Seven Questions with Fede Alvarez


In seven short days The Evil Dead unleashed to US theaters.  To celebrate this week will see a number of Evil Dead themed posts.  All faucets will be covered from the original to this 2013 remake.

Earlier last week I was able to sit in on a phone conference with the director Fede Alvarez, so to kick things off I've got the transcript below for your reading pleasure.  While it is a bit on the long side, it does cover quite a few topics from conception, to inspirations.  It was pretty interesting and I'm very happy I was chosen to listen in.  So without further ado...

On Jane Levy's performance and getting performances out of the actors
Fede: Everything starts, of course, in the pages.  It's very hard for an actress to give a good performance if the script sucks, so everything starts in the pages and we put a lot of love in the characters in general and we really care about giving them stories that weren't necessarily related to the supernatural story, so each of them has their journey that is not only plot driven, but character driven, so that always helps.

Severin announces two very anticipated blu-rays

Due out June 11th, Severin has finally given a street date for two of their most anticipated releases!  Both can be pre-ordered by clicking here.

 House on Straw Hill
Banned in Britain as a video nasty for thirty years!  A shockingly violent and reotic tale of seduction, brutality, and revenge.  Cult movie icon Udo Kier (MARK OF THE DEVIL, FLESH FOR FRANKENSTEIN) stars as a successful novelist suffering from writer's block, who rents a country cottage with his wife (British 70's sex sensation Fiona Richmond) in the hope of finding inspiration.  But the arrival of a sensual secretary, played by Linda Hayden (BLOOD ON SATAN'S CLAW, TASTE THE BLOOD OF DRACULA) sets in motion a chain of events that culminate in an unrestrained explosion of sex and savagery.  Film elements were long thought lost or destroyed on this sleazy gem buyt the original camera negative was unearthed in a barn in rural England and painstakingly restored for this first official uncut release anywhere in the world.  Director commentary and cast and crew interviews will round out the package.


The House of Seven Corpses
"Eight graves!  Seven bodies!" screamed the ads, "One killer...And he's already dead!"  Hollywood legends John Ireland (RED RIVER, SATAN'S CHEERLEADERS), John Carradine (THE GRAPES OF WRATH, VAMPIRE HOOKERS) and Howard Hughes' paramour Faith Domergue (CULT OF THE COBRA, THIS ISLAND EARTH) star in this much-loved 70's shocker about a film crew shooting an occult drama in a sinister manor with it's own grisly history of family bloodshed.  Previously released with often badly cropped, censored, and muddy transfers, the film will finally be available in HD, transferred from the original vault materials and featuring an exclusive archive interview with legendary horror icon Carradine (a DVD/Blu-ray first as far as we're aware) and a revealing new audio commentary with co-prodcuer Gary Kent & film historian Lars Nilsen.

Diamond Select's Walking Dead Minimates Series 3!

With the big season finale just a few days away Diamond Select has shared a few images from their upcoming line of comic inspired Minimates!

For those who are unfamiliar with the line, think super articulated and highly detailed Lego figurines.  That's the best way I can think to describe them.

This will be the third series released and should be available at a number of retail and specialty stores in mid May.  For more pictures click the link!


88 films



If you're a genre fanatic and you don't have a region-free DVD player you're really missing out on some great stuff!  Europe is always trumping us when it comes to super cool editions of some of our most beloved films.  Most of us have heard of Arrow and Shameless, but they aren't the only company on the block.  Today we're going to be discussing 88 Films.

The company was nice enough to send over a handful of discs to review.  Today we will be discussing the first two Subspecies Films along with the first three Puppet Master flicks.  Yes, five films in one post...Edgy right?  I'll keep it simple though, few sentences on the film itself then the rest of the paragraph will be dedicated to the actual disc, content, and transfer.

The company's motto is "Classic movies treated with respect."  Did they live up to that motto?  Read on to find out.

Sexcula

Production Year: 1974
Release Date: 04/09/2013
Studio: Impulse Pictures
Collection Number: 1314

Canada is known for a lot of things...70's porn however, is not one of them.  In fact you'd have a...Ahem "hard" time finding any pornographic productions coming out of the great white north during that era.  With that said Sexcula is a rarity for not just being an ultra sleazy Canadian produced porn, but for also being all but lost until this DVD.

As soon as you open the film's amaray home you're greeted by a small insert describing the history of the film.  While it's only a page, they manage to cram in a lot of details behind the creation of the film and it's eventual trip into obscurity until being accidentally rediscovered.  The disc itself has no real extra supplements, so this insert is certainly a welcome addition to the DVD.

