In addition to the usual reviews and comments you would find on a horror movie blog, this is also a document of the wonderfully vast horror movie section of the video store I worked at in my youth.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

DKTM 279

Hello all! It's October, the most glorious and spooktacular of months. Here's what I've got for you on this fine afternoon.

Canadian Giallo.

Journalist turned filmmaker Chris Alexander announced the details of his fourth feature this week, the giallo-infused BlackGloveKiller. Check out these sweet promo posters below.

The film, that will feature music legends Peter Murphy and Nivek Ogre, follows the bloody trail of Miranda, a beautiful predator who stalks the city streets at night looking for prey and sits in her gilded cage by day, waiting for the sun to set.

Alexander, who will also score the film, describes BlackGloveKiller as “narratively, an extension of my other films, stories of women pushed into extreme situations, living on the fringes, told in a dream like manner.”

Taking on cinematography duties this time around is Gabriel Carrer (If A Tree Falls, The Demolisher) which seems like a good fit, as he also has a solid grasp of the retro aesthetic.

Look for BlackGloveKiller in 2016.

Kill Your Phone.

With Until Dawn still fresh in my memory, I've been looking for other genre-themed games. Recently, I came across this one called Kill Me Again, which basically looks like Bejeweled crossed with a Final Fantasy and Resident Evil.

It looks complicated, but hey, it's free and available on both iOS and Android.

Home Hell Home.

I am a big fan of stop motion animation, especially when it takes the opportunity to go where most filmmakers won't. One of Two Evils by Cristoph Younces is such a short, delving into the dark corners of domestic violence. Those who saw Younce's ABC's of Death 2 contest submission M is For Maieusiophobia should have some idea of what they are in for.

Considering the incredible stop-motion talent coming out of the UK these days (Robert Morgan & Lee Hardcastle among them) they should all pool their resources together and create a feature. I'd be first in line for that!

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Final Nine.

Here below are the remaining nine titles playing Toronto After Dark later this month.

I missed The Hallow and The Interior when they played Fantasia, so I'm pretty chuffed they are being screened here. Toronto After Dark runs from October 15th-23rd. For more info on tickets, click here.

Video To Go!

While in Bloomington last weekend, my gracious hosts Rob & Sarah Mitchell showed me around town. This included swinging by the indie video store Video To Go in the neighbouring town of Ellettsville.

This is the best. Look at that Coke machine! Upon entering, I bee-lined for, you guessed it, the horror section!

The proprietor seemed a little suspicious of us at first. Understandable I suppose, a couple of weirdos walking in on a Sunday afternoon and snapping lots of pictures. After we told him what I was doing, he let us know that anything in the store was two dollars to rent, and five dollars to buy. Sounds like a deal!

No VHS sadly, except for this awesome art piece on the wall outside.

They even found a way to make the video store even more convenient!

It gives me great joy to know that even though video stores may be struggling in large cities, they are still a viable enterprise in the smaller towns of North America. Video To Go is living proof!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Diving Into October!

Hey all. The Crawlspace Dive is alive and well over at my Instagram page. The past few months have seen my G.I. Joes, children's books and X-Files merch appear, but now with every genre fans favourite month upon us, I'll be posting horror-themed items starting with this--

This was a mail-in offer from the Toronto Star, a poster-sized version of the newspaper front page they printed on Apr 1st, 1976. This was in celebration of the upcoming opening of the CN Tower (the official opening was thirty-nine years ago today) and was also coincidentally the same year that Paramount's remake of King Kong released.

Enjoy your October everyone!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

DIFF Short Cuts 2015

My trip to Indiana for the final edition of the Diabolique International Film Festival was a success. My short film went over well and the audience seem to respond to it. I had the most rewarding Q&A experience so far here, as not only were the questions great, but I was able to provide answers to them without umming and awwing.

Me with festival programmer Maggie Rossman.

