Copyright © Kitley's Krypt 1998-2014
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"I once felt like a fan at horror
conventions, I now feel like a customer, and that to me has been the downfall of
the whole scene."
- John Squires
9-1-14 WOES OF THE COMPUTER AGE
As much as we tried to get our update done
yesterday, it just didn't happen. Honestly, wasn't even sure if we were going to
be able unload this update. Spent more than a few hours on the phone with
Comcast about our internet service not working properly. But it is working
enough to get by...barely.
It also has been a busy 3-day weekend, from spending Saturday
evening at the McHenry Drive-in watching some great flicks while eating
(expensive) chocolate covered bacon, to trying to finish up some writing
projects that are looming over me. But I wouldn't want it any other way. The
Halloween season has already started, with some stores already having their
displays out last month. Granted, they'll be removed before the end of this
month so they can make way for Christmas stuff....ugh. Anyway, here's to the
next two months of fright-filled fun and horror!
HORRORHOUND NEXT WEEKEND
If you're coming to the HorrorHound show next weekend in
sure you stop by our table, where you find our usually display of horror film
reference books that you should be adding to your collection. Or if you just
want to stop by and say hello or talk about movies then that is okay too! The
show has a wide range of names for this event so hopefully we will see a good
turn out. Looking forward to seeing our friends from that area and enjoying
those late night/early morning movie discussions! Going to be a great time!
FINAL DEATH KNELL
Followers of this site know my distain for the way that
conventions have been changing over the last couple of decades, where they really
have become about celebrities making money off the same fans that have supported
their careers, as opposed to celebrating this wonderful genre and the people
that have contributed to it. And this is no way towards the conventions
themselves or the people that bust their ass to make them happen. I can only
imagine having to deal with some of these elitist celebs that want to be treated
like the gods they think they are. I'm sure their managers and handlers are even
worse. And I know they do their best to make it a good time for the fans. So I'm
not bitching about them. It starts with the guests. I've complained before about certain names that are
considered "guests" as a show, when their only real contribution to the genre
was being a zombie on screen for 15 seconds, which apparently then makes it okay
for them to charge $20 for an autograph. But then again, the second problem are
the fans. If the fans line up and
hand over their money. So who is really at fault here?
Recently, I read a great piece on this by John Squires called
Horror Convention Culture: It Ain't What It Used To Be (click
HERE to read the full article) and he brings up so many valid points,
especially the one that we quoted at the top of this page. But he mentioned
something that made a little part of me die inside, something that I really do think that
this is the final straw for conventions. We all know what the popularity of that
zombie series on AMC has done to conventions, even starting up a con to pretty
much celebrate the show itself, Walker Stalker, where anybody and everyone
related to that show now can be a guest and demand $20+ for an autograph. But
for their show in Atlanta, the show has announced that Anniston and Tinsley
Price, who play the baby Judith Grimes on the show, will now be guests at the
show. These are 2-year old children, people! But I'm sure there will be fans
lined up to give their parents money to have their photo taken with them or
whatever else their going to do to exploit it.
Younger generation of fans think us older ones are just
bitter about the way the shows are run these days. And they're right. Because
they don't remember when the shows were not about the celebrities making money
off the fans. It really did use to be about fans getting together to celebrate
these wonderful movies and the only "paying" that was being done was in tribute
by the fans to the people that were responsible for it. Now since anybody can be
a guest and ask their fans to pay for it, and the cattle just line up to do it,
this really is the turning point for these shows. And that, my friends, is very
MIDWAY FROM DUSK TO DAWN
The final lineup has been announced for the From Dusk To Dawn
show at the Midway Drive-in on Sept. 20th. It will be PHANTASM, (1979), DAWN OF
THE DEAD (1978), THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE (1974) and CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST
(1980). There will also be classic horror trailers, vintage concession ads (one
of my favorite parts of these shows), and much more. Tickets are only $12 for
adults. Not a bad price for getting to see 4 classic horror films on the big
screen, especially at a drive-in. For all the info, check out their Facebook
page HERE or the
Midway's site HERE.
And if you're saying to yourself, "But I've seen these movies
before...why do I need to drive all the way out to Dixon to see them again?"
Easy. Because seeing some of these classic movies outside on a huge drive-in
screen, while eating popcorn, or maybe a cheeseburger, or even a corndog or two,
being around a ton of other like minded movie fans, it really just reason
enough. Thanks to people like Mike and Mia who have been working hard to keep
one of these dying institutions open for people to still enjoy and remember what
it was like when we were kids. I have been to the Midway several times since
they took it over and have always had a blast. From the vintage trailer and ads,
the community of film lovers, it is just a fun and simple time. So make sure
make plans to make it out there for this event. It will be worth it.
DOUBLE THE MARATHONS
Since 2005, Chicago has had a 24-hour movie marathon at the
Music Box Theatre, and we've been to everyone one of them. Then in 2012, some of
the creative minds behind the marathons separated and now Chicago got TWO
24-hour marathons. One is still held at the Music Box, now called The Music Box
of Horrors, and the other is just called The Massacre and has been at a couple
of different theaters. This year, it is going to be held at the newly re-opened
Portage Theater. First reports I read about the Portage was that it still needed
a LOT of work, so hopefully they will have all of that done by the time the
marathon takes place.
I will say that I've been to all of these 24-hour marathons
over the last 10 years and they really are an endurance test. But they are a lot
of fun, giving the fans a chance to see some great movies on the big screen, not
to mentioning opening their eyes to some great cinema that they might not have
sought out before.
The Music Box of Horrors will take place on October 11th,
going from noon on Saturday to noon the following day. The only thing they've
really announced so far is that director Jim Wynorski is scheduled to be a
guest, but one could assume they will be screening one of his movies. They don't
have any details up yet on their website, but once they do, it will be listed
Then the following weekend at the Portage will be the
Massacre, starting from noon on Saturday the 18th to noon on the 19th, taking
place at the Portage Theater that we mentioned earlier. But they have listed a
few of the titles they will be screening that are listed below. Have also
announced their first guest, strangely enough is Jim Wynorski! I guess he's in
Chicago for a whole week. They do have some great titles announced, but honestly
I am very excited to see Lon Chaney Sr.'s THE UNKNOWN on the big screen. Such an
incredible picture. Check out their Facebook Events page
HERE for all the details.
UNKNOWN - An incredible moving performance by Lon Chaney Sr.
CHRISTMAS - Early Bob Clark stalker film
- One of Karloff's last roles and one of his best
CHOPPING MALL - With director Jim Wynorsky in Person!
CEMETERY MAN - aka DELLAMORTE DELLAMORE
TENEBRAE - One of Argento's best giallos
ALIVE - Early Tobe Hooper
SHOCK AROUND THE CLOCK
If you're in the Columbus area and can't make it to Chicago
for their marathons, then make your plans to hit the Drexel Theater on the 18th
for their annual 24-hour marathon. For their films, they have INVISIBLE MAN,
WICKER MAN, THE SHINING, THE MANITOU, YOU'RE NEXT, TEXAS CHAIN SAW and more. For
all of their details, just click
NEW FRANCO BOOK
Okay fellow book collectors, listen up. Remember the last
time you tried to pick up a copy of Stephen Thrower's Nightmare USA or even
worse, his Fulci book Beyond Terror, and almost fainted at what the prices are
these days? Well, Mr. Thrower has a new book coming out in a couple of months on
the amazing career (yes, I said amazing) of Jess Franco, entitled Murderous
Passions: The Delirious Cinema of Jesus Franco - Vol. 1: 1959 - 1974. Strange
Attraction Press is releasing it in November, in a hardcover edition that is 336
pages, with a retail price now of about $30.00.
Now...not the biggest fan of Franco? At least not now. But
some day you may realize the fascinated career this man has had and want to know
more. And if this follows most of Thrower's other books, it is going to be a
hard one to come by without paying a hefty price. So you should solve that
problem now and just pre-order it. Just click HERE to get to Amazon and place
your order now. You might have to add something else to make sure get the free
shipping, but I'm sure you could find something to add to your cart.
BOOK REVIEW: THE ARGENTO SYNDROME
We picked up this new book on Argento by Derek Botelho. We'd
been chatting few a while about this upcoming book and new when it came out it
was going to have to be in my collection. So head over to our
Book Review section to read our thoughts.
