Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. The film that started it all. Before NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, zombies were nothing more than mindless slaves that toiled at their master's command. No, these creatures were much, much different...

Johnny and Barbara head out into the country to lay a memorial on their father's grave. Barbara is fearful of the cemetery, and Johnny taunts: "They're coming to get you, Barbara!" Just then, a disheveled corpse reaches out and attacks Barbara, killing Johnny in the process. Barbara escapes to a remote farmhouse, where she discovers a small group of people holed up for safety. They work to board up the doors as more of the flesh-eating ghouls begin to surround the house, but who will survive the NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD?

Why has NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD endured all these years? What makes it the Horror classic that it is today? For one, it is still terribly frightening. There is some primal fear about being eaten alive that strikes a chord in each of us. It is also extremely violent and grotesque for the time, depicting the ghouls as they rip the flesh off of the bones of their victims before receiving damaging blows to the head. The danger is all around us. The monsters are ourselves. There is no Transylvanian count nor man-made monstrosity out to get us. It is your neighbor, your son, or your daughter. The ghouls banging at the door are only half of the problem, as fear and paranoia drive men against each other in the struggle for survival.

Although it was never originally intended as such, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD is a powerful social commentary that addresses issues ranging from the inadequacy of government officials during times of crisis to more apparent themes like the racial strife of the 1950's and 60's. At the time, it was practically unheard of for an African-American to star in the lead role of a motion picture, but here we have a smart, resourceful, and courageous anti-hero of sorts in Ben. Ben is willing to help the others, but only so long as it improves his chances to survive. Beyond that, Ben shouts demands at his white co-stars, slaps a white woman, and shoots a white man -- progressive motions that put NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD years ahead of its time. It also begs the question as to whether or not Cooper would have acted with the same hostility if Ben had been a white man? The horrifying images of bodies being dragged with meat hooks and burned in funeral pyres instantly recall the historical references to Southern racism, a very somber and depressing end to an already nihilistic film.

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD would go on to become one of the highest-grossing Independent films ever made, and widely-considered to be amongst the finest cinematic achievements in America. It is an undisputed classic in the Horror genre, and acts as both a horrifying monster movie and a terrifying microcosm of the social and political turmoil of the Vietnam War era.

Rating: 10/10.

Movies like NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD:
ZOMBIE, ALTERED, SPLINTER, DAWN OF THE DEAD, DAY OF THE DEAD.



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Creepshow 2 (1987)

George Romero and Stephen King return with three more terrifying tales to keep you up at night! Well... Sort of... Although they are based on more of King's short stories and adapted into a screenplay by Romero, this second collection is headed by George Romero collaborator Michael Gornick, director of photography for DAY OF THE DEAD, DAWN OF THE DEAD, and the original CREEPSHOW. Their work in the past unfortunately hasn't rubbed off well on Gornick, who turns out a routine shocker that would have been better suited for television. In the first story, three would-be thieves are stopped by a vengeful wooden Indian in "Old Chief Wood'nhead." Four friends face off against a carnivorous oil slick when they board "The Raft." Finally, a woman pays for deadly her hit-and-run accident when the corpse of "The Hitchhiker" returns to torment her! The first and third tales are, again, routine revenge stories with a splash of blood and a touch of the supernatural. Outside of character actor George Kennedy, the performances are rather goofy in "Old Chief Wood'nhead," with moderate effects used to bring the Chief to life. "The Raft" tends to be the most memorable, a veritable BLOB on a budget that offers several surprising moments. "The Hitchhiker" is, by far, the most horrific of the three, mainly thanks to the gruesome costume designs by Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger. While it is nowhere near as witty and fun as the original, CREEPSHOW 2 is still a worthwhile sequel for genre fans.

Rating: 7/10.

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Creepshow (1982)

George Romero and Stephen King team-up for the first time to bring us five sordid tales of terror in the classic styling of the EC comics! A crazed Aunt Bedelia meets up with the ghosts of her past when dear old dad returns from the grave in "Father's Day." Nunkhead Jordy Verrill discovers a meteor out on the old family farm, but his dreams of riches are dashed when the stone cracks open and begins to envelop everything in a deadly green moss in "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill." After burying his wife and her lover neck-deep in sand as the tide slowly draws in, the conniving Richard Vickers thinks he has gotten away with the perfect crime, but the torn lovers return for revenge in "Something to Tide You Over." Henry Northrup finds an interesting way to get rid of his loud-mouthed wife, Wilma, when a ferocious beast is discovered hidden beneath the stairs of the local university in "The Crate." Finally, loathsome businessman and germaphobe Upson Pratt is overcome by a swarm of filthy cockroaches in "They're Creeping Up On You!"

CREEPSHOW is indisputably the best omnibus feature to come out of the 1980's, rivaling even the finest efforts put forth by Britain's Amicus Productions throughout the 1960's and 70's. Romero adds several nice touches to give the film the look and feel of a living comic book: unnatural blue and red coloring, odd angles, animated transitions, and framed paneling, all of which contribute to the unique aesthetic in the end. He has also assembled a fine cast for each of the stories, with wickedly entertaining performances from Viveca Lindfors, Leslie Nielsen, Hal Holbrook, Adrienne Barbeau, and E.G. Marshall. Stephen King even turns up as the witless Jordy Verrill in the second silly short. Like in the EC comics, King's stories add a touch of irony with plenty of tongue-in-cheek humor. The first and third are rather straightforward tales of revenge, although Nielsen's watery torture devices are really quite memorable. "The Crate" is always a fan favorite thanks to the lively characters and terrifying beast held within. "They're Creeping Up On You" is a lot of fun as well, and is sure to get under your skin. Tom Savini's special effects are top-rate as always, and George Romero creates an even balance between the humor and horror.

With five equally-entertaining entries to shock and dismay, CREEPSHOW lives on as a cult-classic of the 1980's!

Rating: 9/10.

Movies like CREEPSHOW:
CAT'S EYE, TALES FROM THE CRYPT, THE VAULT OF HORROR, DEADTIME STORIES, THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD, FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE, DEAD AND BURIED.

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (1956)

The world looks on in horror as a destructive force of nature that has taken the form of a giant radioactive reptile destroys the bustling metropolis of Tokyo, Japan! American news correspondent Steve Martin happens to be on the scene, and he reports back as the devastation unfolds around him. With this, GODZILLA, KING OF THE MONSTERS! made its way to a worldwide audience in the American adaptation of Toho's classic monster movie, GOJIRA. Although several key scenes and dialog that linked Godzilla's rampage to the wartime atrocities of the atom bomb were removed, much of the original message still remains intact throughout the translation and re-editing.

The story of how GODZILLA, KING OF THE MONSTERS! came to be is really quite impressive unto itself. Instead of rushing a poorly-dubbed and sloppily-edited bastardization of the original film into theaters for the popcorn-munching Science Fiction fans of the Fifties, Jewell Enterprises realized the potential of their investment, and took great care in framing brand-new footage around the existing material. Ryamond Burr was hired on to star as the terror-stricken Steve Martin, along with a number of convincing doubles that would stand in for the characters of Emiko Yamane, Hideto Ogata, and others. The original Japanese sets were recreated with pin-point accuracy, as was the case with the costumes worn by the stand-ins, who would speak to Burr with their backs turned to the camera in order to carry the illusion. Director Terry Morse would then intercut the scenes with existing footage to make it appear as if Burr were right amidst the action! The end result is nothing less than amazing, giving the uninformed little reason to suspect that this was not the film as it was originally intended.

The American GODZILLA pays great respect to the original, although some of the story does get lost in translation. The love triangle that exists between Emiko, Ogata, and the reclusive Dr. Serazawa has been trimmed, creating much less emotional impact throughout the course of events. Martin must also step in to bridge continuity gaps that have been created in the re-editing of the material. Much of composer Akira Ifukube's powerful score has been retained, along with many of director Ishiro Honda's trademark scenes of military action and world unification. Considering the travesties that would occur in later American adaptations of the GODZILLA series, GODZILLA, KING OF THE MONSTERS! is a rather faithful recreation.

Until very recently, GODZILLA, KING OF THE MONSTERS! was the only way that much of the world had experienced the original GOJIRA, and as such, it must also be considered as a classic of Science Fiction theater with a lasting impact that has rivaled even the original!

Rating: 9/10.

Movies like GODZILLA, KING OF THE MONSTERS!:
KING KONG, RODAN, MOTHRA, THE BEAST FROM 10,000 FATHOMS, THEM!.



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Shiver of the Vampires (1971)

Two newlyweds find themselves in the midst of bloodthirsty (and sex-crazed) vampires when they stop off to visit their last remaining relatives in France. Jean Rollin's third vampire film is no less strange, twisted, and stylish than any of his others, before or after. SHIVER OF THE VAMPIRES seems to benefit greatly from the works of Mario Bava, as the wild use of color paints the screen in similar tones of blue and red. The odd imagery has a sexy female vampire randomly appear in the most interesting of places, including the inside of a grandfather clock and dropping down through the fireplace. It is difficult to tell whether Rollin is attempting to make a pretentious art film or more sleazy Eurotrash, as several of the scenes make odd use of the camera for no apparent reason (particularly when the two vampire brothers deliver their dialog while bobbing their heads through the arms of a scale). The two foppish cousins give way to high camp, along with the progressive rock beats that line the film. Like the works of Jess Franco and Joe D'amato, SHIVER OF THE VAMPIRES and Jean Rollin will only cater to a very selective audience, though this may be a good starting point for anyone that is interested in experiencing the French Horror of the 1970's.

