A bad movie is like pizza; it’s good, even when it’s bad. There’s something about a cheesy movie that makes me feel all warm and tingly inside. As every good horror fan knows, you’ve got to take the good with the bad and might as well embrace it.
Here are 5 of my personal favorite cheese-fests. Pass the marinara.
5. Frankenhooker, 1990
The VHS collecting set will most likely be familiar with this gem, due in part to the infamous talking cover box that asked, “Wanna date?” This aptly titled movie tells the story of a would-be medical student and his adorable fiancee. After a lawnmower-related tragedy, adorable fiancee is killed. The makeshift Doctor Frankenstein decides to revive his decapitated love via the body parts of crack-addict hookers. This one is truly a love story for the ages and my most recent Amazon purchase. You’ll “wanna date” with Frankenhooker.
4. Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death, 1989
I was on a staycation a few weeks ago and treated myself to this beautiful cinematic disaster. Featured in an episode of “Elvira’s Movie Macabre,” this movie includes performances by Shannon Tweed, Bill Maher (before he hit the big time and the “Real Time”), and Adrienne Barbeau. Cannibal Women tells the story of a feminist professor hired by the U.S. Government to confront the jungle-dwelling evil Piranha Women, in order to persuade them to move their man-hating and eating empire to a Malibu estate. All of this to protect the nation’s avocado supply, which apparently comes from this jungle.
Now we know why guac is extra.
3. Spookies, 1986
This is one of those movies you’ve probably heard of but never had the pleasure of watching. An 80’s video store masterpiece, Spookies is another example of the “teenagers get lost and wander into a mysterious house” formula we’ve seen a thousand times. I discovered this movie by accident one day in college (when I should have been studying) while browsing the endless void that is YouTube. After doing a search for the film, I remembered seeing the poster in a collage at my local childhood cinema. I pressed “Play” and never looked back. This one is full of Jim Henson puppet shop rejects, special effects that look like Silly Putty that was left in a hot car, and totally worth a watch.
2. Blood Surf, 2000
The most recent entry on this list might be the worst. With a whopping 3.3 rating on IMDB, Blood Surf is sure to quench your appetite for cheese. I discovered this crocodile-filled atrocity in the early-2000s, while channel surfing past midnight, which is really where all good stories begin. The best thing about this movie, besides the title, is the plot (bet you didn’t think I’d say that). Said plot involves surfers chumming water in order to surf through the sharks. If there’s anything you should be doing, it’s chumming water to attract sharks. Instead of the intended guests arriving at the chum-party, a gigantic crocodile shows up. While this movie is borderline unwatchable, Blood Surf holds a special place in my heart. I recently revisited this movie a few months ago on what I call “Shitty Movie Friday.” 1/10 would not do again.
1. The Willies, 1990
This anthology gross-out fest is a campfire story filled with slime, bugs, and guts galore. I included this movie mainly for its obscurity and phenomenal cheese. Starring a post-Goonies Sean Astin, The Willies is the movie that includes the infamous scene where an old woman puts her dog in the microwave. I know you’ve heard of it. This movie also has the greatest tagline of all time: “You’ll Laugh, You’ll Cry, You’ll Puke, You’ll Die!” And that you will.
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We’re just hours away from tonight’s Episode 2.06 of “The Strain,” entitled “Identity,” and if you’ve wondered about the identify of the man who plays Dr. Ephraim “Eph” Goodweather on the show, it’s Corey Stoll from “House of Cards” and Ant-Man, who finally looks like himself now that he’s ditched the distracting wig previously worn by the character.
But he had a lot more to talk about than that old news when he took part in a roundtable interview a few days ago. We have the highlights for you here, including Eph’s motivations and dark side, how he’s taking the fight to the next level, if he’ll continue hitting the bottle, and lots more so read on to prep for the mayhem to come.
Q: In the opener of this season, Eph told Fet [Kevin Durand] that he is not a very good vampire killer so he’s going to go back to what he knows. And now that he’s on to something, what’s driving him at this point? Is it really vengeance against the Master and all of the vampires, or is it just to try to redeem himself in the eyes of the CDC and Zach and the people that sort of put him out to pasture because they thought he wasn’t valid in what he was trying to tell them?
