Thursday, January 31, 2013

Return Of The Living Dead Figure

 Return Of The Living Dead Figure 

Return Of The Living Dead after the ever so amazing Day Of The Dead in my eyes is one of the best zombie movies of the 1980's. A small group of punk rockers and funeral home and factory workers are trapped in a surrounding cemetery when some military toxic gas is released, causing the buried corpses to rise and seek the one thing that stops the pain of them rotting...


With a wonderful cast, soundtrack, and some pretty dazzling effects along with a great jaw dropping ending, Return spawned several sequels and have become a cult classic over the years. I myself still have fond memories of when I first rented this movie as a child and had the urge to tell everyone I knew about the entire plot, scene by scene.

As the years went on, I admired this movie for so many different reasons, one of the main ones being the first zombie to be featured in the first film.


Who can ever forget when poor Tina hides down in the basement as Mr. Tarman comes sauntering on over, his big gorgeous eyes and pieces of his black rotting slim flesh dripping off his bones. 

This past fall at HorrorHound while trying to buy as much Gremlins merch as possible, my friend pointed out a very awesome Tarman figure that I had first seen a few months earlier. For only twenty bucks this handsome bastard was being sold and thanks to my friend, she talked me into it and I adopted him.

Amok Time was the company behind making this very demanded action figure and I really have to hand it to them on the attention of detail. Now I'm being that dork that's leaving my figure in the package. Lately there have been more and more reunions with the cast and I hope someday soon I can meet a good chunk of them and get them to sign the package. 

Mr. Tarman comes with an awesome base and a tiny little brain with a bite taken out of it, recreating his famous basement scene in the original film.

These little babies are just starting to come up on price online and I have a feeling in the next couple of years will double their value. I can't stress enough to any die hard fan of the Return series, go adopt one of these babies and give them a good home!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Trailer Of The Week!

 Trailer Of The Week!

Just this past fall I finally got around to seeing the highly underrated 80's slasher gem The Mutilator. For years I had heard nothing but awesome things about this movie and I was more than a little blown away when I watched it. I hope soon I can post a review on how truly awesome this title is, but for now here is the original trailer to the 1985 classic. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Best Horror Anthologies

  Best Horror Anthologies

  Best – The Crate
Worst - The Lonesome Death Of Jordy Verrill

Body Bags
Best – The Gas Station
Worst – Hair

Dead Of Night
Best - Bobby
Worst – No Such Thing As A Vampire

Tales From The Darkside The Movie
Best – Lover's Vow
Worst – Lot 249

Best - Terror In Topanga
Worst - The Benediction

Trilogy Of Terror
Best - Amelia
Worst - Julie

Creepshow II
Best – The Raft
Worst – Wraparound story

Trick R Treat 
Best – Werewolf story
Worst – Pumpkin carving story

Trilogy Of Terror II
Best – Laura
Worst – Bobby's Mom – Sorry, remake didn't do it to justice.

Cat's Eye
Best – The Ledge
Worst – Quitters Inc.

Snakes, spiders, and shocks oh my! Wes Craven's Deadly Blessing.

  Snakes, spiders, and shocks oh my! Wes Craven's Deadly Blessing.

Just a few years before Mr. Wes Craven reinvented himself to the world of horror with his brilliant dream bending thriller A Nightmare On Elm Street, he was in a small state of limbo as the 1980's began. Having made two of the most violent movies in the 1970's. Last House On The Left, and The Hills Have Eyes. Keeping busy the last few years with television work, he made an extremely underrated thriller that often goes under the radar when one looks over his very impressive career. This was with 1981's Deadly Blessing.

PLOT – When former member of a religious cult dies in a mysterious accident, his wife now lives alone and close to the cult's church. Fearing for her life and her friends, strange and deadly events begin to happen...

LOWDOWN – I've been a Wes Craven fan for years. I have fond memories of being scared shitless from A Nightmare On Elm Street (In fact I like to think re-watching this movie over and over again to get over my fear was a huge reason why I ended up loving horror so much.) I was a huge Scream nut growing up, being able to see the last three sequels in theaters. I'm also a huge fan of his underrated work. Such as Deadly Friend, The people Under The Stairs, and of course Shocker. In my eyes this is after Raimi and Carpenter one of the greatest horror directors of all time. He was able to make gritty brutal rape revenge movies with Last House and Hills, and then very smartly transformed into the 1980's creating a new villain that many of us would forever fear and love. I think what makes Craven such a great director is his underrated work. These are original works that aren't as hyped up as Elm Street, Last House, and Hills. These are his works that fell under the radar that many may not even know about but vaguely remember watching growing up. I can't even begin with my love for Deadly Friend and how I forced many of my friends to watch it over and over and over again. Same goes with People Under The Stairs and Shocker. These are great pieces of work that made a very insane universe dealing with terror and fear.

