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White Zombie Fan Club 1995

January 12, 2015 | No comments | Posted in Horror, Movies, Music | Tags: , , , ,

I was a huge White Zombie fan in the 90’s. And I still love their music. But when I found out that I could sign up for Psychoholics Anonymous, the White Zombie fan club, I was all for it. And I was hooked up with a lot of really cool swag. I really loved the crazy newsletter they sent me — I present you with scans of the brilliance here (warning: they’re hi-resolution big files!). You’ll see the cover, all the inner panels, the rear cover, and then the full poster on the flipside that it folds out into. An amazing part of my collection.

Thanks to Rob Zombie, who truly understands what fans want.

Short Film: Prick

October 31, 2012 | No comments | Posted in Horror, Movies | Tags: , , , ,

Great horror short!

The Fumigator: Official Faux Trailer

July 3, 2012 | No comments | Posted in Horror, Video | Tags: , , , , , ,

My friend Jason West of Vultra Video just sent me this sweet faux trailer he co-directed with David Royal called The Fumigator. I love it! Like them on Facebook.

Madame Soleil’s Tea Party

June 10, 2012 | No comments | Posted in Horror, Movies | Tags: , ,

Another great short . . . this time from Nadine L’Esperance.

Support Way Down in Chinatown

May 9, 2012 | No comments | Posted in Horror, Movies | Tags: , ,

Crowdsourcing is really hot now. It’s a way of getting lots of people to all donate small amounts of money to fund film projects (well, not just film, but that’s what I’m talking about here). Oftentimes, donors will receive perks like copies of the movie, shout-outs online, t-shirts, etc., in exchange for their donations.

I just threw a few bucks at an upcoming project that I really believe in, and think will be exceptionally cool. It’s called Way Down in Chinatown. It will have a very film noir feel, and will be very original.

Learn more about it, and support the project!

Short: I Love Sarah Jane (2008)

April 8, 2012 | No comments | Posted in Horror, Movies, Zombies | Tags: , , ,

This is a nice little zombie tale from the great nation of Australia. There’s a bit of strong language in this one.

Short: Kitchen Sink (1989)

April 4, 2012 | No comments | Posted in Horror, Movies | Tags: , , , ,

I just stumbled across this little gem on Vimeo. Enjoy.

Practical vs. Digital Effects in Horror

February 3, 2012 | No comments | Posted in Filmmaking, Horror | Tags: , , , ,

A blogger on The Independent reviews The Thing (2011), comparing the two in terms of how the special effects were done. In John Carpenter’s 1982 version, digital effects were all but non-existent, and all of the body-crunching gore was achieved using practical means — prosthetics, mechanical contraptions, lots of liquid latex and fake blood, and so on. The 2011 version features digital effects — all the alien violence was made by a team of geeks on their fancy computers.

It’s a controversial topic among horror fans. I tend to agree with most of what the author says about the use and misuse of digital effects. Where do you weigh in? Was he too tough on modern horror using digital effects?

He did make a comment that I can’t completely agree with, however. He says that “modern US horror cinema is defined by lazy cash-ins, spin-offs and other defilements of legendary films.” Lazy cash-ins and spin-offs: yes. Defilements of legendary films: get over your hatred of remakes because of the alleged untouchable holiness of the originals. I’m tired of hearing this kind of argument.

Just had to put that out there.

“Modern horror: Lay off the CGI and bring back prosthetics”

Eerie Horror Film Festival 2011

November 3, 2011 | No comments | Posted in Horror, Movies, Reviews | Tags: , , ,

One of my favorite events of the year is the Eerie Horror Film Festival. Although it takes place over four days every October, I usually only have time to go for one day. This year I went on Saturday, and watched the first four blocks of movies they played, totalling 8 hours of shorts and features. Allow me to tell you a little bit about what I saw.

But before I start, I have a couple comments. First of all, I’ve never seen a truly bad movie at this festival. Sure, there were some I didn’t care for, but the quality is consistently excellent in the films chosen. Secondly, I was very tired the day I went. This definitely affected my experience of the features, since they were obviously longer.

Worm

UK | Directed by Ray Vernava | 11min

Very weird, very cool! It’s a surrreal fantasy horror piece . . . or something like that. This one is hard to explain, but well worth the watch. Watch the trailer.

Dead Friends

Canada | Directed by Stephen Martin | 11min

An original tale, for sure. I didn’t care for the makeup, but it involves a zombie (always a plus in my book) and some fun humor. Watch the trailer.

The Corridor

Canada | Directed by Evan Kelly | 99min

My first feature-length film of the day was a good one. It was a strange supernatural tale that for some reason kept reminding me of The Shining. But I kept falling asleep during this one — I’m not sure whether it was the movie, or my severe lack of sleep that caused this. I think I needed to pay more attention than I did to really get this movie. Watch the trailer.

