Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Star Trek horror

Near the end of it's first season Star Trek: The next Generation did something different, and something they haven't tried since.

In the episode "Conspiracy" Captain Picard and crew learn that a race of alien parasites has infiltrated the Federation.  Picard and crew of course stop this invasion, no surprise there.  This could have been standard Star Trek fare,  but they managed to make one of the goriest episodes of TV to that point.

The episode is of note for horror fans for several reasons.


First of all, one of the people who tells Picard about the conspiracy is Captain Rixx, played by Michael Berryman.  Berryman played a Bolian (named for the shows director Cliff Bole) and this race would be featured a lot in TNG and other Star Trek shows.


This was one of the few Star Trek episodes that featured non-humaniod aliens.  The parasites were all puppets and were stop motion animated in some scenes.


We were also treated to this scene where the parasite infected officers eat live grub worms for dinner.

The mother creature of the parasites was a pretty gruesome creature.

What this episode is most remembered for hough is this scene.

Hands down this is one of the best head explosions ever.  This is at least as good as the Scanners one.
Reaction to the episode was mixed and the show never did another gory episode like this again.  It's a shame, I would have liked to seen more horror in Star Trek.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Popcorn Frights Festival 2017




This Friday we will be attending the 3rd annual Popcorn Frights Film Festival. The festival will feature shorts and films of the horror genre. On Friday we will be viewing the following films, the first of which will be the sold film Jackals starring Stephen Dorff.



Synopsis



Set in the 1980s, an estranged family hires a cult deprogrammer to take back their teenage son from a murderous cult, but find themselves under siege when the cultists surround their cabin, demanding the boy back.

Watch the trailer


                                                        https://youtu.be/tI6xfJMDvjY



The next film might scar me for life. Terrifer looks like a film I normally would not watch, I consider it torture porn and I am not a fan of clowns. But it takes place on Halloween and there is a lot buzz around this one, so I am curious.




Synopsis


A maniacal clown named Art, terrorizes three young women on Halloween night and everyone else who stands in his way.


Watch the trailer


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdnUVov_-eg



On Saturday we will be catching three features, First off is Game of Death. 




Synopsis


Kill or be killed is the golden rule of the Game of Death. Sucks for seven millennials who ignored that rule. Now each one's head will explode unless they kill someone. 





Synopsis


A virus breaks out in a law office and the infection is capable of making people act out their wildest impulses. 


Mayhem stars Steven Yeun aka Glen of The Walking Dead. 



The last film of the evening is the sequel to the Wolf Cop, if you haven't seen it do so. It's funny and downright ridiculous but we love it!





Synopsis


Alcoholic werewolf cop Lou Garou springs into action when an eccentric businessman with evil intentions seduces Woodhaven's residents with a new brewery and hockey team


Watch the trailer




Our last day of attendance of us is Sunday and I will be viewing two films before I have to head back to Orlando.




Synopsis


Two brothers return to the cult they fled from years ago to discover that the group's beliefs may be more sane than they once thought





Synopsis


Ashley travels to the suburban home of the Lerners to baby-sit their 12-year-old son Luke at Christmastime. She must soon defend herself and the young boy when unwelcome intruders announce their arrival.



There are many more films in this festival and we wish we could see them all. If you are in the area please check out some films and purchase tickets before they sell out.



We will mention however a film we wish we were viewing that we won't be able to view, The Hatred. We were honored to have interviewed the writer and director, Micheal Kehoe in our previous blog.




Synopsis


Four young women travel to their college professor's new country home for a weekend getaway, only to discover that the house has a malevolent past.


Watch the trailer here 





Here is the link for the rest of the festival's line up. 



Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Zombeavers



For the longest time I scrolled by this movie on Netflix and just laughed at the name.  Most of time movies whose whole premise is based on a pun, are not for me.  The other night I decided to give Zombeavers a try, and I'm glad I did.

Zombeavers is a genuinely fun horror movie that takes itself seriously.  Before seeing it I envisioned this a horor comedy or parody of monster animal movies.  Zombeavers however is quite the opposite. While the idea is of course silly, it's played straight.

The movie very much reminds of a 1980's horror movie.  It's filled with gratuitous sex, nudity and over the top violence.  
I have opened my door to worse
A great part of the reason I enjoyed this movie (other than the gratuitous nudity) was the effects.  The creatures are all done practically, and this really adds to the charm of the movie.


The actors all do a great of selling you on the Zombeavers being viscous monsters.   There are some pretty good twists later in the movie, I won't spoil them but they're amazing.

If you're looking for a fun movie, that takes you back to the 80's then Zombeavers is for you.




Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Two Evil Monkey Movies You May Have Missed

Whether there's a whole planet of them, or just one, monkeys are scary.  They're funny to look at in the zoo, but when the walls between us come down, they have the advantage.  Here are two movies about killer primates you may have missed.




Our first entry is SHAKMA from 1990.  A LARP game in a medical school goes awry when a supposedly dead baboon starts killing the players.  Part slasher movie, part nature gone wild movie SHAKMA has become a cult hit.


I can definitely see why actress Amanda Wyss was reportedly terrified of the baboon on set.  It was the 1990's no CGI monkeys here.  SHAKMA is currently streaming on Shudder and Amazon video.  


Next is LINK, from 1986.  When zoology student Jane Chase (Elisabeth Shue) shows up at her professor's remote house she discovers he has a super intelligent orangutan as a butler.  If this didn't clue her to get the hell out of there I don't know what would.  

I'm here to draw your bath,  

Things start to go bad when Link, develops feeling towards Chase.  Yes, it's a story of unrequited ape love.  The film was directed by Richard Franklin who also directed Psycho II and Road Games.  

 The evil ape Citizen Kane is of course Monkey Shines, but I think everyone has seen it.  Hopefully this will point fans of Monkey Shines to other lesser known killer monkey movies.  

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Interview with The Hatred's director Micheal Kehoe


In 2015 we attended Popcorn Frights the first horror film festival to be put on in Miami. Before every feature film a short was shown and among them was one called Hush. We sat in silence letting Hush wash over us, we were so impressed with it we had to share our love on our platforms. We weren't the only ones who loved it besides winning several awards at other festivals the the short was even selected by the late Wes Craven at the Catalina Film Festival. Now he has an upcoming film The Hatred and it will be featured at the upcoming Popcorn Frights film festival this August. We had the pleasure of interviewing him about the film and his experience.



Based on the trailer I see a slight connection to your award winning short Hush. Was the short a spring board for your upcoming film The Hatred or did it evolve afterwards?


The short film HUSH was a scene from the feature film now titled THE HATRED. I have twin sons and when they were about 5 years old, they would ask me to check the closet and check under the bed before I would turn the light out for them to go to sleep. So, when I was writing the screenplay, that was just one idea for a scene. Another idea for a scene was a moment when I was in Ireland with my mother, sister and brother. We were staying at a country hotel that was a home for Field Marshal Montgomery’s mother during World War 2. When we went to bed around midnight we would hear someone walking up the stairs. My mother wondered why people were coming in so late. The next morning she asked the woman who ran the hotel who was coming in at that late hour. The woman shrugged it off until my mother later sat with her. The woman informed her that we were the only ones staying there. Legend had it that Montgomery’s mother was walking the stairwell at night because she and her son had gotten into a fight and never made up. So, she would walk the stairwell waiting for him to return. I wrote a scene with something happening in the hallway similar to that event in my life. The short film HUSH went on to win 34 awards and opened the door to present the feature screenplay.

 Malek Akkad is producing the film, how did that come to be?

Malek and I had known each other from the reboot of Halloween he produced with Rob Zombie. Malek and I were friendly but we did not know each other on the level as a filmmaker as I never pushed that. When we started pushing the film, a mutual friend of ours reintroduced us with the intention of Malek checking out the short film and reading the script. Malek loved the short film and we had a meeting discussing the prospects of making the feature. Malek and I dove into the script and molded the scenes to elevate the story. Once we were funded both Malek and I hardly had any sleep. We would meet 3 hours before the start of our shoot day, work on the script and plan out each scene. We would then work 12 to 15 hours, talk about another hour after we wrapped and our day would be almost 18 hours. We did that every day of shooting!

How would you describe your experience directing your first feature? Do you have any advise for first time directors?

Well, this is actually not my first feature. This is my first horror feature. My first short film titled SECOND DANCE went to Sundance. I then directed a feature titled DOMINION, then a few more short films and another feature titled THE ART OF A BULLET. I wanted to get into a thriller and the idea of what we now call THE HATRED came to life. I wanted to take a chance as I never directed or wrote a horror script so I researched and decided to make it more of a thriller. One of my favorite thriller/horror films is THE CHANGELING starring George C Scott.
My advice to first time directors is to research, prep and prep and prep. The more prep you have the easier your day will go to cover everything. And don’t shoot anything for the sake of making a film. Would you have a baby for the sake of just having a baby??? I don’t think so. Find something in a feature script you can make and then take out a scene that has a beginning, a middle and an end. Use that as a stand alone story! Take your time with that. Shoot a thriller or a horror/thriller and stylize it. Get a great DP that is hungry and talented. You want to be sure that the look of your film exceeds your budget. Then find a great cast. READ AS MANY ACTORS AS YOU CAN!! Don’t just find an warm body to fill the role. This is your first shot! Surround yourself with people that are smarter than you! Go observe acting classes, go to plays, look at short films on YouTube and find the actors that are right for your script.


 I have seen posters for The Hatred with the name Alice of them, why was the title altered?

The original title was HUSH, then Blumhouse released their feature HUSH, so we had to change it. We then started calling it ALICE, but there were several films titled ALICE so we started throwing names around and came up with THE HATRED which is in the dialogue of the script.

If you had to chose to be any villain or survivor from a horror film who would you chose and why?

I’d want to be R.J. MacReady from John Carpenter’s ‘THE THING”. That film is my favorite film of this genre.


Thank you for taking the time to spend on my film THE HATRED. Our goal is to entertain the audience and making it a fun event to see a movie. I will keep you informed as to my future films. The next one takes me to Iceland for a Sci Fi Thriller. Please see THE HATRED!!!
People can get updates and follow on social media:
Twitter: @MikeyKehoe
Instagram: mikehoe11

Watch Hush with an opening from The Bleeding Critic



Watch the trailer here!


Thank you and keep spreading the FEAR of THE HATRED!!!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Hearse


I was lucky recently and won a copy of this on Blu-Ray,  I had never seen it before, despite having looked at it in the video store for years as a kid.  It was just one of those ones I never got around to renting, I assumed video stores would always be there,

First, let's talk about the disc itself.  Vinegar Syndrome did an amazing job with the transfer on this. It was scanned in 2K and restored from the original negative.  I can't imagine that it looked this good even at the time of its release.  The colors are all very bright and even the night scenes are clear.  The sound is great and level throughout the movie.  I don't like the releases where the dialogue is quiet and the action scenes deafen you.  Here every sound in the house and outside is crisp and adds to fright factor of the movie.

The edition I got had a reversible cover and I liked the art better than the original theatrical poster. The art is by Chris Garofalo and you should look at his stuff, it's amazing.  Here's a link to his site:   http://quiltfacestudios.storenvy.com/

Now onto the movie itself.  The Hearse revolves around Jane Hardy (Trish Van Devere) who moves from San Francisco to Blackford.  She takes up residence in her aunts old house, which was left to her years ago,

Now all horror fans know that once you move to an old house in the country there are two possible situations.  The house is either haunted or you will be menaced by evil locals.  In this movie it's the former, but with a dash of the latter.

"Why hey there pretty girl" there were no sexual harassment laws in the 80's

 
Once Sarah moves in she find the locals are uncooperative with her and afraid of the house.  It also doesn't take long until the titular hearse shows up to menace her at every opportunity.

Not a sight you want to see in your mirror 
 This is slow burn movie that reminds me a bit of The Changeling  and Burnt Offerings.  I enjoyed it and I miss this era of movies a lot.  There was no heavy reliance on special effects, just old fashioned suspense.


One last thing, is it just me or does the local preacher look like Reverend Kane's younger brother?


Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Streets of Horror

We recently decided to snap some pics of some streets around Orlando with horror related names.

Enjoy our trip through the mean streets of Orlando.

It didn't seem like a very legendary road.  

Not a summer camp in site.  

There were some odd looking people, but this is Florida

This one just reminded us of Nancy from A Nightmare on Elm Street

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Virus (1999)


A salvage crew discovers an abandoned Russian science ship only to discover the creature that killed the crew is still on-board.

Virus was released in 1999 and had the bad luck to come out after Scream and in the middle of the slasher revival.  People just weren't in the mood for a monster movie.  It's a shame because this movie has some top notch effects and the story, while reminiscent of The Thing is still a lot of fun.

 

The cast includes Jamie Lee Curtis, William Baldwin, Marshall Bell and Donald Sutherland.  This was one of the last horror movies that Curtis did, and she seems to have nothing but disdain for it.  Which is odd since it is FAR from the worst horror movie she's been in (I'm looking at you Terror Train).

 The practical effects are what really set this movie apart.  If it was made today, they would do all the creatures with CGI and it wouldn't look nearly as good.


Some of the creatures reminded me of the ones from Hardware.  This was the first film directed by visual effects artist John Bruno.  He was responsible for effects on several of James Cameron's films, including The Abyss.

I was actually able to meet John Bruno and one the actors Marshall Bell at a convention in Tulsa Oklahoma before the films release.  They were both very excited about the film and the clips they showed at the con delighted the fans.  It was a shame the movie didn't do better at the box office.





