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Sunday, October 13, 2013

FRIDAY THE 13TH on the Big Screen

     So last night, we saw the original FRIDAY THE 13TH on the big screen for the very first time.  I was just a bit too young to see it in theaters (I caught these gems late at night on HBO), so I really kinda missed out.  Well, just so happens our local theater has a Midnight Madness series going, and FRIDAY THE 13TH was one of the October selections.  Well of course I wouldn't miss it for the world, so we went.

     The film itself looked sensational up on the big screen.  We sat with roughly thirty people, and surprisingly most of them were young.  There was a 40ish lady with the nervous giggles throughout the entire film, and although slightly annoying at first- it soon became infectious, and the mood suddenly shifted in the audience.  All of a sudden, we were all participating, all part of something.  Going to see films like this are fascinating when you check out the audience.  There were people of all ages- people like us who had grown up watching these, and young people who had possibly never actually seen the original, only having heard of the name handed down over the years in pop culture.  Before we knew it, we were all laughing and screaming at the film, and FRIDAY THE 13TH was doing exactly what it was supposed to be doing.

     Two young girls, probably 19 or 20, were sitting directly behind us.  It was actually quite entertaining watching her during the big, scary moments- poor thing had her eyes covered the entire way, and nearly jumped right out of her skin when Jason comes out of the water at the end.  It was October, we were all in Halloween mode, and we were our own little audience at FRIDAY THE 13TH. At the risk of sounding corny, it was actually a big deal for me, seeing it up on the big screen like that. It was so much fun, and a perfect way to spend a fall, Saturday night with good peeps.   All in all a great night.  Next up- the original HALLOWEEN on the big screen this October 29th.  This is certainly my lucky October, so far.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Essential October Viewing Part 2

     Okay kids, here's another 20 films that are essential watching during the month of October.  Here we go.  By the way, these are not in any particular order.  They're all fantastic in their own right.

     20.  SATAN'S SCHOOL FOR GIRLS  I love this deliciously diabolical tv movie that features Kate Jackson and Cheryl Ladd together way before "Charlie's Angels", and Scream Queen Pamela Franklin to boot.  This tv flick has some great atmosphere.

     19. ROSEMARY'S BABY  This devilish horror classic has been silently creeping us out for years now, so why not include it in this list?  I can't think of any reasons, can you?

     18. HORROR OF DRACULA  I am thoroughly addicted to Hammer horror films, especially the Dracula series.  Christopher Lee is perfectly menacing here, and if you can't appreciate some classic Drac in the month of October, then there's no hope for ya.

     17.  DAWN OF THE DEAD (1979)  George A. Romero's legendary sequel belongs in permanent rotation all through the entire month of October, right after the original NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. These movies are Halloween.

     16.  HELLO MARY LOU: PROM NIGHT 2  This odd and quirky sequel to the 1980 slasher classic has grown on me quite a bit over the years.  I used to not know what to think about it, but I've grown to appreciate it.

     15.  SUSPIRIA  Dario Argento's infamous shocker is always found on tv during the month of October, and with good reason.  A total mind trip of a horror film, it's classic horror all the way. Weird, violent, beautiful... and some of the scariest music ever recorded.

     14.  THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE  Another kick-ass ghost story that's got your classic haunted house atmosphere for days.  This was always on the late show on Friday nights as a child, and I distinctly remember being about 9 and staying up one dark, windy night in October to watch it. A frightfully good time.

     13.  PSYCHO The granddaddy of all slashers.  'Nuff said.  Norman Bates is so iconic, why not have a back-to-back double feature and watch the amazing sequel, PSYCHO 2?  Crazy, heh?

     12. INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS  I'm including both the 1956 and 1978 versions here, well, because they both rock in their own way.  Both are undeniably creepy, and both are classic horror films.

     11.  THE SHINING  I could write an essay on how much I love this film, but I'll reduce it to this is one of the greatest horror films of all time so of course it's great to watch in October on or around Halloween.

     10.  COUNT DRACULA  The BBC adaption starring Louis Jordan is, besides the first few Hammer vampire films, one of the creepiest Dracula presentations of all time.  Weird, haunting, dark- this deliciously Gothic telling of the classic vampire tale is a superb Halloween selection.

      9.  THE DESCENT  Because it's frigging scary, that's why.  Monsters and Halloween go hand in hand.  And these are some pretty scary monsters here.

      8.  CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN  Hammer's classic and lush re-telling of Mary Shelley's immortal tale is an excellent film to curl up to on the sofa on a cold, windy afternoon while the leaves fall outside.  Christopher Lee's monster is rather disturbing in its own right, and Peter Cushing was born to play Dr. Frankenstein.  Love me some Hammer.

      7. AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON/ THE HOWLING  I love both equally and I couldn't choose a favorite if I had to and I shouldn't have to pick just one anyway because I love them both and they are the best werewolf movies ever made so why not watch them both this time of year?

      6.  THE EVIL DEAD  Sam Raimi's undying classic works great on a cloudy, overcast day with a jack-o-lantern on the front porch.  I don't know, it's just always seemed natural to watch it during the month of October.

      5.  DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW  This classic piece of tv terror takes place around Halloween, and although it is guaranteed to creep you out any time of the year, it does make a nice touch this time of year. Good, creepy fun.

