Danny Trejo

HELLABRATION DELUXE! Thirty-One Days of SHOCKTOBER: Day Ten – 10/10/18

HELLABRATION DELUXE! Thirty-One Days of SHOCKTOBER: Day Ten – 10/10/18


1996…It was a draw for me; too tough to narrow down the list of all the great flicks I had to choose from. I finally managed to whittle it down to two: SCREAM, and FROM DUSK TILL DAWN, and even then, I just couldn’t bring myself to choose between them. Both are as important and influential to the genre during this time, yet both are certainly unique: one redefined what fans had thought of the teen slasher genre, while the other took vampire lore to a whole new place unconsidered up to that point.

Legendary director WES CRAVEN had always been an innovator of modern horror, re-establishing himself in several sub-genres over the course of many decades. With LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, THE HILLS HAVE EYES, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET and THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW, he’d done things that most directors in the field never achieve over the course of their entire careers. So when he was looking for the next big thing, he wasn’t even considering sticking with horror, when he crossed paths with a brilliantly subversive script by DAWSON’S CREEK scribe KEVIN WILLIAMSON; a nicely-nasty little number called “SCARY MOVIE”, which was soon to beretitled…SCREAM.

Snarky, self-reverential, almost to the point of being a bit too “nudge-winky” at times, nevertheless, SCREAM never once forgot to bring the laughs, the scares AND the gore in ample supply.  A slasher of teens begins to decimate the youth population of the little bedroom community of Woodsboro, but if that wasn’t bad enough, said killer seems to be every bit as smart as the “Scooby Gang wanna-be” group of horror-loving kids, who soon realize that their stalker not only knows the ‘rules of horror’ as well as – if not  better than they do, and he’s not only using the playbook to take them out one-by-one, but he (or she?) is even bending and changing the rules! Much like Williamson’s TV creation, the cast couldn’t have been more suited as an ensemble, even though the standout was DREW BARRYMORE, if only for the mere fact that she pulls a “Janet-Leigh-in-PSYCHO” on the audience in the first few moments of the film – a shock that has since become legendary, even though people still remember where the idea came from!

NEVE CAMPBELL, SKEET ULRICH, ROSE MCGOWAN, JAMIE KENNEDY, MATTHEW LILLARD, W. EARL BROWN, LIEV SCHREIBER, COURTNEY COX and DAVID ARQUETTE (who married and divorced over the course of the franchise); JOSEPH WHIPP (who could’ve been playing the same character from A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET – and probably was!), plus unexpected cameos from LINDA BLAIR and HENRY WINKLER going way out-of-typecasting as an asshole of a principal…It didn’t get any better than this! Plus Craven’s direction, with tongue firmly-in-cheek the entire time, could have you rolling your eyes and chuckling one minute, and yes, SCREAMING the next! This film helped usher in a new age, where the movie and the characters were as smart – if not smarter than the audience that eagerly made SCREAM a box office smash!

Meanwhile, thanks to buddy and sometime collaborator QUENTIN TARANTINO, cinematic ‘one-man-band’ ROBERT RODRIGUEZ was having fun playing “Dr. Frankenstein”, by smashing two unexpected sub-genres together, if not three: serial killers, true crime…and vampires.  FROM DUSK TILL DAWN is the kind of film you never expect…until it bops you upside the head from seemingly out of nowhere!

The notorious Gecko brothers, handsome and sarcastic Seth (GEORGE CLOONEY) and ‘quiet, reserved’ Richard (no less than TARANTINO himself) are cutting a swath of robbery, assault and murder across the Southwest.  The “murder” part of their spree is owed mostly to Richard, who just can’t curb his impulses to kill and rape people. Well, to be a bit more specific, he kills and rapes womennot the men, let’s be clear on that (as Richard would probably say himself.)

Their antics – but especially Richard’s body count – has made it necessary to hotfoot it South of the Border, and maybe lay low somewhere in Mexico, until things die down…If they do. Along the way, as they change vehicles, they hijack an RV and the vacationing family inside it and skip town.

