Skeet Ulrich

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

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

10/10 – 1996: SCREAM/FROM DUSK TILL DAWN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Samuel Glass in EDITORIALS, FEATURED CONTENT, GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, HALLOWEEN, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, OPINION, SATANIC/DEMONIC, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, THRILLER, TRIBUTE, VAMPIRES, 0 comments
History of Horror in January

History of Horror in January


Join House of Tortured Souls as we celebrate significant dates in the history of horror in January. Click on thumbnails for full images.

January 1 - 7


1/1/1940 – Frank Langella (actor in Dracula (1979) and The Ninth Gate) born

19400101_Frank_Langella_Deauville_2012 / Image: Georges Biard



Cuba Gooding Jr. / Image: WireImage.com


1/2/1968 – Cuba Gooding Jr (actor in American Horror Story) born



1/2/2004 – Tremors 4: The Legend Begins released on DVD

20040102_tremors-4-the-legend-begins / Fair use doctrine.



19590105_Clancy Brown / Image: Frazer Harrison - © 2011 Getty Images

1/5/1959 – Clancy Brown (actor in many horror films) born



1/6/2006 – Hostel released theatrically

20060106_Hostel / Fair use doctrine.



20060106_BloodRayne / Fair use doctrine.

1/6/2006 – BloodRayne released theatrically



1/7/2005 – White Noise released theatrically

20050107_White Noise / Fair use doctrine.

January 8 - 14


19470108_David Bowie / Fair use doctrine.

1/8/1947 – David Bowie (actor in Labyrinth, The Hunger, and other horror movies) born



1/8/1988 – Return of the Living Dead Part II released on VHS

19880108_Return of the Living Dead Part II / Fair use doctrine.



20050111_Resident Evil 4 / Fair use doctrine.

1/11/2005 – Resident Evil 4 released for the Nintendo GameCube in North America



1/12/1940 – The Invisible Man Returns released theatrically

19400112_The Invisible Man Returns / Fair use doctrine.



19650112_Rob_Zombie_Comiccon / Image: Lindsey8417

1/12/1965 – Rob Zombie (musician, singer, artist, director of House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects, and Halloween (2007)) born



1/12/1990 – Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III released theatrically

19900112_leatherface_texas_chainsaw_massacre_3 / Fair use doctrine.



19390113_Son of Frankenstein / Fair use doctrine.

1/13/1939 – Son of Frankenstein released theatrically



1/13/1974 – The Satanic Rites of Dracula released theatrically

19740113_ Satanic Rites of Dracula / Fair use doctrine.



19950113_demon-knight-title / Fair use doctrine.

1/13/1995 – Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight released theatrically



1/14/1981 – Scanners released theatrically

19810114_Scanners / Fair use doctrine.

January 15 - 21


19150115_Der Golem / Fair use doctrine.

1/15/1915 – Der Golem released theatrically



1/16/1948 – John Carpenter (director, screenwriter, producer, and composer of scores for many horror films) born

19480116_John Carpenter 2010-Nathan Hartley Maas / Image: Nathan Hartley Maas



19650116_the-outer-limits / Fair use doctrine.

1/16/1965 – The Outer Limits ends its run on television



1/17/1962 – Denis O’Hare (actor in American Horror Story) born

19620117_Denis O'Hare / Image: Alexander Berg - © 2006



20020118_Long-Time-Dead-Poster / Fair use doctrine.

1/18/2002 – Long Time Dead released theatrically in the United Kingdom



1/19/1809 – Edgar Allan Poe born (d. 1849)

18090119_Edgar_Allan_Poe;_a_centenary_tribute / Fair use doctrine.



19900119_tremors / Fair use doctrine.

1/19/1990 – Tremors released theatrically



1/19/1996 – From Dusk Till Dawn released theatrically

19960119_From Dusk Till Dawn / Fair use doctrine.



20020119_Dark Water (Japan) / Fair use doctrine.

1/19/2002 – Dark Water (2002) released theatrically in Japan



1/20/1970 – Skeet Ulrich (actor in Scream) born

19700120_Skeet_Ulrich_2010 / Image: Thomas Attila Lewis



19870120_Evan Peters / Image: Allen Berezovsky - © 2012 Getty Images

1/20/1987 – Evan Peters (actor in American Horror Story) born



1/20/2006 – Underworld: Evolution released theatrically

20060120_Underworld-Evolution-2006 / Fair use doctrine.



19560121_Geena Davis / Image: Steven D Starr - © gettyimages.com

1/21/1956 – Geena Davis (actor in Beetlejuice, The Fly) born



1/21/1998 – Resident Evil 2 released on the PlayStation in the United States

19980121_Resident_Evil_2 / Fair use doctrine.

January 22 - 28


19320122_Piper Laurie / Image: Theo Wargo - © WireImage.com

1/22/1932 – Piper Laurie (actor in Carrie) born



1/22/1959 – Linda Blair (actor in The Exorcist) born

19590122_Linda Blair. / Image: Rebecca Sapp - © WireImage.com



20000122_ring-0-birthday / Fair use doctrine.

1/22/2000 – Ring 0: Birthday released theatrically in Japan



1/23/1981 – Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror released theatrically

19810123_Burial Ground / Fair use doctrine.



20040123_the-butterfly-effect-original / Fair use doctrine.

1/23/2004 – The Butterfly Effect released theatrically



1/25/1926 – Ted White (Jason in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter) born

19260125_Ted White / Fair use doctrine.



19430125_Tobe Hooper_Cannes_2014 / Image: Dark Attsios

1/25/1943 – Tobe Hooper (director of numerous horror films) born



1/25/2000 – The Dead Hate the Living! released on DVD

20000125_Deadhatetheliving / Fair use doctrine.



20050125_All Souls Day / Fair use doctrine.

1/25/2005 – All Souls Day released on DVD



1/26/1999 – Castlevania 64 released on the Nintendo 64 in the United States

19990126_Castlevania_N64 / Fair use doctrine.



19400127_James Cromwell / Image: Ryan Rogers http://ryan-rogers.com/ - © Copyright 2011, Ryan Rogers Photography

1/27/1940 – James Cromwell (actor in many horror productions) born



1/27/2005 – Resident Evil 4 released for the Nintendo GameCube in Japan

20050127_Resident Evil 4 (Japan) / Fair use doctrine.



20050128_Creep-2004 / Fair use doctrine.

1/28/2005 – Creep released theatrically



1/28/2005 – Hide and Seek released theatrically

20050128_Hide and Seek / Fair use doctrine.

January 29 - 31


19980129__Resident_Evil_2 / Fair use doctrine.

1/29/1998 – Resident Evil 2 released on the PlayStation in Japan



1/30/1976 – Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma released theatrically

19760130_Salo / Fair use doctrine.



19980131_ringu / Fair use doctrine.

1/31/1998 – Ringu released theatrically in Japan



1/31/1999 – Silent Hill released on the PlayStation in North America

19990131_Selent Hill PS1[ntsc][front] / Fair use doctrine.



20030131_final-destination / Fair use doctrine.

1/31/2003 – Final Destination released theatrically

Posted by Alan Smithee in HORROR HISTORY, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments