Sunday, April 29, 2012

Films in the Attic: Fear No Evil: I was a Teenage Devil!

High school, its hell and in this film it literally is Hell! A weird little film shows us that you cant skip school even if your the Son of Satan!

Title: Fear No Evil
Year: 1981
Director: Frank LaLoggia

I guess even the son of the Devil has to go through the growing pains of youth and High School.  Lovers of the normal blood soaked fair be warned this is far from your typical 80s teen horror film, and that is why I love it so much. The lighting,camera angles and use of a well placed fog machines really gives this movie a creepy European vibe. It just goes to show you that even on a smaller budget you can create nice atmosphere The film does not shy away from nudity, and actually its mostly male nudity which is far from your normal horror film. Its really interesting that it shows how rising a evil child can really drain and suck the love and life out of the parents who unknowingly had to raise this Satan spawn. A detail that is unique to the sub genre and worth a mention.

Now I`m certainly not faulting this film for being to smart for it own good but it gets a bit thinky and could be over whelming for a viewer not use this this kind of horror film.It may take a second view for you to get everything. The pace could be brisker but there is a good amount of character background to get into. I totally get if your mainstream horror viewers would not dig this, but I think if you give it a chance, it might grow on you. If the story had a flaw I would say it seems to get so into the religious aspect of it forgets to just have fun with the horror elements.

The soundtrack is awesome, with music from The Sex Pistols, Ramones Talking Heads etc! If i was a teenage son of the devil this would be a nice soundtrack to rock out to while planning to take over the world.

Now this film is far from being perfect, the make up effects are at times cheestastic and towards the end of the film the Devil incarnate starts sounding and acting more like a whining goth kid rather then the mighty Anti-Christ. This movie has some blood but seriously lacks any real gore, yet I think this movie is aiming higher then just soaking the audience in the red karo syrup. However when they do use blood they do use it in a weird and disturbing way.

The fact that I film like this could be put together by a young man not even in this thirty's really impresses me. It may bog itself down with the religious aspects I give it alot of respect for trying to break out of the mold of other similar movies such as The Omen or The Exorcist. Maybe not the best film you`re likely to see about a teenage son of Lucifer, it does however remain interesting and strange enough that in this final exam it gets a passing grade.

Frank read my review and had this to say.....

Hey DUDE! WHaT The **** is THIS! You musta been smokin' some doggie drenched weed to attually like dis! if i were the dierector i'd go back to makin peezas! 
-Frank LaLoggia

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Black Roses or when life hands you a rose...paint it black!

Black Roses
Director: John Fasano

Lovely Hair!! 

Heavy metal and horror films, two great tastes that go great together. And both can equally piss your parents off. So it was only a matter of time when metal and horror would climb into bed and make a hybrid love child. Such is the result with Black Roses. Though in this case I think you might want to put this one back in the oven its not quiet ready yet.

The cast is well rounded. Julie Adams is great as the town`s "moral compass" playing a Tipper Gore type character, who speaks for all the concerned members of the community. Ms. Adams is best know as the Gill Mans favorite female victim. Like always shes wonderful and gives her all. She gives the film a touch of class and on a personal note it was very cool to have met her in person. Another notable cast member is Vincent Pastore who would later be famous for playing "Big Pussy" in The Sopranos" He has a cool death scene. Die hard classic rock fans will also know Carmine Appice from "Vanilla Fudge" as a member of the "Black Roses" This film has plenty of big head banging hair that would put every member of Poison to shame. But hey it the 80s, you can practically smell the hair spray while watching it.

Trick or treat? Look at these cheesy masks.
The film is working on a lower budget but every dollar seems to have gone on the screen. Props go to the slick camera work and atmosphere that gives the film a needed boost.  Heavy metal fans might hate me but I never was a big fan of hair metal and don't get me started on ballads. The music is pretty cheesy and fills very dated. The music in Black Roses would have its skull crushed in by bands like Slayer and Cannibal Corpse.
 This is a pretty cool concept, with the hysteria over metal and the so called "hidden demonic messages" There seems to be a clear vision in mind yet this rose seems like it could have used some pruning. Many scenes could have been either shorted or taken out all together. Great example is at one point we watch our hero in the film pump gas, I mean really?  To the films credit there are some lovely lady boobs for the audience to look at. I was really hoping Linnea Quigley would pop up with a chainsaw and destroy all the demons in all her curvy glory. But alas this never happened Though i think every film could be fixed by having Quigley.

This film is seriously lacking the gore one would expect for the prince of darkness. I mean come on, heavy metal is tailor made for bloody gut spewing brain smashing massacres. Just take a page out of the book of Alice Cooper or better yet Gwar! Black Roses may have thorns but they don't seem to prick anybody, at least not enough to draw any serious blood.

The demon effects towards the end (because it takes that long to get to demons) has more cheese then a large Papa Johns, and they come off looking more funny then scary. Seems like a High School student did the make up and creature effects. Sorry but there bad. Though it was kinda funny to see a demon get kicked in the nuts? I guess demons have them, I`m not sure? I never give away an ending but don't expect much. The message of Black Roses is that the parents were right all along and that heavy metal is corrupting our youth. Seems funny that a horror film would take that kind of stand.

