“Lewis Vendredi made a deal with the devil to sell cursed antiques, but he broke the pact, and it cost him his soul. His niece Micki, and her cousin Ryan, inherited the store-and with it, the curse. Now they must get everything back-and the real terror begins.”
In 1987, Frank Mancuso Jr. created a short-lived but widely loved horror television show called “Friday the 13th: The Series”. Despite the title, the show actually has nothing to do with the Voorhees-led slasher franchise. Trading out hockey masks for evil collectibles, the plot revolves around two family members, Micki and Ryan, and their struggle to undo their late uncle’s damage upon an innocent civilian population. Joined by their friend Jack, the trio attempts to retrieve each and every cursed antique that their uncle sold while he was doing the devil’s bidding, with often tumultuous results. Many times, the new owners of the object either realizes the potential of the powerful material that he or she holds, and tries to use their new treasure to their advantage, or someone close to that person steals the artifact out from under them, with the same skeevy motive in mind. Now, it’s up to these three young people to repossess the potent goods, and put them back in the antique shop where their wicked powers can be safely dulled, before it’s too late.
Though the series only lasted a brief three seasons in total, the show became somewhat of a cult classic, garnering a unique following. While some dismissed the program once they realized that it held little in common with the machete-wielding maniac in the mask, a large gathering were able to look past the misleading title and see the show for what it really was: a strong horror sitcom that was arguably better than others like it during the same time period, i.e. “Freddy’s Nightmares”, “War of the Worlds”. For those who appreciated the program for the gem it was, and have been waiting for more material on the subject, a new hero has risen — and her name is Alyse Wax.
Wax recently published an extremely thorough look at the beloved little late ’80s TV phenomenon, in her new book titled “Curious Goods: Behind the Scenes of Friday the 13th: The Series.” In the novel, Alyse breaks down the show in an extremely organized fashion, deciphering her research on an episode by episode basis. Not only is every single segment explained to fans’ hearts content in this long awaited look at the series, but this expansive guide also includes tons of fascinating notes about the actors and the production, as well as photos from the set, and over sixty interviews from the cast and crew.
Alyse Wax is a prominent member of the horror community, participating in monthly horror trivia competitions as well as writing for several different sites over the span of many years, including FEARnet, Bloody Disgusting, Shock Till You Drop, Blumhouse, Coming Soon, and Crave Online. She has a vast knowledge of the horror genre, especially when it comes to its myriad television programs.
If you’re a fan of this spooky good series, and you’ve been holding out for an in depth trip back inside the old antique shop, then make sure to pick up a copy of Alyse’s extremely comprehensive new book. “Curious Goods: Behind the Scenes of Friday the 13th: The Series” is available now from Bear Manor Media through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and on BearManorMedia.com.
I love, love, love spaghetti westerns! I’ve reviewed a handful here at BD (and will be reviewing more in the future), even though so people think a horror website isn’t the right place for them. I heavily disagree. Spaghetti westerns aren’t horror films, but they are genre films and are more often than not enjoyed by the same audience. That’s why I’m very happy to share the following news with BD readers!
MVD has picked up the rights to Comin’ At Ya! and is set to provide the film with it’s first ever Blu-ray release, in 3D nonetheless, in honor of the film’s 35th anniversary. Now I’ve never seen Comin’ At Ya! but I’m excited to do so. As you can tell from the trailer (down below) this is a film that was definitely made for the gimmicky use of 3D. I’m not a big fan of 3D, but I think it actually works as a gimmick for B-movies, so it should be pretty great here.
More details in the full press release:
MVD Entertainment Group has obtained the North American distribution rights to the cult classic film Comin At Ya!, the fan-favorite spaghetti western. The studio plans a 35th Anniversary re-release on home video that includes its debut on Blu-ray 3D. Directed by Ferdinando Baldi (Get Mean, Django, Prepare a Coffin) and written, produced and starring spaghetti western legend Tony Anthony (Blindman, Get Mean, Treasure of the Four Crowns), Comin’ at Ya! is largely credited with the 3-D revival in the early 1980’s (that spawned Friday the 13th Part III in 3-D, Jaws 3-D, Parasite, Amityville 3-D and many more).
The deal was negotiated by Eric Wilkinson for MVD and Robbie Little of The Little Film Company on behalf of the filmmakers.
Independently produced, Comin’ at Ya! was originally released theatrically in 1981 by Filmways Pictures and went on to gross over $12,000,000 domestically in only 200 theaters in North America (over $30,000,000 in 2016 dollars when adjusted for inflation), long before independent films were a regular staple in multiplexes. Comin’ at Ya! happily embraced the 3-D technology of its time, not only taking advantage of the depth that the technology provided, but also taking every opportunity possible to throw, shoot and point things at the viewer at every possible turn and created a cult classic movie as a result.
Writer, producer, and star of Comin’ At Ya! Tony Anthony said about the movie’s 35th anniversary…
“In the 80’s Comin’ At Ya! was the first 3D film distributed by a major company since the 50s and it went on to set box-office records and turned Hollywood and the world onto 3D once again”, explained Tony. “Films are strange, live-for-ever works of art and as a producer and writer, this is a labor of love. To be able to restore this film with the new technology that’s now available, I’m thrilled to finally be able the present this film the way is was meant to be seen.”
The new home video version of Comin’ At Ya! was supervised and produced by Tony Anthony himself and Tom Stern (In God’s Hands), through his company Sternco 3D. Sourced from a new 4K master, Comin’ At Ya! boasts a frame by frame digital conversion of the polarized over-and-under format of the original print, sourced from a brand new internegative into the MVC 3D format and new 5.1 surround sound.
Eric Wilkinson, MVD Entertainment’s Director of Acquisitions and Sales shares Tony Anthony’s excitement about the re-release of Comin’ At Ya!…
“I remember this film from when I was a kid. I also remember my parents telling me I wasn’t allowed to go see it due to the film’s R rating. I finally did get to see this on home video in a less-than-desirable full frame transfer on VHS. I loved it, but always wanted to see this the way it was meant to be seen… in 3D. As a both an acquisitions executive and a fan, I chased this film for years. I’m thrilled to be working with Tony and Tom and bring this back to home video the way that it was meant to be seen. The 3D looks amazing! At one point during the film, I actually ducked!”
