Friday, February 26, 2010

Soundtracks - Fright Night (1985)

The other night I decided that I wanted to do a soundtrack post and I haven’t done one in a long time. I figured that I would do a short little analysis of a score that I fell in love with when I first heard it. It was the score to Fright Night composed by Brad Fiedel. On first hearing, this score isn’t really that scary nor is it really that imposing but if you look at the movie… the movie isn’t pure horror either. However, I will say that it is definitely an 80s sounding score considering the synthesizers and the use of the saxophone, something most scores don’t really have nowadays.

The score starts off slow and builds up to the climax before it slows down again until the end. The movie is very sexual and I think the score really adds to the sexuality of the movie in it’s pacing. As it starts off slow, you can think of it as a slow build up to, or foreplay, sex. As it progresses we begin to hear wind instruments adding a more primitive tone to the movie, as though this is the point where things become more animalistic so to speak. When it climaxes it can be referencing the climactic point in having sex. Throughout the score the saxophone really adds to the eroticism.

But I still find this score, as loud as it can be, very soft and very slow. As sexual as the score is (and how close to sounding as if it was a porno soundtrack) it’s still very eerie and very foreboding. It really gives you the feeling of being stalked or lulled into a false sense of sexual ecstasy. It’s haunting and very controlling at the same time. It matches perfectly to tone of the movie.

Below, I have provided a YouTube video of the theme to Fright Night. I have the theme on my computer but Blogger video isn’t working right so I can’t give you a clearer version of the song.

Review - The Crazies (2010)

Last night I was fortunate enough to see The Crazies but not fortunate enough to catch Shutter Island. I remember encountering the original movie back when I was younger but I was too scared to watch and I never really took the time to hunt it down. So, I am doing this review as though The Crazies was a stand-alone film rather than a remake. My friend saw the original and he said that this remake is barely like the first movie, that they are two different movies. He went on to say that you couldn’t really compare them because they did a lot of new things in this remake that weren’t in the original. Which is great because if you want to remake a movie, update it and add some new things into it. Don’t do a straight copy of the original.

The movie starts off when a deranged man with a shotgun walks right onto the fielding during the baseball game. The Sheriff (Olyphant) insists he puts the gun down but instead he raises it up to him and the Sheriff shoots him. The next day, a group of hunters find a dead man with a parachute attached to him in the marshes and soon they discover a large aircraft that crashed into the swamp. After this, the military comes into the small town and starts quarantining people they believe are ‘crazy’ and infected. When the Sheriff’s wife gets separated from him, he decides to team up with his Deputy to save her and another man’s wife. Now, they have to make it out of Peirce Country alive and not get killed by the infected crazy people.

Right off the bat, this movie is very brutal but it’s not full on brutality… it’s very slow paced at times and it breaks up the horror parts into sections almost. There were some really awesome scenes that take place at a funeral home, a quarantine lab and in a baby’s room. The one scene that was really freaky, not because it was jump out scary, but because of the way it was handled; the Sheriff’s wife was being strolled through a school while men in hazmat suites were wondering around and inside classrooms people were going insane. It was just a creepy scene. The scene in the funeral home had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. It definitely had it’s moments and it really seemed to scatter them.

The way things played out seemed a little sloppy and sometimes it didn’t make sense. I don’t really know how to explain it but the way the military just came in and started to quarantine things was a little random. Early on in the movie, it was foreshadowed but it just seemed way too random. I guess in most movies, you would see the military infesting the town and dragging people out of the stores or out of their homes but in this film, it’s all from the perspective of the Sheriff and his wife. It’s not necessarily a bad thing; it’s just a little different for me. I would have loved to see how the town went from this Small Town, USA look to a heap of burning metal and paper.

At times, this movie can get really heavy in emotion, which I really liked. One scene in particular finds the daughter of a man (She was one of the survivors that got away from a really nasty hospital scene) reunited with her boyfriend. As the boyfriend explains that his mom and dad are still in the house while he’s out in the barn getting things, the army comes in and shoots and kills the dad for resistance. The boyfriend then runs out to the army in anger just before he gets shot down. The mom then runs towards her son before she too is also shot and killed, both of them are later incinerated. It’s really sad and you really feel for the girlfriend character. Another person, who provides much emotion, is the Deputy. I don’t want to go into details cause I can write an entire post on him but I will say he is one of the most fascinating characters in the whole movie.

Out of everything that I love about The Crazies, the one thing that I found really hammy was the dialogue. There were so many times throughout the film that the dialogue was terrible. Case in point: when the phones have no service and the Internet goes down, Olyphant’s character says, “You know what… we’re in trouble.” It sounds so stupid. Or another time when the Deputy pulls off a sheet to reveal a cop car he says, “Fuck yeah” in such a bland tone and the car isn’t even that good. HOWEVER, the Deputy had some of the best lines in the movie that sort of made up for the campy phrases. He throws a spike strip out and causes a government car to topple over itself. The man inside struggles to get out and the Deputy, in all his glory says, “Welcome Peirce Country, friendliest place on Earth, asshole!” BEST LINE IN THE MOVIE.

A lot of people might complain that this movie is like a zombie movie (zombies being the typical Romero zombies or the 28 Days Later ‘zombies’) but I want to stress that this is not a zombie movie. Sure, it owes a lot to zombie movies but these people don’t eat you… they brutally kill and torture you. Plus, zombies don’t talk to one another. The makeup was amazingly done and it really made the people look like they were infected with something. Just, don’t go in thinking they are zombies but rather go in thinking that it owes to the zombie genre.

Overall, I liked The Crazies. Not the best remakes but far from being a terrible remake. It’s average but pretty enjoyable if you have some time to kill. I would recommend this to horror fans if you are bored but I wouldn’t really be in too much of a rush to go see it. Since it is different (I guess) from the original, just go in with an open mind. I would see it again, but I would have to think about actually buying it.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Ghosts of the House on Haunted Hilll

While looking through my DVD collection today I realized that I lost my DVD of the 1999 remake of House on Haunted Hill. Now, this DVD was very close to me because my step-dad asked if I wanted to see it and I told him “yes.” Well, throughout the whole movie I had my hands over my eyes. There are several posts that I want to do on this movie but sadly I am not able to because I have to watch the movie. These posts would include: the movie’s sound design, a review of the movie and probably its art direction.

But, I do however want to showcase some screenshots of the ghosts that inhabit the house so that you can remember how well done they looked. To most, this may seem like a pointless post because its just pictures but I think this movie really revolutionized the design of ghosts. Rather than just having a ghost that looks like a person or a ghost that has big eyes and a big mouth, these ghosts are human but their bodies and faces have been mutilated beyond recognition. They enhance the notion that they are insane ghosts and make it obvious that there spirit will always be trapped in surgical hell. It’s an interesting design on the whole thing and I think it really works with this whole setting.

I hope you enjoy them.

This was the hardest one to capture.

I also heard that some of the ghost designs were lifted from the movie Ghost Story, which I guess I can see if you look hard enough.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Paradise of Horror's Hotel List

Greetings from The Paradise everybody!

