Monday, December 24, 2012

Garbage Day!

Evertime on christmas I watch at least one christmas-themed slasher or horror movie such as Don't Open 'Til Christmas or Christmas Evil and of course the classic example among them Silent Night, Deadly Night. Last night I watched the first part and now I have just watched the second part. I can't help but always laugh at the hilarious 'Garbage Day!' or Eric Freeman's epic eyebrow movements and in general the unintenionally funny movie as a whole. I know there's tons of funny videos on Youtube about this 'Garbage Day'-gag and the movie so I decided to put the best of these videos together. Enjoy!

''Imagine some epic NES-game about Silent Night, Deadly Night it would pretty much turn out like this one. Hilarious!''

''I don't really have to explain this one, it's just too funny!''

''Yes, Eric Freeman got the super combo for sure''

''The famous OC-California spoof that has spawned hundreds of spoofs since now, this one fits pretty good''

''It still makes me laugh after these hundred times I have watched this video, and it's still perfect!''

''There's tons of these funny quotes that makes this movie quite enjoyable apart from the horrible plot.''

Sunday, December 23, 2012

DVD: Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 1&2

Cineworld/VMP Digipak (2 DVDs)
Original Title(s): Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 1&2
Date Of Release: 1984, 1987

Movie(s) (German Dolby 2.0, English Dolby 2.0, Subtitles English, 85 min/86 min, 16:9 Widescreen)
Gatefold-digipak (with several covers of the first and second part)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Top 10 Masks In Slasher Movies

Masks are an important detail and aspect when it comes to differ between good and real good slasher movies in my opinion. I always enjoyed a movie even more when the killer had an awesome mask to wear. These sometimes are just some ordinary carnival or even hockey masks like Jason had one to a mask made of body parts like Leatherface. The reason why most of the killers wear masks has to be the fact the killers seem more invulnerably and unknown and it's a psychology thing as well to kind of traumatize the victims and the surround.

10. Curtains
Curtains is a kinda uknown example of how a slasher film should be done, released in 1983 in Canada. The kills there aren't really remarkable if you take it from a matter-of-fact point of view but there's that one scene on the ice where everything seems so calm and peaceful and then the killer is suddenly skating towards the victim with a kind of meathook. That's just a really creepy scene that let's you shudder when you see it the first time. And it's definitely the highlight and most remarkable scene from the film as well. Check it out if you haven't already!

9. My Bloody Valentine
This slasher movie was shot in Canada as well, but came out two years earlier in 1981. It takes place in a small village in the mountains near a mine where twenty years ago a tragic accident killed several miners on Valentines Day. All these years the village refused to celebrate on Valentines Day. On the first Valentines Day party since the accident a killer masked with a miner mask kills the people on this party. This is really a cool and different idea for a slasher movie and the mask also seems very creepy. This movie is one of my favourites of the early era, not least because of the awesome mask.

8. Terror Train
One of the most well known slasher of the 80s has to be Terror Train, starring scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis and famous illusionist David Copperfield. The plot here is a costume party on an overnight train, one person invites himself to the party and stabbing the kids down one by one. I can imagine the mask shown in this picture was the cause of many sleepless nights of the kids watching Terror Train. It is indeed a really creepy carneval mask of an old man. It really adds to the corny and dark atmosphere of the film itself. Maybe my favourite movie with Jamie Lee Curtis after Halloween.

7. Nightmare
A very creepy and effective mask is used in the 1981 slasher Nightmare. This one got relatively famous for its notation in the Video Nasties list. Another funny story behind this one is that Tom Savini is said to have made the SFX for this movie, later it was appealed that he didn't made a thing but just gave some instructions on the telephone. It's like the example above a mask of an old man, this one has more like a green skin. The insane gore effects and also this mask makes Nightmare to one of the more controversial movies of the 80s and definitely one of the better ones as well.

6. Friday The 13th
Jason Voorhoes, the classic killer in slasher history has one of the most awesome masks as well. Basically it's just some kind of hockey or lumberjack mask but it became world fame. It's not the first mask appearing in slasher films ever as Jason didn't appear until the second part of Friday the 13th in 1982, but I believe it had a great impact on the progression of masks and slasher films in general. Also thanks to Friday the 13th an avalance of backwood slashers were released in the early to mid 80s.

5. Slaughter High
April Fools Day wasn't a topic in slasher movies until 1986 eventually two films about that theme were released, one of these two films is this one called Slaughter High. Marty Rantzen is your typical highschool nerd and is radically pranked by his schoolmates at April Fools Day. The joke then somehow gets out of hand and Marty gets his face burned. Some years later Marty arranges a class reunion to take revenge. In the final few death scenes he wears this awesome clown mask. For the mask alone this is my favourite movie of 1986 and Marty has to be one of the coolest revenge killers in slasher history. Don't miss this one!

4. Communion (Alice Sweet Alice)
This movie from 1976 somehow got it's praise for being one of the very first movies after Texas Chainsaw Massacre with considerable gore footage. It stars Brooke Shields in her first role ever and was released three times in 1976, 1978 and 1981 as Communion, then Alice Sweet Alice and Holy Terror. The killer in here deserved it's notation in the Top 10 as wearing a yellow raincoat and a glossy grinning mask. It makes you tremble when you watch Communion for the first time and keeps its effect to the watcher. The Seventies was a hell of a sickfuck decade!

3. The Town That Dreaded Sundown
This one is considered a proto-slasher as well as it was released the same year as Alice Sweet Alice in 1976. Not many know this one, I think it's one of the darkest and most evil movies ever. No cheesy one-liner, no bad acting, no comedy at all, just plain dark and creepy. Another fact that makes this little movie even creepier is that this film is claimed a true story. The mask here is one of the simplest but most effective. Director Charles B. Pierce did a immense number of films but he's best known for The Town That Dreaded Sundown and The Legend From Boggy Creek from 1973.

2. The Prowler
The Prowler from 1981 well deserves his second place. SFX are made here by maestro Tom Savini and is his best work in my opinion (maybe equal to The Burning). The killer is dressed as a WWII-veteran who takes revenge for a fallen soldier. His weapon of choice is a pitchfork which does its work by killing one by one at prom night. This crazy costume and the killer itself freaked me out when I first watched The Prowler and I still can't help but cringe during some of the scenes. Definitely check out if you can handle the great gore in this one and want some serious plot as well!

1. Tourist Trap
As I saw Tourist Trap for the first time, I stayed up very long because I couldn't sleep. This movie has not one but a whole arsenal of masks, mannequins and puppets. It does not work with gore but sheer terror and you'll feel real fear. Not many movies can have that effect on me but this one really does. Robert A. Burns, who worked on Texas Chainsaw Massacre did most of the SFX, including all the puppets and mannequins. I won't reveal everything as I really want you to watch this one for yourself. It's one of my very favourite movies of all time, now go and check it out!

Movies that didn't quite made it: New Years Evil, Strange Behavior, Motel Hell, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Burning (somehow), House On Sorority Row, Don't Open The Door, Scream (of course)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Review: Madman (1982)

Madman, often called Madman Marz or The Legend Lives, is a earlier backwood slasher released January 1982 in the States. It was directed by Joe Giannone who assisted for two other movies but Madman really is the only one having some acclaim or cult following. Funny story about Madman-actor Paul Ehlers; he had to leave the set to be in hospital on time so he could see the birth of his child. He went there in full Madman Marz-costume. Probably the child was traumatized after that, I could imagine well. Gaylen Ross, who starred in Dawn Of The Dead and Creepshow, is credited under the pseudonym Alexis Dubin.

The movie starts as almost every backwood slasher starts. Some creepy keyboard score, a campfire, a group of people, mostly teenagers, telling each other some creepy stories. I don't really understood what group there was, just like some camp for parents of their gifted children. It's the last evening and so they sit around the campfire and tell some stories, first of all you see T.P, one of the head counselors, walking around singing some creepy song. Max, a head counselor as well, is telling a story about said Madman Marz, having brutally murdered his family. Then he was hanged but escaped the next morning and the children of the men who hanged him were gone. Anyway at the end Max says 'This is my way of saying good bye and good luck to your children' Yeah, just by giving them the shock of their lives.

Richie, some teenager out of the group, then calls out the name Madman Marz and throwing a stone at the abandoned house. After the campfire 'ceremony' they all go back to their houses but Richie noticed some movement in the trees, Madman Marz? Instead of following the others Richie goes into the abandoned house and looks around. There is also some creepy 'light-a-candle-and-creepily-erase-it-after-a-minute'-thing going on in the house, obviously Marz. Then you see the other guys arriving at the camp, they didn't even noticed that Richie is missing. Come on, don't they talk or look around? Other bummer is that there aren't any hot girls in this camp as they are in other backwood slashers such as Sleepaway Camp or the Burning. Man, that's going to be a looong ass hour to watch this through.

Every head counselor apart from Max are around each other and so after this last campfire they all make out, slasher cliché right here! Betsy though refuses to make out with T.P. though after a reflective dinner all together (Max then says goodbye to all being back in a few hours)she finally agrees and you have to sustain some cheesy whirl pool scene that lasts about three minutes. Then there is a first POV-shot of someone looking into the whirlpool-room. After this short interaction you finally see some gore. I have to say the gore here is pretty decent, the most memorable death scene has to be some girl being decapitated while being busy handling the car and Marz jumping on the engine hood. A similar scene appeared in the fun slasher Home Sweet Home from 1981, while the flick was on the humor side this one takes it far more serious.

The final girl here is obviously Betsy following Marz into his cabin and having some fight just to get burnt down with everything after Marz overbeared her. That aspect is unique for a slasher genre. First, the final girl dies and secondly Richie who has caused the whole Marz-madness survives in the end by climbing through the woods and inside the cabin all the time without Marz having laid a finger on him. That's kind of unfair, Richie should have get his revenge as well. All we see in the end is Max returning with his car picking up Richie who trembles in fear, saying Madman Marz is real.

This is your typical early 80s backwood slasher with decent gore and some good storyline. Though nothing really happens in the first half hour, the movie improves after that and has its peak in a great finale scene. Surely not everyone has heard of this kinda overlooked slasher but if you're a sucker for the more obscure movies from the 80's you'll surely be satisfied with this one.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Big Sorry!

I have to apologize for my inactivity in the past month. I just started at university and had pretty much to do and so this blog somehow got lost. I just recently had time again to buy some stuff or view some movies I could review on here. Stay tuned for some more stuff in december and 2013!
Thank you all for being on here and reading my articles, it means a lot!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

DVD: Re-Animator Box

Laser Paradise Digipak (4 DVD)
Original Title(s): Re-Animator, Bride of Re-Animator
Date Of Release: 1985, 1990

Movie(s) (german Dolby 2.0 remastered, english Dolby 2.0, 85 min/96 min, Widescreen)
Extras: Interviews, extended scenes, deleted scenes, storyboard
Gatefold-digipak, 8-page booklet

Monday, October 22, 2012

Coulrophobia - Clowns in horror movies

What my intentions were when I started this little essay on my blog was first of all to recommend you some good slasher and horror flicks with a clown appearance but secondly writing some words about the phenomenon of fear of clowns - or as the title of this post says Coulrophobia. The most famous example has to be Pennywise, the clown that appears in Stephen King's It. (picture on the left) This film alone is a good reason why you should be afraid of clowns. If you dig deeper though you'll find a whole lot of other pearls of horror movies with clowns, mostly throughout the late 70's and 80's.

If we take the clown-subject at first there are plenty of very scary and well made slasher and horror movies from the past days. The first example here is Clownhouse, a slasher-film from 1989 that works similar as Halloween, means most kills or scenes are off-screen and subliminal but nonetheless very effective. It is about a carnival where three clowns get murdered by three escaped mental patients. They then break into the house of Casey and his two older brothers, first of them has an intense fear of clowns. There are so many little gimmicks in Clownhouse of which some you may not see until you rewind and watch the scene again. It was nominated in the dramatic category at Sundance film Festival '89, genereally liked by the audience, Victor Salva though was convicted for molesting the lead actor between 1996 and 2001, leaving kind of a bad light on the film as a whole.

A second example, which is a load of fun has to be Killer Klowns from Outta Space. Definitely more in the trash and comedy style the plot of this flick is about aliens which look just like clowns and are here to kill people in the most bizarre and weird ways. Another nice example is Out Of The Dark from 1989 in which a clown-masked killer stalk and kill girls who work for a phone-sex company. The funny thing about this one is that in the trailer the actual clown-mask never appears. The award definitely goes to Poltergeist though. For those who don't know the film yet t's a classic from 1982, directed by Tobe Hooper and produced by Steven Spielberg. There is a unbelievably scary clown-scene in it, a must-see.

The actual reason or definition of Coulrophobia is unclear and extensive though there had been surveys at a hospital asking children for their opinion on a new redesign. Most of the children did not like the clown-pictures in the rooms, were frightened by them. According to Northridge University, CA, children react negatively to a 'familiar body with an unfamiliar face'.

The reason why there is such a common appearance of Clowns in horror- and slasher-movies could be the conviction of John Wayne Gacy in 1980. He was a serial killer who was charged with 33 murders he did between 1972 and 1978. All of them were teenage boys or young men, some of them prostitutes, he picked up at Greyhound bus station or off the road, raped and later killed them. He buried them in his basement and around his house. He was known as Pogo, the Clown on children's birthday-parties or parades. (picture on the right) Before the investigations beginning in 1978 nobody could suspect Gacy for being the person he really was. He in fact was well liked in his neighborhood, especially for regularly organising BBQ's and grill parties. In the end of 1978 the parents of his last victim Robert Piest called the police of Des Plaines because of the disappearance of Piest. Gacy denied halving talked to Piest, later the police discover in the his file that he was imprisoned for sodomy in Iowa. They later found Piests's jacket in Gacy's home and then began with the investigations in and around his house, able to identify 22 of the total 33 corpses. He then was sentenced 14 years death row at Menard Correctional Center in Illinois, executed on May 10, 1994. 'You know... Clowns can get away with murder', Gacy used to say.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

DVD: Suspiria / Ultimate Collector's Edition

Dragon Entertainment Digipak (3 DVD), limited to 3000 pieces.
Original Title: Suspiria
Date of Release: 1977

Movie (german, english, italian language, 97 min, PAL)
Extras (several interviews, TV-spot, trailers)
Goblin Soundtrack 
Gatefold-digipak, 16-page booklet

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Review: Iced (1988)

Slasher films in the late 80s were almost a rarity already. The VHS-business however was booming and everyone wanted to cash in on horror movies or movies in general. Many movies were released directly on VHS and so practically anyone could made a low-budget movie and release it on home-video, Jeff Kwitny is one of these. He only had two or three other releases besides his film-debut Iced and none of them is known anywhere. The few slasher movies that came out in these years who are more or less known until today though were quite good, scoring with the adding of some black comedy or some extreme gore. Two good examples that come to mind immediately might be Sleepaway Camp 2 or Intruder. Iced however lacks of gore and comedy but lets get into detail.

It all starts in the mountains where some friends are skiing - of course - two friends Jeff and Cory are doing a ski race in the snow. Cory wins the race and receives Jeff's girlfriend Trina. The next scene is Jeff speaking to himself at first sight - spoiler alert - later proved to be wrong, however it's the first confusing and somehow silly scene. Trina and Cory are making out in the meanwhile. When Jeff returns to the hotel and catches them he goes mad. To relieve tension he goes skiing and then somehow manages to crash off a cliff and land on some rocks, if you now expect some gore you'll be dissappointed.

In fact you'll be dissappointed for the next hour because that's how long it takes for the first death scene. Four years later Trina and Cory return to the same resort (it's a different one in the movie though) now followed by some friends called Carl, Diane, Jeannette and John. Throughout this hour there are some cheesy and fake talking scenes and stuff but nothing really happens. Then one of the kids is run over by some snow-truck, a silly 'I rather crawl backwards than just stand up and run away' then the scene is cut-off and you only see some blood on the snow and some of his clothes. You obviously are kind of pissed now because you have waited for about an hour and what you get is some off-screen blood.

What really had some potential was the icepick death scene in the last minutes of the film but it is again cocked up by a annyoing off-screen cut. Also the score could have been helpful for the atmosphere of the film but they really fucked that up as well, sometimes it builds up and then immediately fades out again or it begins way too late or is simply unfitting. Another very funny thing are the pauses between the con-versations of the girls, sometimes up to three seconds long. Maybe refreshing for some of the viewer are the numerous nudity scenes in Iced, at least something worth mentioning.

Iced is surprisingly well known among slasher fans and this is definitely not because of the plot. What makes this somehow unique is the actual snow thematic. You can't name many slasher films at first sight who play in the snow. There are a few christmas-related slasher movies and also Curtains from 1983 has some crazy chasing scenes on ice but you really have to dig deep to find something similar to Iced. One fact that makes me somehow sad is how good you could have made this one with a decent budget, some serious plot and a lot more gore. The actual gore scenes or the scenes that really have potential are off-screen. I just re-commend it to you if you have too much time to waste or if you're just a sucker for bad trash cinema. However it's absolutely no loss if you miss this one.

Monday, October 1, 2012

DVD: Profondo Rosso / Limited Hardbox

XT Video Hardbox, Limited to 333 pieces
Original Title: Profondo Rosso, Deep Red
Date of Release: 1975, Italy