Prior to the DVD showing up in my mailbox, I had never heard of The Taking of Deborah Logan, formerly known as The Taking. No press release was sent out, no promotional still, posters or trailers, just an ominous notification from FedEX(or UPS, I can’t remember) that a package from Millennium was en route. After asking several colleagues, it would appear that almost everyone I know in the world of genre journalism, had this mysterious DVD en route. Most of us had already written it off, due to the generic sounding name, and the even less-effective front cover. A movie we’d never heard of, seen advertised, that was being pushed out without a request process? Surely that can’t be good. However, once word started trickling down from the first couple of brave souls that took it on, that the film was not only worth watching, but that it was actually pretty damn good, I instantly became intrigued. To add fuel to that fire, a week prior to the DVD release date, the movie was streaming in HD on Netflix. Apparently Millennium really wanted people to see This creepy little movie, but didn’t have the money to spend on an advertising campaign. That’s unfortunate too, because I think if this would have received a theatrical release, with a better name, poster and an effective trailer, this would have put some asses in theater seats. Continue reading
For any of you who may still be unfamiliar, BB is the new project from CJ Wallis, owner of FortyFPS Productions. His work is synonymous for outstanding camera work and cinematography, as well as a signature modern, yet classic look. BB is his return to the horror/thriller genre after taking time away to do documentary filming for hip hop artist Curren$y and his JetLife record label. Continue reading
Unlike most of what Scream Factory puts out there, this would be my first exposure to The Doctors and the Devils. I had never even heard of the film, if I’m being entirely honest. One thing I like about the label is that every so often, they challenge my prejudices when it comes to the type of films I usually watch. I’ve always gone out of my way to avoid period movies, unless there is a really good reason to watch them. Depending on the subject matter, and the period that is being recreated, of course. Anything that takes place during the 1800s, that isn’t about Jack the Ripper, is going to have a hard time keeping my attention. Continue reading
Nothing gets me more pumped for a movie than an effective trailer, as I’m sure is the case for a lot of us. When I first saw the trailer for Australian writer/director Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook, I knew I had to see it. If the movie ended up being even half as creepy as the trailer was, we’d have ourselves a shudder-inducer on par with anything that James Wan has ever attached his name to. Believe me when I tell you, that’s high praise coming from me. Continue reading
Let’s just agree right off the bat that we aren’t going to get into “the infected are vs. the infected aren’t” zombies argument, k? People are passionate about their beliefs on the subject. We get it. I’m not even going to say which side of the argument I fall on. That said, Wyrmwood is a new Aussie zombie flick, of the infected variety, from first time director Kiah Roache-Turner, who also co-wrote it with brother Tristan Roache-Turner . It promises to be “Mad Max meets Dawn of the Dead”, and if you ask me, that’s pretty much making the bold statement that this is probably the best thing ever. Can it even be expected to deliver entertainment on that level? The short answer is no, the longer answer is below. Continue reading
The day is finally here. Some of us have been waiting decades to catch a glimpse of Clive Barker’s intended vision of his 1990 epic monster movie, Nightbreed. Some of us got close with the Cabal Cut, but that still wasn’t his intended vision. It was long-thought to be an impossibility, thanks to both studio interference, as well as mishandling of the original elements. Hell, when Scream Factory announced the title, most of us assumed we would be getting the Cabal Cut, including the awful-looking footage sourced from VHS. I feel like, when the announcement was made that all of the materials they needed were located in a vault somewhere, a big enough deal wasn’t made. I see people every day, disappointed that The Cabal Cut isn’t what we’re getting with this release. These people don’t understand that Barker’s Director’s Cut is superior to the Cabal Cut in every way. You see, in that cut of the film, we basically get everything that was shot, shoehorned into the theatrical cut. So even scenes that were never intended to be kept were present, no matter how unwatchable the quality. In this Director’s Cut, we get Barker’s original vision, cut together from the original elements, and supervised by Barker himself. This is the version of the film we’ve all been waiting for. Continue reading
Exhumed Films 24 Hour Horror-Thon Part VIII – Design by Haunt Love
