Friday, November 24, 2017

MST3K Officially Given Movie Sign For Season 12





The annual MST3K Turkey Day marathon came to a close about an hour ago and those of us who stayed to the very end (the end after it ended) were treated with some very exciting news. After months of uncertainty, Joel has announced that Netflix is in for another season of the show, so Season 12 will be filmed and presumably premiere sometime in 2018. That's all he's got for now, but that awesome bit of news is good enough for me. Hopefully they put it out on Blu-ray as well, I've got 39 boxsets of this show (minus the blasted Volume 9 which, sells for around the price of a used Kia), I can't stop there.



If they're looking for a suggestion for a movie from Shout's library for the new season, might I suggest Greydon Clark's Without Warning? This movie is like a classic MST trifecta, directed by Clark (Angel's Revenge, Final Justice) and starring Cameron Mitchell (Stranded in Space, Space Mutinyand Jack Palance (Outlaw of Gor, Angel's Revenge). Also, from what I recall, the movie kinda sucks, so this is almost too perfect.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Free Halloween EP From Kevin Hufnagel (Dysrhythmia / Gorguts)

With Halloween only 4 hours away, I've stumbled upon a free Halloween EP from Kevin Hufnagel of Dysrhythmia (and the last two Gorguts albums) that some of you should enjoy. Kevin covers themes from two Horror classics and the world's creepiest real-life mystery show that is not a news broadcast. Listen here, or click the link to find a Name Your Price download button. $0.00 is technically a price, but maybe throw the guy a buck or two if you enjoy it.


Speaking of Unsolved Mysteries, I've been watching it on Amazon Prime a lot lately. Robert Stack was one spooky bastard, that dude used to really give me the willies when I was younger. Still does, but I think I was legitimately frightened by him when I a kid. But then, I was frightened by a lot of weird stuff as a kid - that Deee-Lite 'Grove is in the Heart' music video used to scare the absolute hell out of me and I have no idea why. I was a weird kid.

Anyone else hate when the show features the "long lost relative" stories? I didn't remember there being many of them, but it turns out I was incorrect. It seems like 25% of the mysteries involve some old guy who was orphaned 90 years ago finally reuniting with his sister a week before they both die of old age. I mean, that's nice and all (the reuniting, not my geriatric death joke), but I watch this show for creepy weird stories, not sappy Hallmark Channel nonsense like that.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Monster Make-Up Handbook by Dick Smith - Ghoul

Here's another do-it-yourself makeup guide, though this one looks substantially more difficult and time consuming than any others in the entire book minus the werewolf. There aren't many materials needed, but this one really looks like a bitch. I do really love the look of the completed makeup, anyone out there who happens to be working on a movie right now, rip off this design and throw this dude in your film.







Friday, October 27, 2017

Famous Monsters Do-It-Yourself Monster Make-Up Handbook - Skull


Halloween is only a few days away now, and I'm sure some of you might not have a costume idea yet. You're in luck, upon cleaning up my computer I came across the awesome Famous Monsters Do-It-Yourself Monster Make-Up Handbook From 1965 featuring several cool make-up ideas you should be able to whip up using a few inexpensive products that you might even have at home already. Everyone has a bald cap or two lying around, right?

I'm way too much of a social awkward weirdo to actually dress up or go to parties, so my Halloweens usually involve me working to avoid having to act normal and give small people treats, but I might give a few of these a shot myself. Of course, the makeup in the magazine was created by Dick Smith, so mine probably won't quite be up to snuff with a legendary make-up artist.

I'll post more of them later, but for now, probably the best looking of the easier ones is the Skull:




I'd upload the whole issue, but I've been out of it for so long I don't even know what sites to even use anymore. If anyone wants it, let me know where to upload it and I'll take care of it.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Halloween Moviethon - A Taste of Blood, Cannibal Campout, Amityville 7: It's A Mirror This Time

I've already fallen way behind on keeping up with the posting here. I've actually watched probably 20 movies since I posted but I've had to start working again after a few months off, so my posting time has been limited lately. Turns out laying around watching movies for months and then jumping right back into bust-ass manual labor makes you kind of tired. But here's my thoughts on a few of my latest viewings. Try to get some more up sooner this time.




A Taste of Blood or Herschell Gordon Lewis' Dracula


John Stone receives a package from England with a couple of very old bottles of brandy inside. Like the best booze, it comes with instructions. He must toast to his ancestor before enjoying his newly inherited beverage. Long story short, this "brandy" actually happens to be the blood of Dracula, and with the unholy plasma now coursing through his veins John turns into a ghoulish bloodsucker whose white peeling makeup makes it look like he took a run through the Krispy Kreme glazer.

This is the closest to a prestige picture we ever got from Mr. Lewis. It looks like more money was spent than usual and the acting, while not good, is still quite a bit better than usual. I didn't notice any really bad line readings until that guy with the dog showed up at the end. Why was this guy in the movie? His attempts at comedy relief were pretty pitiful and he flubs a couple of his half dozen lines, including a doozy where he refers to his "beloved" dog Impy as fucking Picket.

Unfortunately at 117 minutes and with none of the patented H.G. Gonzo Gore this movie really drags ass. Not bad at all, just too uneventful to justify the epic running time. Definitely worth a look for Herschell fans, but if you're new to his work, start elsewhere. Start at Blood Feast and Two Thousand Maniacs and work your way to this one later.

