Authors you should know: Brian Keene

Posted in Books and Magazines on October 19, 2010 by jamesdunn81

A couple of years ago my brother and I (like always) began talking about our plans for the up coming zombie apocalypse. This quickly lead to talks of our favorite zombie flicks, directors, fast vs slow zombies (slow zombies all the way) and different zombie books we have read. He mentioned reading a book called The Rising by Brian Keene (www.brainkeene.com), he said it was one of the most horrific books he has read and highly recommended it to me. Of course I took him on it and and read it. The book was amazing! The premise of the story has to do with a dad traveling to find his son in the zombie apocalypse. I won’t get into it much further than that for I have a bad habit of ruining things. The book also has a sequel called City of the Dead which is just as good as The Rising.

Now granted this was a couple of years ago when I read those books. Last week at Half Priced Books (that place is a treasure trove of all kinds of great shit!) I came across a couple of Brian Keenes other books. Remembering how great his other books were I decided what the hell, I will pick up a couple since I loved the fuck out of  The Rising and City of the Dead. I ended up buying Urban Gothic and Darkness on the Edge of Town.

When I got home and dove into them I couldn’t stop. I finished one in one night and the other the next. Think of Urban Gothic as something like this. Take Wes Cravens The People Under The Stairs and run it through the ultra violence of the film Inside and throw that into The Decent. It sounds crazy but it is an amazing read.

In all I highly recommend you check out his work. I wouldn’t be surprised if in the future a couple of his books en up becoming movies. I would seriously rank his work up there with Stephen King and the violence and macabre of Clive Barker.  Rue-Morgue magazine said he was “One of horror’s most impressive new literary talents.” Which is something to be very proud of. So please do yourself a favor, before October is over go find one of his books and dig into. I promise you will not sleep well that night. www.briankeene.com

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Clip of the Day! Behind the scenes footage of The Prowler (1981)

Posted in Clip of the Day! on October 11, 2010 by jamesdunn81

Great Stuff!

31 Days of Halloween!

Posted in Events on October 10, 2010 by jamesdunn81

Well it was bound to happen sooner or later. If you haven’t herd of what this is, shame on you! 31 Days of Halloween is where you watch a horror film everyday in October. Well, this year I have decided I will watch only flicks I haven’t seen before. That means none of the staple films that come along when people think of scary movies. No Jaws, Friday the 13th, Night of the Living Dead, Amityville Horror etc. Need lees to say Halloween and Trick’r Treat will be watched of course on the 31st, but that shouldn’t count towards your 31 new films.

I have been wanting to do this for the past couple of years and kinda of started this year by mistake. I started cleaning out my instant cue on Netflix and realized I have been watching new horror flicks (for bad or worse) everyday since the first of the month. So now I will continue to do so and post them here for you to check out. Here are the first ten flicks I have watched…

1. Tales of Terror (1962) Vincent Price. Nuff said.

It’s a triple threat of terror from the master of the genre: Edgar Allan Poe. This collection of three films — The Black Cat, Morella and The Case of M. Valdemar — offers everything horror fans can’t get enough of, from murder and dementia to live burials, open tombs, resurrection and zombies. And with three of horrordom’s greatest villains (Vincent Price, Peter Lorre and Basil Rathbone) in the lead roles, the chills are guaranteed.

2. Masters of Horror: Season 2 The Washingtonians a.k.a. the biggest piece of crap I have seen in a while (2007)

Director Peter Medak rewrites history in unimaginable ways by proposing that George Washington — the celebrated father of our country — was actually a homicidal maniac. Originally released as an episode of the “Masters of Horror” series, this chilling tale takes poetic license in exploring the roots of the Washington family tree, even positing that the former president used those trademark wooden teeth for eating something other than all-American apple pie.

3. The Church (1989)

A priest (Hugh Quarshie) and a young girl (Asia Argento) are all that stand between the world and a torrent of satanic forces in this creepy tale from Italian horror maven Michele Soavi. In the 13th century, the crusading Knights Templar slaughtered a village of suspected devil worshippers and erected a grandiose cathedral atop the corpses. But the opening of a sealed crypt 700 years later unleashes their unholy spirits inside the church.

