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.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Trailer Tuesdays: Memorial Day

So I was looking for a Friday the 13th rip-off to post today and I came across Chris Alender's 1999 flick Memorial Day.

Yep, this totally looks like the kind of garbage that haunted video store shelves around the turn of the century. However, if by some miracle you are not deterred by the trailer, you can watch the whole thing on YouTube.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Double Dose of Friday!

It was Friday the 13th last weekend and there were two - count 'em - TWO separate screening events in T.O. The first was a Drunken Cinema event for Jason Takes Manhattan.

Art by Trevor Henderson

The event featured creator Serena Whitney's usual deck of drinking rules and appropriate props and the movie went over well with the packed house.

It had been a while since I watched Part 8 and it seemed even more absurd to me this time around. That sounds funny to say since logic has never really entered into this series, but there's stuff in this movie that makes Jason's fight with Tina “Carrie” Shephard in Part 7 and his jaunt to space in Part 10 seem almost plausible by comparison.

Part 8 is the movie where Jason's third jolt of electricity somehow also levels up his teleportation skills. I'm sure it was supposed to be a production in-joke, as it would explain why the filmmakers also seemed to thumb their noses at the timeline. Rennie was able to time-travel back to the sixties (to see kid Jason in the lake) and then come back for her high school grad party in the late-eighties? And don't even get me started on the toxic waste in the New York system and Jason's death-morph back into his child self.

Regardless of that, the little time that we do get in New York does give us some of the most colourful sequences of the series. And it's got Kelly Hu!

Video courtesy of Drunken Cinema

Following that, I made my way over to the Carlton for the sold-out screening of Jason Lives, the sixth part in the series. This was a really lively affair with many “Jasons” in attendance.

Judging from all the screams at the jump scares, there were a lot of people who had not either seen this installment or horror movies in general, so it was really fun. 

Photo courtesy of Imagine Carlton Cinemas.

Part 6 is one of the better in the series I think. The conclusion of the Tommy Jarvis arc gives the movie weight, and I think you care about the “fodder” characters a bit more than this one. Unlike some other installments, there aren't really any antagonistic characters in this one (no bikers from Part 3 and no bitchy characters like Melissa in Part 7 and Tamara from Part 8) so they are inherently more likable as a group. Director Tom McLaughlin was right to give this one a slightly wry bent after the overtly sleazy nature of the previous installment.

I had a blast. Even though there are better single installments in other slasher franchises (Halloween, NOES), as an entire series, the Fridays are what I have always considered home. Except Part 9. Part 9 can fuck off.

The next Friday the 13th is in October, so that's yet another reason to look forward to Halloween!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

DKTM 322

Good morning all. With UFC's Fight Pass being free this weekend, I've been spending the last few days watching people punch each other in the face, but I've torn myself away long enough to get you up to speed on this week's happenings - good and bad.

Trailer Treasure Trove.

I discovered an awesome release from Garagehouse Pictures this week in Trailer Trauma 3: 80's Horror-Thon.

The third in the series (the first two covered cult and drive-in fare respectively), this looks to be the definitive collection of home video era horrors with over two-hundred-and-fifty trailers on display. It's a little pricey to ship to Canada, but it does work out to a measly quarter a trailer, so how can I say no, really?

The run is limited to 1500, so if you want to snap one up go to the DiabolikDVD website here.

Female Trouble.

I've talked before about how excited I am about the upcoming lady-centric anthology, XX and now we have a trailer.

Man, this thing looks slick. XX premieres at Sundance next week, so let's hope the buzz is good and I can be watching it myself by year's end.

R.I.P. William Peter Blatty 1928-2017.

Ending on a sad note, we lost another horror icon last week. Writer and director William Peter Blatty passed away in a Maryland hospital last Thursday. He was 89.

William Peter Blatty 1928-2017.

Blatty had a storied career as a writer before publishing what would become his opus, The Exorcist in 1971. He would later write the screenplay for the film adaptation for which he received an Academy award in 1973. Eight years later, he would win a Golden Globe for the adaptation of another of his books, Twinkle, Twinkle “Killer” Kane (retitled The Ninth Configuration) for which he also directed.

