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 30, 2015

Crawlspace Dive!

As regular visitors would know, I have occasional Archives posts featuring horror stuff pulled out my parent's crawlspace. But what about all the non-genre stuff? The action figures, toys and all other manner of miscellaneous curiosities?

Well, this year I have started a new project. Now showing on Instagram is Crawlspace Dive Oh-One-Five 365. Everyday in 2015, I'll be posting something I pulled out of that cavernous pit under my parent's house.

Here's a sampling of stuff posted so far...






It's pretty video game-centric at the moment, but I'll be moving onto board games and collectible cards in the coming months. If you'd like to follow along, please do so! The Web address is http://www.instagram.com/jrclarke1888

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Trailer Tuesdays: The Shining

I hate, nay, I LOATHE winter. I always start to feel like Jack by this time every year.



Fun times. And in the interest of accuracy, here's the actual trailer.


Sunday, January 25, 2015

DKTM 250


Good afternoon! It would appear I have now hit the quarter-century mark for these things. That's a lot of Sundays! Thanks to everyone who keeps coming back on these lazy mornings.

Blood On The Wall.

A friend turned me onto a really cool artist named Patrick Hart. He creates all things grim and grotesque and then mounts them to canvas. Here is a sampling.






You can check out the rest here, but prepare to be there a while, as his collection at this point is nothing short of prolific.

XX.

This week, the poster for the female driven horror anthology XX hit the Web, and it is a beaut.


Featuring the talents of Jovanka Vuckovic (The Captured Bird), Mary Harron (American Psycho), Jennifer Chambers Lynch (Surveillance), Karen Kusama (Jennifer's Body) and animator Sofia Carillo, we can expect this welcome shot of genre estrogen to hopefully arrive sometime in late 2015.

As Advertised.

Director Alrik Bursell's short film Strange Thing has been touring the festival circuit for the last year, and has now found its way online. Check it out below.



A Delicious Morsel.

While it is maddening that we have to wait until summer for more Hannibal, we did get this teaser trailer.



It would appear that there will be some globe-trotting this year, as Will Graham hunts down Hannibal after the grisly events of last season's finale. It was also revealed recently that the infamous Frances “Tooth Fairy” Dolarhyde will appear this season, played by Richard Armitage. Perhaps of more interest to me is that Rutina Wesley is along for the ride as Dolarhyde's love interest Reba McClane. 

Actress Rutina Wesley

When I gave up on the hot mess that was True Blood about four seasons in, Wesley one of the many actresses I missed dearly, so I'm glad she's back on TV.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Red Ink 2015

It's been a very long while since I've talked about comics on here, so I figured I'd chime in on a new title from Dark Horse called Lady Killer.


Written by Joëlle Jones & Jamie S. Rich, I dug what was offered up here. It's a pretty easy sell, after all. Does Mad Men mixed with La Femme Nikita seem like something you would be interested in? If you're like me, the answer is a resounding...

Gkk = Yes.

However, there was more to this than its delicious premise. The art (also by Jones) is extremely appealing with wonderful use of colour. I really liked that the colour palette was a lot more vibrant when Josie - the title character in question - was playing the homemaker than when she was on a job. This technique is often employed in film, but I've never seen in it done in comics before. I don't really read a lot though, so it could be common practice.


I also really liked the balance between the whimsical nature of the art and the stark violence that was represented within it.

My only disappointment was its short length. Then again, I usually read trades, so singles always seem really brisk to me. The inaugural issue was all about setup and was over before I knew it. I'm definitely in, though.

For more info, check out the Lady Killer Tumblr.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Trailer Tuesdays: The Keep

Today's trailer, apropos of nothing, is for Michael Mann's underseen supernatural horror film The Keep.



So brooding and mysterious, eh? You know what else is mysterious? Why this hasn't gotten ANY KIND of digital release!!! I mean I know the word on the street is that there are rights issues with the music in the film, but come on! Who wins by not having this little gem reach a wider audience?


This film has so much going for it...

White-eyed Scott Glenn, awesome production design, pre-Magneto/Gandalf Ian McKellen, Jurgen Prochnow & Gabriel Bryne and Nazis getting their comeuppance. Oh, and this fucking guy!


Now that I'm looking at him again, I wonder if the Resident Evil folks didn't fashion some of their big bads on this cat...

Sunday, January 18, 2015

DKTM 249


Hello all. Here's what I've got for you this week.

Jason Lives.

Word came down the wire this week that Crystal Lake Entertainment is planning on releasing a new Friday the 13th video game. No word on which developer they are partnering with, but they did say they intend it to be a multi-player experience with one of the players playing the iconic killer Jason Voorhees.


You know, it's weird. I should be excited for this, but i can't help feel that these guys are a little late to the party. With three slasher games already in development (Until Dawn, Summer Camp and Last Year) I can't help feel this is an attempt to cash in a rising trend. I can only hope this game will not just be shovelware and further tarnish an already soiled franchise. 

It still stings.

Oh well, the game is set for release in October, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Killer Kart.

One of my favourite short films of recent years recently found its way online. James Feeney's 2012 effort Killer Kart is hysterically clever and can be seen below.



It makes a wonderful double bill with Jason Eisener's Treevenge, wouldn't you say?

Grand Theft Orange.

Last week, I said that rendition of The Car trailer was the best thing I'd seen using Grand Theft Auto V's online engine. Well, I spoke too soon. This wonderful take on A Clockwork Orange by WtfdidIjustwatch Productions will sharpen you up for a bit of the ol' Ultraviolence.



Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Monitor 2015!

Hey all. I just wanted to update everyone on the status of my latest short, The Monitor. Its next screening will be part of Little Terrors Short Film Showcase on the 28th of January. Here's the poster by Darryl Shaw for the event.


I'm stoked to be in such good company, as Dead HeartsLittle Matthew and Foxed! all played at this past year's Toronto After Dark.

Anyhoo, on the heels of this announcement, I'm unveiling both the new poster & trailer for The Monitor. Talk a gander below.




If you don't live in the GTA, hopefully The Monitor will be coming to a festival near you in 2015.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Trailer Tuesdays: Night Train To Terror

Just when I thought it would be a while before i saw anything as enjoyable as Bloody Birthday, along comes a chance encounter with 1985's Night Train To Terror. Holy fuck. THIS movie!!!



My previous knowledge of this movie did not go beyond the poster.


I always figured it was a second rate slasher, but it is actually an anthology about God and Satan battling over souls on a train. The first half-hour is largely incoherent, but my, does it have countless gifts to give if you stick around.

Musical interludes, complete with sax and break dancing! 



Richard “Bull” Moll - inexplicably credited as Charles Moll - in two different unconnected roles!


Random stop motion animation creatures!



Gratuitous Nudity!


And Cameron Mitchell!


Vinegar Syndrome recently released a Blu-ray, so it shouldn't be too hard to find it in some capacity. And oh boy, do you ever want to check this one out!



Sunday, January 11, 2015

DKTM 248


Good afternoon everyone! I've got a lot of cool stuff for you this week, so let's get right to it.

Ghost Theft Auto

A clever little trend on the Web of late is people recreating movie trailers within Grand Theft Auto V. So far, this best I've seen is this one for Elliot Silverstein's 1977 horror flick The Car by YouTuber gigerbrick. Check it out below.



King Me.

Speaking of killer cars, Hot Wheels announced that it is going to be making a replica of the 1958 Plymouth Fury from the Stephen King classic Christine.


I love this. Toy makers make figures of characters from movies all the time, but I've always felt that vehicles are under-represented. Why hasn't someone made a 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88? The Interceptor from Mad Max? Or the 1971 Lincoln Continental Mark III (from the aforementioned The Car) for that matter?

Also, you may not be aware, but archive.org recently added hundreds of old MS-Dos titles to their library at the end of 2014. This is an incredible walk down memory lane, and if you are at all interested in retro gaming, you need to take an evening (or ten) off to check out their wares. All games on the site are free to play, one of which being the 1985 text adventure adaptation of Stephen King's The Mist.


I tried this out this morning and died almost immediately. 'Can't wait to dig back into it.


Following.

I don't know anyone more excited to see David Robert Mitchell's It Follows than my artist buddy Trevor Henderson. So much so, he's already drawn an illustration based off the trailer.


For more of Trevor's work, click here.

The Crites Return.

Lastly, this is an older piece of news, but I keep forgetting to post it here. As some of you may now, Warner Brothers is planning a reboot, in some capactity, of the Critters series. Huge fan Jordan Downey (of ThanksKilling fame) decided he was the right guy for the job and made this fan film to pitch himself to the producers. It's pretty great.



Friday, January 9, 2015

Netflix Pix 9.0

Last time I posted about the worthwhile genre stuff on Netflix Canada, it was warm outside. Now it is cold, oh so cold. So, here are some hot titles that have recently been added.


One of my favourite films from TIFF 2013, the wonderful, brooding vampire piece Only Lovers Left Alive is now on Big Red. Anchored by two solid performances from Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton, it kept me engrossed throughout, even very little happens story-wise. As with 2012's Byzantium (also on Netflix), it is clear that in the hands of competent filmmakers, vampire lore still has some life left in it.


This is Roman Polanski at his most obtuse, and I love it. I discovered this movie in my twenties while I was seeking out movies sampled by the industrial band Skinny Puppy. This is a dark mind-fuck of a film that stars Polanski himself as a man slowly going insane inside his apartment. I guess you could say it's a male-centric version of his earlier film Repulsion. It certainly has just as many memorable visualizations of mental illness. As if you didn't need any more reason to check this out, it also stars the entrancing Isabelle Adjani.


Two films that were criminally mishandled by their distributors after successful film festival receptions were The Hole & All The Boys Love Mandy Lane. The former is classic Joe Dante and just the sort of eighties style kid-centric genre storytelling we should be getting back to, while Mandy Lane was a beautifully shot slasher with a breakout performance from Amber Heard. Oh well, they are here now. Watch 'em.


Cold In July is a really great crime thriller from always solid director Jim Mickle. Based on a story Joe R. Lansdale, I think you'll dig this yarn featuring Michael C. Hall and Don Johnson. It's got an early Coen Brothers feel to it, with lots of juicy twists and turns.


On the TV side of things, the first season of the British series Broadchurch is now on Netflix. It feels very much like AMC's The Killing, in that it's a contained murder mystery that is incredibly dark and depressing. The ensemble cast, that includes an even more animated than usual David Tennant, is fantastic. I really enjoyed this show and was glad to hear that even though its domestic counterpart Gracepoint has begun, a second series of Broadchurch is underway - which is more than I can say for Utopia *grumble grumble*

That should keep you busy I wager. Hopefully, we're back to warmer climes when I chime with ten-point-oh.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Trailer Tuesdays: Bloody Birthday

I finally watched this little gem from 1980 yesterday.



I was already a fan of Ed Hunt after watching The Brain and Plague (which coincidentally I reviewed exactly six years ago today) but this movie was so much fucking fun. I mean, let's run it down.

It has killer kids, including Billy Jacoby from Cujo & Superstition and Elizabeth Hoy who sports the best funeral dress ever! Twice!


It has a Pre-Porky's Peep Show.


It has junkyard action.


It has THIS fucking random party clown. 

Seriously, this is going in the Halloween costume idea file.

It has a cool score, which is this weird mash-up of Kolchak and Friday the 13th.

It has pre-action hero Michael Dudikoff.

American Ninja, crashing funerals like a boss!

It has a lot of pink and mauve. The transition from the seventies to the eighties was an awkward time.

The Blondie poster is the only thing in this shot that does not hurt my eyes.

Add these things all up and you have a real winner. I urge you to grab some friends and give this a whirl.

Monday, January 5, 2015

2015 Preview.

Here we are again at the start of a new year. There are so many gigantic non-horror movies hitting screens this year - Avengers 2, Spectre & Star Wars VII being my top three - that it's somewhat difficult to focus on the genre stuff coming out in the next twelve months. I managed to power through it though and come up with a bunch of promising prospects.

In addition to trying to see the elusive titles I mentioned in my 2014 wrap-up, there are also a few that I missed at last year's festivals. I am still bitter that Maggie was pulled from TIFF at the eleventh hour, and seeing a mediocre UK crime film instead of the homegrown Backcountry was likely a bad decision on my part. The Austrian thriller Goodnight Mommy and the werewolf coming-of-age flick When Animals Dream are also both registering loudly on my radar.

Jonas Arnby's When Animals Dream.

Obviously, the first big event of the year is the midnight programme at Sundance. We're not only getting new films from Bruce MacDonald & Rodney Ascher, but also a cool looking UK horror called The Hallow. To be honest though, the most exciting thing playing at Sundance is Kornél Mundruczó's White God. I don't think it is horror per say, but watch this trailer and tell me you don't want to watch this like, RIGHT NOW.



Anyway, onto the more mainstream fare.