For years now, my good friend James Harris, proprietor of Doc Terror, has urged me to make the trip to Philly for Exhumed Films’ 24 Hour Horror-Thon. It sounded like an amazing time, but Philly is such a long drive for me that it never seemed reasonably possible. My wife and I discussed a way in which we could make it a trip for all of us. So, her and my son, along with her mother, came up and went on the Hershey tour, while I got my horror-thon on. With 4 people in the car, a ton of stops are going to be made. In total, it took us probably 13 and a half hours to make it to the hotel. I had only a few hours to sleep, before I would leave the hotel, en route to the Philly International House, where the event is hosted. There is a line to get in, but it’s really not a big deal. There are friends to meet up with, and wares from both DiabolikDVD.com, as well as design artists with tons of great posters and prints for sale. Continue reading
Posted in Articles, features, Movies, News, Reviews
Tagged 24 Hour Horror-Thon, Black Magic, Blood Rage, Blue Monkey, Bog, Exhumed Films, Gate II, Godzilla's Revenge, Guru the Mad Monk, Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II, Kingdom of the Spiders, Last House on Dead End Street, Leatherface The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, Mother's Day, Night of the Creeps, Pet Sematary, The Keep
This week, we’re very late with DEADtime. Sorry about that – the month of October is really busy and it’s hard enough to keep up with all of the other stuff going on! This week, Shawn got his Walking Dead review done but the other stuff will be added to next week’s recaps. Kevin is taking over his Gotham review for this week, along with Stalker. I’ve got the rest.
To prepare myself for viewing The Demon’s Rook, I sat down and watched writer/director James Sizemore’s short film “Goat Witch”. From that, I took away that even if Rook was terrible, I was going to be in for some spectacularly gory practical effects, and probably some nudity. People, sometimes that’s all I’m looking for in my horror movie. I’m pretty easy to please, what can I say? As it turns out, The Demon’s Rook is exactly that, a practical effects showcase with just a bit of an identity problem that prevents it from being truly good. Continue reading
Squirm is a cult classic, because its premise is utterly ridiculous. A town is under siege by an army of killer works, surfaced by a downed power line that apparently nobody thought to contact AEP about. Seriously, that line flopped around and spat sparks for what? Days? It didn’t set any fires, and nobody thought that it was something that probably needed to be taken care of? In all seriousness, worms are creepy little crawling assholes, and a movie about killer worms is going to make most viewers feel a little uneasy. I know it certainly had that effect on me, and based on the fact that almost 40 years later, we’re still talking about it, I have a hard time believing that I’m alone. Scream Factory’s Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release of the film will serve multiple purposes. It will allow those of us old enough to remember it, to revisit an uncomfortable viewing experience from our youth, and it will give allow newer genre fans to carve another notch in their horror-movie-bedpost. Continue reading
The first Vincent Price collection from Scream Factory was a pure treasure. When October rolls around, almost nothing puts me in the Halloween mood like a constant stream of Vincent Price films on my TV. Never did I think that Scream could improve upon their original price collection, but when the films that would be included in this new set were announced, I was shocked. The first Vincent Price Collection has some really solid Price films, mostly of a Poe nature, and it was one of the most exciting releases of the year for fans of classic horror. The second set, drops the Poe theme(mostly), and includes some of Price’s most famous, well-regarded films, including a couple of my favorites. The list of films is impressive, and there are extras on most of the films. The packaging is consistent, and equally pleasing to the eyes. Scream Factory’s Blu-ray release of the Vincent Price Collection Volume II is a must-own, especially for those of us that go crazy during October, trying to squeeze in as many horror films as possible. We get House on Haunted Hill and The Last Man On Earth in one set, people. Click here and buy this thing, already. Continue reading
Posted in Movies, Reviews
Tagged Blu Ray, Box Set, Dr. Phibes Rises Again, House on Haunted HIll, Scream Factory, The Comedy Of Terrors, The Last Man On Earth, The Raven, The Return of the Fly, The Tomb Of Ligeia, The Vincent Price Collection II, Vincent Price
