tom savini

Finally, The Fiend!

Finally, The Fiend!

When WWE debuted the character of Bray Wyatt (real name, Windham Rotunda) on Monday Night RAW in May of 2014, wrestling fans with a passion for horror were instantly captivated. While the character had already had a successful run in the early days of WWE’s NXT developmental territory, it was in the vignettes predating his on-screen debut as part of RAW that it truly came into its own.  The haunting music combined with eerie visuals that conjured the imagery of the backwoods south with a smattering of apocalyptic religious zealotry was unlike anything that had been seen in the ring since the days of Raven in ECW.  The character proved an instant hit, swiftly being launched into programs with Daniel Bryan and John Cena, undeniably the biggest stars of the time.

Sadly, the good times were not to last.  Bray Wyatt’s character eventually drifted into obscurity, delivering monotonously vague promos and repeating the same storytelling over and over with various opponents. Despite a brief reign as WWE champion in 2016, the character seemed to have lost its meaning as WWE could not seem to decide what it wanted Bray Wyatt to be. Insane cult leader? Supernatural force? Or just babbling lunatic?  It garnered little notice when the character vanished from television in late 2018, not to be seen again for months.

Then came Firefly Funhouse, and a seeming rebirth. Bray Wyatt was now revealed as a Mr Rogers style children’s icon, talking in over the top delight to his canned in audience as he introduced his bevy of puppet sidekicks and delighted the little ones in the audience with is antics.  Yet in each promo some ominous signs were given that this new and happier Bray Wyatt was hiding something.  Sinner dark, inner side to himself that he struggled to repress.  Just as swiftly as they began, the promos ended and it seemed this story had gone nowhere. Until last night, Summerslam 2019.

And boy, did it ever deliver!  Under the new moniker of The Fiend, this ghastly figure stalked to the ring amidst a haunting remix of Bray Wyatt’s old theme music.  Sporting a lantern resembling a human head (his own, in fact), garishly mismatched ring gear, and a downright nightmarish mask designed by no less than FX legend Tom Savini, The Fiend came to make an impression.  And promptly did so by destroying the first ever Universal Champion, Finn Balor, in short order.  In less than 24 hours wrestling fandom has been set abuzz by this gruesome new visage, and wait with tense anticipation to see where this new angle shall lead.

Posted by Daniel Ryan in ABNORMAL MUSINGS AND FREAKISH FACTS, EDITORIALS, EXCLUSIVE, FAMILY HORROR, HORROR HEROES, 0 comments
From Quentin to Robert: We celebrate 23 years of From Dusk till Dawn