Now maybe had I grown up with hair metal I may have found a certain charm in the music and the big hair. But all I see is a very tired and dated film  that has less violence then an episode of CSI. With such a neat idea its a shame that more could not have been done to make this more entertaining.  I guess if your looking for a campy, cheese fest eighties style you could do alot worse but sorry to say I think this concert would be worth ditching.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Author Of: The Complete History of Return Of the Living Dead" Christian Seller Interview! BRAINS!!

                                   DO YOU WANT TO PARTYYY!!!!!
Break out the boom box, put on those leg warmers,spike that mo hawk up and take a trip back to the cemetery!

Return of the Living Dead is one of those rare movies I can watch over and over and over and still never get tired of it. While I was born when the movie came out, I discovered it from my local rental store-the corner stone of my film education at the time. My best friend at the time and I would stay up late, eat junk food and watch horror films and this was one of our favorites. Oh fond memories. I normally will post a plot summary and review but I`m assuming that everyone reading this blog knows the plot and is well versed in the film.

Gorehound Mike`s is proud to have Christian Sellers to talk about his book,zombies and whatever else hes got in works. You could say I was picking his BRAINS!!

Christian Sellers is the author of " The Complete History of Return of The Living Dead.  This books is the final word on the series and  It should be on any true film buff`s bookshelf. Sellers and co writer Gary Smart has painstakingly compiled interviews, rare photos, documents with great colored photos. You can really tell that the book was written by fans and a labor of love. Sellers was kind enough to take time out to talk to Gorehound Mike and hopefully he`s going to survive the zombie infested lair he`s found his way into.

GH: Besides Return of the Living Dead what other films have inspired you in your career as a writer/critic and all around crazy person?

CS: “Growing up in the ‘80s I was surrounded by slasher movies, zombies, creature features and all kinds of splatter. John Carpenter, Joe Dante and Wes Craven were at their peak, Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street were churning out sequels like a production line and prosthetic effects and animatronics were really coming into their own. So for a kid who grew up in that environment, I think it was inevitable that I would grow up obsessed with horror. My passion as a kid was always slasher movies and I still have a soft spot for them, but as I grew up I discovered giallo, which had a profound effect on me. I also liked the ‘get out there and shoot it’ attitude of Roger Corman and Troma, so my tastes have always been somewhere between tasteful and schlock. Perhaps that is why I discovered Return of the Living Dead; in some ways it is stylish and intelligent, yet in other ways it is gruesome and unnecessarily sleazy. The best of both worlds!”

GH: Do you feel like you could survive a zombie takeover?

CS: “Depends on what kind of zombie. If it was a Romero outbreak then possibly, as they’re slow and pretty dumb. Every now and then you get a smart one like Bub or Big Daddy, but for the most part I was amazed that people actually allowed themselves to get caught. It was usually through a character’s own stupidity that they would die, but I think modern audiences have become wise to this. If you watch a movie like Zombieland or read Max Brooks' excellent Zombie Survival Guide then they give you tips on where to hide, what weapons and food to carry and when to try and escape. In most movies zombies are slow, but the mistake people tend to make is that they allow themselves to get cornered. One Romero zombie is easy to outrun but a whole army of them and there’s no escape.
On the other hand, if I was trying to survive a Fulci zombie outbreak then that would be a whole other matter. His zombies tend to have supernatural powers as they are heavily influenced by Lovecraft, and so the evil doesn’t even have to manifest itself physically to cause harm. Just look at City of the Living Dead, a woman literally throws up her guts by will alone. And if you are unlucky enough to get cornered by a Fuli zombie there is no chance of getting away. Out of all the different types of zombies they are the ones that always scared the crap out of me.”

GH: Besides the book do you write for anyone else?

CS: “Over the years I have worked for various magazines and websites. I first started out with a magazine that I was with for about two years, but more recently I just do freelance as a way to keep me interested between projects. I wrote a few articles for Paracinema over the last year, one was on the spaghetti western Four of the Apocalypse and another was on the Sam Raimi/Coen Brothers caper Crimewave. Before that I contributed to a couple of early issues from Shock Horror; I did an article on the Italian movies that were labelled as ‘video nasties’ during the 1980s and also one on the making of the Hammer classic Plague of the Zombies. Aside from magazines, I’ve also written for various websites and also run two of my own; a music site called Love-It-Loud and a horror interview site called Dr. Gore’s Funhouse. Last year I was hired along with Gary Smart to write the Return of the Living Dead documentary and I’ve offered advice on a few screenplays over the last couple of years, although nothing substantial.”

GH: You wrote the book “The Complete History of the Return of the living dead! Which is FUCKING AMAZING, tell us how long it took to complete a book of this size and scope. 

CS: “Wow, thank you! After all the shit we went through with this book it’s so relieving to hear when fans say they enjoyed it. It’s funny, I wrote the book in three weeks but the entire process took well over a year. I had first discussed the idea with Gary around 2008, when he was designing a graphic novel based on an idea for a sequel that actor Don Calfa had. I wrote a treatment for a sixth Return of the Living Dead movie that we discussed adapting into a comic mini-series, but talk always eventually turned to a retrospective. We were both finally available around Halloween 2009 and so we sat down and discussed how we should approach the project. There were a couple of publishers who I really wanted to go with but they were scared off by the copyright issue surrounding the series. I was constantly told that this book would be impossible and that we should just give up, but that only made us more determined. The book was finally released around Christmas 2010, so I gues the entire process took around fifteen months.”

GH: Are you currently working on another film book?

CS: “Yes, we have two projects that are in development. While Gary was working on the 
design and artwork of the Return of the Living Dead book I contacted several directors for a book I wanted to write on underrated slasher movies. I wanted to select ten films, and each chapter would cover both the director’s career and the making of the slasher movie in detail, as well as featuring behind-the-scenes photographs. I managed to write five chapters before we were hired to work on the Return of the Living Dead documentary, but I intend to continue with it when schedules permit. We were recently approached about another book which has now taken priority and I’m really excited about. The contract has not been signed as yet so I can’t reveal what it is about but I think it will improve on what we did with our first book.”

GH: If asked, would you write a screenplay for a ROLD remake?

CS: “It all depends, I guess. I’ve never been one to keep my feelings about remakes to myself, as with the exception of a handful they tend to be pointless and inferior. But if John Carpener or David Cronenberg had taken that attitude then we wouldn’t have The Thing or The Fly, so I’m conflicted. It depends on the producers or studio who were developing it; did they want to make a Return of the Living Dead movie that would appeal to fans of the earlier films, or would it just be another dumb, MTV-style action movie like a lot of modern zombie flicks? I wouldn’t rule out the idea but I wouldn’t hold my breath either.”

GH: Do you own any props/costumes used in ROLD?

CS: “I’m not really one for props. I collect a lot of memorabilia like presskits, lobby cards, foreign posters and videos from around the world. I’ve never really been into getting props from movies, as then it kind of takes the magic out it. I have artwork and a few rarities, but nothing that was featured in the movie.”

GH: Any advice for up and coming authors?

CS: “I guess the most important piece of advice I could offer is don’t allow yourself to be exploited. To get your first book published is such an amazing experience, but for this to happen you literally have to sell your soul. While the writer has passion for their work, those around you only see figures, as to them it’s just a business. So while you may have a clear idea in your mind of how the book should be printed, published and distributed, they may not share your vision. After a while it feels like it may not happen and you eventually become desperate and thus more vulnerable. It is then that a publisher or producer will exploit you, either by giving you a contract that backs you into a corner or one that screws you over financially. Never work for deferred payment, always make sure when you sign a contract that a specific amount and time frame is agreed upon. Usually this may come in several instalments, but as long as this is clearly stated in the contract then you are protected. And the other thing I discovered is people will walk all over you if you don’t act like a professional, so if you’re trying to write a book or a screenplay give the impression that you are a real writer and you may get treated like one. Just make sure you watch your back!”

Thanks Christian, It seems you`ve survived the zombies... Just watch the split dogs on your way out. 

All interviews done on this blog is the sole property of Gorehound Mikes Blog and should not be used in any other blog, website magazine Copy write 4/25/2012 all rights reserved.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Indie Director Scott Kessler Interview!!

Hollywood, the land of mindless remakes, prequels sequels and enough speical effects to give even Michael Bay a headache. While some smart things somethings manages to crawl out of tinsel town its basically a machine cranking out shit to sell to a mass audience that will eat up anything a studio shovels out. Lucky for us film freaks, there are independent filmmakers with visions and a passion that is unbound by studios that can hamper a creative mind. Scott Kessler is such a filmmaker that while new to the scene has already made two feature films and working on his third.

 In addition  Mr. Kessler has also founded a production company Creative Threat.
Scott has been quoted as saying "I`m determined not to amass wealth but to leave a mark on the world..."

The Interview:

GH: Did you watch a lot of horror and sci-fi as a child?

SK: Oh, Tons. My mom didn't really censor much when I was a kid. She had a kind of hippy approach to what we could and couldn't watch. I'm originally from California and there was a great show from Oakland every Friday and Saturday night called "Creature Features", hosted by a very cool dude named Bob Wilkins. He would show an old school horror or sci-fi movie and talk about all the new stuff coming out (keep in mind that this was the 1970's and there were no bulletin boards, internet or any way of seeing trailers unless you saw them in the theater or occasionally on T.V.). I must have seen every Vincent Price and Roger Corman flick ever made. I also used to watch HBO late at night in the 1970's and 1980's, and I would catch every horror, sci-fi and exploitation movie they could serve up. By the time I was twelve, I had amassed a huge mental "collection" of movie of all genres, but I've always been a horror/sci-fi/action movie geek.