Saturday, May 06, 2017

Ghostwatch


Now available on Shudder is the made for TV movie Ghostwatch.  The movie originally aired in 1992 on the BBC, and caused quite a bit of controversy.  The film is presented as a "live" TV special and despite opening credits stating it was fictional, many people thought it was real.  One suicide and two cases of PTSD were linked to the show.

The film centers around an investigation of a haunting in a London house occupied by a single mother and her two children.  If this sounds familiar it's because it is based on the true story of the Enfield haunting,  The Enfield haunting was also the inspiration for The Conjuring 2.


Watching Ghostwatch I couldn't help but notice how much other found footage movies have been influenced by it.  All the tropes that are common today in found footage films are in Ghostwatch. One of the most noticeable is the explaining of how all the equipment works.  This is forgivable in 1992 because no one had seen this done a hundred times.

Paranormal Activity anyone?

Ghostwatch was definitely a film ahead of it's time.  When it aired nothing like it had been seen before.  It unknowingly set the standard that found footage movies have been  following ever since.

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Void


The Void was one of the most anticipated horror movies of 2017.  When it was released Friday fans were not disappointed.

Writer/directors Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski  do not disappoint with this intense thriller.


The story begins when police officer Daniel Carter (Aaron Poole) bring in an injured man to the local hospital,  The hospital is run by a skeleton crew because it will be closing and relocating in the morning.   Soon after the man is brought in a mysterious group of people in robes show up and surround the building.
There is no chance they are here to help you.

 I won't say anymore about the plot, the less you know the better.  The film reminds me several older movies most notably The Thing, Hellraiser, and Assault on Precinct 13.  I say this as a compliment, I was glued to the screen for the whole film.

The movie relies on practical effects and those effects are very strong.  The film is shot in a way that uses shadows and darkness to it's advantage.  That said, it never feels like you can't see what's going and again it's nice to be able to see the action for change.  One of my pet peeves is movies that are so dark you can't see what is happening on the screen.

I can't recommend this movie strongly enough, it's what horror fans have been waiting for.  

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Campfire Tales (1997)


Horror anthologies are one of my favorite sub-genre of horror movies.  Campfire Tales is a movie that tends to get lost in the shuffle.

Released in 1997 it features a cast that would go on to much bigger things.  Check out this cast list and imagine the budget needed to get them all together today,

Christopher Masterson,Ron Livingston, James Marsden, Amy Smart, Jacinda Barrett, Christine Taylor and Jay R. Ferguson.

The film opens with the pretty standard hook handed killer on lovers lane urban legend,  After that it focuses on a group of college students who have a car wreck,  While waiting to picked up they pass the time by sharing scary stories.



All three stories are well acted and have great atmosphere, but the second one is the one that everyone will remember.


The second story revolves around a young girl (Alex McKenna) who is left alone while her parents go out.  She has a friend online that is not quite what she seems, when the friend finds out she's alone, things get very weird.  The story is also based on a urban legend and it has some of the creepiest images you will ever see,

Campfire Tales is out of print on DVD, and has no Blu-Ray at this time.  I actually had to get a VHS to watch it again.

Hopefully somewhere will pick this up and give it a decent release.  I would love to see this get the Scream Factory treatment.


Friday, March 10, 2017

Man-Thing by R.L. Stine

 (Warning spoilers ahead)

This week Marvel relaunched Man-Thing with Goosebumps writer R.L. Stine taking over the writing reigns.

Man-Thing is a character who has largely remained in the shadow of the far more popular Swamp-Thing.  There was even a feature film of Man-Thing in the early 2000's but even it remains mostly unseen.

Bringing a writer of Stine's popularity shows that Marvel is serious about trying to give Man-Thing another chance.

After reading the first issue, I have to say I am surprised in the direction they are going.

Stine has given the character the ability to speak and think like his former human self.  Which is quite a change from all the previous comics.  Also, Man-Thing has gone to Hollywood to become a movie star.  Yes, you read that correctly.


 So, Man-Thing has gone Hollywood, at least in his comic series.  I was expecting a much more EC comic feel from the series, and the comedic turn has taken me by surprise.

The first issue gives us a quick recap of his origin and is very light and humorous in it's tone.

Maybe taking the series in a humorous route is the right way to go.  Man-Thing has been the butt of many jokes over the years.  

Some intentional:
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. asking the real questions.
Some unintentional (maybe)

I mean, they had to know, right?

If the serious can laugh at itself maybe we can too.