We are excited to announce that we have a few new hotels that have opened here on the island. It’s a work in progress and if you have any hotels that you would want to see build here, please let us know. Considering the population is 20,000+ we need to start accommodating your housing needs.

The Paradise of Horror offers a wide range of luxurious hotels to affordable homely motels. There is much to choose from and we encourage that you try them all out.

Rating Key:
**** - Luxury Hotel
*** - Deluxe Hotel
** - Moderate Hotel
* - Value Hotel

Below is a list of our hotels you can find on The Paradise.

**** The Overlook Hotel: This hotel offers the best in snow and skiing sports, and has a great rustic atmosphere to it. It’s one of our more prestigious hotels but don’t let the ghosts frighten you from its charm.

**** The Hotel Dolphin: This pricy but very beautifully designed hotel offers their guests spa and gym services and 5-star dinning. Each room is made maintained very carefully by their staff and for it’s guests, it’s like a whole other frightening world.

**** The Hollywood Tower Hotel: Though it’s far away from Hollywood, this hotel managed to stay elegant and classy. Many famous movie stars have stayed here and praised its electrifying service and upscale suites. Parties are annually hosted at The Tip Top Club.

**** Pacific Grand Hotel: A very classy edition to The Paradise; this hotel offers it’s guests regular ballroom parties. Geared towards the younger crowd; the hotel has a long record of killer service and beautiful art deco architecture.

*** Wessex Hotel: Not as luxurious as some of our other hotels, but it’s still a beautiful hotel nonetheless. This hotel is so wonderful the guests check in but never check out. Nightly games are plaid on the 13th floor.

*** Lakeview Hotel: Many occupants of praised this hotel for having a very welcoming atmosphere to it. The theme this hotel offers is rustic country, as though were sleeping in Small Town, USA. Although its the surreal quality that sets this hotel on fire.

*** The Mountaintop Motel: We are proud to announce that the motel’s original owner Evelyn has returned to her managerial position and after much delay the motel has resumed its function. Drop by and say hello, we’re sure she’ll roll heads.

** Hobb’s End Inn: Notoriously known for being a less expensive as the rest of the hotels but keeping that classy look for it’s residence. It’s beautiful oak and cedar décor is world-renowned and we’re positive that it will drive any horror fan mad.

** Candleglow Inn: Also located in the mountains of The Paradise, this hotel offers its residence affordable ski housing and a nice warm, comfy place to stay. Though it may be small, it sure keeps the big bugs out.

* The Bates Motel: This is one of our more infamous hotels on The Paradise and it’s within a suitable price range too. The hotel still retains its classic 1940s look and the owner is very nice. The Bates Motel is also known for its hospitality and putting the customers first. Lucky guests may catch a glimpse of the owner’s mother.

* The Pine-Wood Motel: A throwback to the old 50s style architecture; a very spunky man who loves seeing his guests happy runs this motel. You can call ahead for reservations but we do have to warn you, the employees love to play games.

* The Motel Hello: This is another one of our more famous motels. Owned by Vincent and his loving daughter, these two really know how to make you feel at home and they serve up great food too. Everything is home cooked and seasoned just right for its occupants. If you’re one of the lucky ones… then you might be able to see how everything works.

Please call ahead for reservations. If you have any request for hotels, please leave us a comment and we sincerely hope that you enjoy our hotels and hopefully we’ll see you around The Paradise of Horror.

- Johnny

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Top 5 Creepy Cornfields

A coupe of days ago I wanted to watch Children of the Corn but unfortunately my DVD player wouldn’t start the DVD. So, out of spite I threw in Signs for some reason. As I watched the movie I could not help but remember the time that I screamed when Graham raised his flashlight and saw the alien’s foot in the cornrows. This got me thinking about cornfields in general. They are very scary places and considering that I have been and lived on a farm for decent amount of time, I know how frightening it is to be lost in the middle of a cornfield.

If you think about it, when you’re in a cornfield it’s easy to lose your sense of direction and when you’re lost and can’t find the way out it’s frightening. Plus, you can’t see where you’re going because the crops are taller than you so you are literally blind. At night is worse because there is not light at all out there. It’s dark and quiet and you begin to hear things (just insects but still).

Anyway, I’ve decided to make a list of creepy scenes in horror movies that have cornfields in them.

5. Dark Night of the Scarecrow – The Ending. A lot of people dismiss this movie for being really cheesy and stupid but I beg to differ. The ending when the audience sees the ‘scarecrow’ staring at them, it’s actually pretty frightening. It’s very stalker-ish.

4. Children of the Corn – The Confrontation. Yes, this movie is pretty campy at times but for me, it was pretty creepy seeing the presence of He Who Walks Behind The Rows. I mean, at first all you see is something growling moving under the ground like a Graboid and it’s pretty unnerving. As a kid I was yelling at the TV for the characters to run.

3. The Stand – His Storm. I love this movie and the entire film is poetry but when Stu meets Abigail and she points to the cornfield and there are rats on the ground and the scarecrow, with red eyes and white teeth, screams… I jumped out of my seat. It’s a terrifying scene.

2. Sleepy Hollow – The Prologue. As a kid, I had my eyes partially covered by my hands when this scene played out. The color and the atmosphere of the film was so haunting and the fact that you can see lightning off in the distance only added to the fright. Then, the scarecrow with the pumpkin head appears, everything is fin, and then all of a sudden the man’s head is sliced off as blood splatters across the pumpkin’s face. It’s frightening and it’s so poetically done. Tim Burton and gothic horror at it’s best.

1. Signs - Close Encounters. Oh yes, in the theater when I saw this scene I screamed and jumped out of my chair. From the time that Graham walks into the cornfield to the time that his flashlight goes out, it’s pure anticipation and there is no music whatsoever. You hear the aliens clicking in the background only adding to the chills and when Graham picks up his flashlight and shines it ahead of him, the leg appears and disappears into the crops. No sound and no music but pure fright. Again, all you see is the foot but the rest of the body is hidden and your imagination goes wild. Only after does the music start.

Honorable mention goes to Jeepers Creepers 2, who would have made 6 but for the sake of the post, I didn’t want to do Top 6 Creepy Cornfields.

Also, I do not have Dead Birds on here because I don’t remember the movie all that much and I am not sure if it has a cornfield scene. I think it does, but I am not sure. I have not seen Scarecrow Slayer or Scarecrow so I cannot comment on whether or not they were scary or just cheesy.

And yes, when I was younger I got lost in a cornfield.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Signs: An Example of Hitchcockian Horror

A couple months ago I did a review of the movie Signs and if anybody watched the video review, you’d know that I hold Signs in high regard. Well, the other night I revisited that movie and this time I paid close attention to some of the aspects of the film that make it an overall success. I noticed that this movie is rich in character development, emotion and theme but there is something else that makes this film work and I think that’s suspense. Signs is a perfect example of Hitchcockian suspense and horror. As a kid watching this, I was gripping my armchair in suspense anticipating what would happen next.

