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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Dead Air: Episode 79 - Unfriended (2015)


This week on the show, Jeff (@Jeff_FOTD), Chad (@HorrorMovieBBQ), Jesse (@DestroySuperman), and James (@DrHorrorSexy) talk about trailers, Jared Leto's secret Juggalo identity, R-rated teen horror, 3-D sharks, and the latest film to hit theaters from Blumhouse, UNFRIENDED.

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DeadAir-079-Unfriended.mp3 

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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 DeadAirHorrorPodcast (at) gmail (dot) com.


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Friday, April 24, 2015

Supersoul Brother (Vinegar Syndrome DVD) - The Serum of the Year is Here

The 1970's were the golden era of blaxploitation pictures. While classics like Shaft or Foxy Brown may be household names these days, movies like Supersoul Brother are known to only a relative few film-heads that like to truly dig into a genre. Director Rene Martinez started off with a revenge movie in Road of Death before moving on to a semi-urban examination film in The Guy from Harlem. Supersoul Brother was his last picture or as it is known more affectionately, The Six Thousand Dollar Nigger. Vinegar Syndrome is giving the blax audience a look 2k scan of this 35mm release print from the AGFA archive, an archive with which we hopefully will become more familiar as V.S. teams up to get the films into a physical medium to preserve it.

What Martinez unleashed was not a groundbreaking film but rather an amateur collection of popular exploitation tropes that came together in a parody of a popular TV in the U.S. mixed with enough debauch to keep it interesting. Supersoul Brother features some funny dialogue often intentional sometimes not so intentional. Yes, it plays off like a Shaft rip off at times, but the magic happens with the "mad scientist" being played by a little person. It makes for satisfying if highly inappropriate comedy, but isn't that the friggin point of a good blaxploitation film? Test the boundaries and create humor out of traditionally uncomfortable taboos and discussion topics.

The music is funky and appropriate but nothing new to hear. Did you cats see that Joe Tex poster in the background? I sure did. How about those super groovy cars?

The presentation is pure grindhouse with plenty of juicy scratches. This should easily be a fan favorite for those who enjoy not-so-serious blax flicks and want a laugh. I hope that the Vinegar Syndrome release draws attention to this under-scene, late 70's entry into a great period of transition in cinema. A good many of you haven't seen or heard of this film. It's definitely worth your time with a tricky ending that may leave you feeling just a little sad.

You can order Supersoul Brother from DiabolikDVD.

ORDER NOW

From Vinegar Syndrome:

Austin’s American Genre Film Archive houses one of the world’s best collections of 35mm exploitation prints and now Vinegar Syndrome is digitally restoring and releasing the weirdest, rarest and most outrageous movies in their archive!

When a duo of criminals pay an evil doctor to create a serum that gives people superhuman strength, they fool a naive wino named Steve (Wildman Steve) into getting an injection to help them pull off a jewel heist. When Steve discovers that the serum kills whoever takes it within a few days of its ingestion, he hides the stolen jewels and begins a frantic quest to create an antidote as the thieving masterminds are in hot pursuit! Part low-rent comedy/crime caper, part sci-fi weirdness, and all Miami shot regional filmmaking insanity, Rene Martinez’ SUPERSOUL BROTHER blasts onto home video in its first ever authorized DVD release!
Director: Rene Martinez / 74m / 1978 / Color / 1.85:1


Features Include:

+ DVD-9 Anamorphic | Region Free | 1.85:1 OAR
+ Scanned and restored in 2k from rare 35mm release print

Little Sisters and Powder Burns (Vinegar Syndrome DVD) - deRenzy Gone Fable-Porn

As Alex deRenzy started off his career as a filmmaker, he dabbled in documentaries. It wasn't long before he began to focus on another kind of film: adult film. That first entry into this nearly 200 film plus career was Powder Burns shortly followed by Little Sisters, the two movies we bring to you tonight courtesy of Vinegar Syndrome and their indulgent Peekarama series (2 big ol' units for you libido to feast upon). We aren't saying that DeRenzy would always make a quality porn flick. His later work is littered with generic smut that features the word "anal" in the title, but early on, Alex was one creative fella. This is never more evident than these two pictures. I have been seeing social network mini-reviews say the exact same thing over and over again about this disc. It's just plain weird. That's absolutely true, but it's also foundational. From the font of deRenzy and other mad, experimental dirty peddlers we see true narrative pornography evolve. Folks had been making dirty movies for decades, but it's movies like these two features that bring a sort of cohesive bond to the boners.

First off, you can pick up Little Sisters and Powder Burns on DVD from DiabolikDVD. These are adult features. Porn. Make no mistake.

ORDER NOW

+ DVD-9 | Region Free | 1.33:1 OAR
+ Scanned and restored in 2k from 16mm vault elements
+ Completely uncut versions of both films
Little Sisters

From Vinegar Syndrome:

Alex deRenzy’s hippy themed fairy tale tells the story of Mom and her two young daughters who live in a trailer in the woods. Although warned to stay out of the dark and dangerous forest, the sisters do not heed their mother’s advice and are kidnapped by a gang of pirates who live in an abandoned swimming pool. When she discovers that her daughters are gone, Mom goes on a journey to find them, meeting singing cross-dressers, a lesbian gang, gay monks and an elf named Derek. Will she save the day and bring her daughters home safely? Find out in what may be the weirdest film deRenzy ever made.
Director: Alex deRenzy / 65m / 1972 / Color / 1.33:1

The year is 1972. Free love isn't quite as free as it once was but it is in abundance and beginning a truly grand tenor on the legit big screen (or at least as legit as it could be hiding in plane sight).  The themes of Little Sister is cautionary. It's almost fable. Go out into the woods and shirk your responsibilities, and you'll be raped by strange forest pirates in bad costumes... even if you state that you're only 12 years old. Obviously the actress in question is older than 12 and complies with all legal statutes concerning adult film star age which probably were not in place at the time of filming, but to even suggest a thing in the modern era would create a vomitorium of parents groups. You have to ask yourself who made this picture. A young Charlie Manson? Groups of orgiastic hippies looking to film their fuckfests? 

The whole gosh darn thing seems like a great big political statement by deRenzy fresh out of his documentary filmmaking (that seem to focus purely on legitimizing adult film even in the early 70's). For his early years, deRenzy seemed obsessed with creating "real movies" that happen to have adult content. To this effect he is quite successful. 

The movie features The Who likes guitar riff and keyboard scores that stand out, but mostly you just get an hour of strange orgies. It's a damn weird one with plenty of deRenzy genital closeups and hot steaming young hairy folk to fuck your way to a moral conclusion. The damn thing starts of with a reading of Caroll's Jaberwocky! This is truly the gypsy cautionary tale the post-McCarthy era parents were warning their children at over breakfast and cartoons each morning. 

Ending a porn with God Bless America... isn't that what Larry Flynt would do? Innovation!


Powder Burns

From Vinegar Syndrome:

In Alex deRenzy’s meta western, a trio of outlaws, The McNasty Brothers, wreak havoc on a frontier town in the desert. With the help of the former sheriff, will a buxom go-go dancer be able to save the day?
Director: Alex deRenzy / 72m / 1971 / Color / 1.33:1

I suppose we can look at Powder Burns the way we look at John Carpenter's Assault on Precinct 13. It's a bit of a siege movie, but wrapped in the cloak of modern times (even if it is set in the wild west). Of course in Carpenter's vision a group is trapped in a left-for-dead police station in the midst of a white hot night of hate. Powder Burns is more lighthearted. Go-go dancers left to fend for themselves among the McNasty Brothers in the middle of nowhere. Precinct 13 goes for a violent battle while Powder Burns take a more seductive and naughty approach. 

For an early 70's piece of smut this is an innovative film. Unfortunately it is not executed well and ends up being a long, drawn out 72 minutes as we wait for some naughty bits to excite us over some underwhelming banter. No hardcore until 45 minutes in. Even then the action lasts for a short time. It's funny, but not funny enough to go without skin for 45 minutes. The trippy music throughout makes the whole watch palatable. 

The ending is ridiculous... if you didn't already know it would be from the costuming.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Dead Air: Episode 78 - Backcountry (2015)


This week on the show, Jeff (@Jeff_FOTD) and Chad (@HorrorMovieBBQ) talk about secret nerd identities, film festivals, abandoned houses, angry ass bears, and the new movie from IFC Midnight, BACKCOUNTRY.

Direct Download the mp3:
DeadAir-078-Backcountry.mp3 

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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 DeadAirHorrorPodcast (at) gmail (dot) com.


Check out this episode!

Dead Air: Episode 78 - Backcountry (2015)

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Dead Air: Episode 77 - It Follows (2015)


This week on the show, Jeff (@Jeff_FOTD), Jesse (@DestroySuperman), Chad (@HorrorMovieBBQ), and James (@DrHorrorSexy) talk about possessed Internet browsers, Chad's wrestling name, old naked people, and David Robert Mitchell's film, IT FOLLOWS.

Download the MP3 Directly here 

Subscribe Via iTunes

iTunes listeners: Please take a moment to leave us a rating/review

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 DeadAirHorrorPodcast (at) gmail (dot) com.


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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Dead Air: Episode 76 - Spring (2015)


This week on the show, the crew is all here! Jeff (@Jeff_FOTD), Jesse (@DestroySuperman), Chad (@HorrorMovieBBQ), James (@DrHorrorSexy), and Shawn (@TheLiberalDead) talk about horror at the box office, James' Rondo nomination, Jesse's disdain for grown men rolling around together (aka Professional Wrestling), and to review Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead's latest film, SPRING.

Download the MP3 Directly here 

Subscribe Via iTunes

iTunes listeners: Please take a moment to leave us a rating/review

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 DeadAirHorrorPodcast (at) gmail (dot) com.


Check out this episode!

Rabbit Hole (You've Been Robbed/DVD) - The Rabbit Hole is Deeper Than the Rabbit Hole

Let’s get a couple things out of the way. I’m a huge fan of You’ve Been Robbed Films. I’m a fan of Rob Dimension as a Director , Actor, Podcaster, Writer… He’s a great guy who embodies the positive spirit that is not only essential to being a member of the horror community but for an artist to strive to make meaningful work. Thus I support Dimension’s work. I’ll contribute to a fund raising campaign or share his work with peers. I encourage you to do the same and put your cash where your indie spirit is. This is not a disclaimer as such because I don’t feel that contributing to a project including the one I’m about to review means that you will necessarily love the outcome, but I truly enjoyed You’ve Been Robbed Films’ latest effort Rabbit Hole. I’m glad to have contributed to it by purchasing it during its fundraising campaign. I’m ecstatic that the spirit of independent horror and dark fantasy is alive and well. Both Rob Dimension and Mike O'Mahony at the helm makes for a disturbing, mind scrabbling piece of tripadelic, horror fiction.

Synopsis from You’ve Been Robbed Films:

RABBIT HOLE is a twisted tale of a young mother, Dottie, who upon waking, discovers her child is missing. For Dottie the truenightmares happen when she isn’t sleeping. Can she be saved? If so, from who or what?

May HE have mercy on her soul.

How far will you go down the Rabbit Hole?

What works for Rabbit Hole? The performances by Megan Cunard, Rob Dimension, Kim Dimension and Lexi Lebo are all outstanding. Each actor gives it his or her all conveying emotional characters fraught with turmoil the origin of which comes from a rather unknown direction. The origin is a very real, non-fantasy based sourced though I’ll leave it to your viewing eyes to see just from where it raises its seductive head. The whole thing feels like it takes place in the same world as Carnival of Souls. It’s as if Kim and Lexi’s characters are responding to a force beyond reality; almost reacting to a nightmare that is their lives and wandering through a strange fever dream that may not be their own dream or their own doomed reality. Rob Dimension’s role as a religious, psychotic zealot bent on a ritual based moral salvation is full televangelism-gone-creep-out. Great makeup job on Rob and some good special effects work all around with makeup and costuming that is pure 70’s eerie.

Dimension mentions that he was strongly influenced by David Lynch in the commentary for Rabbit Hole, and it shows. The connection Eraserhead in choice of color palette, dialogue that is cryptic and indirect and a deeper underlying metaphor create a surreal world. The metaphor is a decipherable one, but you have to wait for the climax to feel its full impact. This is a film that you can take as an allegory or you can watch it for the pure visual horror of the thing. It’s important to watch Rabbit Hole twice. Once as a pure horror film. Once as with meaning beyond the visual presentation. Feel just how dark this movie can go on a superficial level and then allow yourself to attach to it emotionally by feeling the deeper meaning.

As luck would have it I watched Rabbit Hole on Easter Eve and though I’m not a religious fella, some of the religious imagery conveyed in Rabbit Hole may be moderately offensive to those of you who don’t want to look for the underlying message in the film and take it for face value critique. In keeping with that strange coincidence of watching Rabbit Hole so close to Easter there happens to be a anthropomorphized rabbit in the movie! The bunny in the film, masterfully puppeteered by the Dimensions and company is beyond freaky. That thing has the best eyes! It works from a metaphorical perspective to create an idea, but as a piece of visual horror, this thing isn’t the fun loving muppet you may be used to in some of Dimension’s other work. I haven’t been this disturbed by a puppet since Meet the Feebles.