At first I was bummed my short was playing on the Sunday instead of the Saturday, but it worked out as I meant I had an extra day to pal around Bloomington. I not only got to revisit Plan 9 Video, but I also looked in on another indie video store, but more on that at a later date.

I got to hang out with the Headless crew, and you can imagine that led to an interesting evening. I certainly did not expect to be in a porn store at four in the morning, perusing the dildo aisle with horror actress Ellie Church. You'd be surprised how much foot traffic there is at that hour. Then again, maybe you wouldn't. The next night, a bunch of us had dinner at Upland where I tried out the Wheat Ale - the one that is apparently prominently featured on Parks & Rec. It's not bad, pretty light and something you can easily drink a lot of.

Anyhoo, DIFF's best quality is its abundant short programmes, of which I sampled all. To check out the full programme, click here, but here below were my faves.

Night Of The Slasher - There are no shortage of throwback slashers (short form or otherwise), but this one by Shant Hamassian was really entertaining. There were a few clever things that made me laugh out loud, including the fact the killer wore a Leonard Nimoy mask. It's such a subtle joke, but I love it. I also didn't realize, until someone pointed it out, that the short is one continuous take, so there's a huge technical component to this piece, as well.

Boniato - I liked this short film a lot. At twenty-three minutes, it is a bit cumbersome, but damn if it doesn't build a world. This effort from Andres Meza-Valdes, Diego Meza-Valde & Eric Mainade exudes confidence and has production design on par with horror features that possess much higher budgets. I also thought the lead Carmela Zumbado reminded me of Manuela Velasco of the [REC] series.

The absurd was out in full force this year, as not only did DIFF screen Jason Kupfer's festival favourite Invaders, but also the ridiculous Crow's Hand and the fun grindhouse trailer Krabz.

Heels - Imagine if Frank Zito had had a foot fetish. Filtered through a Nick Refn aesthetic, director Jeremy Jantz brings forth this somewhat disturbing, probably inappropriate tale of murder and footwear.

666 sq ft - This to me is the perfect representation of the horror short form. It has a setup, buildup and satisfying payoff all in under five minutes. Big props to Raymond Zablocki & company for succeeding where so many have failed.

Black Eyes - From the people that brought us Science Team comes this coming-of-age story about make believe. I love how this short subverts the taboo of suicide - believe me, I've seen a lot of shorts about suicide this year and none have handled it better than this. The performances of the young actors Hays Wellford & Elena Lazorishak are incredibly natural and pulled me in pretty right away.

My favourite short last weekend was likely the Danish effort The Sun Has Died.

After the success of Ilya Naishuller's Bad Motherfucker (which led to his feature Hardcore selling for $10M at this year's TIFF) you can be sure we will now likely be deluged with POV narratives, such as the one above. However, I found this extremely effective in what it set out to do. Daniel Bødker Sørensen puts us in the first person perspective of the victim and it is as unsettling as it sounds. If this is where Horror VR gaming is heading, then we are definitely going to be doing more laundry in the future.

So that was the fest in a nutshell. I'm sad to see it go, but with the organizers all moving onto other projects, it seemed inevitable. Nine years was a good run, more than most genre festivals. To Bloomington's Dark Carnival, I bid thee farewell.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Trailer Tuesdays: The Lost Boys

Well, I'm back from Indiana. Shortly after arriving on Friday night, I had the pleasure of attending a screening of The Lost Boys on 35mm. I have fond memories of this film - the soundtrack was the first CD I ever bought - and was elated to discover that it still holds up. It was even better than I remembered, in fact. 

The shirtless sax in the first few moments of that trailer should give you an idea of how indicative of its decade it truly is. And that's just another reason why I love it so.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Hoosiers & Horror.

I'm taking a little trip down to Indiana this weekend for the final edition of the Diabolique International Film Festival.

My latest short film The Monitor is screening there this Sunday at 5pm, so if you're a reachable distance from Bloomington, come on by. You can find more info here.

As in previous years, DIFF offers up a half-dozen programmes of short films, so I'll holler back at ya next week about the bloody best they had to offer.