HELLABRATION DELUXE! Thirty-One Days of SHOCKTOBER: Day Twenty-Nine – 10/29/18

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A tense tale about the search for a missing woman in the Old West, (BONE TOMAHAWK), and the story of a punk rock band that accepts a gig from Hell (GREEN ROOM). You wouldn’t think these two films had very much in common, and you’d be right. Except that it not only introduced audiences to two remarkable new filmmaking talents, but also gave them two films that went to some unexpected places, redefining what it means to ‘gaze into the abyss’…and see with terrifying clarity, what it is that’s staring back.

S. CRAIG ZAHLER hasn’t been a big part of ‘the scene’, so when BONE TOMAHAWK arrived, it felt kind of like a random lightning strike, and had about the same effect on fans! When you see names like KURT RUSSELL, DAVID ARQUETTE, RICHARD JENKINS, PATRICK WILSON and MATTHEW FOX associated with a film from a relative newbie, you know that script has got to be something special. And it certainly is.  How best to describe this without spoiling the living hell out of it? Okay – for you film buffs out there who go back as far as I do, think THE SEARCHERS-meets-THE HILLS HAVE EYES. For you latter-day movie kids, think DEADWOOD or TOMBSTONE, with just a taste of THE DESCENT thrown in.

When the wife of a small-town settler (WILSON) vanishes, Russell is the sheriff who rounds up a posse to go after her and the people who took her, probably Indians by all the signs. So in the first half of the film, you think that what you’re getting is a modern-day take on a classic kind of Western.  And for the most part, you are.  Then, the second half kicks in.  And I don’t want to say more than that, except keep the smelling salts handy.

For old hands Russell and Jenkins, this is familiar territory, and their roles fit them like old, worn, favorite gloves. Even Arquette doesn’t have to stretch here, his own cameo pretty much an extension of the role he played in the underrated cult classic, RAVENOUS. (And Arquette gets beautiful support from an unexpected cameo by no less than SID HAIG, but I won’t say where or when that happens).

But it’s Matthew Fox who gets the part that’s the most ‘against-type.’ His leading man good looks serve him well, to augment a character you probably could only spend two minutes with before wanting to kill him. It’s quite the revelation.  But not as much as the 180-degree-turn BONE TOMAHAWK makes, into territory that most Westerns wouldn’t even think about going into. This is one of those you’ll be telling your friends about once you’ve seen it, and there are scenes I can promise that will stay with you for a very long time.

On the other side of this, GREEN ROOM is a brilliantly crafted B-thriller with great performances, and a sad footnote, as the movie that pretty much defined the career of the late ANTON YELCHIN, even as he exploded onto the pop culture scene as the “new” Ensign Anton Chekhov in J.J. Abrams’ retooling of the STAR TREK series.

The follow-up to his bracing revenge tale, BLUE RUIN, writer/director JEREMY SAULNIER brings to light the tragic and unsettling tale of a punk band called “The Ain’t-Rights”, composed of Yelchin as “Pat”, along with JOE COLE, CALLUM TURNER and ALIA SHAKWAT as his band mates. Closing out their most recent tour, they were set to do a gig that was arranged by a college boy fan, which fell through without warning.  Stuck with no other options, their benefactor quickly sets up another gig for them.  Out in the middle of nowhere. At a clubhouse.  For neo-Nazi types.

Not the best of circumstances, but money is money and a gig is a gig. Things are pretty dicey from the get-go, and it doesn’t help that the band kicks off their set with a rousing cover of The Dead Kennedy’s classic “Nazi Punks Fuck Off.” Even with that, they do manage to win over the surly crowd. Or so they think.

Retreating back to what passes in this shithole for their “green room”, they’re told not to go in, but someone forgets something in there, and does it anyway. And that’s when they see it: the murdered body of a girl they saw earlier when they were playing in the club.  Things go south fairly quickly, when the skinhead staff trap them inside the room because of what they saw. But two things make it apparent that they probably won’t be allowed to leave alive: when Amber (IMOGEN POOTS), the dead girl’s ‘best friend’ becomes a captive as well, and when the leader of the skinhead cell, Darcy, arrives to take charge of things and “clean up the mess.”  In other words: ‘no loose ends.’

Yet again, we have a script that’s impressive enough to attract an amazing lineup of talent, but especially for the role of the deeply evil Darcy, a complete game-changer for PATRICK STEWART, who said in an interview that when he read the script, the part scared him so badly that he knew he had to do it. Darcy began an arc of parts that Stewart has accepted to change his “Captain Jean-Luc Picard” image, and this was certainly a great way to start.

Every step Saulnier takes with GREEN ROOM proves beyond a doubt, that BLUE RUIN was definitely no fluke, and as a ‘good luck charm’, the cast of ROOM includes the monumentally talented actor/writer/director MACON BLAIR, who was the star of RUIN, and is behind the tremendously dark and funny character piece, I DON’T FEEL AT HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE., made for Netflix. Here in ROOM, Blair has a pretty important role as well as Darcy’s main lieutenant, and that’s about as much as I can say about that.

