Halloween Eve 2009

I am by no means a Jack-O-Lantern professional, but here’s the Murphy family pumpkin 2009. The fangs are in honor of Sean being a vampire this year (not sure why the fangs are bucktooth, but that’s okay).

jack

and what’s a horror blog without some guts…

guts

my son the evil clown…

klown

and the sweet Excorcist beer cozy that my buddy Clint made me…

regan

One more day ’til Halloween, Halloween, Halloween. One more day ’til Halloween, Silver Shamrock!

To Avoid Fainting, Just Repeat To Yourself It’s Only A DVD Cover… It’s Only A DVD Cover…

The biggest disappointment for me horror-wise this year (besides HALLOWEEN 2) will definitely go down as the absolute horrible treatment of DVD cover art we’ve experienced. How disheartening is it to get news of one of your favorite genre films release to DVD only to find that the seminal artwork that adorned theatrical posters and VHS releases has been replaced by some half-assed cover art that doesn’t even represent the film properly? Or that the art has been changed to target a trend audience that won’t appreciate the film inside once they’re duped into buying it? Such has been the case as of late with three genre favorites from the ’80’s getting the bad art shaft. First up we had a totally unnecessary reissue of  the 1987 vampires on the run classic NEAR DARK. Both the art from the 2002 2 disc set and the 2004 single were fine. Nothing spectacular, but they suited the film inside, unlike the reissue from earlier this year that bares a striking resemblance to a certain pre-teen sparkly vampire romance blockbuster…

neardark2neardark3Talk about some false advertisement! NEAR DARK is a lot of things, but TWILIGHT it certainly is not!

And then there is the recent “Monstrous Special Edition” of another 1987 gem, THE GATE. Silly? Yes. Schlocky? Certainly. Midget demon unleashing, Venom back patch-wearing kick ass good time? HELL YES! I take issue with this being called the “Monstrous Special Edition” but I’ll leave that for another rant, let’s get to the cover… The original, and out of print, bare-bones DVD edition of THE GATE featured the iconic poster art from the film’s release, which was also used on the original VHS edition. It’s a classic, simple design that when someone says THE GATE – it’s one of the first things to come to mind. The 2009 special edition instead features a kid who IS NOT actor STEPHEN DORFF, who starred as our young hero Glen, and who by the way NEVER WORE SHORTS OR SANDALS IN THE FILM!

the classic

the classic

W.T.F.!!??

W.T.F.!!??

Last, and certainly not least is my second most anticipated DVD release of the year (second only to TRICK ‘R TREAT), the 1986 alien slug zombie classic starring TOM “THRILL ME” ATKINS, NIGHT OF THE CREEPS! Twenty three years after the initial release we finally get the uncut director’s edition of the cult classic that we deserve. But wait, what’s this? Instead of the classic (and I do mean classic) prom zombie poster art we all know and love, Sony decided to come up with three absolutely horrid designs and let us vote on Amazon to decide which one they use. Which they used two of the three (one for the DVD, on for the Blu-Ray) and they are an uninspired mess. Much like the tween-friendly NEAR DARK cover, these two do not come close to representing the greatness contained in NIGHT OF THE CREEPS. In my opinion, these should have been the two covers…

CREEPS1

CREEPS2Instead we’re stuck with these…

creeps3creeps4Nothings thrilling me about these at all. At least the FRIDAY THE 13TH reissues looked good, even if the mask images were inaccurate. But I digress, I guess all we can hope for in 2010 is that the companies who are releasing seminal genre films onto the DVD and Blu-Ray market will learn from these embarrassing mistakes and stick with the classic designs if they can’t come up with something original and appealing. I do have to give credit to Anchor Bay for making up for their previous edition of HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME’s appalling cover by bringing back the classic shish kabob art on their recent reissue (and the original score as well!) So I’ll leave you with that

hbtmNIGHT OF THE CREEPS (ugly cover and all) hits shelves tomorrow. Pick it up, and make your own cover art for it!

In Case You Missed… Sick Girl

sick2

“In Case You Missed…” is a series of reviews I’m starting on movies that may have flown under your radar that I think everyone should see. I’ve decided to start with a film that just made it’s DVD debut this past August thanks to Synapse, director Eben McGarr’s SICK GIRL from 2007.  SICK GIRLS is the story of a teenage girl Izzy (Leslie Andrews) living in a small rural town taking care of her younger brother, Kevin (Charlie Trepany), while her older brother is off at war. Izzy looks after and protects her young brother to the point where she even takes to torturing the kids at school who bully him, and that’s just the beginning! Izzy is one screwed up girl and the more you get to know her, the more you can’t decide if you love her, hate her or just feel sorry for her that she’s so fucked up in the head! From the fact that she buys her young brother a handgun for Christmas to the barn full of kidnapped kids she has behind the house, you start to wonder exactly what did happen to her parents? Writer/director Eben McGarr brings the perfect mix of black humor, brutal dialogue (“if you scream I will snap your neck and pitchfork your mom”) and even more brutal balls-out violence, without ever feeling contrived or forced like many recent genre films (example – anything by Rob Zombie).  And when I say brutal.. well, I’m not going to throw out any spoilers, but there is a scene that will have members of both sexes covering their laps and cringing!sick1 This is one of the most creatively violent scenes in recent genre history! The whole thing is held together by a creepy little score that sneaks in and out, adding the perfect icing to this bloody, fucked in the head cake! DVD special features include a hilarious Public Service Announcement on movie theatre etiquette and a great behind the scenes look at actress Leslie Andrews’ photography series “Death Is” (stylistically similar to what the girls did in the opening sequence of GINGER SNAPS – very cool stuff.) So what are you waiting for? Shoot over to Amazon (it’s only $10.49!) and get yours NOW!