We have a bunch of reviews we still need to get through, but
we do have a couple for now. Head over to our
Soundtrack Review section to hear what we think of Frederik Weidmann's score
for the new movie THE DAMNED. We also take a listen to the first two volumes
Brian Reitzell's score for Season 1 of the TV show HANNIBAL.
HAVE YOU CHECKED OUT....?
One of the great things about being a movie fan in this day
and age is that so many movies are accessible to the fans, sometimes by just a
few keystrokes. Movies that we used to have to search years and years for, now
can get quickly found and watched, appeasing that cinephile's need. But the
problem that I've found is that because there are SO many titles out there
coming at the horror fan, from every direction, some times movies can get lost
and/or buried. So here's what I'd like you to do the next time you have a free
minute. Think of a movie that you had seen, doesn't have to be recently either.
Maybe an old black and white movie from the '40s, a Hammer film from the '60s,
it really doesn't matter. But what I'd like you to do is do a little research on
that particular movie, more so who was involved in it. Then check out some of
the other films that say the director did, maybe even doing through his
filmography and making a checklist. I'm sure that person might have had a few
good movies under their belt.
Since there are so many titles floating around out there, a
good student of the genre should never be looking for something to watch.
Granted, decided on WHAT to watch...that can be a whole different discussion!
Our last photo was from Bert I. Gordon's later films, NECROMANCY, also known as
THE WITCHING. Starring Orson Wells, as well as one of my favorite actresses of
that era, Pamela Franklin. Sure, this might not be one of Gordon's or Franklin's
best movies, but it is an interesting one at least. Kudos out to the following
for sending in the correct answer: Mike Shields, Lisa Steward, and Tom White.
So let's get to this week's photo and see what you can come
up with. Really might need to get on your thinking caps for this one. Or maybe,
just maybe it's not as hard as you think. Or is it? Just click
HERE to send in
your answer. Good luck.
ANNUAL DRIVE-IN BIRTHDAY BASH
Yesterday I had my annual birthday party, which consisted of
a bunch of my friends coming out for a special double feature on our backyard
movie screen. This year, we screened two films from Spanish director Juan Piquer
Simón, PIECES and SLUGS, which are two of my favorites, especially PIECES. Such
wacky but entertaining film. With some amazing gore, incredibly funny dialog,
and a great cast, it simply is one hell of a good time. And watching it with a
bunch of like-minded crazy horror fans, is even better. There is nothing better
than getting a bunch of fellow horror-fiends together to not only watch the
films, but also just sit and chat with for a few minutes here and there. Always
a good time.
Of course, my birthday bashes wouldn't be the same without
the amazing work that my wife Dawn puts into not only getting everything ready,
(with the help of our son Nick) but creating another amazing cake. I'm not sure,
but I think this just might be the first PIECES/SLUGS cake ever made. And it was
another incredible piece of artwork that she created. Can't thank her enough.
But we did something a little different this year. In the
past, I've always told my friends not to bring gifts. But this year I changed
that. I always drive by the
Food Pantry on my way home from work, so I thought that it would be a great
idea to show that us horror fans are not all crazy psycho serial
killers....well, not all of us anyway. So I asked everyone coming to the party
to bring something that we can donate to the Food Panty. And I was amazed at the
amount of stuff that my friends brought. It was just awesome and does show that
we are not the bag of nutters that some might thing. I would also encourage
others to do something of the same. Doesn't have to be to this food pantry, or
any food pantry, but could be something as simple as giving a little help to
those how really need it. Sometimes that is all that it takes.
So thank you to everyone one that came out. I can't tell you
enough how important you are to me and how proud I am to call you friends and
family. No matter how big of a horror fan you are, or how big your collection
might be, having the friends and family to share and celebrate it with makes it
even more special, especially to me. So thank you again!
A TIME OF REMEMBERING
This last couple of weeks has been rough on horror fans since
we have lost a few people that have made a strong impact in the movies that we
love. So much so that I almost thought not mentioning it because it was so many
and I really didn't want this update to be just a posting about all of these
deaths. But then one realizes that is just how we need to remember them and to
make sure that they are remembered and their memories are kept alive by their
movies and their fans. So that is exactly what we're going to do.
On Aug. 5th, we lost Marilyn Burns, star of Tobe Hooper's TEXAS CHAINSAW
MASSACRE. She was 65 years old. While a lot of women are given the label of
Scream Queen, Burns is one that definitely earned it, especially in the last 30
minutes of CHAINSAW, which gives of hell of a performance. Which is even more
impressive when you understand the circumstances that the cast and crew were
going through to get those sequences filmed. She also had appeared in Hooper's
EATEN ALIVE (1977), as well as KISS DADDY GOODBYE (1981), FUTUREKILL (1985), as
well as appearing in the made-for-TV movie HELTER SKELTER, as one of Manson's
followers. Burns appeared at many conventions of the last several years, meeting
her fans, and was always such a sweet lady to talk to. But like a lot of actors,
had no clue that the popularity of this movie would last so long. In an recent
interview, she stated "Never in my wildest dreams, did I think that almost 40
years later I would be talking about it." Now with this year being the 40th
Anniversary, it is the perfect time to re-watch classic and just sit in awe of
the amazing performance that Burns, as well as the rest of the cast, give in
A few days later, on Aug. 9th, we lost actor Ed Nelson, at
the age of 85. Now this name might not immediately come to mind, but if you're a
fan of early Roger Corman pictures, then you'll remember him. Of course, it also
might be from the ton of work Nelson did on television from the late '50s well
into the '80s. Nelson was working as an assistant director for WDSU-TV in New
Orleans when Roger Corman came there to film SWAMP WOMEN in 1956. He would
follow Corman back to the west coast, working with him on several pictures over
the next few years, such as INVASION OF THE SAUCER MEN (1957), THE BRAIN EATERS
(1958), NIGHT OF THE BLOOD BEAST (1958), and A BUCKET OF BLOOD (1959). One of my
personal favorites is ATTACK OF THE CRAB MONSTERS, where not only did Nelson
have a part in beginning of the film, but also inside the giant crabs sometimes
making them move. According to Nelson, “I was also one of two people inside the
fiberglass crab, operating the legs and claws. The other fellow inside the crab
with me was Jack Nicholson."
Later on, Nelson would make a few appearances at film
conventions getting to meet and chat with his fans about his work. He had said
"It's nice to know people remember the films I did. The fans know more of the
movies and television shows I forgot I did!" This is a perfect example with a
celebrity realizes the passion and love the fans have for these kind of actors
and their work.
One passing that we learned of this week is one that didn't
seemed to get that much press, even though he is responsible for a ton of movies
that we've enjoyed over the years. Producer
Menahem Golan passed away on Aug. 8th in the city of Jaffa while taking a walk
with some of his family. With his cousin Yoram Globus, they bought Cannon Films
and turned into a huge studio, cranking out a ton of films, sometimes 12 a year
at their peak. They produced a ton of action films, starring the likes of
Sylvester Stallone, Chuck Norris, and Charles Bronson. But they also produced
some memorable horror films l ike SCHIZOID (1980), NEW YEAR'S EVIL (1980),
HOSPITAL HORROR (1982), LIFEFORCE (1985), and even TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2!
Being a huge fan of cinema, he might not have been one of the leaders in the
industry, he definitely made their mark, not to mention making quite a few
Lastly, this one hurts more because not only did she appear
in one of my favorite Hammer films, but I never got around to being able to meet
her, or her sister for that matter. Madeleine Collinson, along with her twin
sister Mary, appeared in Hammer's TWINS OF EVIL. Not a lot of details just yet
of her death, other than she passed away on Aug. 14th at the age of 62. While
her and her sister didn't make that many films, TWINS was one of the last great
Hammer films and they were part of that reason. Along with sister, they had
appeared in Playboy in the '70s, as their first twin pictorial, which helped get
them noticed by Hammer, which then would lead to their appearance in TWINS.
I know that while we have lost these people from this world,
all of them still exist in the world of cinema, where they not only will remain
alive, but also captured in time to continue to give us hours and hours of
entertainment, for not only our generations, but for future ones as well.
