Thursday, February 28, 2013

Fade To Black - the novel

 Fade To Black - the novel

Not that long ago I posted about Fright Night the novel. Last spring while VHS hunting I stumbled upon a pretty cool collection of movie tie-in novels that were pretty big in the 1980's and 1990's as a promotional tool. I have all ready a pretty cool collection so far but one of these titles that I couldn't believe that I found was one based off Fade To Black, the 1980 thriller. This is a VERY rare item that I'm still stunned over finding. What was even more awesome than grabbing this along with several other titles was the fact that the novel was in pretty great condition. Just  few weeks ago I decided to put it in my car as a quick read whenever I had down time, and I really have to say this was a very enjoyable read!

PLOT - A shy, lonely, film geek goes on a killing spree, dressing up as some of the most iconic movie characters in Hollywood against those who bully and browbeat him, while at the same time, he stalks his idol; a Marilyn Monroe look-alike. 

LOWDOWN - I remember back in early 2011 when I was still back at school I was in my last semester and it was right before HorrorHound that I decided to finally watch the 1980 film after reading and hearing all the hype about it. Finding the movie on some random site, I remember sitting in my apartment back at school and found myself pretty blown away by the story. This isn't exactly what I would want to call a "slasher". This movie is a tragic thriller about a young man's mind who takes his session one step too far and spirals down into a dark and twisted world he's created for himself. 

I found Fade To Black to be a very interesting movie. Just the idea of a film geek dressing up as his favorite movie characters and literally transforming into them to do their killing is mind blowing. I mean I'm sure I speak for many people, movies are a huge part of our life's. We find our selfs with our favorites, collecting posters, lobby cards, and any information we can find based off them. We can quote every line and spend a very large portion of our time whenever we want to unwind or relax watching them...


For Eric sadly, this became his entire life. He didn't know when to stop and sadly took his love for movies one step too far.

I find this movie very original and very ahead of it's time. When I read the book, which ended up taking me on and off about two weeks, I found myself very surprised with how much I loved it. Released the same time as the film, Fade To Black the novel was written by Ron Renaud is is roughly 215 pages. What I liked about this book that yes it's based exactly off the movie, but they added little things that gave the audience/reader better sight into Eric's twisted world. I liked the background on the shrink's brother and how he felt he needed to save Eric. I loved showing more detail of Eric's obsession with Marilyn, and how he slowly begins to transform and get lost into this world of film. I loved how it shows that Eric was in fact human and maybe even suffered from a medical condition. I loved  the insight we got on him as a character and exactly what he was thinking right up until the very end. In fact I loved the very last page of the book as the men are washing the blood off the stars in front of the theater.

This is a great book based off a very awesome movie. If you ever get the chance to snag one of these puppies do it! 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Fright Rags - Slaughter High T-shirt!!!

 Fright Rags - Slaughter High T-shirt!!!
The ever so amazing company Fright Rags have created yet another awesome shirt. This one based off the zany 1986 slasher flick Slaughter High!


Now I've only watched Slaughter High once, and it really wasn't exactly my cup of tea, still I think a re-watch is in store very soon. (I own it on bootleg and it's one of the titles in my Horror-8 Pack.) I'm really hoping when I do to HorrorHound next month my good friends will still have one at Fright Rags. The artwork is amazing!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Most stunning moments in a Michael Mann film

 Most stunning moments in a Michael Mann film 
There are few directors out there that can truly always deliver completely breathtaking and visually stunning films. Director Michael Mann for nearly the past thirty years has made some of the greatest crime movies of all time. Serving as executive producer on Miami Vice, and going on to be the first man to show us the twisted mind of Dr. Hannibal Lecter, Michael Mann has gone on to make some of the greatest most beautifully stylized films of all time. Here is my personal list of some of the greatest moments in a few films of his. 

The Keep (1983)
Chamber of the silver cross 
 
Heat (1995)
God moving over the face of the waters

Heat (1995)
Chris and Charlene's last moment

Manhunter (1986)
Graham's dream

Manhunter (1986)
You've seen these films...

Manhunter (1986)
Francis is gone

Manhunter (1986)
Who are you? I'm Will...Will Graham.

The Insider (1999)
Breakdown

Collateral (2004)
Club scene

Collateral (2004)
Ending scene

Miami Vice (2006)
Opening (that was seriously the only good part of this piece of shit)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sam Raimi's The Gift - review

 Sam Raimi's The Gift - Review

PLOT - In a small Southern town, a local single mother reads cards using what her grandmother used to refer as her "Gift". One night a young woman goes missing and her family, fiancée, and the local police turn towards her as a last ditch effort to try and find her and what happened the night she disappeared. 

LOWDOWN - I am a HUGE Sam Raimi fan. Always have been, always will be (I even don't hold Spiderman 3 against him.) My obsession and love for this genius of a man is endless. When I look at everyone in the horror industry, all these actors, writers, producers, and directors I see so much talent. For Sam he seems to almost be the goofball of the crew. First off he started off when he was just a teenager with a camera fooling around with a bunch of his friends making Super8 movies. This man took a small circle of friends and family and seriously went to complete Hell and back to make the beloved horror classic The Evil Dead. When one does their research or talks to anyone involved behind the production of that very low budget movie, it makes one wonder why so many big money movies turn out to be complete and utter shit, while Sam who had a passion for what he did took the little resources he had and made a movie that's so iconic it spawned two sequels and now an upcoming remake. I think what makes Mr. Raimi stand out from everyone else is the fact he reminds you of a guy would would know back at school. The kind who was a practical joker, that would have a beer with you one second, and then chase you around laughing the next. Even after all these years and big budget movies, I can still see the inner child that Sam is whenever there's behind the scenes footage of him. 


I love Sam so much that I'm still in the process of trying to work with my tattoo artist to get him tattooed on me from the 1989 slasher Intruder. 

Sam's career had been very eventful and interesting. Establishing himself as one awesome kick ass horror director, he began to branch out with other works. His action adventure revenge movie Darkman, the epic western The Quick And The Dead, and of course the movie that finally won him some highly respect with his drama/thriller A Simple Plan. 

Shortly before he began work on the movie that would skyrocket him as a director (Spiderman) he directed what in my eyes is my all time favorite movie he's ever directed.

The Gift.

I still have very strong memories of renting this movie when it was first released and falling completely in love with it. In fact as the years went on and everyone I met who was a fan of The Evil Dead series I would always bring up The Gift and what a great movie it was.

Sam Raimi is one Hell of a director. He is able to shape an atmosphere and make it so rich and visually stunning. Taking some very big stars at the time, he placed them in roles that were not only believable but very welcoming. This man seriously needs to do a mini series soon.

Annie is a character you can't help but connect with. She's likeable, simple, and beautiful. I always love the scene of her laying in bed staring at the framed photograph of her husband and just crying in the dark. Even though Cate Blanchett is seriously everywhere, this is one of my favorite performances she's ever given. The next heavy player is of course Giovanni Ribisi who I will forever remember him in The Other Sister and now him dancing to "I think we're alone now" in Ted. This is one role he really hit home with. It was some heavy duty stuff he dealt with and simply made it into perfection. 


Seeing a few of Raimi's regulars along with some others (I feel the studio took a good number of the big Oscar winners and crammed them all into this one film) Usually I hate whenever they do this, but somehow with the solid script and Raimi's direction it worked. Hell, I even didn't mind Keanu Reeves in his role. 

This movie had some very suspenseful moments and the settings/visuals/and dream scenes were nothing less than beautiful. Another thing that makes me love this movie even more is the score. I have it downloaded on my Ipod and it's seriously the most beautiful peaceful music to listen to when one is stuck in traffic and wants to kill somebody. 


This movie offers so much, it pulls off being creepy, tragic, and being completely gorgeous. I could go on for days about all the scenes that are breathtaking to me. This is a classic whodunnit story that makes nearly everyone a suspect. In fact the first time I saw this movie I couldn't believe who the murderer ended up being. I loved how Raimi sorta played down the whole psychic thing. The Annie character was just a simple plain sweet woman who was trying to support her three children. I loved the scene where she sees her grandmother who informs her that a storm is coming. I love movies about psychics and people with second sight. Usually these movies show how having these abilities comes with a curse (Psychic, The Dead Zone, Rose Red, ect.) I loved all the dream scenes. I fiddler scene always creeps me out (Danny Elfman you creepy bastard you...) and of course whenever Annie visits the pond. I loved the beyond unsettling moment when Jessica's body is found and how her poor father stumbles into the water telling them to get the hooks out of her. It seemed as though if you paid closer attention, there was a lot going on in this small town. But then again maybe that's the truth with most towns...there's a lot hidden beneath the surface. 

I love the scene of Buddy coming to the aid of one of Annie's sons. Best breakdown ever. I love how he just strolls over and completely looses. it. Gets me every time. 


The best part of this movie of course is the ending. I loved the shot of the blood slowly trickling down Annie's face. The exchange in the end between Annie and Buddy without giving too much away for those who haven't seen the movie yet is so well written. I love the line of Buddy telling Annie that he escaped, that he's finally free.

So whenever people talk about Sam Raimi, goofball slapstick, blood gore hound...there's another side of him. A movie he made between the madness of the Evil Dead movies, and the successful Spiderman series. This movie is simple, haunting, and beautiful. I highly recommend it to anyone. 


5 Stars!

Did you know...

 Did you know...
I decided to make a new post for this blog. It has rare trivial about movies I've learned over the years. Some I'm sure you've heard, some maybe you didn't. Our first new fact deals with director Sam Raimi, or as I like to call my husband.

Did you know that while filming Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn, Sam was dating actress Kassie Wesley who played Bobby Joe. I was lucky enough to meet Kassie last year at Monster Mania in Cherry Hill NJ. She was beyond awesome and very sweet. While signing my Evil Dead tape I asked her what it was like working with Sam Raimi and the biggest grin came across her face and she said that he was wonderful and that the two dated while making the movie. = Nerd squeal! What an adorable couple! 


Kassie and Sam of course went their own separate ways and are happily married with children. Still, I can't help but smile every time I watch the behind the scenes footage of Sam on set and how sweet he acts around Kassie. = Horror love is adorable!'

Best showdowns in a horror movie part 1

 Best showdowns in a horror movie part 1
Everyone loves a good fight. Back in high school I was sadly one of those assholes who would stand in a circle chanting while two girls fought each other and pulled their hair. Maybe it's just the thrill and excitement of it all. Just like the Greasers Vs Socs, here are some of the best rumbels in a horror movie.

Lefty Enright Vs Leatherface

Zombie Vs Shark 
 
Tina Vs Jason 

 Laurie Strode Vs Michael Myers

Ash Vs His Hand 

Freddy Vs Jason 

Nada Vs John 

Monsters Vs Kids 

Reggie and Michael Vs The Tall Man 

Steven Vs Jason 

Alice Vs Freddy

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Some of the best horror movie trailers of all time! Part 1

 Some of the best horror movie trailers of all time! Part 1

Movie trailers can be pretty amazing. These bad larrys are the reason audiences get hooked and their interest get peeked. Here is my first lift some of the best horror movie trailers of all time!

Scream 2

A Nightmare On Elm Street 3 Dream Warriors

Christine 

Psycho 

Magic

The Shinning 

The Exorcist

Halloween 20 Years Later 

Friday the 13th, Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan 

Phantasm

The Others 

Suspiria

Evil Dead II Dead By Dawn

Gremlins II The New Batch

Fright Night II

Waxwork


Friday, February 22, 2013

The Nest on blu-ray!

 The Nest on blu-ray!

Thanks to the ever so amazing Scream Factory, many classic gems are finally getting the proper release they deserve! In the last few years their company has become very popular with fans due to their kick ass releases to some fan favorites and a few films that haven't seen the light of day since the good old fashion VHS days. Now with HD and Blu-ray taking over the world of media, Scream Factory have given fans the chance to see these classics re-released with more than impressive transfers, artwork, and special features. In fact this up coming year some of my all time favorites are getting the Scream Factory treatment (The Burning, The Fog, Night Of The Comet, The Howling, ect.) So far I've been able to nab Halloween II, III, Terror Train, and Deadly Blessing. I can't wait for the Phantasm II release which is due out next month. Today I was finally able to pick up an 80's favorite of mine that I haven't even heard of until last year...


My friend Nate and I were doing our regular VHS hunt last winter when he showed me this tape and told me it had some of the sickest goriest effects he had seen. Interested, and of course admiring the gorgeous cover, I threw it in along with the other titles I had picked up. One night over many beers, we watched it as a double feature with Rejuvenator. I believe when we began drinking we said we were going to show each other the goriest movies we owned. I loved The Nest right away and admired it's creature Vs. man storyline, 1980's brutal practical effects, seaside setting, and enjoying the kind of movie you could get completely smashed watching and still enjoy yourself.

I count myself lucky to have this title in my VHS collection, but the second I found out Scream Factory was releasing it on blu-ray I knew I had to have it.


The spiecal features aren't really anything to write home about, I have listening to the director's commentary though as I write this. I love audio commentaries, and I always find them very interesting. So far the director Terence H. Winkless seems very friendly sounding and is giving plenty of information.

The transfer is stunning and it honestly is breathtaking since just last week I watched this little baby on tape again. 

The Nest is a great classic 80's gem made in the very popular year of 88. I've always been a fan of creature/animal/incests going against humans. This was a popular tool often used in the 1950's and then again in the 1970's. The 80's ushered in a few movie of these titles and The Nest is a great middle film to watch between Squirm and after Slugs

 
So to 1980's fans of horror out there, if you're looking for a great somewhat cheesy gory movie dealing with the nastiest bug of them all, go buy the DVD/Blu-ray combo pack of The Nest and don't forget the Raid!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

1986 One hell of a year for horror!


 1986 One hell of a year for horror
In the past I've covered lists from 1988 and 1983, but it really never dawned on me that a good portion of some of my favorite 80's horror movies were all made in one year. The wonderful classy year of 1986!

The Fly


Aliens

Jason Lives: Friday the 13th part VI


From Beyond


Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2


Night Of The Creeps


TerrorVision


The Hitcher


House


Maximum Overdrive


Critters


April's Fool's Day

Slaughter High

Poltergeist II: The Other Side

Little Shop Of Horrors

Deadly Friend

Chopping Mall

Psycho III

Troll

Deadtime Stories

Witchboard

Terror At Tenkiller

Killer Party