Bracing, razor-sharp and violent, GREEN ROOM isn’t for the squeamish, and provides some pretty sweet surprises not only for lovers of survival chillers, but mystery lovers as well, as The Ain’t-Rights begin to learn that there’s more than just a case of domestic violence going on behind the scenes.

So that gives you two options of films that gained a lot of traction from word-of-mouth, and rightfully so.

POST-MORTEM SCRYPT: THE WITCH, THE INVITATION, THE VISIT, CRIMSON PEAK, KRAMPUS, THE FINAL GIRLS, INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3 and GOOSEBUMPS were just some of the movies that gave horror fans a widely diverse selection to choose from, in both quantity and quality, for 2015.



Welcome to The Vortexx where it’s been ALL HOSTS ALL THE TIME FOR SIX YEARS!

Welcome to THE VORTEXX where it’s ALL HOSTS ALL THE TIME! We’ve got a terrific line-up of hosts, shows, and movies this week, including three new movies and one great show making their Vortexx debut and a tribute to the late Mr. Mephisto on Tuesday. Our hosts this week are Arachna & Deadly, Lord Blood-Rah, Vincent Grimmly & Phydeaux and their special guests Bobby Gammonster & Boris T. Buzzard, Mr. Mephisto, Danvers and special guests Penny & Garou, Timberwulff and co-hosts Lucy & Mina, Scarlett Kaiju & CJ the Werewolf, Deadgar Winter & Maleva Ravic, Misty Brew, and (making their Vortexx debut) Deadwood & Catfish. Enjoy our shows and thanks for hanging out!

Sunday (1/15). 9:00 P.M. (ET)

Since we didn’t air it last Sunday, tonight’s featured movie will be preceded by a Double-Headed episode of LORD BLOOD-RAH’S TREMULOUS TRAILERS. Tonight Lord Blood-Rah will be presenting the trailers for THE INCREDIBLE TWO-HEADED TRANSPLANT (1971) and THE THING WITH TWO HEADS (1972).

Sunday (1/15). 9:15 P.M. (ET)
Roger Corman’s THE GIANT LEECHES (1959)

[Time approximate.] BEWARE THEATER with Arachna of the Spider People and her friend Deadly presents another cinematic gem from the Golden Age of Black & White — Roger Corman’s THE GIANT LEECHES (1959). If you’ve never seen sexy Yvette Vickers in the best role of her career (or if you want to see her again), tonight is your chance. The former Playboy playmate stars as bayou tramp “Liz Baby,” while Bruno VeSota plays her cuckolded husband, “Fat Dave” Walker. Watch Fat Dave force two-timing Liz and her no-good boyfriend Cal into the swamp, where they get punished for their “leechery” by our title characters. Who cares if the giant leeches are really men in suction-cup-covered suits that don’t quite fit over their air tanks? This cheeseball treat from the B-movie King is a lot of fun to watch!

Monday (1/16). 9:00 P.M. (ET)
Francis Ford Coppola’s DEMENTIA 13 (1963)

NIGHT CHILLS THEATRE with Vincent Grimmly, Phydeaux and special guests Bobby Gammonster and Boris The Buzzard presents Francis Ford Coppola’s DEMENTIA 13 (1963). Luana Anders stars as a scheming woman who devises a bizarre plan to gain control of her late husband’s money. Co-starring William Campbell and Patrick Magee and produced by Roger Corman, this is a great film with some truly shocking axe murders, a terrific twist ending, and lots of inventive photography. And we expect that Vincent will add to its entertainment value with his usual array of hilarious sound bites and video inserts.

Tuesday (1/17). 9:00 P.M. (ET)

Join us tonight for a special ALL-INFERNO INFERNO — a celebration of the life and career of MR MEPHISTO (Dick Flanigan), who sadly passed away on January 5, 2017. Mr. Mephisto was a horror host legend, having hosted LENNY’S INFERNO on WMTV-TV in Madison, Wisconsin, every Friday night at midnight from 1969 until 1982. His accomplishments were recognized by his fellow hosts in 2012 when he was inducted into the Horror Host Hall of Fame. Thanks to his good friend Rich “Freakshow” Peterson, The Big M (as he is affectionately known) was introduced to a whole new generation of viewers when he debuted in The Vortexx with fully reworked episodes on January 31, 2012. Please join us this evening as we honor Dick, his sidekick Voice in the Box (John Sveum), Valdimir the man with the axe (studio manger Bob Friedl), Beauregard Shirley Mumphord (Sveum), the Moat Beast, and the other crazy denizens of The Castle with a fond farewell to the late great Mr. Mephisto!