The intent was to just keep on going until they reached their objective, but all that changes when they make a fateful detour to a truck stop on the way.  But not just ANY truck stop: The “TITTY TWISTER.” A blood-and-guts dive that definitely lives up to its name…in more ways than one. And its hours of operation are…well, you know the title.

The bar has some of the most gorgeous dancing girls you ever saw, but they’re all woofers compared to the luscious, insanely beautiful main attraction, a hypnotic dancer who goes by the name of ‘SANTANICO PANDEMONIUM’.  No one into women could possibly resist her, and all men should, as Seth and Richard quickly discover, along with the rest of the hapless ‘Twister’ patrons, when the girls, the bouncers, the bartenders, everyone who ‘works’ there, finally reveal their true faces.  They’re all flesh-and-blood hungry vamps, and less the TWILIGHT variety than the FRIGHT NIGHT kind.

Rodriguez knew exactly what the fans wanted from Quentin’s script, and together, they sure gave it to us…stylish, sensual, sexy and soaked in red. And the Tarantino/Rodriguez combo attracted a cast that was instant boxoffice catnip, right down to the cameos: HARVEY KEITEL, JULIETTE LEWIS, FRED WILLIAMSON, TOM SAVINI; the stunning SALMA HAYEK as “SANTANICO”; everybody’s favorite badass, DANNY TREJO, plus CHEECH MARIN, MICHAEL PARKS, JOHN SAXON, KELLY PRESTON, MARC LAWRENCE; even a special appearance by Robert’s favorite “Hell House band”, TITO AND TARANTULA…Hell, you just knew that if he wasn’t already starring in it, Quentin would have probably directed this one, too!

The “Titty Twister” sequences – especially the gore-soaked fight scenes – are now a thing of legend, (check out Savini’s “special weapon” and the reason why his character’s nickname is “Sex Machine”!) and the closing shot is as breathtaking as any iconic final scene from the best and most unforgettable horror films, (I’d compare it for impact to the last shot of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT; in fact, DAWN’S final shot is probably a tad better.)

But for thrills, chills and maximum blood spills, whether you’ve seen these movies a hundred times or not even once…you can’t go wrong with these choices for a monumentally successful Halloween Night of Frights!

National Tattoo Month Salute: Chop Shop Tattoos

National Tattoo Month Salute: Chop Shop Tattoos

July is a spotlight month on tattoos, the people who proudly wear them and the artists. July 17th is National Tattoo Day and I would like to shine the spotlight on one artist. Tattoos a mere 30 years ago were looked at with such disregard that people were looked down on if they had any. Fast forward to now and more people have them than do not. In the home of one of the Army’s largest posts, Fort Bragg, is Chop Shop Tattoos.

Located in the Fayetteville Suburb of Hope Mills, NC, Chop has been a staple in the community for 16 years. One of his specialties is horror. Chop (a former member of the Army) is a proud horror fan. He also loves tattooing horror icons. He has over the last year completed “signature pieces”. These are the faces of the icons and their signatures that follow. Robert Englund’s website, this past spring, featured a piece by Chop of Freddy Krueger for a fan.

The Freddy piece complemented a Leatherface tattoo Chop finished in the winter.

Leatherface tattoo with Gunnar Hansen’s signature, done by Chop Shop Tattoos.

Chop says that he has been tattooing for 20 years and constantly looks for new challenges. He loves horror pieces and frequently discusses the movies of the icon he is tattooing. Some of his other iconic pieces have been portraits of Danny Trejo and Edgar Allen Poe.

So fellow horror fans (especially those with ink), please join me in saluting a horror ink master. Let’s all say Happy Tattoo Month to the man they call Chop!

Chop of Chop Shop Tattoos

Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in EDITORIALS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: 3-Headed Shark Attack (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: 3-Headed Shark Attack (2015)

By Dixielord

Cast of Three Headed Shark Attack

Three Headed Shark Attack - See the unrated version if you have to see it.