Rest in peace, my friends. But we'll see you on the TV screen
As we mentioned before, last weekend was the Flashback Weekend convention in
Rosemont. We've been doing their shows right from the very first one, back in
2005. And out of all those shows, this was our best show ever. And not just
because we sold a lot of books (though that helped) but because there were so
many great things about the weekend. Getting to meet a bunch of other horror
fans and being able to talk about movies all weekend...well, that is as good as
it can get. But Mike Kerz, the man in charge of the show, was gracious enough to
allow me and Aaron Christensen to have a little panel first thing Saturday
morning on Hidden Horror. We got to talk about how the book came about, let some
of the other contributors that were there mention what they had written about,
and even gave away 5 copies to some trivia question winners. Plus, it is also so
much fun because we get to see and hang out with our extended convention family.
That is always a major plus.
Seeing the crowds lining up for the show all three days, not
only makes the dealers in the vendor room happy, but also made me happy because
it shows that the fans are still coming out to support this show. There were a
ton of Q&A panels going on throughout the weekend, which we tried to go to when
we could. Seeing the PHANTASM reunion was really special. For a movie that is 35
years old, it is so cool to see that there are more than one generation of fans
of this series. And it is all because of the people that were on the stage
during that panel. It had seemed like years since we had seen our friend Reggie
Bannister, so it was great to have a few minutes with him, as well as my wife
getting to finally meet him.
But I have to say one of the most interesting panels that I
sat in for was one that I had no real intention of staying for after getting a
few photos. And that was with Robert Kerman, star or CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST and Bob
Murawski, the man behind Grindhouse Releasing. Kerman had some incredible
stories about working on this notorious film, as well as his work in the adult
film industry. Fascinating stuff, folks. It goes to show that you just never
know what you can learn by sitting in these panels.
So congrats to Mike and Mia and the whole Flashback crew for
putting on a Phantastic show. Looking forward to the next one.
FROM DUSK TO DAWN SHOW AT MIDWAY DRIVE-IN
While on the subject of Flashback, while we were there, they
announced the date for their From Dusk To Dawn show at the Midway Drive-in. It
will take place on Saturday Sept. 20th. The features that they have announced so
far are the one and only, original TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. What a great way to
pay tribute to Marilyn Burns! But they are also playing CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST and
PHANTASM. They also might be adding a 4th feature, but not positive on that. No
matter what, I really hope they play HOLOCAUST last because as much as I
appreciate what the film is, I really don't want to see it again. But no matter
what, we will be there celebrating the drive-in experience and hope that if you
can, you come out and do it with us! Tickets are only $10 for adults. Can pass
that price up for 3 features, especially since they are classics! These are the
kind of movies that we love to see at the drive-in. Takes you back to a
different era and film experience. And Mike and Mia at the Midway work very at
giving you the opportunity to continue to experience that. So make sure you come
out and show your support. And if you do, take a minute to tell them how much
fun you are having and how much you appreciate what they are doing. When people
are doing something because of their passion for it, it always helps and shows
they've made the right choice when they hear that people are enjoying what they
For more information about the Midway, head over to their
website HERE. Or
you can check back with the
Flashback Facebook page for updates about this event.
HORROR CONTEST - CELEBRATING PAUL NASCHY
Next month is Paul Naschy's birthday. And to celebrate that,
the fine folks over at Spanish Horror are holding a contest to help pay tribute
to this incredible figure in the Spanish horror genre. What do you have to do?
It is pretty easy really. According to the website, all you need to do it "Send
us whatever you want to pay tribute to Paul Naschy. It could be a paragraph, an
article, an mp3, a video, a picture…. talking about him, his movies, his
characters….. whatever Naschy related. The only requirement is to be written,
spoken… in English, as this is the language of our site and podcast."
And just what can you win for being part of this world wide
tribute? Just one of the most incredible and amazing books ever to be published
about our favorite Spanish werewolf. Thanks to the fine folks at Creepy Images,
they have donated a copy of MUCHAS GRACIAS SEÑOR LOBO by Thorston Benzel. I have
my own copy of this book and it is a must for any and all Paul Naschy fans. So
participating in this contest is not only easy, but you get to help get the word
out about this talented actor/writer/director/werewolf.
For more information about the contest, head over to the
Spanish Horror site
SOUNDTRACK REVIEW: JACOB
We have posted our review of the soundtrack for the film
JACOB, by Iain Kelso. Head over to our Soundtrack
Reviews for all the details.
NEIL MARSHAL PRODUCES A DARK SIGNAL
Normally when news of a new film gets the news sites, I
usually don't get excited. Reason being is that sometimes the films never really
happen, or it is just another title in the constant flood of un-originality
coming from Hollywood. Bitter? No, not really. More just tired. But recently we
read some news that did grab our attention for a couple of reasons. The first
one was that director Neil Marshall is producing a new horror films which is
called DARK SIGNAL. But making the news even juicier is that Italian actress
Cinzia Monreale will be starring in the film. Fulci fans remember Monreale from
his classic film THE BEYOND, not to mention a few other choice titles she
HORROR OF IT ALL
While this new book isn't due out until next spring, there's
no better time to add it to your watch list, or even put in your pre-order for
it. Writer Adam Rockoff, the man who gave us the book Going to Pieces: The Rise
and Fall of the Slasher Film, has a new book coming out, entitled The Horror of
it All. According the info on Amazon, "Pop culture history meets blood-soaked
memoir as a horror film aficionado and screenwriter recalls a life spent
watching blockbuster slasher films, cult classics, and everything in between.
Author Adam Rockoff traces the highs and lows of the horror genre through the
lens of his own obsessive fandom, born in the aisles of his local video store
and nurtured with a steady diet of cable trash. From Siskel and Ebert’s crusade
against slasher films to horror’s Renaissance in the wake of Scream,
Rockoff mines the rich history of the genre, braiding critical analysis with his
own firsthand experiences."
Since we really enjoyed Rockoff's first book, I know I will
be adding this to my collection once it comes out. Even though it won't be
published until next May, no reason not to put it on your wish list now. Just
HERE to get to the Amazon link.
While we're only 2/3 the way through the year, you still have
plenty of chances to still participate and win in the Kryptic Army. We've posted
some new photos recently of some of last year's Army winners and their prizes.
So you can see, these prizes are not just some promo poster that we've picked up
free at a con....Okay some of them might be but at least we've gotten them
signed by someone from that movie. But the bottom line, and really the whole
point of the Army, is to get you to watch more movies that you haven't seen
before. The genre is huge with plenty of movies out there, both old and new, for
any horror fan to pick from. But that can almost be a problem these days because
there there are SO MANY that some of the good ones get lost in the shuffle. So
the Army gives you a little theme to work with each month to help you pick out
two films. Plus, you can go to our Message Board, read what other solders have
watched and if they liked it or not.
So why not join? All it takes it to sign up for our mailing
list and then wait for your monthly mission. Simple as that. And just to
clarify, we do not give/sell/trade the names and emails from our mailing list to
ad places. Your information is safe.
Need any more info? Got questions? Check out our Army page
HERE or feel free to drop me an email. Hope to see you on
the front line.
Our last photo was of course from THE BURNING. I thought I might trick a few of
you out there since you really couldn't see what was going on. But it was
apparently enough for a few of you to know which movie this was from. Kudos to
the following: Chris Alo, Dahlia Daniels, Jerry Downing, Richard Garcia, Jason
Kretten, Erik Martin, Dustin Moravick, Ryan Olson, Tom White, and William
Wilson. Well done, people.
So let's get to this week's photo. This might be another easy
one, if you can recognize the woman. Just click
HERE to send in
your answer. Good luck.
8-3-14 DICK SMITH - REST IN PEACE
A few days ago, the movie world lost one of the true greats of the industry,
makeup legend Dick Smith. To say what this man did for the industry would take
volumes. Not only was he just an incredibly talented artist, and that he
advanced the art form itself, but he also was forever passing that knowledge
along to anybody that wanted to learn. There was no such thing as trade secrets
to Dick Smith. To see at some of the incredible work that he's done in his
career in movies and television, some of which viewers never even knew it was
his work because we thought what we were seeing was real, it just jaw-dropping
astounding. From the GODFATHER to TAXI DRIVER TO AMADEUS to of course THE
EXORCIST, his work still looks as good now as it did then. When he won his first
Oscar for his work on AMADEUS in 1984, he thanked actor F. Murray Abraham
for bringing his work to life on the screen, knowing that their makeup creation
must still be able to let the actor do their job and bring this character to
life without being restricted in what they can do. That again shows the talent
this man had.