Rabbit Hole isn’t entirely a straight forward piece of horror fiction. It’s a deeper hole. It has subtle and not so subtle messages that will prompt discussion and thought. This combined with its surreal elements may not make it accessible for all viewers including those who are simply looking for a monster or hack and slash film. I encourage those viewers to appreciate it for the deeper meaning and enjoy some of the visual queues that provide excellent moments of dread and terror.

The Rabbit Hole DVD that I reviewed is a double disc with some fantastic extras that really make this more of a package rather than just buying a mere short. As I watched the commentaries and additional short films, I realized that the whole package felt like a makeshift anthology picture each movie, though not all directed by Dimension, conveyed a socially relevant concept with deeply dark overtones.

Don’t Try This at Home, from Mike O'Mahony who co-directed Rabbit Hole, is a perfectly engrossing and disturbing short about what happens when you leave your kids alone with a VCR and a mysterious tape. Having ben in that situation before (I Spit on Your Grave was the movie in my case), it’s always a crap shoot. You’re going to love the darkly comedic, gross out of a picture Mahoney delivers with a bit of eroticism and a whole lot of “what the fuck did you just put in my brain”.

M is for Memories, directed by one of my favorite gore-smiths Adam Ahlbrant, was an entry for ABC’s of Death 2 that did not make it. It stars Ahlbrant and Dimension in a strange tale of murder by proxy. It’s beautiful and dirty. It’s the kind of filthy gorgeous we have come to expect and love from Ahlbrant. Both actors offer awesome performances. If you’ve ever wanted to watch Rob Dimension shave, here’s your chance.

Boob Tube, also directed and starring Dimension is a brilliant commentary on relationships, our relationship to the physical and most importantly, our incessant need to be interconnected and dependent. It’s humorous and vulgar without being gratuitous. I mean… I too have though about having relations with a television, and as a tapehead of old my VCR almost lost its virginity when I first saw Sleepaway Camp 2.  Boob Tube also has a commentary track for your enjoyment.

Once you finish disc 1, you have to change your viewing hat. Disc 2 features an episodic documentary following Curt Robinson’s ascension into the world of professional wrestling. This is not a horror picture, but rather a heartfelt love note to Dimension’s son who is an inspiration in his attempt to break into the world of sports entertainment. His journey is not over and it is tremendous. A must watch for folks who love professional or amateur wrestling or enjoy impassioned tales of heroics not unlike a young Rocky Balboa.  I am proud of Robinson’s efforts, and I only wish I had had the chance to see this before meeting Curt at Monster Mania in March. I hope to see him again soon and congratulate him on achieving part of his dream. There’s more greatness in Robinson than we know now, but I suspect he knows just how much greatness he has inside judging by the maximum effort, sacrifice and commitment to his goal.

You can pick up Rabbit Hole now on DVD or a Rabbit Hole t-shirt: http://youvebeenrobbedfilms.blogspot.com/p/merchandise.html

Follow You’ve Been Robbed Films for the next project from Dimension and company here (currently selling preorders of Moritmor Tromblay):

Support indie horror because it really can change the world and your mind.

Full release details from You've Been Robbed:

Disc 1 -

DVD cover may vary

RABBIT HOLE (also w/commentary by Rob Dimension and Mike O'Mahony)
Boob Tube (also w/commentary by Rob Dimension, Kim Dimension and Matt Barnes)
M is for Memoirs
Don't Try This At Home

Disc 2 -
The Journey
Steps 1-5 plus additional match featuring Curt Robinson vs Mr. Sozio

Details:

Rabbit Hole - RABBIT HOLE is the story of a young Mother named Dottie, who upon waking, discovers her child is missing. For Dottie, the true nightmares happen when she isn't sleeping. Can she be saved? If so, saved from who or what? May HE have mercy on her soul. (17 mins)

Boob Tube - Everyone loves television. For some, it becomes an obsession. (This short was something Kim, Matt and I wanted to do since we reached and passed our fundraising goal as a thank you). This film was directed by Rob Dimension and Matt Barnes (6 mins)

Don't Try This at Home - In an attempt to spice up their love life a young couple may have bitten off more than they can chew. This film is directed by Mike O'Mahony

M is For Memoirs - this was an entry into the ABC's of Death from filmmaker Adam Ahlbrandt and stars Rob and Kim Dimension (5 mins)

The Journey Steps 3-5 - This documents the story of a 14 yr old amateur wrestler, who chases his dream to become a professional wrestler. Each episode has been labeled as a "Step", this event will be the World Premier of Step 5. In this Step, Curt Robinson faces juggling school, wrestling season, injuries and more. This film is directed by Matt Barnes and Rob Dimension. You can watch the other "steps" at www.CurtRobinsonPro.com

Monday, April 13, 2015

Long Weekend (Synapse Blu-ray) - Marriage, Animals, the Great and Powerful OZ(ploitation)

As much as I’ve enjoyed the Ozploitation classics that I’ve seen from the mid 70’s and 80’s, I’m afraid that I haven’t seen them all. In fact, I’d say my first real experiences with this subset of movies came about two years ago and in direct relation to the documentary Not Quite Hollywood that featured the films from the area somewhere in the vicinity of “down under”. That makes me a happy newbie, exploring much charted territory with fresh, Aussie hungry eyes. These features may have the common nexus in the region from which they were created, but the dark, daring and often exploitative elements of the film are just as common. The Ozploits are just a likely to make well groomed children the murderer as they are to make animals. Last year we saw Thirst and Patrick from Severin and just before that Australia After Dark and The ABC of Love and Sex: Australia Style from Intervision. Within the last year we also saw Lady Stay Dead hit from Code Red. It’s also important to note that the Turkey Shoot score was given a limited edition vinyl release just this year. With a new Mad Max coming and Dead End Drive-In on Netflix, it’s the perfect time to catch up with as much Oz-tainment as you can. Enter the new Synapse Blu-ray of Long Weekend and it's a shining of example of how this company creates a great product.

Long Weekend on Blu-ray is a treat. It is sharp in quality while maintaining a film-like presence that is respectful of the original print. While I have not be privy to a 35mm print of this feature, the color looks warm and rich with beautiful contrast and dark blacks. The film grain is appropriate and adds to the overall enjoyment of the picture. The cover art is a vast improvement on some of the DVD releases featuring a swatch of blood with animals lurking just overhead of our two weary protagonists of the picture. Synapse continues it’s trend of excellent packaging and transfers with this release which has me even more excited for the upcoming releases of Popcorn and Suspiria. The disc features an audio commentary from Producer Richard Brennan and Cinematographer Vincent Monton as well as a motion still gallery featuring an audio interview with John Hargreaves as well as the theatrical trailer.

The movie itself is a creeper featuring plenty to be scared of. From animals to unsettled humans there is a perfect tension that builds through the entire movie that has all the hallmarks of the some of the best psychological thrillers of the 70’s. As I watched the movie, I was worried less about the animal attack aspect of the picture and more about the “sound minds” of the protagonists. After reading the advertising and various accounts of the picture I found it strange that folks look at this as a nature vs. man film rather than primarily a metaphor for the inhumanity visited upon human beings by the false comfort of long term relationships. Don’t get me wrong. The animal vengeance is truly frightening, suspenseful and surprising, but the underlying tension of the film best comes from the conflict between husband and wife and not from the animals on the prowl. It’s a deeper truth about relationships, and it’s one that any married couple who have managed to stick it out can attest to. Just ask my wife about our trip to Disney World a couple years ago. We almost didn’t make it out of the Animal Kingdom alive (and no it wasn’t due to the safari).

Arachnophobes (I am one of your great numbers), there is a scene of a rather large spider running that pretty much kept me awake all night. Be forewarned. Also, I may never go surfing… EVER after a scene featuring a large shape in the water approaching the male lead. What’s funny is that it almost bothered me more than the same image in Jaws. I suppose you know what Jaws is…a shark; You don’t know what might be at the heels of our fearless friend. This is not a humorous film that shirks its scare responsibilities based on budget like Day of the Animals (more comedic than horrific). Think that loveable animal is going to let you catch and pet it? Nope! The attack sequences are superb and they come at you from every possible angle. Long Weekend takes every chance to create long periods of tension prior to whipping the proverbial towel straight at your ass.

Director Colin Eggleston has a background in television and directed Fantasm Comes Again (sequel to the Ozploitation movie Fantasm) with Long Weekend being a strong full length feature movie that didn’t necessarily win the admiration of critics out of the gate. In retrospect we can appreciate the subtle, multi dimensional horror picture that offers a window into some truth into our own psyche, how we interact with our loved ones and how we interact with the planet. Long Weekend is terrifying. It is paced well to reveal scares and moments of shock.

You can pick up Long Weekend from Synapse Films now:


Synopsis from Synapse:

Attempting to resurrect their failing marriage, Peter (John Hargreaves, THE ODD ANGRY SHOT) and Marcia (Briony Behets) set out on a camping trip to a deserted stretch of the Australian coastline hoping a long weekend in the sunshine will help them patch their differences. They are a careless couple, littering the countryside with garbage, shooting guns and even driving away after wounding a kangaroo with their automobile. Their callous disregard for the environment soon becomes apparent when the animals start to seek vengeance. Marcia and Peter have proven themselves to be destroyers of nature. Will the animals allow them to leave or will they too be destroyed?
Features
  • High-Definition 1080p Transfer Supervised by Synapse Films
  • Re-mastered DTS HD-MA 5.1 Surround Soundtrack
  • Audio Commentary from Producer Richard Brennan and Cinematographer Vincent Monton
  • Motion Still Gallery Featuring an Audio Interview with Actor John Hargreaves
  • Original Theatrical Trailer

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Dead Air: Episode 75 - Clown (2015)


This week on the show, Jeff (@Jeff_FOTD), Jesse (@DestroySuperman) and Chad (@HorrorMovieBBQ) ask philosophical questions about Juggalo culture, discuss the rollout of IT FOLLOWS, try to figure out exactly how much alcohol Jesse consumed before the show, talk about Horror Conventions, and review the latest film to be produced by Eli Roth, CLOWN. Just how hungry is Peter Stormare? Tune in to find out...

Download the MP3 Directly here 

Subscribe Via iTunes

iTunes listeners: Please take a moment to leave us a rating/review

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 DeadAirHorrorPodcast (at) gmail (dot) com.


Check out this episode!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Dead Air: Episode 74 - The Lazarus Effect (2015)


This week on the show, Jeff (@Jeff_FOTD), Jesse (@DestroySuperman) and Chad (@HorrorMovieBBQ) talk all about Mumblecore, Olivia Munn-Wilde, Angry Dogs, and the latest Blumhouse theatrical horror flick, THE LAZARUS EFFECT. Does Donald Glover deserve better? Tune in for the usual shenanigans and to find out if it's worth your time.

Download the MP3 Directly here 

Subscribe Via iTunes

iTunes listeners: Please take a moment to leave us a rating/review

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 DeadAirHorrorPodcast (at) gmail (dot) com.


Check out this episode!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Babadook (Scream Factory Blu-ray)

The Babadook creeped me out. There are things I would change about the movie if I could, but I wouldn't change how the little boy in the film was portrayed as intolerably annoying. I wouldn't change the pacing or the look. I adore the choice of actors and think the premise is perfectly scary while invoking some cerebral processes that make the movie feel like more than just a monster picture. What the Babadook is, as a creature, is perfect. The way the Babadook looks is also near perfect, but the way the Babadook moves... at times it leaves quite a lot to be desired. That's my one pet peeve with the movie. The creature is almost too glitch. I wanted to get that off my chest because most people have a problem with one aspect of the movie or another. Mine is superficial and only minimally harms the suspension of disbelief I have while watching the Dook (as I affectionately call it).  Scream Factory has put out both a standard Blu-ray and a special edition that has my heart. I'm so glad that we see what appears to be a team up between IFC Midnight and Scream Factory. These labels should be friends.

Up until now I haven't written much about The Babadook because some of the negative fan reviews it gets bothers me. Sure there are the hipsters trouncing it, but they hate everything. It's the people who attack it because the kid is "annoying". Man, he's supposed to be annoying. The fact that he gets under your skin so perfectly both lends itself to brilliant direction by Jennifer Kent and a special performance by both Essie Davis and her son played by Noah Wiseman. There's something so real about how kids can do that and you feel it, like it or not as a parent. It isn't constant like it is in the Babadook and there are deep psychological reasons behind that. Occasionally I just like to enjoy a horror movie and not deal with defending it against folks who want to attack it. Sure I've raved about how much I liked it, but I haven't defended it or been critical of it. It deserves a pedestal. It is a horror picture, and it is also psychological.

Let's put this in perspective. How much did I like The Babadook? I've watched it several times. I put up cash as part of the funding raising project to have created the pop up book  from the movie become a real thing of pages and dooks. I'm happy to say that should be out soon. Will post pics. I'm terrified and elated. When Scream Factory send me the special edition to review, the version that look like the pop up book from the movie, I had an idea. The edition opens up and inside is a pop up Babadook. I got the idea to put a light activated, audio trigger in the card so that every time you open it, a sound clip of the Babadook screaming his name plays. You know... like those birthday cards that sing Margarittaville only it's the Dook, and it freaked out my wife. I encourage you to do the same.

After watching all the special features, I can tell you that there are juicy bits of info in this package, but they are more like morsels than full meals. The Deleted Scenes are few and somewhat bland. The Cast and Crew interviews are interesting, but the questions are somewhat ordinary and repetitive. The interviews don't pick up steam and are done with a typed questions and spoken responses. No organic flow, but at least you get everyone you'd want to hear from for the most part.The Behind the Scenes is brief but interesting especially the set design. I had no idea they build that house on a sound stage. It looked perfectly real. There's a stunt reel... of sorts... that is just watching Essie jump and run up stairs.

The gem in the features is Jennifer Kent's short film Monster. It's nearly as creepy as The Babadook. It is not identical, but you can see how it was the jumping off point for the feature length film with plenty of new ideas and pieces of character development added in. The quality of picture in the movie is excellent. This is a rich movie with plenty of blues and dark moments.

Bonus Features
  • Limited-Run "Pop Up" Packaging
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Cast And Crew Interviews
  • Behind-The-Scenes Of The Making Of The Film
  • Jennifer Kent's Short Film, "Monster"
  • Theatrical Trailers
Make sure you get the pop up packaging. It's limited and a must own for collectors and fans of cool Blu-ray art. Get it now before you can't. The still you see cannot let you know how unique this edition feels. Next, make sure to watch Monster. It's absolutely worth the few minutes it takes, but I'd say watching The Babadook first is paramount. Get the movie in before the short dissects it for you by building quickly and perhaps being more obvious.

You can order The Babadook now from Scream Factory available in April:

https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/film-horror/the-babadook

Synopsis from Scream Factory:

Amelia (AFI Award winner Essie Davis, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, The Slap) is a single mother plagued by the violent death of her husband. When a disturbing storybook called Mister Babadook turns up at her house, she is forced to battle with her son's deep-seated fear of a monster. Soon she discovers a sinister presence all around her.A chilling tale of unseen and otherworldly horror in the haunting tradition of The Orphanage, Jennifer Kent's visceral journey into the heart of fear itself is as terrifying as it is believable.

Class of 1984 (Scream Factory Blu-ray) - Beware the Savage Jaws of 1984

Recently a buddy of mine told me that he some punk ass kids were throwing rocks at this window while hiding in bushes behind his house. It wasn’t once. It wasn’t twice. It was frequent. This included calls to the police who were “powerless” to stop these guys from damaging my friend’s property. In one of the more recent attacks the kids broke the damn window which could have done some serious damage to my friend’s family. In talking to him I offered many a solution to this problem, all of them violent having been trained in the art of 70’s cult cinema justice, and then I said told him about Class of 1984 which seemed to fit his situation the best. A young group of kids, a gang of sorts, with a  mission… to torment without mercy good people. Relentless. Unafraid of the repercussions of their actions. I urged him to watch the movie and take notes as to how one might handle a seemingly unstoppable attack on this house and family. Mind you or course the last time I had watched Class of 1984 was on 35mm at Exhumed Film’s ExFest last year, but lo and behold the new Scream Factory Blu-ray came in the mail immediately following the conversation. I rewatched it, and then I called him back to tell him that it would be okay if he decimated their red Mustang, but perhaps to avoid cutting off their arms or lighting them on fire.

Class of 1984 is as relevant now as it was when it was first released. The same problems plague well meaning teachers who are on the front line of a strange battle with youth. The same tactics are employed whether it be students understanding the limitations of a teacher disciplinary authority or a rather sophisticated game of passive aggressive brinksmanship, kids know how to get teachers in trouble, how to rule the school and how to commit criminal acts with their apparent innocence as a cloak to their parents and the police. What teacher hasn’t imagine taking matters into his own hands to seek justice and unburden the marginalized, “good kids”?  Some of these school are demilitarized zones. Some are prim and proper with narco underground regimes spilling money into lockers as if Scrooge MacDuck himself got into the drug biz. Say nothing of the school shootings, stabbings and hate crimes not to mention the buzz word du jour, bullying. Kids have it tough. Teachers have it touch and sometimes the A-Team isn’t around to save the day. There are no real life Dirty Harry’s at your public high school to save you from the wild world of sports known as juvenile delinquency.

Take that notion and then offer your favorite educator Class of 1984. A movie that understands the difficulty in being a public figure at the mercy of an intelligent, internet savvy, entitled youth population. This movie will likely strike close to home with them in some way great or small. For parents, this might be the time to watch and listen and then realize that your child isn’t the honor student you though he was (maybe… I’m sure there are plenty of good eggs). No one is saying that a teacher should go into a classroom with a gun and teach with a pistol in hand of course. We’re simply saying that the frustrations  and fears of teachers are real. This movie is on a fundamental level, a statement of truth and that despite a sequel that didn’t quite live up to the merit of the original that laid out changes that have happened since 1984 release, no update was necessary. The issues are the same.

The movie itself is wonderful from the 80’s high school aesthetic turned dark and gloomy. These are the punks of your nightmares turned into evil caricatures of themselves. I remember my friends having this same uniform, the same attitude and the same basic feel as the gang fronted by Peter Stegman with one fundamental difference. My friends were fun and funny and, aside from some petty vandalism, were quite harmless. The war that ensues between Mr. Norris and Stegman’s rabble is monstrous and no holds barred. For awhile you can laugh at Class of 1984 until you can’t, until it becomes dark and feels a little too real thanks to some over the top performances that are so gonzo you believe them. While I love Perry King playing the lead good guy in Norris, the character played by Roddy McDowall as the science teacher whose last straw has just been pulled is tremendous. The dialogue that man delivers is something of magic, emotive and sad. It’s one of my favorite roles for McDowall next to his work in the Twilight Zone and Night Gallery.  Get ready for some exquisite violence and a shocking ending that shows why  1984 one of the pitch perfect revenge-sploitation films.

There are plenty of new extras for this release including interviews with Mark Lester, Perry King, actresses Lisa Langlois and Erin Noble as well as Lalo Schifrin (the composer).  Your obligatory TV spots, still gallery and trailer are included as well as an audio commentary with Lester and some older interviews with Lester, King and Merrie Lynn Ross. This is a collector’s edition with reversible artwork and newly commissioned art with slipcover. It’s a great looking disc with no immediate issues to report though I cannot comment on how much of an upgrade it would be from the previously released DVD, it looked damn fine with comparing it to the film print I saw a year ago.

Full extra list:

  • New High-Definition Transfer Of The Film From The Interpositive
  • New Interviews With Director Mark Lester, Actors Lisa Langlois And Erin Noble And Composer Lalo Schifrin
  • New Career Retrospective Interview With Perry King
  • Audio Commentary With Mark Lester
  • Blood And Blackboards Featurette – Featuring Interviews With Director Mark Lester, Actors Perry King And Merrie Lynn Ross
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spots
  • Still Gallery


If you have kids and want something to scare the shit out of you, pick up Class of 1984. If you’re  a teacher or future teacher and you want to see just how bad it could be, see Class of 1984. Fans of punk rock music, punks and rebels without a clue, see Class of 1984.  This is a great release, and is sure to impress serious fans and newcomers alike. It will jar you and excited you and fill you with intense hatred. You’ll want revenge. You’ll get your revenge!

Note: Michael Fox in an early role minus the J. Check out that babyface.

Pick up Class of 1984 now from Scream Factory:


Synopsis from Scream Factory:

Andrew Norris (Perry King, Lipstick, Mandingo), an idealistic and naive music teacher, has moved into a new community with his pregnant wife, Diane (Merrie Lynn Ross, General Hospital), only to find his new job is an academic abyss. Appalled by the crime-infested school, Norris soon crosses paths with its teenage kingpin, the shrewd and sadistic Peter Stegman (Timothy Van Patten, Catacombs, Zone Troopers). With Norris setting his sights on reforming Stegman and the young punk declaring war on his teacher, the duo is on a collision course for a fateful showdown.


Carrie and The Rage: Carrie 2 (Scream Factory Blu-ray)

As a fan of DePalma's adaptation of Stephen King's Carrie, I must admit that my opinion of sequel and remake alike is doomed to be biased. Try as I might I feel like I go back to DePalma's vision of the Carrie White, the cinematography, music queues. I enjoy his creation more than King's original story which is an unpopular opinion at best. I reviewed the most recent incarnation of Carrie directed by Kimberly Pierce and found it a carbon copy of the original with different actors, worse music and the worst effects. Today we have a double feature from Scream Factory focusing on Ms. White. This time we have an earlier remake from 2002 and a sequel in a two disc double feature set.

Carrie

Though I understand why the 2002 made for TV remake of Carrie gets such glowing reviews, I was not fan. Yes, it is ever more faithful to the book than the DePalma version, but that also means that it feels ostensibly long winded. It goes on forever and is in desperate need of an editor to figure out which good bits to include. One thing that has become abundantly clear is that remakes of Carrie focus on the casting of Carrie White and her wack job zealot mother. In this task, the remakes have both been successful. Angela Bettis does a fine job at Carrie white and the production does not suffer because of her. In fact, it is her performance that helps to make Carrie tolerable. Patricia Clarkson does a fine job as her mother as well.

The camera is shaky, almost found footage shakey. Unlike many successful made for TV efforts, this movie feels like a made for TV movie. It has bad editing. It has zero ambiance. It's a long version of a great story, done on the cheap and adds nothing to the cannon. Sure the prom scene is a good fun save for some shitty effects work, but isn't the prom scene ALWAYS fun? You can kill a lot of folks en masse in nearly any movie and as long as you're moderately creative, the scene will work. The infamous opening shower scene actually transcended the rest of the movie by feeling very raw. It's the menstrual discovery you'd hoped for in the original.



The Rage: Carrie 2

Let me be perfectly clear in saying that when Carrie 2 came out, I balked. I refused to see it, and now that I've seen it I at least feel like I watched a fair horror picture. The movie does not carbon copy the original picture and rather tries to create a new legend around a girl who is in Carrie White's situation though many years later. Perhaps it feels more tolerable. We're not talking about a girl who is outcast to the point of social pariah.  Rachel is a pretty cool girl, and she has no trouble getting laid or discussing her "womanhood" for that matter. It's because the character is different that I can enjoy the movie. I am able to remove the connection to the DePalma film and at least find in a tolerable horror picture, still somewhat outside the legend and lore of the Carrie White saga.

Carrie 2 doesn't have the great score of the original movie and the acting in this picture is even subpar to the 2002 remake that I didn't like, but it's a more fun movie. There are great kills. Good cast, though they were never destined to be a bunch of Oscar nominees. This is clearly a late 90's early 2000's Hollywood effort with some of the worst CG I had the curse to watch. I actually almost didn't care about the CG because the kills were well throughout otherwise. Exploding glasses in someone's eyes, Harpoon gun mutilation. These are things I want to see on film.

Each of these movies has a following for one reason or the other and the strong cult following the surrounds Angela Bettis should support this release. Despite the film's flaws, it look good in Hi-Def (shaky but good). The Rage looks good too. The cast is totally 1999 and you should plan your expectations accordingly.  I was surprised to see this movie is a two disc set. There aren't many extras on either disc, Carrie features a commentary and Carrie 2 has some deleted scenes with CG graphic breakdown as well as  commentary. Wait till you see the alternate ending on Carrie 2. Were snakes big in 1999? The cover art is double feature style with the one sheets next to one another on the front.



You can order Carrie and The Rage: Carrie 2 now from Scream Factory:

https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/film-horror/carrie-the-rage-carrie-2-double-feature

Synopsis from Scream Factory:

CARRIE 

Angela Bettis (May) stars in this 2002 adaptation of Stephen King's classic tale of horror and retribution, featuring eye-popping special effects and a shocking, all-new twist ending! Carrie White (Bettis) is a lonely, awkward teenage girl who just doesn't fit in. At school, she endures her classmates' constant ridicule, and at home she suffers endless psychological torture at the hands of her fanatically religious mother (Patricia Clarkson, Six Feet Under). But Carrie has a secret. She's been cursed with the terrifying power of telekinesis. And when her tormenters commit an act of unforgivably cruel humiliation at the prom, they'll soon learn a deadly lesson. Taking its inspiration from King’s book rather than the original film, Carrie was written by Bryan Fuller (TV's Hannibal, Pushing Daisies) and stars Emilie de Ravin (Lost), Katharine Isabelle (See No Evil 2, Ginger Snaps) and Chelan Simmons (Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil).

THE RAGE: CARRIE 2 

In this horrifying 1999 sequel, Rachel (Emily Bergl, The Knick) is a high school misfit who gets caught in the middle of a vicious prank orchestrated by a group of jocks that turns deadly. Once the police bring one of the boys in for questioning, his teammates target Rachel for squealing, and hatch a devious scheme to publicity humiliate her. But messing with Rachel is worse than playing with fire, for when her temper's crossed, it triggers a powder-keg of anger and unleashes horrifying powers that turn a wild teen house party into a wilder mad-house inferno! Also starring Jason London (Dazed And Confused), Rachel Blanchard (TV's Clueless), Mena Suvari (American Beauty) and Amy Irving (reprising her role as Sue Snell from Brian DePalma's original Carrie), this fast-paced, white-knuckle revenge fantasy takes telekinesis to the next level of terror!

--- CARRIE ---
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Director David Carson
  • Trailer
--- THE RAGE: CARRIE 2 ---
  • NEW 2015 Audio Commentary With Director Katt Shea And Director Of Photography Donald Morgan, Moderated By Filmmaker David DeCoteau
  • Original 1999 Audio Commentary With Katt Shea
  • Alternate Ending With "Before And After" Special Effect Sequence
  • Additional Scenes Not Seen In Theaters
  • Theatrical Trailer
Note: None of these movies has even laid a finger of Pino Donnagio's score for the DePalma movie. None at all.


Dead Air: Episode 73 - Digging Up The Marrow (2015)


This week on the show, Jeff (@Jeff_FOTD) and Jesse (@DestroySuperman) are joined by special guest, Chad (@HorrorMovieBBQ) to talk all about rabbits, Soccer Moms, and monsters... Oh yeah, and we also review Adam Green's latest film, DIGGING UP THE MARROW...

Download the MP3 Directly here 

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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 DeadAirHorrorPodcast (at) gmail (dot) com.


Check out this episode!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

From a Whisper to a Scream (Scream Factory Blu-ray) - Oldfield Revisited

I remember when this movie was on the video store shelf as The Offspring which is the way I truly think of it, but since From a Whisper to a Scream is how it was truly meant to be known, I guess I’ll start adjusting the way I talk about it. I don’t usually make that sort of a change when talking about a horror flick, but I have minimal nostalgic connection to it. If the same was said of From Beyond the Grave or perhaps an Amicus anthology (except The Vault of Horror being called Tales from the Crypt 2 of course) I’d be writing a piece in protest of the change. Scream Factory has offered us a chance to visit with one of Vincent Price’s last movies, not his strongest but certainly a look into his later life. Price recants four tales surrounding a small town in the south. They span time, genre and setting in a most unusual assortment of ramshackle connected stories soley based on the their geographic location.

This is not the first time I’ve watched From a Whisper to a Scream though it’s the first time I’ve done so in years. I didn’t dislike it upon my first viewing, but it wasn’t a movie that I found to have anything so gratuitous or that it was so pleasing to the eye that it was worth the rewatch. It comes off like a horror television program that didn’t quite make it. Perhaps like John Carpenter’s Body Bags. The stories are obviously disjointed, no common nexus and that in and of itself isn’t a problem. Each segment really feels like a slightly higher quality version of the TV show Monsters. That’s not a bad show mind you, but the production value was lacking. The effects, not great (but fun… ever so fun) and while the caliber of actor was strong, the story lines didn’t carry the show for very long, especially not in the shadow of Monsters’ predecessor, Tales from the Darkside.  From a Whisper to Scream feels like that with somewhat better stories. Strong actors, some interesting effects choices though none are high quality and while it feels like a movie, I’d sooner say made-for-TV movie than ready-for-theatrical.

From Whisper to a Scream makes use of a rather handsome cast of horror and cult favorites. Vincent Price is the big name on the box leading the wrap story and discussing Oldfield, Tennessee and its seedy underbelly, but what about a rather disturbing performance by Clu Gulager in the first segment? They made Clu look absolutely disturbed. His flat, emotionless face is the thing of beautiful homicide. The second installment features Terry Kiser… you know… Bernie from Weekend at Bernies! The final story of the four features Cameron Mitchell in what is perhaps the most cerebral of tales but boy does it feel long. This feels like a very unique role for cult star Mitchell.

That being said it’s got definite cult classic appeal, and I can see why it has a fanbase. There’s a story to this movie and the making of feature tells it. It’s over an hour of interviews and stories from the director and crew. The documentary almost feels like overkill, but when you realize what it took to get this small scale production off the ground, how Vincent Price got involved and how the organization of the stories created time and budgetary limitations, what seemed like an okay entry into portmanteau horror becomes more of an underdog worth rooting for. This isn’t a “featurette”. This is a feature length production. No twenty minute interview posing as a making of special. Add in a second feature length doc about making Super 8 movies featuring Jeff Burr and the run time of this entire Blu-ray shoots up exponentially. Literally you get hours upon hours of entertainment and information. Combine that with some audio commentary options, traditional trailer and TV spot package as well as some handsome cover art and you have a superior release that may almost be more than the film deserves. It’s a nice gesture by Scream to offer so much content. I’ve compared this to a made-for-TV movie or anthology TV show, but the quality of picture is quite good. It’s not the transfer or resto with which I take issue. It’s the original production value.

Full feature list:

Return To Oldfield - A Comprehensive Feature-Length Documentary About The Making Of From A Whisper To A Scream, Featuring Director Jeff Burr, Producer Darin Scott, Co-Screenwriter C. Courtney Joyner, Actor Clu Gulagar And More!
A Decade Under The Innocence - A Feature-Length Documentary About Teenage Adventures In 'Super 8' Filmmaking During The 1970's In Georgia, Featuring Director Jeff Burr And More!
New Audio Commentary With Writer/Director Jeff Burr
Audio Commentary With Writer/Producer Darin Scott And Writer C. Courtney Joyner
Still Gallery With Commentary By Writer/Director Jeff Burr
Theatrical Trailer
"The Offspring" TV Spots

From a Whisper to a Scream would have made a fancy addition to a third installment into the Vincent Price releases previously offered through Scream Factory. I’m curious to see if another volume is even possible given some of the recent divvying of Price titles across distributors by MGM. It’s a must pick up for Price fans with a healthy offering of extras and love. Call it The Offspring. Call it Whisper to a Scream. Call it Scream Factory.


You can order From a Whisper to a Scream from Scream Factory now:


Synopsis from Scream Factory:

On the night his niece is executed for committing a string of brutal killings, historian Julian White (Price) reveals the sinister secrets of her hometown, Oldfield, Tennessee, a horrific hamlet that spawns evil! But as the town's murderous legacy is exposed with White's chilling accounts – including stories of a necrophilic madman, a voodoo priest with life-prolonging powers and a legion of children with an appetite for flesh – White doesn't realize that he is about the write the final chapter of Oldfield's morbid history...in his own blood!



Ghoulies and Ghoulies II (Scream Factory Blu-ray) - Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Go to the Bathroom

Yeah yeah…everyone loves Ghoulies II and the first Ghoulies is boring. That pretty much summarizes what our Facebook page said when I announced that I was watching each of these releases over the last week. Funny thing is I think they’re both friggin great movies for completely opposite reasons. Scream Factory has a double feature Blu-ray edition of these Empire classics coming straight at you so you can make up your mind, but regardless of which side you’re on, Team Toilet or Team MegaGhoulie, you get a special set with some kickass extras.