4. Somtimes They Come Back (1991) Surprisingly decent

Based on a story by novelist Stephen King, this Heartland-set chiller stars Tim Matheson as high school teacher Jim Norman, who returns to his quiet hometown only to find himself haunted by malign spirits spawned by a tragedy from his childhood. With his students expiring — and ghouls of thugs past showing up in their place — Norman realizes the horror won’t stop until he sends his tormentors back to their graves, or further

5. Masters of Horror Dario Argento: Pelts (2006) Gore! Gore! Gore!

Sleazy fur trader Jake Feldman (Meat Loaf) will do just about anything for a quality skin. When Jake crosses paths with a trapper (John Saxon) offering raccoon pelts, he jumps at the chance to score big bucks and win a stripper’s heart. Little does Jake know that the supernatural furs wield bloody revenge upon anyone who covets them. This very different kind of skin flick is the 19th episode of the hit Showtime series.

6. It’s Alive (1974)

Blending gore and giggles, director Larry Cohen’s cult classic follows Frank and Lenore Davis (John P. Ryan and Sharon Farrell), an ordinary couple who produce an extraordinary baby — a fanged mutant that sets off on a killing spree to survive. Determined to destroy the child, an anguished Frank joins a citywide hunt for the little monster but suddenly has second thoughts and defends his hideous offspring. Guy Stockwell also stars.

7. Prime Evil (1988)

In exchange for immortality, an ancient sect of satanic monks agrees to honor their dark lord with a blood sacrifice every 13 years. But in the modern era, finding bodies for the altar is not so easy. Setting up shop in New York City, the devil worshippers search for their next ceremonial victim. William Beckwith stars as the leader of the cult, and Mavis Harris is the nun who’s on to his diabolical deeds.

8. The Burrowers (2008)

When the men on a pioneer homestead are brutally murdered and the women and children go missing, a posse sets out to find them, assuming they’ve been abducted by Indians. But the truth turns out to be much more horrific. As they find more bodies, it soon becomes clear that something from beneath the ground is brutally attacking humans. Clancy Brown, William Mapother and Sean Patrick Thomas star in this horror film set in the Wild West.

9. Isolation (2005)

On a desolate farm in the Irish countryside, destitute Dan Reilly (John Lynch) — in return for cold cash — allows his heifers to be part of a genetic study intended to boost bovine fertility and beef output … until the experiment goes awry. When one of his cows spawns lethal mutants, Dan and a few other unlucky folks suffer the repercussions of meddling with nature in this unsettling chiller also starring Essie Davis and Marcel Iures.

10. Vampire Circus (1972) HAMMER HORROR!

Years after slaying ravenous vampire Count Mitterhaus, residents of a small European village are quarantined by plague, but their boredom is relieved by the arrival of a circus. Their joy turns to terror when the big top unleashes an ancient evil. Hoping to revive Count Mitterhaus and fulfill his dying curse upon the villagers, the vampires operating the circus wreak bloody vengeance until a schoolmaster uncovers their identities.

Clip of the Day! Halloween III Season of the Witch(1982)

Posted in Clip of the Day! on October 9, 2010 by jamesdunn81

Don’t mess with that! Shhhhhhhhhhhhiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!

Jack Pierce and the Monster Makers of Universal.

Posted in Misc. on October 9, 2010 by jamesdunn81

Growing up I was always quite fond of monsters. More so, I loved the Universal Monsters. I was enthralled with everything about them. The castles, the costumes, the atmosphere and most of all, the makeup. I think I loved the idea of making a monster the most. Starting off with nothing and creating a hulking terrifying creature that will know no bounds is something terrifyingly astounding.

It wasn’t actually until my freshmen year of high school that I started to read about the craft of special effects make-up. I remember that summer watching a ton of classic flicks and waiting till the credits rolled and looked for who did the make-up in these creepy films. I was hooked. These men actually created my favorite monsters that haunted me when I was younger. Needless to say, from then on I wanted to be a monster maker like Jack Pierce, Dick Smith and Lon Chaney, but sadly I never got around to pursuing it.

