Coscarelli’s Tales of Independent Filmmaking

Coscarlli BiographyDon Coscarelli. The man that created an amazing cinema legacy with his Phantasm series, not to mention a few other incredible cinematic journeys he’s taken us on, and usually outside of the Hollywood system. I can’t even fathom how hard that must be, and to do for it for over 40 years.

But now he is coming out with a book called True Indie: Life and Death in Film Making, being published this October by St. Martin’s Press. The 320 page book will be filled with tons of behind-the-scenes stories from over the years from his different films, such as “like setting his face on fire during the making of Phantasm, hearing Bruce Campbell’s most important question before agreeing to star in Bubba Ho-Tep, and turning Phantasm into a franchise phenomenon.”

While the book will be filled with some crazy stories, it will also “serve as a crash course on the indie film world”, one that Coscarelli is more than experienced in. That is the one of the many things that I’ve always admired about Coscarelli, that he never sold the Phantasm off to some major studio, but decided to keep it so he could have control over it. Lot of kudos to him for that.

So make sure you add this book to your Amazon Wish List, or wherever you get your books, because I’m sure this one is going to be a great read.

Book Review: Monster Squad

Monster Squad BookMonster Squad: Celebrating the Artists Behind Cinema’s Most memorable Creatures
Published by BearManor Media, 2017. 430 pages.
By Heather A. Wixson

In the early ’80s, makeup artists that worked on horror movies were becoming real celebrities, just as if they were the main stars of the films they worked on. Seeing names like Savini, Baker, or Bottin in the credits would get fans to go see a film on their participation alone. So many young fans out there were so inspired by these names, that they dabbled on their own with latex, spirit gum, and greasepaint, some more successful than others. Like a lot of us fans during that time, the movies affected us more than most people watching them. Some wanted to be part of the world that were creating this magic. That passion is what drove them to never stop trying, never stop learning, and just never stopping. That era when rubber monsters and outrageous creatures ruled the genre is over three decades ago, with quite a bit being replaced with CGI. But that hasn’t stopped some of these guys from continuing with their craft, still fueled by that same passion to create magic on the screen.

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Mystery Photo 3-12

Holy crap…almost forgot to post this week’s photo! Been a crazy day, but that’s no excuse! Our last photo was from the 2001 Lovecraft-based film from Stuart Gordon, Dagon! Been a while since I’ve seen it but I remember enjoying the hell out of it. Besides, seeing the lovely Macarena Gómez in one of her first movie roles is worth the time right there! Kudos to the following for sending in the correct answer: Hoby Abernathy, Aaron Christensen, Craig Clark, Kuba Haczek, Troy Howarth, Ken Johnson, Lori Ann Kuchta, Leon Marcelo, Phil Meenan, Kristin Wicks, William Wilson, and Greg Wojick. Nice to see so many names!

Okay, before the day’s over, let us get to this week’s photo. It is from another favorite of mine. Just look at how this frame is shot! Just brilliant! As always, PLEASE remember not to post your answers here but instead send them in an email to Good Luck!


Movie Review: The Devil Incarnate

El Caminante1

El Caminante (1979)
Directed by Paul Naschy
Starring Paul Naschy, David Rocha, Sara Lezana, Ana Harpo, Blanca Estrada, Silvia Aguilar

El CaminanteRecently released on Blu-ray from Mondo Macabre under the title The Devil Incarnate, this is noted as being one of the writer/director’s favorite films. But for those expecting the usual horror outing from Naschy, with vampires and werewolves, you might be a little disappointed. If you’re looking for a very unusual horror/comedy, one that had a very deep and personal meaning to the writer/director, then you might find yourself very intrigued by it. While I really did enjoy it, I sort of felt sad that its creator was ever in that dark of a period in his life, of not trusting many people in the business around him.

In his autobiography, Memoirs of a Wolfman, he stated “I wrote El Caminante in a very special frame of mind. Life had dealt me several harsh blows and I had gained a pretty negative impression of people. For me personally, friendships had been a lamentable disappointment. I knew all about betrayal and lack of loyalty and apart from my family – my parents, my wife and two sons – I didn’t believe there were many things worthwhile in this filthy rotten world. Later on three people appeared in my life who I consider true friends. However, the cry of anguish from the bottom of my soul which found expression through this movie is still valid today.” This film was made almost 40 years ago, and like Naschy wrote in his book over 20 years ago, the way society is still today, this message still rings true. Which again, is a pretty sad statement.

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Book Review: The Thrill of Repulsion

Thrill of RepulsionThe Thrill of Repulsion: Excursions into Horror Culture
Published by Schiffer Publishing LTD, 2016. 280 pages.
By William Burns

When I picked up this book from ebay, from the title I figured it would be another nice addition to my Psycho-Babble section in my library. But once I got it and started to browse through it, I was completely surprised at what this volume actually is about. What seemed to be moments later, I realized I had already read the first couple of chapters!

This tome is a couple of different kinds of books. The first part, which is on films, is what got my attention right away, is the lists. After a brief introduction, we get several chapters of the Top 13 lists, such as The 13 Most Disturbing Films That Aren’t Horror Movies, or The 13 Most Deranged Horror Director Debuts, or even The 13 Most Phantasmagorical Fantastique Films. In each of these chapters, the author lists the top 13 in that particular category that he feels are important and discusses them a bit. Now like with any list, there might be some arguments or discussions with the ones that Burns has come up with, but that is really what these kind of lists are for. But the other part is that possibly for more of novice fan, it gives you a little checklist to make sure you check the recommendations. Even more experienced fans might find a title or two they need to check out. I know I did. Even if you don’t agree with the titles mentioned in the lists, the author felt they were pretty important so they should be at least worth checking them out if you haven’t already. These little lists are a great way to add some titles to your “Need to Watch” list.

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Movie Review: Scalpel (1977)

Scalpel coverScalpel (1977)
Directed by John Grissmer
Starring Robert Lansing, Judith Chapman, Arlen Dean Snyder, David Scarroll

Nothing like the ’70s to have a movie with some creepy father lusting after his daughter! And Robert Lansing does a stellar job in the role too! Not sure if that’s a compliment or not.

Lansing stars as a plastic surgeon who has a daughter that has been missing for over a year. She just took off and nobody seems to know where she went. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that she witnessed him killer her boyfriend after he was watching them have a little sexual romp. So right off the bat, we see how seedy this guy is. After his father-in-law dies, leaving his estate to the missing daughter, he comes up with a plan, right after coming across a stripper who’d been beaten beyond recognition. Good thing he’s a plastic surgeon, huh? After a skillful operation, he has changed the face of this poor girl to look just like his daughter. Of course, when the real daughter shows up, things get even more weird.

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Movie Review: Basket Case

Basket Case

Basket Case (1982)
Directed by Frank Henenlotter
Starring Kevin Van Hentenryck, Terri Susan Smith, Beverly Bonner, Robert Vogel, Diana Browne, Lloyd Pace, Bill Freeman, Joe Clarke

Something amazing seems to happen when Arrow Video and Frank Henenlotter come together for a release of one of his films. When I got their release of Brain Damage (which happens to be my personal favorite of his films), there were so many great extras that those alone make it worth picking it up. And this release of his first feature film is just the same.

Basket Case is the simple story of a two brothers who seek revenge on the doctors that separated them. Okay, so one of them, Belial, is a deformed Siamese twin that never fully developed that was growing out of the side of the ‘normal’ brother, Duane. Belial is kept in a large wicker basket that Duane carries around. They arrive in New York to find the last of the medical team on their list. But of course, everyone reading this already knows the story because you’ve already seen this flick, most likely more than a couple of times, right? If not, then this is one title that is a necessary requirement in your horror education.

Basket Case 1

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