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Saturday, October 31, 2015

SR Podcast (Ep. 57) "Happy" Halloween 3: Season of the Witch: October 2015

Happy Halloween!

Today is Halloween and to celebrate we figured what would be a better way then with the very unappreciated but great...

Halloween 3: Season of the Witch
98 mins | Horror | 1982

FOR MATURE AUDIENCES

The gang gathers around for this Halloween film that doesn't feature Micheal Myers but does feature but not limited to, Killer Halloween Masks! Commercialization of the Halloween! Witchcraft! Androids! Shamrocks! and Tom mofo Atkins! It's a spooky film for a spooky day...now if only we could drink a McDonald's Shamrock Shake with a hit of whiskey that would make this day even better!

Friday, October 30, 2015

The Horror Time Capsule - 2000: Scream 3

WEAK
Scream 3 - Weak

Like any good trilogy, there is always one of the films that fails; most of the time at least. "The Godfather Trilogy" had Part 3, "Back to the Future" had Part 3, so I guess it goes to show you that most Part 3's are pretty bad or just jump the shark entirely. This bring me to "Scream 3" a film that only jumps the shark, but nearly ruins a series that redefined the horror genre.

"Scream 3" is the continuing story of Sidney Prescott and the killer in the Ghostface mask. This time around the movie within a movie "Stab 3: Return to Woodsboro" is in production when people start getting murdered based around the film's script. Back on the case is Gale Weathers, Deputy Dewey, and a brand new cast of characters.

Overall, this film really lacks the fun and freshness of the first two films, and the story gets so convoluted with new story-lines and "revelations" that is just all becomes too much, and that is exactly the reason "Scream 3" is the lowest rated in the series.

The one bright spot is Park Posey who is playing Gale Weathers in the "Stab" film. I've always been a Posey fan, and this is one of her most memorable and fun roles in quite a while.

I won't spoil the ending for those who still haven't gotten around to watching "Scream 3" but it's one of the most ridiculous ones, almost as ridiculous as Sidney seeing her dead mother throughout the film, but that's neither here nor there....

Do you like scary movies.....well, check out these other films from 2000:

Final Destination
Ginger Snaps
Hollow Man
Ju-on
Pitch Black
What Lies Beneath

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Horror Time Capsule - 1999: House on Haunted Hill

MISUNDERSTOOD
House on Haunted Hill - Misunderstood

I'm not sure why there are certain films that take hold of me, especially universally panned films, that have such a lasting impression on me. I guess I'm the inverted horror movie hipster. While people will always hold Dario Argento and any type of obscure Hungarian and Spanish horror director in high regard, I love schlock and appreciate horror that is not only all that good, but just plan bad. This brings me to the remake of the William Castle classic "House on Haunted Hill." This 1999 remake is the first film from the Dark Castle brand, that was started by super star producers Joel Silver and  director Robert Zemekis, who you might also remember had a huge hand in the creation of the "Tales from the Crypt" TV series.

"House" follows a similar story to it's predecessor, however it includes the backstory of the titular "House on Haunted Hill" which was an insane asylum that housed a maniacal doctor who performed heinous experiments on the inmates until there was a revolt and everyone was murdered and the asylum burnt down.

Years later, eccentric theme park owner, Steven Price, wants to throw a party for his wife at the "House" that includes several of her friends, but by some work of evil, the invitations are changed and all new guests are invited, most of whom are connected by some wicked twist of fate.

There are a few things I like about this film, actually, I think the good certainly outweighs the bad for me. First, it's funny to me that the roller coaster they use for Price's newest creation, is actually the "Incredible Hulk" roller coaster at Islands of Adventure in Florida, a roller coaster I know all too well. I also love all the subtle nods to the Castle original, and the over-the-top performances, especially from Geoffery Wright who sells it so well as Steven Price. Lastly, the monster effects are awesome, and remind me a lot of the monsters in "Silent Hill," but what could you expect from Greg Nicotero.

Sure, when you get down to it, this is a genre film, and it has flaws, but that doesn't make it bad. For a genre fan, and a relative poopoo'er on remakes, this one holds up and is super entertaining.

