Saturday, February 28, 2015

Dangerously Close on blu-ray!

 Dangerously Close on blu-ray!

PLOT - At an elite high school a group of students form a group to put the undesirables in their place. It isn't long before things are taken too far and the leader of the group invites the school's head editor of the newspaper into the very strange and intense world that can be deadly.

This past Tuesday one of my all time favorite guilty pleasure 80's movies was FINALLY released on blu-ray. A format that this film truly needed after all these years. 

Dangerously Close.

The movie first got my attention years ago when I first discovered the movie Radioactive Dreams, which was directed by Albert Pyun and starring John Stockwell best known from his role in Christine. Always fascinated with these lesser known actors from the 1980's, I knew John has lived a very interesting life, and now has turned to the other side of the camera now directing films. After making King and Carpenter's masterpiece, for a short time in the 1980's John starred in some pretty awesome films such as City Limits, Losing It, and even Top Gun. My favorites though are his lesser known movies such as My Science Project, Radioactive Dreams, and Dangerously Close. These movies are cult classics in their own right and for some very off reason I have this odd hobby in collecting posters to decorate my downstairs den in. 

Radioactive Dreams was a colorful action-adventure, science-fiction, musical-fantasy in a post-nuclear world. Dangerously Close, made the following year took a more settle approach in toning things down and turning it into a sleek crime drama with a great soundtrack, and amazing cast.

This film is a huge favorite of mine. I have a massive poster of it in my den, the movie on VHS, DVD (thanks VHSPS, I seriously hounded those poor guys until finally it was released.), the killer soundtrack on vinyl, and even on tape. I was beyond thrilled when I learned the movie was finally getting some blu-ray treatment after all these years. 

I remember how frustrating it was watching this movie over the years on tape since the picture wasn't the greatest and in some scenes the lighting was so dark you couldn't see a thing. Now in HD, I legit feel speechless by how crystal clear and crisp the transfer is. There are few blu-rays that really grab my attention. This is one of them.

Sadly there are zip, and I mean zip for special features. (What I would have done for a commentary with Pyun and Stockwell.) but nevertheless beggars can't my choosers. I just feel lucky enough that they did such a great job making this great cheesy 80's fest as if it was shot just yesterday. Seriously every detail looks so clear and those club scenes! Those were some of which the picture was downright horrible. Now it's seen the way it was supposed to be seen, in which I can finally admire how beautiful the lighting is. 

Just a few years ago I had the complete pleasure of interviewing Puyn, and had the chance to pick his brain about this movie. I still remember one of the questions I asked as if he wondered if the movies would ever be released on blu-ray? Well, I'm glad this question has become a reality and now this underrated cult classic can get the respect it deserves as well as finding a new audience! 

5 stars!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Top ten coolest Freddy Krueger figures

 Top 10 Freddy Krueger figures

I'm sure I'm not the only one out there but there's just something about collecting action figures based off your all time favorite movie characters. In the last ten or so years this has blown up beyond belief. So many companies have been chugging out figures in various models, sizes, and designs. The struggle is real for collectors, and some of the most popular ones are of course based off horror films.

Most important is the ones of Mr. Krueger himself.

Here are my choices for the top ten coolest looking figures based off Freddy Krueger.

10) - Cinema Of Fear series 2 - Freddy Krueger based off A Nightmare On Elm Street

9) Cinema Of Fear series 3 - Freddy Krueger based off A Nightmare On Elm Street 5 The Dream Child.

8) Cinema Of Fear series 3 - Freddy Krueger based off A Nightmare On Elm Street 4 The Dream Master.

7) Cinema Of Fear series 2 - Freddy Krueger based off A Nightmare On Elm Street 3 Dream Warriors.

6) NECA - Freddy Krueger based off A Nightmare On Elm Street.

5) NECA - Freddy Krueger - Based off A Nightmare On Elm Street 3 Dream Warriors

4) NECA - Freddy Krueger - A Nightmare On Elm Street 4 The Dream Master

3) NECA - Freddy Kruger - A Nightmare On Elm Street 5 The Dream Child.

2) NECA - Freddy Krueger - 8-bit Freddy based off video game.

1) NECA - Freddy Krueger based off A Nightmare On Elm Street. 30th. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Return of the living dead part II. What went wrong, and what could have made it oh so much better.

Return of the living dead part II. What went wrong, and what could have made it oh so much better.

Just the other night my friend Mike came over and asked if I could show him some horror movies. Looking through my shelfs, I found my old battered up bootleg of Joe Bob Briggs hosting Monstervision when Return Of The Living Dead aired in the mid 90's. Lounging back, we witnessed the shit show that's one of the biggest bastards in the world of horror. Otherwise known as...

Return of the living dead part II.

The original Return of the living dead is a cult classic. Being released in 1985, it told the story of a group of punk rockers that are trapped in a cemetery after a toxic gas is released, causing the undead to rise. With a killer soundtrack, great cast, and amazing effects it was one of the first films to issue "fast" zombies, along with one hell of a killer ending. 

It was only a matter of time before a sequel was made.

In 1988 Return Of The Living Dead part II was, being released in the tail end of the 1980's when horror and slashers were at it's highest. Zombies were making a bit of a comeback between Day Of The Dead, Night Of The Creeps and The Evil Dead 1& II films. Trying to cash in on how popular Return had been, putting a teenage twist on the "Dead" films that George A. Romero had made so popular. 

Sadly this was of course a complete and utter shit show. 

Trust me, I'm not the only one who feels this way.

With a weak script, and a rushed production, the film sadly didn't hold the magic the first did. 

Cashing in more on comedy than anything else, the movie seemed like a crazy slapstick kiddy movie, where everything that worked in the first film, failed horribly in this one. Dispite being a guilty pleasure with some memorable moments (zombie with crowbar in his head, the roles of Thom Mathews and James Karen, the hand scene, and yes...a few bits of the soundtrack.) With some killer VHS artwork, and the fact this movie pretty much begins as ET, it's a must for all horror fans to watch at least once, or just own as part of the trilogy. (As much as I like the overall storyline for part 3 and the effects, it's a little too much of a bummer, pretty much getting rid of any of the fun from the first two films.) As flawed as Return part II is, I won't say I hate it. In fact that's far from my true feelings. I just think they had such promise for such a killer series and sorta sank the ship before it set sail.


This is what I would have done to maybe "fix" some of the issues in part II.

1) Don't use little kids.
Nothing against the cast of part II (They did their best despite the fact of being in a complete turd) but what I would have done was totally cash in on the whole suburbs setting (I love Poltergeist, and thought this change was awesome and not used to it's full potential.) I would of had maybe some local neighborhood kids fooling around, and keep the original opening of one of the barrels falling off into the river and ending up in the sewer where the kids find it and accidentally let loose the gas. Instead of having Jessie as the lead, I would of had a small subplot of all three kids becoming infected and becoming flesh eating zombies. What if a babysitter was looking after one of them, or an older sister and at first they think that one of the boys caught a cold from playing outside. Next thing you know...flesh eating zombie. Also would have given this movie total props for having the balls of having zombie kids and having them killed off.

2) Have a teen cast/reuse the original cast.
Besides the returning stars Thom Mathews and James Karen, we were given a brand new cast. Now like I said, no issues with Dana Ashbrook or even Suzanne Snyder. I just think it would have been beyond clever to re-use the entire original cast in totally different roles. Maybe there's a huge backyard bash going on at one of the houses while one of the character's parents are away. It could have been a pool party via Freddy's Revenge and have all the characters we knew and loved now playing new parts. Like have Linnea Quigley maybe play the shy nerdy girl (who somehow ends up having her blouse torn off) and Beverly Randolph as a punk rocker. The sky is the limit, they really could of had a lot of run turning the tables, and maybe even adding a few new faces. 88 was a great year for a low of younger actors. I'm sure there would have been TONS of people who would have killed to be in this movie.

4) Get Dan O'Bannon back.
I'm sure Dan knew to stay far far away from this hot mess, but who knows maybe with a stronger script with the original writers coming back something special could have happened. If not Dan than a strong director who would have respected the legacy O'Bannon left behind. A filmmaker with a strong passion for horror. I still believe had the script been stronger, who knows maybe Dan really would have come back. I guess we'll never know. RIP

5) Cut down on the damn comedy!
What worked so well with the original was the fact that the comedy wasn't really forced. Everything was so bat shit crazy and over the top you had to laugh in certain moments. In others, you were beyond creeped out. Had Return Of The Living Dead II had a stronger script I feel it would have found this balance. What if the gas was released, suddenly a while neighborhood is crawling with flesh eating zombies as the teens having the party have to lock themselves up (all becoming separated), trying to figure out how to get help, or stop these things. I did like the idea of the army sealing off the entire town. Showing maybe 3 separate stories of the characters split up, trying to fight off these things would have been amazing. I also would have changed who got infected, and how everyone died. Dazzle up the effects even more, and slap on a soundtrack that would give the original a run for it's money and I really truly think they could of had something beyond amazing. I mean I even liked the idea of them using the power plant to take out all the zombies. Would have been amazing to maybe have some people this time around live, but maybe end of a cliffhanger instead of that STUPID head talking to the camera. Ehhh...

