Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Woman: Lucky McKee`s latest work!

Title: The Woman

Year: 2011

Director: Lucky McKee

I have been a huge Lucky McKee fan. May is easily the best film of the decade. Riding high off the sleeper hit of May was his entry in the Masters of Horror series "Sick Girl" which was one of the best written and directed of that season. It really cemented my love for his films, and while I thought some titles were better then others (Roman which he wrote and starred was awful- Sorry Angela!) I always look forward to a film directed by him. His newest flick "The Woman" is a tale of a feral woman who is captured and brought home to a seemingly normal family. But like any good McKee film their is always something evil lurking in the hearts of man.

As in David Lnych`s Blue Velvet the darkest things can be festering in the most ordinary places and that the family down the road can keep some very deep dark skeletons in the closet. More disturbing the the woman being captured is the abuse and breakdown of the American family, which is the central theme of the film. As the woman is treated like an animal so is the way Mr. Cleek treats his wife, like some object to beat when it disobeys. This film is very well written, this story is so simple that it could so easily become labor some to watch yet what on paper seems like a teleplay for a half an hour drama. His characters are carefully thought out and while you don't get much of back story you can really tell that these are strange people. The ending will certainly make you think, not really a twist but leaves you scratching your head-in a good way.

Visually the film is stunning, and whoever DP`d this truly has a great handle on how to use natural light to create mood and how lighting can effect the whole tone of the film. What impressed me the most was the unsettling scene in which the teacher is savagely dragged from the house to the barn, their is a wonderful tracking shot and the way the sunlight cascades as shes being drug to a almost certain fate. It is not only beautiful but ironic that such a act of brutality is happening right out in the bright sun shine. Very unnerving.

If your expecting a non stop blood bath you might be disappointed. This is not that kind of film, having said that this is not tame on the violence. And you will think twice about putting your finger in a strange feral woman's mouth. (There goes my Saturday nights) The ending is pretty nasty, so if you hang in their its worth waiting for.

Pollyanna McIntosh is amazing in "The Woman"
The performances are also spot on. At first I thought everyone acted really odd and stiff, almost like zombies but as I learned the dad was an abusive sociopath It was very clear that this was actually a stroke of brilliance as I would suspect years of mental abuse would produce a weird family. Angela Bettis also delivers the goods as the poor abused house wife, she is quiet and mousy but this seems in line with what an abused house wife would be like. This was cast perfectly, I really bought the fact that this was a family that was in a downward spiral. But the centerpiece of this film is the feral woman played by Pollyanna McIntosh more then threw herself full force into the role and honestly she should have won an award for it. She is scary. I also enjoyed he in Exam which is a very interesting film.

I always felt that the most frightening monster is the human monster and nothing is more evident then in The Woman. With a very unique concept brilliant actors and a directer who is really showing his chops as a force to be reckoned with. Not to mention  perverse and disturbing. This could be thought of as a Leave it to Beaver had the cast been psychologically unhinged and sociopaths. If given the chance this film will capture you as well!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Films in the Attic:Scarecrows: Were not in Oz anymore!

The golden rules of horror films
kids are creepy
dolls are creepy
old freaky scarecrows hanging out in the middle of a corn field -which probably have creepy children in them.TOTALLY CREEPY and nothing is more apt then this weeks Films in the attic. Well most films in the killer scarecrow sub genre are just stuffing this film is a stitch above the rest. Just don't expect this scare crow to help you find the Wizard.

Title: Scarecrows

Year: 1988

Director: William Wesley

The Plot: The plot is simple. A band of thieves steal a large sum of money and kidnap a pilot and his daughter. They think its all smooth sailing until one rouge thief jumps with the money and lands in you guessed it a field. Out raged by this the guys set down to get back there money and get some payback on there fellow thief.

As they hunt for him and the money they soon discover that they are the ones being hunted and that the harmless field scarecrows might be not as friendly as in Wizard of Oz

The Review:

Not to sound sexist but this is a guys movie for sure. You really get a Predator/Rambo feel. Guns explosions and military men the only thing missing from this guy flick is naked women and Arnold Schwarzengger-hmmm maybe Andie scared them away with his groping.

The plot moves at a nice brisk pace. We the audience is dropped right into the situation and are quickly are brought to speed.  The story is a breath of fresh air, taking a different route with the heist aspect and that pretty much every characters are actually the villains. Though as the story progresses you see  everyone's true colors and that maybe not all the characters are truly all bad as they seem. I`ve always liked films that have your actors trapped in a house together and Wesley creates a nice tension between all of them.. My complaint is that the story is painfully basic and I would have liked this a lot more had the filmmakers explored the satanic worshiping back woods aspect with more depth. Not helping any is the cookie cutter characters. Asshole leader-check Dumb yet lovable guy-check Asshole Girl-check and Good girl who survives the film-check. There all there folks.  They are pretty standard but you grow to like them towards the end. Jack is my personal favorite-just sayin.

Don`t expect any blood splatter right away, this film is the kind that slowly sucks you into it then it reveals its fangs!  When the movie does start to get gory its well worth the wait. My one and only minor complaint is the scarecrows themselves could have been slightly better.. But their is some nice shock moments that had it not been for some well crafted makeup effects would have been cheesetastic. The body "stuffed" with straw and money was a nice disturbing touch that fits the heist plot perfectly. Totally will stick with you.

This is a nicely done effective chiller that is a perfect hybrid of action crime and horror and was done years before "From Dusk Til Dawn" cleverly mashed those elements up. And while it may lack character development and plot it makes up for in sheer freaky special effects and atmosphere that will make you think twice with taking a nice stroll in granddads haunted corn field. To use a terrible pun....Its likely to scare the straw out of you.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Innkeepers: Should I stay or should I go!

Ti West is an up and coming horror film director who in a short amount of time has been homing his craft for films that are clever and doesn't shy away from the gore. His films so far include The Roost, Cabin Fever 2 and House of the devil. His latest film The Innkeepers is a ghost film which is a breath of fresh air in a genre of crowded by zombies and vampires but is it up to the hype?

For me this was a mixed bag. The film weaves a rather basic ghost story. You have the classic story tale of a woman who was stood up on her wedding so she hung herself in the inn. To make matters worse to avoid bad press they innkeepers decide to hid her body in the cellar for three whole days until the townsfolk discover their terrible secret and makes them shut the establishment. And you guessed it she still haunts it. Ok first off couldn't we come up with a more interesting story? Doesn't have to be overly complex but at least something that hasn't been told a million times around a camp fire.

The acting ranges from passable to not very good. The doe eyed Sara Paxton performance was good but at times felt very stiff. I did enjoy Pat Healy.  The pair does have a nice chemistry together and I like that in the short amount of time Ti makes sure to leave room for the characters to be more three dimensional then most films these days do.

Most of the films credit is due to the wonderful way West fills a screen. Ti certainly has an eye for making his films visually exciting. He commands his own unique style, which is a much needed break in the age of flashy quick cuts and shaky hand held bullshit. The film reminded me of The Shining which is I guess impossible to escape seeing how its a ghost in a hotel. Though I never felt like it tries to rip it off. The use of chapters was also very cool. Perfectly fits with the film being a more classic ghost story.

My major problem with the Innkeeper is that it builds to something that never quite gets their. I was expecting a really disturbing show down between the young Claire and the bride ghost. Yet what we get is a whimper instead of a bang.  It seems like the end was rushed through. Innkeeper has very few characters in it but what hurts is that they are horribly under used. Perfect example,Leanne who is a former actress and now psychic. She is set up as a person to help Claire deal with the spirits, yes more then one three in fact. Well it turns out she doesn't really serve the story much at all accept to tell us that this place is haunted and that maybe a trip down that creepy dark basement isn't such a hot idea.. I tell yah folks you don't need to be a psychic to know that one. And when never do get to see any of these other spirits. Its not clever to set things up and not pay off, it just poor story telling.

While I would say this is not his best film by far, it is however still worth giving it a look at. I`ve read alot of reviews raving about this one and I just cant get past the fact that I was expecting so much more from the third act. Subtle is one thing but as a viewer I want the pay off. This still doesn't mean I`m not a fan of Ti`s but I got to be honest I felt that it suffers less from direction and more from just lazy writing. I`d stay in this Inn but don't know how often i`d revisit it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Psycho II: Back in the shower!

Title: Psycho II

Year: 1983

Director: Richard Franklin (1)

In 1960 Psycho hit the silver screen and the modern slasher film was born. The master of suspense Hitchcock crafted a film that was often copied but never duplicated. Over twenty years after the original was unleashed on audiences the unthinkable was attempted- a sequel.  The result a underrated psychological film that is both suspenseful and well crafted. The film begins with the infamous shower scene, which I thought was very tacky, but I feel like maybe this was due to studio pressure. Richard Franklin also directed the cult films Patrick and Road Games(a personal favorite). Road Games was Rear Window done in a truck and was also a student of Hitchcock, which the studio felt made him the perfect director.
The cast is well rounded with Perkins stepping back into the role that made him famous and also cursed him into being type casted. Anthony gives a subtle and at times moving performance as the troubled owner of the Bates Motel. Returning again is Vera Miles who also is wonderful, its great to see these two act together. My own regret is they only have one brief scene together. On a sour note Meg Tilly acting is at times very flat. I read they wanted Jamie Lee Curtis for her role which seeing her connection (her mother being Janet Lee) would have been amazing, oh well-dare to dream. Their is also an appearance by Dennis Franz pre NYPD Blues. No butt shots here though. Hes great role as the jilted former motel worker, and even has a nice death scene. Robert Loggia is also wonderful as Normans shrink. Him and Perkins play off of each other nicely.

Psycho II was written by the legendary Tom Holland. Tom would later go on to direct such horror classics as Child's Play and Fright Night just to name a few. The story is fresh and keeps you guessing at every turn. I love the mystery aspect as well. I`m sure this was not an easy task to make a sequel to such an iconic film. I`m sure that Holland when writing it had no intention of actually out doing the first yet give it his own fresh take on it. While there is some obvious nods to the first film it never felt like I was watching a cash in knock off of the first film. I never spoil an ending but you wont see it coming. Its a nice twist.

When your following up such a stylish film you have to really bring your A game and the filmmakers really used the camera in clever ways to help tell the story. The camera work is top notch, with wonderful wide shots, nice crane work and uses light and shadow well, it gives it a creepy vibe that boosts the film to more then a 80s trash fest.

The films gore is pretty tame which fits this film perfectly. Had anyone else handled this film it would have been just a body count of pretty young girls taking showers, which is surprising in the decade of the slasher films. I`m glad that the left the gore understated but don't worry their is still some nice FX carnage including a very well done effect via knife swallowing which will make any gore hound happy.

While Hitchcock`s master work of horror cast a shadow that would be impossible for any one to escape this film does a great job at not trying to out do the first film but add too it. Several more films followed but they are not very well done. I hope this film finds its own following as the first one did. So grab some popcorn dig up your Mommy and enjoy this flick.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

You have the right to remain AWFUL: Dead Heat

Title: Dead Heat

Director: Mark Goldblatt

Year: 1988

Oh the buddy cop movie, from Beverly Hills Cop to Bad Boys its a genre that offers awesome car chases shoot outs and loads of laughs. Now mix in the horror genre with a pinch of sci-fi and you get this weird little concoction that proves just why the horror science fiction buddy cop genre never quite took off....

I was not sure what to expect, it seems like these two genres would not mix well and sure enough it does not. I do give props to Terry Black for coming up with some neat ideas. The concept is really interesting, but I feel like its bogs itself down in the solving the mystery and comes off more like a bad episode of Scooby Doo then a horror film. Worse yet the films takes itself way to serious. When dealing with undead cops and re-animated ducks, you tend to not win any drama awards. Its note worthy that this is the only full length film that Black wrote, the rest being tv series (Tales from the Crypt and also the cartoon series) With a strong start the story soon loses steam. Seems that this might have worked better as a episode of Tales from the Crypt then a full length feature. This is also a very cliched cop movie, right down to the chief calling the guys in his office and giving them the business for causing trouble and that there badges are on the line. I also got a Starsky and Hutch kinda vibe as well.

        Dead Heat does have a very interesting cast including Treat Williams,Joe Piscopo and the legendary Darren McGavin. Making a awesome appearance is none other then the master of horror himself Vincent Price. McGavin is great but then again he is in everything he does and is great as the films villain. The icon of terror Vincent Price is as always wonderful and adds a touch of class to even this poorly put together film. Poor Vincent is sorely under used, but this may be due to his age and  I don't fault this to the filmmakers. Sadly this was close to the end of his career (his last being in 1993) The lead cops are played by Treat Williams and Joe Piscopo and both are pretty terrible. Joe`s delivery on comedy is flat and both seem to have no on screen chemistry, I don't buy the fact that would ever really hang out together and frankly as a viewer I wouldn't either. Note to Joe,please do the world a favor and stop acting.

Very nice zombie make up FX! Zombie biker!! 
The zombie creature effects are above par, and it seems like a lot of thought and effort into making some unique ghouls. Its refreshing that a different approach was taken in making that is more then a slow walking flesh eater. The best is the biker triple faced creature which I think is rad as hell.  Nick Benson worked on the effects having worked on two Brian Yuzna films Society and Bride of Re-Animator along with the cult classic Tremors. Their is a nice scene with some re-animated pigs and ducks that you soon wont forget.

This film is a blending of cop drama,buddy comedy and horror/zombie and while I applaud the bold attempt to bring something different to the screen, sadly the poor acting and lazy writing left this film with a bad taste in my mouth. I guess you could say I threw the book at this picture and I sentence it to a bargain bin at your local Wal Mart.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Halloween Comes Early: Dick Warlock Interview!

Dick Warlock is a Hollywood icon and stunt man. For  over four decades has worked on everything from Jaws to Spider-Man (2002) he is most known to horror fans as the slashing maniac Michael Myers. His trademark walk became a benchmark to all others who would don the iconic mask. Fans rank him right up there with Nick Castle as the ultimate Myers!And who could forget the explosion scene.  Despite being most known for a teen slaughtering mad man Dick in real life is the nicest guy you` ve ever want to meet. Gorehound Mike is very proud to present my one on one interview with Mr. Warlock

GH:  You started out as pro-skater. Did this in any way help in your career as a stunt man?

DW: Absolutely it did. Actually it was the upper armature level. When they wanted me to go they invited me to Hawaii on a team over there, well that didn’t work out because they wanted to only pay me $75.00 and to live in Hawaii was a lot more than that. Yah it helped me allot. I learned different ways of falling.  You went to a school to learn to do the roller derby, so I learned a lot there and I learned a lot Coregenville which was the first movie ranch that I worked at, the whole cowboy thing you know.

GH:  Your first major boss was no other then Walt Disney. What was he like to work with and what fond memories do you have of him?

DW: I loved Walt. I went in on a picture, for the opening called “Willy and the Yank” which starred Kurt Russel, I didn’t meet Kurt at that time. I was doing the opening of the television show with Walt. He use to do “Disney’s Wonderful World of Colors” and during the rehearsal he called me over and said “You’re not gonna up stage me, are yah?” I said “Would I do that.” And winked at him.  He smiled and I smiled and I turned and walked away. Well I didn’t know it till eight years later; I continued to work at the studio I thought, well they just like me. It was Walt that liked me He kept me there and the director of that I did with Walt told me eight years later, he said “Dick I want to tell you something.  I don’t want you to be disappointed but Walt wanted to make you a star. He has us get all the information, the background stuff of your experience.” I was disappointed because I wanted to be an actor, unfortunately   I can’t act anyone  who’s ever seen me, expect for Michael where I didn’t have to talk know I can’t act. Anyways it’s my kids deal, he’s an actor and he’s done very well at it.

GM: During your tenure at Disney you met a young man named Kurt Russel. What were your first impressions of him?

DW: A great kid. He was a really nice guy, very friendly, easy to get along with. I was roughly ten years older than he is and his dad is responsible for me getting in his contract. He talked to him (Kurt) one day on the set of “Now you see him, now you don’t” and his dad said you ought to put him (Dick) in your contract. He said I don’t know how to do that dad. Dad said I`ll take care of it. His dad was Bing Russel who was the sheriff one “Bonanza” He had a great career both as an actor and as a baseball player. So he`s the reason I got into Kurt’s contract and stayed with him for seventy five years, up until “Tango and Cash”

GH: In 1975 you doubled for Richard Dreyfuss in a little movie called Jaws. How did you get the job?

DW: How I got “Jaws” was a friend of mine who was another stunt guy by the name of Jessie Wayne who had doubled smaller people like Mickey Ronnie etc. Jesse was called in for the job because he was smaller to make the shark look bigger by using a small person in a small cage. Well Jesse in all honesty couldn’t scuba dive but he didn’t tell him that, he said I`m busy I got a good job but you can hire a friend of mine Dick Warlock he’s a certified scuba diver. I went in with the production manager and got the job doubling for Richard in “Jaws’.  We spent a week in the tank at MGM studios which was referred as the Ester Williams tank shooting that scene. That’s how I got the job doubling Richard. For a long time Dreyfuss didn’t want anyone to know he had a double. I remember on the “Johnny Carson” show he denied having a stunt double.

GH: Most of our readers will know you as The Shape in Halloween 2. Was it hard to get in and out of the Michael Myers character?

DW:Not really. I didn’t have an ounce of direction from anybody, I just did it the way I wanted to. What really hurt my feelings was when they came out with a 25th anniversary DVD version where they had they commentary at the end and Debra Hill said “Well he never did get the walk.” She was on set every day and could have said at any time such as “Dick let me show you how to move.” Either did Rick Rosenthal. I just did what I wanted to do. But they seemed to have liked it, because it’s become a fan favorite. Everyone says do the walk do the walk (laughs) so they like the walk.

GH:  This was the one and only time you worked with the lovely Jamie Lee Curtis. Have you seen her since socially?

DW: No, no unfortunately I haven’t seen Jamie. Someone asked about me doing one of the shows (conventions) and she said “Oh the stunt guy?” Well that was the end of that (laughs) I did get a call on Halloween: H20 to come in and replace Chris Duran. But they wanted my mask. That’s what they wanted. They didn’t like the way the mask fit Chris. If you notice the mask changes during the movie, that’s because they made another mask. They fans notice it.

GH:  Did Halloween 2 offer you any major challenges as a stunt man.

DW: No. It was more a challenge for Jack Verbois who played Ben Tramer, walking towards me in the street as I drove the police car. I didn’t go very fast at him; you can’t really do that without hurting somebody. There was a platform we built on the front of the car for Jack to step on. He took so many steps backwards and when he turns I`m there.  So it was a timing thing. But getting off the subject, no I had done fire things before.

GH: Is it surreal at times being part of a pop icon such as Myers?

DW: I can’t get over that. I`m still amazed, I sit at this table and people come and come and come. It amazes me that it can be so popular and I can be the person that’s that popular. But it’s the character that everyone loves. Its Michael Myers, everyone loves him, nobody loves Dick. I certainly appreciate it.

GH: Have you ever had to deal with nutty fans?

DW: Yeah, a long time ago I had a stalker guy who threatened Kathy (Dick’s wife) and I. Unfortunately   he died from a brain tumor.

GH: If the role of Michael Myers was offered to you again, would you come out of retirement to play him again?

DW: I couldn’t do that; I can’t do the walk anymore.  I`m too old, I’ll be seventy two in February. It’s time to give up the ghost (laughs) I`d love to work with John again. I`d also love to work with Tommy Lee Wallace again.

GH: Would you do a cameo in a Halloween film?

DW:Yes I`d love to do a cameo in a Halloween film.

GH: Of your vast legacy in Hollywood what would you most want to be remembered for?

DW: Two films Jaws and this one (Halloween 2) and being a nice guy.

Thanks to Dick Warlock for taking the time to talk to Gorehound Mike!

All Interviews are owned by its author Michael Vaughn and is copywrited, and should not be used in any other form. 2012 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Films in the Attic: Sleepaway "Camp" 2 Oh im a Happy Killer!

Films in the Attic: Sleepaway Camp 2

OOOOOOOOOOH i`m a happy camper and you will be too if you give this sequel a chance!

Sleepaway camp came out in 1981 a year after the ground breaking slasher film "Friday the 13th" and while I agree that the film is a classic in the genre it seems that "Sleepaway Camp" was its not as pretty younger and more clever sibling that gets sadly over looked. Though time has been kind to this film and it soon found its way as a cult film in its own rite. As films logic goes, if the first one was successful way not make another, and normally it frankly sucks balls. Yet in the case of Sleepaway Camp I found the sequels to be fun horror filled tit filled romps that while not as good as the first is still entertaining as hell.

It kind of bums me out that Sleepaway camp 2 and 3 gets the brush off.. It seems like three gets an even worst rap then 2. I for one like them both and while they`ll never be "high art" or whatever the hell that means, bottom line in my book if its a fun film that keeps you entertained then its done its job. So pack your bags cause its back to the woods with everyone's favorite Trans gender serial killer!

Sleepaway Camp 2

Year: 1988

Director: Michael A. Simpson

You know folks you gotta love a film that stars Bruce Springsteen's little sister as a transgender psycho that not only can kill a teen but sing a happy song and play the guitar. This is a pure horror guilty pleasure. Kind of like how Texas Chainsaw 2 took the series in a different direction-namely a more funny route. If your looking for a truly scary tense filmed film this is not it. This is more aptly described as a horror comedy which seems to spoof the conventions of the slasher genre. SWC 2 does this in such a clever way it can get away with being more spoof show and less spook show.

Morals and horror seem to be interlocked and the fun thing about Angela as a killer is she unabashedly punishes the immoral sex charged teenagers for there sins.

The idea of kids dressed like Freddy and Jason (which by the way is years before Freddy vs. Jason) to "scare" Angela is priceless. It says that this girl is tougher then either of those icons of horror. She dresses like Leatherface which came before Freddy or Jason, it seems to suggest that shes the original serial psycho.
Another tongue in cheek joke is that the kids are all named after 80s cult star, Molly,Emillo (Renee Estevez is in the film) etc.

What hurts this film the most is the pace. Iit not very long  (80 mins) but suffers from dragging at certain points, including a flashback scene that stops the film dead. And while I understand every camp horror film has scenes of kids being well kids but there's to much of that here which keeps the film from moving forward. There is however plenty of breasts and blood to keep the audience happy. The body count is impressive The gore effects are done by Bill Johnson who is known for Pet Semetary 2 and recently Zombieland. His special effects are gross out and fun. Death in a port a pottie is great with a nice gag factor. While the first ending was a shocker I`m afraid this ending was sadly not as memorible as the first. Its disappointing because so much could have been done to try and top themselves. Its interesting to note that the lovely Felissa Rose was asked to reprise her role and wanted to, but she wisely she choose to go to college. Is this a classic like the first, no but I feel it deserves a chance. Sleepaway Camp 2 might not have the same "goods" the first one has, but its still a fun bloody good tit filled romp that will leave you punning for those days of tents, bug spray and chainsaw wielding transsexuals.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

No Jive Turkey!! Foxy Brown is in Da house!!

                                TOTALLY FUNKY 70`s Edition!
                       Gorehound Mike is getting totally funky on your jive ass!

Title: Foxy Brown

Year: 19 funkin 74!

Director: Jack Hill

         The mad genius behind the cult hit Spidarbaby brings us this film that not only defined the sub genre "blaxploitation" but really paved the way for a strong black female character.  The trippy over the top credit scene should give the viewers just a taste. Fans of 70s cinema will find much to love from this film. What can now be viewed as dated clothes, hairdos and lingo seems to just add to the charm and enjoyment one gets from watching this movie. Now I`m sure it was meant to be dead pan serious but it seems now its become a camp classic. But I tell viewers to give this a well semi serious look at. I say semi- serious because you cant help but laugh at the styles of the decade. This isn't to suggest this is a film just to mock. No sir, this is a bad ass film.

         Move over Shaft -nobody kicks more punk ass fools then the stunning Foxy Brown brought to life by the amazing Pam Grier who is not just a bright star but a super nova. Without this fiery vixen we would not have such film heroines such as The Bride from Kill Bill and Amelia from the Underworld series. Ms. Grier proved that action star wasn't just for the boys. Tough as nails yet she is portrayed as a sensitive well rounded character. She can love you but if you piss her off, say goodbye to your dick! It helps that she is a total knock out and has such a presents, I would compare her impact on the screen of that of Marilyn Monroe. The cast is well rounded with many notable character actors such as Antonio Fargas who is better known as Huggy Bear from the TV show Starsky and Hutch giving a super fly performance as Foxy`s no good brother. Jack Hill`s go to guy Sid Haig makes a brief but fun cameo. Sid would later find a new following in the films of Rob Zombie. If you dig action Foxy gives us plenty. One great scene takes place in a  lesbian bar, which for the time was very risky. Lesbian bar fight, come on, what more could you want?  The violence is "gritty" for the time yet don't expect anything too gruesome. Having said that there is a nasty scene between Foxy and two skin heads. Blood and guts wise its tame. Yet I will say, there's a classic scene that I`ll only say will make the male viewers wiggle in there seats. This type of movie I don't mind when the splatter is light. Its not suppose to be a hardcore splatter flick.

This film has often ripped off but it seems nobody ever captured the magic and the ass kicking fun that Foxy Brown brings,  People seem to laugh this movie off, it wasn't cliche at the time. Yes its VERY 70s but I feel like while some people might feel its dated, I know many that find this the very thing that gives the film its charm.  So give this super groovy bad ass mo fo movie that is not only an entertaining look at a fly decade but more importantly blazed the trail for strong positive African american females. So don't gvie me no jive and check this flick out, yah dig?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

VHS Retro Horror!! Blast from the past!

VHS, many people see them as dated and some younger readers most likely have never even watched a movie this way. While I do admit DVD and Blu Ray are leaps and bounds better in quality and if your a geek like me, you crave those bonus features. Still I long for those video rental days, many weird, lurid titles most of which have yet to see a DVD release and the cover art that graced them were enough to excite this young viewer. Often on this blog I call the video rental store as a corner stone to my film education and feel without it I would have missed out on hours of mind numbing fun. Am I alone in my feelings for this well dead format? No I wasn't. It seems that in the last five years or so horror fans have become very nostalgic for these VHS`s and certain titles go for big bucks and are becoming harder to find. Like a good brain eating zombie, you cant keep these videos buried. And really would you want too?

VHS themes in recent films

"August Underground" 2001 film
"Be Kind Rewind" 2008 film
"V/H/S" 2012

Our special guest in the blog this week is the creator and editor of "Lunchmeat Magazine Josh Schafer which is a zine that you guessed it, is totally devoted to the retro horror and scifi VHS. Nothing main stream like Halloween part 20, just films that have never been on DVD.  Josh talks to Gorehound Mike and he sheds some light on the recent boom in Retro horror vhs!

GH: What were some early VHS horror films you were drawn to back in the day?

LM: Oh, man… so many! Mother’s Day, Chopper Chicks in Zombietown, Mausoleum, Ghoulies, Return of the Living Dead, Bloody New Year, Mountaintop Motel Massacre, Play Dead… the list goes on and on. I found all these flicks at my local Mom and Pop video shop (RIP Video Vision – Bridgeton, NJ) throughout the 90s. Video Vision had aisles, but also had closed off, squared sections of flicks. Being surrounded by all those wild and vibrant covers, it’s a feeling I’ll never forget. It was like a rush of excitement mixed with an overwhelming sense of indecision. They were golden years.

GH: Explain the recent resurgence of VHS horror films?

LM: Well, I mean… I can try, hah. I think it’s just being more and more recognized as a viable medium to watch (and release) flicks. Stuff like Lunchmeat, the VHS Horror Collectors Unite group on Facebook, Massacre Video and Horror Boobs Video and Camp Motion Pictures releasing stuff on VHS again: it all adds up to a sort of movement to say “Hey, VHS is still here and it’s groovy!”. It’s been building for years now, I think. I feel like the community has been given more avenues to connect with each other, and this unites them and people notice when these things happen. Getting coverage in New York Times helps, too, hah! It’s akin to when punk rock started to emerge, I think. It had been happening underground for a little while, then people in more mainstream media talks about, then all of a sudden it’s real. But, yeah, I really think it comes back to a community and sort of movement. People notice when that stuff happens, and right now, there’s a really enthusiastic, active community in VHS collecting, preservation, trading, etc.

GH: How many are in your personal collection?

LM: Hmmm… I’ve never taken a count per se… but I would guesstimate about 2000+? I honestly don’t know. I have a ton, though. And I’m getting more all the time. I need more storage is what I need, haha.

just a "taste" of Josh`s collection....

GH: Any personal favorites in your collection?

LM: Of course!! I always note Microwave Massacre on Midnight Video as a personal favorite, not only because of the personal connection I have with it, but also because the cover is so mega-kick-ass. My copy of Mother’s Day is also a personal favorite because it’s tied to great memories. City of the Walking Dead and Video Violence were some the first big boxes I purchased for my collection, and those are dear to me for that reason. I also think Video Violence is the first SOV horror flick I remember seeing and being like, “Oh, man, this was recorded with a video camera – this RULES!”, so that has special meaning to me, as well. Redneck Zombies was another SOV flick that was really, really early for me. Those are a handful my favorites sentimentally. I have so many favorites, though: The Gate, Bloody Birthday, The Asphyx, Lunch Meat (of course!) Chopper Chicks in Zombietown, Parents,… man, I could go on and on and on, really…. And that’s just horror stuff… I have a ton of other favorite movies that I own only on VHS just because that’s how I remember them, and that’s how I want to own and watch them… stuff like Willy Wonka with Gene Wilder, Little Giants, Land Before Time, Addams Family, The Sandlot, et al.

GH: You started Lunchmeat Magazine. Tell our readers what your magazines goal is and where can they pick up a copy?

LM: The goal of Lunchmeat is to champion the VHS format and cast light on flicks that are only available on VHS and show people a world of films they might never see if they don’t employ the VHS format. LM also features interviews with obscure, cult actors, directors and creative personalities, articles on video era related stuff and nostalgia in general. I want the readers of LM to see the zine as a sort of time machine, a nostalgia room, something that can open up their eyes to stuff you’ve never seen or maybe have forgotten about. Most of all, I want the readership to have fun reading it while learning about all the stuff I listed previously. In short, the LM mantra says it all: VHS is Happiness! You can pick up copies through the website: www.LunchmeatVHS.com – You can grab a copy on eBay and select groovy indie bookstores, too. If you have a sweet indie book or comic shop near you and they don’t carry Lunchmeat, tell them they should! They can contact me through the website! Horror oriented sites like GOBLINHAUS and HOUSE OF MYSTERIOUS SECRETS along with a bunch of others carry the zine, too!

GH: What is your holy grail of retro VHS horror?

LM: Well, I’m still looking for a copy of The Spectre of Edgar Allan Poe. That one would be amazing to have. I still need a Lunch Meat big box version. I would like to have a Last House on Dead End Street, People Who Own the Dark, Spine and a Frankenhooker talking box that still works. I think anything on Unicorn that I don’t have is something I crave. It’s basically all stuff I didn’t grab before prices started to get crazy. And since you asked this question, I have to say that my “holy grails” kinda change all the time, so I guess that means I don’t really have one per se? By that I mean I‘ll go visit my boy Earl or my boy Matt D. and they’ll have tapes and I’ll be like, “Oh, dude! I gotta have this!” and then I set my sights on getting my own copy of it. It can marinate in my mind, and sometimes, it’ll float to the top and I just gotta have it. So, yeah, it changes, but the ones I mentioned before are tapes that I’ve wanted for a while and haven’t been able to attain just yet… and I stress yet.

GH: Do you feel that retro VHS horror films are making a big come back?

LM: I feel like more and more people are getting into them, yeah. I also feel like people that have been into them for years are also getting more notoriety and more pulpits to speak from. I think companies looking to VHS as a viable format to release their product are also a big contributing factor. I think these are all good, good things for the format. In an essence, all I wanted to do when I started LM was to share flicks that were only available on VHS with people that still cared about that kind of thing. But in the progression of the zine and my own personal experience and opinion, I really want the notion spread that VHS was an indelible and huge impact on our society and it should be remembered for what it did, both for bringing a myriad of films into the home and also stimulating the world economy to an enormous degree. It was a veritable game changer. I think it’s important for people to remember that, and VHS making a comeback could make people start to think about it.

GH: Any tips for horror fans that want to start their own collection?

LM: I would say visit flea markets, dirt malls, yard and garage sales, Goodwills and Salvation Army stores as much as possible. Don’t be afraid to travel. Get involved in tape trading forums and groups online like Horror VHS Collectors Unite and network, network, network. Meet people that like the same kind of stuff you do. That’s a great way to find the flicks you’re looking for. Go through phone books and look for places that still have video in their name or might have rented VHS tapes one time in the past. Check out CraigsList for your town. Mention to people you meet that you collect VHS tapes. Chances are, they have a ton sitting in their basement just collecting dust. VHS are everywhere. You just gotta be on a perpetual hunt for them, haha. Of course, eBay and Amazon are extremely useful avenues to get your tapes, but you’ll pay the going rate for for them. I would say check Amazon first because people list stuff on there all the time priced to sell. You can get deals on eBay, too, but it’s less likely than on Amazon, I think. Also, for internet shoppers, check out tape lots. Sometimes there’s a single gem mixed in with a bunch of more common stuff and you can score that way. Just get physical, keep your eyes peeled and get involved with the community and culture. It’s more fun that

Thanks Josh for taking the time to share your passion. On a personal note Josh is a cool guy and his magazine kicks ass, so dust off that VCR and pick up a copy of his zine!!

Thank you for crawling into my lair. Just remember the golden rule, be kind rewind or i`ll kill you! (EVIL LAUGH!! AWHAHAHAHA)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Films in the Attic: SPECIAL EDITION: Psychos In Love: WITH Director Retrospective EXCLUSIVE!!!

Greetings Gorehounds! I was stuck up in the attic and found a oldie but a goodie!! Is that love a smell in the air or a rotting corpses?

This weeks Films in the Attic is a very near and dear film to my black heart. Growing up in a small town, it was a treat to go to our local video rental. (for our young readers this was pre-netflick and redbox) I ran right back to my favorite section, you guessed it Romance, KIDDING -:"Horror"
The shelves were lined up with lurid covers with the promises of all kinds of fun splatter, and creepy delights. "Psychos in Love" was one of the cover art that really stuck with me and I was already "in love" This was a early splatter movie that really made an impact and I understood that going off the big Hollywood big budget grid was a good thing.While the film has gained a much deserved new life on DVD It still needs a wider audience and as I`ve said before If I can do one thing with this blog its to help other fans discover there next favorite movie.

Fear not the dvd is out there and Netflix also carries it to rent!! Netflix i`ll expect my check in the mail. Seriously!

Psychos In Love
Director: Gorman Bechard

The Plot: Joe is just your average strip joint owner and well butchers young women. Kate is just a regular girl and manicurist and shes slaughters men. While killing is there true passion in life, alas they are lonely.Kate strolls into Joe`s club and instead of killing each other they fall in love. Not only do they both have a blood lust  they both hate grapes! But as they settle into there new life together a Cannibal plumber may have the happy murdering couple on the menu.

The Review:  Grapes, I hate grapes! Such is the proclaimed by our murder happy couple. This movie is gross, sleazy and hilarious just a lot of fun to watch.  Come on you gotta love a movie that has its own theme song! The film uses a really interesting style, with documentary interviews with the characters. Its used in a really cool way and helps make this stand out. It obviously has flaws but pointing them out is kind of pointless, I mean its low budget but they filmmakers are having so much fun with it that we just go along for the ride. I read some reviews were they picked this film apart and I`m like why? Its not posing to be any more then what it is, a bloody sleazy t and a romp that proudly jams its tongue in its cheek. The end is also fun, breaking the forth wall. I think this movie was way ahead of its time as far as self referencing and playing with the horror genre. Its refreshing to know that alot of the actors as well as the director still works in the film business. This is a fun film that is easy to fall in love with. Just don't offer me you know (GRAPES!)

EXCLUSIVE SPECIAL Psychos In Love Retrospective!! Interview with Director Gorman Bechard
Its been over 25 years since the film came out and were still in love with this bloody fun flick! 

GH: It seems like you and the cast and crew had a lot of fun making the film, any on set practical jokes?

GB: No practical jokes actually, but we did have a blast. A lot of it had to do with us being all friends, and
how we kept pushing the silliness of the material. I so remember the scene where Carmine is putting the
poison in the glass of champagne, and I’m off to the side telling him to keep going, more, more. It still
cracks me up to this day.

GH: I read this was shot in your apartment what was that like?

GB: Actually my father’s house. And the biggest problem became the rug, which had to be steam
cleaned 3 times to get all the fake blood out.

GH: Do you hate grapes?

GB: How can you even ask me that? You don’t like them, do you? What your address?

GH: Do you remember the reviews for Psychos in Love when it came out?

GB: Two stood out. One idiot reviewed who commented that I was using a fake name as director. He
must have thought the “gore” part of “Gorman” made it sound unreal. It is my real legal birth name.
And at a press screening at the old Bleecker Street Cinema a reviewer from the New York Times threw
up in her gym bag. I so wanted to use the take line: “The reviewers have thrown up, now it’s your

GH: Did you keep any mementos from Psychos?

GB: I have the fake hand and fingers that Herman ate. And some of the fake knives. The rest we buried
under my father’s house.

GH: When I was young I remember vividly the cover art for this film, who did the artwork and any idea
where that piece of art work is now?

GB: That would have been Empire pictures. I actually never liked it to be honest.

GH: After years of waiting Psychos finally made it on DVD, was it hard to get this to happen? When’s the
blu ray out?

GB: They came to us actually. Did a nice job on the release. Lot of great extras. But no, there will never
be a bluray. Sort of no reason for one.

GH: What are you currently doing these days?

My Replacements documentary COLOR ME OBSESSED is playing the festival/indie cinema circuit. It’ll be
out on DVD in September. My next film, WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?, which is an Archers of Loaf concert film will premiere in June. And we’re in various stages of production on two other documentaries:
PIZZA, A LOVE STORY, about the three world-famous pizza joints in New Haven; and ECERY EVERYTHING,
THE MUSIC, LIFE & TIMES OF GRANT HART, about the infamous drummer from Husker Du. Plus we have two narrative films we’re working on: BROKEN SIDE OF TIME, which is a dark road trip; and ONE NIGHT STAND, my return to horror.

GH: Finally do you still enjoy watching Psychos in Love after all these years?

The last time I saw it at a fest a few years ago, yes, absolutely. It’s still a really funny film!

For more information on the films of Gorman Bechard please go to: http://www.www.wwwtfilms.com



Thursday, May 3, 2012

Legendary Producer/Director Brian Yuzna Interview!

Brian Yuzna was born in 1949 in the Philippians. He later moved to America in the 1980s.  He always had a great love for science fiction and the work of H.P. Lovecraft which would later be explored in his films. Fresh out of college Brian saved up his money and teamed up with friend Stuart Gordon, together they would make Re-Animator a low budget film that would take the horror film world by storm. He set out to direct "Society" which is a clever horror film with biting satire about class systems. Not only a smart thriller but it delivers the gore as well. Next he wrote and co-produced the hit film "Honey I Shrunk the Kids"

Re-Animator was a huge hit and it was only a matter of time that a sequel would be made. Bride of Re-Animator was not only written by Yuzna but produced and directed. Not a hit upon its release, it has since found a cult following among fans. Brian would go on to produce and direct some fan favorites such as Dolls, The Dentist Return of the Living Dead III,Beyond Re-Animator etc. Currently he has directed Amphibious 3D. This makes this his first 3d film.
Brain has won many awards such as Silver Scream Award for ROTLD 3 and the two Fantafestival awards for Faust.

Gorehound Mike is VERY proud and honored to have the chance to talk to such a icon and a legend in the business. 

GH: How did yo get started working with Stuart Gordon?

BY: I came to L.A to make movies and I was looking for a director and i was working on some projects. A friend of mine Bob Greenburg, showed me around L.A and showed me how things worked in the movie business. He said "You know you should meet this theater director from Chicago named Stuart Gordon. I went to Chicago and watched his plays, and we (Stuart) got along right away,he being a real horror fan and me wanting to make a horror movie. He had this idea to make a Lovecraft movie based on Hebert West:Re-Animator. Stuart had the idea to make this into a tv series and I just wanted to make a movie. So he said no problem, lets make a movie. We then developed the tv story into a movie, and we shot it in L.A. We originally were going to shoot it in a theater in Chicago but they didn't want to do that.

GH: Your most known for producing Re-Animator. What was it like working on it?

BY: It was a really extraordinary, it was my first professional movie. I was in L.A Hollywood and I was making a movie! It was low budget but everything was new and that made it exciting. It was a short shot, we only shot for 16 days but it seemed like forever, we actually shot between Thanksgiving and New Years of 1984. But as I said it was all new and exciting to me, but kind of learning how to do it. (Laughs) I think Stuart and I were the least experienced people there,everybody else worked on movies before. At least Stuart had done plays so he knew how to direct. I got a line producer and we got  a team, Bob Greenburg helped a lot. He (Greenburg) knew the people who worked in the low budget area and who we could get the effects from, things like that. It was just a lot of fun.

GH: Was Stuart Gordon oringally suppose to direct the sequel to Re-Animator?

BY: He was. He initially talked about it, then at one point when we were working on "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" his agents had convinced him he didn't do sequels. I then thought this would be an opportunity to try directing again (first being Society)

GH: Any challenges writing Bride Of Re-Animator?

BY: I had worked with his (Stuart) and the original writers Dennis Paoli and William Norris to come up with the script for the sequel but the time element got in the way, we had a treatment but then all of a sudden I got financing for the movie from a Japanese company. The financing was based on our shooting the first week of June 1989. They (the Japanese) were very strict about there deals and it was real essential that when shot at this time, this must of been around February and Stuart was real adimint that the script couldnt be done in the allotted 6 months that we had until we were to shot. I tried to explain this to Stuart that I couldn't do it in his time frame due to the shooting schedule. I then got the writers from "Society" together really quickly to work on a script we just came up with a completely different idea and got  a script ready and shot it.

GH: I`m sure many fans are wondering what if anything is happening with "House of Re-Animator"?

BY:  Thats way on the back burner, the idea of House of Re-Animator was to take place in the White House, which was the original idea for the sequel. I think the title was always Bride Of Re-Animator to keep with the theme of Frankenstein. The original idea for the sequel was that Meg kept living and Dan took her away and there were hiding out. All of a sudden Dan was kidnapped by the man in black and taken to the White House where Hebert West was working I don't quiet remember the details but he (West) re-animates the President. This was during the Reagan era and he (Reagan) was always falling asleep in meetings we just figured it would be funny if Reagan was actually a zombie, and the script had other thing like Kennedy`s brain and celebrity's such Elvis and Marilyn Monroe being in the White House basement and being re-animated. It was never a completed work, it was just more talking for fun and coming up with crazy ideas. I`m trying to remember why that didn't become the sequel. Stuart, William and Dennis`s idea was to have Dan and West working in a mortuary. In Spain I did a label there called the Fantastic Factory and one of those movies in the Fantastic Factory was Beyond Re-Animator and then when I was leaving Spain I decided It would be a good idea to do a trilogy of R-Animator sequel`s and it would bring the stories around to a close. I thought it would be good to have Stuart to direct the first out of the three and it would be Re-Animator in the White House so that's were the idea for House of Re-Animator came from. and the promotional things you`ve seen that we did at the time.I couldn't get financing for it believe it or not.Stuart had point me in touch with someone who could get the financing and for awhile there with thought he we it financed and then boom it fell through. That was 2008 and then Obama went into the White House and the treatment we had for the original story had a lot of satire on the Bush White House and it had become out of date. That is the problem with doing political and satirical things.I was a little concerned about the White House part because I always thought politics and horror don't mix well, science fiction and politics does mix well. I always thought horror was about psychology and religion then politics. Less about culture and more about things like death and sex. So that kind of took the stuffing out of that one and we really needed a bigger budget also it was going to involve everyone from the first one and then it got more expensive and than we needed bigger actors and the financing gets trickier. Thats what happened to House of Re-Animator.

GH: Your first film Society is great satire and seems to be as relevant now as it was then. Is there a plan for a remake or sequel?

BY: I`ve actually been working not on a remake but a sequel called "Society Bitches" I thought it would be fun to do a movie that all took place in these clubs on Sunset Blvd. There clubs always have the red carpet and the bouncers that let people in and its very exclusive, and then if you actually get in the club they wont let you in the  V.I.P section and if you into the V.I.P section there's a more V.I.P section (laughs) were really famous people go and then there's clubs people don't even know about. So I thought it would be really funny to follow some social climbing girl with her friends who get deeper and deeper in the club scene one night. She finds once you get behind the final doors its actually the shunting. Its the idea that someone learns how terrible it is but just wants to be apart of it. In the original Billy Warlock is just shocked by whats going on and disgusted this girl would be like someone who knew how corrupt it is but just wants to get into that exclusive place. I don't have script yet or the financing but I`m working with one of the original producers of Society.

GH: Your a horror fan yourself, seen anything lately that you liked?

BY: Troll Hunter was pretty good., it was totally different. I liked Cloverfield, it was found footage type of thing. It was wild they made such a big monster movie on a little budget. I think a lot of the found footage , its a cool technic but its gotten old.

GH: Finally of all you`ve done in your career what are you most proud of?

BY: I`d have to say Re-Animator, because it was the first film I did and its lasted the best. Its become a classic. I love the idea that that I could do something that ended up being one of those movies that I loved when I was growing up. Its one of the classic films. Re-Animator was the one film I had the most control over, obviously I didn't direct it but I paid for it so there was no body over me, I got to make the final decisions. All the all movies after it there's been people who`s has financed it, there's always other people involved. So having that freedom made Re-Animator a lot  of fun and gratifying. Some many films I`ve done a  lot of them have been disappointments, some of them work and some of them don`t. Return of the Living Dead 3 I really liked. I thought it turned out well, it turned out the way we planned it. The Dentist was something that had everything going against it yet it turned out to be a fun movie in its own way. Honey I Shrunk the Kids I was really happy, it was our idea Stuart and I had, coming up with all these ideas that end up being so big in the culture that makes you feel good. I think wow I came up with the idea of a guy riding a  bee and now its on a McDonalds cup and you go wow that's incredible that things like that can happen. Its hard to come up with just one job.