Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Hitch-Hiker (Blu-ray Review) - Kino

Directed By: Ida Lupino
Written By: Collier Young, Ida Lupino, Robert L. Joseph, Daniel Mainwaring
Starring: Edmond O'Brien, Frank Lovejoy, William Talman
Black & White/71 Minutes/Not Rated
Region A

The Film
A pair of friends set out on a camping trip when they pick up a hitch-hiker named Emmett Myers, a despicable man on the run from the law and responsible for a double murder. Myers takes the pair captive and into Mexico in an effort to evade capture. What ensues is several days of hell for the men as they're held hostage and abused by the gun wielding maniac of a man. 

THE HITCH-HIKER is based on the murder spree of Billy Cook who killed 6 people over a 22 day span in 1950-51. This film is perhaps most recognized for being the only classic noir that is directed by a woman. The film is deserving of more than just "being made by a woman". This is a fairly cruel story and is certainly well made. The Mexican desert settings leave you feeling the sweat bead off your forehead and you desperately want our antagonists to escape and perhaps turn the table on Myers. 

The film is briskly paced and clocks in at only 71 minutes which make for a brief but dark look into the hell faced by a pair of friends trying to do a good deed. THE HITCH-HIKER isn't a top tier noir but it is well made, well acted and a thrilling ride. 

The Audio & Video
Kino Lorber brings THE HITCH-HIKER to Blu-ray disc courtesy of their Kino Classics line. The film has been beautifully restored from a 35mm elements archived at the Library of Congress. The full frame 1.33:1 transfer maintains the film's original aspect ratio and looks great. Black levels are deep while textures look great. The audio track is crisp and well mixed with the soundtrack. There is no background noise or pops which makes the A/V of this disc pretty damn good. 

The Extras
A still gallery and Kino trailers are the lone extras on the disc.

The Bottom Line
From the film to the technical presentation of this disc I couldn't help but recommend this one highly.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Lord Of Tears (2013)

Several months ago, or perhaps longer as time goes by the timeline gets cloudy, I suffered a nightmare that seemed to stretch on for hours. I'm not sure how long it actually lasted, it could have been mere minutes but it felt like hours. The cause of my nightmare was a spider, seemingly a tarantula or a spider of similar size and hairiness being lowered on a string ever so slowly toward my face as I was bound helplessly to a table. The agonizingly slow place of the spider's descent brought a real life sweat to drench my body and the tossing and turning could have woken any other sleeper. The night terror culminated in the spider coming within mere millimeters of my eyes and I awoke with a single loud shriek and a gasp for air. This is exactly how I felt watching LORD OF TEARS.

James Findley has recently inherited his mother's estate, including his childhood home, one he left at a young age, the foreboding Baldurrock House in the Scottish highlands. Baldurrock House was the site of an early childhood tragedy that sent James into a state of insanity. Now a grown school teacher, James returns to the home to get closure on a chapter of his life that is so vague and distant, one his mother wished him to forget forever. Upon his arrival James meets a beautiful young woman named Eve who quickly befriends James and takes an interest in helping him discover his past. Eve is a traveled young woman, hailing from the southern United States and eventually destined for Paris, France.

As James spends time in the home he begins to have fleeting visions of madness and macabre with an elongated human form with a giant owl head and long and giant talons being perhaps the penultimate showing of terror. James' digging into his past reveals some sickeningly selfish and mad dances with old Pagan rituals that will bring James' past crashing into his present.

LORD OF TEARS is a film that can be described and summarized up and down and you will fail to experience it. In the ways that you know the stories of Dracula you haven't seen Hammer's Horror Of Dracula until you've seen Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing do it. You may know the story of LORD OF TEARS but until you see LORD OF TEARS you haven't experienced the overbearing sense of dread, the skill in which the actors portray their characters (including veteran actor David Schofield as the voice of The Owl Man), and the conscious decisions made by director Lawrie Brewster to give the film a feeling of earlier gothic horror films with simple stationary cameras, moody photography and leaving much of the horror to the mind, knowing his picture doesn't need an excessive amount of visual horror that would water down the true point of the film.