Comin’ at Ya! makes is home video debut on January 26, 2016 on Blu-ray 3D/2D and 2D DVD and Digital/VOD from MVD Entertainment Group.
It’s Christmas time, we spoil The Force Awakens, and, this week, you could win a prize. How?! Listen to find out!
CALL US! Dial (404) 330-9945 anytime day or night, leave a message, and we just might play it on the show!
Mr. Disgusting’s Top 10 Horror Films | 10 More Must-See Horror Films of 2015! | Adam’s Top 5 Horror Games | Jess’ Top 5 Horror FIlms | Chris’ Best Blu-ray Releases | Chris’ Best Double Features Blu-rays | Trace’s Top 5 Horror Films | Jon’s 5 Best Horror Soundtracks | Jon’s Top 10 Albums | 10 Most Disturbing Moments | 10 Best Horror Movie Posters | 10 Worst Horror Movie Posters | 10 Best Trailers | 10 Worst Trailers | 10 Most Surprising Horror Movies | 10 Most Disappointing Horror Movies | Jorge Solis’ 10 Scariest Comic Books
When it comes to horror movies, the soundtrack is one of the most vital and under-appreciated aspects in terms of setting the mood and creating suspense. The right note at the right time can change a scene from being mildly creepy to incredibly unsettling, creating something that haunts our dreams night after night. Many horror soundtracks are owed a huge debt of gratitude by their films and audiences.
While this year had several astonishingly good horror movies (as shown by Brad’s Top 10 Horror Films of 2015), there were a few titles whose musical offerings really stood out for me.
Below are five soundtracks that really stood out for me in terms of their creativity, their scare factor, and, as it should be, just how much fun they were!
It should be noted that these are in alphabetical order and that’s it. I didn’t rank them from #5 to #1. They’re each fantastic.
Before “Tales From the Crypt” became a household name, the adaptation of the creepy EC comic series quietly began to air on HBO.
One of the first ever episodes took place during Christmas, even though it aired during the summer of 1989.
‘And All Through the House,’ takes from “Vault of Horror” issue #5, was the second episode to air on HBO (June 10th). Bringing it to life was none other than Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Contact, What Lies Beneath, Death Becomes Her) from a teleplay by Fred Dekker (Monster Squad)!
The all-star squad gets even more impressive with music by Predator and Back to the Future‘s Alan Silvestri, and photography by Halloween‘s Dean Cundey.
In the episode, “The holiday chopping season runs late when an axe-toting maniac dressed as Santa (Larry Drake) makes a Christmas Eve visit to a philandering wife (Mary Ellen Trainor) who murdered her husband.”
And as good as the episode is, the highlight is the introduction by The Crypt Keeper, who is completely unrecognizable (sans the voice by John Kassir) in a Santa Claus costume.
Before directing Hobo With a Shotgun, and the awesome alien segment in our V/H/S/2, Jason Eisener broke onto the horror scene with his insanely gory holiday classic.
A must-watch each and every year, here’s Eisener’s 2008 “Treevenge,” in which a bunch of trees get revenge on those who kill them each and every holiday season.
“‘Treevenge’ Details the experiences and horrifying reality of the lives of Christmas trees. Clearly, for trees, Christmas isn’t the exciting “peace on earth” that is experienced by most. After being hacked down, and shipped away from their homes, they quickly become strung up, screwed into an upright position for all to see, exposed in a humiliation of garish decorations. But this Christmas will be different, this Christmas the trees have had enough, this Christmas the trees will fight back. ‘Treevenge’ could be a short film about the end of days for Christmas trees, or perhaps, the end of humanity?”
Update: A new album that shows how the house was made was uploaded and can be seen below.
I love seeing family traditions in action. Sure, I may not understand them and their weird ways. But it’s lovely to see a family come together to do something meaningful for them, even if it makes no sense to those around.
When it comes to Aaron and Austin Keeling (the directors of The House on Pine Street), they have a family tradition of making gingerbread houses every year for the holidays. This year’s theme? The Overlook Hotel from The Shining.
Using, “…gingerbread, icing, fondant, candy, and Rice Krispie Treats,” the two crafted an incredibly impressive house that feature multiple iconic moments from the film, including the Grady twins, the bathroom scene, the maze, and more! According to descriptions on the photos, the entire building is nearly 4 feet long! It really is a marvel of fan love.
Check out the gallery below and then let us know if you have any family traditions around the holidays!
Mr. Disgusting’s Top 10 Horror Films | 10 More Must-See Horror Films of 2015! | Adam’s Top 5 Horror Games | Jess’ Top 5 Horror FIlms | Chris’ Best Blu-ray Releases | Chris’ Best Double Features Blu-rays | Trace’s Top 5 Horror Films | Jon’s 5 Best Horror Soundtracks | Jon’s Top 10 Albums | 10 Most Disturbing Moments | 10 Best Horror Movie Posters | 10 Worst Horror Movie Posters | 10 Best Trailers | 10 Worst Trailers | 10 Most Surprising Horror Movies | 10 Most Disappointing Horror Movies | Jorge Solis’ 10 Scariest Comic Books
2015 hasn’t been a stellar year for horror, especially mainstream horror. There haven’t been that many stand-out films that I have absolutely loved. There have been plenty of mediocre films and a hefty collection of turds, but horror fans were shortchanged this year when it came to high-quality horror films. Clearly, I wasn’t as impressed by what we received as Mr. Disgusting was. There were a handful of great ones though, and those are the ones I’ve included on this list. I present to you my picks for the five best horror movies of the year!*
*For the sake of not letting readers feel left out, I opted not to include films that only screened at festivals this year. Those will all go on my 2016 lists (should they actually get a release in 2016). Also, I was not able to see every genre film that came out this year, but I did see most of them. For a list of what films were considered for this list, take a look at everything I watched here.5. The Gift
The Gift (read my review) really came out of nowhere didn’t it? While it is more a psychological drama than a straight-up horror film, The Gift ends on a truly horrifying yet satisfying note. It also gives us a surprisingly dark performance from Jason Bateman, playing against-type as Simon, a psychologically abusive husband who happens across Gordo (Joel Edgerton, who also wrote and directed the film), a former classmate he used to bully, when he moves back to his hometown. Gordo befriends Bateman’s wife Robyn (Rebecca Hall) and things gradually get stranger and stranger with Gordo showing up at their house unannounced, among other things. Edgerton directs the film with a slow but deliberate pace to the point where you’re not sure if Gordo really is up to something or if it’s just Simon and Robyn’s paranoia getting the better of them. All of their suspicions are answered in the sucker punch of a final scene, which will leave you with your jaw on the floor.