From Quentin to Robert: We celebrate 23 years of From Dusk till Dawn

The year was 1992, A young video store clerk was premiering his first film at the Cannes Film Festival, Reservoir Dogs. That same year another young director from Texas was premiering his film El Mariachi. Both films were instant hits and showcased a talent the likes Hollywood wasn’t familiar with. Snappy dialogue, great action sequences, celebrities from the past who are in main roles dominating the screen once again in different lights. It was then that Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez met. The two bonded over the one thing they love: Movies. As time progressed, they wanted to work together but what would the project consist of? Quentin mentioned his love for horror movies and pitched an idea for a script he wrote called From Dusk till dawn. In reference to the drive-in theater days where they would show movies to FROM DUSK TILL DAWN. For those unfamiliar about the plot on the run from a bank robbery that left several police officers dead, Seth Gecko (George Clooney) and his paranoid, loose-cannon brother, Richard (Quentin Tarantino), hightail it to the Mexican border. Kidnapping preacher Jacob Fuller (Harvey Keitel) and his kids, the criminals sneak across the border in the family’s RV and hole up in a topless bar. Unfortunately, the bar also happens to be home base for a gang of vampires, and the brothers and their hostages have to fight their way out. The film boasts an extremely impressive cast of actors in small to big roles. For the moviegoer unfamiliar they may have recognized Tom Savini, George Clooney, Juliette Lewis, Harvey Keitel, Salma Hayek, Cheech Marin and of course Quentin Tarantino himself, but for the movie fanatic, they easily recognized the people that truly inspired Quentin and Robert to not only make this film but all their films. John Saxon, Greg Nicotero, Wayne Toth (who played a vampire in the movie, He’s done the FX for Rob zombie’s films) Marc Lawrence, Robert Kurtzman, Fred Williamson and the legendary Michael Parks. This was honestly the expendables of a horror movie before the film by Kurtzman “Wishmaster” which features a stellar cast itself. The film always holds a special place in my heart from the first time I saw it, I snuck into the theater since I was too young to purchase a ticket quietly sitting in my seat unbeknownst to the theater staff or customers. The movie came on my heart sank, I’m seeing my first Rodriguez/Tarantino film having to go to the video store renting to owning their movies on VHS. Yup, I once owned Reservoir Dogs on VHS along with Four Rooms and Pulp Fiction. The movie started out as a criminal heist film to eventually the horror movie we were waiting for, I studied every line, every scene, I saw so much and remembered pay attention to the movie at least. Here I was just a young teenager rooting for the bad guys, enjoying the violence. Growing up before the internet we just had horror magazines and tv spots MAYBE if we were lucky a tv show would talk about a movie or show behind the scenes even then it was just a snippet. You blink and it was over. So, at times watching the tv spots for horror movies I spent my time studying and breaking down the frames which is what I did for the film. Finally, the film was over. I was awe and couldn’t believe what I saw a great action horror movie with snippets of clever jokes. As stated, there was no internet so when going back to school it was my job to tell everyone what I saw and explain in detail as if I really did witness it all. For years the movie stayed on my mind. I had to own it, the posters, the script ANYTHING related to this film. Luckily, I was able to obtain a VHS copy of the film at Suncoast which back then was my go-to for horror movies. I wore out that tape as I did the box slip from taking it out or lending it to friends for them to see and we talk about. I also read the script which I studied and learned from for future films I wanted to write. As time went by, I eventually studied the many layers of the film. The script had scenes in it that were cut out or dialogue altered or not used. This helped me growing where I would watch films and even to this day go, move this, say this instead, alter this scene more so to reflect this character’s persona. Change this song, use this song. It was as if the teacher was watching me fly from my bird’s nest. Years later I finally met Tom Savini who talked about the film. He kept the machine gun crotch piece and explained that every vampire was modified to where they didn’t look alike, they were all unique designs. Tom joked about how his daughter would hang out with George causing pranks on set by which there were water gun fights with the dancers and Tom, George or whoever fell prey to them. Does the film have some decent sequels that actually aren’t bad? The tv series does a great job piecing everything together and adding new lore to the film. To anyone who worked on the film or the people reading this. If you’re upset, I snuck into the movie for free, don’t worry I have bought the film and posters so many times in my life that the universe is finely balanced.

 

Posted by Jai Alexis in EDITORIALS, HORROR COMEDIES, HORROR HISTORY, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, SATANIC/DEMONIC, STAFF PICKS, THRILLER, TRIBUTE, VAMPIRES, 0 comments
TOM SAVINI TURNS 72 TODAY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOM!!!

TOM SAVINI TURNS 72 TODAY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOM!!!

 

Thomas Vincent Savini was born on November 3, 1946. He is known for his amazing talent as an actor in such films like From Dusk Till Dawn, Planet Terror Creepshow 2 and many many others. In 1990 he directed Night of The living Dead which was a remake of the 1968 classic that was directed by the late, great George A Romero. Tom recently directed a new episode of Flicker, which is a new web series created by Robert Tinnell, telling bite sized horror tales paying homage to silent horror films from the 1920’s.

‘Most of all, Tom Savini is known for his creativity in over the top special make up effects for such films like Friday The 13th, The Prowler, The Burning, Martin, Dawn of The Dead, Creepshow and many many others.

The Godfather of Gore was inspired by the 1957 film, a Thousand Faces. He became fascinated with the magic and illusion of film . While Tom was a combat photographer in Vietnam, he got his first taste of real carnage, which ended up being in his films later on.

Tom Savini has a special makeup effects program located in Monessen, Pa at Douglas Education Center.

In 2013, I had the pleasure of meeting this man at Douglas Education center and even though I knew he was busy at the open house, I was just in awe. Here is the guy that I looked up to my entire life. When I was a kid, I spent majority of my time watching horror films and his name often appeared in the credits under special make up effects.

As a lover of the 70’s and 80’s horror films, I was in shock at just how well the makeup was done, it looked real, it looked disgusting and it looked painful. If Tom’s name was on a film, you knew you were in for a treat of carnage.

One year as a Christmas Gift, I was given VHS tapes of Tom’s work. Scream Greats and Horror Effects and I would watch those back to back all the time. I was overly obsessed with film making and enjoyed seeing how all this magic comes to life on screen.

Say what you want about Tom Savini, but to me he is a legend, a mentor, a filmmaker and a friend.

SMOKE AND MIRRORS, which is a documentary on the life of Tom Savini, is in post production and will hopefully see the light of day very soon.  The film was written and directed by Jason Baker.

 

LET’S ALL WISH TOM A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TODAY!!!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TOM!!!

 

 

 

Posted by Jonathan Hughes in Categories, CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS, EDITORIALS, 0 comments
Fayetteville Comic Con Review

Fayetteville Comic Con Review

Clint NarramoreFayetteville Comic Con was this past weekend in North Carolina and they did not disappoint.  They provided a good lineup for horror fans with Tony Todd, Butch Patrick, Tom Savini, Mark Dodson and Warrington Gillette.  The 2 day event was filled with contests and opportunities to meet their favorite celebrities.  Butch Patrick of The Munsters even brought along exact Munster Car replicas of The Munster Coach and Dragula.

I am normally a little weary of Comic Cons that bring in horror stars.  There are however, 2 sides of the coin.  If the con has no horror guests, then the horror fans feel left out.  If there are lesser known horror guests to horror fans however, the horror guests go unnoticed.  That problem didn’t seem to be the case this weekend.  The fans were enthusiastic about meeting the horror stars and the stars reciprocated those feelings.  Also seen at the convention, were performers of Air Born Aerial Fitness and they performed on the stage for the fans.

All in all this show provided everything for fans of all genres.  There were great guests, some innovative Cosplay from the fans and a wide variety of vendors that provided items of both the comic and horror worlds.  Fayetteville Comic Con has seemed to get better from year to year and put on a memorable show. The one area I would like to see (let me qualify this by saying I am selfish) is the horror guest list grow as well as more photo ops with some of the larger guests.  That will come though, as the show grows.  Overall, everyone both guests and fans enjoyed themselves, making for a successful show.  To get more info on the show as a whole, visit the official Fayetteville Comic Con website at www.fayettevillecomiccon.com.

Overall Grade: A

Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
Fayetteville NC Comic Con To Showcase Horror Icons

Fayetteville NC Comic Con To Showcase Horror Icons

This weekend is the annual Comic Con for Fayetteville, NC. In addition to the many comic book artists and creators featured at the event, there is a new twist this year.  Fayetteville Comic Con ventured to the horror side a mere week and a half before Halloween. Tony Todd headlines the horror guest this year. Fans will of course recognize Tony as Candyman in the 1992 film and sequels. Todd also had featured roles in Hatchet and Hatchet 2, Death House and the new film, Hell Fest.

Tony Todd as Candyman at Days of the Dead - Charlotte, NC – 2018 / Image: Crypt Keeper Kent Fayetteville Comic COn

Fayetteville Comic Con

If Tony Todd was the only horror icon appearing at Fayetteville Comic Con, that would be a nice effort. Fayetteville Comic Con however, features an amazing lineup. Iconic makeup artist and creator, Tom Savini joins the fun at Fayetteville Comic Con. Known for his work in the Friday The 13th series and Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Savini for decades has created monsters and creatures forever remembered.

Speaking of Friday The 13th, Warrington Gillette will make his way to Fayetteville. Gillette is one of the many actors that have donned the mask (or potato sack) of Jason Voorhees.  Gillette played the role (with Steve Dash) in Part 2.

Fayetteville Comic Con

Fayetteville Comic Con

Fayetteville Comic Con has also gone old school. The legendary Butch Patrick, known as lovable Eddie Munster on The Munsters!  Butch is not coming alone either. Coming with him are props AND The Munsters cars from the show! Butch Patrick will also be a guest of Larry K on Fayetteville’s 98.6 BOB FM this Friday morning at 7 AM!

Mark Dodson, known for his voice work on Gremlins and Gremlins 2, along with WWE Hall of Famer Hacksaw Jim Duggan round out the horror guests. Many fans may not realize that Hacksaw Duggan has acted in several films and had a starring role in Cody Knotts’ Pro Wrestlers vs Zombies in 2014. If you are a wrestling fan and horror fan, this film should be on you watch list, by the way.

Fayetteville Comic ConFayetteville Comic Con

The event will happen at The Crown Complex in Fayetteville, NC. A complete list of all of the guests, panel times, photo ops and more can be found on the FAYETTEVILLE COMIC CON website. There you can also buy tickets. You can also visit them on FACEBOOK.

All in all, Fayetteville Comic Con has heard the horror community loud and clear. They responded with a tremendous group of actors and icons from the horror world. They also booked horror guests that are “likable”. Each of the guests does have a reputation of being a great guy to meet as a fan at shows. Fayetteville got this lineup right made it fun to countdown to.  See everyone this weekend!

Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, 0 comments
Quickies for Sickies: Cutting Moments (1997)

Quickies for Sickies: Cutting Moments (1997)

I want to talk about a short extreme film or as I like to call them “quickies for sickies” called Cutting Moments.

