Saturday, October 20, 2018

Phil's Halloween Horror Watch: VAMPIRE COP (1990) from SRS Cinema - Oct. 20, 2018

VAMPIRE COP Blu-Ray
VAMPIRE COP
Starring Ed Cannon, Melissa Moore, Mal Arnold, Joey Thrower, Don Tilley, Morrow Faye
Screenplay by Donald Farmer
Cinematography by Glenn Kral
Edited by John Decker
Produced by Faye Chesney, Max Chesney, Donald Farmer
Directed by Donald Farmer
Originally released by Atlas Entertainment Corporation
Released by SRS Cinema

Welcome to Day 20 of Phil's Halloween Horror Watch! If you're not familiar with the name Donald Farmer, well, you should. He's been making low budget horror movies for over 30 years and is regarded as one of the pioneers of the Shot-On-Video movement. His resume includes CANNIBAL HOOKERS, VICIOUS LIPS, RED LIPS, and CHAINSAW CHEERLEADERS for starters. I remember learning about Mr. Farmer back in the early 90's through my local mom & pop video store and magazines like Scream Queens Illustrated and Alternative Cinema. Now, I've come full circle again, as I watched VAMPIRE COP, one of his all-time classics from SRS Cinema!

The film's official synopsis: It's not easy being a cop. Especially when you're a VAMPIRE COP like Officer Lucas (Ed Cannon). But with the city in the grip of a psycho drug kingpin, it's time to pull out all the stops and TAKE A BITE OUT OF CRIME! But now beautiful reporter Melanie Roberts (Melissa Moore) is onto Lucas' little secret. Will she expose him. . . or help him crack the biggest crime caper since Al Capone? Soon the streets are running red with stone dead hookers and bone dry mobsters -all with two little bites on their neck. Will Melanie be next? Or is Lucas ready to make the ultimate vampire's sacrifice to save her.

The movie screams of early 1990, which was a fun year to watch low budget movies. And no one made them better (or worse depending on your criteria) than Donald Farmer. He tried to make a really good movie on the rediciously small budget, but it's the film's limitations that make it fun to watch. This is probably the only vampire movie I have seen that doesn't show hardly any bloodletting! But the opening theme song "" rocked my world back then and brought me back to my simplistic youthful days. It's a movie shot with basic set-ups, framing, and composition, nothing really splashy and overly artsy, it's just a simple B-movie that was there to be entertaining. And with Farmer, it's anything but boring.

Original VHS Cover (1991)
Our two main leads in the film are the vampire cop himself Lucas, played by Ed Cannon and his love interest female reporter Melanie Roberts, played by the beautiful, buxom, and breathtaking Melissa Moore. Born in Versailles, Kentucky, she was a staple in the realm of B-movies, action flicks, erotica, and horror films, and her resume includes some of the all-time greats from the VHS era: THE INVISIBLE MANIAC, CAGED FURY, SORORITY HOUSE MASSACRE II, HARD TO DIE, ANGELFIST, and STORMSWEPT were some of her movies that I used to rent. In this move, Moore bares it all, literally, as she acts her way through her investigation of the mysterious vampire cop. Moore is one of the unsung Scream Queens that I feel has been looked over and forgotten, and I hope this movie will remind fans of the genre how much she was a part of our lives during this time.

The movie was filmed in late 1989 and early 1990 and released on VHS by Atlas Entertainment Corporation the following year. Again, I remember renting this at my favorite local video store American Video Center. They had the best selection of B-movies, horror films, and cult classics in town! I watched and ungodly amount of movies from that place! I can't recall if it was ever released on DVD after that, but SRS Cinema has come to the rescue and has re-released the movie in a brand new director's cut! They released it DVD, but also on a limited edition professional run and silk-screened BD-R to only 100 units, and a limited edition VHS clam shell with only 30 units available.

VAMPIRE COP is a 90's B-movie, cult classic that you can definitely sink your teeth into this Halloween! It shows audiences why everything was so damn cool about that decade! Yup, the 90's did have some cheesy B-movies and this is one of the best! So I dare you to watch this movie and try not to have a good time! 3 1/2 out of 5 stars! Definitely worth a watch!