Oh and one more thing...

Get rid of the fucking Michael Jackson zombie.

I think if this film was made more for fans, and taken more seriously part II would have been a fun follow up to the original and of course finishing off with the dark twisted love story of part III.

"Sigh..." if only.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Dawn of the dead on blu-ray

 Dawn of the dead on blu-ray

So I think it's been clear that New England has been buried by ten million feet of snow which results in Stacy being snowed in for the next million years. Lately if you follow me on this blog, FB, or even IG you might notice I've been re-watching over and over and OVER again the 1978 zombie classic Dawn Of The Dead. What can I say? I get on kicks with certain movies and can't stop. To me Dawn has always been a huge favorite of mine and a big reason why I love horror and makeup effects in general (blue zombies). Dawn is a comfort movie of mine that I watch whenever I'm down, and what better way to beat the winter blues than re-watching the same movie again and again and again. Even though for years Day of the dead has been a favorite of mine (the score, effects, characters, ect) I feel Dawn is the true masterpiece in the original dead trilogy for having the perfect setting, and most likable characters you were able to grow close with. After playing by special edition to DEATH (3 different versions...complete heaven) I decided it was about time to finally get around to upgrading and get this sucker on blu-ray.

Only problem.

Out. Of. Print.

Searching high and low I was finally able to get it for cheap on ebay and treated myself to this, wondering why Scream Factory hasn't gotten their hands on this title seeing that they did one hell of an amazing job with Day. Finally today, after pretty much busting up by ribs breaking up ice (I have strangely been in a week long hangover since this normal or am I turning into one of the living dead? I was surprised with a package in the mail and this waiting inside. Now snuggled up with my heater, I'm feasting on this classic for the first time in HD and all I have to say is...

Stunning. Simply stunning.

The remastered version of this film is complete and total eye candy for fans. Besides the 70's fashion this seriously looks as if it could have been made in the year 2015. The flashy rich colors seem to be jumping out at the screen and everything is beyond crystal clear. 

Now mind you all of the special features are things that have been included on the past DVDs, (kinda taken aback that the cast commentary or different versions didn't make it) but this by far is the best format I've watched this film on so far and can't urge collectors enough let alone dead fans to track down this blu-ray and watch it right away!

On a side note sorta bummed out. A friend and I were just bitching and moaning that there are legit no Dawn of the dead reunions around. I have met Ken several times (even at HorrorHound watched a table next to his and shot the shit with him for a good half an hour.) the man is charming as hell. But besides that (and Savini) I haven't met anyone else from the cast. Not Gaylynn, David, or Scott. Seeing that I'm a huge Flyboy fan (hoping to get him tattooed on me this year) I would love to meet him in person and just gush over the film. From all the Q&A's I've watched they seem like such awesome fun people and the cast commentary on the SE edition is one of my favorites to listen to. My friend who's a fellow Dawn fan expressed how much he would love to visit the filming locations (I've been to the mall before they changed pretty much everything, including the zombie museum) awesome for hard core fans but now you wouldn't even see it's the same with all these shootings ehhh...

But he did say he would love to attend a convention with me if there was ever a Dawn reunion. Well legit just three days ago I heard of Culture Shock, a convention linked to the Days Of The Dead shows in Indy which happens to have a full Dawn reunion. "Screams". Due to budget problems and timing, clearly this show is a no go "sigh..." but I urge anyone who's attending to please snap as many photos as possible. My dream is to meet Flyboy, so I'll be lurking on IG that whole weekend!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

HD images of Nightbreed. - Visual candy for the Tribes of the moon!

 HD images of Nightbreed. - Visual candy for the Tribes of the moon!

Over on the ever so popular Facebook page Occupy Midian a fellow member of the Tribes of the moon posted some crystal clear screenshots from their brand new blu-ray that was released from Shout Factory this past fall. As we all know, I'm a massive fan of this movie and pretty much anything Nightbreed related. In fact, yesterday it turned 25. To think, all these years later and even more popular than it ever was. Also the fact that Mr. Oliver Parker aka Peloquin was 29 going on 30 while his future wife was only two years old when this movie was shot. (Oliver, I'm waiting) Anywho, to celebrate one of my all time favorite films turning the big two-five, I've decided to post the images that show how stunning this transfer truly is!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Characters who caused other people's deaths...

 Characters who caused other people's deaths...

There is always that one or two characters that make some REALLY stupid choices and a domino effect starts happening resulting in several if not more other people's deaths. Love em, or hate them here they are.