It’s that special time of year again. Carolers are singing Yuletide songs under lighted trees, parents are passing down the traditional trimming of the tree responsibilities to their young ones, stockings are hung by the chimney with care, and if you’ve been bad all year long, Santa kicks your door in and duels out punishment in the form of a 12 gauge shotgun blast to the chest.
That’s right, boys and girls, with the world experiencing a current coal shortage, Santa needs to send a stronger message, before the nice and the naughty list blend into one indistinguishable role call, and the world descends into madness. Like Taxi Driver played out through an over-the-top ’80s exploitation flick, this short film from up and coming director Dan Fisk shows Santa attending to the scoundrels on his naughty list with a Travis Bickle type of mentality, ridding the world of the evil doers (and random pizza delivery boys) that crowd the wreath-covered streets, so that Christmas can thrive once again in its purest possible form.
He may have hopped onto his sleigh with the intention of creating a safer space for all to have a good night, but that doesn’t mean that Father Christmas is going to limit his fun to milk and cookies. After all, the man in red spends a whole year prepping to bring joy to billions of children all over the world. He deserves a little hot tub time fun with bikini-clad ladies, especially after he’s exhausted himself by carrying so many bodies to the nearest dumpster. Christmas is a tough gig, and there’s only one man resilient enough to take out the troublemakers and still be home in time to enjoy Mrs. Claus’ cooking. His name is Saint Nicholas, and this Christmas, you better watch out, or you might just wind up on his naughty list.
Written and directed by Dan Fisk, Shotgun Santa: Holiday Justice features a few cameos that horror fans might recognize off the bat; the most obvious one being Josh Ethier (Almost Human, The Mind’s Eye) in the role he was born to play: a pissed off Santa Claus giving bratty children a good spanking. Another notable face is Keir Gilchrist, an actor who people might recognize as Paul, the boy with puppy dog eyes who lusts after the seemingly perfect teenage dream Jay, in the critically acclaimed 2015 hit It Follows. Alice Macdonald, a.k.a. Alice from Eric England’s body horror thriller Contracted, also makes an appearance, as an enthusiastic hot tub patron who happily shares a seat with Santa himself.
Check out this hilarious little short here, or watch it over on FunSizeHorror.com, just in time for the holiday season.
There’s one more episode before the season finale of Starz’s “Ash vs Evil Dead,” one that’s not to be missed.
Now that Ash, Pablo, Kelly and Fisher are at the infamous cabin, shit is hitting the fan. Ruby’s conflict with Ash will be revealed, and the Necronomicon is going to be defaced.
Here’s the synopsis for Ep 109, ‘Bound In The Flesh’: “Ash battles someone all too familiar, and later hears a message from the Necronomicon. Meanwhile, the deadliest Deadite attacks.”
We now have a new clip for this Saturday’s episode in which the trip discuss a plan of action; Kelly and Ash make quips, while Pablo has eyes for a beautiful camper. Three new bodies for the Evil Dead to consume? Get ready for some bloodshed!
STX Entertainment unveils the trailer for the visceral thriller Desierto from Jonás Cuarón and Alfonso Cuarón, the acclaimed filmmakers of Gravity, and starring Gael García Bernal.
“Desierto is a visceral, heart-pounding suspense-thriller packed with tension and suspense from start to finish, starring Gael García Bernal (The Motorcycle Diaries and Y Tu Mamá También) and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen). What begins as a hopeful journey to seek a better life becomes a harrowing and primal fight for survival when a deranged, rifle-toting vigilante chases a group of unarmed men and women through the treacherous U.S.-Mexican border. In the harsh, unforgiving desert terrain, the odds are stacked firmly against them as they continuously discover there’s nowhere to hide from the unrelenting, merciless killer.”
Desierto marks a particularly personal journey in storytelling for writer, director, editor and producer Jonás Cuarón who spent the last 7 years bringing the story of the migrant experience to the screen, explains the press release.
“I took a trip through the U.S. Southwest where I encountered first-hand stories surrounding immigration and the often cruel and violent story of the migrant journey,” explains Cuarón. “I was very moved and immediately felt compelled to outline the film – which happened even before writing GRAVITY. I’ve always been very interested in the concept of films like Spielberg’s DUEL, Konchalovskiy’s RUNAWAY TRAIN and Bresson’s A MAN ESCAPES. They are non-stop nail biting thrillers with very little dialogue but that at the same time manage to juggle various themes. I was very interested in the drive of these films where the audience connects with the story and character in a very visceral way. In Desierto, I wanted to create a gripping film that would engage the audience in that same kind of visceral, cathartic experience and also allow them to reflect on this very complicated subject which illuminates the often devastating experience migrants face in the search for a better life. Bringing Gael (García Bernal) on board was a no-brainer, not just for his skillful acting but also for the soul I trusted he would bring to the story. I knew that Gael also felt very passionately about issues surrounding immigration and would bring to life the struggle, hope and determination that are the fabric of the migrant story.”
Desierto hits theaters on March 4, 2016.
Greetings fellow horror fans! I wanted to talk about something that has been bugging me for some time now. Too many times I see the argument of “It wasn’t scary” being used when judging the merit of a genre flick on every comment thread. It’s pretty much every time. But here’s my question: When was the last time a horror movie you really liked scared you? I don’t just mean jump scares, as those can actually be ineffective, but I mean actually scared you into leaving lights on and left you thinking about it for days after?
