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, January 31, 2014

Shameless Self Promotion.

I just wanted to update you on the latest edition of Little Terrors.

It went really well. Serving as an encore presentation for some shorts that played Blood In The Snow, as well as some others, it was the biggest turnout I'd seen for the monthly short film showcase in quite some time. The Q&A was fun, as was after party/drinking session afterwards.

Me (left) with Fodder director David Dollard &  Spookslayers director & cast members Mike Pereira, Tim McCarthy & Serena Whitney.

So, the next few weeks I'll be scouring the globe looking for more festivals to submit Lively, and then I guess onto the next project.

Also, I'd like to mention that if you are in the Kansas City area this weekend, Manure - the short I co-wrote with my buddy Schwartz - will be playing the Panic Film Festival tomorrow. 

Manure will be part of the Short Film Showcase and also features the short film Make Believe from talented Nebraskan filmmaker Summer Johnson. For more info on the fest, click here.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Trailer Tuesdays: Cujo.

I saw Cujo in glorious 35mm just last weekend as part of TIFF's Kingdom of Fear series, so it seems appropriate to post the trailer today.

Trailer courtesy of paramountmovies

The film still holds up. It's a simple setup and features great performances from Dee Wallace and the title character Cujo - which was apparently five different St. Bernards, as well as some additional mechanics & costuming. I still maintain the early-to-mid eighties were the real heyday of King movie adaptations. For my original DVD review from 2007, click here.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

DKTM 207

Hey guys. Yep, it's still cold as fuck here. I think I might strangle a groundhog, if he doesn't give me some good news next week. On the horror news front, here's what I've got.

It Looks Into YOU.

This week, a teaser arrived for Mike Flanagan's new creepfest Oculus.

Oculus was the best thing I saw at Midnight Madness last year. I know I'm setting the bar high here, but we all need to see this when it comes out this year. As a community, we have to support guys like Flanagan otherwise... well... settle for things like The Devil Inside 2 and countless reboot reboots. Just sayin.

What If...

This was a cool little short called The First Wave I stumbled across a few days ago. Envisioned as a prequel to a feature project called The Third Wave, it is now being developed with help from the Irish Film Board.

I always welcome stuff that puts a spin on an over-saturated horror subgenre. If nothing comes of it, at least I discovered a pair of other things by way of The First Wave, as there are two Euro television series - In The Flesh and The Returned - that deal with similar themes. Count me in.


The talented guys over at Fatal Pictures have a new project in the works, and because it is the most ambitious thing they've done to date, they need your help! Check out their Kickstarter pitch below.

For an extensive list of the campaign's perks and what Fatal Pictures' are all about, see their Kickstarter page here. Good luck guys!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

New Acquisitions.

Last week at Eyesore's latest Blowout Sale, I picked up these beauties!

Right-click to enlarge

Some nice gets to be sure, but they can't hold a candle to this one.

Just the artwork alone is worth the ten bones I dropped on it. Truth be told I didn't even know H.G. Lewis made a film called The Psychic (on further investigation I discovered the film was actually directed by James F. Hurley). I was previously only aware of the one by Lucio Fulci - which sports some pretty rad artwork of its own. However, the real treasure here is the awesome anti-piracy rhetoric on the back cover.

I love how Lewis and company basically stop just short of saying they're going to show up at your door and go 2000 Maniacs on your ass, if you make a copy of their movie. I had to chuckle at Lewis' title as “King of Gore”. I guess this movie was released before he'd been ordained as “Godfather”. I also have no idea what an “anti-leaching ceramic capacitor” is, but I WANT ONE! 

Another great haul I'd say!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Trailer Tuesdays: Cronenberg Quartet

In keeping with yesterday's Cronenberg post, I'm throwing up the trailers for his first four genre efforts. So many great memories...

Monday, January 20, 2014


Last Friday, I finally got my butt down to the Lightbox to check out the David Cronenberg exhibit, Evolution.

Just a sample of what screened over the last few months.

It did not disappoint! Starting with his early experimental works from the late sixties, Cronenberg's entire career to date was laid out before me. I was really impressed with some of the relics on display. Great care was given to celebrating just how important he is, not just to Canadian film, but film in general.

Even though the show feels like one long journey, the literature accompanying the exhibits does break down Cronenberg's career into three parts. The first part includes Shivers up to Scanners, where the protagonist has been affected by medical experimentation in some capacity. The second runs from Videodrome to Naked Lunch where the protagonist assumes control of his fate. More specifically, unlike being preyed upon by the mad scientists of his previous works, these protagonists are often the purveyors of their own suffering, by way of their particular obsessions. The latter part of Cronenberg's career sees him moving away from using genre to mask his metaphors. His films all share the same theme of being consumed by some outer influence, whether it be a body-changing parasite, or some zealous ideal.

Anyway, enough with the academia. Here's some of the cool shit this thing had to offer.

The headset from Videodrome.

Civic TV from Videodrome

Stillson pins from The Dead Zone.

Dr. Brundle's Telepod from The Fly.

Mutant twin from Dead Ringers.

There were so many cool props here. It really just reminded me how visually cerebral the work of Cronenberg really is, and how many of his films I need to rewatch. Naked Lunch and Existenz especially.

There were lots of pullout drawers throughout the exhibit which showed everything from early design sketches to excerpts from unproduced screenplays. My favourite were the test screening viewer cards for Videodrome which had things like, “Absolutely Disgusting!” and “SUCKED” scribbled across them. Everyone's a critic I suppose.

There was an entire section dedicated to Naked Lunch. We are so lucky that this movie was made before the mass CG era. The design team really had to work overtime for the sheer amount of crazy creatures that appear in this film.

The tour was capped off with a cool little twenty-minute documentary that culled together interviews with the man over the course of his career, including bits from this one from 1982.

This was the first exhibit that TIFF has created, so I wager it will be going on tour at some point. If this ends up near you, I implore you, GO! I'm telling you, you won't regret it. You haven't lived until you've had a few with a Mugwump!

*Photos courtesy of Photostar,, Toronto Life & Michael Schwartz.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

DKTM 206

Greetings everyone! Here's what I have for you today on this fine January afternoon.

Trailer Trash.

My first extinct was to put up that Devil Baby viral from earlier this week, but considering everybody and their mother has seen it by now, I'll go a different route. If by some miracle you missed it, click here.

This week, a trailer was released for Jennifer Kent's spook-fest The Babadook. Here it is below.

I'm pretty happy with how this is looking. There's some great imagery in there with considerable effort given to the lore around the antagonist - whatever it may be. It is playing Sundance this week, but I'm hoping it will appear in my neck of the woods sometime this year.

You know, I was just thinking the other day about how the story of Lizzie Borden seems to have escaped the public consciousness over the last ten years. When I was a kid, her story was the stuff of legend, right up there with Charles Manson and Jack The Ripper. This little rhyme;

“Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one.”

--was often heard uttered around the school playground. Then, as I got older, her story seemed to fade. It had been years until I had even thought of her until recently. Well, it looks like Lifetime is going to rectify that.

This looks, well... It looks like Lifetime. Not the most flattering trailer, but hey, its Christina Ricci, so... Lizzie Borden Took An Axe premieres this Saturday the 25th.

A Very Bad Boy.

I heard some cool news out of Sundance a few days ago. It looks like Elijah Wood, with his producing partners at SpectreVision, is moving ahead with a project called The Boy. According to The Hollywood Reporter;

“The Boy is the first movie of a planned trilogy that will track the childhood of a future serial killer. The films will explore the killer at the ages of 9, 14, and 18, culminating with him becoming an iconic mass murderer.”

The Boy is based on a 2012 short film called Henley. Here's a clip below.

