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.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Oh It's A Party All Right!

I'm relatively recovered from last weekend's 24-Hour Mind Melter on There were many highlights over the course of the marathon, but one that is likely going to become an October staple is David Skowronski's Halloween Party. Essentially, it's a SOV slasher shot by high-schoolers in 1989 that is every bit as endearing as it sounds. I believe it even aired on public access in Connecticut. Check it out below.

The thirty-eight minute runtime includes a blooper reel - which adorably has the director yell, “Mommmm you're in the shot!” - and a post credits Monster Mash lip synch performance. This is perfect to double bill with Chris LaMartina's WNUF Halloween Special.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

LB 10!

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the Laser Blast Film Society.

For those who haven't been following the journey, the LBFS was created by a couple of Toronto cinephiles to celebrate the underappreciated and eccentric side of cinema. It began with screenings inside an indie video store before rotating around a few members' residences before settling into monthly screenings at the Royal Cinema about seven years ago. It has lied dormant during Covid, but founder filmmaker Justin Decloux has been keeping it going with intermittent 24-hour Twitch marathons (the next of which is October 16th!)

I miss those guys terribly and hope to be attending live LB events soon. Until then, check out the LB site and maybe you'll spy something to track down.

Friday, October 1, 2021

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Pure Space Terror!

Good news for those fans of galactic gore. Canadian darling Psycho Goreman is coming in comic form. Get your very own hunky edition via the Kickstarter campaign on right now.

I've ordered mine with this totally psycho-delic variant cover.

To order yours, click here. Until next time, stay safe kiddies.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Chamber of Terror

Behold the new teaser trailer for The Chamber of Terror, the production I worked on this past March. Look for it next year at a festival near you.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

The Sadness

There were of course many reasons that prompted last weekend's getaway to Montreal, but chief among them was Fantasia's North American premiere of Rob Jabbaz's The Sadness. Shot in Taipei's summer of 2020 during the delayed onset of Covid-19, this title has been rapidly growing infamy for its extreme violence. I became aware of it after Rue Morgue put in on the cover of their Jul/Aug issue and then leaned shortly after, rather fortuitously, that it was screening during my visit. Then, months later, stuffed high up in the balcony at the Imperial, I finally took in The Sadness.

Citizens in Taipei fight to survive during an outbreak that compels those infected to torture, murder and rape.

So is it worth all the hype? For the most part, yes. I mean, you know how things go when movies get talked up as they do - Fantasia even put a disclaimer on their listing - your imagination is always worse than the real thing. Having said that, The Sadness was no doubt a Category 3 title (Hong Kong's much maligned version of NC-17) peppered with bloodstained set pieces that kept the tension going once all hell broke loose. Not only was it gory, violent and transgressive, but also well made with solid performances by Regina Lei and Berant Zhu. A lot of the tension is built on these two trying to find each other again after the movie's gentle and relatable opening scene of their morning ritual.  

Also memorable was the axe-wielding company man played by Tzu-Chiang Wang. Jabbaz revealed in the Q&A that Wang is a well-known character actor in Taiwan (he referenced Harry Dean Stanton as a Western equivalent) so I'd say it was pretty ballsy for him to have taken such a lecherous role. In amongst all this were the obvious parallels between The Alvin and Corona viruses, as well as some political satire that's pretty transparent no matter what corner of the globe you hail from.

Listening to the gasps and sighs of disgust happening around me during The Sadness' most talked about scene, I realized that it had been a while since I had experienced such a thing. It gave me pause, as it seemed like during the aughts there was some nerve shredding title grazing my eyeballs every year. Now, not so much and if I'm being honest, I don't think the machine allows the shit that tips the scales of taste to be made anymore. I mean, a Canadian had to basically flee to Taiwan and use completely independent money (his producer Jeff Huang is, among other things, a crypto tycoon) to get something like The Sadness made. I can't even imagine other Category 3 films like Red to Kill and Untold Story even being shot in this day and age. Some people might say this is a good thing. I am not one of those people.

While I may no longer actively seek out the sinewy fringes of shock cinema, knowing it is still there comforts me because lacking the video store experience, I still want the idea of the forbidden to exist in some form or another.