Best credit: Bill Kozak as "Man Running from Tomb"


Cannibal Campout 

The best part of this movie is the disclaimer at the beginning:

WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE IS
BASED UPON TRUE ACCOUNTS
AND CONJECTURE AND IS A
DELINEATION OF ACTUAL EVENTS
WHICH TRANSPIRED AT AN
INDETERMINATE TIME TO PERSONS
OF LESS THAN GENUINELY
EQUIVOCAL AUTHENTICITY

That opening is ridiculous, it's a nearly Monty Python level of absurdist comedy. Naturally I thought this was going to be hilarious. That little bit of text is as funny as it gets.

The movie goes like this. Four dorky white people, including director McBride head out for a weekend of camping. While driving through the woods a couple of miles from their final destination they are attacked by a couple of bumpkins in overalls. They manage to escape, but as to be expected from something called Cannibal Campout, the woodfolk soon find the camping yuppies and the gut eating commences.

Now, these people aren't going to any specific campsite, they could've driven another 20 miles in any direction and camped there. Nope, these toolbags drive a mile or two further into the woods and set up camp anyway. Their logic being that the guys who were hanging out in the woods "probably don't even live around here". Except those guys absolutely look like people who live in the woods. Not near the woods. Literally in the woods. I'm from the South, I've known people who lived in the woods. You know who they looked like? These guys:


There are some decent enough gore effects (including an epic cleaved mullet) but I couldn't really get to into this one. I liked Woodchipper Massacre, which is considered much worse, but this one just didn't work for me. Campout is well made from a technical standpoint given the budget, but this one is actually kind of grim and depressing compared to the other SOV stuff I've seen - with friends forced to eat each other's intestines and a month old fetus sexed before being devoured. Maybe I'm softening up in my old age, but the more torture-y gore scenes here kind of left a bad taste in my mouth.

Bonus points! This movie features what might be the worst movie scene ever filmed, and I'm not talking about the fetus eating scene. When the rapebillies track down the campers after a grueling 8 minute search one of them quips "It's a small world". For most movies, after this sentence the actor might say something more, or another actor might speak. Nope. This guy repeats his line a few more times. Then he proceeds to say "small" another 20 times (literally). "Small, small, small, small..." You get the point. This whole scene goes on FOREVER. Think of the longest thing you can think of and double it. It made me yell "Oh, my fuck!" That phrase doesn't even make sense but I needed to hear something other than the word "small" - anything else, and that's what my brain and mouth collectively came up with. I haven't heard a man say the word "small" this many times since I last heard that Mellencamp song.


Amityville: A New Generation

In this fifth or sixth Amityville sequel a mirror from the original house finds its way into the home of an art douche named Keyes Terry. Why do screenwriters love to give their characters stupid names? I spent half the movie wondering why his girlfriend was calling him by his last name like she was a college bro before I realized Keyes was supposed to be his first name. Keyes is not a name. Nobody has ever been named Keyes in the history of ever. I checked. How about Terry Keyes?

This is about on par with the post-original trilogy sequels I've seen. Which is all of them minus Dollhouse. A good supporting cast featuring David Naughton, Richard Roundtree and Terry O'Quinn (see, Terry is a perfectly acceptable first name) and a few hilarious death scenes, but nothing particularly memorable. For me the coolest thing about this movie was actually this darkwave song by a band called WILL.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Halloween Moviethon - Twice Dead + Popcorn

Today I took in a double feature today with a very specific theme. Horror films starring raspy voiced actresses named Jill who were born in 1963 and made their film debuts in 1981. Starting with Twice Dead starring Jill Whitlow, followed by Popcorn starring Jill Schoelen.


In Twice Dead the Cates family inherits the house of their dead lunatic uncle Tyler Walker. The Cates; Harry, Silvia, and their teenage children Scott and Robin (who kinda act like they're dating) arrive to discover that a local street gang has made their new home their hangout. Some of these gang members remind me a lot of the ones from The Lost Boys, only these guys aren't vampires. They're just assholes. If a gang of assholes isn't bad enough, the house turns out to be a bit haunted as well.

The family has to deal with constant harassment and at least one attempted daughter rape in an apparently uninhabited Los Angeles neighborhood while the cops do nothing. Eventually the parents have to leave town for two or three weeks to take care of some business so they won't be "ruined". I don't own any kids, but if I did I don't think I'd leave them home alone for several weeks with a gang of violent criminals constantly showing up at the house. Especially if the perviest member of the gang has a major fixation on my pretty daughter. 

For some reason the kids think it might be a good idea to scare the shit out of the gang by drugging them one at a time and staging elaborate gruesome murder scenes using props Scott borrowed from film school. As you can imagine, this just pisses the gang off even more. They show up later and shit gets real. And the murders. Those also get real.

I liked this one. I'm usually not a big fan of "home invasion" scenarios, but it worked for me here. Maybe because it wasn't as "rapey" as a lot of these movies usually are. This one is cool because you get to see the bad guys get offed twice. I haven't really mentioned the haunted house part of the movie because there's really not much to them, mostly a ghost in a mirror and a bit of light possession towards the end. Overall, not a classic but certainly worth a look for 80s horror fans.