GH: What films inspired you to make your own films?

SK: Offhand I would cite Alien (1979), Highlander (1986), Robocop (1987), Aliens (1986), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), Once Upon a Time in China (1992), Reservoir Dogs (1992), The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1975? I think), Ghostbusters (1984), The Road Warrior (1981), Full Contact (1992), Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986), Halloween (1978), The Thing (1982), From Dusk Til Dawn (1996), Hellraiser (1987), Pumpkinhead (1988), Shaun of the Dead (2004), Seven (1995), The Shining (1980), Unbreakable (2000), Jaws (1975), Walking Tall (1975),Fight Club (1999), and perhaps my biggest influence from childhood, Rocky & Rocky II (1976 & 1979). Pretty much anything by Ridley Scott, David Fincher, John Carpenter, Sam Raimi, Tarantino, Clive Barker, Dario Argento, and Robert Rodriguez would qualify.

GH: Your first time is Deep River? What’s it about?

SK: Deep River was my first attempt at a screenplay, and is still my favorite of my own work. It's about a group of low-rent, would-be criminals who decide to kidnap and ransom a baby. Unbeknownst to them, the kid they grab is the grandson of a Mafia boss. When the kid is accidentally killed, they run to hide out with an old friend in a small town in Wyoming, with a hitman on thier tail. (SPOILER): What they don't know is that their "Old Friend" is a very accomplished serial killer known as the "Deep River Killer".

GH: Your films are relatively unknown but you`ve done three so far. When will your films be out on DVD?

SK: Paragon will be released in August, 2012. Deep River will follow in early 2013, and Paragon II will show up Summer, 2013. All three will be released and distributed by MadCapp Studios/MadCapp Video.

GH: Like any good Indie film, your features are low budget. Would you someday want to work on a big budget film?

SK: "Big Budget" is a very subjective term. At this point, twenty-five thousand would be a big budget and I'd love to work with a much larger budget (all of my stuff to date has fallen into the very low thousands of dollars-range). At this level of low-budget (aka "Micro-Indie"), you are forced to improvise and create effects and such from whatever is readily (cheaply) available, which is good in that your creativity is pushed and you have to make it work. On the other hand, it also forces you to compromise the ideas and "vision" (I hate that term) to a point. Sometimes it works well, and sometimes you get stuff that LOOKS amateurish. 

Each of the three films I've done so far has been an awesome learning experience. Deep River was hard, frustrating and largely depressing during production because we didn't have the money we needed to mount a film that size on what amounted to about five thousand dollars. What we made works sometimes, and fails others (I'm very proud of the movie; don't misread that as hostility toward my own film). Paragon works throughout because I knew what I was getting into and wrote the script to spec based on the budget I knew we would have readily available. I did the same thing on Paragon II (which looks better but actually has a smaller budget than the first), and this time it seems like I have found a place where I can make good movies on almost no money. Do they look cheap? Yes, but they're well-written, and you can tell the actors are having a good time, even when the movie is at a dour moment.

In short, yes, I'd love to have a much larger budget, and in all honesty I feel it's time to step up and start making movies that require much more extensive fundraising to complete so I can stop hampering my ideas in the face of budget.

GH: You started your own production company Creative Threat tell us more about that?

SK: I started CTF (Creative Threat Films) in 2008 and received my LLC a few months ago. Our goal is simple: Make the best movies we can, on the least amount of money, by any means necessary. We are inspired by the surge of Micro-Indie digital filmmaking that has exploded over the last few years, in particular the business model of companies like Fred Vogel & Jeremi Cruise's ToeTag Inc.

Creative Threat is my in-house production company that consists of my wife, Jennifer, my intern/assistant/producer Alex Virgo, my production manager Gary W. Coyle II, and my assistant director/script supervisor Tom Horton. We work in close cooperation with [insert creative name here] Productions, headed up by my longtime executive producer/partner Joey Salomone, and Madcapp Studios/Video, owned and operated by my friend, actor, executive producer, distributor, and post-production MVP, Drew N. Martin (he appears in both Paragon movies as "Corliss Erman"). 

In addition, we occassionally collaborate with Micro-Indie filmmaker Blake Fitzpatrick ("Insignificant Celluloid", "The Death of Hollywood") on post-production, and have recently entered into a partnership with makeup effects artist Tabatha Treml and her crew at Tab Treml FX. I'm very excited to be working with a creature-creator and make effects pro like Tab. Her work is awesome! 

GH: What projects are you currently working on? 

SK: Yeah, we're wrapping up post-production on Paragon II and entering into full-blown pre-production on a new movie called SLEEP (which is an apocalyptic horror film about a town invaded by an army of intelligent, bloodthirsty creatures inspired by H.P. Lovecraft and Stan Winston). We will be launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund Sleep this summer.

GH: I`m sure a lot of young filmmakers are reading this interview, any advice for future visionaries? 

