The Chronicles of Horror Movie Night: ‘Pinocchio’s Revenge’ (1996)


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After starting in Washington D.C. nine years ago Horror Movie Night has expanded to include chapters in Austin, Dallas and Chicago. Horror’s Not Dead’s own Brian Kelley is the originator and programmer of this illustrious weekly Wednesday night tradition which features a “classic” horror film. Each week I will be reviewing/commenting on the past week’s selection so do your best to find the film, most of which have not made it past VHS, and follow along. Better yet, start your own chapter!

VHS cover of Pinocchio's Revenge

I distinctly remember when Child’s Play came out in theaters. I was eight years old and wanted to see it so badly. A killer doll? That had to be amazing. But for certain reasons my parents didn’t take me to the theater. Not because it was horror, I watched plenty of that with my dad all the time. Some of my earliest memories are watching his bootleg VHS of Romero’s Dawn of the Dead when I was around four. My mom was just against me seeing killer toys, thinking that might scare me. This same reasoning kept me from Silent Night, Deadly Night. Of course, thanks to home video I saw them all soon enough and they should’ve known better.

Horror movies never scared me. Over the years the killer toy thing has been rather popular, and there were even plenty before Chucky, in 1996 director Kevin Tenney (Night of the Demons) decided to merge that subgenre of horror with a fairytale in Pinocchio’s Revenge. The result is good for a few laughs but lacks any real punch and is very light on the deaths.

Horror News: The Weekly Offering


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Welcome, mortals, to The Weekly Offering. Here, we present our dark gifts in hopes that we please the Ancient Ones, that they might spare us. They are satisfied with our humble sacrifices of news, images, reviews, and commentary through the week, but on Fridays, they desire more. Their weekends, their unholy Sabbath, know no bounds. And so, to satisfy their bloodlust, as well as yours, we bring you these short, savory offerings.

 

Hideo Nakata to Direct ‘Suicide Forest’

I have a love/hate relationship with the tagline, “Based on a true story.”

On the one severed hand, a horror story based in truth can make said story all the more terrifying. On the other, more gangrenous, severed hand, we all know that studios take a true incident, slap this label on the film, and go clinically insane with the plot.

However, I can forgive this on occasion when the existing story (and its potential) are creepy enough.

Hideo Nakata (Ringu, The Ring 2) has been attached to direct the film adaptation of the IDW Publishing graphic novel, The Suicide Forest, by El Torres with art by Gabriel Hernandez.

For those of you who have not heard about it, the title refers to a real section of woods outside of Tokyo that is considered to be one of the most popular suicide destinations in the world. The plot centers around an American living in Japan who recruits a forest ranger to assist him in escaping the grasp of an evil forest spirit.

So the story may not be true, but the setting sure is. Maybe this is just the right mix of fact and fiction that can make for memorable hike through the forest.

Source: Bloody Disgusting

Giveaway: Passes to see ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’


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Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter looks like a ton of fun. If you think otherwise, you hate America. Or something like that. Maybe you’re a strict historian, or maybe a head-chopping President just isn’t your bag. That’s fine. Whatever the case, why not find out what you think of the latest from the director of Night Watch for free?

If you live in HND’s fine homeland of Austin, Texas, then we’ve got the hookup to do just that. Shoot me an email at peter AT horrorsnotdead.com (or use the Contact Page on the site) with the subject “I Want to See Abraham Lincoln Destroy Vampires,” and the first 25 people to do see will earn themselves a pass good for two people to see the film on Tuesday, June 19th at 5:00pm at a theater in Central Austin.

That’s all you gotta do. No need to write an essay or take a silly photo, just be one of the first 25 people to email me, and I’ll email you a pass. And if you do get a pass, please pay attention to the wording on it. While it’s good for two people, it does not equal a reserved seat for two people. It’s first come, first served; so if you show up at 4:59, tough luck.

What: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Where: Central Austin

When: June 19th at 5:00pm

How: Email peter AT horrorsnotdead.com (or use the Contact Page on the site) with the subject “I Want to See Abraham Lincoln Destroy Vampires”

Late To The Party: ‘Maniac’ (1980)


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Maniac  is a film that has a special place in my heart. This film is memorable to me, as I have never been able to finish it. I have attempted to watch it multiple times: once as a teen and another time as a young adult. I am writing this introduction, before this viewing attempt, in order to give you an insight as to why I have not finished watching this film. From what I recall this film is very disturbing. I watched this film because of Tom Savini. I became a fan of Tom’s work watching films like Friday the 13th, Dawn of the Dead, and The Burning. The special effects from this film are exponentially more horrific than all those others combined. I recall a slow motion shotgun blast to the head, a scalping, and in general some of the most heinous depravity ever put on film; at least these are my impressions after these many decades. Well here we go, race fans. Lets get this party started….

