grindhouse

‘The Trick or Treat Picture Show’ coming to Amazon Prime and other Streaming Media Venues this October

‘The Trick or Treat Picture Show’ coming to Amazon Prime and other Streaming Media Venues this October

New York Production Company (The Cinemaharvest Co.) prepares to release their initial Feature Film on Amazon Prime and other Streaming Media Venues this October.

“The Trick or Treat Picture Show” is a VHS homage to Slasher Films, Drive-in Movie Culture, 80’s Docudrama and Halloween Public Service Announcements, in Picture Show Format.

Simply stated, this Motion Picture was constructed for Horror Fans and designed for children of the 80’s.

Featuring: – Two Original 35mm Slasher Films- Two Paranormal Documentaries – Multiple 16mm Grindhouse Style Trailers- New and Original Halloween PSA’S – Super 8mm Halloween Snack Recipes for Stoners- Original Analog Synthwave- Vintage Drive-In Movie Advertisements Director’s Anthony Ashmore had the following to say about the film:
“The current state of affairs within the horror genre are quite grim. An over-saturation of gore, “found footage” formatting, inauthentic performances, and direct-to-video productions, define our current climate within the chronology of horror film production. The films which scared me the most were the docudrama theatrical films of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Films like Halloween, The Shining, The Exorcist & The Amityville Horror, struck a chord within the collective consciousness of the nation. These movies were presented during a period of realism within the film business, of which motion pictures like The Godfather and Taxi Driver set a precedence. As time, commercialism and film styles have evolved, our ever-beloved genre has declined into an era of cheap thrills and red food coloring. Where are the realistic films that gave us nightmares, chills, and offered a sense of dread because of their total authenticity? The aforementioned is the foundation of this Motion Picture”.

You can find out more about the film on IMDB and by following director Anthony Ashmore and New York Production Company on the following social media

Anthony Ashmore Twitter Instagram

New York Production CompanyInstagram

Posted by Philip Rogers in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments

HELLABRATION DELUXE! Thirty-One Days of SHOCKTOBER: Day Twenty-One – 10/21/18

10/21 – 2007: TRICK ‘R’ TREAT

Vying for the title of “The Perfect Halloween movie,” the ascent of TRICK ‘R’ TREAT to top the lists of many horror fans, as their new favorite anthology ever (which Yours Cruelly completely agrees with) is yet another tale of one of those “Little Films That Could…And Did!”

Writer/director MICHAEL DOUGHERTY had one hell of an ally helping him get his movie made: his former boss, BRYAN SINGER, who agreed to produce it through his company, Bad Hat Harry Films. When Warner’s had no idea how to market it, they dumped it into theaters and then onto DVD, thinking it would sink without a trace. They were gravely mistaken. Word-of-mouth is a powerful form of communication among movie fans, and that’s how the scoop on TRICK ‘R’ TREAT went out. Soon the DVD began to develop a loyal following, which is how a sequel finally came to be greenlighted.

But enough backstory. The reason why anyone is talking about this great little gem of a holiday shocker is the story, and the wonderfully dark way in which it’s told.  It’s an anthology piece, but unlike most anthologies that have stand-alone stories all linked together by a single theme, like HOLIDAYS, for example, this one hearkens back more to a classic story collection like DEAD OF NIGHT, ASYLUM or TALES FROM THE CRYPT, typically in which a group of people are all held in a place where their stories unfold, one-by-one, and they all get terrifyingly closer to knowing why they’re there, and what their fates will be.

A young couple, Henry and Emma (TAHMOH PENIKETT and LESLIE BIBB) are returning from a party, in costume. While he enjoys everything about All Hallows’ Eve, she’s more of a Halloween “Grinch.” (In a story where such “Grinches” never fare well, as you’ll soon see).  As they return home, neither one of them knows that they’re being watched.  Or who is watching them…

In spite of his warnings to the contrary, Emma snuffs out the lit Jack O’Lantern in their yard before midnight…something you aren’t supposed to do. Henry, who’s already gone into the house, doesn’t realize that his girlfriend is about to pay the ultimate price for her holiday transgression. But when he comes back out, he discovers that she definitely has…in the most gruesome way possible.  And this is just the opening sequence!

Zombie ghosts, vampires, werewolves,  serial killers and “Sam” (QUINN LORD) – the cutest-yet-most-terrifying demonic presence ever to grace a movie screen all await you, in interlocking stories that follow the townsfolk as they celebrate Halloween…each in his or her own way. And the ‘monsters’ and these people, as well as the horrific secrets they have in common, are all revealed in a manner unlike many anthologies had attempted to carry through on, but the ones that followed TREAT got a clue from Dougherty’s deft storytelling skills pretty quickly, (example: the brilliantly hellish anthology, SOUTHBOUND.)  Murder, betrayal, revenge, retribution…all neatly tied up in a bag not unlike the one that little “Sam” has been known to carry…with blood dripping from the bottom!

The storytelling alone would be good enough for it to warrant the growing following it’s gotten since its release to DVD, but the cast being augmented by the talents of ANNA PAQUIN (before TRUE BLOOD), DYLAN BAKER and BRIAN COX certainly doesn’t hurt, (though the fates some characters suffer most certainly do!)

You could always do worse than this for a night of treat-laden terror! And fans have long been stoked about the news about that sequel, due out very soon!

POST-MORTEM SCRYPT: Springing out to yell “BOO!” in 2007: GRINDHOUSE, REC, THE ORPHANAGE, INSIDE, 28 WEEKS LATER, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, THE MIST, THE GIRL NEXT DOOR and Stephen King’s 1408!

Posted by Samuel Glass in ANTHOLOGY, EDITORIALS, FEATURED CONTENT, GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, HALLOWEEN, HORROR COMEDIES, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, MYTHS AND LEGENDS, OPINION, SATANIC/DEMONIC, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, THRILLER, TRIBUTE, VAMPIRES, WEREWOLVES, ZOMBIES, 1 comment
EXTREME SCENE: Last House on Dead End Street (1977)

EXTREME SCENE: Last House on Dead End Street (1977)

Sometimes as horror lovers, especially extreme cinema fans, we have to dig deep and look to the past to find what we’re looking for. The 70s were a great decade for horror and exploitation movies, and I find a lot of hidden gems there.

Last House on Dead End Street (1977) is more of an exploitation film than anything else but it’s also subtly extreme cinema. It was made by film students who, after making it, were so ashamed they didn’t want their names attached to it. It really has something to offend everyone – I love that about it. The whole thing watches like a softcore porn combined with an arthouse and a grindhouse film.

Last House on Dead End Street is about Terry, a man newly released from prison for a drug charge, who wants to get back at society. He sets out to create a snuff film, “something really different”. At a party, Terry meets Jim Palmer, a pornography director, and his gay friend and film executive Steve, and they agree to team up to make a movie. During the party, Jim’s wife comes down donning blackface and gets whipped repeatedly while delighted partygoers watch and cheer, “Harder! Harder!” For some reason, Terry decides that the other two are taking credit for his masterpiece. After raping Jim’s wife, Terry Kidnaps her, another female porn star, Jim, and Steve to star in his snuff film.

The last 20 minutes or so is where it really breaks loose. The four victims are tied up and removed to be killed one by one. The whole sequence is a pulsing, whispering, echoing, eerie, flashing look into madness. The slowness of the kills and almost graceful movement alongside the pulsing music make it hauntingly beautiful as well as disturbing.

Jim’s wife gets the worst of it;, Terry and his film crew slowly slice her face, taunt her and remove her legs. By the end when they cut open her abdomen and remove her insides, she doesn’t flinch, unblinking and resigned to her fate, her silence far more disturbing than if she were screaming.

This movie makes an educated effort in offending by either showing or implying:

  • Animal slaughter
  • Beastiality
  • A graphic sex scene between horses
  • Blackface
  • Rape
  • Homophobia
  • Torture
  • Branding a human
  • Mutilation
and so much more…

I can’t claim that all extremists will love Last House on Dead End Street, but it’s worth their consideration.

Posted by Candace Stone in GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, MOVIE REVIEWS, 0 comments
BLU-RAY REVIEW: Cannibal Ferox (1981)

BLU-RAY REVIEW: Cannibal Ferox (1981)

By Nick Durham

ferox1

Here we go again...

Cannibal Ferox is the not as well-known little brother to Cannibal Holocaust, though it does have quite the following regardless. Directed by Umberto Lenzi (who like Ruggero Deodato, has a lot of experience with this type of filth), Cannibal Ferox, also known as Make Them Die Slowly, is somehow a tad more ferocious in tone than its more well-known brethren. Yes, I'm serious. Also like Cannibal Holocaust, Grindhouse Releasing has blessed us with a beautiful Blu-ray release of the film, which I'll be talking all about shortly.