Rating: 6/10.

Movies like SHIVER OF THE VAMPIRE:
THE NUDE VAMPIRE, BLOOD FOR DRACULA, REQUIEM FOR A VAMPIRE, DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS.

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Toxic Avenger 3 (1989)

With no crime left to fight in Tromaville, The Toxic Avenger is forced to find a day job in order to make ends meet, but there is only one company willing to hire a hideously deformed creature of super-human size and strength, and that's Apocalypse, Inc., Toxie's arch-nemesis! Toxie unwittingly becomes a pawn of corporate greed and corruption, turning his back on Tromaville when they need him the most! THE TOXIC AVENGER PART III starts off with a bang as Toxie mops up a group of criminals that are trying to replace all of the Independent films in a local video store with mainstream fodder as the patrons plea with them to let them keep their Troma movies. It is one of Troma's shining moments in the series, but it is all downhill from there. The anti-corporate message wares thin quickly, but something just seems missing the entire time... Mainly the over-the-top comedy and absurd gore, both of which have disappeared throughout most of the picture. Ron Fazio and Phoebe Legere are always entertaining as Toxie and Claire, and the snarling antics of Rick Collins' Chairman do make for a fun performance. In reality, THE TOXIC AVENGER PART III is a hackneyed cut and paste job using all of the left over footage from THE TOXIC AVENGER PART II, leaving the third film out as a festering barrel of toxic sludge. As a result, the final half becomes dreadfully boring due to the seemingly endless battle against Apocalypse, Inc. Savor what few laughs you can from the blindsploitation, churchsploitation, and schoolbusploitation or forget that this entry ever existed.

Rating: 4/10.

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Short: Familiar (2011)

For anyone that has ever felt trapped in an unhappy marriage or suffocated by an oppressive job, Richard Powell's sadistic new short will feel all too FAMILIAR! John Dodd is a father and a husband who only wishes to be neither, to break free of the social confines which have imprisoned him for the last 45 years. Just as his daughter is about ready to leave for college, his wife reveals that they have another child on the way, shattering his chances of escape. John's negative feelings turn to action, until he realizes that the voice inside his head may not be his own... FAMILIAR explores the darkest thoughts and emotions that we hide from the world, the side of humanity that most of us try to ignore. Though pushed to the extreme, the character of John Dodd embodies an inseparable piece of the human condition that we have all felt or experienced at one time: the need to be free. Powell's sharp writing brings out the blackest of humor throughout John's inner monologues, which recall the relationships between Brian and Aylmer in BRAIN DAMAGE or Yanka and her unborn fetus in BABY BLOOD. The themes of isolation, withdrawal, and resentment draw closer to the works of Brad Anderson, however, in features like SESSION 9, THE MACHINIST, and SOUNDS LIKE. John's fractured psyche manifests into tumor-like growths that spread across his body, which he feels he must carve out to ride himself of the evil inside. This adds a touch of nauseating body horror in the end to top off the thrilling psychological suspense. Much of the strength also lies in the powerful performance by Robert Nolan, whose jaded interests bleed out through his eyes and facial expressions. Powell impresses with another successful short following his previous win in WORM!

Rating: 9/10.

Movies like FAMILIAR:
BABY BLOOD, BRAIN DAMAGE, SOUNDS LIKE, THE MACHINIST, SESSION 9, BASKET CASE.

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Go Nuts With 'Acid Head' This Spring!

SAN DIEGO, CA - January 27, 2012 - The latest movie from Tony 'Tex' Watt "Acid Head: The Buzzard Nuts County Slaughter" is finding it's way to DVD and VOD in the very near future. Watt's recent work as a director includes "Vixen Highway 2006" and "Frankpimp". The movie features the director Tony 'Tex' Watt himself, and his preferred heroin and frequent workpartner Vivita playing the lead as Pheromone Labonza and Acid Head. Others starring are Lewis Mercer, Lana Tailor, Elvin Domenic, Paul Nicholls, Adam Schickedanz and many others, and in a cunning cameo as the sneaky reporter Biff Bangs, the only European actor in the film; Kim Sønderholm.

On using the latter, director Tony 'Tex' Watt said: "When our movie about a killer goth-girl needed a main greek chorus-type performer [the character who tells the viewer what is going on], to embody the form of news anchor: Biff Bangs... I, as the Writer/Director needed an internationally appealing actor who was both authoritative and able to carry some of the comedic hyperbole, with dry humor [As Sean Connery did in the early 007 movies]. Versatile actor/filmmaker Kim Sønderholm came to mind as the first choice, as I admired his acting prowess in such films as "Craig", "Tour de Force", "Bleed with Me"; as well as his comedic turn in the 2011 TV series "Goodbye Light". Sønderholm embodied to myself, a brilliant character actor, who was very hard working and tenacious. Working with him, showed me that this charismatic and popular performer was exactly what I perceived, as well as being very humorous and humble."

The idea for the film originally came in 2009, when Award winning Canadian horror author and TV host (Flatline, Post-Mortem, Nightmare in Canada: Canadian Horror on Film) Edo van Belkom's son Luke started filming "Acid Head: The High School Horror" based on a loose script plot the young van Belkom co-wrote with actor/filmmaker Tony 'Tex' Watt. The script's projected budget was originally too high; so Watt decided to shoot an improvised sequel, first, based on situations deriving from his previous script.

The film will be available as VOD and DVD release in Spring 2012 on Amazon, Indieflix, MoviesInsanity.com & TonyWatt.com

More about the film on IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1672166/

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'Battle Royale' Begins March 20th!!

“If you love The Hunger Games, BATTLE ROYALE sets the stage. One of the best – and most violent – genre films ever made. It’s also a hell of a lot of fun.”
-Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly


“BATTLE ROYALE is not just a fantastic film, but an important work on a precipice of the most dangerous period facing cinema in the last 40 years.”
-Harry Knowles, Ain’t It Cool News

ONE OF THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL FILMS IN HISTORY FINALLY ARRIVES!

BATTLE ROYALE

Available for the first time in North America on Blu-ray™, DVD and digital download on March 20th from Anchor Bay Entertainment

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – January 27, 2012 – Battle Royale. A title that has shocked, thrilled and unnerved audiences. A film whose fiendishly simple premise has inspired many imitations, including the upcoming The Hunger Games motion picture. Based on the 1999 global best-seller by Koushun Takami, the futuristic tale first came to the screen in 2000, directed by the legendary Kinju Fukasaku. Authors, filmmakers and film fans the world over consider the film and its 2003 sequel Battle Royale II: Requiem sacred cinematic classics. And now, fans can own them on high-definition Blu-ray™ and DVD!

On March 20th, Anchor Bay Entertainment proudly brings the Battle Royale: The Complete Collection to Blu-ray™ and DVD for the first time in North America. Featuring state-of-the-art HD transfers, hi-res audio and a wealth of bonus features that delve deep into this truly international phenomenon - the three disc Blu-ray™ plus bonus DVD set has an SRP of $49.99 and an SRP $44.98 for the four disc DVD. Battle Royale will also be released separately on Blu-ray™ for an SRP of $29.99 and DVD for an SRP of $24.98. Pre-Book on both is February 22. Battle Royale will be available digitally via select outlets including iTunes® and Xbox LIVE®.

42 students, Three days, One survivor – No Escape. Welcome to the world of Battle Royale!

Battle Royale
In the near future, the economy has collapsed, unemployment has soared and juvenile crime has exploded. Fearful of their nation’s youth, the Japanese government passes The BR Law: Each year, a 9th grade class is sent to a remote island where they will be locked into exploding neck collars, given a random weapon, and forced to hunt and kill each other until there is only one survivor left. Chiaki Kuriyama (Kill Bill) and screen legend Takeshi Kitano (Boiling Point, Brother) star in the movie that has been argued, acclaimed and banned around the world. More than a decade later, it remains one of the most savage, shocking and emotionally powerful films of all time. Now experience the complete Director’s Cut of Kinji Fukasaku’s uncompromising masterpiece – nominated for 10 Japanese Academy Awards® – available uncensored and unrated for the first time ever in America.

Battle Royale: The Complete Collection
In 2000, director Kinji Fukasaku unleashed Battle Royale, his violently poetic epic about an innocent group of Junior High students forced by the government to hunt and kill their classmates for sport. It was nominated for 10 Japanese Academy Awards®, launched a global phenomenon, and banned from screens by frightened civic groups and distributors across America. Three years later, the equally disturbing sequel – featuring a new class, new rules, and a brutal terrorist plot by the first film’s young survivors – triggered its own tragic firestorm around the world. Now for the first time ever, you can see it all: Experience the entire Battle Royale saga on 4 discs that forever blasts open one of the most potent, shocking and savagely influential sagas in motion picture history.

