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, November 30, 2009

What Up Toronto!

This past August at Toronto After Dark, one of the more memorable shorts was a catchy little ditty by James Gangl called Bad Roomate. Well, earlier today DirtyRobot informed me that it is now on YouTube. So here below, for your enjoyment is Bad Roomate. I take no responsibility for you rasping Exhibition Place under your breath for the rest of the day.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Don't Kill The Messenger XXXIX

I've got to pick up someone at the airport in a few hours, so I'll keep things short today.

Scream King.

A few weeks back, I posted about how disappointed I was that James Gunn wasn't returning for the second season of Scream Queens. Well, this week I found out that the show is going to be hosted by actress Jaime King, a rising SQ in her own rite, having starred in The Tripper, They Wait, My Bloody Valentine 3-D and the upcoming Mother's Day remake. Gunn's direct replacement is director Tim Sullivan (2001 Maniacs) and King is filling in for previous host Shawnee Smith. This is quite a shake-up, but with King in there, I'm still fully onboard. Scream Queens' second season is slated to start in early 2010.

Frozen in February.

Earlier this week, Bloody Disgusting reported that Adam Green's (Hatchet) new flick Frozen has just nabbed a release date of February 5, 2010. I've been keeping an eye on this thriller, about skiers stranded on a malfunctioning chair lift and am looking forward to how Green handles the long stretches of dialogue that will inevitably ensue from this kind of scenario. Shawn Ashmore, Emma Bell and Kevin Zegers star. There is no trailer to be found yet, but you can be sure I'll put it up here when it surfaces.


Bits and Bobs.

I saw a lot of cool things pop up on Digg this week, so I just wanted to throw them up here for those who don't follow THS's Twitter feed. The first is a Giger Alien made of scrap metal, the second is Thai poster for Evil Dead 2 and the third is artist Alex Pardee's rendering of the movie Basket Case.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

VHS Pr0n

One site I keep my eye on is Basement Of Ghoulish Decadence. Jayson is a man who shares my affinity for vintage VHS, and has an incredible knack for tracking down rare gems. Recently, he posted some video of his collection, and from what I've seen so far it is quite extraordinary.




He doesn't just cling to the past though, as he often has comprehensive Blu-ray reviews, as well. To check out the site, click here.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Pile: Gore A Go-Go!

My latest stab at ‘the pile’ was something that had been in there quite a while. I’ve had Hershell Gordon Lewis’ The Gore Gore Girls since April, but hey, at least it didn’t take me as long to watch as The Wizard Of Gore did.


If I had to describe The Gore Gore Girls in one word, I would say ‘RANDOM’. There is just so much weird stuff going on in this movie. You could pick it to pieces, but I realized early on that everything HAD TO BE intentional – with everything from the protagonist being a douche to the waitress’ hair & clothing changing every time she goes off screen – so you really just have to go with it. I mean if you're a fan of H.G. Lewis, you are used to low production values right? There is a murder mystery in here somewhere, amongst all the keystone cops crime scenes and go-go dancing sequences. Of course, I'd have been all-in with the latter, if the ladies had been a little more… you know… comely. Then again, I do watch a lot of giallos overflowing with European beauties, so it is possible I’m just spoiled. Speaking of giallos, The Gore Gore Girls is one in spirit really, but unfortunately doesn’t have any of the visual flair that comes with said subgenre. I will say that Lewis doesn’t waste any time with the red stuff, as it's flowing by the fifteen-second mark. It is safe to assume that Lewis knew his audience by then (Girls was the last film he’d make for thirty years, before returning with Blood Feast 2 in 2002) and was smart to begin with a splash of colour. The gore set pieces are definitely the most extreme of Lewis’ works, but I don’t know if they come off as well as in previous efforts like Wizard and The Blood Trilogy.

Well, THAT just happened.

