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, March 31, 2017

Fright Night Theatre Awards

The awards for last weekend's Fright Night Theatre festival in Hamilton were announced a few days ago. It was an awesome time with the biggest attendance so far of its nine year history.

My favourite film, Agnieszka Smoczynska's The Lure took home six awards, including Best Cinematography, Best Make-up Effects and Best Score.

Dave Jackson's Cat Sick Blues, the most confounding film of the weekend (but more on that at a later date) also grabbed six awards, including Best Director, Best Writing and Best Villain.

In the short film category, top honours went to festival circuit favourite, Chris McInroy's Death Metal. Perhaps of no surprise to anyone that has seen it, Anthony Cousins' piece When Susurrus Stirs won Most Shocking, and Best Canadian short was shared between Jean-Claude Leblanc's Studded Nightmare and Blake Mawson's PYOTR495.

The Audience Choice Awards went to Tricia Lee's Blood Hunters for Best Feature, and the terrific Your Date Is Here by Zak White & Todd Spence for Best Short.

For the full list of winners, click here. Have a great weekend and see you back here Monday for a returning feature now that April will then be upon us.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Trailer Tuesdays: Anguish

I was thinking recently about how much I spend in darkened theatres and was reminded of a film I saw several years ago called Anguish. Here's the trailer.

It's pretty whacked out and if I recall kind of ahead of its time in terms of how meta it was. Check out the Blue Underground release if you can.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

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Hey all. Hope you're having a good weekend. I plan on not leaving my couch today, so this is where I am now blogging from. Here's what I've got for you this week.

CUFF Picks.

The lineup for this year's Calgary Underground Film Festival was announced this week. In addition to the three great titles I saw at TIFF last year (Colossal, Free Fire and The Untamed), there are a wild array of works from around the world, a trio of which caught my eye.

Cate Shortland's thriller The Berlin Syndrome about a vacationing photographer (Teresa Palmer) who finds her self locked in the apartment of a local of whom she had a one night stand looks especially intense. As someone who has several friends travelling abroad right now, it's a constant worry that this shit happens in the world on a regular basis.

On the slasher side of things, we have Lake Bodom from Finnish director Taneli Mustonen, about a group of campers that try to re-enact a murder spree that happened in the sixties, only to have things go awry.

The premise has potential, and we all know that Europeans don't pull any punches when it comes to this stuff.

Lastly, is Jeff Baena's convent comedy The Little Hours, starring Alison Brie and Aubrey Plaza. After a successful premiere at Sundance, I am looking forward to seeing how well these two click together. CUFF is also playing the new David Lynch doc, The Art Life which I can't wait to get my eyeballs on when it plays her next month.

For the full lineup, click here.

Now That's Entertainment!

Speaking of David Lynch, Entertainment Weekly reveals their covers for their upcoming Twin Peaks reunion issue.

After reading Mark Frost's book, I can't wait to be back in this universe on May 21st. Also, Madchen. Love you always.

That Damn Road!

To cap things off, I just wanted to include this awesome Pet Sematary poster I found online.

Due to its colour palette, I initially thought this might be a Lauren O'Neill, but turns out it is by the hand of David Moscati. Great minds think alike.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Fright Night Theatre 2017

I've been a little lazy this week I admit, but I will be back with reviews soon, as this weekend is the 2017 edition of Fright Night Theatre!

In edition to bringing Agnieszka Smoczynska's debut The Lure to the Hammer, there are also weird and wacky treats like Pool Party Massacre and Cat Sick Blues. Come on by to the Staircase Theatre if you happen to be in the area.

For more info on the fest, click here.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Trailer Tuesdays: Beyond The Door II

It's Springgggggggggg! Let's celebrate with a Mario Bava film about the joys of the coming season and also, you know, demonic possession.

This movie is a gas. It not only has perhaps one of the most brilliantly executed jump scares in horror history, it also has that fucking kid. I used to have a roommate named Mark and I sampled that intro line into our answering machine message -- this is Jay, Brent and Marco, that's my name! Leave a message -- much to his utter confusion. Ahh, good times.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

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Hello all. I got some really cool stuff to trumpet this week, so let's get right to it.

Give Them Your Monies.

First up, I wanted to plug two current IndieGogo campaigns. Ten years ago, Scott Glosserman gifted us with his little meta-slasher Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. Since then, he has been trying to get a sequel off the ground and is most recently using the momentum of this anniversary to take one last stab(!) at it with a limited edition comic book series.

They are currently at 75% of their goal, so if you'd like to contribute, click here.

I also wanted to let you know that the guys behind Harvest Lake and Plank Face have a new project coming up in the tradition of the space sex comedies of yore like Beach Babes from Beyond and Earth Girls Are Easy. It is called Space Babes From Outer Space and is currently taking Blu-ray pre-orders.

To get your very own copy reserved, click here.

Clocking In With Clay.

Greg McLean's newest flick The Belko Experiment released this weekend and clay-mation guru Lee Hardcastle has celebrated the occasion with four mini-ads.

I saw this film last year at TIFF and its description of Battle Royale meets Office Space is about as apt as it gets. Check it out if you can.

Works of Art.

I just wanted to lead you out with some great art from the week. Matthew Therrien was recently commissioned to do some posters for the limited theatrical release of Julia Ducournau's Raw

I love that piece and would gladly put it on my wall. You can also see the two variants here. For the softcover release of Grady Hendrix's terrific book My Best Friend's Exorcism, artist Hugh Fleming was brought on to make this new cover.

I love the eighties CYOA vibe of that cover. If you haven't read the book (or Hendrix's previous work Horrorstör) you should definitely get on that!

Alright kiddies. Tomorrow is the first day of Spring and to say I am awaiting it with open arms is an understatement.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Sergio & Edwige, Together Again.

I knocked off another title from my giallo deck this week in Sergio Martino's Next Victim starring Edwige Fenech.

Like most giallos, this film was retitled for different markets with names like Blade of the Ripper, Next! and The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh, all I suspect with varying levels of censorship if my severely cropped VHS copy was any indication. It's okay, I fled to YouTube after to see what I missed.

The movie itself is a bit of an oddball. It almost seemed like a relationship drama with a slasher going on behind the scenes. And considering Martino's work to come like Torso two years later, the kill scenes were downright restrained. I also feel like this movie was very similar to at least a few of Martino's other projects. It's been a while since I've seen Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key, but I'm pretty sure it shared a lot of the same beats.

Fenech is as always a vision to behold. There are very few actresses that hypnotize me like she does when she's onscreen, but you've heard me prattle on at length about this before. Her character's “blood fetish” wasn't really well articulated and apart from cringe-inducing scene where she has sex amid shards of broken glass, it's rarely touched upon.

As is often the case with these pictures, the scenery in this was particularly breathtaking. Martino used the locales of Austria and Spain to the fullest. I mean, how the fuck does THIS park even exist in the world???

Palmenhaus, in Vienna, Austria.

Next Victim wouldn't be in the top list of giallos, or even ones from Martino for that matter, but it still has a lot of stuff that I love about this genre -- beautiful locales, lovely ladies and snappy dialogue that is often inappropriate by today's standards. Have a great weekend, kiddies!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Friday That Never Was.

I made a comment a few weeks ago that I was pretty nonchalant about the fact that the new Friday the 13th film had been abandoned. My curiosity got the better of me though, so I ended up reading the script. 

Turns out it wasn't terrible. It had some pretty decent set pieces and writer Nick Antosca made an effort to keep you guessing as to who the Final Girl was going to be. I actually read scripts (Black & Blood List mostly) quite often now and eighties period pieces are ubiquitous at the moment - especially after Stranger Things hit it big on Netflix last year. I have to say that this one was, apart from the caretaker being named Frank Booth, probably the least obnoxious in that regard -- most obnoxious if you're wondering is a little ditty called Summer of '84 which I'm sure will be eye-rolling onto screens in 2018.

It's not all gravy though. He's tinkered with the timeline a bit and for some reason Jason isn't actually referred to by name until the third act, as if we weren't supposed to know who he was. There is also a big climax that I suspect is the reason the bean counters inevitably pulled the plug. Not that Jason hasn't had his share of ridiculous foibles, but the sequence in Antosca's script reminded me of the Cenobites vs. Cops scene in Hellraiser III. The series really never recovered from that.

Anyway, it's kind of ironic. The minute that Platinum Dunes was about to produce a remake that might have turned out half decent, it ends up getting shit-canned. Where were these fucking suits when all their previous mess-terpieces went to camera???

Rant over. Let's just enjoy the game and be done with it.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Trailer Tuesdays: The Rift

Holy barnacles! I don't even remember how I came across this, but yesterday I found this 1990 undersea monster flick starring R. Lee Ermey and Ray Wise directed by J.P Simon of Pieces and Slugs fame.

I see this this was also known as Endless Descent, for which I do remember the coverbox. I never realized there was a third straggler after Leviathan and Deep Star Six the year before. Consider me sold! 

Monday, March 13, 2017

A Short Called Quest

I caught a screening of Saul Bass' 1973 flick Phase IV last week. It was a newly restored DCP and it looked pretty slick. I hadn't seen it since Trash Palace projected it in 16mm back in 2009, but it was still as trippy as ever. So much great insect acting in that.

Anyway, as part of the pre-show, The Royal played the 1983 short film Quest. Directed by Bass and his wife, Elaine and written by Ray Bradbury, this shit is craaazy. Check it out below if you got a half-hour to ingest some choice eighties fantasy.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

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Hey all. We've gone back into the deep freeze here, so I'm just typing here to keep warm. Here's what I've got for you this week.

South By Goodies.

SXSW is happening right now and there's a bunch of exciting looking things going on there. First, there's a very cool project made by a couple of kooky Canadians (Laurence Morais & Sebastien Landry) called Game of Death.

Produced by members of Rockzaline and Black Pills, this project was originally shot as web series, but has been cut together as a feature to premiere at SXSW. Game of Death is set to premiere digitally following the festival.

Also screening is Aaron Burns' Madre.

Madre will be available exclusively on Netflix later this year. Lastly, here's a trailer for the trippy indie Like Me starring Addison Timlin, Larry Fessenden and Jeremy Gardner.

Yep, looks like I've got a lot to look forward to in the near future.

Darkness Falls.

I just saw a release trailer for the newest project by survival horror pioneer Frédérick Raynal's 2Dark.

I completely forgot this was coming out. Looks like I know what I'll be doing on the weekend of March 17th.

Give A Little Lovecraft.

Lastly, I just wanted to throw up a short film. Directed by Christopher Goodman & Kate Walshe and starring Jack Parker, enjoy this adaptation of the H.P. Lovecraft story “The Colour Out Of Space”.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

She's Filled With Secrets

I recently devoured, after being told of its existence by my friend Serena, Mark Frost's considerable tome The Secret History of Twin Peaks.

To say this book is dense would be an understatement. Laid out in a series of letters, files and transcripts that span two centuries, Frost has expanded the show's universe beyond even what I could have imagined. Beginning with the region's discovery by Lewis & Clark in the early nineteenth century, Frost weaves in several figures and events throughout American history. I can't even imagine how long it must have taken for him to compile all this. Granted, he's had twenty-five years, but it's still incredibly impressive.

We view the book's material alongside Special Agent T.P. as she makes comprehensive footnotes in the margins. These files have been collected by a mysterious figure named The Archivist whose identity is later revealed at the end of the book. I do hope Agent T.P. makes an appearance in the show. I suppose I could look it up, but I kind of want it to be a surprise.

The Secret Life Of Twin Peaks acts a wonderful companion piece to the show (much like the previously released Secret Diary of Laura Palmer and The Diane Tapes), but also offers a lot more. I was glad to see that it broadened the storylines of some of the characters that appeared in the tail end of the second season. At a time where it seemed like Twin Peaks was limping to the finish line, it was nice that Frost took the effort to give those characters some depth.

This book is a real treat for fans of the show and a perfect primer for the third stanza coming in May.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Trailer Tuesdays: The Void

Good morning all. Here's the new trailer for The Void, the greatly anticipated film from Steven Kostanski & Jeremy Gillespie. It's not a vintage trailer I know, but it sure embodies that eighties horror spirit so I figured, why the hell not?

And they even kept my quote in there at 1:25! Score! The Void finally hits theatres and VOD on April 7th.

Also recently released was the red-band trailer for the second Little Terrors short film collection Galaxy of Horrors. Enjoy!

Galaxy hits VOD today, and DVD on May 2nd.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

DKTM 328

Hey all! This week I'm just gonna throw up a bunch of cool things that were recently announced.

First up, is the trailer for the Netflix series Mindhunter.

If this David Fincher-produced show is even half as good as Zodiac, then I'm in. Man, every time I think that Big Red has topped out on their original content, they manage to top themselves. Look for Mindhunter in October.

Untold Horror, the series from Rue Morgue's Dave Alexander and Post No Joes' Kevin Burke that was pitched at last year's Frontieres is now officially on its way.

If there was ever a documentary specifically engineered for horror fans, this is it. I love hearing about the inner workings of the biz, and who better to hear about it from than the guys in the trenches.

On the more indie side of things, local filmmakers Larissa Thomas & Alicia Faucher just released this proof of concept trailer.

This web series is a submission for the IPF (Independent Production Fund), so if this is your thing, feel free to share.

Lastly, a Kickstarter plug for James Moran's new project, Blood Shed.

I am big fan of Moran's 2013 short, Crazy For You (now available on the anthology collection Minutes Past Midnight) so this is a no-brainer for me. If you'd like to contribute, please visit the campaign page here.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

It's Full of Scars.

Hey all. I just wanted to plug something real quick. If you're in the Toronto area and looking for something to do tonight, the second Little Terrors anthology Galaxy of Horrors is playing the Carlton tonight.

For the rest of you, Galaxy hits VOD on March 7th and DVD on May 2nd. If you're a fan of sci-fi horrors, give this a go.