Maniac tells the story of Frank Zito (played by Joe Spinell ), a serial killer prowling the streets of New York with a singular purpose: kill people. The first act of the film has many of the aforementioned killings. A woman is strangled and scalped and a man, played by Savini himself, is brutally murdered via a point blank shotgun blast. As mentioned earlier, this is the point where I stopped watching the film on both previous attempts. Not this time!!!!!

The Chronicles of Horror Movie Night: ‘Memorial Valley Massacre’ (1988)


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After starting in Washington D.C. nine years ago Horror Movie Night has expanded to include chapters in Austin, Dallas and Chicago. Horror’s Not Dead’s own Brian Kelley is the originator and programmer of this illustrious weekly Wednesday night tradition which features a “classic” horror film. Each week I will be reviewing/commenting on the past week’s selection so do your best to find the film, most of which have not made it past VHS, and follow along. Better yet, start your own chapter!

Art for MVM

Slasher films revolving around a holiday is pretty commonplace. Halloween and Christmas are probably the most popular but there are a few at Easter, some for Thanksgiving (contrary to what you might think from Eli Roth’s fake trailer in Grindhouse), hell, there’s even one for New Year’s Eve. Of all the holidays listed on the American calendar, I can think of very few I’d be surprised to see represented. But I’ll admit that Memorial Day is high up on that shortlist. That didn’t stop writer/director Robert C. Hughes when he set out to make Memorial Valley Massacre, a body count flick set in an historic campgrounds with some fun acting, crazy characters, and a tad too much drama.

Horror News: ‘Antiviral’ Gets U.S. Release


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It seems that horror runs in the family.

Brandon Cronenberg, son of David Cronenberg (The Dead Zone, The Fly), made his debut at the Cannes Film Festival with Antiviral. Now, IFC Midnight has obtained the rights to distribute the film in the United States. Cronenberg, the younger, also wrote the screenplay, and the film stars Caleb Landry Jones, Sarah Gadon, Douglas Smith, and the ever-terrifying talent that is Malcolm McDowell.

The plot is, well…disturbing. Yes, that is a word tossed around the same way “adrenaline-pumping” or “edge of your seat” is for action films, but I am not using this adjective lightly. Jones plays Syd March, who works at a clinic that offers injections of virus cultures collected from ill celebrities to their obsessively adoring fans, for a price. The practice is described as a sort of “communion”.

The Chronicles of Horror Movie Night: ‘Deadline’ (1984)


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After starting in Washington D.C. nine years ago Horror Movie Night has expanded to include chapters in Austin, Dallas and Chicago. Horror’s Not Dead’s own Brian Kelley is the originator and programmer of this illustrious weekly Wednesday night tradition which features a “classic” horror film. Each week I will be reviewing/commenting on the past week’s selection so do your best to find the film, most of which have not made it past VHS, and follow along. Better yet, start your own chapter.

Paragon Video VHS of Deadline

There’s a cold front coming through the hallowed ground of Horror Movie Night. Make sure you have all provisions needed to sustain yourself for a brute attack on our senses. Gather the loved ones close, say your possible goodbyes, and make damn sure you are ready for whatever may come your way. An arctic chill blasts through our screens as yet another Canadian horror film comes into the rotation. EEK! Now this isn’t always bad, but I’ve found with most horror flicks from our neighbors to the north, at least those from the 70s and 80s, it’s kind of a hit or miss deal. There are some damn fine films out there, just look at Cronenberg, but there are also tons of time wasters. Sadly that’s kind of the case with this week’s pick, Deadline from 1984. Though it is overall a tad boring and too “talky,” there are a few moments of pure chaotic, bloody bliss. 

Dead Wrong! Episode 1: ‘Grave Encounters’ w/Jeremy Kirk


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Hello. My name is Brad McHargue and I hate movies.

Ok, that’s not entirely true. I love film, especially horror, though I will be the first to admit that I’m a relatively harsh critic. Maybe I have high expectations, or maybe I’m just sick and tired of the recycled tropes and cliches that my mind has been soured on the genre. I prefer to think it’s the exact opposite; for me, it has to do with finding that diamond in the rough, that one film that results in the sort of incessant fawning I give films such Pontypool and Session 9.

And it’s rare. Horror is an easy genre to break into due to its diversity and broad fan base, affording anyone with a camera, and the recipe for karo syrup, the opportunity to make a horror film. This is especially true with the advent of found footage, a sub-genre that requires little more than a camera, a loose outline, and someone off camera knocking on a door. Despite this, I love found footage horror, especially when I finally find one that is genuinely well-made, scary, and doesn’t fall back on that God damned “people will want to know what happened” excuse for filming while being chased by something that clearly wants to kill you.