Cutting Moments (1997)

Cutting Moments was created by Douglas Buck in 1997 and has a run time of 25 minutes. It was later added to Family Portraits: A Trilogy of America and then released as part of the Suburban Holocaust (2012) collection. The trailer shown here includes scenes from the entire trilogy and was fan made so it’s not the best and doesn’t do the film justice.
Family Portraits: A Trilogy of America (2003)
Cutting Moments really highlights one families desperation in middle-class America. It’s cheerless, lonely, depressing, and at times disturbing. A wife desperately vies for her apathetic husband’s attention. After dressing up sexy fails to get his attention, she goes into the bathroom and goes to town on her mouth with a metal scrub brush and then cuts off her lips. The husband’s response is to take her in the bedroom and give her a good one while he cuts off her breasts with garden shears and then his own penis. FX work done by Tom Savini make this short extra special.
4/5 for this short

Although Cutting Moments was by far the best of the three, I feel the other two are at least worth a quick overview, especially part II.

Part 2 shows us a young boy with a controlling abusive father. Whereas the first father is apathetic, this one is overbearing and too involved.

Flash forward to the future. The son has grown up and has his own family. He’s become a religious zealot and has a wife and daughter that he shuts out due to his own self-loathing, repressed desires, and shame, causing him to eventually snap and cut off all their instruments of evil, i.e. eyes, ears, tongues, and fingers. Afterward, he casually puts on a jacket over his blood-spattered suit and heads out to get the paper.
3.5/5 for this short

Part III, the Prologue, was extremely underwhelming after the first two, and it’s also the longest. It was slow and boring with no real payoff. An aged and retired artist/serial killer with dementia forgets where he buried the bodies. A girl disfigured by the serial killer and her broken family try to cope.
2/5 for this short

Whether you watch them separately as shorts or as a feature-length anthology film it’s a worthwhile extreme cinema experience.

Suburban Holocaust (2012)

Posted by Candace Stone in ANTHOLOGY, BRUTAL REALITY, GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW (RETRO): Revisiting Creepshow (1982), Pt. 2