VAMPIRE COP is available in a Special Collector's Edition Blu-ray (BD-R), DVD, and a Limited Edition Clam Shell VHS from SRS Cinema. To purchase a copy for yourself and other titles, please visit their website at srscinemastore.com.

Thanks for watching, and enjoy the horror!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Phil's Halloween Horror Watch: HELL NIGHT (1981) from Scream Factory - October 19, 2018

HELL NIGHT Blu-Ray
HELL NIGHT
Starring Linda Blair, Vincent Van Patten, Peter Barton, Kevin Brophy, Jenny Neumann, Suki Goodwin, Jimmy Sturtevant
Screenplay by Randy Feldman (as Randolph Feldman)
Cinematography by Mac Ahlberg
Edited by Anthony DiMarco
Produced by Irwin Yablans, Bruce Cohn Curtis
Directed by Tom DeSimone (as Tom De Simone)
Originally released by Compass International Pictures
Released by Scream Factory

Hello again horror hounds and welcome to Day 19! Wow, the month's almost over already? Time does fly when you're having fun watching horror movies every single day! Speaking of horror movies, today's film is an oldie but a goodie. And the star of the film is none other than the legendary Linda Blair. Her resume includes both horror and cult classics like THE EXORCIST, SAVAGE STREETS and CHAINED HEAT. For today, I had the pleasure of watching a movie that's been long out-of-print. Now thanks to Scream Factory, her horror movie HELL NIGHT is now back and better than ever!

The film's official synopsis: As an initiation rite into Alpha Sigma Rho fraternity, four pledges must spend a night in Garth Manor, twelve years to the day after the previous resident murdered his entire family. Two of the pledges, Marti and Jeff ignore the rumors that the now-deserted mansion is haunted by a crazed killer, until one by one, members of their group mysteriously disappear. Could this be a part of a fraternity prank ... or is a demented former tenant seeking revenge? When this seemingly innocent night turns deadly, these college students will do anything to survive Hell Night.

I loved the opening of the movie. Director Tom DeSimone has a long unedited and uninterrupted shot of a major college party and it pans to the right and captures the spirit of this festive event. I sat there thinking to myself, "Dude, we didn't have college parties like that back in my day! Hey, that looks like a lot of fun! Was this happening back when I was in college? Man, those college girls were hot! Hey, I remember that brand of beer! I wonder if they still make it? Speaking of making, those two college kids are making out big time! Awwww.....I miss college." That's what I was thinking, but I digress.

Original Theatrical Poster (1981)
DeSimone builds up the story slowly, maybe a tad bit to slow for me, but when the scares gets going, the blood starts flowing. The storyline is pretty simple, but the production values look amazing, capturing the Hammer Horror Gothic look. He sets up the scares perfectly, as it builds and builds to one cool and painful looking climax in the third act. Credit also goes to screenwriter Randy Feldman for writing a fun and scary horror movie that looks and sounds authentic, meaning the characters are look and sound like young college students and not what a Hollywood executive thinks what they would look and sound like.

Linda Blair was one of the most beautiful actresses at this time. I had a bog crush on here when I saw her in ROLLER BOOGIE. She's so confident in her acting that you cannot look away from her when she's on the screen. Also appearing in the film is Vincent Van Patten as Seth, who you've seen in ROCK 'N' ROLL HIGH SCHOOL, PAYBACK, and on TV series like Baywatch and The Young and the Restless. Blair's love interest is Jeff is played by Peter Barton, who's titles include FRIDAY THE 13th: THE FINAL CHAPTER and television shows like Burke's Law, Sunset Beach, and The Young and the Restless.

The movie was released to theaters on August 28, 1981 by Compass International Pictures, the same distributor that brought us HALLOWEEN, ROLLER BOOGIE (another Linda Blair Picture), FADE TO BLACK, and BLOOD BEACH (the company would close after this release and return four years later as Trancas International Films, an affiliate of Universal Studios and current copyright holders of the HALLOWEEN franchise). It would gross $2.3 million against its $1.4 million budget, so not too bad but not that great either. It was was released on VHS by Media Home Entertainment in 1982, then later on DVD by Anchor Bay Entertainment in 1999. In January of this year, Scream Factory released the film for the first time on Blu-ray in a Collector's Edition set (with DVD).

The Blu-Ray/DVD Combo comes with these excellent extras: New Interviews With Actors Linda Blair, Peter Barton, Vincent Van Patten, Suki Goodwin, Kevin Brophy, and Jenny Neumann, Audio Commentary With Linda Blair, Tom DeSimone, Irwin Yablans, And Bruce Cohn Curtis, and Original Theatrical Trailer & TV Spots. The following special features are only Blu-ray Disc Exclusive Bonus Features: Interview With Director Tom DeSimone, Interview With Producer Bruce Cohn Curtis, Interview With Writer Randolph Feldman, Anatomy Of The Death Scenes With Tom DeSimone, Randolph Feldman, Make-up Artist Pam Peitzman, Art Director Steven G. Legler, And Special Effects Artist John Eggett, On Location At The Kimberly Crest House With Tom DeSimone, Gothic Design In Hell Night With Steven G. Legler, Original Radio Spot, and Photo Gallery Featuring Rare, Never-before-seen Stills.

HELL NIGHT is a fun and overlooked 80's slasher movie that will please fans of both the genre and Linda Blair! While not quite on par as with the other films of this era, the fact that it's now available in a new 4K scan and completely restored, it means that horror hounds will be able to enjoy the movie all year round! So come out and take trip down to the old Garth Manor, and see if you can survive the night! 4 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!


HELL NIGHT is available in a Blu-Ray/DVD Combo from Scream Factory. To purchase a copy, visit their website at www.shoutfactory.com.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the horror!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Phil's Halloween Horror Watch: Phil sees HALLOWEEN at the Cinelux Almaden Cafe & Lounge - October 18, 2018

It's safe to say that John Carpenter's 1978 horror classic HALLOWEEN (which I saw last week) changed the landscape of cinema when it was released to theaters and remains a milestone in the gnere. It scared the hell out of audiences everywhere, spawned a franchise of films and merchandise, put Carpenter's name on the map, and ushered in the slasher genre that dominated theaters throughout the 1980's. Granted, several installments of the series were less than we were anticipating, and don't get me started on the whole Rob Zombie's reboot and sequel. Then on May 24, 2016, Blumhouse Productions and Miramax announced that they would be co-financing a brand new film for the series, and that Carpenter himself would be both producing and scoring the film! And that original star Jamie Lee Curtis would also be returning along with the original Shape Nick Castle! Boy, did that excite me! And now, 40 years later, I'm here at the Cinelux Almaden Cafe & Lounge to attend the special Thursday night screening of the latest chapter in the story of Micheal Myers, simply titled HALLOWEEN!

The film's official synopsis: Jamie Lee Curtis returns to her iconic role as Laurie Strode, who comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.

Holy crap I loved the hell outta this movie!! This surpassed beyond my expectations! Jamie Lee Curtis returns to bring a new dimension to her iconic character Laurie Strode. Life has been hard on Laurie, and we learn the sacrifices, consequences, and loss that she has lived through these past 40 years. Her relationship with her estranged daughter Karen (Judy Greer) is almost non-existent, but she tries to reach out to her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak). But when Micheal Myers (the returning Nick Castle) returns to Haddonfield to finish what he started all those years ago, it's up to Laurie to save her family and to end the terror of The Bogeyman.

Curtis and Castle are not the only ones to return to the franchise. The series creator himself, John Carpenter, returned as not only as one of the executive producers, he also scored the film! And it sounded freaking awesome! His new take on the movie's theme was awesome and it just sounded like a Carpenter score! This elevates the movie to a higher level, and increases the intensity and dread in the final product. I was so happy to have the man himself back on board to help guide the film back to its roots, which leads me to my next topic.

