John Landis

Tales From Halloween … I have so many mixed feelings on this film. Tales From Halloween is a compilation of ten short stories all woven into one Halloween night.
The film, at first watch, I must admit, was a huge disappointment. I have been wanting to see Tales From Halloween since I first heard of it, so my expectations were really hopeful. For some reason, it first felt like I was watching a made for TV movie. I thought the special effects were extremely low grade and the music was even quirky. I am the biggest fan of the Halloween season and always make it a point to watch any movie based around it. So, sorry to say, I wasn’t a happy trick-or-treater!
As the movie went on, I tried to put my disappointment aside and give it more of a shot. As I did, my frown became more of a smirk. I started to see the campy and almost comedic side to Tales From Halloween. In my opinion, the movie isn’t a horror/comedy, but it does have you a campy B movie horror feel.
The film opens with the narration of a local radio disk jockey as the camera pans over a small town. The DJ, who is talking about Halloween and the witching hour, is none other than the sultry voice of movie legend ADRIENNE BARBEAU, and it set the mood for the film. The short stories range from legends of sweet tooth killers, aliens, neighbors fighting over the best yard decorating, children’s revenge, and what would Halloween be without a killer jack-o-lantern.
The film does host a very impressive list of names to the cast, Barbeau, being one, obviously, the lovely Caroline Williams (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Contracted), Greg Grunberg (Heroes, Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Barry Bostwick (The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Spin City (TV series)), Tiffany Shepis (12 Monkeys (TV series), The Night Watchmen), Lin Shaye (Insidious 1+2, Theres Something About Mary), Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator, We Are Still Here, You’re Next), Pollyanna McIntosh (The Woman, Filth) Pat Healy (Compliance, Cheap Thrills, Carnage Park) and a small appearance by legendary director John Landis ( The Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf In London) Now with a list like this, you would be expecting one of the best horror films ever, but sadly it isn’t. To be honest, most of the names on this list have relatively small parts.
In keeping up with recent director compilation films (The ABCs of Death 1 and 2) and other Halloween films (Trick Or Treat), Tales From Halloween falls a bit short. Enjoyable for a non-serious horror film night – or a fun watch with friends.
Sorry, guys, but this is one where I loved the cover art for more than the film.
Keep It Evil…
MOVIE REVIEW: Tales of Halloween (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: Tales of Halloween (2015)

Tales From Halloween ... I have so many mixed feelings on this film. Tales From Halloween is a compilation of ten short stories all woven into one Halloween night.
The film, at first watch, I must admit, was a huge disappointment. I have been wanting to see Tales From Halloween since I first heard of it, so my expectations were really hopeful. For some reason, it first felt like I was watching a made for TV movie. I thought the special effects were extremely low grade and the music was even quirky. I am the biggest fan of the Halloween season and always make it a point to watch any movie based around it. So, sorry to say, I wasn't a happy trick-or-treater!
As the movie went on, I tried to put my disappointment aside and give it more of a shot. As I did, my frown became more of a smirk. I started to see the campy and almost comedic side to Tales From Halloween. In my opinion, the movie isn’t a horror/comedy, but it does have you a campy B movie horror feel.
The film opens with the narration of a local radio disk jockey as the camera pans over a small town. The DJ, who is talking about Halloween and the witching hour, is none other than the sultry voice of movie legend ADRIENNE BARBEAU, and it set the mood for the film. The short stories range from legends of sweet tooth killers, aliens, neighbors fighting over the best yard decorating, children's revenge, and what would Halloween be without a killer jack-o-lantern.
The film does host a very impressive list of names to the cast, Barbeau, being one, obviously, the lovely Caroline Williams (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Contracted), Greg Grunberg (Heroes, Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Barry Bostwick (The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Spin City (TV series)), Tiffany Shepis (12 Monkeys (TV series), The Night Watchmen), Lin Shaye (Insidious 1+2, Theres Something About Mary), Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator, We Are Still Here, You’re Next), Pollyanna McIntosh (The Woman, Filth) Pat Healy (Compliance, Cheap Thrills, Carnage Park) and a small appearance by legendary director John Landis ( The Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf In London) Now with a list like this, you would be expecting one of the best horror films ever, but sadly it isn't. To be honest, most of the names on this list have relatively small parts.
In keeping up with recent director compilation films (The ABCs of Death 1 and 2) and other Halloween films (Trick Or Treat), Tales From Halloween falls a bit short. Enjoyable for a non-serious horror film night - or a fun watch with friends.
Sorry, guys, but this is one where I loved the cover art for more than the film.
Keep It Evil...
Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
THIS JUST IN: An American Werewolf in London Remake