Bad Moon Rising

Australia | Directed by Scott Hamilton | 8min

Awesome werewolf short, complete with a sweet transformation scene that reminded me of An American Werewolf in London. You gotta watch this 1-minute excerpt.

St. Christophorus: Roadkill

Germany | Directed by Gregor Erler | 26min

A faced-paced thriller about a guy who endures an extreme amount of pain after witnessing an accident on the road. I loved this one. Check out the official website, where you can watch the trailer (among other things).

Donner Pass

USA | Directed by Elise Robertson | 86min

I love a good cannibal movie, and this made me happy. It’s all based on the Donner Party, and the legends surrounding it. Great production value: acting, violence and gore effects were wonderful. Watch the trailer.

Mea Maxima Culpa

Canada | Directed by Eric Spoeth | 25min

Black and white and based on Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart, this short was very enjoyable. Good acting, and good expansion on the original story. Watch the trailer.

Augenblicke

Germany | Directed by Martin Bargiel | 19min

I think I was too tired for this one, as it was really surreal, having to do with blurring the edges of the real and the imagined. Too much for my tired mind to wrap around. I’m sure it was good. Watch the trailer.

The Black Box

USA | Directed by Jason Balas | 81min

I think I was so confused after Augenblicke that the disorientation spilled over into this movie. I guess it’s a post-apocalyptic, futuristic kind of thing, but I really have no idea. I need to try to watch this one again. Watch the trailer, and look for links on that page for other trailers for this movie.

The Living Want Me Dead

USA | Directed by Bill Palmer | 23min

This was my favorite short of the whole day! A man subjects himself to scientific tests for money, and consequently develops a condition in which he gives off a pheromone that causes people to turn into bloodthirsty killers. Brilliant and extremely enjoyable. Bravo! Watch the first scene and sneak peek.

The Millennium Bug

USA | Directed by Kenneth Cran | 98min

My favorite feature of the day! I was pleasantly surprised by this, as I had no idea what it was about. It’s New Years Eve 1999, and a family is headed into the mountains for a holiday getaway. They encounter inbred hillbillies, a cryptozoologist and an enormous creature that surfaces once every thousand years. All practical effects (“No CGI” was actually the movie’s mantra), which was pulled off masterfully. I liked this movie so much that I went out and bought it on DVD immediately, getting to meet the director. What a way to end the day! Go to the official website to watch the trailer and order your own DVD.

New DVD release: Bane (2009)

July 22, 2011 | 8 comments | Posted in Horror, Movies, Reviews | Tags: , ,

This week, the independent British movie Bane was released on DVD by Safecracker Pictures. Written and directed by James Eaves, it runs close to 2 hours, and was the winner of the Best Horror Feature Award at Shriekfest in LA.

This movie has a very Saw vibe. Four women wake up in an underground cell, remembering nothing. They are drugged and subjected to a series of horrifying experiments. On top of this, the women are visited one at a time by the killer Surgeon, who cuts a number into each woman’s skin — the exact time that he’s coming back to kill them. The movie takes a number of unexpected twists and turns, leading to an ending that is truly surprising.

I have to say that I’m amazed at what the filmmakers did with a very low budget, especially in the effects department. There is lots of blood and gore, the vast majority of it being practical (not CG). I only saw a couple quick CG enhancements to the effects, and they did not detract from the scene at all. It all plays into the psychological nature of the movie — they’re messing with the actors’ (and the viewers’) heads, leaving everyone to try to figure out what is really going on.

It’s also very good on a technical level. A lot of careful attention was paid to camera placement and movement, and stylized, creative lighting was utilized to the fullest extent. It’s all edited together very well — even though it’s a longer movie, the pacing is very good and never left me bored or over-stimulated.

The acting is pretty much what you’d expect from a micro-budget film. A couple of the characters are done well, while most are mediocre at best. But they weren’t helped by the fact that there wasn’t much character development — I really didn’t care for any of them that much. Most of the movie is focused on the psychological horror of the situation, not on growing deeper with the characters.

A few specific problems I had:

  • I just didn’t get the killer Surgeon. Why was he there? Several things didn’t make much sense to me.
  • After the experiments and subsequent questioning, the women were given the chance to ask the doctor one question. Why didn’t they ask what was going on? They never thought of that until the end.
  • The main character was awfully calm upon discovering the Lovecraftian tentacle bug monster. She was even clearheaded enough to use the creature to her advantage. I think that any normal person would have crapped their pants and collapsed in a sobbing heap. Or maybe that would just be me.

All in all, this was a very interesting movie to watch. It’s a Saw-like psychological horror film, lacking the fine polish of a big-budget film, but still delivering some nice gore and unexpected twists.

Thanks to my friends at Organic Marketing for sending this!