Corey Stoll: I think it’s really both. I think obviously it’s personal now that Kelly has turned and is actively trying to turn Zach, but I think just his personality is such, too, that he’s won at everything pretty much in his life, up till now. Now he’s in a situation where he’s lost more in the last week than he has in his entire life… he’s always been a very Alpha guy and very Type A. He’s been knocked down numerous pegs and is admitting such, but he still can’t let go on either front so it’s personal, but it’s also professional.
Q: Most of your roles in the past have been very much more reality-based than this scenario on “The Strain.” How has it been as an actor for you to operate in this world, especially one created by Guillermo del Toro where anything can happen? It must be very interesting.
Corey Stoll: Yeah, it’s an interesting challenge… [exec producer] Carlton [Cuse] and I at the beginning of Season 2 felt the need to sort of adjust a little bit because so much of what the show is about is about the tone and the look and the style and the feel of it, which is unique. There are other vampire shows and other vampire movies out there, but Guillermo brings something unique, and so [we’re] trying to find that right balance… I think it’s a pretty good challenge with this show where the stakes are incredibly high but it’s not the same world that we live in, and there’s also a real, sort of a wicked sense of humor that runs throughout the whole thing. I think in this season there’s a lot of conversations between Carlton and myself about how to have me participate in that sense of humor because I think the danger is often to sort of fall into melodrama. It’s sort of about being in that same world where these stakes are incredibly high, but you have to sort of keep one part of your tongue in your cheek a little bit.
Q: In last week’s episode, when you threw your former boss off a train…
Corey Stoll: By accident…
Q: So you’re saying Eph didn’t choose to kill him?
Corey Stoll: No, he didn’t; he didn’t. It was really a move to not get hit, and before what he knew what was happening, he had killed him. Now it was in his best interest probably to kill him, but this is—it’s still obviously a very big deal; it’s his first human kill. No, he did not intend to kill him.
Q: But now that he crossed that line, will this open up a door to a darker Eph, a guy that’s willing to do more and cross the line a little bit more easily?
Corey Stoll: Yeah, I think you can say that. The first time he killed anybody intentionally, he was being attacked, and that was sort of purely defensive. As the first season went on, he became more inured to killing to the point where he doesn’t really sort of flinch killing people who are completely turned. Then he crossed the line, again, at the beginning of this season experimenting on freshly turned people, and then this is another one, and then sort of the ratchet that sort of keeps pushing him past these lines that he never thought he would cross. But yeah, definitely from that point on to the rest of the season, he is in a different place morally.
Q: In the last episode we saw the vampire children going into full action now. Can you tell us how much of a factor they’ll be in the remaining episodes?
Corey Stoll: Well, the Feelers are the formidable part of the Strigoi Army. They’re fast, they can crawl on walls, and they play an important part of the Master’s arsenal going forward the rest of the season.
Q: And what about Eph’s alcoholism? We’ve seen it gradually increase. Can we expect to see that affecting how he handles the situation?
Corey Stoll: Yeah, definitely. He does not sober up the rest of the season. He was never the best fighter in the world; but, no, he’s a little easier and a little bit more handicapped.
Q: There’s a lot of really great and gross makeup and special effects in the show. Can you talk about working with them? Has anything ever really grossed you out?
Corey Stoll: This season there were a few things; in the beginning, in the first season, there was like a bashed-in head… a couple bashed-in heads and the autopsy. In this season there seems to be a little bit of, at least from my feelings, this is my exposure to it, a little bit of a break from that. But in terms of my exposure to the makeup… it’s an amazing thing to see on a daily basis. You come in at 6:00 a.m. in the morning on a Monday, and the makeup people have been there for hours already churning out this army of vampires who all have their own unique… level of transformation and different degrees of turning into vampires. It’s really an incredible level of artistry and industry. It’s really a bit of a conveyor belt, but every vampire is sort of a bespoke job.