Battle Royale: The Complete Collection’s four disc set in collectible high-end packaging will include:

-Battle Royale Director’s Cut with both Japanese and English language tracks and English subtitles
-Battle Royale Theatrical Cut with both Japanese and English language tracks and English subtitles
-Battle Royale II with Japanese language and English subtitles
-Battle Royale Bonus Content with Japanese language and English subtitles

SPECIAL FEATURES:
-The Making Of BATTLE ROYALE
-BATTLE ROYALE Press Conference
-Instructional Video: Birthday Version
-Audition & Rehearsal Footage
-Special Effects Comparison Featurette
-Tokyo International Film Festival 2000
-Battle Royale Documentary
-Basketball Scene Rehearsals
-Behind-The-Scenes Featurette
-Filming On-Set
-Original Theatrical Trailer
-Special Edition TV Spot
-TV Spot: Tarantino Version

The Battle Royale release will include:
-Director’s Cut with Japanese and English language and English subtitles

With impeccable direction by three-time ‘Director of the year’ Kinji Fukasaku, and featuring high-quality acting performances from every angle, Battle Royale: The Complete Collection is as cunning as it is ruthless, offering a unique and brutal depiction of what people are capable of when imminent death is everywhere you look.

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Discover 'Lost Goddess' This February!

NEW YORK, NY - January 27, 2012 - Readers have become enthralled by bestselling author Tom Knox’s lurid blend of adventure, gothic horror, and ripped from the headlines modern science. THE LOST GODDESS (On Sale: February 6, 2012; Viking; 978-0-670-02318-9; $26.95) is the exciting new iteration on Knox’s internationally bestselling genetic thrillers—edge-of-your-seat chases through dusty museums and dripping jungles, profound and shocking revelations on the history of human violence and guilt, and characters who are recognizably vulnerable and yet capable of thrillingly surmounting the insurmountable.

While working on a dig in the most remote part of France, Julia Kerrigan comes across the find of her career—a trove of skeleton, many with holes at the front of the skull and arrow wounds studding the various skeleton bones. Her excitement about her discovery disappears the following day, however, as her mentor and a friend is brutally murdered.

Meanwhile, Jake Thurby, who has been travelling through Cambodia as a travel photographer, lands a job with a beautiful Cambodian lawyer, Chemda Tek, that takes him to the mysterious Plain of Jars. What starts as a fascinating assignment soon turns deadly, as Jake and Chemda realize they’ve uncovered a horrific historical clue that authorities will go to any length to keep quiet.

Linking the two investigations is a strange, demonic woman—dazzling in her physical prowess and unstoppable in her hunger for vengeance. What this killer is avenging is the link between prehistoric remains in the European caves, the horrific genetic experiments still occurring in Caucasian Russia, the mystical mutations committed by Khmer Rouge, and a strange fortress perched at the top of the world, in Communist Tibet.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tom Knox is the pseudonym of Sean Thomas, author of the internationally bestselling novels The Genesis Secret and The Marks of Cain. Born in England, he has travelled the world writing for various newspapers and magazines, including The Times, The Guardian and The Daily Mail. He lives in London. For more information, please visit www.tomknoxbooks.com

THE LOST GODDESS
By Tom Knox
Viking Hardcover ▪ On-sale: February 6, 2012
$26.95 ▪ ISBN: 978-0-670-02318-9
ALSO AVAILABLE AS AN E-BOOK



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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Get 'Familiar' With Director Richard Powell!

Horror fans will recognize him from the top-rated Horror short WORM, and tonight, I Like Horror Movies is happy to sit down with Fatal Pictures' Richard Powell, who has recently completed work on his next short, FAMILIAR!

ILHM: Richard, you have seen two previous successes in the Indie circuit with the individual releases of CONSUMPTION and WORM. Tell us a little about the films leading up to your newest short, FAMILIAR.

RICHARD POWELL: CONSUMPTION is the story of a professor seeking out a willing victim to take part in a pact of consensual cannibalism. The film was very low budget but features some great and gory FX work by the Butcher Shop. I've come to view CONSUMPTION as an extension of my film school studies, as I learned a great deal of what to do and not do in independent short filmmaking while making that film. Everything I learned was applied in the making of WORM. WORM was a very ambitious short as it takes places in a high school and was shot on film. It was a difficult film to make but in the end a very worthwhile project. Again, we gained much great experience, developed new contacts, and found our direction as a filmmaking entity. WORM really represents my filmmaking voice as it dabbles with genre elements while sticking to a more character centric narrative. Both shorts have played internationally and taken in awards. WORM has gained much critical acclaim thanks to the wonderful performance of its lead Robert Nolan.

ILHM: The teaser trailer for the film is pretty tight-lipped, can you familiarize our readers with the story?

RP: FAMILIAR is the story of John Dodd, an average man who comes to suspect the negative thoughts plauging his mind may not be his own. The film has elements of drama and horror, and another great performance by Robert Nolan.

ILHM: John Dodd is a very conflicted character. How does his struggle relate to the greater human condition?

RP: John's struggle represents the eternal battle between primal and civilized man. Instituions such as family, career, and other social constructions mold him into an acceptable member of society, but somewhere with in him and all of us is something wild that wants to break free.

ILHM: Would you say that there is a little of John in all of us at times?

RP: To varying degrees. We all have desires and goals, and when they are squashed and supressed, we grow bitter and disillusioned. It's important to follow your dreams, but as the film shows, it is easy to fall into a life you never wanted, never asked for, and escpae can seem impossible. Dark things begin to fester when the human soul is crushed under the weight of life.

ILHM: Is the film's unexpected ending meant to be interpretted literally, or is this a manifestation of his own broken psyche?

RP: I'd prefer to leave that open to interpretation.

ILHM: Robert Nolan has already won critical acclaim for his performance in WORM, was it decided that he would play John as well from the very beginning?

RP: Not at all, but during the writing stages, I was always thinking of Robert, as the characters and themes of FAMILIAR are so similiar to WORM. I let Robert read the script when finished and actually asked him to help me find a suitable actor for the role. Over a series of conversations, Robert made it clear he was interested in the part and I began to feel only he would be able to bring what I was looking for to the character. It was a natural progression and Im very thankful it was Robert who took the part.

ILHM: FAMILIAR is being likened to the works of Roman Polanski, Frank Henenlotter, and David Cronenberg. Which comparison do you feel is most accurate?

RP: It's hard to say, as I feel the comparisons being made are based on very surface level elements such as body prostehtics and monster FX. Thematically, the film is inspired by my previous short WORM, which has drawn no comparisions to any of these filmmakers due to its lack of FX and body based trauma. FAMILIAR is the flip side to WORM, an allegorical exploration of the same themes of repression, failure, and rage.

ILHM: Did either of these filmmakers have a direct influence on the making of this film?

RP: While I love the works of Polanksi and Cronenberg especially, I wouldn't say I drew any direct influence from their films. I can understand the comparions however and welcome them as I admire both filmmakers a great deal. Ive not seen much of Henenlotter's work, but I plan to in the near future.

ILHM: What is it about Canadians and "Body Horror?"

RP: I can't say for certain, but much of Canadian film is very reflective and deals with themes of identity, isolation, and alienation. These themes injected into the horror genre yields body horror I suspose, a kind of brainy, art house horror subgenre. Most of these films more than likely wouldn't have been made with the tax shelter funds without the injection of the intellectual elements of the subgenre as out right horror films rarely recieve government funding in Canada. So you could say body horror was born out of necessity in Canada, that's the pragmatic answer.

ILHM: On top of the gripping suspense, FAMILIAR promises more than a little bloodshed. Who did you go to for the effects?

RP: We enlisted the help of the talented Butcher Shop, a great group of guys who consitently bring great FX and expertise to our films. They did an amazing job!

ILHM: What do you hope that viewers will take away from the film more than anything else?

RP: I hope they feel like they've seen something distinct, different, and strong. Thats the impact I want all of our films to have. I also hope they appreciate a horror film that respects them as an audience and doesn't feel the need to talk down to them or hold their hands the whole way through. Horror fans are a lot smarter than most films give them credit for, and I feel the great response to FAMILIAR is representative of that.

Horror fans are starved for intelligent, challenging stories and that's what Fatal Pictures is planning to bring to the genre. Also listen for yet another brilliant score by our good friend and talented composer Bernie Greenspoon!

ILHM: When will fans finally get the chance to see FAMILIAR at home and on the big screen?

RP: Hopefully very soon, we are in the process of lining up festivals and screenings, and should have some news on that shortly.

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Fans can follow Richard and FAMILIAR as it begins booking festivals by visiting Fatal Pictures' websites below:

www.fatalpictures.com
www.fatalpictures.blogspot.com
www.twitter.com/fatalpicrtures

Thanks again to the talented Richard Powell for an insightful look at FAMILIAR!

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Full Moon Unveals Their Newest Puppet from 'Puppet Master X'!