You have been invited.....to check out these other gems from 1999:

The Blair Witch Project
Deep Blue Sea
End of Days
The Haunting
Lake Placid
The Mummy
Ravenous
Sleepy Hollow
Stir of Echoes

The Horror Time Capsule - 1998: Dee Snider's Strangeland

PROTO
Dee Snider's Strangeland - Proto

The mid to late 90's brought us a lot of trends; goth wear, Jnco jeans, rave gear, industrial music, so many trends to name, but there was also the rise of the tattoo and piercing sub-culture. It really wasn't until the end of the 90s where tattoos and extreme piercing really started to become socially acceptable. So it made sense for genre films, namely horror, to take on genre trends, and nothing screams genre trends like "Dee Snider's Strangeland," a movie that was about about six years early for the "torture porn" genre, and you might even call it the "proto torture porn film."

"Strangeland" is the tale of piercing, tattooing, industrial music, the internet, and catfishing. Captain Howdy, played by Snider himself, is a sadistic kidnapper who lures people from the internet to his house of horrors that includes extreme piercing and other forms of torture. After kidnapping a cop's daughter, Howdy is arrested and sent sent away for rehabilitation.

Years later it is deemed that Captain Howdy, or as we know him now as Carlton Hendricks, has been cleared to re-enter society, but of course an angry mob led by Freddy Kruger (Robert Englund) doesn't like it one bit leading to a lynching and the re-birth of Captain Howdy, now crazier than ever.

So, this film isn't all that great, it's pretty mundane and there isn't much of a twist and it owes a lot of it's story to "A Nightmare on Elm Street" but it does have some pretty fun makeup effects and Snider looks like he is having a lot of fun being a creep. One of the things that I find the most amusing, but also the most unnecessary is the scene where we all find out, as an audience, how the internet and chat rooms work. Of course, at the time, this was revolutionary since the internet was brand new, but it automatically renders this film pretty static in it's technology.

One of the best parts of this film, especially if you're a metal-head, is the soundtrack, which Snider, who is a bit of a metal god, handpicked himself, including a still unknown System of a Down with one of the better songs on the soundtrack, "Marmalade."

Should one see "Strangeland?" Sure, why not, it's not the best and it's not the worst in late 90s horror and it's an interesting little time capsule, especially if you want a tutorial on chat rooms.

No need to "hang around" check out these other goodies from 1998:

Apt Pupil
Bride of Chucky
The Dentist 2
The Faculty
Halloween H20
Psycho (1998)
Urban Legend

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Horror Time Capsule - 1997: Mimic

GOOEY
Mimic - Gooey

I loved 1997, I was a weird, awkward middle-schooler obsessed with movies, horror, and for some weird reason, Mira Sorvino. I don't know what it was about her, but I'm sure we all remember our movies crushes, and this was probably one of my biggest ones at that age.

This brings me to "Mimic" a relatively generic 1997 monster flick, but again, it holds a special place in my heart because it starred the lovely Mira Sorvino (imagine a 14 year old Matt reviewing this film).

In New York, a disease called Strickers is decimating the child population in the city, think of it as a cross between polio and the plague. Dr. Susan Tyler discovers the cause stems from cockroaches living in the cities sewers so she develops a new breed of bug; the Judas bug that will infiltrate the roach population and wipe them out from the inside out all while dying off themselves within a few months. All goes well and Strickers is all but wiped out and the city's children are safe.

A few years later, a priest is attacked and killed by an unknown entity. CDC officials become involved and soon learn that the Judas breed might not only still be available but might also involved into something else that might be walking among the people of New York.

Overall, I think "Mimic" is a fun monster film with some great practical effects, but also some very lackluster mid-90s CG. The supporting cast, including Jeremy Northam, Charles S. Dutton, and Josh Brolin put in good performances, including Brolin, and his death scenes, which is one of the highlights of the film for him.

Other things that bothered me are the inclusion of child actors in this film. There are three, all annoying, but at least two of them meet relatively gory endings, which I stand up and applaud.

This is an early offering from Guillermo del Toro, who most will know from both "Hellboy" films and "Pacific Rim" but a lot of people forget that he cut his teeth in Hollywood on horror films like "Mimic" and the almost-forgotten vampire flick "Cronos." I would love to see del Toro go back to his horror roots in future films, and not just something like "Crimson Peak."

If "Mimic" doesn't bug you, maybe some of these other films from 1997 will:

Alien Resurrection
Anaconda
Event Horizon
I Know What You Did Last Summer
Scream 2
Uncle Sam

The Horror Time Capsule - 1996: The Dentist

The Dentist: SQUIRM
(In the best way)

1996 | Horror | 92 mins 


"It's Time For Your Final Appointment"



From the Director of Beyond Re-Animator, Bride of Re-Animator, Return of the Living Dead III and Initiation: Silent Night, Deadly Night 4 comes...