Two heads may be better than one, but a three headed shark attack is a definite step backwards. Three Headed Shark Attack is a sequel to the Syfy movie Two Headed Shark Attack. While the first was fairly popular, coming at a time when SyFy channel monster mash ups and silly shark flicks are all the rage, it didn’t impress me much. I get some of the attraction of these, so bad they are funny, cheapo films like Sharknado, Sharktopus, and Mega Piranha. I even enjoy them occasionally, but the only real attraction in the first was Brooke Hogan's boobs, which sadly were mostly covered.

Unfortunately Brooke has disappeared from the sequel, much like her dad has disappeared from anything related to the WWE. Instead they have replaced Brooke's mammoth cleavage and the orange skinned Carmen Electra with an extra shark head, and small roles for Rob Van Dam and Danny Trejo (Machete).

Danny Trejo Machete in Three Headed Shark Attack

Danny Trejo in Three Headed Shark Attack

Now I won't ever complain about Danny in a film role. The man is a legend in my opinion, and a great example of turning your life around, but he really isn't in the film enough to make a difference. It seems the idea was to put his name on the cast, give him a machete and hope people paid to see it. Van Dam is on screen a bit more, but he is mostly standing around and looking earnest. I kept hoping at some point he would point to the sky and call out Sabu. Still I was a big fan of Rob back in his ECW days so it was nice seeing him on screen.

Rob Van Dam in Three Headed Shark Attack

Rob wasn't the whole F'n Show in Three Headed Shark Attack, and where the hell was Sabu?

The biggest star power of Three Headed Shark Attack belongs to Jena Sims and her stupendous gravity defying breasts. Skip the SyFy channel version and go for the R rated Netflix version that has nudity. It may sound trite, but in a movie like Three Headed Shark Attack, that's the only real reason to invest the time. That is unless you are related to Rob Van Dam or Danny Trejo. Sims might not be a big star yet, and hell she might not be able to act, as this movie didn't require any, but I would love to see more of her on the screen (no pun intended).

Jena Sims shows skin in Three Headed Shark Attack

The gorgeous Jena Sims in Three Headed Shark Attack

As far as the plot goes a bunch of people I don't care about, except Jena Sims, is trying to escape from a research center and a mutated three headed shark. Or maybe they are trying to kill it, or maybe not. I was never really sure. Basically it's get on a boat, get off a boat, get on another boat, get back on the first boat, then on an island, then on a slower boat, repeated over and over. Between the boat transfers, people jump, run, dive, and or get knocked into the water for various reasons that make no sense at all.

For a shark movie there is virtually no gore, and what little blood is mostly underwater. There was one scene where I could swear I saw the blood splashed into the water from off screen. The shark itself looked even stupider than the first movie. Still, what can you expect from The Asylum? Well, you should be able to expect better than this. Compared to the first film, Three Headed Shark Attack comes off as one of the rip off films that the Asylum is known for.

One kick for me was that Three Headed Shark Attack was filmed locally in Pensacola. It was fun to watch it, OK relative to the rest of the film, and recognize the beach where it was shot. If I'm not wrong it was Big Lagoon State Park. Sad part about that Big Lagoon is kind of hard to pass off as a research station in the middle of the ocean. It's beautiful but, it's wrong. Still yay for local filming and the money it brings, even though with the Asylum it probably wasn't much.

So what's the final score? Well I really can't recommend this for anyone. Not even hard core Trejo fans. Maybe if Rob Van Dam owes you money you might enjoy seeing Three Headed Shark Attack, or if you haven't seen any naked breasts this week. In which case turn the movie off right after Jena Sims first scene. Honestly no matter why you are watching Three Headed Shark Attack, you can turn it off after Jena's first scene. So I am giving this film one star for Danny Trejo, one star for Rob Van Dam, and one star for each of Jena Sim's Breasts. Then I am taking back Trejo's star because he should be more selective in films, and taking back Rob's because you didn't get a role for Sabu. So that leaves Three Headed Shark Attack with a mighty, whopping two stars for which it really doesn’t deserve.

Posted by Allen Alberson in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments