One of the strangest (and somewhat entertaining) movies I remember witnessing in the 80’s was The Beast Within. Granted, I was only 6-years-old when this movie came out so I didn’t get a chance to go to the theater and see it. Had I been old enough though, I would have seen a poster in the lobby for the film warning me: BEWARE! This Motion Picture Contains Scenes Of Graphic And Violent Horror.
A tactic commonly used for older horror films, the warning shown on the poster would have only made me want to see The Beast Within even more. Hence why I love this particular poster. Not only that, I love the color contrast of the red and black and also the font for ‘Beast‘ written across the silhouetted outline of Michael about to transform into Billy. Slight spoiler alert there.
Another spoiler alert would be that there’s an uncomfortable rape scene towards the end of the movie. Kudos to The Beast Within for using practical effects btw, even if it evokes more laughter than terror. Don’t believe me? Check out the legendary (I like to throw that term around loosely) transformation below, and if that doesn’t sell you on the movie – nothing will.
I realized while I was eating breakfast the other day, that I haven’t had a lot of posts on my site focusing on exploding heads. Yes, it was a random thought – but an important one nonetheless. Because now I can start to go in the right direction, and I’ll even kick things off with a lesser known exploding head to boot!
Welcome to Monday Bloody Monday (sometimes known as Sunday Bloody Sunday) where I am indeed showcasing a very special exploding head. And not just any exploding head – an exploding head from the 1989 movie The Horror Show! Or as some of you may know it, House III (which really never made much sense to me). So what do you get in the following clip besides an exploding head on a plate? Well, you get Lance Henriksen yelling! How’s that for doubling down? Get at it below:
Back in the day, I was a VHS renting madman. That sounds a lot more ominous than it is. Basically, I’ve rented a lot of horror movies in my lifetime – more specifically from the 80’s and early 90’s when renting movies was actually a thing. But there were always those movies that eluded me for one reason or another. I could never quite pull the trigger and rent them. And because of that, I’ve had regrets that haunt me in the deepest channels of my mind. Maybe not that dramatic, but regrets can still be a bitch. The next movie on the rental regrets list: The Supernaturals.
That’s still one of the best looking VHS covers of all time in my book. So why didn’t I ever rent The Supernaturals? Possibly because there wasn’t enough gore on the back of the box. I do like my gore. Or maybe because I was prejudice against Civil War zombies? Who knows. The story itself sounded simple enough: Rebels were slaughtered during The Civil War and over one hundred years later, those rebels come back to get revenge on the innocent descendants of their murderers.
The bad news is that The Supernaturals has never seen a proper DVD or Blu-ray release. The good news is that the VHS rip of the film can be seen on Youtube if you search for it. So guess who’s going to be watching that VHS rip while drinking a beer or two very soon? This guy! That’s right – I don’t want to hold onto these regrets for too long. If you’ve seen this movie, feel free to share your thoughts. I do know that LeVar Burton of Reading Rainbow and Star Trek: The Next Generation fame is in it. But even more random is that Maurice Gibb of The Bee Gees is also in it. The hell you say? Oh wait – I have proof!
With October 31st approaching fast, everyone is getting ready to pick their favorite movie from the Halloween franchise to watch on Halloween night. Is it going to be John Carpenter’s 1978 original? Or maybe you’re in the mood for the Silver Shamrock jingle? And what about the one with Busta Rhymes? Matter of fact, forget about all of those because the best Halloween-themed horror movie to watch on Halloween night involves lipstick and not a William Shatner mask from Star Trek.
Yeah!! Night Of The Demons is quite possibly (at least for me) the best Halloween-themed horror movie of all time. Don’t get me wrong, I love Michael Myers and respect John Carpenter to death, but there’s just something about Night Of The Demons that puts it on top. Actually, there are 5 things that put it on the top and here they are:
1. The Lipstick Scene
How could this not be number one? Now look – I know that I’m kind of taking the cheap way out and going with the weird gratuitous nudity scene right out the gate, but how could I not? It was one thing to watch Linnea Quigley eroticly draw on her naked body with the pink lipstick, but then to make any magician proud – it disappears! Into her nipple nonetheless. Spoiler alert.
2. The Soundtrack
Not only is the original soundtrack (composed by Dennis Michael Tenney) pure 80’s horror goodness, this movie has one of the best solo dance segments ever! When Angela decides to dance to Bauhaus’ “Stigmata Martyr“, you can’t help but to be hypnotized………Don’t believe me? Watch the clip below and find out:
3. Stooge’s Hair
I remember watching Night Of The Demons when I was younger and actually wanting Stooge’s haircut. Clearly there was something wrong with me, and I didn’t quite have enough to pull off a mullet, but looking back on it now – this might be my favorite 80’s movie haircut ever and it just adds to the overall feel of the movie. Nothing says 80’s like a mullet with some lines and steps cut in on the sides of your hair. Never has there been a better haircut for a movie character named Stooge.
4. This Movie Is So Fucking Fun!
Few horror movies can really nail the whole ‘fun factor’, and Night Of The Demons is the exception. Are you going to get Oscar nominated acting here? Nope. But the dialogue is witty and clever and even though there are some creepy moments (Angela’s makeup and voice for one), the movie is the quintessential 80’s horror product that brings the fun. Multiple viewings are usually a way to test the shelf life of a horror movie, and Night Of The Demons seems to get better with each viewing. Oh – and there are quite a few pairs of boobs in it too to add to the ‘fun factor’.
5. The Ending Is Perfect
Growing up in a small Indiana town, I actually dealt with my fair share of cranky old people who hated Halloween and hated giving kids candy. One guy used to give out rotten apples and chocolate covered crickets. True story. So at the end of Night Of The Demons, it always makes me smile to see that crabby old guy get his comeuppance when his ‘razor blades in the apple’ plan backfires. Perfect way to end the movie and a perfect homage to Halloween in general.
So there you have it. If you haven’t seen Night Of The Demons (let me specify that I’m talking about the Kevin Tenney original from 1988, not the terrible remake), then do yourself a favor and watch it this year on Halloween. Scream Factory released a pretty amazing Blu-ray that has a great transfer and tons of extras a little while back. And if you take your kids trick-or-treating this year, make sure to watch out for the cranky old guys with apples.
Growing up, I pretty much lived at the video store. Mind you, this is when VHS rentals were all the rage and I was raging like a motherfucker. I would rent five, sometimes even ten horror movies at a time and just binge watch. There were always some movies that slipped through the cracks though and I never bothered to rent them. 1988’s Slaughterhouse Rock was one of those:
Wait. It had a killer soundtrack by Devo?!?! Goddammit. I think what always threw me off about this movie was the title. I wasn’t much into showtunes back then and still am really not today, so the name Slaughterhouse Rock made me think that there was going to be a lot of fingersnapping and dancing going on for some reason. Perhaps I was hasty with my decision, especially after finding out this clip below on Youtube that I’m assuming is a part at the end of the movie that decided to include a compilation of some of the awesomeness that occurred earlier. Or maybe it was foreshadowing which wouldn’t make much sense, because then you would already see things that were going to happen and that would ruin the surprise, you know? Oh who cares – just watch the clip:
I know what you’re thinking. That woman who was doing the resurrection of the soul dance looks awfully familiar. Come to find out that it’s none other than Toni Basil! Who the hell is Toni Basil, you ask? Oh, she only had one of the biggest songs from the 80’s called “Mickey”, that’s all. Apparently he was so fine that he blew her mind. But anyway, she’s in Slaughterhouse Rock and Devo has a killer soundtrack on it. That’s full blown 80’s overload if you ask me and more than enough to make me hunt this down and watch it. No DVD/Blu-ray version exists, but there is a full Youtube version up online if you’re like me and want to bust your virgin Slaughterhouse Rock cherry.
If I’m making a list of my favorite horror movies from the 80’s, then The Stuff is going to be high on that list. Hey, don’t scoff at that! The Stuff is quintessential viewing, especially if you’re high or if you’re a Garrett Morris fan. Now, I could go on and on about Chocolate Chip Charlie, but I want to focus on the fake commercials that were in the movie. You really can’t go wrong with Abe Vigoda and the ‘Where’s The Beef?‘ lady, can you?
“Enough is never enough! Enough is never enough!” Oh sorry. I got carried away with that catchy theme song. Did you ever really wonder what The Stuff really tasted like by the way? I always envisioned it to be a mixture of marshmallow fluff and toothpaste, which doesn’t sound entirely appetizing, but it could have been delicious. And speaking of delicious, how about I take us out of this post with another fake commercial starring a woman who could possibly be a man or maybe inhaled a little too much helium before the shoot.
You would think that being a farmer would have it’s advantages…..like being able to eat corn whenever you want or ride a tractor at night just for the fuck of it. But farming isn’t all unlimited delicious fruit and games. Sometimes, if you’re not careful – a storm will come and unleash a suspicious glowing force onto your farm and your family. And then you’ll turn into a bunch of pus-faced monsters and that’s never good. Oh – and your fruit and vegetables will have worms in them too. Bummer!
I have to give it up to the 1987 underrated gem, The Curse. I was pretty confident that I would never be creeped out by a horror movie that took place on a farm. But dammit if this didn’t give me the creeps as a kid and still does today. Thanks to The Curse, I always hesitate slightly before biting into an apple. Fun fact btw: I actually did bite into an apple when I was younger and it was full of worms. That was before this movie, but maybe it was a prophecy that I would some day see a movie that would make me revisit my fear of wormy apples. Whatever the case, The Curse is definitely one of those little horror movies that has some big creepy moments. And it has John Schneider from The Dukes Of Hazzard to boot! Check out the clip below to see some of the aforementioned creepiness:
I always felt like Rawhead Rex should have had his own theme song. Perhaps a bouncy jingle that mentions how he enjoys baptizing priests with his urine, or maybe it could focus on what a misunderstood nice guy he is! Case in point – this emotional scene where he realizes that killing a pregnant woman does more harm than good. Get your tissues ready……
What a sensitive murderous demon. You could tell that he just wanted to rip that fetus right out and perform some kind of amazing juggling act with it, but he didn’t. His emotions took over and Rawhead Rex realized that he does indeed have a line that he won’t cross. It was moving. It was tear-jerking. And it almost made you forget that he pissed all over that priest. Almost.
Growing up living next to a cornfield, there were always certain things that worried me. What if the scarecrows came to life and attacked my house in the middle of the night? Or what if I was running through the cornfield chasing after a baseball and one of the cornstalk leaves accidentally slit my throat? Better still – what if a group of kids in town decided to murder all of the adults to ensure a successful corn harvest and sacrifice someone in the cornfield to appease a God called ‘He Who Walks Behind The Rows‘? That last one sounds like something from a movie. Oh – it is from a movie! Duh.
When the movie adaptation of Stephen King’s short story for Children Of The Corn came out in 1984, I remember watching it on cable around that same time as a young boy. I had just started getting into horror movies, so I was adventurous and hadn’t really been affected by anything except maybe the truck explosion scene in George Romero’s Night Of The Living Dead. But dammit if that opening scene to Children Of The Corn still doesn’t fuck me up:
Three things come to mind when I watch that clip:
– The coffee in Gatlin, Nebraska is pretty terrible.
– Milkshake whipped cream mustaches are funny even during mass murders.
– If you need to test the effectiveness of your meat slicer, put someone’s hand in it.
Now unfortunately, the rest of the movie didn’t live up to the hype of the opening scene. Sure, we get a pretty good bad guy in Isaac and get a classic line from his right hand man Malachai (“Outlander!!!!! We have your woman!”) – but overall everything was downhill after the intro for the most part. But what an intro it was, and it’s quite the high honor that it kind of still gives me the creeps. So to recap, Children Of The Corn opening scene = good. The rest of Children Of The Corn = not so good. Now let’s see a pic of Malachai’s luscious red hair to round this sucker out.
In 1988 when Maniac Cop was released, most horror fans thought they had seen the greatest killer cop movie of all time. Yes, I’m embellishing that quite a bit, but just go with it for the time being. And then 1989 came and with that also came the birth of Psycho Cop! That’s right – Psycho Cop….the clear and obvious knockoff of Maniac Cop, but with more cheese. I do love me some extra cheese.
If ever there was a movie that needed to be released on Blu-ray, it’s Psycho Cop. Officer Joe Vickers (Robert R. Shafer) is not to be fucked with and it’s a monumental performance for the ages of horror cinema. If you couldn’t already tell, I like to make things sound much bigger and better than they actually are. Who are we kidding…..Psycho Cop is pretty terrible, but in the best way possible. It’s pure ‘alcohol consumption necessary’ viewing and needs to make no apologies for that. And I bet that you’ll be saying the joke “What has 18 legs and 2 tits?” at the next party you attend.