Ten Years of the Madness, Week TWO

Ten Years of the Madness, Week TWO

I didn’t follow my own advice to keep up with my summary all week and have suffered for it. Plus, I hit the week two slump, so I’m pretty sure we have a new leader… but that’s what makes this interesting, right?

Better Watch Out opening weekend – 10 points

I watched Sunday so it’s on this week’s summary:

Better Watch Out
2017
Time:
Points: 6
Bonuses: 2017 release
Summary: What an evil little shit. I know the ending was good, but I would have like to see the moment the little shit was busted.
8.5 out of 10 YEARS OF THE MADNESS

Evil Genius Challenge: 2 + 8 point bonus = 10 points

For some reason I thought we had to do two movies, then realized it was a bonus only for one.

Nightmare on Elm Street
1984
Time: 104 minutes
Points: 2
Bonuses:
Summary: I’m not really afraid of any movies, but this one scared the shit out of me the first time I watched it, and is stilscary despite the bad acting that adds humor. High rating for the scare factor and giving the world Johnny Depp
9 out of 10 YEARS OF THE MADNESS!

Audition
1999
Time: 115 minutes
Points: 8
Bonuses: Evil Genius
Summary: Yeah, I know you need to build up characters but a lot of dead time for most of the movie. At first, I was like “acupuncture needles? really?” then she went for the eyes and the whole cutting string thing.
6 out of 10 YEARS OF THE MADNESS!

Friday the 13th Viewing Party – 25 points

Friday the 13th bonus – 6 points

Watching Friday the 13th on Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th
1980
Time: 95 minutes
Points: 6
Bonuses: Friday the 13th bonus
Summary: This is a classic… what else can you say? I love Kevin Bacon.
9 out of 10 YEARS OF THE MADNESS

American Horror Story binge – 6X4= 24 points

I finally decided to get caught up on the current season. I didn’t write a review with each episode as a I watched, so I confess the details from episode to episode are a little fuzzy here.

AHS: Cult Ep 1
2017
Time: 1 hr
Points: 4
Bonuses: ATB for current season
Summary: This is plenty scary enough even before you introduce the crazy cult murderers. Hell, the opening credits with the Trump mask terrifies me.
9 out of 10 YEARS OF THE MADNESS!

AHS: Cult Ep 2
2017
Time: 1 hr
Points: 4
Bonuses: ATB for current season
Summary: AHS tends to start strong then go too campy for my taste, but so far so good. They are keeping it scary for the most part.
9 out of 10 YEARS OF THE MADNESS!

AHS: Cult Ep 3
2017
Time: 1 hr
Points: 4
Bonuses: ATB for current season
Summary: Not only is the story staying scary, but obviously, the parallel to reality is just a little too close for comfort.
9 out of 10 YEARS OF THE MADNESS!

AHS: Cult Ep 4
2017
Time: 1 hr
Points: 4
Bonuses: ATB for current season
Summary: I know there is a scary clowns theme with the cult masks, but not getting the connection of the homicidal clown from Freakshow in this season.
9 out of 10 YEARS OF THE MADNESS!

AHS: Cult Ep 5
2017
Time: 1 hr
Points: 4
Bonuses: ATB for current season
Summary: Another shining example of what conniving assholes people can be. Specifically, Sarah’s wife.
9 out of 10 YEARS OF THE MADNESS!

AHS: Cult Ep 6
2017
Time: 1 hr
Points: 4
Bonuses: ATB for current season
Summary: I suppose I wll go back at some point and watch the on-demand unedited version, but the episode doesn’t seem to need it to move the story along. What the hell were you thinking Sarah Paulson?
9 out of 10 YEARS OF THE MADNESS!

2017 Release Movies 4X6 = 24 points

The Axe Murders of Villisca
12/2016
Time: 78 minutes
Points: 6
Bonuses: 12/2016-2017 release
Summary: Being an actual paranormal junkie, I hate these movies where stupid paranormal investigators go to investigate a haunting and get in over their heads. Cliche. Just all die already.
3 out of 10 YEARS OF THE MADNESS

Alien: Covenant
2017
Time: 123 minutes
Points: 6
Bonuses: 2017 release
Summary: Am I the only one who thinks the actress playing the heroine is sort of a Jennifer Lawrence substitute? LIke they gave her a crappy haircut and no makeup to show how smart and heroic she is.
6 out of 10 YEARS OF THE MADNESS!

Death Note
2017
Time: 101 minutes
Points: 6
Bonuses: 2017 release
Summary: Teen revenge indulgence film. Who hasn’t wished they could write the name of a high school jackass in a notebook and they die? But nice twist on the using it to kill baddies all over the world.
7 out of 10 YEARS OF THE MADNESS!

The Bye-Bye Man
2017
Time: 101 minutes
Points: 6
Bonuses: 2017 release
Summary: I thought this was a pretty good movie and fairly original. I wish we would get more creepy, unusal horror films like this
7 out of 10 YEARS OF THE MADNESS

Video Nasties 2X6 = 12 points

The Evil Dead
1981
Time: 85 minutes
Points: 6
Bonuses: Video Nasty
Summary: This is ranked as a video nasty? Seriously? Oh well, I’ll take the sweet ATB for a movie I was going to watch anyway.
10 out of 10 YEARS OF THE MADNESS

The Last House on the Left
1972
Time: 84 minutes
Points: 6
Bonuses: Video Nasty
Summary: Wes Craven wasn’t just about big horror franchises, but got his hands dirty with this explpoitation shocker. NOt my cup of tea, but effective.
6 out of 10 YEARS OF THE MADNESS

TV – Ghost Adventures/Kindred Spirits 2X4= 8 points

I almost forgot my Saturday night ritual of Ghost Adventures and my screener for Kindred Spirits

Ghost Adventures
2017
Time:  60 minutes
Points: 4
Bonuses: Current Season
Summary: Newest episode in Vicksburg, MS, which is where I used to live. And yes, my house was haunted. See full recap  
here.
8 out of 10 YEARS OF THE MADNESS

KIndred Spirits
2017
Time: 60 minutes
Points: 4
Bonuses: Current season
Summary: I love Amy and Adam but this episode was a bit slow… as one would expect with real pararnormal investigators with integrity.
7 out of 10 YEARS OF MADNESS

 

Horror Classics Come to DVD for Halloween with Custom Cover Art

Horror Classics Come to DVD for Halloween with Custom Cover Art

You know how you go to Walmart around Halloween time and start browsing the DVD section for some discount horror movies? Well, this year you better come with the full wallet because there’s a new set of great classics and cult horror films with brand spanking new custom art on the covers, and, if you buy them at Walmart, you get youra bonus horror movie coloring book… for the win.

Bring on the Halloween season!

Treat yourself to hours of frightful fun with this exclusive Halloween Collection of 19 thrilling, chilling films with limited-edition art packaging by renowned artist/illustrator Orlando Arocena. Utilizing vibrant colors and a fervent imagination, Arocena’s striking cover art creations add the perfect touch of terror to these haunting horror titles. Choose your favorite Halloween hits, featuring Hollywood’s biggest stars, and start planning a killer movie night that’s sure to be a scream. It’s an eye-popping, spine-tingling collection to die for!

Fans who purchase any of the films at Walmart will also receive an exclusive coloring book featuring all 19 of Arocena’s designs.

Films available in the exclusive Halloween collection include:

  • 28 Days Later
  • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
  • Black Swan
  • Carrie (1976)
  • Child’s Play
  • Devil’s Due
  • The Fly (1986)
  • From Hell
  • The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
  • Jeepers Creepers
  • Jennifer’s Body
  • Joy Ride
  • Killer Klowns from Outer Space
  • The Other Side of the Door
  • Poltergeist (2015)
  • The Return of the Living Dead
  • Victor Frankenstein
  • Wrong Turn
  • Young Frankenstein

The films are set to hit Walmart’s on September 12 so be ready to rush out and grab your copies because these are limited editions and once they’re gone, you’ll be shit outta luck, capeche?

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Retro Cinema: ‘Silver Bullet’

Retro Cinema: ‘Silver Bullet’

How can you go wrong when you mix Stephen King, Gary Busey, and one of the Coreys? Trick question… You can’t go wrong. Plus if you add in a few werewolves, and some campy gore, you’ve got a big bundle of 80s horror known as “Silver Bullet.”

Corey Haim plays Marty, a boy stuck in a wheelchair that’s been dubbed the Silver Bullet. The story is narrated by his older sister, Jane (Megan Follows), reminiscing about the past. But in the present the story’s set in, she pretty much feels that he’s a pain in the butt. That starts to change and they find themselves coming together when people in their small town are turning up not only dead, but ripped to pieces. And the murders are metaphorically ripping the town apart as well.

When Marty’s best friend becomes the latest victim, the townsfolk seek some vigilante justice and want to hunt down whoever — or whatever — is killing people, despite pleas from the local sheriff. Of course, they go out hunting it at night. During a full moon.

Do I really need to tell you how that’s going to end? Yeah.

When Uncle Red (Busey) comes to visit Marty and Jane, that’s when things get really interesting. After Uncle Red builds Marty a supercharged motorized wheelchair and gives him some fireworks, Marty sneaks out in the middle the night to go set them off. Little does he know, this will bring him face to face with the beast that is terrorizing his town. During this late-night confrontation, Marty injures the werewolf, putting out an eye. It escapes, so Marty and Jane go on a hunt around town to find out who has a telltale injured eye. And suffice it to say, it is not the person they expected.

Unfortunately, the werewolf knows that they know, so they have to rely on Uncle Red to protect them when the beast comes to attack the only ones who know his identity.

The movie is based on Stephen King’s short story, “Cycle of the Werewolf.” Many King adaptations tend to turn into more campy fun than horror when they hit the screen, and this film follows that trend. That doesn’t mean it isn’t good… I mean, this is a classic 80s horror film that’s a lot of fun. And I’ve always been really partial to werewolves, but don’t expect any fancy transformation scenes in this one. In fact, I think the werewolf sort of looks like a teddy bear — I’m guessing that wasn’t exactly the effect they were going for.

Of course, there’s a bittersweet element to it now in light of Haim’s early demise, and the living train wreck that Busey has become. This is a pre-“Lost Boys” Haim, before Hollywood tore him apart. And Busey is in his prime here. The film is family-friendly if you’re looking for a film for kids that still appeals to adults.

Although you might have to explain Busey’s line that he’s more nervous “then a virgin on prom night.”

Retro Cinema is a new column that reviews a different retro horror film every Monday. Subscribe at the top of the page for updates on new film reviews, interviews and horror news.

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Retro Cinema: ‘The House That Dripped Blood’

Retro Cinema: ‘The House That Dripped Blood’

When people think of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, they think of legendary film studio Hammer. But there was another British film studio that liked to pair the two in horror movies, Amicus films, who put out some great horror anthologies. Not only did we have the House of Hammer, but the House of Amicus, and like it’s better known rival, Amicus was a house that dripped plenty of blood.

One of the best anthologies produced by Amicus was “The House That Dripped Blood.” This four-part anthology featured Cushing and Lee, although they performed in separate segments. It also featured legendary Hammer vixen Ingrid Pitt, vamping it up in her typical fashion. Basically, that woman just played herself in each of her roles, with “herself” being utterly fabulous with her long cigarette holders and plenty of cleavage.

The first of the four segments features a writer and his wife who move into the old house that serves as a backdrop connecting the four stories. He wants to finish his novel about a vicious murderer. Problem is, it seems his murderer is coming to life and stalking him and his wife. Sounds very Stephen King, doesn’t it? Well, this was before Stephen King made it big, as the film was produced in 1970. Although one has to wonder if this didn’t inspire “The Dark Half” just a little bit. For the record it was Robert Bloch who wrote these stories.

Anyway, writers in particular will get a kick out of the whole writing process and the way writers tend to try to make their characters so real — Sometimes a little too real. The Dominic character is very sinister on the page and as a flesh and blood stalker. And oh, that creepy laugh.

Is he real or is he just a figment of the writer’s imagination? Watch it and find out the twist at the end.

Then we move into the second segment, with Cushing looking mighty sharp in a red smoking jacket… so elegant and refined. As he listens to his classical music and goes through his theater programs, he comes upon a photo of a beautiful woman and walks into town looking quite lovelorn. He happens upon a “Museum of Horror” and decides to check it out.

As he wanders around the museum, which is basically a waxworks, he comes upon a rather interesting display of Salome with the head of John the Baptist on a platter. And this Salome seems to have a mesmerizing effect on Cushing… Her eyes remind him of the woman in the photo he was looking at earlier.

“She is beautiful isn’t she? My Salome…” says the proprietor out of the blue. Where did that guy come from? “Perhaps she reminds you of someone? You see, she has a strange effect on people. They seem to see in her all sorts of things.”

As it turns out, not only does she remind Cushing of his long-lost love, but she’s modeled after the proprietor’s deceased wife, who he says was a murderess who was executed for her crime. So he created the tribute to her to preserve her beauty for all time.

Suffice it to say that dead or not, he doesn’t take too kindly to other men ogling his deceased wife. First, he takes out his jealous rage on a friend of Cushing’s who stops in after a visit, then on Cushing himself when he finds he can’t stay away.

That’s quite a woman, wax or not.

The third segment features Lee, as a rather uptight widower and father of a young girl. Seems his little girl has an unnatural fear of fire, and Lee has a rather unnatural fear of just what powers this little girl might possess. Seems Mama dabbled in some of the dark arts, so Lee doesn’t like to have any dolls around the house. Unfortunately, the young woman he hires to tutor the little girl doesn’t really quite understand the complexities of the situation, and when he destroys the doll given to his daughter as a gift, she doesn’t just get mad, she gets even with Daddy.

This old house has a whole lot of old books, and some of those books have some witchy spells in them. Mix that with some candles melted down to make a brand-new doll, and I think you see where this is going. It doesn’t end well.

The final story of the anthology is where Pitt finally gets to shine. An actor moves into the house and his current role is playing a vampire in a horror film. He hates the cheesy sets and the bad, fake looking costumes, so he takes upon himself to find his own vampire cloak. He goes to a vintage clothing an antique store and finds a something much more real. Little does he know how real it is.

But when he puts on the cloak on set, funny things happen. Funny, as in him sprouting fangs and trying to bite his costars. But no one seems to believe him when he tries to tell them the cloak has magical powers to turn him into a vampire, least of all Pitt. When he sets out to prove to her that the cloak is real, let’s just say he’s in for quite a surprise.

All four stories of this anthology featured great actors, great stories and some really creepy moments. You can’t go wrong with Lee and Cushing, even outside the Hammer franchise. If you haven’t heard of Amicus before, I strongly suggest you not only check out this movie, but some of their other titles as well: Another big favorite of mine is their feature film “The Skull,” featuring Cushing. You may have a great Hammer collection, but your horror collection is far from complete without some Amicus, as well.

 

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‘Near Dark’ brilliantly mixes westerns and vampires

‘Near Dark’ brilliantly mixes westerns and vampires

Near Dark just may be one of my favorite vampire films ever. This little horror sleeper features Lance Henriksen, which gets you off to a pretty good start right there. Throw in Bill Paxton, the criminally-underrated Jenette Goldstein, a Tangerine Dream soundtrack, a forbidden romance, cowboy vampires and have Kathryn Bigelow direct it all and you have the recipe for greatness.

In addition to adding the unconventional twist of combining the Western with a vampire film, Bigelow expertly handled how to do a vampire romance right. You have elements of forbidden love, a family that doesn’t like the boy you brought home, but it doesn’t fall into tweenie, puppy love drivel. It’s sort of a westernized, modern-day Romeo and Juliet. Or something like that.

All I know is that this movie is the shit.

near dark vampire western

Bigelow directed Near Dark long before her Oscar-winning days and even before her cult classic Point Break. I believe this wasn’t long after she divorced mega-successful director James Cameron, and she “borrowed” some of the actors he’s used in his films, including Goldstein with a small part in Titanic as well as Bill Paxton. She also throws James LeGros a small part in this film, who would go on to play one of the bank robbers in Point Break.

This film has a real dark, moody, gritty feel to it and the romance between Caleb (Adrian Pasdar) and Mae (Jenny Wright) feels real. Mae makes you want Caleb to run off with her forever, foregoing his human life for the eternal thrill of running with the night. It’s hard to capture in words in a review, but when Mae tells Caleb to listen to the night, you feel that lure of the inhuman freedom that’s being offered to him.

near dark vampire movie

Henriksen and the rebel family he’s created are true sociopathic desperados, especially Paxton’s character with his jugular splitting spurs and sick humor. It’s all just perfectly woven together, and proves you don’t need a big budget or special effects to make an amazing movie.

This is simply a must-see film not only for horror fans, that anyone with a remote interest in the genre.

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