Sunday, December 30, 2018

DRACULA: PRINCE OF DARKNESS (1966) Blu-ray review

Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966) d. Terence Fisher (UK) (90 min)

Following the triumph of Horror of Dracula, Christopher Lee avoided donning the fangs again for fear of typecasting (witness Bela Lugosi). He was eventually lured back into the cowl eight years (and a pile of guilt and cash) later for this rather predictable tale of two vacationing English couples (Francis Matthews, Suzan Farmer, Charles Tingwell, Barbara Shelley) who wander into the Count’s almost-but-not-quite deserted castle in search of a good stake dinner.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Fool's Views (12/1 – 12/15)

Howdy, folks!

I know, it’s hard to believe we’re nearing the end of another year, and even harder to believe that I’m actually only a few days behind schedule. It’s a doggone Christmas miracle, I tell ya.

Speaking of which, I kicked off the month with a solid smattering of holiday-themed horror ('tis the season, after all), as well as catching up on some buzzed-about recent genre efforts both older (Green Inferno) and new (Upgrade), classic (Kwaidan) and clueless (The Laughing Dead). I hope you dig the slay ride…

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


Wednesday, December 19, 2018

THE LAUGHING DEAD (1989) movie review

The Laughing Dead (1989) d. Somtow Sucharitkul (USA)

A faith-challenged priest (Tim Sullivan) leads a group of vacationers on an archeology tour in Mexico and stumbles into a legion of demons, both personal and literal. It seems our collared cruise director fathered a child out of wedlock a decade ago with a co-worker (a nun no less) and guess who has decided to join the excursion, foul-mouthed 10-year-old in tow? Further compounding the tour’s woes are a trio of Mayan priests who have unsavory designs for the recently reunited family, hoping to fulfill an ancient prophecy that includes, you know, the end of the world.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT PART 2 (1987) Blu-ray review

Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 (1987) d. Lee Harry (USA)

Despite sequel fever running rampant throughout the 1980s, the genesis of SNDN2 is surprisingly unconventional. Seems that producer Lawrence Appelbaum approached editor Lee Harry with the assignment of simply re-cutting the footage from the original 1984 flick and attempting to re-issue it under a different title, one without the stigma of the notorious ad campaign that led to protests by concerned parents and scathing reviews from top critics like Siskel and Ebert. Somehow or other, Harry convinced Appelbaum that it might be worthwhile shooting new footage and employ the original footage as flashback material, serving as a kind of “greatest hits” montage, which is exactly what happened. With this knowledge in mind, it’s easier to appreciate the fact that the first 40 minutes (yes, OVER HALF THE ACTUAL RUNNING TIME, not counting the ultra-slow ending credits) are comprised of pre-existing material which you more than likely already watched this holiday season.


Christmas Blood (aka Juleblod) (2017) d. Reinert Kiil (Norway) (104 min)

Norse attempt at an American slasher flick delivers plenty of splash without substance, giving us a seemingly immortal Santa-clad slayer who has been working his way through a literal “Naughty” list of victims (who have all committed some crime or another, although he’s not particularly choosy when it comes to collateral damage). After being shot, captured, and resurrected, he escapes from the mental facility (natch) and picks up where he left off, heading to a remote abode where a half-dozen attractive and extremely diverse females (it’s like a United Nations bruncheon) have gathered to cheer up their pal whose mum recently passed. (Yes, mum was on the Naughty list.)

Monday, December 17, 2018

THE GREEN INFERNO (2013) movie review

The Green Inferno (2013) d. Eli Roth (USA)

Eager to “do something worthwhile,” college freshman Justine (Lorenza Izzo) joins an on-campus activist organization led by the charismatic Alejandro (Ariel Levy). Despite protestations from her politico dad (Richard Burgi) and apathetic roommate (Sky Ferreria), she travels with the group to the Peruvian Amazon to prevent the decimation of the rainforest and the extermination of the indigenous Yajes tribe by money-grubbing developers. Their efforts are seemingly successful, but on the return home their small aircraft suffers a mechanical failure; the ensuing crash leaves several dead and wounded. Worse yet, they are stranded among a particularly nasty group of natives who are hungry for justice and, well, just hungry….

Friday, December 14, 2018

SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT (1984) Blu-ray review

Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984) d. Charles E. Sellier, Jr. (USA)

After his parents are murdered by crook in a St. Nick outfit, young tormented Billy (Danny Wagner) is sent with his infant brother Ricky to stay at an orphanage where he is mercilessly abused by our resident Mother Superior (Lilyan Chauvin). After growing to adulthood, Billy (now played by Robert Brian Wilson) lands a gig at the local toy store which works out fine until he’s pressed into wearing an all-too-familiar red suit and white beard to entertain the kiddies. Predictably, this pushes him over the edge, leading to a murderous Christmas Eve rampage dressed as Santa, claiming “naughty” victims right and left.

Thursday, December 13, 2018


All the Creatures Were Stirring (2018) d. David Ian McKendry / Rebekah McKendry (USA)

While several horror anthologies have incorporated a single Christmastime story (1945’s Dead of Night, 1972’s Tales from the Crypt, to mention some of the classics) into the mix, there are precious few compendiums whose energies are directed exclusively toward celebrating the Santa season. (In fact, until 2015’s A Christmas Horror Story, there were exactly zero.) But the husband-and-wife team of David Ian and Rebekah McKendry (the latter being a longtime Fangoria alum, horror journalist, and Shock Waves podcaster) have arrived just in time to fill the shocking stockings and change the stats STAT with their quintet of deadly and droll hors d’ouevres, all present-ed within a snappy wrapping, er, wraparound.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

11/19 – 11/30 (Part 2 of 2) (Last of the Turkey!)

Howdy, folks!

Sorry, got a little distracted there in the real world with zero time to scribble or watch anything over the past couple weeks as I was prepping for and completing the final phase of my Suited Instructor certification with IMPACT Chicago, a extraordinary and empowering women’s self-defense program that is definitely worth your time and energy, whether you are male, female, or non-binary-identifying. Check them out at Impact (or wherever your closest IMPACT chapter is located).

With that tidy bit of justifying out of the way, here are the remaining Views for November, which included the glorious gorge-fest that is the Kitley’s Krypt Turkey Day Celebration, now in its 16th year. (I’ve been there since Jon started letting other people join the “fun” in 2005.) We also snuck in a couple more Tom Cruise vehicles along the way, bringing our total for the year to 10 (with more on deck before the clock runs out). And, in keeping with the November Turkey Challenge, we decided to throw a couple Civilians birds on the platter as well. (Hey, when the 40th anniversary of the Star Wars Christmas Special rolls around, you kinda gotta honor that.)

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


Saturday, December 1, 2018

Fool's Views (11/19 – 11/30) (Part 1 of 2)

OMG, so fullllllllll.

Well, that was a month to remember… or maybe one to forget. I completed my November Turkey Challenge right in the nick of time, wrapping up with a grand total of 30 Gobblers, 17 of which were first-time views, and while I can definitely say that “challenge” was the right word for it at times, it was immensely rewarding to explore strange new worlds of awfulness and bold new flavors of cheese. Similarly, it was interesting to settle in, thinking that a Turkey was in order and discovering instead that the film in question really didn’t qualify, being either too competently made (Murderlust), too icky (Entrails of a Virgin), or just not enough fun to recommend to anyone else (Cabin Fever remake). There is foul and there is fowl, and never the twain shall meet.

Due to the sheer volume of views, I’ll be breaking this period into two installments, wrapping things up with the Kitley’s Krypt Turkey Day coverage in the post to follow, so stay tuned!

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