Smith passed away a few days ago on July 30th at the age of
92. In 2012, he was awarded an Honorary Oscar for his work throughout his
career. I'm sure even then there were quite a few people that still don't
realize his contributions to the art, the artists, and the screen. You can see
this amazing and heartfelt tribute to this incredible talent on Youtube, where
protégé Rick Baker presents Smith his Honorary Oscar
We usually make the comment on someone's passing that they
will be remembered because of their work in films will never die, but I can
guarantee that Dick Smith's memory never will because every single horror fan
out there will know or learn to know his name because of the films that he's
worked on, the amazing creatures and characters he's created, and the hours of
entertainment he has helped bring to the screen. Our thoughts go out to his
friends and family. Rest in Peace, Mr. Smith.
Next weekend, we will once again be heading into Rosemont for
our annual trip to Flashback Weekend. Seems like forever ago since our last
convention, so we are more than a little anxious and dying for another one.
Especially when its in our own home state! We always have a great time at
Flashback and are looking forward to having another great weekend this time as
well. Plus, its always nice to see the local Chicago horror crowd come out and
show support to the longest running area horror convention. The show has a fun guest
lineup this year, as always, with plenty of Q&A panels to keep you entertained
when you're not browsing the dealer room.
And speaking of the Q&A's, yours
truly, along with editor extraordinaire Aaron Christensen, are part of that
schedule, talking about the book Hidden Horror. Our panel is the first one on
Saturday, taking place at 11am. We will be giving away a few copies of Hidden
Horror, though you might have to answer some trivia questions to get it! Just a
fair warning, so bring your A-game.
For all the information about the show, the guests, the
schedule, times and everything else, head over to the website
forward to seeing and hanging out with all our horror-fiends once again.
Well, the Skyline Drive-in in Shelbyville posted their lineup
for their Super Monster Movie Fest and they have some gems in there. For all the
latest details, head over to their website HERE. But here's what they've
Friday Aug. 22nd:
THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD
THE HAUNTED HOUSE (1921) with Buster Keaton
TELL TALE HEART (1953) Animated
DAUGHTER OF DR. JEKYLL (1957)
NAVY VS THE NIGHT MONSTERS (1966)
Saturday Aug. 23rd:
Sunday Aug. 24th:
TERROR IN THE AISLE UPDATE
And while we're on the subject of Drive-in shows, Terror in
the Aisles have announced that have added CREEPSHOW as their 3rd feature for
their show on Aug. 29th and 30th. Add that with the newly re-mastered print of TEXAS CHAINSAW and RETURN OF THE
LIVING DEAD...that is a fun night. We are planning to making it out for this fun
But the McHenry also has a slew of other fun weekend features
planned over the next few months, including a triple feature of the first 3 JAWS
movies, or if you can stand the October weather, on the 24th and 25th, they will
be screening the original Universal classics of DRACULA, THE WOLF MAN, and THE
MUMMY. For all the information, head over to their website
SILENT HORROR AT THE PORTAGE IN CHICAGO
Chicago area fans of the silent horror will have the chance
to see some classics on the big screen at the Portage Theatre. On Oct. 12th,
they will be screening Lon Chaney's THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. Then on the 13th,
they will be screening THE HANDS OF ORLAC. Then lastly, on the 14th, they will
screen THE MONSTER. For more info, head over to the Portage's website
MORE HAMMER BOOKS FROM PEVERIL PUBLISHING
Sometimes it really kills me all the great books that come
out in the UK, which then cost a small fortune to get them mailed over here.
Last year, Peveril Publishing released The Peter Cushing Scrapbook, which
is just filled with amazing stuff from and about the amazing Mr. Cushing. Now
they have a couple more books coming out that really is going to be a must for
The first title is called Running Scared by Phil
Campbell and Brian Reynolds. These two guys had gotten jobs as youngsters with
Hammer, first as office boys moving up to being runners on the sets during films
like THE VAMPIRE LOVERS, HORROR OF FRANKENSTEIN, BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY'S TOMB,
and more. These two recount their days working at the studio, meeting some of
the incredible people there and having a blast at the same time. According to
the website, it is "a light, witty, inside account of Hammer during the Hammer
glamour period with lots of rare photographs and other images of memorabilia
from the films."
The next title is from one of the best Hammer scholars out
there, Wayne Kinsey. He already has a few books under his belt about this famous
studio, including the long out-of-print editions of The Bray Studio Years
and Elstree Studio Years. But now, Kinsey's idea was "was for a book
detailing the making of Hammer's films from THE QUATERMASS XPERIMENT to TO THE
DEVIL A DAUGHTER, the essential era in Hammer's history. It combines information
I've gathered in my first five Hammer books and 25 issues of The House that
Hammer Built magazine." And now this will become Hammer's Heritage of Horror:
From QUATERMASS to the DEVIL'S DAUGHTER.
In other words, there are going to be more books that will be
in my library at some point in the future. For all the details and information
about Peveril Publishing, head over to their website
BOOK REVIEW: THE ZOMBIE BOOK
We've posted our review of this new book on zombies in the
world. If you love conspiracy theories and stuff like the National Enquirer,
then you'll probably enjoy this book. Click HERE
to get to our Book Review section.
This time out, class, we're going to learn about a low
budget actor who not only appeared in a slew of films made in Texas, but even
made a few appearances in some big name productions. Head over to the
classroom to get more info.
The photo from our last update was from the classic piece of cinema, HEADLESS
EYES. This was definitely one of those titles that you grabbed from the video
store shelves back in the day because the box art looked so damn cool. Damn
shame the movie wasn't as entertaining as the box art was! Now I thought I had a
few more correct guesses come in, but only found these two. So if you did and I
somehow lost it, I apologize. But I did have the ones from Erik Martin and Will
Wilson, so congrats to you two for knowing this movie.
Now on to this week's photo. Going to go with something a
little easier. Or is it? Take a peek and see what you think. Just click
HERE to send in
your answer. As always, good luck.
JOHN FASANO - REST IN PEACE
While most people might know the name of John Fasano, if you
were a fan of heavy metal movies in the late '80s, then you knew his movies.
Fasano directed ROCK 'n' ROLL NIGHTMARE and BLACK ROSES, as well as THE JITTERS
and a few more titles. But he also worked as a writer and producer as well.
Fasano was one of these guys has made a couple of movies that Hollywood would
have just forgotten about if it wasn't for fans of those kind of movies that
really enjoyed them in our youth and are fun to revisit. Sure, they might not be
masterpieces, but they are entertaining. A lot more than what usually comes out
of Hollywood these days.
So it is with a sad heart that we learned that Fasano passed
away yesterday. The man was only 53 years old. Way too soon. He was going to be
a guest at the Sept. HorrorHound show too. Damn shame. So in honor of Fasano,
let's make it a point to bust out ROCK 'n' NIGHTMARE or BLACK ROSES, enjoying
the film, and keeping Fasano's memory alive. Our thoughts go out to your friends
SUPER MONSTER MOVIE FEST
Two years ago, we made a trip to Shelbyville, IN, which is
just south of Indianapolis, to the Skyline Drive-in. They were having two nights
of 4 vintage horror movies. They had a similar event last year, but we just
couldn't make it. But next month, they are holding a Super Monster Movie Fest
which is going to last THREE DAYS, starting on Friday, Aug. 22nd and going to
the 24th. Now they haven't listed any of the titles yet, but we can assume they
will be showing at least 3, if not 4 features each night. We are planning to
make the trip down there for at least the Friday and Saturday night features.
Tickets are only $10 per person and they even have free camping!
You can check out the website
HERE, but as of now they don't have a lot up there other than a basic ad for
the event. But once they do post some titles, we'll update it here.
DISCOVERING THE HORROR VIDEO BLOG....VERY SOON
Well folks, after years of procrastinating...I mean planning,
I will be starting a video blog segment called Discovering the Horror. Not sure
where or what this might evolve into, but the beginning will be about one of my
passions....horror reference books. My plan is to go over some different books
that have helped us being the horror fan that we are today. I hope to have the
first one done and posted in the next few weeks. But in the meantime, you can
check out the intro we made a couple days ago. Major kudos to my son Nick for
filming and editing this together for me. Just click
HERE to check it out.
Feedback is always appreciated.