SK: Spend as much time in writing and pre-production as it takes to get what you want out of your movie, however much money you're working with. Don't rush into production and don't be intimidated by actors. Get signed releases for everything: image/likeness, locations, injury/liability...EVERYTHING. You don't want some yayhoo coming back to try and sue you later because he didn't like how he looked in the movie. Feed your cast and crew ("craft services"), even if it's frozen pizza and bottled water. That will ensure you of a greater degree of loyalty and production from everyone.

Thanks to Scott Kessler for taking the time out to do this interview!

The interview is solely owned by Gorehound Mikes Blog and not to be used on any other blog, website or magazine copy write 2012 All rights reserved.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Films in the Attic: Fulci`s got Cat`s on the brain!!

This week in our attic we dust off a lost gem from the Master of the gore film Lucio Fulci. While not his best film, it was his last and shows that this director can still sink his claws into his unsuspecting victims.

Title: Cat In the Brain

Year: 1990

Available: Grindhouse Releasing- Very nice edition with tons of features.

The Plot: A horror director Lucio Fulci (playing himself) slowly starts to lose his grip on reality, which is presumably as a result of his years of making gory films.  Each day it seems he is haunted by bloodsoaked visions. Lucio's day time nightmares become so bad he decides to seek the help of a shrink.

 Meanwhile a psycho killer is stalking and killing people based on Fulci`s gruesome scenes.Is it really a mad man that is killing these people or has the king of splatter finally lost his mind or does his shrink have something to hide?

The Review: Years before "Wes Cravens New Nightmare" was made Fulci come out with Night Concert aka Cat in the Brain which broke the forth wall and cleverly blurred the line between reality and film. Oddly enough Lucio always maintained that Wes ripped off his idea for "New Nightmare" whether or not this is true or not, its still an interesting exercise in self referencing horror that would soon become common place with another Craven film "Scream"

This film is tailor made for fans of Lucio`s films but if your not big into Fulci you might find this film tedious and self indulgent. Not suggesting you don't give this a view, but if your new to Fulci and his work this would not be a good film to start with. Being a big fan of his work I at times found this film had some pacing issues. Footage used from his previous lesser known films are used excessively and fill like padding and doesn't move the story forward. 

I love that fact that the film tackles the crack pot theory that years of watching (or in this case making) gory horror films will make you be violent yourself. In a twist of irony even the killer makes the comment about the false hood of this theory, very aware of this being that he is the madman. And to show you how ahead of its time this was, it was almost ten years before violent films and games came under attack after the tragic events of Columbine in 1999.

Anyone who knows anything about Lucio knows that his trade mark is a bloody one and as is expected this film pumps out the red stuff and plenty of it. Fans of his early work however may be disappointed by the cheesy effects that seem more to fit a TV movie then a feature film. Maybe this is due in part to the theme of a film within a film. There are still some inspired moments of carnage that will leave most splatter punks purring.  This is commonly mistaken for his last film, but he made several more, his last being 1991`s "Door to Silence" Cat in the Brain may be a mixed bag, it`s a very fitting tribute to a filmmaker that blazed a trail for such films as Saw and Hostel. So let the damned cat out of the bag and sink your claws into this nasty little thrill ride.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

British Blood: Director Spotlight Pete Walker: Frightmare

          Greetings Freaks and Ghouls! Like any good film maniac its good to be well rounded.  Just like a buffet I like to sample films from all countries and cultures. Why only try American when you can have Italian, Indian, Human 

This weeks Spotlight is from the British director Pete Walker. One of the leading horror director in Britain. Critics at the time often panned his films for there violence, nudity and views on politics and religion. Over the years fans have rediscovered Walkers films, now that alot of his back catalog as been released on DVD and hopefully soon on Blu Ray. His films are now cult classics and in my mind must viewing for any serious gore/splatter film.  But unlike some mindless blood soaked fair, Walker actually has something to say, in his own dark twisted way without coming off as preachy or heavy handed. We are going to be looking at "Frightmare" the 1974 shocker. While I am only reviewing this film,  I totally recommend seeing as many of his films as you can.

Walker Bio: Born in 1939 and started out by making sexploitation film such as Strip Poker and School for Sex. Filmmakers soon knew that nudies just didnt "cut" it and that adding some red really brought in the green. So Walker began and gave us some good splatter classics. His first attempt at a thriller was "Die Screaming Marianne. Die Screaming. Not a fan favor it does showcase the directors style flare for the sleazy and macabe  and sets up many recurring themes. It wasn't til House of Whipcord and Frightmare that really brought him into the horror genre and made a fan out of not only yours ghoulie but many others. In the late seventies Walker was hired to direct the film "A Star is Dead" about punk legends The Sex Pistols but sadly it was never filmed. After all these years Pete Walker has remained a sense of humor about himself and his films, famously quoted as saying 'All I wanted to do was create a bit of mischief" like myself and other fans he did more then just create mischief, he brought us into his dark and at times humorous world, showing us a different side of horror and most importantly keeping us entertained. 

