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TRIBUTE: Remembering Wes Craven

TRIBUTE: Remembering Wes Craven

We Honor Genre Legend
Wes Craven

2 August 1939 - 30 August 2015

Wes Craven
When we here at House of Tortured Souls heard the tragic news about Wes Craven losing his battle with brain cancer, we were stunned and instantly saddened. It made us all realize what an indelible mark he has made in the film industry and with his fans and ourselves. And like many other sites, we decided to honor this revered master of horror and suspense and all say a little something about what the man and his films meant to us...

JOHN ROISLAND: When I was very young, I remember hearing adults talking of this horrific film called The Last House on the Left. I recall pieces of TV and newspaper ads for it and still more and more discussion about how disturbing and gross the film was, yet these ads and talks never seemed to have gone away. The funny thing was that the film came out the same year I was born, so that should give you some idea as to how long the impact of this film was. This was my first introduction to Mr. Wes Craven.

Moving forward a few years, I was in the 6th grade and had a few friends of mine staying the night. We had stayed up late watching this new horror movie on VHS called A Nightmare on Elm Street. To this day I remember how vivid my dreams were that night. This guy with knives for fingers chased me through this huge maze. This guy became one of the horror genre's most popular horror icons, as well as Wes Craven's most notorious character - Freddy Krueger.

For years to follow, Craven's films became the blood that flowed through my veins. The Hills Have Eyes, Shocker, The People Under the Stairs, and let us not forget one film that I thought was absolute genius: Scream. Who else would have used a story about horror films, to create a horror film?

Many years later, I caught up with my past and finally watched The Last House On The Left. The movie was, by this time outdated, and the special FX that one has grown to expect in movies weren't there, and ya know what? It didn't matter. The film stands on its own and is one of a kind. I can honestly say that all the things I had heard all those adult voices saying when I was just a little kid were true. Love it or hate it, it is one of the most powerful and disturbing films I have seen to this day!

I'm not going to lie and tell you the Wes Craven was/is my favorite writer/director, because he isn't. What I will say is that this master of horror deserves a huge amount of credit for his hand in shaping the horror film genre into what it is today. He was an inspiration and set filmmaking standards that will take many, many years for anyone else to match.

Thank you, Mr. Craven, for the beautiful nightmares.

 

AMY LYNES: I was in the seventh grade when I saw A Nightmare on Elm Street in the theater, and I was beyond terrified. I had truly never been that scared in my life. There were parts of the film where I couldn't even breathe, and I think I jumped out of my seat at least five times. And the terror didn't end when the credits rolled either. I was unable to sleep right for WEEKS. All these years later, I can honestly say that I have never had a film scare me the way ANOES did. The only other horror film that came even remotely close was also one of his films - Scream.

At the time, I had no idea that the director for ANOES and one of my childhood favorites, Swamp Thing, were one and the same. Swamp Thing showed me that appearances aren't everything, and it made me the type of kid who always rooted for the underdog and stick up for the kids who were bullied. That is something that has stuck with me my entire life, and it's huge part with who I am today.

While Scream isn't one of my favorite films, it did genuinely scare me the first time I saw it. It was the kind of thing every girl who has ever been home alone or has been a babysitter in someone else's home fears. Not since ANOES had a film given me nightmares and Scream did just that.

In the late 80s/early 90s, horror got boring for me. Everything seemed to lack originality or a formula that worked, and everything seemed SO predictable. Sadly, I kinda gave up on the genre for a while. Then in '94, Wes Craven gave us New Nightmare and he gave Freddy back to the fans. He got rid of all the cheesy lines and he made Freddy scary again. He instantly reignited my love of horror with one film.

Wes Craven seemed to have a way of honing in on what scared me the most, and his films have had a huge impact on me becoming the horror fan that I am today. His passing was truly a loss to the horror community and its fans. He will be missed - by myself and countless others - for decades to come.

RIP Mr. Craven. You will live on through your countless masterpieces and in the hearts of your fans. Thank you for all the screams.

 

STEPHANIE ROISLAND: I was very young the first time I saw A Nightmare on Elm Street. My family was not into horror at all with the exception of my older brother. I always knew I was different. I wasn't afraid of Freddy, he made me giggle. I was scared of the The Wizard of Oz, but The Hills Have Eyes intrigued me.

Wes Craven helped open my eyes to a world where everything twisted was acceptable and nightmares can be made into a reality on film. I loved the independent thoughts and freedom of his writing and movies. He, along with a handful of other directors/writers, gave me insight into a world where I fit in.

When I heard of Mr. Craven's passing this is what I blogged and it is still how I feel: "The goal of life is not to live forever, but to create something that will". And he accomplished just that. He will be immortal, not in the flesh but in his works. He has created a legacy that will live on and on with each generation. We will show our grandchildren his cult classics just as we did our children and show them how true horror really should be.

Rest In Peace, my friend, and here is to the immorality of Gods and Monsters.

 

DIXIELORD: Like so many horror fans, I first discovered Wes Craven with A Nightmare on Elm Street. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. Freddy Krueger was no hulking, silent stalker, no shambling zombie, and no Gothic Victorian creature of the night. Freddy was something entirely new, a laughing, wise cracking demon from hell, and he was always waiting in your dreams. With him, Wes Craven had made my nightmares something to really fear. Those harmless nightmares might not really be so harmless. Over the years, Freddy became a pop culture icon as the films got more campy, and people knew that Freddy was really Robert Englund. Then, when Freddy was posing with babies, and riding on parade floats, Wes took him back, and made him scary again. In New Nightmare, Wes Craven crashed through the fourth wall at full speed, making Freddy more real and more terrifying than ever.

Thank you, Wes, for making my youth more fun and more exciting. Thank you for giving me nightmares and for inspiring my imagination, while reminding me it's all just a nightmare, and I can always wake up.

 

NICK DURHAM: Other than maybe John Carpenter, no other horror maestro's films have had the effect on me the way Wes Craven's had. Granted my feelings on The Last House on the Left are one thing, but that has its place in history and it set the stage for the greatness that would come. There was a time when nearly everything Craven touched turned to gold. Well...almost everything. Despite that though, a majority of his films have had quite an impact on me personally.

The Hills Have Eyes and, of course, the original A Nightmare on Elm Street are two of my all time favorite horror films in the history of ever. Not to mention the fact that he somehow managed to reinvigorate life into Freddy with New Nightmare and an extremely original and interesting premise that no other slasher franchise would dare take on. As much as I love John Carpenter to death, he's never gone down that road. That, in itself, really made me believe that anything could be possible in the horror genre besides the typical and tired tropes we see again and again.

Wes Craven breathed life and fresh air into so many different elements of the horror genre with his films. Granted his later work didn't do a whole lot to twist my knickers, but there's no denying the effect a majority of his work has had on me personally and how I view the horror genre in general. There's damn few other people in the genre that spoke to me like Wes Craven did, and all of us are worse off without his presence.

 

KIM RICKETTS: Early on in my journey into horror I was introduced to A Nightmare on Elm Street. I was young, probably first grade or so, and I remember sitting near my mom watching that gloved hand breach the water and get closer and closer to a dozing Nancy. I was terrified and captivated at the same time. I so badly wanted to look away but I couldn't. I was hooked.