Wednesday (1/18). 9:00 P.M. (ET)

DEMENTED FEATURES with Danvers and special guests Penny Dreadful & Garou presents the 1925 silent classic PHANTOM OF THE OPERA starring Lon Chaney, Sr., and Mary Philbin. This is the first — and undoubtedly the best — adaptation of the Gaston Leroux novel. No Phantom has ever looked scarier than Chaney, the sets created by Maurice Tourneur are fantastic, and tonight’s version is further enhanced by a rousing new musical score by Kevin MacLeod. In addition to the movie, Danvers will be presenting the first chapter of VARNEY THE VAMPIRE, based on the serialized novel first published in 1845-47 as a series of weekly cheap pamphlets known as “penny dreadfuls.” Tonight’s show concludes with a tribute to the king of horror hosts, Zacherley!

Wednessday (1/19). 10:45 P.M. (ET)

[Time approximate.] Tonight we welcome SCREAMING SOUP to The Vortexx! Now entering its fourth season, this animated horror host show specializes in raunchy movie reviews. Tonight’s episode is hosted by Deadwood, an outlaw whose life was cut short in a hail of gunfire until he was resurrected from his ditch grave by radioactive tractor beams from bovine thieving UFOs. He is ably assisted by Catfish, a drunken gill man who’s generally found soaking in a beer barrel at the Howl-Inn Grub and Spirits. Tonight our hosts will be skewering DEADGIRL (2008), a zombie movie which they describe as “a festering heap of teenage angst wrapped in a blanket of necrophilia.” Enjoy!

Thursday (1/19). 9:00 P.M. (ET)
The Vortexx premiere of ETERNAL EVIL (1985)

TOXIC TALES with Timber Wulff and co-hosts Mina Rowena the Vampire and Lucy Lovecraft the Ghoul presents The Vortexx premiere of ETERNAL EVIL (1985) aka The Blue Man. This Canadian-made thriller from the director of My Bloody Valentine is about a burned-out TV-director (Winston Rekert) who encounters a mysterious dancer (Karen Black) who teaches him the powers of astral projection. Before long, however, he starts having weird dreams, and people from his circle of acquaintances start dying unnatural deaths. Director George Mihalka livens up the film with some impressive camera tricks, especially during the astral projection sequences. Lois Maxwell, who played Miss Moneypenny in numerous James Bond movies, co-stars.

Friday (1/20). 9:00 P.M. (ET)
The Vortexx premiere of PSYCHIC KILLER (1975)

MANSION OF MYSTERY with Scarlett Kaiju and CJ the Werewolf launches its third season with The Vortexx premiere of PSYCHIC KILLER (1975) aka The Kirlian Force. Jim (Ellery Queen) Hutton plays a wrongfully convicted man who inherits a magic amulet, which he uses to take vengeance on those responsible for his imprisonment and to romance psychiatrist Julie (Creature from the Black Lagoon) Adams. Guest victims include Creature co-star and veteran movie villain Whit Bissell (the mad scientist in I Was A Teenage Frankenstein and I Was A Teenage Werewolf), veteran bad guy Nehemiah Persoff (Little Bonaparte in Some Like It Hot), and Al Adamson favorite Graydon Clark. As the victims are stabbed, boiled, incinerated and put through a meat grinder, this may be the grisliest film ever to receive a PG rating from the MPAA! Meanwhile back at the Mansion, CJ, who is still traumatized by the events of the last episode, looks to help from a gypsy amulet to protect him from evil. However, the amulet brings evil to the Mansion in the form of its former owner and Ralphie, who stage a battle to the death over it. Can Scarlett and CJ stop them before they destroy the themselves and the Mansion? Find out tonight in this fun episode entitled Psychic Fiends Network.

Saturday (1/21). 3:30 P.M. (ET)

DEADGAR’S DARK COFFIN CLASSICS with Deadgar Winter, co-host Maleva Ravic, and special guest Wonder Woman presents THOR AND THE AMAZON WOMEN (1963) aka Les Gladiatrices. Our musclebound title hero (Joe Robinson) and his sidekick Ubaratutu (Harry Baird) go up against a race of scantily dressed Amazon warriors and their bloodthirsty Black Queen, who have enslaved the men of their country. As a form of entertainment, the Black Queen enslaves captive women and forces them to fight each other. The movie was filmed on location in the Postojna Caves in Slovenia. The set was apparently very cold, since water vapor can be seen coming from the mouths of the scantily clad Amazons in many of the scenes.

Sunday (1/22). 9:00 P.M. (ET) [Time approximate.]
The Vortexx premiere of ANTS! (1977) aka It Happened at Lakewood Manor

MISTY BREW’S CREATURE FEATURE presents The Vortexx premiere of ANTS! (1977) aka It Happened at Lakewood Manor. Robert Foxworth, Suzanne Somers, Lynda Day George, Bernie Casey, Myrna Loy, and Brian Dennehy are among the stars in this TV movie about an army of poisonous ants that attack the residents of an old-fashioned lakeside hotel targeted for purchase by an unsavory gambling casino promoter. This was one of several movies made during the late 1970s to capitalize on the popularity of Jaws. Tonight’s show will be followed by an encore presentation of Wednesday’s episode of SCREAMING SOUP.


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