Common themes:  
Biting dark sense of humor. 
Corrupt Catholic/Religion 
Corrupt Court system/Prison system
Nude cuties
Gore and lots of it!! 
Clever twists.
Use of the wonderful Sheila Keith



The same year that Leatherface buzzed his way through American theaters and drive ins another cannibal family was stepping up to the human buffet. Across the pond Pete Walker cooked up a people eating stew of his own, and while maybe not as well known as TCM it is still a great thrill ride that will make you think twice when you vist dear old grandma. 

Frightmare sets a great tone that is drenched in dread and  the whole film is like a walking nightmare one never awakens from. The writing is tight and very rarely is there a issue in the pacing. As with most of his films there is a delightfully wicked sense of humor which makes the film alot of fun. Like any great film, its a build to a shocking ending that will leave you but creeped out and wanting more!  

The cast is aptly acted by the entire cast. Rupert Davis is great as Dorthy`s husband.  But of course the stand out performance is Shelia Keith. She is amazingly creepy and really takes the film to a whole other level of horror. Her character is just as disturbing as Lecter or Leatherface. Walker was very wise in casting her not only in this film but she also has a juicy role in House of Whipcord. She might leave some scenary chewed but I think that it really works in this films favor.

Like House of Whipcord the film is very nasty, with some very memorable gore scenes. Walker had fine tuned his skills in the blood dept. and this is the shining gem in his catalog. Nothing is better then Shelia with a power drill that bores into a victims skull, blood splatters on her evil grinning face! If that's not a great horror moment then I don't know what is!! 

Unlike alot of the films from this decade the gore effects are very well done, and at times just down right gross. This due in part to George Partleton who did the makeup and worked on other Walker films such as The Confessional and Schizo .He also had worked with the legend himself Stanley Kubrick, working on the makeup for Lolita and A Clockwork Orange.  This is seriously a must see for anyone interested in gore films. If you don't like this movie then you shouldn't be reading this blog-end of story. Easily the best of the Walker splatter films and for me ranks up there in my top all time favorite movies. If your looking for a film with some meat on its bones then look no further.This is one cannibal family you`ll want to revisit and leave you coming back for seconds .Just hide the drill grandma looks hungry. 

HEY: Special Shout out goes to Domain of Horror Blog
Please show your love and join!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Films in the Attic: The Pit

Welcome to a new segment on Gorehound Mike`s! Its called Films in the Attic and here we showcase some strange oddball films that seem to slip through the cracks, but should be rediscovered. Because as I`ve said before the fun of doing this blog is helping fans discover new weird strange cult and of course horror films.

Today in the attic, we have a strange film about a perverted boy, a Teddy who guides his misadventures and hairy trog creatures.

Spoiler free.

Title: The Pit

Year: 1981

Available: Anchor Bay DVD - No Blu Ray yet.

Jamie wouldn't kill anyone...Unless Teddy told him to! The tag line says it all folks. This is one strange little film.

The Plot: Jamie is a young yet weird child, who has no friends expect a creepy stuffed bear. Hobbies includes running around the town stark naked wearing a cape and playing with his pet bugs.  As with most young men his age, his attentions have been more towards women then his insect friends. So much to his delight, Jamie is left with Sandy a young college psychology student while his parents are away on business. Teddy his only friend talks to Jamie and often misguides him into doing crazy things. Soon he begins to grow a unhealthy obsession with Sandy which starts out harmless and begins to get borderline psycho. To make things more interesting Jamie discovers a pit full of hairy ape like trogs. Soon Jamie seeks revenge on the people who pick on him in town. But the trogs seem hungry and it may be only a matter of time before they out grow the pit and start looking for more food!!

The Review: I discovered this film years back when Anchor Bay put it out on DVD paired with Hell Gate. And while Hellgate should have been left in Hell, I did really enjoy The Pit. This is totally a film I put on for a friend who just stares in disbelief of how bat shit weird it is. Right off the bat your taken back by Teddy the bear that prompts Jamie into the bad things he does. Is he actually alive or is he part of Jamie`s psychosis?  Whatever the case may be it sure does add the wtf element.

The cast does a very capable job in there performances, considering the material there were given. Sammy Snyders who plays Jamie does well at making him ubber odd yet at times sympathetic

Every child whose ever been made fun of and picked on often have fantasies of how cool it would be that seek revenge on there tormentors so I think when Jamie uses the trogs, its kind of satisfying to see it happen.Not to mention at times funny.The Pit has a totally dark sense of humor, which is its major saving grace. I mean we got a prevented 12 year, a talking Teddy and a pit full of hairy apes, you almost have to not take yourself seriously. And anytime an old lady gets it, its always makes for some good entertainment. The end is very clever as well. No spoils but its a very cool way to end the film. While this may not be the best film you`d ever see, if your looking for something different, strange and ultimately entertaining then take it from Teddy and watch The Pit or you just might find yourself down there....

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Los Angeles Ripper

Los Angeles Ripper

Date: 2011

Director: Craig McIntyre

The film wastes no time in introducing us to Graham, a rape van driving drug dealer who loves the ladies. He picks up a hooker and takes her back to a motel. Predictable yes, but as I watch I`m waiting for a nice brutal attack. Sorely its a quick choke that I don't think would have hurt my grandmother. I`m sorry but lets start this film off with a bang.

Any film lives and dies, (mostly dies in horror films) by the way the viewers can connect with the characters on the screen. We must feel something for them or we wont care if they live or die. Unfortunately the characters in Ripper are very flat and two dimensional. Nobody I would want to spend any amount of time with. Even Christie the main actress seems to have some depth but it never is actually explored to any length. A perfect example is a scene in which Christie and a girlfriend is out on the beach, there are very subtle hints that Christie is hitting on her friend but its never taken any further. Somethings also just don't really add up, Aunt Peggy is a shut in afraid of even going outside yet all she watches on TV is horror films. Maybe I missed a step in logic here. I would have loved to see more exploration of the characters. In a psychological thriller there is a whole world of different aspects one can delve into. Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer  really shows what can be done with the psychological profile of a serial murdered and on a low budget at that. Henry. What made Henry the film that it is, was not just that it was graphic but that the people in it had scoop and back stories. Sadly though this has none of that.  While us horror fans all love our blood and tits, it doesn't make a whole movie. And it seems like all this film was into doing was giving us brutal acts. To me the violence should add a layer to the horror not be used merely as a crutch,its just lazy directing and writing.

Ripper suffers the most do to the fact that its just plain dull at points. For example the lead Christie is I`m guessing trying to become a singer (I`m guessing because its never really made clear) yet the film really doesn't need to show us so much of this, it bogs the movie down. And we spend time watching our lead actress doing the dishes and talking to Aunt Peggy, or sight seeing. Yawn.

Its not all bad. I mean the gore F.X are above par and there are a few funny such as the heavy metal singer at the vocal lessons, and the surreal orange scene in the Asian girls apartment.

I don't believe in spoiling an ending, but don't expect anything awesome. The ending if you can really call it so, was very boring and the film seemed to have given up on itself and couldn't be bothered anymore. Even a clever twist or something really wild happening would have at least added something.

While I think McIntyre seems to have tried to make a film that hankered back to grind house slashers it falls flat at given us a compelling story or characters. I would say let someone else write the next one and focus more on directing. Even though this Ripper had a knife I couldn't help notice it was dull with no edge.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday the 13th Special: Jason Lives


Film: Friday the 13th Part VI:Jason Lives

Date: 1986

Director: Tom McLoughlin

Lets face it folks part five was such bullshit, I mean it really was a middle finger to the fans. A Jason impersonator, it was like a horrible Scobby Do episode. I was expecting him to be unmasked and say I would have got away with it too had it not been for your meddling kids! Well fans of the series really were made happy when this little known director dusted off the mask and gave us fans something to really scream about!!

The Plot:

Tommy Garvis the survivor of Jasons rampage wont rest until he knows that the body of Jason is burnt and will rest in Hell once and for all. He, along with a fellow mental patient go to the killers final resting place and plan to do set the body ablaze. But as luck or unluck would have it a thunder bolt and a metal rod to the chest causes the rotting corpse of Jason to be brought back to life. Jason is now stalking the grounds of Forest Green otherwise known as Crystal Lake and it just so happens that a summer camp is starting its first outting and this means a fresh bunch of sexy camp counselors for our anti-hero to prey on.  Now its up to Tommy to stop the killing machine but will Tommy s luck run out with the ultimate slasher maniac.


This is my all time favorite Jason film. I`d even say I like it slightly more then the first film.
Tom McLoughlin took a tired series and like in the film itself gives it a jolt of life. It feels less like a decaying Jason and more like a fresh out of the Crystal Lake slaughtering maniac Jason.   Clearly Tom has a great love for the film,using numerous inside references to the series as well as drawing inspiration from other horror classics. Example Jason is brought back to left via a lightening storm very similar to "Frankenstein". This also makes a Pre-Freddy vs Jason reference -One of the little campers awakes with a nightmare, her name-Nancy. Loads more fun inside jokes for fans to discover.

Unlike the previous titles this film has a twisted sense of humor and proudly has its tongue in its rotted cheek. Jason Lives pokes fun of itself but McLoughlin  respects the Jason lores. Even the kills have a dark humor to them. Right out of the gate you have Jason ripping the heart of Ron Palilo of Welcome Back Kotter. 16 kills in all, my personal favorite being a triple beheading via Jason's favorite weapon. Also its good to point out that the gore FX are very well done, no cheese in sight.

Normally I dont mention the music but in this case I feel I need to. The soundtrack is great featuring the nightmare man himself Alice Cooper! Cooper did a video for one of the songs "Hes Back" (The man behind the mask) and features film footage and new footage with Cooper in it. Other great music on the soundtrack such as Felony.