Things to look for:
  • A cat named Meow
  • Hearse car chase
  • Extreme stop sign running
  • New from Cadillac - The casket launching hearse
  • The world's strongest dirt bike
  • Jill Whitlow, who plays Robin/Myrna. She was always really likable in stuff like this, Night of the Creeps and Weird Science, kind of a shame her career never really took off - she doesn't even have a headshot on her IMDB page. 

Up next was Jill Schoelen's Popcorn from 1991, shot entirely in Jamaica for no apparent reason. Popcorn is a pretty solid film, in my opinion the one thing holding this one back from being more fondly remembered is that the movie's maniac is just too over the top. Once he's fully revealed himself and his motive he goes into full spazz mode. He's got a cocaine-era Robin Williams level of energy. He's jumping around, shouting, doing voices - can someone calm this guy the hell down? The director should've reeled him in, at least a bit. The makeup is actually pretty gruesome, this dude could've been legitimately frightening if he didn't spend his final 20 minutes running around like Rip Taylor.

Synapse's Blu-ray is pretty great, I'm definitely glad I just waited for the standard release though instead of paying $24 more for a highly damageable steelbook case. Steelbooks look pretty cool, but I'm not really up for dropping more money for them. Maybe a few dollars difference, not $24. With the money I saved there I got Universal's 8-film Hammer Horror set.

Things to look for:
  • Dee Wallace in a very rare horror film appearance
  • Why would a bathroom stall have a key lock on the outside of the door? When would someone ever need to lock another person into a stall?
  • Death by giant mosquito prop. Twice!
  • Half price perms for white guys
  • Not to nerd out too much here but they put "Rated R" on the marquee, but the movies they play at the Horror-thon - Mosquito, The Attack of the Amazing Electrified Man and The Stench were shlocky sci-fi films from the 50s and 60s. Those would not have been Rated R. 


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Amityville: The Awakening Free To Own From Google Play


Franck Khalfoun's Amityville: The Awakening has had a hell of a time getting released. I don't know the story behind all the delays, because I'm not a big fan of the series and I haven't really bothered to read up on the subject, but this thing was made forever ago. I first caught a trailer for this one early January 2015, and now finally, in October 2017 people will actually get a chance to see the film. Instead of putting it out in theaters on one of the several false release dates they've announced these last few dozen months they've decided to release it directly to Google Play. For free. Just click this link here and for a limited time you can add the film to your collection at no cost. Google Play can be a bit wonky, if it doesn't have a "Buy HD Free" link when you click it, just try back a bit later. 

Just a heads up, this is the PG-13 version. I personally don't really mind PG-13 stuff, but I know a lot of horror fans flip their shit over the rating. I prefer R rated or Unrated versions given the option of course, but I'll still watch the PG-13 version and worry about seeing a longer cut down the road if one ends up being released. Given how long this already took, I'm not holding my breath. A Blu-ray release is coming soon, but that looks like it will also only include the PG-13 cut.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Halloween Moviethon - Better Watch Out


“Set in a quiet American suburb on a snowy evening on the lead up to Christmas, Ashley (Olivia DeJonge), the regular babysitter for Deandra (Virginia Madsen) and Robert Lerner (Patrick Warburton), has to defend their twelve-year-old son (Levi Miller) from strangers breaking into the house – only to discover that this is far from a normal home invasion.”

Man, I really, really wanted to love this one, but I guess it just wasn't meant to be. On the positive side it's well shot and there's some excellent acting from Olivia DeJonge and Ed Oxenbould (reunited from The Visit). The first 30 minutes are enjoyable and pretty suspenseful, unfortunately there's a twist around this point and the story goes in a completely out of left field direction that really didn't work for me. With each new turn the story took my enjoyment dropped a little bit more. In a world of cookie cutter storytelling I really appreciate any film that tries to do something out of the ordinary and unexpected, but I just did not like how anything played out here, at all, outside of maybe the last 30-seconds. Without that last few seconds I was ready to yell "Oh, fuck you!" at my TV. The villain's plan in this movie is so unbelievably complicated and I still can't really figure out the point of their plan. What were they trying to accomplish and why? I'd say more, but, I've gotta stay vague because it's one of those movies where going into to too many specific details will spoil the movie.

I've been wanting  to see this since I first heard about it when it premiered at some festivals about a year ago. It was described as being a fun and wildly funny dark comedy. While it was fun at times in the beginning, a large portion of the remainder of this movie is people duct taped to chairs while an irritating dickhead monologues at them. "Victims strapped to chair" scenes just bore the Christ out of me, and this movie is mostly "victims strapped to chair" scenes. It stopped being fun or funny the second people get taped up and while it was fairly unpredictable I didn't get much entertainment value out of the rest of the film. I mainly just found myself annoyed by the absolutely obnoxious villain and the waste of a solid premise. I honestly think this is getting so much praise because of the scene that reenacts one of the booby traps from Home Alone. It's not even a particularly well done scene, but people really, really like Home Alone so I think this scene is somehow influencing the positive reviews. That sounds ridiculous, but I can't figure it out otherwise.

The reviews of this remind me a bit of The Belko Experiment. Not similar movies at all really, but it's another one that everyone praised as being fun, witty and funny. I saw it alone in a theater opening day and I found that one to be an unpleasant tone-deaf mess that wasn't fun, witty or funny at all. I just didn't what everyone else was talking about. I did enjoy Better Watch Out more than The Belko Experiment, which I actually kind of hated. But still, I've been watching this kind of stuff for 30-years, you'd think I'd stop letting pre-release hype pull me in, but it gets me every time. 

Definitely check it out though if you're curious, I seem to be very much in the minority as someone who didn't love this one. I read several reviews after the movie was over and Kim Newman was the only one who didn't give this a glowing review. If you are interested in watching, stay far away from the trailer though, it gives away the twist and contains a major, major spoiler.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Jeff Lieberman's Remote Control Blu-ray For Sale Once Again


Back in 2013 Jeff Lieberman released a limited edition Blu-ray of his 1988 film Remote Control. All of the original 1,000 copies have been sold out for a couple of years now, but due to popular demand Jeff's pressed another 1,000 which are available on his site now for $25 with free shipping in the US ($10 for International).

The lowest priced used copy on Amazon right now is like $80, so if you missed this release when it first came out now is your chance to pick it up at a reasonable price.

Friday, October 06, 2017

Halloween Moviethon Day 4+5 - Meatball Machine Kodoku, Magdalena, Possessed By The Devil

Continuing on with what I watched on days four and five. I started off with the 13 Nights of Elvira version of Shrunken Heads, but I really can't think of much to say about that one. So we'll skip that one and move on to...


The Robot vs. The Aztec Mummy - Mystery Science Theater version. This was the second non-KTMA episode, so it's a bit rough and the riffing isn't as plentiful, but Joel, Thomas Servo and Crow Thaddeus Robot still get in some great lines here. I've enjoyed plenty of old Mexican horror films like The Black Pit of Dr. M or Curse of the Doll People - even shitters like The Brainiac, but this movie was very hard to get into, even with the riffing. It's got a mummy, a goofy ass robot and no wrestling scenes, I'm not sure what went wrong but this one nearly put me to sleep. Still a decent episode though with riffing, but maybe an episode to watch in 30-minute chunks instead of straight through.


Magdalena, vom Teufel besessen or Magdalena, Possessed by the Devil - Sweet young Magdalena comes down with a slight case of possession. Before you know it, she's tearing off her clothes while yelling "I wanna fuck!" in a badly dubbed voice at anyone with a penis.

For a possession movie there's not much horror in this. There's a pretty gruesome crucifiction, a fun bit with furniture flying all over the place, ghost rape, and Magdalena barfing up what I think was an actual live snake (rare to find non-Hong Kong actors willing to put living creatures in their mouths for the sake of horror) but none of it is too graphic. No head spinning, levitation or pea soup like you get from most Exorcist knock offs, but it's a horror film directed by Sexploitation master Walter Boos, so going in I expected there to more emphasis on frequent nudity than pulse pounding terror. This is absolutely worth a look though because the English dubbing on this makes it one of the funniest comedies I've seen all year. I'm not kidding, I was laughing so loud at times I had to rewind to hear the next line. Especially at the "nun fucker" and "asslicker" lines. Whoever dubbed lead actress Dagmar's voice is a comedy genius. The dubbing makes this almost feel like Dracula (The Dirty Old Man) at times. The voice actor had to know she was being funny.

Magdalena is played by the ridiculously beautiful Dagmar Hedrich, who was supposed to be a teenager in the movie, but was apparently nearly 40 years old when this thing was filmed. I can't find much information about this movie but it came out in 1974 and I read she was born in 1935. She looks maybe 20 in this movie, so I can't believe 1935 is the correct year. Anyone out there know anything about this one?


Disco Beaver From Outer Space - This is a 50-minute National Lampoon "film" from the 70s that had a title so stupid I couldn't not watch it. It's a skit film like Kentucky Fried Movie or Amazon  Women on the Moon, only this one forgot to include any jokes. I was shocked to see Harry Shearer listed as one of the writers because while this is watchable, it's barely funny at all. I did laugh once, but the hell if I remember what it was that triggered it. I wasn't going to include this on the Halloween list but there is one segment is called Dragula and features a gay vampire referred to as a "hemosexual". That's as clever as this one gets. Hell of a catchy theme song though.


Meatball Machine Kodoku - This is a sequel to Yudai Yamaguchi's 2005 "splatterpunk" film Meatball Machine. I saw Meatball Machine 10 years ago, but I don't remember much about it, so no idea if this is an actual follow up in terms of story. Yoshihiro Nishimura took on directing duties on this one - he was also responsible for Tokyo Gore Police, Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl and Mutant Girls Squad so if you've seen those you know what to expect.

This was a doozy. No opening credits, we jump right into it. For the first 30 minutes we follow a lonely 50 year old man named Yuji (possibly Yoji) who is dying of cancer, and about to lose his job. He's so sick of being hassled by his boss, his needy mother and even prostitutes he seems almost relieved to know that death will soon take him.

After I'd clicked the button on my remote to check to make sure I was watching the right movie for the third time since it started the title screen appeared. It takes over 30 minutes before the title of the movie shows up onscreen. I remember the Friday the 13th remake taking absurdly long before the title appears, but this is record for me. And with the title comes the madness. The movie suddenly stops dead with the character building and an alien ship appears and drops a large dome around a section the city. Like that show about that city being under the dome. I can't remember what it's called.

Several dozen people end up having parasites injected into their brains and they turn in to crazy ass murder-mutants called Necro-borgs. Yuji is also among the infected but his cancer kills the parasite. He still mutates in a Necro-borg, but he maintains his humanity enough to not turn evil. To try and save his girlfriend and the city he teams up with some sort of 4-person karate police force (one of the Karate Kops looks so much like Jackie Chan he even does some drunken boxing) and much, perhaps too much, mayhem ensues.

This movie is pretty entertaining overall, but I'll be honest, I had a headache after it was over. It's so loud and ridiculously over the top that it gets to be obnoxious pretty quickly. Some scenes are so spastic it looks like they were edited in a blender. It's also quite long at 100 minutes which is just too lengthy for a movie this relentlessly bizarre - I felt almost exhausted afterwards. Still the weirdo gore effects are plentiful and pretty well done, and mostly practical I think. I read that hundreds of gallons of blood were used and that sounds about right. Those of you experienced with this subgenre you should get a kick out of this, otherwise, probably best to steer clear.

TV

Eerie, Indiana - Season 1 Episode 5 - Scariest Home Videos - It's Halloween and Marshall and Simon are stuck watching Simon's little brother Harley. While watching classic Boris von Orloff film Bloody Revenge of the Mummy's Curse the TV goes wonky and Harley switches place with the mummy. Pretty fun episode, but it actually just left me wanting to see the full version of the non-existent Bloody Revenge of the Mummy's Curse. That looked pretty great. Episode features possibly the only surfing mummy scene I've come across.

A picture of the kid's costumes. Bill Plympton's George Bush and, uh, Zombie Gorbachev?

Manchester Morgue Recommends: Dana Gould - Mr. Funny Man


Just a quick post to recommend the new album from Comedian and fellow horror fiend Dana Gould. In my opinion, he's one of the best out there but I don't think he's too well known. I guess bits about Vincent Price, Son of Sam, The Black Dahlia and a full Morrissey tribute song called Clown Fucker might be considered too weird for more mainstream comedy audiences, but I think the guy is brilliant. I saw him at Goodnight's in Raleigh about 3 years ago and it's one of my favorite shows I've been to.

In addition to his 4 comedy albums he's the creator of Stan Against Evil, he was a producer on The Simpsons for 15 years and if you've watched Seinfeld as much as I have you'll know him as Fragile Frankie Merman.

If you're a stand-up fan and have Spotify or any similar service, check this one out.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Halloween Moviethon Day 3: Part II - Satan's Bed


Batas Impian Ranjang Setan aka Satan's Bed - Time to get weird here. This is not the Yoko Ono film released by Something Weird, this is an Indonesian rip-off of Nightmare on Elm Street from 1986 that halfway through gets bored and decides to go Poltergeist on us instead. This is by all counts an undeniably bad movie, but I actually really liked it. There's plenty of dull stretches, especially in the first half, but once it gets going it's pretty rewarding for fans of tacky, absurd crap. There's actually a pretty spooky atmosphere here, good - though probably swiped from better movies - music and cheap, but frequently hilarious special effects. Have you seen ever a third rate Freddy Krueger and a sexy Dutch lady pull their own heads off and throw them at a shaman? I have.

Al Lewis is The Joker as Leatherface in Al Adamson's Texas Chain Saw Massacre

Things to watch for:
  • The "Freddy" character here, who is in fact "The Devil", looks like a papier-mâché Leatherface.
  • The spooky Tina in a body bag scene shows up here, though in this she's called Nina and she looks more like a cellophane wrapped gift basket than a dead body from a morgue.
  • Exploding coffins and levitating skeletons.
  • The dolls behind this girl's bed were far creepier than anything here that was intended to be creepy:




Addams Family Season 1 Episode 7: Halloween with the Addams Family - Bank robbers are mistaken as trick or treaters in their 40s and invited into stately Addams Manor to partake in some extra spooky Halloween festivities like "Bobbing For Crabs."

Ghost Whisperer Season 2 Episode 6: A Grave Matter - This episode takes place around Halloween. It's not any more Halloweeny than any other episode of the show, but there are pumpkins and shit. David Paymer plays the ghost of a dickhead writer named Godfrey who is annoyed because his body is in the wrong guy's grave and the wife of the wrong guy won't stop weeping at (not) his grave. Long story short, Godfrey was struck by lightning and killed. Wrong guy swaps wallets with dead Godfrey so his wife can collect his life insurance money. I know it's a show, but we're going by wallets to identify corpses now? He still had a head and fingers - he was burned a bit from the lightning, but he wasn't Sergeant Howie burned.

This is such an unbelievably sappy show, but I've always had a thing for Jennifer Love Hewitt, so this show is watchable enough for me once in a while. I find it funny that she's often dressed to show off pretty substantial amounts of cleavage while she's relaying sad messages from these dead people to their mourning loved ones. This is what she wore to a funeral in one episode:


Though, to be fair, this is what the corpse was wearing:


Cult of Chucky - Halloween Moviethon Day 3

Yesterday was day 3 of my month long Halloween moviethon. I watched a few things, but my thoughts on Cult of Chucky ran pretty long, so I thought it might as well get its own post. Plus I've gotta leave and I don't have time to write any more now.


