Halloween On Amazon Prime 2017 : “Unaware”


Trash Film Guru

Okay, let’s state right off the bat that another “found footage” alien abduction film is probably the last thing the world needs — but that’s hardly the fault of filmmakers Sean Bardin (co-director/screenwriter) and Robert Cooley (co-director), not least because their entry in this crowded field, Unaware, was lensed “way back” in 2010,  well before these things became ubiquitous. Admittedly, though, it sat around gathering dust until flicks of this nature were everywhere (2013, to be specific, when it was released on DVD), and like a lot of you, I’m sure, I gave it a pass at that point. Still, now that’s available for streaming on Amazon Prime, I figured, what the hell? It surely can’t be worse than The Phoenix Tapes ’97, can it?

As it turns out, though, it’s not only better than bottom-barrel dwellers than that, it can hold its own with Alien Valley

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Horror on TV: Freakylinks 1.1 “Subject: Fearsum” (dir by Todd Holland)


Does anyone remember Freakylinks?

Don’t feel bad if you don’t.  To be honest, I had totally forgotten about it until, two years ago, my friend Janeen mentioned it to me.  (And to be honest, I’m not sure if I ever knew about it before then.  Memories can inconsistent, especially when it comes to obscure TV shows that didn’t last for very long.)  Freakylinks is a show that aired on Fox back in 2000.  It only lasted one season and it was about this guy (played by Ethan Embry) who ran a website called freakylinks.com.  To me, that sounds like a porn site but apparently, it was actually a site dedicated to investigating the paranormal.

Freakylinks was produced by the same company that produced The Blair Witch Project.  A few months before the show premiered, in order to try to create some Blair Witch-style buzz for the production, the production company set up a website called Freakylinks.com and designed it to look like it was just some ghost hunter’s Geocities-style blog.  While the web site got some publicity, it didn’t translate into ratings and Freakylinks was canceled.  The freakylinks.com domain is currently for sale if anyone wants to buy it and turn it into a paranormal porn site.  (Who says the two have to be separate?)

The entire series has been uploaded to YouTube and below you’ll find a pilot!

Prepare to take a trip into the past, to a time when the internet was still a mysterious and powerful thing and people apparently didn’t realize that anyone with time to kill could make a web site.

And, by all means, enjoy!

A Movie A Day #277: Deadly Friend (1986, directed by Wes Craven)


Things I learned from watching Deadly Friend:

Girls love nerds who build robots.

In 1986, nerds could build robots that displayed human feelings.

Angry old neighbors hate robots.

If a nerd can build a robot that displays human feelings, then he can also bring his girlfriend back to life by putting a computer chip from the robot in her brain.

Once brought back to life, the girlfriend will start to behave just like the robot.

Basketballs can be used to do anything.

Deadly Friend is best remembered for the scene where the newly revived Samantha (Kristy Swanson) throws a basketball with such force that it causes the head of her neighbor (Anne Ramsey) to explode.  It is also remembered for BB, the big yellow robot that was built by Paul (Matthew Laborteaux).  Deadly Friend starts out as the ultimate nerd fantasy: a beautiful girlfriend. a big robot, and a killer basketball.  By the end of the movie, the fantasy has turned into a nightmare.

Deadly Friend was Wes Craven’s follow-up to A Nightmare on Elm Street.  Craven intended for the film to be a dark love story between a teenage outcast and his zombie girlfriend, with a strong emphasis on the hypocrisy of the adults around them.  Craven said that, in his version of Deadly Friend, people like Samantha’s abusive father were meant to be scarier than Zombie Samantha With A Microchip In Her Brain.  Warner Bros. wanted a film that would appeal to teenage horror fans and demanded Elm Street-stlye nightmares and buckets of more blood.  As a result, Craven practically disowned the finished movie and Deadly Friend is a tonally inconsistent, with sentimental first love scenes competing for space with heads exploding and necks being snapped.  Despite good performances from Laborteaux and Swanson, the final film is too much of a mess to work.  However, I know that I will never look at a basketball the same way again.

Halloween Havoc!: THE AMAZING TRANPARENT MAN (MCP 1960)


cracked rear viewer

Director Edgar G. Ulmer made some astounding contributions to the horror/sci-fi genres: THE BLACK CAT, BLUEBEARD, THE MAN FROM PLANET X . Unfortunately, THE AMAZING TRANSPARENT MAN isn’t among them. The below-low budget movie (shot on location in Dallas simultaneously with BEYOND THE TIME BARRIER) tries to throw too many things at the wall, and nothing really sticks, thanks to a weak script and short 57 minutes running time.

Ulmer does show flourishes of his brilliance in the opening scene, where safecracker Joe Faust breaks out of prison, is chased by hounds through the woods, and is met by a woman who drives him to a deserted looking, isolated farmhouse. But by this time, he had been beaten down from years of Poverty Row work with little to no recognition, and you can tell Ulmer just took the money and ran with this one.

The woman is Laura Matson, one of a nest of spies led…

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Horror Scene That I Love: Vincent Price Unmasked in House of Wax


Today’s horror scene that I love is from the 1953 film, House of Wax!

In this scene, a curious visitor to Vincent Price’s wax museum discovers that more than a few of the figures are actually corpses that have been covered in wax.  When she is confronted by Vincent Price, she hits his face and, in an homage to the famous unmaking scene from The Phantom of the Opera, discovers what is underneath.

(I’ve recently decided that they should change the name of October to something more appropriate, like Pricetober.  Seriously, this month is all about Vincent Price…)

Enjoy!

4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Guillermo Del Toro Edition


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films is all about letting the visuals do the talking.

This October, I am going to be using our 4 Shots From 4 Films feature to pay tribute to some of my favorite horror directors, in alphabetical order!  That’s right, we’re going from Argento to Zombie in one month!

Today’s director: Guillermo Del Toro!

4 Shots From 4 Films

The Devil’s Backbone (2001, dir. by Guillermo Del Toro)

Pan’s Labyrinth (2006, dir. by Guillermo Del Toro)

Crimson Peak (2015, dir by Guillermo Del Toro)

The Shape of Water (2017, dir by Guillermo Del Toro)

Horror on the Lens: Dracula vs. Frankenstein (dir by Al Adamson)


Zandor Vorkov is Dracula!

John Blood is Frankenstein’s monster!

Together … THEY SOLVE CRIMES!

No, actually, they don’t.  If anything, they cause crimes to happen.

First released in 1971 and directed by Al Adamson, Dracula vs. Frankenstein may not be a good film but it’s definitely an unforgettable film.  Yes, it may be thoroughly inept but it’s also perhaps the strangest take on the Dracula/Frankenstein rivalry that you’ll ever see.

Plus, it’s one of the final films of Lon Chaney, Jr.  Unfortunately, Lon doesn’t exactly look his best in Dracula vs Frankenstein...

Speaking of slumming celebrities, long before he played Dr. Jacoby and inspired America to shout, “Dig yourself out of the shit!,” Russ Tamblyn played a biker named Rico in this movie.

Also, like every other exploitation film made in 1971, Dracula vs. Frankenstein features hippies, leading to the age old question: who needs the supernatural when you’ve got LSD-crazed hippies running around?

Another age old question: Is Dracula vs. Frankenstein merely inept or is it a classic of bad filmmaking?

Watch below and decide for yourself.

Enjoy!