Anyway, Cannibal Ferox revolves around a handful of anthropologists that take a trip to the Colombian jungle in hopes of proving that cannibalistic tribes are just a myth. Of course things don't work out that way, because then we wouldn't have a fucking movie here would we? They run into a guy named Mike; who is a drug dealer on the run from the New York City mob. He's also a total sick fuck, and has done some extremely terrible things to the local natives...and even if you've never seen this film before (or any cannibal film honestly), you already know where all this is going.

Cannibal Ferox is a truly deplorable film in every sense of the word, and I'm not afraid to say that either. Whereas Cannibal Holocaust is a nasty film that's hard to watch, it has that little bit of subtext and social commentary that set it apart from others of its ilk that made it memorable. Cannibal Ferox has none of that...and you know what? That's actually okay. This is a grindhouse/exploitation movie after all, and we're all here to see people get tortured and eaten, and that's what we fucking get. Body parts are severed, flesh is eaten, there's animal death, and all the other elements that you'd expect from a cannibal film are here, and on full fucking display. It is absolutely perverse how enjoyable it all is...to a degree. It also features Cannibal Holocaust and Debbie Does Dallas star Robert Kerman as well...I'm not saying that as a negative point, I'm only mentioning it because this is the one film he's in where he doesn't show his cock, so I didn't recognize him right away.

I won't lie, I have a harder time watching this than I do Cannibal Holocaust. Where I had said that Cannibal Holocaust has subtext, etc. and Cannibal Ferox does not, that's saying it lightly. Cannibal Ferox is just plain fucking cruel. It's vicious to its core and unapologetic about it too. Not to mention the film as a whole feels uneven. The tone between the jungle scenes and the scenes in New York contrast each other so much it's like you're watching two different films. Maybe that's an effect that Lenzi was going for? The civilized world versus the jungle?

Nah, I'm giving him too much credit with that one.

Grindhouse Releasing has outdone themselves again with this Blu-ray release. The picture and sound are absolutely brilliant as one would expect, and there's a bonus remastered CD soundtrack as well. There's also some rarely seen deleted footage, a commentary by Lenzi, new interviews, a horde of trailers, and a very interesting documentary that features interviews with Lenzi, Ruggero Deodato, Robert Kerman, and more. It's an awesome set, even better than what Grindhouse provided us with the Cannibal Holocaust Blu-ray release believe it or not. My only gripe, and this is totally personal, is that there's no feature to skip the animal deaths like the Cannibal Holocaust Blu-ray had. I just can't watch that shit, and I've seen some really nasty stuff over the years. Maybe I'm soft. If I am, fuck it, I don't care.

All in all, Cannibal Ferox isn't nearly as impactful a film as Cannibal Holocaust, but if this is your kind of thing, you should check it out regardless. If you are a fan and you don't own this, you're missing out. Pick this up while you can, you'll be happy that you did.

Also, I just want to say that if it's one thing watching all these cannibal movies has taught me, it's that if I end up in the jungle I will seriously blow my brains out before anyone tries to eat my dick.

Rating: 4/5

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Morituris: Legions of the Dead (2011)

MOVIE REVIEW: Morituris: Legions of the Dead (2011)

By Nick Durham

morituris

A modern movie that claims to be a throwback to old school 80s Italian horror? A movie featuring undead gladiators that slaughter all those that wind up in their path? Where the fuck do I sign up?!?!?!? That's what Morituris: Legions of the Dead claims itself to be. Does it deliver the goods that it promises though? Well...it does. Kind of, I guess, but it does.

Before you read any further, I am going to warn you all that spoilers are ahead. Normally I don't delve into spoilers because I fucking hate them, but to understand why I feel the way I do towards this film, I think giving away the details is necessary. So if you haven't seen Morituris and you want to, don't read any further than this paragraph. For those that have seen it, please continue onward.

Anyway, Morituris starts off with a random family meeting off-camera deaths, and then jumps to a trio of Italian guys and the two Romanian chicks they've picked up driving to a rave and having a grand old time drinking and doing drugs. Well, guess what? There is no rave. They're going to the woods for these guys to beat these chicks up, rape them, and eventually murder them...all of which is shown in extraordinarily graphic detail. In between all this is a friend of theirs at another location who is doing some atrocious things to another female, involving a scene with a mouse straight of Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho. Eventually the undead gladiators arise, and not only dispatch the rapists, but the girls as well in truly grisly fashions.

