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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)”

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”

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)”

Telluride Horror Show (THS) 2017 – First Wave Film Announcement

I recall a time, longer now than perhaps it seems, when Colorado was the land of plenty. A scenic landscape with not one, but three horror film festivals that called this land home. Now, much like The Highlander, there can be only one. That shining beacon in one of the most beautiful mountain towns on earth is The Telluride Horror Show. This year is already shaping up to be the best yet with a stellar array of films for all horror palates. Your intrepid reporter will once again be on hand to fill you in on the details. I happen to be particularly excited for Creep 2, Victor Crowley, Mayhem, and What The Waters Left Behind. Shit…and that’s just the first wave!! I’m going to have some tough choices to make, but knowing I get to see at least one Adam Green film & one Joe Lynch film makes me very happy and nostalgic for a Holliston  reunion…but I digress.

The Telluride Horror Show will be taking place from October 13th-15th…in Telluride, Duh. passes are becoming scarce at this point, but if you’ve got the time, be there!!! Read on on the full press release including the first wave of film, as well as some special guests. For tickets/passes, lodging, or general info, click here: https://telluridehorrorshow.wixsite.com/telluridehorror

Continue reading “Telluride Horror Show (THS) 2017 – First Wave Film Announcement”

10 Years of Rob Zombie’s Halloween (2007)

Skipping past history for now and fast forwarding to controversy, let’s face it, Halloween (2007) is a movie that many didn’t like for various reasons. Remakes are a bad word especially to those who like horror. Depending how old you are you’ve grown up with them in some fashion. Even as a kid of the ’80s and ’90s, I grew up with remakes. But not all remakes are bad and some are flat out “better” than the originals. Look at John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982) vs the original The Thing from Another World (1951). Totally different eras of movie making and the tone are obviously radically far apart. It was “due” for an update in the 31 years between the two. Carpenter’s movie is considered a classic now.

Is Rob Zombie’s first stab at Michael Myers better than the original? I’d argue it is not, but it is certainly very Rob Zombie and in this Halloween movie we had no choice but to understand what kind of movies Rob Zombie was going to make going forward. He had already scored (depending on how you look at them) two hit movies with House of 1000 Corpses and the sequel The Devil’s Rejects. But now he was going away from his two original movies and moving onto hallowed ground, John Carpenter’s 1979 slasher classic.

What we ultimately got was a lot of what has become Rob Zombie’s style – ridiculously foul mouthed, white trash characters and lots of blood. That, and an origin story for Michael Myers I don’t think anyone ever needed. This was part of the dawn of an era where remake/sequels/reboot movies are being used to over explain everything. No mystique is Continue reading “10 Years of Rob Zombie’s Halloween (2007)”

Movie Review: The Devil’s Candy 2017

It’s been a little while since I’ve been totally fucking blown away by a horror film; something I would legitimately call a good movie regardless of its genre’s connotation. I’m happy to say that The Devil’s Candy is that film. It also sits somewhere in the sweet spot for me, because it includes a few of the Kvlt’s favorite things…horror & metal! Aw hell, why not throw in some strong satanic overtones just for good measure? It’s certainly not the first film to combine these elements; it’s just the first to do it so damn successfully in my eyes. This is why we love horror movies! It’s rare to get a taste of something so fresh, and to have that taste carry through until after the credits have rolled.

 

As I said, it’s not the first film to blend metal and horror together. In fact, for the initiated, there’s a whole “metalsploitation” genre dating back to the 80’s. Films like Black Roses, Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare, Trick or Treat and even sillier entries like The Gate paved the way for the dark side of metal to permeate the collective psyche of suburbia. Metal music was a little more taboo in the Continue reading “Movie Review: The Devil’s Candy 2017”

Movie Review: The Belko Experiment (2017)

We all have those movies that we just end up missing in the theatre. It’s not that there’s a lack of motivation, but sometimes life just gets in the way of spending your hard earned money at the Cineplex. For this reviewer, The Belko Experiment is one of those instances. I wanted to see it, and the trailers looked great, I just never got around to it. Now that the film has been released for home audiences, do yourself a favor and check it out. I promise you it’s the ultra-violent office massacre comedy you didn’t know you needed.

The film starts off at a break neck pace, with only mere minutes of exposition before diving head first into the carnage. The story revolves around a large multi-national corporation that Continue reading “Movie Review: The Belko Experiment (2017)”

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