THIS JUST IN: An American Werewolf in London Remake

By Woofer McWooferson
In a year that's been full of bad news, perhaps this will turn out otherwise: Max Landis, son of legendary director John Landis, is remaking his father's iconic classic An American Werewolf in London. I'm trying to remain optimistic, particularly since John is serving as executive producer, but only time will tell.
This shouldn't be a surprise since Max Landis pretty much confirmed this was happening when he tweeted the following in August:
The confirmation comes as the original marks its 35th anniversary.
Written and directed by Landis (the elder), the original film starred David Naughton, Griffin Dunne, and Jenny Agutter and netted makeup artist Rick Baker an Oscar for his effects makeup. Though reactions were mixed at release, An American Werewolf in London quickly became a cult classic and earned its place of honor among horror films - cult and otherwise.
So what can Max Landis bring to the mix that warrants a remake? That's what we don't know. Max did write the Masters of Horror episode "Deer Woman" (which I love and which was directed by his father) and the screenplay for 2015's Victor Frankenstein (starring Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy) and is a writer/producer/creator of BBC's Dirk Gentley's Holistic Detective Agency, based on the Douglas Adams novels. I confess that this news heartens me a bit, but I remain unconvinced that the world needs a remake of the movie with the definitive werewolf transformation.
According to Deadline:
The news comes after the elder Landis and filmmaker Anthony Waller (An American Werewolf in Paris) sealed a deal with the studio on the rights. The younger Landis’ deal is being negotiated. Skybound has a first-look production deal with Universal.
Also producing will be Todd Garner, and John Landis will executive produce along with Circle of Confusion’s Matt Smith, Broken Road’s Sean Robins and producer Andy Trapani, who told Deadline that he’s been working on putting this together for nearly 10 years.
The ten year comment echoes the ten years John Landis tried to get the script he wrote to be taken seriously, years during which Rick Baker had to contemplate and perfect the effects he would use. No word on whether Baker will return to create the effects for the remake. As for Max Landis, he seems well aware of the resistance as indicated in this recent tweet:
We'll stay hopeful and keep you appraised as we know more. In the meantime, let House of Tortured Souls know what you think of this remake.
-Woofer
Posted by Woofer McWooferson in HORROR NEWS, 1 comment
DOC REVIEW: Boogeymen 2: Masters of Horror

DOC REVIEW: Boogeymen 2: Masters of Horror

Boogeyman 2: Masters of Horror

By Woofer McWooferson

Boogeymen 2-1

 

Director: Mike Mendez, Dave Parker; Writers: Curtis Bowden, Mike Mendez, Dave Parker, Gary Shenk; Stars: Dario Argento, Bruce Campbell, John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Guillermo del Toro, Tobe Hooper, John Landis, George A. Romero; Rating: U; Run Time: 90 min; Genre: Documentary; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2002

“Their movies gave you nightmares. Now the most diabolical minds in horror are coming together in the ultimate Halloween horror special – Masters of Horror.”

The 2002 documentary Boogeymen 2: Masters of Horror is hosted by Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead, The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.) and features some of the greatest names in horror movies, from Dario Argento to Guillermo del Toro. Divided into three parts, it asks the great questions all horror fans have:

Part 1: Why Do We Like to be Scared?
Part 2: What Scares Us?
Part 3: (Where Do They Get Their Ideas?)

Parts one and two are rather brief and hop from director to director as each answers why we like to be scared and what scares us. As to why we like to be scared, answers range from “why do some people like to ride roller coasters” to “preparation for our own deaths” and all are equally valid since why we like to be scared is as unique as each of us. When it comes to what scares us, however, most of our fears are the same, from death (of self or loved ones) to the dark (or what lies in it), and this is the bread and butter of these directors.

Wes Craven

Wes Craven

Part three, however, is much longer and divided into six sections with each section focusing on one director. These sections and the featured directors are:

The Reality of Horror (Wes Craven)
The Horror of Innocence (Guillermo del Toro)
The Rebel of Horror (John Carpenter)
The Horror of Society (George A. Romero)
Transforming Horror (John Landis & Rick Baker)
The Beauty of Horror (Dario Argento)
Living the Horror (Tobe Hooper)

Highlights of the documentary include:

• Craven discussing the making of The Serpent and the Rainbow and how The Last House on the Left managed an R rating.

• del Toro recounting his introduction to the supernatural while still in his crib, the influence of Universal monster movies on him, and how he established a special effects company in order to create Cronos.

• Carpenter talking about the change in audience sensibilities and the effect it had on the horror industry in the 70s and 80s.

• Romero revealing his fear of being typecast and his eventual return to the dead films.

• Landis and Rick Baker explaining how they created Schlock and why An American Werewolf in London is a watershed film in special effects work.

• Argento discussing his films as works of art where each shot is framed for both beauty and horror.