The actual killings didn't scare me half as much as the psychological scares that Wes Craven put into his work. My whole life I've never been so much afraid of what I could see but what was lurking out there unseen and ready to get you at your most vulnerable time. The fact that you were less safe sound asleep and dreaming than when you were wide awake was a complete mind screw. I came to love the campy wit and pure genius that was Freddy Krueger. He became one of the bad guys that I wanted to win over and over.

The concept of New Nightmare was brilliant to me. To take Freddy from the screen and bring him into "real life" was frightening. Having Heather Langenkamp and Robert Englund as themselves rather than Nancy and Freddy and then interact with a much darker, scarier Freddy made it seem like it really could happen.

With the Scream series, Craven hooked me again. I was in high school when the first film came out. I could relate. Sidney and her friends weren't all that different from my friends and me. We felt invincible and didn't follow rules for nothing. The fact that these kids were following horror movie rules that were basically every typical horror cliché was genius. This could happen in my town, and to my friends and me, and that just wasn't cool. We were indestructible, after all, and too young to die. It made it even scarier.

And that's what Wes Craven did so well. He scared you with what was in your mind. Whether it was Scream or The Last House on the Left, it could happen.

His scares will transcend time and his works will continue to frighten people for generations.

 

Dyametric 13: Wes Craven will be missed so much, by me and many others. As a director he wowed me. The second horror film I saw was A Nightmare on Elm Street. This film sparked something big in my heart for horror. It kept me wanting more. The first horror film I ended up seeing in the theater was Freddy's Dead. I actually talked my mother into buying tickets for me and a friend, and it was amazing.

The People Under the Stairs was another big film for me. I can't even tell you how many times I've watched it. "Fool" was a true hero in this film and the way he got the name, always makes me smile. The reason is a past story of my own.

A little known movie by the name The Fear (1995) was a film Wes didn't direct, but acted in. My name (Dyametric 13) comes from that film. I already knew what diametric meant, but watching this film made me love the word more. Dyametric 13 (with a slight spelling change) just stuck with me from that point on.

Even the Scream franchise has had some impact on me as a horror fan. It's not one of my favorites, but every now and then, I will still give it a watch.

The Serpent and the Rainbow truly terrified me. This film still gives me chills. I imagine waking up in a coffin, buried alive, now a living zombie, and it freaks me out. Knowing that this kind of stuff happens in real life? It makes the whole film just a bit more terrifying.

In my eyes, this man will never truly die. He has earned his place in horror history, and he is a true legend.

R.I.P. Wes Craven, you will be missed.

 

MACHETE VON KILL: I thought it would be easy to sit down and write about what Wes Craven and his movies meant to me. I thought it would be easy to put his impact on my life into words. I was wrong on both accounts, but I’m trying…

The first thing that comes to mind when I hear the name Wes Craven is Freddy Krueger! I was 10 years old and at a slumber party the first time I saw A Nightmare on Elm Street. Freddy scared the shit out of me! I had nightmares for weeks! I had a rounded plastic bird cage in my bedroom window, and at night it cast a shadow on my ceiling. That shadow looked just like Freddy’s famous fedora. I was positive that Freddy was going to come out of that shadow and get me in my sleep! I don’t scare easily (other than a few embarrassing phobias). I never have. Freddy got me good and, in the long run, I liked it.

Over the years I've watched many of Craven’s films. The Serpent and The Rainbow, The People Under the Stairs, and the original The Hills Have Eyes are among my favorites.

I have to admit, by the mid 1990s I was bored with the horror genre. I didn’t have access to much in my small town, and what I did have access to was mostly CRAP. It was played out, lame, and had no story. I gave up on my beloved genre until Craven gave us the gift of Scream. That movie brought me back to the genre. Wes was able to remind me why I fell in love with horror movies in the first place. He brought back masterful storytelling, enhanced with gore, rather than gore just for the sake of gore. It was a love letter to the fans, and for that I can never thank him enough.

 

WOOFER McWOOFERSON: When I started this piece, I thought I would talk about the two Wes Craven movies that I like most. The more I think about it, though, the harder that has been. His impact on the horror industry is undeniable, so I decided the best course was to discuss 10 things Wes Craven taught us.

1) The Last House on the Left (1972) taught us that revenge isn't always a dish best served cold.

2) The Hills Have Eyes (1977) taught us that being on guard is never overrated.

3) Swamp Thing (1982) taught us that even plant monster men can love.

4) A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) taught us that sleep really can be a bad thing.

5) Invitation to Hell (1984) taught us that Susan Lucci plays evil like nobody else.

6) Deadly Friend (1986) taught us to fear basketballs.

7) The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988) taught us that Bill Pullman was more than a one trick pony.

8) Shocker (1989) taught us that the electric chair is not our friend.

9) The People Under the Stairs (1991) taught us that a lovely exterior can hide a hideous interior.

10) Scream (1996) taught us that there are rules to horror, and if you want to survive, you'd better know those rules and follow them.

Thank you, Mr. Craven. RIP.

 

KEV B.: We recently lost one of the brightest and most original minds in horror… Wes Craven who (among his other accomplishments) gave us Freddy Krueger and Ghostface. This is my posthumous praise for Mr Craven and his legacy. I was born in 1971 and raised in what I consider the greatest era of the horror genre. A time (in my opinion) of unparalleled awesomeness and the best time to be a young horror fan.

When I was about 12 years old my mom and I went to see A Nightmare on Elm Street on opening day, and I would venture to say it changed modern horror movies forever. I remember vividly, after the credits rolled, a man running out of the theater and projectile vomiting as Mom and I laughed.

It was unlike any other slasher of its time and gave us a new horror icon for the 80s... Freddy Krueger. Armed with a glove of knives for fingers and a killer wit, he slashed his way into our dreams and our hearts and established Wes Craven as a formidable force in the genre. After a few sequels, Freddy’s one liners became increasingly corny and he lost his initial menace, but the original is a true horror classic.

In the years to follow, Craven released The Serpent and the Rainbow and The People Under the Stairs, both of which are among my all time favorite movies and a departure from traditional horror. The Scream franchise was his big return to form, and he created a new icon for a new generation. Ghostface was a new kind of slasher with a whole new take on an old theme.

Wes Craven changed horror in my eyes, and with his passing horror will never quite be the same... Mr. Craven, you will be missed.

Wes Craven

Gone but never forgotten.

Posted by Alan Smithee in EDITORIALS, 0 comments

COMING SOON: A Christmas Horror Story (2015)

A Christmas Horror Story
or
Santa Claus vs Krampus

By Woofer McWooferson

christmas-horror-story-entertainment-one-dvd
Directors: Grant Harvey, Steven Hoban, Brett Sullivan; Writers: Jason Filiatrault (uncredited) , James Kee, Sarah Larsen, Doug Taylor, Pascal Trottier; Stars: George Buza, Percy Hynes White, Rob Archer, William Shatner; Rating: Not Avalable; Run Time: 99 min; Genre: Horror; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2015

Just kidding on the subtitle, but that fight will be in the movie if the trailer is to be believed.

Thanks to Machete Von Kill, I've found something to look forward to this holiday season: A Christmas Horror Story from Copperhead Entertainment and distributors Image Entertainment (2015) (USA) (DVD) and RLJ Entertainment (2015) (USA) (all media).

According to IMDb, William Shatner plays DJ Dan, a festive radio host who tells several interwoven stories that take place on Christmas Eve: A family brings home more than a Christmas tree, a student documentary becomes a living nightmare, a Christmas spirit terrorizes, Santa slays evil.

Unlike 2013's Krampus: The Christmas Devil, A Christmas Horror Story looks very promising. I don't want to take over this announcement with commentary on Krampus: The Christmas Devil, but I will say this: flat, flatter, and flattest. A Christmas Horror Story, on the other hand, looks to be everything that I had hoped for in Krampus: The Christmas Devil.

Everything in the trailer looks great – acting, dialogue, Santa, elves, and especially Krampus – and I am excited by what I see. Normally, when I see numerous directors and writers, I am dubious about the quality of the final product. However, based on the trailer and the fact that there are different stories, I don't see these things as being problematic. George Buza (X-Men) plays Santa and Rob Archer (Bulletproof Monk) plays Krampus, and from what we see in the trailer, they are played with the type of intensity necessary to transcend the awkwardness of typical B movies and pull it up into the A list.

Still unsure? Check out the trailer here. I guarantee that you'll be penning in another item for your holiday event list.

VOD, and iTunes on October 2nd.

UPDATE: 6.5/10 claws - Needed more Krampus

Posted by Alan Smithee in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
TRIBUTE: Lucio Fulci: The Godfather of Gore

TRIBUTE: Lucio Fulci: The Godfather of Gore

By Amy Lynes

Master of the Macabre
There aren't many people that I idolize but Lucio Fulci is definitely one of them, and he's number one on my list.

I was seventeen and home alone when I watched my first Lucio Fulci film. It was The House By The Cemetery, and watching it alone was a big mistake. HUGE! I sat there for the next hour and a half mesmerized by what was unfolding on the screen in front of me, even though my heart was racing, I was scared out of my mind, and all alone in an old, creepy ass (haunted) house.

Never before had I seen so much blood and gore! I was excited, terrified and repulsed all at the same time. As soon as it ended, I instantly rewound it (yes, it was on VHS) and watched it again. I would watch this wonderfully intense and graphic film three more time before eventually returning it to the video store.

I wanted to see more of this man's work and soon began renting all the films I could get my eager hands on. Zombie (aka Zombi 2) came next and, once again, I was blown away. There were scenes where I actually found myself holding my breath, squirming in my seat and clenching my hands so tightly that my muscles hurt. The famous eyeball puncturing scene was incredibly hard to watch but at the same time I couldn't make myself look away (and found that I didn't really want to anyway). I absolutely loved the way the zombies looked, how it seemed as though they were crumbling right before my eyes, squirming with maggots and missing eyes and appendages. It was fantastic! Still to this day, I prefer the slow gait, movement and organic look of Fulci's zombies, as opposed to the fast movers of today's modern zombie films. There was (and still is) something inherently creepy about the way they shamble so goddamn slowly and cannot be deterred nor distracted. They just keep on coming for you. And the infamous 'Shark vs. Zombie' scene? Once again, I was blown away. I sat there, completely mystified by the skill and imagination that must have gone into the making of that awe inspiring scene. Hell, even all these years later, I still am.

House by the cemetery

I was now completely hooked on this man's amazing talent and there was no going back for me; I just couldn't get enough and I simply HAD to see more. I had to find out everything I could about this director who could bring such vision to the screen while simultaneously scaring the living shit out of me so effectively and see as many of his films as possible.

Next up was The Beyond (aka Seven Doors of Death) which was strong in vivid imagery and unbelievably creepy. I couldn't get it out of my head for days and to this very day, it is still one of my all time favorite horror films. My copy gets watched often, several times a year, and I still get creeped out. Every time.

Then there was The Gates of Hell (aka City of the Living Dead) with the famous drill through the head scene, and the vomiting up of one's intestines and I delighted in the grossness of it, even though it made me retch.

Next up was Demonia, in which a man was quartered. I was horrified but I was also really beginning to like all the gore. It was all so shocking to me, but I seriously just could not get enough. I was addicted to how these movies made me feel, and what they sparked in me.

City drill scene

I soon fell in love with Fulci's ability to use gore to the fullest extent, without it being the primary focus of his films. He had the ability to scare the hell out of me without overwhelming me with the gore, and I was all about it. The excitement became a sort of drug for me, and I became addicted to the adrenaline rush I invariably got from his films.

My parents, however, were less than thrilled with my choice in movies and the only one I could ever get Dad to watch with me was The Psychic. He just couldn't handle the gore Fulci was famous for. I, however, was growing to love it more and more with each film. Years later, I would pass that love on to my brother Clayton, and he eventually ended up just as addicted as I was.

Because I could find so few of his movies and having become utterly obsessed with his work, I tried doing some investigative work to find out all I could about this genius director that I was quickly coming to love. Sadly, this was before the Internet and the libraries had very little to offer, so there wasn't much I could find. It wasn't until many years later that I discovered Netflix and began using the Internet that I was able to get my hands on a number of films that I had only heard about – and even some that I had no clue existed. My first few months on Netflix were exciting ones; I had found hidden horror treasure. The Mother Lode.

Because I was so enamored with Fulci's films, I also then began seeking out films by people who had either inspired Fulci, or had been inspired by him - Mario and Lamberto Bava and Dario Argento. This would also eventually lead to some other obsessions of mine, Argento films and Italian horror in general. But Fulci would always be my favorite.

Fulci has done everything from horror to musicals and even some Spaghetti Westerns and comedies. He was responsible for sixty films and one hundred and twenty scripts. In addition to film making, Fulci also wrote two books Fulci Breaks The Looking Glass and My Lovely Monsters which, sadly, will probably never be translated into English.

Fulci's career hit a high point in 1971-72 with his two Giallos, A Lizard in a Woman's Skin and Don't Torture a Duckling which were both extremely controversial. However, he was briefly blacklisted after Don't Torture a Duckling because it painted an extremely vivid picture of perversity in Catholicism. He was also hauled into court and charged with cruelty to animals due to the very graphic depiction of dogs being mutilated in A Lizard in a Woman's Skin and actually had to show the judge the puppets they used and how they worked before being cleared of the charge.

Fulci Gore

It has been said that the films he made from 1979-83 were some of the most violent ever made. It is really no coincidence that the eighties were his most popular time in America. Sadly, in spite of that, he was never fully given the recognition he deserved. The horror world truly suffered a major loss with his untimely death in 1996.

It saddens me that there will never be another new Fulci film, but for this girl, this master of the macabre will always live on, both in his work, and in the work of many others.

For a complete list of Lucio Fulci's work, check out his IMDB page.

Posted by Alan Smithee in EDITORIALS, HORROR HEROES, 0 comments

COMING SOON: Leatherface (2016)

Leatherface Returns Again

By Dixielord

Leatherface poster
Are you ready for more Leatherface? Well, ready or not, Leatherface is coming back in 2016 for the eighth film in the Texas Chainsaw franchise. What eight films? Yep, this makes number eight in the franchise. Casual horror fans are possibly unaware of how many Chainsaw films there are as the series is a bit more disjointed than most horror franchises.

The new Leatherface is a prequel to the 2013 Texas Chainsaw 3D, making it the second prequel in the series. The new film's plot involves the events that lead young Jackson Sawyer (which is at least his third name) to eventually become the killer. Young Leatherface is being played by Sam Strike (Eastenders), making him the seventh actor to portray Leatherface (not counting Kane Hodder who did stunts in 3). Stephen Dorff (Blade) plays the Texas Ranger hot on his trail. Originally, Angela Bettis was attached to the film as Verna Sawyer, but scheduling conflicts necessitated her dropping out. Lilli Taylor was then tapped for the role.

One thing horror fans can get excited about is the directorial team of Julian Maury and Alexandre Bustillo who bring the Seth M. Sherwood penned script to life. The two directors were responsible for the acclaimed French horror films Inside (2007) and Livid (2011) neither short on blood and gore. This should guarantee that the new Leatherface wont be a film for the squeamish.

Texas Chainsaw 3D turned a profit but received mixed reactions from fans. One of the biggest complaints was the screwed up time and technology of the film, with it seemingly set in the early 80s and the 2010s at the same time. The new film is set in the 70s but only time will tell if they get it right this time and if fans will welcome back their favorite chainsaw killer. Lionsgate is scheduled to release Leatherface in 2016.

Posted by Allen Alberson in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Ejecta (2014)

MOVIE REVIEW: Ejecta (2014)

By Nick Durham

ejecta2

I'm a sucker for anything alien-related. I've always had an intense love for science fiction, and any science fiction that gets blended with any kind of horror elements pretty much makes me cream my jeans at the thought. That's why whenever there's any kind of sci-fi/horror flick hitting the scene, I'll usually end up checking it out, even if it's against my better judgment. I should also mention now that if said film involves any kind of alien abduction-type stuff, I'm usually there front and center. That's why when I took one look at the synopsis for Ejecta, I decided to check it out.

A Canadian film from directors Chad Archibald (The Drownsman) and Matt Wiele, Ejecta stars Julian Richings (better known to most as Death from Supernatural) as an alien abductee named Cassidy who gets tracked down by a conspiracy blogger named Sullivan (Adam Seybold). What happens next unfolds out of order, mixing elements of found footage style and traditional narrative styled jump scares and suspense (i.e., you can easily tell that this film had two directors). Somehow, even though this makes Ejecta feel pretty uneven as a whole, it still works...for the most part anyway.

As the film's overarching plot begins to further reveal itself, we get the usual tropes of government conspiracies and alien creature jump scares that end up being fairly predictable, but there are some really surprisingly well-crafted ideas buried within the film's script. Some of these ideas are rarely seen in films of this type, and while they're nothing revolutionary, they make for a welcome change of pace. That, and some really nice twists towards the end, separate Ejecta from other films of its ilk.

The one department where Ejecta deserves a ton of praise is in its acting. Everyone in this film performs really well in their roles, which in all honesty I was a bit surprised at. Films of this type usually feature the standard character tropes of "dude who's been abducted before and knows shit", "dude who believes in aliens and doesn't know shit", and "government operative who knows aliens are real and knows all the shit". While Ejecta does feature all those tropes (in fact, those are our three leads), it uses them all to wonderful effect, and each one is extremely well acted from Richings, Seybold, and Pontypool actress Lisa Houle as the interrogator/doctor who gets way, way more than she bargained for.

Ejecta isn't anything bad, it isn't anything all that special either, and it definitely isn't for everybody. It has its slow burn elements, but when it gets good, it's pretty good. Plus, it runs at a fairly brisk running time, so you could do much, much worse than what this film has to offer. If alien abduction-type scares or anything I've described sounds up your alley at all, check this out.

Rating: 3/5

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
GAME REVIEW: Doom 3: BFG Edition (2012)

GAME REVIEW: Doom 3: BFG Edition (2012)

Doom 3: BFG Edition
(PS3, XBOX 360)

By Nick Durham

I usually don't play first person shooters. I've never been one to hop on board the Call of Duty or Halo bandwagons, and I more than likely never will either. For me, it takes a lot for me to dive into an FPS, an awful lot, which is strange because in my youth, I loved these fucking games. Granted the play mechanics of them were much simpler back then compared to how they are now. I played the hell out of Duke Nukem 3D, Quake, Wolfenstein 3D, etc...but there was always one game (and franchise) in particular that spoke to me more than all of them put together.

Mother. Fucking. Doom.

Like many others, I played Doom until my eyes bled, then I'd wipe away the tears, and play some more. This would continue for years, because somehow I'd never get tired of Doom, and I still don't to this very day. In 2004, after what seemed like eons, we finally got Doom 3, which upped the ante in terms of its technical aspects compared to its two predecessors, and is undoubtedly one of the scariest games of its era. In 2012, id Software released Doom 3: BFG Edition, which features a remastered take on the 2004 title, along with its Resurrection of Evil expansion, and throws in the classic Doom and Doom II along with their various expansions for good measure as well.

This remastered take on Doom 3 looks glorious and fucking terrifying. One thing that the game originally had going for it quite a bit was its lighting effects that were optimized to hide enemies, have them jump out at you, and scare the holy living shit out of you to boot. There's very few new elements crafted into the gameplay, such as using your flashlight while still holding a weapon, but that's pretty much it. The game's engine remains the same with no changes/updates, which is fine because there really don't need to be any. The game still ends up being as enjoyable now as it was back then.

There's also a shit load of content thrown in here for good measure. As I mentioned before, other than getting a remastered take on Doom 3, you get the Resurrection of Evil expansion, as well as a new single-player The Lost Mission pack. Combine that with the original Doom (technically the Ultimate Doom version, but whatever) and Doom II (with the No Rest for the Living pack), and you have one hell of an overall package that is more than worth its price tag. Speaking of price tags, since this came out in 2012, you can easily find this for less than 20 bucks, which is a total fucking steal.

All in all, having a remastered take on Doom 3 is one thing, but having it included in this package that features so much great content is a total fucking steal. It's good value for your money if you still have a last-gen console and want to scare yourself shitless, so you really have no excuse to do so. Seriously, stop reading this and go pick up Doom 3: BFG Edition. You won't regret it one bit.

Rating: 5/5

Posted by Alan Smithee in GAME 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

Who Will Be the Next Freddy Krueger?

By Kev B.





Freddy

With the announcement by New Line Cinema and Warner Brothers of yet another A Nightmare On Elm Street reboot or remake or re-imagining… An online petition is in place and has over 200 signatures in three days time. It’s not what you are thinking; they’re not trying to stop it from happening. The fans have taken to the Internet to see if they can exert some influence as to who will be wearing the infamous sweater and glove this time around.

Just who could or should try to fill the shoes of the irreplaceable Robert Englund in the role that saved New Line and pumped fresh blood into the slasher genre back in 1984? Roberto Lombardi is the people’s choice, having starred in several short films as Freddy Krueger (before the vigilante justice) in:

Krueger: The Legend of Elm Street (2016)
Krueger: The Slasher from Elm Street (2014)
Krueger: A Walk Through Elm Street (2014)
Krueger: Another Tale from Elm Street (2013)
The Nightmare Ends on Halloween II (2011)
Krueger: A Tale from Elm Street (2011)

The Krueger shorts and an appearance as Freddy Krueger in an episode of Deadpool titled “A Nightmare on Pool Street” have earned him rave reviews and a well deserved cult following. Check out Roberto Lombardi as Freddy Krueger in the Elm Street shorts here at and sign the petition.

Posted by Alan Smithee in HORROR NEWS, 2 comments

MOVIE REVIEW: The Green Slime (1969)

Before The Andromeda Strain. Before Alien. Before Armageddon.
There was The Green Slime.