‘Late Phases’ tells the story of Ambrose (Damici) a wounded war veteran, now blind who along with his guide dog is moving into a retirement community and about to begin his first night there. Upon arrival, he and his son (Embry) unload his things and at first appearance, the community seems like a wholesome and peaceful place. Even Ambrose’s neighbor is extremely friendly and welcoming, kindly welcoming him to his new home. While settling in for his first night, he begins to hear a commotion and what sounds like a possible attack next door and he tries to investigate. His guide dog (also clearly disturbed by something in the near vicinity) ends up confronting a huge beast (to us horror fans, quite obviously a werewolf) and after being severely injured, Ambrose is forced to put down his friend and guide. Soon he begins to question the goings on in the community and discovering these attacks are a steady frequency occurring nearly every month, a day which just happened to be a full moon as well, Ambrose begins to put the pieces together and try to prepare for the next month’s attack which is sure to occur like clockwork if his assumptions are correct. Continue reading
Dead Snow 2 played to a sold-out crowed at Toronto After Dark 2014, and from what I’ve been told, the crowd loved it. I loved it too, and so did contributor Mitch Reaves. Mitch is helping me out a bit, and below is his review of the film. Jeff will be back later with more from the ground-floor of the event, and I will have a couple more reviews today myself. I hope you’re enjoying our coverage of the 2014 Toronto After Dark Film Festival.
When director Tommy Wirkola’s Dead Snow (Dod Sno) was nearing it’s US release in 2009 after what felt like an eternity, there were some pretty high expectations for it. Horror sites had been covering it heavily, and many people, myself included, couldn’t wait for a chance to see it. When it finally did hit, as with any movie with so much hype surrounding it, it seemed to fail to meet some viewers’ expectations. It delivered the gore, there’s no denying that, but I think the comedic elements were maybe a bit unexpected for some. Fast foward to 2014 and the sequel, appropriately titled “Dead Snow 2: Red vs Dead” has arrived, and it does everything a sequel is supposed to do. There’s more comedy, more Nazi zombies, and more splatter gore than you can hurl your own entrails at. Continue reading
At the heart of the ABCs of Death series is something I absolutely cherish about horror cinema; the ability to take a short story and convey an idea that terrifies (or if we’re lucky grosses out). It strips out the bullshit ie all those love plots and pieces of character development that are wholly unnecessary to a good horror story. Horror shorts, anthology films and portmanteaus truly are my favorite way to watch horror fiction. From Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark to Stephen King’s Night Shift. From Dead of Night to Creepshow. Bite size stories to tell around a campfire or underneath the covers or to read on the beach, that’s the way to consume horror in small portions.
ABCs of Death was comprised of 26 filmmakers creating horror fiction based on a letter of the alphabet and the sequel follows suit. No wrap story just right on into the sequence, and I can assure you by the end of this one no one is singing, “next time won’t you sing with me”. They’re all dead. As I did with the first collection I will rate each movie individually and give either my approval, disapproval or my “what the fuck did I just watch”. ranking. Each will be color coded, and by the end I hope to have established a basic opinion for each of the stories and percentage of good to shit segments Without quantifying it, I will simply tell you that ABCs of Death 2 is superior to the original. It has more solid entries though there are plenty of stinkers too. Again, these are not full reviews of each of the shorts, and I expect you to watch the movie. These are just feelings; general opinions. Green is liked/loved it. Red is disliked it/hated it. Orange is what the fuck is this crazy shit? Check it out after the jump.
For many horror fans, zombie movies have become too prevalent in the independent horror cinema landscape. In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising to find out that the mere mention of the subgenre makes many cringe. For whatever reason, filmmakers working with a restricted budget seem to think that their best option is to try their hand at making a film that, by it’s very definition, usually requires some sort of elaborate special effects. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. Last year’s zombie film, THE BATTERY, did a great job on super-tight budget. But that is not the standard, so you can imagine how I felt when I heard that ZOMBEAVERS was going to be a real thing…
The movie, co-written and directed by Jordan Rubin, is a horror-comedy about a group of college students head to a lakeside house to party away Jenn’s (Lexi Atkins) boyfriend woes. Things first get complicated when her ex, Sam (Hutch Dano), and his friends show up unannounced and looking to get frisky. After a bunch of arguing, the group suddenly realizes that they have far bigger problems to deal with when they discover that the area is inhabited by mutated zombie beavers.