The Dentist. A gory of a slasher with the frosting of comedy. The Dentist isn't a masterpiece by any means but it does entertain. It is a bit goofy in every sense. But the strong part is its ability to make the audience squirm. Using a Dentist as its slasher is already grabbing a majority of people who hate going to the Dentist. Utilizing this with the operation rooms is the best thing of this film.

Breaking teeth, using Clamps, Vices, Fastening in mouths and of course Drills is what makes this film a must watch.

A few minutes in you'll understand this is unlike most slashers, it's a over acting 90's slasher that makes the viewer squirm in their seat. Thats unique because it feels real. 

For an example a puppet spitting up warms isn't that itching to the spine. But a Dentist knocking out a girl, ripping off her pantyhose, touching and kissing her is.

Watching teeth break is and a man with a transplanted eye from a serial killer isn't.

The Dentist uses real life events (yes to the extreme) to make us entertained no matter how over the top it may be. The strongest thing a film can do is connect to the viewer and The Dentist nails that.

It a fun watch that does nothing but flat out entertain.


Little Trivia: Early Mark Riffalo appearance

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Horror Time Capsule - 1995: Tales from the Hood

UNSUNG
Tales from the Hood - Unsung

You might be thinking two things right now; One, what took so long for another reviews, and two, what happened to an entry for 1994. Well, to be honest with you, 1994 was a super shitty year for horror, it was downright scary how bad 1994 was for the genre. So, to save you all a review of "Puppet Master 4" I figured I would skip to 1995 where I could review a "real" horror film. And by "real" I mean "real" in that gangster way, because I'm about to keep it "real" with one of the unsung horror gems from the mid-90s; "Tales from the Hood."

"Hood" is an anthology film in the vein of "Creepshow" or "Tales from the Darkside: The Movie." The wrap around story features a trio of drug dealers who show up late one night at a funeral home where they meet creepy mortician, Mr. Simms. Eager to get their "shit" and go, Mr. Simms takes them deep into his funeral home and introduces them to four bodies with stories to tell, including a man wrongfully killed by racist police, a kid who worries about a monster, a racist southerner with a doll problem, and a gang banger who tries to get rehabilitated "Clockwork Orange" style.

Overall, I really like this film. It's super campy, bloody, and when you think about it now, has some pretty strong political messages about race relations and our government. Clarence Williams III hams it up big time as Mr. Simms and you get some pretty decent performances from the likes of Corbin Bernsen and David Alan Grier. The most effective story to me is probably the final segment that not only puts a bow on the film, but is also pretty creepy in its own right.

Out of all horror anthologies, I would say that "Hood" owes most to the original "Tales from the Crypt" from 1972 with it's tone and ending. Is "Hood" better than "Tales?" Well, that's all up to opinion of course.

If you thought this one was scary, check out these other Hood Classics from 1995:

Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers
Lord of Illusions
The Mangler
The Prophecy
Species
John Carpenter's Village of the Damned
Vampire in Brooklyn

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Horror Time Capsule - 1993: Body Bags

BODY BAGS: UN-FILLING

91 mins | Horror/Sci-Fi anthology | 1993


HBO had Tales from the Crypt, Showtime had nothing. But that all changed on August 8th 1993, Body Bags an anthology TV movie aired on Showtime...and that was it.

A star studded of a cast came together to make an extremely un-filling 91 minutes. Tales from the Crypt had the Crypt Keeper hosting its episodes, Body Bags had "The Coroner" played fantastically by the great John Carpenter. Yes I know I'm comparing apples and oranges, TV show with TV movie but clearly this is what Showtime had in mind. They had the power to do something unique but instead came up short.

The three best things are John Carpenter playing The Coroner, who is the most entertaining piece in this puzzle of a film. The second is the first story, "The Gas Station" which is a solid story that sets you up to be disappointed. The third is the cast, a balls to the wall of this guy and that comes up short. I liked this cast alot. It's a shame they didn't make more, it would of been fun to see where it goes with others making special appearances.


"The Morgue"
John Carpenter as The Coroner
Tom Arnold as Morgue Worker #1
Tobe Hooper as Morgue Worker #2

Is the glue that holds everything together. The Coroner is the Crypt Keeper here hosting the stories in a flat out entertaining performance by John Carpenter.