By Woofer McWooferson

The Green Slime movie poster

The Green Slime movie poster

Director: Kinji Fukasaku; Writers: Bill Finger (screenplay) (as William Finger), Ivan Reiner (story) , Tom Rowe (screenplay) , Charles Sinclair (screenplay); Stars: Robert Horton, Luciana Paluzzi, Richard Jaeckel; Rating: G; Run Time: 90 min; Genre: Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 1969

“Nothing exciting ever happens around here.” Words that any moviegoer knows is a trigger for something exciting to happen – but not usually the kind of excitement that the characters would enjoy. In The Green Slime, the excitement comes in the form of an asteroid breaking out of orbit and hurtling toward Earth at a phenomenal rate. Earth's only hope is to blast apart the asteroid, and the only man capable of successfully heading that mission is the soon to be retired Commander Jack Rankin (Robert Horton). With less than ten hours to destroy the asteroid, Rankin is on his way to the space station headed up by his former partner Commander Vince Elliot (Richard Jaeckel). In an awkward love triangle that is edited out of the Japanese version, Rankin's ex is one of the station's doctors, Dr. Lisa Benson (Luciana Paluzzi), and she is currently with Elliot. Can these two commanders overcome their rivalry and join together to save Earth?

There's more than one threat from this asteroid, though, and our hapless astronauts are unaware of the danger they face. After saving Earth from the asteroid, the crew returns to the station to undergo decontamination – three times. They have unwittingly returned with a hitchhiker, and soon the space station is under attack by the green slime that lived on the surface of the asteroid. Once again Rankin and Bass – er – Rankin and Elliot must work together to save Earth.

There is a reason that MST3K chose The Green Slime for their pilot/promo episode, and that reason is that The Green Slime has it all – major and more major threat, technical jargon, harried ground control, dashing astronauts, a doctor who wants to save the slime for SCIENCE, and the woman who loved both commanders. Not only that, The Green Slime comes with a funky theme song that has a good beat and you can dance to it.

BONUS FACT: Director Kinji Fukasaku also directed Battle Royale, Battle Royale II, and the Japanese segments of Tora! Tora! Tora!

5/10 claws – cheesy goodness for everyone! Invite your friends, but don't forget the green slime cheese topping!

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

PRODUCT REVIEW: Leatherface Gets a ReAction

My Reaction to the Leatherface ReAction

By John Roisland

Letherface ReAction

For about the last six years or so, I have prided myself, and actually take quite seriously, on having a small, but growing collection of horror merchandise. I have been gathering items from movie posters to Halloween themed sodas, but one of my favorites collectibles has always been action figures. Some are popular, some are rare and hard to find, but there usually wasn't one I wouldn't happily add to my collection. Until now.

Funko, who I'm a fan of, has come out with a line of retro action figures called ReAction Figures. Their character base is rather impressive, ranging from The Goonies to Escape from New York and even Big Trouble in Little China. The over all packaging and figure itself reminds me of that of the mid late 70s Star Wars figures. The size is about the same, very limited movement and the packaging is simple flat cardboard with some sort of movie picture that portrays the character. Over all, they aren't bad; they're little retro collectibles and all very much resemble their own character. All but one. Leatherface. Of all characters to get wrong, it has to be my personal favorite!

The outfit is the typical Leatherface garb: pants, tie, and apron. But the outfit is not the issue; what IS the issue is the mask. Everyone knows that Freddy Krueger has his glove of finger knives, Pinhead has, well, pins in his head, and Leatherface has a stitched together mask made of human. When you make or build a model or representation of these huge horror icons, it's imperative to get the trademark right! Well, in this case, our friendly looking butcher of human flesh looks like he's having a facial at a day spa and is sporting a mud mask! I'm sorry; I really am, but even the small blood spots on his apron and the chainsaw that comes with the action figure can't (and don't) make up for this!! Yes, you know who he is supposed to be as you look at it, but its a very bad representation.

Retailing for $14.99, this collectible will be hitting the shelves on November 30th, 2015, just in time for the fat man to fill your stockings! Maybe I'll find one with my name on it... I wont be crushed it I don't though. Sorry Funko, but this is one of few I will be passing on.

Posted by John Roisland in PRODUCT REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
EDITORIAL: Why We Need Resident Evil 2 HD Remastered

EDITORIAL: Why We Need Resident Evil 2 HD Remastered

By Nick Durham

A while ago I reviewed Capcom's Resident Evil HD Remastered, which wound up being a supremely enjoyable HD take on the classic first installment of the long running survival horror franchise. The game was a smash hit and made Capcom a shitload of money in the process, so immediately fans were hoping that maybe we'd finally get an HD remaster of Resident Evil 2.

Well, lo and behold, we're getting it.

Resident Evil 2 HD Remastered is coming. Who knows exactly when, but it's coming. It's about damn time too, considering we've had about umpteen remakes of the original Resident Evil as it is, but never a true new take on the classic first sequel (and no, the Dreamcast and Gamecube ports of Resident Evil 2 don't count either). Ever since the idea was planted in my head that this could become a reality, my mind has been running a mile a minute thinking about how amazing it could be given the new technology of today.

Just think back to the first time you played Resident Evil 2. Remember the first encounter with the Licker? Or finding the police station? Or trekking through the underground? Or the final showdown shortly before Raccoon City gets nuked off the face of the Earth? Imagine re-living all of that with a fresh coat of HD paint. Hell, imagine the game with a re-done control scheme that discards the dreaded tank controls of yesteryear. We could have something really special on our hands folks.

Now I know that having an HD take on Resident Evil 2 is going to sell really well. Probably so well that Capcom decides to do an HD remaster of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (which I can almost guarantee will happen some time in the future). As a gamer, I know first hand that no one knows how to beat a dead horse better than Capcom does (except for maybe EA, but I digress), so they could keep on remastering various installments in the franchise all they want, but what I'm hoping happens is that maybe we'll see the franchise as a whole return with new installments that go back to the true survival horror roots of the series.

Back in the day, Resident Evil defined survival horror. Conserving ammo, saves, and health packs/healing plants to make it through the game was the way it had to go to survive. Resident Evil 4 changed the franchise forever with a more action-oriented approach to mix with the scares, and it winded up being one of the best games of its era. Resident Evil 5 and the recent Resident Evil 6...well, they just weren't. They were such departures from what we've come to love about the series that we started to forget what made this franchise so fucking good in the first place. Resident Evil 2 HD Remastered can put us on the right track, and thanks to the first remaster game, it looks like we're already on our way there.

Get ready my people, we're going back to Raccoon City one more time. One more time of a refreshing take on the epic zombie survival horror series that changed everything back in the day. Strap yourselves in folks, shit's about to get awesome once again.

Well, hopefully anyway.

Posted by Alan Smithee in EDITORIALS, 0 comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Night of the Demon (1980)

By Dixielord

NOTD

Night of the Demon is a 1980 entry into the Bigfoot horror sub genre. It also has the honor of belonging to the group of films collectively known as the “video nasties”. The video nasties were a group of films banned by the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) for release in Britain. Most of the videos were banned due to excessive violence and gore, and for just being nasty. Night of the Demon fits that last part very well it is a very mean and nasty movie.

This isn't the 1957 demonic horror movie, nor the 1988 film that helped make Linnea Quigley into a horror superstar. While both of those are good movies and the 88 film definitely has its share of gore and disturbing imagery (lipstick anyone?), neither of them comes close to the nastiness of Night of the Demon. The other two films win out in a comparison of technical virtue, hell there really isn’t any competition, but Night of the Demon wins in any contest of sheer depravity.

Night of the Demon concerns a professor who leads a group of students into the woods with the stated purpose of debunking the Bigfoot myth. It is told in flashback by the professor who is severely disfigured and in a hospital at the beginning of the film. As they search for proof the professor tells his group tales of people killed and savaged by Bigfoot. These stories include the film's most infamous scene, where Bigfoot manually emasculates a biker who picked the wrong spot to stop for a pee. The tales also include a bizarre, and almost comical scene where Bigfoot kills two young girls. Once in the woods they hear stories of a strange cult active in the back woods that might worship Sasquatch. They also hear about Crazy Wanda who had a run in with the Demon and lived to tell the tale. At first skeptical, as they dig deeper, and encounter more evidence, they suddenly find themselves stalked by Bigfoot. The students are attacked and find their only means of escape cut off. They take shelter at Crazy Wanda's cabin, where they learn the horrible secret of Bigfoot and face the monster in a bloody showdown that leads us back to where we started.

Based solely on it's technical merits, Night of the Demon isn't a film I would recommend to anyone. The effects are just short of laughable, with fake looking blood and body parts to a shaggy Bigfoot suit that looks like what it is, a man in a shaggy Bigfoot suit. The story line goes from serious depravity to scenes that make you wonder if the director is playing it for laughs. The one scene where Bigfoot forces to young girls to stab each other to death with their own knives is just so unbelievable it looks like it shouldn’t be in this film. It looks more like a Three Stooges gag gone too far than a serious scene in a horror movie.

The movie has a grainy cheap feel to it that actually helps it out a bit, reminding me of my old days of watching horror movies late at night on a snowy screen. The copy I viewed from Amazon, it's a but hard to find on DVD, was not a great transfer with lots of noise and the occasional vertical roll. The pacing is almost painfully slow up until the final battle royal, which is shown in slow motion. With the slow motion and the lighting of the cabin, it projects an almost dreamlike, ethereal feel. The acting is amateurish, ranging from deadpan unemotional delivery to overly dramatic at times. Overall the movie looks like a no budget film from a beginning director with not a lot of talent.

With all that said, I find myself liking this Night of the Demon more and more with each viewing. I'm not even sure why. The Bigfoot, while not a horror staple has always terrified me. I remember being frightened by Charles B. Pierce's The Legend of Boggy Creek as a kid, and was always convinced we had a Sasquatch living in our bottom-lands. Growing up I probably did more research and reading about the creature than any other horror subject, with the possible exception of vampires. At some point I came to accept that logically Bigfoot, like Santa, couldn’t exist. But late at night, alone on a dark road, or reading a report of a Sasquatch siting, I still get chills. Reading my own draft of a Bigfoot fiction I am-trying to write gives me chills. So maybe this fear of Bigfoot makes me like Night of the Demon just a bit more than I should.

So I mentioned earlier I can't recommend this on it's technical merits. This isn't a good film. It's not even a so bad it's good film. Now that's not to say there aren’t a couple good things about it, there are some extremely disturbing scenes, some so ridiculous you have to see them scenes, and the creature at times is actually creepy. Add that to a somewhat dreamlike atmosphere and look makes it watchable especially for fans of exploitation and horror films.

But the main reason I would recommend this Night of the Demon to anyone, is that it is a legitimately mean and nasty piece of horror cinema. It fits in perfectly with films like The Last House on the Left, I Spit on Your Grave, and The Hills Have Eyes.

Film makers today don’t know how to make a mean film. They can say it's “more extreme” than the original like they did with the remake of I Spit on Your Grave, but they really don’t know what extreme means. Night of the Demon is a extreme film. It's a mean, no remorse, brutal FUCK YOU movie. This Bigfoot doesn’t just kill you, he makes you suffer. This Bigfoot will rip your dick off, then let you wander off to die slowly, instead of ripping you apart. This Bigfoot will hold you on a hot stove till your face burns off then leave you there. This Bigfoot will rip your intestines out then beat your friends with them. Some people may look at that and think, “Wow that's stupid.” I look at it and say, “That Bigfoot is one mean motherfucker and he doesn't give a shit.” This Bigfoot doesn’t want to kill you he wants to make you suffer.

Of course there is a reason why the Sasquatch is so pissed off in Night of the Demon. I'm not going to spoil that for you though. The secret is brutal, but this is a brutal film. Night of the Demon is a legitimate no holds barred video nasty. It might not be as technically well done as some of the others, but it holds up where it counts.

Night of the Demon isn’t a movie for your granny, unless she is a real sick old lady. It's not for the kids, although honestly I think my preteen nephews would laugh at a lot of the kills due to the shitty effects. Last but not least it is not a movie for the stick up the ass elite movie goer. But if you are a fan of the sick and twisted films of the mid seventies and early eighties, it is a must see. I cant guarantee you will like it, but I do guarantee you will ask, “What the fuck?” at least once.

Posted by Allen Alberson in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 2 comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Last House on The Left (1972)

By Nick Durham

the-last-house-on-the-left-1972-00-650-75
With the passing of Wes Craven, I've been going back through a number of his films that I haven't seen in a while. With that in mind, please know that I mean no disrespect to the man at all with the words you're about to read here about his infamous debut feature film. Anyone who knows me well knows my feelings about The Last House on the Left, and in retrospect, it's easy to see why, too, especially when you watch this movie again if you haven't seen it in a long time.

Keeping all that in mind, I'll say here and now (and again for anyone that actually knows me) that I fucking hate this movie so much. I really, truly do. I hate everything about it (almost). From the super out of place goofy interludes featuring bumbling Podunk cops, to the flat out atrocious dialogue, I despise this movie and I'm not afraid to say it. Not one fucking bit.

All that being said now, I will also say here and now that I respect Wes Craven's original The Last House on the Left, because despite how much I shit on it, it remains a powerful film that was a product of its time. It also set the beginning stage for one of the biggest and most revered directors in modern horror history. So yes, I respect this movie and loathe it all in the same breath.

You all know the film's synopsis by now, so there's no need for me to go through it again. What I will say is that this re-working of Ingmar Bergman's The Virgin Spring still manages to pack a punch all these years later believe it or not. That scene where Mari, knowing she's going to die after being brutalized by Krug and his crew, walks out into the lake and awaits being shot to death, is truly a powerful piece of filmmaking. The late David Hess, who would end up making a career out of playing sick fucks, is a terrifying villain. Other than those two pieces of the film, I can't stand the rest of it. To this very day, I still can't.

Now, as a die hard horror nut, I've seen much worse films that feature much more graphic cruelty and violence, but I have a hard time watching rape scenes in ANY film. I often get a lot of shit from fellow horror fans/friends of mine because I won't watch A Serbian Film or the August Underground flicks. I just can't do it and I fucking refuse to as well. With The Last House on the Left, the brutality on display here is relatively tame compared to what we've seen in the years to come since its 1972 release, but it's the way the film is shot that has always made it so disturbing to me. The film's low budget and Craven's ingenuity give it an almost pseudo-documentary feel, much like Tobe Hooper would do with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre just a couple of years later. That gritty sense of realism makes it all the more disturbing. I can mostly deal with that, but when you get the aforementioned scenes of bumbling idiot cops (complete with bumbling idiot music), the overall effect gets lost. You wind up thinking to yourself, "what the fuck am I watching? Is this a super dark comedy or some shit?"

So yeah, that's my thoughts on Wes Craven's The Last House on the Left. No matter my feelings towards it, I have the utmost respect for it, and I always will. Thankfully Craven would end up refining his style and churning out some genre classics that we all know and love, but everything began here with The Last House on the Left. That alone is reason enough for you to see it if you've never dived into it before, but don't expect to keep it around for repeat viewings.

My honest rating: 2/5

Legacy rating: 4/5

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

MOVIE REVIEW: Zombie Cats from Mars (2015)

Zombie Cats from Mars:

A Brief Look at a Labor of Love

By Woofer McWooferson

Zombie Cats
Director: Montetré; Writer: Ryan Cloutier; Stars: Ernest Adams, Bobby Bridges, Josh Edward; Rating: NR; Run Time: 97 min; Genre: Horror; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2015

Zombie Cats from Mars feels like it was made for fun and with no regard for marketability. The plot is stereotypical: a young person sees something unusual and tries to warn adults but ends up having to take care of the situation because the adults do not believe him.

As a film, Zombie Cats from Mars falls short in every category, but as riff fodder it is overripe for the picking. Most of the acting is flat and uninspired, the effects are so far below par as not to register, and the plot is thinner than fruit fly wings. However, this doesn't mean the movie sucks. Far from it. Zombie Cats from Mars is a highly riffable movie with many laugh-inducing scenes. It seems to be an in joke of a film, a labor of love and whimsy that was never intended as a serious “art” film. With this in mind, Zombie Cats from Mars becomes as much of an iconic piece of B-movie mania as any medium-budgeted SyFy movie does.

If you like Mars or cats or zombies or movies or any combination of these, then Zombie Cats from Mars is for you. Make sure you have friends over because it's a movie best viewed with others.

Still unsure? Check them out on Facebook or the official website.

5/10 claws – because it's a labor of love and an imminently riffable romp

Posted by Alan Smithee in MONSTERS AND CREATURES, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, ZOMBIES, 0 comments
COMING SOON: I Spit on Your Grave 3 (2015)

COMING SOON: I Spit on Your Grave 3 (2015)

I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE 3:
VENGEANCE IS MINE

By Amy Lynes

Just in time for Halloween, I Spit On Your Grave 3: Vengeance is Mine will hit limited theaters on October 9th, with a Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD release to follow on October 20, 2015!
I-spit-on-your-grave-3

Many people were surprised when, back in 2010, a remake of the 1978 cult classic was released. Almost instantly, people were bitching and moaning about it, with some flatly refusing to watch it.

Now, I am not usually one for remakes but after seeing it, I think all the negativity it got was extremely misguided. I'll probably get some hate for this, but I think I actually prefer the remake. Don't get me wrong, Camille Keaton is amazing in the film, but it is a slow burn, a bit too slow for my tastes. The 2010 version moves at a much faster pace, and the revenge scenes were much more gratifying to me, not to mention Sarah Butler did a fantastic job as Jennifer Hills. I had initially thought there was no way she would pull it off and make it believable, but she did just that. She was truly spectacular in the role.

In 2013, the remake spawned a sequel I Spit On Your Grave 2, which focused on an entirely new character in a whole new setting. Sadly, it was nowhere near as good as the 2010 remake. The revenge scenes were slightly lackluster and left me wanting something a little more. It did have its moments, though - I found the sequel much harder to watch during the rape scene than the 1978 and 2010 versions combined. It was extremely unsettling.

Now we hear that a third installment to the franchise has been completed, and the story will once again focus on Jennifer Hills. What little info on the synopsis I was able to find goes something like this: Jennifer now works for a crisis hotline (or possibly a support group), and it just so happens a vigilante type serial killer is using the hotline (support group) to target and victimize rapists. Jennifer's tragic past, of course, makes her a prime suspect to the detectives on the case.

Having enjoyed the 2010 version as much as I did, I was very happy to learn that Sarah Butler will reprise her role as Jennifer Hills in I Spit On Your Grave 3: Vengeance is Mine. The film also stars Gabriel Hogan (Television series Heartland), Doug McKeon (On Golden Pond and Mischief), Karen Strassman (The Ruins), and Jennifer Landon (Cinemax's series Banshee) and is directed by R.D. Braunstein (100 Degrees Below Zero).

I don't know about anyone else, but I enjoy these films and I am really looking forward to the latest addition to the franchise. October can't get here fast enough!

Posted by Alan Smithee in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
BOOK REVIEW: The Scarlet Gospels (2015)

BOOK REVIEW: The Scarlet Gospels (2015)

By Nick Durham

scarlet
Clive, what the fuck?

I want to start by saying that I am a Clive Barker fanatic. In my youth when I first started reading horror, aside from Stephen King, Clive Barker was one of the names I'd heard get thrown around the most. I had seen Hellraiser long before I ever read The Hellbound Heart, but once I did it didn't take long before I had read all through his published works. Barker has been and forever will be beloved by me, so much so that I'd even put him above King on my list of favorite horror authors. The man is a true master of horror literature.

Or at least he was.

I've been looking forward to The Scarlet Gospels for what seems like years. In fact, it doesn't just seem like years, it has literally been years (actually well over a decade) since Barker himself teased this unholy face-off between paranormal detective Harry D'Amour and Pinhead. An unholy face-off between the two that would spell the end for one, or possibly both, characters that we've all come to love over the years. Good fucking lord, such an epic showdown would truly be something special that will as revered in the years to come as much as The Hellbound Heart and most of what's contained in the Books of Blood volumes.

I am very sad to say that it doesn't work out that way, if at all.

First of all, I'm going to try and not delve into too many spoilers, because I'm not a dick (I'm lying, I totally am). With that in mind, be warned, because things may get a little spoiler-y regardless. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Anyway, the novel gets off to a flat-out fantastic start where we learn that various magicians all over the world have been reaching incredibly grisly demises at the hands of Pinhead, who mostly gets referred to as the "Hell Priest" here (truth be told, Barker himself always kind of hated the name "Pinhead", so this is kind of a nice little in-joke here). The opening chapter of The Scarlet Gospels is simply brilliant. It's vintage Barker, with an imaginative set-up, and some disgusting pay-offs. I don't want to give too much away, I really don't...you just have to read it to believe it. Trust me, it's awesome.

After that though, things are mostly downhill. We catch up with Harry and his blind medium friend Norma, as Harry takes on a job that turns out to be a fairly predictable trap that puts him in Pinhead's sights. Before we know it, both Harry and Norma, along with a small crew of their compatriots (or "Harrowers" as they end up getting referred to) are headed straight to Hell...figuratively and literally. This is where I have some of the biggest problems with The Scarlet Gospels. I had really looked forward to reading Barker's take on Hell, because I figured that at the least it'd be unique. Sadly, it just isn't. It's not awful or anything mind you, it all just comes off as meh. His vision of Hell and the denizens therein are just plain boring. Seriously, it feels like more of a chore reading through his descriptions of the inner-workings of Hell, and that flat out kills any momentum that has been garnered by the time we get to this point.

Another problem with the novel, at least for me anyway, are many of the characterizations and dialogue. Harry and Norma come off as well-written as they always have been, but the rest of Harry's Harrowers are two-dimensional, cookie-cutter caricatures. The cookie-cutter caricatures mostly refer to Harry's pal Caz as well as the precognitive Dale, who, once they meet, just totally become gay caricatures. Considering Barker himself is gay, and has usually written gay characters wonderfully in the past, this is a massive disappointment. In fact, whenever Caz and Dale converse with each other or about each other at all, it's kind of mind-numbing.