Bombshell Joins the Cast Of
PUPPET MASTER X: AXIS RISING
LOS ANGELES, CA - January 24, 2012 - To celebrate the unveiling of the latest evil puppet, BOMBSHELL, Full Moon is offering a 1 week special. From Mon Jan 23rd to Mon Jan 30th, you can get ALL the Puppet Master films for one low price! If you've missed any of the Puppet Master films in the series, 1 through 9, now is the time to take advantage of this super low price....

Only $45 for the whole series to date!
PLUS! Amazing prices on blu ray ($10) & DVD ($5) of Puppet Master 1 Re-Mastered.
AND Amazing prices on blu ray ($10) & DVD ($5) of Puppet Master: Axis of Evil.

Click here for more info, the sale, and the reveal of the teaser!

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SO much more is at http://www.fullmoonhorror.com!

New updates everyday like:

Stuart Gordon's Lab Report
Ted Nicolaou's Subspecies Journals
Sexy Stars with Amy Paffrath
CRAZY stuff in the Far Out Videos section
and more!

Read The Full Post HERE!

Dust Devil (1992)

A dark shadow hangs over the African desert, and in its wake lies a trail of bodies. He is the Dust Devil, and he rides on the winds collecting the souls of the desperate and weak of heart. As he sets off across the desert to collect his latest victim, he is followed by a persistent policeman whose fifteen year pursuit will finally draw him into a final confrontation with the devil! DUST DEVIL is Richard Stanley's magnum opus, a film that is simply too good for the Horror genre. Stanley is a supreme visualist, who is able to tell a captivating story through images, alone. His impeccable style mesmerizes the audience in DUST DEVIL, as each shot has been planned out to perfection. The African landscape comes to life in ways that many people never thought imaginable, to the point where it becomes a surreal painting. In its extended cut, Stanley achieves all of the same abstract mysticism and dreamy suspense as Alejandro Jodorowsky or David Lynch ever have. The film is otherwise beyond compare. Robert Burke plays a powerful villain, often losing himself in the character. He is charming and mysterious, easily winning the affection of his intended victims in their final moment of weakness. With stunning cinematography and a gripping story, DUST DEVIL is essential viewing for all Horror fans!

Rating: 9/10.

Movies like DUST DEVIL:
EL TOPO, SANTA SANGRE, THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE, THE BONE COLLECTOR, CANDYMAN, LOST HIGHWAY, SE7EN.

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)

Martha is picked up at the bus stop -- scared, confused, and alone. As she attempts to settle in to a normal life with her sister, she is haunted by horrible images from the past, where she had become part of a hippie commune led by the persuasive and charismatic Patrick. Martha's nightmares, fear, and paranoia continue to build until she is unable to separate her dreams from reality. First-time director Sean Durkin has struck immediate success with MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE, the award-winning cult drama from 2011. Durkin delicately interlaces the past and the present as he retells Martha's chilling experiences using an organic story structure. It is terrifying to think just how easily an impressionable mind could be manipulated and controlled in such a way, but Durkin takes all of the right steps in disarming the audience in the same way that Patrick has disarmed his followers, perfectly illustrating the power of coercion and the psychological lures that draw people in to such a group. Elizabeth Olsen is phenomenal as Martha, and commits herself mind, body, and soul. There are moments where Martha makes contact with the viewer and causes them to turn away in shame for intruding into her thoughts and emotions. John Hawkes is deadly as Patrick, coming on with a subtle charm that effectively seduces the other characters under his spell before corrupting their minds. MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE will not be easily forgotten, and is a top-contender for Best in 2011.

Rating: 9/10.

Movies like MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE:
HELTER SKELTER, GUYANA: CRIME OF THE CENTURY, THE COMMUNE, THE WICKER TREE, POPULATION 436.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Chinese Ghost Story 3 (1991)

It has been 100 years since Ning and the Taoist priest Yin defeated the ancient tree demon, but as legend foretold, the evil spirit has returned to the Orchid Temple along with its harem of ghostly slaves to trap the souls of weary travellers. A naive young monk falls under the spell of the beautiful Lotus after spending the night in the temple, and the two team with a young swordsman to defeat the evil once more. If you enjoyed either of the previous entries in the A CHINESE GHOST STORY trilogy, you certainly will not be disappointed in the third, as the final film is a virtual remake of the original, with only slight variations played on each of the characters. That is really not a bad thing at all in this case, as the high-flying action, dreamy mysticism, and astonishing special effects are all just as good (if not better) than in the original. Joey Wang returns to the role of the mischievous seductress with all of the same captivating beauty and playfulness as before. This time, Tony Leung Chiu Wai stands in for Leslie Cheung as Fong, and does an excellent job portraying the innocent and good-natured monk. Where there may be slightly less swordplay and cinematic duels throughout the plot, the slapstick comedy never misses. This leaves fans in high spirits as Tsui Hark's stunning fantasy horror series comes to a close.

Rating: 8/10.

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The Horde (2009)

Ouessem leads a raid against a Nigerian gang that is holed up in a condemned building, but their gun battle will quickly come to an end when the dead suddenly begin to rise up against the living. Now, the two unlikely allies must join forces if they hope to leave the building alive! Directors Yannick Dahan and Benjamin Rocher send us on a relentless roller coaster ride of non-stop action and bloody horror in THE HORDE! While the film brings nothing new to the table, the comic book characters play strongly into their respective archetypes, and the endless barrage of bullets keeps things moving at an electric pace. Eriq Ebouaney and Jean-Pierre Martins face off as the two high-powered rivals, along with a highly-entertaining performance by Yves Pignot as the crazed old René. The special effects are handled very well, with terrifying zombie designs and explosive splatter abound. There is also a tinge of dark humor that propels the characters and lightens the mood. Action/Horror fans of films like HOUSE OF THE DEAD and RESIDENT EVIL are sure to enjoy THE HORDE.

Rating: 7/10.

Movies like THE HORDE:
THE DEAD, DARK FLOORS, TENEMENT: GAME OF SURVIVAL, [REC], RESIDENT EVIL, AUTOMATON TRANSFUSION.

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Donner Pass (2012)

History is about to revisit itself on an unfortunate group of teens who make the mistake of partying out in Donner Pass, where the legend of George Donner is not only alive, but hungry! After a gory opening, DONNER PASS introduces us to a an obnoxious group of utterly predictable teen stereotypes, and it is downhill from there. Having learned nothing from SCREAM, these mindless characters break every rule in the Horror handbook and beg for some unstoppable force of nature to put them out of their own misery. Help arrives in the form of history's most notorious cannibal, and once the deaths begin, they are fast, furious, and full of blood. At least the film makers had the sense to play this as a simple, honest Slasher with no pretentious hangups, because neither the film nor the characters contain any depth to them whatsoever. The expected "twist ending" is broadcast from the very first moments that we spend with the teens thanks to a few obvious clues. To its credit, however, the young cast members take on their roles respectfully, and the film is both cleanly shot and nicely edited. The Slasher crowd might find some bloody entertainment here, but otherwise it is safest to heed the film's warning and PASS.

Rating: 6/10.

Movies like DONNER PASS:
RAVENOUS, ABOMINABLE, CURSED, SHARK NIGHT.

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Torture Garden (1967)

Dare ye enter THE TORTURE GARDEN? Five thrill seekers are coaxed into entering the suspicious carnival attraction, where their fates are foretold by a supernatural statue of the Greek goddess Atropos. The first sorry sap will be granted a fortune in gold coins if he only obeys the demands of a witch's familiar, which takes the form of a small cat. An ambitious young starlet will do whatever it takes to see her name immortalized on screen. Poor Dorothy falls prey to a possessed piano in the next. An Edgar Allan Poe fanatic lets his jealousy and covetous desire get the best of him when he visits a rival's admirable collection in the fourth. The last man, however, resists looking into the eyes of fate, fearful of what he might find. Burgess Meredith greatly entertains as the attraction's eccentric owner, in a performance that is gleefully over-the-top. As is often the case with omnibus pictures, the stories are a bit uneven, with the first and last proving to be the most enjoyable (even with Jack Palance's oddly excitable performance in 'The Man Who Collected Poe'). Freddie Francis directs the small picture with gusto, and leaves us with a fun diversion in the end despite the film's many flaws. Amicus would reach the pinnacle of their success with their next anthology, THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD, from 1970.

Rating: 7/10.

Movies like TORTURE GARDEN:
TALES OF TERROR, FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE, THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD, TALES FROM THE CRYPT, VAULT OF HORROR.

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Anchor Bay Has 'Nothing to Fear'

ANCHOR BAY FILMS HAS
NOTHING TO FEAR
WITH SLASHER FILMS


ABF Finalizes Deal With Slash’s New Company
Heading Into Sundance Film Festival 2012

PARK CITY, UT – January 21, 2012 - Anchor Bay Films announced today the pick up of Slasher Films’ Nothing to Fear. Slasher Films is the new horror label conceived by legendary guitar hero Slash and the producing team of Rob Eric and Academy Award™ winning producer Michael Williams (Session 9, Transsiberian, The Fog of War). Nothing to Fear is the first film to be produced in the Slasher Films slate and is based on an actual town in Kansas, which, according to legend, is one of the seven gateways to Hell. The film will be directed by Anthony Leonardi III. Leonardi has been the lead creature artist and storyboard artist for such films as Constantine, Pirates of the Caribbean 3, Rango and the upcoming 47 Ronin. His vision and tenacity have made him one of the most talked about new directors. Slash will be co-producing the score of the movie.