"The Gas Station"
Robert Carradine as Bill
Alex Datcher as Anne
Wes Craven as Pasty Faced Man
Sam Raimi as Dead Bill
David Naughton as Pete
Lucy Boryer as Peggy
George Buck Flower as Stranger
Molly Cheek as Divorcee

Only story that makes me feel like I didn't waste my time. The others aren't horrible but the this one just works. It's a simple slasher, which paired with guests set the bar way too high. Seeing the likes of Craven, Raimi and Carradine peeked my interest. But I guess its just too good for this film, because sadly the others don't come any close to "The Gas Station".


"Hair"
Stacy Keach as Richard Coberts
David Warner as Dr. Lock
Sheena Easton as Megan
Dan Blom as Dennis
Gregory Nicotero as Man with Beautiful Hair
Kim Alexis as Woman with Beautiful Hair
Deborah Harry as The Nurse

Stacy Keach plays a guy who isn't happy with his thinning hair. Sheena Easton says no and she loves him anyway. But it's just too depressing :( ...He tries a few comical treatments but nothing helps. I'm pretty sure this whole story was suppose to be the funny one then again it was the 90's. And let me say its very 90's, very very 90's.

He see a commercial and decides to try it. "Dr. Lock" played by David Warner (Titanic, Tron, The Omen) is the doc that can help. He asks Stacy what kind of hair he'd like using a 90's computer generated program, you know how that looks without me saying anymore. Keach picks the Stallion. Yep it is its name, long black hair (see picture). And the whole things was done over night, without surgery! Sounds to good to be true hun? Well it is... And when you find out why, it feels like a copout. When its revealed I could hear myself say, "Really?!" I didn't care much for it but I did like it more then the "Eye". "Hair" was so bad yet I honestly think I liked this story about a guys hair more then the guy and his eye.


"Eye"
Mark Hamill as Brent Matthews
Twiggy as Cathy Matthews
John Agar as Dr. Lang
Roger Corman as Dr. Bregman
Charles Napier as Baseball Team Manager
Eddie Velez as Baseball Player

Were "Hair" was about hair I bet you can't figure out what "Eye" is about?...NOPE

Your wrong it is about...

A eye. Let that settle in a bit. We have a film that is made up of three stories. Two are about something on your body. Not much to pick from apparently. "The Gas Station" stands out for its pacing and the fact its different then the others. "Hair" and "Eye" are about two guys getting transplants. And its goes wrong, like it feels like they didn't try. "The Gas Station" isn't a perfect film, but the "Eye" and "Hair" come off like they ran out of ideas and gave it to their 8 year old son to write. When you have three films it should feel like three and not two.

"Eye" is about a baseball player with an annoying accent. His wife played by Twiggy losses her American accent a few times and that too becomes annoying. Mark Hamill here is somewhat a joy to watch. The thing is he has always been but here I feel he was wasted. When he gets into a bad car accident in which his right eye is destroyed. He ends up losing it but receives one from a donor. The donor ends up being a serial killer who killed woman and had sex with them. This eye begins to take over the good old southern wholesome baseball player who was making his way to the top.

And thats it. Still feel hungry for more don't you? Yeah thats how I felt.

"The Gas Station" = Solid

"Hair" = Short

Should of been left out. Or give us more. I didn't mind the story but there could of been more, the story came up short for me on creativity.

"Eye" = Weak

Like the "Hair" I think it should of been left out. What would of been cool if they connected it to "The Gas Station" and its serial killer. Maybe that was his eye, sure it sounds like Im doing a copout but at least it's something.

Because what we got in the end was very un-filling.





Kinda felt this way after the film but The Gas Station saved me






The Simplistic Reviews Podcast (Ep. 56) October 2015

FOR MATURE AUDIENCES


To celebrate this creepy time of year, why not hang with the creepy movie aficionados in the biz.  On this Halloween edition of the Simplistic Reviews Podcast, the boys talk candy...fall TV premieres...Ronda Rousey's Roadhouse and Hayden Christensen.

This episode is filled to the brim with tricks and treats.  Grab your machete, your knife glove, and put on your inside out William Shatner mask and enjoy!


NOTES
Jennifer Lawrence's Hunger Games C-word poster
Sam Smith Writing On the Wall
Ellen Pompeo criticizes Daniel Craig

MUSIC
Created A Monster by B.o.B. 
Murder Was The Case By Snoop Dogg
Bonfire By Childish Gambino
Saw Theme By Charles Clouser
Halloween Theme By John Carpenter

 Check us out on FacebookTwitterYouTubeLetterboxd, and Pinterest

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Horror Time Capsule - 1991: The Pit and the Pendulum

PREACHY
The Pit and the Pendulum -Preachy

There is no doubt that outside of Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe has been one of the most influential authors for filmmakers to rely upon. Okay, I'll include H.P. Lovecraft in that conversation as well. And, you know what, that is a perfect segway considering Stuart Gordon's "The Pit and the Pendulum."