Cult of Chucky - Child's Play the VIIth was released yesterday and it already seems to have a good share of negative reviews on several sites, but I've got to disagree with the negativity, I thought it was a blast. Certainly not perfect, but I thought it moved along at a nice pace, had some fairly inventive deaths, it was frequently funny without being too wink, wink (excluding that groaner of a Jennifer Tilly joke) and most importantly for a movie like this, it was fun. Chucky's dialog is usually a high point of these movies, and they've figured out a way to have multiple possessed Chuckys in this one so we have some Chucky on Chucky on Chucky banter which is pretty hilarious. I can see why some might not love Cult of Chucky, but I'm a bit baffled as to why many seem to outright hate it.

Cult unites lead characters from each era of the series. We get the return of Fiona Dourif from Curse, Alex Vincent from the original two and Bride and Seed's Jennifer Tilly, who, not trying to be mean here, is starting to look like a drag version of herself. Sure, Tilly and Vincent were in the last one, but only barely. Tilly's scene in Curse is about a minute long and Vincent's scene took place after the credits, so there's a good chance some people missed that entirely. Actually, come to think of it, I believe I stopped the movie right when the credits started and had to put the disc back in after I read about the post credit scene online. Both actors have more to do this time.

I watched the unrated version (why is there any other option on the disc?) and the gory highlights include a de-nogginizing, a champagne bottle evisceration, a couple of heads being obliterated by a pair of shoes and an de-tongueing. Of a person, not one of the shoes. It's the most gruesome of the entire series.

Dialog highlight: "You blood fucking morons!" I have no idea what this means. I thought I misheard it but I rewinded twice and turned on the subtitles and apparently she actually said this. See:


Like a Marvel movie this one has a fun little post credit scene, so be sure to stick around for that. While I'm mentioning that, this seems like as good a place as any for a rant. Anyone else sick of having to stay through the entire credits to see a brief scene in these Marvel movies? I always see them in the theater so there's 20 minutes of trailers, then Fathom events commercials and that Coke ad with the ice and the straw that goes on FOREVER - by the time the actual 2+ hour movie is over I've already been in the theater for 2 hours and 40 minutes. I don't live here, I've got shit to do, don't make me stay another 10 minutes watching names of people I don't know who did jobs on the movie that I don't understand (what in the fuck is a "Breakdown artist"?) to see another 10 seconds of footage.

Note: Screenshot is from the DVD, Blu-ray looks much better.
Second Note: This post holds the world record for the number of times the name Chucky appears in a paragraph.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

October Horror Viewing Days 1+2

So, here's the first couple days of Halloween Month movies. Some random thoughts/reviews of each movie and TV show I watch.

Son of Dracula - Lon Chaney is Count Alucard from Hungary. Despite being Hungarian Lon doesn't even attempt to do any kind of hacky Lugosi ripoff accent, he sounds like a guy from Oklahoma. Because he's from Oklahoma. Chaney is a bit miscast as a vampire, but it's a solid movie with great atmosphere and a wonderfully downbeat ending. Louise Allbritton has like 4 hairstyles in this movie - at the same time. Noteworthy for being the first movie to actually show the effect of a vampire turning into a bat.


Son of Godzilla - A group of scientists and a journalist turned cook are doing weather experiments on an island that contains the egg of Godzilla's son Minilla. Soon they join up with island girl Saeko (if you're wondering, Saeko is really cute, she can steal my Hawaiian shirt anytime) while Godzilla shows up to protect his little dude from evil kaiju. 

Little Zilla is pretty goofy looking, but I did like the design on the villainous kaijus - some big-ass Praying Mantises called Kamacuras and one big motherfucker of a spider called Kumonga. This thing really was pretty huge, the puppet took like 20 dudes to operate. 


Son of Kong - Slight but entertaining sequel to King Kong that hit theaters 9 months after Kong. I'm sad I missed this as a kid, I used to love dinosaurs when I was younger and this has a ton of them. There's an Archaeopteryx, Styracosaurus, a Nothosaurus and a Cetiosaurus, I would've loved this.


Son of Dr. Jekyll - This was funded and released by Columbia Pictures in 1951, but this is quite obscure apparently. I don't believe it's ever had a DVD or even VHS release. It's no lost classic or anything, but it's certainly a pretty enjoyable mystery with good performance from Louis Hayward. 


Don't Kill It - Dolph Lundgren hunts a demon that jumps around from body to body. So you can't kill it because if you kill the person who is possessed, you become possessed. This is fairly derivative stuff, and most of the actors not named Dolph or Kristina are kind of distractingly terrible, but Dolph seems to be having a hell of a time here though and his performance and some great gruesome gore effects (minus a poor CGI deer antler kill) make this quite fun.


Evil In Us - This starts off with an absolutely goddamn awful song called Big Beast Eat Little Beast that was so bad I actually muted the TV until the credits were over. For some reason I thought this was a movie about demonic possession, but it's about some government created form of Super Cocaine that makes you go apeshit and kill everything. This is another pretty derivative "possession" movie, but certainly watchable enough. Sure most of the characters are obnoxious dildos, but that's expected in a "friends in a cabin" horror film like this. The gore is pretty well done, very vicious kills with faces torn up, legs snapped off and plenty of guts eaten, and a character at the end that looks like a black Toxic Avenger. The Blaxic Avenger? No, that's not very good. It's kinda hard to come up with the black version of horror characters. Probably why they stopped with Blacula and Blackenstein. Doesn't work with mummies, or zombies, or werewolves. Well, maybe werewolves. Blackenthrope perhaps? I'd watch a movie called Blackenthrope.