“Anchor Bay is thrilled to be working with the Slasher Films team,” commented Kevin Kasha, Executive Vice President, Acquisitions and Co-Productions for Anchor Bay Films. “We knew we wanted to work with Slash when he announced the formation of the label back in September at Toronto and after having read this script, we are even more excited. Anchor Bay Films is the PERFECT home for Nothing to Fear.”

“The team that we’ve put together for Nothing to Fear is nothing short of excellent,” added Slash. “Anthony Leonardi’s vision of this story is exceptionally unnerving and dark. It will keep you totally engaged from the first second of the film to the last. It’s guaranteed to scare the hell out of you.”

“Slash is one of the biggest music icons in the world,” remarked Josh Thomashow, Director of Acquisitions for Anchor Bay Films. “Anchor Bay is so proud to be a part of the brand that makes him an icon in the horror world as well.”

Nothing to Fear is about a family whose journey towards a better life in a small town is savagely derailed by a charismatic but emotionally conflicted man of the cloth.

Stemming from folklore surrounding the actual town of Stull, Kansas, generations of residents and outsiders alike have proclaimed Stull to be one of the seven known gateways to Hell, where once a year, the Devil will rise from the town’s modest graveyard to walk the Earth. For decades, television, music, movies, and more have cautiously addressed the town; its horror is so infamous, even Pope John Paul II refused to fly over its grounds. Nothing to Fear finally pulls the folklore to the forefront and reveals the unsettling fact and fiction rumbling beneath the surface.

The deal was negotiated by Josh Thomashow on behalf of Anchor Bay and by Executive Producers Shaun Redick and Ray Mansfield of Movie Package Co., and Jackie Eckhouse of Sloss Eckhouse LawCo on behalf of Slasher Films. Content Media Corp. is currently handling international sales for the picture.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Image Entertainment Goes 'Beneath the Darkness' This February!

Dennis Quaid Stars In A Thriller That Will Take Your Breath Away

IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT GOES
BENEATH THE DARKNESS

Coming to Light on Blu-ray™ and DVD February 28, 2012

CHATSWORTH, CA – January 19, 2012 - The rural bliss of small town life has been celebrated as part of the American dream, but sometimes a small town is the perfect place to hide one’s secrets, one’s mistakes, one’s sins. And once discovered, it doesn’t take long for the American dream to become the American nightmare. On February 28th, Image Entertainment unleashes the small-town shocker Beneath the Darkness on Blu-ray™ and DVD. Starring Golden Globe™ nominee Dennis Quaid in a rare villainous turn and coming off a recent national theatrical release, this gripping psychological thriller entwines cold-blooded murder, sinister secrets and modern hauntings on Maple Street. SRP is $27.97 for the DVD and $29.97 for the Blu-ray™, with pre-book on January 31st.

Directed by Martin Guigui (My X-Girlfriend’s Wedding Reception, National Lampoon’s Cattle Call) and written by the late Bruce Wilkinson, Beneath the Darkness is a taut thriller pitting high school kids against a psychotic killer in a community where adults blindly refuse to see the ominous dangers right before their eyes. Along with Quaid, Tony Oller (Nickelodeon’s “Gigantic,” Disney’s “As the Bell Rings”) co-stars as Travis and Aimee Teegarden (Scream 4, “Friday Night Lights”) co-stars as Abby.

In the film Quaid plays Ely, the well-respected mortician of rustic Smithville Texas, where he was once a heralded high school football star. Among the kids, however, he is legendary for a more sinister reason -- rumors that his house is haunted. The truth is, this pillar of the community is actually a flesh-and-blood monster who buries his victims alive; a sociopath who befriends adults and police while openly flaunting his murderous intentions to the youths. Beware Ely’s charming smile – it may be the last thing you see, looking up from your freshly dug grave...

Bonus features on Beneath the Darkness Blu-ray™ and DVD include a behind-the-scenes featurette and the original theatrical trailer.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969)

Baron Frankenstein has taken up shop in a small boarding house in England after being driven out of his homeland, where he proceeds to blackmail a promising young medical student into helping him with his diabolical designs. Frankenstein hopes to transplant the brain of an old colleague, Dr. Brandt, into a fresh new body to clear his mind of the debilitating disease which has driven him mad so that he may steal Brandt's secrets, but the revived doctor will have no part in Frankenstein's evil plan! Terence Fisher turns out another Gothic masterpiece in FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED, the fifth installment from Hammer's thrilling horror series! Here, the baron takes a sinister turn for the worst under the controlled guidance of Peter Cushing, who gives his best performance in the series. It is this vile take on the character for which he is most often remembered. Cushing is given strong support by Simon Ward as his unwilling apprentice and especially by Freddie Jones as the unfortunate Dr. Brandt. The scene in which the recently revived Brandt is rejected by his horrified widow strikes a devastating blow to the viewer's emotion. As always, Fisher delivers many artful touches along the way, despite the smaller production. It all ends in a fiery finale, which should have served as a fitting end for our wayward doctor before the series could begin to fall into decline. FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED is in top contention with FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN as being the strongest sequel in the series, and one of Hammer's finest films.

Rating: 9/10.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Castle Freak (1995)

A rarity for the 1990's, CASTLE FREAK is a classic throwback to the bygone era of Gothic Horror that follows in the grand tradition of the Hammer and Universal pictures. Directed by the great Stuart Gordon of RE-ANIMATOR fame, CASTLE FREAK follows the Reilly's as they move into their family's beautiful Italian villa, only to discover that the castle is also home to a hideously deformed creature that lives deep within the dungeon walls. Gordon brings together genre favorites Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton once again, who do a fine job in handling the agony and grief of a war-torn couple that are dealing the death of their young son. The shadowy corridors and decrepit crypts found throughout the Italian castle set an ominous mood, themselves, and allow Gordon the tools he needs to carefully craft his creeping terror and timely suspense. Much applause is also in order for the frightening performance put forth by Jonathan Fuller as the freak. Horrifying as he may be, Fuller also remains expressly human, and in time, he becomes a pitiful and sympathetic monster. The full-body makeup designs created by Optic Nerve are also very well done and extremely believable. This is Full Moon's finest film, and another excellent achievement in Gothic Horror from renown director Stuart Gordon!

Rating: 9/10.

Movies like CASTLE FREAK:
CELLAR DWELLER, THE LURKING FEAR, CRAWLSPACE, THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS, SKULL HEADS, SUBSPECIES.

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Two New Clips Available from Robin Hardy's 'The Wicker Tree'!

Two new clips have surfaced from Robin Hardy's upcoming THE WICKER TREE, sequel to the cult classic THE WICKER MAN!

When two young missionaries (Brittania Nicol, Henry Garrett) head to Scotland, they are initially charmed by their engaging baron Sir Lachlan Morrison (Graham McTavish) and agree to become the local Queen of the May and Laddie for the annual Tressock town festival. But the couple is not prepared for the frightening consequences of their decision and the very disturbing secrets they are about to discover about Tressock’s seemingly friendly townspeople.

Written and directed by Robin Hardy as a companion piece to his 1973 classic cult thriller "The Wicker Man," THE WICKER TREE also features Jacqueline Leonard, Honeysuckle Weeks, and Clive Russell, with Christopher Lee, the star of Hardy's original film. The film is also produced by Peter Snell, who returns as producer from the original, along with Peter Watson-Wood and Alastair Gourlay.



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The Hudson Horror Show Returns This May!

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY - January 18, 2012 - On Saturday, May 19th, 2012, the hallowed grounds of the Silver Cinemas South Hills 8 will once again showcase the greatest classic horror film festival in the Hudson Valley, Hudson Horror Show V! Our fifth 12 hour movie festival will feature five full length classic genre films along with shorts and drive in style trailers, all of rare 35mm film prints!

Our December to Dismember 2011 show was a sell out with people having to be seated in our “reserved for staff seats”. Don’t miss out, grab your tickets now! This is our third year of shows and ticket prices are still only $26.00 in advance via PayPal. Advance ticket holders save money and will be admitted first. If any tickets remain they will be available at the door on the day of the show for $30.00, cash only.

Our Frankenstein like monster of a lineup is still being assembled slowly, piece by bloody piece. While we cannot divulge the full lineup yet, we can tell you that we have our two “headliners” ready. We’ve screened quite a few zombie movies, but we have yet to run anything by the Godfather himself. Hudson Horror Show is very proud to present a rare screening of George A. Romero’s DAY OF THE DEAD. Our co-headlining feature is another classic in its right, the often requested nightmarish masterpiece starring everyone’s favorite “Tall Man”, PHANTASM!

In addition to the headlining films above, we’ll have three other full length features which will be announced in the coming weeks. Watch this website, Facebook and your email in-box for the future announcements. Be sure to sign up for our email list so you’ll be the first to know when our other films are announced.