With Deadly Blessing I had always heard about it, yet never saw it. It wasn't until the ever so amazing Scream Factory for seriously releasing some of the hardest titles to find today, classics that we all grew up loving and remembering from our childhood. The great thing about Scream Factory is the fact their releasing movies that have long since been out of print or were released with bare bones DVDs. These discs are offered with breathtaking new artwork with reversible slip covers if you want to display the original artwork. The extras, commentaries, interviews, and documentaries are out of this world for any hard core fan. Also the blu-ray transfer is nothing less than stunning.

Yesterday while looking around my local record store I spotted a copy of Deadly Blessing and decided to take the risk in doing a complete blind. I felt that from the positive things I had heard, and the fact I have been such a big Wes Craven far, it would be pretty hard to disappoint. But then again when I finally got my hands on a VHS copy of Invitation To Hell, I was less than a little impressed. So finally I sat back and watched the very creepy and unsettling tale that makes me NEVER wanting to go to Amish country e-v-e-r.

The best way I can describe this movie is comparing it to Dark Night Of The Scarecrow. Now I know these movies really don't have much in common besides being set in farm land, but maybe it's the score of the very unsettling storyline that makes me compare these two. Deadly Blessing is a great thriller. It takes it's time with it's pacing, setting along perfectly the tension and the fact that something is off in this beautiful countryside.

This is great pacing/writing at it's finest. Craven created a world where all is not what it seems and you can't help but feel the building tension that begins to surround these three women.

With appearances by a very young and lovely Sharon Stone, Pumpkinhead's Jeff East, Hills Have Eyes's Michael Berrymann, and veteran actor Ernest Borgnine. This is a solid cast that seriously makes the film.

Another huge element I think that worked very well was the use of those fucking spiders and snakes. Now a days this little trick is overused to the point it's laughable. Back then, Craven knew exactly what he was doing and even showed a small preview of things to come with his use of nightmares and dreams. The bathtub snake bit will forever be burned into my memory...

Another huge element that worked was of course the score, and the insane ending. There are like nine twists thrown at once. Without spoiling things, I'm sure I won't be the only one who was left completely puzzled and more than a little creeped out at the ending scene. It seemed like a Tales From The Darkside episode on crack.

So I highly recommend this thriller to anyone who enjoys Craven's early work, or likes movies that have the feel of back when made for TV movies were bad ass from the 1980's. In fact I was pretty stunned to find this wasn't a TV movie. Now this isn't for everyone, but I can't urge any horror fan enough to check out this movie. It's a great creepy film with a stunning transfer and more than enough extras to make for a very interesting after noon.

3 stars!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

I can't believe that's the same person! Part 1

 I can't believe that's the same person! Part 1
Character actors are the best type of actors. These are masters of their craft, never usually the lead role, but have the gift of being able to transform into whatever part they are set to be. These in my eyes are the actors who bring the blood, sweat, and tears to the business. If it wasn't for these guys, we wouldn't have so many memorable characters in movies. Some have made a while career of doing so, and others played one memorable role that truly blew us away. Here is a brief list of some actors who truly become the characters and are nearly unrecognizable!

Christopher Guest 
I love Christopher Guest and I'm a huge fan of his movies. I would think to think my love for him started years ago when I used to watch The Princess Bride with my sister. (What can I say, I loved me some six finger man...) Anywho, Christopher Guest has the rare talent of being able to transform into each character he plays. From the British rock star in This Is Spinal Tap, to the backwards jean wearing Corky St. Cair, to nut naming and bloodhound lover Harlan Pepper... 

Kevin J O' Connor 
I'm sure I wasn't the only person that loved Clive Barker's Lord Of Illusions. The actor who truly stole the show in that was Mr. Kevin J O'Connor. Kevin has been in the business for nearly 30 years and has played some pretty memorable characters. I was floored to find out this was the same guy who was in Peggy Sue Got Married, and The Mummy. Mind blowing... 

Tim Curry 
I couldn't agree anymore that you can tell a man's sexual orientation just by asking them what their favorite Tim Curry movie is. From stunning us with all his "talents" in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, to wearing insane unrecognizable makeup in Legend, and of course scaring the utter shit out of everyone in Stephen King's IT.