So, onto the film!  The premise is pretty simple, like a lot of smut films it starts with something completely innocent...A picnic.  After a trip to a relative's old castle a couple sit down to read an old book they found detailing the castle's history.

Blu-ray & DVD releases 3/26/13

It's Tuesday, and every collector knows Tuesday = new releases!  So here's a list a various noteworthy genre films available today.

Alley Cat (Scorpion Releasing)
Angels Brigade (Scorpion Releasing)
The Collection (Lionsgate)
Futureworld (Scream Factory)
From Beyond (Scream Factory)
Mad Cowgirl 3D (3D Circuis)
Phantasm II (Scream Factory)

Not a horrible Tuesday, a handful of good releases from Scorpion and Scream Factory.  I loved The Collector and I'm hoping to snag the Collection at a decent price.


Pick of the week




Prison

Production Year: 1988
Release Date: 02/19/2013
Studio: Shout/Scream Factory
Collection Number: 1310

I'll be the first to tell you I'm not that fond of movies involving the paranormal, especially movies involving hauntings.  I always think to myself  "just leave the house."  Roll the credits the movie is over, that simple.  But what if you couldn't leave?  What if you were confined there and had to suffer through it, that's an idea I can get behind.  That is certainly something this film plays on.

Scream Factory knocks it out of the park again with their release of Renny Harlin's Prison.  This is another flick that I had unfortunately never seen, another that prior to this special edition did not have a proper US DVD release.  I really hate to sound biased. as all of my Scream Factory reviews have been overly positive, but it's just nice to see a US company put so much effort into each of their titles.

The story is a pretty simple one, it starts out in a dark prison with a very violent electric chair execution and a warden who is visibly shaken by it.  Years later the prison is condemned, but due to a growing inmate population and state budget cuts it's immediately reopened and a number of prisoners are brought in to not only inhabit it, but to also clean it up.

Three from MVD

I had a bit of a film fest today and managed to watch three films all of which were sent to me courtesy of MVD.

The first I put in was called "Sexsquatch: The Legend of Blood Stool Creek."  The tagline on the box was "It's true what they say about big feet."  Right off the bat I knew what I was in for, a raunchy self-aware campy big foot movie.  Sexsquatch was just that, a low budget b-movie cheesefest.  The dialogue is completely out there and probably the funniest thing about the film, the costumes are intentionally awful and some of the post effects look like they were done using Sony Vegas.  The movie is about a bunch of friends having a "sex party" so one of their own can finally become a man.  The party is set in a forest home to a "sexsquatch" intent on raping and killing all in it's path.  All the awfulness in the film is intentional and it does add to the humor in the film.  While I did enjoy myself and had a few laughs, it's not a movie I would go out of my way to watch again.  That's not to say it's the worse movie ever, at the moment I'm just kind of burnt out on movies of this kind.  When I think of my favorite films that are considered "b-movies" I think of films that weren't made with the intention of being wonderfully awful.  Some of the best ones out there were directed by people who thought they were truly making the best thing ever put on celluloid.  While I did derive a few laughs, overall I felt the movie was trying just a little to hard to be ridiculous.  I won't condemn it though, as I guess that was the whole point.

Win passes to see The Evil Dead (2013)

The contest is over, all of the winners have been notified! 

The people over at Sony have been kind enough to give me a number of passes to give away on this site!

When: Tueday, April 2nd - 7:30 PM

Where: AMC - Quail Springs Mall 24
                         2501 W. Memorial Rd
                         Oklahoma City, OK
                         73134

While I have been granted these passes this event is overbooked so getting there early is a necessity.

How to win: Simply leave a comment on this post with your first and last name along with your email.  Winners will be randomly selected and emailed on the 29th.

Also be sure and come back the following week for a week long tribute to the Evil Dead films!


Good luck!

Then and now: Scream Queen edition!

If there is one thing today's horror is definitely lacking it's the scream queen.  Sure, we've got plenty of oversexed females making appearances in horror movies now-a-days, but it's nothing like it used to be, the gals of yesteryear had staying power dammit!  They bared their souls and occasionally a little more to please us blood thirsty fans!  Okay, maybe I'm being way too dramatic.

Below is a list of some of the most renowned scream queens with pictures of what they looked like in their heyday along with how they look now.  Enjoy!

First up is my personal favorite, Linnea Quigley.  You can't call yourself a horror fan if you're not familar with that name as she was literally everywhere in the 80's.