We’ll have just a few vendor spots for HHV, if you are interested in selling or promoting your wares, or if you just have questions regarding our show, send us an email to info@hudsonhorror.com. Keep your eyes on our website (www.hudsonhorror.com) and Facebook pages for more announcements, get your tickets early for Hudson Horror Show V, and we’ll see you on May 19th, 2012!

Read The Full Post HERE!

'Camel Spiders' Crawl Home This March!

"In the annals of giant face-eating insectoid carnage,
no one has ever done it better."
-Joe Bob Briggs

ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT PRESENTS
CAMEL SPIDERS
FROM ROGER CORMAN

Crawling Near You March 27th

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – January 18, 2012 - To science, they are known as “solifugae.” They can grow up to one foot in length. Stories about these seemingly mythic creatures started surfacing when U.S. soldiers encountered them in the first Gulf War. Google™ “camel spiders” and for anyone with even a hint of arachnophobia, you’ll find videos and pictures of an eight-legged, true life nightmare. Thank goodness they’re thousands of miles away...or are they?

From master creature feature maker Roger Corman comes a spine-chilling tale about the ultimate skin-crawlers: Camel Spiders! Starring Brian Krause (Cyrus: Mind of a Serial Killer, “Charmed,” Sleepwalkers), GiGi Ernata (Risen, Crossed) and C. Thomas Howell, (The Outsiders, The Hitcher, The Amazing Spider-Man), Camel Spiders crawls its way onto DVD and

Blu-ray™ March 27, 2012. SRP is $19.98 for the DVD, and $24.99 for the Blu-ray™, with a pre-book date of February 29th.

During a routine desert patrol, an U.S. Military unit head by Captain Sturges (Krause) is ambushed by insurgents. Just when they seemed to be outgunned, the attack suddenly stops...and their would-be assassins are dragged off by what a native liaison calls “the devils of the sand.” Wounded in the battle, Sturges earns a ticket back home to the more hospitable deserts of the Southwestern United States.

Bringing back one of his fallen comrades, Sturges doesn’t realize that a couple of camel spiders stowed away and now have access to an environment where they can breed at an exponential rate, freely hunting for prey and unafraid of any predator - including man. No place is safe, no one is beyond their paralyzing sting. In the end, a small band of hearty fighters are forced to make one last stand against the creatures.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Cursed (2005)

A fateful accident in the woods leaves a brother and sister cursed by the beast that bit them as they return home with extraordinary new powers! CURSED is SCREAM writer Kevin Williamson's answer to THE WOLF MAN, taking another all-star cast of popular teen idols and mashing them together with countless genre references that many of them will be too young to understand. Williamson does not strike gold twice in this case, as the writing here is not nearly as clever or as pointed as his previous successes, dropping CURSED down closer to a SCREAM 2 or 3. You couldn't ask for a more unnatural pair in bringing together Christina Ricci and THE SOCIAL NETWORK's Jesse Eisenberg, while things are made all the more awkward with the insertion of Joshua Jackson as the love interest, who seems incredibly unenthusiastic about the role. Still, there is a certain camp quality about the picture that lends more entertainment than it truly deserves. Shannon Elizabeth is ripped in half, classic monster moments are played out in modern day LA, and there is plenty of Scott Baiosploitation. Some twenty-four years after reshaping special effects world with AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, Rick Baker returns to create a new wolf for the 2000's, but the new costume paired with the computerized transformation sequence comes off as being entirely unremarkable. Just how much of the film suffered from the complications in production, we may never know, but at least CURSED is good for a few cheap laughs.

Rating: 6/10.

Movies like CURSED:
AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN PARIS, SCREAM, FEAR NO EVIL, TEEN WOLF, FULL MOON HIGH, FRIGHT NIGHT, THE HOWLING REBORN.

Read The Full Post HERE!

DeathBed (2002)

A young couple moves into a chic new studio apartment with a dark past that comes back to haunt them after they bring an old antique bed down out of storage. Anyone that would willingly watch a movie called DEATHBED deserves all they have coming to them. Considering this came from the creators of PUPPET MASTER and THE GINGERDEAD MAN, one is immediately overcome with visions of a giant, toothy mattress munching on people, but instead, the film is played entirely straight as a pseudo-Slasher. Watching DEATHBED is like watching a really long, really boring porno where only the dude gets naked and everyone else leaves, unsatisfied. To say that the acting is stale or to complain about the listless directing is really giving the film more time than it deserves. As opposed to most other Full Moon Features that run around sixty-five minutes, DEATHBED clocks in at an astounding eighty minutes of pure garbage. For a film called DEATHBED, there is also a surprising lack of deaths that occur on or around the bed. It is a wonder that Stuart Gordon would allow his name to be attached to the film at all. Rated 'F' for Partial Nudity, Mild Violence, and False Expectations.

Rating: 3/10.

Movies like DEATHBED:
HELLGATE, THE TOOLBOX MURDERS, THE BOOGEY MAN, HELLRAISER, FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Anaconda (1997)

Treachery befalls a small group of documentary filmmakers when they decide to rescue a seedy poacher deep within the Amazon. Acting as a guide, the cutthroat snake catcher leads them right into the den of the jungle's deadliest predator, using them as the bait to trap his prize anaconda! So begins the seemingly endless supply of giant killer snake movies. ANACONDA would quickly be followed by BOA, PYTHON, BOA VS PYTHON, and every other absurd combination known to man. The all-star cast and superior special effects do not keep ANACONDA from becoming just as cheesy and ridiculous as all the others, when in fact the increased budget only works against it since the film takes itself so damned seriously. Jennifer Lopez and Ice Cube top the charts once again, but this time to decide which Hip Hop artist can turn out the worst performance. Our scaly friend is handled kindly enough using a cross between computer animation and convincing animatronics, but what snake roars and stalks its prey over miles and miles of rugged jungle terrain? The only real pleasure comes from watching a crazed Jon Voight creep out his fellow cast members. If you can make it through the rest of the boring picture, you also get to see a giant snake spit a monkey on a snooty Englishman. That's practically worth the price of admission alone, isn't it?

Rating: 6/10.

Movies like ANACONDA:
KING KOBRA, BOA, PYTHON, KOMODO, MEGA PIRANHA, FRANKENFISH.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tuckerman (2011)

Something terrible has overtaken the small town of Tuckerman, with a series of strange deaths and suicides plaguing its residents. Robert returns to investigate the cause after the death of his first love, but nothing can prepare him for the horrifying truth... TUCKERMAN is the second feature film from Indie director Jimmy Westmoreland, a supernatural thriller that hints at THE SIXTH SENSE or STIR OF ECHOES. The constraints of no-budget filmmaking are always apparent despite the honest efforts that are put on display. A great deal of the exposition is spent trapped inside a small automobile, which suffocates the plot, slows the pace, and results in a stagnant overall production. It is often difficult to track which characters the lead, Robert, is speaking to when many of the conversations occur over the phone with individuals that only appear briefly in the film. The cause for the supernatural occurrences is always unclear as well, leaving the audience guessing even after the explanation in the end. The amateur cast does their best with the material, but these are not trained actors, and the emotional weight of the events is often lost on them. At its heart, there is a decent story that drives the cast and crew behind TUCKERMAN, but the execution suffers from their collective inexperience.

Rating: 3/10.

Movies like TUCKERMAN:
THE SIXTH SENSE, PURIFICATION, STIR OF ECHOES, THE DEAD ZONE. Read The Full Post HERE!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

What is 'ZAAT'?

Film Chest Proudly Presents on the CULTRA & HD Cinema Classics Labels
ZAAT

Taking Cult to a Whole New Level … You Can’t Keep a Bad Monster Down!

Sought-After ’70s Classic Never Before Available on Video
Newly Restored & Remastered in HD


DVD/Blu-Ray Combo Pack Out Feb. 21st

NEW YORK CITY, NY — January 14, 2012 — Is the monster man, fish or devil? Everyone’s dying to know (literally) in ZAAT – restored and in HD for the first time ever – available in a special DVD/Blu-ray combo pack Feb. 21 from Film Chest on the CULTRA and HD Cinema Classics labels.

Find out why ZAAT is an underground cult favorite, amassing an ever-growing legion of loyal followers over the past 40 years. See why scores of fans have refused to let this funky classic from the ’70s die in obscurity!

In ZAAT (also known as The Blood Waters of Dr. Z), an obsessed scientist, Dr. Kurt Leopold (Marshall Grauer) – who has been scorned by his peers – is convinced he can transform humans into fish. In his isolated backwoods laboratory, he proves his hypothesis by turning himself into a horrible, vengeful creature (played by Wade Popwell) that is part man, part walking catfish!

Armed with his mutagenic chemical compound, ZAAT, the monster is bent on revenge, determined to turn the tables on humanity by making his fishy friends the dominant species on Earth. All that stands in his way are a small town sheriff (Paul Galloway), a dedicated young biologist (Gerald Cruse) and a couple of swinging agents (Sanna Ringhaver, Dave Dickerson) from the Inter-Nations Phenomenon Investigations Team (INPIT). Also starring Archie Valliere and Nancy Lien.