Now here's the thing: Morituris believes itself to be a modern day exploitation movie, and I guess it kind of is. That being said, this film is so blatantly fucking misogynistic that it's a shock to the system. Not to mention the fact that there is literally no rhyme or reason as to why these undead gladiators do what they do, other than hinting at the fact they kill all those that infringe on their territory. That in itself is all well and good, but come on, give us something more than that. Not to mention the fact that with any good exploitation movie, the female victims usually get some sort of comeuppance in the end. Here, both die after having horrible things happen to them. Even though the rapist fuckheads die terribly, there's no retribution for the ladies. That makes this whole ordeal empty and shocking just for the sake of being shocking. That's not what makes a film an exploitation film, that just makes it a load of horseshit that cries out "pay attention to me".

So, yeah, I really don't have much else to say about Morituris. The acting isn't bad and the gore effects are pretty good, so there's that at least. Everything else about this film can go dive into a hellhole for all I care. If you've never seen the film and read all of the above and any of this sounds up your alley, then by all means check it out I guess. If not, well...trust me when I say you're not missing out on anything at all.

Rating: 1.5/5

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments

BLU-RAY REVIEW: Corruption (1968)

By Nick Durham

Corruption

Did you know Peter Cushing was once in a film where he played a semi-crazed plastic surgeon who goes on a spree murdering young women in an effort to harvest their glands to preserve his younger fiancé's damaged face? If I told you any of that, would you even believe me? Well guess what guys, it's true. Peter Cushing, known as one of the classiest thespians ever in the horror genre, starred in this little known flick that provided ample amounts of blood and boobs. Thanks to the good folks at Grindhouse Releasing, now we can call see Corruption in its wonderful, depraved, swingin' 60s glory.

As said already, Cushing plays a jealous plastic surgeon named John Rowan, whose hot model fiancé (Sue Lloyd) suffers a nasty facial injury. Feeling responsible, Rowan believes he knows a way to fix the damage, a method which involves harvesting the skin glands of voluptuous young ladies of course. What follows is lots of blood and boobs, and just the right amount of enjoyable schlock gets packed in without the film itself ever feeling like absolute filth, if that makes any sense at all.

Never before seen uncut in the U.S., Grindhouse has happily given us Corruption in all its nasty glory. Hell, I do believe that this is actually the first home video release of Corruption here in the States at all. It's funny watching it now, because even when it gets to its nastiest moments, the film isn't as graphic as one may think it is. Granted that the time this came out I'm sure it ruffled enough feathers, but even in its silliest and nastiest moments, Corruption manages to have a small touch of class attached to it. This is mostly because of having Cushing in the lead villainous role. I couldn't imagine that he was super comfortable in the role, but the man was a total pro, and he's wonderful here as the main attraction. In fact, the cast as a whole is pretty damn good, which also includes Vampire Lovers hottie Kate O'Mara as well.

Grindhouse Releasing, which has managed to supply us with wonderful releases and re-releases of little-known or lost films with tons of extras and care, has really delivered with this Blu-ray release of Corruption as well. There're two versions of the film as well as vintage and new interviews, an audio commentary that features Cushing's biographer David Miller, awesome reversible case cover artwork, and tons more. Needless to say, this deserves to be in your collection, especially if you're a Cushing fan.

All in all, Corruption is a surprisingly little known film that deserves your time and attention. It's also another wonderful example of what makes Grindhouse Releasing so awesome in terms of releasing little-known vintage films on modern physical media. Like I said before, Corruption deserves your time, and you need to pick it up. You won't regret it.

Rating: 5/5

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments

In Praise of Grindhouse Releasing

By Nick Durham

grindhouse releasing

One thing that horror fans have over fans of nearly any other film genre is the quality of the physical media release, in this case Blu-ray and DVD. You know The Criterion Collection? That line of films that feature a bevy of special features and picture restoration and are kind of pricey? Criterion features plenty of films that are worth your time (and somehow Michael Bay's Armageddon...I'm dead fucking serious) and even has a few surprising horror entries in their lineup as well (Videodrome, Naked Lunch, Don't Look Now). That being said, aside from maybe Arrow Films and Scream Factory to a lesser extent, no one delivers in terms of deluxe horror and genre releases like Grindhouse Releasing.

