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.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Oklahoma!


With the bust that was Girls School Screamers, I further perused my shelves of unwatched VHS and came across 1985's shot-on-video title Blood Cult. I'm aware of the format's dubious track record, but I figured, “hey it can't be worse than The Ripper, right?”. I WAS SO WRONG.


A sheriff (Charles Ellis) investigates a series of ritualistic murders on a nearby college campus.

This movie. Jesus. It actually makes titles like 555 and The Ripper (which technically was Oklahoma-based director Christopher Lewis' follow-up to Blood Cult) seem Oscar-worthy by comparison, as those titles not only delivered on the gore, but character interactions were at least mildly amusing. Blood Cult is literally like staring at a wall, or this...

We deal in excitement.

This static shot hangs there for what seems like forever while action takes place off screen. This might have been acceptable, if not for the fact that a little while later, the scene is fully recounted to the fucking sheriff. Like what the hell was the point of that whole scene before? And stuff like this happens every five minutes. The sheriff reads aloud at length from a book about ritualistic murder in between letting anyone within earshot know that he better solve these crimes because an election is coming up. He literally say this more times than there are actual murders in the movie. Apart from that, we get to see the unsexiest couple you've ever seen paw at each other. And don't even get me started on the cafeteria scene...

Today's special... Finger foods!

Suffering through Blood Cult was actually worth it though because at the end of the tape there was a United Home Video trailer reel hosted by Elvira-knock-off Lady Cadaver. I was going to upload it, but then I discovered that YT user Deadpit Radio already did the job for me. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Trailer Tuesdays: Girls School Screamers

I plucked this Troma special off my unwatched VHS shelf and gave it a watch last night.



I was intending to cover this on a future VHS Friday, but it's kind of a bore. It takes over half the movie to get to the first kill, and none of them are as bloody as they should be. A bit of a waste if you ask me. Oh well, onto the next...

Sunday, January 31, 2016

DKTM 292

All I can say is thank God I fell better this weekend than I did last! In the meantime, let's see that nightmares I can pull out of my hat.

Small Town Isolation.

About ten years ago, there was a solid Irish horror film about the perils of genetic modification that played TIFF called Isolation. It didn't end up getting seen as much as it should have, but the good news is that director Billy O'Brien's new feature I Am Not A Serial Killer is near completion. Here is the first image courtesy of Bloody Disgusting.


The film follows John Cleaver, (Max Records) a troubled teen who is obsessed with serial killers, but doesn't want to become one. He keeps to himself, until a killer sets up shop in his small town.


This premise is delicious and may scratch the same itch that Scott Schirmer's Found did a few years ago. When I was a teen, I was fascinated with serial killers, as well. When people would ask, I would say I was studying them, so that if I ever came across one I'd know to run in the other direction. My interest faded quickly subsequent to a viewing of The Fearless Vampire Killers and I saw Sharon Tate for the first time. Evil stole one of the most beautiful creatures that ever lived that night in Los Angeles.

Painted Horrors.

Artist Trevor Henderson's been doing a lot of one-off nightmares recently. Check out a bunch below.







For the rest of the series, check out his Tumblr here.

A Trash Farewell.

You've seen me talk a lot about Trash Palace here at THS. Recently, the founding cinephile Stacey Case announced that he is moving west to Hamilton, where he'll be setting up shop there. Never fear, as his two longtime compatriots Dan “Mouth” Lovranski & Jonathan Culp (both huge 16mm collectors in their own right - it is JC's Deadly Eyes print I've seen thrice there) are continuing the Toronto chapter. Last Friday was Stacey's going-away bash, but Mouth & JC also announced the coming lineup for this year. Some real doozies!


Thursday, January 28, 2016

Music For Murder Live.

Last Thursday night was a pretty good time to be a fan of “electro-industrial-ambient-experimental” music as man about town Chris Alexander celebrated the release of his new album Music For Murder with a live show downtown.


Also, on the bill was Castle If, who I've seen perform several times now and her “music from space” gets better with each subsequent show. You can check out what she's all about here.

