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Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” gets the Criterion Collection treatment. Finally.

Criterion Collection movies are about as good as you could get for any release. Now with other heavy hitters like Synapse, Arrow, or Grindhouse putting out quality genre releases on Blu-ray, Criterion isn’t the end all for high quality, classic movie releases. But Criterion swings hard with their new 4K Criterion Collection of George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead.

First off, this classic has never looked better. I’ve only ever seen grainy public domain showings on TV and my just as bad copy in a bargain bin Mill Creek four-disc set. I’ve never seen the colorized version! So watching the old transfers is almost part of the experience now. Grainy shots that show too bright, audio quality that is clearly dated and has pops in it. The new restoration done by Romero looks great. All the blacks, whites and greys are rich. I just talked about pumped up colors in the Suspiria 4K from Synapse, now I’m talking true, Continue reading “Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” gets the Criterion Collection treatment. Finally.”

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“Victor Crowley” is a return to the swamp, and to form, for Adam Green

The Hatchet Army asked for it and never expected to get it, especially the way they did. Last year Hatchet director Adam Green was going to show the first movie for an anniversary screening. What the audience actually got was Victor Crowley, the secretly filmed fourth outing of Kane Hodder’s rampaging swamp ghost. To say that had to have been an amped crowd after Green announced they’d be watching the newest Hatchet instead of the first one is an understatement.

Fast forward to February and we now have copies of Victor Crowley in our hands. This one got some good feedback on the film festival circuit, plus a national roadshow goodwill tour with Continue reading ““Victor Crowley” is a return to the swamp, and to form, for Adam Green”

“Suspiria” 4k is short on features, huge on presentation

The three discs of the new 4k restoration of “Suspiria.” Feature disc, special features, and soundtrack. Plus booklet.

A little late but I hadn’t had a chance to dig into the special features of the newly released 4k restoration of Dario Argento’s 1977 classic, Suspiria, which was put out by Synapse Films in December.

So $60 (and a few days of watching) later I can now say that it looks and sounds amazing!

First off, the 3-disc steelbook case is really sweet. Great movie poster slipcover and the steelbook case has some great art on the front and back. This was limited to 6,000 copies and since I didn’t own a print already, I sprung the money for it. Totally worth it. There will be a 2-disc edition coming out this year as well, but it won’t be steelbook and I imagine it won’t have a copy of the soundtrack. So I’ll start there, Goblin is Continue reading ““Suspiria” 4k is short on features, huge on presentation”

Movie Review: Leatherface (2017)

Please stick with me past this next sentence.

This is the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie that isn’t one at all.

 

That doesn’t necessarily make it bad, it just means you have to leave that hang up at the door. Leatherface is the Chainsaw Massacre movie without a chainsaw massacre, but don’t worry there’s still a massacre.

Most kids get chainsaws for their birthday. Right?

We open on some murder and gratuitous redneckery on behalf of the Sawyer family. It says so on the ranch entry, in case you forgot who we are dealing with. Seriously, the best part of the movie opening is seeing grandpa lay some hammer. I swear. Best part of the movie if you only came for something immediately tied to the original two. But stay with me people. Continue reading “Movie Review: Leatherface (2017)”

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″

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)”

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