"Pit" is a take on the classic Poe story about the Spanish Inquisition and it's most famous torture instrument; The Pendulum. In this tale, a couple, Maria and Antonio, are taken prisoner after Maria is accused of being a witch. The Grand Inquisitor, played by horror favorite, Lance Henrickson, takes a liking to Maria and believes that she has godly powers. Antonio, tries to free his beloved, but finds himself at the mercy of the dreaded Pendulum. Will they both escape?

So, this film same out where it seemed that horror had really gone stale was were looking back at old ideas for horror. The main one that comes to my mind is "The Phantom of the Opera" remake starring Robert Englund. Whereas the "Phantom" was a bit of a mess, and relied on gore, "Pit" while there is some gore, relies more on the horror of the Inquisition with an added dose of the supernatural.

I brought up Lovecraft earlier in this review because two names who are synonymous with Lovecraftian films, Stuart Gordon and Jeffrey Combs, direct and star in the film, respectively. Gordon would go on to work on "Dagon" and pretty much any other film that would be based around some sort of Poe or Lovecraft lore.

Overall, I thought this movie would be far worse than it was, but there is actually some very gallows humor throughout and there are some absolutely silly "Spanish" accents, like they aren't even trying, which I think adds that extra touch of class. Henricksen stands out as the Grand Inquisitor of course, and he hams it up big time.

If you're a Poe fan, you might like this film, but I'm sure you might have issues. However, it's still a fun film if you can get past the religious preaching and overacting.

Here are some other films from '91 that aren't the pits:

Child’s Play3
Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare
The People Under the Stairs
Sometimes They Come Back

The Horror Time Capsule - 1992: Candyman

ICONIC
Candyman - Iconic

One thing that has always been a constant is the need for horror icons, especially in the slasher genre. Mainly, it all equals money for studios. Between "Friday the 13th" and "A Nightmare on Elm Street" the 80s were the times of franchising everything and anything. Enter the 90s, and in the vein those classics from the 80s, we were gifted another potential boogeyman who could have become the next horror icon, but two lackluster sequels later, we only have the original film, which is still a solid film on it's own; enter "Candyman,' from 1992.

Based on the Clive Barker novella, "Candyman" is the tale of folklore and mythology in the ghetto of Chicago, whereas the original tale was told in the slums of London. Helen is a grad student working on urban myths who stumbles upon a rather gruesome tale of a man with a hook for a hand who kills at will. Digging deeper into the story of Candyman unearths a story of a man who fell in love with a woman and is murdered in cold blood with the help of bees and honey. Soon Helen finds herself haunted by Candyman who wants Helen to become his newest victim and restore his visage which he believes Helen has destroyed.

If nothing else, "Candyman" is a 90s reboot of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" a story about belief and how mythology plays an important part in our daily lives. The same way that Freddy is powerful based on his fear, is the same way that Candyman is effective in his terror.

What I still think makes "Candyman" scary, is the same way that people are still scared of Freddy Kruger; it's a childhood fear. I remember first hearing about this film when I was in 4th grade and just the thought of being alone in a bathroom and saying "Candyman" five times in a mirror scared me more than anything. Even the thought of being dared to say it by some friends scared me. Looking at it now as an adult I realize that this is all make believe, but still, there is that little thing in the back of your head that you still think it might be real.

Overall, "Candyman" is an interesting film that has a great Gothic/Shakespearean feel to it. There is tragedy and bloodshed, not to mention an interesting twist at the end that you might not see coming.

We dare you to watch these other 1992 films in a mirror five times:

Alien 3
Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Hellraiser 3
Sleepwalkers

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Simplistic TV: American Horror Story: Hotel

HOMAGE
American Horror Story: Hotel - Homage

Here's my history with "American Horror Story;" I like maybe half the season and I just kind of "check out." I don't know what it is about the series, but unlike other people, it's never dug it's nails into me and made me want to finish off a season. "Freak Show" came pretty close last season, but once they did away with Twisty the Clown, I tuned out. The took away, at least to me, the best past of the show, and aborted it.

This brings me to the newest edition of the "AHS" anthology; "Hotel." What I'm looking for is a reason to keep checking out this season and keeping it on until the end. If I get what I saw in the first 20 or so minutes in the premier, I think I'll be happy. Full disclosure, the first 20 minutes scared my wife away who couldn't watch anymore.

