Sunday, December 31, 2023

THE WICKER MAN (1973) 50TH ANNIVERSARY ROUND TABLE!!!

THE WICKER MAN (1973) d. Robin Hardy (UK)

 


Released the same year as The Exorcist, The Wicker Man also wrestles with religious rituals and fading faith. However, while the former was an instantaneous sensation that garnered Oscar nominations and huge box office receipts, its poor British relation suffered the indignities of studio-imposed edits and general public disinterest. However, as time has shown, this literal cult classic has endured for 50 years and is now regarded as one of the finest horror movies of the early 1970s.

Thursday, December 28, 2023

NYC VS. GIANT MONSTERS (BEAST FROM 20K FATHOMS, GODZILLA, CLOVERFIELD) ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION

THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS (1953) d. Eugene Lourie
GODZILLA (1998) d. Roland Emmerich
CLOVERFIELD (2008) d. Matt Reeves




Ever since King Kong tore up the town in 1933, New York City has played host to a number of giant monsters stomping their way down 5th Avenue and giving colossal headaches to insurance companies. Tonight, we’ll be paying homage to a trio of cinematic goliaths, all of which are celebrating significant anniversaries this year.

Sunday, December 24, 2023

I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE, THE LEOPARD MAN, and THE SEVENTH VICTIM (1943 VAL LEWTON SPECIAL)

I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE (1943) d. Jacques Tourneur
THE LEOPARD MAN (1943) d. Jacques Tourneur
THE SEVENTH VICTIM (1943) d. Mark Robson




From 1942 to 1946, when rust was appearing on the Frankenstein Monster’s neck bolts, Dracula was growing longer in the tooth, and swaddled, swollen mummies were limping along, both literally and figuratively, a savior appeared on the horror horizon, who would provide welcome counter-programming to the usual parade of fur, fangs, and putty. That man was Val Lewton, and his debut production with RKO, 1942’s Cat People, heralded a new style of horror, where less was infinitely more, where shadows grew ripe with menace lurking just beyond the edge of the frame.

Saturday, December 16, 2023

IT CAME FROM 1953!! (INVADERS FROM MARS, WAR OF THE WORLDS, ROBOT MONSTER, IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE)

IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE (1953) d. Jack Arnold
INVADERS FROM MARS (1953) d. William Cameron Menzies 
WAR OF THE WORLDS (1953) d. Byron Haskin
ROBOT MONSTER (1953) d. Phil Tucker





By the closing of the 1940s, it seemed that audiences had grown weary of the classic monsters of yesteryear, and were hungry for new thrills. Those exciting new stories came not from moldy crypts or ancient curses, but rather from beyond the stars. With space exploration already a going concern among the world powers and reports of UFOs starting to make their way into the public consciousness, it was no surprise that filmmakers also cast their gaze to the heavens, imagining what fresh wonders and threats might make their way toward our little planet.

Saturday, December 9, 2023

KING KONG (and SON OF KONG) 90TH ANNIVERSARY JAMBOREE!!

KING KONG (1933) d. Merian C. Cooper / Ernest B. Schoedsack (USA)
SON OF KONG (1933) d. Ernest B. Schoedsack (USA)





It’s almost impossible to overstate the importance the original 1933 King Kong has had on the monster movie genre and on the history of cinema overall. As such, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that there was a time before Kong, and that there were individuals who brought the character and the film surrounding him into existence. People like producers Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, writers Edgar Wallace, James Creelman, and Ruth Rose, special effects wizards Willis O’ Brien and Marcel Delgado, composer Max Steiner, sound effects pioneer Murray Spivack, and stars Robert Armstron, Bruce Cabot, and the legendary Fay Wray.

Saturday, December 2, 2023

CURTAINS/PSYCHO II - 1983 DOUBLE FEATURE!!!

PSYCHO II (1983) d. Richard Franklin (USA)
CURTAINS (1983) d. Richard Ciupka/Peter Simpson (Canada)




Tonight we're jetting back to 1983 to discuss a couple of undersung gems from the heyday of the slasher boom, one a belated sequel to a groundbreaking masterpiece, the other a curious Canadian feature made all the more appealing by its troubled production, release, and subsequent obscurity.

