Friday, May 17, 2024

ALIEN (1979) TURNS 45!!!

ALIEN (1979) d. Ridley Scott (USA/UK)
ALIENS (1986) d. James Cameron (USA/UK)
ALIEN 3 (1992) d. David Fincher (USA)
ALIEN: RESURRECTION (1997) d. Jean-Pierre Jeunet (USA)
PROMETHEUS (2012) d. Ridley Scott (USA/UK)
ALIEN: COVENANT (2019) d. Ridley Scott (USA/UK)




When the commercial space vessel Nostromo responds to a distress signal on an unknown planet, one of their crew is attacked by a bizarre life form. Over the course of several hours, the seemingly indestructible creature threatens all of their lives, consistently evolving and exhibiting horrifically distinctive characteristics: acidic blood, rows and rows of retractable teeth, white-hot intelligence, and a fierce predatory instinct.

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

CUTTING CLASS (1989) UHD Blu-ray Review

CUTTING CLASS (1989) d. Rospo Pallenberg (USA)


Welcome to Episode #9 of THE STACK!

Tonight, we'll take a look at the late-to-the-party slasher, Cutting Class, best-known today for its inclusion of a certain future Hollywood superstar named Brad Pitt, now available from MVD as part of their 4K Laserdisc Rewind Collection. In addition to Mr. Pitt, the film also stars Jill Schoelen (The Stepfather), Donovan Leitch (The Blob), Roddy McDowall (Fright Night), and Martin Mull.

Friday, May 10, 2024

THE BLACK CAT (1934): A TRUE UNIVERSAL CLASSIC TURNS 90!!

THE BLACK CAT (1934) d. Edgar G. Ulmer (USA)




Bearing no resemblance to the original story by Edgar Allan Poe, Universal’s atmosphere-drenched 1934 offering, The Black Cat, from Austrian expatriate Edgar G. Ulmer, is a superior piece of filmmaking, made all the more historic for marking the first and finest on-screen teaming of horror icons Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi.

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

ROLLING THUNDER (1977) UHD/Blu-ray Review

ROLLING THUNDER (1977) d. John Flynn (USA)


Welcome to Episode #16 of THE STACK!!

At first glance, Rolling Thunder (now available on UHD and Blu-ray from Shout! Factory) is a genuinely contemplative, returning-Vietnam-veteran drama, that predates The Deer Hunter and Coming Home by a full year, with hardened POW Major Charles Rane (William Devane) tentatively reuniting with his family after years of isolation. But after hoodlums murder his wife and son, leaving him with a bloody stump for a hand following a garbage disposal close encounter, the track-down-and-kill-the-baddies stage is set, especially once Devane starts sharpening up his metal amputee hook and sawing off shotguns.

Friday, May 3, 2024

DAVID CRONENBERG'S THE BROOD (1979): ALIVE AT 45!!!

THE BROOD (1979) d. David Cronenberg (Canada)




Canadian writer/director David Cronenberg has become so synonymous with the term “body-horror” that when a project is referred to as being “Cronenbergian,” we actually have an idea of what this might mean. Cronenberg has often said that he does not see disease and mutations as good or bad – they simply are – a viewpoint that shows up time and again in his cinematic output.

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

THE ABANDONED (2006) Blu-ray Review

THE ABANDONED (2006) d. Nacho Cerda (Spain/UK)


Welcome to Episode #15 of THE STACK!!

Spanish auteur Nacho Cerda, who dazzled short film horror audiences with his festival favorites Aftermath and Genesis, takes the helm for his first feature-length effort, the hypnotic ghost story The Abandoned, now available on Blu-ray from Unearthed Films.

Friday, April 26, 2024

SHAUN OF THE DEAD (2004) 20TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL!!!

SHAUN OF THE DEAD (2004) d. Edgar Wright (UK)




When Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead, a romantic comedy with zombies (or zom-rom-com, as it was immediately dubbed by pundits) hit theaters in 2004, it instantly earned a place alongside The Return of the Living Dead (1985) and Peter Jackson’s Braindead (aka Dead-Alive) (1992) as one of the best horror/comedies of all time, as well as a winning tale of love and true friendship.

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

ZOMBIE HOLOCAUST (aka DOCTOR BUTCHER, M.D.) (1980) Blu-ray Review

ZOMBIE HOLOCAUST (aka DOCTOR BUTCHER, M.D.) (1980) d. Marino Girolami (as Frank Martin) (Italy)


Welcome to Episode #14 of THE STACK!

Tonight we dive deep into the bowels of Severin's outstanding 4-disc release of one of the more notorious Italian exploitation films, made all the more notorious for its retitling by American distributors who made the blend of cannibals and zombies into... a slasher movie? As crazy as it sounds, and then some, with gore, guts, brains, breasts, and all the splatter that matters.

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.