Sorry, I got sidetracked there. Unfortunately for The Evil In Us it takes a weird political turn at the end that I felt came off pretty goofy opposed to the biting satire they were going for.


Silent Rage with Rifftrax commentary - Not sure this quite counts as horror, but I think it's more slasher than not, so I'm counting it. This is an odd movie, it alternates between being a slasher, a Chuck Norris karate movie, and a comedy with Flounder from Animal House eating and being an idiot in every scene because he's a fat idiot.* One of those movies where a nutzoid scientist takes an already aggressive person - in this case an axe murderer - and experiments to make him invincible as well. Why? Because. How could this backfire? Oh, he gets loose immediately and kills everybody. That makes sense. Probably should've seen that coming. The Rifftrax commentary was quite funny and made this goofy movie even more fun than it already was.


*No offense to Stephen Furst who died a few months back. The character was a fat idiot, not Stephen.

It's Alive?


I'm alive. I was never at any point dead, but I'm sure at least one person who used to read this site might have assumed I might've been. I know I've wondered about sites I visit where they just stop posting suddenly. Like the excellent Slasher review site A Slash Above... where the writer there abruptly just stopped after writing pretty regularly for years. What happened? You figure the guy just got bored and stopped, but now the site has a expired domain message and you wonder why someone would just let years of movie review disappear.

For me I just kinda didn't feel like I had anything worth posting for a few days. That turned to weeks, then months, then years. It became a pain in the ass to keep up all the different releases being put out by every company in every country. Then the VOD stuff, the DirecTV before VOD releases, theatrical releases, limited theatrical releases that never play here because North Carolina is weird. I'm also not confident in my movie review writing, probably because I'm not really a writer. I'm a horror fan who would like to be a writer, but I'm just not great at it. It would take me hours to crank out a sub-par 4 paragraph review. I'm also not ideal for reviewing the A/V or extras on Blu-rays because I'm just not enough of a stickler about picture and audio quality to really give an opinion. I've always been more interested in watching movies to enjoy them, not to analyze every detail on the transfer. Of course you want your favorites to look as good as possible, but I've never really been one to care too much if the movie isn't perfect. I enjoy my Blu-ray copy of Return of the Living Dead just as much as I enjoyed it back when I only had a VHS tape with no cover. So yeah, basically it just got to be hard to keep up with everything.

Moving on. On forums I frequent it's time for the October Viewing Lists to start showing up. Apparently some people only watch Horror during All Hallows Month (that's not a thing people say, just go with it). As a Horror fan, I watch Horror very regularly throughout the year. I'll watch a Christmas themed movie in September, I'll watch a summer camp slasher on New Year's Day, I don't care. But I'm trying to participate this year and really Horror it up this month and I thought maybe posting what I'm watching on here as well might get me back into posting more frequently. You know, more than once every 31 months. So basically I'm going to watch a bunch of Halloweeny stuff this month, and I'll post some little capsule reviews, blurbs, thoughts and whatever for what I'm watching.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Satan's Blade Coming This April From Olive & Slasher // Video


The 1984 slasher film Satan's Blade was set to come out last year from Slasher // Video, but they (or he - I think it's just one guy) signed a deal with Olive Films, which delayed the release for a while. But fans of cheap and obscure 80's slashers (like myself) don't have much longer to wait as Olive has just posted an official release date: April 28th. Details are pretty vague at the moment, just a date for now, but I'm sure more official details will be out there soon:

"It's official -- cult horror film SATAN’S BLADE will now be released on DVD and Blu-ray this April 28, 2015, in partnership with Slasher // Video."

I, Madman Also Coming From Scream - Plus Sleepaway Camp Sequel Art



Another new title announcement from Scream today. Be on the lookout for Tibor Takacs I, Madman :

"Our Friday the 13th celebration continues with our last post today by announcing that the underrated 1989 horror-thriller I, MADMAN will be coming to the Scream Factory family sometime this year!
Directed by Tibor Takacs (The Gate), the film stars Jenny Wright (Near Dark, The Lawnmower Man) and Clayton Rohner (April Fool’s Day, Just One of the Guys).

No details to report at this time and we’ll keep you posted when a street date has been locked down."

 Also, during my last two months of blogging inactivity I think I missed mentioning Scream's upcoming releases of campy summer camp classics Sleepaway Camp 2 and 3. Well the cover art for these titles have also just been posted, so what the hell, let's take a look at those as well:




 

Scream Factory releasing Italian Horror Films Ghosthouse and Witchery


Scream Factory is finally releasing some Italian horror. Later this year look for this double feature blu-ray featuring Umberto "Humphrey Humbert" Lenzi's Ghosthouse and the awful, but oh so hilarious Hasselhoff/Linda Blair film Witchery.

Granted, these aren't top of the line Italian horror titles, but these are both highly entertaining films that I'm happy to see getting a blu-ray release. Hopefully there are more Italian titles on the way.

