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Still straight-to-video, “The Video Dead” (1987) turns 30

The 1980’s were the second blood splattered golden era of horror. The second wave of monsters was built on slashers and also zombies. One of the lot is a 1987 direct-to-video classic, Robert Scott’s written, produced and directed “The Video Dead.” If you’re looking for cheese this movie is pure Velveeta.

Not taking itself too seriously, “The Video Dead” is a flick grounded in a story about a TV that is a doorway for the cinematic undead to cross into the real world.

The movie opens with a TV being unexpectedly delivered to a writer who takes it in and after turning it on finds out that it only plays one channel, a B&W zombie movie on an endless loop. The Video Dead, the TV itself, unleashes zombies that come out of the TV and quickly takeover the house. Anyone seen Lamberto Bava’s 1985 “Demons”? The delivery company returns to pick up the accidentally delivered TV which was meant for The Institute for the Studies of the Occult. Zombies being accidentally delivered Continue reading “Still straight-to-video, “The Video Dead” (1987) turns 30″

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Movie Review: Never Hike Alone (Dir. Vincente DiSanti)

Automatically for film critics and even horror fans, the term “fan film” is almost an immediate out. You just expect the worst because a bunch of people got together with exceptionally poor equipment and threw together a 20 minute Friday the 13th. Except Vincente DiSanti (director and Jason Voorhees) did just that with Never Hike Alone and the results were something Andy and I could agree was the best try we can honestly say we’ve seen.

I’ve watched (or attempted) handfuls and they are largely unbearable. I’d mention some by name if I could remember them but they aren’t worth searching for reference. Every issue is there and none of the “so bad it’s good” quality: acting that isn’t even entertaining, bad shots, entirely too predictable, shot for shot copying. Never Hike Alone is none of those things.

Andy obviously had the benefit of being in Telluride when it screened for Telluride Horror Show but sadly had to experience it just like us normal people,free on YouTube, because he chose a different movie at that same time.

Never Hike Alone was a Kickstarter campaign to finish up the production. What came of it was a 50 minute journey into the forest surrounding Camp Crystal Lake. It was worth the $50,000+ needed because none of the money seemed to have been wasted. Kyle McLeod is a Continue reading “Movie Review: Never Hike Alone (Dir. Vincente DiSanti)”

Telluride Horror Show Review: Housewife (Dir. Can Evrenol)

There were more than a couple of gems at this year’s Telluride Horror Show. After letting things marinate for a few days, I think the film that has stayed with me the most is Can Evrenol’s Housewife. A brutal and bloody depiction of childhood trauma meets lucid dreaming meets murderous psychosis. Even upon this writing there are still elements of the story I’m very unclear on, but one thing I am certain of, is that Housewife is one of the most grotesquely beautiful films I’ve EVER seen.

 

The film opens on a dark and snowy night, as two sisters are locked away in an upstairs bedroom. While the girls are keeping occupied, their mother speaks with “the visitors” down below in some sort of ritualistic setting. It appears that mom is involved in all sorts of witchcraft, judging by all the black magic totems scattered around the room. It’s tense and highly visual as the situation begins to unfold. The older of the two girls reaches down between Continue reading “Telluride Horror Show Review: Housewife (Dir. Can Evrenol)”

Album Review: Bloodstrike – Execution of Violence

I’ll always sing the praises of the Denver metal scene and Bloodstrike‘s second album, Execution of Violence, is another reason why. If you’re looking for that old school death metal sound around the Mile High, then look no further than Bloodstrike. Holly Wedel’s vocals strike the right cords, but so do the actual cords of Jeff Alexis and Joe Piker, the guitarists. Holly bellows as the rest of the band grooves along with her.

Don’t come here for anything technical. This is just down and dirty death metal and Bloodstrike will play the hell out of it. This is beer fist music. This is headbanging, horns up metal.

The opening salvos of “Procreating for Death” and “Creeper” get you prepped for “Emptiness of Life,” my favorite of Execution of Violence. This one is heavy, has that right groove going, and is Continue reading “Album Review: Bloodstrike – Execution of Violence”

Telluride Horror Show 2017: Festival Wrap-up

Well, that’s a wrap on the 2017 Telluride Horror Show. This horror film festival has quickly become one of, if not THE, horror destination for fans and filmmakers worldwide. This was their 8th year in existence, and having been in attendance for the past two years consecutively, I can safely say that this is the place to be in October. I was able to catch nine films over the course of three days, and I’m shocked to report that there was not one bad film I can recall. Having been to my fair share of horror film festivals, this is high praise.

This festival wrap-up will attempt to fill you in on all the dirty little details; with many more in depth reviews to follow. I would like to say that no amount of words can do the town of Telluride justice if you’ve never been. It’s a magical little mountain town that is almost too beautiful to describe. At this juncture I would like to point out that I’m not typically a guy who’s in awe of “god’s green majesty”, but I found myself speechless just looking around. It’s kinda one of those places you try to capture with your cell phone camera, and your then realize that it’s an impossible task. Even the six or seven hour drive from Denver is a gorgeous one, albeit a bit of a white-knuckler at times. I’ve never seen anything quite like it, and I’m starting to feel at home in this historic little burg.

 

Day 1:

Day one had your intrepid reporter up at 5:30am for this little mountain jaunt, and I’ll have you know that wake up times this early are typically reserved for house fires or catastrophic events. Continue reading “Telluride Horror Show 2017: Festival Wrap-up”

Album Review: Spectral Voice – Eroded Corridors of Unbeing

Demos and splits for the last three years finally culminates in Denver’s Spectral Voice handing down their debut full length album Eroded Corridors of Unbeing. The wait for a LP was totally worth it. I’m just glad it dropped early and I got my cassette copy to jam in the garage while preparing stuff for Halloween. For the rest of you, it was “officially” released on Friday the 13th.

Comprised of Blood Incantation guys and drummer/vocalist Eli Wendler (formerly of Nekrofilth) you have a really good idea what you’re gonna get knowing that, or just reading their self labeled “necrotic doom” label. It’s fitting like a tight throwback Obituary t-shirt. Here we have five tracks of doomy death metal that’s near the Blood Incantation style. You can’t have Continue reading “Album Review: Spectral Voice – Eroded Corridors of Unbeing”

Album Review: Primitive Man – Caustic

If you have any motivation at this current moment, don’t read this or listen to Caustic, the new album from Denver’s Primitive Man. It will ruin your motivation to work, talk to people, or your will to be on this dirtball of a planet. This is grimy, doomy, feedback driven noise with a thick layer of tortured, angry howls and guttural yelling. Primitive Man has kicked it all up for this one, Caustic is close to an hour and twenty minutes of auditory suffering.

“My Will” was the first taste of pain we got with the early single release. Slow bleeding out, that’s the pace of this one. The rest of what follows is varied, “Victim” opens up on a fast tempo Continue reading “Album Review: Primitive Man – Caustic”

Ask the Band: Ethan Lee McCarthy of Primitive Man

Denver’s loudest and least happiest band, Primitive Man, has dump trucked split albums on us for the last four years since Scorn, their first album. The new album Caustic comes out next Friday, I asked Ethan Lee McCarthy (vocalist and guitarist + the awesome Vermin Womb) about it and got some doomsday predictions for Denver. Seems appropriate given the source.

 

What can we expect from Caustic given the timeline of experiences since Scorn?

I think it is the heaviest and most cohesive body of music we have put together.  It is also the most focused because we wrote it over the course of about a year and a half, some of those songs while we were on tour.  So we had the opportunity to try things out in a live setting before solidifying the songs.

Being a progenitor and product of the Denver DIY scene, what’s your take on DIY’s current state in the Mile High?

Pretty fucked.  Developers with a lot of capital came in, pushed the artists out, and replaced it Continue reading “Ask the Band: Ethan Lee McCarthy of Primitive Man”

Movie Review: Open Water 3: Cage Dive (2017)

Alright, so let’s conduct a brief questionnaire before diving into this next review. Do you like films about sharks? Do you enjoy found footage movies? Are you able to suspend disbelief when it pertains to tales of survival? If you answered anything other than “yes” to all three of those questions, thanks for playing and we hope to see you next time. If you’re still reading, cancel your evening plans and watch Open Water 3: Cage Dive. The film is currently available across all VOD platforms, and it’s probably one of the scariest shark films I’ve ever seen.

 

I probably know what you’re thinking “another Open Water film?” However, before you get all upset about how much you disliked the first and maybe the second film in that series, know that “Open Water” was tacked on after the film was originally released as Cage Dive. Frankly, I understand why the change was made and I’m sure some cigar smoking studio executive was pleased as punch with his decision. I’m sure it will help the film get a larger audience due to Continue reading “Movie Review: Open Water 3: Cage Dive (2017)”

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