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.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

DKTM 130

Okay, with January on its way out - I for one am not sorry to see it go - here's what I have for you this week.

Ready For More.

I know I'm a little late with this one, but I couldn't let it go by without a mention. At the recent TGS, Capcom revealed its first trailer for the next installment of the Resident Evil series.

It looks like series mainstays Leon and Chris are both onboard for this one, as well as an unnamed mercenary - Hunk perhaps? - for this one. Resident Evil 5's best attribute was the co-op function, which has thankfully been carried over. In fact, word has it that up to six players will be supported, as well as an eight player multiplayer mode. I'm pretty fucking jazzed about this, people. And with a November 2012 release date, I only have less than a year to wait.

Hitting The Target Once Again.

I have always praised the Blu-ray packages put out by Arrow Video, and this latest batch is no exception. Take a look at these beautiful covers.

And the best thing is this latest round of releases are REGION FREE! I will have a hard time not adding these to my collection. For the full specs, click here.

Oh Man. So Scary.

Here's a funny little video that popped up on the Rue Morgue website a few days ago. I'm sure anyone who remembers the glory days of VHS will get a kick out of it.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Horror On The Tube: Fall 2011

It is time again to recap what the small screen had to offer as the autumn chills set in last year.

Dexter. Hoo boy. I am so thankful this is the last time I will have to say anything about this shitshow of a season. I’m sure my friends are by now sick to death of me bitching about this. The reasons for my recent ire are numerous, but in the interest of curtness, I will narrow it down to the paramount few. Dexter has a habit of starting off slow, so I wasn’t concerned that I wasn’t really into the storylines off the top. However, I think the turning point for me was when they killed off the ONLY interesting new character halfway through. Brilliant! Under normal circumstances, I could’ve just written this off as a poor decision, but that left nothing for me to latch onto. Quinn is a fucking joke now, Batista and LaGuerta haven’t been relevant since the third season and, for some reason, I was way ahead of the big “twist” involving the Doomsday Killers.

None of this though, was as boneheaded as the direction the writers decided to go with the last two episodes. This, frankly disgusting, development with Deb has basically made me question whether I even want to watch the show anymore. But, you know what the worst thing about this season was? The final shot was basically something that we’ve all been waiting five seasons for and this season fucked things up so royally, that by the time it rolled around; I didn’t even care. Tragic.

Anyway, let’s move onto something infinitely more enjoyable fare, shall we?

American Horror Story was basically my drug of choice this fall. It was so grim, so extreme, so… over-the-top ridiculous at times, yet I loved every minute of it. I would hate to be anyone who tries to do anything about a haunted house after this, because American Horror Story crammed every possible trope into its debut season. I mean you really needed a scorecard to keep track of all ghosts in this house. The creators lumped crazy plot on top of crazy plot and just when you thought it couldn’t get anymore insane, they’d throw on something else. And yet, for me, this unholy tower never toppled. I turned the corner on taking it too seriously around episode three when The Burned Man bonked Hayden on the head with a shovel.

However, because every single actor in the show was invested one-hundred-and-ten percent, I cared. I really wanted to see how this all played out. They made it easy for me to take everythingThe Rubber Man, the Infantata, Vivien’s babies and Mena Suvari showing up out of nowhere as a certain legendary L.A figure – all in stride. Though the end game was pretty evident from about halfway, I was still very excited to see how they arrived there. American Horror Story was quality genre entertainment that really got its hooks into me.

It occured to me while I was putting the final touches on this post that I neglected to mention The Walking Dead. In short, I thought this season was marginally better than the first, but I'm going to wait until the show finally decides to get past the first ten issues of the comic before delving more into it.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

DKTM 129

Okay, now that I'm pretty much set up now at my new digs, here's some stuff that caught my online eye.

Never Forget.

I recently became aware of this awesome documentary project called Rewind This! The brainchild of three Austin filmmakers (Josh Johnson, Carolee Mitchell & Chris Palmer), it chronicles the rise and fall of the VHS format. The amount of eye-widening sparks of recognition for me in the trailer below was astonishing.

After a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign, it looks like the funds needed to complete production have been reached. Even better, a trip to Toronto has apparently just been added! For more info on Rewind This!, visit the website here.

Just The Right Size.