Gary Oldman
I think Mr. Oldman really does deserve the new crown as the man of a 1000 faces. From playing punk rocker Sid Vicious In Sid And Nancy, to drug dealing pimp in True Romance, and of course let us not forget his creepy as hell performance in Hannibal. I think it's safe to say Gary is one of our most talented actors for the time.

Doug Jones 
One of the greatest character actors and stunt men around. Mr. Jones has made a living playing unrecognizable characters. Pan's Labyrinth, Ouarantine, and Hellboy is just a few titles from his very impressive career.   

Nick Stahl
Long before Mr. Stahl began "loosing" his way, he had a pretty impressive career going. One of his more memorable roles was in Frank Miller's Sin City, in which he completely hid his pretty boy looks and transformed himself into the yellow bastard.

Joseph Gordon Levitt. 
Oh Mr. Levitt, how I love you. No matter how many movies you play in, your always going to be that cute kid with the long hair I grew up watching from 3rd Rock From The Sun. One of his latest and in my eyes best movies so far is Looper. In this Levitt transformed himself due to the help of some really amazing makeup to play a younger version of Mr. Bruce Willis. Not only with the makeup, he also closely studied Willis's facial expressions and mannerisms resulting in a stunning performance.   

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Trailer Of The Week

 Trailer Of The Week
In honor of Mr. Rutger Hauer's birthday, I decided to post the trailer to one of my favorite thrillers of all time. 

The Hitcher.

Yes, the original. The one starring C. Thomas Howell and Rutger Hauger. In 1986 we were shown a very haunting tale of a young man who makes the very deadly mistake, pulling over to help a man stranded in the middle of the back highways of the desert. Everything about this movie is stunning, I really can't express how much I love this movie and how much I respect it. Also if you ever want to get my blood boiling...bring up the shit remake.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Fright Night novel

 Fright Night novel
Last spring while VHS hunting in NH with my friend Nate and my tattoo artist Shane, we found our self's in an old barn owned by this woman Ruth who is seriously pushing ninety. This woman I guess back in the day used to buy out old school mum & pop video stores. Sitting on all these tapes, he began to sell them for super cheap as the years went on. I've made several trips to this barn, and picked up probbaly a good twenty-five to thirty tapes that I've been looking for. (Nate, myself, and a few others cleaned her out of all her horror tapes.) Still, her collection is pretty impressive and massive. There's shelf's upon shelf's packed with VHS tapes. In fact you have to pile up milk crates just to move around. For those who don't like tight quarters or the fear of having a million tapes crush you to death...this isn't your cup of tea.

Anywho, on one of my last stops at Ruth's, I went with Nate and Shane to see if she had any other hidden gems. I had all ready visited Ruth's home, which is best described as the witch's house from Ernest Scared Stupid. I spent a whole afternoon in the freezing cold with the guys searching through an old tractor trailer for tapes. Trust wasn't pretty.

On my last visit to see if there was anything left, we noticed that there was a small section of the barn we haven't looked in it. Instead of tapes, there was all of the books Ruth had collected over the years. Taking a peek inside that's when I noticed how impressive her collection was. Just by chance looking down, I spotted Mr. Chris Sarandon on the cover of one of the books...and of course the amazing words I fondly remembered as a child...

Fright Night.

I was pretty surprised to see this just laying there among the millions of other paperback books. In fact I had no idea a novel even excised based off one of my all time favorite vampire movies. Picking it up, I tossed it in along with the few other tapes I had snagged. A month later I drove back making my final visit so far to Ms. Ruth. I picked up several paperback novels based off such movies as Halloween III, Deadly Friend, Poltergeist, The Hearse, Fade To Black, The Fog, and of course some pretty awesome original Stephen King works. 

I really don't have much to say about the Fright Night novel. Like many books based off films, it follows the movie pretty closely. It was a quick read, 230 pages, I finished it within a couple of days while killing time in my car. 

Written by John Skipp and Craig Spector, I was really not that impressed. I know this was a huge marketing tool they used (mostly in the 1980's.) Shortly after a movie was released, they published a book to go along with it. For some this work...for some they didn't.

This was one that really didn't.

You would think making a book based off Fright Night you would want to go further into the story lines, mostly dealing with Jerry. Instead we got a page by page recount of what happened in the movie. The writing was pretty poor as much as I hate to admit it, and not very well done. 

This is a great collector item for fans of the movie, but after reading several others based off movies, this one is one of the worst.

Now if anyone can find a Gremlins 2 book...send it my way!