Nicole and Steve - Dawn Of The Dead (2004)
- As we all know I worship the original (1978) Dawn Of The Dead, and as mad as I am at those damn bikers "Damn you Savini!" for being responsible for letting those zombies in AND killing Flyboy, I somehow get more bothered by the beyond stupid series of events that happen in the 2004 remake. First off Nicole was the biggest waste of a character ever. The fact she goes after Chips the dog even after it's made clear the zombies aren't interested in doggy meat. Her crashing the truck across the street to the gun store and just having to get rescued always really bothers me. Call me a heartless bitch but you wanted to go after the dog, you find a way to get back now. Then Steve who doesn't open the door for the guys, leading the zombies into the mall, and then having the boat keys on him. I'm sorry but even if it was his boat everyone was running to, who would trust him with the keys? Because of this the really only good character Michael (Jake Weber) is bit. "Sigh..." such a waste. 

Mary and Lila Loomis - Psycho II
- I adore Psycho II. In fact dare I even say it really does give the original classic a run for it's money. This mystery continues halfway through the movie making the audience wonder "Who's trying to drive Norman crazy?" It honestly could be anyone, or even..."Gasp!" Mrs. Bates?! Well low and beyond it's Mary and Lila Loomis the mother and daughter team who have thought up this entire plan from the second Norman was released. I really did love the Mary and Norman characters and how of course Mary has second thoughts feeling sorry for Norman once the plan goes into action. Of course at the very end when Mrs. Spool reveals herself (dumbest twist e-v-e-r) she explains the reason why she started killing was she saw what Mary and Lila were up to, and couldn't bare the thought of anyone bothering her little boy. Because of Mary and Lila, Mrs. Spool begins killing which results in Norman going insane again and causes the events of part 3 to happen. Looks like the Loomis ladies got exactly what they wanted.

Idiot boat councilors - Sleepaway Camp
- I somehow always crack up at the beginning of Sleepaway Camp. Two beyond dumb ass characters are taking a speed boat out so one of the campers can attempt water skiing (CAN'T WE STOP NOW?!) It kills me how the two dumb asses are actually in charge of running a speed boat while the camper looks completely terrified (what kind of camp is this?) Due to the weakness of a pretty face, the driver of the boat allows the idiot girl councilor to drive the boat which results in them running over the Baker family killing the father, and young daughter leaving poor Peter orphaned which results in him going to live with his crazy aunt who raises him as his dead sister Angela. This of course royalty fucks with him and years later being forced to go to camp and being teased by others leads to a bloody massacre in this film and it's sequels. 

Sampson and his friends - Hatchet 
- It's almost a rite of passage that a bunch of dumb ass kids teasing somebody helpless always ends up with bloodshed. Thanks to Sampson and two of his childhood buddies, they decide it would be a killer idea to set fire crackers off at the Crowley cabin which ends up setting a fire on the porch. Poor Mr. Crowley tries chopping down the cabin door with a hatchet and ends up accidentally killing his poor deformed son making his cursed soul rise from the grave and kill anyone who enters his swamp. I'm mostly mad at these kids because if they hadn't of done that...Zach Galligan in part III would have lived. Just saying...

Barry and Claudette - Friday the 13th 
- Ah, the two councilors who just COULDN'T keep it in their pants and were responsible for a series of events that resulted in more than 200 deaths. You see Barry and Claudette were councilors at Camp Crystal Lake who were fooling around when they should have been watching Jason, a poor little retarded boy who was son to the camp cook. While they were macking it most likely behind a cabin all of the other campers attacked Jason, picking on him and making him fall into the water of the lake where he drowned. This of course drove his mother insane who returned a year later to kill Barry and Claudette. "We weren't doing anything we were just fooling around!" = Best opening e-v-e-r. Well if you ask me Barry and Claudette got off easy because Jason's mom went on another massacre years later when the camp tried to re-open. Here we find out that she was seriously insane and that somehow...someway Jason didn't drown. In fact he washed up on shore and lived in the woods too scared to come out of hiding (okay?) Well Jason saw his mother get killed which made him go on a rampage killing ANYONE who went to Crystal Lake. The man has done it all, he's fought Freddy, gone to New York, space, and even Hell. Thanks a lot Barry and Claudette. 