Q: In the first season Eph was involved with the actual hand-to-hand fighting against the Strigoi; now he seems to be much more removed. Do you expect him to fight as the season progresses, and also do you miss doing the fight scenes at all?
Corey Stoll: In terms of in total between the two seasons, it’s about the same. In the first bunch of episodes [this season] Eph is taking a much more… he’s using biochemistry to fight the Strigoi… I had [a fight scene] with Barnes… I think a lot of it was actually cut, but it was one of the more involved fights that I’ve had in either season. Definitely moving forward there’s more fighting.
Q: When you’re working on something like this, something with that Guillermo del Toro creepiness, is there a horror film or story or a horror icon that really stuck with you in your youth that resurfaces when you’re on set with these things?
Corey Stoll: I don’t know if there’s something that resurfaces; it’s hard to explain, but… there’s a moment when you first get on set where you see the lighting and the makeup and everything, and there is a moment of, ‘Wow, that’s really cool!’ And then by the fourth setup and the twentieth take, you know, it just becomes work. You’re playing make-believe so you’re getting yourself into a state of terror, [but] the stuff isn’t really scary on its own pretty much after your first time doing it.
“The Strain” Episode 2.06 – “Identity” (airs 8/16/15)
Eph (Corey Stoll) concocts a plan to make and distribute a bioweapon. Gus (Miguel Gomez) realizes Angel (Joaquín Cosio) can be an unlikely ally, and Kelly (Natalie Brown) comes after Nora (Mia Maestro) and Zach (Max Charles).
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The New Testament’s Book of Revelation speaks of a Beast bearing the number 666… but even God himself couldn’t have conceived of such a monster as “Hannibal.” And that’s why we’re going to miss him to death when his run on NBC wraps up in just a few more weeks. Up next week we have Episode 3.12, “The Number of the Beast Is 666…,” and if you’re all caught up (or looking for a few spoilers), read on for a look at a baker’s dozen of new stills from the ep.
“Hannibal” Episode 3.12 – “The Number of the Beast Is 666…” (8/22/15; 10-11 PM)
A RISKY PLAN TO LURE THE RED DRAGON PUTS EVERYONE AT RISK – Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and the FBI enlist the expertise of Dr. Fredrick Chilton (guest star Raul Esparza) in the hopes of luring Francis Dolarhyde (guest star Richard Armitage) into an ambush, using Freddie Lounds (guest star Lara Jean Chorostecki) as their mouthpiece.
As Will’s empathy for Dolarhyde begins to affect his fragile psyche, Bedelia Du Maurier (Gillian Anderson) warns that the killer Will should be most concerned about at the moment is himself.
Meanwhile, Dolarhyde senses that the FBI is closing in and launches a horrifying endgame. Rutina Wesley and Nina Arianda guest star; Mads Mikkelsen and Laurence Fishburne also star.
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As a shameless Japanese cinema nerd, I’m deliriously excited about director Shinji Higuchi’s live-action epic Attack on Titan. Although to movie hit theaters in Japan not too long ago, those of us who reside in the States won’t have to wait forever to catch the flick on the big screen. The snazzy folks at FUNimation Entertainment are bringing both parts to the US beginning next month.
The first installment of Attack on Titan should hit a theater in your neck of the woods on September 30. And instead of making everyone wait an unnecessarily long time for the conclusion, part two will arrive on October 20. The boys and girls at FUNimation are just cool like that.
For those who are late to the party, here’s a synopsis.
The sudden arrival of the Titans–mysterious, gigantic humanoid creatures who devour human beings one after the other–brings mankind to the brink of extinction. Fast-forward more than 100 years later. What remains of the human population now live in relative peace behind massive walls that were erected to defend themselves against the Titans. Yet, once again, that peace is shattered when a Titan measuring over 50 meters tall smashes through the wall, allowing a horde of other Titans to enter. The protagonist, Eren, had been resigned to a life confined behind these walls. Nothing I do would make a difference, he thought. But when he joins the “Outer Wall Restoration Team” set up to fight against the Titans, he is reunited with Mikasa, a childhood friend and someone he had long rued not being able to save. The new recruits embark on a mission to obtain explosives, which had become rare and precious, before getting past the waves of Titans to plug the gaping hole in the wall, with humanity’s survival on the line. Will there be a future for Eren and Mikasa and for mankind itself?
