Monday, November 1, 2010

SCARE-A-THON 2010 Final Results!

Here's the entire list, fellow fiends. Thanks so much for all your support throughout the Challenge - it made it easier to keep showing up. I've included some sorta kinda interesting recap data at the bottom (well, interesting to OCD folks like myself)

1st Time Views: 33
Repeat views: 49
Total Films: 82

Total Money raised for Season of Concern: $1550

Shortest Movie: THE MUMMY’S GHOST (61 min)
Longest Movie: THE EXORCIST (122 min)
Average Length: 86.9 min
Total Length: 7129 min (118.82 hours / 4.95 days)

Oldest Movie: DRACULA (1931)
Most Recent Movie: THE WOLFMAN (2010)

Monday, October 25, 2010

October Horror Movie Challenge 10/22 - 10/24


Nothin’. BOO. BOOOOO!!!


Cult of the Cobra (1955)
(1st viewing) d. Lyon, Francis D. 82 min

*********CHALLENGE COMPLETED AT 8:55PM CST**********

Saturday, October 2, 2010

October Horror Movie Challenge - 10/1

Mama Dracula (1980) (1st viewing) d. Szulzinger, Boris
90 min.

Clunky, funky attempt at a horror/comedy version of the story of Erzebet Bathory, with Louise Fletcher in the title role. (Fletcher's accent, it should be noted, deserves a dressing room all its own.) The plot, such as it is, centers on the Countess enlisting the help of a daffy scientist to refine artificial blood in order that she can stop munching on the local "wergins," who have grown understandably annoyed by such goings-on. Highly energetic, perhaps too much so, since much of the "comedy" is doled out by the hammy twinnish twosome of Marc-Henri and Alexander Wajnberg, with huge black fright-wig hair and noses to rival Adrien Brody.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Help Dr. AC fight AIDS with SCARE-A-THON 2010

If the calendar is to be believed, tomorrow is October 1. For the past few years, I have engaged in an annual tradition called the October Horror Movie Challenge. The rules of the Challenge are fairly simple: Watch at least 31 horror films during October, 16 of which must be first time views. (Last year was my highest mark yet, with 78 films.)

However, this October, while celebrating silver screen screams, I also hope to strike a blow against real-life horrors. In the spirit of a read-a-thon or a walk-a-thon, I plan to embark on SCARE-A-THON 2010 and I am asking for your help.

Fool's Views Haikus (9/13 - 9/30)

Howdy folks,

Okay, here we sit on the edge! Ready to tip over into the abyss of the October Horror Movie Challenge. (more on that in a second) And it's a good thing too, since the last few weeks have been pretty tame in the flickage department. While I did rack up a respectable number of movies watched, they all happened over the course of several jam-packed days. As I mentioned in the previous FVH post, gotta grab 'em when you can.

The horror flicks all took place during one full-on Share the Scare over at Kitley's (with fellow H101 contributor Nile Arena on hand as well), followed by the Burt Reynolds Festival the following day. Fulfilling the Paul Naschy Kryptic Army assignment and my ongoing Robert Aldrich tribute rounded out the rest of the program. All in all, I gotta say, it made for some fine, if high-concentrated, viewing.

As always, feel free to throw in your two cents worth - we'll make sure you get some change back.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

October Horror Movie Challenge Results 2009

It's time again for an annual tradition - The October Horror Movie Challenge!

Simply stated, the challenge is: Watch 31 films in October, 16 of which must be 1st time views. Of course, the secondary challenge is simply to watch as many movies as possible during those 31 days.

Last year, as I was out of town (Lewisburg, WV) doing a play (Macbeth), with fewer distractions around than usual, I was shooting for around 60 flickers, with planned stops at Hammer Horror, William Castle, the Classic FLY trilogy, Tod Browning, Val Lewton, the AZTEC MUMMY trilogy, some unviddied kaiju and a few surprises along the way. (A lot of those were films that I'd only seen once and had been wanting to revisit, so while I knew I'd get in my required 16 FTV's, for the most part I planned to wallow in repeats...)

As you can see, that's just what happened:

1st Time Views: 19
Repeat views: 59
Total Films: 78

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fool's Views Haikus (8/30 – 9/12)

Hey there, you cool cats,

Slowly starting to get the hang of this pattern. Pretty much, it’s watch a flick whenever you have a chance (preferably two or three) because you never know when you’re going to get to watch the next one. That goes double (as in double feature) when you head to the cinema, which I was actually able to do on three separate occasions these last couple weeks. Overall, I’d say I batted about .500 for the theatrical ventures, with even the less-thans still managing to deliver a quantum of memorable moments (yes, I’m looking at you, EXPENDABLES).

Also got in a dandy little Share the Scare session with amigos Brian, Dan and Coye on Labor Day – was “on call” for the job, so couldn’t go to the theater because that would have necessitated turning off the phone (You hear that, you horrible, horrible people? YOU TURN OFF YOUR PHONE WHEN THE MOVIE STARTS. Ahem, where was I? Oh, yes…) So, thanks for coming over and sharing the avocado burritos and alien bloodbaths, guys.

Again, we’re going with my completely subjective, frustratingly reductive number ratings: first # is for “quality”, second is for “entertainment.” As always, feel free to offer up your two cents worth – we’ll make sure you get some change back.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fool's Views Haikus (8/9 – 8/29)

Felicidades, amigos,

To be honest, I was surprised when I tallied up the totals for this three week period. In spite of occupational obligations both in office and on the road, I was still able to bang out 14 flicks, as well as a hefty number of TZ eps (dee-dee-dee-dee, dee-dee-dee-dee). Once again, the Kryptic Army assignment (slashers this month) provided a much needed boot to the pants, topped off with a little Share the Scare action with the man himself. Hats also go off to Chicago’s third annual summer Terror in the Aisles, even though I only was able to sit in for one of the flicks this year. Some decent civilian viewings this time around, as well as dipping into the wild well of old-time horror radio whilst flying around the country. Work is still a drag, but life could be worse, and I’d rather light a candle than curse the darkness.

Seems there’s been a bit of confusion, what with the haiku format, as to my personal sentiments towards the films in question. Some folks have suggested that I do a “star rating” or some sort of quantitative ranking (such-and-such out of 10), and while I’ve never been a big fan of those, it may be a short-term solution for the time being since my writing time has become so limited lately. That said, films are complex beasts, and while I will give the ranking thing a whirl in the interest of clarification and sparking discussion, it’s not really my style and I look forward to having a little more blather time so that we can avoid the reductive shackles. Sound like a deal?

Said rankings will be as follows: The first out-of-10 number will represent the film’s “quality” level in my estimation, the second my overall enjoyment level. We’ll see if that works and bear with me as I try to navigate the minefields. And with that…

On with the Views! As always feel free to throw in your two cents worth – we’ll make sure you get some change back.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Fool's Views Haikus (7/26 – 8/8)

Hey troops,

Well, all I gotta say is thank almighty Foot for Kitley’s Kryptic Army, since if it hadn’t been for his “alien invasion” monthly mission, I might not have forced myself to sit down in front of the telly during this period of “gainfully employed” acclimation. In spite of overwhelming learning curves at work and diminishing windows of spare time, you can’t let the team down, right? So, we also have my obsessive/compulsive nature to thank for getting us through these dark times.

Of these, I gotta give big props to Eduardo Sanchez’s Altered, a low budget creature feature that never overextends its hand, and delivers up some mighty fine effects and solid performances from a cast of relative unknowns. Check it out. And, of course, the double feature of Best Worst Movie and Troll 2 in a packed house at the Music Box Theatre is the kind of medicine you can’t find at the corner drugstore…

As always feel free to leave your two cents worth – we’ll make sure you get some change back.