Hitchcock has proven that he is the master of suspense and he used a couple of techniques that were unique to gain this reputation. He never showed much of anything in his work, in Psycho he only showed close ups of the kills or he would only show the knife going up into the air and coming down. This makes the audience fill in the blanks to what happened created an overwhelming sense of fright. In Rear Window, he is telling the story from the perspective of Jeff and you never once leave his room even though you want to see what’s happening in the other apartment. The same can be said with Signs, you never know what’s happening outside, you never get a good glimpse of what the aliens looks like (only silhouette) and you follow the families perspective. They run into the basement and never look behind them, the camera trucks into the basement and never shows what’s chasing them.

There are a couple of scenes that I want to bring up.

Let’s look at the closet scene in which Merrill is watching the TV and they show footage of a Spanish kid’s birthday party. The newscaster states that this is legit footage of the alien and from the time in which the footage is played to when you see the alien you are in anticipation. You want to see it and then the kids get in the way and Merrill shouts ‘Vámonos!’ Then when you see it, it’s blurry. It’s haunting, and you feel the anxiety of Merrill’s character.

Another great example of this would be in the final scenes when the aliens surround the house that family is just standing there, waiting for them to come in. In this scene, you hear the aliens stepping on the porch floorboards and in between the boarded the holes of the boarded up windows you can see their shadows walking across the window. You never once see what’s outside, keeping the audience focuses on the family and keeping them in the moment of anticipation.

In the basement, when all the lights go off you don’t see anything; none of the action is visible but you hear it. It’s a great achievement and practice of the old saying, “the less you see, the scarier it is.” The darkness is frightening because you can’t see anything and you don’t know what’s around you. It keeps the audience on edge. Hell, even when they turn the flashlight on, you barley see anything.

The great thing is: there are so many more examples of this brand of suspense and that’s why I love this movie. Even now when I watch it, I still get freaked out by some of the scenes. When you watch the movie again, look for these kinds of scenes where you don’t see anything but you know something is happening. Or even subtle scenes such the ones with the baby monitor. With that, I will leave you with a quote from the movie that really shows Hitchcockian horror at it’s best…

Merrill: “What’s happening out there?”
Graham: “I can’t even imagine.”

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Poll: Favorite Dick Miller Cameo

As many of you know, I wanted to do a poll on The Paradise for a long time but I never really knew what I wanted to poll about. Well, as I sat there listening to the Little Shop of Horrors soundtrack, I realized that I wanted to do a Roger Croman poll, but then it hit me that I wanted to vary up the question. I didn’t want it to be the typical “what is your favorite horror movie of the 70s” or “who is your favorite horror movie director.” So, somehow I came to Dick Miller and that is what my poll is about.

So my question is simple. What would be you favorite Dick Miller cameo? I know it’s not that original but as far as I know, nobody really did anything with Mr. Miller. So, here are the films:

Little Shop of Horrors (1960)
The Howling
Twilight Zone: The Movie
Chopping Mall
Night of the Creeps
Gremlins 2: The New Batch
Evil Toons
Demon Knight
Route 666

Many of you might be wondering where Bucket of Blood is… I wanted to pull out films that Dick Miller was either a cameo in or was a second hand character rather than the main character. I am sure I am missing a lot more films that he has been in but these seem to be the ones that stick out.

The poll is located at the very top right portion of the blog. Whichever movie wins, I will watch it and I will review it. The poll will close on Monday, March 1st 2010 at 9:00 PM.

So, have at it.

The Rawness of Horror

The other night I was watching Messiah of Evil aka Dead Bodies (Courtesy of Cult Reviews) and I noticed something about independent 70s horror. For a while I could not put my finger on it until I realized that it had to do with the way the movie scares it’s audience. It was something that I noticed in Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Piranha, Bay of Blood and even Black Christmas. I had a fan of mine, A.W. Quinn, message me and tell me that the word I was looking for was ‘raw.’ That’s exactly the word I was looking for; the horror in these 70s b-movies and even some studio made movies are extremely raw.

Let’s take Messiah of Evil for example: the jump-out scares of this film have absolutely not anticipation, or if they do, it’s very light. In horror films nowadays you have music that progressively gets tenser and tenser, making the audience anticipate the scare. It does the job effectively to some degree but with this film, there is no anticipation, I just jumps out and smacks you in the face. There is no music, just the natural sounds of the scene and a few sound effects. It puts your right there in the movie and makes it more realistic.

Now, when we first see Leatherface in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre the door opens and the character looks up at him; there is not music, there is barely any sound and he pops out. It’s shocking to the audience and it leaves them stunned. Leatherface then clubs the character and drags him into the room and closes the rusty doors. Here, the only thing we really hear is the clubbing and the sounds of the rusty doors, which only adds to the rawness of the film.

This was just a thought that crept into my head as I watched this movie. It was a great movie and I think it would have been so much better had I seen it on VHS.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Characters of Hostel

The other day I decided to watch Hostel out of whim. When I first saw the movie I didn’t think much of it, but I enjoyed it and this time around I enjoyed it a little more than when I first saw it. (I bought the movie on a gamble that it would be good) Well, as I watched the film I realized that this movie is a high-caliber revenge flick almost like the revenge-exploitation films of the 70s and early to mid 80s. But, there is one thing about this film that stands out to me than any other horror or torture porn film.

See, this film as three different protagonists:
The typical sex-obsessed, loose cannon party teen – Oli
The typical laid back; don’t really care teen – Paxton
The typical teen who lost his girlfriend is trying to move on – Josh

The film, for the first have, focuses on Josh and how he is trying to get over the breakup he had with his girlfriend. It adds depth and personality to his character while the rest of his friends are secondary. We come to feel for him and his loss but what happens? HE GETS KILLED MIDWAY INTO THE MOVIE! Yeah, that’s right, just when you think you know who the hero was in Hostel, Roth turns the tables on you. So who turns out to be the hero, Paxton, the second hand character and perhaps the strongest of all them.

Here’s another good example: Alexei. Here is a man, though a little creepy in the first half of the movie, later on he provides insight and it gives his character depth. Then, what does Roth do? Slaps you in the face and makes him the main antagonist! Again, he toys with your emotions.

See, this is what I noticed. The characters have been switched. This is what I liked about this movie because it takes gambles and it makes risky decisions. You think you know the characters, you think you know whom to root for and you think you know who will make it… but in the end, it turns upside down.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Review - The Wolfman (2010)

I will admit that when I saw the previews for The Wolfman I was very skeptical because I hold the original in high regard. I haven’t seen the original but I remember how much it used to make me put my hands over my eyes. Well, I finally sucked it up and saw a midnight screening of it at our theater. I did not let any of the hype ruin the movie for me and paid very little attention to the reviews that were coming out… I went in with a clean slate. I came out… very, very, very pleased. In fact, I think it was one of the best remakes out there. I think if you really loved the original and you really know what made the original so memorable you can dish out a great remake. Though to me, it’s not on the same level as The Thing or The Blob but it did scare me a lot times.