While not the biggest money maker in the series, it got some positive reviews, the first time since the first film., Fans soon began to embrace this for what it was intended to be, a fun thrill ride of kills ands chills and yes even some laughs.. Lets let this Jason Live and put the Jason 09 down for a long long dirt nap!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Basket Case Exculsive Interview with Fangoria Comic Artist Joshua Emerick

In celebration of the 1 year Anniversary of Basket Case the Comic in Fangoria!! 

In honor of this milestone were Celebrating with a EXCLUSIVE Interviews Joshua Emerick the talented artist behind the strip!

GH: Hello, so awesome to have you here with us. How long have you been sketching?

JE: I have been drawing for as long as I can remember. When I was a child I had a photographic memory with watching cartoons. So I would watch Tom and Jerry then when it was over I would draw them. As a early age I became aware of different styles I can spot a Chuck Jones cartoon compared to others. I would then base my styles on who I would like. I remember in preschool my teacher telling my mother that I was drawing on a sixth grade level. My art has been there as some of my earliest memories.

GH:  Any early memories of BC you`d like to share? 

JE: BasketCase was a movie that I remember from a kid on USA up all night. My best friend and I would stay up all night creating comics. This film came on one night. We died laughing and drew Belial all night long. We woke up the next day to find out that BasketCase 2 was playing at our local theater. We went and we were the only two there. So to fast forward years later I am married and my daughter is around two. I got BasketCase on Netflix and she fell in love. Everynight she would have to go to bed watching it. I then became obsessed with doing a comic book. 

GH: How did you approach Frank with the idea of a comic strip?

I started bugging Henenlotter for years and years to do the book. One day I see him on Facebook and I asked him if he would like to do a strip for his page. He finally said yes. BasketCase has hit my home to a point that my youngest boy Oscar calls actor Kevin VanHentenryck Uncle Duane. I have also appeared in Beverly Bonners Casey 30 years play.

GH: How did you get hooked up with Fangoria?

JE: When Frank said yes to the Facebook strip. I thought why just keep it there lets take it further. So I sent HorrorHound and Fangoria emails. Within the hour I heard back from Fango. Chris Alexander was really excited to do the strip. So that's how Fangoria got the strip and that's where it has been for a year.

GH: Whats Frank Henenlotters involvement in the strip and does he ever give you notes?

JE: Frank started out in the beginning giving me free reign. I had to pass everything to him before it was published. Then as the strips came and came he began to collaborate with me ever since. Some ideas have been shot down. Recently I did a strip with Belial holding a knife and he didn't like that idea. He said Belial uses his claws and hands. Then he proceeded to say maybe he was drunk. Hahaha. We are now in the talks about doing a graphic novel.

GH: Besides BC what are some of your other favorite horror/cult films?

JE: Omg! Where do I start. I love old Universal ,Hitchcock, Ed Wood. My cousin and I used to play the face waxing scene in Tourist Trap. I remember Howling,Terror Train, American Werewolf in London as some of my earliest memories. The Excorcist always scared the hell outta me as a child. Then there was The Lost Boys, Monster Squad, Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street in my prepubescent days. I love horror. Always have. My Uncle was a minister and I would stay with him for a month during summer. I remember that was the first time I saw Friday the 13th. We would watch horror all the time. He was so cool with the world of film. 

GH: I hear theres a animated series for Basket Case in the works? Anything you can tell us about it now?

JE: Well right now I am not allowed to comment on this. Things are still in the early stages. However when the time is right I will be the first one screaming about it.
GH: Your comic strip has a milestone correct?

JE: Yes it has. We are one strip away from our year anniversary with we are looking at action figures the graphic novel. Plus the long awaited toon. Cleve Hall from Monster Man from SyFy is doing a exclusive Belial for me based on the strips just for Cons.

GH: Are you currently doing any conventions or signings where your fans can meet you?

JE: Yeah this is year two for my big horror con tour. I'm doing Blood on the Beach in Virginia Beach in April. Doing HauntCon with Cleve in Monroeville Pa. The first weekend in May. SciFi in the Valley mid May in Ebensburg Pa. FrightNight Film Fest in June in Kentucky. Not to mention the regulars HorrorFind,HorrorRealm,EerieHorror FilmFest. Plus whatever else pops up. 

GH: Finally any thing you`d like to say to your growing fan base and any advice to young artist out there.

JE: I would like to start by thanking everyone who has followed or viewed the strip. I also promise that there is so much more to come. BasketCase is on its 30 year anniversary and it is no where coming to an end. I have stuff lined up with MTV's revamp of Liquid Television, work with Cleve Hall and Fred Dekker. So my horror streak will branch out further than Basket Case. Stay tuned follow me and I will entertain.

As far as young artist. My daughter Ella is 6 and she already knows she wants to go to Tom Savini's school. There is so much talent out there. It always doesn't happen over night believe me. I'm an old decaying man. As long as you never give up and you always feel that burn and desire to keep going. The passion of the art and the payoff of seeing your work out there will always keep you going. Hell if I gave up years ago there wouldn't be a Belial and Duane in 2012. Just don't give up.

Thanks Joshua for stumbling into my lair, just 

watch the C.H.U.D`s on your way out!