If you’re like me and countless others, you probably have a hard time really letting movies get under your skin. It happens! When we first discover horror, we immerse ourselves totally and never truly come back out again. You sought out the grisliest, disturbed things you could just to see how much you could stand. And then eventually you had seen the “big ones”, like Cannibal Holocaust, Faces of Death, Last House on the Left, I Spit on Your Grave, etc… The more you watch, the less frightening everything becomes and a more complex motive for watching evolves.
Why watch horror movies if they don’t scare you? This is a question I’ve gotten from non-horror friends. Fair question but I have an answer. I continue to watch, read, live and breath horror because it’s a never ending quest. I will never, ever run out of horror movies to watch, especially with things like streaming and online shopping, not to mention TV. Not only do I have a pre-existing catalog from around the world, but hundreds of new horror movies come out a year. Is all of it good? Absolutely fucking not. Which brings me to my main point.
Not every horror movie is great, obviously. But not enjoying something because “it wasn’t scary” is always something that irks me. For me, there are many elements that make a movie good and they all apply to any movie no matter the genre. Is the production quality as good as it should be? Is the story well evolved? Are the characters bearable? You get the picture. All of those elements stay in my brain when I’m thinking critically of a movie. And yes, if the movie does happen to scare me once or twice or, in a much rarer occurrence, actually stays with me for a day or so, then I consider that a bonus.
I know that I’m jaded when it comes to scares, more than the standard movie goer. But writing off an entire movie because it didn’t scare you when you are a seasoned viewer seems incredibly backward. We don’t go into the next movie with the same fresh eyes as the first time we saw our first horror movie. It sucks, but we don’t. I used to be guilty of this when I first started to think I’d seen it all but then I started looking at film in a more mentally stimulating level and I realized I could appreciate a cavalcade of thrills.
What do you guys think?
In an ironic twist (being an English major), I don’t read novels as often as I should. Maybe it’s a combination of a lack of time or my other passions cutting in, I just haven’t read many books in recent years. One author that’s been recommended to me is Simon R. Green. Green, whose big break came when he wrote the novelization of Kevin Kostner’s Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves, has been quite prolific in his career. And after all these years, Green took the leap in 2013 and had his Ghost Finders series adapted into film by director Simon Pearce. The film, Judas Ghost, hits VOD this side of the pond this month. Putting aside the praise that Judas Ghost has garnered at several independent festivals in its native Britain, how does it really stack up?
The Carnacki Institute is an agency that specializes in ghost hunting and removal. Living by the motto ‘We don’t take any shit from the hereafter’, the group sends a quartet of its finest to investigate a haunting at a derelict village hall, which will be filmed for training purposes. After initially setting up shop, the group soon realizes that the entity they’re investigating is more powerful than they anticipated. The ghost soon begins to prey on each member of the squad, exposing each member’s weakness and manipulating their surroundings.
The film begins without much in the way of exposition or character introductions (other than the clichéd “ghost are real” bit), and really feels more like something of a sequel rather than a standalone film. The characters basically just enter the room and begin their work. Judas Ghost is definitely one where you’d have to have read Green’s Ghost Finders novels beforehand in order to make sense of the world in which these characters exist. It doesn’t take much of a stretch to see how this can backfire. Regardless, the best part of Green’s first foray into writing for film are the ideas to counteract the obvious constraints of a low budget. As the film takes place entirely in this one room, Green employs the idea of ever-changing surroundings (including staples such as temperature changes, accelerated night, and so on) to liven things up, as well as a reason for the group’s inability to walk out the door.
From a character standpoint, the Judas Ghost himself (portrayed by Grahame Fox) has an appropriately sinister presence. Clad in a suit with your typical ghostly pallor and dripping blood, Fox doesn’t do much in terms of action or lines, but the rule of “less is more” lends itself nicely to this role. With regards to our protagonists, the film spends quite a bit of time developing these characters through their interactions with each other, which is nice to see. However, despite the efforts at development, the characters aren’t exactly the strongest, nor are many of the backstories between characters fully realized. Despite this, the performances are adequate, with Martin Delaney notably doing his best to be the Bill Murray of the group in his cocky, sceptical demeanour. And, with the tight pacing, the film for the most part keeps your attention.
Sadly, as you probably can tell, many of the bright spots in the film are marred by some glaring issues. As mentioned before, the idea of dropping the viewer into the film’s world without exposition is frustrating. Although, not as frustrating as the realization that despite the film’s attempts character development, we’re still left without key points in their background. Jerry and Anna’s (Lucy Cudden) past relationship sticks out, for one. It’s hinted at, but not explained. The same for Mark’s (Simon Merrells) past as the veteran of the group. Speaking of Anna, it’s annoying that the character, who is supposed to be psychic, has to be told to use her powers, despite her solely being on the team because of her abilities. Worse, techie character Ian Calder (Alexander Perkins) seems ill-suited for this kind of work, given his skittishness (and falling into the cliché of not listening to your teammates when they warn you). Ian might as well have “ghost fodder” written on his back. Topping things off is the film’s ending, which builds up to a huge climax, but after an unimportant twist reveal, suddenly falls over itself trying to race to the bottom to get to the abrupt end.
‘Unrealized potential’ is how you can sum up Judas Ghost. There are some ideas that work to try and break the restrictions of its budget, and it’s not a film that’s boring or unwatchable. But ultimately, the film gets dragged down into clich&eactue;s and unfulfillment. Fans of the book series are more likely to get the most from this one, as they’re obviously the target audience. Non-fans and casual viewers will still get something out of it, but nothing that you haven’t seen before in other films of this type.
No matter what festivities you celebrate, whether it be Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza, or Ramadan, one thing’s for sure — now is the perfect time to spread some holiday cheer, by treating your fellow man with a little extra goodwill and mercy, and delighting in some of the softer gems in the horror genre.