I felt like the movie (and the series) returned back to its roots, and that's thanks in larger part to director David Gordon Green and screenwriters Green, Danny McBride, and Jeff Fradley. Together, the crafted a simple, yet very effective, tour de force that hasn't been seen in the series for a very long time.

Since this was a Thursday night screening, the audience that I saw it with were loud, rambunctious, rowdy, and vocal. This was the perfect way to see this movie! They were cheering, screaming, laughing, and we were all having a great time! This is why going to the cinemas and watching a movie with a group of like-minded strangers is so important! We get to share an experience together rather than watching a movie alone. Where's the fun in that? That's so damn boring! Watching a horror movie with this type of audience makes going to the theaters so damn fun!

HALLOWEEN is my pick for Best Horror Film of 2018!! This is the sequel that we have been waiting for for the last 40 years!! Everything in this movie was phenomenal!! The acting, the directing, the cinematography, the film's score, there wasn't anything wrong with the overall presentation! And the kills were graphic, gory, and gorgeous!! You need to experience this movie on the big screen!! So make plans with your friends and loved ones and celebrate October the way it was meant to be: by spending time with the return of Michael Myers!! 5 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!


HALLOWEEN is playing in theaters nationwide, including at the Cinelux Theaters here in the Bay Area. To view showtimes, visit their website at www.cineluxtheatres.com.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Phil's Halloweeen Horror Watch: BLOODSUCKERS FROM OUTER SPACE (1984) from Vinegar Syndrome - October 17, 2018

BLOODSUCKER FROM OUTER SPACE Slipcover
BLOODSUCKERS FROM OUTER SPACE
Starring Thom Meyers, Laura Ellis, Robert Bradeen, Big John Brigham, Glen Coburn, Franny Coppenbarg, Dan Gallion
Screenplay by Glen Coburn
Cinematography by Chad D. Smith
Edited by Karen D. Latham
Produced by Rick Garlington, Garl Boyd Latham, Karen D. Latham, Larry McInerney
Directed by Glen Coburn
Originally released by Karl-Lorimar Home Video
Released by Vinegar Syndrome

Welcome back horror hounds to my annual Halloween Horror Watch! For Day 17, I decided to pull and oldie but goodie from that lovely decade called the 1980's. The movie was part of the straight-to-video trend that was becoming popular, since video stores were desperate to find product to put on their shelves. Shot on 16mm film stock in rural Texas, BLOODSUCKERS FROM OUTER SPACE is a bona fide cult classic that you have never heard of!

The film's official synopsis: A mysterious and invisible alien presence has landed in rural Texas and has started turning the nearby townspeople into white-faced, bloodthirsty killers. As the local authorities begin to investigate the strange and violent goings on, a photographer and his girlfriend find themselves trapped in the midst of an unexpected rural bloodbath, which seeks to turn them into another pair of bloodsuckers from outer space. A low budget, low rent horror comedy from writer/director Glen Coburn, BLOOD SUCKERS FROM OUTER SPACE is a gory and silly slice of home made regional genre filmmaking.

This was one of the most goofy, silly, hilarious local indie horror films from the 80's that I have ever seen! It almost has a Troma-esque feel to it. What makes it so enjoyable to watch that it's such a low budget movie that the filmmakers didn't really take it all so seriously. However, the film was made with a lot skill and care: the sound was awesome, cinematography was nice looking, and the cast put on a great performance. But you can tell they were just having a ball making it! Like I've said previously, you can see the comradery and passion within each frame of the movie, and everybody involved was giving a 110%! This is a perfect snapshot of the local DIY indie film movement that was taking place in the country.

Original In-Store Poster (1984)
Writer/director  Glen Coburn was very fortunate to have such a talented crew to help bring his unique and quarky vision to fruition. His cast and crew made a film that has lasted for over 34 years, and the fact that it's still talked about to this day proves that they left their mark in cinema history. What I enjoyed was Corburn's script, which had a lot of funny one-liners, great comedy moments, and some clever fourth-wall breaking. Add the on-screen chemistry between Thom Meyers' character Jeff Rhodes and Laura Ellis' Julie, plus the rocking score by Emilie Aronson, Ann Armstrong and Steve Hughes and you have one radical movie!

The movie premiered in October of 1984 at the Joe Bob Briggs' Drive-In Movie Festival. It was reviewed by Travis Box of the Dallas Observer, calling it, "one of the best low budget films made in Texas." It was picked up by Karl-Lorimar Home Video and released on home video shortly soon after. In late 2008, the company Media Blasters released the movie on DVD to a new generation of fans. Then in 2018, Vinegar Syndrome re-released the movie in a Blu-Ray/DVD Combo, newly scanned and restored in 2k from 16mm negative elements.

Since I'm a hardcore collector of physical media, I purchased my copy with the limited slipcover (which is now sold out but is still available in a regular edition). The combo set comes with some interesting special features: Commentary Track with writer/director Glen Coburn, actor Thom Meyers, and cinematographer Chad D. Smith, "34 Years Later" - A 50 minute 'making-of' documentary, " Back To Bloodsucker Town" - 15-minute featurette, "Bloody Arm Rip 101" - A how-to guide on recreating the special effect from the film, Stills Gallery: Featuring over 100 images from Glen's personal collection on the making of the film, and a reversible cover artwork.

BLOODSUCKERS FROM OUTER SPACE is a Grade-Z, horror comedy classic that has a lot of heart and soul, which makes up for the extremely low budget! The movie falls into the , "It's so bad it's good" category, but for other reasons! The cast and crew did the impossible and have left their mark in the annuals of horror film history! This was the over-the-top, cheesy, campy VHS rental of 1984, and now it's the must-own Blu-Ray of 2018!! 3 1/2 out of 5 stars! Definitely worth a watch!


BLOODSUCKERS FROM OUTER SPACE is available in a Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack from Vinegar Syndrome. To order a copy for yourself, visit their website at vinegarsyndrome.com.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Phil's Halloween Horror Watch: TERRIFIER (2017) from Dread Central Presents - October 16, 2018

TERRIFIER Blu-Ray
TERRIFIER
Starring David Howard Thornton, Jenna Kanell, Samantha Scaffidi, Catherine Corcoran, Katie Maguire, Matt McAllister
Screenplay by Damien Leone
Cinematography by George Steuber
Edited by Damien Leone
Produced by Larry Bilello, Phil Falcone, Damien Leone, Joe Patrick Marshall, George Steuber, Adam Weber
Directed by Damien Leone
Released by Dread Central Presents

Hello everybody and welcome to Day 16 of my Halloween Horror Watch! So, there's a lot of people in the world who are deathly afraid of clowns. And to be honest, clowns are pretty damn creepy. Even though they're somewhat funny and are there for the kids, adults have grown to be scared of them, and rightly so. There have been some terrifying clowns in the horror genre, such as Pennywise from IT, the space clowns from KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE, and Captain Spaulding from THE DEVIL'S REJECTS. Now you can add Art the Clown from TERRIFIER from Dread Central Presents to that lengthly list.

The film's official synopsis: Based on a character from the cult anthology, All Hallows Eve, the gory 80's slasher throwback takes place on Halloween night as the demented Art the Clown sets his sights on terrorizing two girls and anyone else that gets in his way.

After watching the film for the first time in the comfort of my home, I was thinking to myself, "What the fuck did I just watch?!?" Yeah, this is one fucked up horror movie!! It has that old school, 1970's grindhouse horror film aesthetic that the movie nails you to the back of the theater and doesn't let go till the end credits. It's also super nasty, meaning everything about it makes you feel dirty watching it. So afterwards, I took a very long shower! Then, I took another shower!

Credit goes to actor David Howard Thornton for his performance of Art the Clown, one of the most horrifying clowns I have ever seen in a horror film! Thorton was a trained mime and brings a lot of this experience to his character. He doesn't speak a word and he doesn't have to: his body language, his mannerism, his facial expressions, every little thing he does adds to mystic to his role as Art the Clown. If he doesn't get some kind award for his acting, then there is no justice in the world! He is that damn phenomenal!!

Original Theatrical Poster (2018)
Also contributing to Art's night of horrors are actresses Jenna Kanell and Catherine Corcoran as Tara and Dawn, respectively. As the first two female victims of the night, they are put through the ringer in terms of being attacked, tied to a chair, and hung upside down naked while being sawed in half while still alive!! Holy shit that was fucking sick looking!! Both Kanell and Corcoran are amazing in the film, as is Samantha Scaffidi, who plays Tara's sister Victoria. Scaffidi had the pleasure of being the only survivor of Art the Clown's reign of terror, but the aftermath has left he severely scared! Congratulations to these fine ladies for being part of the film!!

The movie was written, directed, and edited by Damien Leone, who also made the 2013 film ALL HALLOW'S EVE, which is where Art the Clown originated. Leone bring an intensity to his directing style: it's unflinching, in-your-face, uncompromising, and unrelenting! His camera does not shy away from the violence at all! We are forced to see everything, which will put off some but it's nonetheless effective storytelling. The story is also straight-forward, and doesn't offer much as for Art's motivation and why he does what he does. Truth be told, we don't really need to know this. Do we need to know why Michael Myers wanted to kill Laurie Strode? No we don't, so we don't need to know why he's killing all these people. He's just a fucking psychotic individual who kills people! Period! And I'm totally fine with this!

The film premiered at the Telluride Horror Show Film Festival in 2016, and then went on to play at the Horror Channel FrightFest. it was picked up for distribution by Dread Central Presents, an imprint of Epic Pictures specializing in horror, sci-fi, and fantasy films. They released the movie in a limited theatrical release and also in a Blu-Ray/DVD Combo pack. The film was also just added on Netflix back in September.

The Blu-Ray/DVD Combo come with some cool special features, including an Audio Commentary with writer/director Damien Leone and David H. Thorton (Art the Clown), Behind-The-Scenes Footage, Interview with Jenna Kanell, Deleted Scenes, Art the Clown Time Lapse Make-Up Video, Stills, both the Red-Band & Green-Band Trailers, English and Spanish subtitles and Collectible Reverse Cover Art.

TERRIFIER is one of the most shocking, grotesque and insane horror films of the past decade!! This movie is not for the faint at heart! If you like your horror movies outrageously batshit crazy and covered in blood and guts, this one was made for you! I fucking dare you to watch this movie alone in the dark this Halloween!! Just make sure Art the Clown isn't watching you!! Not since the original TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE has a film felt this visceral and disturbing!! 5 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!



TERRIFIER is available in a Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack from Dread Central Presents and Epic Picture. To purchase a copy for yourself, visit their website at epic-pictures.com. The film is also streaming to watch on Netflix. To start your subscription, visit their website at www.netflix.com.


Thanks for reading, and enjoy the horror!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Phil's Halloween Horror Watch: THE INITIATION (1984) from Arrow Video - October 15, 2018

THE INITIATION Blu-Ray
THE INITIATION
Starring Daphne Zuniga, Vera Miles, Clu Gulager, James Read, Marilyn Kagan, Robert Dowdell, Frances Peterson, Patti Heider
Screenplay by Charles Pratt Jr.
Cinematography by George Tirl
Edited by Ronald LaVine
Produced by Jock Gaynor, Bruce Lansbury, Scott Winant
Directed by Larry Stewart, Peter Crane (uncredited)
Originally released by New World Pictures
Released by Arrow Video

Welcome to Day 15 horror hounds! Today's film is an often overlooked and forgotten slasher from the mid 1980's. By this time, theaters were bombarded with slasher films. There were so many that it was almost impossible to keep up with them. One of these was released in 1984 and isn't discussed enough. Thanks to the kind folks over at Arrow Video, this terrible wrong has been justly righted and they have unleashed THE INITIATION to be enjoyed by the masses!

The film's official synopsis: HERE'S TO BEING YOUNG... STAYING YOUNG... AND DYING YOUNG. Marking TV star Daphne Zuniga s debut in a leading role, THE INITIATION ranks amongst the finest of the college-based stalk-and-slash flicks now finally restored in glorious High-Definition! Kelly s new sorority has a special initiation ritual in store for her an after-hours break-in of her father s department store. But what begins as a night of harmless college fun turns sour when, once inside the enormous mall, Kelly and her fellow pledges find themselves locked in for the night... with a deadly intruder stalking the corridors. Arriving in 1984, THE INITIATION might have been late to the slasher party, but, alongside the likes of THE HOUSE ON SORORITY ROW and THE MUTILATOR, it remains one of the stronger entries to emerge in the latter days of the slice-and-dice boom.

I've only seen clips of the movie, so watching it for the first time was highly entertaining, especially that twist ending! Boy, I didn't see that coming!! This was such a great horror movie, deserving praise of its blend of traditional slasher troupes and Freudian subplot involving Daphne Zuniga's character Kelly Fairchild. Zuniga was fantastic and she showed that she had the talent to go far in Hollywood, which she did in films like SPACEBALLS, THE SURE THING, GROSS ANATOMY and television shows like Melrose Place, Beautiful People, and One Tree Hill. Clu Gulager does what he does best: being Clu Gulager! Genre fans loved him RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2: FREDDY'S REVENGE, and THE HIDDEN. Vera Miles, who plays Frances Fairchild, is a Hollywood legend. Her resume includes titles like THE SEARCHERS, THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE, PSYCHO and the 1983 sequel PSYCHO II.

Original Theatrical Poster (1984)
Director Peter Crane was on-hand to shoot the film, but after several days of shooting, the schedule had fallen behind and he was fired and replaced by Larry Stewart, who completed the rest of the film on time and on budget. This is the reason why there's two different and distinctive looks to the film. Stewart received credit for directing the movie, while Crane was never acknowledged.

Again, the film was released by New World Pictures on December 7, 1984. Unfortunately for the film, it was competing against Wes Craven's now classic A NIGHTMARE OF ELM STREET and we all know what happened next: Freddy dominated the boxoffice and the film faded from theaters in a matter of months. It was released on VHS by Thorn EMI in the mid-80's and eventually was released on DVD by Anchor Bay Entertainment 2002, then reissued again on DVD in 2011 by Image Entertainment's "Midnight Madness" Series, due to Anchor Bay letting the film's rights run out. In August 2016, Arrow Video announced that they would be restoring and releasing the film on Blu-Ray for the very first time.

The Blu-Ray comes some special features contents: Brand new restoration from original film elements, High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation, Original Uncompressed Mono PCM audio, Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing, Brand new audio commentary by The Hysteria Continues, Brand new interview with actor Christopher Bradley, Brand new interview with actress Joy Jones, Original Theatrical Trailer, Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Justin Osbourn, and a Collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic James Oliver (only for the First Pressings of the Blu-Ray).

THE INITIATION is a totally awesome 80's slasher flick that will make you scream with fright! It's a nasty horror film that's full of outrageous clothes, radical hairstyles, and plenty of bloodshed to satisfy every horror fanatics' wet dreams! It's a movie that should have been spotlighted more over the years, and now fans of the film can now watch it in the comfort of their living room! 4 out of 5 stars! Highly recommended!


THE INITIATION is available on Blu-Ray from Arrow Video. To purchase a copy for yourself, visit the Diabolik DVD website at www.diabolikdvd.com.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the horror!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Phil's Halloween Horror Watch: HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3 (2018) from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment - October 14, 2018

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3 Blu-Ray
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3 (aka HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: SUMMER VACATION)
Starring the voices of Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, David Spade, Keegan-Michael Key, Jim Gaffigan, Kathryn Hahn, Chris Parnell, Chrissy Teigen
Screenplay by Michael McCullers, Genndy Tartakovsky (based on characters created by Todd Durham)
Edited by Joyce Arrastia
Produced by Michelle Murdocca, Carey A. Smith, Genevieve West
Directed bu Genndy Tartakovsky
Released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Welcome to spooky Day 13 of my Halloween Horror Watch! So for today, I decided to veer off from my normal criteria and watch something that was fun for my whole family. My kid is only six years old, but I'm trying to teach him about the classic horror films, more specifically the Universal Monster Films of the 1930's. In the modern age, these monsters have found a new lease on life in the form of the HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA franchise, which features characters like Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, the Wolfman, etc. This past week, I picked up the latest installment of the franchise HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3 for all of us to watch!

The film's official synopsis: Join your favorite monster family as they embark on a vacation adventure on a luxury monster cruise ship so Drac can finally take a break from handling everyone else's vacation at the hotel. It's smooth sailing for Drac's Pack as the monsters indulge in all of the shipboard fun the cruise has to offer, from monster volleyball to exotic excursions, and catching up on their moon tans. But they hit rocky waters when Mavis realizes that Drac has fallen for the mysterious captain of the ship, Ericka, who hides a dangerous secret that could sink their plans for a dream vacation.

The whole gang is back to voice these iconic and hilariously entertaining characters that I have been a fan of since I was a kid. Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, David Spade, and Keegan-Michael Key all return to voice their respective characters that I've enjoyed from the past two movies, but this time we are introduced to a couple of newbies to the series. Funnyman Jim Gaffigan comes on board to voice Dracula's long time enemy Abraham Van Helsing. If you have ever caught his stand-up specials, then you know what to expect from the man! Joining him on his mission is is great-granddaughter Ericka Van Helsing, voiced by the extremely talented Kathryn Hahn, who can see in films like WE'RE THE MILLERS, AFTERNOON DELIGHT, BAD MOMS, and its sequel A BAD MOMS CHRISTMAS. Also lending his voice is Chris Parnell from Saturday Night Live as Stan and the rest of the Fishmen. Parnell has also voiced several other characters in the previous films.

Original Theatrical Poster (2018)
The movie was released to theaters on July 13 of this year and it performed extremely well! The film's budget was a staggering $80 million (cause of the star power paychecks the studio had to pay) but is grossed a worldwide boxoffice total of $426,104,170!! So it's safe to say that we'll probably get more sequels later on down the road, especially since the film's ending was left wide open for more movies.

The Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack comes with a lot of special features for the kids to watch: Three All New Scary-Oke Sing Alongs: Sing along to three HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3 inspired songs with your favorite characters: “Dennis Had a Giant Dog” – Sung by Dennis & Winnie, “Monsters Like to Party Down” – Sung by Johnny, “Oh These Wolf Pups” – Sung by Wanda Werewolf, Plan Your Own Spook-tacular Sleepover: This feature will give you all details on how to make your own sleepover spook-tacular! From snacks to crafts to games and more, follow these steps to create a Hotel T sleep-over with your friends and family, the perfect setting to binge watch all 3 Hotel Transylvania movies, Vampire Make Over: Mavis and Drac Tutorial: Learn how to turn yourself into your favorite HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3 characters, Behind the Screams – The Voices of HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: Step behind the "screams" with the returning stars and hilarious new cast to see how these characters are brought to life in the recording booth, Johnny’s Home Movies (Franchise Recap): Johnny brings viewers up to speed on what’s happened in the Hotel Transylvania franchise so far, “I See Love” Monster Dance Party Dance Along: Get up and get moving to this haunting monster mash, Drac’s Zing-tastic Read Along: It's storytime with your favorite characters have a silly tale about Drac's search for a Zing!, and Two Mini Movies: Puppy and Goodnight Mr. Foot.

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3 is a family fun movie that will make fans of the franchise laugh with joy while fans of classic horror monsters will get a kick out of the modern interpretations! There's also a message that everyone can relate to: Nothing's more important than your family! And you can Zing! more than once! If you don't get the last one, then you better get your kids to have you watch the two previous chapters of the series!! And what better way to spend the Halloween season with this monster-filled family fun film!! 4 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!


HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3 is available in a Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital combo and DVD + Digital from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. To purchase a copy for your family, visit your local retailer. The movie is also on VOD, iTunes and other streaming platforms.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the horror!