Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Phil's Halloween Horrors Marathon, Day 31: Phil sees HALLOWEEN at the BlueLight Cinemas 5-October 31, 2012

Good evening everybody and Happy Halloween!! Well folks, this is it! The end of the road. The last day of my horror movie marathon. Hard to believe it's all over after tonight. So to celebrate this evening's All Hallow's Eve, I headed on over to the BlueLight Cinemas 5 in Cupertino to watch the film that transformed Halloween, and the horror genre, forever. Thanks to director John Carpenter, his low budget film HALLOWEEN became one of the scariest movies ever made, and helped make its villain Michael Myers into a horror icon.

Theatrical Movie Poster (1978)
To be honest, this one of my all-time favorite horror films ever. The movie helped establish the "rules" for the slasher genre that would come charging in with the release of FRIDAY THE 13th just two years later. The film launched Jamie Lee Curtis' film career, and Carpenter became a legendary director within the horror genre.

The film has been discussed, written, dissected, reassembled, and worshiped since its release on October 25, 1978. There is nothing I can say about the film that hasn't already been said. The film can be classified as a "perfect" film. With Carpenter's beautiful directing, Curtis' down to earth performance, and thanks to Carpenter's simplistic soundtrack, there isn't one flaw to be found within the movie. If by chance you have never seen the film, you really need to see it! In fact, it is against the law to live your life without seeing this movie!

With this film, my horror movie marathon comes to an end. I've had so much fun this month, watching all these great films in the theaters and on DVD and Blu-Ray! There were still so many films that I didn't have time to watch, but there is always next Halloween. However, I encourage all of you out there to keep the spirit of Halloween alive all year round! There are many horror films coming to the big screen, so be sure to read my blog so you too can check them out at your local theater. I hope that all the films that I watched this month will inspire you to view them too. Next month I shall be returning to the Camera Cinemas for my weekly movie fix, as well as travel back to Niles and the Castro Theatre too. Thank you all for joining me for Phil's Halloween Horrors Marathon!! Good night and have a Happy Halloween!!

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the screaming!

Phil's Halloween Horrors Marathon, Day 30: Phil reviews KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE (1988) Blu-Ray from MGM-October 30, 2012

KILLER KLOWN FROM OUTER SPACE
Starring: Grant Cramer, Suzanne Snyder, John Allen Nelson, John Vernon, Michael Siegel, Peter Licassi, Royal Dano, Chris Titus, Irene Michaels, Karla Sue Krull
Written by Charles Chiodo and Stephen Chiodo
Produced by Charles Chiodo, Edward Chiodo, Stephen Chiodo
Directed by Stephen Chiodo
A Chiodo Brothers Productions
Originally released by Trans World Entertainment
Distributed by MGM

Only two days left people so let's jump in Day Thirty! Throughout the 100+ years of cinema history, clowns have not only made us laugh, they have terrified us. OK let's face it, clowns are scary. They're just so damn scary and creepy and unerving. So when I first saw KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE on VHS back in 1988, I didn't know whether to be scared or laugh! Up until then, I have never seen a movie quite like this before.

So wrap your head around this synopsis: A spaceship - looking like a circus tent - lands in a field near a small town, signaling the attack of deviant, red-nosed, balloon-twisting psychos from another world who plan to annihilate mankind - by turning people into cotton candy! Luckily, the town's teen citizenry decides to fight back and teach the cosmic bozos a lesson. But these klowns are no klutzes, turning popcorn, peanuts and caramel corn into playful - but deadly - weapons of madcap destruction and mayhem!

Theatrical Movie Poster (1988)
Sounds more fun than shoveling elephant shit, huh? Well it is a then some! The Chiodo brothers takes the idea of clowns being eerie and frightening, and fuses it with the common theme of aliens coming down from space; thus giving us aliens that look like clowns. For what it is, the film is actually quite inventive; and while much of the action is clichéd and/or samey, it's the little things that ensure it doesn't get boring.

This was the only film that the Chiodo brothers ever made but they have worked on many other projects in other roles, such as producing and visual effects. One of the locations they used for the film was the famous Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk in Santa Cruz, California (which was were THE LOST BOYS was filmed at). The film was released to theaters on May 27, 1988. The filmed went on to earn a total of $43,625,095 worldwide. Not too bad of a return from an estimated $2,000,000 budget.

The MGM Blu-Ray comes loaded with special features: Audio Commentary from the Chiodo brothers, Five Featurettes, Deleted Scenes with Director's Commentary, Bloopers, and the film's original trailer!

KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE is a true original cult classic that will now entertain a whole new generations of genre fans. So next time you and your date are bored and have no idea what to do, bust open a bottle of champagne, light some candles, pop this film in your player and watch the sparks fly! 4 1/2 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!


KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE is currently available on Blu-Ray at your local retailer. You can also purchase a copy at the Amazon website at www.amazon.com.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the screaming!

Phil's Halloween Horrors Marathon, Day 29: Phil reviews PSYCHO SLEEPOVER (2008) DVD from Troma Inc.-October 29, 2012

PSYCHO DVD Cover (2012)
PSYCHO SLEEPOVER
Starring: Rachel Castillo, Felissa Rose, Paul Rust, Emilia Richeson, Ariel Teal Toombs, Frankie Frain, Todd Pritchett, Todd Pritchett
Witten by Kurt Kroeber, Eric Gosselin, Adam Deyoe
Produced by Adam Deyoe, Eric Gosselin, Ryan Martin
Associate produced by Marc L. Fusco, Joshua Klausner, Kurt Kroeber, Chris Watson
Directed by Adam Deyoe and Eric Gosselin
A Pratt Ratt Productions
Distributred by Troma Entertainment

OK everybody these are the last three days of October so let me begin Twenty-Nine! Today's film comes again from Troma Entertainment. As I stated in my FATHER'S DAY and JESSICKA RABID, I am a HUGE Troma fanatic! So for the past 20 years I have spent my free time searching, watching, and collecting every single Troma movie I could find. So for today's review I chose to review a newer release from the House that Toxie built. PSYCHO SLEEPOVER is horror/comedy that perfectly balances the laughter with the bloodshed.

The film's official synopsis: After accidentaly murdering her boyfriend, Debbie Dicky (Rachel Castillo) moves to a new town and meets three girls who invite her to a sleepover. The very same night there is a breakout at the local insane asylum where forty serial killers escape and head over to crash the party.However, the girls at the slumber party might not be as helpless as the killers think.

Theatrical Movie Poster (2008)
Right off the bat I want to inform you all that this was one gory and hilarious movie! The acting was perfect, the blood flowed like the Mississippi, the jokes and gages were funny, the gore was spot on! If you think that this film resembles in any way the crappy Hollywood horror-comedies, then you've got it all wrong.

What makes the film so much fun to watch is that it's such a low budget film, and yet, with its limitations, the film rises to be more than just a cheapo horror/comedy flick. It really tries and the movie is so much fun to watch. Both Deyoe and Gosselin directed the film with fun and energy. Some of the effects are cheesy looking and some of the acting isn't perfect, but you can tell they're all having fun. And that should be the reason you want to make movies.

This Troma release come with some cool extras, including Behind the Scenes, Deleted Scenes, Outtakes, Trailer, and Audio Commentary. Now being a Troma release, you also get a funny and entertaining intro by its president and co-creator of THE TOXIC AVENGER Lloyd Kaufman.

PSYCHO SLEEPOVER is one of the best  horror/comedies you will ever see! This is one Troma movie that you should really check out! And after you see this, tell all your friends about it! 4 out of 5 stars! Recommended!


PSYCHO SLEEPOVER is currently available on DVD at your local retailer and at the Troma website. To purchase a copy, visit www.troma.com.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the screaming!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Phil's Halloween Horrors Marathon, Day 28: Phil reviews THE HOUSE ON SORORITY ROW (1983) 2-Disc Set from Scorpion Releasing-October 28, 2012

HOUSE 2-Disc DVD Cover (2012)
THE HOUSE ON SORORITY ROW
Starring: Kathryn McNeil, Eileen Davidson, Janis Zido, Robin Meloy, Harley Kozak, Jodi Draigie, Ellen Dorsher, Lois Kelso Hunt, Christopher Lawrence, Michael Kuhn, Michael Sergio, Ruth Walsh
Written by Mark Rosman with additional dialogue by Bobby Fine
Produced by John G. Clark, Ed Beyer, Igo Kantor, Mark Rosman
Executive produced by John Ponchock and W. Thomas McMahon
Directed by Mark Rosman
Originally released by Film Ventures International (FVI)
Distributed by Scorpion Releasing

The final days of my horror movie marathon are coming close to an end, so let's get right into Day Twenty-Eight! Today's film comes to us once again from the early 80's. The film is a genre classic. In fact, it's so popular that it was remade in 2009. Today's film is the horror slasher film THE HOUSE ON SORORITY ROW.

Here is the film's synopsis: Seven sorority sisters, Katey (Katherine McNeil) Morgan (Jodi Draigie), Stevie (Ellen Dorsher), Liz (Janis Zedo), Vicki (Eileen Davidson), Jeanie (Robin Meloy), and Diane (Harley Jane Koazak) pull a prank on their strict house mother, Mrs. Slater, who is known for carrying a sharp walking cane. However it goes horribly awry and she winds up dead. Panicking, the girls try to hide the body, but someone (or something) witnessed the crime and begins to stalk them.

Healmed by first time director Mark Rosman, the movie was filmed on location in Baltimore, Marylland on a budget of just $425,000. Now the film has some good characters - for once we don't have an utterly virginal heroine whose morals are her strength. Instead we have several girls, most of them scared enough by what is happening to follow Vicky, the rebellious and selfish one, and the heroine as the only one who sees that Vicky is actually quite a stupid and uncaring bitch of a character. While it's not overtly gory, the death scenes are great and convincing, there is plenty of suspense and you are always kept hooked.

Theatrical Movie Poster (1983)
The film was released in US theaters on January 21, 1983, and took in $617,661 in its opening weekend. It would go on to gross a whopping $10,604,986! On November 14, 2000, Elite Entertainment released the movie on DVD. Then was re-printed and released again on November 18, 2003. Then it became out of print, but was once again re-released on January 12, 2010 as a special 25 year special anniversary edition. Soon this edition became out of stock as well.

Now this new 2-Disc DVD version comes courtesy from Scorpion Releasing, as part of the label's "Katarina's Nightmare Theatre" series. Special features on Disc One include: Katarina s Nightmare Theater format with our hostess Katarina Leigh Waters or play feature only, Brand New 16x9 (1:78) HD master from the original IN, Brand New audio commentary with Director Mark Rosman moderated by Katarina Leigh Waters, Bonus commentary with Stars Kate McNeil, Eileen Davidson and director Mark Rosman, On camera interview with co-star Harley Jane Kozak, 3 TV spots, Thearical Trailers, Storyboard Comparisons, Photo Gallery, Alternate Ending. The special features on Disc Two include: On camera interview with star Kate McNeil conducted by Katarina Leigh Waters, On camera interview with star Eileen Davidson conducted by Katarina Leigh Waters, On camera interview with Director Mark Rosman conducted by Katarina Leigh Waters, On camera interview with composer Richard Band, and an On camera interview with co-producer Igo Kantor.

THE HOUSE ON SORORITY ROW is a great 80's horror slasher classic! So do yourself a favor tonight. Make some popcorn, turn off the lights, and have a good time watching this movie! But don't watch it alone,especially on a college campus! 4 1/2 out of 5 stars! Highly Recommended!!


THE HOUSE ON SORORITY ROW is currently available on DVD from Scorpion Releasing. To purchase a copy for yourself, visit your local retailer or visit their official website at www.scorpionreleasing.com.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the screaming!

Phil's Halloween Horrors Marathon, Day 27: Phil attends the special Halloween screening of THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW with the Barely Legal cast at the Camera 3-October 27, 2012

Welcome my cinematic thrill seekers to Day Twenty-Seven of my horror movie marathon! This past Saturday night I along my best friend Leslie, her daughter Oceanna, and three of her friends attended the special Halloween screening of THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW at the Camera 3 Cinemas in scenic Downtown San Jose! Now usually these midnight rituals are always packed, filled with long time veterans and nubile virgins. But since it's Halloween season, there was a massive line of people, ready to do the Time Warp again! Once again my friends at Barely Legal Productions were there to bring this cult classic to life before our eyes!

I arrived at the Camera 3 around 11pm, and had some very yummy donuts to snack on, courtesy of our good friends at Psycho Donuts located in the theater lobby. About a half hour later Leslie and the gang showed up with their tickets. Now the show had been sold out for weeks, so we were all excited to attend the show! Oceanna also was kind enough to bring along three of her friends, who also just happened to be virgins! Awwww.....we love our virgins here at ROCKY!! I was able to get a hold of a member of the BL cast and branded her friends with the infamous "V" on their cheeks as well as other tasteful words like "Slut" and "Asshole." Yup, these kids had no clue what the night awaited them!

Theatrical Movie Poster (1975)
The tradition of our emcee Nate McHavoc (Riff Raff) calling up all the virgins from audience was taken to a whole new level with this show. Now in my Day Six review, I mentioned that when the virgins were called to the stage, half of the audience went up. Now this was a sold out crowd, and there was even more virgins in the audience. So when Nate called them up, over 75% of the audience came up on stage! It was unbelievable! I have never seen anything like that before! It was an amazing sight to see!

The Barely Legal cast turned in another fantastic performance once again, and the crowd had a blast! I along with my friends continued the party over at the local IHOP down on First Street. There's nothing like having a big plate of French Toast at 4am! This is what makes life worth living for! Also having breakfast were some of the members of Barely Legal. Yup, this IHOP is now the official post-ROCKY hangout spot!

This was such fun-filled night! The cast, the crowd, the film, everything about the night was just perfect! I had the best time and so did my friends! Now if you wish join in on this midnight tradition of fun, you are in luck! Their next show is this coming Saturday, November 3 at midnight. And to make this show even more special, it is Barely Legal's 17th Birthday show! So make sure you come out and attend this momentous event! To learn more about future shows, and how you can become a cast member, visit their website at http://barelylegal.rhps.org/.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the screaming! 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Phil's Halloween Horrors Marathon, Day 26: Phil reviews HERSCHELL GORDON LEWIS: THE GODFATHER OF GORE (2010) DVD from Something Weird Video-October 26, 2012

HGL DVD Cover (2011)
HERSCHELL GORDON LEWIS: THE GODFATHER OF GORE
Starring:  Herschell Gordon Lewis, David F. Friedman, Frank Henenlotter, John Waters, Bunny Yeager, Ray Sager, Jerome Eden, Mal Arnold
Produced by Mike Vraney, Jimmy Maslon, Bill Usher, Jack Calvert
Directed by Frank Henenlotter and Jimmy Maslon
Distributed by Something Weird Video

Folks October is quickly winding down so let's talk about Day Twenty-Six of my Halloween Horrors Marathon! Imagine if you will: Demented Southern town folks killing off Northern visitors for revenge. Highway roaming she-devils looking for fun and fights. Nubile nudie cuties parading around in the buff. Bored suburban teenagers looking for kicks. A sadistic cater sacrificing young women to an Egyptian goddess. These depraved, sick, and perverted images are considered to be some of the most important and most iconic images to be captured ever in cinema's rich history. Ranging from the sublime to the subversive, the bloody to the sexy, one man dared to venture where other filmmakers never dreamed of, and as a result, has left us some of the greatest horror and exploitation films ever made. Now Mike Vraney and his company Something Weird Video has paid tribute to this iconic filmmaker with this, their first ever documentary feature film. Directed by Jimmy Maslon and Frank Henenlotter, SWV's  HERSCHELL GORDON LEWIS: THE GODFATHER OF GORE shines the spotlight on this beloved and often overlooked pioneer filmmaker and his contributions to the world of cinema.