What better time than the holidays to watch some beloved endearing horror comedies? As you gather around the television this holiday season, huddled up with friends and family, here are some terrific feel good films to watch that never fail to brighten spirits, and display what truly matters, more than consumerism and more than stressing out about getting things done — cherished moments with those you love.
Read on, and discover what valued lessons these horror gems have taught us, and what they continue to express so intimately, even after repeated viewings.1. Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010)
In a unique approach to the horror-comedy mash-up genre, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil takes the usual cabin in the woods story and flips it on its head. By setting up the country boys as the victims, and the college kids vacationing at the lake nearby as the villains, this film creates a fresh and hilarious perspective that suggests that maybe horror icons like Leatherface and Jason Voorhees were just misunderstood victims of circumstance. Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine) are two simple southern gentlemen off to spend the next few days at their rundown lake property, where they plan to do nothing but drink beer, go fishing, and drink more beer. Unfortunately, once they are spotted by a group of letter-clad Greeks, they are assumed to be backwards killers, and are henceforth hunted like animals in supposed self-defense. What follows is a hysterical, bloody ride, where the preppy college kids are so desperate to prove Dale and Tucker are crazed murderers that the preps literally become their own self-serving bias experiments, accidentally offing themselves in the pursuit of their supposed madmen, frightening and only furthering all of their friends’ misconceptions in the process of this colossal misunderstanding. Luckily, they have Allison on their side, a beautiful girl who rode out to the woods with her college buddies, but who displays greater awareness and tolerance than all of her fellow educated vacationers combined. Allison dreams of becoming a psychologist, and while her man, Chad, would be perfectly happy with her being his trophy wife, it is Dale who encourages her to pursue her dreams, because to him, she’s more than just a pretty face, and to her, he’s more than a man with a draw and a pair of overalls.2. Grabbers (2012)
A small town off the coast of Ireland is slowly taken over by blood-sucking aliens, as the people of this interlaced community struggle to find an answer. Their tentacle-clad new friends have been picking off residents one by one, but these uninvited guests will soon realize that they’ve barged in on the wrong party. Through a series of trial and error, police officers Ciaran O’Shea and Lisa Nolan accidentally discover that the kryptonite to these invaders doesn’t lie in a sharpened weapon, but rather, in a drunken defense — specifically, alcohol. Because the aliens are allergic to alcohol, all that the patrons of this town have to do is stay drunk enough to sink an elephant until a more permanent solution surfaces. The only question is, what will they do when they eventually run out of beer? Hilarious and highly under-appreciated, Grabbers shows how sometimes, the key to bringing souls together lies at the bottom of a beer barrel.3. Shaun of the Dead (2004)
When the end of the world hits Great Britain, and the dead begin to rise and walk the earth, Shaun opts for the laid-back Londoner’s perspective, and casually handles dealing with saving his friends and family from ravenous zombies with a relaxed hustle. Stuck in a cycle of work-pub-home, work-pub-home, Shaun’s girlfriend Liz decides she’s had enough of this tired routine and Shaun’s lethargic attitude, and dumps him. Just when Shaun thinks his life can’t get any more depressing, the apocalypse begins, and people start being taken out, one by one, all around him. Intent on saving his loved ones, but still stuck in his cycle, Shaun plans to pick up his mom, kill his stepdad Phillip, whom he presumes to be a zombie, and head to the pub for a pint while they wait for this all to blow over. This time, Shaun’s inability to grow up won’t just put his relationship in peril, but will endanger the lives of all whom he holds dear (and David), too. The first entry in the Cornetto trilogy, Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead not only acts as a love letter to George Romero’s classics, spoofing the iconic material and carrying underlying commentary, just as Romero’s Dead series did, too, but also, uses the zombie apocalypse to bring humans together, as the dead try to rip them apart. By using the threat of death as a catalyst, Shaun is catapulted into adulthood, and for the first time, makes a real effort to change his ways and compromise, to save his relationship, while maintaining his identity through his lifelong friendship with Ed, the man who will always have a place in his heart, and also, in Shaun’s tool shed.4. The Final Girls (2015)
When Max’s celebrity mother dies in a horrific car accident, she doesn’t think she’ll ever be able to face one of her mom’s cult horror classic ’80s slashers again, let alone ever smile again. When the anniversary of her mom’s death rolls around, however, she’s coerced into participating in a screening of the movie that made her mother famous — Camp Bloodbath. The slow transition into staring at her mother’s face again is challenging enough, but when the theater showing the movie catches aflame, and Max is somehow sucked into the screen, she finds herself side by side with her mom, fighting off a killer, and forced to locate the strength within herself to carry on, whether she’s ready or not. Arguably one of the best horror movies of the year, The Final Girls is not only an extremely impressive directorial debut for up-and-coming director Todd Strauss-Schulson, but it’s also softened the hearts of cinephiles everywhere, and caused an outcry for endearing horror comedies of the same nature. Luckily, there are plenty to choose from.5. Cooties (2015)
Teaching can be hell. When an outbreak at an elementary school starts turning all of the kids into tiny undead terrors, the teachers are left with no choice but to board up inside of a secure classroom and fight for their lives against the vicious, cannibalistic monsters who they once referred to as their students. Using coffee mugs, hockey sticks, clip boards, and any other school supplies nearby that they can use as a weapon, the schools staff attempts to escape the building before their student body devours them whole. Another excellent title from Spectrevision, Cooties is a fun, bold throwback to ’80s killer kid flicks. Offensive enough to make you laugh out loud at jokes you might otherwise never find appropriate, Cooties still somehow, at the same time, manages to be touching in its depiction of poor little lonely Language Arts teacher Clint (Elijah Wood). Clint might be a teacher at this school, but deep down, he’s still just a scared little school boy, lusting after the pretty girl that he can’t have, Lucy (Alison Pill). Clint is stuck in school — literally, as the infected zombie kids try to get in from the outside, and figuratively, as he finds himself stuck in a perpetual immature state, living with his mother, and not quite making it as a writer like he had imagined he would by this point in his life. As Clint fights for his life (and in the process, fights to impress Lucy), he gains confidence through his near death experience, and blossoms into the man that he was meant to be — as self-assured as he is intelligent and capable.6. Fright Night (1985)