Fellow Toronto cinephile Tal Zimerman recently started up a fantastic Tumblr page called 27 x 41". Although it focuses on the many types of promotional materials in his vast collection, my favourite stuff is the mind-blowing, foreign market film posters. Here's just a taste.

To visit 27 x 41", click here.

From One JC To Another.

Lastly, I didn't want the great John Carpenter's birthday to go by unacknowledged. Last Monday, he turned 64. I happened to see a JC montage from YouTube user raphadpm in my Facebook feed, and wanted to share it. Happy Birthday, John!

It's a shame that the video's from 2009, and thus excludes The Ward. I seem to be one of the few people who actually dug his last flick, but it would've been nice just in the interest of completism.

That's all for this edition. You must now excuse me, as I have a biiiiig stack of boxes to sort through.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Dead

With January brings a new cycle of Cinemacabre Nights at The Toronto Underground, the first being The Ford Brothers’ zombie film The Dead. I knew virtually nothing about this movie going in, save it being a zombie flick set in Africa, so I was excited to start off 2012 with a bread & butter subgenre.

While evacuating from a zombie plague in Africa, Lt. Brian Murphy’s (Rob Freeman) plane goes down off the coast. After washing ashore, Freeman meets an African soldier named Sgt. Dembele (Prince David Osei) and they go about trying to find refuge from the chaos.

My experience with The Dead was a positive one overall. I had heard rumblings of comparisons to George A. Romero’s zombie oeuvre beforehand, but I think it goes deeper than that. Sure, the film is populated with old school, shambling zombies, but the pace and tone come from a different time, as well. I was immediately hit with that feeling of dread and the inevitability of death. I realized that it had been a long time since I had seen that, as most zombie flicks of late are all about adrenaline and/or the easy laughs. I appreciated that immensely. I also very much liked the washed-out look of the film. As I said, Romero gets brought up a lot in reference to this movie, but I think it reminded me much more of Jess Franco’s Oasis of the Zombies – though thankfully this is far superior.

The Dead is built on its two strong leads, and is primarily why it works at all. Freeman had a definite Jeff Fahey vibe going, even if he was a little lacking in the charisma department. I also respect the Ford Brothers for how well balanced the gore was. There were several solid set pieces, but they never ran away with the show and the inevitable CG augmentation was also incredibly well placed. Another thing that brought a smile to my face while watching the middle third, was how much the interactions between the two protagonists – and how they watched each other’s backs – reminded me of playing Resident Evil 5 co-op with my buddy, Phil.

The problem with The Dead is that it reaches its apex about two-thirds in and then festers, inevitably overstaying its welcome. I felt that the filmmakers had a good hour of a film and a final image in mind, but not much in between. Toward the end, there were several logistical leaps – made even more apparent by the drawn out nature of everything that came before it – that really took away from the movie as a whole. By the time the somewhat heavy-handed conclusion rolled around, a lot had been done to undermine all that good work in the first hour.

At the end of the day though, despite some major flaws, The Dead was still better than the majority of zombie flicks being made these days.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Things will be quiet here this coming week, however my Internet is getting hooked up tomorrow, so hopefully I'll be back posting by the weekend. Wish me luck!

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Tough Day On The Job.

Rats. I really wanted to do something substantial for this Friday the 13th, but the truth is; it just kind of snuck up on me. I am in the process of moving house, so I’ve really only had the brain space to focus on that date on the calendar. However, I did find this old video skit of mine a while back. Shot in the early nineties – likely the same weekend my bedroom tour video was – it seemed appropriate for the occasion. Happy Friday the 13th everyone!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Netflix Pix 4.0

There have been some sizable genre additions to the Canadian Netflix catalogue over the last few months, so here are some suggestions for the next time you are browsing around.

In my 2011 wrap-up post a few weeks back, I mentioned two films that really impressed me last year. The first was a cold pick from the shelves of Eyesore Cinema called Kidnapped. It is a Spanish home invasion flick that not only has the punch that most Euro-horror titles of this ilk deliver, but it is also a technical marvel. I wasn’t exaggerating when I said that images from this piece stuck in my head for several weeks.

The second title is a very underrated Canadian horror flick called The Shrine. Actually, underrated is not entirely accurate, as it never really got a release to gauge it one way or the other. Very few people have seen this movie, which is a shame because I think it’s a real gem. The thing I most respect about director Jon Knautz is that for his sophomore effort, he didn’t just take the easy route and make Jack Brooks 2. No, he made a conscious decision to pull a one-eighty and do a straight up horror film.

Next up is Guillem MoralesJulia’s Eyes. Belen Rueda puts in another fantastic performance as the title character, even if the film as a whole didn’t resonate with me as much as The Orphanage did. The film is still beautifully shot, and the way the plight of Rueda’s character is explored is quite chilling. Even though some of the storytelling choices kept this from being a home run for me, this is still an effective thriller well worth your time.

Taking a trip down under, Jon Hewitt’s 2008 thriller Acolytes is on Netflix now, as well. This movie has the delicious premise of three high schoolers finding out a serial killer’s secret and then trying to blackmail him into killing their own tormentor. Of course, it doesn’t go quite as planned. Yes, it is every bit as dark as you would expect. Initially, I wasn’t crazy about this movie, as I had problems with the motivations of some of the characters. However, after coming back to it a few years later, it didn’t bug me as much, so I’m now comfortable recommending it to you all.

Perhaps the most impressive section of Netflix is its television catalogue. Just recently, they added Twin Peaks and the first three seasons of Dexter to their ranks. I have been rewatching the second stanza of the latter and reacquainting myself with Lila (Jaime Murray), one of the freakiest bunny boilers to ever hit the small screen. As for Twin Peaks, those uninitiated have no more excuses. WATCH. IT. NOW.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Why It Matters

Lars Nilsen of started up a new column this week called Why It Matters. His inaugural post was of obvious interest to me, as it was about the VHS format.

He makes some great points in the article as to why there are still so many people clinging to this arguably obsolete format, including;

“Here's the deal as I see it: of all the films ever made, a small fraction have become available on VHS. Of those, a much smaller fraction has made it onto DVD and streaming media. If I want to enjoy a movie like Orson Welles' Chimes at Midnight, I need to dust off a VHS tape. And if, in my capacity as a film programmer and advisor to a film archive, I want to refer to an obscure spaghetti western or kung fu movie, I'll probably be watching a video tape.”

He does also take the opportunity – unnecessarily in my opinion – to slam Netflix, though I wonder if it was mainly in reaction to some readers emailing that VHS is no longer needed with the advent of streaming video. I myself, have no problem with Big Red. In fact, I don't really understand any of the chest-beating online about this topic. Sony Vs. Microsoft I get (PS3 FTW!) but there is no reason why, when it comes to video, we can't all have your cake and eat it too. Netflix is not a replacement for physical media; it is a supplement.

Anyway, I just wanted to call attention to another blogger out there, who seems to love VHS, and its many spoils, as much as I do. For the full article, click here.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

DKTM 128

Good morning everyone, I trust you have all recovered from your New Year's shenanigans. Here's a brand spanking new all-video edition of DKTM for you to enjoy.


Fresh off his winning short for the ABC's of Death competition, Lee Hardcastle unveiled a new claymation oddity this week. Hardcastle combined the beloved European icon Pingu, with the John Carpenter classic The Thing to create something that is sure to put a smile on your face.

Viva La Renaissance!

One of my hobbies is tracking down the early work of a group of filmmakers I affectionately refer to as The Renaissance Boys, which includes Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, Josh Becker & Scott Spiegel, among others. Recently, I came across TONY92FR's YouTube channel, after he contacted me about the KNB video I posted. He's got some great stuff from the Boys, including Holding It, Attack of the Helping Hand and Torro, Torro, Torro. Here below, is part of a Bruce Campbell interview from the 2003 French DVD release of Evil Dead 2.

I Love The Arts.

One thing you can always expect from the yearly Rue Morgue Halloween party, is something crazy to happen onstage during the festivities. I missed last year's Banquet of Blood, but I do remember regretting I wouldn't get to see featured attraction Mimi Cherry as Countess Bathory. Well, thanks to my buddy Robert Mitchell being there to film the proceedings, here she is in all her blood spattered glory.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

2012 Preview

Ahhh... Nothing like the prospect of a new year. Here’s a preview of what genre flicks I am looking forward to seeing in 2012.

Prometheus (Jun 8th)
After Resurrection, I really had absolutely no interest in seeing another Alien film, but after learning of the stellar cast *pun intended* lined up for this, I really can’t resist it. After watching the recently released trailer, this looks very, very promising indeed.

Having never seen any of the Harry Potters, it will be interesting to see how Daniel Radcliffe transitions into this role. I’m a fan of Watkin’s previous previous (Eden Lake & My Little Eye), so it will ibe nteresting to see what he does with a budget. I do like the look and feel of the trailer though, so I’m hoping for good things.

After being on the backburner for a year, this Joss Whedon produced thriller is finally on its way. The trailer certainly hints of expansion beyond your usual backwoods horror story, so I am fully behind this one.

Paranorman (Aug 17th)
Being a huge fan of animated films Coraline and Monster House, I might actually get out to see this one in a theatre.

Detention (TBD)
Having narrowly missed screening here last year, I still am very interested in seeing this kooky horror film. I have a feeling this is the movie that Scream 4 should have been. The trailer teases of a visual flair that may distunguish it from the pack.

World War Z (Dec 21st)
I am not particularly optimistic about this one, as author Max Brooks walked away from the project pretty early on, but depending on how much of J. Michael Straczynski’s original screenplay made it to the final cut, this could end up surprising.

A lot of my friends read this book last year, but I had no idea it was of a darker tone until just recently. Now that I've seen the trailer and know that it is a Don Coscarelli joint, I'm all over it. John will premiere this month at Sundance, but fingers crossed that it comes to my neck of the woods at some point soon.

As per usual, there are a lot of genre titles with numbers tacked on the end this year. I will, as always, put in my time with Resident Evil, and because my #1 lass Kate Beckinsale has squeezed into black leather once more, I will check out the newest Underworld, as well.

Other sequels of note are Piranha 3DD and Michael J. Bassett’s Silent Hill 2.

A film that has sold me on its poster alone, is Nurse 3D.

I believe that Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter & Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters cancel each other out, but I'll put my money on the one with Jeremy Renner.

There are some promising titles currently doing time on the festival circuit this year. Black Rock, Grabbers, V/H/S and Genesis – the latest in the [REC] series – are all efforts that I hope make it to The Big Smoke by the end of the year. I am also very interested to see how Drafthouse Films' The ABC’s of Death project turned out.

As for recommendations as to what to look out for, festival darlings You’re Next, Kill List and 2009’s The Loved Ones are all slated for release in 2012. Julien Maury & Alexandre Bustillo’s latest Livid, Eduardo Sanchez’s possession character piece Lovely Molly and the post apocalyptic The Divide are also likely to drop this year, as well.

So, although there are few powerhouses on the docket, there is no shortage of entertaining stuff on the horizon. Commence circling release dates on your calendars!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Going Nuclear!

I sat in on another episode of the Laser Focus podcast last weekend. This time we talked about a pair of eighties nuclear war-themed flicks called 2019: After the Fall of New York and Miracle Mile. Click on the image below to listen to our ramblings.

Monday, January 2, 2012

CAST Awards 2011

The 2nd Annual CAST (Cinema Appreciation Society of Toronto) awards were posted yesterday. For those who weren't around last year, CAST is a GTA blogger collective spearheaded by James McNally (of Toronto Screen Shots) This year's crop was forty members strong and below are CAST's Top Five Films of 2011.

2)The Artist
3)The Tree of Life
4)Attack the Block
5)Take Shelter

The top five of my submitted list were as follows;

2)Attack The Block
4)Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The

It was exceedingly difficult to rank my films this year. In year's past, there has always been a runaway favourite to crown numero uno (Inception, Inglourious Bastards, No Country For Old Men etc), but in 2011, it was not nearly as easy. In the end, Hanna won out by default because it is the only one of my top tier films I had watched subsequently on Blu-ray.

As for the official Top Five, I wish I loved Drive as much as everybody else seemed to. Though it's a well-made film, it just wasn't a home run for me. I do, however wager that The Tree of Life and Midnight In Paris (CAST's #6) would have been high on my list had I managed to get around to seeing them before the deadline.

Like last year, I saw only a fraction of the films on the ballot, but I'm okay with that. I don't mind being one of the more "unwashed" members of the group. For the full CAST list of twenty, click here.