The story opens up with a man chasing after something, little do we know that this thing that he is chasing after is a Wolfman and this Wolfman eventually mauls and kills this man… though we don’t see it. The brother of this man is Lawrence Talbot, who is a stage actor (Del Toro), who comes back to the town to attend his funeral and to find out who or what killed his brother. During his investigation he hears stories of a monster that is half man and half wolf, but a lot of the townspeople dismiss the tragedy and blame the gypsies and their trick bear. While Talbot pays the gypsies a visit, the Wolfman attacks the camp and eventually attacks Talbot and inevitably causing him to turn into a Wolfman. Now, hunted by Abberline (Hugo Weaving) from Scotland Yard and caught into a relationship, Talbot must find a way to lift the curse or suffer its consequences. There is a great twist in the movie that can be seen if you look hard enough.

Honestly, this movie has a very dark and gritty atmosphere to it and the set pieces were beautiful. Everything down to the Talbot mansion was just gorgeous. It’s so hard to come buy a good movie, nowadays, that pays a great homage to Gothic horror and this movie really nails it. The town of Blackmoore is dark, foggy, shadowy and very threatening… the kind of town that you’ll either get mauled by a Wolfman or by another animal. The tone is gritty and it really puts the audience right there in the picture. Even the scenes that take place in London are pretty eerie. A lot of people are saying that it’s going too far with the gothic setting and making it ‘too obvious,’ but I disagree. It makes the film all the more chilling.

As far as the scares go… I jumped good amount of times. People have said that it is pretty gory and it is, you see people getting their limbs chopped off, people getting skin peeled off their back, intestines all over the floor and really graphic maulings but the film doesn’t rely only on gore to get shock value. No, certain scenes that involve a bedroom and a hallucination really abuse the ‘jump out’ tactic. It scares you, then it gives you a second to recover and then it goes in for the kills and scares you again. It doesn’t let you rest! The sequence at the gypsy camp is by far one of the freakiest scenes that I saw. You hardly see anything and that’s what makes it so good.

One thing that I know is on everybody’s mind and that is the transformation scenes and how they may or may not ruin it with CGI. Honestly, I wasn’t bothered by the CGI at all. The first transformation scene is choppy and it only focuses on his arms and his legs and the rest is all in shadow, which was great. It didn’t look corny, it didn’t look crappy and it didn’t make me laugh. The second, and more visual, transformation scene was good and yeah… at times it looked fake but it played out really good. The way he transformed looked really painful (kind of how American Werewolf in London looked) and they had a keen eye for detail. The design for the Wolfman was pretty damn creepy and pays some tribute to the original and Landis’ werewolf design. I know some people might be a little picky on how he runs on all fours but I found it appealing. Hell, even for me, the howl of the Wolfman was actually pretty terrifying.

I can’t really compare it to the original since it’s been a while since I saw the 1941 version but there are some similarities and some differences as always. The cane with the wolf head has been switched, for example. Many of you know that I am normally against remakes and on rare occasions I will actually enjoy a remake, this was a remake that I would see again and years to come. It’s not a fun remakes like Amityville Horror and My Bloody Valentine but a genuinely scary film. I was shocked when I saw that Joe Johnston directed this movie (I hated Jurassic Park III and Hidalgo) and even more shocked when I learned that Danny Elfman scored it. It doesn’t look or sound like either of their work, that I am aware of. I recommend this movie to any horror fan but please, don’t see it if you aren’t willing to set your remake differences aside. If you are willing to be open minded on it, you’d enjoy it better. They left it open for a continuation… but if we stay pure in heart and say our prayers by night maybe we can prevent a sequel from happening.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Paradise Profiles: Billy Loves Stu

Today’s profile is about a very unique individual to the horror blogging community. His name is Pax Romano and he owns the amazing horror blog: Billy Loves Stu. Now, this blog focuses on the homosexual and lesbian aspect of horror film and as funny as the blog title may sound… it is actually very relevant to his style. Honestly, I am a fan of Billy Loves Stu and I think Pax has a great blog set up here. This was probably one of the more insightful interviews that I have done.

What was the horror movie that got you started into horror?
When I was a kid, I watched all of those Universal Horror films with my dad. I was especially fond of Dracula. My Dad was (and still is) a big fan of the classic horror films and he helped me cultivate my love of the macabre. My mother, on the other hand, loved Science Fiction, and when I was very young she let me stay up with her to watch the original War of the Worlds – that movie just blew my mind. However it was not until I saw Night of the Living Dead, at the ripe old age of 10 that I was hooked on horror.

In your opinion, what makes horror stand out from the rest of the genres?
In the old days, seeing horror films was a communal experience. Everyone screamed, laughed and cringed together – it was a release. Good horror films seem to play on several different emotions and people react to that . Of course, let's face facts, we are all scared of dying, and I think when you scratch away everything else, that's what a horror film Is about, confronting our own mortality. That's not something you are going to get from an Adam Sandler film.

You are a very unique individual among the horror blogging community, do you think this blog will benefit young horror readers and provide them with a new outlook on some movies?
I hope so. I think that this generation is somewhat more open minded, and how can they not be? They've been exposed to so much more, and much earlier in life than the previous generations. I enjoy pointing out the more homosexual overtones in horror films, some of them are very subtle, while others, not so much (see A Nightmare on Elm Street II for instance).

What is your opinion on hidden homosexual/lesbian themes in horror movies?
I think a lot of movies (not just horror films) have had hidden homosexual themes in them. Filmmakers have probably felt restrained from laying all of their cards out, so they sneak around the obvious to make their point. In horror, it's a bit easier to mix sexual themes with the fantastic. Look at the slasher films from the 80's; they were nothing but puritanical morality tales; Mrs. Voorhees was the ultimate anti-sex crusader! And then, of course, her son continued her work. Michael Meyers also had a problem with people enjoying sex. Meanwhile, other films, especially vampire films, seemed to delve in deeper to the gay/lesbian vibe. A vampire could claim any member of any sex for him or her self and one could view it as not only a victimization, but as a sexual conquest. Of course, all of this is subjective.

Why did you want to start a blog and who inspired you to do so?
I began blogging in 2004. My original blog (Pax Romano's Ramblings), is still out there and I started it purely out of the anger I felt over the political climate of the time. It eventually became filled with a little bit of everything. I'll say one thing, that blog helped save my sanity on more than one occasion as it offered me a spot to rant over anything and everything and to do it anonymously.

Now, I know your blog title is referencing Scream but can you elaborate why you chose Scream out of all the other possible titles for your blog?
I knew these two guys when I was in college, both of them were, allegedly straight, and yet they were inseparable. It was as if they were joined at the hip. And then one of them got into some major trouble over a stolen car and a few other unsavory things. Well, when the shit hit the fan, it turned out that they were both involved and they sold out their friends, family and, respective, girlfriends. They had such blind devotion to each other it was crazy. I remember thinking to myself, “These guys love each other so much they'll throw anyone else under the bus rather than turn on the other”. Years later when I saw the movie Scream, Billy and Stu reminded me of them.