MOVIE REVIEW (RETRO): Revisiting Creepshow (1982), Pt. 2

REVISITING CREEPSHOW

Part 2: I Want My Cake

Hello there kiddies! Thanks for stopping by and welcome to the second installment of my monstrous multi-part series! A repulsive and revolting retrospect to that fiendish fright-fest, Creepshow...
In the last installment, I discussed the ins and outs of the film's background, its impact upon its release, and the intro of the film. Now, let us take a look at the first story in this anthology, aptly named, "Father's Day".
This tale centers around the affluent and boorish Grantham family as they gather at their patriarch's home on Father's Day seven years after his death. Aunt Sylvia (Carrie Nye (The Screaming Skull, Too Scared To Scream)), Richard (Warner Shook (Knightriders)), Cass (Elizabeth Regan), and Cass' husband Hank Blaine (Ed Harris (The Abyss, Needful Things)) are waiting for Sylvia's Aunt Bedelia (Viveca Lindfors (Exorcist III, The Hand)) to arrive. Creepshow-Father's Day-Father's Day cake / Fair use doctrine.In the meantime, they begin to tell Hank the story of how Aunt Bedelia killed her own father, Nathan, played by Jon Lormer (Twilight Zone, Star Trek), on Father's Day, years after he had her fiance murdered in a "hunting accident". Aunt Bedelia, now an alcoholic and consumed with guilt, arrives and visits her father's grave. After getting the event off of her chest, her father's decayed corpse rises from the grave to exact his revenge. He strangles Bedelia and shortly begins murdering the rest of the family, all the while asking for his Father's Day cake.
This story is one of the best examples of a Tales From The Crypt story. Usually, someone kills another person and that person will eventually rise from the grave to exact their revenge. Although, most of the times in these tales, the previously dead would have been killed for an unjust cause. In this story, that is debatable. The Grantham family is not seen as the shining example of morality, but the family patriarch, Nathan, is surely the worst of them all. After having Bedelia's fiance killed, he is left in her care. He nags and nags about his Father's day cake as she is seen to be emotionally distraught. It's difficult to blame her for her actions, but one can say that murdering him can not be justified. As pleasing as it is to see a bad person receive their comeuppance, in general, revenge leads to more revenge. Nathan's reanimated corpse also kills the maid, Mrs. Danvers. Where some may see her as being innocent in all of this, she was witness to his murder and did nothing about it. This could make her an accomplice in some people's eyes. The only character killed that one could say was wholly innocent was Hank. I guess a vengeful animated corpse cares not for the innocent. In the end, this is a shining example of karma.
I've seen many reviews say that it is the weakest story and others say that it should have been left out. I personally feel it is a great way to start the film and give us a taste of what is in store for us. Some of the imagery is outstanding. Who could forget the scene of Sylvia's head on a platter, topped with icing and candles, and Nathan proudly proclaiming, "It's Father's Day and I got my cake. Happy Father's Day!", while Richard and Cass look on in stark terror? Hell, someone even made an action figure of this scene recently. Nathan's reanimated corpse, played by John Amplas (Day of The Dead) looks amazing. The make-up effects were done by the legendary Tom Savini (Dawn of The Dead, Maniac). One other thing that sticks out to me about Nathan's reanimated corpse is his voice. I can never get tired of hearing that ghoulish sound, it's quite terrifying. All of the actors do a great job as well, especially Viveca Lindfors. Despite her strong Swedish accent, she delivers a powerful monologue. She asked George A. Romero if she could improvise the scene. She channeled her anger over her rocky relationships with her own father and her ex-husband. The product is a realistic and emotionally-charged performance. One more thing I truly love in this story is small, but has stuck with me since I was a child. When Richard and Cass encounter Nathan at the end, Richard let's out a gasping "Oh my god!" which is quite unique. We're used to hearing people scream or just gasp in horror films, but Warner Shook decided to recite his line while inhaling. This strikes me as a very authentic reaction to seeing something so horrifying.
Creepshow-Father's Day-Aunt Bedelia / Fair use doctrine.This isn't to say this story doesn't have its downfalls. The flashback scene of Nathan nagging Bedelia for his cake is quite hammy and goofy. This could have been on purpose, perhaps Romero felt that this is how the family sees the event as they are relating it to Hank. It does retract a bit from the overall feel of the story and otherwise great performances. Another scene that isn't very good is Hank's death. He falls into the hole that was Nathan's grave and sees Bedelia's corpse. Nathan's obelisk-like tomb then slowly starts inching fotward, threatening to fall onto Hank. It seems like Hank has no sense of urgency here and just lays there staring at the tomb for seconds on end. Nothing is holding him in place. In the comic book, we see that Bedelia's lifeless corpse has rolled on top of him and he struggles to get it off of him. This slows his escape long enough for the tomb to fall onto him and crush him. Why Romero chose to portray it the way he did in the film is beyond me. Since the comic book was based on the original script, I feel King had written this into the screenplay. It's very odd and a bit comical, you just end up screaming at the screen, "Get up, you fool!"
Stephen King wrote this story specifically for this film and as I stated before, I think he wrote this as a pastiche of the general Tales From The Crypt story. He may have had some inspiration from James Joyce's book, Finnegan's Wake. In this story, the titular character falls from a ladder and dies. He is then revived when someone accidentally spills whiskey on his corpse. In Father's Day, Nathan is revived directly after Bedelia accidentally spills her whiskey at Nathan's grave. This idea originally came from an old Dublin street ballad and the Gaelic word for whiskey translates to "water of life".
This was Ed Harris' fourth role. The year before this film, Ed Harris had the starring role in Romero's previous film, Knightriders. Later in 1993, he went on to play the main character, Alan Pangborn, in the film adaptation of the novel, Needful Things. But, beyond these connections, I don't think I need to tell you how well his career has gone since his appearance in Creepshow.
Ed Harris in Creepshow / Fair use doctrine.
One more thing of note to mention is the murder weapon. Creepshow-Father's Day-ashtray / Fair use doctrine.In the flashback sequence, we see that Bedelia kills Nathan by bashing him over the head with a marble ashtray. This ashtray can be seen in every story in this film, even in the wraparound story. Maybe, you can watch the film again and make a game out of spotting each of its appearances. No, I'm not going to spoil it for you! Where's the fun in that?
Well, that concludes part 2 of my retrospect and I've suddenly got myself a hankering for some cake. How about you? In any case, don't be a nunk head and join me next time as I take a look at the next spooky story, "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verril..."
Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
History of Horror in November

History of Horror in November

By Woofer McWooferson

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

November 1 - 7


11/01/1985 – A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge released theatrically

A Nightmare on Elm Street / Fair use doctrine.



Castlevania: Symphony of the Night / Fair use doctrine.


11/01/1997 – Castlevania: Symphony of the Night released on the PlayStation and Sega Saturn in the European Union



11/01/2000 – Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem released on the Nintendo GameCube in the European Union

Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem / Fair use doctrine.



28 Days Later / Fair use doctrine.

11/01/2002 – 28 Days Later released theatrically in the United Kingdom



11/02/1990 – Jacob’s Ladder released theatrically

Jacob's Ladder / Fair use doctrine.



Carrie / Fair use doctrine.

11/03/1976 – Carrie released theatrically



11/03/1946-Tom Savini pioneer F/X artist born

Tom Savini / Image: IMDb



The Snake Pit / Fair use doctrine.