"Hotel" stars the Hotel Cortez, an old hotel in Los Angeles, with a sordid history of murder, mayhem, and of course...ghosts. Most of the standard cast returns from "AHS" past, including Kathy Bates as yet another old coot who has seen too much. Sarah Paulson returns as a weirdo once again. Wes Bently is back too, this time as a cop with a family. Last but not least we have Lady Gaga being introduced as surprise surprise; a weirdo.

You might ask yourself, "Matt, why are you being so dismissive of this season so far?" Well, I'm not, I'm just painting this season in generalizations so far as to not give anything away

Overall, the premier pushed the limits in a lot of ways that even kind of surprised me, but perhaps this is the "Gaga Effect" where limits must be pushed. I think this newest edition to the "AHS" series has a lot of potential since it seems to take a lot from the past, namely the "Murder House" season with enough wacky characters where it will remind you of the latest season "Freak Show."

Of course the same people will turn in no matter what, but I think there is enough crossover appeal where even curious, or bi-curious, members of the audience might even give this season a try. Me, for one, enjoys the bygone era of old seedy Los Angeles, and to end this, I really hope they decide not to go the "Freak Show" route and include music interludes. So far, so good.

The Horror Time Capsule - 1990: Stephen King's Graveyard Shift

EARWORM
Stephen King's Graveyard Shift - Earworm

I've done my fair share of reading Stephen King, but most of his longform work can be just that....work. I've mainly enjoyed his short stories in "Night Shift" and "Skeleton Crew," but that's mainly because I have a short attention span when it comes to reading. This brings me to a film that while it isn't very good, it's very memorable; "Stephen King's Graveyard Shift."

"Shift" is the tale about a backwoods town where the economy is based around a mill that is infested with rats, and other murdery type creatures. A group of men, and a woman, are tasked with cleaning up the mill and getting it up to code by clearing out out the rat problem. However, there is bigger, deadlier, problem around the mill and people start turning up dead.

The film runs a tidy 88 minutes, which is just the right amount of time to tell the tale of a mill with rat problems, but there are plenty of fun takeaways from this film.

One, Brad Dourif, who you might knows as the voice of Chucky, or if you're not a horror fan, as Grima Wormtounge in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, plays the creepy exterminator who hates rats and makes an instant impression. He reminds me of the foul-mouthed cousin of John Goodman's exterminator in "Arachnophobia."

Two, there are some very odd accents in this film, namely Stephen Macht, who's accent is a place between a southern plantation owner and a British parliament leader, it's just odd, and somewhat oft-putting.

Three, and this is only if you stick around for the whole film, the credit song. A combination of lines from the film and jazz beat, this might be the most memorable part of the film.

Overall, this isn't a bad film, it's just a Stephen King short that ended up being a film like so many films before and after. "Gravetard Shift" just happens to have enough quirks to make it enjoyable and memorable.

If you thought this film was bitchin', check out these others from 1990:

Child’s Play 2
Gremlins 2
It
Leatherface: TCM 3
Nightbreed
Night of the Living Dead (1990)
Tales from the Darkside: The Movie
Tremors

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Horror Time Capsule - 1989: Friday the 13th Pt. 8: Jason Takes Manhattan

CHEESE
Friday the 13th Pt. 8 - Cheese

There is good cheese, and bad cheese; "Friday the 13th Pt. 8" is equals part both, mainly because it is so God damned 80s. It reeks of everything the 1980s was and will always be remembered by. In fact, this film is the most 80s of all the films in the series. Did I mention how 80s this film is....

So, "Jason Takes Manhattan." Once again, Jason rises from the grave, again, with the help of some lightning and a metal anchor. After his first two welcome back kill of some horny, and whiny, teens, he catches a ride with more horny and whiny teens on a high school cruise to New York City. On this doomed cruise is Renny, a teen who also happens to have some history with Jason, her dickhead "stepfather-of-sorts" and Kelly Hu in one of her first roles.

Needless to say, Jason kills a bunch of kids, visits Manhattan, and is of course stopped in one of the oddest endings to a "Friday the 13th" movie.

Two things that stand out to me in this one is the resemblance to "The New Blood." We have a teen heroine who has a history with Jason in addition to an overbearing father figure and worrisome mother figure. There is a pseudo-romance between said heroine and hero that is somewhat awkward, and of course the girl who is jealous of the heroine but gets her comeuppance.

