Candyman doesn’t live in New Orleans

Tony Todd, the Candyman

Me and Tony Todd, the Candyman

It seems like a lifetime ago, but it was just a few years ago really, but essentially it was still a life time. A life that saw me in friendship with a often belligerent mountain of a man named Matt. His name was Matt, but we usually called him Guts on the Floor. It was more than an internet nick name it was how he lived his life, balls to the wall, guts on the floor. He was a convention friend. I met him at Horrorfind convention in College Park Maryland. Actually I had met him a year before we became friends, in the bar at Horrorfind. The bar was the natural habitat of Guts on the Floor, but the year we became buddies it was in a meeting room, where all the loud and boisterous con goers were stuck to (hopefully) not to disturb the other hotel guests.

Tony Todd the Candyman

Tony Todd the Candyman

Guts came to my attention, because he was tossing lounge chairs around the room. As I said he was a mountain of a man, at least 6’2 and he looked to be easily 300 pounds, with shaggy black beard and unkempt hair. A lot of time there was food in that beard. His three favorite things at cons seemed to be eating, drinking and antagonizing celebrities, not always in that order. Yeah Matt was big, and he could be mean, and he could be annoying, but he was also loveable. He pissed off a lot of people, he pissed off me quite a few times, but we all loved him. The dead I heard about his death I spent an hour crying in my car. I’m in tears now thinking about it. There are a lot of stories about Guts, about Matt, most of them hilarious, a lot of them vulgar, some pretty gross, and some I would never publicly share. This is one story. A short, unimportant story, but one that made me laugh this weekend thinking about it.

Guts, at one point when we were really close, took to calling me at home late at night. He was pretty much always drunk, and most times spent most of the call insisting I call him Dr. Dan Challis. Guts was a huge fan of horror. He loved Dawn of the Dead, he loved Candyman but his favorite was Halloween 3, with Dr. Dan played by Tom Atkins. Some nights he would call and quickly get mad at me over some supposed (or real) slight. Like I said, he pissed me off MANY times. Some night’s he had plans for me and him. He was always going to come and visit me. Either to kick my ass, go drinking, go exploring horror related locations or whatever kick he was on. This night he wanted to go visit the Candyman.

Apparently Guts had just recently met the Candyman, Tony Todd. I had met Tony on a few occasions and he is one of the coolest celebrities that I have ever met. Well Guts, claimed that Tony now had a house in New Orleans. Guts also knew I lived relatively close to New Orleans (6 hours at that point in time). Guts also claimed Tony had given him the address and told him to come by if he was ever in new Orleans. Guts thought this was an awesome idea and that me and him should go visit the Candyman. Unannounced. I didn’t think this was such a great idea. Horror conventions are a great place to hang out with celebs, and some like to hang in the bar and talk and drink. But that doesn’t mean if they say drop by my house, they will remember it when the drink isn’t flowing. I just had a feeling if Guts did manage to get his address, Tony would have freaked to find the hulking Guts at his front door, probably drunk, and with a high likely hood that his beard would be full of partially chewed food.

But there was no dissuading Guts on the Floor, so I just agreed. I said “sure, come on down and we will make the trip to New Orleans.” Hoping that he would forget it when he sobered up, and for the most part he did. He did mention it a few times later, but he never made serious plans to visit. Later on his health and lack of a job made it pretty much out of the question. Then we had a nuclear fallout in our friendship. I got mad and said things, that I still regret. Not that I didn’t have reason, not that he didn’t deserve a lot of what I said, but it still doesn’t make it right to say that to a friend. I never saw him again. Never talked to him again. He was telling people he was going to kick my ass the next time he saw me. I thought he might try, but mutual friends said he loved me too much, That he would have confronted me, called me an asshole than hugged me.

Whatever would have happened we never got the chance to meet again. He died in a house fire and the grief still haunts me. I still love the big guy, and I hate him for leaving so soon with bad blood between us, but I cant think about him without either crying or laughing. That was him, all or nothing, guts on the floor.

Guts on the floor loved Tony Todd the Candyman

Guts on the Floor and the Ginja Ninja RIP you guys

So this weekend I met Tony Todd again, in Biloxi, Mississippi at a small horror con. Talking to him, he mentioned he was ready to get home and have a few days off. I said, “but you own a home in New Orleans, right” (about an hour or so from Biloxi). He told me that he didn’t and I told him about Guts and his plan to visit him. “So you guys were going to just show up at my door one night drunk? Yeah that would have went well” he said laughing. He’s really a cool guy and we talked about conventions, houses, crazy fans, etc. Then while I was talking to his manager Missy, he signed my poster. He finished and posed for a picture with me. “hey man, look what I wrote on your poster” he said to me. I read the inscription.

“Allen, I don’t live in New Orleans. Tony Todd”

I almost died laughing. Yeah it’s a silly little inscription that no one but me would get if they read it. Well me, and anyone reading this, and Guts. Guts, who is somewhere in the afterlife antagonizing a famous dead person. Your friends miss you, Guts. To anyone out there holding a grudge, do your best to forget it, to move on, to mend fences. Time is short, don’t carry hate to the grave.

Who is Victor Salva?

Who is Victor Salva and should I watch Jeepers Creepers 3

 

 

Who is Victor Salva? Molestor or artist

Who is Victor Salva

Who is Victor Salva? On the surface it’s an easy enough question. Who is Victor Salva? He is the director of Jeepers Creepers, it’s sequel and the Disney film Power. But did just a little deeper, just a few extra lines on most search engine results and you get a little darker answer. Because Victor Salva is also a convicted sex offender. He’s either an individual with a troubled past trying to move on, or a monster who deserves to still be in prison…or worse.

I honestly had no clue who Victor Salva was when I first saw Jeepers Creepers, or even it’s sequel. I wasn’t as deeply into film then as I am now. I just loved watching them, and JC was one of my favorite. I saw it in the theater and later bought it on DVD (full disclosure I still have it). It wasn’t until years later that I heard about the directors past, and even then I didn’t really dig into it. Eventually curiosity did get the better of me and a quick Google search brought up the results.

The story isn’t pretty, and it’s not with much if any ambiguity. During the filming of Clownhouse, his debut film. One of the child actors accused Salva of sexually assaulting him. The police searched his home to find video taped evidence of him having sex with the underage boy, among other child pornography. Salva confessed to the crime. Open and shut case, Victor Salva was convinced, served 15 months of a three year sentence, and was placed on the sex offenders list. Who is Victor Salva? He is officially a sexual predator.

So where does that leave fans of Jeepers Creepers and his other work? Personally I haven’t been able to enjoy any of his work since I found out. If there was any doubt to his guilt, maybe, but knowing what I do I just cant. I don’t stand on my moral high ground and tell others not to watch his movies, everyone has to make their own choice. I made mine. But what about other fans? Fans who still don’t know about his history. Fans who are more casual, who really don’t know who directs what movie. Those people are out there.

Just the other day a friend excited posted a link to Jeepers Creepers 3. She was so happy the film was about to be released. Now I have posted about Victor Salva on Facebook before, but she had either missed it or maybe had no clue who he was and kept scrolling. So what do I do? Do I tell her? Do I ignore the post or simply “like” it? I waited several hours after she posted, and finally said, “Not sure how I feel about this, knowing what I do about Victor Salva.” “Who is Victor Salva?” She asked me, along with “please don’t ruin this for me.” What to do? I just said if she wanted to know more to do a Google search.

I am not trying to start a crusade to ban Victor Salva films. Part of me thinks I do have a moral responsibility to let people know who he is, and what he has done. Being in a family where sexual abuse happened, I know the damage that can come from it all too well. But another part of me just wants to let them enjoy whatever they choose to watch. It’s just entrainment right?

 

Cloownhouse by Victor Salva

Who is Victor Salva and what happened while filming Clownhouse?

And after all Victor Salva has served his time. He has a right to work and earn a living just like anyone else. Would any of us want our past misdeeds held against us forever? Doesn’t he deserve the same consideration’s the rest of us? A shit ton of people would say no. Plus he only served 15 months, out a an extremely short sentence for what most people would say is an unforgivable sin. His victim will have to live the rest of his life with what happened. Why shouldn’t Salva pay for the rest of his life?

If I thought Victor Salva was a reformed man, maybe I could forgive him. Maybe I could watch his films and not feel horrible. Salva’s fans and supporters will quickly tell you he has done his time. Others would say enjoy the art, regardless the sins of the artist. But that falls apart a bit when you look closely at his art. I have only seen Jeepers Creepers, it’s sequel and a few moments of Rosewood Lane. Powder never really appealed to me. I could have possibly seen Clownhouse long ago, but if so it wasn’t memorable enough, well for me to remember it. Clownhouse is a movie about a group of kids being terrorized by insane clowns. From my understanding the three male leads spent a lot of time in their underwear, and there was even a nude scene involving one. These things cant be overlooked when we judge Salva, not after forcing one of those kids to have sex with him. Was this even art or a successful attempt to get vulnerable boys into his grasp? As much as part of me wants to see this now, to try and understand it, I just can’t. Maybe someday, for editorial purposes only, but not now.

On to Jeepers Creepers, which on the surface is a horror movie about a monster chasing a group of teens. Granted these kids are older than the ones in Clownhouse, played by adult actors, but we still have kids in peril. For a large part of the movie, they are chased by what we think might just be a man, who fans affectionately call “the creeper.” The creeper chases the kids in an old beat up truck. See where this is leading, just slightly leading? We have an old creeper, in an old truck, chasing kids because he likes the way they smell…and taste. Nothing creepy or pedophillic about that, right? Not from a director who forced a young boy to perform and receive oral sex on him. Hell, the creeper even prefers boys, as he takes Justin Long’s character over the one played by Gina Phillips. This is just info pulled from my mind as I haven’t seen the film in over 5 years at least. I wonder what I would notice if I watched it again, knowing what I do about Victor Salva.

Jeepers Creepers is the sequel, set 23 years later, as the creeper reawakens to hunt again. This time one isn’t enough and he sets his eyes on a bus full of high school athletes. Once again he seems to prefer males and all high school (read minors) students. We are all so used to seeing teens in peril, we don’t even make a connection with the directors past. Powder I haven’t seen, but I know the premise. Powder is a pale, young man who doesn’t fit in. He’s an outcast, until it’s learned he has the power to awaken feelings inside people with his touch. Apparently he can even awaken a persons dormant sexuality with a touch, and there is a scene where the lead has his head softly and some might say seductively rubbed by an older male. Might I remind you this is a Disney film? Disney claims it was mislead to the extent of Salva’s criminal past. Remember this was the 90s when it wasn’t quite as easy to get information as it is now. Still it’s shocking to know that Disney would allow a convicted sex offender to work under their brand.

So three movies after his conviction, rehabilitation and released deal with older men stalking or obsessing over young boys. By the time Rosewood Lane came out, I had heard of his past and just couldn’t watch it. I didn’t have to ask who is Victor Salva.  I have read a brief synopses and I know it concerns a woman and her father being stalked by a psychotic paperboy. Maybe it’s not fair to make a call without watching it, but could this be the director’s way of saying “It wasn’t my fault. He came after me.” It’s pretty common for sexual predators to blame the victim. Maybe this is his final way of coming to terms with his past.

So now, what about Jeepers Creepers 3? Should you watch it? Should you support it? In the end that is a question you have to answer for yourself. Ignore his past and enjoy the film, or take a stand and say you can’t support Salva. Personally I just can’t watch it. Who is Victor Salva? He is a film maker that I just can’t support, can you?

 

PS. I cant link Salva’s work but here is a book wriiten by someone who lived through abuse. If you enjoy Salva and can still support him, I urge you to read this book




Raped, molested and neglected, this is the story of an innocent little girl whose life was transformed forever.


"There you are. I thought you was running from me.” He made a come hither motion with his finger and I did what he wanted..."

Jay tried to warn me to be still ...He released one hand and grabbed the worm with the other. As quickly as he grabbed the worm, he let it go. Then he pulled my panties down...

I knew he didn’t want to play dolls, I knew he didn’t want to talk.... All he wanted to do was put his hands in my secret spot and rub me. He wanted to try and put his snake into me and he wanted to get on top of me….

He gained entrance to my panties and began to rub the small slit between my legs...I felt the strange sensations again, moving down my thighs...I was gripping the bedspread so tightly that my knuckles were turning white...I couldn’t bear it...I just couldn’t stand looking at what he was doing.

-excerpt from the story

Innocence Stolen From An Early Age


From a very early age, Juliana was repeatably molested and raped by one of her closest relatives. Every day was a struggle to survive. Her innocence was stolen from her and she would never be the same. This haunted her for the rest of her life. Because of social stigma, coming out and accusing her abuser would mean being ridiculed for life. She was forced to keep this a secret, even though it killed her inside. Jay knew this, and because of this he knew he have his way with Juliana...

Award Winning Story


Since its release, this story has become a national best seller for child abuse and has captured the hearts of thousands of people. This is not just a story about terrifying abuse and rape, this is a story about a little girl who escaped from hell and became a stronger person because of it.

Buy the book now and read the true story of Juliana Hurd, never before released to the public.




Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remastered 40th anniversary edition on the big screen

Texas Chainsaw Massacre remastered 40th anniversary

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remastered 40th anniversary

Leatherface is nuts

So last night I got to see the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remastered 40th anniversary edition on the big screen. The movie was shown at the Treehouse Cinema in Gulf Breeze Florida and hosted by local horror group Nightmare Theatre. This was my first time to actually see TCM on the big screen, and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remastered  40th anniversay edition is absolutely beautiful. I’m not going to get into technical specs about sound, video, aspect or whatever because I’m not that guy. I will just say the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remastered 40th anniversary version looks beautiful, it sounds beautiful and it is worth seeing on the big screen.

I have been a fan of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre since before I can remember. As a kid I saw the movie posters in the local theater, but never saw the film itself there. I’m not even sure it ever actually played there. TCM doesn’t sound like a good match for a small town theater in rural Mississippi in the 70s. I cant even remember when I first saw the movie. The commercials for it, and the sequels always intrigued me, but they also scared me a little. Okay, they scared me a lot. They promised blood, gore, and horror. Which was masterful advertising, since the first film has so little blood and gore.

Marilyn Burns in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre  remastered 40th anniversary

The Late Marilyn Burns as Sally Hardesty in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remastered 40th anniversary edition

What The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre did have, that it’s gorier remake doesn’t have is insanity. The remake is bloody, it’s violent, and it’s gory. The characters are evil and they are unbalanced. But compare the families, the Hewitt family versus the Sawyer family of the original. Although they really didn’t get a family name in the original, it works for here. The original family was absolutely insane. Look at the cook, played by the late Jim Siedow. “I dont take no pleasure in killing” he says, completely serious one moment, and the next he is cackling, and urging Grandpa on in his attempt to kill Sally Hardesty. The whole dinner scene is insanity. People like this are capable of anything. This is horror, this is what modern filmmakers don’t get.

It’s one thing to show people doing bad things, doing horrible things, but show people doing insane things and it’s scary. Jason Voorhess is evil but his movies are no longer scary. Why? Maybe because he’s predictable. Is he insane? Probably? Crazy? Not so much, if anything Jason is predictable. Come to Crystal Lake and he will chase you, slowly, catch you and kill you, especially if you are having sex. Leatherface? Well now, Leatherface will chase you at high speed. He will chainsaw his door to pieces, even though he could probably just open it, or cut through the lock. Leatherface will put you in a freezer and sit down and have a moment of self doubt. Leatherface will spin in the road with a running chainsaw. Leatherface is fucking nuts. Even worse, he’s possibly the sanest member of the family.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remastered 40th anniversary edition with the Sawyer family

The family is even crazier in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remastered 40th anniversary edition

Probably the coolest thing about seeing The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remastered 40th anniversary edition on the big screen was seeing, and hearing people’s reaction. It was a small crowd, which was sad, but there were people there, and at least a few who had never seen the movie before. It is nice to know with all the crappy PG films, with all the horrible CGI, that the meat hook scene can still cause a reaction. Yep, some one exclaimed out loud, not the loudest shriek, but a reaction nonetheless. Call me naive, but I think a proper release with full studio promotion this film would draw. Yeah, I’m naive. Kids today are too jaded, they wouldn’t give it a chance, but if they did they would walk away happy, and maybe a bit scared to go down those lonely deserted roads.

So if you get the chance check out the Texas Chainsaw remastered 40th anniversary edition on the big screen, or just buy the DVD. It really is a wonderfully restored version, and well worth having without even touching on the extras. This is probably the best the film will ever look. But even beyond the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remastered 40th anniversary edition, if you are a horror fan, support when these films get shown on the big screen. Support the few small local theaters that still exist, and support your local horror community. For those of us living in the Lower Alabama, Florida Panhandle that is Nightmare Theatre and the Tree house Cinema in Gulf Breeze.

Nightmare Theatre will be hosting several cult horror films during the month of October, including Army of Darkness and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. If you are in the area I urge you to make the trip over the bridge and support these films, and the people hosting them.

 

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remastered 40th anniversary edition is availbale now on DVD and Blu Ray, and playing in select theaters



The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition [Blu-ray/DVD Combo] (Blu-ray)

Director: Tobe Hooper
Starring: William Vail, Paul A. Partain, Allen Danziger
Rating: R (Restricted)

It has been called grisly, sick, and perverse, , as well as raw, unshakeable, and the movie that redefined horror. It was attacked by churches, banned by governments, and acclaimed by only the bravest of critics. It stunned audiences worldwide and set a new standard in movie terror forever. Today writer-producer-director Tobe Hooper s dark, visionary tale remains unparalleled in its impact as perhaps the most frightening motion picture ever made.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of this beloved horror classic, MPI Media Group presents the original restored film in an all-new 4k scan authorized by Tobe Hooper, featuring a dynamic new 7.1 surround sound mix and never-before-seen outtakes!


Bonus Features:

Feature Commentary

Track 1: writer-producer-director Tobe Hooper, actor Gunnar Hansen, cinematographer Daniel Pearl

Track 2: actors Marilyn Burns, Allen Danziger, and Paul A. Partain, and production designer Robert Burns

Track 3: writer-producer-director Tobe Hooper

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Shocking Truth
Flesh Wounds: Seven Stories of the Saw
A Tour of the TCSM House with Gunnar Hansen
Off the Hook with Teri McMinn (1080p, 17:02)
Production Manager Roz Bozman interview (480p)
New Deleted Scenes & Outtakes
New interview with actor John Dugan ( Grandpa )
New interview with editor J. Larry Carroll
Deleted Scenes & Outtakes
Blooper Reel
Outtakes from "The Shocking Truth"
Dr. W.E. Barnes Presents "Making Grandpa" (still gallery)
Still Gallery (posters, lobby cards, etc)
Trailer 1
Trailer 2
TV Spot 1
TV Spot 2
TV Spot 3
Radio Spot 1
Radio Spot 2
List Price: $49.98 USD
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WCW: Pam Grier

So the big thing now is themed days like Woman Crush Wedsnesday, and Man Crush Monday, so why buck the trend; just give in with Woman Crush Wednesday: Pam Grier. That’s right, it’s Foxy Brown herself, the original and she’s a whole lot of woman.

Pam Grier as Coffy

Pam Grier as Coffy, Cult Film Woman Crush Wedsney

 

There was really no one else I could pick for the inaugral Woman Crush Wednesday here in the Coven.  Pam Grier is one of the most beautiful women to ever light up the big screen (or small screen). Pam has had starring roles in blacksploition films like Foxy Brown, Coffy and Sheba, she has had smaller roles in women in prison films like the Big Bird Cage, as well as guest appearances on television shows like Miami Vice. She brought it full circle taking the lead in Quentin Tarantino’s homage to exploitation Jackie Brown.

Pam Grier as Jackie Brown

Pam Grier kicks ass as Jackie Brown

Grier was one of the first female action stars. She was tough, no nonsense, straight to the point. She could be hard as nails and had no qualms about blowing someone away, but she never lost her sexy. In fact she used her sexy to get what she wanted. She truly paved the way for women in action films, a path still not heavily tred. In a time when female leads were rare, here was a black female. I grew up in the deep south, in a family that was not racially sensitive, but when I saw Pam Grier, all I saw was a beautiful woman. A beautiful woman kicking ass and taking names. She still is my number one crush of cult and exploitation film, hell my number one crush of all film.

Pam Grier sexy in Native headdress

Sexy Pam Grier

 

I came close to meeting Pam once, but had a prior committment. I only hope I get that chance again. Luckily I did have a friend snag me an autograph, but I realy want to meet her in person. Who the hell wouldn’t want to meet her? Pam Grier you are my Woman Crush Wednesday




In this sexy, often shocking, memoir, you will get to know the real Pam Grier in all her battles and triumphs, her disappointments and her victories.

This book is broken down into Three Parts: The Early Years, 'Fros and Freaks, and Finding the Balance.

Chapters include:

  • Chapter One: ARMY BRAT
  • Chapter Two: MEETING MONSTERS
  • Chapter Three: ANIMALS OVER PEOPLE
  • Chapter Four: THE SUMMER OF FAILED LOVE
  • Chapter Five: MOVING TO THE PULSE
  • Chapter Six: LEW AND ALLAH
  • Chapter Seven: BLAXPLOITATION BREAKOUT
  • Chapter Eight: THREE STRIKES AND I'M OUTTA THERE!
  • Chapter Nine: TRIAL BY LOSS
  • Chapter Ten: FIGHTING FOR HER LIFE
  • Chapter Eleven: NO MAN'S LAND
  • Chapter Twelve: GOING BROWN: FROM FOXY TO JACKIE
  • Chapter Thirteen: THE L WORD
  • Chapter Fourteen: HEALING AND HORSE SENSE
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Shock Waves (1977)

 

Nazi zombies from Shock Waves (1977)

Arise Zombie! Shock Waves

When it comes to the genre of Nazi Zombie movies, the field might be a bit small but it’s filled with good choices, and Shock Waves is probably the best choice of them all.  Wait there is a whole sub genre of Nazi zombie horror?  Yes, yes there is Virginia. Recent films like Dead Snow and Dead Snow 2, join the Outpost series, and  Jean Rollin’s 1981 Zombie Lake (and a few other odd entries) but the king of them all is Shock Waves from 1977.

Shock Waves stars Hammer Stalwart Peter Cushing as a former Nazi scientist along with Brooke Adams, who sizzles the screen in her bikini, and former Flipper star Luke Halpin all grown up. Shock Waves also stars one of the most iconic actors in horror, John Carradine playing one of his usual gruff, cantankerous characters.

The film starts off with Brooke Adams being found floating adrift, looking far worse then she does later in the film. She relates her story, which becomes the main body of the film. Carradine is the captain of a broken down boat taking Adams and a group of vacationers on an island tour, a three hour tour. Well actually it’s about ninety minutes. Halpin is his long suffering first mate, who has attracted the eye and attention of Adams.

Brooke Adams in a yellow bikini in Shock Waves

Brooke Adams helps make Shock Waves (1977) visually appealing

Things quickly go from cantankerous, to bad to worse, as the boat is enveloped in a strange orange haze, then side-swiped by a mysterious ghost ship. The crew and passengers find themselves scuttled on a mysterious island, sans the Captain and with a rusting hulk looming nearby. They go ashore to find a seemingly deserted hotel, where they run into Cushing and his strangely British sounding German accent.

Peter Cushing in Shock Waves

Peter Cushing gives his best go at a German accent in Shock Waves

People start to disappear and Cushing relates how he helped engineer Nazi super soldiers who could exist in any extreme and were virtually indestructible, When the reich was collapsing he was ordered to dispose of his group of water breathing zombies (is that an oxymoron? breathing zombies?). He accomplishes this by sinking the ship they are on, in what was probably not such a smart way to get rid of water breathing monsters.

The castaways aren’t buying it till the goggle clad undead attack in force, forcing a desperate fight and flight to get off the island.  This eventually takes us full circle, and spoiler free, to the opening scene.

I have a fondness for horror films from this era, and Shock Waves is one of my favorite. It is also highly under rated and gets no where near the buzz of other horror classics of the seventies. While it might not be a genre defining film, it is a one of those movies that still packs an impact today.

The effects aren’t flashy but they come across as reaslistic. No rotting, walking dead, type zombies but they look suffeciently water logged, and the goggles and Nazi uniforms add a chillingly creepy look to the undead.

The actors all do there job, Carradine is the same old Carradine as he is in so many movies, gruff, angry and mean.  Cushing gives his usual commanding preformance in his limited screen time. He is perfect in the role, even though the accent doesnt exactly fit. If I have one issue with Shock Waves, it’s that I would have loved to see much more of Cushing in the film.

Brooke Adams and her bikini almost steal the film from the two horror icons. Acting wise, she holds her own. Oscar worthy? No, but for one of her first starring roles it’s good enough, and doesn’t hurt the film. The scenes of her in a bikini though are truly epic. She wears a swimsuit like a swimsuit should be worn,and her underwater scenes rival those of Jacqualine Bisset in The Deep, without the wet t-shirt.

Brooke Adams in a bikini

Bikini clad Brooke Adams has a glow about her in Shock Waves

The one thing that makes Shock Waves a classic, in my opinion, is the armosphere. From the very opening a sense of dread hangs over the movie. From the lighting, to the sound, to the zombies themselves,Shock Waves is one creepy movie. The mood and atmosphere is also one of the things that make it just effective today as it was when it was released.

While so many movies, even the acknowledged classics like Halloween and The Hills Have Eyes, are heavily dated, and dont hold that same punch, Shock Waves still makes for great late night viewing.

Shock Waves is available now on Amazon video on demand and DVD and is scheduled to be released on Blu Ray later this year. Do yourself a favor and check it out on which ever format you prefer



Shock Waves (Amazon Video)

Director: Ken Wiederhorn
Starring: Peter Cushing, Brooke Adams, Fred Buch, Luke Halpin, John Carradine
Rating: R (Restricted)

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Just One More, Trying to sleep with H.P. Lovecraft

 

 

by: Sherrie Hurd, Freelance writer and guest blogger

I woke up from a grizzly nightmare, yet again. It was set in a dark, fairly moldy terrain. The air was filled with the scent of rancid meat and charged with energy. In the sky burned a morbid fire. But it was the light of my bedroom light flooding my newly waken form. 20121010-4-reanimator-306x-1349883981

The dream lingered on through consciousness, tickling my spine and causing me to look around the room. I was frightened. Even though the dream was gone and the average world where nothing really every happened, was back. I was in my bed and I was wet with sweat.

To some, this sounds sexy. Well, to me it has become a pattern of dread. I know that when I close my eyes, I will think of it again. I will see hunks of writhing flesh, half animated, yet falling from the bone. I will see this and open my eyes. No, Freddy isn’t coming to get me and there are no chainsaws buzzing in the distance. All I can hear are whispers…

“We have to get another one. We shall try the cemetary across the field.”

This quote may not be exact, it probably isn’t, to be honest. But I know that it is close enough. I know that this story will never live up to the nightmare it has spawned in my head. The way it recaps from chapter to chapter, dragging the razor blade across the skin.

This dreaded nightmare of searching for a better one, has reminded me of my eluding sleep. I watch in my mind’s eye as Herbert West re-animates his former professor. The thoughts of energized flesh that should be rightfully rotting in the ground, turns my stomach. But I remember the story, the original story.

“We have to get another one. We took too long this time.”

The words grow course and rip through my peaceful mind. I feel like I will never get to sleep. There, the dream awaits. I know it is waiting to kill me, just to see If I should rise again. I whimper and pull my legs up to guard myself in my bed womb. There is only so much gore I can take. If one more corpse is reanimated, I shall scream!

“There was just too much this time. I shall alter the dosage.”

I see a shadow in the door way, but the shadow is wrong. There is a flat terrain atop the shoulders. I smell something akin to roadkill and vomit. Could it be? I want to climb into the walls and find sanctuary, but I know that I have gone too far this time. Light suddenly fills the room with the loud sound of a click. I get a glimpse of my teenage son, bending low over his bowl of popcorn. He is trying to eat from the bowl with his face.

“Mama, You want to watch a movie with me?”

I am relieved, and it looks like I shall be up for a while. Maybe the movie can drown out the dead voices in my ears.

“So, what are we watching, son?”

My teen sets his bowl down on the dresser and hold his hands out to explain. He always talks with this hands. I mean, if you cut them off, he would not be able to talk.

He starts his explaination. “Well, you see, we had to read this book in class.”

“Oh yeah, what was it?”

“Not sure, I think it was by H.P. Lovecraft. ReAnimator…or something like that.”

I am numb and so I smile weakly at my son. “That’s okay sweetheart. I think I will try and get some sleep.”

I mean, who tells their students to reads H.P. Lovecraft? Hm, maybe there is hope for the school system yet. At least I can discuss this with the corpses in my dreams tonight. What’s say it boys, want to go get another one?

An army of dead scream in unison. A jaw falls off here, an arm over there; we are just horrifically awesome. As I finally drift off to sleep, I am smiling. I can smell them all dancing in my dreams. There amongst the busy throng of the dead, stands Herbert West. He looks angry.

“Damn, it wasn’t fresh enough!”

 



Re-Animator (The Millennium Edition) (DVD)

Director: Stuart Gordon
Starring: Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton, David Gale, Robert Sampson
Rating: R (Restricted)

Stuart Gordon's adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's Herbert West: Re-Animator puts a Night of the Living Dead spin on the classic Frankenstein story. Jeffrey Combs furrows his brow and bugs his eyes as the preternaturally intense Herbert West, a maverick medical student whose gory, gooey experiments cause bloody corpses and body parts to jerk to life. Bruce Abbot is the studious roommate drawn into his extracurricular experiments, which soon involve the dean's daughter (the frequently naked Barbara Crampton) and the college's cadaverous, calculating star professor (David Gale), who literally loses his head over a battle for West's discovery. In this world, that's only a minor setback. Charged with sick gallows humor and a ghoulish gallery of undead beasties, Re-Animator, like Evil Dead II, is one of the most inspired and inventive--and funniest--horror films of the 1980s. Combs, Abbot, and Gale reunite for the almost-as-entertaining sequel Bride of Re-Animator. --Sean Axmaker
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Cult Films, From The Time Warp to Planet Terror

RHPS-Frank-Columbia-Magenta-Lap_full

 

 

by: Sherrie Hurd
Freelance writer/guest blogger

Traditional Cult films started out as serious films. They were works of entertainment that were totally different from modern day films. The cult films of the 70’s were never meant to be Kooky and downright hilarious. Bad effects and fake blood had the audience screaming in horror.

Were we truly entertained by this? Well, of course we were. Somehow we find amazement in artistic experience of our own time and era, when in retrospect, we can see each flaw clearly. Writers, producers and directors took great pride in their creations. With unflinching convictions, the movie industry saw big opportunities.

Films were not made to gather a large following of fans who quoted every silly line and acted out all the dramatic scenes from the film. In fact, some people are offended by the strange following that their films collect. These films were basically created for money. What happened after that was pure fate. Whether these movies were made for profit or for personal reasons, a transition would come none-the-less, and no amount of cutting edge gore from the 70’s would make any difference.

Controversial films changed and cheap effects  to ridiculously cheesy creations. Great actors portrayed classic attributes of characters from the 70’s. This time, the acting was superb but the story line, much like the plots of the past, was quirky and unbelievable.

People everywhere were quoting from classic movies, building fan clubs. Late nights, you might have caught your neighbor dancing to the Time Warp. Favorites such as the all-time cult classic “Rocky Horror Picture Show” were dreaded and avoided in the time of its inception. Today, this cult classic has such huge following, that you would never have guess it was ever unpopular.  Mainstream, maybe not, Beloved, oh hell yeah!

Slowly but surely, cult films gained immense popularity. These films sat hiding in the shadows, waiting for the avid follower to discover them. Their unrealistic beauty was captivating. When the discovery was made, society changed.

And, as if that were not enough, cult films birthed their own line of action figures, comic books and remakes. This does not even include the sickening number of sequels that really go above and beyond slapstick. As the transition moved on, more ideas created more plots that would soon spread the sickness even further. Cult classics became an addiction. For the lover of these films, there was never enough.

Now, since the cult films are made and specifically selected for the movie industry; what was once an unintended consequence, is a goal. You must and you have to create beautiful trash! Cult films have formed their own genre through the growing popularity of this mindset. Beautifully strange movies have taken over. Even the die-hard fanatic searches for new films before their introduction. Cult fans are so engrossed in some films and then they never hit “Cult status”. The films are then dropped immediately by such fickle followers.

So, with this being said, what is better? Is it better to be an accidental underground hit or is it more creative to bring Cult films into the light as mainstream entertainment! Then again, mainstream may not be easy, but at the rate of cult film popularity, nothing is impossible anymore.

Is it all about the depth and content of the film, or is it the cult ingredients that make the movie popular? Looking at the differences between yesterday and today, there is only one certainty. Cult films are alive and well. This popularity will grow in the coming years.




An exploitation movie explosion of grindhouse movie reviews, rare posters, stills, lobby cards and original fanzine pages. Theme’70 is the first British book solely rooted in the lurid territories of seventies exploitation cinema. Starting life as a fanzine back in 1992, Theme’70 the book is a mutation of new colour content and the raw, unfettered original pages ripped directly from the original (long out of print) fanzines. The result is a veritable exploitation explosion of rare movie posters, stills, movie reviews, pre-cert VHS reviews and retro ads. If you are seeking Bruce Lee rip-offs, Claudia ‘Gator Bait’ Jennings, Peter Fonda vs Satanists, bald lunatics, crown queen of blaxploitation Pam Grier, Fred ‘The Hammer’ Williamson, Jim ‘Black Belt Jones’ Kelly and John Saxon, alongside hard knuckle video reviews of Dynamite Brothers, Blue Sunshine, Tattoo Connection, Switchblade Sisters, Stacey, Black Heat, Death Dimension, Tattoo Connection and The Candy Tangerine Man… you’ve come to the right place.
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Shriek of the Mutilated (1974)

Shriek of the Mutilated

Shriek of the Mutilated (1974)

Fido is home

 

Before I saw Shriek of the Mutilated (1974), I considered Return to Boogy Creek as the worst Big Foot movie ever. Now I know how horribly wrong I was. Shriek of the Mutilated falls into the “so bad it’s good” category. Barely. It definitely helps to have a fondness for bad movies, the 70s, and booze when you decide to check Shriek of the Mutilated (1974).

The story involves Professor Prell leading a group of graduate students into the woods on a search for the Yeti. Said yeti apparently migrated from Nepal to the states during the 60s. Before they embark the professor throws a party, where one of his former students tells of his experience on a yeti hunt. He claims to be the only survivor, other than the professor and the experience has led him to becoming an alcoholic.

The kids pay him little mind, writing him off as an insane drunk. Later that night the former student attacks his wife with a knife and cuts her throat. With her last strength, she dumps a toaster in his bath tub where he is sitting fully clothed.

The students and professor head out to Boot Island home to the professor’s friend Dr. Warner and his mute Native American servant Laughing Crow. The island is also home to a yeti, trapped by the melting ice, they surmise.

They begin their search for the yeti and when two of the students are killed the professor suggests using the bodies as bigfoot bait. Things don’t go as planned as the yeti, which looks exactly like a man in a St Bernard suit, outsmart them.

spoilers for Shriek of the Mutilated (1974)

Shriek of the Mutilated (1974)

Pardon me, do you have a moment to hear the word of Jesus Christ our savior?

It turns out that the yeti is in fact, a man in a yeti suit. Ok, I was almost right. Professor Prell and Dr. Warner are in fact cannibals preparing for a large satanic celebration. The rules of their society call for the main course to die without a mark on their body. Thus the yeti ruse was all to scare one of the students to death.

Karen is captured and tormented while her boyfriend Keith, aka scared ass pussy, leaves her and runs for help. The local police are, of course, involved, and when Keith reaches them for help, he is trapped. Professor Prell offers to let him live to return to civilization to keep the yeti myth alive. Laughing Crow turns out to not only be the most offensive Native American character ever on film, but he isn’t even deaf. The movie ends with Laughing Crow asking “Dark meat or white” as Keith is about to be force-fed Karen.

Laughing Crow in Shriek of the Mutilated

Laughing Crow, making Tonto look good

Shriek of the Mutilated is really bad. It’s bad all the way through, on a level with Ed Woods most uninspired work. From the film and sound quality, to the non-existent acting, silly story and not very special effects. Seriously the rubber suit in Robot Monster has nothing on the yeti costume. There is some blood but it’s so silly that only the youngest kids would be shocked or bothered.

Most of the violence happens off-screen, and when it doesn’t, you kind of wish it did. One ludicrous scene near the end has the cannibal party goers holding Keith down. They stab him with their steely knives (actually forks and spoons but I couldn’t resist) but they never break the skin. Nevertheless spots of blood appear all over his stomach. No wounds mind you, just the blood M’am.

Shriek of the Mutilated is one of those films to watch with a cold beer, group of friends and a light heart. It’s pure camp and should be enjoyed as such. I’m sure the director thought he was making a serious film, but even in the 70s it’s hard to see this film being taken seriously by audiences. Remember this came out two years after Last House on the Left, so good, hard horror films were being made then. So if you are a fan of bad movies, really bad movies, I think you might like Shriek of the Mutilated. I ended up laughing a lot so I guess I have to officially give it my seal of approval.



Shriek of the Mutilated (DVD)

Director: Sinister Cinema

Alan Brock, Jennifer Stock, Tawn Ellis, Darcy Brown. Uncut. What is the grisly, hides secret of the murdering white yeti? A group of college students finds out when they venture to a mysterious island. Low budget and REALLY awful in places, but at times chillingly effective. A Shostokovich type score much like that used in THE BRAIN EATERS. Color, from 35mm.

When sold by Amazon.com, this product will be manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.

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Zombie Holocaust (1980)

Zombie Holocaust

Lori, Queen of the Cannibals

If you ever wondered what it would look like to cross the Italian cannibal genre and the Italian zombie genre, then Zombie Holocaust (1980), by director Marino Girolam, might be for you. Zombie Holocaust is also known as Zombi 3, but any attempt to make sense of the numbering of European zombies films is futile. Just go with Zombie Holocaust.

Now if you are one of those movie watchers who enjoy a tight script that actually makes sense, smart dialogue, and believable acting move along. Why the fuck are you reading about European zombie films anyway? But if you can get past the lack of real storytelling and just enjoy the gross out effects, buckets of gore and eye-popping nudity, carry on.

Zombie Holocaust (1980) is an unofficial sequel to the popular Fulci film Zombi, )or Zombi 2, or Zombie 2, or Zombie Flesh Eaters) however there is little in common between the films. Beyond the title and the casting of Zombi star Ian McCulloch in a similar role, similar settings, and the use of the undead, and nothing else is similar.

Like Fulci’s classic, Zombie Holocaust starts off in New York City. There are a series of cannibal attacks at a large hospital. When the culprit is caught it turns out he is from a group of Asian islands that was also the home of morgue assistant Lori, played by Alexandra Delli Colli. Investigating with Dr. Peter Chandler, played by McCulloch, they find there have been a rash of cannibal attacks across New York.

Screaming nurse in Zombie Holocaust

Shocked nurse in Zombie Holocaust (1980)


They head out to the islands and confer with a Dr.Obero, who assigns them guides and directs them to the furthermost island to investigate. They set sail to the island but boat trouble forces them to land on another island instead. Here they are attacked by cannibals, and most of their party is killed and eaten. Chandler and Lori are about to be put on the menu when zombies appear and frighten off the cannibals.

Fleeing from cannibal and zombie alike, they run into Dr. Obero who, learning of their plight, comes to rescue them. However it soon turns out Obero has a more sinister motive than just rescue. It seems Obero has been using the cannibals in his experiments to pressure the dead. Thus he now controls the zombies and intends to use Chandler in his next experiment.

Lori escapes Obero, but is quickly captured by the cannibals. They take her back to their cave lair where they strip her naked, paint her, and declare her queen of the cannibals. It seems these cannibals are always looking for a blonde chick to be their queen. After the ceremony, which gives the viewer some awesome anatomical shots of Lori’s body, the newly crowned queen leads her subjects to attack the doctor and his zombies. After the almost laughable battle, Lori and Peter escape, running from the wrath of Fulci fans and into the closing credits.

As far as European zombie films go, Zombie Holocaust isn’t the worst of the bunch (see Zombie 4:Killing Birds, or Zombie After Life for reference), but it is far and away from Fulci’s Zombi. The story and plot are pretty ridiculous, even for Italian standards, and the zombie effects are really shitty to be honest. The cannibal scenes are a bit more realistic and are bloody enough to keep the gore hound placated.

The overall plot is pretty standard, and similar to Fulci’s film. Attacks in New York send investigators to remote island to investigate. However the story with Dr. Obero is just confusing and goofy. I was never really sure what he was attempting with his brain transplants. Was that how he created zombies? Or was he actually experimenting in actual brain transplants?

Also you are never really sure why the cannibals hated him. He says he persuaded them to go back to cannibalism, he provides them with food, even gives them the scalps after his experiments. Hell you could even look at the zombies as meals on wheels almost, a mobile buffet. Still, none of this matters in an Italian zombie movie. It’s style over substance and you have to accept that.

So for style, the weakest part of the film were the zombies. Their make up was beyond amateur. It basically looks like guys in rubber masks with some gore smeared on. None of them really seemed to be rotting away either, in fact more looked pretty healthy and strong.

The zombies themselves seemed to be caught in some limbo between pre Romero Haitian voodoo zombies and modern fast track zombies. They didn’t ever really run but they were prone to bursts of speed near the end of the film. Early on they did nothing but shamble, like a good zombie should, but during they last half they were able to grab fleeing characters and hold them tight. Plus they were apparently able to be controlled by Dr. Obero.

The stronger parts of the film included the cannibals who were realistic enough, and there was plenty of bloodshed. Still it’s hard to fuck up cannibal make up. Just grab some exotic, native looking extras, put them in loin cloth and face paint and viola!

By modern standards the gore might look cheesy, but there is quite a bit of it. A man has his eyes pulled out by a cannibal who is munching on his guts, the eyes then become snacks. A zombie has his head shredded by a boat propeller. We see a woman who has been scalped alive. Beyond all this numerous shootings of cannibals, people caught in traps and murdered, and even scenes of cannibals eating a fighting zombie.

The acting is goofy, but I can’t knock it too hard since I watched a dubbed copy. Now before you start yelling about subtitles, I love subtitles. Whenever I am watching a serious foreign language film I opt for subtitles whenever possible. However when I am watching Euro Zombie, and some chop socky martial arts films, I like the dub. It adds to the already silliness of the script. My first experience with foreign cinema was dubbed Italian horror and westerns, and I guess it’s grown on me.

So while the dialogue and acting seemed silly, I can’t be sure how much was due to the dubbing factor. One of my favorite goofy lines, paraphrased, “The cannibals eat dead people. Last I checked we were all alive” and cue the first scream.

Zombie Holocaust (1980)

Not the way to get head in your bed-Zombie Holocaust

One of my favorite parts of Zombie Holocaust was the beautiful Alexandra Delli Colli as Lori. Tall blonde and shapely she undresses completely for the camera twice. Not shy we are treated to two full frontal scenes, one of them lying spread eagle on a table as it is raised, leaving little to the imagination.

Zombie Holocaust Lori in lingerie

Sexy Alexandra Delli Colli from Zombie Holocaust (1980)

Usually when watching a European movie from the 70s or early 80s, I have to make some comment about female pubic grooming. Well for the time period, Alexandra was groomed much tidyier, than the female leads in the Spanish Countess Perverse. Really there’s a difference between natural and abandoned homestead.

I liked Zombie Holocaust, but then I am a fan of these garish, gory, and at times silly movies. If you are able to enjoy a film without taking it too seriously, you might like it too. It’s no Walking Dead, no Romero, or even Fulci, but in the pantheon of European zombie films, it’s worth seeing.
Zombie Holocaust was released under the title Dr. Butcher M.D, with added scenes and a different score. While it was never officially on the video nasty list, it was only released uncut in the U.K in 2001. In the US, the original uncut version was released in 2002 on DVD by Shriekshow. Check it out.



Zombie Holocaust [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)

Director: various
Starring: Ian McCulloch
Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)

The long-awaited
fan favorite
finally available
on Blu-ray!

In an effort to expose a flesh-eating cult in New
York City, a team of scientists sets out on an
expedition to the primitive island of Keto. They
are soon trapped in the wilderness, surrounded
by a tribe of murderous cannibals and an army
of deadly zombies!
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Halloween Contest Part 2

Ok now for the top prize. The winner of the Halloween giveaway for the Byzantium Blu Ray nd second place the Trick r Treat DVD.

The winner of the first place and the Byzantium Blu Ray, and the winner may also choose to take a DVD instead of Blu Ray, is Jim Watson. Jim Please send me your physical address to albrson@gmail.com. Also send me your preference of Blu Ray or DVD.

Second place winner of the Trick r Treat DVD is William Bozarth. WIll please send me your physical address to me t allbrson@gmail.com.

Congratulations to both of you