The sun has dipped down below the horizon and the moon is hanging high in the sky, which means it’s time for Charley Brewster’s favorite television show: Fright Night. Hosted by Peter Vincent, the show centered around bloodsuckers holds a special place in Charley’s heart, distracting him from the world around him, including even his girlfriend Amy’s advances. However, Amy will soon find that the TV show is the last of her worries, when Charley turns his obsessive eye to a different subject: his new next-door neighbor, Jerry Dandrige. Mr. Dandrige keeps late hours, avoids sunlight, and oh yeah, occasionally turns into a bat. Charley’s desperate to prove that Dandrige is a creature of the night, even if it means being labeled a crazy nuisance, and putting everyone he loves at risk, including the only person who has returned his affections, Amy. As Charley chases Jerry, Amy chases Charley, but soon, all involved will be lost to the vampire’s lure, as Charley only receives pity from friends and family, when what he really needs is their help.7. Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006)
Unique, clever, and extremely meta in a very original way, Scott Glosserman’s directorial debut is an extremely impressive love letter to slasher films. Set up mockumentary style, a camera crew follows around lead reporter Taylor Gentry as she interviews Leslie Vernon, a notorious serial killer in the small town of Glen Echo. This movie plays on the idea that all of the iconic horror movie killers like Leatherface, Freddy Krueger, and Jason Voorhees are real, and that this documentary is allowing a look behind the scenes at their handiwork for the very first time. Leslie takes on the persona of a slain boy in a local urban legend, who was rumored to have been drowned in the river by townsfolk after he killed his parents, but Leslie confesses to the documentary gang that he’s just a normal guy living off of the legend, which can be inferred as the truth behind Freddy and Jason’s stories, too. Initially, the crew is totally on board with what’s happening, learning first hand how a villain carefully and methodically picks out his virginal final girl, and prepares for the chase scenes with her and her friends with lots and lots of cardio. However, when the big night approaches, the crew members find themselves guilt ridden, and wind up breaking the rules of a documentary as they put down their cameras and get involved to try to help the teens chosen for the slaughter survive Leslie’s wrath. Through tongue-in-cheek humor, stylish storytelling, and a breakdown of horror’s final girl and why she needs the killer as much as he needs her, Glosserman gives fans a surprisingly sweet look at the other side of the blade, and creates just as much sympathy for the hunter as he does the hunted.8. The Monster Squad (1987)
Sean, Horace, Patrick, Eugene, and newfound members Rudy and Phoebe are in over their heads. Together, they may make up The Monster Squad, one of the most knowledgeable and devoted horror movie fanatic groups on the planet, but from the point of view of the real Count Dracula and Creature from the Black Lagoon who are currently, terrorizing their hometown, they’re just a bunch of little kids asking for trouble. While they may be technically correct, these infamous baddies may have underestimated this little gathering of horror fiends, and how much their tireless hours spent pouring over every scary movie, comic book, and bit of trivia is going to come into play when it comes to their final battle. Out manned, overpowered, and facing off against supposedly immortal beings, they may crash and burn in their attempt to fend off their attackers, but the Monster Squad will go down swinging, makeshift weapons, cheaply made business cards and all.9. The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
We all know the story. An average group of hormone-fueled attractive young people travel to a rundown cabin in a remote area littered with trees, where they are then picked off one by one. The formula has been laid out since the slasher craze took over the horror genre in the ’80s, and cult gems like The Burning, Sleepaway Camp, and the Friday the 13th franchise made the rules known. The handsome jock must die. Inspecting suspicious noises is a death trap. A final girl must survive until the end (or at least longer than her friends). These are the horror principles embedded in our over-stimulated minds, making it hard to feel surprised by anything the sub-genre has to offer. But what if there was more to the story? What if we’ve only been scratching at the surface of a carefully manufactured scheme that’s been years in the making? Enter Drew Goddard, a brilliant head honcho from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Marvel’s Daredevil, here to stick the usual formula in the blender and hit spin. In Drew’s vision, all of the monsters who emerge from the darkness to attack these poor random kids are actually coming from an underground laboratory. Built with the intention of sacrificing a chosen few in an annual slaughter, this is a film that mainly finds its comedic stride in the uproarious notion that the rambling stoner in the corner might actually be right.10. An American Werewolf in London (1981)
Two best friends, David Kessler and Jack Goodman, take a journey across the pond, and find themselves in the strangest of places. A little pub tucked away in the hills of Britain is the latest stopping point on their backpacking expedition, and though the thought of fresh ale beckons them to come in, once inside, they are greeted by stern stares, pentagrams, and ancient superstition. Determined to enjoy their tour despite their cold welcome, the boys drown their bad feelings in their libations, the duo continues on, stumbling across the moonlit terrain and right off the path, foregoing the locals’ warnings about veering off the trail. By the time they realize their mistake, the boys fall prey to the howling beast that roams the countryside monthly, and rips apart any animal that dare cross its path. Jack is the first to go, but David arguably suffers an even worse fate, as he becomes the beast himself, after surviving his own horrific injuries. Jack visits David from the afterlife, and even though it’s undoubtedly sad to see David undergo such torment, it’s also admittedly pretty funny to watch Jack and all of David’s victims openly and enthusiastically try to come up with ways for David to off himself, lest he leave any more victims in his wake.11. Zombieland (2009)