Crimson Peak (Oct 16)
Guillermo del Toro's latest, shot here in Ontario in tandem with his TV show The Strain (though not related) this haunted house flick stars Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston and Charlie Dunham. Hopefully, this little horror piece is solid, as we won't get another one for sometime as he ramps up pre-production on Hellboy 3 and Pacific Rim 2.

Phantasm V (TBD)
It's been a long time since The Tall Man has wreaked havok on our dimension. My expectations are tempered, but I just really want to see Mike & Reggie strap on the quad-barrel shotguns again. Some of the effects in that teaser trailer looked a little out there, but as long as Hartman & Coscarelli's hearts are in the right place, it should be a hoot.

31 (TBD)
Being one of the people that dug The Lords of Salem, I'm actually looking forward to seeing Rob Zombie's next film. Though the story sounds like familiar territory, I am curious to see how he attacks it given the brilliant visuals of his last effort. At the very least, we'll get to see him further explore his weird infatuation with evil clowns.

Krampus (Dec 4th)
Michael Dougherty burst onto the scene in 2009 with his horror anthology Trick r' Treat. It was heavily lauded and this year, we not only get an announcement of a Trick r' Treat sequel, but also this festive horror. Based on the myth, this demon could strike fear in the hearts of many children this Christmas.

Cell (TBD)
This long gestating Stephen King adaptation starring Sam Jackson, John Cusack and, most importantly because I don't think she's in enough stuff, Isabelle Fuhrman, may see the light of day this year. The idea of cell phones bringing forth madness is even more relevant now. Or is it? Does anyone actually talk on the phone anymore? I wonder if they tweaked the script to somehow include texting and social media.

A western about gunslingers versus cannibals. With Kurt Russell and Patrick Wilson. Yeah, I'm on board for that.

I was pretty impressed with Gareth Edwards' 2010 predecessor. I think he managed to do a lot with very little. For this sequel, it looks like the scope has been increased to a worldwide crisis. There are no names to back up this title, so it could go DTV in the blink of an eye.

Though the story doesn't grab me, the cast of this adaptation of the Gillian Flynn novel does. You put Chloe Grace-Moretz, Charlize Theron and Christina Hendricks all in a movie together, well I guess you have my attention. I only hope the latter doesn't get frustratingly underutilized like she did in Drive.

Lastly, and MOST importantly, every horror fan should be marking May 17th on their calendars. That is the day It Follows comes out. That is the day you should go see it. No excuses.


Sunday, January 4, 2015

DKTM 247


Hey everyone! I hope you've all recovered from your New Year's debauchery and made it to the other side with minimal scarring. It is now 2015 - the year of flying cars, hoverboards and crazy 3D Jaws sequels - so let's get settled in.

What Could Have Been...

It was revealed a few days ago that, at one point, Neil Blomkamp (of District 9 fame) was working on a new Alien film. How far along - or even how official - it was is unknown, but when Blomkamp posted some of his early concept art from it on Instagram, the Internet trembled.

Ripley in a Xenomorph suit!

Ripley goes on a suicide mission with the now mangled Cpl. Hicks!

The derelict ship in a Wayland-Yutani research facility.

It is amazing how three images can conjure up so many wonderful possibilities. I would welcome the prospect of having everything that came after Aliens completely ret-conned. Alas, the huge - though not entirely unenjoyable - mess that was Prometheus happened instead...

For io9's full report on the images, click here.

R.I.P. Edward Hermann 1943-2014.

Regrettably, we begin 2015 with some sad news. Character actor Ed Hermann died on New Year's Eve. He was 71. Hermann had been battling brain cancer for some time and passed away in a Californian hospital. Hermann had a long career that spanned five decades, and was perhaps best known for his role as Heather Graham's father on Gilmore Girls. For me though, he will always be the head vampire in Joel Schumacher's 1987 horror flick The Lost Boys. I am glad we got to see him in a genre film one final time in last year's solid pseudo-sequel The Town That Dreaded Sundown. Rest in peace, Ed.

Psycho Blocks.

To celebrate Alfred Hitchcock's seminal horror film Psycho turns fifty-five years old this year, YouTuber Bricktease painstakingly reenacted its iconic shower scene in LEGO. Check it out below.



As a bonus, Bricktease also posted a side-by-side comparison with the movie just can see how ridiculously accurate it is. To be honest, I'd rather watch this than Gus Van Sant's remake...