It’s a southern fried fight to the finish (Florida style!) with the ecological state of the entire planet at stake!

Available on video for the first time in its original glory, digitally restored in HD and transferred from original 35mm elements, this DVD/Blu-ray combo pack contains a whole tackle box full of extras, including: feature-length audio commentary by cast and crew; original 35mm trailer; television spots; outtakes; radio interview; before-and-after restoration demo; and an original movie art postcard.

Produced and directed by Don Barton and written by Ron Kivett and Lee Larew.

Zaat is presented in widescreen with an aspect ratio of 16x9 and Standard Dolby Audio. Includes Spanish subtitles.

Read The Full Post HERE!

The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)

Dr. Carl Maia assembles an expedition into the Amazon to uncover a fossil that he believes to be the missing link between fish and man, but as they soon find out, this species is all but extinct! The last of the Universal Monsters comes to life as The Gill Man in THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON from 1954! Originally filmed in eye-popping 3-D, the film is better known for its stunning underwater photography that brings an alien world to life just beneath the surface of the lagoon. The incredible full-body makeup designs that were created by Millicent Patrick and Bud Westmore even outperform many of Jack Pierce's original creations, particularly as the creature gasps for air after breaching the surface. When he is not clawing at victims with an outstretched hand, the creature performs in an impressive underwater ballet that is filled with thrills and chills as he struggles with the other divers and takes off after an unsuspecting Kay. THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON becomes another contemporary adaptation of "Beauty and the Beast" that calls back to the great KING KONG, where a primitive monster looks to take a beautiful young woman as its bride. In a decade filled with Science Fiction flops and rubber monster mayhem, THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON stands high above the rest, and upholds the superior quality of Universal's bygone era.

Rating: 9/10.

Movies like THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON:
KING KONG, HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP, THE WOLF MAN, FRANKENSTEIN, THE ISLAND OF THE FISHMEN.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Skull Heads (2009)

The Arkoffs aren't very fond of visitors, and when their teenage daughter allows a trio of thieves posing as movie executives into their beautiful Italian villa, she'll understand why! The thieves get more than they bargained for when the home's protective spirits, known as the Skull Heads, are unleashed upon them! While the plot may sound familiar to the PUPPET MASTER and DEMONIC TOYS fans, the production quality behind Charles Band's recent SKULL HEADS takes a leap forward thanks to the medieval European vibe that is created by the Roman villa. The superior sets call back to the Full Moon greats like CASTLE FREAK and SUBSPECIES. Robin Sydney delivers one of her best performances to date, and comes off with an innocent charm that passes her off perfectly as the teenage Naomi. Steve Kramer and Samantha Light also make for an entertaining pair as the elder Arkoffs, with the classic kind of quirky character humor that was found in HIDEOUS! or HEAD OF THE FAMILY. Really, the titular creatures have a minimal impact on the plot, but the combination of puppetry and computerization that brings them to life works well on screen. Although it has been generally overlooked, SKULL HEADS is a worthy addition to Charles Band's signature line of tiny terrors.

Rating: 5/10.

Movies like SKULL HEADS:
HEAD OF THE FAMILY, HIDEOUS!, DEMONIC TOYS 2, PUPPET MASTER, BLOOD DOLLS.

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Friday, January 13, 2012

The Little Shop of Horrors (1960)

It is said that Roger Corman produced this campy cult classic in just two days for a mere $30,000 using recycled sets from a previous production, but of all his cheap quickies, THE LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS is easily his most enjoyable! In it, a poor shopkeeper nurses a rare and exotic plant back to life in order to save his job, but there is only one problem... The plant demands blood! THE LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS is a sadistic black comedy that shows just how far a little creativity and a few quirky characters can go without the need for a big budget or overblown effects. Mel Welles and Jonathan Haze make a wonderful pair as the boisterous Mr. Mushnick and Seymour Krelboyne, while the rest of the eccentric cast members come back with equally entertaining performances. Dick Miller strolls through set eating his weight in flowers, Leola Wendorff stops in daily to mourn another lost relative, John Herman Shaner takes great delight in torturing his dental patients, and a young Jack Nicholson gleefully welcomes the pain. The shoddy sets and cheesy special effects only add to the low-budget charm, along with the off brand of wicked humor. THE LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS would become the basis for a successful Off-Broadway musical, and would later be adapted into the successful 1980's remake.

Rating: 7/10.

Movies like THE LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS:
A BUCKET OF BLOOD, FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE, SPIDER BABY, INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS.

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An American Werewolf in Paris (1997)

Three friends decide to make a stop-off in Paris on their Daredevil Tour through Europe for some fun and games, but instead, they unwittingly get wrapped up with a werewolf cult that looks to take over the world! AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN PARIS somehow manages to get everything wrong in its cheap attempt to appeal to the MTV generation. The three boneheads that were chosen to lead the film create an immediate distance with the audience. Tom Everett Scott is just awful as Andy in an awkward and childish performance. Every attempt he makes to be macho and cool makes him look even more foolish. The computerized effects that replaced Rick Baker's Oscar-award winning makeup were barely passable in 1997, and only age worse with time. If that weren't enough, the confused designs look more like lions or misshapen bears than wolves any day. Only a few of the juvenile jokes get a laugh through its failing attempts at humor. There is just nowhere for these characters to go in this odd and uneven script, which moves miles apart from the original despite its similar structure.

Rating: 6/10.

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Piranha 2 (1981)

A new breed of genetically-altered piranha have set their sights on a small Caribbean island just in time for tourist season in PIRANHA 2: THE SPAWNING, directed by James Cameron?! That's right, long before he ever even conceived the world of Pandora, James Cameron had his name slapped on to this stinking sequel by Italian producer Ovidio G. Assonitis, who truly retained creative control over the picture. Although he has often been known to dispute the fact since he only received selective responsibilities and no editing rights on the picture, it is considered to be his first feature film. PIRANHA 2 retains the same half-serious tone as the original, but the clever camp that has turned Joe Dante's film into a cult-classic over the years has been replaced by idiotic humor and laughable villains. The military has found a way to splice piranha DNA with that of the flying fish and grunion, allowing the mean little bastards to fly and survive outside of water. This leads to nothing but onscreen absurdity that crosses over into pure cheese. Despite the ridiculousness of the plot, Tricia O'Neil and genre favorite Lance Henriksen put in a pair of honest performances that carry us through the bloody action, and surprisingly, PIRANHA 2 still retains some entertainment value, but only at the film's expense.

Rating: 5/10.

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An American Werewolf in London (1981)

With the exception of the Universal classic THE WOLF MAN, AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON is the greatest werewolf film ever made. John Landis strikes the perfect balance between horror and humor in this biting black comedy, while the special effects world would be changed forever by a young Rick Baker, who would bring home the very first Oscar for Best Makeup thanks to his genre-defining transformation sequence.

AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON begins as David and Jack set off across the misty moors on a backpacking trip through England. After they fail to heed the warnings set by the residents of the local tavern, the pair are attacked by a ferocious beast that kills Jack and leaves David hospitalized. As David deals with the grief of losing his friend, he begins to experience horrifying nightmares where he is transformed into a wolf, himself. Now, with the full moon fast approaching, David fears that he may actually become a werewolf in the light of the moon!

David Naughton plays the lovable lead with an enormous amount of enthusiasm, creating a reluctant and sympathetic monster with whom the audience can relate. He is just as tragic a character as Larry Talbot ever was, and is one of the most likable characters in all of the Horror genre. Griffin Dunne is equally enjoyable as David's undead buddy Jack, the wise cracking corpse who continues to decompose with each passing scene as he attempts to convince David to kill himself.

With his characters and light comic mood already established, Landis has primed himself for a surefire success, which is solidified by master of effects Rick Baker. Baker employs a number of cutting-edge latex and bladder effects that allow David's body to stretch and contort as he turns into the four-legged beast right before our very eyes! No amount of computerization can ever stand before the practical effects that were perfected in AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF, and Baker's transformation scene remains as the most visually arresting and effective sequence to date.

Beware the moon, but not AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON!

Rating: 9/10.

Movies like AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON:
THE HOWLING, THE WOLF MAN, WOLF, INNOCENT BLOOD, FRIGHT NIGHT.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bring the Battle Home in 'Immortals' This March!

EPIC BATTLES COME TO LIFE ON STUNNING BLU-RAY
IMMORTALS

Featuring Alternate Beginning and Endings Visually-Striking Film Explodes on 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray Triple Play and DVD March 6

LOS ANGELES, CA - January 11, 2012 - One brave warrior, touched by the gods, must overcome all odds to save mankind from a merciless and powerful tyrant when IMMORTALS comes to Blu-ray and DVD on March 6th from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Directed by visionary filmmaker Tarsem Singh (The Cell, The Fall) and written by Charles Parlapanides and Vlas Parlapanides, the home entertainment release is chock-full of must-see bonus features including an alternate beginning, two alternate endings, deleted scenes and an amazing graphic novel, creating the ultimate viewing experience.