Disclaimer: Ghoulies has been a part of my life since I learned to love horror movies as a kid. It’s important to state this because my nostalgia levels for this particular release are on overdrive and regardless of what you might say to contradict me, Ghoulies is a damn great movie.

Back story: My dad copied the original Ghoulies using the old “two VCR method” before video cassettes were priced to own. He taped it after Mary Poppins on the same tape with LP setting. This meant that after I was done flying a kite and loving to laugh I would be treated to a semi-sexualized, doobie filled, monster fest with all the best occult references and illuminated eyes. Little people. Little monsters. Blood with soft gore. Pentagrams and circles and all the best stuff an adolescent who had yet to discover his father’s porn collection could want. So after I fell in love with Julie Andrews as a sexy nanny with an umbrella and hat fetish, I went on to learn about the old dark demons, how to summon them and how not to get tongue slapped by a corpse in sexy clothing. It’s possible that this film started me on my love of occult horror fiction and occult reality. Think of it as a beginner’s guide.

The reason people attack this film must be due to its somewhat slow pace and semi-jumbled story. Details! C’mon people. The opening is strong with some of the best music Richard Band has ever afforded us though I wish his music was used throughout the entire picture. The VHS and poster art is beyond memorable and in talking with some of our readers, it has been said this is the movie that made them fall in love with the mom and pop stores of old. I agree and add that it was one of the movies that really got me at Long Valley Video. There’s plenty to love about Ghoulies, and I urge everyone to rewatch it for its subtlety. For one of the most evil clown kills of any movie. For creepy critters that maybe could use a little work, but sure are cute. You watch Ghoulies because it’s absolutely 80’s occult horror incarnate with the absence of more hair metal and eyeliner. It pairs nicely with Trick or Treat in that way.

Perhaps the best thing about the original Ghoulies is the listing of four separate directors: Luca Bercovici, Albert Band, John Carl Buechler and Jim Wynorski (JIM!). That brings us to Ghoulies 2.

Disclaimer #2: I did not grow up with this one. I watched it much later and found it hokie. I came in toward the end of the picture as “SuperMegaGhoulie” was running amok. I disliked the animation style and really found that the lack of consistency between the first and second movies to be disheartening (imagine how I felt about Ghoulies 3 and 4!). In short, my nostalgia clitoris is extra small and hidden under the hood for this release.

This time around I enjoyed the carnival aesthetic and the continuing perseverance of strong 80’s influence on the sense of style. There are truly some memorable and funny kills in this picture. Ghoulies II comes off like a comedy rather than the more serious horror picture that the original sought to be (save for the added toilet sequence to promote the movie). The production value on Ghoulies II suffered in everyway except for the creature effects which, while I find them to be inferior to the original look, were actually technically better and more lifelike. Imagine that dichotomy. This time around I was able to find strong points in a film. I had previously renounced as one of my least favorite horror movies solely due to its relation and lack of respect for the original picture (yes, I hold the original with high regard, no you can’t change my mind about that), but I put all of that aside and found this a humorous monster picture that is a good entry level horror picture though the occult nature of the movie is more subdued. That may be the real reason that part 2 hadn’t worked for me before. Not dark enough. Too campy when compared to my expectation for a serious horror picture.

I have to agree with my friend Jordan over at B-Movie Film Vault; Phil Fondacaro’s performance is actually incredible. He’s a strong character and super emotive. This comes in only second to my love for his role in Troll. Royal Dano kicks some major ass too. He’s perfect for this type of semi-gonzo schlock.

While I’m glad to have had a chance to watch Hi-Def mini monsters torment and kill folks, there’s a really awesome reason to pick up this edition: the making of specials on each release are brilliant, especially the making of special for the original Ghoulies. Charles Band and company go through the whole back story of the production and really illuminate how independent horror happened and was promote before the direct to video market took off. Learn about the marketing of Ghoulies, the controversy surrounding the Ghoulies green band commercials and see Richard Band discuss the awesome score. It’s a long featurette with tons of juicy material. The making of featurette for the second film is somewhat shorter but also enjoyable. Both of the movies look fantastic on Blu. While I was impressed by the original looking so fantastic, especially since most of my memories of Ghoulies are on VHS tape recorded off another VHS tape, the second movie really looks superior. Sure it’s a newer movie, but this transfer really gets rid of the direct-to-video haze that I always saw in it on HBO.

I’m going to recommend you watch both movies especially if you are new to the Ghoulies series. For those of you who have seen the later entries in the series and enjoy them, you’ll want to stick closer to Ghoulies II for it’s off the wall antics and humor. Occult horror lovers, the original Ghoulies is a must watch. Laugh a little, but get scared in the second half of the picture. Watching the original is more like staring at album cover artwork.

You can pick up Ghoulies and Ghoulies II on double feature Scream Factory Blu-ray now.


Synopsis from Scream Factory:

GHOULIES

Take a creepy old Hollywood mansion, a naive young man and a pretty girl. Add an over-the-top orgy and some slimy, winged goblins who crawl out of toilets, and you have Ghoulies, a horrifying and hilarious ride into the darkest regions of hell! Conjured during a party thrown by the mansion's new owner, the hairy, fanged demons waste no time wreaking havoc on the scene – and declaring the unsuspecting owner their new lord and master! Peter Liapis (Ghost Warrior), Lisa Pelkin (Jennifer), Michael Des Barres (Waxwork II, Under Siege) and Jack Nance (Eraserhead, Twin Peaks) star in this fanged frenzy of sharp twists and eye-popping shocks that'll get you where it counts!

GHOULIES II

The demonic, toilet-dwelling goblins are back! Stowed away in "Satan's Den," the traveling House of Horror operated by carnival workers Larry and Uncle Ned, the Ghoulies merrily devour the sideshow attraction's patrons... until Larry realizes his horror house is for real and tries to flee the scene! Deliciously outrageous special effects and over-the-top antics ratchet up the horrific fun! Kerry Remsen (Pumpkinhead), Phil Fondacaro (Troll), William Butler (1990's Night Of The Living Dead) and Royal Dano (Big Bad Mama) star in this creepy, crawly sequel that's got every bit as big a bite as the original!

Bonus Features

--- GHOULIES ---
Audio Commentary With Director/Co-writer Luca Bercovici
New Interviews With Executive Producer Charles Band, Composer Richard Band, Actor Michael Des Barres And Special Effects Makeup Artist John Vulich
Original Theatrical Trailer

--- GHOULIES II ---
New Interviews With Executive Producer Charles Band, Actors Kerry Remsen And Donnie Jeffcoat, And Special Effects Artist Gino Crognale
Rare Deleted Scenes
Original Theatrical Trailer


 Here's the whole mess together in one trailer reel: