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The Horror Show

No 'Show.'


Horror

Rod Lott
Although the title does not let on, 1989's The Horror Show actually began life as House III, a misbegotten sequel to 1986's hit House. In the end, it doesn't matter, because The Horror Show is every bit as terrible as House II or House IV.
 
Friday, December 27, 2013

Sanitarium

Commit yourself.


Horror

Rod Lott
It's official: We're living in a golden age of horror anthologies. True, the long-moribund subgenre isn't every fright fan's cup of tea, but those who like variety in one double-hour package have enjoyed a wealth of opportunities over the last few years and especially 2013.
 
Thursday, December 19, 2013

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane / Mischief Night

They're off to good starts, then ...


Horror

Rod Lott
For movie watchers, few things can be more frustrating than films that begin with a sequence of immense promise, only to show over the remainder that the emperor truly wears no clothes. Two new examples come from the horror realm. 
 
Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Body Bags / Assault on Precinct 13

Tales from the Carp.


Horror

Rod Lott
John Carpenter is a hoot as the host of Body Bags, a 1993 horror anthology that was to Showtime what Tales from the Crypt was to HBO at the time, only not a continuing series. Playing the pasty-faced coroner who intros the telepic's three stories, Carpenter also directs the first two, leaving the final to Texas Chainsaw impresario Tobe Hooper.
 
Friday, November 15, 2013

Black Devil Doll from Hell / Tales from the Quadead Zone

Must be seen to be believed.


Horror

Rod Lott
Thanks to Massacre Video, the films of Chester Novell Turner are preserved for future generations, no longer in danger of disappearing as VHS tape deteriorates with age.
 
Friday, November 8, 2013

Killer Holiday / Murder University

Slash equals trash.


Horror

Rod Lott
Think of all the critical evisceration that the Friday the 13th movies endured in their time. Yet they're high art compared to two recent slasher "homages," the low-budget Killer Holiday and the no-budget Murder University.
 
Friday, November 1, 2013

Byzantium

Vampirism: like mother, like daughter.


Horror

Rod Lott

Neil Jordan has dabbled in the world of vampires before, in 1994's blockbuster Interview with the Vampire. Personally, I didn't think much of it, but Byzantium, virtually unseen on these shores, is lovely. Oh, it's gory, too, but lovely in that visually sumptuous style for which Jordan is known, making IFC Films' Blu-ray a feast for the eyes.

 
Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Day of the Dead

Eat it up.


Horror

Patrick Crain
With the exception of George Lucas’s Star Wars movies, few franchises that laid their foundation on the big screen were as culturally significant as George A. Romero’s Dead films. Everything about our conception of zombies derive from Romero’s creations. Before Night of the Living Dead — Romero’s stark, groundbreaking drive-in shocker from 1968 — zombies were barely in the public’s collective wheelhouse. Usually featured as trance-like beings who were used as slave labor, zombies were more tools of an insidious puppet master than a force unto themselves. Heck, before Night of the Living Dead, the term “undead” was mostly used to describe vampires.
 
Friday, October 25, 2013

All Hallows' Eve / Chilling Visions: 5 Senses of Fear

Boo! (Repeat as necessary.)


Horror

Rod Lott
'Tis the season for horror anthologies. As if V/H/S/2 and Horror Stories weren't enough to keep your armchair warm as the cold descends, here are two more for the Halloween season …. and many more Halloween seasons to come. 
 
Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Resolution

It will 'meth' with your head.


Horror

Rod Lott
After receiving a video of his best friend sky-high on meth, Michael (Peter Cilella) decides to do something about it. Arriving at a ramshackle, one-room home in the woods to find Chris (Vinny Curran) babbling about birds stealing his stuff and writing a book with a stray dog, Michael offers to take Chris to rehab.
 
Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Horror Stories

Import these subtitled scares.


Horror

Rod Lott

Hopping aboard the horror anthology film's current resurgence is, simply enough, Horror Stories, a slick South Korean omnibus whose six directors take a pleasingly old-fashioned approach to four chilling chapters. 

 
Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Maniac

And he wants his scalps!


Horror

Rod Lott
Reveling in the seediness that is downtown Los Angeles at night, IFC Films' Maniac is a rare remake that's better than the original. William Lustig's 1980 of the same name long has enjoyed a sizable cult, but I found it to be a thoroughly ugly film in all respects. And I actually like slasher movies! 
 
Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fright Night 2: New Blood

Fangs for nothing.


Horror

Rod Lott
I'm not surprised Fright Night 2: New Blood was made expressly for home video. What does surprise me is that it is not a sequel at all. It's more or less a remake of 2011's Fright Night remake, but with entirely different actors to give it the unmistakable whiff of fan fiction. 
 
Monday, October 14, 2013

House of Wax

The Price of excellence.


Horror

Rod Lott
The first 3-D movie I ever saw was 1953's House of Wax, but in a revival run in the early 1980s. My uncle took me and my brothers to it one night at Northpark Mall, and I recall him having to tie the big glasses on my youngest brother's small head with shoelaces. 
 
Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Amityville Horror Trilogy

"For God's sake, get it!"


Horror

Rod Lott
Although entries in the Amityville Horror franchise now number 11, the movies stopped playing theaters after the third go-round, with the exception of 2005's needless remake. The first three films were collected on an MGM DVD boxed set to coincide with that remake, but in carrying over those extras and adding many more of its own, Shout! Factory's new package proves more definitive. Plus, it's on Blu-ray.
 
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
 
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