It only took the end of the world, this shy boy has finally started to socialize. As a kid who has spent most of his days alone in his room, chained to his keyboard and covered with soda spills and grease stains from his third straight bag of potato chips, it’s amazing that he’s survived the zombie apocalypse as long as he has. Of course, he’d like to attribute his continued survival to the rules he’s drummed up as defense against the walking dead, but deep down, the kid, known to his misfit gang of rounded up strangers as “Columbus”, he knows that the truth is that the key to getting through each day — and to living a happy and fulfilled life amidst all of the madness — is the people at his side, and the companionship they bring.12. The Burbs (1989)
Joe Dante’s highly underrated late ’80s mystery comedy is a kooky account about a group of paranoid neighbors and their ridiculous assumption about the new residents on the block. As opposed to everyone else on the street who proudly broadcasts their quirks on their front lawns, like ex-vet Lt. Mark Rumsfield, who still dresses in war gear, or Walter Selznick, who happily commands his poodle to defecate on Mr. Rumsfield’s grass to in order fulfill some strange, sick joy when Rumsfield inevitably erupts, the new neighbors are total shut-ins. No one on this block has ever seen them, and sometimes at night, as Ray Peterson (Tom Hanks) points out, you can hear weird noises coming from that dreary old property. After old man Walter inexplicably disappears, Ray, Ricky, Art, and the lieutenant join forces to prove their elaborate theory that their aloof new additions are somehow involved. The gang seriously believes that the Klopeks are to blame for their missing friend, and they won’t rest until they make a complete and utter mockery of themselves in front of the entire neighborhood. As far-fetched and goofy as this story gets, it does a terrific job of capturing the heart of suburbia, in all its absurd glory, and playfully explains the reason why those who can relate love their wacky neighborhoods so much. In the end, we’re all just little Ricky Butlers, sitting back and laughing as we watch these typical and silly events unfold.13. What We Do in the Shadows (2015)
Undead and kicking, but out of touch with pop culture, Vladislav, Viago, and Petyr get a taste of youth again when they develop a friendship with a young technology-savvy human, and a newly turned baby vamp. Hundreds of years old, the gang hires a documentary crew to follow them around, and give the public some insight, for the very first time, into the world of those who reside in the shadows. Set up like a mockumentary about vampires, this kooky flick feels like a fresh break from all of the melodramatic and morose vampire movies that have flooded the horror genre over the past several years. Headed by two hilarious comedians, Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, this clever take on the tired old monster flick allows these predators to be seen in a different, more empathetic light; one that displays these immortal beings at their most vulnerable — struggling to dress hip enough to get into a hot club, incarcerated in the darkness for all of eternity, and watching seasoned mortal friends grow old and die. This movie is as much a love letter to the sub-genre as it is a jab at bloodsucker cinema.14. Gremlins (1984)
In what has become one of the ultimate Christmas movies for the horror fan, a young man unleashes the fury of murderous little gremlins on an unsuspecting small town in the midst of the holiday season. It all starts when inventor Randall Peltzer fails to convince a customer to buy his latest creation, the “Bathroom Buddy”. While nosing around in the man’s shop, Randall winds up buying instead of selling, as he picks up a souvenir to take home to his son, Billy. When Billy picks up the mysterious box his father hands him and it starts to shake, his father tells him that the critter inside is called a Mogwai, and passes on the three important rules for Billy’s new pet: 1) keep him away from bright lights, 2) don’t get him wet, and 3) never feed him after midnight. Of course, one of these rules is inevitably broken, when Billy’s buddy Pete accidentally spills water on on the Mogwai Billy has named Gizmo, causing many more little Mogwais to sprout from Gizmo’s back. They seem cute, but these guys are not like Gizmo. By tricking Billy into feeding them after midnight, this new, more sinister batch evolves into vicious minuscule monsters, and begin terrorizing the town. As if on a mission to destroy everything in their path, the violent little creatures start tearing up the local bar, picking off residents, and scare everyone out of the local theater so they can watch Snow White on the big screen. Now, it’s up to Billy, Gizmo, Pete, and the girl Billy holds a torch for, Kate, to stop the evil Mogwais and rescue their fellow townsfolk, and save Christmas, before these little nuisances find a bigger puddle of water and multiply themselves enough to outnumber all of the citizens.15. Housebound (2014)
After Kylie gets in trouble with the law, she lands in the last place she’d like to be: her childhood home. Detained to the property, Kylie isn’t peeved by the idea of probation on her record as much as she is by the knowledge that she’ll never be able to get away from her mother. Kylie’s mom Miriam is convinced that their house is haunted, and she’s not afraid to be vocal about it. Pushing aside her mother’s wild theories, she chalks up her mom’s lunacy to the overactive imagination of a bored old woman in a simple, small New Zealand town. However, when Kylie also begins to hear voices in the night, and strange happenings begin making themselves known around the aged residency, Kylie begins to wonder if maybe her mom isn’t the one-eyed man in the house of the blind.16. Beetlejuice (1988)
Lydia Deetz is having the worst time of her entire life. Her obsessive and controlling mother, Delia, is pushing her spineless father, Charles, around once again, her father is more concerned with finding a nice, quiet spot to hide from Delia than bothering to pay attention to his daughter’s depression, and to top things off, her parents have moved her out to an old house in the country, and away from the few fond memories Lydia actually had. Now, as her mother drives her mad trying to push her drastically modern vision upon this old house, Lydia spends the day wasting away in her bedroom, convinced there’s nothing weird enough left to live for…or is there? Strange occurrences have been lighting up Lydia’s dull life as of late, including two members of the recently deceased occupying her attic, along with a foul-mouthed trickster who appeals to Lydia’s wicked side, and reels her in through false pretenses and common outsider ideology. Suddenly, Lydia’s boring existence has become all too eventful, as she finds herself strangely longing for the simple days of her mother’s maddening artistic goals, her father’s newfound bird watching hobby, and the time before she knew the name Betelgeuse. Arguably one of — if not definitively — Tim Burton’s best film, Beetlejuice represents Burton in his prime, when he still favored practical effects and feel-good odd family films over CGI and cash-grabbing box office sure-things. Beetlejuice is the kind of film that makes you feel grateful for the family you have, instead of wishing for something that doesn’t exist.
Ritual, Darling and Pod director Mickey Keating’s survival horror with Carnage Park, which is based on a shocking true story, will be having its World Premiere at the Sundance Film Festival next month.