      4.  A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET  Wes Craven's original shocker is prime Halloween entertainment.  I've fallen in love with the 1984 slasher again, and all of a sudden I want to watch it right now.  Ah, when Freddy was still scary and not a cheesy comedian!

      3.  SLEEPY HOLLOW  As much as I'm NOT a Johnny Depp fan (go ahead and sue me), I must admit, it's not really October without it.  There should be a law forbidding Tim Burton and Depp to collaborate on anymore projects, but they certainly got it right with this one.  Awesome Halloween atmosphere, and a great score to boot.  Good stuff, indeed.

      2.  NIGHT OF THE DEMONS  The 1987 classic positively reeks of the Halloween spirit, and it's absolutely perfect for parties.  Can't go wrong with this gem in October.

      1.  CREEPSHOW  C'mon, if any film (besides HALLOWEEN) personifies the spirit of October 31,CREEPSHOW is it.  It's always excellent to watch, but it's just a bit more glorious during your annual Shocktober festivities.  Don't you think?  Besides, the opening scene takes place at Halloween, as there is a jack-o-lantern in the window.  And it's awesome.

Here's the link to my first list of Essential October Viewing.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House

     I loved this record as a child.  I would sit up late, alone, in my bedroom with the lights out, listening to the Chilling, Thrilling, Sounds of the Haunted House.  Good times, kids.  Good times.

Saturday, August 31, 2013


      When someone mentions slasher films from the 1980's, most people instantly think of Jason Voorhees or Freddy Krueger. But there's actually many slashers from 1980 to 1984 that made virtually no impact upon their initial release, but slowly found a fandom through repeated viewings on HBO and on video cassette. HUMONGOUS was one of those films that disappeared overnight in theaters, but was introduced to many, including myself, via HBO. It was released on video, but it was such a terrible copy you honestly couldn't make heads or tails of it. Thanks to SCORPION RELEASING, HUMONGOUS is finally available and watchable, and boy is it a world of difference.

     HUMONGOUS is actually a pretty decent slasher. I mean, what's not to love about a group of bad acting 80's kids stranded on creepy Dog Island where a lone woman was brutally raped and had a child out of rage and became a weird recluse on the island with all her dogs and gave birth to a horribly deformed boy who grew up to be a scary killer and hunts down the bad acting 80's kids one by one in time-honored slasher fashion?

     HUMONGOUS is presented uncut here- the opening rape scene has added footage, and it's even more disturbing that it was years ago. Yay! Disturbing rape scene aside, there's lots to savor in this flick. Mysterious islands are always fun, hell even Fantasy Island was a hoot. And deformed kids growing up to be murderous psychopaths is a staple of many a classic slasher of the era.

      This film follows the guide book and does it right. I lovingly lump this one in with FRIDAY THE 13TH, THE BURNING, APRIL FOOL'S DAY, JUST BEFORE DAWN, SLEEPAWAY CAMP, THE FINAL TERROR, and MADMAN- all slashers with a woodsy feel ya know, and I love every single one of 'em. Something about these woodsy slashers resonate with me, and thankfully enough people cared about this lost little slasher to bring it back to life so we can enjoy it the way it was meant to be seen. It truly looks smashing.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Curtains and Prom Night coming to Blu-Ray!


     Here's some downright fantastic news, kids.  It seems Synapse Films is tackling the project of repairing and restoring the amazing cult slasher "Curtains".  I know, right?  Apparently the original negative is in poor condition, and the restoration is underway.  I can't stress how excited I am about this news.  And as if that weren't enough, they are also polishing up one of my all-time favorites, "Prom Night"!  Rumors are swirling about a definite DVD/blu-ray release for both of these flicks as well, and speaking of rumors- there are supposedly a handful of 80's classic horror about to receive the same treatment.  And "Humongous" is one of them.  Swoons.


Monday, June 24, 2013

April Fool's Day Modernized Trailer

     Loving this one.  Rad!


Sunday, June 16, 2013


     I'm starting a tribute to the great Scream Queens of cinema, and I can't think of a better one to start with than Janet Leigh.  Although a silver screen legend in her own right, she ranks as one of the greatest Scream Queens for her performance in the granddaddy of all slashers, "Psycho".

     Married to screen icon Tony Curtis, and mother of Scream Queen Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh is true Hollywood royalty.  And her infamous shower scene in "Psycho" is one of cinema's greatest achievements, and truly iconic in the annals of film horror.  Janet Leigh made thousands of people afraid to take a shower, and that's why she's my first Scream Queen tribute.

Janet gets extra cool points for appearing with her Scream Queen daughter, Jamie Lee Curtis, in not one but two horror films, John Carpenter's fantastic "The Fog", and "Halloween: H20".  Plus, she appeared in the bona fide camp/cult classic "Night of the Lepus".  What a lady.

     Whether she's fending off demented slashers, vengeful ghosts from the past, or giant killer bunnies- Janet has certainly made an impression on horror film fans over the years.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Happy Anniversary Friday the 13th!

     On this day 33 years ago, the original "Friday the 13th" was released in theaters.  Hard to believe it was 33 years ago, right?  Quite amazing, actually.  The little movie nobody thought could has certainly surpassed anybody's expectations.  And what's even more amazing is how well the film holds up today.  It's still far scarier than most horror movies released today.  So on that note, what are you waiting for?  Go watch it already!

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