Screenwriter and composer Sarah Daly gives a skilled touch to the dialogue to keep things scary, yet classy and educated as to not bring the film into campy territory. The Owl Man's lines reminded me, in a way, of Pinhead from Hellraiser in that the things he was saying could easily come of as corny and over done had such a skilled hand (and skilled voice actor) not created them. Daly's score is largely a massive success in being unsettling and creepy, at times dissonant and ambient and when the time is right beautifully melodic. There is only a single instance of music that I felt a better choice could have been made, this is a minor personal qualm and by no means detracts from the scene at hand.

I could go on and on about LORD OF TEARS, in fact I WANT to go on and on, it is a beautifully scary film, in a style that has long since fallen out of vogue. A style that I love. It has a sense of class about it that many horror films, and more importantly their creators seem not to care about anymore. But I won't, this is something you should see for yourself. This is not shock value or gore for gore's sake. This is not faux this or faux that. This doesn't want to be something from day's gone by to be trendy. LORD OF TEARS is quite obviously a labor of love, not only from the Lawrie Brewster and Sarah Daly but from everyone that came on board to bring it to life. I feel that is a depressingly rare quality in film these days, even independent film. This was a group of people coming together to make a fucking fantastic horror film.


More info can be found at HERE

Monday, October 28, 2013

In Hell (DVD Review) - One 7 Movies

France, Italy/1976
Directed By: Nikos Papatakis
Written By: Nikos Papatakis
Starring: Olga Karlatos, Roland Bertin, Phillipe Adrien
Color/99 Minutes/Not Rated
Region FREE

The Film
Galai is the star in an unfinished film by director and neo-revolutionary Hamdias. The film is one centered around the theme of torture and is filled with all sorts of scenes of nasty abuse, often of the sexual variety. The picture is to show the relationship between artist and subject and politics and humans. Hamdias dies in an accident before the picture is finished and obsessed with the notes left for her by her director Galai continues to rehearse the scenes and sets out to complete the film on her own. 

IN HELL aka Gloria Mundi and Tortura, is a film from Greek director Nikos Papatakis and was a comment on the Algerian struggle for independence years earlier, a subject I'm admittedly very ignorant on. The film is, in my opinion, more about the aforementioned relationships. Galai goes to terroristic extremes in her quest to finish this film in which she is the star, a role that Hamdias is accused of filling repeatedly throughout the film. It is a case of an artist's pupil following in the footsteps of her mentor. 

 According to IMDB the film has a runtime of 130 minutes, this DVD presentation clocks in at 99 so if the IMDB is accurate we are missing half an hour of the film which would be a shame because it could really have raised this film above the bar of decent. I don't think all of the goals that Papatakis set out for were accomplished, and I don't think this film is as important as it wants itself to be but it is a weird, exploitative, oddity of the 70s that deserves to be seen, even if for nothing more than what it is on the surface.

The Audio & Video
IN HELL is delivered to DVD from One 7 Movies in a 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer that is rough to say the least. The source material was not kept in good condition and the image suffers from lots of scratches, speckling and noise. The image is soft and colors are dull. There are a couple instances of wobbling as well. That said, while it would be preferable for a better looking picture it is a watchable transfer. Audio fares a bit better with only minimal background noise and though the Italian mono track isn't great it is pretty decent and clear. 

The Extras
The lone feature on this disc is a still poster gallery, otherwise it is barebones. 

The Bottom Line
IN HELL doesn't have a great presentation here but it is here. Either way I'd say this is recommended for its weirdness for those looking for something off the beaten path. 

IN HELL is available HERE

October Horror Challenge 2013 - Days 24-27

Excuse my laziness as it has resulted in this post being a long one, encompassing 4 days of the challenge.

Day 24 started off with Dario Argento's Sleepless. My feelings on this film get stronger with each viewing and that is that this film is the best giallo of at least the last 20 years. It is Argento's best work of the 21st century and can stand toe to toe with the best of the genre and not look any worse for wear.

Next up was Antiviral, the debut from Brandon Cronenberg. I'd been excited to see this one for a while and I have to say that it is a solid debut that you can definitely see wear his legendary father rubbed off on him. My main complaint is that I feel it drags a little but not enough to say that I dislike the film or that it's bad. It certainly shows promise.

The day came to a close with The Watcher In The Attic, a Nikkatsu erotic horror film. I have to admit that I was incredibly tired during this one and wasn't giving it my full attention but I liked it. The film has some strange visuals and characters and ends up being a bit bizarre in the best way.

October 25th started with the Korean horror anthology Horror Stories, which I reviewed HERE.

Then came Spirits Of The Dead, another anthology film based upon stories of Poe and directed by Federico Fellini, Roger Vadim and Louis Malle. Rarely during the month long marathon do I get to see such a class of directors work together and while this is far from their best work it is worth seeking out. The Blu-ray from Arrow looks pretty nice.

A viewing of Swamphead with some friends closed out the day. I first saw this movie a couple years ago when it premiered online for a few brief hours and I've been anxiously awaiting my chance to see it again and I finally own it. If you're into trashy, hilarious and over the top campy horror you will love it.

Day 26 was a pair of disappointing films starting with The Oblong Box. When a horror film stars Vincent Price and Christopher Lee I fully expect greatness. And while the performances were excellent the story was lacking and slow. It wasn't bad but definite let down.

Take Price, Lee and add in Peter Cushing and Scream, And Scream Again is largely the same result. Excellent performances overshadowed by a mediocre film. The end of this one was very good but it was a dull ride getting there.

The Ravens had a bye week yesterday so day 27 could have been spent on a movie marathon... instead it was spent recovering from a Halloween party the night before and watching other football. I did squeeze in 2 movies, the first of which was The Purge. Thankfully I had a free rental credit so it didn't cost me anything but I still feel like I'm owed something for wasting the time on this piece of shit. How the film makers could take such a great idea and make something so boring, uninspired and predictable is beyond me and it kind of pisses me off.

The day closed with a viewing of The Mansion of Madness, from the director of Alucarda. This one was a trip to bizarro world where an insane man has taken control of a nut house and essentially turned it into a living episode of The Twilight Zone where visitors are subjected to all sorts of crazy nutty batshit crazy things.

Today's Rundown
Sleepless - 8/10
Antiviral - 6.5/10
Watcher In The Attic - 6.5/10
Horror Stories - 6/10
Spirits Of The Dead - 6.5/10
Swamphead - 8/10
The Oblong Box - 5.5/10
Scream And Scream Again - 5.5/10
The Purge - 3/10
The Mansion Of Madness - 7/10

Friday, October 25, 2013

Horror Stories (DVD Review) - Artsploitation Films

South Korea/2012
Directed By: Ji Yeong-Hong, Beom-sik Jeong, Gok Kim, Sun Kim, Dae-wung Lim, Kyu-Dong Min
Written By: Beom-sik Jeong, Gok Kim, Sun Kim,
Dae-wung Lim, Kyu-Dong Min
Starring: Ji-won Kim, Tae-woo Kim, Bo-ra Nam
Color/109 Minutes/Not Rated
Region 1

The Film
I'm a big fan of horror anthologies, I know I've said it before but it is a great way of getting some great stories and ideas filmed without stretching them to fill their own feature length run time and destroying them. There has been a recent resurgence in the popularity of these films in the horror genre with the V/H/S films, The ABCs Of Death and other titles like The Theater Bizarre, there has been no shortage of anthology films of late. HORROR STORIES from South Korea joins the ranks and stands up to the rest quite well.

The film begins with a girl bound and gagged while a man watches over her. After having her promise to follow his instructions he removes the tape from her mouth and allows her to speak. He informs her that he can't sleep without being scared, or tasting blood and it is her job to tell him stories to scare him or else she'll have to bleed. The first story she tells the man is Don't Answer The Door, the story of a young brother and sister who are home alone waiting for their mother to return from work. They're instructed to answer the door for nobody and tell the delivery man to drop his parcel at the door. This goes fine until they retrieve the parcel and the door fails to close allowing an invasion by some nasty looking men. This story is great and my favorite of the bunch. It is tense and stressful and brought me back to the days of being young enough where I wouldn't feel comfortable being home alone, not knowing who might be outside. The kids gave great performances and the intruders were creepy as hell.

Next was Endless Flight, about a convicted serial killer terrorizing an airplane after escaping police custody. This was my least favorite of the bunch but was still pretty good. The killer has a few moments that I loved, one involving a pair of headphones and a flight attendant. It does have a couple twists and turns to keep things interesting. Secret Recipe was next and this is a play on classic fairy tales with jealous sisters, their "prince", psychological horror and some seriously macabre intentions. This one was especially cruel and nasty. This was also the only story that didn't have a sense of claustrophobia or very close quarters. Finally there was Ambulance On The Death Zone, which is a ride through zombie infested streets in the back of an ambulance with a potentially infected victim. The claustrophobia element is highest here and despite a few inconsistencies is a pretty fun ride. Excuse the pun. 

HORROR STORIES isn't perfect, not by far. What it is, is a well made, entertaining movie featuring 4 solid stories and a decent wrap around. You can count HORROR STORIES among the films that make me a fan of horror anthology films.  

The Audio & Video
Artsploitation Films delivers HORROR STORIES on DVD with a 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer that is a bit hit or miss. Brighter scenes look very good and have a nice quality to them with strong, vibrant colors while darker scenes suffer from blocking weak black levels. It never gets to the point of unwatchable but it is a disappointment because the film deserves better. The audio is quite good with its 2.0 stereo mix in its native Korean. English subtitles are optional and easy to read. 

The Extras
Special features include interviews with cast members and trailers for other Artsploitation Films releases. The DVD also includes a nice 12 page booklet and reversible cover art.

The Bottom Line 
Despite a less than stellar video transfer, HORROR STORIES is a strong enough horror anthology to warrant a purchase and expand its fan base as it stands among the better horror anthologies during the recent revival of the format.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

October Horror Challenge 2013 - Days 22 and 23

The last couple of days started by using a free movie ticket to see the Carrie remake... it wasn't terrible but it was absolutely unremarkable and forgettable. If being harmless is the best thing you can say about a movie it pretty much goes without saying that it isn't worth seeing.

Hard Rock Zombies came next and it was pretty much the same thing I remembered from previous viewings. There are some incredibly entertaining parts because of how ridiculously stupid it is and there are parts that are just plain terrible. It's worth checking out to see Hitler eat himself.

Next was a movie I had been meaning to check out for a long time but just got around to it... Who Can Kill A Child? This one was pretty great and I can see myself liking it more and more with future viewings. The movie is pretty downbeat the entire time and if I had to describe it with just a couple words I would simply say "human pinata".

The day was wrapped up with the disappointing 3 Extremes 2. I think the first 3 Extremes is one of the best horror anthologies of the 21st century but its sequel was a letdown. None of the 3 stories really stand out as anything special.

Day 23 began with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the original. This is a perfect film and is among my favorite horror movies and favorite films of all time. I don't need to say anything else about this one.

The House Of Seven Corpses is a solid little 70s chiller. It has a creepy atmosphere and some cool moments. I think the filming a movie within the movie was cool and really allowed for the story to be set up.

Just as good but different is House On Straw Hill starring Udo Kier. This is the story of a writer, betrayal, sex and murder. It is a solid little minimalistic exploitation horror film. Plenty of skin and violence to keep the viewer enthralled.

And finally was both parts of the Ban The Sadist Videos documentary. This 2 part doc covers the video nasties craze of the 80s and how it affected the video industry and British culture in the 1980s. I wish it would have gone a bit deeper into the interviews with video store owners and distributors but it covered the important things and was pretty cool overall.