As a devoted horror fan and as a proud homosexual, do you often find these two things clashing?
Actually It's never been much of a conflict at all.

What is the biggest accomplishment you got out of this blog?
I am going to have a piece published in the upcoming Dark Scribe book, Butcher Knives and Body Counts.

What do you like to do in your spare time? How do you relax?
Blogging is relaxing. In my real life I have a very stressful job in social work, it's draining and soul sucking. Sitting down at my computer and posting some silly articles about horror films is a nice way to decompress. I also enjoy photography, reading, traveling, and Marx Brothers movies.

Check out his blog, again, by clicking here.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

In Memoriam: Jerry Goldsmith

(1929 - 2004)

Today marks the 81st birthday of composter Jerry Goldsmith. He died at the age of 75 but his legacy would live on forever. He has composed some of the most memorable and award winning scores of our time and I think, personally, he is one of my favorite composers next to John Williams. He composed the score to the sci-fi classic Star Trek, to Polanski’s Chinatown to the creepy and childish Poltergeist. He composed the scores for actions movies such as The Mummy, Total Recall, Alien, Legend and First Blood. However, I want to briefly talk about his notable horror scores.

Goldsmith was nominated for 17 different Academy Awards; making him one of the most nominated composers but the only Oscar that he would win would be for the ’76 horror film The Omen. He scored one for the horror team! His score for The Omen is biblical and epic; chanting "Sanguis bibimus, corpus edimus, tolle corpus Satani" and "Ave Versus Christus,” both of which are synonymous with Satan, which is fitting for The Omen. The choral aspects of this score are so haunting and so heavy that it sticks out from other horror scores.

As for the Poltergeist theme, well, its almost like a lullaby done in the same style that Krzysztof Komeda did for Rosemary’s Baby. It’s soft, it’s mellow, and it’s touching but very haunting. You can even hear how it’s almost a throwback to old Hollywood scores. It fits perfectly for a movie like this.

Then, taking a turn for the more comedic horror route, Goldsmith composed the scores for the Gremlins movies. The majority of this score was synth but I think that it fits for what the film is. The score is very high speed, very active and should not be taken seriously. It’s almost like a score for a big budget cartoon, which is what Gremlins, is, a life action cartoon.

With all this said, next to John Williams, I have a lot of Jerry Goldsmith CD’s and songs and he has been a real heavy, heavy influence on my writing and on my work. By listening to his scores I have gotten some of my best ides from and if I listen with an open mind, I can put myself right there in the movie. This was a man whose work will always be remembered and to me, he will never be forgotten.

Rest In Peace Jerry Goldsmith.

My favorite scores by Goldsmith:
The Mummy
The Omen
The Twilight Zone: The Movie
Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Total Recall
Looney Toons: Back in Action
The ‘Burbs
L.A. Confidential

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Contact - Review and Interview

I was approached yesterday to watch a very low budget independent movie known as Contact. Director Jeremiah Kipp asked me if I would watch Contact and review it for my blog or if I would be interested in doing an interview with him and lead actress Zoe Daelman Chlanda. Well, I told him that I would do both… yes, I am not only going to review his movie, but also interview both the director and the lead actress. This has been a first for me.

Contact opens up with and mother and father anticipating the arrival of someone as they get ready for dinner or lunch. The bulk of the story is told in flashback and we see a young woman with a young man buy drugs from somebody and after taking a few hits of the unknown drug substance, the young couple are in for way more than they expected. They are flung into a world of paranoia, horror, nudity and confusion. “Drugs, nudity, gore, psychotronic violence...we went for it!” says Kipp.

The film is beautifully shot in black and white and gives the atmosphere a nourish tone and it gives the audience a sense of fear and discomfort. The film can easily pass as black and white silent film and people would still understand what is going on. The actors and actresses heavily rely on physical communication and they do it quit well and they seem to really grasp their characters. The drug scene itself is filled with beautiful threatening imagery that accents the mood of the whole film. It’s disorienting and frightening at the same time. This movie has one of the most horrifying kisses that I ever saw in a horror movie… I was taken aback by it. Overall, the directing is great, the camera work is stark and the editing is crisp; it’s the textbook definition of an experimental art house movie and I really enjoyed it.

To view the movie, please click here.

Now, as for the interview, I wanted to conserve some space for all the questions so I asked five questions each and they were pretty hard to narrow down. There was so much that I wanted to ask. Here is my interview with Director, Jeremiah Kipp.

What were your influences in coming up with a story about drugs and nudity?
Do you know the great Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky, who made that incredible 1960s acid western masterpiece EL TOPO. He once said that the only possibility of freedom and poetry was in the horror film. I also suspect he was blown out of his mind on peyote much of the time. But drugs, in the horror film, are a way of expanding the possibilities, so we’re moving beyond the so-called normal world into a strange new world where anything is possible. As for nudity, I consider it part of the fabric of the movie. These characters create a very sensual experience for themselves before is slips into a bad trip, leaving them vulnerable.

Why black and white?
We were hoping to pare everything down to the essential, reducing the script, characters, images, everything, and when nothing is left, you realize the fewer elements you involve in a film, the stronger it becomes. Black and white was a way of making the film spare—creating a sense of awe and hallucination we do not associate with reality. It has an ethereal quality, don’t you think? Some people say they dream in black and white.

Have you always been into psychological horror?
I’m very interested in people, because the more you come to know someone, the more mysterious they become. We’re very frightened a lot of the time, which causes us to be inhibited when we are with others. This, to me, is a source of great horror and tension, and if you push those elements to the most extreme, or the most grotesque, you can potentially achieve very emotional, harrowing scenes in the psychological horror film.

Were there any differences between Contact and The Pod?
CONTACT was a reboot of THE POD, which was twice as long and cost twenty times as much to make. The earlier film has a different set of characters, with a woman pursuing her lover into the night, and they are both alone while they take the drug and frightened to be tripping out in the streets. But it feels more like prose, whereas CONTACT is a poem—and poems express metaphor in just a few lines, a few images, and they are purely visual and tactile.

You were directing a movie that had barley any use of dialogue, was it hard to direct physical emotion?
We very much enjoyed working on a movie told more through physical action than dialogue. Also, we had actors who have a kind of marked charisma that reads onscreen. My wonderful producer, Alan Rowe Kelly, has a keen eye for talent; he reminds me of one of those old school Hollywood masterminds like David O. Selznick who is able to discover actors with a unique star quality. He found Zoë Daelman Chlanda and made her the lead in his feature I’LL BURY YOU TOMORROW, where she made a tremendous impression on me. And she’s quite a chameleon, a kind of beautiful and glamorous variation on Lon Chaney, where she can transform into many different roles, while retaining her singular allure. When you have an actress like her, one look or gesture is loaded with meaning; and working without dialogue in fact allows us the freedom to be more expressive. I hasten to add that Alan is also an actor, and I cast him as the mysterious drug dealer in CONTACT because he too has this effervescent quality we see in someone like, say, Barbara Stanwyck or James Cagney, exuding a kind of sexy danger that is captivating. I felt lucky to work with all of these actors: Katherine O’Sullivan, Tom Reid, Danny Lopes from SATAN’S PLAYGROUND and the fantastic playwright and performer Robb Leigh Davis. If we are to discuss physical emotion, it is all about the dynamic energy of these wonderful actors.