Co-founded by film editor Bob Murawski and the late Sage (son of Sylvester) Stallone, Grindhouse Releasing has picked up and distributed some super rare or in some cases never before seen films for small theatrical releases and Blu-ray/DVD releases as well. These range from grindhouse cinema classics like Cannibal Holocaust and The Beyond to shit you've never heard of like The Swimmer and Gone with the Pope. There're other films in their lineup (not all horror either), some which may sound familiar to you, including Cannibal Ferox, Massacre Mafia Style, Corruption, An American Hippie in Israel, The Big Gundown, Pieces, Cat in the Brain, and I Drink Your Blood. Hell of a lineup right?

I had mentioned Arrow Films and Scream Factory earlier. While both those labels are favorites of mine and offer some quality releases, a majority of the films featured on either label have something in common: we've heard of most of them at the very least. That's not the case with a majority of Grindhouse's lineup. While yes, we've all heard of Cannibal Holocaust, Cannibal Ferox, and The Beyond; is there anyone that remembered Corruption? Hell, I love Peter Cushing and I never even heard of it let alone knew of its existence. Imagine the shock on my face when I realized one of the classiest men in horror starred in a film where he was killing young women to supply his wife what she needed to maintain her appearance, and that there were tits aplenty. It's things like that that really separate Grindhouse Releasing from the rest of the pack.

I could go on and on about Grindhouse Releasing, but I won't. Not because I don't want to, but only because they offer films that deserve your attention. The fact that they painstakingly restore and re-release these little known films for wide audiences today is a beautiful thing indeed. We should all take the time to love and appreciate what they've done not only for horror fans, but for the genre as a whole.

Posted by Alan Smithee in EDITORIALS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
BLU-RAY REVIEW: Island of Death (1976)

BLU-RAY REVIEW: Island of Death (1976)

By Nick Durham

islandofdeath

 

What the fuck did I just watch?

That was my initial reaction to Island of Death upon my first viewing, I really didn't know what to make of it in terms of thinking it was "good" or a flaming pile of shit. Usually I base a film falling into either category on how much enjoyment I got out of it, but for a movie like Island of Death, garnering any kind of enjoyment out of it doesn't reflect on whether it's good, or whether it's shit. Basically what I'm saying is this movie is a pile of shit, but I enjoy the hell of it regardless.

Directed by Nico Mastorakis, who has gone on record to admit he only made Island of Death to make a quick profit after seeing how much money the original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" raked in, Island of Death follows a newlywed couple visiting the Greek island of Mykonos. Doesn't take too long to figure out that our newlywed couple aren't what they seem: they're actually an incestuous brother and sister looking to go on a rampage of murder and mayhem on those they deem "sinful". The irony of that isn't touched upon at all, as "Island of Death" is just shock after shock for the sake of shocking. Not that there's anything wrong with that, I mean what else could we really expect here in all honesty?

Throughout the film's running time, our couple engages in all kinds of deviant behavior in addition to the murder and chaos, some of which just has to be seen to be believed (that poor goat). That being said, it's violence is surprisingly not all that graphic, but its tone borderlines between being mean-spirited and unintentionally hilarious to the point you may have to pause the movie to catch your breath from laughing so much. This can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on the viewer, but for me, it made me enjoy it more than I probably should have to begin with.

Sitting on top of the UK's famed Video Nasty list for years before a super edited version saw the light of day across the pond, Island of Death has finally been presented here in all its uncut glory by the fine folks at Arrow Films. Arrow is much like Grindhouse Releasing: both labels release Criterion Collection-level releases to a bevy of horror films that range from being forgotten classics to best-to-be-forgotten fecal matter on film. Arrow outdid themselves here with this release, featuring a wonderful HD transfer of the film, as well as a surprisingly interesting booklet containing an essay on the film. There's also a new interview with director Mastorakis and a documentary focusing on the film as well as other selections from his filmography and an overview of his career in general (Spoiler Alert: I think he's kind of like Uwe Boll, but older).

You'll likely see worse and more depraved films than "Island of Death", but you'll certainly see better ones as well. That being said, the film does have its place in genre history for its Video Nasty notoriety, as well as managing to be a favorite among exploitation aficionados. If you want to pick it up, you can't go wrong with this Arrow release. Say whatever you want about the film itself, but the total package here well-assembled with lots of features, and is worth the price of admission if any of this sounds like your thing.

 

Rating: 3.5/5

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments