It’s time for one of my favorite moments: Going back and watching Siskel & Ebert tear apart horror movies! And in this episode, they go for the jugular of George Romero’s Day Of The Dead.
Well, at least they liked Dawn Of The Dead. I’ll give them that. I was a bit surprised that they hated the follow-up that much though. Day Of The Dead did take a bit to grow on me when I saw it in the 80’s, I do have to admit. I hold Dawn Of The Dead in such high regard, and Night Of The Living Dead was possibly the first movie that scared the shit out of me.
What Day Of The Dead did so well (besides the amazing effects) was create a true villain in Captain Rhodes (Joseph Pilato) in addition to the ghouls (as Mr. Ebert likes to call them). Rhodes in my opinion is one of the greatest villains in horror movie history. A true monster without the make-up on. And while you watch Day Of The Dead, it’s a certainty that Rhodes will get his by the end of the movie. And boy, does he – with also one of the greatest death scenes in horror movie history. So because of those factors alone, I have three words for Siskel & Ebert for their review: Choke On ‘Em!
Did you ever get a hankering to do some hard drugs when you were younger? Maybe your friends were trying to pressure you into being one of the ‘cool kids’ by telling you crack wasn’t wack. Well, to combat the drug peer pressure, apparently Canada had the perfect solution back in the 80’s to make sure kids stayed away from that bad stuff – and also stay away from ‘nightmare inducing’ puppets. We in the United States had Nancy Reagan telling us to ‘Just Say No‘ – while our friends up North had this terrifying PSA running on TV:
Not sure what’s going on with those puppet kids’ lips, but it makes them all the more horrifying. So if you’re a parent now, and you’re struggling with how to tell your kids that drugs are no good – then just show them this PSA. You’ll either scare the shit out of them, or they’ll want to dress up like a puppet and smoke a joint.
Is this a review? Yes and no. I’m sort of tired of writing a typical review, so I’ll do this one a little differently. Have you heard of the movie The Dark And The Wicked? No?? Hmmmm. Do you have Shudder? Oh, you do?? Well…..get your happy ass on over there and watch the movie! That was a bit rude. My apologies.
Ok, so the movie is The Dark And The Wicked. Written and directed by Bryan Bertino, who also wrote and directed The Strangers (a personal favorite of mine btw). So what does this movie have going for it: Good acting? Check. Creepy atmosphere? Check. Jump scares? Yeah, a minimal check. A woman slicing off her fingers thinking that they’re carrots? Super check!
The Dark And The Wicked doesn’t exactly reinvent anything horror-wise, but aside from the ending – it doesn’t really fuck anything up. The story is fairly straight forward: Two siblings (Marin Ireland and Michael Abbott Jr.) return home to be with their dying father and distraught mother. While there, strange things start happening – disturbing images pop up – and blood is shed. Not all exactly in that order. There’s a sense of sorrow and dread throughout the whole movie, and it definitely plays on general grief and emotion that a family goes through when someone either passes away, or is about to.
This is one of those movies that I had low expectations with, and ended up liking it more because of that. While not perfect, The Dark And The Wicked did its job with me…..which is basically making me squirm a few times and maybe even giving in to the ‘jump scare’ attempts. It’s on Shudder now, so goooooooo watch it!
Well, for some reason about 6 months of recent posts have disappeared and/or been deleted from my site. I know this isn’t really a ‘horror’ post by any means, but I am watching 1985’s Demons while I type this – so that has to count for something, right?
But anyway – while I decide if I even want to endure more WordPress heartache and keep this blog going, please enjoy this pic of Sigourney Weaver posing seductively from Alien.
Although me and my fellow horror enthusiasts are down in the dumps about Halloween all but being canceled this year, we can still have fun with looking for terrible officially licensed masks! We just can’t go to an actual Spirit Halloween store to try them on, because that would most likely be frowned upon in today’s Covid environment. But luckily, there’s this thing called a website – and I found some good ones: Continue reading →
When I think of ‘bad but good’ 80’s horror movies, Tobe Hooper’s Lifeforce will almost certainly always get mentioned. Space vampires? Oh, ok. Who doesn’t love space vampires? And boobs. Can’t forget about the boobs. I unfortunately didn’t see said boobs (my apologies to actress Mathilda May), because my Mom would always make me cover my eyes when any melons would grace the TV screen. Nonetheless, Lifeforce is a guilty pleasure – and some might even say an underrated gem? This scene below used to scare the shit out of me as a kid, so please watch it. And dig those practical effects, man!
When you look at the first half of Tobe Hooper’s career as a director, it’s pretty damn impressive. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Poltergeist will always get top billing, but it’s those surprise smaller films like The Funhouse and Eaten Alive that gave his horror resume a boost. And yes, Lifeforce is part of that boost as well. Btw, did you know that Billy Idol was supposed to play the head vampire in the movie?? But alas, it was not meant to be as Billy’s touring schedule conflicted with the film’s production. Nevertheless….even without Mr. Idol’s spikey blonde hair, Lifeforce still remains a goofy/fun ride. Seek it out (Scream Factory did a nice release of it somewhat recently), and enjoy the space vampires, the boobs, and the boobs. Boobs!
There are numerous reasons why I haven’t written on here as much lately: The threat of murder hornets consumed me, Coronavirus social distancing and mask wearing consumed me, and my Mom recently passed away. In true fashion, I tried to be quirky and cute before hitting you with the real bad news – but that’s just how I tend to be.
Some of us look at our parents (or parent) as superheros. That’s how I viewed my Mom. She was a fighter – and just like any superhero, she fought hard until the end. I guess I should be comparing her to Jason Voorhees or Pinhead on this particular blog, but you get the idea. Nevertheless, now is the time that I celebrate her life and celebrate the Mom that she was. And upon going through some of her things with my Dad this week, I found a diary of sorts where she wrote down things throughout her life as a project for my nephew when he was younger. And wouldn’t you know, there was a section for ‘First Movie That You Saw In The Theater‘ – and she wrote “Creature from the Black Lagoon……scary!!!”
Now I know that might not mean much to the casual person, but to me it was kind of a big deal. You see, my Mom NEVER watched horror movies with me. She did like Critters though if that counts. My Dad was my horror compadre, and my Mom would make me cover my eyes when boobs popped up on the screen (that’s a whole different story). But anyway, seeing that she wrote that about Creature from the Black Lagoon made me smile. And that same day, I found another thing of hers – a 2019/2020 pocket calendar. Inside, she had drawn a pumpkin on October 31st. And that made me smile too. Sometimes it’s just those little things that end up being the most special.
I’ll miss her. And I’ll forever be her little monster.
Maybe you’re feeling as though this quarantine is reminiscent of hybrid movie brought to you by John Carpenter, David Lynch, and Panos Cosmatos. Well, if that’s the case – then I’ve got the perfect soundtrack to go along with what’s going on in that mind of yours.
New ‘doom metal’ quartet Vitskär Süden is releasing their debut self-titled album today, and they’ve given us a visually haunting video for the song ‘Trickle of the Snail’ to go along with it. Whet your appetite and check the video out below, and feel free to do some drugs in the process:
As previously mentioned, Vitskär Süde dropped their debut album TODAY on streaming platforms – and you can listen, download, and purchase directly from the band’s Bandcamp page HERE. Grab it and get into it……before it grabs you! (insert ominous evil laugh)
One of the biggest travesties to come out of this quarantine lockdown besides beating people up for paper towels, is the fact that we cannot go to the movies to watch a horror movie! Oh sure, 2020 brought us The Grudge remake to tide us over earlier in the year. Wait, that just makes it worse! Oh, the horror (or lack thereof).
Unfortunately, we will have to wait to see the Candyman reboot on the big screen. And also A Quiet Place 2. Oh, and Spiral. Omg, and Antlers! No, not Antlers!!! That was actually my most anticipated movie of the year (sorry, Halloween Kills). The truth is, none of us know what the future holds for the rest of 2020 when it comes to horror movie releases. Some might pop up on a streaming site like Shudder. Others might eventually get released into theaters, but with new guidelines to follow the social distancing rulebook.
I for one, can’t wait to get back into a movie theater with my ghoulfriend so we can be interrupted while watching the movie by people looking at their bright-ass phone screen. Or listen to someone talking loudly to the person next to them instead of at least having the common courtesy to fucking whisper a little. Or hear a baby crying during an R-rated horror movie that has several decapitations and bludgeonings. Wait – why the hell do I want to go back into a movie theater again? I dunno. But stay safe, everyone! Especially you ‘loud talkers’ in the theater.
So I’m sitting down and eating some Gorton’s battered fish the other night, and it got me to thinking about I Know What You Did Last Summer. And then that got me to thinking about what a terrible villain Benjamin Willis was. And then THAT got me thinking about the 1986 horror/comedy Blood Hook, and how the killer in that movie is the real #1 ‘killer fisherman’ character of all time! Well, the competition isn’t really steep – given there aren’t many killer fishermen in horror movies. Pretty much just him and Benjamin. But let’s take a peek at Blood Hook!
Sounds like George Takei might have been doing some voiceover work back then. But anyway, that there was the original trailer for Blood Hook – and it was around this time that Troma picked it up for distribution. Sadly and surprisingly, a lot of the gore was cut and therein lied most of the fun with this movie.
But, have no fear! Vinegar Syndrome re-released it a few years ago in all of its original gory giant fishhook glory! You can find a copy HERE or if you want to find a copy with the limited slipcover, then good luck hunting it down on eBay. Give it a watch though – it will definitely have you ‘reeling’. Ugh, that was bad. My apologies. It’s not like I’m on here ‘fishing’ for compliments for my bad humor and puns. Ok, I’m done.