The other thing is the vision of New York itself. People tend to forget that New York in the 80s and 90s was pretty much a cesspool. It was pretty dirty and you could say dangerous before gentrification took over. There also seemed to be a lot of open toxic waster just hanging around. New Yorkers who grew up in the 80s and 90s in the city, is this true?

Anyway, while this is one of the weaker edition in the series, it's still totally watchable if not just for the fashion, funny Jason kills, and of course we can't forget Kane Hodder who just brings something special to the Jason role.

For more awesome 80s fashion, check out these other hits:

976-EVIL
Friday the 13th Pt 8
Halloween 5
Leviathan
Nightmare on Elm Street 5
Pet Sematary
Warlock

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Horror Time Capsule - 1988: Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers

WASTE
Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers - Waste

I'll give the first "Sleepaway Camp" credit....it had balls, in fact it had cock and balls. Spoiler alert, the killer was a guy all along. Of course, "Camp" wasn't breaking new ground, check out "Dressed to Kill" if you want a real cross-dressing murder story. But the sequel to "Camp," is just a cash in film that has some interesting scenes, but overall it's cheap, silly, and overall just a waste.

"Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers" begins with a "necessary" exposition scene where campers around the fire explain the events in the first film where a girl named Angela killed nearly everyone at Camp Arawak. The twist; Angela was really a boy named Peter who's family was killed. Twist.....

Under an assumed named, Anglea, fresh out of the asylum, is now a camp counselor at Camp Rolling Hills. Obsessed with manners, Angela begins to off all of the philandering counselors one at a time. We've heard this all before.

I hate to be a bastard to this film, but when something isn't good, it isn't very good, which is funny because I have memories of this film dating back to around 6th grade where I first heard the Rolling Hills Camp song (the dirty version of course). I think 6th grade Matt was just interested to her what camp counselors would do if you paid them money.....

Of course there are two more films in the "Sleepaway Camp" series, but if you know what is good for you, you shouldn't go past this one. Sure, if you're a slasher film buff, watch them, but be warned, it only goes down hill from here.

Here are the rest of the best from good old 1988:

The Blob
Child’s Play
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
Hellraiser 2
Maniac Cop
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4
Night of the Demons
Pumpkinhead

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Horror Time Capsule - 1987: Near Dark

DECENT
Near Dark - Decent

It was only a matter of time before I'd sneak a vampire review in here, and I tried to think of one of the most obscure ones I could. This brings me to "Near Dark" and if you pay close enough attention, or use your imagination you might think this is a vampire sequel to "Aliens"

Out tale begins with Caleb, a cowboy on the prowl for a lady love; he finds one in Mae, a mysterious girl who needs to be home before dawn. Caleb bites off more than he can chew after he asks for a kiss and soon finds himself turning into a vampire. He is kidnapped by Mae's "family" which includes Severen (Bill Paxton) and Jesse (Lance Hendrickson). Jesse tasks Caleb with making his first kill within two days or the family will kill him.

Meanwhile, Caleb's father, Loy, along with his sister are on the hunt to find him and find him they do, while they narrowly escape from the family with Caleb in tow. At the end of the day Caleb figures out a way to stop the vampires and lives happily ever after.

There are a lot of interesting things about this film. First is the cast, which is pretty much half the cast of James Cameron's "Aliens."The other tie-in is the director, Katheryn Bigelow, who was married to Cameron at the time. I almost feel like as soon as "Aliens" wrapped Paxton and Hendrickson walked over to a set right across the street and started filming this.

Speaking of Paxton, he steals the show as Severen, the most loony of this vampire family. His antics in the bar scene make the film and show his comedic timing as well as his acting mania. People might give him crap for his overacting in "Aliens" but his overacting in "Near Dark" is exactly what is needed in this film.

Overall, "Near Dark" is a fun film and you can see the tidbits that shows like "True Blood" stole from this offbeat look on our favorite onscreen bloodsuckers.

Here are some other awesome flicks from 1987:

Bad Taste
Creepshow 2
Dolls
Evil Dead 2
Hellraiser
Nightmare of Elm Street 3
Opera

Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Horror Time Capsule - 1986: The Fly

MELTY
The Fly - Melty

At it's core, "The Fly" is a love story that just happens to end tragically. In the vein of "Frankenstein" and any other mad scientist film you can think of, not only is "The Fly" memorable for it's strong acting and storytelling, it's probably most memorable for it's extreme gore and transformation scenes. To this day, I would still put up the SFX in this film as some of the best that have ever been done in horror/sci-fi.