One make-up artist that will always stand out in my eyes is Jack Pierce. Fans of the Universal Monster films will always hold his name in reverence. He is the one man who gave us such great monsters: The Mummy, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man and last but not least The Invisible Man. What really stands out to me is that back in the 30’s and 40’s is when he made these truly terrifying monsters with tools that we would look back now as primitive. They didn’t have molds of the actors face, so each and every day they had to sit down to apply and then take off the make-up all while trying their best to make it look just like the day before, brutal!

It makes me feel great that artists like Greg Nicotero and KNB FX are stepping up a filling these giant shoes that these artists once walked in. These artists are giving kids and adults alike new nightmares and monsters to sit through with every film that they make. Through them, the spirit of these artists live on today, not only through the great masterpieces that they have created, but also through new artists they have inspired through countless films and theater work they have done. Well done Jack Pierce, your work still makes me feel great to be a monster kid.

Why late night television will never be the same. Remembering USA’s Up All Night, USA’s Saturday Nightmares and TNT’s MonsterVision

Posted in Lost Classics on September 28, 2010 by jamesdunn81

You know, sitting down and watching television now isn’t quite all that enjoyable compared to when I was a kid. Maybe that can be said about allot of things. But growing up with kick ass cable shows made every evening feel like a night at the movies.

I remember having Rhonda Shear with USA’s Up All Night talk to me about her favorite flicks like Return to Horror High, 976-Evil and Chopping Mall. I loved how not only I eagerly awaited these shows but felt such a connection with these great and sometimes awesomely bad movies. Even though it only ran from 86-98, their are allot of us out there who truly appreciate having another late nite show us flicks that would normally ever see the light of day. Here are some videos I found of USA’s Up All Night.

Sticking with the USA channel, they also had another great show called Saturday Nightmares. I honestly think that for a period of time USA was way ahead of its time. It had kick ass programing on a daily basis and had great shows for us monster movie insomniacs. The show ran from the late 80’s to the early 90’s. I wanna say it came on around 9pm, but I could be wrong. One thing I really dug about USA’s Saturday Nightmare was that they showed episodes of The Hitchhiker, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Ray Bradbury Theater and thats on top of the movies they showed. On a side note, I HIGHLY recommend you watching these shows. They are truly amazing and gems of the genre.

Some of the flicks I remember seeing are The Video Dead, Twice Dead (which needs to come out on dvd!), Halloween II and House. I will forever remember being taken down a hallway with murals of Frankenstein, Dracula, Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers and Freddy Krueger. Ahhhhh USA network, I don’t care what you have become now, but you will always have a place inside my heart.

Last but not least, we come to one of my favorite shows of all time. TNT’s MonsterVision. Hosted by the one and only Joe Bob Briggs, TNT’s MonsterVision ran from the early 90’s all the way to 2000. One thing that really made this show stand up and beyond every other show was the way Joe Bob Briggs broke down the flicks, which he usually showed two a night. Briggs would host the segments from inside and outside a trailer and was visited by his mail girl, Rusty, who is very easy on the eyes. Before each film, Briggs would usually give the “drive-in totals,” a list of what he considers the high points of the movie. For example, in his introduction to Phantasm II, Briggs said:
“Twelve dead bodies. Exploding house. One four-barreled sawed-off shotgun. Dwarf tossing. Ten breasts. (Of course, those are scissored out of the TNT version). Embalming needles plunged through various parts of various bodies. One motor-vehicle chase, with crash-and-burn. Ear-lopping. Forehead-drilling. Wrist-hacking. Bimbo-flinging. Grandma-bashing. Devil sex. ( I laughed so hard when he said that.) Crematorium Fu. Flamethrower Fu … Four stars. Check it out.”

MonsterVision would occasionally stray from horror and science fiction in showing western, blaxploitation, kung-fu, dramas, comedies and other film genres. But one thing that made this show great was I throughly enjoyed all the flicks. If its one thing Joe Bob Briggs knows, its movies, and that sir is no lie. Bottom line, cable television will never be the same. I really think its a damn shame we don’t have shows like these anymore late at night. Television will never be cool again. Thats the truth.

HAPPY FRIDAY THE 13TH!

Posted in Events on August 13, 2010 by jamesdunn81

In celebration of the birthday of my favorite slasher. Here is why this man is one mean mother! Oh, and have a terror-ific Friday the 13th!