It’s pretty clear from the outrageousness that ensues in The Gore Gore Girls that is not supposed to be taken seriously. In fact, with all the mugging to the camera - I almost expected Mr. Roper to show up – I sometimes wondered if it was a comedy at heart. I didn’t actually realize that Gore Gore Girls was supposed to be a riff on Go-Go Girls, until I listened to the commentary. I guess that explains why it was released as Blood Orgy in some markets. It’s so funny (and again, random) that Henny Youngman is in this movie. I’d just referenced him earlier this month when talking about Freddy Krueger. I hadn’t thought of the king of one-liners for years and then he comes up twice in one month. That guy cracks me up. Lastly, I have to comment on the climax, which was pretty hilarious. I actually had to run it back a few times to figure out how exactly the killer met their end!

It's good to be known for something...

Though The Gore Gore Girls is not H.G. Lewis’ best work, its over-the-top gore and overall randomness make it an enjoyable watch. So, that’s another one down. I’ll leave you with this; one of the greatest pieces of Foley ever put to film. I could watch this all day!

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Home Stretch!

Well, finally after hours and hours of prepping, my posters are now mounted and ready for transport. The sooner I can get these over to my place, the sooner I can put them up here. In the meantime, Willow (aka Sneezy) is standing guard.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Don't Kill The Messenger XXXVIII

Hello all. I hope you are all enjoying your Sunday. Here's some stuff of note from this week.

A New Look For An Old Fave.

A new trailer came online recently for the release of the long-time-in-the-works project Night Of The Living Dead: Reanimated. For those of you who don't know, this is a passion project by Mike Schneider and over one hundred artists. Basically, everyone was assigned one scene from the movie and reenacted it in ANY art style they chose. The results look quite interesting. The trailer is below, and you can visit the site by going here.



What Did You Do To Deserve This?

AfterDark Films just announced the sixth entry in its upcoming '8 Films To Die For' lineup. The newest addition is Joey Stewart's The Final. I must say that I admire their balls, as I'm sure this high school revenge movie is going to go over like a lead balloon with that select group of people that seem to have protest signs fused to their hands. As for the movie, I must admit it does look pretty slick. Here's the trailer below. You can find out more about the production here.



Hyper-Creepy.

I found this gallery of pictures on Digg this week that I wanted to share with you. This style of sculturing is called 'hyper-realism' and it's meant to "show us our bodies and life as it really is." Yeah well, it's more than a little creepy, wouldn't you say?

Ron Mueck

Jamie Salmon

Sam Jinks

Adam Beane

Click here for more.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

King & Cronenberg: One Night Only!

Thursday night I was witness to what could possibly be a once in a lifetime experience. I saw Stephen King & David Cronenberg live on stage at the Canon Theatre. It was an event put on by Simon & Schuster to promote Stephen King's new novel Under The Dome.

After a classy introduction by Canadian broadcaster George Stroumboulopoulos, King took the stage to a standing ovation. He was wearing jeans and a T-shirt. This immediately confirmed how down to earth the man is. Sure, the pre-appearance slide show of his book covers that inspired applause for a good five minutes may have irked some, (I'm not convinced it was King himself who was behind that, but Simon & Schuster as the King novels not on their roster were absent from the slide show) and clearly King loved the hoots & hollers that went up every time one of his books came up in conversation, but I'd be proud too if my works were so ingrained in the public consciousness. And that's not to say he couldn't be self-effacing. He was quick to point out how nervous he was speaking to this many people, and even added the famous quote, “by the time I'd realized I was no good at this, I was too rich to quit.”

King then read from his new book, Under The Dome, in that distinctive accent and tone of his. He was nervous about that as well because just before taking the stage, he'd dropped his pages and wasn't sure if they were still in order. Under The Dome has a brilliant setup and is, as King put it, a microcosm of the current state of affairs in the U.S. I'm expecting good things, as these types of stories – like The Mist, the Boulder/Vegas sections of The Stand & The Langoliers – have always been among his best I think. After the reading from Dome, David Cronenberg came on out.

It was quite surreal to see these two engage in conversation, as they are really quite different. Cronenberg is an staunch intellectual and King is a totally laid back meat & potatoes kind of guy. It was a joy to watch. They spoke about many things, including his writing process, how screenplays are different from straight fiction, the subconscious, philosophy and even politics. It's quite clear that King is terrified that Sarah Palin might one day make it to the White House, to which Cronenberg said,

“Well, you should be, you after all did invent George W. Bush, with Greg Stillson in The Dead Zone. That's all your fault, he wouldn't have existed if it wasn't for you.”

Probably the big news of the night was that King has been toying with the idea of writing a sequel to The Shining, which would involve a now-fourty-year-old Danny Torrance working as an orderly in a hospice. He's obviously traumatized by his experience at The Overlook and lives day-to-day, supplementing his income by 'winning' on the horses. Danny also sits with elderly patients that are about to die - much like a certain cat that King read about - so the staff begin refering to him as Doctor Sleep.

“That's all I've got so far,” King said. “I figure if I keep talking about it, I'll eventually just have to do it.” Cronenberg quickly replied, “Well, it'll be on the Internet now, so yes that's true.”

Other little tidbits were Cronenberg asking about why he'd never sat in the director's chair after Maximum Overdrive. King said,

“well, because the first time was so Goddamn awful.”

King also talked about the first time he spoke with Stanley Kubrick. He was in the bathroom shaving, when his wife came in and told him that the legendary director was on the telephone. He then promptly cut himself. King answered the phone and said 'hello', to which he was greeted with,

“I think the idea of an afterlife is a little optimistic, don't you?”

King's Kubrick impersonation was bang-on! These are just some of the great stories that were bandied about and was precisely the reason the seventy-or-so minutes flew by like a shot. I can tell you that everyone in attendance would have been captive for many an hour. It was a fascinating night and I was just glad I was able to be a part of it. My only regret is I wasn't quick enough to snap off any pictures of the occasion.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sometimes I Doubt Your Commitment...

...to Sparkle Motion!

Please excuse the crudeness of the cut & paste, all I had to work with was MS Paint. Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

King Part Three.

This Thursday, Stephen King comes to town. He's making an appearance here in Toronto, to plug his new book Under The Dome.



How about that? Even books get trailers now. If the appearance of Stephen King wasn't enough, he's also being interviewed by Canadian icon David Cronenberg. Yes, it's going to be quite an evening. In preparation, I figured I'd trot out the remaining King covers that were at my store. If you'd like to check out the first two Coverbox Wednesdays featuring the works of King, click here and here.


Okay, yes it is true that last one isn't Stephen King, but almost every customer who came into my store thought it was because a similar monkey was also on the cover of King's short story collection Skeleton Crew.

Well, that's it for now. There have obviously been countless other titles adapted from King's prolific career, but they came after I'd taken my leave of Cockbuster. Be sure to check back on the weekend to hear about how this King/Cronenberg thing went.

Monday, November 16, 2009

25 Years of Nightmares!

Twenty five years ago today, Wes Craven’s A Nightmare On Elm Street was unleashed upon the world.


A Nightmare On Elm Street easily earns its place in my Fearsome Fifteen, by going to a place that no slasher had attempted before – your dreams. I mean, I didn’t grow up in Haddonfield and never went to summer camp, but I went to sleep EVERY NIGHT! What defense would I have against a depraved killer in my own head? The filmmakers also had limitless possibilities for unsettling set pieces as the rules of reality no longer applied. This theme had been explored earlier that year in Joseph Ruben’s Dreamscape, but Nightmare left out the heavy science-fiction elements and brought it home.



And then there was Freddy. Before his many sequels turned him into the slasher equivalent of Henny Youngman, he was a menacing figure. Fuelled by revenge, he took pleasure in making his victims suffer. So, a quarter-century on, I tip my fedora to Wes Craven and Robert Englund for all the nightmares. Here below is some schwag from the archives I dug up for the occasion. You know, I scare myself sometimes (sometimes?) with just how much shit I have stowed away because this is but a fraction.

My Halloween costume circa 1988.


That last pic is the title screen from the 1990 Nintendo game. I saw it in action at Serena’s place the other day. It’s kind of an incoherent mix of Ghosts & Goblins and Double Dragon that Freddy pops up in now and again. I could go on, but The Angry Video Game Nerd said it so much better than I.

Lastly, Robert Englund recently released a book that largely chronicles his experiences playing the knife-gloved killer. You can read my thoughts on it here.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Don't Kill The Messenger XXXVII

Hello all. I'll keep it brief today, as I'm not posting from my main computer, as it is having some virus issues.

Oh No James, Say It Ain't So.

I've spoken before about my unabashed enjoyment of last year's horror reality show Scream Queens, so imagine my glee when I heard that VH1 was going to give it a second season. Then, this week of the Twitterverse, one of the three 'judges' of the show, director James Gunn (Saw alumni Shawnee Smith and renowned acting coach John Homa being the other two) announced he wouldn't be returning due to a conflicting film project. That's a real shame because Gunn's presence is definitely one of the best elements of the show. He did assure everyone that his replacement will be up to the task and I can't wait to see who it is. For more on this story, click here. Scream Queens began casting for season 2 in August, so hopefully we'll be seeing a new crop of beauties clawing their way to that bloody tiara sometime early in 2010.

All A Twitter

And speaking of the Twitter, it's a great way to keep up with film productions. Yes, film websites use it as a sort of an RSS feed for their newest posts, but I was actually talking about directors, crew and even actors tweeting from their movie sets, keeping everyone in the loop. One such individual is Milla Jovovich on the set of Toronto's Resident Evil: Afterlife. And she's doing it a lot. And it's pretty awesome. To follow Milla's feed, go here. You can also follow actress Diora Baird, who has been tweeting from the set of the 30 Days Of Night sequel, Dark Days.



To The Tune of Thirteen.

As you know, Friday the 13th just passed us, so I thought I pass along this little interview that Mark Morton from the Examiner.com recently did with Harry Manfredini. Manfredini is the composer of almost one hundred film scores, including Swamp Thing, Deep Star Six, House and the seminal Friday films. Here's a sample of the interview.

Morton: So, with all of the technological advancements that emerge every year, when looking back, did you feel that you were limited at all when doing something like the original Friday the 13th?

Manfredini: If I have to say anything about horror films, it is the fact that they are un-limiting. You are really free to do whatever you want and be creative within anything you can think of. Harmonically, you are totally open, instrumentally, whatever! I mean, the “ch-ch-ch-ch” sound is actually me! But yeah, with the original Friday the 13th, they say that necessity is the mother of invention. There was no money and no time to do the score, so I really had to come up with all kinds of things on my own. I was using instruments that people laugh about now. I borrowed an instrument from a rock musician friend of mine called an Orchestron, which had a record player hooked up to a keyboard. And instead of playing music, the records had sound files on them, like an optical film track, and if you pressed a certain key, it would play the record at a given speed. It was really like a Rube Goldberg machine! It was hysterical. I also used an Irish tin whistle. I would open up a piano and scrape the strings with a quarter. Again, that’s the fun thing about horror films; you are free to do whatever you can imagine.

For the rest of the interview, click here. And for one of the most KICK-ASS INTROS EVAR, take a look below.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Wasted Views

The Skinny Puppy show was great last night, with a solid mix of old and new stuff. Even after twenty five years, they still put on a great show.

The Aftermath.

As an addendum to my earlier posts, I'd like to include the Skinny Puppy video for Worlock. Before YouTube, this video was like The Holy Grail for me. It is riddled with clips from horror flicks that were ripped to shreds by censors. Since the song is about censorship it seems appropriate, though ironically the video was locked away in Nettwerk's vault for the longest time after being banned itself. Thankfully, we can all now enjoy it here. How many horror movies can you pick out?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Skinny Puppy's Horror Show Part Two

Okay, time for numbers five through one.

5: Song - Monster Radio Man; Source - The Twilight Zone episode "The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street"

This is the second appearance of The Twilight Zone on this list. Everytime I watch an episode of this old show, it still amazes me how ahead of its time it was. The only reason this stuff was even allowed on television back then is it was likely just dismissed as sugary science-fiction entertainment. There again is the genius of Rod Serling.



4: Song - ...Brap; Source - Andy Warhol's Dracula

This song was on their first EP, and with the aid of the screaming skills of Udo Kier and Milena Vukotic, it is truly a full-out assault on your eardrums.

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3: Song - Burnt With Water; Source - The Exorcist


This is another track from Mind: TPI and I love it because the samples blend so well with the music in this one. I couldn't find the song, so below is some 1986 concert footage courtesy of YouTube user Tenguzame99.





2: Song - Testure; Source - The Plague Dogs


Testure is one of my favourite Skinny Puppy songs and tracking down this old animated movie was kind of a big deal for me way back when. Here below is one of Puppy's more powerful videos. I love the inserted clips of Evil Dead 2 and The Exorcist in there too. There is also an extended cut on YouTube, so feel free to track that one down - if you dare.





1: Song - Rivers; Source - 2001: A Space Odessey, A Clockwork Orange, The Fearless Vampire Killers and Dead & Buried


Rivers is a sampling masterpiece in my opinion. So many movies, flowing in and out of each other, you can just close your eyes and the dark imagery just swirls around in your head. Again, awesome job on the video mix by radi0n. He did however, omit the samples from House By The Cemetery & Maniac 2, so I included them below, as well.







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Well, that's the list, hope you enjoyed the trip. Oh, and happy Friday The 13th by the way. Seems oddly fitting, don't you think?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Skinny Puppy's Horror Show

Skinny Puppy, one of my favourite bands of all time is coming to town tomorrow and I can’t wait. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I – the lover of all things horror – am a huge fan as their dark soundscapes as they're often horrors in themselves, even without all the genre movie samples that populate their music. I’ve posted about this before, but with their concert date imminent, I wanted to go into more detail and showcase my favourites. Now, at first I thought this post was going to be an insane amount of work because of all the capturing I’d have to do from multiple sources. However, after some searching around YouTube, I found a few users had already done a lot of the work for me. So, I want to give shout-outs to billynair, dvsoldier, Jennifer1023 & especially radi0n for making this a lot easier on me. So, let’s get on with it, shall we? These are my top ten favourite movie samples from Skinny Puppy songs. Apart from the few instances where they have been mixed together, I will have the original song on top, with its corresponding source(s) underneath. I’ll roll out five today and the rest tomorrow. Enjoy!

10: Song - The Choke; Source - Roman Polanski's The Tenant

The Tenant shows up a lot in Skinny Puppy's work, they even named a song on their album VIVISectVI after Isabelle Adjani's character Stella.





9:
Song - 200 Years; Source - The Twilight Zone Episode "Elegy"

The Twilight Zone was an incredibly influential show and this is the first of two occasions it appears on this list.





8:
Song - Deep Down Trauma Hounds; Source - Looney Tunes Episode "Water, Water Every Hare"

I always knew it was a Bugs Bunny cartoon, but it took me years upon years to actually find the right one. Mind: The Perpetual Intercourse was the first Skinny Puppy album that I ever listened to, so naturally it appears a total of four times on this list. The other samples in this song are from an episode of Perry Mason.



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7: Song - Love; Source - The Legend Of Hell House

This is probably my favourite instrumental work of theirs. The layering of sounds here is just brilliant. Skinny Puppy were obviously big fans of the film as samples also popped up in several songs on Bites and Remission.



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6: Song - Who's Laughing Now?; Source - Evil Dead 2

It's not hard to see why this is one of my favourites. The gratuitous dismemberment of Sam Raimi's classic fits in well with the themes of Skinny Puppy's album VIVISectVI.





Be sure to check back tomorrow when I reveal the final five entries on the list.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009