Monday, August 30, 2010

Fool's Views Haikus (6/28 – 7/25)

Hey kids,

So, wow, even with the shift to the abbreviated (if no less challenging) seventeen-syllable format, finding the time to sit down and watch a flick or two has been quite the challenge over the last few weeks. However, I persevere. The horror, oddly enough, has been getting short shrift, which is what prompted my comment not too long ago which began with, “You know, I barely recognize my own life sometimes…”

However, thanks to Kitley’s Kryptic Army assignment, I managed to sneak in a pair from the godfathers of gore, a decent sampling of offbeat 70s fare, as well as an Oscar winner and Oscar winner-to-be (go ahead, bet against the Pixar – I dare ya).

As always feel free to throw in your two cents worth – we’ll make sure you get some change back.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fool's Views Haikus (6/14 – 6/27)

Hey guys. The Fool is back again.

This glorious two week period included a multi-day Share the Scare session up in Oshkosh, Wisconsin alongside good friends, alt country bands and a certain 12-pound pizza. John Pata served as the host with the most, opening his abode to our motley crew of Windy City vagabonds while we hosted and toasted the day of his birth. Gobbling down flicks, ice cream , late night gyros and the aforementioned ’za, it was a truly memorable and rewarding way to ring in the Doc’s 42nd year on the globe (John and my birthday are mere days apart), topped by a big screen viewing of William Castle’s classic House on Haunted Hill with Emergo the floating skeleton making a rare “live” appearance. These are the geeky moments we live for.

Again, we have introduced the new all-haiku format, so hope you enjoy the syl-la-ble-count-ing. And as always, feel free to offer your two cents worth – we’ll make sure you get some change back.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fool's Views (6/7 – 6/13) (HAIKU STYLE!)

Hello, my friends,

Well, it’s official, true believers. I’m giving up trying to write anything coherent for a while. Truth of the matter is that the Doc has accepted a full-time D-A-Y J-O-B and for the time being, it looks as though my time and energy will be consumed by said employer. It’s a strange place to be, having not punched a clock or sat in a cubicle for nearly 15 years. But the lure of staying in town after several years of being oft on the road, combined with a regular (and semi-healthy) paycheck, resonated somehow. In other words, yes, I’ve sold out.

I kept thinking that I would eventually find the opportunity and inspiration to catch up on the "legit" Views, but instead I just keep falling further and further behind. True, this occurred back at the tail end of last year and I managed to pull it together, but that was with a load of post-holiday spare time on my hands. Unfortunately, spare time seems to be the last thing coming down the pike for a spell.

Therefore, I’m going to catch up on the last two months by undergoing a rather radical change in format, as the sponsors call it: Below is my list of recent views…with accompanying haiku. Perhaps not the wisest critical decision ever made, but hopefully it will prove diverting enough. (I know I’m having fun.) ;-]

That said, I’m still more than happy to keep the dialogue going, so if you see a flick that you recognize or are curious about, please feel free to toss in your two cents – change back will be given promptly and with a smile.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fool's Views (5/31 – 6/6) (Part 2 - Birthdays and Beasts)

The first of our two horror triple features sprung from May's Kryptic Army assignment, which featured birthday boys Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. These two titans of terror, oft-paired in Hammer and Amicus productions, were born on May 26 and 27, respectively (with Vincent Price also sharing his birth date with Lee). While the search for first time views with the stars was challenging at first, the results were quite satisfying. To join in the Kryptic fun for June (and the rest of the year), visit:

Our second film fest was inspired by the femalien and my recent two weeks on the road, camping out in the wilderness and hiking the back trails of the Southwest. You see, way back before the 80s slashers and Blair Witches invaded the woods, the onscreen forests provided hiding places for hordes of bloodthirsty creatures just waiting to sink their teeth and claws into yielding human flesh. Ah, it was a simpler time: Getting back to Nature, and then Nature getting you back...

As always, feel free to leave your two cents worth - we'll make sure you get some change back.


Fool's Views (5/31 – 6/6) (Part 1 of 2)

My friends, my friends...welcome to my nightmare.

Yes, it’s true. After being away from the tube for nearly a full month, I dived in deep this week, taking in no less than 17 flicks. As a result, I’ll break this installment up into a two-parter, with the more random Views first and the mini-festivals to follow. The first section is composed almost entirely of recent releases that had been holding court on the “to watch” shelf for a while, as well as me digging through my old no-box VHS pile to finally watch titles which had sat idle for literally decades (as well as a big-screen viewing of Jack Hill's Spider Baby, hosted by our good friend Jason Coffman). I think you’ll enjoy the mix.

As always, feel free to leave your two cents worth – we’ll make sure you get some change back.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fool's Views (5/17 – 5/30)

Hey kids,

While the time stamp covers a two week period, these six Views actually took place during a one-day Share the Scare with my trusty comrade Jon Kitley, who knows how to welcome a fellow blood brother home from two weeks on the road (although I gotta admit, none of the flicks we viddied can compare to the natural beauty of Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon, Zion Canyon, The Grand Canyon, Bandelier National Park, Great Sand Dunes National Park… You get the picture.) Glad to be back, but I was glad to be where I was (see above) and with whom (hey, sweetie!)

As always, feel free to leave your two cents worth – we’ll make sure you get some change back.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Fool's Views (5/3 – 5/16)

Howdy, folks!

This installment of Fool’s Views was made possible in part by United Airlines. Yes, the overabundance of current and classic civilian flicks on display came courtesy of the two 12-hour flights forth and back from Shanghai. In fact, if not for the Music Box Theatre’s genius midnight movie programming upon my return (and before the missus and I disembarked upon our two-week road trip through the southwestern U.S.), it might have been a completely horror-free FV. Now, there’s a scary thought.

Oh, and all the television? My buddy Tony, who hosted me for four days in Shanghai, insisted I get a little culture in my viewing diet. Hey, when in Shanghai…I guess you watch American television series.

As always, feel free to leave your two cents worth – we’ll make sure you get some change back.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Fool's Views (4/26 – 5/2)

Amigos, Romanos, Countrymen...lend me your rears.

For my last big push before I headed off to Shanghai for a gig (which I then extended into a vacation/visit with my good friend Tony who resides there as a teacher), I watched only flicks released in the past few years with the exception of one featuring a certain hockey-masked killer and the other a classic from Rod Serling that I’ve been trying to viddy for years. Nothing that really set my world on fire and a few that nearly put the fire out (Dario, you rat bastard), but them’s the breaks…

As always, feel free to leave your two cents worth – we’ll make sure you get some change back.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Fool’s Views (4/19 – 4/25)

Hey kids. Yes, it’s the abbreviated version of the Fool’s Views. But you know what? That’s okay, ‘cause there’s a lot to choose from, an equal mix between horror and civilian flicks. (I was pounding them out, knowing that I would be basically off the grid once we got into May.) And with a few exceptions (hello, DESCENT 2), it was a pretty healthy and tasty crop. Nice when that happens.

As always, feel free to leave your two cents worth – we’ll make sure you get some change back.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Fool's Views (4/12 – 4/18)

Welcome to the weekend, kids!

This installment, in addition to a couple trips to the cinema, features the results of my Kryptic Army assignment, which this month was “Confession” time, in honor of Easter falling in April. The idea being that you had to watch two films that you hadn’t seen before that, as an upstanding horror fan, you felt guilty about having not seen yet. After a couple of misfires with marginal non-horrors (the Dr. Who and Cronenberg films), I knocked out BARN and RETURN...and felt much better about it. I’m telling you, the Kryptic Army is the place to be! Check it out at

Enjoy the Views! As always, feel free to leave your two cents worth – we’ll make sure you get some change back.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Fool's Views (3/22 – 4/11)

Um, hi there.