The documentary chronicles the film career of the man known as "The Godfather of Gore." From his humble beginnings teaching English and Humanities at Mississippi State which he later evolved into the advertisement business. When Lewis bought a half interest into a small, cheap movie studio in Chicago, he started Mid-Continent Films which produced two films: THE PRIMETIME and LIVING VENUS, which was his feature film debut as a director. It was during the making of THE PRIMETIME he met exploitation pioneer David F. Friedman, who helped Lewis distribute LIVING VENUS. With the release of Russ Meyers' THE IMMORAL MR. TEAS, the next film Lewis and Friedman made was the nudie cutie called THE ADVENTURES OF LUCKY PIERRE. After a couple of years making these nudie cuties and nudest camp films, Lewis came up with a completely different idea for a movie. A type of movie that the major movie studios wouldn't or couldn't make, but theater owners could make money at the boxoffice. Thus in the year 1963 BLOOD FEAST was made, and everything would never be the same again.

The other half of the documentary focuses of Lewis' partnership with Friedman as he created what has been called THE BLOOD TRILOGY which consisted of BLOOD FEAST, TWO THOUSAND MANIACS, and COLOR ME BLOOD RED (which takes up most of the middle of the documentary). These films introduced that famous four-letter word now forever associated with horror: GORE. The world of horror would never look the same thanks to Lewis and Friedman. After the completion of THE BLOOD TRILOGY, Lewis parted ways with Friedman and began to make a plethora of films within the exploitation genre such as MOONSHINE MOUNTAIN, JUST FOR THE HELL OF IT, SHE-DEVILS ON WHEELS, and SOMETHING WEIRD (which Vraney named his company after). Soon he returned to the horror genre with A TASTE OF BLOOD, THE WIZARD OF GORE, THE GRUESOME TWOSOME, and THE GORE GORE GIRLS, which was Lewis' swan song. After that film's release, he became one of the leaders in the field of Direct Marketing advertising (Lewis would return to the director's chair with the 2002 sequel BLOOD FEAST 2: ALL YOU CAN EAT).

Icon director Herschell Gordon Lewis
Maslon and Henenlotter really packed the film with some great, informative, and funny interviews from people like John Waters, Joe Bob Briggs, Connie Mason, Mal Arnold, Jim Dennett and others, and by Henenloter himself. All these stories and opinions give the film life and also give praise to Lewis, to which this reviewer thinks is long overdue. These two directors threw everything in this film, including the kitchen sink! Also the on camera interviews with Lewis were just fascinating; detailing how he made a lot of his films, where he shot it, how he got the money, and how he made his gore-soaked films. Another great source of information came from Friedman, who shared his memories of the good 'ol days of exploitation filmmaking. Sadly, this documentary was one the last films he ever appeared in (he'll also be appearing in Henenlotter's upcoming SWV documentary THAT'S SEXPLOITATION). On February 14, 2011 Friedman passed away at the age of 87.

The DVD comes packed with over an hour of deleted scenes (which could almost make up another film!), a rare Lewis short film entitled HOT NIGHT AT THE GO-GO-LOUNGE, a gallery of Lewis exploitation art, and an extensive Lewis trailer reel!

Something Weird Video's HERSCHELL GORDON LEWIS: THE GODFATHER OF GORE is required viewing and a must-own for every single horror fan out there. The film serves as introduction to people who may have never seen any of Lewis' films while simultaneously satisfies his fans with an in depth biography of the man who invented a whole new film genre. 5 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!


HERSCHELL GORDON LEWIS: THE GODFATHER OF GORE is available on the Something Weird Video website. To purchase a copy, please visit www.somethingweird.com

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the screaming! 

Phil's Halloween Horrors Marathon, Day 25: Phil attends the RiffTrax Live Broadcast of BIRDEMIC: SHOCK AND TERROR at the Century 20 Oakridge-October 25, 2012

Hello again everybody and welcome to Day Twenty-Five! So this past Thursday night I attended the all new live RiffTrax broadcast of BIRDEMIC: SHOCK AND TERROR. Some of you may remember that I attended the MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE live broadcast back in August. Now believe it or not, BIRDEMIC was way worse than MANOS!!

So if you don't know what a Rifftrax is, let me you all a quick definition. Rifftrax "are downloadable audio commentaries featuring comedians Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett heckling (or riffing) films in the style of Mystery Science Theater 3000, a TV show in which Nelson was the head writer, and later the host. The RiffTrax are sold online and delivered by digital download," according to the website Wikipedia. But all this is just a fancy way of saying, "it's funny as hell!" Now Nelson, Murphy, and Corbett do the occasional live shows from one venue that is broadcast to hundreds of theaters all across the country, courtesy of teaming up with NCM Fathom Events. The closest theater that was participating in the live broadcast was the Century 20 Theaters in Oakridge Mall. So I headed over there to catch this awesome cinematic event!

Before the show, the RiffTrax broadcast had some hilarious jokes put up on the screen to get the audience primed and ready. Then at 8pm, the show began! Coming to us live from a theater in Nashville, Tennessee, the night started off with a side-splitting short entitled NORMAN CHECKS IN, which in a way was kind of a prequel to the short WELCOME BACK, NORMAN that I saw back in August. In the short, our favorite traveling salesman checks in to a hotel that, unfortunately, is bombarded with the annual taxidermy convention, which caused his room to be given to another guest. As a result of this, Norman is given the room from Hell. And of course we cannot forget his wonderful catchphrase, "Ughhhhhhhhhh!" It was hilarious!

Original Promotion Poster (2010)
Then it was time for Mike, Kevin, and Bill to riff our main feature. Now, I would like to right away apologize to all of you people out there who actually BIRDEMIC on purpose. I take this apology very seriously for this one simple reason: the film was made here in the South Bay, Yes, the film was shot all around here: San Jose, San Francisco, Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz, all up and down Highway 1, Highway 17, and Highway 101. The movie was made by local filmmaker James Nguyen, who founded Moviehead.com, an online movie theater back in 1998. Then in 2001, he produced and directed  the romantic thriller JULIE AND JACK. Then in 2010 BIRDEMIC, was released, which was largely self-financed and produced through Nguyen's Moviehead Pictures company for a budget of less than $10,000. Production began ion 2006 and took about four years to produce. The film soon became known as one of the worst films ever made, which gave it notoriety and a massive cult following. It was picked for distribution by Severin Films and released on Blu-Ray and DVD.

To be honest, I don't know if I can review this film. I have never seen a film this bad before. And I love bad movies! I mean, for crying out loud, I worship these films! I have seen PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE over a hundred times! I've seen THE ROOM! I've seen SPACE THING! Hell, I've even seen JERSEY GIRL!! And I've also seen the full length version of MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE!! But this film...I don't know...what I saw....life doesn't make sense anymore.

Here is the film's official synopsis: A platoon of eagles and vultures attacks the residents of a small town. Many people die. It's not known what caused the flying menace to attack. Two young lovers Rod (Alan Bagh) and Nathalie (Whitney Moore) manage to fight back, but with the death totals rising high will they survive the Birdemic?

Bill Corbett, Kevin Murphy, & Michael J. Nelson
This film should be shown in all film school classes as to what NOT to make! The film is all around bad! Real bad!! The acting is slightly above a junior high play, the sound is damn awful and you can barely make out what the actors (I use that term very loosely), the directing was way below amateurish, the CGI special effects (again very loosely) was so bad it was ridiculous, the birds in the film were so fake looking it was sad, and it took over 45 minutes for the damn birds to attack! The first half of the film we are forced to watch computer salesman Rod court the very hot supermodel Nathalie. Alan Bagh will go down is cinematic history as one of the worst actors of all times! The man can't even act walking! Thank goodness for Whitney Moore! Out of all the so-called actors in the film, she was the most believable. She looks like a model, and when we see her in her super sexy lingerie, that was the most believable part of the film! As scary as this film sounds, James Nguyen is currently finishing up BIRDEMIC 2: THE RESURRECTION in 3D!!

Yes, the guys had one helluva time ripping this film a new one! Now I now that these guys are professionals and it's their job to make fun of these types of movies, but this one must have been one helluva doozy for them to make fun of. However the guys stepped up to the challenge, and I gotta say that this was their BEST RiffTrax show ever! Mike, Kevin, and Bill never let up once, never fumbled a joke, and they kept the audience in stitches all night! I have never laughed so hard before in my entire night!


This was a great RiffTrax event! I really hope these guys will release this show on Blu-Ray and DVD soon because I want a copy of this so I can watch it over and over again! To purchase RiffTrax downloads of audio commentaries, DVDs, and Blu-Rays, visit their website at www.rifftrax.com. To learn more about Mystery Science Theater 3000, visit their website at www.mst3k.com. To learn about upcoming Fathom Events coming to your town, visit their website at www.fathomevents.com.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the screamig!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Phil's Halloween Horrors Marathon, Day 24: Phil reviews FRANKENHOOKER (1990) Blu-Ray from Synapse Films-Oct. 24, 2012

FRANKENHOOKER Blu-Ray Cover (2011)
FRANKENHOOKER
Starring:James Lorinz, Patty Mullen, Louise Lasser
Written by  Robert "Bob" Martin & Frank Henenlotter
Produced by James Glickenhaus
Directed by Frank Henenlotter
Originally released by Shapiro-Glickenhaus Entertainment
Distributed by Synapse Films

Hello again my friends! Let's get Day Twenty-Four started, shall we? Today's film is another hybrid film that is equal parts horror and comedy, which has made the film such a huge cult classic!  From director Frank Henenlotter comes his infamous cult film FRANKENHOOKER!

The film's about a medical student dropout named Jeffery Franken (James Lorinz) whose fiancée Elizabeth Shelly (Patty Mullen) is accidentally killed in a tragic lawnmower accident. The only thing he could save of her was her head. Determined to bring her back, Jeffery ventures out to the red light district in New York City and lures several prostitutes back to his seedy hotel room to pick out body parts for his Elizabeth. Things go horribly wrong when the prostitutes mistake Jeffery's vile of explosive superdrug for rock cocaine and they begin to smoke it, leading them to all simultaneously explode. Jeffery returns to his garage lab and, using all the dead prostitute pieces, rebuilds his fiancée, but it backfires as the resurrected Elizabeth now thinks she's a hooker.

Theatrical Movie Poster (1990)
Henenlotter directed the film and co-wrote it with Robert Martin. Henenlotter originally met with producer James Glickenhaus to pitch his film INSECT CITY. Glickenhaus passed on the project but asked him what else he had. Believe it or not, Henenlotter made up the plot for the film on the spot! Glickenhaus loved the idea and gave it the go ahead (along with BASKET CASE 3). The film was originally released on June 1, 1990 with a budget of $2,500,000, but the film only grossed $205,068. However the film was given a new lease on life on VHS, thanks to a clever and effective cover box gimmick: when the subway lamp post was pressed by a customer, the box spoke back with the line, "Wanna date?" It also didn't hurt that actor Bill Murray gave it a great review, "If you see one movie this year, it should be FRANKENHOOKER." The film has been released in edited and uncut versions for years, which leads us to the Blu-Ray release.

Synapse Films has done a great job with this release, which is the uncut version of the film. The transfer looks incredible, considering how old the film is. The colors are bright, the picture quality is sharp and crisp, and the detail is amazing! You can see everything from the blades of grass to the dirty NYC sidewalks. For the special features, there's an audio commentary with Henenlotter and Make-Up Effects Designer Gabe Bartalos, A Salad That Was Once Named Elizabeth: Interview with Patty Mullen featurette, A Stitch in Time: The Make-Up Effects of Frankenhooker documentary, Turning Tricks: Jennifer Delora Remembers Frankenhooker featurette, Jennifer Delora's Frankenhooker Photo Scrapbook featurette, and the film's original theatrical trailer.

FRANKENHOOKER is more comedy than horror, but it is a true cult classic, brimming with hilarious one-liners, a mad scientist, exploding hookers, death by lawnmower, and the amazing Patty Mullen who gives one of the best performances ever captured on celluloid. This is what I call "The perfect cult film." This Blu-Ray makes the perfect Christmas gift, so make sure you buy one for each member of your family! And have fun watching it on Christmas morning! 5 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!


FRANKENHOOKER is currently available on Blu-Ray at your local retailer and also on the Synapse Films website. To purchase a copy, visit http://synapse-films.com.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the screaming!

Phil's Halloween Horrors Marathon, Day 23: Phil reviews MOTHER'S DAY (1980) Blu-Ray from Anchor Bay Entertainment-October 23, 2012

MOTHER'S DAY Blu-ray Cover (2012)
MOTHER'S DAY
Starring: Nancy Hendrickson, Deborah Luce, Tiana Pierce, Rose Ross, Holden McGuire, Billy Ray McQuade, Robert Collins
Written by Charles Kaufman and Warren Leight
Produced by Lloyd Kaufman, Michael Herz, Charles Kaufman
Directed by Charles Kaufman
Originally released by Troma Entertainment
Distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment

Here we are folks: Day Twenty-Three! Boy this month is just flying by, isn't it? Today's film is another horror gem from the early 1980's, and it's from our good friends at Troma Entertainment, the world's oldest independent film studio! The film MOTHER'S DAY is a perfect example of horror and exploitation cinema combined to create on f#cked up movie! But then again, what'd you expect from a Troma movie?!?

The film's official synopsis: Loving sons always do what their mothers tell them to...even if it's to kill. When three college buddies decide to rekindle their camaraderie with a camping trip, they become the unwitting prey of a very dysfunctional family. As unforgettable as Deliverance, as terrifying as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with a twisted satirical humor in the Kaufman vein, this Mother's Day will leave you feeling frightened and amazed!

Good lord this is a sick and twisted movie! Yes, they don't make movies like this anymore! You don't believe me? Well then, let me tell you about one scene in paticular: one deranged man rapes a woman while his brother takes Kodak Polaroids, and their mother instructs them and leads them on...sound bad, yeah, but take it for what it is people! Like I said earlier, this is one f*cked up movie!

The film gleefully pokes fun at the two brothers, Ike, & Addley who are always willing to please (in regards to brutalizing women) their mother in any way possible. They have the manners of pigs and live like them (Ike even eats out of a slop-bucket). Rose Ross lets it hang out as the mother who soldiers her kids in the arts of masochism and proper attack techniques. Like I said earlier, this is one f*cked up movie!

Theatrical Movie Poster (1980)
The film was directed by Charles Kaufman, brother of Troma founder Lloyd Kaufman. Here, Charles combines horror, exploitation, and satire to create one memorable film. On a small budget of about $115,000 this cult classic is still recognized by the horror community in recent times. It's a known fact that the majority of film was shot in Newton, NJ, right across the lake from the cast and crew of Friday the 13th. Yes, that's right! Friday the 13th and Mother's Day were filmed at the same time, in the same relative location. The release of Friday the 13th several months before Mother's Day stifled the intended shock value of the latter but audiences worldwide would soon familiarize themselves with this overlooked gem.

The film was originally released to theaters by Troma on September 12, 1980. Anchor Bay did a great job with restoring the film on both Blu-Ray and DVD. Some of the bonus features include audio commentary, a special introduction by Charles Kaufman, behind-the-scenes video footage, the film's trailer, and interview with horror director Eli Roth!

To prove the longevity of the film's prowess, Anchor Bay just released director Darren Lynn Bousman's (Saw II, III, IV and REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA) remake of MOTHER'S DAY, starring Rebecca De Mornay, Jaime King, Briana Evigan, Patrick Flueger, Deborah Ann Woll, Matt O' Leary, Jessie Rusu, Frank Grillo, Warren Kole, and Shawn Ashmore (because of their remake, Anchor Bay got the rights to release Troma's original version). Believe it or not, this remake isn't too bad. Go figure, huh?

MOTHER'S DAY is a bona fide horror/exploitation/cult classic that is required viewing for all horror and Troma fans alike! So get off your butt and pick up a copy today! 5 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!


MOTHER'S DAY is available on both Blu-Ray and DVD and can be purchased at your local retailer or on the film's official website. To purchase a copy and check out other releases by Anchor Bay Entertainment, visit their website at www.anchorbayentertainment.com. To learn more about Troma and their massive film library, check out their website at www.troma.com.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the screaming!

Phil's Halloween Horrors Marathon, Day 22: Phil reviews FINAL EXAM (1981) DVD from Scorpion Releasing-October 22, 2012

FINAL EXAM DVD Cover (2011)
FINAL EXAM
Starring: Cecile Bagdadi, Joel S. Rice, Ralph Brown, DeAnna Robbins, John Fallon, Sherry Willis-Burch, Mary Ellen Withers, Timothy L. Raynor, Sam Kilman, Terry W. Farren
Produced by Carol Bahoric, Myron Meisel
Executive produced by John L. Chambliss, Lon J. Kerr, Michael Mahern
Written and Directed by Jimmy Huston
Originally released by Avco Embassy Pictures
Distributed by Scorpion Releasing

It's getting down to the wire folks so let's get Day Twenty-Two started! Here's another great and often overlooked horror film from the early 1980's. The film came out at the beginning of the slasher cycle of films that began with HALLOWEEN and FRIDAY THE 13TH. With these two films, there cam an avalanche of slasher films, ready to terrify audiences all around the country. With some suspenseful chilling moments and character development, FINAL EXAM is an exceptional slasher film that really does need to be rediscovered.

The film's official synopsis: At Lanier College, the semester is almost over. Exam week is coming to a close when some upper classmen play a prank by staging a phony terrorist attack. But the next excitement in the school won't be a prank. It's something a lot more final than an exam. Students are falling prey to the knife-wielding maniac hell bent on making sure that school is out... forever!

Theatrical Movie Poster (1981)
The film was written and directed by Jimmy Huston, who also directed MY BEST FRIEND IS A VAMPIRE and wrote the screenplay for the buddy cop action/comedy film RUNNING SCARED. Huston does a effective job of creating some moodiness, atmosphere, interesting characters, and a couple of gruesome mutilations. Lead actress Cecile Bagdadi does a great job as our favorite girl Courteny. Joel S Rice plays Radish with real depth as did the other cast members, espcially Wildman, Janet, Lisa, Mark and Gary. Overall they all played they're roles really quite well.

The film was originally released to theaters by Avco Embassy Films on June 5, 1981. The film found new life when it was released on VHS and developed a small cult following. Several years later, BCI released this film on DVD in September 2008 (that DVD is now out of print). On September 20, 2011 Scorpion Releasing re-released the film on DVD as part of the label's "Katarina's Nightmare Theatre" series. Special features include a hi-def transfer of the film, special introduction from host Katarina Leigh Waters, a brand new audio commentary with producer Myron Meisel, on camera interviews with some members of the cast and crew, and the film's original trailer.

FINAL EXAM is great little slasher film that deserves a second look! Scorpion Releasing has done a great job re-releasing the film and now you can enjoy this seldom seen slasher film. 3 1/2 out of 5 stars! Recommended!


FINAL EXAM is currently available on DVD from Scorpion Releasing. To purchase a copy for yourself, visit your local retailer or visit their official website at www.scorpionreleasing.com.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the screaming!

Phil's Halloween Horrors Marathon, Day 21: Phil reviews EXCISION (2012) Blu-Ray from Anchor Bay Entertainment-October 21, 2012

EXCISION Blu-Ray Cover (2012)
EXCISION
Starring AnnaLynne McCord, Traci Lords, Ariel Winter, Roger Bart, Jeremy Sumpter, Malcolm McDowell, Matthew Gray Gubler, Marlee Matlin, Ray Wise, and John Waters
Produced by Dylan Hale Lewis
Executive Produced by Mark Linehan Bruner
Written and Directed by  Richard Bates, Jr.
A BXR Productions
Distributed by Anchor Bay Films

Here is it folks: Day Twenty-One! Thanks for joining me on my horror movie marathon! For today's film, I chose to review another indie horror film that was just released on Blu-Ray. With the onslaught of sequels, remakes, poorly made horror films coming out of Hollywood, the only pace to see unique and original genre film is in the indie scene, where a lot of filmmakers are pushing the boundaries and conventions of what defines a horror movie. Case in point today's film, which comes courtesy from Anchor Bay Entertainment. The film EXCISION can be best described as an art house horror film that combines horror and black comedy to create something extraordinary!

Here is the film's official synopsis: Based on writer/director Richard Bates, Jr.’s short film of the same name, EXCISION follows a disturbed and delusional high school student, Pauline (AnnaLynne McCord).  Pauline, with aspirations of a career in medicine, goes to extremes to earn the approval of her controlling mother (played by Traci Lords).  While dealing with both being an outcast teenager and having an obsession over curing her sister’s cystic fibrosis, Pauline becomes increasingly deranged as her fascination with surgery and flesh and blood grows into something compulsive and demonic, if not epic.

Theatrical Movie Poster (2012)
I have never seen such an ambitious and genre defying film in all my years! It is without a doubt one of the most beautiful horror films ever! I cannot begin describe just how truly incredible the film really is! There is so much going on in the film that it requires multiple viewings to understand all the themes going on.

AnnaLynne McCord is just riveting in her portrayal of outcast misfit Pauline. She shuns her beauty as found in her performance of Naomi Clarkon the CW's 90210 and completely transforms herself into the ugly duckling and deeply disturbed Pauline. It's a shame that the Oscars will overlook this performance, but this goes to show you of the Academy's ignorance. A standing ovation for AnnaLynne McCord's best performance ever!

The film premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival, where it received raved reviews. The film was picked up by Anchor Bay Films and it played in limited released. The film was released last week on both Blu-Ray and DVD.

EXCISION is one of the most beautiful and gut wrenching films ever to come out of the genre! The film is brilliant, the acting is fantastic, the ending is just freaking unbelievable, and you're gonna love it! This is what an art house horror film should be! 5 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!


EXCISION is available on both Blu-Ray and DVD and can be purchased at your local retailer or on the film's official website. To purchase a copy visit www.excisionmovie.com. To check out other releases by Anchor Bay Entertainment, visit their website at www.anchorbayentertainment.com.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the screaming!

Phil's Halloween Horrors Marathon, Day 20: Phil reviews THE LOVED ONES (2009) DVD from Paramount Pictures-Oct. 21, 2012

THE LOVED ONES DVD Cover (2012)
THE LOVED ONES
Starring Xavier Samuel, Robin McLeavy, John Brumpton, Victoria Thaine, Richard Wilson, Jessica McNamee
Produced by Mark Lazarus and Michael Boughen
Written and Directed by Sean Byrne
An Ambience Entertainment Production
Released by Paramount Pictures

Hello again everybody and welcome to Day Twenty of my Halloween Horrors Marathon! Today's film comes to us from Australia! Now our friends from Down Under have making genre films for years. During this time they've exported some very cool horror films such as PATRICK, RAZORBACK, and THE HOWLING III: THE MARSUPIALS. Then for some reason it became quiet. Too quiet. However that silence was shattered in 2005 with the release of WOLF CREEK, which shocked and terrified movie goers here in the states. Soon a new crop of filmmakers rose up and began breathing new life in the horror genre. Films like PIGHUNT and THE REEF carry on this time honored tradition of genre filmmaking that began decades ago. The newest film to arrive here in America is THE LOVED ONES, which is one helluva roller coaster ride the likes of which I wasn't expecting. But I did have fun on this ride!

The film's about a young man named Brent (Samuel) who is going to the from with his beautiful girlfriend Holly (Thaine). But when he turns down a prom invite from the school's shy girl Lola (McLeavy), she punishes him and a disturbing series of events unfolds for poor Brent that even he could not have imagined.

Theatrical Movie poster (2009)
Good lord was this an awesome film! It poses the question, "What if John Hughes made a teen horror film?" Well this film answers that question in spades! The film starts off with great promise: interesting characters, raging teen hormones and angst, pot smoking, pink satin, glitter, syringes, nails, power drills and a secret admirer. Nothing can prepare you for the horrors that is being an Australian teenager!

Lola is one of the greatest female villains in horror film history. Not since Carrie White have we've seen such a beautiful and deeply disturbed female within the genre. Actress Robin McLeavy is one talented actress who brought so much depth and terror to her role of Lola. An outstanding and riviting performance! Her acting alone is worth checking out the film!

The film was made in 2009 and was released in Australia by Madman Entertainment. It toured the film festival circuit for years thereafter. Then in 2012, the folks from Paramount Pictures finally released the film here in the states on DVD. Bonus features include interviews with Robin McLeavy, Xavier Samuel and special special effects makeup supervisor Justin Dix as well as the film's trailer.

THE LOVED ONES is one of the finest, most enjoyable and original movies the genre has seen in years. The film is destined to live on as a cult classic, hopefully as a midnight movie. 5 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!


THE LOVED ONES is currently available on DVD and can be purchased at your local retailer or at the Amazon website.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the screaming!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Phil's Halloween Horrors Marthon, Day 19: Phil reviews THE FUNHOUSE (1981) Blu-Ray from Scream Factory-October 19, 2012

THE FUNHOUSE Blu-Ray Cover (2012)
THE FUNHOUSE
Starring: Elizabeth Berridge, Shawn Carson, Largo Woodruff, Cooper Huckabee, Kevin Conway, Miles Chapin, Sylvia Miles, Wayne Doba
Written by Larry Block
Produced by Steven Bernhardt, Derek Power, Mace Neufeld, Mark L. Lester
Directed by Tobe Hooper
Originally released by Universal Pictures
Released by Scream Factory

Welcome my fellow creatures of the night to Day Nineteen of my horror movie marathon! Today's film is another 80's horror classic that I saw when I was younger. Every week there was a new horror film coming out in theaters. Combined with the new technological invention called the VCR, you could rent movies on VHS cassettes and watch them in the privacy of your home. This meant that horror fans (like myself) finally had the opportunity to watch films from Britain, Italy, Spain, etc. I originally rented THE FUNHOUSE on VHS from my local Mom & Pop video store. After rewatching it all these years later, the film still holds up and is still has the power to terrify you!

The film's about a teenage couple Amy (Berridge) and Buzz Dawson (Huckabee) who go on a double date with their friends Richie (Chapin) and Liz (Woodruff) to a carnival. For kicks, Richie  decides that they should spend the night in the funhouse. But started off as a prank soon turns deadly for them. When they witness the brutal murder of the fortune teller Madame Zena (Miles) by a freak wearing a Frankenstein mask, they are hunted down by the freak and his barker father (Conway), who are determined they will not leave to report it to the police.

Director Tobe Hoper does a terrific job of creating some truly suspenseful moments and the effective jump-out of your seat scenes. But then again what would you expect from the man who brought us horror classics such as THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and POLTERGEIST. However the film is more about empathy and atmosphere than just gore. We've all been in a funhouse before, especially when we were young children and it was very creepy! Hoper recreates our childhood fear and displays it up on the big screen for all of us to see and to confront once again as adults.

Theatrical Movie Poster (1981)
The entire cast puts in  terrific performances, especially Elizabeth Berridge and Wayne Doba, who gives us a monster that is by turns pathetic, disgusting, pitiful and horrifying. Also a special nod to Kevin Conway, who won't be winning the "Father of the Year" award anytime soon, but helped create a truly disturbing character for horror fans to remember always!

The film was released to theaters by Universal Studios on March18, 1981 and earned $2,765,456 in its opening weekend. It went on to gross $7,886,857 in total. Now believe it or not, the late film critic Gene Siskel from the Chicago Tribune gave the film a positive review! Yes friends, things were a lot different in the 80's!

The film was just recently released on Blu-Ray and DVD by the Scream Factory (the horror label of Shout Factory). Both editions comes with numerous special features: Audio Commentary With Director Tobe Hooper, Moderated By Filmmaker Tim Sullivan, Interview With Executive Producer Mark L. Lester And Composer John Beal, Audio Interview With Actor William Finley, Theatrical Trailer, and TV Spots.

THE FUNHOUSE is definitely a must see for fans of the genre! Thanks to Scream Factory, this horror classic can now be rediscovered, just in time for Halloween! 4 out of 5 stars!!


THE FUNHOUSE is currently available on both Blu-Ray and DVD at your local retailer or at the Scream Factory website. To purchase a copy and receive a free limited poster, visit www.shoutfactory.com/?q=screamfactory.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the screaming!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Phil's Halloween Horrors Marathon, Day 18: Phil hosts the Cult Movie Screening of EVIL DEAD II at the Camera 3 Downtown San Jose-October 18, 2012

Welcome to Day Eighteen of Phil's Halloween Horrors Marathon and welcome to Month Nine of the Cult Movie Series here at the Camera 3 in Downtown San Jose! So for tonight's cult film we screened Sam Raimi's 1987 cult classic EVIL DEAD II. Once again yours truly was the host for tonight's screening. Prizes were donated by Streetlight Records and by Time Tunnel Toys, both located here in San Jose. There were also yummy donuts to eat, courtesy of Psycho Donuts located in the lobby.

Theatrical Move Poster (1987)
Directed by Sam Raimi, the film's about a young man named Ash (cult movie icon Bruce Campbell) who takes his girlfriend Linda (Denise Bixler) to a remote cabin in the woods for a romantic getaway. Once there, Ash finds and plays back a professor's tape recorded recitation of passages from the Book of the Dead, which gives the evil spirits in the woods the power to posses the living. Linda becomes possessed and Ash is forced to "kill" her. Soon the professor's daughter Annie (Sarah Berry), his assistant Ed Gentley (Richard Domeier), and two locals named Jake (Dan Hicks) and Bobby Jo (Kassie Wesley) shows up and they, along with Ash, must survive the night or else they will all be "Dead by Dawn!"

The film was made in Wadesboro, North Carolina in the summer of 1986. Most of the film was shot in the woods near that farmhouse, or J.R. Faison Junior High School, which is where the interior cabin set was located. Most of the film was shot in the woods near that farmhouse, or at J.R. Faison Junior High School, which is where the interior cabin set was located. Producer Dino De Laurentiis and his production company DEG (De Laurentiis Entertainment Group) financed the film.