Kipp was also very nice to let me have a chance to speak with the lead actress Zoe Chlanda, whose performance really highlighted the movie (along with her co-star Robb Leigh Davis). Both of their performances were captivating and very believable.

Did you want to be an actress? If so, who inspired you?
I’ve always wanted to be an actress, one way or another. I like performing. My parents took me to the ballet often as a child. I begged them for dance lessons and I was enrolled in ballet school on my fifth birthday. To me, ballet (dance in general) is acting without using words. As I got older and realized the physical and mental demands of a ballet career, and that it was short lived, I started thinking about becoming an actor. I could utilize my voice and do it until the day I died (if I wanted to). I enrolled in acting classes soon after college.

How did you come across Kipp and Contact?
I met Jeremiah Kipp on the set of Alan Rowe Kelly’s THE BLOOD SHED. We drove to and from the set together every day and really got to know one another during the rides. We then collaborated on a few other film projects. I like working with Jeremiah immensely. He is honest, direct, and gets the best film there is out of a project. He’s relentless in getting the best performances out of his actors. And, I think it inspires everyone on the set, because he’s not just asking it from us, he is doing it himself. His example is clear.

What was the most demanding thing that came out of the role that you played?
Certainly shooting the drug taking and its effects was mentally and physically demanding. Jeremiah made it as comfortable as possible that day (very few people on set, a very focused set) but nonetheless, it was exhausting. I also found the last scene of the movie demanding. Koreen returns home, her hopes for herself and her life diminished. That was an agonizing decision for my character—to return home. Although safe, it is in its own way a life sentence. She tried to fly and crashed. I don’t know if Koreen will ever have the strength to try and live life again on her own terms. It took everything she had the first go-round. She might be home to stay, to live out her parents’ idea of what her life should be like. What a retreat. A huge failure.

What are you feelings on the character that you played?
I am so sad for Koreen. I was thrilled for her during most of the film. It was a wonderful time in her life—she was spreading her wings—living and loving on her own terms. Not worried about the past or future, but simply very involved in the moment. She was really following her heart. What a wonderful place for one to be in! Unfortunately she hit quite a big speed bump. I think she was so knocked off course that she may never fully recover. I don’t think she can/will gather the strength or courage needed to again attempt venturing out on her own. It is a matter of choosing that which you know (and Koreen knows she is not fulfilled) rather than taking a chance on the unknown. Pretty sad.

How was it working with co-star Robb Davis?
Working with Robb was wonderful. He is such a giving actor. It was easy falling in love with him. I certainly hope we work together again in the future. Robb is multi-talented; he not only acts, but is the Founder and Artistic Director of Blakkapricorn Productions, which is a multimedia production house.

This concludes my little ‘double-feature’ article on Contact. Honestly, I really enjoyed making this post and I really enjoyed conversing with Jeremiah and Zoe. It was a blast watching their indie film and I hope to see more from those two in the near future.

For more information on Jeremiah Kipp, click here.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Top 10 Beautifully Shot Horror Movies

So recently I have been listening to a lot of FHP (FearShop Horror Podcast) and while listening to Mike and Frank talk back and forth I noticed that Mike has an eye for ‘beautifully shot films.’ Frank, however, seems to not care as much about the look of the film but rather the entertainment value. So, I approached Mike and asked him if he would be interested in writing a little piece for me on his top ten beautifully shot horror movies.

Top Ten Beautifully Shot Horror Movies
By FearShop Mike (Owner of and host of the Horror Podcast)

Some movies capture you early on and leave you staring at the screen mesmerized by its beauty. These movies are sometimes littered with flaws, but you can see past these flaws and love it for its beauty. Here are ten films that I think are just beautiful. Keep in mind, this is not my top ten movies by any means, but if you want beauty, look no further.

10. Twitch of the Death Nerve (Bay of Blood) (Mario Bava, 1971)
Hundreds of movies stole entire scenes and the slasher film formula off of this classic, making this not only one of Bava’s most bloody and beautiful films, but also one of his most influential. Check it out and see entire scenes that were copied in Friday the 13th.

9. Eyes Without a Face (Georges Franju, 1960)
Such a macabre and surreal story that was never really meant to be a horror story, but more so a tale of anguish. This was French horror before it was cool to be French horror.

8. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
The Shining is normally on a lot of top ten lists of horror movies, but for some reason, it gets no love for its beauty. While this is probably my favorite movie on this list,

7. Antichrist (Lars von Trier, 2009)
I shutter to put Antichrist on this list because I worry that people who may not know about it may want to see it. One thing that I can guarantee is that you will only ever see it once. With that begin said, it is art at its best in the genre.

6. Cemetery Man (Dellamorte Dellamore) (Michele Soavi, 1994)
It is very hard to say that this movie is more beautiful than Anna Falchi (She), but as hot as she is in this movie, the movie really is shot beautifully. Michele Soavi was a protege of Dario Argento and it shows with this masterpiece. The plot of the film is relatively simple, but it is done so well.

5. Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (Werner Herzog, 1979)
Klaus Kinski plays Dracula wonderfully bringing sympathy to the role of such a wonderful character. I honestly think that you have to put Kinski in the conversation of best Dracula performers with Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee.

4. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (David Lee Fisher, 2005)
This is one of the finer horror remakes out there. Of course, the original is a classic, but I actually prefer this remake. Shot entirely on green screen, they were able to reuse many of the original movie’s backgrounds while add some new camera angle. This was a true labor of love.

3. Subspecies (Ted Nicolaou, 1991)
Anders Hove, as the villainous Radu, is the type of fiendish demonic monster that all vampires should be. Filmed in the city of Bucharest and the Transylvania region of Romania, Subspecies was one of the first films shot in post-Soviet Romania and many of the locations would go on to be used in a number of Full Moon productions.

2. Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson, 2008)
This seems like the obvious choice for number one, but I am rarely one to go with the mainstream. It is a beautifully crafted tale of friendship and love told from the viewpoint of a little boy and his new female vampire friend. It is a unique take on vampires and young relationships.

1. Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)
Suspiria earned director Dario Argento the title of master of horror, one he proudly holds to this day. The film really is fine art. It is visceral, powerful and beautiful. It really is everything that makes a horror movie horror."

Raymond Did It (2010)

Travis Legge approached me the other day to post a press release about a new horror indie horror film called Raymond Did It. I met Travis on a small, closely-knit horror forum and I agreed to post updates on his film. Here is the synopsis:

Raymond Did It is a slasher film in the tradition of Halloween and Prom Night. When twelve-year-old Bryce Rourke is accidentally killed in a playground scuffle, his friends decide to blame Bryce's developmentally delayed older brother for the accident. Raymond is taken to a state hospital while the true killer walks free. Six years later, Raymond escapes from the hospital to seek bloody revenge for his brother's death.

