Today is the day we’ve been waiting for all year. The day where we fit in with the rest of the “normal” people! Where we can wear our usual horror t-shirts and not get the look we get when we were them the same around Christmas time! What? A Maniac T-shirt that says “I Warned You Not to Go Out Tonight” isn’t appropriate for midnight mass? Granted, for us, we all know that every day is Halloween and our love and passion for the horror genre is not something we celebrate once a year, but every single day. Hopefully everyone has still be able to enjoy this season, even with all the craziness going. I do miss the parties and get-togethers, but I really feel those will come back soon enough. Continue reading
Earlier this year, I posted my review of Taking Shape: Developing Halloween from Script to Screen, by Dustin McNeil and Travis Mullins. It was not a book I thought I would be interested in because I thought I knew as much about the early Halloween films that I need to or when it came to the later sequels, as much as I cared to. But I found the book fascinating and ended up loving it. Well now McNeill and Mullins are back for Taking Shape II: The Lost Sequels.
If you think this covers a couple of films that never got made, think again. This volume covers 24 (!?!?!) lost Halloween sequels that never made it past the script stage and onto the big screen. You’ll get to read about these from the people directly involved, some being heard publicly for the first time. At 600 pages and priced under $30, you can bet that this will have so much trivia and information about these films that never came to be, hearing insights and ideas of what some wanted to do. That alone seems pretty intriguing if you’re a fan of the Halloween series.
Here is some of the subjects covered in this volume. See if this doesn’t wet your whistle… Continue reading
Author Troy Howarth, in his free time between all the amazing and informative audio commentaries he’s been cranking out, has finished his newest book, this time focusing on the one and only John Carpenter. Few directors these days can have more than a few titles in their filmography that are considered classics, not to mention damn good films, but Carpenter is definitely one of them.
This book “charts Carpenter’s trajectory from screenwriter-for-hire to director of low-budget oddities like Dark Star (1974) to his meteoric rise and fall within the very system he came to distrust. All of Carpenter’s films are analyzed in detail, including his forays into made-for-TV fare, and his various sideline projects as a writer, a composer, and a producer are also examined.”
It also contains brand new interview’s with actor/director Keith Gordon, Carpenter’s wife Sandy King-Carpenter, as well and Carpenter himself. It also features guess essays by Matty Budrewicz & Dave Wain, Lee Gambin, John Harrison, Randall D. Larson, Robert Russell LaVigne, Francesco Massaccesi, Paul Poet, and Nick Smith.
The book is now available on Amazon in the color edition, but soon will be available in a black and white version as well. I can’t really see how this could not be a welcome edition to any film fan’s library. I know it will soon be in mine!
Born: March 12th, 1946
If you are a fan of horror movies from the ’70s and ’80s, then you just might have seen Cundey’s work. If you’re a fan of the early works of John Carpenter’s, such as Halloween (1978), The Fog (1980), and The Thing (1982), then you definitely know his work, as well as his talent! Cundey is now one of the top rated cinematographers in the business. But before all of that, he was working quite often in the horror genre, shooting some classic titles and making them look better than they ever should have.
Just look at his early resume and you’ll see a lot of favorites listed there, such as The Witch Who Came from the Sea (1976), Creature from Black Lake (1976), Ilsa: Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks (1976), Satan’s Cheerleaders (1977), Without Warning (1980), Jaws of Satan (1981), and the list goes on. But it probably his work with Carpenter that he is most known for, making five pictures with him, which now are all considered essential titles in the genre.
So even while he may have gone on to work more in the bigger budgeted Hollywood films, we owe this man a lot of thanks for the way that some of these great films looked.
Horror scholar David J. Skal has a new book coming out this fall, just in time for Halloween, entitled Fright Favorites: 31 Movies to Haunt Your Halloween and Beyond. Presented by Turner Classic Movies, Skal takes on 31 films ranging from the silent era, hitting a few titles from each decade through the ’80s, and a few beyond that. Most of these everyone will agree are classics, with a few comedies listed in the later day titles. The description in Amazon says they are “family-friendly” but not sure The Exorcist (1973) and The Thing (1982) are ones I would be screening for 8-year old Timmy! Continue reading
Fecund Horror: Slashers, Rape/Revenge, Women in Prison, Zombies and Other Exploitation Dreck
Self-Published in 2016, 158 pages.