To top everything off, FUNimation has released a nifty trailer for the US release of Attack on Titan parts one and two. You can find that mind-blowing clip positioned down below.
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On August 25th Anchor Bay Entertainment is releasing The Walking Dead: The Complete Fifth Season on Blu-ray + Digital HD and DVD (the Limited Edition Blu-ray set designed by McFarlane Toys shambles in on December 1st), and after providing us with several sneak peeks of the bonus features, they’ve now unveiled a new trailer. Check it out as you wrestle with the decision of which version to get.
“The Walking Dead” Season 6 returns to AMC on Sunday, October 11th, at 9/8c, but first the spin-off, “Fear the Walking Dead,” debuts on August 23rd.
The Walking Dead: The Complete Fifth Season Release Details:
In what has become a highly anticipated annual tradition for “Walking Dead” fans the world over, Anchor Bay Entertainment will be releasing THE WALKING DEAD: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON Blu-ray + Digital HD Limited Edition set on December 1st. The other editions will be released on August 25th.
THE WALKING DEAD: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON cast includes Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, Chandler Riggs, Melissa McBride, Chad L. Coleman, Sonequa Martin-Green, Lawrence Gilliard, Jr., Michael Cudlitz, Emily Kinney, Alanna Masterson, Christian Serratos, Josh McDermitt, Seth Gilliam, and Andrew J. West.
- Audio commentaries featuring Showrunner/Executive Producer/Writer Scott M. Gimple; Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd; Executive Producer Tom Luse; Executive Producer/Special Effects Make-Up Supervisor/Director Greg Nicotero; Director Julius Ramsay; Actors Lauren Cohan, Chad L. Coleman, Michael Cudlitz, Sonequa Martin-Green, Danai Gurira, Alana Masterson, Melissa McBride, Josh McDermitt, Norman Reedus, Christian Serratos, and Steven Yuen
- Deleted Scenes
- Inside “The Walking Dead”
- The Making of “The Walking Dead”
- The Making of Alexandria
- Beth’s Journey
- Bob’s Journey
- Noah’s Journey
- Tyreese’s Journey
- A Day in the Life of Michael Cudlitz
- A Day in the Life of Josh McDermitt
- Rotters in the Flesh
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When an ancient force is threatening humanity, I want Eric Roberts on my side. The guy can handle just about anything, from serial killers to dinosaurs. He also has plenty of experience battling otherworldly forces, so when the Cthulhu hits the fans, I need him in my corner.
Writer Jerry Janda and director Jeremiah Kipp will put Roberts, Nana Gouvea, Tom Sizemore, and a slew of other savvy actors up against otherworldly evil in the upcoming sci-fi/horror flick Black Wake. The story was reportedly inspired by the work of H.P. Lovecraft, which is why it immediately piqued my interest. Throw ancient gods into anything and I’ll take a look. No, seriously — anything.
Before we get to the trailer, let’s study the Black Wake synopsis.
Specialists gather in a top-secret facility to investigate a series of mysterious deaths on beaches along the Atlantic Ocean. When one scientist examines video evidence to uncover a possible parasitic explanation for the fatalities, she slowly learns that the actual threat may be more dangerous — and far older — than anyone ever imagined. Can she convince her colleagues of the true danger before an ancient force rises from the sea to bring madness and death to all of humanity?
Since the film is still in production, it’s unclear when the finished product will become available for mass consumption. To keep us busy until then, we have a teaser trailer to chew on.
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Kane Hodder and Bill Moseley’s Old 37 is set to terrorize home video later this year. However, if you live in or around New York City and you prefer to see the flick on the big screen, you’re in luck. The aforementioned genre flick is set to invade several theaters in the Big Apple next month.