Check out this brand new image of Ashley Bell (The Last Exorcism, The Last Exorcism II) who stars alongside Darby Stanchfield (“Scandal”), Pat Healy (Cheap Thrills, The Innkeepers) and Alan Ruck (Ferris Bueller’s Day)
“The year is 1978. After botching an ill-conceived bank robbery in a desolate California town, two wannabe crooks named Scorpion Joe (James Landry Hébert) and Lenny (Michael Villar) flee the scene with a hostage, Vivian (Ashley Bell), and lead the local lawmen on a dangerous high-speed chase. With his partner suffering from a gunshot wound and losing blood fast, Joe takes to the back roads to dodge the heat, but he unwittingly steers them into the path of a far more dangerous evil: a psychotic ex-military sniper who doesn’t take kindly to strangers. Thrust into a wicked game of cat and mouse with a highly trained and mentally imbalanced killer, they begin a harrowing fight for survival.”
“Carnage Park [is] a nod to the mean and dirty crime films of the 1970s, and the intense, unflinching energy of the fight for survival films by directors like Boorman and Peckinpah,” said Keating in the film’s initial press release. “It’s a harrowing story, set almost entirely during the day, against a blinding backdrop of the California desert.”
“It’s going to be a very vicious horror film set entirely during the day, in a cruel stretch of California desert,” Keating told us in a previous exclusive interview. “It’s my first period piece – set in 1978 – and it’s about a botched bank heist that quickly spirals into a horrific fight for survival. It’ll be a nod to the legendary Sam Peckinpah and his masterpiece The Getaway, the new French Extremism films of the 2000s, and The Most Dangerous Game…I’m very excited to make a cruel, pulpy horror film.”
The Sundance press release goes on to explain: “Mickey Keating’s latest descent into insanity showcases his versatility as a writer and director, braiding crime caper and survival story into one demented thrill ride. Ashley Bell quickly turns the role of damsel in distress into that of a badass, ‘don’t fuck with me’ female lead traversing the horrors of Carnage Park.”
A young woman makes a fateful pact with a witches’ coven that can save her dying father’s life.
Bloody Disgusting mixed a potion to enchant Dark Sky into giving us the exclusive trailer premiere for David Keating’s Cherry Tree, which celebrated its World Premiere at Montreal’s Fantasia International Film Festival.
Keating, who directed the 2010 Hammer Film Wake Wood, is behind this new horror pic starring Naomi Battrick, Patrick Gibson, Sam Hazeldine, and Leah McNamara. It is set for release in limited theaters and VOD on January 8, 2016.
In Cherry Tree, “Faith’s world is turned upside down after she finds out that her beloved father is dying. When the mysteriously alluring Sissy Young becomes her field hockey coach, Faith finds a compassionate spirit and much-needed mother figure. Little does she know that Sissy is the head of a centuries-old witches’ coven that uses the fruit of an ancient cherry tree in a secret ritual that restores life to the dead and dying. Offering to cure her father in exchange for a child, Sissy strikes a bargain with Faith, who suddenly finds herself pregnant with a baby that’s growing at an alarming rate. But with the clock to the child’s birth ticking down and the true intention of Sissy’s plans for humanity becoming more apparent, Faith and her father must stand together in order to save both their lives.“
Director Rob Zombie has announced that his upcoming horror film 31 has been given the dreaded NC-17 rating not once but twice by the MPAA!
Zombie, who took to Facebook with the news, is attempting to edit it a third time to go for an R-rating, although he’s none too pleased about it.
“Well, after two tries through the MPAA our rating on 31 remains NC-17,” Zombie explained. “Maybe three is the charm to get an R rating. Why R you ask? Well, because your local theater will not show an NC-17. Even though you are a fucking adult… things [must] be censored for your enjoyment.”
The MPAA rated 31 NC-17 for “sadistic graphic violence, bizarre sexuality/nudity, pervasive disturbing images and some strong language.” Yup, sounds like a Rob Zombie film!
In 31, which will have its World Premiere at the Sundance Film Festival next month, “Five friends are kidnapped on the day before Halloween and are held hostage in a terrifying place named Murder World. While trapped, they must play a violent game called 31, in which the mission is to survive 12 hours against a gang of evil clowns.”
The Halloween-themed slasher stars Sheri Moon Zombie, Malcolm McDowell, Richard Brake, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Jeff Daniel Phillips, and even Meg Foster.
Ho ho ho! A very bleak and depressing Christmas to all!
Too much? Sorry, I know that it’s supposed to be the jolliest time of the year but I just can’t get into the holiday spirit when thinking about Type O Negative. It’s not necessarily that I miss them greatly (although that definitely has its place) but rather that their music simply doesn’t bring much merriment or cheer.
But all that changes right now. Today, I crack open the eggnog and don an ugly red and green sweater. Because today I give you Stereo Type O Negative‘s rendition of Wham!‘s 1984 holiday classic “Last Christmas”, as done in the style of Type O Negative. Honestly, it sounds EXACTLY like Type O and totally fits their subtle humor that they wove into their gothic metal.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to one and all!
A new teaser for A&E’s upcoming supernatural drama/thriller “Damien” has been released and can be seen below. It hearkens back to an iconic line from the 1976 original, which stated, “Damien… It’s all for you.”
“The ten-episode “Damien” follows the adult life of Damien Thorn (James), the mysterious child from the 1976 film who has grown up, seemingly unaware of the satanic forces around him. Haunted by his past, Damien must now come to terms with his true destiny — that he is the Antichrist, the most feared man throughout the ages.”
Bradley James plays the titular character and Glen Mazzara (“The Walking Dead”) acts as showrunner.
The show as yet has no release date, although we’re hoping one will come soon! If done right, this show could be incredibly creepy and create a lot of tension with the main character. After all, who actually wants to be Antichrist?
— A&E Network (@AETV) December 22, 2015
2015 was quite a year for horror fans. It was arguably one of the best years for horror movies (see Mr Disgusting’s top 10 list) in recent history, zombies have taken over TV, we lost some horror legends, and were teased with one of the most exciting horror games ever only to have it ripped away.
With all of the big stories and news, we thought it would be fun to look back and see what the most popular posts were from the past year. Read on to see what you might have missed and relive some of the biggest posts from 2015!