The Chronicles of Horror Movie Night: ‘Of Unknown Origin’ (1983)


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After starting in Washington D.C. nine years ago Horror Movie Night has expanded to include chapters in Austin, Dallas and Chicago. Horror’s Not Dead’s own Brian Kelley is the originator and programmer of this illustrious weekly Wednesday night tradition which features a “classic” horror film. Each week I will be reviewing/commenting on the past week’s selection so do your best to find the film, most of which have not made it past VHS, and follow along. Better yet, start your own chapter!

Rat Scratch Fever

Alright guys, this is going to be a rarity for my good ‘ol Horror Movie Night column. Over the past – however long you’ve been reading – you’ve seen me praise the ludicrous and gory, all the while condemning the low-body-count-plagued snoozefests. This week we have a film that has a body count of zero. Yep, not a single person bites the dust here, but I’m still going to sing the high praises of the 1983 film Of Unknown Origin. It is possible to have a horror film, or in this case a bit more of a thriller, with little to no death, yet be able to retain a feeling of terror and keep you interested while on the edge of your seat. Thanks to director George P. Cosmatos that is exactly what we get here. 

Pandora’s Box: ‘Bloody Reunion’ (2006)


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Pandora’s Box is an advisory column in which I watch a film based solely on its cover art, or box if you will, and determine whether or not it’s worth your time when you’re perusing the horror section of Instant Netflix. I do no research and watch no trailers, these films are completely and 100% unknown to me. You shouldn’t judge books by their covers, but I intend to do so with these movies. Will I uncover a glimmer of hope for my strange viewing habits or utter despair? We won’t know until I open…Pandora’s Box.

 

What Grabbed Me

A film that a lot of the staff hasn’t seen for a while and will hopefully one day soon see again is The Loved Ones, based on the premise of a high school girl who kidnaps boys she’s interested in and hosts a prom in her home while torturing them. A film called Bloody Reunion with a handcuffed kid strapped to a wooden chair conjured up some of the memories I had of The Loved Ones. Those were my thoughts about the art that grabbed me. The art of the box itself is just kinda cool and has an aura of dementedness to the type of violence that ensued before and after she was strapped to that chair. Plus it’s an Asian film, so you know there will be violence and blood out of every place it can come out of. At least I think/hope so.

The Roving Eye Is Fixed On The ‘Skyfall’ Teaser Trailer


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Recently, we here at Horror’s Not Dead created The Roving Eye as our compartment in which to store news, reviews, and reactions to genre fare that doesn’t quite fit into the horror mold. Lucky we did, because the teaser trailer for Sam Mendes’ ‘Skyfall,’ the 23rd chapter of the Bond saga, has just landed online and we are, to quote The Bard, completely stoked. So how dare we present news of a spy film on a horror website? Because it’s James Goddamn Bond, that’s how! We will gladly court Cthulhu’s wrath for that. ‘Skyfall’ will open like the portal to the realm of eternal darkness on November 9th.

Click past the bump to watch the trailer and voice your opinions in the comment section.

Horror News: Peter Weir May Lock Us In ‘The Keep’


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There are many types of horror films. There are zombies, serial killers, demons, and things that go bump in the night. But few things can reach into the deepest realms of our minds and raise our pulses quite like the cold touch of the specter; the chill piercing the lungs like frozen needles. Oh, yes. A good haunted house film is classic, and quite the commodity.

Peter Weir (The Truman Show, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World) is currently set to direct and write the film adaptation of the gothic haunted house thriller The Keep, based on the 2006 novel by Jennifer Egan. The story centers around two estranged cousins who reunite at a castle in central Europe, in an effort to establish a sort of alternative resort. However, something in the castle has other plans, as the anguish and fears of childhood resurface like an angry, vicious soul rising from a grave.

The book has been described as The Ring crossed with Inception.

The Truman Show established Weir as a man who could take what was at the time the new and shocking concept of reality television, and bring it to the most extreme, and almost terrifying, ultimatum. Think about it. Truman, a man, a human being, is essentially a society-sanctioned slave; a piece of property intended for the entertainment of the detached masses. The idea of being trapped in a constructed world, no matter how “perfect” the community is made out to be, would be enough to drive one past the blurred line of paranoia and closer to the boundaries holding one’s psyche in a state of stability. Regardless of what is doing it, be it a monster, ghost, or television crew, being trapped is one of the most primal fears we can face. And we must fight to escape. I have rarely cheered so ferociously for a film protagonist as I have during Truman’s attempt to face his deepest fears and make his own escape from his prison in paradise.




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