While I'm on the subject of characterizations, what the fuck is up with Pinhead? We never really get a clear motivation as to why he's doing what he's doing, or why he really needs Harry to be his "witness" to his deeds. We also are never really given a clear reason as to why he wants to usurp Lucifer or much else either. This is one of the story elements that you can just tell had so much left on the cutting room floor. It has been said before that so much had been excised from the original product that I would love to read a sort of "director's cut" of this if it would ever see the light of day. I truly hope that one day such a thing happens, but I'm not really counting on it to be totally honest. I kind of think that we should all be glad that The Scarlet Gospels has finally seen the light of day at all.

Now I know it sounds like I'm shitting all over it, and I kind of am because I've been looking forward to The Scarlet Gospels for so fucking long now, but the end result isn't the abortion I may be painting it to be. A majority of the novel is entertaining, and a showdown between Pinhead and Lucifer and the fallout that follows, is entertaining enough. It's just that the finished product is so disappointing considering the years of hype. Maybe that shouldn't be such a surprise, because when something gets hyped up like this for this many years, it'll never meet anyone's expectations.

So yeah, The Scarlet Gospels isn't what I'd hoped it would be. Like I said before, it isn't bad, not one bit...but it is still pretty disappointing considering what we've seen from Clive Barker in the past. I'd say still check it out though regardless. It's worth reading, just don't expect it to be as wonderful as you might hope it to be.

Rating: 2.5/5

Posted by Alan Smithee in BOOKS, COMICS, AND PUBLICATION REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
Wes Craven Dead at 76

Wes Craven Dead at 76

Wes Craven

2 August 2, 1939 - 30 August 2015

By John Roisland

Wes Craven

Today a legend has moved on; I bring you the very sad news that Wes Craven has passed away. Craven had been battling with brain cancer and died at his home in Los Angeles, California, today. He was 76.

Wes Craven was born Wesley Earl Craven on 2 August 1939 in Cleveland, Ohio. Craven's first film was the highly controversial The Last House on the Left (1972), a movie so shockingly brutal that he faked an MPAA approval to get it distributed. In 1984, he wrote and directed A Nightmare on Elm Street (featuring a young Johnny Depp), a film that was inspired by news reports of healthy young men who died in their sleep apparently without cause. After five sequels from other directors, Craven returned to Elm Street in 1994 with New Nightmare, bringing both Heather Langenkamp and John Saxon together with Robert Englund again.

Craven became synonymous with horror in 1996 when he directed the Kevin Williamson script for Scream – a movie that redefined the horror genre by looking at the genre from within. He went on to direct the three sequels, each building upon and expanding the original self-reflexive film, as well as produce the 2015 TV series created from the franchise. Other popular Wes Craven are Shocker, The Serpent and the Rainbow, The People Under the Stairs, Chiller, and The Hills Have Eyes.

Wes Craven's writing and directing has and will continue to scare, and inspire future horror fans for years to come.

Rest easy, sir...

Posted by John Roisland in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments

COMING SOON: Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension (2015)

By John Roisland

untitled (7)
Blumhouse Productions along with Paramount Pictures, brings you the fifth installment in the Paranormal Activity series, Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension. This time around we follow the story of the Fleeges family. The Fleeges have recently moved into the once possessed home of Micah and Katie and have found items that were left behind, including a box of old home VHS recordings and a video camera. Upon using the camera and videos, spirits are evoked and the new tenants are now being haunted.

My personal feelings towards the series have been hit or miss. Some parts of what I have seen with this new feature look interesting, but clichéd. One thing I loosely admired with the other films was the lack of CGI. Well so much for that. This time around CGI is definitely present and will take a lot away from the realism it normally tries to present...at least for me it will. The film is also being shown in 3-D which is usually not a good thing.

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension is directed by Gregory Plotkin and stars Chris J. Murray, Brit Shaw, Ivy George, Dan Gill, Chloe Csenergy , Jessica Tyler Brown, Olivia Taylor Dudley, and Michael Krawic. It is set to be released in theaters, October 23, 2015, just in time for Halloween.

Posted by John Roisland in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: House of Whores (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: House of Whores (2015)

By Amy Lynes

HOW

Director: Paul Arnone, Tom Komisar and Daniel Murphy

Starring: Linda Schrader, Linsey McIntire,
R.J. Cecott, Maella Cai Vane, and Nurse Hatchet

Wow...Where do I even begin with this one? House of Whores was unlike anything I have seen thus far, and I have seen my fair share of shocking and unexplainable shit. It isn't often that I am stunned into silence, but this movie managed to accomplish just that. For close to a half an hour after the credits rolled, I was still sitting there, trying to figure out just what in the actual fuck I had just witnessed.

The movie starts off with sexy “Nurse Hatchet” warning that the movie could be considered graphic and disturbing by some viewers, which she underscores by dancing seductively and smearing blood all over herself.

Then it starts of with some sleazy asshole auditioning young women for his film project, Double Fisting. He has assembled three young actresses and, based on the cheesiness of his questions alone, it's obvious that he's a real dirtbag and is most likely just looking to get laid and maybe see some weird and kinky shit along the way.

The poor, unsuspecting girls are trying to get cast in this guy’s shitty spank film when three completely fucked up, psycho ass clowns (Smasho, Slasho, and Shago) suddenly bust in on them and a whole new kind of movie begins to go down.

As the title suggests, House of Whores is a sick, sleazy, and sexually violent Indie horror film, complete with new ways to rape and torture. Thanks to this film I will never look at a cheese grater, toilet brush, or a drill quite the same way again. Pain, suffering and unrelenting brutality are swiftly doled out to the unlucky ladies who had the misfortune of showing up for this casting call from hell and it is not pretty. And by the time these clowns are done with them, neither are they.

Even though its run time is only somewhere around an hour, we have a sort of intermission period every so often, a break from the carnage that allows Nurse Hatchet center stage with her sexy, blood covered dance. As much as I love her and have been a longtime fan, it seems to distract from the film and like maybe it would have been better suited as part of the bonus features as it really has nothing much to do with the storyline. I didn't really understand it, although it is nice to see her getting more exposure.

Those with an aversion to a plethora of body fluids or a weak stomach, will want to avoid this movie. I kind of wish I had. It was nauseating and, as I mentioned earlier, I have seen more than my fair share of extreme movies and nothing much bothers me. But this film? House of Whores depicts a laundry list of vomit-inducing acts, from forced rape to Dirty Sanchezes and shit eating. At one point it actually made me gag. This movie is for those who are into really sleazy and downright gross exploitation or snuff films and who aren't easily disgusted. I know there is an audience out there for this type of film. A large one, in fact. I am just not one of said audience members. Still, I give the filmmakers a lot of respect for taking on a film like this. Not all filmmakers are this brave with films such as this.

This movie spits, defecates, and bleeds all over its viewers and makes no apologies for it. Zero. But I suppose that’s part of the allure and most likely what the filmmakers set out to do with it. If that's the case, it has done its job rather effectively and this little Indie film is a raging success.

My stomach just couldn't take it. When it was over, I was nauseated, I felt like I needed to be disinfected, and I kind of hated myself for sitting through the whole thing.

And viewers beware! House of Whores 2: The Second Cumming will be on it's way soon...

Rating 5/10

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 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