Jeff Goldblum stars as Dr. Seth Brundle, a struggling scientist working out the kinks on his teleportation machine. By his side is a young Geena Davis who is smitten with Brundle, but is also involved with slimy magazine editor, Stathis Borans.

Brundle seems to be on the brink of something that would change science forever, but he forgot to close his windows and doors because one tiny little fly puts that cabash on that and Brundle slowly begins to turn into a half-man/half-fly hybrid with grotesque results.

In the sci-fi genre, I don't think you get something as perfect as this film. The acting is strong, for the genre, the effects are horrific and still shocking to this day, and at the end of the day, you feel bad and you have empathy for Brundle and his slowly departure from humanity into a creature. This is Goldblum's film to shine, and while he mainly plays in the background, without many major starring roles, the role of Brundlefly will live on forever in horror/sci-fi lore.

Of course this is a remake of "The Fly" from the 1950s, but aside from the fact that both films are about men turning into flies, most of the similarities stop there. David Cronenberg puts his own unique stamp on this remake that includes a broken arm, complete with bone sticking through the skin, maggot pregnancy, and of course my favorite, a melting foot and hand.

You like "The Fly" here are some other goodies from 1986:

Aliens
April Fool’s Day
Critters

Friday the 13th Pt 6
House
Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Horror Time Capsule - 1985: Return of the Living Dead

WHIMSICAL
Return of the Living Dead: Whimsical

Moving along to 1985 I'm picking one of my horror guilty pleasures. While I'm a little "zombified" by zombies and the undead in general, one film really holds a special place in my heart, and while I do love the Romero Trilogy of Night, Dawn, and Dead, there is nothing like the fun and all out insanity of "Return of the Living Dead."

It's weird to talk about "Return of the Living Dead" when I could have easily picked "Dawn of the Dead" for 1985, but who really wants to hear about the message George Romero was trying to make about the evil of capitalism, that's all been done before. What I want to talk about are goofy government conspiracies, graveyard stripping, a mortician who might be a Nazi, and of course talking zombies.

"Return" is the tale of government foul-ups and cover-ups. When a toxin is release by two bumbling chemical warehouse workers it awakens the dead from a nearby cemetery which ruins the time of a group of punk rockers who are partying in said cemetery. That's pretty much all you need to know about this film, that, and it's tons of fun.

While "Night" and "Dawn" relied on practical horror and a message of social change, "Return" is the Id of those films. There is blood, boobs, and more blood. There is also the first concept and idea that zombies enjoy to not just munch on flesh, but also "brains." This plot point is revealed by a talking zombie.

There should be so many things that bother me about this film. One, the zombies talk. Two, the characters are goofy and whiny. And three, my cardinal sin, the zombies RUN. This, to my knowledge, is the first example of running zombies, but I'll give it a pass considering the goofy nature of this film.

 Here are some other oldies but goodies from '85:

Cat’s Eye
Day of the Dead
Fright Night
Friday the 13th Pt 5
Ghoulies
Lifeforce
Nightmare of Elm Street 2
Silver Bullet

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Horror Time Capsule - 1984: Gremlins

GOOPY
Gremlins - Goopy

To kick off The Horror Time Capsule, I thought I would go with something that I remember seeing as a kid a lot, but not so much as an adult. It's funny how so many films in the 80s that were geared towards kids had so many non-kid friendly moments and themes. This brings me to "Gremlins" a kids film that could have only been made in the 80s.

In short, the plot of this film features an exotic pet brought home from Chinatown that has very specific rules that need to be followed in order to best care for the pet. That pet is Gizmo, and Gizmo is a Mogwai.

Now in small town America, and under the care of Billy Peltzer, who like any good pet owner, doesn't care for his pet correctly which leads to more Mogwais that don't have the same innocent temperament as Gizmo. More hijinks ensure that see the once fuzzy Mogwais transform into green and even meaner, Gremlins.

While I wouldn't consider this a "horror" film in the traditional sense, this was Joe Dante's biggest film to date. And while I consider "The Howling" his horror opus, "Gremlins" is by far his most memorable film, in my opinion of course.

The is murder, general monster hijinks, monsters exploding in microwaves, monsters melting into puddles of goop, and of course my favorite, a story about someone's dad dying in the chimney after pretending to be Santa Claus and breaking his neck. Noting quite says "Merry Christmas" like a dead dad story.

Here are some other 1984 favorites:

CHUD
Children of the Corn
Friday the 13th Part 4
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Silent Night, Deadly Night

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