Monday, October 21, 2013

October Horror Challenge 2013 - Days 19-20

 Day 19 was by far my favorite day of the challenge so far, with X-Ray aka Hospital Massacre being the only questionable movie. This is a pretty blah slasher that features Barbi Benton in the lead role and the reveal of the killer that can be seen a mile away. There's one scene I thought was hilarious that features a room full of people in body casts flailing about wildly. The movie isn't terrible but it is just rather uneventful and feels a lot longer than it actually is.

Schizoid starring Klaus Kinski was next and I thought this one was the far more interesting half of the double feature with X-Ray. The acting in this movie carries the story well and there are some tense scenes before the identity of the killer is revealed. A nice discovery.

This next film was crazy and I loved it. Goke, The Body Snatcher From Hell might just be my favorite first time viewing of the challenge. The passengers of a Japanese flight are terrorized by someone that is a host for a weird alien life form that looks like melted silver and turns it's host into vampire-like monsters. This one is weird and wild and awesome.

The next one was the 1932 classic Island Of Lost Souls, another first time viewing. I was surprised by how little Bela Lugosi was featured in this one, but it wasn't a bad thing as Charles Laughton does a great job as the evil Dr. Moreau. Actually all of he main characters are quite good and this one can stand up with some of the more popular titles of the 30s.

My first Pete Walker film of the challenge was The Confessional aka by the superior title, The House Of Mortal Sin. If you aren't familiar with Walker I highly suggest checking him out. I feel he is one of the most underrated horror film makers ever. I think this one is good and has a lot to say about the Catholic church.

The day came to a close with my annual viewing of Halloween 3. 10 more days til Halloween, Halloween Halloween, 10 more days til Halloween, Silver Shamrock!

Day 20 only had one viewing, Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter. This was a fun little Hammer production filled with some laughs and sword fights. And Caroline Munro. This isn't one of the elite Hammer films but it is a fun romp.

October Horror Challenge 2013- Days 17-18

I know I'm a few days behind so I play catch up over a couple of posts so that the post isn't enormous...

Day 17 started with a re-watch of the classic Black Christmas, no not the terrible remake from 2006 where I was forced to sit next to a white trash broad and her wigger boyfriend who made gross make out sounds while in a handicap seat during a sold out showing Christmas Night 2006... we're talking the Bob Clark classic. This movie is fantastic but is in desperate need of a nice release, preferably on Blu-ray because the discs available currently all look like crap.

Next up was Adam Chaplin which just received a full disc review so I'll just link that HERE.

The day ended with the mediocre and disappointing Umberto Lenzi flick Hitcher In The Dark. It wasn't terrible but as a big fan of Lenzi's films I was hoping for something better... or at least trashier. This was the final film I had to watch this month out of the High School Horrors triple pack from Shriek Show that I recently purchased and all 3 movies were pretty disappointing. What a waste.

Day 18 began with Nekromantik 2. this is a better looking and better made sequel to the original however it didn't quite give me the skin-crawling, close my window and shades and hope nobody sees me watching this film that the first did. That isn't to say it isn't revolting and nasty in the best way, because it certainly still is and I'm still a big fan of it.

I'd been wanting to check out the WNUF Halloween Special since I heard about it but finding out that a local Baltimore team made it definitely pushed me over the edge into watching it now. I'm glad I did because while the horror is light, the overall production was awesome. They really nailed every aspect of making this look light it was straight out of the 80s from a local news channel.

A re-watch of Army Of Darkness was next... do I really need to say anything? I leave it at this, the movie is a blast and even though the Evil Dead remake sucked balls I'm excited for the recently announced AOD 2.

I closed the day out with my first and probably only viewing on VHS for the month with Dead Men Walk. This is a totally uninspired, and weak 1940s vampire type horror film that isn't worth talkinga bout and will never be held in the same regard as even 2nd tier horror films from that decade.