After a bunch of you forked over your hard earned cash for
one those NIGHTBREED blu-rays from Shout Factory, you know the ones that were
only going to be a 5000 copies, it seems now they've updated the "limited" run
just a tad higher....to 10,000! So thanks to the 5000 of you that forked out the
$400,000, they're going to double the limited edition quanities, which means it
will drive the price down because not every one is going to spend that kind of
money. In fact, I've seen them on Amazon for around $40. Sure, there were a few
on ebay charging $250+, but if you were dumb enough to spend that kind of money
on a DVD...well....
MORE BAVA BLU-RAY
While on the subject of blu-rays, Mario Bava's PLANET
OF THE VAMPIRES is tenatively set to be released on Blu-ray by Scorpion
Releasing this October. The colors in this film are just amazing, so seeing them
getting the blu-ray treatment can only be a good thing. No word on extras other
than Tim Lucas is involved.
FINALLY HITS THE STREETS
After years in the making, the Organ fanzine is finally
hitting the streets. This is a fanzine like no other, with each and every of the
120 pages are all hand drawn by the insane illustrator Putrid, written by
himself, Bob Richards, and many more crazy fans of horror and heavy metal.
Features interviews with bands like Impetigo, Asphyx, Undergang, Cianide, and
many more. Also features an interview with Mike Minnet from Peter Jackson's BAD
TASTE, movie reviews, and features on the likes of Coffin Joe and Tim Ritter.
You can order your copy now from Hell's Headbangers right
NEW SOUNDTRACK REVIEWS
We have 2 new reviews with this update. The first one is for
Les Baxter's score for Roger Corman's HOUSE OF USHER. Really can't go wrong
there, can you? The second one is for an obscure little flick called DIE SISTER,
DIE! You might remember this title from those days of perusing the racks at the
video store, but it's not an easy movie to find. But believe it or not the
soundtrack has been released! So head over to our
Soundtrack Reviews for all the details.
TERROR IN THE AISLES AT THE McHENRY DRIVE-IN
At the end of August, the McHenry Drive-in will be hosting
another Terror in the Aisles event. So far, they have announced that they will
be screening the original TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD.
Plus, Linnea Quigley will be in attendance! It takes place on both Aug. 29th and
30th. I'm sure they will be announcing one or two more titles, but nothing as of
We're back with another lesson from the chapter on the
Spanish sub-genre. This actress worked with some handicapped monsters a couple
of times, besides appearing in a few other fun titles. Head over to the
Classroom to learn more.
I was so tickled to see so many people sending in the correct answer for our
last photo. It shows this film is a little more well known than I thought, which
is great to hear since it is one that must be seen by all horror fans. The name
of the movie is VIY, and is a Russian film about a young priest that must spend
three nights reading prayers over a young dead girl, who just happens to be a
witch. The visuals in this movie are just stunning, and even more so since the
film was made in 1967. Kudos to the following for sending in the correct answer:
Hoby Abernathy, Jason Buchanan, Craig Clark, Jennifer Francis, Jason Kretten,
Ryan Lieske, Leon Marcelo, David Schmidt, Gavin Schmitt, Wayne Teeter, and
William Wilson. Well done. And if you haven't seen this one yet, do yourself a
favor and seek it out.
On to this week's photo. Not the greatest quality but I think
it might give you enough to go on. Just click
HERE to send in
Those of you in the Army have noticed that this year, I
haven't been too timely on getting your reports posted on the message board
and/or even replying to them. As I've said before, with my new job and longer
hours, writing for a 2nd magazine, as well as all the other wonderful things
that life tends to throw at you, that seems to have been my excuse. But I
recently got an email from of the soldiers stating something pretty obvious that
I had lost sight of. And that was the reason why I started this whole thing in
the first place. Sure, it was to get people to watch more movies, which is still
the main reason, but also to form that little community of horror fans, seeing
and talking about what they have watched for that month's mission. Watching them
is part of the fun, but seeing what the other soldiers chose for that month's
mission and even responding to them, that is where the real fun can be. But
while only a few people were posting, it didn't help matters when I, the leader
of this whole thing, stopped doing it as well.
So with that little verbal kick-in-the-pants that I needed,
the missions will be posted on a timely basis and I will be back to replying to
them. All of June's missions have been posted, as well as my replies. As well as
participating in the missions as well. The only thing I can add is that if you
feel so inclined to post your own comments to other soldiers missions, that is
And if you wondering just what the Army is and what it might
be able to do for you, it is basically a monthly challenge to get you to watch a
couple of new movies each month under a specific theme. "New" meaning you
haven't seen them. For all the details, just head over to our
Army page. If you have any questions, just drop us a line.
Okay...see you back on the front lines!
TRAVELING DAYS FOR A
Last Saturday, we did make our trip out to the Days of the
Dead show and did make it to the NIGHTBREED panel, which was the main reason for
our trip (especially since Argento had cancelled). The panel consisted of Doug
Bradley, Simon Bamford, Christine McCorkindale, Hugh Ross, Anne Bobby, and Craig
Sheffer. Sheffer was late coming to the panel and honestly wouldn't have
mattered much if he had showed up at all. He only answered a couple of questions
which were very short. Everyone else had some great stories, insights to their
characters, what they had to go through during filming, their thoughts
on Barker and seemed very happy to be there talking about their experiences.
But since that was the only panel we stayed for, the rest of
the time we spent walking around talking with our vendor friends and having a
pretty good time. But I do have to mention a comment said to me by a friend there
(which will remain nameless for his/her protection) that did sit in for the Cory
Feldman panel. They said when it was over and the lights came on, it kind of
felt like a porno theater since the audience consisted of a bunch of guys that
were trying to leave without making eye contact with anybody. Too funny.
I will say that other talking to friends, there wasn't much
that makes me want to come back to the show. Since we're not really there for
the guests, or at least not buying an autograph, it doesn't really leave much to
do for the day. Other than picking up a copy of Derek Botelho's book The Argento
Syndrome, there wasn't that much in the dealer room that was tempting money from
our pocket. But none the less, we did have fun chatting with friends for most of
the day, and then going out to eat at a Turkish place nearby. Great food, but
took forever to get it. So thanks again to all our friends that we saw there and chatted
with. That is always a good time.
ANNE BOBBY - CRAIG SHEFFER -
CHRISTINE McCORKINDALE - HUGH ROSS - SIMON BAMFORD
- DOUG BRADLEY
THE COST OF GOING TO MIDIAN
While on the subject of NIGHTBREED, Scream Factory as
announced the details for their upcoming release of NIGHTBREED: THE DIRECTOR'S
As much as I love this film, even with all its flaws, I have a lot of mixed
feelings about this new release. Last year, I got to see the Cabal Cut of the
film and while it was cool to see some of the new scenes there was a lot of
stuff that still needed to be left on the cutting room floor. This new 3-disc
version has what they are calling the Director's Cut, so I guess we can assume
that this is a version that has some of the recently found footage but not all
of it, edited down to make the film flow better? I would really hope so. This
set also includes the original theatrical version on blu-ray, and then a 3rd
disc of so far unannounced extras. All for a price tag of $80. Wow. And I thought the
DEMONS and DEMONS 2 discs were pretty pricy at $40 each, but this is kind of
silly. This reminds me back of the laserdisc days. They haven't even really
announced what the extras are either, probably because they are still putting
them together. At the Days of the Dead NIGHTBREED panel, they mentioned that
they were going to be interviewed later that day for this release. Sure, you get
a collector's book, but is that really worth the extra $55 difference from the
normal release? There will be a regular edition that just consists of the
Director's cut on both Blu-ray and regular DVD, which has a retail price of
Apparently the fans don't care and are throwing their money
in since Scream Factory's initial 1000 copies have already been pre-sold. Since
their are only 5000 of these being produced, I guess that is the reason why they
are charging that much. Again, as much as I'd like to see the extras on that 3rd
disc, it isn't worth that much money to me. I know I'll get to see it at some
We have 3 new soundtrack reviews this update: BIG BAD WOLVES,
CRAWLSPACE, and GOLIATH AND THE BARBARIANS. Head over to our
Soundtrack Review section for all the goods!
FOR A GIALLO TO WATCH?
Troy Howarth, author of The Haunted
World of Mario Bava, has a new book that is due out around the end of the year.
Volume 2 should be out about 6 months later. With so many giallos out there,
this is exactly what fans of the Italian thrillers needed. I can't wait to add a
copy of this to my library and start making a list of movies that I still need
to see. I'll post more information about the book when I get it.
