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, February 29, 2012


To close out this year’s Women In Horror Month, I cooked up a little video tribute. Enjoy!

Deadly Friend(1986)
The Exorcist (1973)
Lovely Molly (2011)
The Evil Dead (1981)
Jennifer’s Body (2009)
May (2002)
House of a 1000 Corpses (2003)
The Descent (2005)
Misery (1990)
Inside (2007)
Ringu (1998)
Let The Right One In (2008)
Bride of Chucky (1998)
Ginger Snaps (2000)
The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Friday the 13th (1980)
Friday the 13th Part 7 (1988)
Halloween 2 (1981)
Suspiria (1977)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
The Fog (1980)
The Vampire Lovers (1970)
Cannibal Girls (1973)
The Return of the Living Dead (1985)
Liar of the White Worm (1988)
Army of Darkness (1992)
The Beyond (1981)
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Psycho (1960)
Christine (1983)
Hellraiser (1987)
Return of the Living Dead Part 3 (1993)
High Tension (2003)
Carrie (1976)
Slumber Party Massacre (1982)
Scream (1996)
Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet (2009)
Audition (1999)

“Black Sheep” by Metric
“Peep Show” by Miranda Sex Garden
“Maneater” by Hall & Oates
“Pinky’s Dream” by David Lynch feat. Karen O.
“Army of Me” by Bjork

Sunday, February 26, 2012

DKTM 133

Good morning all. I'm working on something for next week currently, so I'll keep things short for you here today.

When Lieberman Met Serling.

A fantastic archive piece come over Fangoria's Facebook feed the other day. Cult filmmaker Jeff Lieberman - who I coincidentally had the pleasure of meeting at last year's TIFF - recently uploaded a fourty-year old recording of a project he worked on with Rod Serling. The very candid taping was for narration of a 1972 Janus film series called "The Art of Film." This is a unique window into the persona of one of the most creative minds the world has ever known. Here it is below.

The Ladies Have The Floor.

Even with all my coverage for Women In Horror Month, my lack of lady parts limits me from really giving you a feminine point of view. So, here's the latest episode of Lianne Spiderbaby's Fright Bytes to scratch that itch.

WIHM will wrap up here at THS on Tuesday with a very special video. Stay tuned!

Friday, February 24, 2012

WIHM: Debra Hill

A name that kept popping up in movie credits during my childhood was Debra Hill. Halloween was the first horror series that I obsessed over as a youngster, and as the eighties began, her name became synonomous with that of John Carpenter's.

Born in Haddonfield, NJ – we all know the significance that played in later creative endevours – Hill found her calling after high school, and worked her way up the filmmaking ranks during the seventies, despite being talked down to because of her gender. She got her start as a script supervisor on such films as Goodbye Norma Jean, Satan's Cheerleaders and Assault on Precinct 13. The latter was the first time she worked with her eventual long-time collaborator Carpenter.

Producer & Screenwriter Debra Hill

Their next project together, Halloween, would change the face of horror. After co-writing the screenplay (among many other jobs) for the 1978 masterpiece, she worked on several other significant horror films over the next decade, including The Fog and The Dead Zone. Hill's biggest contribution to the film industry was as a producer. Her credits include eighties classics like Adventures In Babysitting, Clue and the Oscar nominated The Fisher King in 1991.

Sadly, Hill succumbed to cancer in 2005, but was still working, right up until her death, on Oliver Stone's World Trade Center. In 2003, at a Women In Film where Hill was being honoured, she was quoted as saying,

“I hope some day there won't be a need for Women in Film. That it will be People in Film. That it will be equal pay, equal rights and equal job opportunities for everybody.”

Truly inspirational words from one whose determination allowed to her to become one of the most powerful producers in Hollywood.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

WIHM: The Soska Sisters

If you’ll indulge some flag-waving today, I’d like to say a few words about The Soska Sisters. Hailing from Vancouver, these twisted twins fully embody the spirit of independent filmmaking, wearing many hats including writing, directing, producing, acting and even doing their own stunt work.

Jen & Sylvia Soska gravitated toward the macabre at a very early age and found an outlet absorbing all the horror & exploitation films they could get their hands on. It didn’t take long before they began constructing their own nightmares. Using lessons learned from Robert Rodriguez’s book Rebel Without A Crew – and coincidentally echoing the advice offered by Amy Holden Jones at last Thursday’s Slumber Party Massacre screening – they just went out and did it. Whenever a job needed to be filled; they stepped in.