All this sounds good to me. For the original HR article, click here.

The Doctor Speaks.

A few weeks back, I talked about a new book called Hidden Horror that chronicles underseen and underappreciated horror films. Well, recently interviewed the editor Dr. AC (Aaron Christensen) on his newly released tome. Here's a snip.

Filmmaker: “Are these original essays? And did you curate the films included, or respond to the passions of your writers?”

AC: “All the pieces were written specifically for the book, and I’m thrilled with the results. Because of the personal nature of the essays, we get a little glimpse into each writer as well as the critical analysis one would expect. We all love the genre as a whole. Most of the writers are people I know personally, but a few came via recommendations from other contributors. Some are established journalists and authors, others are filmmakers, some have podcasts or blogs, and a few are just passionate fans that I’ve met at conventions. I couldn’t ask for a better band of lunatics to help run the asylum.”

Click here for the full interview. Also, as a bonus, Filmmaker posted five of the essays from the book over the course of the week and are linked at the bottom of the article. Enjoy!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Lively Encore.

Good news on the Lively front. It's going to be screening again in Toronto on Wednesday, January 29th at the Carlton Cinema as part of Justin McConnell's monthly short film showcase Little Terrors.

Poster design by Darryl Shaw.

If you are in the GTA and want to see some kick-ass genre shorts, come on by and say hello. For more info on the line-up, click here. Have a great weekend, guys!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Trailer Tuesdays: “X” The Man With The X-Ray Eyes

After a small hiatus, The Laser Blast Film Society podcast is back on track. Last weekend was all about celebrating genre icon Roger Corman, and thus...

In addition to X, we also watched Attack of the Crab Monsters and Rock All Night. Here below, is the episode.

For past episodes, including the Canadiana double bill of The Brain & Rituals from a few months ago, check the Pod-O-Matic page by clicking here.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

DKTM 205

Hey all. I'm helping out on a shoot all this weekend, so I'm talking to you from the past right now. Here's what I've got for this week.

An Embarrassment of Riches.

Over the last few weeks, the TIFF Bell Lightbox has been wheeling out announcement after announcement of great stuff for 2014. On the heels of the David Cronenberg exhibit - which I do plan to finally get to next week - TIFF plans to bring in the highly touted Kubrick exhibit which has previously been wowing crowds around the world. Also, in addition to a upcoming Paul Verhoeven retrospective, there is also one for the films of Stephen King.

Starting January 18th, the Kingdom of Fear programme features twelve films, including Cujo, Christine, Misery, Carrie, Stand By Me, The Shawshank Redemption and Maximum Overdrive. I've been spending a lot of time in this building lately and it doesn't look like that going to change for quite some time. For more information on what's coming up at the BLB, click here.

I'll Watch This.

Here's a trailer that popped up online a few days ago.

Not bad for something that was originally made as a faux trailer made for shits and giggles. What do ya know? Sometimes nightmares do come true!

She Killed It.

Here's a cool little video that I came across on this week. What looks like a porno audition gradually becomes something much more sinister.

The punchline is decent, but for me I was struck by the lead. She reminds me so much of Christina Lindberg with her soft-spoken, sweet and innocent demeanor. I have no idea what this viral is for, but it certainly made an impression.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

ABC 1.5

I can announce some fantastic news now. The ABC's of Death submission M is for Manure that I co-wrote with my buddy Schwartz was picked to be included in The ABC's of Death 1.5! The producers were so impressed with the number of solid entries for the letter 'M', that they decided to choose their twenty-six favourites for a future digital release in conjunction with the upcoming sequel. Here's what producer Ant Timpson had to say about it;

“The production team had a real blast selecting the 26 shorts that make up ABCs of Death 1.5. The hard part was only selecting 26, as the competition provided so many outstanding entries. We couldn’t be happier with the final lineup. There’s enough horror, humor, weirdness, and frankly – truly fucked up material to give even the most jaded fan a wakeup call from Hell.”

