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.

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Blood Flows Tonight.

It has finally arrived! The 2nd Annual Blood In The Snow Film Festival kicks off this evening at Toronto's Carlton Cinema, and I have only two more sleeps before my short film Lively has its world premiere! If any of you are in town, I'd love to see you there. The screening is this Sunday at 7pm. Tickets are twelve bones at the door.

Naturally, this weekend is going to be a whirlwind, but I'll be back next week to give you a full report on the festivities.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Trailer Tuesdays: Tourist Trap

This time around, I'd like to pass along the trailer to this underseen little oddity.

Trailer courtesy of deadenddrivein

I was aware of Tourist Trap due to its distinctive coverbox, but just watched it last week after recently acquiring it. On the surface, it looks like a Texas Chainsaw clone - one could easily be confused as art director Robert A. Burns worked on both pictures - but almost immediately you realize there's more going on.

Horror distribution icons Irwin Yablans and Charles Band both had a hand in this project, but if that's not enough to pique your interest, it also stars Chuck Connors as a crazy wax museum owner, and a very young Tanya Roberts. What more do you need???

Monday, November 25, 2013

Where Is Jessica Hyde?

I made a wonderful discovery last Friday evening that I'd love to share with those currently unaware. By way of UK blogger Wesley Williams, I heard about this new show called Utopia on Britain's Channel 4. Less than twenty-four hours later, I had devoured all six episodes.

Simply put, this show is excellent. I was hooked immediately, as Utopia has one of the best pilot episodes I've seen since perhaps Lost. It puts its DNA right up front, quickly showing you that it's not playing around and not like anything else on the small screen. If I were to break it down into buzz words, I'd say Utopia is complicated mix of Ben Wheatley, David Lynch with a sprinkle of Broken Saints, a web series from the mid-2000's. I was seriously shocked that Wheatley wasn't involved in this production somehow because his fingerprints are all over this. It is not just that Wheatley alumni Michael Smiley and Neil Maskell appear, but also the show's penchant for sudden bursts of brutal violence and overall tone of jet black quirk. Speaking of violence, The Brits continue to surprise me with how much they get away with. Channel 4 isn't HBO, it is public television, and yet it features all manner of grisly mayhem.

I want to make things clear here. It was not only the subject matter that grabbed me. This is a full package deal, as every facet of this production is something to behold. The visual palette of Utopia, in brilliant contrast to its dark themes, is vibrant and colourful with framing that will make you want to reach for the remote. 

Additionally, enough cannot be said about the music by composer Cristobal Tapia De Veer. The score is eclectic, and his choice to mix in sounds not usually associated with music scores – like breath for instance – was ingenious. It will not leave your head for days once it is locked in.

The main thing that distinguishes Utopia from the stuff going on this side of the pond is the ensemble cast. It is unlikely that a show like this would ever exist here. As for the subject matter, not since the popularity of Twin Peaks and The X-Files brought forth such boundary pushing and out-of-the-box thinking shows like Nowhere Man, VR.5 and Millenium, has there been anything quite like this.

This show is dynamite. It aired earlier this year around the same time as the second series of Black Mirror, so I'm kind of surprised I missed it. Oh well, better late than never. I have to echo Williams' comments about getting on board this show now before it goes off into the stratosphere. A second series has been ordered, so there will thankfully more Utopia coming in the future.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Rats Are Coming!

Hey gang. Sorry my posts have been a bit thin this week. It's combination of preparation for next weekend, and just plain old laziness, but I heard an announcement today that I just have to mention.

You know that giant rat movie I've bent your ear about called Deadly Eyes? Well, Scream Factory is releasing it on Blu-ray next year! What makes this extra special is that this movie has never up to this point seen a release on a digital format. This release comes not a moment too soon, as I was worried I might wear out my old VHS copy.

Seriously, this news made my Friday. Now, if only Scream Factory could give Paperhouse the Blu-ray treatment, it would be joy unlimited over here!

Monday, November 18, 2013

ABC Finalists

The final twelve for the ABC's of Death 2 26th Director competition were announced yesterday. The first six of the twelve - Mailbox, Misdirection, Munging, Mierda, Mindmeld and Matchmaker - were decided by voting which closed last Thursday. The other six, decided by jury, were Muff, Masticate, Miracle, Meat, plus two of my faves (below), which I was glad to see made it.

I also wanted to throw up a few more of my personal faves.