Twisted Twins Jen & Sylvia Soska.

After filming a well-received faux trailer inspired by Grindhouse in 2007, they set out to make a feature length version. Their debut, Dead Hooker In A Trunk was made for almost no money, and after a successful genre festival run was picked up by IFC. Their movie contains no shortage of dark humour and a brutality that I think the Soskas may have enjoyed shooting just a little too much. It’s no wonder the film caught the eye of Eli Roth.

The Soskas are now currently working on their new feature American Mary starring fellow Canadian Katherine Isabelle. It seems fitting that these three found each other, as I envision the Soska’s childhood being similar to that of the Fitzgerald sisters. Minus the lycanthropy, of course.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Slumber Party At The Underground!

For this week's WIHM festivities, I'm going to focus on some ladies who work behind the camera. Today, I'm focusing on editor/screenwriter/director Amy Holden Jones. Last week, I checked out Rue Morgue's screening of Slumber Party Massacre, and was very glad to see that it still holds up. It's a lot funnier than I remembered and the killer Russ Thorn is quite a departure from most of that era. The screening included a Q&A via Skype with the director Jones herself, moderated by RM editor Dave Alexander that you can hear below. Sorry about the shitty audio at times, but I think you can make most of it out.

Unfortunately, my battery died before the conclusion of the interview, but the last two questions went like so.

Alexander: What are you working on now, and would you like to do another horror movie?

Jones: Well, I was attached to direct a remake of The Entity for a time, but that fell through. I currently have a spec script that I want to do if I can get the money together. But yeah, I've love to do another horror movie. They're a lot of fun.

Alexander: What advice would you give to any female, or male for that matter, who wants to get started in the business.

Jones: Shoot something, just get out and do it. If you sit around waiting for someone to give you a job, it'll never happen. Write a script and shoot it. If you can't write, get a script and shoot it. You need something that will get you noticed. That's really the most important advice I can give.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

DKTM 132

Hey everyone! How's everyone doing out there? Here's what I got for you this weekend.

Some Bava Love.

I guested on another edition of the Laser Focus podcast last weekend. The episode was on the works of Mario Bava - specifically Blood & Black Lace and Rabid Dogs - but we also fell into talking about old VHS horror, as is usually the case when it's just me, Justin & Trevor. Click on the image below to hear the podcast.

Trailer Trash.

Here are two recent trailers that just look like a shit-ton of fun.

Always With The Tumbling.

I've been spending a lot of time on Tumblr recently, mainly because I discovered many of my Laser Blast peeps are heavy users. Here's just a sampling of some of the goodies I've discovered on there.

Michal Bialogrzywy

Pawel Durczok

Phantom City Creative

Danny Miller

Federico Mauro

Trevor Henderson

And that barely scratches the surface, folks...

Friday, February 17, 2012

WIHM: Cassandra Peterson

I’m going to take this thing up a few notches today, because hey, it’s Friday! Perhaps the most recognizable female icon of the genre – hell, any genre in any form of entertainment – is Elvira aka Cassandra Peterson.

Long before Peterson adopted the persona we all know and love, she was a veritable Jill-of-all-trades. Starting off her career as a showgirl in Las Vegas, she parlayed that into a few minor acting roles. In the 1970’s, she sang in an Italian rock band and was a member of the famous Los Angeles comedy troupe, The Groundlings.

Peterson as Elvira: Mistress of the Dark (right)

In 1981, Ms. Peterson landed the job succeeding the late Larry Vincent on the popular Los Angeles television show Fright Night. Her and a friend then came up with the eye-catching Elvira character and the show was renamed Movie Macabre. The rest is history. Here in Canada, it was syndicated in the early nineties, and I can’t count the number of Saturday nights (or more aptly Sunday mornings) I spent watching. I fell in love with her self-deprecating demeanor, and how she’d playfully lampoon the cheesy movies she was presenting. Her humour was wry, filled with puns and double-entendres. It was titillating (how’s that?) yet light hearted, so it was never too risqué.

As the years went on, Elvira became so pervasive; she became a brand, her image plastered on everything from calendars to comics, perfume to pinball machines. Way back, I did an archives post on her board game! I’ve been lucky enough to see Ms. Peterson twice here in Toronto. The first time was at 2005’s Festival of Fear, and the second in character as Elvira just last year. She was delightful both times, bursting (oh, there’s another one!) with charm and wit.

