LINKS TO THE PORT MANTEAU OF HORROR

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Amicus Portmanteau Double Feature: Tales from the Crypt and Vault of Horror (Scream Factory Blu-ray)

I am an impassioned Amicus fan. It makes me critical of all portmanteau movies (anthology horror pictures). It means that I wrap myself up with horror celebrities as if they were warm blankets and am allowed to view four to five tales of horror in a row told by master story tellers with updated settings to keep the cost down. Think of the Monkey’s Paw revisited or go to your favorite EC comic and turn the page. You will find the horror I speak of in abundance. No single company tells short tales as well as Amicus regardless of time period, acting troupe or budget. Like I said, I’m a fan. That makes the Scream Factory Blu-ray release of the double feature presentation of Tales from the Crypt and The Vault of Horror Important to me. It means I beckon for them to consider Asylum, Torture Garden and of course, my beloved, Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors.

I own the MGM double feature DVD of these two movies and the picture quality is an upgrade to be sure, and for that I am grateful. I’m also happy to have the chance to enjoy a more violent cut of The Vault of Horror, but despite my enthusiasm over parts of this release I am left slightly bewildered. My expectation for this release should have been set at the time of press release. The only real extra to speak of was supposed to be the uncut version of The Vault of Horror. This nearly did not happen at no fault of Scream Factory, but our hero company came through. They have delivered The Vault of Horror as promised. Uncut.  This is not a problem nor is the alternate title card edition that shows the Tales from the Crypt 2 name. I saw this first at a 35mm screening at the Exhumed Films Horrorthon a few years back. It’s a pleasure to own.


So where are the extras for Tales from the Crypt? This is arguable one of the most important releases in anthology horror history from a prominent horror studio that has spawned countless books about it. You mean to say we couldn’t get a film historian to talk about each entry (no matter how bland). No stills? No theatrical trailer? Nothing from the Peter Cushing Society of Beloved Followers (made up society to be sure)? Just give me something to go along with one of the most important releases of our age.

Scream Factory gave me a beautiful version of the films and a long lost uncut versions of The Vault of Horror. Versions. This is a two disc set. Disc 1 includes The Vault of Horror theatrical (1.85:1 AR) and The Vault of Horror open matte uncut version (1.33:1 AR). Disc 2 includes Tales from the Crypt (lonely Tales from the Crypt with little more love that some stills on the reverse of the cover) and Vault of Horror … again… this time uncut (1.85 AR). Please understand that all these versions are interesting, but for a movie that should be considered as a good (not great) sequel to a pivotal anthology horror release, I’m surprised we didn’t get more.

The reverse artwork for Vault is so cool. I do love seeing it. The stills on the reverse for Tales are also interesting. I should have pulled out my Album of Modern Horror and sent them the still that terrified me as a kid so they could include it.

From a content perspective, Tales from the Crypt is important. It has a wrap story that is perfectly orchestrated, simple and to the point (you can anticipate the twist). Each story is mapped to coincide with a classic Tales from the Crypt comic book tale and adapted to feel comic book like. You can sense the individual frames in the story (almost like Creepshow would use years later with clever lighting and framing). The actors are perfect caricatures of people you know and those are archetypes that represent Biblical sins whether they be infidelity, murder, greed. I cannot offer you a favorite story among the five because it always changes. It’s Christmas time, so right now And All Through the House is on my mind. It’s actually quite terrifying once you get past the red orange blood (my favorite of the period) and start listening to the Christmas organ music in the background. The evil Santa is realistic and insane. Joan Collins… is hot and pure demon shit! I often discuss this story and reference the modern HBO adaptation. I find this to be far superior and urge all horror fans to seek it out. There are a host of classic horror acts that make an appearance from Peter Cushing to Patrick McGee. If you’re familiar with the period than you’ll see faces you absolutely cannot place but have seen before. Tales from the Crypt was directed by Freddie Francis who also directed Scream Factory’s recent release of The Doctor and The Devils.

Vault of Horror is good. It isn’t better than Tales from the Crypt, but it has good gross outs, clever plot twists and a strong cast. The wrap story doesn’t quite hold up to Tales from the Crypt, but the original music is brilliant (Tales had Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by Bach which is perfect use of this classic horror staple). Terry Thomas who you may remember from AIP’s the Abominable Dr. Phibes is in Vault as is Tom Baker… you know… Dr. Who. It was directed by Roy Ward Baker who is a horror legend in his own right working for Hammer before doing Vault and Asylum for Amicus.


My favorite Tale from Vault of Horror has got to be The Neat Job which pits Terry Thomas against Glynis Johns (my favorite role of Johns’ was as the evil mother in The Ref). You watch Johns try so hard to conform to the obsessive compulsive neatness of Thomas that eventually it drives her to a very strange act. The tension is biting, and you have to laugh at yourself for getting so worked up over a story that ends with precision comic timing (that’s how the best Tales from the Crypt stories work throughout all of their fictitious legacy).

This is a handsome set of two must own horror classics. The gore in Vault is for the trained eye, but nonetheless it’s more fun to see the naughty bits your not supposed to enjoy and the HD upgrade is noticeable if you own the previous releases. Yes, I want more extras for Tales from the Crypt, and I hope some day we get an Amicus collection that treats each movie in their catalog to meat and potatoes, but Scream Factory delivered on the key point here, the uncut Vault release. It’s for the fans of Amicus, and they did right by a movie that may be considered more obscure or at least less loved than Tales.


You can order Tales from the Crypt and Vault of Horror now from Scream Factory (perfect holiday viewing, my fiends).


also available through our friends DiabolikDVD:


Synopsis from Scream Factory:

Tales From The Crypt
When five unwary travelers with dark hearts stumble into a series of catacombs, they find themselves in a cavern with no way out. But the horror’s only just begun as a mysterious figure appears to reveal to each person the shocking events that will lead to their well-deserved, untimely – and unavoidable – demise. Starring Joan Collins (Empire Of The Ants), Peter Cushing (Horror Of Dracula), Patrick Magee (A Clockwork Orange) and Sir Ralph Richardson (Rollerball), and directed by Freddie Francis (The Creeping Flesh), Tales From The Crypt is the original, gets-right-under-your-skin creepfest!
Vault Of Horror
Available uncut for the first time on home video! Five unsuspecting hotel guests step into an elevator, which leads them into an underground vault. Trapped with no way out, each guest shares a gruesome tale of an encounter with death. But as the stories unfold, the men begin to suspect that their presence in the vault is no coincidence, and that the only way out…is death. Starring Tom Baker (Doctor Who), Denholm Elliott (Raiders Of The Lost Ark), Curt Jurgens (The Mephisto Waltz) and Michael Craig (Mysterious Island), this ferociously entertaining film is a worthy sequel to Tales From The Crypt! Includes unrated and theatrical versions.

CHRISTMAS EVIL (Vinegar Syndrome Blu-ray Review) - You Better Watch.. This Blu-ray!

I reviewed Christmas Evil last year for a The Moon is a Dead World’s “The Gory Gifts of Christmas” which you can check out HERE: http://www.docterror.com/2013/12/and-mystery-movie-is.html. The concept behind the The Moon is a Dead World’s celebration was to get a mystery movie in the mail complete with some holiday cheer in the form of candy or hot cocoa. It was an absolute treat to have the opportunity to watch and review Christmas Evil last year, and it’s a treat to revisit it a year later. Much of what I said holds true, so I’ll be offering up new comments about the Vinegar Syndrome release. Of course it’s always confusing to see it listed as “You Better Watch Out” mostly because I’m more familiar with the Christmas Evil imagery and poster/box cover art. I love both titles, and it almost provides peace of mind that we see it as Christmas Evil as Silent Night Deadly Night 3 uses You Better Watch Out as its subtitle.

