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, June 30, 2013

Long weekend.

Please pardon the lack of a news post this weekend, for I am currently relaxing in the beautiful and rustic town of Tweed, Ontario.

Been a while since I've seen one of these...

Talk to you in a few days.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Endure & Survive.

It took me a long time to gather my thoughts on The Last of Us, because it was such a sublime experience. I'll try and stay away from the clichéd superlatives that you've probably heard bandied about so far, but it's going to be tough, as they are all richly deserved.

Californian developers Naughty Dog continue to be way ahead of the curve when stretching the boundaries of video games as a storytelling medium. I have to also applaud them for evolving beyond their already stellar benchmark with third-person action gaming. While their previous Uncharted games felt like big summer blockbusters, The Last of Us was more like top-tier episodic television. Just the opening twenty minutes was more epic and affecting than anything I've seen in three seasons of The Walking Dead.

The two leads, Troy Baker & Ashley Johnson, as Joel & Ellie respectively – yes, I call them leads as if they are actors in a show, because that's where we're at now – are phenomenal. Their relationship was every bit as strong as the relationship between Lee & Clementine in Telltale's recent stunner The Walking Dead, but also had the tech and gameplay to take it to another level. Naughty Dog is beyond simple motion capture, they have now broken through into performance capture. This is the first game where I could truly see nuance within facial expressions and there was actual life behind the character's eyes. That in particular is something that has eluded game makers for years.

It also helped that they were backed by some really great writing. Whether it was during the really big action moments, or the more quiet ones, like when Ellie is reading to Joel from a joke book she found, I was riveted because I felt like I was looking through a window into a living, breathing world. All of this was then blessed by a marvellous acoustic guitar-driven score by Gustavo Santaolalla. Even the simple twangy riffs of the title screen felt just right.

As for gameplay, I felt the mechanics flowed well. Say what you want about QTEs, there is no question that they instill a feeling of interactivity that is lost without them. As much as I enjoyed Bioshock Infinite, I couldn't help but feel like a spectator during some of its larger action set pieces. And unlike my experience with that game, I never felt overwhelmed by my options, or that I wasn't using them to their full potential. In The Last of Us, once I got my holsters and crafting sorted out, I felt like a bad ass. I also felt that the archery here was tighter than in my previous experience with Tomb Raider. I got really good with the bow towards the end and tended to use it whenever I could.

Like most third-person action games, there is a lot of repetition, but just like the best of them (Dead Space, Infamous), there was a visceral satisfaction derived from each challenge that it never got boring. I felt that by design, The Last of Us gave me so many ways to attack a situation that it never quite played out the same way twice.

If I was to nitpick, I would've liked a little more variety in the types of infected creatures you encounter. The only reason I mention it is because while subsequently looking through the art galleries, I saw some sketches for some early concepts. All I could think was, “why didn't I get to fight these guys?!” After some digging I found this making-of featurette that explains their origins.

Other than that, the few minor technical hiccups I encountered seemed to occur less and less the further I progressed into the game.

The Last of Us far exceeded my expectations and showed that even though the next generation of gaming is on the doorstep, the current one still has a lot of magic left to show us. It is games like this that make me proud to be a gamer.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

R.I.P. Richard Matheson 1926-2013

I was very saddened to hear of the passing of writer Richard Matheson on Sunday. In the world of genre fiction, this man was a giant. My first introduction to him was through The Twilight Zone, so, in memoriam, I thought I would share some of my favourites of his.

Little Girl Lost was one of those Twilight Zone episodes that I'm sure terrorized many a child back in the sixties. Matheson took the age-old fear of the unknown that lies under the bed and made it real.

Steel was one of the many wonderful character pieces The Twilight Zone was known for, starring Lee Marvin as an aging prize fighter, willing to do anything to make some quick cash.

Matheson's The Invaders and Third From The Sun were classic examples of The Twilight Zone brand. They would take a normal, very human situation, add an extraordinary component and then in the last few moments pull a one-eighty that would leave you reeling. This kind of stuff ignited my imagination as a child and opened me up to a new way of creative thinking.

Nightmare At 20,000 Feet is one of those episodes that is forever linked with The Twilight Zone. It is so much an touchstone of pop culture, that it has been remade and spoofed many times since. Matheson once again takes an ingrained fear within all of us and takes it one step further.

Lastly, I can't talk about Richard Matheson without mentioning his novella I Am Legend. You want to talk about stories that influenced modern horror filmmaking, look no further than this. And I'm not just talking about the undead, I mean the entire concept of post-apocalyptic storytelling. It's all here.

You will be missed, Mr. Matheson, but what a legacy you've left behind!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Trailer Tuesdays: Summer Camp Nightmare

With summer now upon us, here's a fitting trailer.

As you can see, it's kind of like an eighties co-ed version of Lord of the Flies. I dug summer camp movies when I was kid (Friday the 13th, Sleepaway Camp and even lighter fare like Poison Ivy) even though I never had any desire to actually go to one. I only had two months of freedom a year, why would I want to go somewhere where that precious time was dictated by others? Well, that and you already know of my aversion to aquatics. This movie was also one of super cute Melissa Brennan's few movie roles outside of Days Of Our--- uhh.. Hey look, a kitten playing a guitar!

rocker kitten animated gifs

*signs off

Monday, June 24, 2013

Exactly As Advertised.

Hollywood's first zombie blockbuster World War Z has finally shambled – or more appropriately, sprinted – onto screens, so I made a beeline for the nearest Cineplex last Friday eve.

When a global zombie outbreak hits, former UN worker Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) is sent out to find the source, and possibly a cure. But, is it already too late?

Last week, I happened to see a wonderfully apt review byline which read, “World War Z succeeds despite itself”. That's it exactly. Even with all of its negatives, this movie was still quite entertaining. But, I'll get to that. First, the head scratchers...

I'm afraid I can't let go of the fact that nothing was carried over from the source material. I understand that the decision was made early on to drop the anthology format of the Max Brooks' tome, but surely they could've incorporated something. I'm sorry, but the five-minute onscreen showdown in Jerusalem does not equate to the book's epic Battle of Yonkers.

I still maintain that Marc Forster is Hollywood's worst action director. As in 2008's Quantum of Solace, he's still all about that close-up, shaky-cam action style that I can't stand. Ever since the Greengrass' Bourne films, we've been plagued by this type of filmmaking. I get that you are going for an “it's like you're there!” vibe, but really all you're doing is making us fill in the blanks. It's lazy and, more importantly, annoying. Imagine if The Matrix had been shot like that???

When the camera does occasionally pull back from the fray, we are greeted by a throbbing mass of CG. It's decent – clearly there's a lot of processing power behind all those rendered undead – but it's still not, you know, real. What was more frustrating was that the practical zombie stuff was actually very well done. Why couldn't there be more of that? I also feel that the “wow” moments were dulled due to, as per usual, seeing ninety-five percent of them in the trailers.

Lastly, this is likely one of the weaker 3D transfers I've seen to date. Save for a few gimmicky moments where zombies fly at the screen, it is completely unnecessary. It really only serves to muddy things up, and considering that more than a few of the action set pieces take place in the dark, that's not a good thing.

And yet, World War Z is still a functional zombie action movie. Pitt, like so few A-listers can, carries this movie on his shoulders and powers through all the dumb action logic throughout. And it does attempt to tell a global story – even if all we get of South Korea is a rainy tarmac – which is certainly far more than they could've done. I'm sure in some filmmakers' hands, World War Z would've never left Jersey.

Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) taking care of business.

At the end of the day, if you liked what you saw in the trailer, you'll have a good time because that's what you're getting. No more, no less. I kept my expectations low, which is why World War Z didn't disappoint me. I just can't help but wish there had been more meat on this bone.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

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Hey gang! Here's what I've got for you today.

More Fear.

One of the things that really impressed me about last year's Festival of Fear were the awesome panels and it looks like we are in for a repeat this time around. Here below are some of things you can expect to see at this year's Horror Prom.

The Sound of SplatterMaurizio Guarini, composer & member of iconic prog-rock Goblin will be on hand talk about the music business, his solo career and his dealing with such Italian horror legends Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci.

The World of Charles Band - The home video guru will be on hand to talk about his many ventures. I wonder if anyone will bring up the whole Wizard controversy?

Trash Masters & Gore Gurus - Similar to last year's Gore, Girls & Godforsaken Cinema panel, the “black sheep” of Rue Morgue, including Tal Zimerman & The Gore-Met discuss B-movie splatter and exploitation cinema.

Horror Artists Workshop - Prolific artist Ghoulish Gary Pullin will demonstrate the process of creating awesome film poster art.

Black Museum Presents The History of the Zombie - Toronto's best lecture series returns with curators Paul Corupe & Andrea Subissati discussing the evolution of everyone's favourite flesh eaters.

An Hour With The Twisted Twins - American Mary directors Jen & Sylvia Soska return to Toronto to talk film, working in the indie horror industry and everything else twisted.

And if that wasn't enough, Rue Morgue has also lined up Canadian electro-rockers The Birthday Massacre to play the festival party on the Saturday. Yesiree, this one's gonna be epic.

For more info on the festival, click here.

Oh Yeah!

You may recall me talking about UK animator Robert Morgan's stop-motion short Bobby Yeah last year. Well, it is now available on Vimeo for the price of ONLY ONE MEASLY DOLLAR!!! Seriously people, you can't afford to not own this slice of insanity. Go on, press the button!

Weapon of Choice.

I saw this cool little poster pop up on my Facebook feed this week. Graphic artist Mat Pringle has created a rather unique ode to the horror film. How many can you name?

Right click to enlarge.

Pringle is currently selling these beauties on his Etsy site for fourty bones. There's a limited run of sixty-five, so if you're interested, you better get over there now.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Town Held Hostage

With Shout Factory's recent Blu-ray release of 1976's The Town That Dreaded Sundown, it seemed like as good a time as any to fill in this little gap in my repertoire.

In 1946, a hooded assailant terrorized the community of Texarkana, Arkansas, killing five people. He was never caught.

I guess I should begin by saying that I previously did not know this film was based on actual events. I find it strange that this “Phantom Killer” is not more widely known, considering he not only evaded capture, but his crimes predate even Ed Gein's, who is widely considered to be the first “modern” serial killer. Even more disconcerting is that The Phantom's modus operandi shared similarities to both The Zodiac Killer and Son of Sam, which makes me wonder if there isn't some sort of secret serial killer handbook out there somewhere.

The reason I emphasize the true crime aspect is I feel it caused the filmmakers some confusion about what kind of film they wanted to make. The Town That Dreaded Sundown is a weird hybrid of a crime film and straight-up documentary. A scene would open with a narrator announcing the date and names of the victims,  but then play out with standard storytelling methods. It was a little bewildering, but no more than the uneven tone. I wonder if the inclusion of the keystone cops comic relief was director Charles B. Pierce's attempt to emulate Wes Craven's Last House On The Left, released a few years earlier. Unfortunately, it was even more out of place here, as The Town That Dreaded Sundown reaches Dukes of Hazzard levels of goofiness.

Director Charles B. Pierce as Rosco Patrolman Benson.

That said, there were moments where the film seemed ahead of its time, as the actual murder set pieces were very well executed. I was especially surprised by how much the style - and I wager a lot of the credit needs to go to cinematographer James W. Roberson for this - resembled that of the American slasher genre, considering it had yet to be invented – or at least popularized. I can only imagine how alarming it must have been to see Dawn Wells (Mary Ann from TV's Gilligan's Island) get shot in the face (twice!) back in '76. Though the shock factor may be dulled now, that whole sequence still plays as well as it ever did.

The other thing I feel I have to mention is the batshit crazy “trombone scene”. While I was watching it unfold, I was thinking “this actually happened? It must have because no one could ever make this shit up.”

Well, it didn't happen. And they made it up. So, were they trying to be funny? If so, I must have been sick the day they covered that kind of black comedy in school. For me, it is just one more odd decision made by the filmmakers. However, it is one of the few things the film is remembered for, so hey, I guess he's a genius.

All in all, The Town That Dreaded Sundown has its moments, but I'd say its uneven tone and structure is probably what kept it from becoming as iconic as some of its American contemporaries like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the aforementioned Last House On The Left.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Trailer Tuesdays: Zombie

With World War Z on our doorstep, I figured I'd throw up a trailer for one of the classics.

While it is a bit much to ask that Forster & Pitt top a zombie fighting a shark, I'm still looking forward to seeing the world's first zombie blockbuster this Friday.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

DKTM 184

I realized this morning that yesterday's eleven-hour marathon session of The Last Of Us probably wasn't the healthiest thing in the world, so after this I'm going to like, go for a walk or something.

Sick Poster.

I found this great poster for V/H/S 2, or more specifically for Jason Eisener's segment “Slumber Party Alien Abduction” on FearNet this week. 

I absolutely love the colours and style of this piece. V/H/S 2 is now available on VOD, and will be seeing a limited theatrical release on July 12.

More Frontières.

A few weeks ago, Fantasia announced some awesome projects being showcased in the second edition of its Frontières film market. These included new films from the likes of Joe Dante, Richard StanleyAndrzej Zulawski and homegrown hero Steve Kostanski.

This week, Fantasia put out a press releases for some of the “Off-Frontières” pitches, some of which are equally as intriguing. Here's a few that caught my eye.

Canuxploitation - A documentary from the makers of Rewind This about, you guessed it, the history of Canadian genre film.

Emerald Falls - The new film from Boris Rodriguez, director of Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal.

Unknown Delivery - The new film from Maurice Devereaux, director of one of my favourite guilty pleasures, $la$her$.

Fantasia is but one month away and you can be sure I'll be there to report on the opening week's festivities. For more info on the festival, go here.

Vegas Overflow.

I just wanted to share these two pictures I took while in Vegas a few weeks ago.

So, the question is... What is 4D??? I guess that just goes to show you. Everything's bigger in Vegas!

Twin Peaks is apparently a sports bar, as well. Though apart from a decor that slightly resembles The Great Northern, it bears NO resemblance to the show. The waitresses dress like Daisy Duke and hula-hoop in the front area to “attract” customers. It happened to be next door to Goretorium, so I went in to ask what the connection was;

“None,” she said. “We get people asking that every once and a while.” She then went on to ask what it was. Of course, my first reaction was to say “You've never heard of the show?!” However, looking at her, I realized she likely wasn't even alive – shit, her older sister probably wasn't even alive – when the show was on. So, I said, “It's a great show from a long time ago. You should watch it. It's on Netflix! I'd say you're obligated if you work here.” Then my friend & I used some hookers to bypass the line at a nightclub. But, that's another story.

Okay, time for that walk. Oh, it's raining outside... All right then, back to it.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Antonio Trashorras' 2011 film Blind Alley has been high on my priority list, ever since I saw some screencaps appear on Twitch in 2011. Unfortunately, as is the case with too many flicks that appear on that website, they play the festival circuit and then disappear. I was starting to wonder if Blind Alley had suffered a similar fate until, lo and behold, it popped up on Netflix last weekend. I wasted no more time.

When struggling actress Rosa (Ana de Armas) decides to duck into a laundromat in preparation for an early morning audition, her night quickly becomes a nightmare.

Blind Alley was an extremely frustrating film to watch because it should've been a home run, but silly little things – some the filmmakers' fault, some not – constantly detracted from the whole. But I don't want to get ahead of myself here.

The first act of this film is near perfection. There's a wonderful blend of Argento, DePalma and Spanish whimsy that really pulls you in. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, as Trashorras, having penned Guillermo del Toro's 2004 dark fantasy Pan's Labyrinth, has done this before. The colourful opening credits were inspired and made Rosa instantly likable. I find nine-tenths of my investment in a horror picture is dependent on the female lead and I was almost immediately taken with her. I didn't hurt that she resembled Lost in Translation era ScarJo whenever she smiled. The set up and geography of the title location were wonderful and utilized to full effect over the course of the picture.

Like I said, whimsy.

So, what happened? Well, just when everything was going fine, Rosa made one of the most idiotic decisions I've seen in quite some time. I actually blurted out “Whaddaya doin?!” to my television set. I understand forwarding story and conflict, but there has to some semblance of logic involved. Blind Alley won me back over the course of the next half-hour with some inspired tension – kudos to Trashorras for working overtime – but unfortunately, the climax features several more annoying plot points. Like I said, if there wasn't so much strong stuff overall, my thoughts on this film would not be nearly as favourable. The ending initially had me scratching my head, as well. It wasn't until I ran it back a bit, that I had the “oh, I see what you did there” moment. Okay, fair enough.

All this picture needs is a nice frame.

However, my biggest fucking beef lies, tragically, not with the movie at all, but the marketing. I don't know if it was Mongrel who chose the DVD art, but someone needs to be slapped. HARD. I won't show it here – although I don't know how you'll avoid it if you pull it up on Netflix – but it totally gives away everything. I'm not saying that where the story went was overly clever, but at least give the film a fighting chance. See the poster at the top and the one below?

They give you all the info you need. No more, no less. The one representing the film now, is atrocious. Smarten up, people!

Anyway, bottom line, if you are into giallos and/or stylish thrillers, Blind Alley is a well worth your time. Just be prepared for a few bumps along the way.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Trailer Tuesdays: Cat People (1982)

In lieu of yesterday's post, I thought I'd keep the theme going by putting up the trailer for Paul Schrader's 1982 remake of Cat People.

Trailer courtesy of meowza3k

Sexy! This is one of those films that demands a re-watch, as I was really young when I first saw it. I can tell from the trailer that a lot of set pieces from the original have been retained, but it's clear that Schrader's take is more overtly sexual. The eighties didn't really do subtle, did they? Cat People has significance to me, because next to Halloween II, it was probably my first experience with onscreen boobies. It is funny how that image of Lynn Lowry screaming on the stairs is burnt into my memory, but I don't remember a single frame otherwise. I didn't even recall that Malcolm effing MacDowell was in it! Of course, being around eight years old at the time, it is possible that I was ushered out of the room after that scene.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Cat People (#2)

My second last title on the Time Out Best 100 List was Jacques Tourneur's 1942 film Cat People.

A Serbian immigrant named Irena (Simone Simon) falls in love with Oliver (Kent Smith) an American businessman, but her belief in an ancestral curse threatens to destroy their union.

This was another great picture from the golden era. Over the course of this list, I've come to realize what an important filmmaker Tourneur really was. He had three titles on the Time Out List – Night of the Demon & I Walked With A Zombie being the other two – and they're all solid. Cat People is wonderfully shot and as with the aforementioned titles, features clever use of shadow throughout.

Kent Smith & Jane Randolph in Cat People.

What especially sets Cat People apart is that it features a female protagonist – and ultimately antagonist – in a genre film, which I can't imagine was common in the fourties. Though, she was of foreign descent, which was common among the “monsters” of the time.

It is largely dialogue driven, but Tourneur also brings some added flair to the proceedings. I'd heard about the bus sequence in Cat People, but had never actually seen it until now. It's an extremely well done set piece and instantly made me wonder if was the first “jumper” committed to film. It didn't take me long to find out that the technical term for a jump scare is actually a 'Lewton Bus' named after Cat People's producer Val Lewton. Learn something new every day! Perhaps bleeding in from RKO Pictures other popular low-budget fare, I found Cat People also had a sizable film noir vibe to it, as well.

The moment before...

I think my only critique was that the ending seemed rather abrupt, if not inevitable. I feel the need to rewatch Paul Schrader's sexed-up version from 1982, just to see how much of the source material was actually kept around. I'm guessing not much. As for Tourneur's version being on the Time Out List? Absolutely. His trio of genre pictures fit together nicely as tales that feature human conflicts, as well as those with the supernatural. All are engrossing and exciting works from a true craftsman.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

DKTM 183

Hey folks. I'm just stopping in with some tasty morsels before continuing my adventures with Booker & Elizabeth.

A Bloody Night Out.

While doing research for my post on The Goretorium, I caught wind of another new interactive horror attraction called The Great Horror Campout.

This one involves an overnight camping scenario, where you encounter all sorts of evil creatures while participating in a bizarre scavenger hunt. The major difference between this and most other attractions is that these “creatures” can touch you. Depending on a previously agreed scare level, you may be “forcibly handled, moved, bound, hooded, chained and subjected to simulated torture by your tormentors”. Now that's what I call interactive! If you are in the Los Angeles area and this sounds like your bag, check out the deets here.

Dying Light.

Here below is the game trailer for Techland's new zombie actioner Dying Light.

Nice looking trailer, but I can't help but feel a little underwhelmed. It feels like a mishmash of Mirror's Edge, Infamous, Dead Island and Resident Evil and when it comes right down to it, I'd rather just play new iterations of those four titles. The only thing that is mildly intriguing is the GTA IV-style open-world multiplayer, but we'll see how that pans out. I know I sound jaded, but I'm just being realistic. With E3 on the doorstep, I'm going to be flooded with videos like this over the next few days, so who knows if I'll even remember this one once the dust settles.

Domo Arigato, Mr. Argento.

Adding to the list of awesome movie-themed bars/nightclubs I will likely never visit is Cambiare in Tokyo, Japan.

Modelled after Dario Argento's 1977 masterpiece Suspiria, Cambiare features the same stain glassed and floral walled décor. From the pictures below, it certainly looks authentic. I'd stay away from the red wine though.

To visit Cambiare's Facebook page, click here.

Thursday, June 6, 2013


It took over three years, but my crew and I finally returned to Las Vegas last week. So, what's a guy like me to do with a free evening in Sin City? No, not that. I checked out Eli Roth's Goretorium, of course!

I had a great time. It was a little more tourist-y than I was expecting, with it being lodged inside a shopping mall, but once inside the actual attraction, it was all good. I appreciated that instead of just randomly walking through a maze of thrown together blood and guts, there was an actual storyline to the proceedings. The history of the Delmont hotel was laid out for us by our tour guide. That is, before he was decapitated, of course. A ride in a creaky service elevator then led us to several well-conceived abominations throughout the fifteen minutes it took for my group to walk through. The production values were probably the best I've seen, and there were several choice gags. I had to laugh when the crazy butcher got in my face and asked me if I was a vegan.

Wall dressing.

Death from above.

So, the question you probably want to ask is, is it scary? Well, not really. But I'm not the one to ask. Perhaps the two screaming chicks in front of me would have a better answer for you. I thought the end of the attraction, which spits you out into the Baby Dolls Lounge, was a nice little capper. Naturally, I had made my way up to the front throughout the gauntlet and stepped up to be the first to venture through the exit.The Lounge was a cool little setup with a gorgeous view of the strip. The stunning bartender was certainly a plus, as well. She didn't spare the bottle and made us the kind of drinks that really creep up on you.

Ohhh, Baby Dolls Lounge. Got it.

A nice centerpiece.

What a view!

I think I sat in something.

I think my only disappointment was the absence of some stuff I was hoping for. When Roth was in Toronto for a screening of Cannibal Ferox last year, he laid out all the stuff he wanted to do for his “all-year-round haunted house”. These included things like live zombie feedings and the ability to watch people going through the maze and fuck with them with buttons of noise and such. Unfortunately, neither of these things were there when I went. However, there was a nice touch in the washrooms though. Stepping up to the urinal, I was taunted by a disembodied female voice asking if “it was cold outside”.

The Goretorium, despite its kitschy exterior is definitely worth checking out. I expect things probably ratchet up a few notches closer to Halloween. Maybe I'll have to return during Vegas 3.0!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Trailer Tuesdays: Venom

Yesterday, I was randomly reminded of a old trailer from the eighties that I'd like to share with you. It's for the 1981 killer snake movie Venom.

Trailer courtesy of DocPhnoeker.

“A kidnapping that became a murder that became a siege that became a death trap!” Now, that's what I call a movie!!! Seriously though, Klaus Kinski and Oliver Reed in the same production? I can only imagine the shenanigans that went on behind the scenes.

This movie came to mind while having a conversation about first memories of horror movie ads on television. I remember a TV spot version of this – one that started with the title card “what are you afraid of?” – being in heavy rotation at one point. I can still recall my mother exclaiming “oh, not this again!” every time it came on. She's not a fan of that stuff.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

DKTM 182

Hey guys. I just flew in from Vegas, and boy, are my arms tired (sad trombone noise). Here's a super-late edition of your weekly news round-up.

Meet Frank.

Check out this newly released red band trailer for Frankenstein's Army.

The creature designs on display here are quite spectacular, but mainly I'm glad to see that filmmaker Richard Raaphorst's vision will finally see the light of day. It has a been a long road since his initial concept hit the Web five years ago, but thanks to Dark Sky Films, the fruits of his zombie labour will be assaulting our eyeballs shortly. And hey, if there are any indie game developers out there that want to make some accompanying DLC, I'd be more than happy to look at that too. Frankenstein's Army invades July 26th.

Fantasia 2013.

The Fantasia Film Festival made a few announcements this week. First, they unveiled the poster for the 17th edition of North America's largest genre film festival.

Originally conceived by Fantasia festival organizer Michael Ryan - who sadly recently passed away - and illustrated by Donald Caron, it brilliantly melds Greek Mythology with the Quebecois legend of Cheval Noir.

The second announcement is that the main venue of the festival is returning to its original digs at the Imperial Cinema, while the Hall Concordia is being renovated. I was initially sad to hear this, as the Hall is one of my favourite movie houses, but after seeing the pictures of the Imperial, I'm willing to give it a shot. How this affects the after party venue of the Irish Embassy, we shall have to see. 

Umm... I'm okay with this.

Fantasia runs from July 18th to August 6th and you can be sure I'll be there the first week to give you the play by play. Check back for a preview when the schedule is announced July 11th.

Big News.

This week, Rue Morgue announced that the guest of honour for Festival of Fear 2013 will be none other than Joe Dante

His contribution to the genre is huge, as he's one of the few filmmakers that was able to do straight up horror (The Howling), but also had a knack for being able to infuse genre with kid-friendly efforts (Gremlins, The Explorers). As you know, the eighties was rife with this kind of storytelling, but no one did it better than Dante. In fact, he is still doing it, as one of my biggest annoyances is that his 2009 film The Hole didn't get the audience it deserved. I hope they somehow manage to screen that during Festival of Fear because it's a gem.

Also, on the schedule is craftsman Don Coscarelli of the Phantasm series, Bubba Ho-tep and most recently, John Dies At The End.

and the talented and sexy duo Jen & Sylvia Soska.

If you haven't seen their recent effort American Mary, you definitely should. I'm hoping they'll be able to talk about their experience contributing with the ABC's of Death 2 project by then, as well. Festival of Fear 2013 runs August 22-25 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. For more info, click here