Drag Me To Hell: A Head Stapling, Hair Pulling, Fly Snorting Good Time

dragDRAG ME TO HELL was easily the new film I anticipated most this year. So why did I just see it the other day for the first time???? I missed out on the theater experience (something I’m kicking myself for greatly now), and it took me two weeks of it’s DVD/Blu-Ray release to finally see it. Director SAM RAIMI truly showed what he can do with a horror film with a budget to work with. The man behind the EVIL DEAD films’ return to the genre was nothing less than a roller coaster ride of haunted house/dark ride style atmosphere, jump scares and, of course, the trademark RAIMI cartoonesque action. Presented here in both unrated and theatrical PG-13 versions, there’s really not much of a difference in terms of content (just a few scenes a bit bloodier in the unrated cut). The choice of ALISON LOHMAN, in the lead role of cursed loan officer Christine Brown, was perfect, as was LORNA RAVER as Mrs Ganush, who curses her upon being denied a loan extension on her mortgage and starts the whole ball rolling. Working with minimal grue, the film relies on building tension in that familiar “I know it’s coming but for some reason I’m still spooked” kind of way, which I personally love. With a film like DRAG ME TO HELL I’d much rather have a good balance of tension and RAIMI’s silliness than a film drenched with blood and guts anyway. Altogether this is definitely my top contender at this point for movie of the year. If you’re late to the party, like I embarrassingly was, grab this disc now! You will not be disappointed, from the first fly snorted to the last hair pulled!

William Castle Box Set This Tuesday!

william-castle-collection

This Tuesday October 20th, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will be releasing an 8 film, 5 disc collection of gimmick maestro WILLIAM CASTLE’s films. Included are 13 GHOSTS, HOMOCIDAL, STRAIGHT JACKET , MR SARDONICUS, THE TINGLER, and for the first time on DVD –  13 FRIGHTENED GIRLS, THE OLD DARK HOUSE, and ZOTS! Also included is the documentary SPINE TINGLER!: THE WILLIAM CASTLE STORY and a host of bonus features sure to send you into a spine tingling frenzy! (sorry, had to)

Full Moon Fever

ROADSHOWnotextOnce again it’s time for the Fourth Annual  CHARLES BAND FULL MOON HORROR ROAD SHOW to plow through your city for Halloween. There’s only eight more stops on the tour, so check the schedule below to see if yours is one of the upcoming cities. The shows are filled with special guests, FULL MOON film trailers,  puppets, creatures, audience participation and much more, and has become top of the Halloween must attend event list for many. Also, this year you can enter for a chance to be ELECTROCUTED ON FILM in FULL MOON’s upcoming GINGERDEADMAN 3: SATURDAY NIGHT CLEAVER! For more info check out FULLMOONDIRECT.COM

FULL MOON EC TEASER

ROAD-SHOW1500

Monster Match: Dracula vs… Dracula!

In the first of our MONSTER MATCH polls we pit the original bloodsuckers against each other in a  battle of UNIVERSAL vs HAMMER DRACULAS. Cast your vote on our poll located in the sidebar for you favorite classic vamp… it’s CHRISTOPHER LEE VS BELA LUGOSI! Poll closes and results posted on October 30th

Christopher Lee in action

Christopher Lee in action

bela

The Texas 3D Massacre???

leatherfaceWord around the campfire is that TWISTED PICTURES, home of the SAW franchise, is preparing to launch a new version of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. And in true 2009/1984 horror fashion it will be in 3D! PLATINUM DUNES, who relaunched the series with it’s 2003 remake and it’s 2006 prequel, were apparently optioning the films on a picture-by-picture basis. So now the franchise is in Jigsaw’s hands, and rumoured to be being scripted by STEPHEN SUSCO who wrote the screenplay for THE GRUDGE. Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me. If they were ever going to give Leatherface the 3D treatment it should have been with the less than desirable 1990 sequel LEATHERFACE: THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE III. The saw could have come flying out of the lake and straight into the veiwer’s faces! At least it couldn’t have made the movie any worse! But I digress. Hopefully TWISTED won’t attempt to SAWify the whole thing (no pun intended), rethink the 3D idea and at least attach a decent director to the project.