In 2010, Movie Macabre returned to the airwaves for another twenty episodes. Seemingly ageless, Ms. Peterson continues to do regular appearances around the world.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

WIHM: Ingrid Pitt

While we’re on the subject of Hammer Films, let me take this post to focus on the lovely, Ingrid Pitt. Born Ingoushka Petrov in Poland in 1937, she led a very tumultuous life before settling in Hollywood to pursue an acting career in the 1960’s.

She appeared in a few films during that time including Doctor Zhivago and Where Eagles Dare, but she is most well known for the work she did with Hammer Films in the early seventies. Most cinephiles tend to focus on Hammer's leading men like Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, but it was sultry vixens like Ms. Pitt that drew me to their catalogue. Her performances in Vampire Lovers and Countess Dracula just oozed sensuality, but it was more than that. She was the predator, rather than the prey, which was something quite rare back in those days.

Pitt as Mircalla Karnstein in Vampire Lovers (left) & as Carla Lind in The House That Dripped Blood.

Pitt was also an accomplished writer, publishing several books including the spy novel Cuckoo Run, her autobiography Life’s A Scream and The Bedside Companion for Vampire Lovers. During the 1980’s, she started up her own theatre company, subsequently starring in productions of Dial M for Murder and Woman of Straw.

Sadly, Ms. Pitt passed away in London in November 2010. Her final project, Ingrid Pitt: Beyond The Forest, an animated short about her liberation from a concentration camp at age eight, still awaits a release after playing several film festivals and SDCC last year.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Woman In Black.

It seems fitting that during Women In Horror Month I would get to review The Woman In Black.

A lawyer (Daniel Radcliffe) is sent to a small village in the English countryside and soon discovers a ghost is terrorizing its citizens.

The Woman In Black is the newest, and most mainstream yet, of the Hammer Films revival. It shares many of the retro leanings that their 2011 release Wake Wood possessed, including ultimately falling short of being as good as the films it emulates. Unlike Wake Wood though, which was of solely British influence, The Woman In Black is a little more global in the films it pulls from. I saw definite parallels to ghost stories from Spain and Thailand, specifically The Orphanage and The Eye, respectively.

It may also be that my lack of fervor is due to seeing The Innkeepers again just the day before. They are similar in some ways, but I think Ti West’s picture has a lot more to offer. I wonder if Radcliffe had had another person to play off for that large chunk in the middle, it would have been more engaging for me. Speaking of Radcliffe, having never been swept up in the whole Harry Potter thing, this was my first opportunity to see him on the big screen. I’d say he was fine, though I don’t think this was a particularly challenging role for him. I would imagine holding candles aloft while scurrying down dark corridors and reading through moldy letters would be old hat for him by now.

He certainly has the look of a classic Hammer protagonist nailed though. As for the supporting players, I was very happy to see Ciarán Hinds show up in this. If you haven’t seen 2009’s The Eclipse, I suggest you seek it out, because that is a ghost story that really transcends.

I've just noticed that this review is basically me just rhyming off better ghost stories, so I should point out that The Woman In Black is a perfectly competent film. It starts off a little bland, but after a particular scene involving a rocking chair, it gets a lot stronger from there onwards. The production design and look of the movie is top notch and James Watkins was a near perfect choice to direct. He already had experience dealing with characters confined to creepy houses in his debut My Little Eye, and unruly townsfolk in 2008’s Eden Lake.

The Woman In Black is overall fairly standard fare, with a few standout sequences. It does what it does well, but don't expect any new tricks from this old girl.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

DKTM 131

I'm off to Cambridge today to hopefully snag something of interest from the little video shops in and around the area, but before I go here's some news from the week.

A Close Call.

The most pressing bit of news this week, was learning of Clive Barker's recent health woes. After going into toxic shock following some recent dental work, he slipped into a coma for several days. Here below is a statement from Barker's Twitter feed compiled by Famous Monsters of Filmland.

“My friends, Clive here. I’m at home now after a while in hospital, thanks to a nearly fatal case of Toxic Shock brought on by a visit to my dentist. Apparently this is not uncommon. In my case the dental work unloaded such a spillage of poisonous bacteria into my blood that my whole system crashed, putting me into a coma.I spent several days in Intensive Care, with a machine breathing for me. Later, my Doctors said that they had not anticipated a happy ending until I started to fight, repeatedly pulling out the tubes that I was constantly gagging on. After a few days of nightmarish delusions I woke up to my life again, tired, twenty pounds lighter, but happy to be back from a very dark place. And here in the world I intend to stay. I’ve books to write ,films to make and paintings to paint. I seem to have come home with my sight clearer somehow, and my sense of purpose intensified.Thank you all for your messages your prayers and love. What better reason to wake to life than knowing I have such friends? Again,thank you. My love to you always. Clive.”

This is crazy! I always thought that stuff about bacteria was just a scare tactic my dentist used to get me to floss. I had no idea this shit actually happens! I'm so glad that Barker pulled through, as that would've been a crushing blow. I wish him a speedy recovery!


A cool little article popped up in my Facebook feed this week, via my gal pal Serena Whitney. CyberGhostface listed their Top Ten Truly Terrifying Horror Movie Jump Scares, and yeah, there are some doozies on it. Click on the image below, to check them out.

My favourite ones from the list are The Thing, The Exorcist III and Jaws, although I would have likely included something from Texas Chainsaw, Alien and to represent the new guard, [REC].

On The Menu.

Jim Mickle, director of the fantastic indie horror flicks Mulberry Street and Stake Land is planning a remake of the 2010 Mexican cannibal film We Are What We Are. Remake blah-say aside, I think this project is a very good fit for Mickle. What We Are is a very character heavy piece and anyone who has seen Mickle's work knows that is where he excels. This could work, particularly if Mickle adds some of himself to the story, much like what Scott Reeves did with his version of Let The Right One In. Click here for the actual announcement from Twitch.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Callback.

I wanted to cap off my Scream Queen week with a callback to a previous post. In August 2010, I did an archive bit about the Scream Queen Field Guide from a 1991 issue of Fangoria. To check it out, click on the image below.

Friday, February 10, 2012

WIHM: Danielle Harris

I revered many Scream Queens when I was a kid, but there's only one that I feel I kind of grew up with. That certain gal would, of course, be Danielle Harris. I was fourteen when my brother took me to see Halloween 4 in the theater. That was the first time that someone around my age – save I suppose to a degree Tommy & Lindsay from the original – was in Michael's crosshairs, and it struck a chord with me.

After the two Halloween films, Harris started popping up in many significant nineties flicks like The Last Boy Scout and Marked For Death. I must admit she fell off my radar – though still very active in television, including a recurring role on Roseanne – until her decidedly much more “grown up” role in Urban Legend. Harris also has a lot of voice work on her résumé, including roles in Father of the Pride, Rugrats & The Wild Thornberrys.

Harris as Tosh in Urban Legend (left) & as Jamie Lloyd in Halloween 5.

In 2007, she returned to the Halloween franchise to play Annie Brackett in Rob Zombie's redux. I may have my issues with the movie, but Harris was the best of the new babysitter trio by a wide margin. More recently, she appeared in Jim Mickle's Stake Land, and Hatchet II. I think what most impresses me about Ms. Harris is that she doesn't let her diminutive size stop her from doing physical roles. It's like she said during her Q&A at last year's Festival of Fear;

“I love doing horror... If I’m not bruised, losing my voice from screaming and covered in blood, I don’t really feel like I’ve earned my pay.”

Nowadays, Harris is still keeping busy with half-a-dozen projects in the can, including her feature directorial debut Among Friends.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

WIHM: Barbara Crampton

Another recurring actress during my formative years was Barbara Crampton. It should come as no surprise that she made an impression on me, considering some of her more memorable roles. Whether she was getting “head” in Re-Animator, losing it in Chopping Mall, or being slimed in From Beyond, she always seemed game to assume any precarious position.

I would also imagine that her regular appearances in Full Moon fare like Puppetmaster, Castle Freak and Trancers II was another reason why her and my VCR would often cross paths.

Crampton as Dr. McMichaels in From Beyond (left) & as Megan Halsey in Re-Animator.

Originally from New York, Crampton's desire to be a performer likely sprung from growing up on the fairgrounds of the travelling carnival for which her father worked. Her career began in the early eighties on Days of our Lives, and over the course of her career has appeared on four other soap operas.