Hellmouth is the new one from Exit Humanity director, John Geddes. And writer of Pontypool, Tony Burgess. Hellmouth is a neo-noir horror tale, created with the usage of contrasting colors and other such visual techniques. Some would say that this is in the style of Sin City, which is helped along by the fact that the first third of the film is black and white, with a few traces of color. Personally, I would compare it to Dark Country before Sin City, but I’m one of only 5 people that bothered to see that nice little piece of horror-pulp starring Thomas Jane, so Sin City is probably a more accessible approach to explaining the style to expect. What I’m saying is, a lot of detail is focused on creating the visual style of the world, and it makes for a stunning experience. There are a few frightening scenes along the way. This is a story about a gravekeeper storming the gatets of hell to rescue the soul of a young woman, after all. And in doing so, there are scenes of demonic figures that are genuinely creepy. Never is the sake of driving the narrative forward put before the overall style of the film, though. Continue reading
Posted in Articles, features, Movies, News, Reviews
Tagged Hellmouth, John Geddes, Stephen McHattie, TAD, TAD 2014, Tony Burgess, Toronto After Dark, Toronto After Dark 2014, Toronto After Dark Film Festival
Saturday marked the third day of Toronto After Dark 2014, and as is customary on the weekend, there were three separate screening blocks (as opposed to the standard two during the weekdays). Saturday at TADFF also usually means Zombie Appreciation Night, so you generally know that you are going to get at least two films featuring the undead. This year, both of the feature films were completely sold out, marking a running total of six sold out screenings for the year already. Huge congratulations to the festival organizers for making 2014 such a record-breaking year (and it’s only three days in)!
Friday was Day Two of Toronto After Dark 2014, and the theater was packed for both of the evenings screenings. HELLMOUTH had its World Premiere, ABCs OF DEATH 2 had its Toronto Premiere, and the sold out crowds were cheering and ready for both movies. It’s kind of a big deal that both of these screenings sold out, as that means that the first four consecutive films at this year’s festival were completely full. I believe that is a new TADFF record. The festival certainly has grown over the last 8 years, and it’s exciting to watch as more and more films sell out with each iteration.
I’m swamped with life, and movies/TV that I HAVE to watch, so my recreational October horror movie consumption is taking a hit. Slow week, for me. Oh, well, soon Exhumed Films 24 Hour Horror-Thon will be upon us, and I will be inside of a theater with movies on-film playing continuously for 24 straight hours. That should even me out. We have a mixed bag this week, including the new episode of The Walking Dead, which I am told is being counted. Continue reading
Despite the goofy looking poster, and lackluster trailer, I was looking forward to David Hayter’s wolves. Sure, it looks extremely Twilight’ish, but it was directed by Hayter, and boasted “ALL PRACTICAL EFFECTS”, which is partly true. I tried really hard to enjoy this movie, but there were some things I just couldn’t get past. More about that in a second, for right now, let’s talk about Werewolf Night at Toronto After Dark. Following a screening of The Drownsman tonight, Toronto After Dark 2014 turns hairy, featuring a double feature of werewolf films, both of which I’ve seen already. One of them is Late Phases, directed by Adrian Garcia Bogliano, a name you should be familiar with by now, but if not, he’s responsible for films such as Here Comes The Devil, and Cold Sweat. We’ll be talking more about that film later, but for now, we’re focusing on the other part of that double feature, which is Hayter’s Wolves. Continue reading
Posted in Articles, features, Movies, Reviews
Tagged David Hayter, TAD, TAD 2014, Toronto After Dark, Toronto After Dark 2014, Toronto After Dark Film Festival, Werewolves, Wolves