Oh, and for anyone wondering, Schwartz & I's entry M is for Manure ended up in 30th place in a field of 541. Not too shabby! It was a great experience, and our little film has already elicited some interest from the festival circuit. Thanks to everyone who voted for us, and congrats to all who participated. It was a fun, wild and fulfilling ride.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

DKTM 199

Hey all. Just stopping in here briefly, as I've got a busy day running around trying to get the final edit for Lively locked down. Also, there's this. But anyway, here's what I've got for you this week.

Deep Fried VHS.

I recently found this great blog post on Deep Fried Movies. Matt Mulcahey put together a list of one-hundred VHS coverboxes recalled from his childhood visits to video stores. Sound familiar? What's funny is we even use the same resources, like Critical Condition and Monster Brains. Click on the image below to check it out.

I think the most fascinating thing about this post is seeing how different VHS permeated different regions. For instance, tapes popular in Matt's home state of Ohio may have never made it up to the suburbs of Toronto. I can certainly say I haven't seen that Till Death Do Us Part movie before. There are even cover art variants, as I'm not familiar with that particular art for Fulci's Lizard In A Woman's Skin.

Looking around DFM, I also saw this fantastic post about artist Matthew Head, and his sketched recreations of classic horror posters. Here are a few below. Click on the images to see more.

J'aime Cette.

I came across this group of featurettes on the National Film Board of Canada website the other day. Friday Night At The Video Store is a series of short documentaries about Quebecois video stores and their continued survival in a rapidly declining marketplace. Some have diversified and some have had to get really creative, but all are still alive and kicking. Perhaps the most interesting is the one for an adult video store in Trois-Rivières, as these are the guys who've been hit hardest by the Internet age. Check out the NFB page by clicking the image below.

Truth Or Dare.

Over the past few weeks, I've been hearing a lot about this new horror flick called Truth Or Dare. The brainchild of Canadian actress-turned-director Jessica Cameron, it appears to bring buckets of blood to the table. But don't take my word for it, here's the trailer below.

It appears to be thematically similar to recent flicks like Would You Rather? and Cheap Thrills, but from what I'm hearing from its recent festival screenings, it may take things a bit further. I'll keep my eye out for this one for sure.

Friday, November 15, 2013

It Came From The Archives 22!

There's been a lot of Stephen King love on this site recently, so I'll thought I'd cap it off with an archives post. Being a life-long horror fan and pack rat, it shouldn't surprise anyone that I have amassed a sizable stack of all things King.

I previously logged the VHS that graced the shelves of my video store here, here and here, but what I was able to dig out is below.

Moving onto magazines, here are some old ones where King was featured.

Right click to enlarge.

That last one was an interview from Fangoria's 100th issue. Here below is a four-page fold out for It that I got from one of their many poster issues.

I've also often talked about my penchant for newspaper clippings and such. Well, King was included in that obsession.

Right click to enlarge any of the above.

Then, there are the books on tape.

Yes, your eyes do not deceive you. Quitter's Inc was performed by Eric motherfucking Roberts.

Right click to enlarge.

That above tape for The Mist is one of my more prized possessions. It's an audio dramatization of the novella using “Kunstkopf” binaural sound technology. That means it's awesome.

Before getting to the actual novels, I found tons of other tomes too.

That last one I picked up at a library sale. It was in the Children's Literature section. On the back it says, “this biography tells King's younger fans more about his imagination and his wonderfully eerie profession.” How progressive! I also had a few quiz books. I took this admittedly crappy pic before I donated them to the King book and tape swap at The Black Museum last week.

I'm not much for hardcovers. They are big & bulky and take up too much space, though I do have a few on my shelf.

These two promo quad posters were probably acquired during my year-long tenure at a book store. It was around 1995, so the timing matches up.

Here below are all the King paperbacks in my collection. Not complete I know, but still a pleasing sight to see lined up on my bookshelf.

Just picked up that Salem's Lot at the book swap!

Two well-worn, much loved copies of my all-time favourite novel.

Original six-part serialized release of The Green Mile.

So, that's it. I think. Have a great weekend, and I'll see ya Sunday for a new Don't Kill the Messenger!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Last Chance To Vote!

I just wanted to remind everyone that if you haven't checked out Schwartz & I's ABC's of Death 2 short film submission M is for Manure, please do so by clicking the image below. Remember, if you'd like to vote for our video, please click on the "Like" button in the task bar above the video.

Many thanks to all that have voted for our submission over the last month. We sped past 1000 votes last week and we're hoping a final push can keep us in the top thirty six (in a total of 541 entries!) before the polls close tomorrow.

This was a great experience and we're pretty happy with the result and how much people seemed to dig it.

Hello kitty.