Mimesis

I know I've spoken bad about a lot of the recent DTV horror films of late and I'm sure this trend will continue.  While I do avoid a lot of what's put out, I still watch what's sent to me by companies, and I will still continue to support the genre in whatever ways I can.  One film though that has remained on my radar is the aptly titled Mimesis, yes, I have difficulty pronouncing it also so don't feel too bad.  Now I wish I could say I was blown away by the trailer, but the only true reason the film has been on the "gotta see" list has to do with my infatuation with the film Night of the Living Dead.  This alone was enough to make me plunk down nine bucks to secure a copy.

If you haven't seen the trailer than you're probably curious as to what the film has to do with Night of the Living Dead.  We'll get to that shortly.  I'm afraid this review is going to start out with a few negatives. Mimesis suffers from a lot of modern horror cliches.  The most jarring though is the camera work, not only are we faced with "shaky cam" during scenes of horror or violence but someone thought it would be a good idea to slow things down then quickly speed them up.  I guess they thought this would add suspense?  I don't know.  Now that we've got that out of the way...

Vending machine horrors!

As a kid I used to go to this store called "Pharmore," while it's no longer there I've got some pretty fond memories about the place.  Inside was a small section for video rentals, thanks to that place I was able to experience films like Fright Night and The Exorcist for the first time.  After you got done with your purchase you were greeted by a number of vending machines at the exit door, the most notable was the sticker machine which featured a number of prismatic horror stickers.  I'm not sure how many I obtained during these years, but I do recall never getting the ones I truly wanted, which I guess is usually the case with these machines.  I searched around and surprisingly couldn't find much information about these things, no company, no production year.  I did find one picture however, courtesy of Branded in the 80's.

                                     

Pretty cool eh?  Not sure how many were in the set, but I've always wanted to get my hands on the Freddy or Leatherface stickers.  No such luck, but maybe I will eventually come across a few on ebay.

Anyhow I've noticed there has been a slight resurgence as far as cool quarter machine toys go, it started a few months back when I happened upon a machine containing these.



I don't know about you guys but for me money is a bit on the tight side.  While I'm not struggling by any means I am always looking for ways to save a few bucks.  With our hobby, this can be a little difficult so I've decided to introduce this new section to the website.  Anytime I stumble upon a great deal I'll be sure to pass the news onto you guys.

I've got two great deals this week, however both are a bit limited as they are "in store" deals only. But if you do happen to have either one of these stores in your area I'd highly recommend making the trip as I've made out like a bandit.

 The first deal comes in the form of a small liquidation at FYE stores.  They've began to clearance out a number of horror titles, most of which are Media Blasters releases.  Now FYE is typically known for their outrageous prices but occasionally you can find a good deal, just check out this picture.

Two great prices, even better was the current sale regarding these dvd's B1G1 50% off!

I went to the only two FYE's in my area and both had varying titles so it's safe to assume it differs store to store, chances are if your FYE had a ton of Shriek Show titles collecting dust it'd be in your best interest to get you ass over there!

Texas Frightmare Weekend 2013; Who's Going?  I'll be there, very likely on Saturday.

I'm a bit disappointed in the lineup- not that there isn't an excess of cool guests, it's just that I've already met a lot of them and the rest of the con seems geared towards The Walking Dead fans.  While I'm happy for them and I do love the show, I just don't have a lot of interest in meeting those actors.  I was really hoping for more international guest, maybe next year.

Anyhow I'm certainly excited to return to Texas, I plan on hitting up a few video stores in the area while I'm there so hopefully I can find some cool stuff.  Last year I gave away a signed poster, I'm sure I'll do something similar this year I'm just not sure what.

Anyhow, I haven't posted any reviews over the last few days, I've just been a bit busy.  I'm working on reviews for Mimesis along with a handful of Full Moon flicks (thanks to 88 films.)  I'm also going to toss in a few toy reviews for good measure.

Expect new content early tomorrow, the rest will follow throughout next week.  There will be TFW '13 coverage this year too, so look forward to that come May.

As always, thank you to every person who visits this site.

-Chris

Blade Versus Zombies in the Old West

Okay maybe that's not exactly how it goes, but I just wanted to direct everyone to this trailer featuring Wesley Snipes out in the west killing undead outlaws.

It looks cheesy as hell and while I normally shrug off a lot to the recent DTV horror, this one looks like it has a bit of promise, though that might just be me.

Anyway, check out the trailer for Gallowwalkers and judge for yourselves.




TerrorVision

Production Year: 1986
Release Date: 02/19/2013
Studio: Scream/Shout Factory
Collection Number: 1264

So to continue with Scream Factory's double feature review, I recently sat down to watch TerrorVision.