"Two tales of supernatural Italian-made shenanigans are both coming to blu-ray for the first time! 1988’s GHOSTHOUSE (directed by Umberto Lenzi of Nightmare City and Cannibal Ferox fame) will be doubled-billed with WITCHERY (which sports Linda Blair AND David Hasselhoff!?) for a planned June 30th release. Pre-order links should go up next month."

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Arrow Video US May Releases Just Announced



Retaliation - Limited Edition Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD

In 1969 future sexploitation specialist Yasuharu Hasebe (Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter) teamed up with the inimitable Jô Shishido (Tokyo Drifter, Branded to Kill) for a follow up to their yakuza hit Massacre Gun.

A tale of gang warfare that features a raft of the period's most iconic stars, Akira Kobayashi (Battles Without Honor and Humanity, The Flowers and the Angry Waves) is a yakuza lieutenant who emerges from jail to find his gang dispersed and his aging boss in his sickbed. Shishido is the rival waiting to kill him and a young Meiko Kaji (Lady Snowblood) is the girl caught in the crossfire.

Gritty and cynical, Retaliation is a hardboiled precursor to Kinji Fukasaku's revisionist yakuza pictures of the 1970s.

Special Edition Contents:
- Limited Edition Blu-ray (3000 copies only)
- Restored High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation, on Blu-ray for the first time in the world!
- Original uncompressed mono PCM audio
- Newly translated English subtitles
- Brand new interview with star Jô Shishido
- Interview with renowned critic and historian Tony Rayns
- Original theatrical trailer
- Gallery featuring rare promotional images
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Ian MacEwan
- Booklet featuring new writing on the film by Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp, newly illustrated by Ian MacEwan and featuring original archive stills

Specs:
- Region: A+B/1+2
- Duration: TBC
- Language: Japanese
- Subtitles: English
- Audio: Mono
- Color
- Discs: 2
- SRP: $39.95
- Release Date: 5/12



Society - Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD


IT'S ALL ABOUT FITTING IN

After producing Stuart Gordon's hit Re-Animator, Brian Yuzna (Bride of Re-Animator, Return of the Living Dead III) turned his hand to directing with 1989's Society, and gave birth to one of the ickiest, most original body horror shockers of all time.

Teenager Bill Whitney (Billy Warlock) has always felt like the odd one out in his wealthy, upper-class Beverly Hills family. For some reason, he just doesn't seem to fit in. But his sense of alienation takes a sinister turn when he overhears a surreptitious audio recording of his sister's coming-out party, which seems to implicate his family and others in a bizarre, ritualistic orgy. And then there are the strange things he's been seeing - glimpses of people with their bodies contorted impossibly out of shape... Is Billy going mad or is there something seriously amiss in his neighbourhood?

Packing stomach-churning grue and thought-provoking social commentary in equal measure, Society is a biting horror satire which culminates in one of the most leftfield, gag-inducing "climaxes" in all of horror history - just don't eat beforehand!

Special Edition Contents:
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation
- Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- New Audio Commentary with Director Brian Yuzna
- Governor Of Society with Brian Yuzna
- The Masters Of The Hunt with stars Billy Warlock, Devin Devasquez, Ben Meyerson and Tim Bartell
- The Champions Of The Shunt with FX Artists Screaming Mad George, David Grasso and Nick Benson
- Screaming Mad George music video
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork
- Collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film, illustrated with original archive stills and posters

Specs:
- Region: Free
- Duration: 99 mins
- Language: English
- Subtitles: English SDH
- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Audio: 2.0
- Color
- Discs: 2
- SRP: $39.95
- Release Date: 5/19


Island of Death - Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD

THE LUCKY ONES GOT THEIR BRAINS BLOWN OUT!!

Welcome to Mykonos, the holiday destination of choice for sun, sea and slaughter! From cult director Nico Mastorakis, Island of Death is a travelogue of atrocities with scenes so strong that the British Government was once compelled to ban it as a "video nasty".

Arriving on the idyllic Greek island, Christopher and Celia appear to be every inch the perfect, handsome young couple. Little do the welcoming locals realise that they are in fact a pair of murderous degenerates, determined to spread their own particular brand of perversion across the island. DIY crucifixions, opportunistic bestiality, sexual peeing and murder by all conceivable forms ensue - including death by makeshift blowtorch, samurai sword, dump truck and more!

Shocking, brutal and totally politically incorrect in its outlook, Island of Death is a gruelling cinematic experience devised by director Mastorakis to out-do the excesses of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, which he was hugely inspired by. Now fully uncut and newly-restored from the original negative, fans can enjoy Island of Death in all its sleazy, lurid glory.

Special Edition Contents:
- Brand new restoration from the original negative
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation
- Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Brand new interview with director Nico Mastorakis
- The Films of Nico Mastorakis - the director hosts this documentary covering his varied career in cinema, including a look at Island of Death
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by - - Graham Humphreys
- Collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film, illustrated with original archive stills and posters

Specs:
- Region: Free
- Duration: TBC
- Language: English
- Subtitles: English SDH
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Audio: Mono
- Color
- Discs: 2
- SRP: $39.95
- Release Date: 5/26

Arrow's global reputation as one of the finest labels in the world has come about through consistent high quality product and a focus on fan-based products always at its core. This includes a major investment on restoring original material through modern techniques as well as pioneering packaging solutions and newly commissioned artwork for each release.

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