As for Alexander's show, it was full of the kind of theatrics you would expect from a guy who bleeds yellow, but best of all, he was backed on drums by Toronto-based writer and DJ David Bertrand. Carpenter-esque synths mated with Goblin-tinged prog rock to create a maniacal hybrid that went down well with the crowd. Here's some video from the show;



For more info on Music for Murder, click here.

If you missed the show, don't worry. I think they've got a taste for it now, I sense more dark ceremonies in the future. In the meantime, here's the bad-ass mixtape Bertrand put together a few days before the show.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Trailer Tuesdays: Scanners

Three days in, and my head still feels like...



Pray for me.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

DKTM 291


Hello all. It looks like the sickness that has been felling everyone around here has finally caught up with me. I'll attempt to give you this week's goodies in between nose honks.

Oculus Overlook.

I discovered a really cool application for the Oculus Rift this week. British game developer Franbo (who I believe may just be one person) has created a virtual tour of The Overlook Hotel from Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of Stephen King's classic novel, The Shining. Here's a teaser, followed by a walkthrough care of JamusYO below.




There's some obvious copyright dodging with the use of names such as The Overview and The Silver Room, but it looks like a pretty authentic experience that I hope gets elaborated on in the future. If you have a Rift, you can download it here for free. Happy hunting!

The Mark of Kane.

The upcoming Friday the 13th game from Gun Media took another stride toward legitimacy when it was announced that Kane Hodder, the best Jason there ever was, had come on board to do motion capturing for the game. Now we know that we're gonna be getting the real deal, as these images clearly illustrate.




And best of all, since this is a video game we don't have to worry about most of his handiwork being left on the cutting room floor. Hell, if Jason wants to smash somebody in a sleeping bag against a tree twenty times, then dammit that's what we're gonna see!

There is no release date yet, but you can pre-order the game by going here.

A Video Possessed.

Here's a cool video I came across this week. YouTube user Kris made a montage of clips from Andrzej Zulawski's 1981 film Possession and set it to the aptly titled Trevor Something track, The Possession. For anyone who hasn't seen the film, I urge to go and watch it first because it is super intense, unpredictable and frankly, exceptional. For everyone else, enjoy!



Thursday, January 21, 2016

She Don't Wanna Dance.

Catching up with the Loose Cannons podcast, I finally got around to watching the subject of their Halloween episode, The Lady In Red Kills Seven Times.


When people around a young fashion photographer named Kitty (Barbara Bouchet) start dropping like flies, she wonders if it really is her family curse (where an ancestor referred to as The Red Queen comes back from the dead every hundred years to take seven lives) or just someone trying to angle in on her family inheritance.

This was a great giallo that easily makes into the upper echelon of the dozens that are out there. It has pretty much everything you could ask for, an interesting looking killer (a figure in a white mask and red cloak) a score from one of the greats, Ennio Morricone and a wonderfully stylish look. The latter you would expect, of course, but I love how space is used in this film. Everything is wide open, whether it be something dramatic like this;


or just the layout of someone's apartment. It's all so beautifully cinematic.

It also wouldn't be a giallo without a convoluted plot, of which The Lady has in spades. I think there are more characters in this than Blood & Black Lace and Bay of Blood combined. I'm exaggerating, but it is extremely difficult to keep this bevvy of beauties straight without a score card. Apart from the striking Barbara Bouchet (who also appeared in Lucio Fulci's awesome Don't Torture A Duckling and Silvio Amadio's Amuck that features one of my fave lines ever in “that woman is a mystery I'd rather not solve!”) and a young Sybil Danning, the rest run together in a haze of seventies hairstyles.

Barbara Bouchet as Kitty Wildenbrück in The Lady In Red Kills 7 Times

Regardless of whether you may always be following what the hell's going on, you will never be bored. There are several great murder scenes in this, one including a fence spire and another of someone getting curbed – although not quite as well executed as when Dario Argento did it three years later in Profondo Rosso. I'd say the only thing I didn't like was a super unnecessary rape that got thrown in, almost as an afterthought. It's gross and also makes the next scene fairly comical when the assailant approaches Kitty saying, “I know who the killer is! Hey, why are you running away??”

So, if you like gialli, this is definitely a must watch because, well, it has all of the things that make them great. It also has a colour in the title which is kind of a prerequisite.

Handy giallo title generator.