Today's Rundown
Black Christmas - 8/10
Adam Chaplin - 3/10
Hitcher In The Dark - 5/10
Nekromantik 2 - 7/10
WNUF Halloween Special - 8/10
Army Of Darkness - 8/10
Dead Men Walk - 4/10

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Adam Chaplin: Violent Avenger (DVD Review) - Autonomy Pictures

Directed By:
Written By:
Color/90 Minutes/Not Rated
Region 1

The Film
Adam Chaplin is on a mission of revenge as a cloud of mystery and suspicion surrounds his wife's death. Adam summons a demon who gives him the ability to see his wife again if he's willing to carry out the demon's wishes, which is to kill the people responsible for her death. In order to help Adam with his mission he grants him super human strength and abilities. The town of Heaven Valley is about to have its streets run red with the blood of corruption.

If someone told me that this was originally conceived to be a video game or anime (or some mashup of both) I wouldn't be at all surprised. The film plays out much like a video game, from the storyline itself to film essentially being 90 minutes of super stylized fight scene, cut scene, stylized fight scene, cut scene, and so on. It plays out as a video game would, even leading up to a "boss battle" at the end. ADAM CHAPLIN would probably be more successful if we had the satisfaction of button mashing our way through levels and being responsible for the gallons of blood and guts flying across the screen, instead of just sitting on our ass watching it happen. The film is filled with slow motion action shots, ridiculous amounts of gore and cheap costumes. Is it violent? Hell yes it is. Is it entertaining? Not really, it just sort of happens in front of us with no real sense of danger or urgency. Again, having our lifebar flashing because we're almost dead would make this video game, err... movie better. 

I don't want to harp on the fact that it feels and plays out like a video game but that is my main feeling. The writing is thin, the direction is generic as far as action scenes go and the violence is so far beyond realistic that it doesn't really work. Although, the whole movie is that far beyond realisitic, and super-stylized, I don't think ADAM CHAPLIN: VIOLENT AVENGER is a failure, I just think it was made in the wrong medium. Hell, even that title screams video game! I'm sure there are people who will appreciate this movie for what it is more than I do and it deserves that audience. As for me, I don't dig it.  

The Audio & Video
Autonomy Pictures brings ADAM CHAPLIN to DVD with a solid anamorphic widescreen 1.78:1  transfer. Colors are vibrant and play a big role in the look of the film. It seems some sort of blue filter was used in the photography as almost all of the shots have a blueish hue to them. The red blood that flies so freely in this film pop out against a dull grey setting and the blue hues. The digital photography used is sometimes a bit soft but overall this is disc does a nice job bringing the film's color palette to life. Audio is fine, sometimes a bit muddled but those instances are few and far between and they stem from the production of the film and not with the authoring of this disc. 

The Extras
The disc features several featurettes including "H.A.B.S." on the methods used to create the blood and gore for the film. Also included are "Mechanisms Of Gore", "From Idea To Screen", "Building Up Adam". These featurettes give a nice look at the overview of the production. Also included is Scene Autopsy and a trailer.

The Bottom Line
While ADAM CHAPLIN isn't a film for me, it should have no trouble finding its audience. I'd suggest anime fans check this one out as the editing techniques and photography style definitely takes inspiration from Japanese Animation. They even mention that they were going for that style in the extras.  


Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Conjuring Blu-ray Contest!

WIN THE CONJURING BD/DVD COMBO PACK! Official way of entering is at the bottom of the page!

The Conjuring 5 Things to know… INTERACTIVE GIFS! 1) The Conjuring is directed by the acclaimed James Wan, the Australian-born director of the fright-fests Insidious and the Saw series. His Twitter handle is @CreepyPuppet. Say no more. 2) The Conjuring has been given an “R” rating by the MPAA. Not because of blood, gore, or violence, but simply because it’s just so scary from start to finish! 3) The Conjuring’s cast and crew experienced creepy events during filming. Scratches appeared out of nowhere on Vera Farmiga’s computer soon after she agreed to act in the movie, the crew were routinely woken by something in the “witching hour” between 3 and 4AM, and the real-life Carolyn Perron fell and broke her hip while visiting the set. 4) The Rhode Island farmhouse where The Conjuring is set once belonged to an accused witch, Bathsheba, who tried to sacrifice her children to the devil and killed herself in 1863. 5) Hold your applause! The Conjuring will make you terrified to clap! Whether it’s playing a traditional game of hide-and-seek by following the clapping sounds like the mother and daughter in the movie, or being terrorized by ghostly claps in different rooms of the haunted farmhouse, these claps throughout the movie will give you the creeps!