But you can order your copy of Howarth's recent revised and
expanded edition of his Bava book from Midnight Marquee, which should still be
having a sale the title. Head over to their website
HERE and make sure you tell them I sent you!
"Print is dead"....Ha!
Anybody that has followed this site over the years knows of
my passion for Spanish horror films. There is a new website that has started up
that focuses on this great and immense sub-genre of films, both old and new. The
site is called simply enough, Spanish Fear, which you can get to by clicking
HERE. While they are still
in the beginning stages, you will still be able to find some great information
here. Want to see the trailer for the new movie SHREW'S NEST, which is presented
by Alex de la Iglesia? Or some news about the directorial debut of Alberto
Marini films SUMMER CAP? Marini wrote the script for Jaume Balaguero's SLEEP
TIGHT. You can find it all over at Spanish Horror. So head on over there,
save the page, and make sure you keep going back for their updates. And if you
like what you see, make sure you send them a note and tell them that
DEL TORO BRINGING ON THE MADNESS...AT PG-13?
It seems that Guillermo del Toro might be making his
Lovecraft epic AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS after all, but changing the rating to
PG-13, which is what made him walk away from his previous deal because the
studio demanded a lower rating. Honestly...not sure how I feel about this. Sure,
I think that del Toro could still make it scary with a PG-13 rating, but the
whole point of his original decision was to keep it REALLY scary. And yes, there
would always be the possibility of an un-rated DVD release. But again, when you
start making that compromises, then when some other studio head wants a fluffy
dog in there for marketing reasons, who's to say that it won't happen. Okay,
that might be taking to the extreme, but you just never know in Hollywood these
I'm trying not to get excited one way or another about this,
especially since it really is still in the talking stages, but I guess I just
hope that what he actually does make is still entertaining and faithful to
Lovecraft and his story.
HUDSON HORROR SHOW IX
They are at it again, back with their 9th film festival of
madness! Taking place on Aug. 9th, they will be screening MANIAC, the uncut
version of THE BURNING, MAD MAX, LADY TERMINATOR (which is a must see for any
fans of horror & exploitation), as well as two other mystery titles. Advance
tickets are $26 and then $30 at the day of the show. So if you in the
Poughkeepsie NY area next month, you should make it a point to check out this
fantastic festival. One of these days, we hope to make the trip out for it.
Our photo from our last update was from the film FLESH FEAST, starring Veronica
Lake. This 1970's film was not only produced by Lake, but also was her last film
appearance. Unfortunately, the only time its worth screening is for a Turkey Day
marathon. Kudos out to the following that correctly identified the movie: Chris
Kinniery, Gavin Schmitt, and Mike Shields.
The photo for this week is a film that I think needs to get a
lot more attention. It blew me away years ago when I first had the chance to see
it and it has never lost its appeal or ability to just amaze me. So take a look
and see if you recognize where it is from. Just click
HERE to send in
your answer. And as always, good luck.
THE EVIL RETURNS
Next month, Evilspeak magazine returns with issue # 2. Featuring the same
passion-filled, gore-riffic tributes to the movies we love. There's pieces on
LADY FRANKENSTEIN, TWINS OF EVIL, Jean Rollin, movies dealing with facial
surgeries(!), THE BEAST WITHIN, BLOOD ON SATAN'S CLAW, and much, more more. Of
course, I'll have another piece on Paul Naschy, this time covering my favorite
of his Waldemar Daninsky films, NIGHT OF THE WEREWOLF.
And once again, NO ADS! All killer...no Filler! Just keep
checking on their Facebook page
when it becomes available and then you can order your copy
KEEPING THEIR MEMORIES ALIVE!
We really hate it when we lose anybody known for their
connection with the horror genre, but when they start going in multiples, then
it is even worse. So it is up to us fans to make sure that these people are
kept alive, by watching their movies, talking about them with other film fans,
and even introducing them and their work to younger or newer fans to the genre
that might not know about them yet. That is all of our jobs as students of the
genre: To keep
helping others out there to Discover the Horror. Yes, we really do believe in
CARLA LAEMMLE - REST IN PEACE
The last real connection of the old days of Universal
Studios, Carla Laemmle has passed away at the age of 104. Her uncle Carl
Laemmle, founded Universal Studios, which was later run by his son, Carl Jr.,
who was the one that started the horror pictures that would really make them
While not really an actress, she grew up in the Universal
city, and did have small parts in a few movies, such as a ballet dancer in THE
PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1925), which starred Lon Chaney. But she is probably best
known as the character that speaks the first lines in the 1931 version of
DRACULA, starring Bela Lugosi. She is the young girl in the stagecoach reading
about "the rugged peaks that frown down upon the Borgo Pass...". She still loved
to talk about those days and was a favorite at conventions.
FRANCIS MATTHEWS - REST IN PEACE
Fans of Hammer Studios have lost another one of the many
talents that made the studio what they were and the films they created. Actor
Francis Matthews, who battled against Christopher Lee twice, the first as
Dracula in DRACULA: PRINCE OF DARKNESS and then as Rasputin in RASPUTIN: THE MAD
MONK, as well as helping Peter Cushing build a creature in THE REVENGE OF
FRANKENSTEIN. He worked with another horror icon, Boris Karloff in CORRIDORS OF
BLOOD, which co-starred Lee as well. While he might not have worked a ton in the
horror genre, he appeared in a few of the classics and was one of the reasons
they were so enjoyable. He recently passed away at the age of 86.
So even though he really was known for doing to voice of
Captain Scarlet for the puppet show CAPTAIN SCARLET, the horror fans will help
keep his memory alive due to his brief but stellar work in the genre we love.
Our thoughts go out to his friends and family.
DIRECTORS ON THE MEND
Apparently it does go in 2's this week.
We just learned that Dario Argento was involved in an accident involving him
falling down some stairs in his home. While he was hurt pretty bad, he is okay
and resting. Of course, this means that he won't be making it to the Days of the
Dead show next weekend. Major bummer there. But we do wish for a speedy
But in earlier in the week, we also learned that
director/actor/writer José Mojica Marins aka Coffin Joe, was recently in the
hospital as well. His daughter had posted a message to his fans but it was in
Portuguese. While we did use Google to translate it, I believe some of it got
lost/confused in the translation. But it sounds like he was in need of some
heart surgery but really didn't want to go. When he was finally convinced to go
in for the procedure, he ended up having a heart attack while there. He was
released after the operation where he had 3 stints put in, but then developed
other issues, mainly dehydration, and ended up back in the hospital. He is still
recovering from everything but things look good.
Now granted, this is being taken from what I can get from the
translation. It was originally reported by Marins' daughter, Liz, who posted
this picture on her Facebook page. All we can do is hope that he gets better.
DAYS OF THE DEAD
Next weekend, my good friend Bryan Martinez of
Deviant and I are making the trip to the Days of the Dead show in Indy. Been
a while since I've spent more than an hour at a convention I wasn't setting up at,
but since Bryan really wanted to go to meet Dario Argento, I figured I'd tag
alone. Unfortunately, Argento had to cancel
his appearance from the show due to the accident mentioned above, so that was a
major bummer. But we're hoping to get there in time for the NIGHTBREED panel
Saturday afternoon. It will be interesting to hear some of the stories they
might have. Also, its a good way to get photos of them without having to pay a
stupid amount of money. I had thought about bringing my British Quad poster of
NIGHTBREED to get signed, but just can't see forking out another $20-$25 a pop
for a signature, especially when I didn't pay for the 5 that I've gotten already
on there. Granted, this is really is the only draw for me to this show. I mean,
other than Stephen Percy of Ratt...I mean, wow that just screams horror, doesn't it?
But it will be nice to see some of our convention
friends that will be set up there, like Don England, Billy and Vanessa of
Razorback Records. So if you're going to be there on Saturday, you'll probably
find us wandering around. And if you are an Argento fan that were planning on
going to the show, take that money you were going to spend on an autograph and
go pick up a copy of The Argento Syndrome by author Derek Botelho who will have
a table there. I know we will be picking up a copy ourselves. Always a good
thing to support these authors and their work.
Speaking of The Argento Syndrome, it was published by the
fine folks at
BearManor Media. In case you ever think that print is dead, just head over
to BearManor Media's website and see all the amazing titles that they have been
putting out. Every time I go to their site, I see another one (or two) that I
want to add to my collection. They are doing a great job in helping keep some of
these people involved in the movie/TV world alive and remembered by the fans.
