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 21, 2019

Nineties Delirium!

Hey all. Just a quick post to let you know that Delirium #21 comes out today.

This issue is a love letter to 90's horror and was guest-edited by filmmaker Ama Lea. Lea is no stranger to the magazine, having served as art director and contributor on many of Delirium's past issues. But if that isn't enough for you, look out for my piece about the early days of Full Moon Video. Find out how you can get the new issue, by going here.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Video Store Day 9!

I'm out of town this weekend (more on that later), but just wanted to say Happy Video Store Day to you all! Support your local retail vendors and physical media.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Blood, Sweat and... Boobs.

I caught a screening of Michael Fischa's 1989 flick Death Spa last week and had my brain melted for a number of reasons.

First, there's the obvious because I mean, holy balls this movie. I feel like the nugget of an idea was there – ghost-in-the-machine and all that – but somewhere down the line someone sniffed a mountain of coke and all reason went out the window ala Maximum Overdrive.

Aside from that, what confounds me the most is that I'd seen this movie a few years previous and had absolutely no recollection of it. It wasn't like I was halfway into it and thought “oh I've seen this”. No. Zero recall. No asparagus, no Ken Foree and no killer fish. Nada. I had Facebook exchanges about Death Spa in 2015, yet sometime between then and now, it got wiped. It's like this movie was such unequivocal nonsense that my brain rebelled and struck it from the record. I don't think that has ever happened before.

As for the movie, what can I say? I subsequently listened to the How Did This Get Made? episode on Death Spa and they had a lot of the same questions I did. You should go listen to it if you haven't, but the only thing I want to reiterate is this exchange;

This plays so many ways. Like he's saying he's gay, right? That's the only way this makes sense. But if so, why is Beta gay? Because it's better or just incompatible? Beta was already in its death throes by the time this was made so the former makes no sense. As does if he just meant he's too good for her. I'm so confused.

But let's get down the meat of the matter because even by eighties standards there was a lot of nudity in this. Not that I'm complaining. Gorehounds can also rest easy, as people get their aerobicized asses ended in a number of ways that included fire, acid showers and exploding glass, none of which made any sense within the ghost-in-the-machine context. But hey, whatever. I'm VHS, and you're DVD.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

TAD 2019

The Toronto After Dark Film Festival is once again upon us. Check out this year's (the 14th) sizzle reel below.

Of the titles I've seen already, I recommend Paradise Hills, Come To Daddy and The Furies. TAD runs Oct 17-25. For ticket info, click here.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Videogram Lunchmeat

A few weeks back, Swedish synthwave artist Videogram put his Lunchmeat VHS tape on YouTube. It was originally released in 2015 to commemorate his self titled album and features his music set to clips from such grindhouse flicks as Driller Killer, Naked Massacre and Alien Factor. Enjoy.

For more info on Videogram, click here.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Short of the Week #75: Belial's Dream

Here's the 2017 short Belial's Dream from the incomparable Robert Morgan that up until now was only available on the Arrow Blu-ray release of Frank Henenlotter's Basket Case.

Yep, surreal and nightmarish as per usual! Morgan's partnership with Arrow appears to be ongoing as he most recently created a short film for the Blu-ray release of Jörg Buttgereit's Schramm entitled Tomorrow I Will Be Dirt.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Turkey Indeed.

With Thanksgiving upon us this weekend, I watched a holiday horror VHS from 1981 entitled Home Sweet Home.

An escaped mental patient (Jake Stanfield) crashes a family's Thanksgiving dinner party.

Man, there's no way to sugar coat this. Home Sweet Home was legit terrible. It started with a cold open where Stanfield murdered some dude for his car and then celebrated by injecting PCP into his tongue. Is that how you do that??? Then, after a lengthy credits sequence where he drove around in a station wagon, he promptly ran over an old lady. I thought, oh, this is a like a Troma film? Nope, I'd have been lucky if that were the case. At least those movies are halfway entertaining.

While our killer puttered around, I got to meet a handful of insipid characters, including a talking mime named – I shit you not – Mistake who ran around with his guitar annoying everyone. It took so long for this guy to get offed, I actually started to wonder if he was supposed to be the hero of this piece. 

Was there a script for this movie? It seemed to me like every interaction inside the house was ad-libbed. “Okay guys, this scene you're going to look for the peas. Just mention peas. A lot.”

Eventually our killer, shitty Lou Ferigno – I shouldn't be mean, apparently he was a fitness guru back in the day, but as an actor he's the least performative slasher I've ever seen – finally started knocking people off, but the kills were pretty lazy. Although Don Edmonds did get crushed under a car hood. Geez, I just saw someone else die like that the other day. My low coolant light has been coming on in my car, and now I'm doubly afraid to check the level. 

I digress. It is hilarious to me that I consider Edmonds to be slumming here and this is the cat who made the first two Ilsa flicks. Also of note, the little girl, the one who seemed to have no idea what was going on, was Vinessa Shaw who later went on to work with the likes of Kubrick, Soderbergh and Bigelow.

So yeah, Home Sweet Home blows. It's boring, it's not shot well and even the kills aren't particularly memorable. If you're looking for some filling Turkey Day horror, you are much better off with John Grissmer's Blood Rage. Another bad movie to be sure, but miles better than this, just for Louise Lasser's bonkers performance alone.