Yes, the good doctor has been absent for quite a while. I blame work, vacation, and general malaise, all of which conspire to thwart me in my mission to record and share my viewing experiences with you, Faithful Reader. I’ve struggled to conquer the dragon and have managed to get to a point where I’m only a month and a half behind schedule (hey, we take our little victories where we can find them).

These Views represent the last push before the New York Auto Show swallowed my soul for two weeks (you’ll note I was still banging away at the A-F section of the “to-watch” list). But the viddying of George Romero’s latest and the final installment of the Howling series are the direct result of a post Horrorhound Weekend Share the Scare with special guest John Pata. As you’ll see, I’m glad I had company for both.

As always, feel free to leave your two cents worth – we’ll make sure you get some change back.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fool's Views (3/15 – 3/21)

Greetings, troops!

See, this is what happens when I go without watching movies for weeks on end: the BINGE. Took in 19 movies in one week (plus 17 episodes of the Twilight Zone) and still felt like I could have done more. Anyone else out there relate to this condition?

You may also notice that the horror titles range entirely from the letters A to F. The reason for this is simple: Months ago, I had gone through my DVD collection, pulled titles to put on the “to-watch” shelf and have now committed myself to slashing my way through them. Happily, most of them were well worth the wait.

By the way, the "anthology horror double feature" was my assignment for the Kitley’s Krypt Army which, if you haven’t joined up for, you are definitely missing out. Go to and get in on the fun. NOW.

As always, feel free to leave your two cents worth – we’ll make sure you get some change back.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Fool's Views (3/1 - 3/14)

Oh AC, where you been???

Sorry, my fellow freaks and freakettes, I’ve been out in the world away from the computer (and the DVD player) finishing up the Auto Show circuit and getting the word out about WildClaw’s production of William Peter Blatty’s LEGION, so haven’t spent much time putting digits to keyboard. When I did have the downtime, I was hanging with the missus and/or enjoying some well-deserved tube time. Managed to knock out a few during the interim between Les Expos de Cleveland and New York, just didn’t take the time to document the deeds…until now.

This outing, we have a Scorsese double feature, as well as a couple new horror flicks (one theatrically released, one not) that could use a little more love. As always, feel free to leave your two cents worth – we’ll make sure you get some change back.


Friday, March 12, 2010

Wishing I was in Belgium, Part One (Offscreen Film Festival)

From Belgium, courtesy of Cult Reviews and our good, dear friend and fellow film freak Gert Verbeeck, comes this report about the Offscreen Film Festival!

A year has come and gone and Offscreen Film Festival is ready to kick off the third edition of their annual festivities. From the 4th of March to the 21st, this year’s program will again take you on a voyage across extravagant cinematographic landscapes. A trip down Japanese, European & Italian genre cinema from past days as well as an introduction to some freshly released films from today’s world cinema.

“Film fans with a taste for the unconventional and the unusual, rejoice!”

In this news flash you’ll find the trailer of this year’s edition, a blurb from Offscreen’s website explaining briefly what all you can expect and to get your cinephilic juices flowing, we’ve compiled a photo gallery with some poster art & movie stills all related to the films on Offscreen’s 2010 program.

Images often say more than words, so we’ll leave it at that. Now proceed and go click on some things below… and be amazed!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Fool's Views (2/8 - 2/28)

Hello all,

Somehow or other, being gainfully employed by a flurry of out of town gigs has played absolute havoc with my movie watching. (Looking back at 2009, I was already at an overall count of 70 films at this point whereas we are barely over half that thus far.) Not that I’m looking for a return to the unemployed days of yesteryear, but I’ll be thankful when my current stint at the Cleveland Auto Show (aka the “Cars on Carpet Extravaganza…with Ferris Wheel”) has ground to a halt and I can spend more nights at home in front of the tube with the snuggly femalien and her homemade super-soup. Stay tuned.

For now, we present tales of a house full of hot bitchy co-eds, a hotel with serious hidden charges, and two early 70s shapeshifting furballs for your reading pleasure. As always, feel free to leave your two cents worth – we’ll make sure you get some change back…


Monday, February 8, 2010

Fool's Views (1/18 – 2/7)

Hey kids,

Due to out of town work obligations (thank you Detroit Auto Show and Winter X-Games), I was not able to watch much at all for the last couple weeks of January. However, upon my return to the not-so-sunny climes of Chicago, I managed to nibble down a dozen flicks, including QT's inspiration for his now-Oscar nominated flick, two other statuette nominees, as well as all four films in the AIRPORT series, Adam Green's new film, and three Masters of Horror eps of wildly varying quality.

As always, feel free to leave your two cents worth - we'll make sure you get some change back. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hey Hollywood, you suck. (WOLFMAN poster art)

Hey folks,

Our good friend Jon Kitley at KITLEY'S KRYPT weighs in on Universal's marketing team's decision to go from using kickass, genuinely intriguing poster images such as these:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Fool's Views (1/11 – 1/17)

Hey kids,

Wow, almost on schedule and all first time viewings! Sometimes I even impress myself. This week, we take a look at a couple of lesser-known horror items and a recent sci-fi programmer, alongside flicks with chicks on skates, kicks with big dicks, Sherlocks with six-packs and a double barreled blast of Italian gunpowder. Enjoy!

As always, feel free to leave your two cents worth – we’ll make sure you get some change back.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Fool's Views (1/1 - 1/9)

Howdy, troops,

Welcome to the first FVs of the New Year. After the madcap flurry of the last few weeks, it's a bit of a relief to only have to weigh in on a mere seven films at a single sitting. Here's hoping we can keep that schedule intact, eh?

Couple new horror flicks this week, both of the vampiric variety, as well as a glance back at one of the genre's legends in a less-than-legendary outing. As well as sci-fi ventures large and small, musicals and documentaries, there's something for everyone!

As always, feel free to leave your two cents worth - we'll make sure you get some change back.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Civilian 2009 Wrap-up and Year-End Stats!

So, having addressed the horror genre (which composed more than half the year's viewing time), I figured it only fair to give credit to the rest of the flicks. Again, all of the films listed below were encountered for the first time from January 1 to December 31, 2009 (i.e. no repeat viewings were eligible), with my top picks denoted with an asterisk.

2009 TOTALS:
472 films, 276 1st time views, 289 horror, 38 cinema

(2008 Totals: 384, 278, 226, 39)
(2007 Totals: 409, 284, 260, 40)

Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)*
Hurt Locker, The (2008)
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
JCVD (2008)
Gomorrah (2008)
No Impact Man (2009)*
Not Quite Hollywood (2008)
Star Trek (2009)
Up (2009)*
Wrestler, The (2008)

Dr. AC's 2009 Horror Wrap-up Extravaganza!

Howdy troops,

After much deliberation, here's my assessment of the horror year that was. All of the films listed below were encountered for the first time from January 1 to December 31, 2009 (i.e. no repeat viewings were eligible). To accommodate and acknowledge as many films as possible, I've broken them down into various categories in alphabetical order, with my top pick denoted with an asterisk.

As always, feel free to toss in your two cents worth - we'll make sure you get some change back. Thanks for the past year of rapping and chatting - looking forward to more of the same in 2010!

2009 TOTALS:
140 1st Time Horror Views (out of 289 total)

TOP 20 (or so) 2009 HORROR RELEASES

Antichrist (2009)
Baghead (2008)
Children, The (2008)*
Dead Snow (2009)
Deadgirl (2009)
District 9 (2009)
Donkey Punch (2008)
Drag Me to Hell (2009)
Eden Lake (2008)
Grace (2009)
House of the Devil (2009)
I Sell the Dead (2008)
Last House on the Left, The (2009)
My Bloody Valentine 3D (2009)
Paranormal Activity (2009)
Pontypool (2008)
Splinter (2008)
Thirst (2009)
Trick ‘r Treat (2008)
Uninvited, The (2009)
Zombieland (2009)