While I love and am very familiar with The Video Dead, I'm a little embarrassed to admit that before today I'd never seen TerrorVision.  It's not to say that I've never heard of the film before, the cover art is certainly a familiarity to me...I guess it's just one of those that I'd never gotten around to seeing, which after today's viewing I do seriously regret.  How did I miss out on this one!?

I guess as the saying goes, it's better late than never right?  What better way to experience this film for the fist time than in high definition right, well?  Okay, I'm just making excuses, I've got no one to blame but myself.  This is one of those movies that really makes you appreciate what the genre offered up during that decade.  As much as current films try and duplicate the look and feel of that generation it really can't be done.


The Video Dead

Production Year: 1987
Release Date: 2/19/2013
Studio: Scream/Shout Factory
Collection Number: 1264

In the late 90's I had a goal, I was going to rent every single horror film Movie's ETC had to offer.  This seemed a bit daunting as that place had to of had well over 300 nice horror themed VHS boxes ripe for the picking.  While I never truly accomplished this task, I came pretty close.  Movie's ETC Had a deal, two movies/two dollars/two days.  Meaning for 6 bucks I could have a movie marathon every weekend, and for the better part of my mid teens I did.  I saw a lot of movies during those years...Some would stick with me, some I'd try and forget, some I even eventually would buy once they started to liquidate their VHS stock.  To this day Movies ETC is still flourishing even as places like Blockbuster are going belly up.

Getting to the point, one of my favorites from those years was The Video Dead.  It was as cheesy as it was cool and at the time was a movie I'd never heard of, no major coverage from the horror publications.  Years later (and much to my surprise) I found out this little film had a very strong fan base, I'm sure it was to the chagrin of many though, as I think this might be one of those movies you had to have loved as a kid/teen to really appreciate.  Just to attest to the love of this film, one fellow fan went out of his way to create a page and a petition to get this one out on DVD.  That same guy would host a fan art contest all of those years back which your's truly entered, in fact, I've still got a picture of what I did (though I'm not sure the actual piece survived.)


Vampire Night Orgy/Dr. Jekyll Versus the Werewolf

Production Year:  1974/1972
Release Date: ?
Studio: Code Red
Collection Number: 1276

What a great double feature, two niche Spanish horrors presented in their original "unclothed" versions here in the US for the very first time.

I've always wanted to see Dr. Jekyll Versus the Wolfman but I try and stay far away from those cheapo horror mega-packs.  The only other feasible option was Mondo Macabro's UK release which until recently  I wasn't able to obtain at a reasonable price.  I was more than happy to throw some money Bill Olsen's way to secure a decent copy.

Night Orgy of the Vampires is a decent way to start a double feature, it's a atmospheric vampire flick centering around the small town of Tolnio where sunlight never truly enters.  Perfect place for a Vampire orgy right!?  Well, while there is no real vampire orgy, though there is a cool feeding frenzy scene to set the mood.  The film starts off as a  bus load of weary travelers are making their way to Bojoni, after their bus driver mysteriously has a heart attack they diverge off of their trail to a small town in hopes of a bit of a nice meal and a bit of rest.  What they get is a completely empty town.  They make their way to a local bar only to find that while this is a ghost town everything is fully stocked and ready for visitors.

Death Valley

Production Year: 1982
Release Date: 12/11/2012 
Studio: Scream Factory
Collection Number: 868

Once again Scream Factory gives us a forgotten gem all wrapped up in a nice little package!  Death Valley is available for the first on DVD and Blu-ray thanks to Shout Factory's recently released combo pack.  The 1983 film features a lot of familiar faces, most notable is Ralphie (Peter Billingsley, though I'm sure he hates that reference.)  Billingsley is Billy, a 'too clever for his own good' kid sent to New Mexico by his estranged father to spend time with his mother and her new boyfriend.  In an attempt to bond the trio goes on a vacation to a Wild West themed adventure park.  During the trip Billy wanders off and makes his way into a trailer full of  recently murdered teens.  While he's rushed out by his mom's new boyfriend before he sees the carnage, he does manage to steal a strange looking animal necklace.

The same RV comes into play down the road (pun intended) when it's found by the local Sheriff (Wilford Brimley).  Traffic is blocked off and fate comes into play as Billy and his soon-to-be step father confess to the sheriff that they were in that very RV earlier, Billy then comes forward about the necklace.  Recognizing the hideous artifact the sheriff then sets forward to the prime suspect's houses, gives a little too much information, and before you know it you've got a somewhat formulaic slasher movie.