He would then go on to direct an adaptation of his follow-up to the Exorcist, Legion. Retitled Exorcist III, this solid film is now starting to gain the recognition it did not receive upon its release. 

You will be missed, Mr. Blatty.

(Should we be thankful we made it twelve days into 2017 without a horror celebrity death?)

Friday, January 13, 2017

F13 2017

Happy Friday the 13th everyone!

Art by Cavitycolors (Devon Whithead).

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Trailer Tuesdays: Devil Dog

Today's trailer was on the end of my VHS copy of Revenge of the Dead. It's so much better than the one that's already online, so I decided to post it.

Man, this dog really hates baked goods and yard work! I guess it's the creepy kids that get to do all the real deviling, amirite?

Sunday, January 8, 2017

DKTM 321

All right... First Messenger post of 2017! Forgive me if I seem a little groggy, I was up until four a.m. playing an incredibly engaging video game. Here's what I have for you today.

Look What Came In From The Cold.

One of my fave horrors from 2015, Oz Perkins' February (now re-titled The Blackcoat's Daughter) is finally getting a release in 2017.

I'm happy to see that, as I thought for sure this had been relegated to Netflix oblivion. The plan is to premiere on DirecTV in the midd le of (coincidentally) February with a theatrical release on March 31st. This flick features three great performances from its young leads Emma Roberts, Keirnan Shipka & Lucy Boynton and seethes with atmosphere. Be sure to check it out.

Blood Makes Everything Better.

Much has been said about the family Christmas caper Home Alone's cartoonishly violent undertones, but YouTuber BitMassive has done one better by digitally inserting realistic physical trauma on the two thieves, Harry & Marv. These are really great.

Guess Who's Back?

Here's something I wasn't expecting. A new Chucky movie! Here's the teaser below.

As long as Brad Dourif is still doing the voice, I'm in.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Disclaimer of the Dead

It's time to start the year off right with a dip into my VHS collection. This is one I acquired fairly recently and you'll no doubt recognize the cover if you spent anytime in video stores back in the day.

Perhaps surprisingly, I had never actually watched Revenge of the Dead before. I'd like to say that maybe I had associated it with the Jess Franco dud Oasis of the Zombies, but I didn't even know it was Italian until I popped it in. If I'd realized it was a Pupi Avati joint, I probably would've watched it a lot sooner. His 1976 film The House of Laughing Windows is an unsung gem, so I was optimistic.

Sadly, as with many titles from the home video boom, the coverbox is the best thing about the film. Maybe that's too harsh, but it is unrepresentative. While it does feature one or two shambling undead, they are more of the Herk Harvey variety, rather than that of the cover.

The best way to describe Revenge of the Dead is that it was Avati's The Beyond, except nowhere near as fantastical or gory. It does offer up an intriguing mystery, but then gets bogged down in its revolving door of walk-on characters. I may have nodded off a bit in the middle so I won't blame the narrative for being a bit confusing, but it certainly doesn't conclude in any way I found to be satisfying.

Is it just me or is this guy's head weirdly disproportionate to his body?

It wasn't without its amusements though. The main theme by the prolific Riz Ortolani was pretty boppin' and the filmmakers must have realized that as well considering the amount it was used in the film. Imagine if Manfredini & Simonetti had a musical love child and you can approximate the score. Plus, there was a foghorn sound cue that made me chuckle every time it happened.

I also wondered if this movie was either set in the seventies or Italy was just behind the times because “video tape machines” and electric typewriters were both considered cutting edge technology here. I must admit that the protagonist finding an ancient scripture translation on a used typewriter ribbon was a pretty cool device.

Revenge of the Dead was no winner, but not a bad curiosity for those into vintage Italian horrors. Just be aware it is nowhere near as sleazy as Franco or Martino, gory as Fulci or Lenzi or visually pleasing as Bava or Argento.