And if you think that spending $20-$25 for a 200 page book is expensive, check
out what you paid for that last magazine you picked up. Most of them are close
to $10 for a 70+ pages, half of which are ads. So when you do the math, a book
is a much better investment!
Anyway, here's a couple of new titles that BearManor has out
that had sparked my interest. Being a huge fan of William Castle, this one will
definitely have to be added to the collection. Head over to their website from
the link above and see if you don't see something that you'd like to pick up.
And even if not for yourself, I can't think of a better Christmas gift than a
gift of knowledge...aka a book!
SHORT FILMS - CHANGING MY FEELINGS ON INDY FILMS
It's been well documented here on my lack of love for
independent films. Bottom line is because they usually are terrible. But last
weekend, we went to the DEMONS screening event that Film Deviant was hosting at
Reel Art in Berwyn. Not only was I able to pick up a copy of the Killdozer comic
book for only $2 (Thanks Dan!), as well as getting to watch Lamberto Bava's
DEMONS, but they also screened several short films before the main feature. I
was pretty impressed with quite few of them, which I want to mention, as well as
another short that I got to see recently. Not only because I enjoyed them, but
because these people can always use the support and even just encouragement and
compliments on what they've done. Some of these are avail to see online, others
you will have to wait for a release or the chance to see them at a film fest or
The first one is called CALL GIRL and was directed by Jill
Gevargizian and stars Laurence R. Harvey and Tristan Risk. Very entertaining.
You can find out more information on this one at the official Facebook page
If you're going to the Days of the Dead show next weekend, director Gevargizian
and star Harvey will be there.
The second one is called simply SERVICE and was directed by
Jerry Pyle and is disturbing and well acted. The Facebook page for this one is
The next one is called PITY and was directed by our friend
John Pata, co-director of DEAD WEIGHT. Sure we might be a little bias on this
one, but it is still worth your time. You can check out their Facebook page
And the last one is called SCUM and was directed by Zach
Shildwachter. You can actually view this one online
HERE. Again, very
original idea and well developed.
But the main thing is if you do get to see these, make sure
you pass on your thoughts to the filmmakers, good or bad. They need to hear your
SOUNDTRACK REVIEW: DEEP RISING
We reviewed the recent release of Jerry Goldsmith's score for
DEEP RISING, a great underwater giant monster movie that you should check out.
But head over to our Soundtrack Reviews to read
our thoughts on the score.
This week's lesson is an actor that you've might have seen
before but probably had no idea it was him. Head over to the
classroom to learn more about this week's
interesting and unforgettable character.
Our photo from our last update was from the film MOUNTAINTOP MOTEL MASSACRE,
which came out in 1986 is one of those titles that were sprawled across the
video aisles. Sure, not a great movie, but at least it is entertaining for what
it is and not the same old retread we get these days. Kudos goes out to the
following people for sending in the correct answer: Cate Cameron, Aaron
Christensen, Nicholas Johns, Billy Nocera, Vanessa Nocera, Will Wilson, and Greg
Wojick. Well done, folks!
And now on to this week's photo. Not the greatest quality
photo, but hopefully it will do the trick. Just click
HERE to send in
your answer. Good luck as always.
6-8-14 WONDERFEST & RONDOS
Well, we survived our recent trip to Louisville for the
Wonderfest Hobby Expo last weekend and what a weekend it was. So great to be at
a convention where fans come to talk about movies, spend money (on something
other than autographs), and just have a good time. It was great again seeing so
many amazing model kits and paint jobs, as well as seeing old friends, making
new friends, and getting to talk about movies! We really had a blast hanging out
with our buddies Don England and Phil Meehan, having one of the most enjoyable
and hilarious dinners on Saturday night with these guys. How could that be a bad weekend?
Oh yeah...I also picked up my Rondo Award.
Because I'm terrible at getting up and talking in front of people, my
little acceptance speech was much shorter than I planned. So I wanted to say
here what I had I planned on saying there. First of all, just the fact that I
have a place where I can write about movies that I love is an amazing
accomplishment for me. But really when I get an email from someone, or they come
up to me at a convention, and say that they've sought out a movie because it was covered in my column, then that really is the biggest reward I could ever get. So
receiving this Rondo is just icing on the cake and I am very honored by this,
especially when I'm in the same ranks of these other talented writers that were
I do have to say thanks to HorrorHound for giving me this
platform for my ramblings. Thanks to Aaron Christensen, who has not only made me
a better writer in the almost ten years that I've known him, but also has made
me a better person.
And lastly, thank you to my wife Dawn. Who, after being
together for 31 years, has not only has never told me to stop watching a movie,
but has been my companion on many of these cinematic journeys, no matter how
bumpy or twisted the road might have been. I'm sure when the priest said "For
better or for worse" 26 years ago when we got married, I don't think he was thinking of having to
watch THE GIANT CLAW or Larry Buchanan's THE EYE CREATURES. So thank you Dawn
for being so supportive in what I do with my little "hobby" and sticking with me
through those "bumpy roads".
Sitting there through the awards ceremonies was pretty
amazing and even emotional. No matter what you might think of a lot of these
award things that go around, this one really goes out of their way to highlight
the work that people do in the industry, not just the professional ones, but to
all the Monster Kids out there. And honestly, I'm not just saying that because I
won either. Seeing some of the tributes given at this show, from Dick Klemensen
accepting the award for his fellow monster friend (for over 40 years) Gary Dorst
who passed away last year, to the Pure in Heart award given to
Magoo Gelehrter, who recently lost his battle
with cancer, which was accepted by Horror Host Dr. Gangrene (Larry Underwood),
as well as a few others,
it was extremely touching and very moving. It really shows the friendships that
being a fellow monster kid can bring. It doesn't matter how much you know, or
what you do, whether you're a writer, filmmaker, artists, or just like to watch
these movies, we are all part of this huge fandom family. Most of us do what we
do for the shear love of the horror/sci-fi/fantasy genre, so it is so great to
know that we are not alone in our passion, that we even can encourage each other
to feed that passion as well. So major kudos to David Colton and all those
involved with the Rondos, for doing their part to put the spotlight on so many
deserving people and projects.
RADU FLORESCU - REST IN PEACE
Some times we really hate to always mention the passing of
someone that has made a impact on our love of the horror genre since we really
don't want to bring anybody's mood down. But the way I always look at it is that
is a great way to remember these people and their contributions, and the reason
we need to keep their memory alive. Back on Sunday, May 18th, Radu Florescu
passed away. Now, that name might not be that familiar at first, but depending
on how big of a Dracula fan you are, you probable know his work to some degree.
Florescu was a historian, professor, and philanthropist, who along with Raymond
T. McNally, published several books on the Romania Prince, Vlad Tepes, or as
most know him as, Dracula. Their first book, In Search of Dracula, was one that
I remember finding and devouring each and every page, amazed not only at some of
the stories, but also that this really was a person in real life! Florescu spent
many years doing research on the original Prince and bring attention to this
once great leader, no matter what some of the darker stories are about him.
So while we may have lost a great scholar, we still have all
of his hard work and dedication that he did throughout his life, that will be
waiting for another eager young mind, just ready to absorb this information. So
thank you, Professor Florescu.
SCREAM FACTORY HELL HOUSE UPDATE
We were already excited about the release of one of our
favorite haunted house movies ever, John Hough's LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE on Blu-ray
from Scream Factory. But now we have heard what the extras will consists of and
it made us even more excited. While it doesn't have a ton of stuff, like a
trailer and a new interview with Hough, but it DOES have a new audio commentary
with actress Pamela Franklin. She has always been a favorite of mine, from her
many appearances in horror films over the years. So it is going to be exciting
to hear what she has to say about this film. This is due out on Aug. 26th.
In other Scream Factory news, they have also announced they
will be releasing a double feature disc of the two Amicus anthology films, TALES
FROM THE CRYPT and VAULT OF HORROR. Now, both of these were released on a double
feature DVD some time ago by MGM, and while it was great to see TALES, the print
used for VAULT was the edited version. But according to Scream Factory, the
print for their blu-ray will be the uncut version. Let's just hope the print of
TALES is the same uncut print that was on the DVD. Can't wait for this double
disc with two very important films in the genre.
HEAVY METAL HORROR
Next weekend looks to be a busy one for Chicago area horror
fans. At 7pm on Saturday the 14th, at Quimby's Books, they are having a book
event, celebrating the release of Mike McPadden's book Heavy Metal Movies. Now,
why are we talking about a book on music here? Well, maybe because a lot of the
movies covered in this book have strong ties in the genre. The book covers
"Exploding with way over 666 true headbanger classics—raging with disturbing
documentaries, bulging barbarians, Satanic shockers, spluttery slashers,
post-nuke dystopias, carnivorous chunk-blowers, undead gut-munchers, midnight
mind-benders, concert films, killer cameos—plus witches, werewolves, bikers,
aliens, lesbian vampires, and vengeful vikings galore...the heaviest sin-ematic
sensations of all time!". Sounds like we could find a movie or two in there that
might spark our interests.
But McPadden will be there promoting his book, which you
could purchase there (and get a free barf bag). So stop on by, hang out a bit
with other horror/music nerds, and check out the
book. Everyone could always use another book in their collection, right? I know
HERE to get to the Facebook events page.
FILM DEVIANT SCREENS DEMONS
I know we mentioned this in our last update, but the
following day, Sunday the 15th, Film Deviant will be hosting their screening of
Lamberto Bava's DEMONS at Reel Art in Berwyn, as well as a slew of independent
short films. Aaron Christensen and I will be on hand with copies of Hidden
Horror (possibly with some of the other contributors of the book too), as well
as some of the filmmakers responsible for the shorts you will be seeing. Not to
mention being able to browse through the amazing items you can find at Reel Art.
We've spent...I mean, INVESTED a lot of our money finding some incredible gems
in there. You never know what you might find.
Oh yeah...did I mention this event was FREE!
The event starts at 4pm. Head over to the official Facebook
events page by clicking
EVILSPEAK # 2 COMING VERY SOON
The second issue of Evilspeak should be out very soon,
hopefully still this month. The layout is being finished and it once again
promises to be one hell of a magazine. With over 100 pages of killer content and
again with NO ADVERTISEMENTS, we hope to really show horror fans a ride of their
life with some great coverage on some awesome movies. We'll be covering titles
like LADY FRANKENSTEIN, BEAST WITHIN, MAUSOLEUM, TWINS OF EVIL, and of course
some more Naschy worship by yours truly (shouldn't every magazine have that???),
along with some more killer artwork by Putrid and the rest of the talented crew
of artists contributing, such as this amazing wraparound cover by Don England.
Stay tuned here for details when it will be available or you can always check
out the Evilspeak Facebook page
HERE for the latest details. Meanwhile, we are
all hard at work on issue #3, which has all the makings of another great and grue-filled issue.
NEW SOUNDTRACK REVIEW
We have posted our review of the new flick THE SIGNAL from a
composer that actually made his own instruments to create the music. Pretty damn
cool, huh? Head over to our Soundtrack Reviews for
While I'm not the biggest horror host fan, I do appreciate
what they do and keeping it alive and thriving these days. What once was a dying
artform, Koz and hundreds of others have worked so hard in making sure that the
horror host did not become a thing of the past. I did grow up watching
Svengoolie myself, or at the time he was Son of Svengoolie, but Rich Koz has
worked very hard over the years keeping this loveable character alive for the
Chicago fans, and now an even bigger fan base thanks to ME TV.
But now it seems that even the government is getting behind
Svengoolie and has named this October 31st Svengoolie/Rich Koz Day in the state
of Illinois. Congrats to Koz and all the people that help him continue to do
what he does. Well done!
HAUNTED WORLD OF MARIO BAVA
While on the subject of books, if you're a fan of Mario Bava,
then now you have the chance to pick up a long out-of-print book on the master,
that is now being re-released in a newly expanded and revised edition from
Midnight Marquee. This new version of Troy Howarth's The Haunted World of Mario
Bava will be coming out this Tuesday, the 10th. The retail price is going to be
$45, but if you order now, you can save $10 off that price. For all the
information on this book, as well as some of the great titles they have
announced for this year, head over to their website
HERE. We have more than a
few Midnight Marquee titles in our collection, and plan on adding this one as
DIVIDE AND ARGUE
When the new American version of Godzilla hit the screens
last month, there were a lot of people anxiously (and some cautiously) awaiting
its arrival. Once it hit the screens, the lines were immediately drawn in the
sand and people were forced to take sides. There is the side that just loves the
film, being extremely happy with the results. But unfortunately if you were one
of those that didn't love it, or had questions about it, or just had some things
about it you didn't like, you were immediately cast to the "haters" side, with
really no choice in the matter.
Now as film fans, we know how passionate we can get about the
movies that we love. I'm right there with you. That is one thing I love about
these kind of films and the fans. But I think one of our major challenges that
we have is the fact that we tend not to respect other people's opinions.
Again, I'm guilty of this as well, especially years ago when my normal response
would be a simple "dumbass". If you love a movie, great. If you hate a movie,
great. But when discussing it with someone with an opposing view, let's at least
try to keep an open mind and try to see that other person's point of view.
Doesn't mean you have to agree with it, just listen and maybe understand what
they like or what they have a problem with it. Just because someone doesn't feel
as strong towards a movie as you do shouldn't put them in the "haters" side,
just as someone who loves a film unquestionably shouldn't put in the "kool-aid
drinkers" side. As the saying goes, we don't have to agree on the movies, as
long as we agree on the genre as a whole.
Otherwise, we'd be the same as a bunch of those sports fans
that get into fights with the people that like the opposing team. And I think
we're much better than that, don't you?
THE RETURN OF JACK TAYLOR
One of our favorite actors of the '70s Spanish horror films
was Jack Taylor. Maybe it was those glassy blue eyes, but we always found him
entertaining. So when we heard the news that he was going to be appearing in a
new horror film, we were pretty excited. The film is simply called WAX and was
directed by Victor Matellano, who's name might sound familiar to regular
visitors to this site. He is the director of the documentary CLAWING: A JOURNEY
THROUGH THE SPANISH HORROR! The basic story of WAX is one of a reporter to has
to spend the night in a Wax Museum that is suppose to be haunted. Taylor stars
as Dr. Knox, a "sadistic cannibal surgeon who loves dressing up as Vincent Price
in HOUSE OF WAX."
This will be an English speaking film that is trying to hit
different feelings from new and old, from the found footage aspect, to the
gothic feel of the Hammer films. Along with Taylor, the film has a few other
appearances of famous Spanish horror stars. One of them will be Lone Fleming,
who appeared in Amando de Ossiro's TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD, as well as a few
other horror titles. Also, there will be the appearance of a voice from the
grave, when a old theatrical recording of Paul Naschy will be used from an
animatronic wax figure.
You can check out their Facebook page
HERE or watch the teaser trailer by clicking
For you Army members out there, you might have noticed over
the last few months that I haven't been too timely on getting your missions
posted on the message board, or even replying to them. My time seems to be very
limited these days. No excuses here, just trying to explain that my time seems
to be divided up even more than it used to. I'm going to try and stay on top of
these a little more, but when it comes to the message board, please feel free to
post comments on other people's post if you want. I would want nothing more than
a nice place where we can talk about movies in an nice open forum without having
to worry about trolls and whatnot. So please...let's here what you have to say.
And while on the subject of the Army....still waiting on a
few photos from last year's winners.
I know it has been a while since we've had a new lesson in
our Horror History, but I think it is about time we get back to class, don't
you? This lesson will be an easy one, since it is probably someone that you've
seen on the screen before...probably more than once. So grab your books and get
to the classroom.
Yes, it has been a while since we've had a new Mystery Photo as well, mainly
because it's been 3 weeks since our last update. But we have a new photo now,
which might be a little tough, but we kind of like it that way!
Our last photo was from one of our favorite William Castle
movies, MR. SARDONICUS. I love the fact that someone came up with the idea of
having the skull in the background of the house with the lighted windows.
Brilliant! We have a few send in the correct answer too. And they were: Hoby
Abernathy, Chris Kinniery, Kevin Matthews, Richard Schellbach, Gavin Schmitt.
Well done, lads!
So on to this week's pic. As I said, might not be too easy,
but was inspired to pick this one because of our friend Vanessa Nocera. Can't go
into more details without giving it away. So take a peek and enjoy.
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