Ms. Crampton was one of those Scream Queens (like Kathleen Kinmont & Elizabeth Kaitan) that I thought I'd never get to see in person, but fortunately, her appearance in Adam Wingard's recent home invasion slasher You're Next brought her to Toronto last September!

Monday, February 6, 2012

WIHM: Linnea Quigley

This week, I'd like to concentrate on Scream Queens. I'll start with the most obvious choice; Linnea Quigley. Working in the movie business for five decades now, she has become of the one of the most prolific and recognizable female figures in horror.

However, it is not only the sheer amount of work she has done (over a hundred titles), but also how prevalent she was in the VHS era. With appearances in titles like Silent Night Deadly Night, Graduation Day, Night of the Demons and Creepozoids, it would have been almost impossible to be a horror fan growing up in the eighties and NOT see something she was in. Ms. Quigley's most famous role would likely have to be Trash, the “unshy” punk rocker-turned-zombie in Return of the Living Dead.

Quigley as Trash in RotLD (left) & as Samantha in Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers.

I have been fortunate enough to meet her twice in my life. The first time was in Toronto's only Fangoria Weekend of Horrors in 1991, and then last year in London, Ontario's inaugural Shock Stock celebration. She was pretty surprised when I told her that and laughed when as I was leaving, said “See ya in another twenty years.”

More recently, she appeared in the documentary Screaming In High Heels with fellow Scream Queens Michelle Bauer and Brinke Stevens, about the rise and fall of eighties horror. Quigley is also heavily involved with PETA.

Here below, is some video courtesy of Mike Schwartz (of Cartoon & Horror) from the Linnea Quigley Q&A last April at Shock Stock.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Day Is Upon Us.

I am shortly off to celebrate a very merry Football Christmas, so no DKTM today. However, I did want to give a shout-out to one George A. Romero who turned 72 yesterday.

Romero's contribution to the genre is unmatched, and I'll be sure to raise a gin & tonic in your honour this evening.

Friday, February 3, 2012

WIHM: Axelle Carolyn

Next up, is writer/director/actress Axelle Carolyn. This Belgian-born beauty first came to my attention in 2009, when she released her first book entitled It Lives Again! Horror Movies in the New Millenium. Let’s face it, any book with Tomás on the cover is going to get my attention, but it was also through that that I came across her memorable appearance in Tristan Versluis’ grisly short film I Love You.

After acting in several shorts, including Jamie Hooper’s Vision (at bottom) and a few of her husband director Neil Marshall’s films, she has now been spending an increasing amount of time behind the camera.

Carolyn as Aeron in 2010's Centurion (right)

Carolyn directed her first two shorts, The Last Post & Hooked last year and after a successful Kickstarter campaign, just finished her most recent short, The Halloween Kid. I have been following her updates on the HK blog, and it looks like it's set to premiere at the International Children and Young People's Film Festival next month.

A while back, there was talk of her producing her own feature script, a ghost story called The Haunted - formerly The Ghost of Slaughterford - but I haven’t heard anything about it for quite sometime. She will, however, appear with Sean Pertwee and Tom Savini in Shaun Robert Smith’s upcoming horror action flick, The 4th Reich.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Today Begins...

All February, I will be saluting those of the fairer sex who have contributed to this dark genre during their careers. I will begin with actress Adrienne Barbeau.

I had an early affection for Ms. Barbeau as she starred in many of the horror films I devoured as a child, including The Fog, Swamp Thing and Creepshow. She has a very strong presence, which is likely why she rarely played a victim, even when circumstances seemed like she could have.

Barbeau as Maggie in 1980's Escape From New York (left) & as Christine in 2000's The Convent.

She has had a long and stable career, also working regularly in televison with appearances on shows such as Dexter, CSI:NY and was a regular on one of my favourite shows of all time, Carnivàle. Recently, she has also branched out into video game voice over work, lending her distinctive voice to Batman: Arkham Asylum and God of War III. Although, I guess this would be a callback of sorts, after her stint voicing Kurt Russell's “cheatin' bitch” chess program in John Carpenter's The Thing. I wonder if she's the first actor to ever voice a video game?

After eight years attending the Festival of Fear, I've gotten to see several genre figures up close & personal, and fortunately in 2007, Barbeau was among them. She was absolutely lovely and humbled that people enjoy her work. She even gave a shout-out to Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death during her Q&A! Ah-mazing.

In 2006, she released her memoir entitled There Are Worse Things I Could Do. Here's to you, Ms. Barbeau!