Raymond Did It is written and directed by Travis Legge (Jimmy's Basement, Nation Undead: Kept)

Rounding out the production team on Raymond Did It are Visual Supervisor and Camera Operator Tim Stotz and Picture Editor Robert J. Williams.
Tim Stotz has been a professional video producer for over a decade, with hundreds of commercials, several shorts, and a feature under his belt. His work can be found at

Robert J. Williams is a freelance assistant editor and aspiring picture editor working mainly out of the Chicago area. He recently cut the trailer for a highly anticipated 2011 feature and assisted on a National PBS Documentary Special.

Raymond Did It stars Kyle Hoskins (Skeet Shooting, Nation Undead: Kept) as a developmentally delayed man framed for murder and bent on vengeance. Lindsay Felton (VH1 Scream Queens, Grind) co-stars as Tammy, a young woman tormented by guilt for what she and her friends did to Raymond. Also joining the cast are Valerie Meachum (Cyrus) and Linda Cieslik (New Day).

Plastic Age Productions is currently seeking additional investors and distribution for Raymond Did It. Interested parties should contact writer/director Travis Legge at for more information.

Actors interested in available roles should check out the casting call available online at Raymond Did It is slated to begin principal photography in June 2010.

Honestly, I am actually pretty excited to see this movie. I’ve talked to Travis and he said that he would be able to hook me up with a screener of this so, once the film is released… look for a review of it.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Horror Podcasts

Today’s post will be an ongoing thing and I will be discussing my favorite horror podcasts. As many of you guys may know, by following my tweets, that I love listening to horror podcasts at night when I am bored. Hell, I even quote some of the things that I hear on the podcast. Even as I write this I am listening to the Cadaver Lab Horror Podcast. Well, I recently asked a question on Twitter, asking if there are any horror podcasts that people listen to. Well, I was given a good dozen of them and some of them have now made my favorites list. So, without further explanation… I give you my favorite horror podcasts.

NOTE: This is not a top 5 list.

Radio Disgusting
Yeah, Bloody Disgusting is one of the top dogs in horror news but their hosts (Tex Massacre, Horror Guy and David Harley) are so funny and the chemistry they have together is so entertaining that I never once got bored by their discussions. Plus, a majority of their opinions I can actually agree with. They have awesome guests and they don’t give a fuck about what they say on the air.

FearShop Horror Podcast
Your hosts Frank and Mike, from, host this wonderful podcast. I love it because their banter and bickering back and forth make the podcast so much more enjoyable. Mike being the person who looks at film from an analytical point of view and Frank being the person who looks at the film from a typical moviegoer point of view. Two opposites that have great radio personalities.

The Midnight Podcast
I am a noob when it comes to this podcast but as I started to listen to the podcast, I came to enjoy it and the host… Corey… was a great personality and he taught me a few things about the zombie genre. However, on January 22nd, Corey decided to stop doing the podcast because of some backlash he received. I love this podcast, just because it’s gone doesn’t mean you should not listen to the old episodes. They are great.

Night of the Living Podcast
Now several people host this podcast, several people who are extremely funny, very analytical and very entertaining. They are: Amy, Andy, Chriseck, Erica, Freddy and Kelley. Why do I love this podcast: because it’s so quotable and they really make some great points about horror.

Shu-Izmz Radio
Hosted by Chicago’s own Bryan Schuessler (who also writes for Horror Society), he reviews a good number of horror movies and he’s pretty damn funny. Honestly, I enjoy his podcast and I listen to him almost all the time. He has a great personality, a lot of times he doesn’t give a fuck and he has a great taste in horror. Give this guy a listen.

Dinner With Fiends
I only listened to one episode of this podcast (hosted by Uncle Creepy, Andrew Kasch and two other guys) and I immediately could not restrain myself from quoting every line in that who. I was not aware that Dread Central had it’s own podcast but it’s hysterical the hosts are extremely enjoyable to listen to. I had a blast from start to finish.

Cadaver Lab Horror Podcast
This podcast is a little milder at times but I enjoy it. From hosts Mike and Sam, they get in depth about horror and it’s a great listen for those really quiet nights. Highly recommended.

Now, there are several more that I did not list and there are several more that I was given but these are my personal favorites and the reasons why I love them. I suggest that you check those out and check out the ones that I did not list… also, if you have any that I did not list, please tell me. I will have links to all these podcasts along the right-hand side of the blog.

Dead Lantern: Splattercast
Horror Etc
Arrow in the Head: Blood, Bullets and Broads
Mail Order Zombie
Goreboy Radio
The Gentlemen's Grindhouse
Rotting Flesh Radio
Rue-Morgue Radio
Drunken Zombie
Dead Pixels

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Happy 70th George A. Romero

It is February 4th, 2010 a very special day to all horror fans alike. Today marks the 70th birthday of George A. Romero: The father of modern zombie movies. Rather than to go on a lecture about this man’s history and what he accomplished, I want to talk about what his movies have meant for me and how they have inspired me to become the person that I am. Every movie from his cult classic Night of the Living Dead to the more recent Diary of the Dead has inspired and opened my eyes to a whole new world of filmmaking.

Night of the Living Dead was the first horror movie that I saw and because of it I began my infatuation with zombie movies. I rented out all the classic zombie films and I loved each and every one of them. When I saw Dawn of the Dead, I noticed how bloody zombies movies could be and though I was disgusted seeing people getting devoured, I was strangely captivated by it. I could not take my eyes off of it. I had then skipped to Land of the Dead and saw it in theaters and it blew my mind away… I was so enthralled in the movie that I was in my own little world. To me, Land of the Dead reassured me that George A. Romero was one of my personal favorite horror movie directors. Then, I finally saw Day of the Dead and just the way that the whole movie played out sent shivers down my spine. It’s my favorite movie in the whole series because of one thing: Bub the zombie. Yes, in this movie he turned the tables on us and made us sympathize for zombies and made us into the villains. It didn’t hit me until freshman year high school that I was a die hard zombie fan and my teacher/mentor told me this, “If you haven’t seen Day of the Dead, rent it, give it a shot, you seem like the person who is a great Romero zombie fan.” It was an awakening.

As for his other work, I have not seen the original Crazies in a long time and since then I forgot what the experience was for me. However, I absolutely loved Martin and how awkward the whole movie seems. Then, two of my personal favorite horror movie superstars came together to deliver one of the best anthology horror movies ever… Stephen King and George Romero for Creepshow. I fell in love. And Monkey Shines, a lot of people laugh at the concept but in all honesty, it is a pretty terrifying movie and for me to showed me that you can take any funny concept and turn it into an original and frightening horror movie.

