sorbo plays Abe Lincoln in it?

FUCK POLIO!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

New Evidence Exposes Truth Of The Amityville Murders?

Though none of us will ever truly know what happened on the night of November 13th, 1974 inside of the DeFeo home on Amityville's Ocean Avenue, filmmaker Ryan Katzenbach set out nearly a decade ago to compile research and evidence to put together as many of the pieces to the mystifying puzzle as he possibly could, a seemingly never ending quest that has resulted in a three part documentary titled Shattered Hopes : The True Story Of The Amityville Murders, the first part of which was released late last year (and reviewed by me just a couple weeks back/subsequently praised and pimped all over the blog and Facebook). There are so many things about the case that just don't add up to the way the police have reported the events of that night to us, such as how nobody in the house woke up from the sound of shots being fired at their family members and why Dawn DeFeo (Ronnie's sister) had powder burns on her clothing consistent with her firing a gun that night, but Katzenbach is this weekend one step closer to finding out the truth ...

One of the big theories Katzenbach aimed to explore and find out the truth of was the one about a second gun that was used in the DeFeo murders, allegedly wielded by an unknown accomplice working with Ronnie DeFeo to wipe out his entire family in cold blood. Various testimonies over the years, including those of DeFeo himself, have indicated that there was in fact a second gun used to kill the family, a .38 handgun. Ballistics reports even seem to suggest the same, with at least one bullet that was allegedly not fired from the rifle that the others were. Convinced that this second gun was thrown into the canal behind the 112 Ocean Avenue house after the murders, Katzenbach enlisted the help of a dive team to comb the bottom of the canal in an effort to find the gun and confirm this hunch, efforts which began in the Summer of 2011. After an extensive dive, the team found over 300 metallic objects at the bottom of the canal, no gun in sight.

Cut to this past Thursday, January 19th. Not about to give up, Katzenbach and the dive team head out to Amityville once more, taking to the frigid waters with a hope and a prayer. At around 4:00pm on that day, the following picture is posted to Katzenbach's Facebook wall ...

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Buried under feet of water and mud, there it was; the remains of what Katzenbach believes to be the .38 handgun used in the DeFeo murders, a missing piece of the Amityville puzzle finally found after nearly four decades. Amityville was teeming with police officers and detectives on Thursday, who immediately confiscated the gun after it was found. Though they claim that the gun has no connection to the case, and in fact may just be a flare gun, Katzenbach is still convinced otherwise. If the Suffolk County Police Department truly believes what they're saying that would mean that the gun now belongs to Katzenbach, rather than to the evidence department, and he aims to have a member of his team pick it up this coming Monday. Whether or not the department hands it over will be quite telling, revealing their true thoughts about the alleged piece of evidence. Is this just another in a long line of cover-ups about the case? We shall see come next week.

So what does this mean if this is in fact the gun that Ronnie DeFeo and others have for years been claiming was used in the murders, alongside the rifle fired by DeFeo? Though it ultimately doesn't bring us any closer to answering any questions as to who might have held and fired it, as fingerprinting it is obviously out of the question at this point, this key piece of evidence would bring us one big ole step closer to finding out what really happened on that night, which has been Katzenbach's goal all along. The truth is closer than ever.

I don't know about you, but I find it hard to believe that this isn't the gun that has been reported as being used in the murders. It sure looks like the remains of a .38 to me and the odds seem incredibly, well, odd that such a gun could've been lying in that canal all these years that has absolutely no connection to the case. That just doesn't add up and at this point, I'm a lot more keen to side with Katzenbach on this one than the Suffolk County Police Department. If you're asking me, Katzenbach has made history here, in a big big way.

To check out a whole album of photos from the dive that resulted in the gun being found, head over to the Facebook album 'Amityville Murder Weapon Recovery' over on diver Bill Pfeiffer's page. Credit goes to him for the above photo.

As for Katzenbach's documentary, I once again urge you to pick up your copy of Shattered Hopes : Part 1, which is an absolutely must own and must see piece of history for anyone who is interested in the puzzling murder case. Expect this most recent dive to be documented in a future part of the trilogy.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Vintage Video Of The Week : The Monster Squad, Behind The Scenes!

It was the 1980's and practical effects were injecting new life into the world of horror movies, making them more exciting and a whole lot more awesome than ever before. Artists were hard at work in makeshift shops and warehouses around the country, turning ordinary elements like clay, liquid latex & karo syrup into extraordinarily gruesome monsters and horrifically gory scenes of carnage. It was perhaps the most glorious time the genre has ever known, a period of decadence that has left us with some of my personal favorite horror movies of all time, special effects spectacles like Evil Dead 2, Pumpkinhead, House, Predator & The Monster Squad, to name just a few. Why do I list those specific titles? Because they all share the common bond of having monster maker extraordinaire Shannon Shea on board their behind the scenes effects team.

A member of the Stan Winston Studio as well as the illustrious KNB EFX Group, Shannon Shea worked on all of those films and, lucky for us, filmed many of his behind the scenes experiences from that period of time, documenting the incredible work he and his brothers in bloody battle put into bringing those films to life. The work they did behind the scenes cannot be understated, for it is in large part those practical effects that have made films like The Monster Squad still so awesome after all these years.

In this 12 minute video that he posted back in October over on his site First Person Monster Blog, Shea provides narration over video footage of himself and his fellow creature designers (including Stan Winston himself!) hard at work on The Monster Squad, sculpting the loveable monsters and creating soon to be movie magic right in front of our eyes. Enjoy this blast from the past from a time before computers all but replaced magicians like Shannon Shea!


I encourage you to read the story that goes along with this video, either before or after you hit play!

If you're a fan of practical effects and behind the scenes stuff, you absolutely need to favorite and start rifling through the archives of First Person Monster Blog, an absolute treasure trove of never before seen photos and video as well as never before told stories. Shea provides unprecedented access to the making of such films as Evil Dead 2 & Predator, allowing us to become flies on the walls of the many effect studios he has worked in throughout his career. For practical effects aficionados, First Person Monster Blog is literally heaven on earth and there are so many videos on there like the one I posted above. Shea has been blogging since last April, with 45 stories told thus far, so believe me when I say that there is a plethora of awesomeness over there to catch up on, with many more stories still yet to be told. The footage that Shea has is the kinda stuff you'd see on DVD special features and it's a real treat that he's made it all available to us free of charge, on the internet. So take advantage and head back in time to the making of your favorite horror films by heading over to First Person Monster Blog!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Leslie Vernon Needs New Blood!!

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If there's one thing my years of being immersed in the horror community has taught me it's that when us horror fans dig something, we go out of our way to support whatever it is and spread the word to as many people as possible. We're like an army in that sense, one big ole bloody extended family that will do anything we can to help the genre and each other, for no reason other than that we love this shit with all our hearts. That's what it's all about. It's a genre driven by fan love, and that's precisely what I adore about this twisted little world so much.

Perhaps the reigning Queen of genre pimpage is Kristy Jett, a near and dear close friend of mine that truly loves the genre with every fiber of her being and spends many of her days working tirelessly to spread the love and champion causes she believes in, most times not getting paid a single cent for her work. Within her is a passion so strong that it's hard to believe that she was not put on this earth to eventually rise to power and become the female voice of the horror community at large. She's well on her way, there's no doubting that.

One of the causes Kristy has hardcore gotten behind of late is the fundraising campaign for Before The Mask : The Return of Leslie Vernon, the upcoming prequel/sequel to 2006's Behind The Mask that for whatever reason cannot get studio funding and thus, has turned to the fans to raise the money to bring Leslie back from the dead. It's a cause I have personally gotten behind as well, pimping it at every chance I can get, but Kristy has gone several steps further, her love and support so getting the attention of the filmmakers that they made her a part of the team. When I say that Kristy has had and will continue to have a major impact on this film coming to life, believe me when I say that I say that because it's the truth, not because of any personal relationship I have with her. When that film eventually does get made and is ready for mass consumption, it's Kristy and people like her that we're gonna all have to thank for making it happen. Without the Kristy Jett's of the world, we quite frankly would never get the chance to see the film and the filmmakers would never get the chance to make it. That makes me sad, which in turn makes me all the happier that there are Kristy Jett's in this world. Well, there's actually only one Kristy (thank god, not sure I could handle two of them!), but you know what I mean.

Her latest effort to help the film secure funding was to enlist the help of frequent Fright Rags artist and friend Jeff Zornow, who whipped up a pretty sweet Leslie Vernon graphic that pays homage to the awesome old school poster for Friday The 13th Part 7 : The New Blood. That design is now available for pre-order on men's and women's shirts as well as hoodies, with the shirts selling for $20 and the hoodies going for $40. Bask in its awesomeness!

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When you purchase this shirt/hoodie or any other item in the recently launched Behind The Mask online shop, which includes signed copies of the soundtrack as well as a promotional heart prop that was released back when the film first came out, your money goes directly to funding the impending follow-up, so please know that you're not only nabbing yourself some awesome swag but you're also literally playing an integral part in funding the sequel to a horror film you love, which is something we rarely ever get the chance to do. Over on the Before The Mask Facebook page there are also all kinds of other donation incentives, with certain money amounts nabbing you everything from DVD & Blu-ray pre-orders to the chance to actually be killed on screen in the movie by Leslie Vernon. I shit you not.

Head over to the Before The Mask Facebook page to learn more/donate and then browse around the official online shop to pick yourself up some cool merch, including the t-shirt or hoodie seen above. Oh and best of all, it was recently announced that a sponsor of the project has agreed to match every dollar you donate, making the chances of this thing coming to fruition closer than ever before. Do you part. Support good horror. Get yourself cool shit in the process. It's truly a win-win for all parties!!

Speaking of recently announced, Leslie Vernon himself, Nathan Baesel, has just been confirmed to appear at this year's Texas Frightmare Weekend, taking place May 4th-6th in Dallas, Texas. Grab your tickets and be sure to stop by his table to say hi to both Nathan and Kristy. I had the pleasure of meeting Nathan at Monster Mania last year and honestly, he's one of the nicest and most down to earth dudes I've ever met. He was so genuinely excited to meet his fans and he literally did not want to accept money from myself or anyone else who approached him. If it was up to him, he would've done it all for free, which really shows the kind of man he is.

I know I already posted this once, but it seems only right to re-post an epic video right about now that Kristy and Nathan filmed for me last year, where Nathan pimps Freddy In Space, a blog he clearly reads on a daily basis ...



To Kristy and everyone else who has been supporting this cause, either by spreading the word or donating, keep fighting the good fight and giving back to the genre you so love. This army of super freaks truly can make a difference and the future of this genre is in our hands, now more than ever. So let's keep on demanding the movies we want to see and making the world a better place for all us horror fans that inhabit it!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Facebook Giveaway Winners!

This past weekend I held not one but two Facebook exclusive giveaways over on the Freddy In Space Facebook page and I just wanted to take a quick minute tonight to announce the winners of those giveaways. Ya ya, I know the internet is supposed to be all blacked out and shit, but I keep forgetting to do this and don't want to put it off any longer!

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First up I held a giveaway on Friday the 13th, where I asked you folks to e-mail me pictures of your coolest pieces of Jason swag. The winner was promised to get something cool and Voorhees related, though I admit I had no idea at the time what that prize would be. The winner of that giveaway is Allen Ward, who sent me the above picture of his impressive Friday collection, which includes DVD's, some awesome masks (one that appears to be Manson's own personal Jason mask, which I quite dig) and two Fright Rags shirts. A thing of beauty, to be sure.

So what'd you win, Allen? Being that you obviously have a thing for Jason masks, I've decided to gift you with the one and only Jason mask I've ever created with my own hands, which I whipped up for a competition between Jen and myself that I blogged about last year. You can read the whole post here but essentially I bought two cheap plastic bootleg Jason masks and Jen and I got drunk, watched Jason X and decorated them to our liking. Jen went all Dia De Los Muertos with hers and I just went for my own version of a bloodied and battle damaged Voorhees look, complete with burns and dirt. Needless to say, we had a blast.

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So Allen, as a show of my appreciation for you reading the blog and entering the giveaway, please accept the one of a kind Freddy In Space Jason Voorhees mask, which will be packaged alongside HorrorHound's Friday The 13th retrospective issue from the Summer of 2010. I can only hope that the mask ends up displayed alongside your others. And, ya know, that you get some awesome toilet reading out of the mag.

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After posting my review of Hostel : Part 3 on Saturday, I then held another giveaway over on Facebook for one of the many Hostel action figures I have sitting in a box in my closet. Long story short I ended up purchasing a whole case of these for real cheap a while back, and I've been slowly giving them away whenever and to whoever I see fit. As a little tie-in to my review, I instructed anyone who wanted it to head over to that review and leave a comment explaining a bit about why they either wanted to see the movie or, if they had, what they thought about it. Ended up getting 21 comments on that review and randomly picking a winner from those comments. That winner is ...

MIKE TANK

"I'm both an unabashed HOSTEL series fan and a Spiegel fan, but I have to admit that I've been wary of this one since I first heard about it. The stigma that comes with most direct-to-video titles like this gave me pause.

But after reading your positive review, my interest has been piqued and I'm looking forward to giving this a day in court.

Thanks!"


So congratulations Mike and Allen and a big thanks to each and every person who entered these giveaways. Keep an eye on the Facebook page for more exclusive content every single goddamn day!