The film's beginning was a recap of the first film; actually more of a reimagining. The reason they did this was because Raimi and his crew couldn't get the rights to use screnes from the first film. The original EVIL DEAD was released by New Line Cinema and they used a scene from the film in Wes Craven's A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. Look for it towards the end of the film; it's in the scene with Nancy trying to stay awake. In response to this and not being able to use footage of the first film, in the scene when Ash first walks into the toolshed to remove Linda's head from his hand, if you look above the door, you'll see Freddy Kruger's infamous glove.

There are numerous stories that are now folklore. From Sam breaking Bruce's jaw when he crashed into him with a bicycle to Ted Raimi sweating in his Possessed Henrietta, the Linda Chainsaw sequence, to Bruce getting his teeth punched out by Dan Hicks, the stories are endless. Also known as EVIL DEAD 2: DEAD BY DAWN, the film was released to theaters on March 13, 1987 and within its first month it grossed over $5 million dollars and earned a cult status among horror fans.


What a great crowd we had! Over 50 people came out to see the film! Now there is still one more showing of EVIL DEAD II this Saturday, October 20th at midnight. Then next moth's cult film will be the Sam Raimi's 1993 film ARMY OF DARKNESS (the final chapter of the EVIL DEAD Trilogy) on Thursday, December 15th at 9:30pm and again on Saturday, November 17th at midnight! So mark these days on your calender and come out and have some cult movie fun! To view the rest of the Cult Movie Series schedule, visit the Camera Cinemas website at www.cameracinemas.com.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the screaming! 

Phil's Halloween Horrors Marathon, Day 17: Phil sees V/H/S at the Camera 3 Downtown San Jose-October 17, 2012

My horror movie marathon continues with Day 17! So I headed back to Downtown San Jose to see another horror film. This time I went to the Camera 3 where I saw V/H/S, the new indie horror anthology. Now I first became aware of the film when I discovered the trailer for it on Youtube and it looked incredible! I was very excited to see this film! After yesterday's forgettable screening of SINISTER, I was so looking forward to this one. Now after I've watched it, I can honestly say that it is one of the worst horror films I have ever seen!

Here is the film's official synopsis: A POV, found footage horror film from the perspective of America's top genre filmmakers. A group of misfits are hired by an unknown third party to burglarize a desolate house in the countryside and acquire a rare tape. Upon searching the house, the guys are confronted with a dead body, a hub of old televisions and an endless supply of cryptic footage, each video stranger than the last.

So right off the bat, I would like to point out that the "found footage" idea has been done to death! With the release of 1999's THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, every wannabe filmmaker has ripped off the film's look and style. Soon there was a glut of horror movies that adapted the "found footage" style and look. So for all you upcoming filmmakers, let me give you some advise: DON'T MAKE A FOUND FOOTAGE FILM! IT'S ALREADY BEEN DONE! CREATE SOMETHING NEW AND DIFFERENT!! THANK YOU FOR READING THIS!! AND YOU'RE WELCOME!!

The main story arc of the film (TAPE 56) was directed by Adam Wingard with shorts helmed by a slew of directors: AMATEUR NIGHT was directed by David Bruckner, SECOND HONEYMOON by Ti West, TUESDAY THE 17TH by Glenn McQuaid, THE SICK THING THAT HAPPENED TO EMILY WHEN SHE WAS YOUNGER was directed by Joe Swanberg, and 10/31/98 was directed by a quartet known as Radio Silence. Out of all of these shorts, the only decent ones were AMATEUR NIGHT and 10/31/98. The rest were all forgettable. I was really disappointed with SECOND HONEYMOON because I am a huge Ti West fan! With his two other films (THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL and THE INNKEEPERS), West has become of the most popular new filmmakers within the horror genre. However with his short, it went on way too long, and the payoff, which I did like, it wasn't worth the wait to get to it. Really a massive disappointment.

V/H/S gets my vote as one of the worst horror films of 2012! I really wanted to like this film, but it was just a complete waste of time and a complete pile of garbage! The only good part of the film was the trailer! 1 out of 5 stars! Avoid with a passion!


V/H/S is available On-Demand and is playing in select theaters nationwide. To see if it's playing in a town near you, visit the film's official website at www.magnetreleasing.com/vhs/.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the screaming!

Phil's Halloween Horrors Marathon, Day 16: Phil sees SINISTER at the Camera 12-October 16, 2012

Welcome to Day Sixteen of my horror movie marathon. What I love about October is all the horror films that are coming out to theaters. One of these is the new film from Summit Entertainment entitled SINISTER. From the looks of the film's commercials, I thought this was going be a very cool horror film. However, while watching the movie, I thought I was going to die from boredom.

True-crime writer Ellison (Ethan Hawke) is looking to publish a bestseller more than ten years after the release of his hit book, "Kentucky Blood." He who moves into a new home with his wife, Tracy (Juliet Rylance) and his two children, Ashley (Clare Foley) and Trevor (Michael Hall D'Addario) near the site of a local crime in order to get inspiration for his novel. However, their house was the scene of a grisly crime, leaving a mother, father, and two children dead, and a third child missing. Upon moving in, Ellison finds a box of super 8 films in the attic, showing the murders of the family who previously lived in his house and four other murders dating back to 1966. The only connection between the murders is a symbol found in all the films. With his marriage deteriorating and his children's behavior becoming increasingly strange, Ellison is determined to connect the dots and possibly even solve the string of gruesome murders.

Directed and scripted by Scott Derrickson (THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE and the 2008 remake of THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL) from a C. Robert Cargill story, the film does contain some good scares, but to me, the film fell flat. I thought the scares were all predicable; I saw each and every single scare before it happened. So throughout the entire film, I just sat there commenting to myself, "This is going to happen" and "That is gonna happen." And I felt that the film dragged on and on but it wasn't that long of a film. It's a little over a hour and a half, but it felt like it was a two hour film. Sad to say, this wasn't a very good horror movie. But I did like the idea of the film! I thought it was a very original horror film idea, but the execution wasn't up to par with it. All the good parts of the film was used in the trailer. And I don't really know what else to say. So this might be the shortest review I've ever done! How about that? I'm at a loss for words, so this is a new experience for me!

SINISTER is one helluva boring horror film. It wasn't scary, it wasn't terrifying, it wasn't anything! Best to skip it and just watch one of the old school horror classics. 1 out of 5 stars! Avoid with a passion!


SINISTER is currently playing in theaters nationwide, including at the Camera Cinemas here in the Bay Area. To view showtimes, visit their website at www.cameracinemas.com.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the screaming!

Phil's Halloween Horrors Marathon, Day 15: Phil reviews INTRUDER (1988) Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack from Synapsis Films-October 15, 2012

INTRUDER Combo Cover (2011)
INTRUDER
Starring: Renée Estevez, Elizabeth Cox, Dan Hicks, David Byrnes, Sam Raimi, Eugene Glazer, Billy Marti, Burr Steers, Craig Stark, Ted Raimi, Bruce Campbell
Screenplay by Scott Spiegel
Written by Scott Spiegel and Lawrence Bender
Based on the short film Night Crew by Scott Spiegel
Produced by Lawrence Bender
Directed by Scott Spiegel
Released by Synapsis Films

Here we are folks, Day Fifteen of Phil's Halloween Horrors Marathon! Now there was a plethora of horror film being released in the 1980's. Some were amazing while some were out-right god awful. And then there were those that fell through the cracks that some horror fans may have missed or didn't even knew that it excited. Some of these overlooked gems were discovered on VHS at their local mom & pop video store (because the evil mega-conglomerate Blockbuster refused to carry these fright flicks. Now they're closing stores all over. See, stocking horror films is good business). Now in the 21st century, new technology has given these films the love and attention they truly deserve. Once again, Synapse Films has given us another unsung classic with the release of director Scott Spiegel's 1988 horror film INTRUDER.

The film's premise is quite simple: The employees of Michigan's Walnut Lake Supermarket has just been informed that the store is closing next month and the crew begins to price down the store's inventory. Things are already bad for cashier Jennifer (Elizabeth Cox) as she is being harassed by her psycho ex-boyfriend Craig (Danny Byrnes), has just been released from prison for manslaughter. Just when things couldn't get any worse, it does. Soon all the night crew employees are being murdered viciously by a mysterious killer, who plans on saving Jennifer for last. All evidence points to Craig, but is he the real killer, or is it someone else?

Now for those who may not know, Spiegel grew up with both Sam and Ted Raimi and Bruce Campbell back home in Michigan and they all use to make 8mm horror films back in high school. Years later Spiegel would help write 1987's EVIL DEAD 2 with Raimi as well as be one of his "fake shemps" in the film. The following year, Spiegel meet producer Lawrence Bender who helped find financing for his new horror film, which was based on an old 8mm short film he made with Campbell and the Raimi brothers. The film also showcases the extreme gore and mayhem courtesy of the pre-KNB EFX Group (Greg Nicotero, Howard Berger, and Robert Kurtzman) who agreed to do the film if they'd get their names in the opening credits.

Original Poster w/Original Title (198
The film's casts were largely unknowns but you might recognize some of these actors and actresses. The first being both Sam and Ted having bit parts in the film and at the very end you'll see Bruce Campbell playing a cop (he'd again play a cop the following year in MANIAC COP). Linda was played by Renee Estevez (younger sister of Charlie Sheen and Emilo Estevez) who also appeared in other horror and low budget films like 1987's SLEEPAWAY CAMP 2: UNHAPPY CAMPERS and 1993's GOOD GIRLS DON'T and is now appearing on TV's The West Wing. Dan Hicks was seen in EVIL DEAD 2 as Jake and also had bit parts in MANIAC COP, DARKMAN, SPIDER-MAN 2 and MY NAME IS BRUCE. Bender has gone on to produce Quentin Tarentino's films such as PULP FICTION and INGLORIOUS BASTERDS. Spiegel's latest film is HOSTEL: PART III was just released on DVD in rated and unrated versions.

Also coming to their aid during production was Charles Band, who at that time had Empire Pictures (which was the company he had before he launched Full Moon Entertainment in 1988). Band agreed to help finance the film and distribute it. Unfortunately Empire Pictures was in dire straits and soon collapsed. Band rebounded with Full Moon Entertainment and secured a distribution deal with Paramount Pictures. Band was only allowed to take a handful of films from his old company and one of them was INTRUDER. The film was originally entitled "The Night Crew: The Final Checkout" but was changed by Paramount to give it a more marketable name (but the trailer for the VHS release has it as The Night Crew title). However, it would be a short victory for Spiegel and his film, as the MPAA literally ruined the film with their required cuts for it to be released on VHS. Bootleg copies and imports of the unedited film has surfaced for years, but the folks at Synapse Films have returned its original, unedited director's cut.

The Blu-Ray version looks incredible and is amazing to witness. The film boats an all-new 2K digital restoration and as a result the picture quality is unbelievable. The colors are vibrant and add that it's the director's cut, the blood and gore are just insane to see. The Blu-Ray contains a number of special features: Commentary by Siegel and Bender, which is very funny, informative and entertaining, Slashed Prices: The Making of Intruder featurette which most of the cast and crew members get together for, Extended Murder Sequences from the Original Workprint, Outtakes from the now-lost short film, Night Crew: the short film Spiegel made when he was a teenager, The Slashing of Intruder with Filmmaker Vincent Pereira, Behind-the-Scenes Stills Gallery, Original Cast Audition Footage, a DVD copy, as well as trailers.

Overall, this is an incredible combo release! INTRUDER is one of the best slasher films to come out of the 80's and thanks again to Synapse Films, you can enjoy this film once again in the unrated director's cut complete with all the bells and whistles that fans have been clamoring for! Folks, it doesn't get any better than this! 5 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!


INTRUDER Blu-Ray+DVD Combo Pack is currently available on the Synapse Films website. To purchase a copy, visit their website at http://synapse-films.com/

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the screaming!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Phil's Halloween Horrors Marathon, Day 14: Phil reviews ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE Import DVD from Optimum Releasing-October 14, 2012

ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE
Starring: Amber Heard, Anson Mount, Whitney Able, Michael Welch, Edwin Hodge, Aaron Himelstein, Adam Powell, Luke Grimes, Melissa Price
Written by  Jacob Forman
Produced by Chad Feehan, Joe Neurauter, Felipe Marino
Directed by  Jonathan Levine
Distributed by Optimum Releasing

Hello and welcome to Day Fourteen people! So once again I reached back into my huge stack of DVDs that I picked up at Miss Misery's Days of Terror for today's review. Now I will be reviewing a film that, believe it or not, has been hailed as one of the best indie horror films that has NOT been released here in America! Now I was able to see this movie via an import copy I bought at the convention. Released over in the UK on DVD, it is still unavailable over here. Why is this you may ask? Well then, come join me as I tell you all about a little film called ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE.

Here is the film's official synopsis: The orphan Mandy Lane (Heard) is a beautiful, virgin and pure teenager raised by her aunt, desired by her schoolmates and a close friend of the outcast Emmet Welch). After the death of their high school mate in a pool party, Mandy befriends Chloe (Able), Marlin (Price), Red (Himelstein), Bird (Hodge) and Jake (Grimes). Red invites the group for a weekend party in the isolated ranch of his family, with all the boys disputing who would succeed in having sex with Mandy Lane. They meet the henchman Garth (Mount) that takes care of the ranch and he asks the group to go easy on the drugs and booze. In the middle of the night, a stranger wearing a hood attacks Marlin in the barn; when Jake seeks her out, he faces the killer, beginning a night of bloodshed and terror.

The plot sounds promising, doesn't it? Well, the film itself is utterly fantastic! Again here is a horror film that has a very strong focus on character development. Long before the killings begin, we get to know the teenagers intimately. We are forced to relate to them, and let's face it, we all knew kids like these back in high school. The way they act, they way they speak,  drinking and doing drugs, who can't relate being a teenager?

UK Theatrical Movie Poster (2006)
The acting in the film is top notch! The entire cast turns in a fantastic, but it's Amber Heard who really shins in the film! At the time the movie was being filmed, she was only 20 years old! It's so hard to fathom that this is the same actress who would seduce Johnny Depp's Kemp character from the 2011 film THE RUM DIARY. She looks so young in the film that I had to do a double take to make sure I wasn't imagining it! Again a great performance by Heard!

So the film was completed in 2006 and it premiered at several film festivals throughout 2006 and 2007: Toronto Film Festival, Sitges Film Festival, South by Southwest Film Festival, and London FrightFest Film Festival. It received a theatrical release in the United Kingdom on February 15, 2008 but wasn't released here in the US. Now the film was going to be released in 2007 by the Weistein Company, but due to the failure of GRINDHOUSE (as well as other horror movies) at the boxoffice, they sold the film to Senator Entertainment US. However that company went out of business and the film has been stuck in limbo ever since. The horror website Blood Disgusting as ranked the film "Number One" one their list of the best unreleased horror films for the last four years.

ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE is truly a gem of a horror film that, sadly, most horror fans will never get to see. Hopefully, someday, the film will be released here in America, but until then, for all you horror fanatics out there, go find yourself a bootleg copy of the film. For those that own universal Blu-Ray or DVD player that will play import DVDs, go order a copy for yourself and check out this movie! 5 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!


ALL THE GIRLS LOVE MANDY LANE is available as a PAL Region 2 Import DVD on the Amazon website. If you have a region free DVD player, you can purchase a copy at www.amazon.com.

Thanks for reading, an enjoy the screaming!