Simply put, this man has revolutionized cinema and revolutionized the idea of the modern zombie and provided inspiration for horror filmmakers alike. He has given all of us what a zombie should do, how a zombie should act and what it should even look like… he developed a cult following the is equal to that of the fan-base of Star Wars or Star Trek. Books have been written about him, film specialists all over the world study his films and he changed the face of racism in film. He has been there since the beginning of my horror film quest and he has given me inspiration to go out there and make my dreams possible. For that, I wish you, George A. Romero, a happy 70th birthday!!!! You truly are a master.

“I don't think you need to spend $40 million to be creepy. The best horror films are the ones that are much less endowed.”
- George A. Romero

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Amazing Fewdio and the Daywalt Fear Factory

Today I have finally gotten around to watching a couple of really good horror shorts on YouTube that a lot of people were talking about. These horror shorts came to the to you by Fewdio Horror and the very talented Drew Daywalt (and occasionally co-director David Schneider) The reason why I am making this post is because I have heard a lot about Bedfellows and then I realized that it was too long since I actually neglected to give Fewdio an article on my site. So, I decided to post up my favorite short horror movies by Fewdio and why I love them. However, I realized that there are way too many good horror shorts by Fewdio so it was very tough to actually lower the list down to five.

The Easter Bunny is Eating My Candy

It’s Easter and there’s something terrifying in the house, and it’s not the Easter Bunny… or is it?
Out of the ones the shorts that I saw, I really liked this one the most because it’s dark and I didn’t expect it. Half of me expected to see a mutated Easter Bunny but not an imposter. Plus, I don’t like those psychopathic home invader movies. They freak me out.


This was also a really good movie because again, it surprised me. Not surprised in the sense of being scared but in the story direction. I don’t want to spoil anything for anybody but one character in the movie dies and I didn’t think that would happen. It’s also a story that, if you really look closely at it, it’s a plea to respect homemade dummies.


Horror always follows the phone that rings in the middle of the night…
This was the short that started this whole post. I actually jumped when the ending hit and much like the home-invader movies, films that deal with ‘things’ in the bed have always struck a nerve with me. I used to have nightmares like this.

Vargel Geroth, Monster from Hell

I really enjoyed this one because it’s a horror comedy. The first act you are anticipating something and you’re waiting for that kill. The second act is pretty damn funny and you realize that the anticipation was a waste. The third act blindsides you and makes you jump out of your seat and at the same time causes you to laugh a little.


Does driving along at night give you the creeps? It will now.
I love this movie simply because of how simple the storyline is. Throughout the whole movie you are waiting for something, and one of the lines alludes to what might possibly happen. However, the scare in this movie is so satisfying because it really uses the audience’s attention to its advantage.

Of course, Dew Daywalt doesn’t just work for Fewdio but he has his own production company known as The Daywalt Fear Factory. Now, the YouTube page doesn’t have much on it but it does have three short films that I saw.

Fridge Monster

Terror lurks behind closed doors.
This was a fun movie that I thought had a very original story to it. I enjoyed how the story was told in voice over and the little scare at the end startled me a little. Hell, I even love the idea of monster living in a fridge.


What kind of cosmic events do we trigger when we mete out our own justice?
This one, honestly, wasn’t my absolute favorite. It had great acting and I liked the idea of a darker Groundhog’s Day though.

Suicide Girl

A young woman’s suicide video acts as a catalyst for horror from behind the grave.
This film is like Carrie meets The Ring. I would have said Feardotcom but that movie was shit. This film, however, was really good and really moody. One scene in particular was nerve racking and I wanted to scream at the computer.

All in all, I want to show my appreciation for what Fewdio and The Daywalt Fear Factory have contributed to online/indie horror filmmaking. Their movies are so simple in terms of story yet they evoke a great level of fear for the audience. It’s indie short filmmaking at it’s best and they make movies not because they have to or to try to out-beat others, but simply because they have a love for horror and because they want to. The entire Fewdio team and Drew Daywalt are all very talented people and I cannot wait for more short movies.

Also, don’t’ forget to check out Drew Daywalt’s new web series Camera Obscure, coming soon early this year. View the official trailer for Camera Obscure by clicking here.

Official Fewdio website.
Official Fewdio YouTube channel.
Official Fewdio Twitter.
Official Daywalt Fear Factory YouTube channel.
Official Twitter for Dew Daywalt

Monday, February 1, 2010

Review - The Mist (2007) by Craig Taylor

As many of you already know, I encourage my readers to submit in reviews or articles for me to publish on the bog. Today’s post is a guest review by Craig Taylor (agent_achilles on Twitter) who is a huge horror fan. He saw one of my favorite Stephen King adapted movies… The Mist. Here is his review of it.

"One of my favorite horror films is The Mist. This Stephen King adaptation was directed by Frank Darabont (thank goodness) and is one of the best films based on a King story. You had everything that you want in a horror film: gore, good storytelling, solid characters and scary moments. Horror movies have been a little lackluster during the last several years. Some stories were promising but fell short upon viewing. Seems as though I was disappointed more often than not. Being a child of the 80's, I was witness to many great and original horror movies. In the last decade to 15 years, the horror genre has had more remakes than I care to count. I just wanted something fresh and scary... well this is one of those movies. The story is pretty simple. A freak storm unleashes a strange mist throughout a small Maine town. The lead character David (played by Thomas Jane) takes his son Billy and his neighbor Brent Norton to a local supermarket. They notice some 3 military men approached by another soldier who orders them to come out to his vehicle. All of a sudden the shoppers heard the Klaxon alarm blaring and then one of the local men runs into the store with a bloodied face screaming "there's something in the mist!!" By this point the shoppers in the supermarket are still not understanding what's going on but soon realize the mist has reached the store and the local man shouts about something in the mist took people. Soon the story creates divisions among the shoppers.

David seeing how far someone can walk out safely in the mist.

David and a few men go to the loading dock to check the generator (David heard noises outside the bay door). Foolishly and against David's advice the men open the bay door and the bag boy gets attacked by giant tentacles with teeth that devours things. The tentacles pull him out of the dock and to a horrible death. The characters are in shock and are wondering "what the hell kind of creature has tentacles like that?" When David and the other men tell the folks in market about the ordeal, people start taking sides about whether to believe the story about monsters and how to deal with the crisis. One of the sides belong to Mrs. Carmody (played wonderfully by Marcia Gay Harden) who is a super religious outcast. She claims to the entire store that this is the sign of the end of times God is punishing us). She begins to recruit others to her twisted views. As her 'teachings' become more violent and speak of human sacrifice to appease God, David must decide if it is more dangerous to stay in the supermarket or out into the mist with creatures beyond imagination.

The movie has great pace and kept me glued to it the whole way. I live in Maine actually not too far from where the story took place and I think the movie captures the small town feel. You get wrapped up in the characters and the sides that they take. There are very powerful scenes and I think they were interwoven with horror and gore seamlessly. You go for a rollercoaster ride watching this movie (and I have only described the first act). The ending will shock you. It is one of the most unthinkable ways to end the film- you definitely will be surprised. So if you want an intelligent and scary movie to watch… check out The Mist and if you have seen it already… pop in that DVD for a repeat fun ride."