Halloween On Amazon Prime 2017 : “The Grinn”


Trash Film Guru

For the final entry in our look at some of the lesser-seen (and even lesser-budgeted) flicks available for your Halloween viewing pleasure via Amazon Prime’s streaming service, we come to a curious, and often fascinating, little number called The Grinn, which was filmed earlier this year in Pacific Grove, California for (at least as IMDB would have it) the king’s ransom of precisely $300.

And, honestly, in may ways it shows : the sound quality can be uneven, some of the camera angles are a bit suspect, and the script is obviously an amateur effort with some real pacing problems — but here’s the kicker : it’s both inventive and surprising enough that you’ll likely be more than willing to overlook its production and plotting flaws.

And speaking of  the plot, here’s a brief, reasonably-“spoiler”-free rundown : A guy named Vance (played by John Carroll) wakes up with no…

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Halloween On Amazon Prime 2017 : “Messenger Of Wrath”


Trash Film Guru

Hey, it wouldn’t be a Halloween on Amazon Prime without a new film from our guy Ryan Callaway to check out, would it?

Of course not, and just the other day his latest popped up on there — Messenger Of Wrath, which “wrapped” production just a few short weeks ago and marks something of a departure in the veteran micro-budget auteur‘s output in that it’s the first time, at least to my knowledge, that he’s delved into the burgeoning “home invasion” sub-genre, but fear not : as with all things Callaway (or maybe that should be Callaways, given that his wife, Amy, produces all these flicks — this being no exception), there’s a twist here to set it apart from its competitors/contemporaries. But it’s not one that I’m going to give away in case you decide to watch this movie, so rest easy on that score…

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Jedadiah Leland’s Horrific Adventures Online #27: Bitten By A Werewolf (2013)


For my next adventure, I played Bitten By A Werewolf (2013).

Bitten By A Werewolf is a choose-your-own-adventure style Twine game.  This is the first thing you see:

I don’t want to be too hard on Bitten By A Werewolf because, having played it, I get the feeling that it was written either by a kid or by someone still learning how to write in English.  The game’s text regularly switches back from first to third person, sometimes in the same sentence.

The figure in the woods is a werewolf.  You can run but don’t expect to avoid getting bitten.  You can also stop long enough to try to help one of your friends climb out of a ravine but don’t expect it to go well.

The most interesting thing about Bitten By A Werewolf is discovering all the ways to die.  Here are a few examples:

When it comes to getting bitten by a werewolf, the best advice is not to get bitten in the first place.  Remember that the next time you’re in the woods and tempted to chase every strange figure you see.

 

Horror on TV: Thriller 2.19 “A Wig for Miss Devore” (dir by John Brahm)


For tonight’s televised horror, we have yet another classic episode of the Boris Karloff-hosted anthology series, Thriller!

In the Wig for Miss Devore, Sheila Devore (Patricia Barry) is an actress looking to make a comeback.  She’s recently been cast in a film about a real-life witch who was executed centuries ago.  Sheila’s so determined to make the part her own that she’s even willing to wear a wig that once belonged to the dead witch.

Needless to say, that proves to be a mistake for her.

However, it’s enjoyable for us!

Lisa’s Oscar Predictions for October!


Hi, everyone!

It’s time for me to post my monthly Oscar predictions!  With Oscar season finally getting started, things are starting to become a lot more clearer.  At the same time, especially when compared to the previous few years, it’s hard not to feel as if there’s a lot more uncertainty than usual.

For months, people were convinced that The Post was going to be the big Oscar contender but rumor has it that the film’s a bit of a mess.  I can’t say that I’m surprised.  Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, and Steven Spielberg teaming up for a celebration of the press?  That sounds like exactly the type of project that will bring out everyone’s worst, most mawkish instincts.

With the downfall of Hollywood power players and monsters like Harvey Weinstein, the Oscar outlook becomes even more hazy.  If ever there’s been a year for the Academy to make a statement, this would be it.  But will they have the courage?  On the one hand, the Academy has made an attempt to broaden their membership and to bring in new voices and perspectives.  On the other hand, Oscar host Jimmy Kimmel has already said he won’t be mentioning anything about Weinstein (or, I assume, James Toback or Kevin Spacey) during next year’s ceremony.  Is the Academy going to make a statement or are they just going to try to pretend like nothing’s happened?

Could next year be the year that the Oscars embrace genre films?  Some of the biggest disappointments of the year have been the movies that would typically contend for Oscars.  Meanwhile, some of the most acclaimed films of the year — Get Out, It, Wonder Woman, Logan, — are all so-called genre films.

For my predictions below, I’ve decided to live in a world where the Academy embraces genre films.  These predictions may be totally off but screw it.  It’s the night before Halloween and I’m going to have fun.  Besides, I can make a case for every single prediction found below.

Check out my predictions for January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, and September!

Best Picture

Call Me By Your Name

Darkest Hour

The Disaster Artist

Dunkirk

Get Out

It

Logan

The Shape of Water

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Wonder Woman

Best Director

Guillermo Del Toro for The Shape of Water

Martin McDonagh for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Christopher Nolan for Dunkirk

Jordan Peele for Get Out

Joe Wright for Darkest Hour

Best Actor

James Franco in The Disaster Artist

Andrew Garfield in Breathe

Jake Gyllenhaal in Stronger

Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour

Harry Dean Stanton in Lucky

Best Actress

Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman

Sally Hawkins in The Shape of Water

Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Margot Robbie in I, Tonya

Emma Stone in Battle of the Sexes

Best Supporting Actor

Willem DaFoe in The Forida Project

Armie Hammer in Call Me By Your Name

Sam Rockwell in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Adam Sander in The Meyerowitz Stories

Patrick Stewart in Logan

Best Supporting Actress

Mary J. Blige in Mudbound

Allison Janney in I, Tonya

Melissa Leo in Novitiate

Laurie Metcalf in Lady Bird

Kristin Scott Thomas in Darkest Hour

An October Film Review: The Night America Trembled (dir by Tom Donovan)


Today is the 79th anniversary of Orson Welles’s infamous War of the Worlds broadcast.

In 1938, Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater of the Air performed a radio adaptation of H.G. Welles’s War of the World.  Presented as a live news program, it was one of the first mockumentaries.  It also caused a panic.  How big the panic was is open for debate.  Some say only a few people took it seriously.  Other sources say that it was a nationwide crisis.  But, regardless, Welles made history on that night.  Not only did he illustrate the power of the media but he also scared the Hell out of a lot of people.  All in all, a pretty good night…

Filmed in 1957 for a television program called Westinghouse Studio One, The Night America Trembled is a dramatization of that night.  For legal reasons, Orson Welles is not portrayed nor is his name mentioned.  Instead, the focus is mostly on the people listening to the broadcast and getting the wrong idea.  That may sound like a comedy but The Night America Trembled takes itself fairly seriously.  Even pompous old Edward R. Murrow shows up to narrate the film, in between taking drags off a cigarette.  (I enjoyed the show but, whenever Murrow showed up, I was reminded of a grumpy old teacher complaining that none of his students cared about the Spanish-American War.)

Clocking in at a brisk 60 minutes, The Night America Trembled is an interesting recreation of that October 30th.  Among the people panicking: a group of people in a bar who, before hearing the broadcast, were debating whether or not Hitler was as crazy as people said he was, a babysitter who goes absolutely crazy with fear, and a group of poker-playing college students.  If, like me, you’re a frequent viewer of TCM, you may recognize some of the faces in the large cast: Ed Asner, James Coburn, John Astin, Warren Oates, and Warren Beatty all make early appearances.

As I said, it’s an interesting little historical document and you can watch it below!

Enjoy!

And Now …. A Special Halloween Message from Doc Bowman


Hi, everyone!

Doc Bowman here with a very special message!

Tomorrow is Halloween, which my owners — the flame-haired one and the nice one — says is the greatest time of the year!  It’s the time when kids get candy, horror movies are on TV, and my owners get to play dress up!

But it’s also a time when sick and stupid people do bad things.  I’m a black cat so both the flame-haired and the nice-one say that I’m not going to be allowed go outside at all tomorrow.  They say it doesn’t matter how much I beg, I’m staying inside.  I know they’re doing the right thing but I’m still going to beg and knock things off of tables and counters because I’m a cat and that’s what I do.

Tomorrow night, please make sure that all your pets are safely inside.  It may sound like a silly concern but not everyone out there is as nice and wonderful as my owners and the people who read this site!

Have a safe and happy Halloween everyone!