1. I'm running this in conjunction with Warner Bros, they've asked US and Canada residents only and no PO boxes.
2. That's really it.

How To Enter
1. Go to the Celluloid Terror Facebook page where you will see the first image from this post with my wonderful MS Paint art skills over it, share that picture and comment with whether you've seen The Conjuring and what you thought of it
2. The contest will run for 1 week, I'll pick a winner on the night of 10/24.
3. Winner will be noitifed so I can get their shipping address and forward it to WB.

October Horror Challenge 2013 - Days 14-16

The last few days have seemed like a jumbled mess to me, lets see if I can make some sense out of them...

Day 14 only 2 viewings but both were great. First up was The Willies, a more family friendly anthology film. A few kids are camping in the back yard and decide to try and scare and gross out each other with stories. The first few stories are only a couple of minutes each but are a good lead in to the 2 main stories. This is what Goosebumps the series should have been.

The other viewing was Night Train to Terror. I posted the review of the brand new Blu-ray release a couple of days ago so I'll just link that HERE.

The first viewing of day 15 was one I've wanted to see for a long long time, Jorg Buttgereit's Nekromantik. It pretty much did what I wanted it to. It made me feel dirty. It almost gave me the feeling of being younger and watching some horror movies or something on Skinemax and feeling like you're doing something wrong and you better not get caught. I hope part 2 gives me the same grimy feeling.

The rest of day 15 was spent at a friend's house where we drank too much and played Mario Kart for drinks/shots... you know, adult things. We did watch a few movies too though...

Ghost Shark was first, saved on his DVR. This Syfy channel original was actually pretty damn entertaining. It is completely idiotic but that made for an entertaining watch. There isn't much else to say about it but some of the places the shark pops out of is incredible.

Next was Altered, an alien horror flick from the director of The Blair Witch Project. It was okay. I think I'd enjoy it more if I watched it again now that I wouldn't be expecting a creepy alien stalker and more of a violent monster type creature.

Then came the total disaster that was the spoof A Haunted House, starring one of the Wayans, don't ask which because I couldn't tell you. This is proof that humanity is doomed because I'm pretty sure it made a bunch of money at the theaters. We were playing a game of "drink when you can't believe we're watching this"... we never took our lips off the glass.

Luckily day 16 came and there were some great movies, starting with a re-watch of what is among the best 1950s horror film,  The Thing From Another World. If you've never seen it, you should. A great sci-fi and horror mashup that is almost as good as Carpenter's version that came 30 years later.

I caught the short Toy Story Of Terror flick on TV and thought it was a pretty decent adaptation of a roadside motel psycho flick designed for kids. Most of the classic Toy Story characters are there and I think Prickle Pants steals the show with his ominous detailing of horror movie stereotypes. I hope this makes it onto a disc soon.

After grabbing some things for dinner earlier in the day I grabbed Would You Rather out of the Redbox thanks to a free rental code. What a pleasant surprise this one was. Without the presence of Jeffrey Combs I doubt I'd have given this one a shot but his name attached earned it a viewing and I found it to be a really solid effort. And Combs was every bit as good as I'd hoped he would be. He plays a terrific pompous asshole psychopath.

The night closed with Candyman. I haven't watched it in years but I've had the urge for months. It definitely held up to past viewings. Tony Todd is creepy as hell as the title villain and Virginia Madsen is excellent in the lead role. Philip Glass' score is beautiful and the Cabrini Green projects made for a terrifying setting... both for the movie and real life.

Today's Rundown
The Willies - 7/10
Night Train To Terror - 7.5/10
Nekromantik - 8/10
Ghost Shark - 5/10
Altered - 4.5/10
A Haunted House - 1/10
The Thing From Another World - 8/10
Toy Story Of Terror - 7/10
Would You Rather - 7/10
Candyman - 8/10