The other twenty-five entrants chosen were;

Maria Ivanova’s “M is for Mactation”, Tim Rutherford & Cody Kennedy’s “M is for Magnetic Tape”, Christopher Younes“M is for Maieusiophobia”, Dante Vescio & Rodrigo Gasparini’s “M is for Mailbox”, Summer Johnson’s “M is for Make Believe”, Peter Czikrai’s “M is for Malnutrition”, Steve Daniels“M is for Marauder”, Zac Blair’s “M is for Marble”, Eric Pennycoff’s “M is for Mariachi”, Todd Freeman’s “M is for Marriage”, Jeff Stewart’s “M is for Martyr”, Gigi Saul Guerrero’s “M is for Matador”, Wolfgang Matzl’s “M is for Meat”, Ama Lea’s “M is for Mermaid”, Joe & Lloyd Staszkiewicz’s “M is for Merry Christmas”, Carlos Faria’s “M is for Mess”, Nicholas Humphries“M is for Messiah”, Brett Glassberg’s “M is for Mind Meld”, Álvaro Núñez’s “M is for Miracle”, Barış Erdoğan’s “M is for Mobile”, Carles Torrens“M is for Mom”, Travis Betz’s “M is for Moonstruck”, Peter Podgursky’s “M is for Mormon Missionaries”, Mia’Kate Russell’s “M is for Muff”, and Jason Koch & Clint Kelly’s “M is for Munging.”

I'm really honoured to be amongst such great and talented company, especially Todd Freeman, Summer Johnson, Steve Daniels, Tim Rutherford & Cody Kennedy as their entries were among my favourites.

As I said, ABC's 1.5 will have a digital release sometime this year, but also screen at select Drafthouse Theatres. That's probably the best thing about this whole experience. Knowing that something I had a part in is going to play the Drafthouse is an amazing feeling.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Trailer Tuesdays: Frozen

To put it bluntly. It is cold as fuck outside. Like super cold. Like surface of Mars cold. It's been an ordeal just getting into my car the last few mornings. How the old girl is even starting up is beyond me.

Therefore, my inclination is to play a horror trailer that gives you an idea of what's going on around here lately. Since I've already done my first go-to's, Black Christmas and The Thing, in previous posts, I think I'll go with something a little more recent this time around.

I've always been very fond of this film and regard it as Adam Green's best work to date. Stay warm everyone! 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

DKTM 204

Hey all. Here's what the messenger has for you on this first weekend of the year.

Red Vs Dead.

As I mentioned in my preview post a few days ago, the sequel to Tommy Wirkola's crowd-pleasing zombie comedy Dead Snow is one of my most anticipated of the year. Well, below is the new trailer.

I like the organic nature of how the story is being continued here, and the gimmick at the very end is sure to please. This looks like some great fun.

Digital Garmonbozia.

This one's a few weeks old I know, but I couldn't resist throwing it up here. Here below, is a wonderful Twin Peaks homage from graphic artist Martin Woutisseth.

Hidden Horror.

As of Christmas Eve, the new book Hidden Horror: A Celebration of 101 Underrated and Overlooked Fright Flicks has been available over at Amazon. 

Cinephile Aaron Christensen culled together short essays from several distinguished pillars of the industry, including Tony Timpone and Dave Alexander. While looking into it, I discovered that the Amazon previewer gives you the rundown on the lineup inside. Here's a sample.

Right-click to enlarge

It's a pretty stellar list, but, as with anything that is considered “underrated” or “overlooked”, there is always room for debate. I mean, I'm pretty sure that we're beyond the point where anything by Dario Argento is considered fringe. Though Tenebrae may not be as highly regarded as Suspiria or Deep Red, I consider it a go-to giallo film. As for some of the Asian titles in the book, I was under the impression that The Eye, A Tale of Two Sisters and Kairo (Pulse) were basically the next tier down from gateway drug films Ringu & Ju-on. All this aside, Christensen does make his intent clear in the foreward.

“This is not meant to be a comprehensive list of alternative titles. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Its intent is to open doors and minds, stimulate taste buds, and expand boundaries. The best way to approach this compendium is as an epic pot-luck movie party where everyone has brought a favorite dish and wants you to give it a try. Finally, in addition to acquainting you with some unfamiliar titles, we hope HIDDEN HORROR inspires you to break out those fondly remembered faves gathering dust and introduce them to your own dark minions.”

I am fully on board with that. Make no mistake, there are a ton of choice titles in this book. I fully believe that John Carpenter's In The Mouth of Madness is grossly underappreciated, and if this book gets more people to watch films like Razorback, Kill Baby Kill, Night Warning and Tourist Trap then it is a win-win for everyone.

To order the book from Amazon, click here.

Friday, January 3, 2014

2014 Preview.

So, here we are at the start of another year. I have to say though, looking over the coming horror landscape it looks a tad anemic. Weeding out the studio chaff I have no interest in, there appears to be less meat in this year's sequel & remake sandwich that I'd like. Despite that, I remain cautiously optimistic, as I know the festival circuit will bring forth a bevy of titles during the year that I have yet to hear about. For now, here are the titles I am excited for in 2014.

Tusk (TBD)
Writer/Director/Fanboy Kevin Smith has a new horror flick on the way. I was a big fan of Red State and felt it really gave Smith a chance to spread his wings creatively. This one has to do with the search for a missing friend in the Canadian backwoods. Degrassi references abound! Oh, and it also has Michael Parks in it, so what's not to love?

Faults (TBD)
Short filmmaker Riley Stearns brings us his feature debut, about a couple trying to wrestle their daughter (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) from the grip of a mysterious cult called The Faults. I adore Winstead, and after her stellar performance in last year's Smashed, her star continues to rise.

Lucky Bastard (TBD)
I posted the trailer last week. I am intrigued with this one, as the filmmakers seem to have come up with a legitimate reason for the “found footage” format. It may not be pretty, but it may surprise.

The Town That Dreaded Sundown (TBD)
More of a sequel than a remake, the story picks up sixty-five years after the original Moonlight Murders with a new string of murders terrorizing rural Arkansas. The director, Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, has helmed a dozen episodes of American Horror Story and an impressive cast of character actors including Gary Cole, Veronica Cartwright and Ed Herrmann make this worth a look. Let's see if the trombone makes an appearance this time around.

So yes, I was slagging on sequels, but there are several I actually am looking forward to seeing.

It's a bit strange that three of those four are anthologies, but I look forward to them all. Theatre Bizarre and ABC's of Death were uneven to be sure, but I feel the former's line-up is too stellar to pass up, and the latter's sophomore group of filmmakers learned from their predecessors about what worked and what didn't.

REC 4: Apocalypse (TBD)
My excitement for this one should be self evident. Jaume Balagueró's return to straight-up horror (after the comedic tone of Paco Plaza's previous installment, Genesis) is just what this doctor ordered. This one continues the story of Angela after her extraction from the infected apartment complex of the first two films.

The films I am likely most looking forward to seeing are the crop playing Park City this month.

I went over them a few weeks ago, but Adam Wingard's newest, another wave of Nazi zombies and rabid children attacking their teachers is enough to make any horror fan drool.

Oh, and I guess there's this too.

Lastly, I wanted to get stoked for 7500 - It's Takashi Shimizu, and has a ton of actors I like - but when the marketers pull shit like THIS

Way to earn your pay, guys...

It's really hard to pretend everyone behind this isn't on auto-pilot (see what I did there?)

So yeah, we'll see how it goes. Fortunately for the rest of you, you'll  also have bright spots like Oculus, The SacramentGreen Inferno and Horns making their way to mainstream screens this year to fill in those open spaces. See you in the dark!