Book Review: Terrifying Texts

Terrifying TextsTerrifying Texts: Essays on Books of Good and Evil in Horror Cinema
Published McFarland, 2018. 268 pages.
Edited by Cynthia J. Miller & A. Bowdoin Van Riper

When I came across this title, I was immediately intrigued by it because, strangely enough, I didn’t know of anybody else who had tackled this subject matter before. In fact, the more I read through it, I was amazed at that fact because there are more movies that deal with this subject that I had thought. It’s one of those that as you’re reading and they mention another movie, you immediately think “Oh yeah… I forgot about that one!” Needless today, I really enjoyed this one!

As a book person myself, this had me right from the opening Introduction, where it reads, “Books are revered – and feared – for their ability to affect the minds and hearts of humankind. We collect them, pore over them, commit their passages to memory, censor them, and even attempt to banish them from our midst, lest they lead us to ruin.” Any book lover is going to be nodding their head while reading that, knowing and agreeing with exactly what the authors are saying… or writing, technically. Continue reading

Movie Review: House by the Cemetery Blu-Ray

House by the Cemetery 7

House by the Cemetery (1981)
Directed by Lucio Fulci
Starring Catriona MacColl, Paolo Malco, Ania Pieroni, Giovanni Frezza, Silvia Collatina, Dagmar Lassander, Giovanni De Nava, Daniela Doria, Carlo De Mejo

The films that Lucio Fulci directed in the late ’70s and early ’80s made him a god to horror/gore fans. In the early days of VHS tapes, these films were always ones you’d rent over and over again. While he was already a successful filmmaker, directing films in just about every genre, once Zombie (1979) came out, followed over the next three years by City of the Living Dead (1980), The Black Cat (1981), The Beyond (1981), and House by the Cemetery (1981), New York Ripper (1982), he simply could do no wrong. And I still think that statement holds up today as well, since at least four of those titles still are considered classics today. And now, thanks to Blue Underground, we get a brand-spanking new 4K scan, along with second disc of extras, AND the complete soundtrack on CD, this is one release that is well worth double or triple dipping on. Continue reading

Book Review: Italian Gothic Horror Films, 1980-1989

Italian Gothic Horror Films 1980-1989Italian Gothic Horror Films, 1980-1989
Published by McFarland, 2019. 232 pages.
By Roberto Curti

Being that this is the 3rd book in the series by Curti involving the gothic horror films of Italy, this latest one, covering the ’80s, it’s sort of a nice little walk down memory lane for me. The ’80s is when I started to become aware of these films. With the boom of VHS tapes, the horror section was filled with these flicks from Italy, promising (and usually delivering) the bloody and gory goods to us eager viewers. So getting to read several pages on some of my favorites, namely the ones from Argento, Bava, Fulci, and Soavi, there is plenty to be learned here.

Not only will you get to read about some of your favorite classic Italian horror flicks like Argento’s Inferno (1980) or Fulci’s City of the Living Dead (1980), The Beyond and House by the Cemetery (both 1981), as well as Claudio Fragasso’s Monster Dog (1985) and Luigi Cozzi’s Paganini Horror (1989), you will get so much insight and information that I bet you’re going to want to re-watch some of these if you haven’t seen them in a while. You’ll learn maybe why Monster Dog turned out like it did, which could make you give it (and Fragasso) a little more credit. Maybe. Continue reading

The Beyond – The Composer’s Cut

Beyond Composer's CutIt was almost two years ago when I have the joy of watching Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond, one of my all-time favorite films in the theater. But this time it was a little different. Composer Fabio Frizzi was there with his Frizzi 2 Fulci band playing a live score during the film. He called it “The Beyond – The Composer’s Cut”. There was music being played where there normally wasn’t, or maybe the cues were a little longer than originally. Either way, it was an amazing experience to be watching these nightmarish images that Fulci came up with on the big screen, and hearing this chilling score being played live right in front of you.

Now, thanks to Beat Records, you can have a chance to hear that live version over and over again, with the release of The Beyond – The Composer’s Cut: Live in Austin on CD. This release has two different versions here, one by a 51 piece symphonic orchestra and the second one performed by his Frizzi 2 Fulci band.

The CD is has over an hours worth of music and is only $19.95 and will be released Sept. 10th. You can order your copy from Screen Archives by clicking HERE.

Movie Review: The Beyond

beyond2

The  Beyond (1981)
Starring Starring Catriona MacColl, David Warbeck, Cinzia Monreale, Antoine Saint-John, Veronica Lazar, Larry Ray, Giovanni De Nava, Al Cliver, Michele Mirabella, Gianpaolo Saccarola

The first time I witnessed a Lucio Fulci film was seeing it under a completely different title, the edited American version called Seven Doors of Death. Even the director’s name had been modified, here listed as “Louis Fuller”. This played at the theater I worked at and I remember being very puzzled at just what the hell was happening on screen. I had heard of Zombie, and remember it had been playing at the local drive-in, but I wasn’t driving at that time and couldn’t get anybody to take me to see it. But even then, I had no idea of the connection between the two films. That would definitely come later though.

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Movie Events, Marathons, and Madness

When this time of year comes around, there is one thing that you can be sure of….busy weekends! With the Halloween season right around the corner, there are plenty of different movie events coming up, from Dusk to Dawn shows at the drive-ins, to 24-hour marathons, to simple movie screenings of classic monster flicks. With so many to choose from, it’s time to start marking them down in your calendar and start making those plans. Here’s a little run down of the events that we know about coming up in the Chicagoland area. I’m sure there are more, but here’s the ones that I know about. Feel free to leave a notice about one near you in the comment section if you’d like. The more word we can get about these events, the more we can help support them!

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Films That Made a “Lasting Impression”

Let’s just say that I hate making lists in general. It forces you to chose or narrow down a “favorites” list. I have way too many movies that I honestly love the hell out of, so getting it down to a list of ten is just impossible. And honestly, I really don’t care for these kind of lists that are always going around Facebook, mainly because I just don’t want to spend the time on them and my above mentioned hatred for lists. But since this quest was to name films that had a “lasting impression” on you, I figured I could come up with ten titles that did have a major impact on my life. But instead of just listing the movies, I figured I’d try and expand on why these certain titles affected me the way they did. Of course, this list could change at any time…day or night.

Plus, since a friend tagged me on this, I figured it was the least I could do to reply. Thanks Jessica…this was a nice little trip down memory lane.

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