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, May 31, 2016

Trailer Tuesdays: The Psychic (1977)

I picked up several VHS last weekend, with this old Lucio Fulci title among them.

I haven't seen this movie, but now that it is in my possession, I expect to rectify that quite quickly. That trailer sure builds it up, but when you've got yourself artwork like that, I can see why it's front and center. Trust me, I know.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Le Messager

Being that I am at Shock Stock all weekend, I won't be able to do a full-out Messenger post, but I did want to go over some of the titles recently announced for the 2016 edition of the Fantasia Film Festival.

Steven Shainberg returns with a sci-fi thriller called Rupture. It stars Noomi Rapace, and was shot by Karim Hussain, so you know it's gonna look bad ass.

Japanase horror icon Kiyoshi Kurosawa's is back with another horror effort, aptly titled Creepy. I've always been lukewarm on Kurosawa's catalogue, but I'm willing to give this a go.

I think many are intrigued to see whether or not, David Sandberg's two-minute Web sensation can be successfully elongated to feature length. I guess we'll find out this July.

Red Christmas, an Aussie yuletide horror comedy starring Dee Wallace? Uh, yes please!

Prolific Vancouver-based special effects guru Geoff Redknap is making his directorial debut this year with The Unseen about a man with the power of invisibility risking everything to save his missing daughter.

As in previous years, animation is duly represented at Fantasia with Alberto Vázquez & Pedro Rivero's Psychonauts and Mehmet Kurtuluş & Ayşe Ünal's Bad Cat.

Local boy Matt Johnson's newest venture, the faux documentary Operation Avalanche makes it way to Montreal this year. I wasn't able to catch this when it played here last month, so here's hoping...

From the Middle East comes Babak Anvari's very intense looking Under The Shadow, about a mother and daughter having to contend with an evil spirit in their tenement in between bomb strikes.

Lastly, Ti West switches genres to bring us the western In The Valley of Violence, starring Ethan Hawke.

Fantasia runs from July 14th to August 2nd this year. For the full list of announced titles, click here

Friday, May 27, 2016

Cut The Jazz, Charlie!

This week's VHS was my big box copy of William Rose's The Girl In Room 2A.

After being recently released from prison (sorry “women's jail”) Margaret (Daniela Giordano) begins to suspect some strange is happening in her boarding house.

Much like my experience with Watch Me When I Kill, I quickly discovered that this movie was a giallo, and not the cheap American B-title I was expecting. I then adjusted my expectations accordingly, as I knew I was going to get a least three things. And I was right.

The first thing was a lovely leading lady in Giordano. The movie leaned on her a lot, and with good reason, as anytime she wasn't onscreen, the movie really started to drag. Once she gets settled in, she strikes up a romance with Jack (John Scanlon), whose sister was staying in 2A before Margaret. I suppose it's not unique, as many of the classic gialli featured a budding relationship between kills, but this one was playful enough as to not be cumbersome. Speaking of the death toll, it was remarkably light and usually involved people falling, or being thrown, off cliffs, sometimes even in cars that spontaneously exploded before they even hit bottom.

Daniela Giordano as Margaret in The Girl In Room 2A

William Rose was more known for directing soft-core porno films, and you can see flashes of it here. Based on the underlying lasciviousness, I get the sense he was restraining himself from going full-on S&M. Which brings me to the second thing - our masked killer. Although, I did feel the killer's outfit a was tad too flamboyant. It was like Rose saw Sergio Martino's Torso (released one year previous) and thought “yeah, I want that, but with more Satan!” Maybe losing the cape would have made it less comical.

The last thing was, of course, the score. I felt the music in the first half was stronger, as it did get a little bombastic during the climax. On the whole, there were bits and pieces that kept me interested throughout, but The Girl In Room 2A doesn't have the style or story to put it up there with the greats.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Trailer Tuesdays: Twice Dead

This week's trailer is for Bert L. Dragin's 1988 flick Twice Dead.

There's a shitload of stuff going on in this trailer. Monsters, maniacs, motorcycles... and Todd Bridges! This is another of my many remember-the-cover-but-never-saw-it movies, but considering it features Jill Whitlow and Charlie Spradling, I should give it a look at some point.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

DKTM 302

Hello all. I've been enjoying my Victoria Day Weekend with some vintage cartoons, video games and Nice Guys. Here's what I've got for you on tap today.

Slasher PTSD.

I came across a trailer for a horror indie that making the festival rounds currently called Last Girl Standing.

The Final Girl is a tried and true horror trope, but the concept of aftermath is not often explored. Save for a few titles like H20 and the Scream sequels, we usually just see our victorious heroine carted off in an ambulance to safety, so I'm intrigued.

Dark Visions.

This week, I discovered a cool artist by the name of Aaron Nakahara through Bloody Disgusting.

You can check out his Deviantart gallery here. Nakahara's sensibilities lie in that sweet spot between horror and fantasy, so it's not a surprise they caught my eye.

Camera Obscura.

Recently, I came across a cool fiction site called Basically, the idea is that someone will write a short story based on a selected photograph of someone holding a random object. Click on the images below to see what I mean.

“No Matter Which Way We Turned” by Brian Evenson.

“The Best Solution” by Shya Scanlon.

“Pentagram” by Bud Smith.

I love this idea, and some of the stories are super creepy. The site, edited by Morgan Beatty & Corey Kuebler, looks to be about a year old and also includes a podcast.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Great White North Part Deux

Victoria Day Weekend - or as it is affectionately referred to, May two-four - is upon us once again and with that I bring you the VHS intro for Canadian distributor, Cinépix Film Properties.

As my post title would suggest, this is the second time I have featured C/FP. This logo above was the logo they used from 1997-1999, after which they were bought out and became Lions Gate Entertainment.

I talked about the many, many titles they put out in my first C/FP post from 2010, but I have since acquired this beauty below. Check it out in all its evil snowman goodness.

Happy long weekend everyone!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Trailer Tuesdays: The Bad Seed

Today's trailer is for a film that I saw for the first time just last week (courtesy of Richelle Charkot's killer screening series Retropath at the Royal) Mervyn's LeRoy's The Bad Seed from 1956.

I enjoyed this movie a lot. Its origins as a play made for a very contained story that relied on dialogue and character, two things I appreciate very much. I always assumed declarations like “when you see it we will appreciate your not divulging its startling climax” were things that films of this era just said arbitrarily. But no, this film means it.

After the movie seemed like it ended twice, I thought little Rhoda was gonna go all Halloween II, but nope! Instead, the movie hits you with one of the biggest WTF endings I've seen in quite a while.