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.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Warden Of The North.

Happy Canada Day to all my northern brothers and sisters out there. I know I like to bitch about the weather and most recently this upcoming clusterfuck of The Pan Am Games, but man is Canada a nice place to live. I should remember to thanks my lucky maple leafs more often.

Anyway, wherever you are, get out and enjoy this wonderful country of ours!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Trailer Tuesdays: Tales From The Darkside

In keeping with the feline theme, here's the trailer for the Tales From The Darkside movie from 1990, which of course features the story “Cat From Hell” by Stephen King starring Bill Hickey and David Johansen.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Vote For Muffins!

As I alluded to on Sunday, I made a crazy last minute decision to shoot an entry for the Fantasia Bumper Contest. Please take a gander at Muffins below. It's for all the cat lovers out there.

If you dig it, I'd really appreciate your votes, which are being tallied until the 2nd. Did I mention it was last minute?

Sunday, June 28, 2015

DKTM 270

Hey all. Today I'm engaged in a last minute shoot - which you'll all be hearing about soon, like tomorrow if all goes well - so today's Messenger post is coming to you from the past. Let's get down to it.

Blood Ten Inches Wide.

I spoke previously that Videogram (Swedish tapehead & musician Marcus Sellegrin) has an upcoming EP for Camp Blood, but now he has some cool art (provided by Andy Grail) to go with it. Check it out below.

Set to release on 2015's third Friday the 13th in November, go can get more info here.

The Other Side.

I wanted to pass along this wonderful short film called Coda by Irish director Alan Holly. This animated exploration of what happens after death is creepy, beautiful and profound in equal measure. Enjoy!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Horrors Worth Your Monies.

Hey all. I thought I'd just post something quick on the cusp of the weekend, as there are a couple of horror crowdfunding projects on the go right for which I wanted to draw your attention.

Wacky Canadian filmmaker Justin Decloux (director of 2014's Teddy Bomb and one-half of the Loose Cannons podcast) is currently fundraising for his next project, Impossible Horror. Created by Decloux & Emmy Milling, the project is a horror comedy “about being creative, grappling with the fear of the unknown and kicking supernatural ass.” These are all things I like! But, let them tell you in their own words.

To hit up the IndieGogo page, click here. There are still nine days left, so go over to help make the impossible possible.

Meanwhile, over at Kickstarter, director Elias Ganster is trying to get his latest feature off the ground. Ayla looks like it comes from an extremely personal place and should make for some really compelling material. Check out the pitch video below.

There are still a few weeks to contribute, so if you'd like to get more info, click here for the campaign page.

And with that, have a great weekend, you crazy cats!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Trailer Tuesdays: The Uncanny

I have cats on the brain for a few different reasons right now, so I think today's trailer seems appropriate.

That was like, kind of, the best trailer EVER. It has star power in Peter Cushing, Donald Pleasance and Ray Milland. It has cats. It has cats being thrown on said stars. I may be a man of simple pleasures, but holy smokes what a wonderful world we live in!

Monday, June 22, 2015

A Horse Of A Familiar Cover

Horsehead, last year's Parisian psycho sexual thriller (God I love that phrase) from director Romain Basset releases on Blu-ray tomorrow.

When Jessica (Lilly-Fleur Pointeaux) returns to her childhood home for her grandmother's funeral, she is stricken with a fever that plunges her in a dream world that may unlock secrets from her past.

Horsehead came to my attention this year when it was picked up for Canadian distribution by Black Fawn. All I really knew about it was inspired by the classic Italian horrors of Dario Argento and Mario Bava, so I was going in fairly cold when I popped into my PS3.

I dug this film. Knowing of the Euro-horror influences, it didn't take me long to clock into the tone they were going for. Steeped in dream logic, I felt the world Basset created within was very well realized. In structure, Horsehead reminded me a little of Bernard Rose's Paperhouse in that Jessica is bedridden by fever and the tale mostly unfolds with her dream world. In terms of style, even without forewarning, the references to seventies Euro-horror were obvious. There were some shots that looked like they were ripped straight from Suspiria, which makes sense considering the protagonist in that film (coincidentally played by “Jessica” Harper) also spends a good amount of time in a drug-induced stupor.

Despite my shitty screencaps, I assure you they are both the same shade of red.

I think what I most appreciated about Horsehead was that even though so much of it took place in a dream world, it still remained, for the most part, coherent. It pays tribute to the films that came before, but also forges its own way. I feel this is what I was missing from the past works of Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani (Amer, Strange Colour) in that they had a tremendous grasp of the aesthetic, but it stopped there. I'm not saying that Euro-horror ever gave priority to narrative, but Basset offered a lot more to work with than Cattet & Forzani ever have.

No, Horsehead is more than just an imprint. It goes beyond atmosphere. It has wonderful little character moments, much like the early Argento gialli had. It was wonderful to see significant horror figures like Lucio Fulci muse Catriona MacColl and Philipe Nahon (the lumbering maniac form 2003's High Tension) show up here. I also can't go any further without mentioning the rather striking lead actress, Lilly-Fleur Pointeaux. The role was pretty demanding, physically and emotionally, and she pulled it off in enchanting fashion.

Lilly-Fleur Pointeaux as Jessica in Horsehead.

I really can't overstate how gorgeous this film looks though. It has some of the best lighting I've seen in a good while, and the production design is top notch. I mean, some of it had to do with their location, but the interior stuff was incredibly layered, as well. I thought the music was solid, save for one jarring sequence where it felt like Skrillex showed up in the mixing booth one afternoon and took over. It feels at odds with the rest of the score.

For such a small affair, the Blu-ray package itself offers more than the usual I was happy to find. There is an hour-long documentary included, which gives you an idea of how dynamic the shoot was. I was quite impressed with all the crew and equipment they were able to wrangle, considering the director mentioned several times it was “made with friends for no money.” I wager this is hyperbole, as one does not come out the other side with something so polished, if that were the case.

On the Artsploitation Films release, the disc also includes four of Basset's earlier short films, my favourite of which was Remy, about the bond between grandson and grandfather.

Euro-horror revivalism is a thing that has been going on for a few years now and I think Horsehead is one of the better I've seen. It uses that era's familiar palette as a base, but goes beyond mere mimicry to weave a captivating and surreal mystery.