From the producers of 300, Mark Canton, Gianni Nunnari, and Relativity’s CEO Ryan Kavanaugh, IMMORTALS explodes off the screen with action-packed battles, mythological adventure and an all-star cast including: Henry Cavill (Superman: Man of Steel), Luke Evans (Robin Hood), Kellan Lutz (Twilight), Isabel Lucas (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen), Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire), Stephen Dorff (Public Enemies), John Hurt (Hellboy) and Mickey Rourke (Iron Man 2). In this epic tale of vengeance and destiny, power-mad King Hyperion (Rourke) threatens to destroy all of humanity on his maniacal quest to obtain the ultimate weapon – the legendary Epirus Bow that gives the power to unleash war on both Heaven and Earth. But Theseus (Cavill), a heroic young villager chosen by the gods, rises up to stop Hyperion’s brutal rampage. With supernatural help from the beautiful oracle Phaedra (Pinto), Theseus embraces his destiny and leads a fierce band of warriors in a desperate fight for the future of mankind.

IMMORTALS is available on Blu-ray and DVD on March 6th and was theatrically-released by Relativity Media on November 11, 2011.

SPECIAL FEATURES (Blu-ray plus Digital Copy):
· Alternate Opening
- Young Theseus
· Two Alternate Endings
- This Is Our Last Embrace
- Theseus Kills Hyperion
· Behind-The-Scenes Featurettes
- It’s No Myth
- Caravaggio Meets Fight Club: Tarsem’s Vision
· Deleted Scenes
· Immortals: Gods & Heroes (Graphic Novel)

SPECIAL FEATURES (DVD):
· Deleted Scenes
· Behind-The-Scenes Featurettes
- It’s No Myth

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'Wizards' to Debut on Blu-ray This March!

DELVE INTO RALPH BAKSHI’S CULT CLASSIC
LIKE NEVER BEFORE

WIZARDS

The Fantastical Allegory Comes to Life for the First Time
On Blu-ray March 13

LOS ANGELES, CA - January 11, 2012 - Twentieth Century Fox’s first-ever animated film, created by renowned director Ralph Bakshi, WIZARDS appears in a 35th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray + Book release on March 13 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Celebrating its 35th anniversary, the “epic fantasy of peace and magic” stars the voice talent of Mark Hamill (Star Wars Saga). The special edition Blu-ray + Book release is a must-have for fans and collectors, featuring 24-pages of amazing artwork from the film, some of the artwork never-before-seen, and a special message from Bakshi!

Set on a post-apocalyptic Earth, this fantasy adventure follows the story of Avatar, the kindly, eccentric sorcerer-ruler of Montagar, a rainbow paradise inhabited by elves and fairies. Avatar's evil brother, Blackwolf, dominates Scortch, a bleak land of goblins and wraiths. When the power-hungry Blackwolf attacks Montagar, Avatar, accompanied only by a spirited young woman and a courageous elf, must enter the darkness of Scortch to save his world.

WIZARDS will be available as a Blu-ray + Book release for the ARP of $19.99. Prebook is February 15th.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Mist (2007)

A strange mist has overtaken the town of Bridgton, Maine, bringing with it creatures of unimaginable horror! As a small group struggles to survive within the local grocery, they will find that the real monsters are much more human... Frank Darabont gives us a modern twist on the classic monster movie in his stunning adaptation of Stephen King's THE MIST from 2007. Darabont sets a slow and deliberate pace in a small setting with minimal score to force the characters to the forefront of the film in a big way. The cramped grocery store becomes a microcosm of the outside world, and one that harbors fierce rivalries and personal politics that turn man against man. The real terror does not come from the Lovecraftian creatures lurking in the mist, but rather from the horrors that man will bring upon himself once the veil of civilization has been lifted. Although it is a striking character drama at its roots, that does not stop THE MIST from doubling as a frightening creature feature as well! From tentacled beasts to spindly spiders, THE MIST unleashes a horde of monstrous creations with a taste for blood. Thomas Jane provides a strong lead for the other characters to stand behind, but Marcia Gay Harden stands out the most as this generation's Piper Laurie, playing the religious nut that demands blood sacrifices to appease an angry God. THE MIST also features one of the most downturn endings of all-time. Though released to theaters in color, a black and white version can be found on the special edition DVD, and offers a whole new way to experience the film as it was originally intended. THE MIST is a powerful horror film that ranks as one of the best in 2007.

Rating: 9/10.

Movies like THE MIST:
MONSTERS, SPLINTER, DREAMCATCHER, THE HOST, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD.

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Monday, January 9, 2012

German 'Necronos' Escapes From Hell!

Laser Paradise Unleases Marc Rohnstock's
NECRONOS

BERLIN, DE - January 10, 2012 - Following its Region 2 release, two
brand new promo pics have been released as a teaser for German
filmmaker Marc Rohnstock's raunchy new NECRONOS. After venturing a
couple of European film festivals in 2011 such as Weekend of Fear and
Indigo Film Fest in Germany and BUT (B-Movie Underground and Trash)
Film Festival in Holland, NECRONOS has finally hit DVD in the German
speaking countries via the DVD label Laser Paradise, which is widely
known for releasing unrated and uncensored films that no other labels
in Germany dare touch.

Written and directed by Marc Rohnstock and produced by Lars
Rohnstock, they surround themselves with an impressing cast presenting
the top of the crop in European Independent Horror Cinema: Manoush,
Timo Fuchs, Thomas Sender, Mario Zimmerschitt, Thomas Kercmar, Tanja
Karius, Timo Rose, Marcel Walz, Kim Sønderholm, Timo Fuchs, Annika
Strauss, Chris Vazquez, Nadine Trautwein, Andreas Schnaas, Jochen
Taubert, Martin Hentschel, Andreas Pape, Rod Usher, hardcore porn star
Luna B. and many, many others.

Synopsis: Necronos, one of the mightiest minions of the devil,
has come to earth to create an invincible army of the undead under
leadership of barbaric demons, called Berzerkers. To achieve his goal,
Necronos needs numerous macabre and difficult to come by
ingredients. So Satan sends him two assistants to achieve his goal –
Goran, a Blood Demon and footman loyal to Necronos as well as The
Mighty Witch to locate the chosen one – a virgin witch.

You can secure your copy of the film here: www.amazon.de/dp/B0068DVXC2/

More info on IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1605751/

NECRONOS is currently in the midst of conquering the rest of the world
and can hopefully be found available in other markets shortly.



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Piranha (1978)

After cutting trailers for the legendary Roger Corman for years, director Joe Dante received his feature film break in HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD, and would go on to make his first Horror movie, PIRANHA, two years later before hitting it big with THE HOWLING and GREMLINS. Always the joker, Dante keeps his tongue placed firmly in cheek all throughout this silly play on JAWS. In PIRANHA, the vacationers at the Lost River Resort are attacked by a mutant strain of carnivorous fish that are mistakenly unleashed from a secret research facility up river! The sly humor that makes its way into the film keeps the mood high in spite of the terrible violence that is unfolding all around. As fake as the rubber fish may look, the quick cuts used during their fevered feeding frenzies conceal their cheap designs behind a crimson shroud. From the opening scene, the river runs red as the piranha mow down everything in their path, but nothing can compare to the bloody feast that awaits them at the river's end (save for Alex Aja's ridiculous remake). Bradford Dillman and Heather Menzies do their best to keep a straight face as they run around warning people of the fishy menace, while Corman favorites Dick Miller and Paul Bartel pop in with a pair of amusing cameos along with the late Kevin McCarthy, who hams it up as the kooky geneticist that is responsible for all of the madness. Of the many JAWS imitators that surfaced in the late 70s, PIRANHA is easily the most enjoyable, and offers a surprising amount of staying power now thirty years since its initial release!

Rating: 7/10.

Movies like PIRANHA:
GRIZZLY, GREAT WHITE, DAY OF THE ANIMALS, ORCA, DEEP BLUE SEA.

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Decadent Evil (2005)

DECADENT EVIL opens with a lengthy recap of the events that occurred in VAMPIRE JOURNALS before shifting gears entirely, taking us from the Gothic backdrop of Eastern Europe into the sleazy strip clubs of modern Los Angeles. Here, we find that the evil vampire Morella has started a coven of her own using the club as a cover. As she nears her 10,000th victim, Morella grows closer to becoming the invincible Queen of the Vampires! DECADENT EVIL is a far cry from the glory days of the SUBSPECIES series, as Ted Nicolaou's moody sense of style and atmosphere are both sorely missed in light of Charles Band's drier approach to the material. The majority of the characters are blatantly overacted, and there is no sensuality behind any of the gratuitous nudity, making it impossible to pass this off even in the softcore horror genre. Only Phil Fondacaro gets by with a decent performance as he takes on the role of Ivan the Vampire Hunter. Overall, a trite and cliche vampire picture in the same vein as BORDELLO OF BLOOD, minus the fun.

Rating: 4/10.

Movies like DECADENT EVIL:
VAMP, WITCHCRAFT, EMBRACE OF THE VAMPIRE, BORDELLO OF BLOOD.

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