11/04/1948 – The Snake Pit released theatrically



11/05/1943 – Son of Dracula (1943) released theatrically

Son of Dracula / Fair use doctrine.



Castlevania: Curse of Darkness / Fair use doctrine.

11/05/2006 – Castlevania: Curse of Darkness released on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox in North America



11/06/1931 – Mike Nichols (director of Wolf) born

Mike Nichols / Photo by Steve Granitz - © WireImage.com - Image courtesy WireImage.com



Thandie Newton / Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage.com

11/06/1972 – Thandie Newton (actress in Interview with the Vampire) born



11/06/1972 – Rebecca Romijn (actress in Godsend) born

Rebecca Romijn / Photo by John Shearer/WireImage.com

November 8 - 14


Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde / Fair use doctrine.

11/07/1971 – Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde released theatrically



11/07/2000 – Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem released on the Nintendo GameCube in Australia

Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem / Fair use doctrine.



Bram Stoker / Fair use doctrine.

11/08/1847 – Bram Stoker (author of Dracula) born (d. 1912)



11/08/1968 – Parker Posey (actress in Scream 3) born

Parker Posey / © 2004 USA Cable Network. All Rights Reserved.



Tara Reid / IMDb

11/08/1975 – Tara Reid (actress in A Return to Salem’s Lot, Urban Legend (film), Devil’s Pond, Alone in the Dark, and The Crow: Wicked Prayer) born



11/09/1984 – A Nightmare on Elm Street released theatrically

A Nightmare on Elm Street / Fair use doctrine.



Silent Night, Deadly Night / Fair use doctrine.

11/09/1984 – Silent Night, Deadly Night released theatrically



11/09/1988 – Child’s Play released theatrically

Child's Play / © 1988 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.



Castlevania: Chronicles / Fair use doctrine.

11/09/2001 – Castlevania Chronicles released on the PlayStation in the European Union



11/10/1889 – Claude Rains (actor in many horror films) born (d. 1967)

Claude Rains / Photo by Hulton Archive - Image courtesy gettyimages.com



Bill Moseley / IMDb

11/11/1951 – Bill Moseley (actor in many horror films) born



11/11/1995 – Interview with the Vampire released theatrically

Interview with the Vampire / Fair use doctrine.



Resident Evil Zero / Fair use doctrine.

11/11/2002 – Resident Evil 0 released on the Nintendo GameCube in North America



11/12/1904 – Jacques Tourneur (director of many horror films) born (d. 1977)

Jacques Tourneur / Image: IMDb



The Mad Ghoul / Fair use doctrine.

11/12/1943 – The Mad Ghoul released theatrically



11/12/1999 – Resident Evil 3: Nemesis released for the PlayStation in North America

Resident Evil 3: Nemesis / Fair use doctrine.



Seed of Chucky / Fair use doctrine.

11/12/2004 – Seed of Chucky released theatrically



11/13/1933 – The Invisible Man released theatrically

The Invisible Man / Fair use doctrine.



Cape Fear / Fair use doctrine.

11/13/1991 – Cape Fear (1991) released theatrically



11/13/1992 – Bram Stoker’s Dracula released theatrically

Bram Stoker's Dracula / Fair use doctrine.

November 15 - 21


Night of the Comet / © Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

11/16/1984 – Night of the Comet released theatrically



11/16/1990 – Initiation: Silent Night, Deadly Night 4 released theatrically

Initiation: Silent Night, Deadly Night 4 / Fair use doctrine.



Frailty / © 2002 - Lions Gate Films - All Rights Reserved

11/17/2001 – Frailty released theatrically



11/18/1990 – It premieres on television

It / Fair use doctrine.

November 21 - 27


Frankenstein / Fair use doctrine.

11/21/1931 – Frankenstein released theatrically



11/21/1964 – Onibaba released theatrically in Japan

Onibaba / Fair use doctrine.



Predator 2 / Fair use doctrine.

11/21/1990 – Predator 2 released theatrically



11/21/2002 – Resident Evil 0 released on the Nintendo GameCube in Japan

Resident Evil Zero / Fair use doctrine.



Gothika / © 2003 Warner Bros. Ent. All Rights Reserved

11/21/2002 – Gothika released theatrically



11/22/1958 – Jamie Lee Curtis (actress in Halloween, The Fog, Prom Night, etc.) born

Jamie Lee Curtis / © 2010 20th Century FOX All Rights Reserved



Boris Karloff / Image courtesy mptvimages.com

11/23/1887 – Boris Karloff born (d. 1969)



11/23/1917 – Michael Gough (actor in Hammer horror films) born

Michael Gough / Image: IMDb



Silent Hill 2 / Fair use doctrine.

11/23/2001 – Silent Hill 2 released on the PlayStation, Xbox, and PC in Europe



11/24/1999 – End of Days released theatrically

End of Days / Fair use doctrine.



Castlevania: Curse of Darkness / Fair use doctrine.

11/24/2006 – Castlevania: Curse of Darkness released on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox in Japan



11/26/1992 – Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge released on the Game Boy in Europe

Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge / Fair use doctrine.



Alien: Resurrection / Fair use doctrine.

11/26/1997 – Alien: Resurrection released theatrically



11/27/1988 – John Carradine (actor in numerous horror films) dies (b. 1906)

John Carradine / Photo by Ulvis Alberts - © 1978 Ulvis Alberts - Image courtesy mptvimages.com



Castlevania: Legends / Fair use doctrine.

11/27/1997 – Castlevania Legends released on the Game Boy in Japan



11/27/2003 – Castlevania: Lament of Innocence released on the PlayStation 2 in Japan

20032711_castlevania-lament-of-innocence

November 28 - 30


Let Sleeping Corpses Lie / Fair use doctrine.

11/28/1974 – Let Sleeping Corpses Lie released theatrically



11/30/1999 – Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness released on the Nintendo 64 in the United States

Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness / Fair use doctrine.

Posted by Alan Smithee in HORROR HISTORY, 0 comments
DOC REVIEW: Boogeymen 2: Masters of Horror

DOC REVIEW: Boogeymen 2: Masters of Horror

Boogeyman 2: Masters of Horror

By Woofer McWooferson

Boogeymen 2-1

 

Director: Mike Mendez, Dave Parker; Writers: Curtis Bowden, Mike Mendez, Dave Parker, Gary Shenk; Stars: Dario Argento, Bruce Campbell, John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Guillermo del Toro, Tobe Hooper, John Landis, George A. Romero; Rating: U; Run Time: 90 min; Genre: Documentary; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2002

“Their movies gave you nightmares. Now the most diabolical minds in horror are coming together in the ultimate Halloween horror special – Masters of Horror.”

The 2002 documentary Boogeymen 2: Masters of Horror is hosted by Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead, The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.) and features some of the greatest names in horror movies, from Dario Argento to Guillermo del Toro. Divided into three parts, it asks the great questions all horror fans have:

Part 1: Why Do We Like to be Scared?
Part 2: What Scares Us?
Part 3: (Where Do They Get Their Ideas?)

Parts one and two are rather brief and hop from director to director as each answers why we like to be scared and what scares us. As to why we like to be scared, answers range from “why do some people like to ride roller coasters” to “preparation for our own deaths” and all are equally valid since why we like to be scared is as unique as each of us. When it comes to what scares us, however, most of our fears are the same, from death (of self or loved ones) to the dark (or what lies in it), and this is the bread and butter of these directors.

Wes Craven

Wes Craven

Part three, however, is much longer and divided into six sections with each section focusing on one director. These sections and the featured directors are:

The Reality of Horror (Wes Craven)
The Horror of Innocence (Guillermo del Toro)
The Rebel of Horror (John Carpenter)
The Horror of Society (George A. Romero)
Transforming Horror (John Landis & Rick Baker)
The Beauty of Horror (Dario Argento)
Living the Horror (Tobe Hooper)

Highlights of the documentary include:

• Craven discussing the making of The Serpent and the Rainbow and how The Last House on the Left managed an R rating.

• del Toro recounting his introduction to the supernatural while still in his crib, the influence of Universal monster movies on him, and how he established a special effects company in order to create Cronos.

• Carpenter talking about the change in audience sensibilities and the effect it had on the horror industry in the 70s and 80s.

• Romero revealing his fear of being typecast and his eventual return to the dead films.

• Landis and Rick Baker explaining how they created Schlock and why An American Werewolf in London is a watershed film in special effects work.

• Argento discussing his films as works of art where each shot is framed for both beauty and horror.

• Hooper recounting the horrors behind the scenes of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, including the effects that the gruelling shot had on the cast and crew.

Tobe Hooper

Tobe Hooper

Boogeymen 2: Masters of Horror also includes commentary from Gunnar Hanson, Tom Savini, and KNB Effects and is full of clips from the movies being discussed as well as movies that exemplify the topics being described.

Is this for everyone? No, but it is damn good fun and a must for horror lovers.

7/10 claws

Posted by Alan Smithee in DOCUMENTARY REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
BOOK REVIEW: The Making of George A. Romero’s Day of the Dead (2014)

BOOK REVIEW: The Making of George A. Romero’s Day of the Dead (2014)

By Nick Durham

The Making of George A. Romero's Day of the Dead
We all know who George Romero is, and we all know about his Dead movies. While Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead are the films that everyone rightfully recognizes as the benchmarks of the genre, Day of the Dead has often been relegated as that red-headed stepchild of his initial Dead trilogy (that's right, I said trilogy...I don't count Land of the Dead, Diary of the Dead, or Survival of the Dead much). Despite its initial lack of success with critics and audiences during its original 1985 release, the film has underwent a bit of reclassification in recent years, and is now recognized as practically being a classic of the zombie genre.

With all that in mind, here comes this super enjoyable book from Romero super-fan Lee Karr, The Making of George A. Romero's Day of the Dead. This book begins with a foreword from effects icon Greg Nicotero (who got his start in the business with this film working under Tom Savini) and continues with plenty of behind the scenes stories, anecdotes, rarely-seen photos, and material from the film's cast and crew. We learn of the trials and tribulations that Romero went through making this film, having been forced to slash his original script when discovering just how low-budgeted the film would end up being. Not to mention the fact that filming in an actual mine and the rotting guts used for Savini's landmark effects work making Joe Pilato (Captain Rhodes) require some quick hits of oxygen during his infamous death scene, just goes to illustrate how making these kind of films is no picnic (no pun intended). Hell, the book is a good reflection on the trials and tribulations of filmmaking in general, regardless of the genre.

If there's any drawbacks to The Making of George A. Romero's Day of the Dead, it's that I wish the book was hardcover. This is mostly a personal thing with me I guess, because I just like the way hardcover books sit on my shelf more than paperback ones do. Then again, after reading this thing cover to cover and paging through it again afterwards, it becomes really apparent that the book's binding kind of sucks. That doesn't speak to the quality of what's in these pages, but when the spine starts cracking that fast, that's not really a good thing is it?

Anyway, I've always tended to enjoy Day of the Dead a little more than I probably should, so seeing all these candid photos and reading about all this is a true treat for me personally. If you enjoy Day of the Dead and/or any of Romero's films at all, you need to check this book out as soon as you can. If you can get past the cruddy book binding, you'll enjoy what all you get here. That being said, check this out as soon as you can.

Rating: 4.5/5

Posted by Alan Smithee in BOOKS, COMICS, AND PUBLICATION REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
HALLOWEEN HORRORS: Dawn of the Dead (1978)

HALLOWEEN HORRORS: Dawn of the Dead (1978)

By Nick Durham

DOTD

There isn't much I can say about the original Dawn of the Dead that hasn't been said plenty of times through the decades after it was released, but fuck it, I'm going to anyway. This was the first zombie movie I had seen in my youth that I had legitimately loved from the first time I'd seen it. All these years later, it's still my go-to zombie movie not just for Halloween, but for the whole month of October.

Now I know what you're thinking right now reading that opening paragraph...what about Night of the Living Dead? Well kids, I can't deny that the original Night of the Living Dead isn't essential Halloween viewing. I mean how can it not be? It's the movie that started it all. We wouldn't have anything modern zombie-related without it. So yeah, that is a classic film and absolutely iconic as well, there's no denying that one bit, but it's Dawn of the Dead that where George Romero really hit his mark with his zombie films. No Dead film that followed can touch this, and nothing that Romero could churn out now will ever come close either.

Talking about the film's story is pretty much a moot point, we all know it. Four people barricade themselves inside a shopping mall amidst the zombie epidemic. Things are good for a while and there's a lot of social commentary and knocks against consumerism. Then a Tom Savini-led biker gang starts some shit and everything proceeds to go to hell. It sounds simple on paper, but holy shit is it so effective, even to this day.

Believe it or not, what always made Dawn of the Dead so special to me is the film's acting and characters. You actually legitimately give a shit about our four heroes (yes even asshole Flyboy) and you, surprisingly, don't want to see them die. Romero's films have always had acting that was all over the map in terms of solid performances and over the top screen chewing (no pun intended), but here all four actors (Ken Foree, Gaylen Ross, David Emge, and Scott Reiniger) are wonderful. Savini's makeup effects and zombie makeup haven't aged all that well (Day of the Dead would be his crowning achievement in makeup and gore effects), but they still pack a punch when all the gut-munching commences towards the film's climax. And oh yeah, how could I forget that iconic music score by Goblin?

So yeah, Dawn of the Dead has a special place in my heart, and not just because it's my favorite zombie movie to watch this time of year either. It's my favorite horror film of all time, and one of my all time favorite films of any genre ever. I can watch this any day of the week, any week of the month, any month of the year. I never get tired of seeing it, and I never fucking will either.

Rating: 5/5

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