Monday, November 27, 2023

BEAST FROM HAUNTED CAVE, GIANT GILA MONSTER, and KILLER SHREWS (1959)


THE BEAST FROM HAUNTED CAVE (1959) d. Monte Hellman
THE GIANT GILA MONSTER (1959) d. Ray Kellogg
THE KILLER SHREWS (1959) d. Ray Kellogg




The good folks at Film Masters have taken it upon themselves to rescue oodles of public domain titles, some of which they've even gone through the time and effort to give the stand-up, high-def presentations these orphaned films deserve. Or do they?

Thursday, November 16, 2023

I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (1978) TURNS 45!!!


I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (1978) d. Meir Zarchi
I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (2010) d. Stephen R. Monroe
I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE 2 (2013) d. Stephen R. Monroe
I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE: VENGEANCE IS MINE (2015) d. Richard Schenkman
I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE: DEJA VU (2019) d. Meir Zarchi
GROWING UP WITH I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (2019) (documentary) d. Terry Zarchi


I was a relatively inexperienced viewer when I first encountered the original 1978 I Spit on Your Grave. As a result, while I understood that the terrible situation that our main character Jennifer Hills (played by Camille Keaton) was in, the execution of the story itself couldn’t get past the filter of my Hollywood-honed sensibilities, with its rough edges and middling makeup effects keeping me at a distance.

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

GODZILLA VS. MEGALON (1973) 50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION!!!

GODZILLA VS. MEGALON (1973) d. Jun Fukuda (Japan) (81 min)


A far cry from the anti-nuke statement that spawned the large lizard’s origins, this entry (#13) serves up twice the monster mashing and half the “plot” of other installments. Throwing caution and physics to the winds, this installment features the underwater race of Seatopians who, ticked off by another round of nuclear testing, unleash the giant beetle-looking monster Megalon to destroy Tokyo. In response, the Ultraman-inspired Jet Jaguar robot enlists the help of Godzilla, whereupon the Seatopians bring back Gigan from outer space, and the remainder of the movie is an oversized wrestling match for the ages.

Monday, November 6, 2023

SCARE-A-THON 2023 FINAL RESULTS!!!


And that, my mutual minions of mischief and mayhem, brings us to the end of Scare-A-Thon 2023 and yet another OCTOBER HORROR MOVIE CHALLENGE!

As always, the Challenge itself is to watch (at least) one fright flick for each of those glorious 31 days that make up the month of October, 16 of which must be first time viewings. I am happy to report that goal has been handily accomplished, with all of the official Scare-A-Thon titles being FTVs. (Thanks, Shudder!)

Along the way, thanks to the generous hearts and minds of fans like you, over $6,600 has been raised for the WOMEN'S REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS ASSISTANCE PROJECT, with additional funds still coming in, making this the most successful Scare-A-Thon EVERRRRRRRR! (The fundraiser link will remain open for another two months, so if you would like to make a donation, there is still time!)

SCARE-A-THON 2023 FUNDRAISER LINK

Thanks to the 40 (!!) guests who showed up at all hours from across the globe to chat on the HORROR 101 with Dr. AC YouTube channel, as well as everyone who participated in some way, whether it be making a contribution, liking a Facebook post, watching or listening to a partner podcast, leaving a comment, suggesting a movie, or just chatting about what we were respectively watching this month.

Extra Special Thanks to Gert Verbeeck for his tireless efforts in creating all the fantastic YouTube thumbnails, as he has all year long for the H101 channel. Thanks for making us all look so good.

Below are the 33 "official" features viewed (with links to the online panels), as well as 14 additional horror titles viewed in October. Before we get to that, however, there is the usual assemblage of useless factoids to ponder while you're thinking ahead to next year's costume.

Have fun!

CHALLENGE STATS:
Total Movies Watched: 47
First Time Views: 36
Total Scare-A-Thon Donations: $6,676

Sunday, November 5, 2023

SHARKNADO (2013) 10TH ANNIVERSARY Movie Review

SHARKNADO (2013) d. Anthony C. Ferrante (USA) (86 min)


Every since Peter Benchley’s novel Jaws hit bookstands in 1974, followed by the enormous success of Steven Spielberg’s big screen adaptation, sharks have become the aquatic boogeymen of our nightmares. Their power and ferocity has been exploited time and time again onscreen, and just when you think they’ve exhausted their power to terrify, a new wave sweeps over the pop culture shore, and our fascination and fear is reawakened.

Saturday, November 4, 2023

FREDDY VS. JASON (2003) 20TH ANNIVERSARY SMACKDOWN!!!

FREDDY VS. JASON (2003) d. Ronny Yu


Since the closing shot of 1993’s Jason Goes to Hell, fans had been clamoring for this “Slash of the Titans.” A decade later, New Line Cinema answered their nightmares with a flick that is exactly the low-brow monster-mash masterpiece that the two screen legends deserve. Screenwriters Damian Shannon and Mark Swift concoct a storyline that builds upon history from the previous films (17 in all) and manages to generate a few new twists of its own, while director Ronny Yu directs with energy, verve, and a solid sense of humor.

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

TALK TO ME (2023) Movie Review Round Table

TALK TO ME (2023) d. Danny Philippou /Michael Philippou


Join AC and his awesome panel of guests (Ian Simmons, Ben Beard, Michelle Courvais, Scott Trudel, Cati Glidewell aka The Blonde in Front) as they... WAIT FOR IT... talk to me about this Australian supernatural horror sensation that has been buzzing since it premiered at Sundance in January. When it finally hit screens this summer, audiences and critics rejoiced at the arrival of a new twist on the old "don't mess with the ouija board" trope. Providing solid thrills and solid subtext and metaphor throughout, this is a great way to bring October to a close.

Monday, October 30, 2023

WHEN EVIL LURKS (2023) Round Table Movie Review

WHEN EVIL LURKS (2023) d. Demian Rugna


Join AC and his awesome panel of guests (Jason Coffman, Tim Palace, S.A. Bradley, Jon Kitley) as they discuss this masterwork of dread and suspense from Argentinian writer/director Demian Rugnar, who follows up his incredible 2017 supernatural chiller Terrified with a tale of possession that goes darker than any Blumhouse Exorcist sequel would dare. Hold onto your hats, folks. This one's a doozy.

Sunday, October 29, 2023

A WOUNDED FAWN (2022) Round Table Movie Review

A WOUNDED FAWN (2022) d. Travis Stevens


Join AC and his awesome panel of guests (Nicole Mikuzis, Ashley Lamers) as they discuss the finer points of combining a slasher film with Greek tragedy, which is exactly what writer/director Stevens manages to do.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

HATCHING (aka PAHANHAUTOJA) (2022) Round Table Movie Review

HATCHING (aka PAHANHAUTOJA) (2022) d. Hanna Bergholm


Join AC and his awesome panel of guests (Josh Zagoren, Mandy Walsh) for a superlative-laced conversation about writer/director Hanna Bergholm's remarkable feature debut. Aspiring gymnast Tinja (the astonishing Siiri Solalinna) tries desperately to please her perfectionist mother. Upon discovering a strange egg in the forest, she brings it home and what emerges will change all of their lives forever.

Friday, October 27, 2023

WOODLANDS DARK AND DAYS BEWITCHED (2021) Round Table Movie Review

WOODLANDS DARK AND DAYS BEWITCHED (2021) d. Kier-la Janisse


Join AC and his awesome panel of guests (S.A. Bradley, Nile Arena, Aaron AuBuchon, Christianne Benedict, Gavin Schmitt) as we attempt to wrap our collective heads around the breadth of films covered in this astonishing documentary, subtitled "A History of Folk Horror" from author and mystical conduit to awesomeness, Kier-la Janisse. Keep your notepads handy, because you'll be writing down titles like a fiend! We also chat about the fantastic box set, All The Haunts Be Ours, now available from Severin Films.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

TERRIFIER (2016)/TERRIFIER 2 (2022) Round Table Movie Review

TERRIFIER (2016)/TERRIFIER 2 (2022) d. Damien Leone


Join AC and his awesome panel of guests (Ryan Olson, Robin Graves, Dan Kiggins) as they take on the first double feature of Scare-a-Thon 2023! It's a double dose of the surprise horror icon Art the Clown, who made his debut way back in 2011 in writer/director/SFX man Damien Leone's short, and later in the 2013 anthology effort All Hallow's Eve. We chat about Art's impact on modern horror, the developing mythos, and, of course, ALL THAT GORE.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

BORIS KARLOFF: THE MAN BEHIND THE MONSTER (2021) Round Table Movie Review

BORIS KARLOFF: THE MAN BEHIND THE MONSTER (2021) d. Thomas Hamilton


Join AC and his awesome panel of guests (Chad Hawks, Anna Maurya, Grant Kuchan, Alan Tromp, Jon Kitley) for an amazing discussion about the amazing new Rondo Award-winning documentary about The Gentleman of Horror, Boris Karloff. From his early years in England to his theatrical trials and travails in Canada to his journeyman days in Hollywood to his star-making turn as the Frankenstein Monster, Hamilton and a cadre of distinguished talking heads regale this legendary genre icon. Fun facts abound!

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

HUESERA: THE BONE WOMAN (2022) Round Table Movie Review

HUESERA: THE BONE WOMAN (2022) d. Michelle Garza Cervera


Join AC and his awesome panel of guests (Christianne Benedict, Robin Graves, Cati Glidewell aka @theblondeinfront ) as they travel to Mexico for this extraordinary debut feature from director/co-writer Garza, telling the story of a young expectant mother (Natalia Solián) who begins having disturbing visions. A finger in the eye of traditional family values and a solidly scary (and thought-provoking) flick as well.

Monday, October 23, 2023

THE INNOCENTS (2021) Round Table Movie Review

THE INNOCENTS (2021) d. Eskil Vogt


Join AC and his awesome panel of guests (Jon Kitley, Mark Easteadt, S.A. Bradley) for this incredible slow-burn slice of Norwegian horror. When a family moves into a housing community during the dog days of summer, their children strike up relationships with the few remaining youngsters not on vacation. Surprises and suspense follow, with joyful and dark moments in equal measure. An unsung gem.

Sunday, October 22, 2023

WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE (2018) Round Table Movie Review

WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE (2018) d. Stacie Passon


Join AC and his awesome panel of guests (Christianne Benedict, Grant Kuchan) as they celebrate this outstanding screen adaptation of Shirley Jackson's celebrated novel. Ostracized from their community, the Blackwood sisters live with their Uncle Julian in their morbid mansion, but things change when a handsome and charming relative appears on their doorstep and changes the family dynamic. Gorgeous and atmospheric.

Saturday, October 21, 2023

THE WITCH IN THE WINDOW (2018) Round Table Movie Review

THE WITCH IN THE WINDOW (2018) d. Andy Mitton


Join AC and his awesome panel of guests (S.A. Bradley, Gert Verbeeck, Stephany Perez) for a fantastic and phantastic discussion about writer/director Mitton's (Yellowbrickroad, We Go On) 2018 haunted house venture that sees a father and son bonding through the renovation of an old house with a dark past. What could have been a standard and effective chiller about things that go bump in the night becomes something much richer come the final credits crawl.

Friday, October 20, 2023

SKINAMARINK (2022) Round Table Movie Review

SKINAMARINK (2022) d. Kyle Edward Ball


Join AC and his awesome panel of guests (Josh Zagoren, Dominic Conti, Adam Witt, Anna Maurya, Jess Ader) as they barrel into the divisive and fascinating microbudget sensation that is Skinamarink. The online description of "Two children wake up in the middle of the night to find their father is missing, and all the windows and doors in their home have vanished." doesn't even begin to hint at the weirdness on display in this defiantly unconventional approach to filmmaking. It's a great discussion, and we welcome your opinions as well!

Thursday, October 19, 2023

INFINITY POOL (2023) Round Table Movie Review

INFINITY POOL (2023) d. Brandon Cronenberg


Join AC and his awesome panel of guests (Mackenzie Parker, Jess Ader, Dodd Alley) as they contemplate a vacationland where morality and humanity are called into question, or simply not called at all. Alexander Skarsgard and Mia Goth star in this brain-melting, soul-searing descent into decay from Canadian director Brandon Cronenberg.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

SPEAK NO EVIL (2022) Round Table Movie Review

SPEAK NO EVIL (2022) d. Christian Tafdrup


Join AC and his awesome panel of guests (Dodd Alley, Stephany Perez, Vanessa Morgan) as they take a trip into the horrors of "being polite." When a Danish couple, Bjorn and Louise, agree to stay with a Dutch couple, Patrick and Karin, after meeting on vacation in Tuscany, what was intended to be an idyllic weekend slowly starts unraveling as the Danes find their boundaries pushed to the breaking point. Red flags abound!