As always, keep in mind that my list here are my favorites that I watched for the first time in 2019. You’ll noticed that while most of them are recent films, coming out in the last few years, there are some that are older, one that even came out over a decade ago! But to me, when I’m watching a film for the first time, it is a new movie to me, so that is why I count them. I have them listed in alphabetical order just to make it easier.
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I can remember being in a theater back in 1990 and watching a screening of Hardware, by a young filmmaker, who showed me a post-apocalyptical world like I hadn’t seen before. But also one filled with amazing colors and sounds. I was so excited to see what this guy was going to do next. Then two years later, he gave us Dust Devil (though it took a few years to see the full version of the film!). And then we get to the tragedy that was The Island of Dr. Moreau, where he was fired and replaced, after bringing that film from the very beginning. That was well documented in David Gregory’s Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau (2014). Ever since then, besides some crictially acclaimed documentaries, he has never made a full lenght feature film since that debacle. Until now.
Next month, with the release of Color Out of Space, we’ll see the glorious return of Richard Stanley to feature films. Starring Nicholas Cage, Stanley has adapted the 1927 tale from H.P. Lovecraft, about a meteor from space that starts to… change things around where it landed. Continue reading
Directed by Konstanitin Ershov & Georgiy Kropachyov
Starring Leonid Kuravlyov, Natalya Varley, Aleksei Glazyrin, Vadim Zahkarchenko, Nikolai Jutuzov.
There are films in out there that are extremely important in our horror history, ones that make such an impact that they can change the genre itself. George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968) or Mario Bava’s Black Sunday (1960) are two examples that can create a whole new sub-genre of films and/or inspire new generations of filmmakers from that point on. Continue reading
One of the glorious things about the horror genre is that no matter how long you’ve been a fan, there are always titles from decades ago that come to light that just blows you away. Not only in its presentation, but also the fact that somehow even the existence of the title had eluded you for so long. That is how I thought when I first heard about this Russian film several years ago. In all my years of paging through reference books, I never remember coming across this. So upon my first viewing of Viy, I really was blown away.
This 1967 film, the first horror film ever produced in the Soviet Union, was directed by Konstantin Ershov & Georgiy Kropachyov, and based on the story by Nikolay Gogol, it stars Leonid Kuravlyov as a student priest that has a run with a witch, which later comes back to haunt him. The special effects used for this movie, especially for that time, are just amazing. Just check out the trailer:
And now, thanks to the fine folks at Severin Films, now you can add this important title to your collection. The Blu-ray comes with the following: Continue reading
We never bothered with going to the celebs that were signing outside in the hall, mainly because they were ones that have been convention regulars, plus the fact that I had no interests in paying for an autograph. But there were more than a few “famous” people wandering around the vendor room throughout the weekend. On Saturday, as Dawn, Scott, and me were wandering around, we were coming up to the Severin table and I see this hat from the back. I looked over at Scott and said, “That’s Richard Stanley! I can tell by the hat.” And I was right. In 1990, I was got to see Stanley’s first feature film, Hardware, in the theater. It was an incredible experience, filled with colors, images, and music, all intertwined together into this futuristic, post-apocalyptic tale of humanity, barely holding on. His second feature, Dust Devil (1992), was another visually stunning film. His latest film, Color Out of Space, is in post-production and I can’t wait to see it. Stanley is one of those directors that I had never met before, but always wanted to at least shake his hand and thank him for his work. And now, I got to do just that. Another one off my bucket list.
Directed by Richard Stanley
Starring Dylan McDermott, Stacey Travis, John Lynch, William Hootkins
“No Flesh Shall Be Spared.” – Mark 13
“The worst possible drug trip.” That is how director Richard Stanley described his first movie. For me, I tend to use the description of “visually stunning” when I start any discussion of Stanley’s debut. Each time I watch this film, I come across something new or totally different that I hadn’t noticed before. Stanley’s look of the future is very bleak and dismal, but probably a good warning for one that is not too far off.
Next weekend at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago, Odd Obsession Movies with another midnight screening. This time it will be Richard Stanley’s Hardware (1990), coming from Stanley’s own personal 35mm print. This movie is a visual, audio, and sensory overload, all intertwined in a story about a killer robot in an apartment building. It was Stanley’s first feature film and it remains one of my favorites. Starring Dylan McDermott, John Lynch, Stacey Travis, William Hootkins, Mark Northover, and even Lemmy from Motorhead has a cameo! You don’t want to miss out on this opportunity to see a film like this on the big screen.