Chris - Carrie 
- Just like in Hatchet, there is some poor helpless person who gets picked on by a group of assholes. In Stephen King's classic novel, these asshole are a bunch of teenagers in the 1970's who get their rocks off by picking on poor Carrie White. The awkward, church mouse of a girl who lives with her abusive mother. After taking the teasing one step too far after poor Carrie gets her first period at school, Chris is kicked out of school which means she'll miss prom. Well, after getting her boyfriend and other idiots in her group to think of a master plan to get Carrie back, they pull some "strings" and fix it to have Carrie win prom queen at the dance. At Carrie's happiest moment, Chris ruins it all when she dumps a bucket full of pig's blood on her. This unleashes Carrie's terrifying power of mind control. Here Carrie loses it after she's drenched in blood, and her prom date is accidentally killed. Locking the doors, Carrie slowly starts to take out everyone who "laughed" at her, setting fire to the gym, and killing everyone there. Don't mess with a girl on her period Chris...take notes.

Miguel - Day Of The Dead
- Oh Miguel, Miguel, Miguel. What is there to say? My least favorite character in the entire Dead series.  A solider breaking underneath all the pressure of the world ending. After getting bit and pretty much being the reason why two men died, his girlfriend Sarah (who he treats like complete dog shit) cuts off his infected arm after getting bit by a zombie. Instead of being grateful for this at least flicking chance at life, Miguel decides if he's going to die...everyone else should. Going up to of the military bunker, he leads all the flesh eating zombies onto the elevator platform and pretty much allows himself to get eaten alive but not before lowering the platform and letting all of the zombies into the bunker. = Really Miguel...what did that accomplish? Besides, you killed bastard!

Todd and friends - The Burning
- More asshole kids causing bad things to happen! At the beginning of The Burning, we witness a group of kids who decide to pull a prank on the mean groundskeeper Crospy. Putting a rotting skull in his cabin with candles inside, they bang on the window before he drunkly wakes up to see the skull. Frightened, he knocks the skull and candles over and sets his entire bunk on fire. Within seconds the harmless prank ends up with Crospy completely on fire leaving most of his body horribly burned. Well years later Crospy is released from the hospital and decides to take out his revenge on a bunch of new campers at another camp. Poor Fisher Stevens...

Roman - Scream 3
- The man who started it all. As much as I hate part 3 (besides the opening) it did pull a pretty cool twist at the end with the reveal of the killer. Sidney's slutty mother I guess was in a gang bang in Hollywood in the 1970's. Well that gang bang resulted in a bastard baby she didn't want. Here she gave it up, moved away and started a nice Apple pie life in Woodsboro before he shows up at her door years later wanting a nice family reunion. Well, Sid's mother wasn't having any of that and slammed the door in his face. This led to Roman showing Billy Loomis footage he had shot while following his long lost mother around town. Setting Billy off, he killed his mother and pretty much pushed Billy and Stu into the killings in part 1. Well with Billy being killed in part 1, that led to Mrs. Loomis and Mickey killing in part 2, and so on and so forth, ect. Thanks to Roman the whole Woodsboro killings began and set all these crazy people off one after another. Thanks Roman...ya dick!

The Springwood parents - A Nightmare On Elm Street 
- You really can't blame these parents for what they did. (In deleted scenes in the original you find out that most of the parents had older children who were killed and molested by Freddy as well) I mean I'm not a parent, but just try to put yourself in those people's shoes. You're children are murdered, and the younger ones most likely molested. The guy responsible is set free, off to go do it again. I think they had the best intensions, but sadly this ended up with Freddy being re-born able to get their surviving children years later in their dreams where they are completely helpless. One by one the Elm Street children are killed off, and later in the sequels opens up for all of the Springwood children to be killed. Maybe life in jail would have been a better choice guys...

Lanyard Gates/Suzanne - Popcorn 
- One of my all time favorite backstories to a slasher is the Popcorn one. Here we learn that Lanyard Gates was a filmmaker/cult leader in the 1960's making weird films and making his audience drop acid to watch them. Well after his first film was laughed at, he decided to make his final film, acting out the very last scene on stage with his family. Killing his wife, and planning on killing his young daughter (who he was feeding acid to at the time) his sister in-law Suzanne had enough to stormed the stage after her sister was murdered and shot Lanyard, who knocked over some candles, setting the theater on fire. Suzanne and Sarah aka Maggie got out alive but everyone else in the audience including poor Toby and his mother were caught inside. Toby's mother was killed, but he was able to get out with his entire body horribly burned. After years of learning how to hide his burnt body, he goes on a killing spree trying to finish the film that was being shown the night of the fire. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Horror movies that show romance is not dead.

 Horror movies that show romance is not dead.
With Friday the 13th AND Valentine's Day coming up this week the mixture of romance and rampages are in the air. Today, I share with you ten movies that show that romance doesn't always have to be shown in the typical old fashion sense. In fact, it can be downright bloody!

My Bloody Valentine (1981)

My Bloody Valentine (2009)




Deadly Friend 

To Die For


Night Of The Living Dead 3

Cat People