Here’s the extremely cool part: A portion of the proceeds from the September 11th screening of Old 37 will benefit the New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund. Yet another very good reason to catch the flick during its limited theatrical run next month.
The gracious folks at Glen Cove Theaters are hosting Old 37 throughout September. Screening times are listed below. As always, these dates and times are subject to change without notice.
Saturday September 12th
7:20pm (Q&A after screening)
9:50pm (Q&A after screening)
Sunday September 13th
Monday September 14th
Tuesday September 15th
Wednesday September 16th
Thursday September 17th
If you’re interested in scoring tickets to any of the Old 37 screenings, swing by this website. Otherwise, you can catch the flick when it hits DVD on October 6.
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Some fantastic news has come out of the UK, as Nottingham’s Mayhem Film Festival announced that film historian Jonathan Rigby and a crew of actors will be performing a live stage reading of the unproduced Hammer screenplay The Unquenchable Thirst of Dracula as part of the fest!
Written by legendary Hammer writer and producer Anthony Hinds back in the late ’60s, and intended as another vehicle for Christopher Lee, The Unquenchable Thirst of Dracula unfortunately never made it in front of the camera.
At Mayhem, Rigby – author of English Gothic: Classic Horror Cinema 1897-2015 and Christopher Lee: The Authorised Screen History – will act as narrator for the reading, backed up by a troupe of actors as they bring the characters to life on the stage.
The Unquenchable Thirst of Dracula sees the titular Count flee to India, where he continues to spread his evil influence.
Mayhem co-director Chris Cooke says, “This is a completely unique event for Mayhem and a great pleasure to work with horror expert and film historian Jonathan Rigby. He’s also a talented actor and will be perfect as our narrator, taking a live audience by the hand and leading them into Gothic darkness. Hammer Films have never felt more important to the history of British cinema, so this is a great opportunity for an audience to imagine a piece of classic cinema that sees Count Dracula resurrected before their eyes.”
Mayhem Film Festival takes place from October 15-18 at the Broadway cinema, Nottingham, UK. Early Bird passes for the festival are now available at the discounted price of £55. You can get more information, and book your passes, at the Broadway Cinema website.
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Late horror legends Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee came together to face the supernatural power of the titular relic in Amicus Productions’ 1965 classic The Skull. Now, a mere 50 years later, Eureka! Entertainment have revealed that the film will hit UK shelves on October 26 in a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack sporting a brand new 1080p restoration.
Adapted from a short story by Robert Bloch (Psycho) and with a score by avant-garde composer Elisabeth Lutyens, The Skull stars Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, and Patrick Wymark and is directed by Paranoiac‘s Freddie Francis.
Special Features on this new release include:
- Exclusively restored 1080p presentation of the film on Blu-ray
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- New video interview with film scholar Jonathan Rigby
- New video interview with critic and author Kim Newman
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and new artwork
- Limited Edition collector’s booklet
Peter Cushing stars as Dr. Christopher Maitland, a writer and collector of occult items (with a preference for those with a somewhat macabre history), who is offered the chance to purchase a highly expensive and unusual item – the skull of the Marquis de Sade.
Warned against obtaining the item by a fellow collector (Christopher Lee in a rare non-villainous
role), the skull’s influence draws Maitland in. Madness and death soon follow…
Move over, 9 and 3/4 at London Kings Cross Station. There’s about to be another British attraction based on a popular fantasy series. A huge one. Like, really, really huge. If they can raise £1,850,000,000 (about $2.8 billion). And get the necessary planning permission. And sort out about a million other things that would prevent it from ever happening.
They’re trying to raise the money on Indiegogo to build a life-size (yes, life-size) replica of Minas Tirith, the capital of Gondor in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. The city was beautifully realised in Peter Jackson’s Return of the King, but apparently just seeing it on the screen wasn’t enough.
Here at Dread Central we love crowdfunding as it truly gives a voice to independent creators, but this… I really don’t know if I should congratulate them on being as ambitious as possible or chastise them for doing the kind of nonsense that could bring about the end of crowdfunding.
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