Friday, April 19, 2024

THE TERMINATOR (1984) 40TH ANNIVERSARY BLOW-OUT!!!

THE TERMINATOR (1984) d. James Cameron (USA)
TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY (1991) d. James Cameron (USA)
TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES (2003) d. Jonathan Mostow (USA)
TERMINATOR: SALVATION (2009) d. McG (USA)
TERMINATOR: GENISYS (2015) d. Alan Taylor (USA)
TERMINATOR: DARK FATE (2018) d. Tim Miller (USA)




Released in 1984, The Terminator captivated critics and audiences alike with its mind-blowing special effects, intriguing characters, and well-written time-travel storyline. Pitting a relentless killer android from the future against two ordinary humans with the fate of mankind lying in the balance, this whirlwind tour-de-force combined horror and sci-fi elements with breathtaking action sequences. Not bad for a film with an unproven director and an actor known more for his bulging biceps than his acting chops.

Friday, April 12, 2024

1964 ITALIAN GOTHIC DOUBLE FEATURE!! (CASTLE OF BLOOD & THE LONG HAIR OF DEATH)

CASTLE OF BLOOD (1964) d. Antonio Margheriti (as Anthony Dawson) (Italy)
THE LONG HAIR OF DEATH (1964) d. Antonio Margheriti (as Anthony Dawson (Italy)




Even if you’re a fan of Italian horror cinema, one name that continues to labor for recognition is Antonio Margheriti, in some respects due to the fact that he was often billed by his Anglicized moniker, Anthony M. Dawson. Like his contemporaries, Margheriti made a tremendous assortment of films, from Westerns to comedies to sci-fi, and dabbled in numerous horror subgenres, from atmospheric ghost stories to gory splatterfests, and everything in between, delivering exciting and entertaining features for nearly four decades.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

THE RING COLLECTION (2002 - 2017) Blu-ray review

THE RING (2002) d. Gore Verbinski (USA)
THE RING TWO (2005) d. Hideo Nakata (USA)
RINGS (2017) d. F. Javier Gutiérrez


Welcome to Episode 13 of THE STACK!!

Tonight we dive deep into the film that essentially launched the worldwide J-horror boom... by making us aware of the original that inspired it in the first place! Ringu (1998) was on nobody's radar outside of its home country and some lucky festival goers until Hollywood caught wind of it and cranked out a supercharged remake that made tons of money and had all eyes looking to the east for the next big scare (and the next big thing that could be ripped off).

Friday, April 5, 2024

BLOOD AND BLACK LACE (1964) / AMER (2009) GIALLO ROUND TABLE!!

BLOOD AND BLACK LACE (1964) d. Mario Bava (Italy)
AMER (2009) d. Bruno Forzani / Helene Cattet (Belgium/France)




In 1963, director Mario Bava made The Girl Who Knew Too Much and gave birth to the Italian film genre known as the Giallo. Named after a series of crime paperbacks with yellow covers, the Giallo was boldly contemporary, eschewing the cloaks and capes of Hammer’s Gothic melodramas. A year later, Bava made the film that would define and popularize the giallo for years to come, Blood and Black Lace.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

DEADGIRL (2008) Blu-ray Review

DEADGIRL (2008) d. Marcel Sarmiento / Gadi Harel (USA)


Welcome to Episode 12 of THE STACK!

Two high school lads (Shiloh Fernandez, Noah Segan) find a mostly deceased young woman (Jenny Spain) strapped to a table in the basement of an abandoned asylum. This already disturbing scenario takes an even darker turn when Segan decides, against Fernandez’s protests, that he would like to keep her tied up to use as his personal sex slave…and maybe even invite others to enjoy the “fun.”

Friday, March 29, 2024

PHANTASM (1979) TURNS 45!!!

PHANTASM (1979) d. Don Coscarelli (USA)
PHANTASM II (1989) d. Don Coscarelli (USA)
PHANTASM III: LORD OF THE DEAD (1994) d. Don Coscarelli (USA)
PHANTASM IV: OBLIVION (1998) d. Don Coscarelli (USA)
PHANTASM V: RAVAGER (2016) d. David Hartman (USA)





When Phantasm premiered in early 1979, it was unlike anything horror fans had seen before. It was a coming of age tale that also dealt with death, loss, and abandonment. It had science fiction elements, Villainous morticians, bizarre magic, and gory set-pieces, all centering around a mysterious estate and an evil, if convoluted, plot to steal and enslave the dead, with terrific special effects on a minimal budget. The film was a huge hit in theaters, and found an even wider fanbase on television and home video, ultimately leading to four sequels and a labyrinthine mythology surrounding the Tall Man and his army of brain-sucking chrome spheres.

WILLY'S WONDERLAND (2021) Blu-ray Review

WILLY'S WONDERLAND (2021) d. Kevin Lewis (USA)


Welcome to Episode 11 of THE STACK!

Tonight we discuss the dubious pleasures of watching Oscar-winner Nicolas Cage knock the crap out of a bunch of murderous animatronics in the exactly-as-advertised Willy's Wonderland, out now on UHD and Blu-ray from Shout! Factory. I mean, really, that's the whole movie. If that sounds like a good time to you, this is your flick.

Friday, March 22, 2024

GODZILLA VS. EVERYBODY!!! (ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL)

GHIDORAH THE THREE-HEADED MONSTER (1964) d. Ishiro Honda (Japan)
GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA (1974) d. Jun Fukuda (Japan)
GODZILLA VS. BIOLLANTE (1989) d. Kazuki Ōmori (Japan)
GODZILLA VS. SPACE GODZILLA (1994) d. Kensho Yamashita (Japan)
GODZILLA: FINAL WARS (2004) d. Ryuhei Kitamura (Japan)




Ever since the original Gojira debuted in Japan in 1954, followed by 1956’s even more successful international cut, Godzilla King of the Monsters, the giant radioactive lizard has been a going concern for 70 years. And one thing that director Ishiro Honda, FX wizard Eiji Tsuburaya, and screenwriter Shinichi Sekizawa quickly discovered was that as enjoyable as the Big G was on his own, he was even more entertaining when tangling with another oversized mutant, creature, or Interstellar menace.

Friday, March 15, 2024

LEPRECHAUN FRANCHISE (1993- 2018) RETROSPECTIVE ROUND TABLE!!!

LEPRECHAUN (1993) d. Mark Jones (USA) 
LEPRECHAUN 2 (1994) d. Rodman Flender (USA) 
LEPRECHAUN 3 (1995) d. Brian Trenchard-Smith (USA) 
LEPRECHAUN 4: IN SPACE (1996) d. Brian Trenchard-Smith (USA) 
LEPRECHAUN 5: IN THE HOOD (2000) d. Rob Spera (USA) 
LEPRECHAUN 6: BACK TO THA HOOD (2003) d. Steven Ayromlooi (USA) 
LEPRECHAUN: ORIGINS (2014) d. Zach Lipovski (USA) 
LEPRECHAUN RETURNS (2018) d. Steven Kostanski (USA)




Throughout the slasher boom of the 1980s, nearly every holiday was offered up on the proverbial chopping block, from Halloween to Valentine’s Day to Mother’s Day to Christmas, from birthdays to prom nights and everything in between. However, one holiday remained untouched until 1993, when writer/director Mark Jones decided to put a horror spin on a certain date initially designed to honor an Irish bishop, Saint Patrick. And when our thoughts turn to Ireland, we instantly think of that mythical creature neatly filed between fairies, elves, and sprites... the Leprechaun!

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

IMPULSE (1974) Blu-ray Review


IMPULSE (1974) d. William Grefe (USA)


Welcome to Episode #10 of THE STACK!

Tonight, we'll take a look at Grindhouse Releasing’s extraordinary 4K restoration of Impulse, featuring William Shatner as a money-hungry degenerate lurking around Tampa in search of moneyed babes that he can woo and do. Ruth Roman, Jenifer Bishop, and Harold “Odd Job” Sakata co-star in William Grefe's (Sting of Death, Death Curse of Tartu, Stanley, Mako: Jaws of Death) wild and weird slice of regional horror psycho-therapy. And then listen to AC babble on about all the amazing extras, because hoo lawd, there’s a bunch. IT’S THE PHYSICAL MEDIA RELEASE OF THE YEAR, FOLKS.

Friday, March 8, 2024

EYES OF FIRE (1983) - A FOLK HORROR GEM

EYES OF FIRE (1983) d. Avery Crounse (USA)




When celebrated photographer Avery Crounse set out to make his feature film debut, he didn’t opt for the simple route of an escaped psycho wielding a butcher knife like so many of his early ‘80s contemporaries. Eyes of Fire (1983) is instead an epic venture into the realm of magical realism, following a pair of families in 1750 on the run from their Puritanical community’s torches and pitchforks. As they escape into the wilds of the American Frontier, they encounter not only justifiably hostile Native Americans defending their territory, but also tree demons and tortured spirits bent on taking their lives, stealing their souls, or worse.

Friday, March 1, 2024

CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (1954) TURNS 70!!!

CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (1954) d. Jack Arnold (USA)
REVENGE OF THE CREATURE (1955) d. Jack Arnold (USA)
THE CREATURE WALKS AMONG US (1956) d. John Sherwood (USA)




One of the best sci-fi/horror efforts of the 1950s and must-see material for any card-carrying genre fan, Creature from the Black Lagoon was the brainchild of producer William Alland who blatantly riffed on King Kong’s storyline of a legendary beast sought out by civilized man for selfish designs. Screenwriters Harry Essex and Arthur Ross worked alongside legendary genre director Jack Arnold (who helmed such fare as It Came from Outer Space, Tarantula, and The Incredible Shrinking Man) to create an onscreen antagonist so fantastic that audiences could not help but empathize.

Friday, February 23, 2024

DELLAMORTE DELLAMORE (1994) 30TH ANNIVERSARY ROUND TABLE!!

DELLAMORTE DELLAMORE (aka CEMETERY MAN) (1994) d. Michele Soavi (Italy)

 


Dellamorte Dellamore (aka Cemetery Man) is arguably the last great Italian horror movie of that country’s heyday, and yet somehow still struggles for a place of respect amidst the masters. Originally a novel by Tziano Sclavi, and later adapted by Gianni Romoli and directed by Argento protege Michele Soavi, the story follows Buffalora Cemetery groundskeeper Francesco Dellamorte (Rupert Everett) spends his days helping the living put their loved ones to rest, and his nights keeping the dead in the ground.

Friday, February 16, 2024

MESSIAH OF EVIL (1974) TURNS 50!!!

MESSIAH OF EVIL (1974) d. Willard Hyuck (USA)




Clearly inspired by Night of the Living Dead and possessing the dreamlike, doom-laden tone of Let’s Scare Jessica to Death, 1974’s Messiah of Evil is a thoughtful, introspective, original and regrettably neglected low-budget horror effort.

Friday, February 9, 2024

VAMPIRES IN 1979! (DRACULA, NOSFERATU, SALEM'S LOT, LOVE AT FIRST BITE, THIRST, VAMPIRE)

DRACULA (1979) d. John Badham (USA)
NOSFERATU THE VAMPYRE (1979) d. Werner Herzog (Germany)
LOVE AT FIRST BITE (1979) d. Stan Dragoti (USA)
THIRST (1979) d. Rod Hardy (Australia)
VAMPIRE (1979) d. E.W. Swackhamer (USA)
SALEM'S LOT (1979) d. Tobe Hooper (USA)

 


The year was 1979, and it was a time of disco, political unrest, walkmans, and vampires. No fewer than six major film and TV projects premiered across the globe, providing a spectrum of bloodsuckers not seen before or since. Played for laughs (Love at First Bite) or steeped in social commentary (Thirst), from tortured souls (Nosferatu) to top of the food chain (Vampire), adapted from literary works old (Dracula) and new (Salem’s Lot), or completely original storylines, you just couldn’t keep the undead dead, and the shock waves have continued to reverberate throughout history.

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

THINNER (1996) Blu-ray Review

THINNER (1996) d. Tom Holland (USA)


Welcome to Episode #6 of THE STACK!

Tonight, we'll take a look at Shout! Factory's new Blu-ray release of the screen adaptation of Stephen King's (or is that Richard Bachman?) terrific novel, Thinner. While the film wasn't a huge hit with audiences, it certainly has its fans, and those fans are going to be very pleased with all the goodies Shout! Factory has brought to the dinner table.

Friday, February 2, 2024

SON OF FRANKENSTEIN (1939) / YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (1974) ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL!!

SON OF FRANKENSTEIN (1939) d. Rowland V. Lee (USA)
YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (1974) d. Mel Brooks (USA




From the moment the original Frankenstein from Universal Studios was released in November of 1931, the landscape of cinema changed forever as Mary Shelley’s creation became a household word overnight. Unsurprisingly for Hollywood, further adventures featuring the Frankenstein monster followed, some critically acclaimed, others derided, while the fan base grew, passed on through generations of horror fans.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

THE BLUE JEAN MONSTER (1991) Blu-ray Review

THE BLUE JEAN MONSTER (1991) d. Kai-Ming Lai (Hong Kong)

**CLICK HERE TO WATCH FULL YOUTUBE EPISODE**

Welcome to Episode #5 of THE STACK!

Tonight, we'll take a look at a slice of action, horror, and comedy, all done up Hong Kong style, The Blue Jean Monster from 88 Films! A cop (Fui-On Shing, in a rare lead performance) and expectant father goes down in the line of duty, but is unexpectedly resurrected by lightning, he sets out to find the gang that killed him and keep his undead status hidden from his family and friends. Mayhem and hilarity ensues.

Friday, January 26, 2024

GREMLINS (1984) / GHOULIES (1985) DOUBLE DOUBLE FEATURE!!

GREMLINS (1984) d. Joe Dante (USA)
GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH (1990) d. Joe Dante (USA)
GHOULIES (1985) d. Luca Bercovici (USA)
GHOULIES 2 (1987) d. Albert Band (USA)





The early 1980s were a magical time for fans of horror, sci-fi, and fantasy fare at the cinema, with genre fare being cranked out by the fistful and practical effects ruling the day, making viewers gasp, gag, gawk, and greedily gobble up all they could find. Tonight, we’ll take a look at two franchises birthed by two mighty masters of the art form, at different points on the budgetary spectrum.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

WE HAVE TO TALK ABOUT ARI ASTER (HEREDITARY, MIDSOMMAR, BEAU IS AFRAID)

HEREDITARY (2018) d. Ari Aster (USA)
MIDSOMMAR (2019) d. Ari Aster (USA)
BEAU IS AFRAID (2023) d. Ari Aster (USA)





From his Sundance smash debut, Ari Aster has been a rising star in the "elevated horror" firmament, challenging audiences with features packed full of adult themes, metaphor-laden subject matter, superlative performances, and gorgeous attention to production design. Polarizing as his works might be, there's no denying that he is a filmmaker who deserves and demands our full attention and stamina. (Three-hour running times, amirite?)

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD (1971) Blu-ray Review

TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD (1971) d. Amando de Ossorio (Spain)


Welcome to Episode #4 of THE STACK!

Tonight's episode visits Synapse Films' new Blu-ray release of Tombs of the Blind Dead (1971), written and directed by Amando de Ossorio (The Loreley's Grasp), and starring Lone Fleming (Demon Witch Child) and Maria Elena Arpon (Hunchback of the Morgue). Essential viewing for all fans of Spanish horror cinema.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

AUGUST UNDERGROUND TRILOGY (AU, MORDUM, PENANCE) Round Table Discussion

AUGUST UNDERGROUND (2001) d. Fred Vogel (USA)
AUGUST UNDERGROUND'S MORDUM (2003) d. Fred Vogel (USA)
AUGUST UNDERGROUND'S PENANCE (2007) d. Fred Vogel (USA)




Inspired by the videotaped home invasion scene from Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer and the documentary aesthetic of both Man Bites Dog and The Blair Witch Project, makeup artist-turned-writer/director Fred Vogel elected to burrow below the surface of human depravity for his 2001 debut feature, August Underground. Playing the lead character Peter himself, Vogel takes the viewer, or perhaps kidnaps is a more appropriate word, on a journey alongside a thrill killing monster who seeks to match his damaged psyche blow for blow against an unsuspecting world.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM (1959) Blu-ray review

HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM (1959) d. Arthur Crabtree (UK)

 
Welcome to Episode #3 of THE STACK!

Tonight's episode visits VCI Entertainment's new Blu-ray release of Horrors of the Black Museum, directed by Arthur Crabtree (Fiend Without a Face), written/produced by Herman Cohen (I Was a Teenage Werewolf, Trog), and starring Michael Gough (Horror of Dracula). Great release of a really fun film.

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

TENEBRAE (1982) UHD Blu-ray review

TENEBRAE (1982) d. Dario Argento (Italy)


Welcome to Episode #2 of THE STACK!

One of the 39 official Video Nasties prosecuted by the BFCC, this stellar updating of the classic giallo formula for the slasher-soaked early 1980s sees Argento at the height of his technical and storytelling powers. Dwelling in the shadows of his earlier critical and commercial successes (The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, Deep Red, Suspiria) and perhaps hindered by its unwieldy title (“Darkness” in Italian) and the subsequent retitled and re-edited U.S. release (the equally clunky Unsane, shorn of nearly 10 minutes), Tenebrae never seemed to find the audience it deserved and has labored for recognition ever since.

Saturday, January 6, 2024

THE TERROR (1963) / TARGETS (1968) BORIS KARLOFF DOUBLE FEATURE!!!

THE TERROR (1963) d. Roger Corman (and others) (USA) 
TARGETS (1968) d. Peter Bogdanovich (USA)



1963’s THE TERROR, celebrating its 60th anniversary, is a legendary curiosity item from producer/director Roger Corman, more famous for its origins than the finished product. According to legend, when Corman wrapped shooting on The Raven ahead of schedule, he took advantage of Boris Karloff’s two extra contracted days to slap together this tale of a reclusive baron with a dark secret.