• Hooper recounting the horrors behind the scenes of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, including the effects that the gruelling shot had on the cast and crew.

Tobe Hooper

Tobe Hooper

Boogeymen 2: Masters of Horror also includes commentary from Gunnar Hanson, Tom Savini, and KNB Effects and is full of clips from the movies being discussed as well as movies that exemplify the topics being described.

Is this for everyone? No, but it is damn good fun and a must for horror lovers.

7/10 claws

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in DOCUMENTARY REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
HALLOWEEN HORRORS: An American Werewolf in London (1981)

HALLOWEEN HORRORS: An American Werewolf in London (1981)

By John Roisland

The Slaughtered Lamb1981 brought to us a film classic, a movie that to this day still tops the charts of being one horror's most loved. I am referring to John Landis' An American Werewolf in London. Landis, who brought us Animal House and The Blues Brothers (two of my favorites), decided to give the horror industry a shot but adding his trademark flavor of humor. Combining these two elements, along with master special effects by genius Rick Baker (Men in Black, Star Wars (1977), Planet of the Apes (2001)) and a great storyline, took him straight to the top of the box office.

David Naughton (Hot Dog the Movie) plays David Kessler who is on a college trip backpacking across Europe with his long time friend Jack Goodman, played by Griffin Dunne (After Hours, My Girl). After being warned to “stick to the road” and “beware the moon” by country folk in the English farm lands, the two find themselves being attacked by a werewolf in the middle of an open field and under the light of the full moon.

 

David wakes some weeks later in a hospital in London, only to find out that Jack died in the attack but that he himself had survived only with scratches. During his brief hospital stay, Jack visits David to inform him that he was killed by the same werewolf that merely scratched David. Jack tells him that he will become a werewolf, too. David dismisses the visit and is released from the hospital to stay with Nurse Alex Price, played by Jenny Agutter (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Logan's Run), who caught his eye at the hospital. While staying with her, David goes through changes, both physically and mentally. He thinks he's going mad and is sure that he is becoming like the monster that attacked him. The full moon is making him crazy, and he wakes naked in strange parts of the city with while David has no recollection of the night before. Later he learns of people who had been slaughtered and torn to pieces during the night on that night's evening news.

David is sure he's gone mad as he is again visited by his deceased friend Jack, now accompanied by the people that David has killed. They all warn him of the full moon and that he must take his life before hand or many others will be murdered by his hands.

On the night of the full moon, David as he transforms into the wild beast and sets out to hunt. His new-found love and flat mate is worried sick about him as she now believes in his obsession with and fear of becoming a monster and hurting people. Desperate, she notifies the police who are now on the look out for him.

David

The ending of the movie is filmed in busy Piccadilly Square and it is INCREDIBLE! From car crashes to cops getting their heads bitten off by the large werewolf... well, it's pretty fucking awesome! Since the movie has been out for 34 years, yeah, I'm going to drop a spoiler!

Spoiler Alert

Music cues, and credits roll!

If, by chance, you have never seen this work of art, you need to... after I kick you in the throat! This film was — and, in my opinion, is STILL — ahead of its time! The work that Rick Baker alone did on this film has been tried by many others, and have all failed! The transformation scene is second to NONE!!

This is not my favorite horror film, but it is close. It is, however, one of my top choices even though it’s neither scary nor spooky, to watch during the 31 Days of Horror.

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Tales of Halloween (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: Tales of Halloween (2015)

By Amy Mead

Tales of Halloween Poster

TALES OF HALLOWEEN

One night. One town. Ten chilling stories.

Tales of Halloween is a anthology film in which a series of shorts are brought to us by ten directors well known horror directors. The ten stories are interwoven in that they all take place on Halloween night in a what is normally a quiet suburb but on this particular Halloween night, all hell has broken loose and the unsuspecting citizens are tormented by ghouls, monsters, and killers of all types.

The cops in this town have much more than they can handle this Halloween and there is a pretty good chance that there just may not be enough EMT's and coroners left to process the bodies by the time this night is over.

Sweet Tooth

Written and directed by David Parker

Starring Caroline Williams, Greg Grunberg, Cameron Easton and Hunter Smit

After teen babysitter and her boyfriend tell a scary story about a local urban legend to her charge, Timmy. they break the cardinal rule and eat all of Timmy's candy. Now they are fair game for "Sweet Tooth"...

The Night Billy Raised Hell

Written by Clint Sears

Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman

Starring Barry Bostick, Marcus Eckert, Sage Stewart and

After being goaded into playing a prank by his sister and her boyfriend, young Billy tries to play a trick on the devil himself and pays the ultimate price.

Trick

Written by Greg Commons

Directed by Adam Geirasch

Starring Tiffany Shepis and John F. Beach with a cameo by Rebekah McKendry

Two couples are watching a movie and passing out candy to the trick or treaters until things take a very violent turn. People are not always as they appear.