While Christmas Evil predates Silent Night Deadly Night by about four years, the parallels between it and several of the installments in the SNDN series are pretty telling. One might call Christmas Evil influential, opening up the genre to some very clever killer Santa kills even if they follow formula slasher ideals. It seems that if you cross imagery of Santa Claus with sexuality or murder, somehow, little kids get fucked up in their brain holes and suddenly want to murder all the naughties rather than fuck all the hotties. Personally if I a hot mommy with a garter belt poking out as my Santa tried to put presents under her “tree”, I’d be more inclined, in the truest Oedipal way, to want to stick my pecker in a gift wrapped box or better yet…a stocking (aka Christmas jerk sock). Well… maybe it’d be better if I caught someone else’s mother for to suggest anything else about my own dear mama might put you on the goddamn naughty list and get you piece o’ coal straight up your ass (you’d have a diamond sooner than you’d think).


As mentioned earlier, Silent Night Deadly Night 3 was subtitled Better Watch Out!!! (and if you’re as confused as I am with the damn slush fest of a movie, you’ll include the “You” in front of it). That doesn’t mean that these two movies are comparable in storyline, quality or even in watchability. SNDN3 is atrocious. Christmas Evil is damn good, slow moving fun with a surprise ending that I’m not spoiling for all the good girls and boys, but my advice to you would be to keep believing in Santa Claus. If you always try to be on the “Nice” list then you can’t get killed by psychological damaged kids with firm belief systems drunk on the magic of Christmas. Also note that this one goes under the name Terror in Toyland. That’s just ridiculous and wholly inappropriate. It would be a much better subtitle for Silent Night Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker.

Do I think Silent Night Deadly Night writers and directors are watching Christmas Evil trying to steal ideas? No, but it’s interesting to see from which traditions, phrases and images that we pull our most scary and controversial scenes and naming conventions. Hell, the Silent Night, Deadly Night naming convention is closer to Silent Night Evil Night (aka Black Christmas) or Silent Night Bloody Night aka Night of the Dark Full Moon.

The best reason for the modern day viewer to watch Christmas Evil (other than a desire to see sexy suggestive scenes with juxtaposing fat man in red suit imagery) is the acting styling of Jeffrey DeMunn… you remember him right? The last time you saw him a walker was opening up his stomach like it was a present on Christmas morning (hint: he was Dale). In the first year that DeMunn started making movies he showed up in this gem. He’s not the killer Santa, but he goes a little crazy. He’s come along way, and I can assure you that you’ll find his performance more comedic than heart wrenching.

Make sure to watch for the beautiful painted van completed with Sleigh image on the side as ridden by our homicidal St. Nick, giving gifts, thieving, killing and spreading general merriment. It’s the kind of creepy that kidnappers would only dream of if they were less focused on using candy as bait for kids and more interested in getting children in bulk to follow their van like rats behind a pied piper. Hey look kids… there’s Santa in that unmarked van giving out presents… that’d get ‘em moving.

While Synapse was responsible for the DVD transfer, Vinegar Syndrome now gets the chance to at the Blu-ray. They’ve provided some unique cover art which I enjoy though I would have preferred the use of the traditional poster art. Synapse also used original artwork leaving me to wonder if there was an issue using the traditional “santa poster”.  I’m glad that Vinegar Syndrome features the alternate title on their cover. I would have liked an alternate cover art option on the reverse, but again, there could be a bigger reason why this was left off. The Blu-ray comes complete with DVD in this combo set, perfect for putting the kiddies in the back seat of the SUV with the onboard DVD player or watching on Hi-Def with the Yule Log.

The Vinegar Syndrome release boasts a new 4K restoration from 35mm elements. Granted the version I watched for my project with The Moon is a Dead World wasn’t the Synapse but appeared to a be a rip from another source to save expense (this was just a fun project so it looked like a VHS rip). The result is a crisp picture that maintains the quality level of the period with appropriate grain; a Vinegar Syndrome hallmark; their Blu-rays are always gorgeous.  The extras are similar to the extra package provided on the Synpase package including a commentary with director Lewis Jackson and a commentary with the infamous master of filth, John Waters. The deleted scenes are included (the Synapse was a director’s cut). You also get archival interviews with director, Jackson and actor Brandon Maggart. Theatrical trailer, actor screen tests, storyboards gallery and vintage test screening comment cards included.

You can order Christmas Evil now from Vinegar Syndrome. Maybe buy To All a Good Night as released by Scorpion Releasing as well for the perfect double feature for your Christmas horror loving giftee.

Tune in tomorrow (11/28/2014) for Vinegar Syndrome's HUGE Black Friday sale to pick up this item!


Can't wait? Go to DiabolikDVD and support this release:


Synopsis from Vinegar Syndrome:

When he was a boy, Harry idolized Santa Claus, but one Christmas Eve, he witnessed something horrifying that forever shattered his innocent understanding of Santa. Now an adult, Harry wants to embody the pure Santa Claus he grew up loving. He works at a toy factory and keeps records of who’s been naughty and nice, but the spirit of Christmas isn’t what it used to be and he can’t take it. So, garbed in his red suit, Harry decides that the only thing he can do is to become Santa himself and make all of the naughty townspeople pay…in blood! Vinegar Syndrome is proud to present Lewis Jackson’s cult favorite Christmas Evil newly restored in 4k and on blu-ray for the first time!

NTSC All Region DVD
Blu-Ray All Region

Director: Lewis Jackson
94 minutes / 1980 / Color / 1.85:1

Features Include:

+ Blu-ray & DVD Combo Pack | Region Free | DTS-HD Master Audio
+ Restored in 4k from 35mm archival elements
+ Commentary track with Lewis Jackson
+ Commentary track with Lewis Jackson & Brandon Maggart
+ Commentary track with Lewis Jackson & John Waters
+ Archival video interviews with Lewis Jackson & Brandon Maggart
+ Original theatrical trailer
+ Deleted scenes & screen tests
+ Storyboards & comment cards gallery

MST3K Turkey Day Marathon and Sale!


Are you ready for tomorrow's MST3K Turkey Day Marathon? We certainly are. We've stuffed it with the tastiest riffs and most delectably bad movies we could find. Plus there are brand-new Joel segments to make the meal complete. All in all, this is an MST3K feast worth giving thanks for.
WHEN TO WATCH: Thursday, November 27th (Thanksgiving Day) @ 9am PST
WHY TO WATCH: Because it's more fun than fighting with your uncle over the last slice of cranberry sauce.
Don't forget -- there's a lot more #MST3K fun to be had at MST3KTurkeyDay.com. Check out the latest MST3K titles on sale. Every qualifying order ships with a set of 5 limited-edition MST3K coasters. You can also enter for a chance to win a collectible Steve Seck “Where’s Servo” poster. And you can whet your appetite for the marathon by taking a peek at the trailer.
 
Featured MST3K Titles
MST3K: The Turkey Day CollectionMST3K Volume XXVIMST3K Volume XXVMystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie
MST3K: The Turkey Day Collection - Pre-Order NowMST3K Volume XXVI - Save 50%MST3K Volume XXV - Save 40%Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie - Save 33%
Buy Now
Limited Edition Coasters
 Limited Edition Coasters 
 
Check Out the Sale

Trick or Treat Studios - Black Friday / Cyber Monday Sale!- 20% Off All Items!

From Trick or Treat Studios regarding their Black Friday sale:

Black Friday / Cyber MondaySale - 20% Off All Items!
Use Coupon Code  TOTSBF


Hard to believe that Halloween 2014 has past and Thanksgiving and Christmas is upon us.  But it is never too late to start thinking about Halloween 2015 and what better way than to make sure that a Trick or Treat Studios Masks, Costumes or Props are under the tree this year.  And to help you in this quest, we are jumping into to the Black Friday / Cyber Monday shopping craze.

Starting now through Cyber Monday we will be having a 20% Off Sale.  That's right, save 20% off on all items now throughMonday.  Just use Coupon Code TOTSBF then click the "Verify" button and your discount will be applied.

Thank you for all your support and have a great Thanksgiving and a very Merry Christmas!



Halloween 2014 Lineup
Licensing Preview
 
We've been incredibly busy this year in the Licensing arena and we can't wait to show you what we've got lined up for 2015!

So here is a sneak peek at all our properties for the 2015 season!


Here is our list of new products from our amazing licensed properties for the 2015 season:
  1. American Horror Story
  2. The Walking Dead
  3. Trick r Treat 1 and 2
  4. Amityville - The Awakening
  5. House of 1,000 Corpses
  6. Lord of Salem
  7. Rock n Roll lineup which includes Motorhead, Rob Zombie, Judas Priest, Alice Cooper and the Misfits
  8. Devil's Rejects
  9. The Haunted World of El Superbeasto
  10. Killer Klowns From Outer Space
  11. Nightbreed
  12. Land of the Dead
  13. Mad Monster Party
  14. Corpse Bride
  15. Iron Giant
  16. Frosty the Snowman
  17. Dead Silence
  18. London After Midnight
  19. House of Horrors
  20. King Kong
  21. Mars Attacks
  22. Garbage Pail Kids
  23. Bela Lugosi as Dracula
  24. JAWS
  25. An American Werewolf in London
  26. Clash of the Titans
  27. Rocky
  28. Fulci - Zombie
  29. EC Comics - Tales From the Crypt, The Haunt of Fear and The Vault of Horror 

VHSPS Black Friday Sale!

From Doc Terror - Support good horror businesses like VHSPS starting tonight (Today is Thanksgiving 11/27/2014). There are plenty of holiday favorites to purchase as gifts or to get into the spirit of the season.

Release from VHSPS.COM

It's that time again! Starting tonight at midnight VHSPS is slashing its prices for the holidays. Use coupon code 'big40' to take 40% of your total order until the end of the day Monday, Dec 1. That’s just $6 for each DVD. Regular shipping rates will remain in effect, and no further discounts will be given. Shirts are not included in the sale. There is no plan to extend the deadline. Due to the expected high volume there may be a small delay in shipping, but all orders will ship in time for the holidays.

VHSPS 40% off sale. Coupon code 'big40'.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

ALAMO LAUNCHES NEW "VINEGAR SYNDROME PRESENTS" SERIES NATIONWIDE THIS DECEMBER


Vinegar Syndrome and Alamo Drafthouse are teaming up to provide some truly special shows. It starts with Christmas Evil aka You Better Watching out, but the rest of the lineup so far includes RAW FORCE, DEMONOID: MESSENGER OF DEATH, THE TELEPHONE BOOK, SOME CALL IT LOVING, MASSAGE PARLOR MURDERS. The Telelphone Book is one of my favorite Blu-rays... ever. It signfies the kind of perfect preserveation once gets when the buy Vinegar Syndrome. Massage Parlor Murders was my first Vinegar Syndrome Blu-ray and a spectacular release. We will have a review of Christmas Evil as released by Vinegar Syndrome tonight!
 
Details below. Support good horror, good adult entertainment and the best sleaze around. I hope to see you at least two of these screenings though I cannot make Christmas Evil due to a previous engagement (December 5th in Yonkers).

ALAMO LAUNCHES NEW "VINEGAR SYNDROME PRESENTS" SERIES NATIONWIDE THIS DECEMBER
Partnership to showcase new 2K restorations of horror and

exploitation oddities, starting with the insane Santa Claus slasher

CHRISTMAS EVIL / YOU BETTER WATCH OUT

Austin, TX - Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - Alamo is excited to announce the launch of the brand new film series "Vinegar Syndrome Presents," coming to Alamo Drafthouse locations nationwide starting this December with the surreal and insane Santa Claus slasher from 1980, CHRISTMAS EVIL / YOU BETTER WATCH OUT. Vinegar Syndrome is recognized as perhaps the most important home video label in the world for genre film - the Criterion Collection of exploitation/horror/weirdo movies. Founded by genre-film lovers for genre-film lovers, the label's mission is to preserve, restore, and release the rarest and most unique exploitation and horror movies from their massive archive. VS works tirelessly to rescue these titles from the brink of oblivion with brilliant new digital restorations from original negatives, spending countless hours preserving them in their state of the art restoration lab.

Each month, "Vinegar Syndrome Presents" will showcase one of these brand new 2K digital restorations on Alamo screens across the country. And in true exploitation fashion, there will be drink and menu specials that complement the raw, dirt-cheap nature of the movies themselves.

"Vinegar Syndrome sets a new precedent of respect for vintage exploitation and horror movies that have been misunderstood or feared by the general public," explains Alamo Programmer Joe Ziemba. "The level of care devoted to their restorations feels almost surreal. The identity of the Alamo Drafthouse is built on the appreciation of these movies, so we're proud to showcase Vinegar Syndrome's gorgeous restorations the way they were meant to be seen - on the big screen, with an audience."

The new series arrives just in time for the holidays with the perversely fun CHRISTMAS EVIL / YOU BETTER WATCH OUT. Slasher Santas may have ruled the 1980s, with a wide variety of ho-ho-homicides perpetrated by tubby bearded men in such films as SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT and DON'T OPEN TIL CHRISTMAS. But CHRISTMAS EVIL / YOU BETTER WATCH OUT is the only holiday horror-ride that not only features one of cinema's all-time finest performances - Brandon Maggart (of SESAME STREET!) as a misguided St. Nick in a full scale spiral of Santastic savagery - but also the greatest closing shot of any movie ever.
 
Future "Vinegar Syndrome Presents" titles include: RAW FORCE, DEMONOID: MESSENGER OF DEATH, THE TELEPHONE BOOK, SOME CALL IT LOVING, MASSAGE PARLOR MURDERS and many, many more.


"We're very excited to be teaming up with The Alamo Drafthouse for this series," says Vinegar Syndrome co-founder Joe Rubin. "The Alamo is run by people who genuinely love movies and value the importance of creating a memorable theatrical screening experience. We're hoping that this partnership will give a new generation of movie goers the chance to experience some rare and awesome films on the big screen, where they belong."


For tickets, visit:

http://drafthouse.com/movies/christmas-evil

http://drafthouse.com/series/vinegar-syndrome-presents

The Annual VinegarSyndrome.com Black Friday Sale Begins Friday!


Our friends at Vinegar Sydnrome have a terrific sale coming up this Black Friday. Plan accordingly. I have a want list that I will absolutely be shopping for. There's horror, smut, dirty smut, eccentric smut, adult entertainment, erotic, water sports... um... let your imagination and your libido be the guide. Shop horror. Shop porn. Shop Vinegar Syndrome!



The Annual VinegarSyndrome.com Black Friday Sale Begins Friday!

It's that time of year again. When you spend your hard earned, well saved income on the only thing more important than food or shelter: cinematic sleazy. It's Black Friday 2014 – November 28th thru December 1st!

If you were around last year, you may remember that the response was way better than we anticipated and we ran out of a lot of stuff. No so this time around (we hope)! We've overstocked ourselves to prepare for the ensuing onslaught of dozen-title-plus purchases. That being said, we still recommend filling your shopping cart early to guarantee you get that copy of GAME SHOW MODELS you've been waiting 11 months to buy. Also, don't forget to pick up a discounted copy of our limited PRETTY PEACHES blu, cause those will be gone before you know it…

Also, we'll have the final supply of our previous limited-edition blu-rays JEKYLL & HYDE PORTFOLIO / A CLOCKWORK BLUE and RUNAWAY NIGHTMARE in-stock and discounted! Those will sellout fast!

This is going to be our last sale of the year, seeing as we're taking December off for new releases. But in January, we'll be back with our third X rated limited blu, SEX WORLD! Discounted pre-orders for our January releases will be available all Black Friday weekend.

And remember horror fans, who bemoan the less-than-equal ratio between T&A and blood n' guts, 2015 is shaping up to be horror heavy, with DON’T GO IN THE WOODS, DEMONOID and MADMAN all coming to blu before summer.

So keep up the anticipation (also the title of a Tobalina film to be released in 2015) and spend, save and enjoy this Friday thru Monday.

THE DETAILS:
November releases = 20-50% off
January pre-orders = 40% off
Everything else = 50% off
Plus a way cool offer you’ll have to see to believe!


www.vinegarsyndrome.com

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings (Scream Factory Blu-ray) - They Couldn't Leave Dead Enough Alone (that about sums it up)


In the last year I’ve watched the original Pumpkinhead twice; once on the big screen under a slightly different name on 35mm and the other time on Scream Factory Blu-ray. Before that it honestly had been awhile since I had had the chance to enjoy it, maybe even since I was a kid. Having kids now, the original is heartbreaking but still maintains the pure 80’s teenagers vs. the demon style that was a rather successful formula during that period. What makes it stands out is the heart and the Lance Henriksen performance. The makeup is iconic and perfect. The kills and attitude are in your face despite having a fairly low Pumpkinhead to film ratio (that’s how the monster movies work the best). You now have the chance to own Pumpkinhead II from Scream Factory. This may be one of the occasions where I say that this is clearly a purchase driven by personal taste. 

I admit that this may be the first time I’ve watched Pumphead II in totality. I’ve seen selected scenes on cable. Reason? Because it frankly isn’t very good. The heart isn’t here. No Lance. The cast of teen characters aren’t nearly as strong and you just don’t carry about anyone long enough to see them live past the third act much less the second or first (and yet they do survive). Why watch Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings? For completeness. To understand how the story evolved and to better understand why this series didn’t progress even with a truly fantastic vengeance demon. As I always say, if you don’t love the characters and want them to live in an 80’s movie, then you better get to see the villain destroy them in either a profound or unique way. That’s not exactly what we get in Pumpkinhead II. The original seems to have the better kills and the characters about which you can care. 

If you want something more positive to take away from this release, it’s that it is lovingly cared for in Scream Factory’s own way. They gave this one the same treatment they might pay a more prominent movie, a better movie, and that is admirable. Pumpkinhead II does have it’s fans, and I would say the reason is due to an increased amount of screen time for the big bad guy. That doesn’t mean that our monster looks better because he doesn’t. With Pumpkinhead, less is more. You also get a more in depth look at the origin story behind the monster. It doesn’t save the end of the movie, but it does add to the canon.  

The transfer is good, and this one actually got some extras. The original cover art is perserved.

Bonus Features:

· Audio Commentary with director Jeff Burr
· RE-CREATING THE BEAST – featuring new interviews with special effects artists Greg Nicotero, Gino Crognale and actor Mark McCraken
· MAKING MOVIES – an interview with director Jeff Burr
· Behind-the-scenes footage

Growing up with a pack of Fright Flicks cards in my hands I was always excited to rent the original Pumpkinhead but never to watch the sequel despite having a cover that seemed to give me everything I wanted. Call it horror instinct or maybe it was the subtitle, Blood Wings. I kept thinking “red wings” which is a badge of honor in the teenage boys circle (Google it but not at work). I do not believe in shelving any horror movie (except Creepshow 3), and I’m glad to see Scream Factory gave both movies in the “franchise” a home together. If you’re going to pick up part II make sure you also buy the original with the updated cover art and powerful extra package. This also a great way to catch up with Linnea Quigley and Kane Hodder (though neither actor offers my favorite performance).

You can buy Pumpkinhead II now:
https://shoutfactory.com/film/film-horror/pumpkinhead-ii-blood-wings

Synopsis From Scream Factory:

When five teenagers unwittingly resurrect a demon, nobody is safe from the creature’s bloody rampage. But this monster is different – inside its demonic form dwells the soul of a boy murdered years ago. Can the evil creature be killed without destroying the innocent boy trapped within?

Starring Amy Dolenz (Witchboard 2, Ticks), Andrew Robinson (Hellraiser), Soleil Moon Frye (Punky Brewster), Hill Harper (CSI: NY), J. Trevor Edmond (Lord of Illusions), Linnea Quigley (Return of the Living Dead) and Kane Hodder (Hatchet), Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings unleashes a non-stop barrage of gruesome gore from one of horror’s most iconic monsters.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Dead Air: Episode 64 - Ouija (2014)


This week on the show, Jeff (@Jeff_FOTD) and Jesse (@DestroySuperman) pine over their missing co-hosts, talk about pedophiles, tell you why DRACULA UNTOLD isn't worth watching, why JOHN WICK is fucking awesome, and then discuss OUIJA and the current state of studio horror films.

They also fill you in on what's going on, why the show has been on hiatus, and what's in store this holiday season.

If streaming isn't your thing, you may Download the MP3 Directly here or Subscribe Via iTunes.

iTunes listeners: Please take a moment to leave us a rating/review, and we will share it on an upcoming podcast!

The Dead Air Horror & Genre Podcast is brought to you by GenreWatch,The Liberal Dead, and Doc Terror. Be sure to visit the sites for more great content!

Looking to order any of the titles we discussed on this show? Head on over to Amazon for the best prices and help support our show.

And, as always, if you want to drop us a line to let us know what you think of any of the movies discussed tonight, or you just want to give us feedback on the podcast in general, please send an email to podcast (at) liberaldead (dot) com.


Check out this episode!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings (Scream Factory Blu-ray) - They Couldn't Leave Dead Enough Alone (that about sums it up)


In the last year I’ve watched the original Pumpkinhead twice; once on the big screen under a slightly different name on 35mm and the other time on Scream Factory Blu-ray. Before that it honestly had been awhile since I had had the chance to enjoy it, maybe even since I was a kid. Having kids now, the original is heartbreaking but still maintains the pure 80’s teenagers vs. the demon style that was a rather successful formula during that period. What makes it stands out is the heart and the Lance Henriksen performance. The makeup is iconic and perfect. The kills and attitude are in your face despite having a fairly low Pumpkinhead to film ratio (that’s how the monster movies work the best). You now have the chance to own Pumpkinhead II from Scream Factory. This may be one of the occasions where I say that this is clearly a purchase driven by personal taste.

I admit that this may be the first time I’ve watched Pumphead II in totality. I’ve seen selected scenes on cable. Reason? Because it frankly isn’t very good. The heart isn’t here. No Lance. The cast of teen characters aren’t nearly as strong and you just don’t carry about anyone long enough to see them live past the third act much less the second or first (and yet they do survive). Why watch Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings? For completeness. To understand how the story evolved and to better understand why this series didn’t progress even with a truly fantastic vengeance demon. As I always say, if you don’t love the characters and want them to live in an 80’s movie, then you better get to see the villain destroy them in either a profound or unique way. That’s not exactly what we get in Pumpkinhead II. The original seems to have the better kills and the characters about which you can care.

If you want something more positive to take away from this release, it’s that it is lovingly cared for in Scream Factory’s own way. They gave this one the same treatment they might pay a more prominent movie, a better movie, and that is admirable. Pumpkinhead II does have it’s fans, and I would say the reason is due to an increased amount of screen time for the big bad guy. That doesn’t mean that our monster looks better because he doesn’t. With Pumpkinhead, less is more. You also get a more in depth look at the origin story behind the monster. It doesn’t save the end of the movie, but it does add to the canon. 

The transfer is good, and this one actually got some extras. The original cover art is perserved.

Bonus Features:

· Audio Commentary with director Jeff Burr
· RE-CREATING THE BEAST – featuring new interviews with special effects artists Greg Nicotero, Gino Crognale and actor Mark McCraken
· MAKING MOVIES – an interview with director Jeff Burr
· Behind-the-scenes footage

Growing up with a pack of Fright Flicks cards in my hands I was always excited to rent the original Pumpkinhead but never to watch the sequel despite having a cover that seemed to give me everything I wanted. Call it horror instinct or maybe it was the subtitle, Blood Wings. I kept thinking “red wings” which is a badge of honor in the teenage boys circle (Google it but not at work). I do not believe in shelving any horror movie (except Creepshow 3), and I’m glad to see Scream Factory gave both movies in the “franchise” a home together. If you’re going to pick up part II make sure you also buy the original with the updated cover art and powerful extra package. This also a great way to catch up with Linnea Quigley and Kane Hodder (though neither actor offers my favorite performance).

You can buy Pumpkinhead II now:
https://shoutfactory.com/film/film-horror/pumpkinhead-ii-blood-wings

Synopsis From Scream Factory:

When five teenagers unwittingly resurrect a demon, nobody is safe from the creature’s bloody rampage. But this monster is different – inside its demonic form dwells the soul of a boy murdered years ago. Can the evil creature be killed without destroying the innocent boy trapped within?

Starring Amy Dolenz (Witchboard 2, Ticks), Andrew Robinson (Hellraiser), Soleil Moon Frye (Punky Brewster), Hill Harper (CSI: NY), J. Trevor Edmond (Lord of Illusions), Linnea Quigley (Return of the Living Dead) and Kane Hodder (Hatchet), Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings unleashes a non-stop barrage of gruesome gore from one of horror’s most iconic monsters.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Monkey Shines (Scream Factory Blu-ray) - Not Your Average Shakma

After having the chance to enjoy Monkey Shines on 35mm at an Exhumed Horrorthon, I realized that what I had seen growing up was so butchered that it hardly stood the test of what Monkey Shines actually was. That's part of the danger, you know. Growing up watching cut versions of horror films on cable TV; in this instance it was the USA Network. It occurred to me that I was more familiar with the cover box artwork than the movie itself. The large screen surely did wonders from Monkey Shines as did the Scream Factory Blu-ray more recently. I had such a fun time revisiting this picture with a strong underlying sense of humor, suspense and serious animal horror. It's a moral tale, a fable... really it's two separate fables. Hell, Monkey Shines has everything including some scrumptious romance, both monkey and human.

There are moments that completely detract from what might be a very perfect horror morality tale. The accident that causes our protagonist's paralysis looks like something a made for TV movie might have come up with to save a few bucks and not of the origin of a major studio. We know that Orion would fall not too long after Monkey Shines and The Dark Half (also releases by Scream Factory), but this seemed lazy to me. Each time I've watched it, I can't help but laugh rather than feel truly sorry for Allan. I'm glad that Savini stepped in to assist with the effects and non-live animal effects to offer some truly terrifying moments or we might be stuck with a movie filled with unintentional humor and strange, erotic quadriplegic sex (strange only in that I didn't know it was possible).

The traditional cover art is preserved with an alternate version of the famous monkey cover on the reverse. It's really a beautiful transfer. The making of featurette tells a story of George Romero and the inevitable fall of  Laurel that would lead to so many projects going unmade and focused effort on TV movies that gave us The Stand and Langoliers but may have deprived us of a proper Creepshow 3 and alternate universe directorial effort of George Romero behind the lens of Pet Sematary. It's as sad a tale for the artist as any. The effects creation interviews with Nictero and Savini are truly special. Of course the alternate ending is a must watch clip though I enjoyed the ending used theatrically.

Bonus Features include:
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Writer/Director George A. Romero
  • NEW An Experiment In Fear - The Making Of "Monkey Shines" - An All-New Retrospective With George A. Romero, Stars Jason Beghe And Katie McNeil, Executive Producer Peter Grunwald, Special Make-Up Effects Creator Tom Savini And More!
  • Alternate Ending
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Behind-the-Scenes Footage
  • Vintage "Making of MONKEY SHINES" plus additional interview clips
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • TV Spot
  • Still Gallery
From the use of traditional music to create strange emotional bonds between audience, man and monkey to Stanley Tucci with as much hair as I've seen him with, this is a fun gem that gets overlooked in the pile of Romero classic features.Romero's next work will be the two story, Two Evil Eyes alongside Dario Argento and then The Dark Half after which his Romero's work will go quietly down the road of the living dead. Scream Factory has successfully create a beautiful release out of a movie that surely wasn't given its due upon its release. Revel in the inspirational tale. Remember not to give monkeys strange injections no matter how good your intentions may be. Always have sex with the hot blond even though you've lost functioning of everything below your neck and remember to tell your overbearing mother to beat it once you've tried a monkey, a nurse and sex kitten on for size. For those of you who haven't had the chance to enjoy Monkey Shines, this is going to be a ride into familiar territory with some original twists and eccentricities that make it pure Romero.

...and just to be fair... at least they didn't give Ella an operation like they gave poor ol' Shakma!

Monkey Shines is available now from Scream Factory:

From Scream Factory:

Allan Mann (Jason Beghe, Chicago Fire) is a bitter, angry and vengeful man ever since an accident left him paralyzed from the neck down. He's fed up with himself and everyone around him. All that changes when he's given Ella, a monkey trained to meet his every need. But when Ella begins anticipating Allan's thoughts, strange and deadly things start happening. And as she stalks and wreaks havoc on Allan's fair-weather girlfriend (Janine Turner, Northern Exposure), incompetent doctor and meddling mother, Allan realizes he must stop the cunning maniacal creature...before she fully takes over his mind!

Kate McNeil (The House On Sorority Row), Joyce Van Patten (Grown Ups), Stephen Root (Office Space), John Pankow (To Live And Die In L.A.), and Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games) also star in this riveting thriller from George A. Romero (Night Of The Living Dead)!

Dark Half (Scream Factory Blu-ray) Romero and King at It Again

There's a point in any horror director's career when you start to see him slip. That's not to say all the work thereafter will be drivel or unworthy of praise, but something is clearly missing. While The Dark Half, an adaptation of a Stephen King novel directed by George A. Romero, isn't a slip per say, it certainly signifies the end of Romero's near untouchable streak. The Dark Half is actually a fine movie with plenty of chills, suspense and a fascinating premise as dictated by King, but the movies that follow do not live up to the near perfection of Romero's earlier work. Which movies came after you may ask? Brusier for one. Bruiser that does not appeal to me. Land of the Dead and the subsequent sequels in the "of the Dead" series that may offer some substance but little ingenuity or quality. The Dark Half is the end of the line for me (and yes, I happen to be one who enjoyed Two Evil Eyes).

Timothy Hutton in the duel role as Thad Beaumont and George Stark is perfect. Each role is filled with a brilliant drama that is almost tidal; the relationship between beach and wave gradually eroding and succumbing to one another. Each fills the other with energy as if Hutton is acting against himself. While Hutton as George Stark is completely unbelievable in a fantastic made-up way, Hutton is equally alive for us. Real. That's the way it should be of course. Stark is the fictitious character after all. The supporting cast is perfect and New England with both Michael Rooker and Amy Madigan creating some very real King characters.

The Dark Half has some strong kills that don't exactly punch you in the gut with visual simulation, but leave so much to the imagination between a combination of carefully framed shots (shot not to show too much) and clever dialogue that illustrates the out come of George Stark's needy madness. Toward the end, the effects continue to build creating more violent images and more surreal makeup on George Stark. He lives and rots in this own strange lack of being. This is King's doing, but the effectiveness of this picture is due to some solid makeup and, toward the finale, some very unusual surreal effects.

The artwork is the traditional cover and poster art with stills inserted on the reverse. It looks very good and is clearly an upgrade from previous releases, however I couldn't help but notice some dust and hair in some early scenes. It's hardly a problem, but I expect Scream Factory's detractors to jump all over this and make a big stink about it. It's no reason to avoid this release by any means especially when you consider the bonus package that is full of goodies for Romero fans that touch on some of the reasons this film is so successful especially the new making of featurette and audio commentary by Romero himself.

Bonus Features include:
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Writer/Director George A. Romero
  • NEW The Sparrows Are Flying Again!: The Making Of "The Dark Half" - An All-New Retrospective With George A. Romero, Special Make-Up Effects Creators Everett Burrell And John Vulich, Visual Effects Supervisor Kevin Kutchaver, Actor Robert Joy And More!
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Animated Storyboards for the Original Ending
  • Behind-The-Scenes Footage – Special Effects and On the Set
  • Vintage "Making of THE DARK HALF" plus additional interview clips
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spot
  • Still Gallery
I haven't read the book The Dark Half, but I haven seen the movie once before. It falls in line perfectly with two other releases from Scream Factory, Day of the Dead and Monkey Shines (if only they could have gotten their hands on Creepshow). Shout Factory also released Knightriders which is a drastically overlooked and underrated piece of Romero's filmography. This may have been the last great hurrah for Romero before he went into making sequel after sequel to his most successful series, the last movie that truly gave us something of which to be in awe, but it isn't his Romero's best. This is what happens when Romero works with a major studio instead of being the independent filmmaker we love. It is however a shining example of how Romero and King worked so well together and should have continued their collaborations (if studios and finance hadn't gotten in the way). It may be Hutton's best picture though... next to Ordinary People of course. It's such a chance to enjoy his style.

You can order The Dark Half now!
https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/film-horror/the-dark-half

Synopsis from Scream Factory:

Masters of horror Stephen King and George A. Romero have created a "gripping, creepy, frightening" (L.A. Reader) film that “thrills, shocks and works us over" (Los Angeles Times)! Featuring an "intelligent screenplay and first-rate cast" (The New York Times) including Oscar® winner* Timothy Hutton, Amy Madigan (Fringe), Julie Harris (The Haunting) and Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead), The Dark Half has “a terrific premise for a thriller and director George Romero sets it up with skill and style” (Roger Ebert).

Horror writer Thad Beaumont (Hutton) hopes to distance himself from his murder novels and from George Stark, the name he has used to anonymously author them. To achieve this, he cooks up a murder to play out in real life: a publicity stunt that should lay Stark to rest forever. But when the people around him are found gruesomely slain – and his own fingerprints dot the crime scenes – Beaumont is dumbfounded until he learns that Stark has taken on life of his own...and begun a gruesome quest for vengeance!

*1980: Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Ordinary People


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

UHF and The Compleat Al (Shout Factory Blu-ray/DVD) - Don't Change that Blu-ray. Don't Touch that Dial.

You know this site isn't only a horror site, right? We do try to branch out and cover other genres and applicable pop cultural entertainment... you know... like porn. Oh and of course the subject of today's review, the creative work of Weird Al Yankovic. I've grown up with Al and loved him along the way with the same wild eyed and rose tinted glasses that one might imagine loving Santa Claus through. Weird Al has done no wrong (save for a hairstyle change or two). Weird Al is honest and his satire is actually more relevant than simply amusing. It should be no surprise that the Shout Factory releases of UHF and The Compleat Al are tributes to the genius that lies beneath and accordion and a dynamic hair style. When you feel like this review may be goofing on you, goofing on Al even, I ask you to think again knowing that there is a love here that goes beyond genre. It is the love of a child for a hero that continues to this day.

Every time I hear the theme song to UHF I get a chill. I remember seeing the commercials for this movie upon it's release and having never seen anything quite like the complete gonzo that it would end up being. Of course I was less familiar with Kevin McCarthy then despite his history in horror (especially the role in Twilight Zone The Movie) and nobody really knew who Michael Richards was just yet. Fran Drescher was a familiar face because I was allowed to watch Doctor Detroit at a young age (and still think it's one of the greatest movie ever made). Then of course there's Al. My great friend Dave and I used to blast Weird Al. He had all the tapes. It was our thing, and it was good. Sure I started to enjoy hair metal and would eventually migrate into a rock background, but my love for parody and novelty music started with Weird Al and worked its way back into the novelty songs of the 60's. Then one day it dawned on me that Al wasn't so weird and that he was much smarter than I gave him credit for. Sure a guy writes a song called Like a Surgeon and you laugh, but he played up the absolute nonsense of the 80's better than even the 1980's could play up itself. It was like pure cocaine without drugs and with better nose jobs. Weird Al was a fast hero for Dave and me and though that love would ebb and flow as Al's material changed, we always loved him. I still think Gangster's Paradise is a bad ass tune. I still get down to Yoda. I dare to be stupid every damn day.

The Shout Factory release of UHF is a 25th Anniversary edition which makes me feel kind of old, however the simple fact that my love for this film and this man endures after so long should say something about the timeless nature of the parody film and parody movie. There are elements of Kentucky Fried Movie behind this flick. In some ways the battle rages on though not for a small UHF channel vs. the network but for independent media production houses vs. big cable. UHF could be made today, be as relevant all be it with a slight upgrade to cast, parody and channel lineup. 25 years and the battle for our minds continue and the man should still be damned. Kevin McCarthy has passed on, but we know his type.

Extras include:
  • Retrospective Panel From San Diego Comic-Con 2014
  • Audio Commentary
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Behind-the-Scenes Footage
  • Music Video
  • Production Stills
  • Promotional Materials
  • Reversible Cover Art
I love the new cover art and the classic cover as well as the image on the disc. The extras fill out the fan package nicely for a movie that seemed a mere blip on the radar of 80's pop culture. There's quite a bit of love shown here include a new retrospective panel from this past year's SDCC. 

If the release of Weird Al's groundbreaking full length, feature movie release on Blu-ray isn't enough, we also have the DVD release for the first time of The Compleat Al. Yes, it's a mockumentary, but in that it's perfect. That's what Weird Al does. He mocks and jokes albeit with hints of real truth drizzled over the ice cream scoop of clever lyrics and familiar pop tunes. The Compleat Al (and yes that's how you spell it) features music videos for “Ricky,” “I Love Rocky Road,” the award-winning “Eat It,” “I Lost on Jeopardy,” “This Is the Life,” “Like A Surgeon,” “One More Minute” and “Dare To Be Stupid.” My favorite is still Dare To Be Stupid (next to the theme song for UHF itself. I can only wonder what a generation rediscovering these classics will do with a DVD like this. 

Al is once again taking the world by storm with his parody of Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines and making just as much sense as he ever did. My own daughter knows who he is and laughs at his music. 25 years. 25 years ago I was her listening to him laughing the way she laughs at him and maybe not understanding every joke but knowing every word. This is a real treat just before the holidays from Shout Factory. This is nerd gold. 

Turn into channel 62. Let's all drink from the fire hose.

You can pick up The Compleat Al on DVD now.

Synopsis from Shout Factory:

The Compleat Al is the amazing, hilarious and not entirely true story of “Weird Al” Yankovic, the Grammy® award-winning master of musical parody and rock and roll comedy. The mockumentary takes you behind the scenes, beginning with his childhood years, his high school and college days, and up through his early-career rise to stardom. This concocted chronicle also contains classic moments from AL-TV and footage from his trip to Japan, and a somewhat embellished version of how he received permission from Michael Jackson for “Eat It.”

And to top it off, The Compleat Al contains eight “Weird Al” video classics: “Ricky,” “I Love Rocky Road,” the award-winning “Eat It,” “I Lost on Jeopardy,” “This Is the Life,” “Like A Surgeon,” “One More Minute” and “Dare To Be Stupid.”


You can pick up UHF on Collector's Edition Blu-ray now.

Synopsis from Shout Factory:

Sometimes you've got to grab life by the lips and YANK as hard as you can.

A lot of TV stations have forgotten what "quality" means. But not Channel 62. They NEVER knew what it meant.

In the cult classic UHF, "Weird Al" Yankovic is George Newman, a daydreamer who becomes the manager of a small TV station that's losing money as quickly as it's losing viewers. Before long he's programming shows like "Stanley Spadowski's Clubhouse," "Wheel Of Fish" and "Raul's Wild Kingdom." But can Channel 62's new popularity save it from sinister forces? To find out... don't touch that dial!

Starring "Weird Al" Yankovic, Michael Richards (Seinfeld), Kevin McCarthy (Invasion of the Body Snatchers), Fran Drescher (The Nanny), Gedde Watanabe (Sixteen Candles), Victoria Jackson (Saturday Night Live) and more!

Monday, November 10, 2014

DOLLS (Scream Factory Blu-ray) - They Walk. They Talk. They're on Scream Factory Blu-ray.

When you're a kid, the movie where the girls eyeballs fall out on the floor and roll around before being carefully replaced by that same girl only to reveal the eyeballs are doll eyes... well that's the movie that will scare the piss out of you so good you'll need to wear Pampers for a week. It's the movie you will rent over and over again. Dolls came to me as a lucky rent at the video store with my older sister. It had the best cover featuring a version of the aforementioned eyeball scene, drawn and terrifying. I bought a small standee of the cover art from Dolls at Monster Mania a few years back and it haunts my kids when the play in the basement. It haunts me too. The damn movie still gives me the creeps even though I've given up on pitting my G.I. Joes up against my sister's porcelain doll collection. Scream Factory sought to bring this must sought after movie to Blu-ray. They gave it one Hell of a fan treatment.

The newly commissioned cover art says it all, retelling the story in picture form that the original cover art only left ot the imagination. I love them both. I prefer the original for nostalgia purposes, but take a look at the Blu-ray itself. There's a creepy little picture of a girl holding a smiling doll. It almost wants to be Child's Play (before Child's Play even existed).

Look at this extra package:
  • NEW! Toys Of Terror: The Making Of Dolls - An All-New Retrospective Featuring Interviews With Director Stuart Gordon, Producer Brian Yuzna, Stars Carolyn Purdy-Gordon, Ian Patrick Williams, Executive Producer Charles Band And More!
  • Audio Commentary With Director Stuart Gordon And Writer Ed Naha
  • Audio Commentary With Cast Members Stephen Lee, Ian Patrick Wiliams, Carolyn Purdy-Gordon And Carrie Lorraine
  • Storyboard-To-Film Comparison
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Photo Gallery

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Doctor and the Devils (Scream Factory Blu-ray)

I first became aware of the tale of the Burke and Hare murders when watching 2008's I Sell the Dead. That's not to say that the story didn't seem familiar at the time, but I Sell the Dead's fresh, humorous and overly morbid take on this tale was elating. I truly loved the movie and consider it one of the better horror pictures in the new millennium. Stumbling around Netflix I came across Burke and Hare from 1971 directed by Vernon Sewell. I watched it at the gym, somewhat bored and spent most of the viewing experience trying to cover half my telephone screen as the rather gratuitous nudity seemed to takeover a lack luster production. I appreciate the movie for it's aesthetic and trying to come up with a fresh horror story, Victorian that wasn't Jack the Ripper. In researching The Doctor and the Devils I realized that I had also seen two other retellings of the Burke and Hare tale: The Flesh and the Fiends and Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde (however loose an interpretation), but The Doctor and the Devils is a fine, traditional telling of the story as retold by Dylan Thomas.

Of the more traditional adaptations of the Burke and Hare tale, this is the most high class, filled to the brim a name drop list of stars that is as eclectic as it is fun. Timothy Dalton is something other than Bond, but growing up in the 80's I know him as 007. His more recent work in Hot Fuzz opposite Simon Pegg as part of the Cornetto trilogy is as funny as it is creepy. This is a more serious role for Dalton but one that the talented actor is more than capable of playing. I've seen Jonathan Pryce around and more recently in Pirates of the Caribbean, but he has a horror history of sorts. He was in Spasms and notoriously in Something Wicked This Way Comes as Mr. Dark. I like to think of Stephen Rea as my man! He was in V for Vendetta and so much more, but something about him in VfV really struck me. I love that character. I like his face. Of course there are the other "biggies". Patrick Stewart. Julian Sands. Twiggy. It's really something of a "super group" movie. Oh, and let's not forget the director... Freddie Francis.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Davide Melini's "Deep Shock" Needs Your Help Starting This Halloween!

David Melini, one of my favorite Italian filmmakers and good friend, is launching a funding effort starting tonight to help bring to life a new giallo, DEEP SHOCK! From Melini, “Deep Shock” attempts to pay tribute to the Italian film genre called “giallo”, as in 2014 its 50th anniversary will take place. The title of this project is inspired by the most famous horror movies of two of the most important Italian directors: Dario Argento’s Deep Red and Mario Bava’s Shock.

Synopsis from the Deep Shock campaign:

 "Sarah can’t completely overcome the deaths of her grandfather and her older sister. The trauma and lack of sleep cause her to embark on a strange journey of apparitions and murders, apparently caused by her mind..." 

How can you help? Just pop over here: https://www.indiegogo.com/project/preview/7205f0c4 and help the Indie Go Go campaign come alive. Either dontate or share the link! Help out how you can, when you can and become a part of the new Giallo movement.

Tag lines from the movie:

"Her worst nightmare has become a reality"
"Italian Giallo is ready to make its return!"
  
The movie will be produced by Fabel Aguilera and Davide Melini.  Shooting will begin a the beginning of the 2015 in Malaga and province (Spain).

Principal Names of the crew:
Paula Khan (Production Manager)
Enrique Muñoz (Line Producer)
Francesco De Luca (DOP)
Alberto Ortega (Production Designer)
Martín Crespo (Editor)
Rubén FX, Elisa Rengel (Special Effects)
Giulio De Gaetano (Music Composer)
Christian Valente (Sound Designer)
  

To follow along check out the Deep Shock Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/#!/DeepShockDavideMelini

Official Web site: www.deepshockfilm.com
 





CAST:



- Laura Toledo as Sarah Taylor

Biography:

The actress Laura Toledo will be the star of Deep Shock, playing Sarah Taylor. Born in Seville, after graduating in the "Escuela Superior de Arte de Sevilla Dramático", Laura has moved to Madrid where he still lives today.

The actress is known for her work in the feature film La herencia Valdemar, directed by José Luis Alemán.

Very intense her activities in the Television, where she works in the series La que se avecina, Águila Roja, Impares and Arrayán. She has also worked in the musical Dreamland (aired on Tele 5).

In the course of her career, Laura has also worked extensively in theater, in works such as: Edgar, escritor de sombras, La vuelta al mundo de Willy Fog, Bob Esponja el musical, David el gnomo, La noche de las siete lunas, Las leandras, Mucho ruido y pocas nueces, Aventuras en el jurásico, Teoría y práctica sobre los príncipios mecánicos del sexo, ¡¡Improvisa tío¡¡, La mujer sola and El hospital de los locos.

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3864291/?ref_=ttfc_fc_cl_t3


- Francesc Pagès as Marius Silver

Biography:

Francesc Pagès, from Catalonia, will interpret psychologist Marius Silver and will be one of the leading roles in Deep Shock. Born in the province of Barcelona, Francesc has a wide experience in this field, developed in movies, theatre and TV series.

Affable and in love with his job, Francesc has participated in many feature films such as Blancanieves by Pablo Berger in 2012, which was one of the most awarded movies at the last Goya Awards edition. Furthermore, he was part of the cast of Los últimos días by David and Álex Pastor in 2013 and Darkness by Jaume Balagueró in 2002.

Francesc’s experience goes far beyond, as he has also performed in many plays such as Faltan cinco minutos, by Paul Gavault,Muertos sin sepultura by Jean Paul Sartre and Escuadra hacia la muerte by Alfonso Sastre. He has also performed in the theatrical production of the BBC documenatry, Walking with Dinosaurs (2010).

Francesc Pagès is especially well known for his TV series performances. He has taken many different roles in some of the best TV series in Spain, such as El Rey en el 23F, Águila Roja, Gran Hotel, Hospital Central, El Comisario, Cuéntame, Amar es para siempre, La que se avecina and many more.

Regarding the different roles he has taken, Francesc has also proved to be a versatile actor showing no difficulty in taking a wide range of roles. Besides, this actor loves new challenges. Deep Shock and in particular this shooting in English are his next targets.

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1368662/?ref_=ttfc_fc_cl_t4


- Paco Roma as Father Jonathan McRoberts

Biography:

Actor Paco Roma, from Malaga, will take the role of Father Jonathan McRoberts, one of the leading roles in Deep Shock.

Born and settled in the province of Malaga in Andalusia, Paco Roma has a long acting experience developed in cinema, TV, theatre and advertising fields.

Las hijas de Danao by Fran Kapilla, which is currently in postproduction, is the last feature film he has worked in. He has also participated in other movies such as Luna Llena by Luis Marías in 2011, Mar de Plástico by Silvia Munt in 2010 or La Mula by Michael Redford in 2009.

Regarding his TV series performances, La que se Avecina (2013), Stamos Okupa2 (2012) or Arrayán (various seasons) must be mentioned.

To conclude, Paco Roma has performed in many plays, such as Los Gavilanes, Sueños de un poema or La tabernera del puerto.

Nevertheless these are only a few examples of his long acting career. Deep Shock will be soon part of it.

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3863601/?ref_=ttfc_fc_cl_t5



- Estela Fernández as Caroline Taylor



Born in Barcelona (January 26, 1983), Estela Fernández had a great passion for literature, music and theatre since she was young. There she combined her studies in Journalism, Spanish Studies and Drama meanwhile she worked for her own theatre company. Later on, she decided to focus on her interpretation studies and moved to Madrid to study at “Real Escuela Superior de Arte Dramático” [Royal Drama Studies School]. There she attended to music, dance, singing and body art classes applied to interpretation.

Her career has been mostly developed in theater plays such as Vint x Vint, by Joan Barbero; Mala Sang, by David Plana;Súbitamente el último verano, by Tennessee Williams; Terror y miseria del primer franquismo y Los Figurantes, by Sanchis Sinisterra; Rodoredant, by Mercè Rodoreda; El País Lejano, by Jean-Luc Lagarce; or classics such as El caballero de Olmedo yLa Dama boba, by Lope de Vega, or El abanico, by Goldoni.

Micro theater is also a field in which she has been working; Solos esta noche by Paloma Pedrero as well as fables, songs and stories for children.

Fugadas, by Ignacio Moral, scriptwriter of Los Lunes al sol, is the play she has been working in for many years. The direction has changed a few times and, therefore, the staging from which many different versions have come up.

Estela Fernández has also appeared on TV series such as Amar en Tiempos Revueltos, Buscando el Arché y Santa Bárbara.She has also appeared on a western film teaser, on many short films, on advertisements and music videos.

Soon on Deep Shock as Caroline Taylor!


IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6183744/?ref_=ttfc_fc_cl_t6


- Erica Prior as Helen Taylor



Actress Erica Prior will take the role of Helen Taylor in Deep Shock. Born in 1974 in L.A., Erica moved to England where she has lived for too long.

Now settled in the province of Malaga, she made her debut in Spanish TV series in 2005, with Los Serrano. Afterwards she participated in 17 episodes of Los hombres de Paco (2008/2009) and also in two episodes of La baronesa in 2011.

Furthermore, she was part of the cast in the following feature films: El segundo nombre (Paco Plaza, 2002), The Birthday (Eugene Mira, 2004) and Arritmia/Guantanamero (Vicente Peñarrocha, 2006)

Part of her artistic career are different performances in spots and other kinds of audiovisual productions. Deep Shock is her next adventure.

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0697939/?ref_=ttfc_fc_cl_t2



- Francisco Vidal as John Taylor

Francisco Vidal, from Madrid, will take the role of John Taylor, a key character on Deep Shock.

His first role came with the movie Barco sin rumbo, directed by José María Eloririeta in 1952. He has also worked in many other famous movies such as: Pan’s Labyrinth, by Guillermo del Toro; El maestro de esgrima, by Pedro Olea; and El bosque animado, by José Luis Cuerda. He has also worked with some of the best Spanish directors: Vicente Aranda (El Lute and Asesinato en el comité central), José Luis Garci (El crack), Antonio Mercero (Don Juan o Tobi) and also Fernando Fernán Gómez (Mambrú se fue a la guerra or De hombre a hombre). Francisco Vidal has worked in 21 movies so far.

His experiencie goes beyond the movies, since he has also performed in 28 Spanish TV series, some of them are: Aída, Hospital Central, Amar es para siempre, El secreto de Puente Viejo, La señora, El comisario, Cuéntame cómo pasó and Hermanos & Detectives.

Part of his professional career is also the theatre. He has worked in 27 plays so far, such as: Troilo y Crésida, by William Shakespeare; El burgués gentilhombre, by Molière; y La extraña pareja, directed by José Osuna.

Deep Shock will wide his working experience!


IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0896322/?ref_=ttfc_fc_cl_t1