By Noah Berlatsky
This was a tough one. I had a feeling that this might fit into one of my Psycho-Babble categories, and boy, was I right. Granted, when you have the word “dreck” in your title, after naming a few sub-genres, it kind of gives you the feeling that these are not spoken with any fondness. Which is even stranger because it does seem like Berlatsky likes a lot of the films he’s writing about.
As with many of these types of books, the authors are very smart, educated, and like to quote a lot of different material, giving credibility to their speculations and theories. But once again, I feel a lot of what is read into these films is just pure Freudian fiddle-faddle, trying to point out anything that could remotely be taken for or looked at in a sexual manner. Therefore, anything that is long and hard is always going to be taken as phallic symbolism. I’m sure it might be in there in some cases, but for the most part… I still call bullshit. Continue reading
Taking Shape: Developing Halloween from Script to Scream
Published by Harker Press, 2019. 439 pages.
By Dustin McNeill & Travis Mullins
The Halloween series, as a whole, is not one that I would say I’m a huge fan of. I love the original and really like its sequel. This might have something to do with it playing at the theater I worked at upon the sequel’s initial release, where I would get to see parts of it over and over and over again, seeing its effect on the audience time after time. And yes, I was one of those original haters on Season of the Witch, but have since gotten over that and realize the pure genius of that entry. But from then on, there was never a sequel that I got excited over, or was waiting for its release.
Sacrilege, you say? I just felt the sequels got dumber with each entry. When Rob Zombie took his turn, while I thought the first one was better than the last several, I still didn’t care for it. And I still am confused at the reaction to the latest one, when we saw the re-re-re-return of Jamie Lee Curtis, with fans acting like it was her first return since the 1981 film.
Now you might be asking yourself why am I stating how much I really don’t care for the Halloween series as a whole? Because even with all of that being stated, I devoured this book! Continue reading
Do we really need yet another book on the Halloween series? Well, since one of the authors is Dustin McNeill, who gave fans so much more insight into the Phantasm series with his book Phantasm Exhumed, then I would say YES! Not to mention that there is always more to learn about movies, especially a series that has been going on for over 40 years.
Just released and available on Amazon, Taking Shape has escaped from Harker Press and has over 400 pages of information about the Halloween series, including Rob Zombies two films, and the recent return of Laurie Strode in H40.
But what can this book bring you that we haven’t gotten already? How about a comprehensive story analysis of each of the films in the series? Or a rundown of all the deleted scenes, as well as the alternate ones. You’ll also get comparisons of early versions of the scripts to the final product, an in-depth dissection of the official novelizations (which could always be quite different than the films), and so much more.
The book is available now through Amazon and is a perfect title for the season. Priced at only $23.99, it’s a killer deal.
Never too early to start making your plans for the Halloween season right? I mean, stores are already starting to put out the decorations, so makes perfect sense to me. Granted, for a lot of us, the Halloween season is all year round!
The Egyptian Theatre in Dekalb, IL has announced a Horror Film Series in October, showing a classic horror film every Tuesday throughout the month. Tickets are $8 each and the movies will start at 7pm. Here is what they will be screening: Continue reading
Just as a reminder, tomorrow at the DePaul University Loop Campus, they will be holding their annual Pop Culture Conference, with their Celebration of Slashers. Starting at 9am and going to 6pm, the day will be filled with movie screenings of titles like Sleepaway Camp, Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, Candyman, Black Christmas, Halloween, Friday the 13th Part 3 in 3D. There will also be a variety of panels from scholars discussing such topics as Questioning the Slasher, Gods and Monsters: Religion and Politics in the Slasher, Feminism and the Final Girl, Under the Mask: Characters in Slashers, and many more.