This one is the darkest of the tales and also my favorite .

The Weak and The Wicked

Written by Molly Millions

Directed by Paul Solet

Starring Keir Gilchrist, Grace Phipps, BooBoo Stewart and Noah Segan

A young man summons a demon to dispatch the three bullies who forever changed his life

Grim Grinning Ghost

Written and directed by Axelle Carolyn

Starring Lin Shaye, Alex Essoe, Barbara Crampton featuring an appearance by Stuart Gordon

A scary story told at a Halloween party soon becomes a frightening reality for one of the party-goers.

Ding Dong

Written and directed by Lucky McKee

Starring Pollyanna McIntosh and Marc Senter

And Hansel and Gretel thought they had it bad...

This Means War

Written and directed by Andrew Kasch and John Skipp

Starring James Duvall, Elissa Dowling and an appearance by Sean Clarke

What should be a friendly competition between two neighbors about who has the best Halloween decorations gets a little out of hand.

Friday the 31st

Written by Mike Mendez and Dave Parker

Directed by Mike Mendez

Starring Nick Principe

A deformed killer living in the woods meets his match when a tiny visitor becomes upset when his cries of "Trick or Treat" repeatedly go unanswered.

The Ransom of Rusty Rex

Written and directed by Ryan Schifrin

Starring Sam Whitwer and Ben Woolfe

and featuring an appearance by John Landis

Two kidnappers robbers are in for a surprise when their grand plan to abduct a rich man's kid and get the ransom goes horribly awry.

The Bad Seed

Written and directed by Neil Marshall

Starring Cerina Vincent, Pat Healy and Kristina Klebe

A hardened police woman tries to save the town from an overgrown man eating pumpkin bent on ravaging the entire town.

I am a big fan of anthology films and I was not disappointed with Tales of Halloween at all. There are so many things for the audience to love about this film. There are revered horror icons aplenty and the stories, although rather short, are a pleasant mix that range from funny and entertaining to creepy and gory, and all of them are a lot of fun to watch. I do however wish some of the stories were just a little bit darker.

The talent bank with the writers and directors alone is phenomenal but then you add in all the insane acting talent and you've struck gold.

In addition to Tales of Halloweens enormous star studded cast, with many cameos by many revered horror figures, (Joe Dante, John Landis, Barry Bostwick, John Savage, and many others) Tales of Halloween boasts quite a few homages to some of the old horror favorites, ranging from Adrienne Barbeau as the DJ helping listeners to usher in the witching hour, to a candy bar labeled "Carpenter's" rather than Hershey's, as well as many other nods to the genre we all know and love. If you are a fan of anthologies you are bound to enjoy Tales of Halloween. I know I sure did. It has definitely made its way onto my Halloween season must watch list, and I strongly recommend you see it for yourself as soon as possible. If you haven't yet, you are truly missing out on a fun watch.

I give Tales of Halloween 8/10 organic man eating pumpkins

Posted by Amy Mead in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 2 comments

COMING SOON: Tales of Halloween (2015)

Are You Ready For Halloween?

By John Roisland

Tales of Halloween poster

On October 16, 2015, Epic Pictures brings you an all new tale of terror - Tales of Halloween. Eleven directors and ten writers are brought together to each tell a tale of Halloween in an average suburban American town and then tie them all together to bring you one giant nightmare anthology!

Bringing these tales to the screen are such directors as Lucky McKee, John Skipp, Darren Lynn Bousman, and many other well known genre directors. Also on board are writers like Andrew Kasch, Dave Parker, and Mike Mendez. Bringing these directors' stories to life are a long list of Hollywood favorites. There are many talents bringing the stories to light, including Barry Bostwick (The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Helen Keller vs Nightwolves), Adrienne Barbeau (The Fog, Unholy), and John Landis (Quicksilver Highway, Attack of the 50 Foot Cheerleader). Genre favorites Caroline Williams (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Stepfather II), Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator, From Beyond), and Lin Shaye (The Hillside Strangler, 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams) are also in the film.

Tales of Halloween jack-o'-lanterns

Tales of Halloween, a horror comedy classic in the making, has a run time of 92 minutes and is rated R for strong bloody horror violence, language, and brief drug use. BONUS: Watch for a kid trick-or-treating as "Snake Plissken", the main character from the John Carpenter movies Escape from New York (1981) and Escape from L.A. (1996).

With titles like "The Night Billy Raised Hell", "This Means War", "Friday the 31st", and "Sweet Tooth", Tales of Halloween promises to be quite the Halloween treat for horror lovers. So get the candy corn and popcorn ready because this Halloween flick looks like it has the potential to be pretty damn good!

Posted by John Roisland in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments