Movie Review: Tales from the Crypt Documentary

(2004)
Directed by Chip Selby
Starring John Carpenter, Jack Davis, Digby Diehl, Al Feldstein, William M. Gaines, George Romero, Bernie Wrightson

I grew up in the late 60’s / early 70’s, so the horror comics that I remembered reading in my youth were titles like Creepy and Eerie. The moniker Tales from The Crypt was from a movie as far as I knew. Once I started really getting into horror, I kept coming across references to these comic books from the ‘50s. Eventually, I would learn a little more about what EC comics had done a good 10 years before I was born. Then when the reprints started to come out, I was able to see and enjoy these wonderfully created images and stories that caused such a roar back in the mid 50’s.

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Need Some Epic Italian Zombie Soundtracks?

Okay, so they might not necessarily be “epic”, or even zombies depending on who you ask, but Quartet Records has given fans of some of the lower quality (but still damn entertaining) zombie or plague flicks from 1980!

Quartet Records, in collaboration with Cinevox Records has released the score for Bruno Mattei and Claudio Fragasso’s 1980 film Virus, also known as Virus Apocalipsis Canibal, and probably best known as Hell of the Living Dead or Night of the Zombies. Now, anybody that has seen this film probably noticed that there are some parts of the score that sounds a little like Goblin’s score for Romero’s Dawn of the Dead (1978), and you would be correct. In fact, there is also music lifted from the score Goblin did for Luigi Cozzi’s Contamination (1980), and even a bit from Fernando Di Leo’s crime drama Diamanti Sporchi di Sangue (1978), done by Luis Bacalov. But it did actually have some original music in it, from Gianni Dell’Orso.

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Creepshow 2 Book!

The original George Romero film Creepshow (1982) is one of my all-time favorite horror films, no questions. I would consider it one of those perfect films that just couldn’t get any better. So, when the sequel came out, trying to reproduce the same feeling of the original, I was very excited but very apprehensive that they would be able to strike gold twice. Well, they didn’t. But it not only was entertaining, I think it still holds up today.

One of the best ways to enjoy a film even more is to know more about the behind-the-scenes. When you understand maybe some of the production issues they had, or problems with the funds, cast and/or crew, it makes you see the end results a little differently. Might not make it a better film, but at least you see it and understand a few things a little differently. So, I’m thrilled to see a new book coming out that is tackling this sequel.

The Making of Creepshow 2 by Lee Karr will be published in August of this year, from Plexus Publishing. Running over 300 pages, author Karr chronicles the film from the pre-production to the finished product. There is a day-by-day diary with production files, scripts, storyboard art, and notes from director Michael Gornick himself. We get to hear from a ton of people involved in the film, from costume designers, stunt coordinators, and other members of the cast and crew.

I can’t wait to dig into this one!

Dawn of the Dead at Music Box in Chicago

Now I will admit that out of George Romero’s Dead Trilogy (yes, nothing exists after Day), I would put Dawn of the Dead (1978) as my least favorite. I know, I know, but I will defend that statement!

BUT . . . no matter what, if you have not had the chance to see this film in the theater, and live near the Chicago area, then you need to fix that and come out to the Music Box Theatre, either on Friday, Feb. 4th, or Saturday, Feb. 5th, for a special midnight screening of the original theatrical cut of this epic film. I’ve already checked and this will be screening in the main theater too!

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Soundtrack Review: The Dark Half

The Dark Half
Released by Varèse Sarabande, 1993
13 Tracks, with a Total Running Time of46 min.
Music Composed by Christopher Young

I’ve been a fan of Young’s work since those first notes from his Hellraiser score reached my ears. He never ceases to impress me with the sounds and feelings from his scores, and this is no different.

This one starts out with such a beautiful opening track, a pleasant piano tune that is quiet and somber, before some strings and other strange sounds start to come in. And then the angelic vocals! But even with all this striking sounds, there seems to be a darkness lurking under there, waiting to break free. Considering the story, it makes perfect sense. Continue reading

Discover the Horror….at the Drive-In!!!

With all the conventions cancelling for the year (and with good reason), it seems the only places we’re going to be hitting are the drive-ins! We’re looking into a few more events, but right now, we have 2 different Drive-In events that we’re going to be at.

The first one is next weekend, at the Skyline Drive-In in Shelbyville, IN, for their annual Super Monster Movie Fest! Taking place on Friday the 28th and Saturday the 29th, with this year’s theme being BUGS!!! Here’s the schedule of what is screening and the other events:

Friday, August 28th:

Friday, August 28th:
8:15 pm Sammy Terry
9 pm – The Deadly Mantis (1957) – Giant Praying Mantis!
11:15 pm – The Swarm (1978) – Killer Bees with an all-star cast
1:30 am – Mimic (1997) – Guillermo del Toro’s mutated cockroaches
3:30 am – Bug (1975) – William Castle’s flaming cockroaches
5:15 am Don Z’s 35mm Madness
Saturday, August 29th:
8:15 pm – Sammy Terry
9 pm – Them (1954) – The giant monster movie that started it all
10:30 pm – Sammy Terry
11:15 pm – Eight legged Freaks (2002) – David Arquette battles giant spiders
1:15 am – Starship Troopers (1997) – Join the Troopers!
3:45 am – The Black Scorpion (1957) – Giant scorpions in Mexico!
5:15 am Don Z’s 35mm Madness

Not only will we be there for this amazing event, but we will be selling copies of my book, Discover the Horror, which I will gladly sign for FREE! I’ll be somewhere where the vendors will be set up. Not sure the when and where exactly, but I’ll be there all weekend, so we should be pretty easy to find, unless I’m off getting a corndog!

For all the latest information, head over to the Skyline’s Facebook Events page HERE.

Then next month, on September 19th, we will be at the Midway Drive-in in Sterling, IL for their annual From Dusk Till Dawn Horrorfest. They have only announced two of the four features playing, but so far it looks like a great night of fun.

They will be screening a 4K restoration of George Romero’s original Night of the Living Dead (1968). If you’ve never had the chance to see this on the big screen, then you are truly missing out on an amazing experience. Also on hand for a book signing will be author Daniel Kraus who will be signing copies of his book The Living Dead, which is based on the story that George Romero started on before his death.

The second feature they have announced is John Carpenter’s The Fog (1980), another personal favorite of mine!

UPDATE! They have announced the other two features: David Cronenberg’s Rabid (1977) and Humanoids from the Deep (1980)! Really going to make sure I can stay up for all four of these great features!

There will be vendors there, including Kitley’s Krypt and Horror Slave, along with Jill & Gregg from Lix, featuring so many amazing shirts and hoodies, and so much more! For all the latest information about this event, just click HERE for the Midway’s website or HERE for their Facebook Events page.

So all that money you’ve been saving up for conventions, bring on out to the drive-ins! We hope to see you there!

Movie Review: Night of the Living Dead (1968)

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Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Directed by George A. Romero
Starring Duane Jones, Judith O’Dea, Marilyn Eastman, Karl Hardman, Judith Ridley, Keith Wayne, Russ Streiner, Bill Hinzman, Kyra Schon

When talking about an important title in any film genre, the word “classic” is probably used more times that it really deserves. I’m probably just as guilty as the next guy on that. But this is definitely not one of those times. When you’re talking about a film that gave birth to a whole new sub-genre of horror films, or one that makes an impact on viewers now just as it did over five decades before, then it really does deserve the moniker of a “classic”. Continue reading

Synapse Awakens Sleeping Corpses

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One of the first real over-the-top gory zombie films to be inspired by Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968) was released  6 years afterwards, directed by a Spanish filmmaker, but shot in England. It is also known by more than a few titles. I can remember looking it up in Phil Hardy’s Encyclopedia of Film and trying to figure out just what the real title was! Well, we are talking about Jorge Grau’s 1974 No profanar el sueño de los Muertos, which has been announced to be released on Blu-ray by Synapse Films this September. Continue reading

Untold Horror – The Real Stuff of Hollywood Nightmares

Untold HorrorBeing horror movie fans, unless you’re on the inside of the business, I don’t think we really know of the real horror that lies inside working in the Hollywood system. We see what is finally released, but what about all the ones that never made it to the greenlight and are now lost in oblivion? Well now we’ll have a chance to learn about a few of those, from the filmmakers that were there involved.

Coming this November, Dave Alexander, the former editor-in-chief of Rue Morgue magazine, gives us Untold Horror, a collection of interviews from directors, screenwriters, and producers like Guillermo del Toro, George Romero, Takashi Miike, and many more, that tell the tales of developmental hell they’ve been involved with in their careers. From the unmade Re-Animator sequels, to all the different remakes and sequels that never made it to the screen, such as the Halloween franchise. The book will feature art, scripts, and other production notes from films that never made it to the final product. 

Coming from Dark Horse Books in November, with a price tag of $39.99, this looks like a must for any fan of horror films that love to see behind the curtains of Hollywood. I’m sure there are going to be more than a few stories of films that us fans would have loved to see happen but didn’t. Stay tuned for more details when they become available.

Night of the Living Dead 50th Anniversary Screenings!

 

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That’s right, folks. It was 50 years ago that George Romero changed the face of horror cinema when he released his zombies onto the world in his little indie film Night of the Living Dead. I’m pretty sure all horror fans out there have seen Night, probably more than a few times. But have you had the chance to see it on the big screen? No? Then now is your chance.

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